In six days, my life as I know it will be forever changed.
Today I walked for two hours in the freezing rain, lugging a suitcase filled with a heavy box to the post office to be shipped home. I paid two hundred of my last remaining dollars to ensure that they arrived safely on my fiance’s doorstep.
And, next week, I’ll be following along with them.
I am absolutely afraid.
I don’t know what it takes to live with someone; what it takes to have a happy life or to make a happy home. I’m not sure I’ll do such a very good job of it. I wasn’t really taught how.
I’m scared that he won’t want me there; that he’ll realize that this was all a huge mistake, and tell me to move out, and I’ll be stuck with nowhere to go and no money to get there.
I’m afraid that I won’t like where I end up; that this will turn out like it did last time, with me depressed and suicidal and running away from the same thing, over and over again and again.
But perhaps most of all… I’m scared that I’ll love it, and that we’ll be happy.
I’m scared because I don’t know many people in my family who are happy. Part of me feels guilty for daring to stare them in the face and say that I’ll be the first one. I feel like they keep rooting for me to fail, even if they’d never admit that to themselves, so that they can continue to live as though they made the right choices in life, so they don’t have to regret their decisions.
I’m so scared that I feel like breaking down and crying. The anxiety has got me so wired up that I’m pretty much packed and ready to move a week before I even need to go. My things will get there before I do.
Two completely different outcomes, both gripping my heart with fear.
And part of me thinks that, if it didn’t work out, that would be the easiest thing to deal with.
I get to hear the “I told you so’s” and sink slowly back into the mire that is The Family’s corruption. I get to slip my mind back into the insanity, into the entrenched whirlpool that has every member going around and around in the same ridiculousness for years. I get to stop questioning everything that I thought I knew and just turn my mind off again, blindly go where they say I should go, safe in knowing that I don’t have to have any control over my life.
Because what if it did work out?
What if we had no problems? What if we got married and had a wonderful wedding? What if our children were well-behaved, imaginative and bright beings full of joy and happiness and love? What if everything worked out just fine, and we had a long and happy life together?
How much doubt and ridicule would I have to put up with? How many side-eyes and pursed lips that scream, “Okay, you can do what you want, but one day I’m gonna say ‘I told you so'”? How many justifications will I have to swallow for why I choose to live my life the way I want? How many scars from teeth biting down on my tongue as I struggle not to give in to their manipulation and instigation?
How many snide remarks do I have to hear about my future husband? How many bouts of gaslighting and victim-blaming will I have to endure?
How am I going to put up with them, if I do turn out happy, when their very mission in life seems to be to ensure that I will be anything but that?
So I’m scared.
But I have to try. He is the love of my life, after all. Besides, it’s too late now – I have nowhere else to go.
(And nowhere else I’d rather be.)