Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Part 3 - Hindsight is an exact science

I discovered that there was nothing more painful or enlightening than a spell of enforced introspection; navel gazing at the lowest level, to give myself some perspective on the problem. Two weeks of wearing a hair shirt and practicing virtual self flagellation of the deepest level had come and gone. I was sick of hearing my lone voice asking over and over what could have been so bad that caused him to scarper in such a manner. The sound of silence was deafening and I longed for the adrenalin inducing verbal jousting that we used to have. This was no existence, I told myself. I felt invisible and invalidated. It was astonishing how quickly I had become proficient at licking my wounds and being completely self absorbed in my problems. I became obsessive in my pursuit to find answers and raked through every phone bill and credit card receipt for clues. Numbers that I didn’t recognise on his cell phone listings were called in the hope of discovering who they were and how they knew him. I hid away from those people that might judge me and in turn isolated myself wherein I became a prisoner in my own sad and pathetic little world. Every conversation we had before he left was analysed; no matter how insignificant it had seemed at the time, if it could be replayed, deconstructed and reconstructed to find some kind of meaning then it was done. I picked and picked away at the scab of my life, never giving it a chance to heal.

I might have coped a little better, emerged from the shock a little sooner, had he been there to join in with the conversations I was having with myself. I didn’t have his voice to ‘contaminate’ my inner thoughts; to challenge the authenticity of my recollections; to provide another perspective and to put me right when I got it wrong. Silence is golden – but it can also destroy your soul.

I couldn’t find him; he was A.W.O.L – missing in action with no trace to follow. His prolonged silence was the cruellest of punishments to heap upon me. I had been emotionally and mentally beaten to a pulp.

“Where are you, you cowardly bastard?” I would lob at his non existent presence. I threw a million expletives and curses on his soul and out into the ether in the hope he could sense my tears, anger, and fear. I railed at him until my throat was raw, until my chest ached with the constant convulsed efforts at crying when there were no more tears left to shed. Alcohol became my crutch as I'd slip into a drink sodden coma for a few precious hours and it was a welcome relief. But coming round to the effects of a prolonged and cumulative hangover compounded my misery; it was hell and I knew it had to stop but I could see no other way of fleeing my mental torture, of having some respite to keep me just this side of sane. I’d drunk more than a coach load of 18-30’s holiday punters on a two week bingefest in the Costa-del-drinkyourfaceoff could manage between them.

I knew that the time was coming where I had to face reality; to get a grip on my life such as it was. "Tomorrow", I resolved and I sat down one more time, a very large drink in hand, and played Natalie Imbruglia's 'Torn'. May as well go the whole hog, I thought, and completely immerse myself in one more mega session of self pity and self indulgence. I played the track on repeat and cried my heart out until sleep found me. But as a coping strategy, consuming bucket loads of alcohol had reached the end of its life. My life may have been torn apart but it was time to cut back because the real world was knocking at the door.

In time I let my friends in; let them see me in all my dejected and ‘sorry for myself’ splendour of tissue mountains, the remnants of uneaten congealed ready made meals and empty booze bottles dotted around the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and sitting room. The house looked like a recycling centre. I didn’t care, they were here, they helped me tidy it up and the in-depth analysis of my situation continued in profusion only now with the combined experience and opinions based upon their disastrous love affairs interspersed with mine.

“It’s another woman, isn’t it? Do you know her?”, one friend asked. “I know he was a quiet guy but you know what they say - still waters run deep”, she added.

“No he’s gay, got to be gay”, offered another. “Don’t you remember that time the bald guy with the string vest and cowboy boots minced after him all night at your brother’s party? He seemed much too delighted with himself that another man found him attractive. And then, when we pulled his leg about it all, he got all pissed off and flounced off in a huff!”, she added as way of evidence that my man had possibly started batting for the other side.

“He didn’t flounce off, he strode away because we were pissed and really getting on his nerves and er, well, no, I don’t, I don’t think he’s gay”, I replied, coming to his defence rather too quickly for some odd reason. Perhaps, I considered, it would be worse having him leave me for a man instead of a woman; that our relationship had been based on a lie for all those years.

“Well maybe he isn’t a hundred percent gay yet but he’s bi-curious and couldn’t bring himself to tell you”, chipped in my friend of the gay theory who seemed to be warming to her theme now that we were on our second bottle of red wine. “That’s why he’s done a bunk sweetie, without facing you properly, you mark my words.

“And you’re far too flippin gorgeous for him to leave you for some predatory wee tart with Tupperware tits and a trick pelvis”, said my friend sporting the ‘other woman’ theory. I laughed at the image; especially as two weeks of mourning and neglect had left my face looking like a smacked arse nestling in a string bag. Come to think of it, my arse looked in pretty much the same condition too. At least, I mused, my arse didn’t have hair on it so I could tell them apart if need be. I very much doubted that right now I could see off competition from Lilly Savage let alone someone who might just look like Barbie so I hoped she was wrong on that count.

I pulled myself out of my reverie; "or maybe, just maybe, it’s drugs or gambling or fraud or murder or rape or God knows what”, I said in sadness and desperation. I’d thought the unthinkable because I had no choice.

"I might never know", I said forlornly. "I may as well consult the ruins or the tarot cards or tomorrows horoscope for all the hope I have of hearing it from the horses mouth. Until then it's just guesswork and conjecture and only when he tells me the truth, will I know that I can treat it as hindsight, something that has already happened that I cannot change and that it is indeed an exact science".

29 comments:

laurie said...

ugh, you are too good at reminding me what this feels like!

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Laurie, I guess I never wished that I had fallen in love as the great bits were almost worth it all in the end. At least I never let it put me off letting love happen again but I know that I was choosier and wiser next time around.

laurie said...

very wise.

i've never regretted it, either, though i have raised my eyebrows in hindsight at some of my choices.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Yup - me too, it's that hindsight thing again! Never lets you down, never lets you paint your memories with rose tinted paint.

Mya said...

It's a very sad topic, written very well. I really enjoyed reading it (if that doesn't make me sound like a complete sadist!)

And I don't know what a trick pelvis is, but I think I want one!

Mya x

Lane said...

Gosh you depict that misery well!
Hindsight is a wonderfulthing, as is selective memory which I have taken great trouble to develop:-)

A look back at your past posts (great reads) tells me I am sooo not looking forward to the menopause:-((

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Mya, Thank you so much for your comments. I'm glad you enjoyed reading it and I think that it's always good to read about when someone else struggles to come to terms with the end of a relationship as it validates our own feelings about our own heartache. A trick pelvis is what most men wish for in their wives! It has a mind of it's own and is very flexible!

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Lane, you are generous as ever with your feedback - thank you. Menopause 0 HRT 1! There is life after ingesting those wee pills!

Self employed mum said...

Hi, I got so involved in your heartache, now I'm going to have to go back and read all the background. Very intense writing, 'tupperware tits' that was so funny. Will catch up on the background tonight. x

Self employed mum said...

Hi, I got so involved in your heartache, now I'm going to have to go back and read all the background. Very intense writing, 'tupperware tits' that was so funny. Will catch up on the background tonight. x

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

SEM, thanks, I seem to have touched a hot button as we all have heartache in our lives. I guess the lower the lows the higher the highs! Your feedback is very welcome and I am humbled by such positive comments. Cheers.

A Fair Cop? said...

If I didn't know this was from a longish time ago I would think that you were going through this now. Your ability to convey just how sad and almost mad people can get through heartache is so good. My wife keeps crying at your posts - you are costing me a fortune in hankies woman!

Swearing Mother said...

I've said it before, and I'll say it again - what we need is more hindsight, sooner.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Ah but SM if we have too much hindsight too early on life would become prescriptive and easy to plot with no surprises. Her sister Foresight has the job already anyway. She might not be great at it but every time we trip up and graze our knees hindsight gives foresight a heads up and next time we tread carefully where we fell before!

Valleys Mam said...

what a great blog

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Thanks Valleys Mam - you do a cracking blog and you are going on mine as a link. Fan debate you got going there.

Henry North London said...

oh isn't it just.

I know very well the machinations of the retrospectroscope and the 20/20 vision it gives.

God I've had an awful day... and your post is so reminiscent of the times Ive been in that situation though it has to be said that the cleaner I had would come in and just magic the place clean and it would be ok.

Valleys Mam said...

Trying to deconstruct, analyse, or just plain understand is of no use unless you have the facts. Hindsight is a cheap commodity and fore sight yeh well who has time for that. Sometimes men just hit their own mid life crisis and cos they are not good at communicating they do what they would do if we still lived as pack animals They go off to lick their wounds and make way for the next alpha male.
The thing is it leaves us women bereft; we have to know where to put or guilt or blame.
Its also hard just to stop loving, there isn’t a switch so its bereavement too.

The Rotten Correspondent said...

I'm embarrassed to say that I'm just now stopping by after you've been such a wonderful presence over at my place.

I'm completely sucked in by this story and will be following it back for the back story. Your descriptive powers are a little too good for comfort. It's like sinking into a melancholy hole while reading.

Thank you. That was incredible.

merry weather said...

All I can think to say is he must be Mad! Your writing is so full of life and humour that I'm sure you must be a lovely partner.

Two weeks is a long, long time in that situation. I do hope things are feeling better. Your friends sound great - just the sort a woman needs at a time like this.

Thanks for your comment on my blog - I'll be back to hear how it's going, good luck!

Tina said...

MOB, have come for a return visit & you have taken my breath away. You write so beautifully & so evocatively - I've done all your archives now too. So, tell us. Did you find out why he left?

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Oh Fair Cop - I am sorry that I made your wide cry. I was with her on that - sobbing away on Saturday night because I felt very sorry for myself after dragging the whole mess up again. He wasn't worth my tears in the end and certainly wasn't worth any more on Saturday but I guess it allowed me to finally lay and old ghost to rest. Done, dusted, forgotten!

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Valleys Mam - thank you and thank you again for both your comments. I think you must be a very wise old owl and I don't mean in chronological terms!

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Ah Henry, nice of you to drop by again. Bummer about the bad day but I hope you are feeling more positive now. I've left you a couple of messages on your medic site. Thanks for your comments.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Oh a Fair Cop - I meant to say sorry I made your wife cry - not wide cry! My sincere apologies!

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Dear Rotten Correspondent - thank you for such nice comments. I hope the melancholoy lasted only for as long as the post! He wasn't worth my tears but I never hated him - well not for long anyway!

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Tina, thank you for a very very nice evaluation and it is the people commenting on my blog that are taking my breath away. I will tell what happened in time but for now I sort of need a break from it because it was so upsetting to write.

Sarah said...

Hi,
I've just read the blog, and will read the rest- utterly compelling. thank you for sharing. i hope being part of this community is a help.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Thanks for dropping by Sarah and for the feedback. Loved your story about the belly dancing!