Wednesday, March 12, 2008

With this Ring ...

Somebody on my other blog asked me some questions about why I stayed in an unhealthy relationship with my son’s father that got me thinking about societal standards, double standards, judgement and acceptance and prompted me to write this blog. It’s really a topic of subject matter in its own right. Thx for reading, SJ!

What is it about that little piece of jewelry that gives a woman seeming stability, perceived virtue and acceptance and earns her respect from the masses? I’m just a mom, a woman with a kid. No hubby, no fiancé, no significant other. So whadamI, chopped liver?

This whole concept of “perceived virtue” is a big part of what kept me in a horrible and abusive relationship from hell for as long as I was there. Comparably short lived next to some of the Lifetime flicks I’ve seen, but my own personal purgatory none the less.

Any way, I had it in my head that, pregnant and husbandless, I was a shameful failure. I thought the least i could do for my unborn child was to ensure that he would come into this world to a two-parent home, So BD (The baby’s daddy) and I decided to try and make a go of it. Thank God we didn’t get as far as the altar, but I gotta tell you, for a minute there, I was gone.

I mean, bad. I’m taking the little diamond ring I’d gotten for my birthday a couple of years ago off my right hand and slipping it onto my left, red faced, imagining that the little old church lady on the bus across from me is shaking her head at my bulging belly and bare ring finger. I faked it for my co-workers, I faked it for strangers on the street, I even told my family I was in love, riddled with guilt from having conceived illegitimately (and amid some unrelated drama as well).

Almost two years later, I am so over it. It feels so good to be free, and to care significantly less about what people think about what I do, and how they feel about who I am. I have since learned you absolutely cannot correct one mistake with another. It is impossible. You cannot do it. And it seems like an obvious statement of common sense, but sooo many of us don’t know it.

My 16-year-old cousin is pregnant. Six months. I cried real tears when she first told the fam. She’s beautiful, she’s super smart, she has scholarships lined up for college already and she’s knocked up by some kid who does not deserve her and does not have half her talent or potential. But her uber religious parents are pushing her to marry this guy. He’s willing, by the way.

I am fuming about this and on the verge of causing a real rift, because they want the family to stand behind them in their pressuring her to tie the knot. I can’t do it.

It’s one thing to mess up, have unprotected sex and end up pregnant. It is something else entirely to think that a gold band and a government stamped piece of paper can make good on that mistake.

I may have to send them a link.

-- Melyssa Ganache


Shaybie said...

OMG you are so right, people think that forcing someone into marriage will correct thier mistake. Really what you are doing is bring a child into an unstable home. I'm glad you left BD when you did because if you would have stayed, your child would have had to see that everyday and grow up in that. Eventually he would have started thinking that, that's what love is and would have done women the same BD did you.

Anonymiss said...

I'm about to cry real tears for your cousin. She's got it made in the shade and now she's pregnant. And now she's being forced to marry the father. It's not always worth it to save face.

Do you live in Hudson County?