My last night in PP. my friend Richard got in touch. I was pretty happy, I fancied seeing one last night in the city. Absorbing as much energy as I could to think over when I get home.
We had Indian for an early dinner. I’ve not eaten Indian for ages! It was rather nice.
Then onto the Foreign Correspondance Club. Our favourite. An hour before happy hour we talked about all sorts of things. Obscure like swimming pools – hate that it’s called kidney shaped. Hot tubs, jacuzzis, what’s the difference between them all. We laughed, I laughed like I hadn’t laughed for ages. Real calmness, really relaxed. Looking over the riverside watching the increase in the people, the different types of people. I felt sad that it was my last night, but happy to think about my family.
Happy hour came and so did the jugs of beer. I rarely feel drunk, but I suppose the heat, being relaxed, I went with the buzz from the alcohol.
Then Richard was talking about a friend that had confided in him about an abusive partner. He’d confronted the man, he’d explained it was out of proportion. She apologised – retracted her story. Then I felt I annoyed. She’d confided in him and now he had essentially ruined her trust by confronting the man. She would never confide in him again – or feel believed. He agreed that he hadn’t considered that. He felt bad. I insisted he keep the lines of communication open with her. Restore trust, restore confidence.
Something in me, the beer, the accumulation of anxiety about my marriage, impending travel, withholding my own fears about my past – it all started to unravel. I opened up a bit and felt the tears stream. My soul was hurting. There was grief. I started to have images of the rape, the abuse from my partner. Flashes, painful, undignified, vulnerable. I felt that familiar crushing in my chest, my throat closing. I told Richard I needed the loo, asked him to wait outside. He thought I was mad. He didn’t understand. He was worried we’d lose our table. And the toilets werent that far away – why would he need to accompany me? He didn’t understand.
The world around me fell apart. I couldn’t ground myself. Finally I begged – you NEED to come. Embarrassed by my own childishness. I went into a cubicle. I grappled for air. I tried to think about something, anything that would take away this pain, these memories. Usually it would be home, but my husband doesn’t love me, he doesn’t want part of this anymore. I felt so alone. Scared. I’ve not felt this so extremely before. I staggered out the toilets into Richard and the attack came. The horrible sharp quick intakes of break, hands at my chest trying to feel air getting in. Suffocating. He stood, unsure. Uncomfortable. He moved me to a seat, I managed to get the words out – talk. So he told me to look at the moon. He talked about some spiritual beliefs, I have no idea. My breathing laboured, painful. Noisy, so afraid. So devastated by the turn of events. Such a freak. I stared at the moon, I thought of my children under the same sky. I thought of its light. I thought about other times I’ve looked at the moon, when I’ve been happy. I ignored the darkness below and the shadows, the demons waiting to catch me. The moon was my light. Richard’s voice kept me in the lit bar.
The whole thing was embarrassing. Painful.
The night ended there. I didn’t want anyone to see this side of me. No wonder my husband is sick of me.
Back at the hotel my breathing was still sharp. I felt agitated. So I decided to swim. Down to the pool, lengths, thinking only about my movements. The cool water. The calm and the quiet. After I had exhausted myself I went for a shower. But the events of the night played on my mind. The horror.
Eventually I caved and called my husband. He’d know what to say. He would make it all right. His words would embrace me with their tenderness, there understanding. I wouldn’t be alone. He would take away my fear.
Yes, the old husband would have. What was I thinking? He doesn’t care. I had woken him, disturbed him with my petty nonsense. I’m a nuisance to him. Here I am on ‘holiday’ and he has all his stress and the kids to deal with. He is not my safe haven anymore – why can’t I get that through my thick head?? Why must I desperately reach out, I only seem more pathetic.
I noticed from my swimming that my wound had opened again, blood spilled out. The line was bad anyway. The communication ended.
Him back to sleep. Me to clean up and tend to my arm.
The embarrassment and loneliness stayed with me all night. I barely slept, just watched the clock change.
I leave soon. I’m heading to the house I live in. I guess it’s not really my home. I don’t know what to expect when I land. The look of disappointment and disdain from my husband. His tolerance of me for the children.
But my children, they are all that matters now. My reason for going back.