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Archive for the ‘fear’ Category

black hole

Yesterday my husband told me that he does not recall one happy memory from our marriage. Could there be any words in any language from any time to follow that? I had thought that the day I woke up had to be the lowest of my life, but it turned out to be the first step down the long winding staircase from my tower into a dark netherworld I had no idea existed.

How did I feel: There are no words for that either, just a picture; the CGI swirling black hole which always features at the low point of the disaster movie, only inside him, inside me, inside our relationship, pulling in the light, the warmth, the joy, sucking in everything. I didn’t feel. A black hole is a region of space-time from which nothing can escape, even light: I was gone.

Imagine throwing something into the air. The harder you throw, the faster the object is travelling when it leaves your hand and the higher it will go before turning back. If you throw it hard enough it will never return, the gravitational attraction of earth (or me) will not be able to pull it back down. The velocity the object must gain to escape is known as the escape velocity. I think he is throwing his cruelty at me, harder and harder, to try to reach his escape velocity – eventually he’ll throw something so cruel so hard that he’ll break free and never come back.

But in space,as the object travels it is crushed into a smaller and smaller volume, the gravitational attraction increases, and so the escape velocity gets bigger. Things have to be thrown harder and harder to escape. Eventually a point is reached when even light (which travels at 186 thousand miles a second) is not travelling fast enough to escape. At this point, nothing can get out as nothing can travel faster than light. This is a black hole; this is where we are.

Of course, you can’t see a black hole in space (because it absorbs light); science can only tell us that there are good reasons to believe they exist – which, if you are not a scientist, puts black holes high up on the ‘don’t discuss at dinner’ shelf along with deities, ghosts and conspiracy theories. I’m more a believer than a sceptic by nature (otherwise I wouldn’t be going through this!) but in the depths of my darkness, a thought whispered in my ear like a naughty fairy:
What if I just didn’t believe him?

Not believing people isn’t nice. Relationships are built on trust and respect and that involves a commitment to accept what people say at face value, more or less. But there are times when we accept, for good reasons, what someone tells us without actually believing it – when Grandma says she still sees Grandpa sitting by the fire, when your child tells you they have stomach ache and can’t go to school. It doesn’t mean it’s true, it means it’s true for them and it lets you know where they are at that time. Grandma misses Grandpa, Charlie is feeling anxious or afraid;

my husband is a very depressed and angry man.

I need help.

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A brief telephone message is all it takes to unseat a queen. The rock on which I am planted seems very small as the chill water of my broken relationship swirls darkly around my feet. He was at an after work event last night; it must have been a good party as it certainly led to something – ‘a great opportunity’ – and apparently he had to stay in town for another night.

I’m not going where this will lead, I’m not thinking what it’s easy to think. I have a lot on my desk and on my mind too, and when I’m not working I work hard to create a state of mind which keeps the swirling darkness at bay. I play music to keep the edges of my brain busy while I write, but all Spotify offers me is Pink

‘I guess I just lost my husband, I don’t know where he went ..

So what, I‘m still a rock star, I’ve got my own moves and I don’t need you. I’m alright and you’re a tool … and I don’t want you tonight.’

Another powerfully frightening female to shout my frustration for me.

How much help is that?

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Here’s an opportunity to remember those bittersweet teenage Saturday mornings waiting for the phone to ring. Will he call, won’t he …? With the weary insight of later life, it’s hard to keep even a fragile fingerhold on my self-esteem as I check my emails, texts, facebook page, voicemail, and wait, and wait, and …

Of course he promised to keep in touch, of course I believed it. However busy the business trip, however drunken the drinks party, there’s always a moment to send just a tiny text, isn’t there? Wrong again.

So a new shadow slides onto the stage. Here, behind the weeping wife, next to the lonely old woman, appears the jealous lover, suspicion darkening her view. If he is not with me, who is he with? Can he really be happily settled in a hotel room all alone every night? And why is there no time to call in the morning? Images of attractive, confident, determined 30-somethings elbow their way into my mind. This is a completely different sort of despair, a challenge I do not feel equipped to win.

If he is not alone, then I most definitely am.

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One thing he really likes about our lives and I really struggle with is the three day business trips. It keeps our relationship on a limited play with unavoidable intervals when he gets to ‘have some space’ and I get to wonder what that means. Of course, I get to have some space too, which can be a good thing but at the moment I’m all spaced out.

There’s something empowering in purposefully setting off on a journey, with people to meet and goals in mind, which bolsters up the ego, makes you new and relevant and exciting; I enjoy it, and I can understand why he does it.

Perhaps I’m feeling the difference between ‘he who goes’ and ‘she who stays’, or between being the rejecter and the rejected, but I find it less enabling to be purposefully left behind. That’s at odds with being a modern independent woman, so I should say that I’m quite capable of working late, seeing friends, going to the cinema, of functioning as an individual.

What I realising is that there is a cold, empty gulf between being one independent half of a couple and being essentially – forcibly – single, and I am not enjoying it.

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I asked my husband last night whether he loved me and he replied that he didn’t know.

It felt as though I had been handed something without knowing until it was too late that the something was a knife. I can still feel the cold blade of his words pressing through my ribs. I’m skewered in the moment, breathless. loveless.

I had considered myself still young, full of hope. Although my oldest child is older than I was when I married and my married life is greater than my single, I hoped it was still meaningful, important, honest.  I learned the downside of honesty.

How often does this happen? Type ‘my husband doesn’t love me’ into Google and be appalled at the number of lonely, confused, desperate women in the world – and add one.

 

 

 

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