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Friday 8 July 2011

The Cage

This was written in 1998, I believe, just after my divorce was finalised.  I was probably sitting on my terrace, in the dusk, and halfway through my second bottle of wine!  I was fifty….

Thinking about it, I have been living in a cage for the last 23 years, albeit of my own making, and with my husband’s assistance.

From being a self-confident person, with a good career, blessed with a large amount of optimism, I gradually turned myself into something I wasn’t, and something neither I, nor as it turned out, my husband, liked any more!

You know, you meet someone and you fall in love, and then, if you are not careful, the two of you go about changing, if not each other, then the more besotted.  It of course takes two to do this, but then you must not be surprised if, having changed your personality to suit your lover, you are then no longer suited.

I see now that I caged myself.  I wanted to please, and I went along with everything.
I completely forgot that I had been my own person, so I carefully helped to build my cage, stepped inside and threw away the key.

Who can ever be happy in a cage, once they realise it is there?  Luckily for me, my husband found the key, and using it, pushed (and I do mean ‘pushed’) me out of the cage we had built and told me to go away.

I wanted to stay with what I knew and whom I loved, and I was scared to fly, but he kept pushing me away until finally I realised that he was serious.  Eventually I stopped begging to be allowed back into my cage and instead started to explore my new surroundings.

You know, it’s not at all bad out here, and I am rediscovering my confidence and myself.

As for my husband, it seems that he wanted to be what I had become, and so his new partner is obliging by rapidly building him his own cage!
© Penny Smale July 2011
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