Cusp. One word. Two definitions. Both summarize my existence.
When God was mapping out my life he must have had a geometry book in one hand and instructions for creating a balance beam in the other.
So which definition is best suited to me? The one that says cusp is a point of transition (as from one historical period to the next) or the one that describes it as a point where two branches of a curve meet, end, and are tangent? whoa! latter is pretty profound so I think I’ll start with the first.
I was born on the cusp. Not an astrological one. I was born on the cusp of two generations where the role of a woman within a household are diametrically opposed. It has all the makings for a chronic identity crisis.
The second definition applies to me for different reasons. It kind of sucks. I was cruising through life making peace with my role in life. I made it to my 40s without any jolting life changes. As I got older the changes in my life were akin to gentle curves. That is, until I met my husband.
When I first met my husband he seemed so pulled together. I thought I had my super red-flag radar on at full power and it wasn’t picking up any signals. Two years after we met we were married. I was 41 and it was my first marriage. He was 45 and it was his fourth. Duh! That should have been a hint.
No more than thirty minutes after we spoke our vows I had an enlightening moment. My husband was smack dab in the middle of a full blown manic episode. To this day I can’t stand looking at my wedding photos. Everything was so beautiful and I can’t think of a single that went wrong with the ceremony or reception. However, when I look at the album I see the face of the mad man and it really hurts.
By the the time we reached our first anniversary I was introduced to PTSD. What a life. A bipolar husband with PTSD. He was not able to hold down a job so I became the bread winner for a family of six and that was the moment when I realized the true impact of being raised on the cusp of generations. It left me with a pretty fucked up perspective of how things ‘should’ run in a household and it really sucks.
The whole purpose of this blog is to write vignettes on the fallout of living a life with a mindset that straddles cultural eras. This plays into why I get all wrapped around the axle when it comes to my husband’s mental issues. I was raised to believe that a man supports his wife and yet the reality of my world is that the woman supports her husband and sometimes it is hard to come to get a grip on that.