Recently, I wrote a comment on another author’s Facebook post, and I had no idea it would get such an intense response. It seems like, once you separate or divorce, or even choose to live the dream against the conformist lifestyle, there seems to be a commonality of friends and family disowning you.
Friends are supposed to come and go, whilst family is supposed to be there forever, through happy times and hard times… but in this fast paced world, it’s becoming more and more evident that everyone is in this world for themselves, and dear friends are becoming more like family.
So many people question if they have made the right choice when they find the courage to leave their marriage or long-term relationship because they have effectively been ostracised. It’s a vicious circle. You’re no longer a couple therefore you don’t get invited to do ‘couple’ things. You tend to gravitate to other single parents because you feel you can understand each other, even though every single divorce, separation, child custody and/or financial settlement story is completely different… but you have a commonality of being on your own and crave for adult conversation. You then get accused by your family for spending too much time with other single parents and all their sad stories and you are becoming ‘one of them,’ so even in family occasions, you become ostracised, because no one wants to hear the bad, lonely side of separation and divorce. So you are left with no one except a handful of single mums who are in the same boat as you – not enough hours in the day, not enough hands to do everything, and not able to help each other because you are too busy doing everything you need to do to survive.
And even though those initial years are hard after separation – the loneliness, the isolation, the ability to be both mum and dad to your children, they are worth it, because your children have such a deep love and understanding of what you sacrificed to ensure that they are safe, cared for and wanted. Where as, many children in supposedly happy marriages, are left to their own devices, turning to drugs, alcohol, under age sex, vandalism and truancy, just to get the attention of their parents.
As for those who have chosen to live the dream – the sea change, the tree change, the simple life, the nomad life, whatever it is that people make you feel like your crazy, you have to remember, it’s their insecurities, not yours. You have the courage to be whomever you want, and if they disown you because of their jealousies or their almighty dependence on materialism and capitalism, then they weren’t the real friends you thought they could have been.
To me, life is for living. I find some people who are supposed to be there caring for me, are more of a hinderance than a help (mainly an emotional hinderance). I see people work hard for 40 years who finally retire to ‘live the dream’ of travel, enjoying grandchildren, joining hobby groups, etc only to be hit almost instantly with illness that prevents them from enjoying their golden years. That’s not life.
Whilst I work hard day in day out because my creative head just doesn’t know how to stop, I love that I can express myself, help people feel that they aren’t alone by getting to the brutal usually ‘untold truth,’ travel the world and be the mum my own mother couldn’t be for me, because our priorities in life were completely different. And whilst many people don’t agree with the way I raise my children because I give them too much love, attention, pocket money, chores, time with friends, time to learn, opportunities to eat out at restaurants, travel, extreme sports, opportunities to be a team player and opportunities to build on their dreams, it’s my choice… AND through it all, they have become leaders at school and in their sports, they have developed their own niche and strengths and they are overall GOOD AND HAPPY KIDS, which all but family seem to recognise.
So, don’t feel disillusioned that you are being disowned by the very people who are supposed to love you. Feel liberated that you now have the chance to choose the people who inspire you, enlighten you, embrace you and can laugh with you, and you can gradually tell them your story – if it’s the beauty in your life or the hardships… it’s your choice to live your life any way you want to. Stay positive, and be free.
Sarah Collins is in her mid-late 30s in the novel “On the Road to the Best Orgasm Ever.” She has lived a life that was expected. A life that started with school, university, meet the ‘love of her life’ which in reality was settling for someone who wanted to make a life with her, get engaged and married, buy a house and have her children all before she turned 35. You know the story… the story that throws you the questions from nosy future in-laws, desperate mothers who want to be grandmothers, girlfriends who live vicariously through you because they still haven’t found a man who will love them, and the butcher who sees you every week, knowing exactly how your future husband likes his rump steak. They all know that you will eventually get married, and they are all impatient to get her life started. Sarah had the same impatience too … she wanted to get married, she wanted to buy a house she could call a home and she wanted to have the perfect children and give them the childhood she missed out on, because she was being physically abused by her father, and her mother only knew how to say the word ‘no’ to anything she asked for – playdates with friends, invitations to parties, a treat at the supermarket, or to buy some fashionable clothes so she could fit in with her school mates. She felt repressed and had no voice of her own, and that’s all she knew life to be. She recognised that she never wanted her children to feel repressed, so she chose to raise her children with love, attention and affection, and let them know that anything was possible.
Sarah’s dream of having her family was complete when her second son Ben was born. Yet, she found it extremely odd that the afternoon, the very day she gave birth to her beautiful boy and completed her family, was the day she was plugging away at the keyboard of her laptop on her hospital bed, working to earn a dollar because her dependent husband didn’t have a consistent income and give Sarah a much-needed break to be a mother. It wasn’t the dream she had signed up for… it wasn’t the marriage she signed up for.
It was around the time Ben was born she started to question why she no longer felt attracted to her husband. He went from university degree to university degree, to minimum wage earner to self-employed pipe-dream artist. He hadn’t held a steady job in the whole time they had been together. Well, not enough to support their family. She sparked an attraction to heart throb Matthew McConaughey and became infatuated. If she wasn’t working, breast-feeding, running errands or domestic chores, she was quietly stalking Matthew McConaughey on any website she could find that had a new photo, any new gossip or new appearances for her beloved idol. Her husband, Johann, started getting a little concerned about her infatuation, to the point of feeling jealous and threatened, wondering why Matthew was more interesting than him. But Matthew made her feel womanly, made her feel not only a mother, wife and a provider, but desirable. Something her husband couldn’t do.
Sarah felt like she was falling into the same trap with her husband as she had with her parents. He was telling her what she couldn’t do, or what he objected. He was hurting her physically, but more so, emotionally tearing her heart out by not letting her do the motherly things she needed to do to nurture her children. It killed her inside, when he forbade her from attending to her crying son in the next room. She did everything to appease her husband so he wouldn’t get upset with her – she bought him expensive clothes, a Rolex watch, a ticket to Rome to discuss his talent with a celebrated gallery… but nothing was ever good enough for Johann.
So when Johann disappeared, it was the start… the start of her journey to find her best orgasm ever.