"Let's face it, every woman wants to be rescued", I stated with supreme confidence to a collection of my shocked female friends.
Let me explain. I'd spent many, many years looking for love in all the wrong places (Mooseheads Canberra, I'm looking at you), and in a series of unfortunate events, completely caused by me, I had crashed my car, joined AA and met the love of my life. He was trustworthy, honest, loving and he was my Prince Charming. I thought that I deserved a little rescuing after what I'd been through and he didn't seem to mind.
The real problems started when I needed rescuing on a daily basis. I was in early recovery, and after removing the substance that had been my hero for a decade, I needed someone or something to become addicted to. My husband became that, and I read a lot of books about the fairytale and how to keep it alive.
Hence me being in Melbourne, catching up with a group of girlfriends and lecturing them on what being married was like. I was painful. I was horrible. But I moved to a small country town and stopped wearing high heels, joined a bible study and quickly learnt how my husband liked his everything, because the other wives kept asking me and I didn't have a clue.
There were cracks forming, though...I'd stopped swearing and laughing at rude jokes, I tried to force myself into the square peg of a doting, conservative wifey. I did all the housework and forced myself to join craft groups. This would have been ok for a while, but we had a child. As the famous quote goes, "A child is a landmine thrown into a relationship", and ours was more shattering than most.
Suffering from undiagnosed Borderline Personality Disorder, I had no idea who I really was, and when people kept telling me to trust my instincts with the baby...I couldn't cope. Trust my instincts? My inner voice? I'd been trying to shut that bastard up for years with drink, drugs, food and impersonating what I thought other people wanted of me. I couldn't cope. I couldn't find me and I became lost in a prison of 2 years of suicidal thoughts and crippling depression.
Coming out of this, I was angry. I had suffered. I was miserable to be around. I spent a lot of time in blame, but the diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder opened my eyes to the fact that I could get better. I'd already swallowed and digested some big chunks of truth about myself, and I was set to chow down on several more.
This year, as my child turns seven, I am finally beginning to find myself. I mean, for the first time ever. I am starting to ride the wave of my emotions and feelings, to surf instead of being dumped by a big wave. I can see that I am the only one who can fix me. Nobody else can walk this for me. I've found this through the strength of 12 step programs. I've let go of the anger in me about life not being fair, started to grow up and see that I can be my own hero.
And my relationship? I don't need rescuing. You gals were right. I try to accept and love myself for who I am. I try to do that for my husband. I try to ask for that in return...even though it's easier to get mad about the things he didn't do that I didn't ask him to do. Asking for what I want has been scary, but people aren't mind readers.
If I look to anyone to rescue me from what is, I don't deal with my feelings and emotions. If I look to my parents, my friends, my family or relationships to rescue me, I deny myself the chance to sit with my feelings and get to know myself. I'm starting to fall in love, with me. I show up, I say sorry when I'm wrong, I tell people if I don't understand things or don't get the joke. I try to accept when people don't like me and realise I can't change the people who take exception to me. I try not to panic when things don't work out...because if I understood God, I would be God. No point in pretending....and every time I am true to myself, my self esteem grows, and I become who I was put on this earth to be. The hero starts with me.