I said that I would go and I honoured the agreement with the best grace that I could muster. There was one wobble, a few weeks ago, when I tried to make him understand how hard I found these things. I saw his expression glaze over. ‘Here she goes again’, or thoughts such as this made him tune out. He was pleased to have got what he wanted, now he desired silence on the matter. To him it would never be a big deal. Any fuss that I made was an irritation, his exasperation if I tried to make myself understood palpable.
I cannot blame the anticipation alone for blighting the build up. I try to be fair, there were other factors to consider. I did all that I could to squash this thing down into the tiny crevice in my mind where it belonged, yet it emerged continually, demanding attention like a cranky toddler who refuses to sleep.
As a child I never imagined that my adult self would not have autonomy. How did I allow this to happen? Where is the strong, independent woman who my husband married? I guess he must wonder that too.
It sometimes seems that my feelings are irrelevant to those around me yet I know that this thought is grossly unfair. It is only in this matter that I am denied the right to walk the path of my choosing. Perhaps that is why it gnaws at my consciousness, refusing to be subjugated. I do not choose to allow this thing such power over my well-being.
In the event we sat and acted out the parts assigned, each playing their role to the best of their ability. And it was okay. Such a short space of time in a life. I recognised the effort that had gone into making it welcoming, a time to share, love offered. I understood the work that was required to create this moment of togetherness.
The block of ice that has settled in my heart threatens to cool down the remaining feelings of warmth. Why do I remember so clearly the times when I was forced into a corner, scorned or hurt, wilfully or not? I want to look back on the peace of the next morning’s sunrise, on the laughter we shared at the funny film, at the discussion that followed the show we had all wished to watch. Instead I remember the glazed look when I tried to gain empathy, the impatience when I asked for that which he considers impossible, the resentment when I raised this topic yet again.
The deed is done, the favour granted, all went to plan. I am expected to move on but more is to come. My position has been made clear, my request lodged, yet I know that it will likely be ignored once again. This was never a quid pro quo. He will continue to take the easiest path and I will be required to acquiesce without fuss.
I am the heart of his family and also the outsider. I am the only one for whom there is the option of disposal.