To my husband,
The question that burns eternally in my mind is, how the hell did I get here? The emptiness I feel is sometimes overwhelming. Most days, I get lost in my fantasies, the stories I make up in my own head. They are my escape, my solace, my center, but lately, I am finding them increasingly more difficult to rely on. No matter what was going on in the real world, no matter how bad things got, I could turn to my daydreams where I am loved and respected. Where I actually feel like a human being who is valued. No one tears me down in that far away realm. No one makes me feel like I’m stupid or worthless.
Yes, that’s how you I feel when you berate me with your cruel words and intoleration. How can I help but feel as if I am little more than a sex object to you? You tell me I should be grateful that you still desire me so after all these years. In truth, I would much rather have your respect than your lust. You have torn me down so many times that the pieces are so frail and I’m not sure I will ever be whole again.
Some days I feel that I might drown in my sea of self-loathing. The saddest part is, I am unsure whether my hatred is born of the way you have verbally and emotionally beat me down all these years or because I’ve put up with it. More than likely it’s a mixture of both.
Please don’t believe that it has all been bad. There have been times, in your better moments, which you made me believe that you love me. I suppose that’s why I stay. I am so afraid that you are the only one who will love me, but at the same time, I question if you really do. I actually question it all the time. There is something to be said for the old adage, actions speak louder than words. Your words are cruel enough when you fly into fits of rage over something simple. You never apologize. You believe that you are never wrong. Or maybe you know you are and are afraid to say so because you are afraid it will make you appear weak.
So why don’t I say something? Why do I continue living silently in the misery that has become my life? It’s simple, dear husband. You have taught me over the years that if I dare reveal my true feelings to you, you will turn them around on me and make me feel worse. Some days I’m not sure how that would be possible, but deep down I know it is. So I continue on in this living hell, this nightmare life, pretending that everything is okay. What else can I do? I am broken, damaged from an entire life of people telling me I am not good enough. I can never be good enough. I am unworthy of respect and true love. The only respect and love I receive is in my world of fantasy. The only place you have never been able to follow me. The only place where I can truly be myself.
Then I made the mistake of letting you in. I read my writing to you. I shared with you that world that I hold so dear, my sanctuary. You told me it was good and then you ruined it. You began demanding that I write something completely unique, to share with the rest of the world. Why? So I could make enough money for you to retire. So I could finally contribute something to the relationship besides giving birth to our children.
That’s when my one solace became my greatest burden. That’s when my inspiration began to run dry. Now I sit for hours, staring at a blank screen, but no words will come to me. I have betrayed my muse and she has left me. Because I gave you a glimpse into my alternate reality, the well of my inspiration has run dry, leaving me to ask once more, how the hell did I get here?