My dear husband takes a bit of a bashing on occasion in my blogs- I don't mean it. In fact, quite sickeningly I adore him. Writing is my outlet- I share in the hope that somebody may identify, or laugh, or cry- just to share. He always supports this, even if he is not currently in good favour.
When Mr T and I got together some years ago, I was a very different person. I didn't know who I was, in fact... I had broken free of a very unhealthy relationship, but it had left me broken too. It took some time to understand what a healthy relationship should and could be like- poor Mr T faced the fall-out but never wavered in his devotion to our future.
In the early days, I was very careful to watch the things I said. I censored my thoughts and opinions to avoid any conflict. I was careful to explain my every move and the thing that makes me most sad is that I apologised continuously. Every little statement or request was followed by an apology. Mr T despaired- why on earth was I sorry? Because it had been easier that way. It took a lot of time and coaching from Mr T to let myself feel and think freely, to have and to voice an opinion. I'm not stupid, please don't misunderstand. I had simply lived in fear for so long that I had many bad habits and very little self confidence. I hadn't quite realised how much resentment I had stored away until it began to surface. In the rare event that Mr T and I disagreed my irrational anger would surface. I began to react in a completely over the top manner, at every little dispute I was packing my bags and ready to go it alone. The walls were up, my defence level high... but he never gave up. He always talked me back down in a kind and gentle way, helped me to see that we were just having a normal, healthy disagreement. That we could resolve issues respectfully. I was so all or nothing it was a real roller coaster. I didn't sleep easy for a long time and depression swallowed me up when I finally dealt with my feelings. Through all of that and out the other side I can see clearly the damage that was done- but the scars can't hold me back, they make me stronger.
So what is a healthy relationship? For me, it's feeling secure. I'm safe and loved and free to be myself- whoever that may be. I have learnt that it is ok have wants and needs, likes and dislikes. It's ok to be selfish sometimes. It's ok not to be strong sometimes. It's ok to have friends and family- they can be completely separate from my marriage, I don't have to share my every little thought, feeling and friendship- but at the same time, I can share them if I want to. It's knowing that someone has your back, that someone wants to make you happy every bit as much as you want to make them happy. It's being free to say what's on my mind, good or bad. It's being understood and accepted. It's being happy.
Mr T and I now have two beautiful Littles of our own. I will raise my children to be happy with themselves, whoever they grow to be. I will encourage and nurture their passions. I will urge them to be bold and kind with their thoughts. To accept their feelings. To know what love should look and feel like. I wish for them contentment with their own bodies and minds. I long for them to be at peace with themselves. With a father like Mr T, they stand every chance of having and being all of those things and I will always be grateful.