Saturday, January 22, 2011

Some depth with your bacon?

Okay, while this post will have very little to do with bacon (Mac doesn't like crispy bacon....WHO doesn't like crispy bacon????) so apologies for the misdirection in advance.

Mac is out with friends, Nixon is asleep for the night and I'm thinking while listening to Fiona Apple. I'm thinking thoughts of randomness and realizing how I've changed and continue to change and likely will change again and I grow older and become mother to a school aged child then a teenager and later still mother to an adult. But wow, I just got way ahead of myself. Plus, this actually has very little to do with Nixon.

Instead, this is about marriage. More specifically, my marriage and how living in Okinawa has contributed to it being stronger. Its a foolish thing to suggest moving to a place where I knew no one but my husband and my infant son was best for my marriage. Because the reality is, those first 6 months could very well have ended it. I felt abandoned, emotionally raw from dealing with a teething infant practically alone while Mac was working midnights, I felt betrayed by all of womankind for not preparing me better for motherhood, I was unappreciated by Mac for all the meals I made/laundry I did/cleaning/organizing and my best attempts to make this home. Most of all, I was cutoff from the people I'd run to if I'd been home. I had made a couple friends, but the closest I had to a best friend turned on me and left a bad taste in my mouth for trying to cultivate another close friendship with my remaining time here.
I didn't marry my best friend. I married the man I loved and whose company I enjoyed. He knows me and my secrets and loves me all the same, but he's not my best friend. I'm not the white horse, knight in shining armour, damsel in distress kind of girl. I gave up the fairy tale long before I met Mac. I never fell for the "happily ever after" or the "love conquers all" bullshit that is forced fed to little girls in the womb. It's probably why it took me so long to find the right man for me. I was writing my own happy ending and Mac kind fell into the middle of the story.

So finally, after being so angry and so bitter and having nowhere really to go, I was forced to talk to Mac about things that bothered me. I think one day I finally explored and just had an epic fit: tears, cussing, screaming everything. Big, angry and ugly but enough to finally get Mac to pay attention. I finally had to admit if things didn't change I didn't see Nixon and I staying here. I was not bluffing either. I needed to be a priority in his life or I'd be gone.
I've had to remind him a couple times since then, but he's a lot better now. Life is better now, because with nowhere to go I'm forced to talk things over with him. I can't ignore it because when I do, I'm a volcano brewing and the eruptions are never planned and rarely end without some causalities. Plus, let's be honest here, what man really understands the words coming from a blubbering, crying mess of a woman?? NO, its much better if I come to him with something bugging me before I get to the point of blubbering. Although, tears make him realize how hurt I really am. Best not exploit that or the effect might be forever lost and there will come a time when tears will be needed and I'd hate to have only the "little boy who cried wolf" be my reality.

But, living far from friends and family is not easy. Mac and I have learned of several friends divorces in our time here. Some have been longtime coming, others shocked us and still others were statistically doomed from the beginning and therefore we lacked a real emotional response to the news, though we'd never admit that to the faces of those friends. That's something we discuss between ourselves in the comfort of our own home and within the sanctity of our marriage. Every couple has things like that, so I'm sure we're not the only couple that does that. Our technique and conversation is, no doubt, unique to us though. Our marriage is one filled with silliness, laughter, concern, mild conflicts over parenting styles mostly and love. I still love being held in his arms. I still get a silly smile on my lips thinking of our wedding (almost three years ago already!). I have moments when I can't see myself without him in my life, but I also have moments I can't picture him without me. We don't NEED each other, we WANT each other. Things get stale in marriage, its inevitable. Thankfully, we both have interests of our own we don't share and we have Nixon, not that we had him to save a marriage. He was conceived purely from our conscious decision to become parents together and out of love and planning.

Mac is blunt when it comes to marriage. Don't do it young. Live life, enjoy life and wait for the right person to come along. I share that feeling. We avoided, rather unsuccessfully, anything serious in the beginning. Until it became painfully obvious to everyone around us, that we were perfect for each other. We're not the ying yang type couple, or soulmate material, but realistically we are happy together. Mac keeps me from taking things too serious and I make him homecooked meals. The balance we discovered while living in Okinawa, may not have been possible if the option of going home for a weekend or so when things got tough had been our reality. I'm a runner. I run away and try to avoid issues. So if I'd been able to take a trip and get some distance between us when things got tough we'd never have found our solid ground. I'm also irrational when I get emotional.

And, in the same respect, parenting would've been more difficult with family around. Being here has meant we HAVE to be the parents. We have to set the rules, enforce them, punish and guide Nixon on our own. We don't always agree, but Mac is fine with following my lead for the most part. I've learned to trust my gut way more than ever before when it comes to Nixon and all things related to him. I'm desperate to not repeat my shit'tacular childhood mistakes with him. Seems like it'd be an easy task, just don't do what was done to me, right? Well, mostly but punishment and boundaries are where the biggest damages done to me happened. SO I'm stuck attempting to find balance when emotionally I'm still raw. I'm not doing horribly, but I fear I could be doing better. Nixon is such an easy going kiddo 95% of the time, that its easy to just live and let live with him. But I realize more and more everyday that I have flaws and I need to correct them before my flaws become his downfalls.

As I said, this had very little to do with bacon, but since I wrote it when most of my friends back home were starting their day, bacon seemed a fitting title.

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