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Sadness Lives Here

The last few weeks have been tough, extremely tough physically, mentally and financially.

The last week and a half have sucked serious lemons.

I had some bad news that brought about the sort of indescribable pain only someone who has been through similar situation can ever understand, and many people in my life haven’t…thankfully for them, as I wouldn’t wish this pain on anyone else, let alone anyone I care about.

As a result, I’ve withdrawn from social activities, ignored messages and phone calls, deactivated my personal Facebook, ditched social media, currently have nearly 2,000 unread messages on WhatsApp, majority of which are from a secondary school class group, and I’ve kind of tried to quieten a lot of life’s noises, as I deal with the grief of my news.

I am also acutely aware that isolation is not good for me, so hopefully, I will be back in the swing of things soon enough.

More than anything, I am physically, emotionally and financially drained but I’m a survivor, I will sort myself out soon enough.

Although the bad news isn’t directly connected with the end of my marriage, there is an indirect connection. And therefore the sadness of all of that have kind of resurfaced.

It didn’t help that when I confided the bad news to a good friend, her reaction was to go on and on and on and on about how she blames my ex for the news, how he wasted the best years of my life and how the shock of her whole life is the fact that my marriage ended when she had never met two people more in love or closer than my ex and I. In the end, I brought that conversation to an end by firmly stating that my ex was in the past and that I didn’t want to talk about him.

One lovely reader wrote on my blog that it will basically take around half the length of a relationship to get over my divorce, in my case, over 7 years. I remember reading that and thinking in defiance that there was no way in hell I would be mourning the loss of my marriage for over 7 years. No way, would I be giving a shit about someone that doesn’t give a shit about me, let alone for that length of time.

Sadly, the cycle of loss and grief are not solved by defiance and determination alone.

They have to run their course.

The fact that I still have moments, even within this past week, when the shock that my marriage ended wash over me anew, is not because I haven’t accepted its end and moved on.

It is just what it is.

I still feel sadness that someone else chose to break a marriage contract that was supposed to last until death. As a realist, I am fine that marriages end, the disgustingly appalling way my ex ended our marriage, the fact that in all things, he put a married woman he had an affair with, and had known for only four months, way above a 14 and a half years relationship, allowed this woman to be so actively involved in the ending of our marriage, including using her sister’s gutter divorce law firm for our bitter divorce battle with all the unnecessary drama of court appearances, is a double stabbing in my heart and back which will take time to heal.

As anyone who reads this blog would know, my ex ‘s big love affair didn’t even last two months after he ended our marriage (by email!) in the belief that he would waltz into the sunset with his lover. This married woman with two children, who had allegedly broken up with him four times during their four months affair, because she wasn’t happy that he was married, whilst remaining married herself, and who had promised him that if he left his wife, she would leave her husband, remains (happily?) married.

My ex and I have not spoken or emailed or had any communication whatsoever since our court proceedings were completed in November 2016.

I have zero intentions of ever contacting this man but if one day, his madness clears and he finally recognises the enormity of the pain his bad behaviour caused and continue to cause, and decides to apologise, he has my email address.

In the meantime, I will leave him to his karma. I hear she’s a bitch.

So many questions will remain forever unanswered and I am OK with it.

For example, finding out that the same week in May 2015, when my ex husband sent me an email entitled “My end game” dated May 4th, from his business trip in Singapore, saying that our marriage had ended and he wasn’t coming back home, a mail written with such bad grammar and weird formatting, it was obviously written by someone like his lover who learnt English as an adult, was the very same week, Mylien, the married woman he had an affair with, completed buying a new house in Woking (May 6th) which she owns jointly with her husband. Buying a massive 4 bedroom, 5 reception, 3 bathroom house, costing £815,000, two days after helping your lover to draft an email to his wife ending his marriage, is not exactly the act of a woman about to run off into the sunset.

Another suspicion is that by the time I discovered this four month affair, my ex may not have known the real name of this married woman who he had met on an internet dating website for single people. He had very easily and earnestly told me her name was Lilly Wong, and used this name in emails, at a time he was allegedly being truthful and confessing everything about the affair. This man is either even more of a dangerous snake of a liar or he completely changed, and I can go as far as to use the word “ruined” his life, for a woman from the internet, whose real name he didn’t even know. I wouldn’t know either of the options to bet on…anything is possible.

And how is my ex forging that new path and soaring those new heights he taunted me with wishing to do without me hampering his progress?

Has his life become so wonderfully amazing without me in it?

Has he found someone to swim in the sea with? Something he had taunted me with.

Does he wake up every morning with the biggest smiles on his face, a sense of purpose, a life well lived and the knowledge that ditching me and our marriage made him the happiest man alive?

Is his life filled with love, joy, music, laughter, sunshine, dinner parties, social interactions with his 14 Facebook friends? You’ve got to admire a man who defiantly stays on Facebook (after losing my family and friends) with 14 Facebook friends majority of whom are people he hasn’t seen in over 20 years. As one of his Facebook friends calls his account…”pathetic”.

Enough of my rambling rant. Hopefully letting it all out here will help ease some of the pain of this week.

Life must continue to move on with my changed circumstances.

I must continue to deal with the fact that the life plans have drastically changed because someone else choose to lie, deceive, betray, ultimately end a marriage with so much unnecessary pain and drama, and be woefully unaware that they behaved badly.

I will continue to work on my life.

I will grieve and get over my bad news and keep moving on.

I will continue to work on choosing to be happy, leaving the past firmly buried in the past and trying my best to forget and rebuild.

I will try and use those lemons to make some lemonade.

I will try. I will, I will.

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Day 427: Get Thee Behind Me Divorce Grief

Tomorrow is my brother’s birthday.

Tomorrow is also exactly one year since my husband left our former marital home to pursue his affair with Mylien, a married Vietnamese mother of two, whose husband was living in Italy and who my husband met on an online dating website for singles.

Even before I found out about his four months affair, Mylien had allegedly broken up with him four times, because she didn’t like him remaining married, whilst married herself.

After I found out, she allegedly told him that if he left me, she would leave her husband. When I asked why she doesn’t leave her husband first, my ex said because they have two children.

Our marriage was easily dispensable to my ex because we didn’t have children. He conveniently forgot to tell her about his sperm issues and erectile dysfunction which resulted in 8 painful IVF, 2 miscarriages, my undergoing countless gruelling experimental treatment in our unsuccessful quest to have children.

My 11 year marriage and 14.5 years relationship ended with an email sent by my husband from a business trip in Singapore, informing me he wasn’t coming home.

Mylien remains (happily?) married to her husband.

I call my ex, my husband because a year after he left our former home and nearly a year after he rushed to file for divorce, one working day after his lawyer (same divorce law firm as his mistress Mylien’s sister Quyen) sent me an email, on our 11th wedding anniversary, informing me he wanted a divorce, celebrating with an expensive meal with Mylien the day after he filed for divorce, having secretly moved to a place 5 minutes from her home in Weybridge, as he sought to forge ahead with a new life where unbeknown to her husband, my ex was holidaying with his mistress and her children, as my life descended into chaos, untold grief and darkness, we remain married.

I do not know when the court case to settle our finances will end. The second court hearing, the FDR, which was meant to happen this April has been postponed as my ex failed to return a court mandated document. The hearing might be rescheduled for June, July or whenever the court has availabilities.

If this case doesn’t settle during that second hearing, it might drag on until a final trial at the end of the year or even early next year, when my husband and I cease to have any control over the settlement of our financial affairs and will surrender all power to a judge to settle our affairs as he deems fit. Given that the same judge would also decide whether we can appeal against his decision, it is an extremely foolish place to be and only 10% of divorcing spouses are stupid enough to go to a final trial. I am resigned that I might be one of those 10% through no fault of mine.

I have tried to settle amicably outside of court in mediation which my ex ended. I also made a settlement offer which he rejected and refused to make a counter offer.

I am resigned that the nightmare and uncertainties I continue to live in, ends when it ends.

A year after my husband left our former home, I wish I was writing a reflective post that celebrates the countless personal achievements that I have had in the past one year of being on my own and to celebrate the person that I am becoming.

Perhaps I could write about how having been driven around by men in the last 22 years, a year ago when my husband left, I had only driven 2 or 3 very short times in the previous three years and couldn’t even confidently drive 5 minutes to the supermarket.

And yet last week, and the week before that, I was this woman driving on the motorway.

No, as much as I would like to pat myself on the back, reflect on my year and say well done, I have had a tough few days and I have other things on my mind.

I am overwhelmed by grief and sadness that have resurfaced from nowhere. I had been doing so well lately…

It’s been a few days where my emotions have been all over the place. Where every little thing makes me cry. Where I wonder whether my life would ever be as carefree as it used to be, happy, smiley, secure, certain, where I felt like I had someone in my life who would stay with me forever, for better for worse, in sickness and in health, through tears and laughters, where there seemed to be a purpose, a life plan, security.

As I write this, with uncontrollable tears, I’m forcing myself to look at the bigger picture.

Yes, divorce sucks lemon and I’m not going to make lemonade as I really shouldn’t be having sugar. However, there is no situation in life that stays the same. This period of uncertainty will someday pass. The feeling that I am adrift, no one to call my own, alone, will pass.

I tell myself to make a list.

Lists make everything seem clearer. I like to have a plan. It’s good to have a plan. I have to make my lists of ways to change things that I have control over, improve things, tick off my list and keep going.

I miss my old life. 

OK, I’ve said it but I also know that my old life is a fiction. There is nothing to miss when it didn’t exist.

That old life was all a lie.

That smiling face, the conman’s smile, the infectious laughter, the daily I love yous, the daily phone calls, the hand holdings, they were all lies.

You don’t miss something that never really existed.

You don’t miss something that never was.

You don’t miss an illusion.

I shouldn’t miss my old life because there is nothing to miss. 

And therefore, I tell myself that life is what you make of it. There is no old life to think of, there is just the now.

And the now, is what I make of it.

I will scribble in my notebook, make plans and make things happen. 

I will ride this current wave of grief and sadness, and it will surely pass.

It has all gone wrong on the diet front. I had a few bad days some weeks ago, following some divorce upset and  I have struggled ever since to recover.

I am going to take a couple of weeks off Cambridge, recharge and I will get back to it in the middle of May and finally give myself the big kick up the arse I need to make sure nothing else ever comes between me and this diet.

I will not stop until I reach goal.

In the meantime, get thee behind me sucky divorce grief.

 

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Day 169: Glamour Me Oh Ancient Vampire

I’ve had a very sad weekend.

I can’t escape my head.

I am heartbroken.

I am the first person to tell myself; get over it and I will…

I just don’t know how long it’ll take.

The end of any marriage is very tough, no matter what I tell myself and it’s reassuring to read that even conscious uncoupling Gwyneth Paltrow has admitted that she’s finding things tough. Phew. She’s human after all.

The shock that my marriage has ended still hits me daily. The shock of the secrets, lies, betrayal, dashed hopes, shattered dreams, a derailed path in life, twosome becoming solo; knowing that I had wasted 14 precious years of my life with someone who is a complete stranger to me.

I feel the sort of drained emptiness I would usually feel after a long IVF cycle turns negative.

All that wasted time, money, mental and physical energy…

Only this is a million times worse.

Today is my ex’s 45th birthday. I get the mid-life crisis. I get the panic that if he lives to be as old as his dad when he died, he only has 25 years old left on planet earth, and even less, if he takes after his grandfather.

I get the panic of is this all there is to life? I get the whole cliched mid-life crisis.

But the truth is, if my ex had spent a little more time remembering and appreciating some of the good things in his life, instead of the idiocy of chasing greener grasses, if he had watered his own grass even a little bit, he might have appreciated some of the things in his life more.

The if onlys are pointless thoughts and wasted energy, I know that.

The reality that still astounds me to this day is that prior to my discovery of his affair, in all 14 years we were together, my ex never for one single day ever said that he was unhappy about anything in our lives.

Not a single word. Absolutely Nada.

My thoughts have been filled with birthdays gone; the surprise birthday cakes I would have delivered to his work as he was usually working very long hours on his birthday. The surprise big 40th birthday party in 2010 that took me 8 months to plan with military precision and secrecy, where I managed to get all his friends and family from all over the country and he didn’t have a clue. In 2011, I lovingly made him roasted duck with all the trimmings. In 2012, I cooked black cod a la Nobu and then planned a fun Olympic themed birthday party. In 2013, I got a Michelin restaurant to give him a little birthday surprise, followed by a birthday party a few days later with the most gorgeous cake. In 2014, another Michelin restaurant, my all time favourite London restaurant Hakkasan Mayfair, where we used to go at least once a month, and where he would admit taking his mistress, also gave him a little birthday surprise, complete with a candle.

I wonder whether his birthday wishes were to finally find a way out of his marriage?

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I guess after tomorrow, the next big occasion to survive would be Christmas.

Christmas has always been my favourite holiday. This year, the thought of it depresses the fuck out of me. For 15 years, I spent every single Christmas with my ex who would lavish me with gifts; I was always overwhelmed by his generosity when we were together.

I think about going away to some beach somewhere over Christmas but the thoughts of being surrounded by happy families/couples depress the fuck out of me, that is, assuming I don’t spend all my money fighting my ex in court.

The idea of staying at home for Christmas also depresses the fuck out of me.

The emptiness of Christmases trees compared to the bulging Christmas tree of last year; lovingly typed Christmas menus, meticulous planning, all depress the fuck out of me.

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Perhaps, I would do something I’ve always thought of but have never done.

Perhaps this Christmas, I will forget all about myself and my broken heart and spend Christmas volunteering at Crisis, the homeless people’s shelter.

I don’t know, we’ll see.

I don’t want to wish away my life but I do wish that like in the drama True Blood, some ancient vampire could help me take away my sadness and my heartbreak; help take away my hurt.

I wish some vampire would glamour me and erase every single memory of my ex and our life together.

RIP Cilla Black. Legend. xxx

4

Day 158 – Loving Me Now And Always

I want to move on with my life; I really do.

I do not wish to be consumed by anger; I really don’t.

I’ve had a tough couple of weeks.

I do not see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I do not know how to start re-building my shattered life.

I do not know how I could have a full and fulfilling life with my specific limitations which I cannot explain right now.

I do not know how to find that joy of life; that joie de vivre.

Yesterday, I sobbed throughout therapy.

I asked my therapist why I am back to feeling like complete and utter shite.

Why am I am back to being utterly depressed and so angry with my spouse after my empathy phase?

Shouldn’t things be getting better instead of finding myself several times in the last week sobbing my eyes out?

She said the cycle of grief repeats itself.

The fact that I had an angry phase doesn’t mean that I was done with anger. I should give myself time. I will have bad days and good days and with time, the good days will be more than the bad days.

She will look into extending our therapy sessions.

I suspect I will be in the therapy for a very long time but there’s no shame in seeking help.

Yesterday, I showed my therapist the romantic handwritten Valentine’s day card my husband had given me 10 days before I found out about his affair.

His handwritten note talked about loving me now and always.

That Valentine’s morning, he had come home after 2 am, blaming his busy workload. I would later find taxi receipts showing he had paid £50 to come back that early morning from his mistress’ house.

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My therapist declared that no one seeing that card would guess that I had anything other than a loving marriage.

She said that would explain the shock of the breakdown of my marriage. 

Today is another bad day.

I am consumed with anger for my spouse.

I am angry with him for thinking that it is perfectly OK to be as wicked and thoughtless as he has been to me since he ended our marriage by email.

I am angry with him for shunning all financial responsibilities towards me and abdicating all responsibilities and decency.

I am angry with him for making me feel certain that the 14 years I spent loving him mean absolutely nothing to him.

I am angry with him for being so pathetically weak, he is swayed by others and cannot decide for himself what is right and wrong.

I am angry with him for thinking that as long as I am not in “penury” – the standard by which he has chosen to judge my circumstances, after 14 years, it is perfectly OK for him to keep his extremely high salary all to himself and pay £0 to me and towards the maintenance of a house he claims to own half of.

I am angry with him for whatever reasons best known to him, making this transition as difficult as possible.

I am angry with him for thinking it is OK for him to continue to enjoy the standard of living we once had but for me to have to watch every penny I spend.

I am angry with him for making me swallow the unfairness of his actions because, right now, I am not prepared to squander savings that will help me in the future fighting him incomprehensible and unreasonable actions in the courts, in the interim.

I am angry with him for making a vow to me in church, for better for worse and thinking that he can predict the future and bail now because he wants a different future for himself that he reckons will be all rosy. Karma is a bitch.

I am angry with him for being so pathetically petty, that a man who has a very senior banking job and earns a hell of a lot of money thinks that it’s perfectly OK to delete my profile from Netflix (£5.99 a month) and cancel a pre-paid subscription of Spotify paid up until mid November (otherwise £9.99 a month) at a time he’s paying me £0.

I am angry at him for not being a man of his word; for not being a man at all.

I am angry at him for spending 14 years looking for a way out of our relationship, while being an evil serpent, lying with me, lying to me, and professing his love on a daily basis.

I am angry with him for breaking the contract of our marriage and thinking it is perfectly OK to change the rules of the game, in the middle of the game.

I am angry with him for stealing my youth, stealing my best reproductive years and yet, thinking he owes me absolutely nothing.

I am extremely angry at my spouse for being the biggest disappointment of my entire life bar none.

In other news, the weight loss has stalled the last couple of weeks. I am doing my best to kickstart things. This weight loss is my biggest achievement this year. It is my anchor. I desperately need it to continue.

Please God. Please whatever is good in the universe.

3

Day 145: Week 21 Weigh-in – How Long is Too Long?

I started the day by picking up a dead bird from the decked patio. Nice.

I’ve lived in my home for 11 and a half years and this was a first for me. Perhaps it had happened previously. Perhaps it’s just one of those things the man of the house would sort out, and not deem it necessary to share.

The bloody bird (quite literally) couldn’t have been killed in the hidden bits of the garden. It had to happen where I had no choice but to clear it up.

I’m a City girl. I’m so not the type of girl that picks up dead birds. For two seconds, I thought about calling one of my male neighbours to help. A damsel in distress and all that.

I manned up and picked up the dead bird.

My wonderful Cambridge consultant Mandy, helped to clean out the decking with water. Thanks Mandy.

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Following that crap start to the day, my craptastic day continued. Of course the branch of the bank that I needed to go to sort out some of the mess I’ve been left to deal with was closed. There I was trawling around like a headless chicken trying to find another branch, tiring myself all out. Even the shopping mall, a place that for 14 years used to be joyful, is now filled with sadness.

My torment might have been obvious as some random man asked me if I needed some help. He asked for my name and offered to pray for me.

“That’s very kind of you, thank you. Please do. I need prayers.”

The kindness of strangers never ceases to amaze me.

My wonderful sister who is a medical doctor, saw a picture I took today and commented on the bags under my eyes. Being the lovely person that she is, she started by saying that I looked beautiful. She then diplomatically asked me to check whether the side effects of any of my medications included oedema.

“No, the bags have been there since Lilly Wong. [Fake name of husband’s mistress] I’m hoping they will go when I start sleeping well.”

I have resolved that I will give myself all the time in the world to recover from the breakdown of a 14 years relationship that without any warning, went from being a happy, forever after thing, (yep, that fantasy) to being so easily discarded (by email no less) like a brief meaningless fling.

I am resigned to the fact that it might take a while for me to recover from my grief.

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But how long is too long?

Why am I writing this post on a Friday night?

Why am I sobbing my eyes as I write this?

Why was I going around today with my business, with tears running down my face?

Shouldn’t all of this be getting easier?

Shouldn’t life be getting easier?

Why is life still so bloody hard?

Why do I still feel the shock of betrayal like it was yesterday?

Why am I still wasting any second of my short life crying over someone who doesn’t give a shit about me?

In other news, I lost 0.6kg, 1.32lbs today. Not earth shattering loss but a loss is a loss is a loss.

Week Twenty One’s verdict: today’s weight 97.7 kg, week’s weight loss 0.6 kg (1.32 pounds); total weight loss; 26.7 kg (58.7 pounds)

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2

Day 143 – Empathy

Keeping this diary is apparently good for improving my mental health. Better out than in.

Last time I saw my ex on 18th April, following a shocking event engineered by him and his mistress, I angrily told him that he would never see me again except in a room with solicitors or mediators. It looks like that comment might come true next week. As he left our former home that night, he turned to wave at me with a look I interpreted as regretful and apologetic. I would capture that last image of him for eternity. I didn’t wave back.

Sadly, his behaviour since then have been neither regretful nor apologetic.

I don’t know how I would feel when/if, I see my ex. I don’t know whether I would be overwhelmed by the emotions of the last few months. I don’t know whether I would be overwhelmed by the hurt and anguish that he has caused me since the last time I saw him. I would hope to be professional and detached enough to handle the business at hand without being overwhelmed by my emotions but I just don’t know.

Today in therapy, we spent the whole session talking about how to deal with the possibility of seeing my ex again and I spent the whole session in tears, something that hasn’t happened since our early sessions.

Grief is a funny thing. Just when you think you’ve got it all sussed out, it hits all over again. Betrayal compounds the grief.

This week, my thoughts about my ex have been confused with empathy.

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I feel sorry for him.

I want to ask him whether he is OK. Really OK.

Even though this week, he has also done things to hurt me, in my head, I seem to have reverted to thinking that he must be suffering too.

He must be suffering to continue to think that it is OK to continue to hurt me.

He must be suffering to continue to behave in an inexplicable and unreasonable manner.

He must be suffering because he has lost all decency and all ability to decipher right from wrong; just because he thinks he can get away with doing something, doesn’t make it OK.

He must be suffering because the anger and venom he still directs at me shows me that he is not a happy man and hasn’t found the “happiness” he was seeking outside his marriage.

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He must be suffering because he appears to have abdicated all responsibilities for the breakdown of our marriage and 14 year relationship. He has somehow in his head, painted himself as the saint and the victim, otherwise, why would he continue to behave as appallingly as he has done? Why would he blatantly lie about events when both of us know the truth?

He has completely detached himself from me. I am this fictionalised stranger far removed from him to whom he can be utterly heartless. I am no longer that person that he claimed to love; no longer his world; no longer his little one; no longer the ying to his yang; no longer the love of his life; no longer the woman he wrote countless times to love now and forever; no longer his best friend; no longer his darling love; no longer the sunshine of his life.

I am nothing to him but a nuisance that needs to be mercilessly dealt with.

I feel sorry for him that even though our marriage has broken, our relationship has been so utterly smashed that a friendship that was meant to last forever, has been destroyed.

I feel sorry that I have been left with no memories of him to treasure. How can I treasure any memories when the entirety of my relationship was a lie?

How can I treasure memories when the man I loved didn’t actually exist?

This week, I am proud of myself that I have not lost all decency. I have not lost empathy. Even though this man has hurt me and broken me more than I ever thought possible, and continues to hurt me, I still have enough human decency to think about him and wonder whether he is OK.

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In some ways, I have reverted to thinking that I couldn’t have been so wrong for 14 years to put my ex on a pedestal. He must be doing the things he is doing because he is unwell. Professionals who know better than me have labelled his behaviour as various things including that of someone suffering a serious mental breakdown, a mid-life crisis, psychotic episode, psychopath with a personality disorder, multiple personality disorder.

They all agree that his insanity will one day clear and with that, would come the realisation of the avalanche of devastation he’s left behind. A one man tsunami.

If he is unwell, then I can’t blame myself for wasting over 14 years with someone so undeserving of me. He must be unwell. In which case, he is not *really* responsible for his behaviour.

This morning my therapist ended that analysis by simply saying, perhaps he is well. Perhaps he has changed and now, he’s simply not a nice person.

As I write this, I remind myself that my ex has categorically written that he is well and not suffering from any mental crisis. He is his own man. He accuses me of being the one who seeks to rationalise the end of our marriage and his behaviour as a mental crisis.

Perhaps he’s right.

I am just glad that I am still that decent person capable of human empathy and capable of feeling sorry even for someone who has continued to hurt me.