It’s only time

It is definitely a September morning, little clouds of fog hang from the sides of the mountains, and there is a new hint of chill in the air, but the sun is still warm enough to cycle to work in a tank top and pedal pushers. The Summer lavishes gorgeous days, pretending this isn’t its last stretch.

Time is a funny thing. It just keeps ticking with glorious indifference, calling out the seasons, sprinkling the first strands of white through my hair, turning my previous life into something that no longer exists, neatly packing it into boxes of The Past.

Some days, my mind wanders into a parallel dimension, where another me is still leading my old life. She doesn’t know the eerie feeling of Before and After, she goes about her days with more certainty, gets aggravated by insignificant things and shops for four. The lucky cow! I want to tell her to get over whatever petty frustrations are making her cross with T and unhappy with her life, and to enjoy what she has more, because you just don’t know… But how would she know?…

Time also helped me realise how profoundly I have been changed by this year. And out of nowhere a thought slaps me around the face: Perhaps, I like the new, battered me better (even though it definitely needs a bit of paint-work). There, it’s out. It does not mean I suggest you drive your spouse away, just to see if it makes you better.

But maybe the excruciating pain which marked my heart and my body,  also made me more able to understand other people’s pain. Maybe my temporary inability to function, the paralysing downwards spiral of the early days also made me more perceptive and tolerant towards grieving and depressed people. Maybe failure made me more humble.

My own brush with a mild form of infidelity also served to set the record straight. I guess part of me used to romanticise the idea that sometimes people were in the “wrong relationship”, and that it may be fair enough to seize the opportunity to be happy with someone else. Now I know… I know that this is only true in Hollywood films, where people are either good or bad, and get over heart break in two scenes and fourty seven seconds. In real life, people are both good and bad, and need to work hard on themselves to make relationships work. If you’re unhappy in your relationship, hopping into the next pair of open arms is never a good idea.

Finally, I may be a complete scaredy cat in real life (reading Harry Potter gave me nightmares, for crying out loud!),  but when the going got tough, my willingness to dig into the uncomfortable notion that I have some responsibility in the collapse of my relationship, to face my fear, and do whatever it takes to get happy again, all speak of bravery and honesty. Crikey, I’m in the wrong job, perhaps I should really become a knight or something?!

Ok, that’s it, don’t get over excited, I haven’t seen the light, and become a barefoot saint, and I do reserve the right to be thoroughly bad, wrong, insensitive, and boastful at times.

In the meantime perhaps I will enjoy the present more. All this time just ticking away…

To Emma who inspired me today

A beautiful song I’ve remembered from long ago

Mark Curry – It’s only time


22 thoughts on “It’s only time

        • I do, don’t I?
          Normally I tend to power off after posting, but last night, I was doing something else on the computer so I didn’t and was amazed by how fast Pat’s comment came, and the stats thing moved. It was almost live reaction, very weird…
          Hope your trip back was ok. x

  1. Your honesty is breathtaking. You are moving forward so well. Brilliant. Welcome to the survivors’ club!! We will all get there where ever ‘there’ is!! Which I do sometimes wonder!

    • Thank you Caroline. Not entirely sure I’m “there” yet, or even that I have wholly survived. This is all pretty tentative still and I’m putting it out there almost as an experiment, to see how it feels…
      There are still some negative consequences, things I don’t really like in the new me, and I still feel pretty wobbly.
      But def on the right tracks and def following in your footsteps 😉

      • Don’t worry I wobble masses. And getting used to the new me is strange, unnerving but OK. I don’t feel you’re following – I feel you’re there right beside me.

    • Very nice poem Judith, and yes, it expresses some of the things that have been going through my head better than I could have. Thank you…

  2. You are doing well, This is so difficult and there are so many twists and steps backward along the way. We find revelation…and then despair and they can be only seconds apart sometimes.
    It does take two to make a relationship work. There are always two sides. Each person plays a role.
    The key I think though is honesty. It is always easier to pick apart the rights and wrongs in hindsight…but if one is flat out lied to during the relationship, it’s hard to see the path. I know in my case I would ask X how she thought we were doing (as we were still healing fromt her first affair with J). and she would say we were good. Apparently I was somehow supposed to magically divine that we were not. Damn me…I trusted her when she spoke.!! 🙂

    The humility part when we feel pain though is an important part of growth.
    Years ago, when I was tall and had hair…I was a very successful bachelor. Friends would tell me of their heartbreaks…and I would think, get over it!! Pull yourself up by your bootstraps and get on with it. Then…20 yrs ago I had my heart broken for the 1st time. It was only then that I realized a broken heart begat broken bootstraps and there was literaly nothing to grab hold of in the attempt to pull myself up!!

    Hollywood and the romanticized version of affairs didn’t used to bother me…but it does now. It just isn’t real…and it can act like a little voice. The idealized life of film and fiction did play a role in X’s fantasy.

    Keep it up lady E. Lulls will come too…let them flow over you like gentle waves and then swim hard for the sunshine when they pass. (Damn…if only I could take my own advice!! ;^). ROTFL

    Peace to you.

    • Along the same line of thinking, I remember also judging someone who tried to kill themselves when their wife left them for someone else, thinking they were being selfish, didn’t think about their kids…Now I understand, I understand that despair can be a very dark place, and that at times you may not be able to think about anything else than “this pain has to stop”. Heartbreak is a bastard and can make the world’s misery pale into insignificance.
      I know there’ll be lulls. I still hurt. A lot.
      Peace to you in these difficult times LFBA…

  3. You seem really zesty and full of go in a sort of “Whats happening to me” way. I always love your posts. You are intelligent and perceptive of yourself and that is something i really enjoy. Plus the guts etc. Way to go you

    • Cheers counting ducks. As I said above, it’s a bit experimental though…I cannot guarantee that this is 100% how I feel, or what has happened to me. I guess this is the optimistic take on it though, and I’ll try to keep going in that direction :)..

  4. Sometimes jumping into another open arms doesn’t work (for too long, that is), so the person jumps into yet another pair of open arms…
    sorry for being a bit pesimistic 😦
    Song is great.

    • I agree SG, jumping onto the next person does not work out in the long run, and then yes, you might end up doing it all over again (selfishly, I really hope that’s what happens with T and the New Ms T). Glad you liked the song 🙂

  5. Your mention of parallel lives as pertains to you and your situation reminds me of two such illustrations: one is the film “Sliding Doors” with Gwyneth Paltrow (not her highest and best performance, but thought-provoking for sure), and the other the book “The Post-Birthday World” (again, not a literary masterpiece, but amazing in plot and concept). Both examine the what-ifs of relationships and both, interestingly, draw the same conclusion: that our outcome will be the same, no matter the path that we use to get there. If you’re having that “parallel lives” feeling, I’d encourage you to pick up one or the other. I did, during my separation, and they really provided an interesting and oddly reassuring perspective.

    Good luck to you.

    • Hello That Precarious Gait (love that title btw !), and welcome.
      I have seen Sliding doors, and while the plot certainly gave me food for thought, in real life it didn’t convince me.

      I know what you’re saying about how reassuring it feels to think things would have ended up that way anyway, but I don’t believe in the whole things happen for a reason, or “fate” spiel.

      To be honest, I’d convinced myself of this sort of stuff in the past after breaking-up with someone, repeating that it wasn’t meant to be, because it felt reassuring, took away the edge of my crushing responsibility. But at the end of the day I had to face my responsibility and guilt head-on: There was no fate, things may have worked out with the exes if I’d wanted it to and put my heart in it…I just didn’t want to.

      PS: Thanks for this comment which was certainly thought-provoking in itself 🙂

        • LFBA, no, of course not 🙂
          This time I had children!!

          It is one thing to break a relationship you don’t feel like carrying on, when there are only two adults involved. It is an entirely different story when children are involved and their family is at stake…

          It takes a humongous effort to face the person you no longer feel in love with, and to decide consciously that you want to know why you no longer love them, what needs of yours are not met by the relationship, and how, with your partner you may try to meet them again.
          It takes a commitment I had never made in the relationships I broke up in the past.

          It is a completely different story with T: We were committed by our PACS, of course, but especially by the children. He chose to leave our relationship without truly committing to giving it a chance, and he will have to live with that responsibility and the guilt that comes with it for the rest of his life.

          • Thanks….just was not sure if maybe you had an internal revelation about your relationship with T.

            I agree with you wholeheartedly on your comments. It takes work and committment and it takes belief and committment and it takes committment about the committment.
            T sounds like X…opting for what they think is an easier route.

            X, like T….just decided she did not want to try. Maybe if J and the New MrsT were not in the picture clouding their perceptions and forcing them to judge what they had, they would have been able to re-examine. But that also takes the “outside world” being respectful of a relationship and clearly the new Mrs T and my X’s J…were not ethical enough to respect that.

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