The only story I know how to tell is my own. I was there, I remember what happened. A woman who I used to know had a term she used to describe women who weren't involved with anything. She called them "Poodles". Or "Poodles Wives." I'm not ashamed to say one bit, that I, by nature, am the biggest, fattest, poodle of them all. Unabashedly.
When I was someone else, in my past life, I was that poodle. I didn't work. I didn't have to. I didn't need to. I didn't want to. Which would have been all fine and dandy, had it not been for the fact that I chose a spouse, very unwisely.
Is it here that you think I'm going to bash him? Not a chance! It was my fault, STRAIGHT UP.
And when I realized that, though I apparently couldn't change him (drinking, drugging) I could, however, change MYSELF. But back to this drinking and drugging thing for a moment- in her outstanding series of books, "Getting Them Sober" author Toby Rice Drews states that "Living with an alcoholic is like living in an insane asylum without any doctors." She further goes on to say, "You are always guessing what 'normal' is." That, in a nutshell, describes several years of my life.
It's very freeing to realize that all you have to do is start fixing yourself. Well, thank God- because carrying around the weight of two people and the problems of two people; was never something anyone could do or needs to do. We are accountable for only one person's actions- our own.
My biggest problem, was not, as I said, him, but my own marginal thinking.
So, when I decided to leave, I had to start expanding my margins if I wanted to get anywhere.
This is the scenario that I believe is being played out in literally millions of homes across America and even the world.
Girl meets boy. Boy is a Dumb Ass. Girl marries Dumb Ass anyhow. Girl has Dumb Ass'es kids and then spends the better part of a decade figuring out why everything stinks and she's so miserable. Lest you accuse me of being sexist, simply switch it around. Boy meets Dumb Ass... it works both ways. The only thing that truly is different is the names. The same drama is being played out repeatedly.
Once, while I was filing a restraining order- and as I sat at a table filling out the necessary paperwork- I remember vividly other women around me asking each other- "What happened?"
"Well, he started drinking and... blah, blah, blah"- now you need a restraining order. My story was their story. Their story was my story. It's the same story.
I decided- Do Something Different- YOU IDIOT. So I did.
But now I have a real problem because I can't be told what to do. I will decide what I will do. This is so deeply entrenched into my character, it is non-negotiable. It's the same for most entrepreneurs. You just can't tell 'em what to do. They go nuts.
Choice number one: live under a bridge. Which is a no-go right there because where am I going to plug in my blow dryer?
Choice number two: learn how to run a business.
Which is where, kids, we find ourselves unregrettfully today.
And they all lived happily ever after.