Journal Entry: Friday 9th November 2007 (Six months in)
Obviously the first thing I need to write is five weeks!!! This is the longest I have gone without writing in my journal, and the good thing is that I haven’t felt the need.
Rich read what I had written in my last entry(7th October 2007 Journal Entry Sunday 7th October. We lie to ourselves you see…..) and it was hard. He read it when I was there and it all got very emotional. But what really surprised me was that he read it again the following Thursday on his own. He got a lot from it and said it was really good.
Since then, when I now look back, Rich has tried even harder – Jesus couldn’t try harder than him!!
We had a beautiful time in France; Rich is fantastic on his days off, lights the fires, lights the candles, does the shopping: all the mundane things that I used to be taken for granted for. He wants so much to please me. Over the last month he did become very tearful for what he had done to me; I think he now has a sense of disbelief.
I have been asked to work full time, as a Band 6 (a big jump from a band 4) in the office. Everything is changing at work and I am so excited about the challenge – something that I haven’t felt for ten years. It really made me realise what a drudge I had become. I said yes to the full time post (but only short term until March), without consulting Rich. I think that because I am still acutely aware that I have to look after myself, and can never put myself in that vulnerable position again, I don’t consult him. And perhaps (as always as I am writing this, things come to mind) I subconsciously keep that small distance between us.
Rich, as always, and as I knew he would, thought that this was all part of my escape plan (the tunnel he thinks I am building!) But I don’t have an escape plan; but I will always have a plan B. And again that is a change in me and Rich. Perhaps I should write a list!
But my life is better. We have more money now than we have ever had (because I am back, and back to my full earnings capacity!) I must fulfil my career now.
My husband treasures me. I use this word deliberately because it means ‘something so valuable, to be looked after and handled carefully. Something that you would not want to lose, that you value so much. ‘I know this is how Rich feels about me but…..
This makes me cry. I have decided to write in my journal because (although I have had the best month I have ever had with my hormones) I feel sad. Because I still have a broken heart, and I have come to realise that I always will have. I thought that Rich could fix it, but he can’t. I never thought that Rich would let me down, and he has. Everyone in my life who I have loved has let me down and hurt me; and I realise that I am on my own. As always I am crying my eyes out now because I have written it down, been honest; but I am hoping that by acknowledging it, confronting it, as I know you always have to do to move on, I will move on.
I look at all the things that are better in my life, I am thinner, have more money, have ‘me’ back. These are all things that I have done, not anybody else. But Rich is also better, in fairness: he is confronting his fears, more loving, adores me, and, yes, that is better. But undermining that is that he broke my heart, did what he did; and that will never go away. If I stay with Rich I will have to live with that forever.
Because I know that this is a wedge between us, because we always shared everything I tried to explain this to Rich last night. But he just thought that this was me giving a ‘goodbye speech’. To me this just highlights that we can’t share everything anymore; another wedge between us. After Rich had his defensive tantrum I explained again:
That perhaps when Rich gets upset and says “I can’t believe what I did to you” instead of comforting him I say “neither can I!!” That Rich needs to confront what he has done, and part of that is opening his eyes and seeing, really seeing the damage he has done to me. Because only by really understanding that, and recognising that, can we move on to wherever we are going.
My strength, that everyone keeps telling me about, is also the thing that keeps making me wonder if I can live the rest of my life with this in the back of my head; or whether I should walk away. But to what? The thing that keeps me here is Rich’s love, his adoration. I could meet someone else, but I don’t think that they will be able to give me that love and adoration like Rich does. They won’t be Rich.
I did say to Rich that I don’t believe half the things he has told me. I do still think he is lying, but I am bored with going down that road now, I have made my decision on that.
I have just read this again and sobbed. Because although we have had the best month we have ever had, this does look like a goodbye speech.
I am afraid that I am not going to stay. But I have said that I will give it a year from September and I will.
I have also come to realise over the past month how selfish people have become; I have been guilty of it myself. How we are all entitled to pursue what we want, because it is ‘our lives’. But we get so caught up on this fixation that we don’t think about the people that we trample on, or hurt. I have a responsibility to Tom, to Snowy the dog, to the kittens, and even to Darren who now lives with us; and yes, despite what he has done, and because he has put himself through this hell, I have a responsibility to Rich. If I walked away I would be one of those selfish, ‘it’s all about my life, people.’ In fact I realise that Rich has already realised that and stopped being one of those people. He has stepped up to the line, and I need to join him there.
Reflections Here and Now
When I first shared this journal entry on my blog I struggled with the title because there were so many issues that came up; I had working titles such as:
See the damage that’s been done: only then can we move on to build something better
Was I digging a tunnel? / The Escape plan
My husband adores my but my heart is still broken
Time I stepped up to the plate
I eventually decided on ‘ Six months in and I want to stay: but seem to be planning a way out.’
There are many things that I love about this entry: it’s positivity but more than anything because I had finally started to realise that it was not all about me.
To not have written in my journal for over five weeks was immense (every small thing counts remember): it meant that the war was no longer dominating my life for every minute, hour and day. I had found myself again in the way I looked and also in my career; but I didn’t know it at the time that I still had a long way to go to find myself as a person.
I had started to see the small and good things that Rich did, and appreciate them. But the important thing was that I had started to understand just how much Rich both loved me and adored me. His actions had spurred me on to look up the definition of treasured: because I knew how important it was to give Rich the acknowledgement he deserved: remember it is so important to see the small things in the present moment that you are in, and not let them be continuously tainted by something that happened in the past.
I still think that when someone you loved and trusted has turned your world upside down then it is necessary to have a plan B: To keep a little of yourself back is in some ways only natural. It was only as time passed that I stopped doing that because I started to trust Rich again; and this only happened when I trusted myself enough to feel really safe in my own hands, knew that no-matter what happened I would always be able to take care of myself. Which leads me back to: ‘if you don’t have yourself you have nothing.’
I cried because I thought that I would always have what had happened in the back of my head: knowing that Rich had broken my heart; as I have said would ‘have to live with that forever’. I can honestly say to you that I no longer have a broken heart: Yes it has scars but I do not live with what happened to us every day; I live with what we have now. There is no wedge between us, because what we have is based on things and actions after ‘The War’ and therefore the ‘wedge’ Mois felt existed has dissipated.
Despite how far we have come it is my husband who still lives with it every day. He still cries at records, cries at what he did all those years ago, cries when I tell him I love him. I wish he didn’t, but he does: he broke his own heart.
It is the fact that I had recognised that Rich had stepped up to the plate and it was I that needed to join him there that stands out for me.
Just before this entry I had been to see a friend who loved Rich and I and what we represented to her: true love, the perfect love, people who adored each other. We had given her kudos that the knight in the shining armour did exist and because of that we gave her hope that she would find the same as we had. And then the knight left me; and in so doing he destroyed her hope of finding that all-encompassing perfect love. So when I went to see her she sat and sobbed for the whole two hours I was there: sobbed at the sadness of it all, sobbed because it had destroyed her dream. When I came away I realised how our selfish actions can impact on so many: like ripples in a pond.
I told Rich what had happened when I got home: of how she had cried and as a result Rich then cried: he believed that he had ruined not only my life with his actions but so many others as well.
I cried then; I cried for him because I did not want him to feel such a responsibility: but he did; and looking back now I understand that this was one of the many things that Rich did that enabled me to stay: because I had such respect for his ability to recognise, acknowledge and regret his actions.
As a result I acknowledged that if I was going to make a commitment to work then I too had to step up to the plate and I did. But it was Rich who put out his hand and pulled me up there with him; and here I am many year later only realising that now.