Part 39 What Am I?
A major shift occurred in Gia’s mind and heart. She no longer looked at the house or Drew in the same way. Whereas before there was a promise of tomorrow’s happy life that made all the struggling worth it, now Gia started to see things exactly as they were – a stark reality. She started panicking inside, like a lost soul trapped and imprisoned in the old house. Gia no longer looked at the cracks in the wall lovingly, neither did she looked affectionately at the peeling paint, and everything else that needed fixing now loomed horribly, casting ugly shadows.
The dreams were gone. Gia felt she couldn’t share stuff with Drew anymore, she was tired of arguing and feeling hurt. And even though they kind of made up, it was never the same, Gia still didn’t get Drew’s reasoning for his extreme reaction. He kept saying, “Gia, you just made a decision without me! And Gia, you went behind my back and stole my kitchen/living room!”
What was all that about? Everything he said made no sense to her at all, there must have been something else he was not telling her, the real reason for his freak out. Her brain was hurting from analyzing the argument, she just didn’t care anymore, and worse she stopped dreaming for the both of them. In fact Gia was glad when he was gone, which was very often, and if they did get a divorce she wanted to be ready, have a job, and be self reliant.
But looking for a job proved quite challenging. At first her mind marveled at all the possibilities. Then fear overwhelmed her. What was it, she wanted to do? It would have to be something interesting, creative perhaps and varied. Going to an office every day and sitting at a desk all day long would kill her, she knew that. It also had to be something that challenged her. She wanted to learn and grow and became someone. She secretly envied people who could answer a question: What is your job? They would say: “I am a doctor, an accountant, a teacher….” It deeply troubled her that she still didn’t know what she wanted to do, and who or what she was.
She put the girls to bed and sat down staring at the blank paper. Okay, Gia think! First: What can you actually do? Well, she had an art degree and a business management degree for starters, an experience working in the office, and organizing an art exhibition. She scribbled down her past part time employments: gardening, looking after children, cleaning, waitressing, working in a pizzeria, and doing admin for a Reader’s Digest magazine.
Then she noted down all her passions and interests: painting and art, reading and writing, studying (obsessive acquiring of lots of information about diverse subjects), animals and helping people, and she also loved property, especially old houses. She would love to buy properties and renovate them, that would satisfy her creative side, and she could visualize the outcome so easily. She had an eye for design, but since there was no money to buy houses, what else she could do? Hm…How about real estate? Gia felt a surge of excitement, yeah selling houses, that would tick a lot of boxes for her!
She updated her CV, and started researching the real estate jobs in her area. There was a lot she loved about it, but there was a major downside, the working hours were usually long, which wouldn’t be ideal because of the kids. Never mind for now she was just so happy that she finally knew what she wanted!
Drew came into to the office, where Gia was spending most of her time lately.
“Hey, what are you doing?”
“You might be pleased about this, I am looking for a job.”
“Yep, I am so happy, I finally know what I want to do!” Gia was bubbling with excitement.
“That’s great! What is it, Gia?
“Estate agent, or lettings agent.” said Gia after a dramatic pause.
“What?! You can’t be serious, Gia!” Drew’s words had the same effect as a cold shower.
“What do you mean? It would be the perfect job for me, it’s something to do with houses and working with people-”
“Do you know how dangerous it is?! All those sickos getting you alone in a house? Besides it’s not a best job in current economic climate.” Drew’s eyes narrowed and bored into hers.
“Oh, here we go again Mr. Pessimistic! There are dangers everywhere, every time I leave the house, I could get knocked down by a car or get assaulted!” Gia felt the heat starting to burn in her cheeks. She instantly regretted letting herself share something with Drew again.
“You’ve got it wrong, Gia-.”
“Why do you always have to oppose everything I do, or think?”
“That’s not what I am doing, besides I do not want you to work with all these men!” Drew retaliated.
“That again! You are delusional!”
“No you are delusional!”
“Whatever, you just want to control everything I do, and that’s not gonna happen!” Gia jumped up and raced out of the room, away from Drew.
How dare he! She is sick of his controlling and jealous tendencies! Nobody is going to control me! Not my father, and certainly not Drew!
Anyway, it’s not like she’d got the job, and by the looks of it she wasn’t getting one any time soon. She sent hundreds of applications, but the few replies she received were all the same: Thank you for your application, regretfully we cannot offer you the position at this time…lack of sales experience….someone more experienced….great academic credentials….no sales experience……good luck in your job search….wish you well….
Why wouldn’t anybody give her a chance? Gia couldn’t understand. She knew she could do it, she knew she could do anything, if only someone had given her a chance. She spent hours on the internet searching for jobs and sending applications. She widened the search including other sales based positions. She craved people, a contact with other humans, adult humans, and sales jobs seemed to offer that, but apart from a few interviews nothing came of her job hunting.
Her enthusiasm slowly disintegrated. She stopped talking to Drew, and she was astonished when he sometimes tried to initiate sex. She recoiled every time he was near her, why on Earth did he think that she would do that with him? She no longer trusted him, or felt appreciated and loved by him. There was no love, she was not what he thought she was, if he felt the need to correct and change every aspect of her. She felt sick of being touched by anybody anyways. Why does everyone want a piece of her? A piece of her body and soul? The kids were hanging on her all day long, she was still breast-feeding Mimi, and she was tired.
Sometimes she imagined running away from everything and everybody, somewhere where she could sleep however long she wanted, rest and take long showers without interruption, heck even going to the toilet all by herself would be absolutely amazing! She imagined being in a tropical paradise, the warm sun rays warming her skin, she would read and go out and do something interesting for herself. She wanted to feel alive.
Instead the days were all blurring into one another, just getting out of bed each morning become a major achievement. The house soon became a scary mess. If it wasn’t for the kids needing her, she wouldn’t do anything. But they needed her. She watched her own body more like a spectator dressing and washing the girls, making them dinners as if on autopilot. She felt like her body was a robot performing all these tasks. What was going on? Why does she feel like she is in some sort of alternate reality, her body and mind separated. Who or what am I? Maybe all of this was not even real. What if all of this is some sort of nightmare? If so, how could she wake up?
When the children came to her for attention, she felt unable to give it to them, not really, not fully….She was a horrible mother, how could she do that to her babies? Her precious babies? She looked into Aria’s eyes and saw the innocence and love, and she felt so bad. She tried, she hugged and kissed her little girls, but it felt like a chore. Gia also neglected her two friends, she didn’t want to talk or see anybody anymore. She hardly slept, often laying awake in the early morning hours trying to figure out her life, herself…she spent hours on the internet looking into psychology, meditation, astrology….She had to find answers. Who the f**k was she? She didn’t feel like eating either. A familiar darkness started descending all around her…
Original photo and writing by Gia Copyright 2015.