A gorgeous young woman, full of grace and joy and wearing a beautiful white dress, is escorted down the aisle by her Father. A handsome young man anxiously awaits her arrival, ready for the life together as a new family to begin. There is a kiss, and confetti , and a slow dance…and so much love and joy.
Fast forward, and the woman’s pregnant belly is blossoming before her, and her husband wraps his arms around it. First, a baby boy is born, followed a few years later by his little sister. There are tears as these new lives begin, but tears of great joy and love.
They are happy. They are fulfilled. They work hard, but not too much. They enjoy spending as much time as they can together.
This is a family full of respect, joy, love and compassion…this is the dream.
I’ve had this dream since I was about 8, and actually understood to concept of ‘getting married’. The details change, but the desire to be a wife and a mother remains. My therapist tells me that it’s good to have a dream, to have a picture of the life you want – without hope, why would we get up in the morning? And so I cling to this little naive dream of the perfect family, the one I crave, the one I long for.
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When Matt proposed to me, I was crying. Not because it was the most magical moment ever (like I thought it would be), but because I really really wanted him to propose to me and he wouldn’t. We’d only been going out for 8 months at this point, but he’d said on our second date that he wanted to marry me, and from that moment on, all I could do was dream about becoming ‘Mrs Robinson’. WE’d had the ring for a month, and we both seemed happy and healthy…and so he asked me and I was happy and I thought ‘My dream is coming true’.
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It’s not easy to have a sister like mine. She is the gorgeous, compassionate, caring, loving, hard working, and incredibly intelligent woman. Oh, and she’s achieving the dream. My dream. It’s not her fault, but I am insanely jealous of her. When we were growing up, she didn’t even really want this dream – she wanted to be on mission in Africa or save the world in general. She took a bit of convincing to even go out with the wonderful, stable man who is now her husband. And now, here she is as ever…achieving. I know that it can’t all be as easy as I think it is, but at the same time I can’t see anything that’s wrong in her life. Being around her is getting much harder.
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Thing about dreams as that they are just that: dreams. My therapist mentioned that while dreams are good to have, it’s incredibly important to remain in reality. Currently, my reality is this: I love a man who is seriously ill. He hasn’t improved since this time last year. Everyday is hard work. He’s not going to get better unless he actually wants to – and currently, I can see no evidence of that. If he had cancer, or some other physical illness, I know my response – I would stay. I would tough it out. And people wouldn’t think I was silly for doing so. However, because his illness is in the chemistry of his brain and how he reacts to things, people are telling me that I need to consider my options, and work out if I want to marry him out of selfishness, that I’m being silly, that he’s never going to change. Each day, I get angrier with myself and with him…and I love him. Each day, I wonder ‘what if…and I love him.’Each day, the dream slips further away…and I love him.