It’s been a long fortnight in the Land of the Torn.
Our exchange student’s parents arrived from her home country – against the conditions of the exchange program. They are very nice, one has no English, and the other, a little. Neither of us have any Spanish. So, they took their daughter out of school for a few days and did a quick tour of the South Island. The rest of the time, they have been with us. This is not something I really signed up for when agreeing to host a student. Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, before the Wicked Witch of the….North (in this case) and the horrid Wizard of Torn fucked up my life (pffft, this is my fairytale, and I will tell it my way) I would have embraced it. I am (was?) a very hospitable person, I like (d?) people, I like (d?) to cook for them and show them around. This time it has been somewhat of a chore. Don’t get me wrong, I have had my game face on, but the smile has not quite made it to my eyes.
They are off tonight to have dinner with another lovely South American (immigrant) family, whose daughter N has befriended at school. We have great discussions around the dinner table, with N translating. But it will be nice not to have to wear that mask tonight. I have cooked beautiful dinners, and I can relax tonight with something simpler. Then early the next morning they will take our car (we lent our old banger to them to get about in) and N to her camp a few hours away, and join in the activities planned before the parents return for Saturday night. On Sunday I will drive them to the airport and we will be back to the four of us. N leaves us on the 7th of July, so we are counting down. It has been mostly good, but there have been some moments with a pretty lovely, but pretty entitled, Daddy’s girl living with us. She has tried it on with Roger a bit, batting her eyelashes at him, touching him and generally trying to cajole him to get what she wants. This has made him deeply uncomfortable at times, and he is great with her, they get on well, but he has asked her on several occasions not to do that. Affairs aside (and I don’t give a rat’s arse about it, he is his own man) she is 17. Not cool.
So, we have been playing happy families for the visitors, which is fine, as we do get on well, but I have noted that I have become a bit snarky. Just subtle, but not all that nice, nonetheless. I need to rein it in. I have been working on that. Roger has taken the opportunity to try to fix us and make plans for a future together – “whatever it takes, you’re the only one I ever want, the only person who gets me, I will continue to do whatever it takes for you, forever” – that kind of stuff. He is very nice, very kind, very mindful. But I can’t do this.
So, I sat and thought about it a bit this morning while I was typing out answers to a reading exercise. I have always done what pleases everyone else. My happiness was tied to servitude.
What the actual fuck???
That was not who I saw myself as. I think it was a manifestation of taking a while to find my niche in life. I dropped out of university THREE times, I had a very fulfilling, but very long hours and low waged job for the pre-kid years. So, I threw myself into helping others to get my self esteem fix. And never truly saw it that way until I was shat on so badly by my love and my “friend” (gag).
So, when Roger starts down the road of, “I really, really love and adore you, you are beautiful, clever, witty, sexy…….” I think, “poor guy, he fucked up, but he’s really sorry, you owe it to the poor guy to try again…..”
Then I wake up the next morning and feel ill. Utterly devastated to be conscious of the fact that I will never be able to be with him (or probably anyone, I’m okay with that) because ultimately, I WAS NEVER THE KIND OF GIRL WHO COULD EVER LIVE WITH A MAN WHO TREATED ME LIKE SHIT. NEVER.
I always knew this. But I guess I hoped and wished that I could change. That I COULD LEARN how to be. That somehow his kindness, deep remorse and love would be enough. But it can’t be. It is just the way I was wired, dammit. I am staunch about this kind of thing. It’s weird. I give a lot of rope, but once someone hangs themselves, too late, mate. It’s not an easy life being so damn pious! I’ve tried to change. I’ve tried to accept this shit sandwich, choking it down, washing it down, hoping it won’t stick in my craw (craw, what even the fuck is a craw?) But, I have a craw, and stuck it bloody well is! And it does me no good whatsoever being so high and mighty.