Posts Tagged ‘men’

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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by Nicole Krauss

“He went on for some time while I sat listening in silence because I knew he was right, and like two people who have loved each other however imperfectly, who have tried to make a life together, however imperfectly, who have lived side by side and watched the wrinkles slowly form at the corner of the other’s eyes, and watched a little drop of grey, as if poured from a jug, drop into the other’s skin and spread itself evenly, listening to the other’s coughs and sneezes and little collected mumblings, like two people who’d had one idea together and slowly allowed that idea to be replaced with two separate, less hopeful, less ambitious ideas, we spoke deep into the night, and the next day, and the next night. For forty days and forty nights, I want to say, but the fact of the matter is it only took three. One of us had loved the other more perfectly, had watched the other more closely, and one of us listened and the other hadn’t, and one of us held on to the ambition of the one idea far longer than was reasonable, whereas the other, passing a garbage can one night, had casually thrown it away.”

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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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The image of the strong woman, whether standing confidently alone or supported among her sisters, seems to turn men either to simmering beasts or to jelly, and sometimes both. It cannot have helped our situation, but there is no doubt that the more I felt threatened in our relationship, the more I have withdrawn to this Amazon place where I have reserved all right to myself and become increasingly distant, cold and unforgiving: the Ice Maiden, the haughty Queen, an implacable Fate.

How I can resent being abandoned by someone who has been subjected to this emotional winter is not clear, yet I still feel hurt and bewildered by my loss, even as I struggle to unQueen myself.

Having just seen The Hobbit, the image in my mind is of Galadriel, Lady of Lorien, a mystical figure so calm and controlled until – in The Lord of the Rings – she is offered the One Ring by Frodo. As her chill veneer is briefly overcome she appears as a terrible elemental;

‘.. beautiful and powerful as the morn! Treacherous as the sea! Stronger than the foundations of the earth! …

All shall love me and despair!’

Can a woman be so fearsome? Unfortunately, I think so, yes.

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Catching up with some girlfriends on their various social media of choice, I realise how much more real, more valid, we feel when our voice sounds among our friends, a resonant viola harmonising with the string section rather than a poignant, shrill violin on the lonely wind.

Well, there was a lot of wind, actually, but hot air is soothing too and sometimes a well-directed scalding blast can kindle the parts you thought were forever cold.

There has been some heated discussion recently over whether women are gaining the ascendancy over men, and how morally right or wrong that would be. Would I be betraying my gender if I wonder how important that is to most women, compared to their position in their own family group and peer group? The so-called battle of the sexes must largely be fought by women who have little else to fight for.

The gift I get from my sisterhood is laughter. There’s a lot of giggling in the early stages of a romance, but love can be a sadly serious business and life as a grown-up, modern woman even more so; nothing compares for self-validating power to an unrestrained belly laugh with a group of girlfriends.

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I talked with a dear friend who is a good number of years older and wiser than me. One thing I do love about being ‘une femme d’un certain age’ is the wide range of friends I can enjoy; it is fascinating and invigorating to chatter with beautifully gilded lilies of twenty-something and equally educational and inspiring to spend time at the feet of the grande dames we hope one day to be.

Anyway, this awe-inspiring life force gifted me her ear into which I poured my woes, though the conversation was rather stilted as she was on a train at the time.

We commiserated in our perplexity at the tough-skinned yet tender male of the species, and considered usefully analogous men from her past. She listened, she sipped her mineral water, and she gave her verdict. ‘To speak frankly, darling, nurture him if you can, but if he won’t screw you, then screw him!’

Later I realised that in true Delphic fashion the wisdom I had received was double-edged; was I to tell my unloving lover to f*** off? Or did she suggest that I should cut the psychobabble and straddle him as he slept?

I can only imagine what the other rail passengers made of it.

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I overheard a conversation about pheromones this afternoon…

What are pheromones? Some kind of hormone I think, that you can smell. Yeah, moths use them to get a mate and women have them. Did you know that fish can smell them and so women are better at catching fish than men? You’re joking, why would a woman want a fish? And so on.

But it reminded me, sadly of course, that in our early days he said that I had irresistible pheromones and they drove him mad whenever I was near him. It was probably just sex but it was nice at the time.

Anyway, I thought, what the heck, and sent him an email, wherever he might be, asking if I still have pheromones. I just got his reply.

‘Yes, I’m sure you probably do.’

That was like opening my shirt (which I would never do after that bathroom experience) and shouting ‘Go on, stab me there, for old time’s sake!’ Which he did.

I’m getting reckless. Maybe I’ll rename the blog.

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