Friday, May 29, 2009
Wisdom from Anaïs Nin
We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are. -Anaïs Nin
Everything is starting to make more sense to me now. I have always had family as my number one priority. For my in-laws, it is money. That explains the disconnect. It seems so obvious now.
I could never understand why they put more value on me bringing in a paycheck than raising our kids. For me, your kids are only young once. You have to spend that time ensuring that they are well taken care of.
I remember once I told the fourth wife a quote I had heard from Dr. James Dobson about how a children’s personality and entire being is shaped by the time they are 5-years-old. She strongly disagreed with me. Oprah reiterated that a couple months back on her show and I found myself hoping my in-laws were watching. (They often watch Oprah and Dr. Phil together.)
I feel that the best thing you can do for your children is to have one parent stay home and nurture them. I have always felt that was extremely important. And I told my husband I was willing to do with less to make that happen.
I could see my worth going down in his eyes as I began to bring home less money. The way he drilled me about when I was going to have a check again.
My husband always gets irritated with me when I talk about my passionate views on literature, politics, the war… I could never understand why he didn’t like to discuss these things with me. I see now that he has never been interested in me or my opinions. I was just supposed to be someone pretty to smile and stroke his ego.
I tried so hard to push a family on my in-laws.
I remember my first Mother's Day, about a month after my son was born, I had a special function for everyone at my house. I had included the fourth wife and had a gift there for her, as well as food prepared for both of them. They didn't show up. They didn't call. I was so offended.
It turned out they had wanted to play golf instead. Since they play golf at least 3 times a week, I don't know why that was so critical. They could have at least let us know they weren't coming. I was working 60+ hours a week and taking care of a newborn, but I still managed to pull this event together.
I remember once at my in-laws house in the desert, she started talking about a certain country club down there and I mentioned that my uncle was a member there. The fourth wife narrowed her eyes at me coldly, and said, “What uncle?” in a tone that could only be recognized as – who the hell in your family could ever belong to any country club?
I felt my face get hot with a blush as I explained which uncle it was and rambled on about how he was also a member at our club at home.
The thought of the scene now makes me angry again.
I have never felt like any less of a person because I did not share their wealth. And I have always felt very proud of my family. Because we are a family. We support each other. We love each other. And all the money in the world can not buy that.
I have been trying to interpret my husband’s family as I see the world, and not as they are. And it has been killing me for 7 years.