And sometimes I'm so sad I can barely breathe. Sometimes I look at my life and I'm in shock: how could this be ?
You went to the seaside with her this weekend. I keep talking with people who went to the seaside this weekend too, and while they're telling me about their weekends my mind drifts to what you were doing with her. Holding her hand, making love to her, being happy with her, walking on the beach with her. Doing all the things we used to do together. All the things I wish you still wanted to do with me.
But now you don't want to be with me, or with this unborn baby. Is this baby mine? Is it ours?
I don't want this baby not to have a father.
I was supposed to be on sick leave for two weeks, the doctors said. But I'm self-employed, and stupidly proud, so I turned down alimony when we got divorced. Which means that if I don't work, I don't have any money. So I just took 2 days off, and tried to do shorter days for some time. I'm so tired. Because of my illness, and probably because of the pregnancy. And all the self-doubt and worry and harassment.
How can I have this baby? How can I afford to have this baby? I barely have any money now, and I'm going to have to stop working in order to have it, hopefully just a little while. But this year is a crucial year for my company, and if I don't work extra hard this year to make it sustainable, I'll have to close it down by the end of next year at the latest. How can I work more and harder in those circumstances?
Last Sunday evening, you came as usual to drop our son off after your weekend together. We generally have dinner together on Sunday, but that was before. The last contact I had with you was three days before, where you'd insulted me by email, and ended up saying that it was useless speaking with me and you wished me a happy life with my child. So I didn't really know what to expect, and was frankly dreading the encounter.
You both arrived, and our son ran out in the garden to play in the fading sunlight. You told me you wouldn't be staying for dinner, Oh, had I planned dinner? Sorry. Of course I'd planned dinner. We've had dinner together on Sundays for the last 2 years. You also told me you'd made up your mind you wouldn't try to talk me into anything any more, and leave me alone. However, you wanted nothing to do with the baby, and probably npthing to do with me either, as you refused to look at me getting bigger over the months. That maybe, in a long long time, you'd ask for a paternity test. That in fact, you weren't sure about all of this anyway, because you hadn't seen anything. This pregnancy was not possible, because of condoms and morning-after pills, and that you hadn't seen any tests results, weren't present for the scan, so how could you know? I asked you if you thought I'd actually make up something like this? You didn't know, you said. What can I say to such incredible questions? I had to be quite aware that you would not be present for anything at any moment.
So I cried some more, and you left, and I pulled myself together so that I could take care of our son and have a nice dinner.
Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it's breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You'll see the sun come shining through for you
Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near
That's the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what's the use of crying?
You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile
That's the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what's the use of crying?
You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile...
So ill, in spite of your indifference, that I ended up in hospital, with a kidney infection. Had to dump our son at a friend's because you weren't up after a late night and couldn't have him. I suppose after you woke up a bit more you felt slightly bad about your lack of concern, because you offered to come and get me after my doctor's appointment and drive me home. I had to accept, as I couldn't drive.
But the thing is, when I went to the doctor's, he sent me to the hospital. Because of the kidney infection, and also because we found out, through all those tests, that I am pregnant. This has to be a bad telenovella. I am badly impersonating a stupid teenager, who deludes herself into believing she is loved, gets dumped for another woman, and finds out she's pregnant two weeks later. This is not possible, it can't be happening. If it were in a film or a book, it would be dismissed as unlikely.
How can I be pregnant? I'm 37, we used condoms, and those two times when it slipped or you didn't, I took a morning-after pill. It ruined my menstrual cycle, and now I don't know when my last period was. And the doctor said 5 days of such high temperatures at such an early stage were very likely to have been very damageable to the baby. But at the hospital, I went for a scan, and it's fine. It's exactly the way it should be now. How can this be possible? How can this baby be? And still be?
You were great while we were in the hospital. The priority was getting me better. And then you went to pick our son up and kept him with you for the next 3 days, until I began to be better and could take proper care of him. But then we had to talk about It, of course.
The problem is, I can't get an abortion. And you want me to have one. You don't want me to ruin your life with a baby. Ruin her life with that baby. Ruin my life with that baby. Ruin everyone's life with that baby, you say. But I can't. I just can't. And you hate me. You are lashing out at me, being unfair and insulting and aggressive. I understand that you're upset, I even agree with you that it would be simpler for everyone if I didn't have that baby.
But I can't do it.
So now I'm ill. Pretty ill. I feel ridiculous, like Marianne in Sense and Sensibility, collapsing with high fevers after she get dumped by her worthless lover. I was always Elinor, never Marianne. But here I am, with fevers going over 40 degrees for the last three days, not being able to go to work, which is a disaster when you run your own business. And as for Marianne, my worthless lover doesn't seem to be terribly concerned either. He never asked about my state of health since I handed our son over two days ago. It looks like indeed, he truly meant it when he told me he didn't give a damn anymore.
Am hoping to be able to get back to work tomorrow, but am obviously not sleeping tonight either, therefore know that even though the fever is now down to a regular 38-ish most of the time, I'm quite weak, and lack of sleep will not help. Also hoping that the different tests results will come in soon, so we can find a way to treat whatever it is I have properly and fast. I can't afford to be down, financially and morally. Nobody knows about Now, and can't keep up a proper front if I'm burning with fever and heartbreak at the same time.
Tomorrow is another day, said Scarlett O'hara, another foolish woman, but at least a resilient one. However, tomorrow is in a couple of hours, and I do believe I won't look half as good as she did when I show up at work.
Yesterday, you came and brought our son home after the weekend at your parents. As we'd agreed, we had dinner together, as usual, so that nothing is disrupted for our son. Nothing, except one of these days he's going to find another woman one Sunday morning in daddy's bed instead of me.
I can't stop thinking about it, about you, about her, about the two of you together.
Yesterday you left very early after dinner. You had been looking at the clock a lot before that. Is it just that you're uncomfortable around me now, or is it that you were wanting to run to her?
I tried to talk about the little things in our son's life, but I just want to cry. I can see you're even trying to be nice, pretend what I'm saying is interesting. But you know, it's not interesting. Of course we can't even touch the subjects that are interesting. Who is she? On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do I want to be in a terrible accident that leaves no survivors? How much time are you spending with her? Have you told your family about her? How many hours do I spend not sleeping? Crying?
If our son asks me, as he did only 10 days ago, if I can come and sleep at daddy's too, how am I supposed to keep everything under control and not break down in tears? What do I tell the people who are beginning to question my haggard eyes and my weight loss?
I remember feeling that way when I was 17, first heartbreak. I thought I was going to die. What shocked me more in the end was the fact that I didn't. You don't die of heartbreak anymore, not since the Brontë sisters. But now what is even more terrifying is to know that I won't die and that I'll have to live a life watching you loving someone else, be it this one or whoever. I can't look away. We see each other every 3 or 4 days at the very most. We're good parents you see. We are very involved in our son's life and education.
How did my life end up like this?
Of course I'm not asking for any information about her. It's none of my business, is it ? And I'm none of her business either, I suppose. I can't imagin you've been telling her about our unofficial situation, have you ? She probably thinks you've been divorced for a couple of years, end of story.
But I think about her all the time. I could even know her, she could be one of my former students. She could be someone who works in one of the companies I work with. She could be that woman, there, in the street. Or that one. No, maybe not that one. Too old. That other one isn't really your type. Maybe you have a different type, suddenly. Maybe she's more beautiful than I am, maybe she's smarter. Maybe she's taller, mayber she's skinnier. Is she younger than I am ? Maybe she's a bitch. Maybe she'll hate me and try to make my life as difficult as possible. Maybe she'll be horrible to my son. Maybe she'll boss him around and impose her rules. Does she have children ? No, you wouldn't go for a woman with children of her own, would you ? Too complicated. Or would you ? Will she make a difference between her children and my son ? Will she resent my son and want her own baby, and then reject my son from her family ? You want more children, and no woman our age is going to miss out on a opportunity to have kids with a nice enough chap who earns well and does the dishes and wants kids. You're going to have babies. Without me.
I want to die.
When you told me that you had met someone, I felt like you had kicked me in the stomach. I literally couldn't breathe properly for the next few hours, and on and off for the next few days. Whenever I hear your words, over and over again in my mind, I feel like I'm suffocating. I left your appartment, your sofa. I dorve myself home in a stupor, so slowly, because I could focus on what I was doing.
I howled. I cried. I sobbed. I hyperventilated. Of course, I stopped eating.This is what I do, you know that. I want to die. I actually spent several hours wondering if I could find a way to die without our son ever knowing that I'd done it, so that he wouldn't grow up on the assumption that his mother didn't love him enough.
I went to work the next day, exhausted and looking like hell. I went to yoga in the evening, and managed not to faint. I didn't sleep that night either. The dog is worried, I keep sobbing out loud all night.
Then I felt, suddenly, that I could make this right: all I had to do is go and see you, and explain that in fact, I would do whatever you wanted me to, we could have the life you wanted and I didn't, because it didn't matter anymore to me. I'd agree to anything, just as long as you dumped her and we got back together.
So I did that. You texted me and suggested I have dinner with our son and you. So I came. And I huddled on your kitchen floor while our son was watching a cartoon, and begged you. I literally went on my knees and sobbed, at one point.
And you said no. It was too late. You had no feelings whatsover for me, hadn't had feeling for me in years. No, we weren't trying out a different way of being together, you were just having sex. It was ugly.
I left, didn't stay for dinner. Told my son I had to go home and take care of the dog and the cat. See you tomorrow, sweetie pie. Drove myself home in a stupor, so slowly, because I couldn't focus on what I was doing.
Crawled into bed, sobbed myself to sleep for a few hours. Then spent the rest of the night, sleepless again, in anguish, heartbroken. Angry at myself for the choices I'd made, for the naive notions of "it"ll be ok from now on" I'd entertained all day. Angry at you, too. Angry at realising that either you're lying, and it wasn't only about sex for the last two years, or that you're the sort of person who would actually have sex with the mother of your child, knowing that she loves you and you don't give a monkey's and are actively looking for someon else. Having sex with me, one week before, conveniently forgetting to put a condom on because it's safe with me, and I'll just take the morning-after pill.
You said you hoped I had someone to talk to. Of course I don't. We've been separated for 2 years, what am I going to say ? "Oh, we broke up, that's why I'm feeling so gutted". Err, two years ago ? And my family, who did know about whatever "us" was still going on, they can't help. We're dealing with the fact that my father died one year ago. They don't need my personal drama, they have their own pain.
So I'm just trying to fake it, crying secretely, at night, not sleeping, not eating but chewing mindfully on tiny bits of food before declaring that I have a migraine and can't have another bite. Yes, that's why I'm looking so tired, too. Bad migraines. Always have suffered from them, nothing new here. Spending good time with my son, trying not to let my state affect him at all, trying to keep him from noticing anything at all. Will need to try tosleep as much as possible this weekend while he's with his father, so that my general state of exhaustion doesn't affect him. One hour at a time, sometimes one minute at a time. The show must go on I guess.
Yes, I know we've been officially separated for the last two years. And yes, I know we've been actually divorced for a year. And that you've told me, several times, that you wanted to meet someone else, move one, have a new life.
But I chose to look at your actions and didn't listen to your words.And to be completely honest, here, you knew what I was doing, and what you were doing. You knew I still loved you, I wrote it to you only two months ago and we had a huge fight over it. You chose to keep on having sex with me for the last two years. I chose that, too.
But I would never have chosen to spend the night at your appartment, often, with our son coming into bed with us in the morning, if I'd even suspected that a third of Now was going to happen. I probably would have gone on having sex with you, but not let our little boy, who thinks it's normal for Mummy and Daddy to have separate homes, think it's normal for Mummy and Daddy sometimes to share a bed, too. What is he going to think now ? What is he going to feel ? He's so big, yes, but in fact he's still a small 4 year old boy.
I would never have spent so much time and energy trying to show how we could be good together, in spite of our differences, in spite of not managing to live together, in spite of MY moving out of our home two years ago. Yes, I moved out. Because they were so horrible together, these last few months. You weren't speaking to me anymore, you hated me. You threatened me, you told me if we got a divorce, you'd do everything in your power to destroy me. And be honest: when I moved out, it was heart-breaking, and hurt us both so much, but then we found each other a little, again. Through sex, yes, but not only. There was affection, too. Tenderness. Love, in my case only though, apparently. I took you out, I convinced you to go to the seaside together, as a family. Spend nights in hotels. Go off for a couple of days, together, for your birthday. As we'd often done, these last eleven years, also.
And I kept telling you that I loved you. No, you certainly didn't say it back. You said you were not interested in that sort of love, that you didn't trust me anymore, because of my professional lies, and that you couldn't trust anything I'd ever said after that, whichever the subject. But you stayed. You kept on having sex with me, agreeing to our outings, meals just the two of us, or with our son, inviting me to spend the night over, going to birthday parties together. I chose to look at all that, and to imagine that your brain wanted all the things you were saying, a proper wife, a proper relationship, what you consider normal, but that your heart, deep down, was still in love with me. And that you were not "really" separating from me because you loved me.
Five days ago, you told me you have met someone.
Un jour, mon père m'a dit un truc qui m'a fait réfléchir. (En fait, mon père m'a dit des tas de trucs qui m'ont fait réfléchir, mais on ne va pas les faire tous aujourd'hui).
Il était allé au supermarché local, et avait jeté un oeil au rayon Livres. Il avait été atterré par ce qu'il y avait trouvé, des BDs bas de gamme, du roman de gare, des romances à l'eau de rose, des biographies de célébrités politiques et sportives, bref, rien de bien exceptionnel pour un rayon Livres de supermarché. En revenant, il me raconte ses trouvailles, et me fait remarquer qu'on enquiquinne les enfants pour qu'ils lisent, pour essayer de leur donner le goût de la lecture, avec cette idée que c'est mieux pour eux que de regarder la télévision. Mais que si on leur propose de lire ce genre de chose, finalement, ça ne leur apportera pas grand chose de plus que de regarder la télévision. Il s'agit du même type de sujet, assez banal. C'est généralement assez mal écrit, les intrigues lorsqu'il y en a, ne sont pas bien ficelées, les sujets ne sont pas très étudiés, l'ensemble est assez médiocre, et il y a certaines émissions de télévision qui valent bien mieux que ce type de lectures.
Alors, pourquoi lire? Dans mon cas, pour les raisons suivantes :
Je lis pour m'améliorer.
Je lis des classiques de la littérature, des livres qui ont changé la face du monde d'une certaine façon et à un certain niveau. Je lis des auteurs qui disent des choses qui révolutionnent les idées et les gens. Je lis des livres qui ont façonné la culture de mes pays, et aussi ceux des autres pays.
Je lis des livres qui m'enthousiasment par la ferveur de leurs combats ou de leurs idéaux, des livres qui me donnent envie de changer le monde et ne plus jamais dormir.
Je lis pour comprendre ce que pensent les gens qui ne sont pas moi, qui ne sont pas comme moi, qui pensent autrement parce qu'ils ont été élevés autrement, ailleurs, par d'autres personnes, dans d'autres milieux, d'autres circonstances, et dans d'autres contrées. Je lis des auteurs qui décrivent des vies plus belles que la mienne et des souffrances que je n'ai jamais vécues. Je lis des livres qui expliquent des choses ou des théories que je n'envisage pas.
Je lis pour essayer de comprendre des choses que je ne comprends pas et que je ne connais pas. Je lis pour essayer de comprendre des choses que je
n'aime pas ou qui ne m'intéressent pas. Cela m'est très difficile, et je trouve que c'est mon tort de ne pas aimer ou ne pas m'intéresser aux choses que je n'aime pas ou qui ne m'intéressent pas. Parce que si j'aime ou que c'est intéressant pour moi, je ne m'améliore pas vraiment. J'affine des choses qui existent déjà en moi, mais je ne crée rien de nouveau, je n'apprends pas beaucoup.
Je ne lis pas tous les sujets, ni tous les styles, mais j'essaie d'élargir mes horizons en lisant.
Je lis pour rêver
Je ne lis pas de romans de supermarché, mais je ne lis pas pour autant que de la grande littérature, non plus. Je ne suis pas une intellectuelle de haut vol, du moins, ce que j'imagine être une intellectuelle de haut vol.
Je lis pour me distraire, pour me relaxer, pour rêver, un peu ou beaucoup. Je lis pour me projeter dans d'autres vies que la mienne. Je lis pour sentir mon coeur battre plus vite au fil de certaines pages.
Autrefois, je lisais aussi des romans policiers. Je lisais des romans policiers pour comprendre le criminel, le policier, la victime, pour le défi de trouver le coupable, pour l'excitation des dernières pages qui annoncent le dénouement et qui offrent ce que la vie n'offre que rarement : une explication.
Je lis des livres qui me font rire, des livres qui me sortent complètement de mon univers et qui, quand je relève la tête d'entre leurs pages, se laissent oublier presque instantanément. Je lis des livres qui me marquent, et des livres qui m'indiffèrent, mais je lis de moins en moins de ceux-là. Autrefois, j'étais incapable de ne pas terminer un livre, si mauvais soit-il. Je ne sais si cela avait un rapport avec l'espoir qu'en cours de route, le livre s'améliorerait, ou le refus de m'avouer vaincue, ou alors, à cause d'une sorte de vénération pour les livres qui m'interdisait de ne pas respecter les lignes jusqu'à la dernière page. J'ai terminé tous mes livres, pendant des années, à une exception près. Mais plus maintenant. Si un livre ne m'accroche pas, je lui donne une ou plusieurs autres chances, généralement, il me suffit de le reprendre à un moment où le sujet me parle plus. Mais si un livre est mauvais, je ne lis plus jusqu'au bout. Est-ce parce que j'ai vieilli, et que je ressens le besoin de ne plus perdre de temps avec des médiocrités, ou alors est-ce parce que je suis moins patiente, ou moins rigoureuse? Je ne sais pas.
Et surtout, je lis des livres qui me font réfléchir, d'une façon ou d'une autre. Réfléchir sur la condition humaine ou sur des sujets particuliers, mais des livres qui me font fonctionner mon cerveau. Et je crois que finalement, il pourrait en effet n'y avoir pas tant de différence entre lire et regarder la télévision, si les deux faisaient travailler l'esprit, améliorer la culture et la réflexion. Mais généralement, la télévision propose des romans de gare et des biographies outrancières et racoleuses, comme dans les rayons des supermarchés, sur fond sonore de musique industrielle.
Dans mon cas, je lis pour essayer de devenir une personne meilleure.
C'est étrange, quand on a un enfant, et quand on vieillit, aussi, on paie tellement plus cher les excès, que c'en est injuste et disproportionné.
Je suis allée à une soirée de bloggeuses dans ma ville provinciale, un soir en semaine, ainsi qu'à mon cours hebdomadaire de Yoga de Ouf (contrairement à mon ancien cours de yoga, où on respirait orange par les orteils confortablement installés sous une petite couverture comfy, là, on sue sang et eau et on se tient sur la tête), c'était chouette, c'était vivant et pailleté, il y avait du vin blanc, des gens sympas, des trucs de filles, j'ai respiré l'air de la liberté. Cet air que j'avais perdu pendant la deuxième partie de mon mariage, celle qui m'a asphyxiée et fait perdre le fil de moi-même.
Et puis le lendemain, j'ai eu une migraine carabinée (DEUX verres de vin blanc, sérieux????), que j'ai traînée toute la journée au boulot. J'ai entendu résonner en moi la voix raisonnable de mon ex-mari me rappelant que la fatigue me déclenche presque systématiquement des migraines. "I'm too old for this shit" m'a même rapidement traversé l'esprit. Des combinaisons de tasse de thé/plaid/bouquin/chaton ont dansé devant mes yeux cernés.
Et puis je suis allée à un apéro dinatoire avec tout un tas d'inconnus sympas et intéressants, manger des trucs qui font grossir, boire du champagne, et coucher mon fils bien trop tard.
Je suis trop une cramée de la tête. Call me Pete