During the demise of my marriage, i watched a lot of television. Sometimes instead of crying, I sat in front of the tele – without emotions for hours watching HGTV and TLC.
I wished for a different life. I thought if we had a better house, it might save our marriage and he’d love me again. I thought if I had an extra play room for our baby, then we could all play together and the warmth we shared during the infatuation phase would be eternally bestowed upon our family. We’d be a real family. Not just objects inhabiting a house and a scenario that looked good on paper.
So I watched all the home improvement shows. I thought to myself, if I just get up at 6am with him and clean and clean the house it would make things better. It didn’t. So I watched more shows on how to redecorate. But I couldn’t implement anything because I worked 40-50hrs a week, was raising a small toddler alone really, in a failing marriage where I was too scared and too exhausted to fight through the emotional abuse, and I just wanted to escape.
Then the escapism turned excessive. I started watching Hoarders and Intervention. Religiously. Really, I was in excruciating emotional pain and the reason I related to those shows because the people were in as much pain as I was. It wasn’t cathartic to watch, I just felt I was a kindred spirit.
Eventually, the marriage failed. The affair was revealed. My mental breakdown ensued. I barely watched any television anymore. I was always crying, or drinking and then crying, and keeping the company of scourges under the guise of romance and rebounding. I have my shows but when I got out of therapy, I stayed clear of HGTV, TLC and the Lifetime channel. Lol.
Fast forward to 2019, it’s starting again. I feel the need to escape.
Being a divorced working Mom, far away from family, trying to manage a chronic illness, and being an aging Black woman in an incredibly hostile society had taken its toll. I fantasize about retiring elsewhere. I moved abroad for love in my late 20s. I would do it again for peace in my 60s and to escape American racism.
Soooo, Carribean Life is my new way to escape. Funny, I have only ever seen one Black American couple on the show. I know realistically, it would be an act of God for me to move to and thrive in the islands. Still, I choose to escape there when I am stressed out and wanted to veg in front of the tele to take the edge off.
The allure of having a nice villa with granite countertops, a pool and an ocean view is so inviting. I keep thinking being that close to water and having my own peace would extend my life twenty-fold.
A pipe dream, possibly… but I love the effect the show has on my stress levels. I know I am not alone. Lol!!!!
To date, I am managing my escapism quite well. Meaning I am managing life quite well at the moment. Here’s to cheesy island music and watching people with generational wealth escape the “rat race”.