Category Archives: Bad sad things

I read, much of the night, and go south in winter.

APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

There have been, eh, delays? Roadblocks? Oafs? in the house-hunting plans. My mother, who is being excellent about the whole thing, is going to share the mortgage with me, but to do so she needs to sort out her financials, which she can’t do because a Third Party is being a dithering twatweasel. We email each other links to listings of possible flats, and she complains about the lack of second bedroom and I complain about the state of the bathroom and that’s about the extent of it.

So H and I are still sharing a flat.

This flat has been my home for 10 years now. Why, yes, Gentle Reader, I feel conflicted. I feel conflicted as hell. Run! Stay! Run! Home! Stay! Run! Run! Run!

I bitterly resent having to leave, having to live on my own, having to do all this by myself without my favourite human at my side. I bitterly resent it. The only thing worse than leaving H and being alone is staying with him, frankly.

That’s not to say H is being appalling. He continues being considerate and polite and relatively easy to share a space with. He always was a good room-mate, mind. He’s just being bloody there, and, of course, because I am nothing if not totally irrational, when he goes away I feel unpleasantly lonely.

(He’s away right now, spending the Easter week with his family. Whereas I am spending Passover eating bitterness, salt tears, and chocolate. My People are Giving Me A Look.)

I went to a large family wedding recently, and spent not nearly as long as I feared but rather more than I wished fending off relations who wanted to know where H was and why H wasn’t… But they weren’t as bad as the Pregnant Cousins Regiment and their cooing and twittering parents. Oy vey, the cooing and twittering, and didn’t I want to hear all about [cousin]’s every twinge, burp and sickie? About as much as I want to repeatedly slam my favourite hand in a waffle-iron, thank you, and please excuse me, I have a lavatory door to stare at until I’m sure everyone is talking to someone else.

(Bloody stupid conversation with one relation who was all ‘oh, when were you in hospital? Oh, in the summer? Oh, yes, I did know that! Your mother said… um. You were really ill, weren’t you? And you lost the baby. Oh. Um. Oh. Yes, I did know that. Um.’

Well fucking quite).

And the wedding vows – oh, Gentle Readers, I made wedding vows. H made wedding vows. People are so bravely foolish, so foolishly brave, to stand up in front of everyone they know and say ‘you. You forever. You and only you, above all things and people’. What if only one of them means it? What if neither of them mean it? What if they actually mean ‘you can’t hold me to this if it stops being fun or easy’?

So I cried. I wonder how many people crying at weddings are doing so because their broken heart is aching under the strain.

I am suffering from absolute burn-out. Dear internets, it’s not you, it’s me, but if you and your loved ones are all alive and not in hospital and no one’s spouse is running away with all their money and a random guitarist with hepatitis, I have nothing comforting or kind to say. Not because you don’t deserve every comfort and kindness, you really do. You really do. I’m just utterly out of both and running on petrol fumes of decent behaviour and I will only let you down if you ask me for them. So let’s not put us in that position, eh? And one day I’ll actually have had a week where someone actually puts me and my needs first for longer than it takes a kettle to boil and I’ll’ve basically refuelled. And then I will sympathise with your colicky baby issues. Poor you. Poor baby.

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Two minute silence

If things hadn’t taken so many turns for the shittier, 6AA would’ve been born this week.


A sad

I had grand plans to spend the evening cooking and doing laundry. Instead, I spent it eating cheese on toast and watching TV in a weepy heap.

I miss H. It’s horrible. I loved him so much.

I loved him enough to bundle away my writery ambitions and get a proper job, so he didn’t have to feel conflicted about supporting me, and so we could save money – he always wanted a house of his own (neither of us were to know the housing market would go batshit insane. Heigh ho). I didn’t care so much about property, but I couldn’t in all conscience base my plans for lentil-eating garret-dwelling poeting on his earning power. I had to contribute. I got a proper job. (Thank fuck I did [Irony Claxon]).

And then we tried for babies. I swear, I would never have kept on trying so long so hard if H hadn’t been adamant that he also wanted children. Yes, I wanted children very much, I really did, or I wouldn’t’ve gone along with it all. But I wanted my child to have what I never had – a father. A real one, who stayed, and who would do nappies and 3am sheet-changes and colic and maths homework and who would love them and love me and put us first. Unlike my own father. Unlike my step-father.

I thought H was doing what I was doing. Putting us first. Putting our future child, should we finally have one, first. Putting me, if not first, then at least up there with ‘important’ and ‘beloved’.

And he didn’t. Maybe he couldn’t. But then he should’ve told me he couldn’t love me like that before agreeing to marry me. He should’ve told me when he first found he was carrying Velociraptor eggs home in his pocket. He should’ve trusted me. Instead, he took advantage of the fact I trusted him.

I am being unbelievably fucking petty at the moment, because H is slowly getting round to telling his family and close friends about Divorce Because Velociraptors, and they are being supportive of him. Of course they should be, he’s family, and he is clearly very depressed and fucked-up and needs all the support he can get. But – I told you this was petty – my family are all about the ‘you’ll be fine, May! You’re brave and strong and resilient and this will be the making of you!’. While worrying that H will be having a ghastly time.

What about my ghastly time, you bastards? H asked to have a ghastly time, literally asked, taking foolish risks as he did. I did not ask. I felt I’d already had a ghastly time, thank you, quite sufficient for the time being. My baby died. For the tenth time in a row. I nearly died. That was ghastly. Being caught arsing about with Velociraptors is not actually in the same league. And yet I am ‘resilient and fine and fine and this is the best thing ever for me’ and poor H is having a ‘ghastly time’ and needs people to stand by him. The innocent and righteously indignant victim is never as knee-jerk attractive and sympathetic as the repentant sad-eyed kicked-puppy bad boy.

At least no one has said I ought to stand by him. Because fuck that noise.


Scenes from the beginning of the end of a marriage

May and H, sitting side-by-side in the living-room, watching the ice-dancing at Sochi, gleefully discussing the relative merits of sequins, frills, and little black gloves in costuming. H has just made May a cup of tea. Anyone would think they were going to eventually die aged respectively 87 and 88, holding hands in bed. 30 minutes earlier, May was shrieking ‘A Velociraptor, for fuck’s sake! In my house! In my house!’ while H sat with his head in his hands and wept.

May, at the end of her evening commute, standing outside the house in the dark, looking up at the stars, longing to go home, for minute after minute, because there is no home anymore.

H, weeping after finally telling his parents about the impending divorce, and May, automatically, unthinkingly, putting her arms around him.

‘I’ll have the Claudia Roden cook books and the Elizabeth David ones.’
‘What about the Madhur Jaffrey ones?’
‘One of them’s yours. I gave it to you.’ Pause ‘You can totally have the Complete Potato book as well.’
‘OK, what about Nigel Slater?’
‘I’ll arm-wrestle you for him.’

H is watching The Voice while May cooks dinner, and May dances about the kitchen area, singing along, suddenly happy. Suddenly actually happy. About what? Foolish woman.

May is sitting in the lavatories at work, stifling her sobs in case someone comes in and kindly asks who is that sobbing in the cubicle? And can she come out so we can have a wee now?

H is troubled. He’ll be seeing some of his family face-to-face, and doesn’t really want to tell them about the true nature of the Velociraptor, for verily, no one likes a Velociraptor-owner. ‘Don’t tell them then,’ says May.
‘But they’ll ask, and I don’t like lying to them.’
‘But you had no problem at all with lying to me for four fucking years?’
May storms into the kitchen and starts rage-making coffee. H follows her, looking pathetic, to apologise. ‘Look,’ says May, depressing the cafetière plunger, ‘Just tell them it’s too painful to talk about. And then if they push it, they’re the ones being awful.’ H looks relieved, both because of the advice, and because May hasn’t hit him with the kettle.

May spends a few minutes spitefully hoping H’s family do winkle it out of him, and the whole episode ruins lunch, before roping in Bitter McTwisted and setting her to googling divorce blogs.

May goes to brunch with a good friend, but has cried so often she just sort of sits there like a waxwork while her friend’s eyes fill with tears on the reciting of the Tale of the Incipient Divorcening. In any group of friends there is one who, hopefully only for a few months at a time, takes on the role of That One To Whom All The Shit Happens. For now, this friend is May. May drinks entirely too much coffee and talks energetically about Shakespeare instead.

H makes a couple of pitiful attempts at blaming the Velociraptor on the miscarriages. ‘I always thought I’d’ve been able to get rid of it if we’d had a living child…’ he begins, before May erupts in a painfully ugly fury. Because May herself wasn’t worth remaining dinosaur-free for? Now H is channelling Henry VIII? The fuck? A few days later, H uses the unwise phrase ‘well, you weren’t entirely to blame…’ and comes within a whisker of having his entire wardrobe left out in the middle of the road.

May goes back to googling properties within commuting distance of her place of work. Shamelessly, in the middle of the living-room, where H can see her.


The Paradise of Fools

So I am living in limbo right now.

I think, I think, with my mother’s help and my savings, I will be able to get a mortgage on a very small flat. My mother, however, is smack in the middle of an insanely large (and gloriously insane) project right now and is communicating mostly 48-hourly text messages saying, basically, ‘thinking of you, speak to you when Project Insanity is over’. I don’t want to start flat-hunting until I know exactly what I can afford. I call this ‘being quite sensible’, but my sense of what is sensible has taken such a smacking it has demagnetised and occasionally points to the Faroe Islands.

The Velociraptor is, I suppose you could say, in a cage in the middle of the kitchen. It’s no longer chewing holes in the marriage/floor joists, but every time I have another quick peek at the damage, I find something else shredded, sagging off its hinges, or barely held together with duct tape and white-wash. And the cage is taking up rather a lot of room. And it’s still in my house.

The thing is, at least one of us is stuck here until the end of May, as that’s how long the lease is for. H and I are being very adult, civilized, and polite to each other. And, vitally, there are two bedrooms, and H is now sleeping in the other one. Technically, I could stay here until the lease runs out. It’s not horrible. It’s just miserable.

It is so miserable. I already miss H so much. Well, I miss the person I thought H was. As I was coming out of the station this evening on my way home, I bumped into H going the other way (he had a thing to go to), and my poor stupid Golden Retriever of a heart leapt up with happiness – it’s my favourite human! There he is! My human! – and I actually trotted over to him, smiling and pleased, to say hi. And put my hand on his arm, and had him smile back at me. And walked home leaking tears because he wasn’t my human after all and I was going to have to leave him soon.

I loved him so.

My H, who brought me tea every morning we woke up in the same building. Who gave me Doctor Who DVDs for birthdays and Christmas. Who would empty and wash out washing-up basins for me when I was vomiting uncontrollably every stupid month. Who would run me a bath if I was tired and cranky of an evening. Who would text me at work to let me know if the trains were running late. Who took on most of the housework uncomplainingly when my chronic pain and constant miscarriages turned me into a sofa-dwelling slug for weeks and weeks on end. My H, my kind, sweet, affectionate H.

And all the time, he had this catastrophic secret.

Back in, I think, November? H and I had an ugly fight, in which, eventually, I broke down in tears and asked him why he had said so few nice things to me since the miscarriage/DVT/PE debacle? He always used to be verbally affectionate, saying he loved me or that I looked cute in that dress or some such lovely remark every few days. And this had stopped but completely. (In fact, the first time I brought it up, a few weeks earlier, the next day H stopped in the middle of the pavement, cupped my face in his hand, gazed upon me with a faint smile for some seconds, and said, I quote, ‘these last couple of years have really aged you.’ Holy fuck, H, what the hell?). Anyway, we had a row, and I, having ranted at length at how yes I did mind his never saying he loved me any more, asked him why he’d stopped? And he answered, very irritably, ‘It’s never a good time.’

There, that there, should have been the enormous great screaming claxon of THIS RELATIONSHIP IS APPROACHING THE DEATH ZONE.

But instead we were hunting for a counsellor and planning an FET (an FET, incidentally, I should be right in the middle of right now this minute) and I was starting to feel optimistic that maybe this would be OK (the marriage, that is, not the FET, because I was not utterly lost to the pink clouds of delusion).

And then I found out about the Velociraptor.


Back she crawls

Hey, Gentle Readers. How are you all? And look, I’m still alive!

Item – Yes, I have gone for a good old gloomy-pants new look around here. Things are suddenly and to my intense disgust very different, and this is the bloggy equivalent of cutting most of my hair off and dyeing the remains Emotional Midnight Ink.

Item – No, there have been no further shocking revelations about my health. It remains as it ever did – endometriosis, PCOS, adenomysosis, allergic to bloody everything.

Item – Actually, it’s the marriage. Which you, dear kind readers, have watched me occasionally vapour and kvetch about right here on this very blog – the communication issues, the sex (lack of) issues, the not-being-on-the-same-page-hang-on-is-this-the-same-book? issues. It turns out you can’t be even so much as in the same library when one person is hiding a rather important thing from the other. And I found out.

Item – Other things I found out these past twelve days:

  • Fainting from shock is actually a real thing that really happens (being me, I of course politely waited until I was all on my own before fainting from shock, and had to get back up again to make my own hot sweet tea. Which I am still irrationally pissed off about).
  • You can miss a person horribly even when they’re sitting the other side of the room from you, eating popcorn and glumly watching the Olympics.
  • You will actually say ‘please don’t speak to me right now or I will hit you with a chair’ and actually, sincerely mean it as a polite warning made out of concern for the other’s health and wellbeing.
  • There are such things as Deal-Breakers. That will break even 20 years of love and 17 years of cohabitation and 9 years of marriage. And will break them all with a clean, hard, irretrievable snap. And the pain will come closer to killing you than even pulmonary embolisms and RPL.
  • That property prices in Britain are fucking insane and I will be forced to mortgage my every living relative for a cupboard with a chemical toilet in the corner.
  • That it will be my cupboard. That I long for it now with the power of a thousand suns.

I can see you, Gentle Readers, practically bouncing on your seats in your eagerness to type ‘but what the hell happened? What did you do? What did H do? WHAT? WHAT?’ And I am going to cheerfully piss you all off by not telling. H, as furious as I am with him, as shattered as my heart is, nevertheless deserves both his privacy and the right to tell his story his way, should he ever want to tell his story.

The night after I Made My Discovery, I dreamt I was painting the walls of our home, but the plaster kept flaking off to reveal what looked like grey-blue dinosaur hide (I don’t have an unconscious. It’s all Captain Obvious in there). So let’s just say H was keeping a velociraptor under the bed, even though I hate velociraptors, am scared of them, and have always said things like ‘Oh, we don’t have velociraptors! We’re not velociraptor people, are we, H?’ and H would say ‘What? Oh, yes. Quite. No velociraptors. May doesn’t care for them.’

And then the velociraptor burst out and bit my leg off.

So, you traitor, you really believed you’d keep
this a secret, this great outrage? Steal away
in silence from my shores? Can nothing hold you back?
Not our love? Not the pledge once sealed with our right hands?
Not even the thought of Dido doomed to a cruel death?

Virgil’s Aeneid, Book IV, translated by Robert Fagles

– See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/19807#sthash.DPtFK5vF.dpuf

You have taken the east from me; you have taken the west from me;
you have taken what is before me and what is behind me;
you have taken the moon, you have taken the sun from me;
and my fear is great that you have taken God from me!

Donal Óg, translated by Lady Gregory.

– See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/19457#sthash.RJd5MWfD.dpuf


The end

Gentle Readers, a bad thing has happened. There will be no more attempts to make a baby. I know this is a deeply unsatisfactory ending to the saga, but it will have to do, as I really cannot talk about the bad thing.

I am disabling comments because being repeatedly emailed your commiserations, speculations, cri-du-cœur and requests for an EXPLANATION, damn it! would be more than I can bear. Even though I know you care so very much and are only worried sick. I am so sorry. I just can’t.

I love you all, and wish you every good and beautiful thing in the world, and peace and love and true happiness. Thank you for sharing this journey with me. I am more sorry than you can ever know at how this is all ending.