DEAR “OLDER” CROATIAN PEOPLE, STOP SAYING THIS TO ME.

 

Welcome, Another AK Rant. 

It kind of fucks me right off when people predict what I will regret. Believe me when I say, you have no idea what thoughts are running through my head each and every day, good and bad. You’ve got no idea of my personal battles that I fight, the demons I confront, the anxiety I feel when I refer to my past or the crossroads that I face in regards to my future, you have absolutely no idea and vice versa.

My life, my mistakes, the choices that I make and the direction I steer my life is nobody’s business. This constant crossing of my boundaries and pity party is starting to really pinch me in places I don’t usually like.  Maybe it’s because I am now sober and not immune to people’s bullshit, I hear and feel everything. I am so tired of people predicting outcomes of the choices that I’ve made despite not knowing a single thing about what my life has looked like for the past 11 years.

 I sat there across the table at a restaurant to my aunty who also happens to be one of my biggest cheerleaders and beside me was someone who knew nothing about me, only my name and my relationship status at 30, hashtag single. Perhaps he was a little more fearless thanks to his second glass of wine, whatever it was, he felt he was “mature” enough to teach me a thing of two about life. He mustered up the courage, I could see in his eyes the next sentence was brewing inside of him and he eventually let it out…

“In about ten, twenty years time you’ll regret not getting

married before your younger sister.” 

Excuse me.” I say as I lock eyes with my aunty who is pleading with her own eyes for me not to overreact.

He then elaborates, “You’ll see, you’ll see. In about ten years, maybe even twenty, you will regret it. You don’t understand now but you will one day.

The mother fucker was not backing down.

I am very happy that my sister found love and got married before me but deeply shocked at your audacity to be able to speak to me like that. Am I less of a woman because I don’t have a man beside me?”  

Why is it that I as a woman am looked down upon (Disclaimer: I know not everyone gives two cents about my martial status) because I am unmarried, have no children and simply single in my 30s? I don’t hear of any pressure on the boys around me in the same age bracket… Oh yeah, they’ve got time, I forgot. They’ve got time to find the one, got plenty of time to start a family, got time to build their businesses and travel the world. It doesn’t matter which sibling gets married before them because the theory doesn’t apply when you’ve got a dick.

“It doesn’t matter which sibling gets married before them because the theory doesn’t apply when you’ve got a dick.” 

Thank god I never got married before my sister because I would be in a loveless marriage. A lack of love for myself and a lack of love for the man I promised I’d spend the rest of my life with.  I would be a shit person. If I got married in my twenties, I’d be on the verge of divorce right now. Wow, isn’t that a pretty tale for the perfect Front Row of the local church.

Are you so dry for topics of conversation that you must pry into the lives of women like me and nitpick at an aspect of my life that my own parents don’t even put pressure on me about?

How about you ask me what it’s like to date in my 30s with this loud biological clock ticking for all the boys to hear and laugh at how I tell you that I don’t know who is more deranged, the guy I just met or the one I am about to meet?!

Here’s a few “what if’s” to consider. What if I don’t actually want to get married? What if I have genuinely just being unlucky in love? What if I don’t want to have children? What if I can’t have children and the idea of marriage further triggers my trauma associated with this?

Can you see how such a comment can be a hurtful thing to hear for a woman?

“Why would you share your story about your abusive relationship? Aren’t you ashamed to have so many people read about your life?”

Shame kept me in silence while sinking in addictions and depression for a decade. I know too well the common mentality to “sweep it under the table,” pretend it never happened and never mention it again because I was told to do that myself. It almost killed me.

Sharing my story about that relationship opened the path to healing and trauma associated with it. Don’t get me wrong, it was the most difficult thing I ever had to do because it meant my own family would finally find out every detail in explicit detail. It would also mean that my family would begin to understand me.

After publishing that story, I felt within myself that my next step was to get clean and sober. I knew several months before getting sober, exactly which day I would have my final gin & tonic. I then entered addiction recovery and stripped every single layer of myself day by day and began rebuilding my life.

So basically my core message here is, I did it for myself because it set me free. If I for one moment factored in what others would think or say about me, instead of listening to my inner self, I’d still be struggling with trauma and alcoholism today. There was a force inside of me that continually told me that I needed to own my story in order to understand and heal from it.

“Why are you so open about your alcoholism? How will you ever find a husband in Croatia?”

 Firstly, I’d never date someone so narrow minded or primitive in the first place. Fortunately too, I vibrate on a higher level and don’t attract these type of people into my life, as friends or lovers.

I am open about my alcoholism because it gives me a sense of peace. This wasn’t the case in the beginning. There were many instances where I almost relapsed because I couldn’t cope with the lifestyle change. Anytime someone asked me why I wasn’t drinking and kind of “forced” me into having a drink, I’d snap back, “I am an alcoholic.” Hearing myself say that the first time, almost brought me to tears. Hearing myself saying it the next few times still hurt. Saying it now, doesn’t affect me because it has become part of my dialogue.

I am also open about my alcoholism because as a woman I know there aren’t enough stories out there to encourage other women to get sober. Men are usually the ones who come out and share their stories while for women it can be seen as taboo. Considering my  entire life has always been plagued with some type of taboo, I have nothing to lose sharing my story and struggle. Other success stories in recovery really helped me in my own journey. It helps me come to terms with what is going on inside my psychology and if i can help someone along the way, that’s a bonus.

“If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.”
 Brené Brown.

RECOMMENDED READING

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

Shadows Before Dawn: Finding the Light of Self-Love Through Your Darkest Times

 

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