Greece - The Launder Mat
"Do you feel like you've jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire?" my mother asked me as she looked at me with condescending eyes. I felt sick to my stomach.
No. No, there was no way I had done it again. I absolutely refused to be one of those girls that had a bad relationship with her father, ended up in a cycle of abusive relationships and eventually found herself in a strip club. No. I was not that girl. I was the girl that had been a loyal daughter. I had done both my religious duty and cultural duty by getting good grades and following the rules. And I was a good wife too. I listened to my husband. I let him talk for hours about the intricacy and tortures of his mind. I went to church and had read the Bible front to back twice. I was a good daughter and a good wife. I was not on my way to becoming a stripper and I was not stuck in a cycle of abusive relationships. I loved my husband with every fiber in my soul.
But when my mother said goodbye and I was left alone with my husband the question begged itself to be asked. Did he love me too? I remembered our wedding day. I held two pages written in cursive about my undying love for him. I would be a good Christian wife. And what did he have for me?
"Oh, sorry. I didn't think we were doing vows."
My stomach sank. A few weeks after talking with my mother, my husband and I went to the launder mat. Our laundry had been stolen out of the local launder mat and we had lost about a fifth of our clothes. So we were determined to wait it out at this new launder mat. We had a good few hours ahead of us before we'd be heading back home. He pulled out his journal, ready to write more about his tortured mind, and I pulled out my book, ready to understand more about mine.
Eat. Pray. Love. I had watched the movie when I was younger and more religious. Back then, I had hated it. But it was easy to hate as a young, narrow-minded, religious girl. Years later, I had stumble on the book. And years after that, I began reading it. The first time I had encountered her story, I was in high school and had experienced nothing. But the second time, I was in a toxic marriage. It just so happened that the day I was sitting in the launder mat with my husband, I read a short section about how this lady was so in love with this man who was toxic for her. And she for him. He was just like her father and her mother had chosen the route to stay with her husband. But Elizabeth had wanted more. She didn't want simple complacency. She didn't want to accept a man that made her crazy inside and silent on the outside. She wanted a true and real connection with a man she loved. And that was when she realized she needed to say goodbye.
I looked up at my husband. We had fire, that was certain. But we had too much fire. Just like my parents. My dad constantly yelled while my mother was the submissive good wife. Was that what I was doing? Most definitely. Was I really willing to go through another twenty years of that?
In fact, I didn't think I would last another twenty years. Probably would have to just end myself halfway through. I couldn't continue my life being unhappy. I looked at my book again. Elizabeth had traveled to Italy, Indonesia and Bali to find herself. I would need to do the same. I was going to get a divorce and leave the country. I had to find a way to save myself.
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