(Tribute to the late John Diamond) Random acts of kindness given Throwing a party no reason Putting a smile on stranger’s face Uncontrollable laughter Catching up with Sue at the pub Pausing to smell a rose petal Barbecue with May at Anabel’s Getting broody at the sight of baby twins Stroking warm fur of […]
Five years on I’m still crying; I know you’re not worth it but the heart has to catch up cos it still aches. You did not ‘cheat’ on me per se not in the classical sense, not third person/intruder to blame, just rejection pure and simple, that sucks. You don’t love me, you still cared but just not in that way; you lied you didn’t give a damn. That’s how you operate, I know, I slept next to you for 18 years. Cold, rational, practical as ever, once you decided in your infinite wisdom it was over, I am firmly confined to that compartment in your head marked ‘past’. You turn your back resolutely to the future and beyond. No point in feeling a drop of sadness, futile, it didn’t work out but hey ho that’s life one soldiers on.
I envy you the ability to rationalise, shrug it off, see the pointlessness of wasted time and energy on indulgent soul searching. Where did we go wrong, could we have saved our marriage, how sad that a perfectly happy loving family should be smashed to smithereens by friendly fire with collateral damage; broken heart and screwed up kid switched off from her A levels pretending it is all fine, clearly not. Not for her pulled down by her dumped middle age mother’s recurring depression and pressing the pause key on Life for the duration.
Your only child had 2 gap years, not travelling the world, seeking adventure and experience, no VSO worthy causes passion ambition working holiday saving money for univ to reduce debt round neck. Nope, 2 gap years, literally. A gap, huge black hole in which she fell into the abyss of wallowing suffocating burying depression; she in her room behind closed doors venturing out to scavenge from the fridge freezer, the microwave got overtime bonus, ready meals its best friend and I in my own tiny prison with the window so high up I could not look out in my bedridden state.
Both in a bad place, stuck in the rut, quicksand sinking fast, no one to throw a lifeline to either. We hardly spoke. Sometimes she took pity and left food for her mother in the oven. Other times she just saw to herself. Mother would creep down at the smell of food cooking in the oven to find an empty warm space and disappointment hurt swallowed up her hunger. She would creep back up stairs, get back into that perpetual cage of a mattress on the floor, that duvet beginning to smell and push down the feeling of being unloved uncared for.
I sensed anger resentment exuding out of the closed door. I thought my baby hated me. Mother depressed yet again. She has to play the parent and I the child needing to be looked after in every way. If there was no call of nature I would never have got out of bed. It felt safe, a hiding place where I got left alone, where I could be me and that was ok.
I did not see the point of getting up. I had lost the only thing I cared about, my family. Nothing would get that back. Everything else paled into insignificance. They tell me ah but you still have your family, you and your daughter, it is just different. But I wanted the original, first edition with you and us. We. You and I and our baby created out of love and hope.
Did you have any inkling that was how we lived? Did you care? You didn’t give a damn about me that was crystal clear but you’d always had a special bond with our daughter. I was envious and often felt excluded. You’d always been a great dad, credit where credit is due. Tragedy is you are not even that now. You have gone back on your word to pay the rent as part of your contribution as a father forcing me to use up all my house proceeds , the pittance I walked away with; to show for all those years of devoted service.
You needed your space. Your perrogative to pursue your own happiness and freedom. What you were getting out of the marriage was a lot less than what you put in, like a balance sheet as you patiently explained to the heap on the floor ripping up wedding photos. When you married me you went with the flow, too young, not sure what you wanted. Good news now you are sure and that is you don’t want me. Congratulations K. Talk about kick a person when she is down.
Could you not leave me with a few good memories. You know like at the beginning when we married and the first few years love was a two way street till the shit started hitting the fan and was so comfortable that it stayed and procreated and moved in the whole family, aunts, uncles, cousins and all.
You want your life back. I made your life hell, depression, recurrence, you had to support the family alone the times I couldn’t work, yep, I get it. But did you really have to be so brutal. Do a total demolition on someone cradling the shattered pieces of her heart having only just recovered from the recurrence. By the way you were awol during the second half of her journey to hell in the form of chemical weapons fed through her veins. She saved a lot on shampoo purchase .
This is what I don’t get. How you can turn your back on a woman you loved and the mother of your only child and delete her from your head, heart and life. How you could not bear to stand by my hospital bed after I suffered heart failure two years after chemotherapy which had forced my heart to work too hard and become enlarged. The consultant told me I could have died if the ambulance had not delivered me in time. Two litres of fluid had collected in my lungs, hence the breathlessness and extreme fatigue.
What I cannot forgive: betrayal, abandonment, lack of humanity, compassion. The coldness is chilling. No need to go to the Arctic to experience sub-zero temperatures. Just look into the eyes of a man you once loved and was going to grow old with, a stranger you no longer recognise even like never mind respect.
I loved you with all my heart. I will never love like that again. I will never trust with abandonment no bars hold again. I am afraid to love, to risk being hurt ever again. Five long years it has taken me to superglue every minute bits of my smashed trampled heart. The blood is leaking through the endless cracks. You have robbed me of my innocence, purity and transformed me into a bitter cynical paranoid fearful middle age divorcee. I don’t dare trust, believe. Someone is kind to me, what are they after? I hate that. Once I believed the world was a good place, people meant me no harm, being good and kind would ensure a happy life. Now I aspire to imitate the baddies because they seem to get ahead in the world and have escaped cancer and serious disease.
At least you have a clear conscience and am dignified in your poverty. I’d rather be sunning myself in the Bahamas sipping cocktails listening to the waves of the ocean with a toyboy by my side. I was a martyr in my marriage; compensated for your liberal view of budgeting and ensuring our baby was not the poor kid on the block. I forgo nice clothes, shoes, handbags, all the trappings of a woman. I worked when I could, looked after the home, the family, childcare, took time off when the kid was ill as your business took precedence over my teaching. I ran with the pushchair down the road to the childminders before school and did the reverse journey.
Ironically I foolishly thought I was the superglue of the family, an indispensable part, that is why I struggled through the hellish treatment because if I died on the operating table, during chemo, what would they do without me? My fear was unfounded. For one I didn’t perish and for another I was surplus to requirements, thrown out with the trash. They carried on without me perfectly fine. Life goes on and it did. Your world has collapsed, you want to die and be swallowed up in the void of nothingness but earth continues to spin round, the sun rise and set … I have news for you, you are totally insignificant, not even a speck in the vast galaxy.
Why am I telling you all this? You don’t care you don’t want to know. You had hoped after all this time I would have moved on, for my own sake.
The hurt goes deep deep into the bowels of my soul, very being. I cannot hear the roar of a Harley blasting by, the whiff of barbecue smoke in the summer heat, the mention of Holland, windmills, tulips, clogs without an overwhelming sense of sadness and futility, of love squandered and a family demolished because of one man’s selfishness.
Are you happy? Was it worth it? Do you sleep well at night?
to dry the ravenous tears
wrap a cast around your pierced heart
crawl inch by inch if you must
but get off that damn floor
that way you know you are
Stand up tall
head held high
dignity is all
Look the mirror in the eye
pay huge respect
fighter survivor tough old bird
dug deep against immeasurable odds
did what she had to and
to get back on that horse
reclaim your power force
repay the kindness of strangers
when you found yourself
in a dark place with
nowhere to go
Make sense of why you had to endure survive
chemo-induced heart failure
You were meant to live
do some good
You know you are healed when
a day passes and ‘he’ never crossed your
mind even you are bored of hearing
your ‘story’ and you realise how loved that friends
family haven’t gone for your throat the trillionth
time how they must have been screaming
inside when you stop to look at the butterflies
fluttering above petals when you feel like
swaying to the beat don’t care what you
no matter how fat when
tears stop flowing at the slightest
unexpected act of kindness when
don’t care what others think just
those you care about when you begin
to ‘love’ yourself some would call it
selfish I call it taking care of your needs
putting yourself first for a change when
you laugh from deep within notice the sky
blue birdsong hear the roar of the ocean
soothing your soul see the finish line flapping
under the noon sun almost there babe,
few more baby steps and we touch
happiness release this broken
stray soaring heights
free at last
for my sister who never gave up on me
I’ve come to a momentous decision thanks to my best friend, Hazy Hay. Like the divorce courts in UK I am adopting the ‘no blame’ policy. relinquishing all anger, bitterness, resentment, sadness, disappointment, and feeling of loss. Why this dramatic change of heart? Well I’m not the Iate Baroness Thatcher; this lady is very much for the turning and been working hard at it. The wise Dalai Lama is right: it is foolish to make yourself ill from anger and be carted off to hospital while the ‘culprit’ is blissfully unaware.
If the truth be told my life is full of good things and there are more to come. You see I’ve been waiting patiently in line outside Santa’s Grotto and finally it’s my turn. Good things happen to good people, that is as it should be. Here’s a short list of the good stuff in my life: beautiful loving daughter, mum, dad, sisters who love me to bits and spoil me the baby of the family, good reliable friends, caring acquaintances here with great potential to become friends, spacious, quiet home all to myself, free security from village dogs, fresh delicious food, all that I need and more, facials and massage, freedom of speech, movement, beliefs, not feeling an outsider, compassion from strangers, relative good health, able to use all the senses, all limbs intact and functioning albeit protesting with aches and pains …
Siberian winds sweep across the land baby snowfall leave footprints in the sand icicles of love whisper reach out your hand frozen listen to the music of the band numb you have been too long warm your heart by the burning log wrap up do up the anorak togs feel safe and snug let me […]
Voices in me head so many so myriad which one will take the director’s chair today Will it be the anarchist teenager with loads of spunk the hurting unwanted child the sad middle aged wife dumped the scolding parent pointing the finger I told you so not good enough again see rejected thrown out with […]