Mr Heart Doc
Won’t you write me a prescript
Numb the heartache
When will it stop
The lingering pain
Has been 2000 days
Isn’t it time
Mr Heart Doc
Mr Heart Doc
Words are potent and dangerous; they can both save lives, heal, offer hope or kill and bring about despair and change our lives forever.
I have had three long term relationships to date and only one of those men told me I was beautiful. The third one whom I married and the only one I ever truly loved used many negatives to describe me both to friends and family and to me directly and indirectly.
I am by no means a doormat nor a shrinking violet; yet this insidious drip drip effect of putdowns disguised as a joke and teasing at my expense made me very unhappy. I could not pinpoint the reason nor the cause. I was confused. On the one hand we shared everything, had a beautiful daughter and was in the ultimate committed relationship as I saw it, marriage yet I sensed an emotional unavailability, lack of support and even brutality at times. I couldn’t reconcile the two.
This confusion and frustration led to clinical depression which I fought on and off throughout my marriage. In the end he held it up as the final straw that breaks the camel’s back or the final nail in the coffin, the corpse of our relationship which had been rotting for some time, though I refused to face it or give up on resurrecting it.
Things came to a head when in a fit of anger he threatened to kill me. Whether he meant it or not I was scared enough to run out barefoot in the early hours with nothing on me. I ran to a friend’s in the village, rang the bell but being 1am they were asleep and I didn’t want to bang on the door, so I went home. I ran up to the spare room upstairs, closed the door and tried to call the police but he pulled out the connection downstairs. After a few minutes he had a change of heart and shouted up that I could call them now, which I duly did.
It took them an hour to arrive and they persuaded him to stay with a friend for the night to calm things down. No doubt he sold them the story of me as the hysterical over-reacting crazy woman.
In a roundabout way I am getting to the point of this story. A couple of days later through the post box I received a leaflet on domestic violence from the police. Now he has never been physically violent towards me and if he had I would have been the first to leave with my child. I had witnessed it happening in my family and swore I would never put up with it myself.
Yet the questions on the cover of the leaflet caused the penny to drop, you know that light bulb OMG moment when it all makes sense. There was a whole series of questions along the lines of does he make fun of you in public, does he put you down, does he constantly criticise you etc. Tears rolled down my cheeks as silently I answered yes to every one of them.
Now I could put a name to it: emotional abuse.
The man I loved was not my pillar of strength, my mentor who pointed out my faults in an attempt to better me but a control freak who was always right and had to have things his way. Far from being the man I could turn to in a crisis and be the last man standing, he was a very weak and small man, because he needed to belittle me to feel big.
Never in a million years would I have seen myself as a victim of emotional abuse, a form of domestic abuse, little known.
Love is never about control, humiliation and destroying the spirit of the person you claim to care about. If anything you would want to protect her/him from harm and hurt, never mind inflict it yourself consciously or otherwise. Whether intentional or not it hurt like hell and was extremely damaging to my mental health and physical. I would go as far as to say that it contributed to my cancer although I have no scientific proof.
I will never forget when he told me that he was pulling the plug because now he realises I would never change and that he had been standing by me and waiting all these years for me to change. Quite into what, I don’t know. When we met and fell in love, that was me and that was who he married, so I don’t really get it. I am still me, even now, after everything. I will always be me and being me ain’t so bad.
They say that the first step to solving your problem is to admit you have one in the first place but I think it is also vital to be able to name accurately what it is. How can you begin to fight something if you don’t even know what you are up against?
I could bottle pain
watch it sail away
let it soar
see it burn
seek selective amnesia
sieve away the bad
yet in the core of my very being
the dull aches keeps throbbing
robbied fobbed off
for being mere human
failing to live up to expectations
imperfect flawed unworthy
If things could be unsaid I wouldn’t have a broken heart which no superglue however strong can mend. Cracks will remain leaking blood drop by crimson drop. Some say there is beauty in imperfection and that some potters actually smash their work and then glue the fragments back.
I wish things could be unsaid so I could hold onto the good and not be plagued by doubts and wondering if I imagined it all.
If I could simply press the undo button I would be that twenty something innocent happy confident optimistic and sociable girl again. Before depression, cancer, separation and divorce … I felt good about myself, I was popular, people liked me, students, colleagues, friends. I hadn’t been seen as a problem yet; I hadn’t been brainwashed into believing it.
I sometimes think of my life in terms of before and after, before the cancer and after. From that point life was never the same.
I hate the look of pity in people’s eyes in HK when I am eating out on my own or when you tell them you are single, divorced, living on your own and your family and friends are back in London. They look at you as if you are insane. Why would anybody in their right mind, particularly a woman who is clearly no longer a spring chicken uproot herself and settle without any social network?
It is not safe, for one thing, oh no, not for a single woman. A rejected, dumped one. No longer pleasing to her husband. She must have done something wrong, not tried hard enough, maybe even burnt the food and not got up in the middle of the night to cook her man and his friends a midnight feast. Crimes against humanity; that is not taking good care of the men in your life.
I do not require pity; I positive detest it. I am happy being single. I thrive on the freedom, just pleasing myself, doing what I like, when I like and with who I choose. I am my own boss. No compromises, delicate and difficult negotiations, no putting others’ needs before yours. I can be ‘selfish’.
Do I get lonely? Yes, sometimes. Do I look over at the other tables occupied by happy families or a group of friends laughing and chilling and feel a pang of sadness and envy? Yes. Do I wish I had my own family with hubby and daughter during the good times? More than anything in the world. What I wouldn’t give to turn back the clock.
But it’s not gonna happen, this is the reality and we can’t press the unwind or rewind button on our life. I don’t believe in a God. I don’t believe in an afterlife or a previous one. This is it, as far as I’m concerned, no dress rehearsals or take two, so I may as well live life to the full and make the most of the time allocated.
My parent’s failing health has been a bleak reminder that if you want to do something you’d better do it now, cos you never know when you won’t be able to walk, talk, swallow, eat or when your mind is going to go and you won’t even recognise your own children.
The time to be happy is now. We waste a lot of time fretting over things that are not really that vital and often out of our control and make ourselves and others sick and miserable. Ask yourself in the wider scheme of things would it matter in five or ten years’ time? Probably not.
The thought that we are totally insignificant is oddly comforting and puts things into perspective. Our dramas and tragedies are hugely important to us but not to anybody else; nobody cares a damn, they have enough problems of their own. They say don’t sweat the small stuff but I would go further and advise you not to even sweat the big stuff.
Would I like a good man to stumble into my life and treat me right? Hell yes. Would I go and actively seek him out? No. If it happens it happens, I’m cool with that. If it is meant to be then he will find me. If not it is not a disaster. I can still be happy and live a fulfilled life. I won’t die without a man but I will without food or money.
Would I move in with him? No. Would I remarry ever again? A resounding no. I value my space, liberty and autonomy too much. I will enjoy his company and it would be lovely being that someone special in his life but I will be equally happy away from him. We do not need to be Siamese twins. In fact I think that is a far healthier relationship when even if he calls time or dies suddenly that you can still function under the grief and sadness.
Love is fabulous but to love too much and dependency is toxic to mental well being and being truly free.
To tell you the truth I’m not optimistic a good man will come into my life. At my age those available will be divorced and carrying their own baggage and with kids to support and alimony to pay. I don’t want any of that. I want a man who is truly free and a straightforward relationship, pure and simple.
If by this age they’ve never had a serious relationship then you wonder why. Do they not like women or are they just Mama’s Boy. Good men are a rare commodity, sorry fellas, cynical moi? If they are that good and know how to treat a woman right then they would have been whipped up and no woman worth her salt will let him go.
Definitely a gap in the market. Goodmen.com would make a cool dating site.
If you know of any single good men out there interested in a petite middle aged Chinese lady with GSOH and most of her own teeth give us a shout. Thank you in advance.