I howled in pain

Image result for quotes for the pain of a broken heart

So instead of a reflection this is a foreword: for all those people who are distraught when it has all bitten them on the arse again, months and even years in.

After my last journal entry read here   Danny and I were going on an adventure. We’d had a wonderful weekend, had  finished work for a our holidays and were going on holiday to a picturesque part of England. As part of it we were going on a road trip and stopping off at places along the way including Salisbury (where Stonehenge is) and The New Forest. Life should have been really really good. But bearing in mind what I had written in my previous journal entry here is what happened when we went out for our wedding anniversary the night that we had finished work. This was meant to be the start of the adventure…Looking back now it was!

14th August 2008 (Our wedding anniversary)

We had decided to walk along the seafront to the pretty quintessential seaside town of Bexhill. It was a warm sunny day and we were excited about what lay ahead.
But as I was getting ready Ethan came upstairs to tell me that he had failed all of his exams at college (again). It was only the year before his father and I had come together and gone to the college to ask if they would allow Ethan to stay even though he had failed all of his exams and was not putting the work in. They had relented and agreed and now here was Ethan,eighteen years of age and back in the same place.

I was so annoyed with him and Danny was annoyed with him that he had chosen this moment to come up to tell me. Add to that his father then called and was shouting at me and telling me it was my fault and it was not a good start to our holidays.

By the time we finally left the house the late lunch we had planned was long gone and the evening was starting to fall. All was good and even walking through the town of Tillington did not affect my mood (this is where Danny would go to meet ‘her’ in his car.) We decided to go on a pub crawl and visit all of the little quirky pubs in the town and finish off at the Indian restaurant I had walked out of all those months ago. Perhaps this time we would get to eat some food.
At our second pub is where the problems began: Danny said that he had noticed that some drug dealing had been going on in the toilet. I am totally anti-drugs and we decided we should leave because Danny said that he thought the bar-man was in with the drug dealing. We had just ordered our second round of drinks (we were now on our third round, and had hardly eaten anything.) All was okay until we left the pub: when the air hit us it was as if we had drunk twenty drinks and looking back it was clear that our drinks had been spiked. But, of course, when intoxicating substances come in to play your control goes out of the window: The control that you have put into place to stop all of the monsters from coming back out from the shadows in your brain; the control and resolve you have to answer the demon in your head; and the demon takes control.

So then it started: I started to question Danny about some of the things he had told me; some of the things that I knew were not accurate; some of the things that I knew that he was lying about. Because of my lack of control I was unable to reason that we were sixteen months down the line; unable to see all the things that Danny had done in those sixteen months; and I was unable to lie to myself. I knew the truth and I was angry because of what it really was; and I didn’t really need Danny to confirm it because the demon reminded me that I had lied to myself once too often.
Danny was terrified; I had reverted back to the woman from all those months ago who had attacked him; and here we were in the same town and I had lost it again. Read here

But I was terrified too: although my drink had been spiked and although I could not stop what I was doing or thinking; there was another part of me looking on and wondering how the hell I had got here again; wondering whether it was ever really going to go away.

Danny just stood looking at me and would not answer me; rightly so because no matter what he said he could not undo what he had done; and I did not know if I could stay. That was the thing: I did not know if I could stay because it was all back and I knew that no matter what it was never going to go away. I didn’t know if I wanted to live my life like that. So I just walked away from Danny down towards the beach; and he, of course, came running after me.

It was pitch black by now and I felt an overwhelming need to be alone. I can remember turning to Danny and screaming at him why? Why did he do it? Why did he throw away the total all-consuming love I had for him? Why did he break my heart? Danny just looked at me and said ‘I don’t know if I can do all this again; I don’t think I will ever be able to make you happy.’ That just hit me and I started to sob. I asked him to go and leave me on my own; said that I needed some alone time to think; told him that when I got home I did not know if I wanted to leave the house. Danny said he would leave and that just made me scream at him again: he had left once already why the fuck did he think that it was always his right to walk away and leave me with the mess to clear up?

I was sobbing uncontrollably. I can remember desperately wanting Danny to walk away and leave me. I was not afraid of the long walk home in the dark because I knew at that moment in time God help anyone who tried to attack me.

I walked away from Danny but he would not leave me and although he kept his distance he was always within running distance from me. At one point he overtook me as I was sitting on the sea wall crying; he said nothing as he passed by, just walked past like a stranger and that is exactly what he felt like: a stranger.

I just felt numb with shock that all of the emotions were back as strong as they had been sixteen months before; and the thought of this feeling being with me for the rest of my life was overwhelming. I sat on that sea wall and thought about how my life had changed: realised that what we had was well and truly dead and I howled, literally howled with grief: I was grieving for the love I’d had for Danny that had been so strong and I was grieving for the waste of it. I knew that my strong personality was shutting my emotions down and I honestly did not think I could stay.

When we eventually got home (Danny only a few minutes before me) we both said nothing and just went to bed.
The next morning we both got up feeling shell shocked: knowing that despite all the things we had done; and all the things we had learnt it could still come back as strong as ever and destroy us.

But this was a wakeup call: because what we both realised was that no matter what, the fact that we feared losing each other, could not imagine life without each other meant that we had to make a decision about moving forward and trying; and if we decided to stay with each other we had to accept that times like these may happen again.

Looking back now, twelve years later at the time of writing this, I know we both had to accept that what we had was gone and what we had to do was really build something entirely new. The foundations could be based on our love for each other at that moment, not what we had before. Our commitment to Ethan, our finances, our home, and the rest: Respect for each other, understanding each other, experiences, memories, actions that we took towards each other would all have to be new; and only then could we build something stronger than what we had before by using what had happened to us to never take each other for granted again. If there was one thing to come from it in the cold light of day: when reason had come back as our ally, we both knew that was what we wanted.

As a result of that we went on our adventure and I kept to myself the knowledge that the only person who could destroy us in the here and now was me. Despite my commitment, despite all that I have just said I still did not know if I could stay. I wanted to but did not know if I could.

As time went on life sent a series of events sent my way to make me think and made me live in the here and now. But, at that moment in time, I am not going to lie I was afraid.


Making This Better the book is now available including the journal entries for the first 5 years of our recovery & the whole 21 days of ‘The War’. Available internationally in paperback and ebook  at Amazon and Barnes & Noble also available at Xlibris and Apple Books for iPad and Waterstones Bookstores for click & collect

I would love to hear your feedback.

Related image





  1. I thank you for sharing this. When things rear their heads after prolonged periods of peace it can be utterly devastating (and scary). It seems like everyone goes through it though, so it’s helpful that you wrote about your experience in such an honest way.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I just don’t know what to say, other than that this is so very well told. I can see the whole scene as in a film, beginning with Tom’s bad news, to the weird pub, to you on the sea wall in darkness – howling, yes – as if you were impaled on your love.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Ellen, I know taking your advice was the right thing to do. Our story needs to be told. As someone has said to me tonight on twitter they love it because it is real & shows the ugly. That’s true & yet we are where we are today! Moisy

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You are the first person who has described the grief I felt and still feel at times. I too have howled in pain. That is the only way to describe that visceral, primordial, feeling that comes from somewhere within that you were unaware existed. At that point, I believe one of my children could have died and I wouldn’t have been capable of feeling any worse. There is a point in grief where you are as low as you can go and I was there. The noises that came out of me scared my husband and they scared me also. We are 14 months out and I still struggle with the fact that he had sex with someone else. I know that women usually care more about the emotional bond but I am more torn up by the fact that he experienced sexual ecstasy with someone else. I wonder quite often if I can get through this. I don’t want to feel this way for the rest of my life. He is really trying and putting in the work but it seems that he still hurts me on a regular basis without meaning to. Add to that that he was targeted by a predatory sociopath and it just seems insurmountable at times. She damaged him badly psychologically and did things to him and with him sexually that have taken away from our own sex life. We had 37 years together when he started with her and I feel like he just threw them all away for a few cheap thrills. I just want to get off the merry-go-round. Thanks for writing. I can so relate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Shelly, trust me when I say I am so sorry for what you are going through. As time went on the sex was no longer an issue. I know hard to believe right? Someone once said to me (he was an elderly gent) that men are different to women in that sex is just that: sex. Where we women link it with emotion (some of the time. At first I had sex with Rich & it was just that: sex! I had a need and I needed to satisfy it, i have written about it on my blog. There is a lot more to what I found: I found myself, more than anything that was the most important thing. Small things: I would go for a walk on my own, go and sit on the downs on my own, went in the pub with a book on my own. There are so many facets to what helps you recover. I am sorry that this blog is only some of my book & I have been nagged today by others to get it to the publisher. What I would say is look at some of the other blogs I follow: the queen is in, walking the journey, don’t cry on my rainbow, blackacre, they too will help you.


    • Shelley,
      My H was also targeted by a malignant narcissist. She saw a good marriage and befriended us to try and destroy us. He was just another one of her harem of admirers. Luckily, our sex life was and is better than the 3 times they attempted. My H couldn’t get an erection with her and the one time he did I called and ruined the moment.
      But this morning, I came looking for this post because I had one of those crazy howling moments. Yesterday I found out that in addition to speaking in the car every day on her way to work, my H would also speak to her everyday during her lunch break. It seems that she would sit in her car during lunch, I’m assuming that is because no one at work likes her because she’s a pig. But it just really bothered me that they spent an hour and a half a day on the phone, every weekday! Although he claims that he would call her on Monday but by Wednesday he hated her because of some thing she said. He said it was a constant battle. He didn’t know why he couldn’t stop being drawn to her when he had the perfect wife at home. I guess it’s the narcissist thing.
      But anyway this morning I just blew up at him. We were all members of a social club and there were many times that she would be there. They even arranged for a date night with her husband, us and another couple. I just freaked out on him and yelled “how could the two of you sit there across from me at the table and act like there was nothing going on? Was it exciting when you followed her to the bathroom and kissed her while your spouses were at the table? How do you do that?” He doesn’t know how…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi, sorry for the delay, my internet has been blown out, so currently sitting in McDonalds in France! I am so sorry that it came back to bite you, but it does, to everyone I think. For me it was the wake up call, we had worked so hard to rebuild and I didn’t want to lose what we had made. It’s normal, hold on to the new stuff you have done since finding out, and I can tell you that even now Danny still does not know or understand why, all these years later. Do something different this weekend, something small but different, to hold on to. You got this. ❤️❤️


  4. Also listen to music and the first one I would always recommend is the sugababes ‘stronger’ and for you both: just say just say by Diana Ross & Marvin Gaye. Keep reading and find solace knowing you are not alone. ❤️


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s