For twenty years I played the role of geisha in my former marriage. I kept myself looking pretty with acrylic nails and the latest fashions, I entertained at countless parties as hostess extraordinaire, I planned activities and trips to keep everyone distracted and happy, I wore ridiculously small bikinis to the pool that barely covered my breasts, I pranced around in frilly lacy outfits for his pleasure. I was skilled at being sexy…after all, that’s how I captured him.
Everything that was truly me, and for me, he questioned endlessly and resisted. I loved drawing and painting. I loved being out in nature capturing the experience on canvas. And I wanted that to be my career. He saw things differently. I had earning potential as a technical writer, and could bring in a far greater salary to keep up our expensive lifestyle. I came to him as a geisha. I couldn’t now rewrite the story and have depth; he wasn’t interested in depth.
Eventually the smallest argument could send anger shooting up inside of me. Why? Because my essential self was being denied, caged, diminished, criticized, and even mocked with all of the masks I wore—the masks I made myself wear.
I am allowing my essential self to tell her story now. She is no longer trapped in my throat—she has a voice. A big one.
What feels awesome to me now are simple things like natural nails, wearing no makeup, and putting on clothes because they’re comfortable and they express who I am inside. I love walking in the woods and sitting with my feet in a gurgling creek. I love sunshine on my face. I love my body just the way it is with its curves and poochy belly. I love not being on the roller-coaster ride of endless pleasure-seeking. Most of all, my essential self loves finally being at the surface of my existence—seen, heard, and present.
Of course, I’m hoping that someday I’ll find a man who can love all that I am, who sees beyond the shiny object at the surface into the depths where the real richness lies. In fact, maybe he’ll even help me shine a little brighter and dive a little deeper. In the meantime, I’m happy to finally be free to be…me.