I remember the things that made me fall in love with my husband. The first time I saw him, though I knew I was curious to meet him through his writings, which I loved, his sense of humour and talent, I felt I could follow him anywhere. That, for me, was a first. I was normally the one that went (to a different country,a different bar, to visit a city on the other side of he country in the middle of the night), and some people would just follow. I never, ever had had the feeling of wanting to follow someone blindly. He gave me that.
Then, a few days later, he placed a hand on my cheek and a world of chaos and pain that constantly whirred around my head despite my outer smiles and confidence suddenly came to a halt, and there was just peace.
Later still, he would remain calm, like a big oak tree, while I stormed and raged and wailed around him.
This song I discovered while I was dating him kind of summed it up very nicely.
These are the things that made me love him beyond anything else.
Then badness happened (not my fault this time), and the tree became a rock. I waited and hoped, but he remained a rock. Gradually he began to come back to life, aided by our beautiful daughter perhaps, but barely. Then he began to find things fun again, but by then it wasn’t me that was fun. He still loved me, and wanted to bring back the person he knew I could be. That confident smiling bubbly person I can always be when I’m surrounded by people who like me. Except to be that person I need for someone to like me, but sometimes my husband now sees all the ugliness in me, even when it’s not there, even when I’m innocent, and I can no longer reflect my beautiful bubbly self, because he doesn’t see it. And also, because that’s not all there is to me.
My usual response to feeling that my beloved doesn’t like me anymore was to up and leave. I could be completely independent, I would tell myself, and in a fit of rage I would go. And then the rage would pass and I was left in a heap on the floor somewhere, usually unfamiliar, but needing to pick myself up in wherever I had ended up.
Now I am afraid. I am aware that he is exhausted. He wouldn’t be the first, so I cannot even think for a minute he is just being weak or unfair. He held onto me more than anybody else. The people who love me and say I exaggerate know, deep down, that they can handle me because they don’t live with me. So I can’t blame him for being exhausted, worn out. All he wants, is for a quiet life enjoying the things he enjoys with someone who enjoys the things she enjoys and that’s it, just a quiet happy life. Which seems so possible when we are happy that I know how hard it is to accept that it will never be that way. I am having difficulty accepting it myself. My whole life since it was ripped from the bliss that was getting lost in nature with my dog and the calm that came from being almost always without other humans around has been “when I finally get to do this, I’ll be happy” and “I did that, but that’s why, I won’t do it again” to “I have no idea why I did that, but I shall persevere and I know I’ll get there at some point” to, finally “Shit. I have always been
unsteady unbalanced ill and it will never stop.
I can think about how well I can manage it, I can think about whether or not I want to get into the system and allow future lawyers or bastards to use that against me (I am not paranoid, I have had those people in my life), but it will always be there. I can think about whether my husband has reached the end of the line and decided – and it would be his right – that he doesn’t want to look after me, he still needs a lot of looking after himself! And if that’s the case where can I go, which hole can I hide in and be self-sufficient, and how will my children take the news of moving again and us not being together and/or me moving away without them (impossible, they’d have to drag me away screaming, which is partly the reason why I don’t want to get into the system).
He may tell me that I’m being melodramatic as usual and that he never really intended for us to separate, but I know this will keep happening. Days and days of pain while I wait for that judgement, that decision: will he resume loving me? In the meantime, while he’s cold, and distant, and (I know) hurting, I find myself (despite my self) thinking please hurry up. I am cold here and I am vulnerable and I am struggling to keep it together. Please hurry up and be strong for me, tell me you love me again.
I feel pitiful and stupid and crippled. And then arrogant and strong and angry. And I never know which variation of the above will come out when next he speaks to me. He may say a word and I will respond with the wrong word, the wrong tone, and all is lost, for another few days. And whatever I say at that moment will feel like the right thing at the time, the ONLY thing, but of course it will change, there will be another me saying “shit why the hell did I say that. Who am I??”
So yeah, it’s all fun and games. Which is why this very second I decide I will post this let it go, and start work, and be happy and cheerful again, at least until I get a letter from him, or he comes back, and decides my fate for the days to come. There is no point in me over-thinking and being miserable in the meantime, trying desperately to settle on what I really want, what I really think. Because I give up on that. I am and think exactly what I am and am thinking at that precise moment in time.
I can’t blame anyone for not wanting to be around something like that.