“I will see Him”. And it really dawned on me: I would see Him. Tomorrow, in a handful of hours. Will I hug Him, touch His hands? Who is going to make the first move for our lips to meet?
How will it be to share my double single territory with another body I haven’t yet known? Sharing a space so intimate and private, foreteller of hidden desires and primeval actions. [lifting of eyebrows]
I definitely need a coffee, so warm in my mouth. And Gina and Pina are jolting…
Where is my mind wondering now? It’s going to be holiday, first; my holiday.
Whatever happens, happens.
I know that my skin craves to be touched; my lips need to be kissed, looked after.
Will we remember our first kiss?
And, then, it happened.
And something else happened. Love and death. And I’m sitting here trying to make sense of the pain and tears and this roller-coaster of highs and lows. People do come in our lives for a reason, for a personal journey albeit together.
I can only acknowledge the emotions (!) while the underlying feeling is that of profound cosmic everlasting sadness; and this time I can only let it flow. Because I feel ready. My itchy feet want me to go and my tears just push me to crawl back on the sofa. Torn.
Torn. This is me. I am my status of perpetual ‘torny-ness’.
While this spinsterious, responsible and grounded and almost-diplomed me should know better and act as a tower of strength in this moment of loss for this Man whose hands know me so well, whose voice I carry with me every step of my path (a soothing understanding of silence and waiting for Him to follow his personal grieving path), the child-like me cries out loud for my losses, which I seem to be grieving maturely only now. While in His way, He is thinking about the future, I’m pushed back to my past.
And there I revisit times and places I abandoned years ago, while trying to recollect old voices; and looking for pictures is too painful. ‘How much are you hurting yourself?’ someone asked me the day after my father was buried, when I locked myself in the house and I went through a personal journey or remembering everything, animal-like smelling of clothes, listening to his favourite music because I thought ‘the sooner I do it, the sooner I’ll come out of it’.
And now, in this house he never visited, I can smell him. Just now. Can you smell him, too?
I can feel his warm hand pulling that ponytail I cut long ago and his voice whispering ‘Grüß Gott, Blonde’ as he used to. You would think that after 20 years things would get better.
Since His raw loss, and during the purgatory preparation of it, I dived back, reminiscing my details (aren’t those important?)
And I feel left, again. Not abandoned, but simply left. Left there, left here.
I feel castrated; I feel I am only allowed to grieve for my own personal losses and not His, while this Man instead is strong for His Family, and somehow for me at the same time [the guilty me], and so far away. This Man I explored and discovered undisturbed while stealing glances of Him walking alone among the ruins of a cathedral and felt at ease with, (this Man who gently invaded me with so much tenderness and laughter in a time musically scanned by cups of teas and chocolate biscuits), whom while chanting together the only letters which swelled up in my soul religiously spelt Family… is not Family yet. It might not ever be. I feel ancient, like I had all the undiscovered universal answers and not being able to make sense of the questions.
While looking at His back, chanting, my hands an inch from His skin, I could see his short grey hair, the strong shoulders I held on to during the night, perceived the tattooed dragons, those legs that must have walked on foreign lands; and he was kneeling in front of me, child-like in His hopeful chanting. And I felt whole. For once the wolf-like hounding growling me, felt she found the pack. And when He turned to look at me, once the chanting ended, I could see tears in His eyes.
So, I repeat to myself my personal mantra: it was only the end of July, woman! And I remember when Caroline said: ‘oh!, too early…’ and Margherita stated: ‘your story is not starting on happiness, he will change… how sad!’
Antevasin, in between. Torn. This is who I am, an antevasin. A border-dweller.
Strangely, I feel envious. I heard His voice and His familiar voices over the phone: the lost one and the one He now is strong for. Could you grieve for someone you never met but heard once in the distance while He was making a cup of tea in a kitchen I’ll never see? Can you mourn for someone else, trying to take His pain away? The communications ended. I looked at my cat sleeping next to me.
I feel I am only allowed to grieve alone.
And I’m tired. And overwhelmed by this border-dwelling me, who doesn’t know what to do, who doesn’t know what to say. And the old me pushes me to a ‘Sorry, gotta go…’ which I know so well. The easy way out.
So, I decide to do what I know best and what my gut feelings whisper me to do: I pour myself a warm coffee, I lit a cigarette and play that same song again; and again, and again. When the coffee will be drunk, I will grab the keys of the car and drive to Heysham, close to where my Mother is. I need to go and ‘talk’ to my mum. And I don’t feel sad.
I can only be true to myself, to what I feel, and to how I feel. I can’t lie. I don’t want to pretend that I feel ok because He does not deserve it. ‘I am wondering how you are feeling right now? How does that make you feel?’ Arid. My role as a Woman, a lover, a partner in crime, a fellow accomplice is not to counsel. I’m looking around this house and ask myself: what am I doing here?
At the end of today’s journey, we can meet again and be strong together.
But just for today, my path needs to be followed solo.
Cr. and her story
when you hear a cry for help, what do you do?
do you just keep on walking, pass on, forget about it, bury it under piles and piles of other things? or do you rush in, ready for a new battle, or a full new war you can dive in, in your shiny armour… what do you do? what is the best thing to do?
I remember trying to explain once to my partner that if I was hungry and cold and lonely and in distress and he came to help me with paint brushes, hammers and pliers, tubs of paint and everything that comes with it… thank you very much: Wow… I have a whole new living room!
but I’m still hungry. cold. lonely. in distress. and that living room will never feel like home. you have to be very careful how you help people, what you give, what you say.
Cr. today was in distress. we were talking about forgiveness. we all know how difficult it is, to forgive. and at the same time how important it is, how vital. for both your emotional and your physical health.
but she was stubborn, she was in tears, she was in distress. she was desperate. a desperate woman who felt emotionally abandoned even if not alone, who felt betrayed in her most intimate part of her soul and in the trust and love she once felt some years ago. she has been used and abused and left there to count the small pieces of this broken, one way relationship. how could she forget? how could she forgive?
Cr. feels useless and unworthy. Cr. feels nothing, besides despair. Cr. understandably behaved like a child tonight: I am not prepared to give him my toy if my friend doesn’t give me his toy before, I am not prepared to forgive if before I don’t hear… what? I’m sorry I hurt you? I’m sorry I hit you? I’m sorry I made your life a real hell? because this is what it is: a real and tangible hell at home.
I wanted to scream, at Cr, tonight. shout that she should pack her things and get out of that door. run as fast as she could, faster than she ever run. away. away, Cr. unfortunately, some people just don’t see. they don’t feel. they don’t understand. they will never say: I’m sorry.
I saw myself, tonight. double rope, double linked like with an umbilical cord to another person that sucks your life. what do you do? do you run away exchanging fear for guilt?
we both know that our ‘other person’ is someone in distress, in pain, emotionally imbalanced, unable to do anything without us, bitter against the world and they simply take it out on us. they can eat our soul until nothing is left. they do it softly, slowly, bit by bit. so, we simply stay.
I realized one day that nothing would have changed: cat and mouse will always fight. my mother would have never understood, would have never appreciated, would have never behaved properly, would have never stopped being who she was. she would have never learned how to be a mother. her past and her present were too difficult for me to understand and keep on accepting. I was tired of her emotional bartering, her threatening, her making me feel constantly guilty. I was frightened. too weak and too frightened. and I left. after 40 years of abuses.
but… I forgave her. I forgave her because she could not change, because she did not know that she had to change. the mouse, instead of running around, simply stopped, gave a hug and waved goodbye. we always think, us the abused, that we are the weakest. we are not. we are the strong ones who have accepted the abuse, came to terms with it and said: now it is time to stop. I have been abused, I am not ‘the abuse’. it is not something that I am, it was something that happened. forgiving my mother meant that my attitude towards her and the abuse changed, that my anger changed, that my life changed. and that, since she was behaving like a child, I would have treated her like a child. I wasn’t the abused any more. leaving without forgiving would have meant carrying with me too heavy a burden, taking the past with me in my backpack, getting bitter and bitter at her and probably becoming like her. of course she didn’t know anything of this because, as a proper abuser does, she would not have understood, she would have criticised, she would have accused and screamed and shout from her cloud-cuckoo-land where her reasoning was living. abusing was the only way she knew. feeling commiseration for herself, feeling pity for herself, being an egocentric maniac who blamed everybody else besides herself, taking no responsibility whatsoever for anything she did or said was her only unit of comparison she had. I have always found that the best adjective that described my mother was: excessive. she was excessive in her expressions, her attitudes, her behaviours, her feelings, her lack of feelings, her walking, her acting, her pretending, her screaming, her blaming, her denying, her severity, her brainless, ignorant, insensitive and obtuse coldness. excessive in her total excessiveness. she was loud.
becoming adults means not blaming anyone else for our actions. I decided that I should have stopped blaming my abusive mother for what I wasn’t doing and achieving and for the hellish life I was living. I took my responsibility and I left. I knew deep down in my heart that I tried everything possible and that I had only two alternatives. one was killing (either myself or her) or leaving. and life, for me, was too precious a thing to lose it.
as for Cr., tonight, I could only hug her and let her know that I will always be there when she cries for help.