Almost a year ago, I wrote a post on why I don't have kids. If you'd like to read it, here's the link. On top of the "do you have any kids" question, I also get asked if I'm married, in a relationship, whatever. Yeah, no, no I'm not. And that's okay. Problem is, people don't think it's okay. I get the pitying looks. I remember my aunt always telling my mom that my man was out there somewhere. Ummm, no, no he's not. And if he is, sorry fella not interested.
Here's the deal. Our society somehow wants women to feel bad if they're not in relationship. And, we, as women, have bought into this crap. The other day I was reading Facebook and someone was going on about how she didn't have a "man" in her life. And how incomplete she felt. First of all, she was barely 22 or something so I doubt very highly she actually knew any real men. Just sayin . . .
I digress though, the whole things was she didn't feel complete, whole, fulfilled unless she was in a relationship. That made me really sad that this young girl had already bought into society's framework for what makes a woman successful.
And, I'm sure, someone out there is going: You're such a hypocrite. You write romance novels. And my response is, "Guess what? The books I write aren't real. They're fantasy. The people in the books are created from my imagination so they act the way I tell them." That is so not real life.
Here's real life. I mentioned in the past that my dad was an alcoholic. He and my mom had a truly rocky relationship. He asked her to marry him, she said yes, they were engaged for a while, until she finally gave the ring back and broke up with him. Story obviously doesn't end there. They get back together and one day, out of the blue, one of them mentions getting married. They go to the courthouse and get married. Great story, right? No, because Mom told me they each thought marrying was a bad idea, but neither one spoke up so whammo they're married. Within a week or so, Dad came home to find his shit tossed out on the front porch. They made up and then Mom had a massive health issue come up. She was diagnosed with TB (tuberculosis) and sent to Waverly Hills, where she lived for a year. Mom said if she hadn't been put in the hospital, they probably would have gotten a divorce.
They were married nearly 7 years (only lived together 6 years) before having kids. I doubt it was all sunshine and roses during that time. I was born and when I was nearly two (I think) my dad didn't come home one day. He just flat didn't come home. Mom had no idea where he was. He didn't call, didn't show up. Nothing. She was left trying to pay all the bills, take care of me, work, etc with no idea where her husband was. She told me we ate a lot of fish sticks since that's what she could afford. I HATE fish sticks. Looking at them, makes me want to puke.
Anyway, I was a daddy's girl so my daddy not coming home apparently flipped my shit. Mom had to take me to the doctor to get put on baby Valium to calm down. Finally, after a month or so she called his work, told him she was getting a divorce and he came home. I would have divorced his ass, but she didn't. Because that's not how she was raised. Looking back, I'm glad she didn't, since I wouldn't have my sister. But damn, really?
See, though, I can't spill all this out to people when they ask me why I'm not married, in a relationship, whatever. After living through all that, no, just no. I've seen a small handful of good relationships, but that wasn't until I was an adult. As a child, all I saw was dysfunction everywhere. I knew, I would never get married. I didn't want to get married. I didn't want kids, which meant I didn't want a husband, since you have to take care of them too.
I'm happy. Really. I'm not lying. Are there issues? Well, yeah, I have mental healthy issues. I have clinical depression, which I take meds for. Does it fix everything totally? No, but I know what to look for so I can take care of myself. Beyond that, I'm happy. I don't NEED someone to MAKE me happy. And, I'm sorry, if you think somebody will bring you happiness, it will never happen. No one will make you happy. You have to be happy, all on your own, before you can be happy with someone else.
I've been thinking about this post for a really long time and finally decided, yeah, I'm going to write it. Maybe someone who reads it will realize it's okay to be single. Or, it's okay to be messed up. LOL! I don't think anyone is "normal" there's no such thing. We all fall somewhere on the dysfunction spectrum, it really depends on just how dysfunctional we are. You know?
Oh, and if someone is trying to force you into a relationship. Thank that person very kindly and run away. You are the only one that knows you best. And if you're not ready, you're not ready. And, if you're never ready, then guess what, that's okay too. The only person you have to satisfy, at the end of the day, is yourself.
Take care! -- Gwen