I went to college in the Fall. It was 1993.
I? Did not do well.
Life was so weird. For the first time, I couldn’t concentrate. My mom had cancer and I was really conflicted about everything. I was in college, studying nursing. It became very clear to me, very quickly that I did not belong in nursing school. Right then? I didn’t belong in college. I couldn’t focus. I was working too much. I was consumed with my boyfriend. I was focused on trying to make him love me and want to be with me.
Because really? He just wasn’t that into me.
I guess hindsight is 20/20. Now that I am in a real, loving, stable marriage I see how very odd the relationship was. He would go for days and days without talking to me or seeing me and it really didn’t seem to bother him, at all. Granted we were both busy. He had a full-time job at a factory and worked nights. I went to school during the day and worked all night. Sometimes I would see his car driving down the other side of the road as I drove from school to work. I would wave.
That was our relationship. We occasionally waved at one another.
He wasn’t interested in what I was studying or my work. He wasn’t interested in my writing or my friends or my family. Basically, anything that had to do with me? He just wasn’t involved in it.
Somehow, I convinced myself that didn’t matter.
At that time, too, I started having female problems. I loathe the words “female problems” lumped together like that, like some, I don't know, feminine angry circus clown.
I started having periods that lasted months at a time. I had a “bump” that came up. You could actually see it through my skin, through my clothes. I went to doctor after doctor after doctor and told them, “I’m bleeding all the time. I’m so tired. I’m exhausted. I need help”. They couldn’t find anything wrong. It was because I was overweight. It was normal…lots of people had periods that lasted a long time! One doctor told me it was all in my head and I snapped. I just snapped and I yelled at him “It’s not in my head, it’s in my vagina!” He was not amused. He also did not help me.
I finally met a woman, a Nurse practitioner, who was so wonderful and so fabulous and told me the truth. That my problems were real and serious and I wasn’t normal, not even a little bit. I can’t remember her exact words, but this is really, really close:
“If you want to have children, you don’t need to wait around”
Well, I wasn’t married. I wasn’t engaged. I was a freaking kid. I was seventeen years old.
And suddenly, every single second of my life felt like I was wasting time. Must find husband! Must have child! Cannot wait! Cannot waste time! MUST. FIX. THIS.
I had to get married because there was absolutely no way in hell I was going to be a single mother. No way.
(Go ahead and laugh. I laugh about this all the time)
So I, at seventeen, decided that he was The One.
The One who would marry me. Be the father of my children. Be the one to fix it. Be the one to save me.
This is hard for me to type and I don't even know if I could say it out loud.
I am horribly, horribly ashamed now, even now, years later, that the reason that he was The One?
Was simply because he was there.