Pause for Thought from a 14-Year Old
A Minute to Myself (69)

Get Your Words Off Me: Excerpt Twenty-Two

King of the Castle

Lying in bed, I look out the window to the darkened sky and listen to the radio. I need the radio on when I go to sleep; I am so alone, lonely, especially in bed, that it comforts me, makes me feel less alone—less abandoned.

When my husband comes in he closes the shutters, tells me to turn off the radio (even though I am sleeping), and tells me my breathing is too loud or some other inane comment that seems, in hindsight, another way to ensure that his word is last and his needs first.

He is getting ready to go to bed, and must arrange the room to suit his needs, never does he adjust to mine. The shutters must be closed tightly when he changes, but it makes me feel isolated. He says that he will reopen them when he is done, but rarely does, and so I get up from the midst of my never heavy-enough sleep to open them after he has fallen asleep. Those closed shutters make me feel closed in—with him.

Then the radio, no matter how low, is always cause for complaint. I try to keep it on “another five minutes,” but it is never enough to lull me back to sleep before the next “turn it off” is uttered.  It is so hard to constantly fight for…air?

And then, there is the consideration of which is better, to upset him in bed or let him go to sleep quickly and undisturbed? There is always a balance that needs to be struck, that I need to find, between maintaining peace between us, and peace within. Giving in repeatedly, which is what I have done, even if for a good cause, has battered me down. Sadly, he didn’t noticed what he has been doing to me, or that his behavior was in any way wrong. Maybe that’s why my stating that I want a divorce was so hard on him. It seems natural to him to tell me what to do at home (what temperature the house should be, what pictures we should buy, what programs we should watch) and at work (not to work late, not to work from home, not to work on Saturdays), that he never noticed that I was agreeing in order not to argue, not because I agreed.

It’s funny, but I realize now that the only thing we had in common was that we liked the same foods. While that might be the basis for a good date, it is not the basis of a strong marriage.

He really does think he is more important than me. And for a long time, too long, my actions clearly showed that I agreed.
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