Thursday, February 18, 2010

Time To Move On...In So Many Ways

I lie in bed.  The feelings of euphoria are subsiding and are replaced with what...satisfaction?  Fear?  Dread?  Regret?  I can't tell.  My head is swimming.  My heart is pounding.  The invisible hand tightens its grip around my throat and I feel it is pushing my head firmly into my faithful tempurpedic pillow.  I claw at my neck to no effect.  The hand tightens.  I switch positions.  And again.  I feel as if I am trying to get comfortable in a bed of rocks.  Blood swirls in my ears and my head feels ready to explode.

This was not what I was expecting.

After a few weeks of consulting lawyers, researching homes to rent, getting into a panicked frenzy over the UK school application process and talking endlessly to friends who all assure me, 'you just need to be home' it seems that it might finally happen.  This summer in fact.  Just as I had hoped.

Fucking hell.  Is this really what I want?  What I have been striving and aching for, for the past 7 or so years?  All of a sudden, I am not so sure any more.

I am not so sure of anything any more.

I thrash around the bed for another 20 minutes or so.  I concentrate on trying to quieten my mind, deepening my breathing from the shallow gasps that fight their way into my lungs.  The harder I try, the worse it gets.  Small icy needles of fear begin to prick at my God, am I about to have a heart attack and die in my bed?  Was that the reason for the practice 911 call with Captain Underpants yesterday?  Relentlessly getting him to recite numbers and addresses and protocol just incase a Bad Thing Happened?

I fight to control the panic that twists my bowels and sits on my chest.  Just breath you nitwit.  Everything is OK.  More than OK.  You can do this.  You can really do this.  You can move will be OK.  It will be better than OK.  It will be Great.

Without really being conscious of what I am doing I bunch a row of pillows down the centre of the bed, under the duvet, and wrap my limbs around them just as I used to do when I was pregnant.  It used to be our little joke.  "Who's between the thighs tonight then?" you would ask me.  "Russell (Crowe)", I would lightly reply.  "George will get his turn tomorrow".  This memory jolts me away from the wall of 100% goosedown and I lie flat on my back, feeling the emptiness of my bed, the capacious space all around me.

Alone.  How did I end up alone?  After all that we have been did we not make it through the other side intact?  How did this 'adventure', which was supposed to cement our future, crumble and pull us apart?  How did that happen to us?  I still don't have the answers.

Without thinking my hand and foot gravitates towards the centre of the bed and nestles against the pillows.  With my eyes closed it is almost as though I am lying next to you, just our extremities touching as we begin to fall asleep.  I roll over onto my stomach and once again reach out a hand and foot for you and, when my body makes contact with the pillows, it's almost as though you are there.

I start to relax.

I know it's not you.  But the feeling is so familiar, so grounding, that my body naturally responds and and relishes the contact with the imaginary you.  I can't believe I ever took this simple act of sleeping while connected to you for granted.

Is this how you now sleep with her?

I am so exhausted by the emotional exchanges of the past couple of weeks - the honest expression of my true feelings finally revealed from behind the veil of competence and coping - culminating in our face-to-face meeting tonight (the first since our separation 15 months ago) that I am too wrung out to sleep.  I can't believe how easily you have agreed to let me move home this summer with the boys.  That you have finally caved after all this time, after all our prolonged arguments.

I would like to think this is because of the incredibly well thought through logistical considerations I have presented in  writing over the past two weeks.  Or maybe that it is a decision borne out of an undying love and compassion for me and all that we once meant to each other.

But this painful act of generosity on your part is not, in fact, borne out of a love for me, is it?  It is borne out of your new love for another.  By loving someone else you are finally able to let me go.

And there is no real satisfaction in that.

So now the door to my new life is finally open and all I have to do is to keep walking through it without looking back.  Yet from here on the bed, as I continue to wrestle with the unanswered questions of 'why?', 'how?', 'what could I have done differently?', I feel as though I am walking, blindfolded and resistant, towards the open door of an aeroplane soaring at 40,000ft.

And there is no parachute.

Just as well I have always been a person with a head for heights then, I guess.


  1. Yep. Oh hon. I have SO been there. And will be again. Not the exact same situation, but those emotions.

    I wish we lived closer. I have a feeling we could TALK.

  2. This was such a raw and honest post. I have no words of wisdom, no advice. I am hoping you are okay though, that you come through the other end and life gets better, start to heal.

  3. There's nothing quite like getting something you've dreamt about to make you question whether you really want it.

    Be brave. x

  4. Like Heather, I have no words of wisdom, except to say that moving on sounds like the best thing you could do at the moment. And, make sure you breathe deeply when you're having those panic attacks, I have been there. Thinking of you xx

  5. teacher mummy: Thanks love - yep, shame we're not closer. I would love to chat all this through with you....and then say 'oh sod it' and just compare our shoe collection.

    Heather: You can't imagine how good it felt to write it. Of course, in the warm, sunny light of this grand Chicago morning the fears have diminished a little and I know it makes SENSE to move on - both from both Chicago and my ex (weird how I still don't understand how he is no longer in love with me...I mean, I am so bloody gorgeous. And incredibly modest to boot. I know that properly understanding it may never happen and the key is just to ACCEPT it. Ah, so much easier said than done). And now I am just totally daunted by how much there is to DO. And that forms part of my reticence too - so much easier to just stay in limbo and do bugger all.

    (Talking of bugger all - loved your post on anal sex! and your hairy poem. perfection)

    Not Supermum: Just thought of another reason for me to move home - I can come along to a BMB meet up!!!! Hurrah! And I know - this whole cognitive dissonance thing is a pain in the bum (oh - back to Heather's post again on anal sex...)

  6. I am your parachute and I will catch you.
    Just as you did for me.

  7. Yeah, I think I have been through a very similar version of what youu so eloquently wrote here.

    Change is tough and moving forward is good but can also be daunting.

    Hang in there.


  8. Turbulent times, indeed. It is so familiar to be thrashing about unable to sleep at night, with such a full head. It will all come good in the end. There's just a lot to go through in the meantime m'dear. xx

  9. I was telling a friend the other day about your blog and how amazing your writing is. Hang in there, you'll get through it. I have a feeling you have a great group of friends in England preparing your parachute.

  10. I can only echo the others. Deep breaths, hang in there and remember that nothing worth doing is easily done. Big hugs. xxx

  11. What a beautiful, raw, honest post. I really hope you are feeling better and that things really do look brighter in the sunlight. Hang in there! We're thinking of you.

  12. This is possibly the most raw post I've ever read. The way you write, I can so clearly feel what you're feeling.It will all work out. Come home.

  13. I hope the feelings of panic have subsided slightly by the time you read this. I understand the thoughts of 'how did I get here?'. My mum once said to me, whilst I was in the depths of post natal depression, 'One day, all this will be 20 years ago!'. Not particularly comforting at the time, but she did have a point - it will get easier, believe me.

  14. Taking the next step is a scary thing to do. But just like your writing you will do it beautifully - one step at a time. Huge hUgs.

  15. What an amazing post. You are going through so much, I'd be amazed if you weren't emotionally exhausted. Hold on!!! xx

  16. You will be okay once you're back with your family and friends, although this friend will miss you!

  17. I second everything everyone is saying. Breathe deeply, stay clear minded and focused, and buy a bottle of wine. ;) Everything will work out.