Sunday 13th January 2008
“You face a new future, with time to brood, your realise it is not the future you imagined. Your resulting sadness and lethargy come from a sense of loss – and what many people do not realise is what there can be a feeling of grief for a way of life which has been changed utterly. It can happen at the end of a marriage, or at retirement, or when somebody realises the script of her life has been re-written, and there is nothing she can do about it.”
I have felt very sad all week, in fact I am just acknowledging the sadness that is always there; but it sometimes feels stronger than at other times. I read this quote in an advice column of the newspaper today (The wonderful Bel Mooney) and I realised that it applied to me; and enabled me to put a tag, a reason if you like, to my feelings. I know I am bereaved, that I am grieving. Kate at work explained that I am in the second stage of grief. She explained that it has the same emotions as the first but without the shock and disbelief; that this stage is about accepting what has happened and accepting that your life will never be the same again.
I thought in Rich, that I had found someone who would always support me, and never let me down. I have to now accept that was never the case. That Rich was never that person and that for the last ten years I had been living a lie –to a degree of my own making. I know now that Rich is so desperate to be that person and make it up to me; but I don’t think he can, he is not like me, he cannot be the person that I thought he was (I am crying now).
I thought that I had found the love that everybody searches for; I thought I was so lucky. But it wasn’t what I thought it was at all. I really feel that the last ten years were just a heap of shit!
I know that Rich is so desperate for us to have that ‘love affair’ back, but we never really had it in the first place!
Through no fault of my own my world has been turned upside down; and no matter what we do, no matter how hard we try, they are the facts and I have to face them to move on. That is why, I say about the other things I have to consider Tom, Damian, the dog, cats, house, lifestyle; because those things do keep me here now, not just my love for Rich. Before it would have only been my love for Rich!
I have moved forward with my life: Thinner, promotion, exercise; in those things my life is better and I would not want to go back; and, yes, I have only achieved those things because what happened kick started me to achieve them. But I have achieved all the things that are better in my new life on my own. Yes, I go to France with Rich and I really enjoy it, but I could do that on my own. Yes Tom’s party was brilliant and Rich worked so hard to contribute because it was so important to him, but I could have done it on my own!
Christmas was lovely, no I could not have done that on my own, because Rich being here made it lovely. He is so loving now, I never actually realised how much of an arsehole he had become before ‘The War.’’; and I ask myself can I not fall in love with the person I have now? I don’t know. Rich will have always had sex with someone else, kissed someone else, set up home with someone else, so only time will tell.
I asked myself today would I be able to, or want to stay if Tom and Damian were not here? The honest answer is I don’t know. But I know that time will change everything again and when that time comes I will be in a different place; and then I look at Rich (I am crying again now) he is so desperate to keep me. I know he is living his life constantly striving, worships me, adores me, all the things I have always wanted, thought that I had with him once; but it cannot change the way that I feel – alone.
I loved Rich so much, I thought he was my soulmate; but he is not now and I find that so sad because he so wants to be; and because of his weakness he threw it all away and that too makes me sad.
I know I have to face the future and not be afraid of where it will take me. I have to stop worrying about Rich and let it take its course. When I started writing this journal I was afraid and I realise as I am writing this now that I have moved on from that, I am not afraid, I am just incredibly sad.
I have decided to share with you my first journal entry from 2008 (all journal entries showing every high, low, high, low, happiness, despair, thinking a had a grip, knowing I had not, will be available in my book, so you can see my total madness and probably relate to it!).
By this time I had changed my life so much, as I have said in this entry, I had been promoted by two pay bands, had gone back to work full time, was really fit and really thin and I did not feel the need to write in my journal every day, or even every week!
Even today I love this piece of advice that I quote at the beginning of this entry; it is from Bel Mooney’s column, from an English newspaper. It touched such a chord with me that I included it in my journal so that I could read it and remember it when times were hard, because that is exactly what had happened to me: The future I had imagined was gone, through no fault of my own; and the start of the new year had highlighted that to me. I was on a new journey now, one that I would never have imagined I would be on the previous year, and I just had to go with it.
I know the person who wrote this felt so sad, and I feel sad now reading her thoughts. But over the years I have learnt that everything we go through is a lesson, and that more often than not those lessons are bone breaking (or should I say heart breaking) hard lessons. But I now know that if we listen to those lessons, work through them, as Rich and I were doing and continued to do for a long time to come, then it wasn’t all ‘shit’ it was just part of the lesson. – I know that’s hard to hear if you’re world has just fallen apart – but I have to tell it like it is, that is the only way I can help you through this crap.
The lady I worked with was right when she told me I was still grieving; only the shock had subsided, the grief was still there and the waves of grief would still be there for a long time to come.
At that time I hung onto anything to keep me there; anything that would enable me to stay with Rich and try and make it work; because every day my pride, the demon in my head, told me I could not stay. You can read about this early lesson I received in this post: Coping Mechanisms -The Demon
I have listed all the things that “made my life better” and at the time they did, and although my heart was broken I had to use them to keep me there; I had a responsibility to others as well as myself. But I have to be honest here: If Rich had not been contrite, if Rich had not worked hard every day to keep me and show me how sorry he was, I would have left (or he would have left because I wasn’t giving up the house!) and I would have taken care of all the others anyway. They were just a tool that I used: I reminded myself of the upset that they would go through if I called time, I then added them to Rich’s actions in trying to make it work enabling me to stay and tell the demon to shut the fuck up!
I do believe that when something like this happens to you, that you do have to find yourself again. That is what I was doing: I was rebuilding my life by being thinner, furthering my career, getting material things; and at the time I had to do that. I knew that when I wrote this entry at the beginning of the year there was a chance that by the end of the year (a high chance) that I would no longer be with Rich. That I would have left him behind and gone on without him. I knew that by rebuilding my life with all the things that Rich was not included in (the way I looked, my career) I was effectively building a life without him; and that really scared me. But I knew that I had no choice; and I know, even now, that if I had not done that we would not be here today. I had to take that chance; I had to be me.
But actually the most important thing I had then, although I did not realise it at the time, was that Rich was so loving, so sorry; that I had a man who adored me, worshipped me, a man who was constantly striving to keep me; and yet at that time I did not see that as one of the contributory things that defined me – because I was afraid to. I did not see that as the most important thing (although somewhere I knew, or I would not have written it down.) to me because I had done that once before and had my heart broken. At the time I wrote this journal entry I did not feel that Rich would ever be counted as something important to me, I could not allow myself to be vulnerable where Rich was concerned ever again. And look at where I am now!
I smiled at the entry where I said that I thought that Rich was my soulmate, because he was, he just made a mistake, he always has been. In fact I have written a post only this week in my other blog where Rich is my last but not least blessing, and in it I say why. If you really want some hope read that, because we are now nearly twelve years down the line. You can click on this link below to see it.
If you are where I was you are grieving, because you have lost what you had, as I have said so many times in this book, and you will never get that back. I am sure you can understand what I felt: that it all feels like such a needless waste of all that love and devotion; but if you are trying to make it work then use it, use all that pain and all that grief and make something new, stronger, real.
I know you can do it, I did!