The very seclusionary religious community that i was raised in taught me early that a woman's role in life was to be married to a strong christian dutch man somewhere between the ages of 18 and 22 and to get busy on bringing up a large dutch family. Children should be spanned somewhere between every year or every other, most of us would go on to have at least 4-6, some of us would have 9-11.
When i look at many childhood pictures that my mom saved in a big blue rubbermaid box, many of them were focused on bride's and bridegrooms, their eternal love, little innocent hearts chiselled everywhere around them. For as long as i can remember romantic love was a fixation of mine, up until the last five years of my life, there was hardly spaces in between boyfriends. I wrote about love, sang about love, longed for the fated truth i had been told was my own, a husband that would love me deeply and for eternity, and the magical moments i would experience raising strong healthy children. I tried desperately to make this a reality, pregnant by 21, divorced twice by 24. The problem was, the reality of marriage never reflected the vivid romantic imaginings i had envisioned most of my life. Marriage became a symbol of suffering, a prison of control and an acceptability of abuse. The first love, abondoned me when parts of who i was began to glisten, when troubles made themself known, he wasn't going to stick around to help me figure it out. My heart bruised and broken i walked right into husband number two. He would spend the majority of our marriage, emotionally de-tached, oblivious of my need for emotional intimacy despite my consistent giving and vocalization of these needs and later quite comfortable with dragging me across rooms, throwing me on top of trucks, dis-connecting phone lines when the state of emergency got more severe and sleeping with other women when the stress at home became too intense. When i finally had the courage to put him in jail, i was met with silence and shame by my father and told that despite the fact that i had no longer been safe in the walls of my own home, i should never have proceeded with contacting the authorities, instead i should have just gotten better at keeping my mouth shut.
It was here, that the desire for marriage, for life long companionship died. I was determined to never sacrafice myself again for the guise of romance and to build a life of independance that would ineveitably instill a different set of values in my own daughter who would be watching how i lived my life and interpeting it as the "new normal".
I have been single for five years now, have grown in many ways and learned many things. But still a silent weeping of this aloneness continues to seep out of me. I have gotten very good at being alone and in the limelight am quite confident that the constructs of marriage and relationship as we have defined it, is nothing less than a complete sham, a mockery of what we perceive and call love. Yet sitting in the bleachers at Madison's skating lessons, surrounded by the mothers and the fathers arriving just a little bit late all dressed in their buisness suits, small pains begin to make themselves known and i am aware despite the hard shell i have constructed to deflect these things, deep deep down there is still a soft calling, a longing to again experience "my one special person" in the world, a companionship, an intimacy, a relationship that spans the years of a lifetime....