Gazing down at her fidgeting hands, slowly she speaks, deliberate with her words, she shares her story; a lifetime of being good, being perfect, first as a young girl in an abusive, alcoholic home and then as a wife to an alcoholic. Her childhood taught her the lessons of love, be good, be loved. She paid her dues. Compliance, perfection, and denial of her needs and dreams guaranteed her a lifetime of love. Surely, love’s light would shine on her, forever . . . a reward.
Without warning her husband declares, his dreams do not include her. The woman she had imagined, invented and perfected for him, was not at all the woman he wanted. How did she miss that detail? She could not accept his decision; she tried, and tried harder to be the woman he desired, but it was over. He decided. She grieves her loss, wrestles with change, learns to adapt, reflects and grows. She becomes her true self. She smiles. Her story is not my story, still I feel connected to her, and I go to sleep thinking about her and her story.