When I first opened my blog I had no particular goal in mind. Then in March of that year I began to write poetry thanks to a defunct prompting blog and at the same time, elsewhere, I discovered power-shorts and other short forms of micro-prose and I started having fun. I later discovered how to develop and upload photographs to illustrate my writing. Eventually I moved to Japanese poetry and haiga …
During all that time I was also struggling in a difficult marital relationship. My companion was never very supportive of anything I did. He had a lot of anger inside and tended to lash out against others. The closer a person was to him the more difficult it was for those people to live with him. He was rarely physically violent – so he felt safe in saying to himself that he wasn’t violent. But he was very violent psychologically and he did everything he could to persuade me to close down my blogs. Which was why I wrote at 5:00 in the morning. It was a compromise I was willing to take to keep writing without provoking his insecurities. Which didn’t always work as I’m sure anyone who’s had this sort of problem will know.
Last October, after a more violent storm than usual over a banality (the change from daylight savings time) I fled my home to get away from his rages. It wasn’t the first time, but intimately I’d decided, no matter what the cost, I was going to leave him. The next afternoon a phone call came informing my son and I that he was dead, he’d died in an traffic accident.
In this sort of situation, the first thing that comes to mind is that there must be a mistake. You don’t feel much … just sort of a numbness … no real surprise no shock just disbelief. “No,” you say “that’s just not possible.” It’s the people huddling around you – and the phone calls from people you’ve not heard from in years – trying to tell you everything is going to be “ok” that convinces you that there’s something wrong. To me it just kept feeling sort of distant. I’d feel something like sadness but it would drift away and I’d feel numb again.
Then I felt relieved. He wasn’t going to rage at me anymore. No more flying furniture. No more denigration. No more fights. Those who knew him and know me, told me I shouldn’t feel guilty – even before I felt that relief (which made me feel guilty). Feeling sad for the loss of someone mixed with the relief that a bad situation is over isn’t easy to focus on. What is even more difficult is moving on. During the 28 years I was with my husband our relationship became more and more closed. It was hard to make friends with him constantly judging everyone so our friendships with other couples became stillborn affairs pretty quickly. We didn’t have many friends. The friends I made outside our relationship were fragile affairs that lived on the time borrowed from my marriage.
I’m not a person who talks about my feelings … I’ve become sort of detached. I’ve worked very hard to become detached to live in the here and now ; to concentrate on the juicy strawberry whilst the tiger above and the tiger below wait for me to decide to climb up or fall into the gully. I can tell you all about the moon reflected in a pond just reflecting a bit of reality. I knew that my husband’s rages weren’t my husband’s nature. I knew that he felt terribly about his rages – but couldn’t do a damned thing about controlling them – in fact it was a miracle he’d never beaten me up physically.
A friend asked me why I didn’t leave him. I guess I could say that I didn’t leave him because I didn’t know where to go but that’s a lie. In a very worse case scenario I always knew I could go home to the States. I’d found a job at one time and I could have moved out and gotten an apartment. I thought about leaving him, I really did. Then I’d think that he’d have felt devastated – he was always so very aware of being alone, he knew everyone preferred not to have to deal with him. I didn’t leave him because I’d committed myself to our relationship – because I knew that in his own way he did love me and in my way I loved him.
So now sometimes I think, he’d somehow guessed that I wasn’t coming back this time and I wonder if the accident was really an accident. Of course there’s no way to know if any of this is more than my guilt feelings jabbing me in my conscience. He’s gone and the battles are over. He doesn’t have to feel detested any more and I don’t have to pretend that all that anguish wasn’t painful. I feel lonesome sometimes. I feel free sometimes. I also feel like I want to wait a long long time before I even ever want to begin to think of ever having another relationship.
And that’s where I am right now. I don’t feel inspired to write very often. I don’t feel very inspired to go for walks anymore either. Right now I’m drifting – so I’ve made an appointment with a psychologist to help me work through some of these feelings that are walled up inside me, basically because I’ve no one to talk to about these issues.
Maybe I’ll be a better writer for all this … or maybe I’ll never really be able to write at all. As my Sis would say, it is what it is. But I hope to get back to writing soon.