4

Day 195 – Bank Holiday Blues

I’ve had a sad couple of days.

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I guess the emptiness of my life hits me at long weekends. I do not know how to fill that emptiness. I will not force things. I will give myself time. This is not the time to heal. I do not have time to heal when I spend my days fielding new crap from my ex.

Many of my friends are still unaware of the end of my marriage and I am far too exhausted to tell them.

This week, I told one of my friends who lives in the States and who I have known since secondary school. She screamed for the entire two hours plus we talked thanks to free WhatsApp international calls. She sat there looking at photos my ex and I had taken with her and her family in New York. She was genuinely shocked. She couldn’t believe what I was telling her. She had noticed I had bailed my Facebook and had been worried about me. She tells me that she knows us. She knows our love. It is the real thing.

If she was asked to pick one out of 100 marriages that would make it forever, she would have picked us.

She had even come all the way from New York, heavily pregnant with her first child to attend our wedding.

“No, no, no, no no. This is not happening.”

“It has already happened B.”

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She tells me that my ex is having a serious mental breakdown.

I also told another friend who I have known since primary school who now lives in Spain after I dodged answering several messages where she enquired about my ex. She kept asking about my ex. I finally thought this is silly and so I told her. She was shocked and in disbelief. She had spent the last 7 years or so seeing countless loving photos of my ex and I and countless expressions of love on Facebook where all my ex ever posted were photos of us or events we were attending.

“Those happy Facebook photos was the life l truly believed I had.”

She tells me that my ex is having a mental breakdown.

I am exhausted by life. Telling people can be so draining.

She tells me I am the nicest person she knows. I am the most beautiful person she knows. She tells me how highly sought-after I was when we were growing up. She claims all the guys wanted to be with me. She says I shouldn’t say I will never marry again because I am far too young. Time will heal and I will meet the right man. I deserve to be with someone wonderful because I am such a fantastic person and she loves me so so so much. She will pray for me and ask her church to pray for me. She will do special midnight prayers for me.

I end the call grateful for her kindness and feeling a bit guilty for feeling exhausted by the call.

I call my 4 year old nephew who lives abroad. He immediately says can I speak to uncle ex even though the little boy hasn’t seen my ex for a year. It’s uncle ex, uncle ex, uncle ex.

Fuck uncle ex.

On my ex’s birthday, my niece and other nephews remember his birthday. They have spent countless weeks of the summer holiday, over several years of their young lives, holidaying with us during my ex’s August birthday. They go about with sadness, their young lives shattered by the realisation that shit happens. The uncle they adored so much, often declared was their best uncle, with whom they had spent so many happy times, long summer holidays, spent several days over last two Christmases, didn’t want to know them any more.

They mean absolutely nothing to this man they adored who has known them since they were babies and who has so easily discarded them, along with their auntie.

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Yesterday, my mum told one of her close friends who had spent a few nights with my ex and I, about the end of my marriage. Afterwards, my mum was very sad and she said that the shock of the end of my marriage had hit her all over again. We tried to console each other.

The biggest fallacy is that for 14 years, I was with someone who I considered a saint. I painted him to my family like one, and they loved him like one.

As my mum and I tried to make some sense of the last few months and my ex’s continued bizarre and upsetting behaviour, which are so far removed from this person that we all knew and loved so much, we couldn’t make sense of it all.

The only sense either of us could make for the vitriol and wickedness is that this man is seriously mentally ill, in need of psychiatric medication but doesn’t know it.

But he says he isn’t ill.

He said that’s just my way of rationalising the end of our marriage.

When he had initially accepted that he was behaving irrationally, and had indicated he would get counselling, I had done my wifely duty. I had given him chances upon chances. I had reassured him that I would stick with him for the long haul as long as he got help.

But he then declared he was well.

If he really isn’t ill, the only other alternative is too heart-breaking and scary.

The alternative which my ex has insisted upon; that he is perfectly well.

That alternative that the person who has done the evil things this man has done, continues to do, does so with a clear head.

The alternative that means that I had loved a monstrous, evil, heartless psychopath for 14 years and I didn’t even have a clue.

What the hell does that make me?

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This evening my sister told me of her sadness hearing a song that was part of our wedding video; a wedding video my young nephews used to watch endlessly, declaring that they wanted to get married like their auntie and uncle.

I tell my sister that I cry when I listen to love songs; and so I don’t listen to such songs. Lately, I have been listening to old songs from my teenage years. Songs that evoke memories of happier days; freer days, going clubbing in London as a teenager. My friends and I had no money, so we would arrive early enough for free entries. I would dance all night and nurse a diet coke and a bottle of water all night.

I desperately hope that those memories will block the sad ones. They do and they don’t.

My little nephew who is a sensitive old soul sends me one of his countless “Auntie are you OK?” messages.

“I’m OK, thanks sweetie. How are you?”

We play this little game all the time; I know that he knows that I’m not really OK.

And that’s perfectly OK.

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7

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

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.

anger is an acid

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.