I haven't written here in a long while, and for moments I pause, listening to the silence, knowing that everything I have to say lays heavy on my heart. But then, writing isn't just about creativity, it's also about experience ... Life Experience. Everything you feel and wish and hope, even the pain, depression and gloom can be channeled through writing towards creating a more positive outcome. At least, that's what I'm hoping might happen here. Writing is a solitary art, only shared once a book is written and publishers found, pushing your baby into the wider world to grow, to develop, to realise its full potential. It's how I've lived for many years ... and through writing, shared aspects of my Life, hoping in doing so to have enriched others.
But there is an alternative path, and it is this I am on now where, instead of walking through a dark still wood, I am in an open meadow, a vista of meadow flowers lifting their heads creating an unexpected vibrancy of colour to envelop the land, with a babbling brook pausing in its flow, as if straining to catch the new thread of melody working its way towards its clear fresh waters.
Truths unexpectedly cast shadows across the scene ...
On Sunday last, almost one week to the day from writing this now, I received an email from my husband basically telling me he had left me to live a life alone in London. He'd been working on contract there awhile. For one day a week, I could look forward with so much pleasure and yearning to his company and togetherness shared. Now suddenly, the world I knew was slipping from under me. It was surreal. I looked around our Home. We'd been together for over five years, both with chequered pasts; married for two. I believed I had found The One. Finally after all these years of pain and betrayal, I loved this man with all I had to give ... body, mind, spirit, soul. My instincts of late had been screaming something was out of kilter. It could have been me, but I asked all the same what was going on. It irritated him for me to ask. It's all in my mind. Emotions playing havoc. Nothing. He isn't the sharing type. A Hunter. One who likes control. I trusted him ... he is the only person apart from my parents I have trusted with my life.
Life ... suddenly a fragile bird ... broken beyond repair.
As I read and re-read the email over and over, as if trying to make the words mean something else, my heart was already bleeding, a heavy weight of fear sinking me to the floor, making me physically sick. A lake of tears quickly became an ocean of pain. I collapsed into an untidy heap screaming ... screaming ... screaming for someone to hear, someone to make everything come right. Child. Waiting for the loving arms of a mother to draw her in. Then, like the fragile bird trying to fly again, only too badly wounded, I fluttered helplessly around the house, our Home, filled with everything I knew and loved, everything that spoke of Us ... our Wedding Photo taken at Gretna Green still proudly displayed, a smiling couple gazing enraptured at one another, the man I loved gazing back at me, smiling, still managing to bring a spark of magic to a dark moment that suddenly became black.
How? Who? Why? When? Where?
Questions I couldn't answer.
Secrets whispered from the shadows.
Who could I trust to tell me the truth, to explain, to make sense of the devastation surrounding me, drawing me down ... down ... down into the depths of despair?
It is now almost one week to the day when that email arrived. Life is surreal. First thing Monday morning the Council had been notified with a telephone call from him, instigating the posting of forms to my address. The word 'Separation' was already spoken. While I was standing still, trying to grasp what was happening, tick... tock...tick, everything was going on around me. Post arrived. Forms to fill. A Link Worker from Age Concern sat on the sofa for hours amidst a torrent of feeling spurtling from my mouth, unable to stop the flow.
Was there no stopping this Force, this Power that had taken over my Life?
'But we're married', I kept saying over and over again. Hadn't I asked if there was anything wrong expecting him to share, to discuss things like any sane partnership, and in the case of a husband and wife, to work at the relationship, to heal the rift, to have that chance at least.
Wasn't Love worth saving?
The worst of it is, this happened before. Someone else walked away without warning. He didn't make contact for weeks, while I thought maybe he'd had an accident, a heart attack, lying in a hospital somewhere waiting to be found. I had a serious breakdown. Already I feel myself slipping into that same state of mind.
But why me? What did I do wrong?
I ask the question. I know, stupid. But people don't walk away for no good reason ... do they? Unbelievably, texts gradually eased their way through the ether, as if knowing the hurt they would cause ... Disability! Yes, I've been disabled since birth. Not everyone is cut out to be a Carer, I guess. But look where that leaves me now!! Feeling really really stupid when I can't unscrew a top, write a shopping list, with no grip in my hands. An abuse survivor with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Can I help it that Life has been cruel? I manage. I cope with Life, knowing the triggers when they come, feeling my way through the pain of the past to the other side where once He was always there, with what I had believed was comforting warmth and understanding as much as he was able. And yes, I take an interest in other people's problems, reaching out, because no-one had been there for me.
But then it comes.
'I fell out of love with you.'
Ah! Now we're at the bottom line!! Another woman perhaps? No, he just wants to be alone, away from me and where we live, to start afresh ... but then again, we're not simply having a relationship ... WE'RE MARRIED!!! You can't simply walk away from that and deny all responsibility.
Anyone who has experienced loss of any kind will know how I'm feeling now. Someone has described it as 'a living death'. Another: 'worse than death'. He's gone, but he hasn't gone. He's still a very real part of my life ... but then again, not here by my side. This is Home. But he doesn't live here any more.
I'm living in a surreal world!
And right now, as another sleepless night creeps in, folding me in layers of darkness and fear ... I just wanted to reach out and to share with an ocean of people about what is happening, how that feels, wondering how on earth we come through something like this when it's happened before, caused a chaotic breakdown, and for eighteen months being unable to move on with life.
It's the need I hate most in me, and staying true to the contract I made with myself many years ago in another world of pain, I try to create at least one positive a day, however small ... getting out of bed to walk painfully into the village to the shops means I have to speak words to someone, even if it's only 'Hello'. I could so easily become a hermit. Stay safe inside my bubble which starts out as protection, but so easily becomes a trap, a prison, blocking the energy, pushing in the pain, imploding in a place unseen.
Writing here is a positive.
Okay, maybe no-one who understands right now is going to read it. But loneliness and loss is a huge HUGE topic in this world today. It would be good to hear how other people cope and survive. We come through different experiences, but emotion can be the same, drawing us together, connecting, creating a chain of kindred spirits. Writing is my one outlet right now, and if I could just get one reply from someone somewhere it will be a major positive and well worth having opened my heart.
Thank you for listening.