My cousin and I worked for the same company and about a year ago she left to help with her husbands carpentry business. I was completely jealous that she managed to escape from this place, and wondered why she didn’t leave sooner when she had been given the same opportunity for years. None of us could understand why, the moment he said he was making enough money to support them both comfortably, she didn’t run straight home to write her resignation but hung on to the job.
Well the other week she opened up about it, confessing that without a job she would be a nobody and my first thought was no way, you’re never a nobody, but today I feel I’m starting to understand how she felt.
I just failed to convince my partner to allow me to buy garden furniture. Seems insignificant I’m certain, but in order to avoid an argument I just said “okay” and walked away. I went to my bedroom, lit a lavender candle and lay on my freshly ironed duvet, listening for his footsteps on the stairs. He came to apologise, I accepted it, he left. I lay there thinking about how unimportant my ideas are, how he always denies me buying things for the house almost as if he wants full control, all of the power, this is mine, that’s mine etc.
In my mind I saw myself dressed in Victorian clothing, sitting at his feet with his slippers waiting for him to buy me something pretty for being a good wife. I feel worthless like an old penny so worn down that you can barely see heads or tails. He treats me like a wife, belittles me like a slave, but will not marry me and I don’t even get flowers as an apology anymore. I am old fashioned in that sense, I do think that couples should buy each other treats sometimes but not in the sense that one should entirely depend on the other and have to ask permission to do things.
I don’t ask permission but always get refused or convinced that I don’t need it but to be perfectly honest if it’s not food, water, basic items of clothing, shelter we don’t need it anyway. I could jump at the opportunity to say “you don’t need another drill” but he doesn’t discuss his future purchases with me as I do.
I think of what my cousin said when she described herself as nothing, being supported by a man and not having her own money to buy things she wants. The self respect dwindles away. Yes I don’t have the money that he has but I feel that I still need to at least try to hold my own, to have things in his house that I can say are mine, so I can say “no, I’m not nothing, I contributed in my own way”.