Sunday, October 4, 2009

All I Ever Wanted

Friends from my childhood tell me they thought I was raised like a princess.  In a fancy castle on a hill, with all the luxuries a kid could ever want.  Parents who catered to my every whim.  The only girl in a family with four children, they assumed I was fawned over daily, I guess.

The reality is -  that castle was filled with people.  A family of six requires a lot of square footage.  I did have a nice room that was decorated by a professional for Christmas one year, but it wasn't filled to the brim with Barbies and baubles.  I had what I needed, of course, and some of what I wanted.  As much as was possible for my dad.  Just the way it should be.

My parents were divorced and my father raised me.  I had a mother who couldn't decide which was more important - her child or her own happiness.  

The woman my father married had three sons.  No one was making a fuss over me.  There wasn't any room for that with so many kids in the house.  I often had to fight for my share of food at the dinner table.  Literally.  I'd be ready to pounce as soon as my dad said the word "Amen".  Three growing boys can make a bowl of mashed potatoes disappear mighty quickly.  

Maybe that's why I love carbs so much now?

While I was never the star of the show, I knew I was loved.  But I never really felt that I fit in anywhere.  Not home. Not school.  Not church.  Not even in my own extended family.  That could have come from any number of different places.  Because I was a child of divorced parents with a nutty-behaving mother?  Because I always felt a bit in the way of my dad's relationship with his wife, my mom's messes?  Or because I always felt like an obligation to so many people?  Who knows.  

What I did know, at a very early age, was that all I ever wanted was someone to love me.  I wanted my Prince Charming.  The knight on a white horse.  My very own Mr. Wonderful.

I wanted someone I could completely rely on.  A rock.  You know - the kind of man that makes all your petty troubles and insecurities a breeze to deal with because you know they've taken care of all the big stuff.  I dreamed of laying my head on his chest and the cares of my world melting away.  I completely fantasized about him in every way - looks, height, even the very necessary sense of humor he would have.  He was a funny, strong, foxy hunk of a man that would always be there for me.  The most important detail was the connection that was there naturally.  So strong that words weren't even needed, at times.    

But I never found him.

Instead, I found a guy who would always be just that.  A guy.  Who happened to be into guys.  He left that tidbit out of his resume.  I've only realized recently that it wasn't just a phase he went through when he was younger, but something that has carried on and on throughout our entire marriage.  It's here to stay whether he admits it or not.  Whether his parents or anyone else acknowledges it or not.  I seem to be the only one willing and able to face it.

He's someone who needed from me what I always wanted in a man.  For many years, I looked at it as God's way of teaching me to give more of myself.  That if I could do that for him, then maybe in the end I would have what I needed in our relationship.  

Funny how that worked out for my husband and not for me.  At all.  That is, until I woke up, smelled the coffee and wanted something different for *both* our lives.  It took me an awfully long time to figure out that no matter what I did, how I behaved, what I believed or would always be the wrong thing.  And not for any of the reasons that one would initially think.  

Not because there was anything wrong with me or because I was doing anything the wrong way.  But because he was the wrong one.  Wrong in so many ways.  When I look back on the criteria I thought my mate would meet, he actually meets none of it.  Evidently, I was the wrong one for him, too.  In every way.  

What was I thinking??

The answer is  -  I wasn't.  I was feeling, yes.  But isn't that what we all are doing when we fall in love?  He was nothing like the man I'd imagined.  Was yours?  Likely not.

I'm not giving up on my dream, though.  Because I know it will come true.  Just not sure when.  Or how.  I'll keep an open mind, of course, but it's comforting to go back to that old ideal that I held close for so long.  

When I reach the end of this road that I've only begun to tread, I hope 'he' is at the end looking only at me.  Then maybe I'll feel like the princess everyone always thought me to be.  

He's all I ever wanted.

Sweet dreams......


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