The sound of sorrow

There is a sound that your heart makes when it breaks.

A tangible, audible noise which is impossible to put into words. Only when it happens to you do you recognise it for what it is. There is a silence which permeates you afterwards. Shock? Bewilderment? Or just a strong sense of knowing that your heart is broken. Your mind goes into a stillness that usually only years of meditation can help you master.

The ego may rant and rave. The tears may fall out of your eyes. The breath still circulate in and out but inside there is an emptiness. A deep hollow emptiness where once there was a wholeness. And the sound, the sound reverberates around you, in you, of you. You are that sound. That sound is you.

A broken heart.

A silence.

A stillness.

I have become one of the lonely people. I sit in a restaurant to have an early lunch. Slightly self conscious at occupying the table for four just by myself, until i notice as table by table solitary people come in and sit down. Within ten minutes six tables are occupied. No eye contact. Just order the food and eat in silence. The air is permeated by loneliness or maybe it is just aloneness.Maybe it is just me that feels lonely.

Before when people would ask me ‘And how are you?’ I could find the words. Sometimes too many. The anger, accusations, rage, desolation, loneliness, betrayal and bewilderment would be voiced. Now, when, if people ask I simply say,

‘I don’t know. But I think i’m ok. ‘

I don’t know what the future holds. Plans I’ve made sit there looking at me. Maybe I don’t need to know. I wonder how long it takes to heal a broken heart maybe I should ask Mr Google, tho he hasn’t been particularly helpful upto now. Battered by the torrid emotions it’s just easier to sit and be. Not worry about anything. Not think about anything. Listen to music. And surrender.

Surrender to what is.

Let go of what was.

Have faith in what will be.

Sonia Ricotti

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If you want to get ahead… get a hat

I was watching ‘World At War’ and one story really affected me.

A middle aged man was talking about London during the Blitz of World War II and how he had helped people out of the rubble. One was an older lady. Dazed, confused but unhurt, she was only in her nightgown. English women, especially in that day and age were known for a sense of reserve and proprietary. When the rescuer looking at the older lady covered in dust, smoke and barely any clothes said to her,

‘Think you’d better get something else to put on love, you can’t go out like that it’s not decent.’

She agreed, went back into her bombed out house and returned……wearing a hat.

And it got me thinking.

Now I will not draw comparisons to the Blitz which obliterated and caused immeasurable pain to so many and my situation but…..

When the bomb goes off. When your home is flattened by infidelity and the repercussions how do you stagger out of the rubble?

I live in a small town, small, small town. The sort you walk down the street everyone knows the color of your knickers, or like to think they do. I work here with my own business and having raised two children there are not many people I don’t know, don’t want to know or know about. Whereas the degree of separation in the world is six, you’d be lucky to make it two here. So, I know that my business is yup, pretty much everyone else’s business and I wonder if the humiliation of that is worse than the actual affair. If he’d done it else where it would have hurt but to shit on my own doorstep has made it difficult for me to resume my normal life. Who knows? What do they know? What do they think they know? And when they ask ‘How are you?’ do they have to look quite so pitying?!

It feels like I am standing in my nightdress and everyone can see my flaws. Cellulite, stretch marks, unfaithful husband, broken heart, soon to be divorcee all seen through the flimsy cotton.

I should go back in and put something decent on, hide the humiliation, the betrayal, but actually, no, I won’t hide them. I will take a leaf out of the book of the woman who went before me, I will not be ashamed, even if I’m not quite decent. Even if it hurts others to look at my pain, if it offends you … look away.

Now what kind of hat should I wear?

If he is my Fairground or is it time to go the Circus?

I always had a thing for the Fairground. The heady mix of bright lights music and adrenal rushing screams. To me he is like that;  as bright, as fascinating, as heart pumping  as a night out at the fair. 
Together we have played on all the rides. But somewhere I don’t know when or how, which moment it was but I lost him.
He was bored and disinterested and kept pointing out the clearly badly painted rides. The litter on the floor. He turned his nose up at the smell of the food coming from the vendors and no longer wanted to scream or make me scream with excitement. Instead looking at me with a level or curiosity as to why I would want to. ‘Aren’t we too old for that now?’
Maybe you are ducky but I am in my prime! 

Then he gave it to me. Those words that ended any last residual possibility. I had told him that I would need him to. That somehow I just couldn’t do this, I couldn’t properly walk away. I still loved him and I had this hope that he would love me too. So to help me out he did the equivalent of pissing on my leg after being stuck by a jellyfish, of cutting chewing gum out of my hair. He did me the favour which ended all the wanting, craving, fighting, it wasn’t pretty. Kind of horrendous really. 

I just don’t want to be married to you anymore.

Pow.  Killer punch. All doubts, all confusion, any hope killed with those words.
I still see the fairground as beautiful if a little old and shabby, the music is a little grating and plays all the songs I hate. I’ll admit I get a pang for the smell but don’t we always crave what’s bad for us?

But will I miss the rollercoaster, never knowing what to expect from the moment he comes in to goes out, the never ending changes. 

The waltzer as we go round and round spinning feeling sick with words that bombard me. My words. His words. No sense. Jumbled statement. Love. No love. Yes. No. Round and round. 

The helter skelter as I climb the stairs closer to the skies, happy, content only to plummet down bouncing off the walls clinging onto a bit of rug as if my life depended on it as I fall down again. 

The dodgems as we both aim for and ricochet of each other saying gaily  ‘didn’t hurt!’  Me too confrontational, too challenging. Trying too hard. Too aggressive. Too much unlike the woman he had fallen in love with. I don’t want to be her tho. You cheated on her. 

And the big wheel, where from the top all makes sense. I can see for miles. Everything used to make sense from the top. I was on top of the world. I had everything I ever wanted. What goes up must come down. But on a wheel if you wait long enough it always goes back up.

So enough fairgrounds for me. Will I always have a fondness or will it become disdain? Will I see how tacky they really are, all noise and speed, no substance, no proper enjoyment.  

I quite fancy the circus next… clowns to make me laugh, high wire and trapeze artists that I can marvel at their expertise. Grace. Beauty. Showmanship, daring. A man who commands an audience. Hmm wonder if there’s a dating app for that? 

So here I am once more 

Over a month since my first post and yet I am back in the same place. My marriage is over. We have been trying to reconcile only we can’t seem to make it work. We can’t quite, get there. 

Not a question of getting back, as I didn’t want to go back to what it was I wanted to try and find a new us. Rebuild in a bionic man way. Something that was so obliterated had to be rebuilt with new technology. I was sure that we had the power to rebuild us. I wanted to find each other. We found snippets; a belly laugh, a shared glass of wine, a lovely afternoon driving around in each other’s company, nice meals talking, laughing at a TV program. Beautiful kisses. Love making, of the most sensual kind. 

Yet all the time there was a barrier that I couldn’t quite break through. An invisible wall that he was protecting himself from me. It would slip at times and when it did he would lie awake all night in the dark. Finding excuses the next day to put distance between us. And I would lose him all over again. 

To love someone who doesn’t, quite, love you in the way you want, are used to being loved, is agony. It is a scream in the night. It is body shaking, tear streaming agony. It is feeling worthless, ugly, humiliated, and desperate. I despise the confrontational creature I have become so last night I said , ‘enough’ and he said ‘thank god’ .

I thought we could fall in love again. Rediscover the love we had had when we first met. Be together. Only. We can’t. Love is like a blue light that dances between two people. It is of the gentlest of hues. It is magic and chemistry and it doesn’t live here anymore.

Waiting for the sun to rise

I’ve been awake since 2am. He woke at 4. I told him I hadn’t realised how broken we are. He told me he was trying to find a way back to me.

It’s been 2 months since he left. Since we broke up. It’s been a month since he came back. How long does it take to find someone again? How long til you realise that you want to spend your life with someone?

All this time I have waited for him. Hoping that he’ll allow me back into his mind, his heart. How long do I have to wait? Can I wait a moment longer? Or is there a future waiting for me that doesn’t include him. 

I’m sitting her waiting for the sun to rise. To begin a new day. Is today the first day of the rest of my life. The birds are starting to sing even tho it’s still dark. The only thing for certain is the sun will rise. It will rise and it will set. Night will follow day and day always follows night. We eat, we sleep, we poo,  we fart and we talk and dream and love. It just depends in what order we do those things and still the day follows night. The darkest hour is just before the dawn. I pray that dawn comes quickly. That the suns rays will bring light into the darkness of my heart. To love and not be loved in return is the most painful thing there is. I’m not sure how much more strength I have. How much courage. How to keep the fears less in my heart. 

When will the sun rise?

Trust me, I’m your cheating lying spouse…

 So the husband has gone off for a surf. Looking as excited as a kid and I’m happy for him to go. Open road. Thrill of a surf. 

Only.  He didn’t end up going where he said he was going. Off to see his mate but then the fog freaked him so he ended up stopping earlier than expected as the surf was good where he stopped. And it all makes sense. He phoned me and had a chat. Texted me his plans. In another universe that was all good. 

Only. In the universe I exist at the moment…. where he’s stopped is where he went with her.

Only I know she doesn’t have her kid this weekend. 

Only he phoned me when she was with him before. He was on the beach whilst he talked  to me, whilst she sat in the van. Our van. My seat. 

Only, doubt is prickling in my mind. 

Only, we have said we’ll try for three months if we can make this relationship work. 

Only, I have that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. 

Only I don’t want to be needy and insecure. I don’t actually want to give a shit. I don’t want to have doubts about his whereabouts as I have never had them before. Only I don’t know if he knows what the truth is anymore. So, how can I trust him? 

But if I withdraw. If I put up the walls to protect myself then I am out of this relationship. Out of this marriage. Out of this house. Will I take these suspicions with me to a new relationship? Will I be forever one of those people unsure and unwilling to trust anyone ever again?

I have Elvis singing ‘suspicious minds’ In my head and I am lost in doubt.

And then he calls me. He sounds so thrilled that he’s had a good time. So pleased to be talking to me, sends me photos of the water and I know that only love and not doubt will see me/ us through this and he’s on his way home to me.

oh hail the man who overshares

Before I begin this post let me be totally clear on one thing; I adore men. I do. I just think you are fab. I don’t understand you, any of you. You are total aliens to me in the way you think, or don’t think. But, you, well, just do it for me. From the stubble on your cheeks to the fluff on your bum. You are all (well, some of you are) great. I have raised two beautiful sons to manhood, so I get that on the whole most of you never really become men. Some of you never truly reach puberty.

So, when I do the whole generalizing thing I hope you’ll cut me some slack. Also, my reference points  are English men but one thing I have come to the conclusion is that you seem to come in two specific camps.

The oversharers and the emotional retards. The ever reclusive, some may say verging on extinct, adult males are such a rare phenomenon that I can’t possibly comment on them. Such a mythical creature you are my dream and fantasy, my holy grail… but I digress.

The oversharers; as the name implies they share. Oh my how they share. Blow by blow, minute by minute on how they feel, how they should feel, want to feel, might feel, could feel and if the wind is blowing in the right direction there is a distinct feeling that they might actually feel…  Somehow they want to talk it through to make sense of it all.

Emtional retards; cant seem to tell you how they feel if their lives and often their marriages depend on it. Managing to tell you that they love you really should be enough, crickey what more would you want?! They tend to, if they do talk just ask you what you want them to say. What you want to hear to stop this emotional shit as quickly as possible.

Yup. Two distinct camps.

Personally I live with an oversharer. My sons, most unfortunately, also have this trait. I know things that I can never, never unknow. My husband’s affair was immediately obvious by the lack of information he was sharing with me. He was telling someone, it just wasn’t me. After the affair ended. I got to hear all about it. Oh my, did I just. I found myself checking myself to not ask anything I didn’t really want to know as there were no filters his end, I was going to hear it all. He talked and shared and I listened and talked and went round and round the houses in all the many thoughts, feelings and reasonings that an oversharer can accomodate.

A few weeks down the line and I was overwhelmed in grief. Not because of the affair, which to be honest seemed a bit crackpot to me. Teenage angst in people way too old, ‘oh its so wrong but it feels so right’ cooed midlife romeo and skankypants. It was the fact that I wanted to be loved. Not in an affair way. Not in an illicit, suspicious paranoid way but in an open fun happy way. Walking down the street hand in hand way. Sunday papers in the pub way. Telling jokes and anecdotes. One man. One woman. I wanted to be loved. Not lurching after a betrayal. Not waiting for the next blow. I wanted to be moving forward.

We went out in to our local town for a spot of lunch and the conversation was awkward. Walking back to the car I told him that I couldn’t do it anymore. This. This waiting for him to come back to me. This waiting for him to love me. The way he used to love me. That I needed to be loved, deserved, craved, insisted upon being loved again and if it wasn’t going to be him then he had to see that I needed to go and find someone who could give me that love or I’d be quite happy on my own. Anything would be better than living with a man who had one foot out of the door. Who was so terrified to truly try on his marriage incase at some point I threw him over. Which he was convinced I would do.

I told him about a man I’d met a few years ago. The husband and I had been having a bit of a tricky patch (no excuse just information) and heypresto Mr Gorgeous appeared. Cultured, interesting, funny, attentive, supportive, oh and a workaholic with a superhectic social life. Such was our ‘textlationship’, how addictive life via text is. He lived in London. We met twice and had a few unsuccessful attempts before I realised that peace of mind was a far more viable option. I missed him hideously. I missed the person I was when he was in my world even more. I was funny, interesting, creative, cultured and as I miserably said to a friend, ‘He saw me.’ Most of all it was his kindness that I missed. He was wonderfully kind to me.

I had never mentioned this before. But, I no longer wanted to hide anything. I also wanted him to see there was life after ‘having feelings for someone else’.When I told the husband about this I expected histrionics, recriminations but instead he looked incredibly sad.

‘You were so unhappy that all you needed was someone to be kind to you? Supportive?’ He asked when the time I had been, I told him vaguely.

‘I would have been devastated if you had left me then.’ He looked bereft and I laughed,

‘As devastated as I have been perhaps?’ I said.

I told him that I had been lucky, it had never really been a viable option for me. The boys the ages they were, the problems he was having at work had meant that my place was at home. Mr Gorgeous was seriously unavailable as a life partner and that was what I wanted. Not a friend. Not a lover. A life partner.

And I think I saw him see me.  The man I have spent a lifetime with actually saw me. Not ‘the wife’ not ‘the boys’ mum’ but me. He saw that I am funny, intelligent, creative, interesting and downright fucking cool.

And so we started to talk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I didn’t know that grief existed when your other was still alive.

The grief of what has happened, the grief of the present, the grief at the loss of your perceived future. Grief at what you thought were happy times tainted by another’s dissatisfaction. Not enough. Not good enough. Too much. Too bloody much. Grief at the sense of loss. Grief at the down right fucking pain and sorrow that permeates your being.

I’ve lost people. I’ve cried and grieved and felt their loss in days, weeks, months, years. I’ve seen them on the streets and caught glimpses of them passing in cars. Smelt their aftershave and perfume in the wind. Knowing they’re home under the earth had claimed them long ago. But to live with a ghost.

To live with someone who smells, talks and farts like the man I’ve loved my whole adult life and realise that I don’t know him. That the man I loved is dead. Or never really existed in the first place.
I grieve for my belief in him. I grieve for my trust in him. Respect. Loyalty. The knowledge that he had my back. That no matter what he was my biggest supporter my number one fan my… no wait, I don’t think he has ever been that. I think that was how I was with him. I don’t think that was ever how he was with me, so I grieve for the loss of that too. I grieve for the realisation of reality. The cold clinical hard reality that he has never loved me the way that I want to be loved. Maybe he can never love me that way. But then, maybe the truth is that no one can. I’ll pop that in the basket with all the other grievances and go and make myself a cup of tea.

At the end of the day, grief is grief and life is life. I choose life.

Don’t think.. just do

Thinking is just overrated. 

I don’t want to think anymore. 

Infact I’m not going to think any more .

I’m just going to do things. Things that I like to do. 

I’ve booked a couple of days in Bath, which appears so quintessentially genteel English that I think it may just calm me the fuck down. Bit of walking in the footsteps of Jane Austin, beautiful architecture and some time spent on the rooftop thermal baths is enough to have my soul murmuring in approval.

No more thinking, just doing. 

Strength + courage = fearless

Oops I have a broken heart..

I was thinking of a few pithy titles but the simple truth is, I have a broken heart. Instead of the smooth rhythm and blues my heart usually plays, with a bit of hard rock, country and occasional soul instead it’s gone Jazz. 

I have a condition called pericarditis. I have pain, breathlessness and a reading from a machine which goes beep when it really should go bop. Popped to see my Doc as I just ‘didn’t feel right’, lots of hand patting and ‘I’m sure it’s nothing to worry about but just to put your mind at rest have an ECG’. Only after 3 ECG’s head scratching worried looks and being asked in as many ways possible ‘you ok?’ I was in hospital with a cannula in my arm having X-rays, blood tests and people waiting for me to drop dead.

It was a toss up between pulmonary embolism (blood clot) pericarditis (Inflammation of the sac around the heart) or good old fashioned heart attack.

Blood tests ruled out 1&3 and I was allowed to leave to go home with number 2.

Back to hospital 4 days later and no change. My heart is beating in a different way. As simple as that. No wonder I feel a bit odd. 

I don’t want to die of a broken heart. He’s still here. He doesn’t tell me the things I think I want to hear. He hasn’t really done any grand gestures. There are no love notes under my pillow. But he is here. We have had some magic within the quagmire. That’s enough to hold onto. 

Feelings of worthlessness have been replaced by feelings of wondefulness. I am wonderful. If other people struggle to love me the way I want to be loved that’s their shit. I get to love myself in every way possible ( think Woody Allen’s quote)  and then some. I’m going to be my own best friend because I am amazing and i know how to make myself happy. 

Strength + courage = fearless