I like that word. I feel like I use it a lot, maybe I don’t, let’s see: link Uhm, this is the only post that comes up if I search for Aftermath. So I guess I don’t use that word as often as I feel it.
I never know where I stand, I never know who I am. On days like these, that come after days like yesterday, I know it even less.
Yesterday was a rollercoaster of emotions. My husband was already pissed off with me to begin with (money stuff), but when he asked me whether I had donated 10 pounds (it got converted to 10$, actually, so it was like 6-7 pounds? A pitiful amount) for a cat, I froze.
Yes. (I chose to reply, bracing myself. Just Yes.)
My husband has always hated cats. In my day dream fantasy scenario of the perfect husband, he claims he hates them but in truth he secretly loves our white cat, Booklet, and admires our Black Cat, Tesla and secretly envies cats as he is very much like a cat himself, and because he loves me so much, he deep down thinks it’s cute that I love cats so much and he doesn’t. So if I give ten dollars to help save the life of a cat whom I know is very important for a sufferer of mental illness I follow, in my fantasy scenario of the perfect husband he would not only understand, but approve my choice. Even if angry with me from the night before, even if we have no money to spare.
It was indeed a fantasy. In reality, it turned out to be the final straw, and the justification for a spewage of accusations, statements of me being uncaring and selfish and so on. If anyone still reads here who knows me they know that one of my greatest triggers, one that sends me up the wall and makes me suddenly become a rage-fuelled Hydra, is accusing me of not caring. So, hydra it is. To the extent that in one of my replies I came out with some aggressive London slang I thought had been lost in the nineties bracket of my past. Horrible, I tell you. Funny, if you’re in my fantasy world. But he isn’t, he really isn’t, and my (to me) funny aggressive London slang made him even angrier. A constant battle ensued in me, let the Hydra take over and do what I do best, turn the world up on its head and destroy everything and everyone in my path, and take my kids along with me, or keep it cool.
Fortunately the news that my eldest secured a job at the University cafeteria made the Hydra suddenly turn into the loveable huggable heartable She-Dragon in Shreck and lovingly turn to that email with joy and hurrahs and I was so happy and loving and relieved again.
In the midst of all this the quiet angel my friend can be, a friend who was supposed to have come visit but I stopped him yesterday as I could feel the storm brewing, did a gesture of such greatness and grace that I hoped it would shock my husband into reason, but it didn’t. I don’t know what was going on in his mind. It shocked mine into calm and gratefulness though.
Oh and I put my wedding dress up for sale, for a price not too small to be easily snapped up, high enough to make a difference to our money situation (the cause of all our woes), and hopefully will be worn by someone on a good day.
Then my imperfect husband came at me with more horrid accusations and I knew (I Know!!) that while within me what is happening is a voice saying (“Stop! Stop! You may be in a manic trip riding the Hydra and almost enjoying the red rage but he is serious! He could dump you! He could mean it! And then where are you left? What will you do? You will destroy your children’s world, you have fought so hard for it to be so different that your childhood world…), my husband is just as furious, just as ragey, just as irrational, except he doesn’t have a mental illness.
Ah, there we go. THAT’s the difference.
See, before any thought of possible mental illness got to me, I used to sometimes (blast me, curse me, wish I’d never told) open up to the people who claimed to love me. Fortunately, there is so much to say, and my love relationships are always so short lived, I have time to share very little. FORTUNATELY. But I may have said to him, confessed, that everyone always got angry with me. My mother, my father, my sister, my brother, my best friend/s. I would concede that some people I loved immensely got scared by Hydra-me and moved away from me. But I said those things to beg: “Understand me. I am vulnerable. I am beyond control sometimes. PLEASE help me control it. I don’t want to lose you too“. But the way this knowledge has been used is to say: “Aha, you admitted you were the one who was out of control and scaring people away, so I am in the right“.
Damn. Thing is, that is what happens in my brain too, once the Hydra has calmed down. THAT voice tells me: “YOU. You are in the wrong. You are the destroyer. It will all be your fault.”
I have learnt to stop the Hydra AND stop that voice, because that voice can take me down paths I do not want to tread.
What’s left is that I no longer know if I’m in the right or not. I try and be objective once I am calm and look at things. But this is new to me: I haven’t allowed myself to walk the path of depression and therefore self-loathing and therefore begging for forgiveness and another chance (which is probably what my imperfect husband expected, at this point, he normally expects a thorough and heartfelt apology).
So yesterday I went for a long walk with my dog, and we got lost and I started to think maybe now is a good time to find out exactly how I feel, how I really feel and I realised that I felt absolutely nothing. Nothing at all. Silence in my head. Silence in my heart. I had a rational thought that I didn’t want to mess up my kids’ life, but no feeling about it. I was trying to understand whether I loved, adored my imperfect husband as I sometimes do, or whether I hated him with all my might as I sometimes do (admittedly, only when he is stuck on one thought like the Stubborn Sardinian that he is), or whether I wanted to be alone because people are just too much trouble, or whether I would be desperately lost without him. I felt nothing. I didn’t care, I didn’t not care.
I cared that there seemed to be good news about the kitten (now overturned so please still pass the message on and share or donate), so I knew I really felt that. I realised that I would feel something completely unexpected that would depend wholly on whatever my husband would say to me first. If he hugged me and said sorry I would crumble and melt in tears and gratitude (he wouldn’t, I knew that, but there’s always hope). If he were cold to me my heart would bleed and then dry into a hardened crust. And so on. That reminded me of another thing I want to ask the psychiatrist when I go in a few days: I want to know how I really feel about stuff, about people. I am tired of being a reactor (one that reacts to someone, rather than initiate), a responder (one that… uff, you get it). I want to know before I interact with someone how I feel about them, about a situation.
Anyway, I feel like I fought a war. My mind is calm now. I am aware of lots of tiny bits that try to enter my mind. The feeling of paranoia that some people hate me, even in this blog world. The pain in my feet and legs that will be so much fun when I have to start walking my daughter to school again. So how I feel right now? I feel nothing, still. Oh in the midst of all that I finished the book I was translating! I am happy about that. Oh and also my second son went to enrol into College today! I feel happy about that. But anything else is a little numb at the moment. Which I guess is better than depressed. Yes.
Now, I will play some Witcher 3. I feel VERY happy about that.