I claimed my own space today, space to think, to write, to read, to rest. I have spent the last 30 years accommodating everyone else. First the children, then societal expectations about marriage and what is appropriate. The children had their own rooms. I never did, I always settled for whatever was left. I had to listen to recriminations that my reading stopped music being played and TV being watched. I am done with living my life for everyone else, working full time, cooking, cleaning and not being appreciated. How it is that ‘us’ means one person having to settle for so little while the other one takes everything for granted. I don’t want to share space anymore, I want to be able to lie in bed and read or sleep or get up whenever I feel like it and not negotiate every move in my life.
I love my new room, I worked all day switching between sitting at the table or on the bed when there was no need to be online. I love the view, the fields, the big, old trees and the sky slowly changing colour while I type. The need for space has nothing to do with a lack of emotion or attachment, it has everything to do with wanting to be me.
What would I tell my younger self if I could? I would tell her to value herself more, not to equate sex with love and to strive to be by herself because being alone does not mean being lonely. I would tell her that she did not deserve being undervalued by her parents, ignored and growing up without affection. She did nothing to deserve that. I wish I could go back 50 years and give my younger self that hug that she so desperately needed and that could have prevented so much pain.