I like to consider myself a modern, independent woman. The kind of gal who can "bring home the bacon & fry it up in a pan." Yes, I was of an impressionable age when that Charlie perfume commercial was airing every night of the week.
My mother (and maternal grandparents) raised me for 11 years without having a father figure around. I had responsibility at an early age and learned how to take care of myself.
My mom worked hard, played hard, made a lot of mistakes (what parent doesn't)...but she was fiercely independent with a spirit that seemed unbreakable. And then she married my step-father (J). This guy was 19 and my mom was 29 - - quite the small town scandal. Despite these challenges, it seemed that they had a near-perfect marriage. But history now reveals the repressed truth that they were actually a co-dependent nightmare: blame, resentment, mistrust, maturity, lack of Christian fellowship, etc. My mother had become emotionally needy, unmotivated, and physically fragile.
After 20 years, the marriage ended in a bitter divorce. In the wake of this tragedy, I am left to sort out a lot of feelings that I can't quite understand. J has moved on and moved in with another woman and her 3 year old daughter and has left a mountain of debt and bitter relationships behind. Some of J's family still want to maintain a relationship with me, DD, and DH while other members of his family do not (including J himself - - in our last phone conversation he said I was just too much like my mother). Trying to balance this kind of relationship is unbearable, and I try not to let on. But lately, it is getting the better of me and is creating a wall that separates me from living my life as God intended.
It's affecting my relationship with my DH. Even in the smallest matters, I refuse to be dependent upon DH, and he can't figure me out (as if...). But if I'm really honest with myself (and DH), I truly do need him. I need him in the way that God intended when He put DH and me together: as each other's helpmate, to minister to each other, to defend our marriage and family and Christian values. I need DH to be the head of the household and to make the decisions (upon prayerful consideration, of course). I want to give DH that gift as his wife, but how does a "modern woman" balance this dichotomy? Can I be independent and still be a Godly woman?
These thoughts consume me.
Thankfully, my mother has regained some independence, but I fear that she will never trust again. We cannot re-write the past, but we can ask God to be part of our future.