How Not Being Able To Dress Like Laura Ingalls Wilder {Old~Fashioned} Became One More Reason I Swam Away From Marriage

Friday, March 22, 2019
Little gloves for the foxes and fey.
Image courtesy archives of painter  Samuel McLoy {1831~1904} 

My dear friends,

Happy spring to you! The cottage is all warm, I have some tea on my serving tray, the chickens are roaming the garden, and the smell of confederate jasmine permeates the air.

I have been reluctant to speak in-depth on many occasions about my divorce. I have gotten better throughout the past three years as my emotions have become more focused, subsided, and I have softened.

I have continually strived to keep this blog light and airy~fairy. I have determined, that to be light and airy-fairy, at all times, isn't me. Just as each of us, I too, have many facets to my soul.  I have a deep state of awareness, and I am quite a complex individual. I will remain as such but felt that if I continue to have a thriving blog, but refrain from depth on particular posts, I am not being transparent.

I'm creative and imaginative, so I know I will be able to go into depth about certain topics without it becoming tainted and still remain a happy place. Thumbs crossed {smile}. It has largely to do with me living the law of attraction. Keep your thoughts and attention on what you desire and not draw a focus on the negative. What we focus on, we get more of. We live in a non~inclusive universe.

Have you ever been to some blogs, {I know I have} and all they speak of is the horrible, wretched things that happened to them, or the way they talk has this negative underlined sarcastic tone? I can't get out of their drifted negative fog fast enough. I never make return visits.

I am going to try to relate to you certain things and let's work through these events in a logistics kind of way. I was listening to Abraham Hicks The other day, and Esther said that if we discuss our past or events that have occurred, do so with the intent to work through the scenario; a process for expansion. I love that way of thinking. This is an entirely different approach for the most part on how a majority of the world works. The world mostly takes you on a roller coaster ride. Such as almost every movie ever made. They start you out happy, then take you to the darkest depths of despair, and then out again. Somehow at the end, we are supposed to thank our lucky stars the movie ended well and has been all tidied up with a blue bow from Tiffany's.  But now we have a headache from crying, our mascara has run, and we feel a bit unsettled.

The title of this post, I will admit {I am doing a lot of acknowledging of things today...Smile} sounds almost trivial. I'll get on with explaining.

When I was a little girl, I wore dresses every day of my life. What was initially an act of being conservative and modest because of my religious beliefs, soon became a way of life by deliberate choice. I have always felt more comfortable in dresses. I love dresses, still have and always will.

One summer, when I was 14, I went to stay for a few weeks with my cousin Sybrena. She was at least ten years older than me, and I looked up to her in so many ways, and still do {even though she passed over 20+ years ago}.

I wanted to spend time with her, as I had done so many times throughout my childhood, and this was to be one last summer of hoorah, as I was finally going into high school. Sybrena had this sense of style that was sophisticated, never wore anything that wasn't heavily starched and ironed, and always smelled delightfully of the perfume Private Collection.

I thought she was everything! She had me cleaning {still to this day bleach is one of my most favourite scents as it brings back such happy memories of my dear sweet breenie}, ironing, planting flowers and organising. She was such a clean and organised person, you could literally eat from the garage floor. To mop, dust and clean the garage was a weekly task. On any given day we would go to the florist stand to buy buckets of fresh flowers, then we would pop by the vegetable/fruit stands to gather our selected fresh food to make for supper that evening. We even made homemade peach ice cream to accompany her homemade peach cobbler. The epitome of Southern women and I loved every single minute of it.

My fathers business was thriving at the time, so Sybrena wanted to take me school shopping.  The Limited was our favourite store in the mall. Do you remember back then they had an entire line called "Outback Red"? Well, that brand became my signature look.  I even made best-dressed in the yearbook my freshman and sophomore year. We found many cute outfits, we then went to the Clinique counter for cosmetics and skincare products, and then from there to get a sweet new bobbed haircut.

I was excited to be dappled with such attention. I was so thrilled, and I think in my mind this was maybe going to be a new life for me. No one knew, and in those days you have all sorts of insecurities { I did anyway} that what I looked like now as the new Raquel was a long distance away from that homely girl just two months prior.

I wore glasses, no makeup, comely dresses and was a shy little thing. Now don't confuse my shyness, for nimble because let's be clear I am ginger naturally, so I have always had a little fiery temper. Just ask any of my cousins, and they will be quick to retort that they thought I was a little redheaded brat.

You see what happens, and I learned this over time, is that even though you give someone a makeover, or receive a makeover yourself, you're still that same person inside. I know this sounds like a post that should be labelled, "Errr, Aaaa Durrh Raquel" but girls, it took me 30 years and 24 of those being married to someone with a controlling character to unravel. I am stubborn, so I was a slow learner in those days.

I know that how I 'wasn't allowed' to dress was not the sole reason for my divorce, but it was a contributing factor. Altogether, it was those little moments that add up over time. They build, layers upon each other and before you are fully aware, you have a massive metaphorical barnacle on your back.

I was this 5'2 in height, cute girl that had a darling little haircut, wore starched shirts, tucked in with a broach {almost daily} and a leather belt with shoes to coordinate perfectly. I was a "Carter", and from where I come from, in my sleepy little town I thought my sh__, well... you finish the rest. My family may have a reputation with a sorted past and many secrets, {by the way, how many families dont} but at the end of the day, I have a well thriving family gentry. In other words, I come from GOOD STOCK.

The boy I would end up marrying, {my ex} would become the very first boy that would even take notice of me.  Because as I previously stated, I felt I was a homely girl, and whenever I had ever liked a boy in the past, they never wanted me back. They were swift to let it be known I was not their type. The boys were especially unkind to me. They loved to tell me how ugly and gross I was.

I thought from the start that he {my ex} was interested in my cousin, as she was always the one boys sought after. She was taller than me, had blond hair, blue eyes and was already developed. Not me, I was redheaded, freckles everywhere, and as fair complected as the vampires in the movie Twilight. The boys always liked my cousin first, so when my ex began showing attention to her {we were in the same science class} I assumed he liked her. But no, he was getting close to her, to learn more about me.

I was happy to receive the information after a bit of time had passed that in fact, he did like me, and now my attention turned to him. A boy liked little ol' redheaded Raquel?! I couldn't believe it! I was done for, and I would become more done for, as the years passed.

To be able to end this post in this millennium, I am going to have to make my way through by skipping some things. I am at 2000 words right now, and I am only halfway there. {heh}

You see, I was so smitten because this boy liked me, that I began to slowly leave behind everything that genuinely meant something to me. I turned down a 4-year scholarship to an art school, because I was afraid he wouldn't stay with me, or that he would once again cheat on me if I wasn't around. I had to retake the entire course for my scuba certification at Weeki Wachee Springs because I didn't trust him spending so much time with his ex-girlfriend. And the list would build for many years to come. The layers of me allowing someone to train me out of who and what I believed in, compounded with a lack of self-love began haunting my soul so deeply, that suicide became a daily thought. I developed an eating disorder and became psychotic with feelings of rage and anger regularly.

I had stopped wearing those clothes that my best friends mom had sewn for me when I was in middle school. I had once allowed my cousin Sybrena to change me into this person that she thought I should be, and my ex to convince me that I was once again ugly, homely and a turn off if I wore my old~fashioned clothes. I was reminded of those times as a child that was especially difficult for me, mostly, feelings of not being loved. I did this throughout my life, little by little, day by day until I no longer recognised myself. I had forgotten who I was, until one day in 2014; the day the straw broke the camels back. I had suppressed my feelings, donated all my old fashioned clothes once again {i would donate and then always end up sewing more; stashing them in the back of my closet} and I had had enough.

I was living in California, at the time, {our then 21st move} and we were planning a  trip to the old themed pioneer museum. I was delighted this day and thought, I will have the perfect opportunity to wear my old fashioned dress and straw hat! How fun will this be, I will fit right in, I was tickled with joy inside.

I walked out of the bedroom, and with one snide comment my ex looked at me with a disappointed embarrassed look on his face and said, " You ARE going to change, aren't you? You can not wear that!"  I went into the room, changed maddeningly, flailing my arms, crying and saying inside I HATE MY LIFE, AND I HATE BEING MARRIED TO THIS MAN! I was even more so determined and told myself for over a decade that I was going to figure out how to leave him. I never spoke of such things unless it was a nasty fight with him {remember I have a temper} and I belted out obscenities and swore one day I would leave him. I think of Mr Oak on "Far From Madding Crowd" where he tells Bathsheba that one day, though not that day, he will definitely leave her. Those scripted lines resonate with me deeply.

This occurrence was no stranger to me, It was a pattern my entire married life. To go into public with my ex, I had to be approved of what I was wearing by him, and I surely was never allowed to give him attention {PDA} in public, as it largely embarrassed him. I can pretty much count the times we went to public things together, like grocery shopping, unless it was a work event for him, but therein, my attire was approved of beforehand.

Now you may think this whole post sounds ridiculous. And in many aspects, I have had to reread what I have actually typed. I am dumbfounded that I was this person. However, If you have ever been in an unhealthy relationship, most likely you can resonate with me. I would also like to preface too, that, I no longer blame my ex for my contrasting life, nor my cousin, or anyone else, but at the time I surely did. I always state that to blame someone for how our lives are going feels so much better, at the time, than taking ownership. Actually, i truly appreciate all the little rascals that gave me such a hard time, because that made me who I am today. I wouldn't be the happy person I am today without experiencing those viscitudes.

*{This post is my subjective viewpoint and all participants are going to have their own version, which is perfectly fine and understandable. This is my blog, the way I see things and MY truth!}

When I was right in the thick of it, for quite some time, I did not realise the internal damage to my self-worth that had occurred. I was conditioned for decades from him, and after I finalised the divorce, I had to step through some cleansing fire. I was only 14 when I met him, and I was desperate for the attention of a male. I was never molested as a child, but I did have deeply rooted issues with the lack of awareness from my father. I was not that little girl that sat on my daddy's lap or spent copious amounts of time with him. I am confident my father had reasons for his lack of attachment with his children, and I fully accept that now as an adult woman. Nowadays, I don't fault anyone in this post, but amidst my divorce, you can bet your bottom dollar I was blaming every single person in my vicinity for what was happening to me at the time. I had to give myself permission to mourn the loss of me and everything that I had ever known. I have also learned not to wait for people to give me permission for things, like being upset, forgiving someone on a timed schedule or anything of the sort. I give myself all the authority I could ever need. We must give ourselves this gift. No one else is going to do it for us, at least, not in the way we may need it.

If you were to take a gander at those early days of my youtube channel, you could blatantly see I was going through large amounts of pain. At one point in my life, I would've gone back and deleted those videos out of embarrassment, but these days I want them to be reminders to me {even though I don't watch them} that i know I have progressed and profoundly grown. I no longer apologise for my outbursts or accept when people try to silence me or sit back when others place judgement. I will be a savage and speak my truth to the bone, but I don't feel it's necessary to fight for what I know in my heart is my truth. There is a certain kind of peace in that. I won't delete things, or alter my opinions just because someone is uncomfortable. I don't change for ANYONE, and freedom is such a beautiful state to be in. Being an online presence has surely toughened up my mermaid skin..{smile}

I live my life these days in a tattered old fashioned dress that I sewed, and I make no apologies. I always told myself, I am going to one day find a soulmate, and he is going to love the way I dress {and my dream came true}. I was never going to allow another person to come in between me and my hearts desires. In fact, when you find that "RIGHT PERSON" they will love everything about you, and never want you to change for them. They love you exactly the way you are. Because when YOU love YOU... exactly the way YOU are, everyone can't help but love YOU too.

We should never compromise, even in the least degree the way we want or choose to live our lives, not for anyone. I know we always hear marriage is a compromise, but I am here to bust that myth, and say marriage ABSOLUTELY IS NOT a compromise, nor ever should be. Because if you believe that notion, I will be a savage and tell you how your marriage will end up, or currently is. It will either go one of two ways. You will either hate your life and just miserably settle for living in it, or you will grow to resent your mate with a vengeance. You will check out, build walls, become secretive and most likely stray in some form or another. A vast majority of marriages live in one or both of these two categories.

My friends, life is too short not to wear the dress. {smile}

I tried to place numerous pretty flowers throughout this post to allow your heart to rest, as this post was a bit heavy~laden.

Well, I did it now, girls. I wrote this post just shy of 3100 words. Boy howdy, I am a church lady. {definition: English slang for a talkative woman}

I hope you enjoyed this post, I had such a lovely time writing it. Have you ever struggled with something like this? Perhaps, I may be the only one. {sigh}

I shall write again soon. Have a lovely weekend, dear friends.

Most affably yours til my next swim, raquelxxx


  1. Your floral photos (last post too) are absolutely stunning! Sounds like our exes would get along exquisitely! Mine once quit talking to me for two weeks because I cut my hair shoulder length. (I was supposed to keep it quite long.) It was like fly paper - as soon as you free one foot, an arm was stuck. Blek! So glad to be free of that.
    Also, from yesterday's post, you mentioned Victoria and Tea Time ( familiar with both😉) did you ever get Victorian Decorating and Lifestyles? It had more to read than the others and was a favorite. A friend who has since passed and I would pour over them and chit chat about the particulars. I miss both her and the magazine.

    1. Are kidding me! That is quite the humourous notion nowadays to think of such a silly nature from the exes. I couldn't agree with you more. It did seem to be an ongoing conundrum at the time. I am happy to be away from that, and I now can say I hope that he finds peace, because I know I surely have. Thank you for the compliment on the photos. I am attempting to put prettier photos on my blog, as that was one little stitch as to why a magazine said that my photography skills needed to improve, so out i have finally brought my {big } Nikon camera. I thought I should start working very deeply with learning my camera off of the auto mode. It has been a bit of a struggle for me in some aspects,but I know I can now feel confident enough to keep going. It is my business to have a beautiful blog so I must keep at it. I never did get a subscription, but I most def. should. I never got a subscription, just would go to the grocery stand or book store and would pick up an issue here and there. Oh, I am sorry for your loss. I now to have a lovely friendship with much in common is such a wonderful thing. I love you, have a beautiful weekend dear friend. .

  2. It’s a terrible thing to have another person oppress you. Glad you got out and were able to embrace who you were born to be��

    1. Thank you Suzanne. I agree with you. I hope women will find inspiration in this post and its not lost in the idea that I would try and paint a character of my ex. I am trying to see him as a person that Source loves. We just weren't a suitable match after all, that is what I concluded. I love you Suzanne. Have a wonderful weekend.

  3. What gorgeous flowers and photos! You are so talented. In Kundalini Yoga, they teach that some people have the need to control, and some have the need to be controlled. What we wear expresses our personal style and taste. I find that even women can make those types of comments, and that it's their problem. I have a close male friend who compliments my earrings, my dresses, and my overall appearance. I adore him. He is so sweet.

    1. Awww... thank you so much sugar. I'm so happy to meet a fellow Yogi. I love your blog name. I feel very much an awakened soul. Your male friend sounds like a delight.

  4. Hello Raquel, Your post is very thought-provoking. I enjoyed reading it but I must admit I don't agree with your idea of 'no compromise' in a marriage. I am no doubt a LOT older than you and have been married since I was barely 18 ( not that that makes me any kind of expert) but I do think compromise has to occur especially if both people have definite but conflicting ideas.
    After all this I will add that I was pleased to see that you like my tea cups!! And thanks for leaving that comment.

    1. I appreciate that very much, and I always allow a space for people not to agree with me on all things. I am solely speaking from my own personal experience of being married for close to 30 years to the same man. Everyone surely has their own journey, that's for sure. I appreciate your opinions, and truly... thank you for sharing. I love that people feel comfortable in speaking their truth. I do love your blog, my dear little Victorian lady. Muawhhh... Raquelxxx

  5. Thank you for your sharing, Raquel. I am just thinking aloud here . . . perhaps it depends on whose comprimise we are referring to. I want to always be quick to comprimise when I discover an expectation, long hidden away, of who my husband "should" be. This very post humbled me as I realized the unkind comments I'd made about a particular shirt my husband just bought. He is, to me, the epitome of the compromising of kindness in a marraige. We are very, very different and even come from vastly different cultures, and every bit of his upbringing and personal preference would have him not accepting the way I prefer to dress (much like you do - googling "Tasha Tudor dress" was how I initially discovered your blog), but he has never said a disparaging word, even in a subtle or passive way. Because he loves me, I think in his eyes this is just part of the package. So yes, someone here has to compromise. Either I do, and dress in a way that denies expressing who I am, or he does, and has a wife dressed not-to-his-preference. And he has, for almost 30 years, made that compromise with complete grace.

    Thanks for making me think on this, Raquel, I can hardly wait to apologize and encourage him to wear that insane . . . uhmmmm, *unique* shirt. Maybe we can arrange a date night this coming weekend and be the couple that everyone stares at, heeheehee :)

    1. Oh my you are so welcome. I appreciate you expressing that you gained something from my little ol' post. I think you are a cutie and your hubby sounds like a sheer delight. I hope you share photos of you and he when you go on date night. I bet that night when you two are all fancied up you'll get a giggle, for sure. Love Raquelxxx

  6. Happy Pink Saturday, Raquel. Thank you for joining us, and thank you for sharing. My heart is full, and I am deeply touched by your story. I am jumping with joy that you have found the life you want.

    This post is being featured on my Pink Saturday post this week as "the one that caught my eye".♥♥♥

    1. Oh My! that is ever so kind of you... Pink Saturday, I love it! Pink is such a wonderful colour. Have a beautiful day! Love Raquelxxx

  7. I enjoyed your flowers and your lovely spring painting!

    1. Oh Peggy, Thank you so much... how very kind of you and I truly appreciate your visit. Love Raquelxxx