Can’t think. Breath catches, ragged. Throat full of acid. Choke and gag and there’s my dinner in the bin now, chewed and stinking with digestive juices.
Again. He’s hung up on me again and he doesn’t care. He’s safe in his other place, his little flat without me, without the children, without any of our stuff. Safe where he doesn’t have to pretend, where he can do as he likes, be who he needs to be.
Safe knowing I’ve got my period, that there’ll be no last-minute pregnancy to draw him back to me.
I was pleased he wanted to talk, pleased he called to say goodnight. But he didn’t want to talk to me, not really, not if I was going to say anything I felt.
“I don’t want to talk about your feelings. I’ve been talking about them for ten years.”
My lungs fold inwards, collapsed. Me and my feelings. Nobody wants my too-much feelings, be they good, bad or otherwise – why can’t I just shut them away? Why do I feel? What the fuck is WRONG with me?
He said he wanted to see that I was OK; I’m not OK, and he knows it. He says so, says he wants to help so that I will be OK.
Only practical help, though, he says. No talking about feelings or relationships. We need boundaries. He will set the boundaries and he will build them high and impenetrable.
“Stop defining yourself by relationships,” he says, but I have thought of nothing but him for years and years and he is still the One, my all, my everything. I dream of him in my waking hours and dream of him in my sleep. I dream the feeling of his bare leg against mine, so real I wake and cry.
On Sunday, he was with me, warm and smiling, in the flesh. He didn’t want to get out of bed. He made love to me three times in a matter of hours and my world was bathed in love and happiness.
On Tuesday morning, he left. In the afternoon, I crawled back into that bed and called a mental health triage service, unable to chase away my desperate desire for death on my own. I lay under the covers, fully dressed, crying and cold, streaming eyes and nose leaking on the bedding. I hugged a woollen jumper he left behind. And I was talked around. Talked into living. For the kids, of course. I don’t live for myself and nobody tries to convince me I should – only for the kids.
And now, Wednesday, he thinks my grief and shock unreasonable and unbearable.
I don’t argue with him or wish him to suffer. I blame myself. If only I had been better/sweeter/lovelier/prettier/thinner/less of a psycho freak… If only I hadn’t said this or harmed myself or even begged him to harm me in my worst moments. If only I hadn’t been the way I was. If I hadn’t cried or begged or been at constant war with myself, always losing.
He should never have been caught up in my battle. No one should.
I cry now and wail with self-blame and self-hatred and I love him all the more for all that he’s had to put up with. The angrier he gets with me, the more I blame myself and love him and pray that he’ll grant me his mercy and love.
The more desperate I become, the more desperately he flees.