Ep. 15 ‘Mountain home sucks’

This is a piece of autobiographical fiction. Space and time have been rearranged to suit the convenience of the book, and with the exception of public figures, any resemblance to persons living or dead is coincidental. The opinions expressed are those of the characters and should not be confused with the author’s.

This story is written as an example to anyone who wants to believe that we are more than the patriarchy deems us to be, more than our limitations, and more than our fears.

7th January, 2020

The weather has calmed down a little today. It’s not snowing today.

I’m feeling better somewhat. I’ve just done our laundry, washed the dishes, fed and groomed the cats. It feels normal. It feels like things are still status quo.

Gideon has gone off to work and again, I’m cooped up at home because I can’t go anywhere else anyway. If anyone has ever been to Mountain Home, it’s amazing how anyone enjoys a life there. You can survive….sure. But how do you do anything enjoyable at all??? There are 3 decent restaurants, 7 fast-food outlets, 1 Walmart, and the nearest movie theatre is in the next town.

The reason this town even exists is because of the military base. Everything is in that base. It has schools, a bowling alley, a movie theater, a shopping area, it’s where all the military families live. We’re not in the base because Gideon is not officially posted here – we’re not entitled to living on base. So instead, he’s gotten a small apartment about 20 minutes away from work.

Being posted to Mountain home had been our dream for the last year. For the whole year, we have been talking about the possibility of getting posted. It was our big break.

It was our saving grace. It was our solution to our financial problems. Being posted meant that Gideon would be getting more allowance, a hefty amount on a monthly basis. It meant that we could finally start paying off more debts and breathe slightly easier.

For the whole year, I’ve been there with him, alongside him. The stress of every credit card bill, him almost not getting his bonus because the Airforce found out about his debts. I’ve been the one riding out every single anxiety. Every time he looks forsaken or forlorn, I was the one who held him in my arms and soothed him. I gave him massages when he came home from a 13-hour day. I thickened my skin to borrow money from people. I did it all because I thought we were a ‘we’. I thought that in a marriage, his problems are rightfully our problems and that I should share my husband’s burdens.

Instead, as I sit there in his living room, in an apartment he has decided to rent for just himself, memories flood back and bring me to the 5-way conversation we had.

“Jane did this…..Jane did that……..”

The guilt that he wanted me to feel was definitely downloading into my ‘hard drive’. The blame he wanted to put on was definitely made known to my parents.

On top of it all, he has now painted Marianne to be his saving grace. His angel from the sky. His one true love.

What about me then? Didn’t he once say to me that he would fight till the ends of the earth for me? Hadn’t he stood infront of our friends and family and vowed to love me forever? Wasn’t I the love of his life?

And if I wasn’t, why did he marry me? Why did he pursue me so hard? Why was he so desperate to marry me that he didn’t even ask for my father’s permission for my hand – even though that was my one request?

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