We have had problems with the phone for the last week or so and this has meant the computer has frequently been out of action. Unfortunately, it is sometimes fine and I fall into the trap of believing it will be ok to blog, only to watch my writing disappear God knows where - probably takes itself off to The Other Site where it lingers in lonely silence in a museum of abandoned corridors! Needless to say, my temper has been frequently roused by the actions of the computer and I resorted to having a go at the exercise set by KittyB (which I just managed to read before the thing shutdown yet again). I am posting it here as I really need to catch up on others' blogs before doing one of my own, hence the cheat bit - a bit of writing scrawled out on Word yesterday in frustration, not particularly uplifting and not based on anything specific, though experiences have informed some of it. Read it if you like or not; I shan't take it personally! The exercise, by the way, was to write the words, 'I remember' and go from there! Kitty's is wonderful and I actually suggeat you pop over to her page right now and get reading! Go on! And have a go yourself - it's good fun if nothing else.
I remember thinking that you were the most beautiful man I had ever seen and I remember how that made me feel; that someone like you should want me, with my ordinary face and children in tow. Stupid, stupid me. How did I not know that the beautiful face hid an empty heart, an empty mind? Of course you wanted me, the appeal of the untried is always great and you had never had a married woman before. Oh, you did what we all do to ensure the world will absolve us from guilt – you told yourself that there could be a future in it; said that you would have to be careful as you could really fall for me and I took this as a sign that we were meant to be. No-one more stupid than those who close their eyes to the truth. I fell hard and you soon grew bored. After all, what could I possibly offer you after the initial thrill of the chase was gone? I lost everything and paid the price for my stupidity, but I learned to understand the limits of my appeal. I remember….
I remember when I had a friend who was everything to me. We lived in each other’s pockets, the children as close as true siblings and when he disappeared, your husband, to leave you reeling with the whys and the wherefores, I was there to love you all. I fed you and cared for those precious ones who had lost both their parents for this time. You curled up and couldn’t do more than be held, the world you had known reduced to a barrage of lies as we uncovered the illness and the affairs and the years of deceit. Yet you turned when it no longer suited and now we are strangers who pass in the street. I lost those children and I miss them, but I will remember not to go there again with someone new. I will remember…
I remember you who told me you had cancer. I remember taking you for your scan and being told you would rather go in alone, that you were fine. I remember you telling me it was terminal, in three places, nothing to be done and I remember taking a breath and being there for you. We would help with your children; take care of you and them. It was a hell of a year, pregnancy making me a bundle of guilt as I strived to bring life into a world you were leaving. You raged at us for not being at your beck and call. The guilt ate at us all the more. You had fits and I held you, stroked the hair back from your face. It was a lie and I remember the unfolding of it as if it were yesterday. And now you have no legs: your answer to being held accountable. “This will stop the recriminations,” only it didn’t and now you are alone after lying on a train track with all intentions of living, planning and plotting to make us pay for not letting you get away with it. Though I feel guilt, I do remember your manipulation, that of a spoilt child throwing a tantrum, only with the deadly scheming of the adult.
I remember a world so dark I could not exist in it anymore. The agony of seeing the pain I had caused was too great to face and I no longer knew myself. I was the coper, the one who made things better and now I had destroyed everything. The switch clicked and I feel it as if it were happening now. Such a terrifying place to be and yet, at the time, there is no more pain. The switch clicked and it was gone. My mind finally cleared and I knew what I had to do, and did it with deadly precision: the lining up of newly-bought baby bottles and formula; the tins of cat food complete with fork and opener, the dishes washed and ready at the side; the note left where you would find it telling you I had not fed the baby with my milk, that she was safe. And then I phoned and you were home. I said I needed you and you came, but you didn’t know what was happening. I had not said, but I had timed it with cold accuracy that your journey to reach me would take as long as it needed for the pills to kick in. You found me – I heard you call as you ran through the door and the lights darkened as I drifted toward peace, the baby softly sleeping at my side. It took a whole night to be declared safe and will take a whole lifetime for the guilt to ease, though of course it never really does. How can you ever forgive yourself for taking the easy way and making others pay the price? Though I try not to, I remember.
I remember that if it weren’t for you I would still be that person: broken and hurting and crushed. I was a shadow moving through the world and no longer felt I had a place or a right to exist. You loved me, held me. You made me cry and gradually I was here again, only safer than I had ever been. I still get my times of being scared, of being sure it will change and that I will no longer have the same appeal. I wait for the words that tell me it is over, that I was not the one after all as you justify your betrayal, as isn’t that what they always do, the betrayers? I guess the difference is that I know I must trust and, for you, I will. You are the one who scraped me off the floor and made it right and I love you. That is what I will remember ... I love you.