Sunday, 30 August 2009

The Towering Inferno

I'm not very good at angst. Weeping delicately into a handkerchief is really not my style and a tendency to see the funny side* of any situation may give the impression that I am being glib and flippant about a momentous decision; that of ending my marriage of nearly 13 years.

'Ending a marriage' sounds so calm and measured but let's be brutally honest - in doing so I am irreversibly changing the course of my children's lives; destroying the world of a good, kind, decent man. Dismantling the lives of those closest to me - for what? Pursuit of my own happiness - or more accurately - a release from my unhappiness. If I wasn't me I'd slap me. Stupid cow.

With only the tiniest bit of hindsight, I can best describe my marriage in recent years like being trapped in a burning building. As the flames of misery & despair start to burn (yes it's one of those corny, crap analogies) I've made my way up to the next floor (a bigger house, another baby, a holiday perhaps) where the air is clear and I could still breathe for a little while.

A week ago I reached the top of that building and guess what - there's nowhere to go. My choice - slow & painful or quicker but very messy. I know I had to jump but nothing prepared me for the horror of it all. Never before have I felt physically sick with the sheer terror of the unknown. I look down, into the future. There's no-one to catch me, no safety net; just other people milling around as best they can - friends and family looking up at me 'WTF is she doing?' written all over their faces.

So, if you see a 42 yr old mother of two face down on the pavement, splattered with self-doubt and self-loathing, that'll be me. If you see me on Twitter talking my usual rubbish it's not that I'm not desperately sad; I'm just distracting myself from the undoubted wretchedness the next few months will bring.

*My favourite post-Armageddon comedy moment so far is a text from a wonderful friend who expressed her shock, concern and love followed by the words 'you've really fucked up our dinner party seating plan though'. Brilliant! Made me laugh out loud and helped me ignore the huge hole I've bitten in my lip to prevent myself collapsing in floods of tears in the supermarket.