Disappointed Love by Francis Danby
It is with a very heavy heart, I share this with you Dear Readers. As of last Sunday, I am no longer engaged. It is the reason for the silence on 19th Century Modern. It is important to me to share this information, should anyone get the impression people on social media lead happy well-adjusted lives untouched by tragedy.
To say the least, I am heart sick. However, I wanted to address the reasons why. It is not only the loss of a wonderful man, but the potential death of a dream; The Dream of Marriage. The institution of Marriage is largely personal and driven by social constructs, so what I am about to say does not hold true for all women, nor deaf women, nor Hispanic women, nor yourself Dear Reader. Your perspective is different and I respect that. This is my heart, I am revealing to you.
I have never really wanted to have children (but that is changing), but I have always wanted to get married. I do not NEED a spouse, but I want one. I have the house, the car, the job. I just want someone to share my life with. Marriage is a type of validation for me, because no one in my family thought it would ever happen. I was so painfully shy as a child (acquired my first real friend at the ripe ol’ age of 13.) I am severely hearing impaired which leads to all sorts of communication barriers. I do not sign, so the Deaf Community, by and large, shuns me, while the hearing/normal world has to learn patience with my quirks and miscommunication. I am rather book smart, but never did take Common Sense 101 nor Street Smarts 205. I was probably studying in the library at the time. And as I am sure it is evident, my self-esteem fluctuates greatly.
Some of immediate family members were worried I may be a lesbian, because of my fear of men due to a past trauma. I am not a lesbian, but I have friends who are. The worse thing said, came from my own brother during our teenage years, out of the blue. He declared in a rather arrogant tone, “I think you’re going to marry the first guy who asks you, because he will be the ONLY guy to ask you.” As a fourteen year old with braces, with hearing aids, legally blind, and going through puberty full of dreams, I felt as if he kicked me in the gut.
I loved the idea of being married. Someone who is your pillar of support and yet who loves you for who are, warts and all. A person you can be your total weird self with acceptance and encourages it for your happiness. Let your freak flag fly! This person who I would marry would CHOOSE me. He would make a conscious decision that I am more than enough, that I am his preference, that he loves me. He would welcome me into the realm of normal society, when where all my life I have been “Other” on the fringes.
Married women tend to be respected (this goes for mothers as well) a bit more than single women. The shift in other people’s behavior is slight, but I notice it. There is a sense of ‘accomplishment’ about it, in a more subtle way in modern day, but would be obvious in yesteryear. It is a sense of worthiness. I always yerned for this type of respect.
Along with my family, I believed marriage may not be in the cards for me, but I hoped and saved especially for a wedding one day. Just in case. Just in case God would grant me the biggest desire of my heart. And wonders of wonders he sent me a caring and Godly man who proposed to me after fours yeas! My dream was in sight! I would do my family proud as the only one of my father’s children to be traditionally married. They could say I exceeded expectations. Everyone, including myself, would be so PROUD.
My Nana, used to say, all my life that she would not die until she saw me get married. My cousins used to snigger that it was Nana’s subtle way of saying she wants to live forever because I probably would not end up in matrimony. Now, my Nana’s health is failing considerably. Doctors give her two months to live. If she passes, I feel like I may never get married. Like a sign of unfulfilled. Or a closure in a way.
This was my third relationship. I am getting into my middle thirties now. Statistically, there is an average of three years between my relationships. I do not think marriage is in my cards. I pray to God I am wrong. This may haven been the only man who will ask for my hand. . . .
It is the most gut wrenching thing. To have a dream within reach only for it to be snatched out from you near the last moments. I cannot train for someone to marry me, as I would if I lost a sports competition. I cannot study so I may pass a test to so someone will marry me. It does not work that way. There is not formula. I feel utterly hopeless. At this moment, when the wound is still so fresh, I cannot imagine a world without my . . . ex-fiancé in it. What is more, I do not want to.
Needless, to say Wedding Wednesday posts will cease. I shall do my best to move forward with my life and my blog, but now you all know my daily struggle.