Today is Saturday. All our phones were forecasting snow, but so far it has been sunny and showery by spells. My fingers are cold, though. It’s certainly colder than yesterday.
There is a hole in my heart today. It’s wide and gaping and bigger than I can handle.
I went to the gym, nursing my hole, and sweated until there were rivulets running into my eyes. Then I did planks and pushups and mountain climbers and lifted some weights. Afterwards, when my legs were too shaky to hold me up anymore and my arms were like jelly, I hobbled into the showers where I stood for a good ten minutes under a hard, hot stream of water, soaking my senses. I stood there quietly, allowing this painful feeling to wash over my entire body. It made me weak.
Soap, scrub, wash and out. I stood in front of the mirror painstakingly smearing foundation all over my face and curling my eyelashes with a thick wand of mascara. Curl curl curl, lengthen, elongate, blink, curl.
I blowdried my hair and it flew all around my head as goosebumps popped over my scalp. I closed my eyes and relaxed into the warming sensation. When I walked out of the gym, the sun was shining against a backdrop of heavy black clouds grumbling quietly.
I went home to my mama. She was sitting down on the phone. When I walked in, nodded at her, and went to see what I could nab from the kitchen I heard her say,
‘I’m sorry, Sadie, I’ll have to call you back. My Len’s just walked in and I think she needs to talk to me.’
I grabbed three tangerines and went back to the sitting room.
‘You’ve got that face you had when you were eight and all the girls in the bus ganged up on you, what’s wrong?’
‘Do I? Oh, nothing. I’m just tired.’
The conversation spiralled out of control. So slowly, though, that I barely noticed it happening. First we were talking about exams and then she brought up something I did years ago that was Very Bad and Extremely Terrible. To her, at least. To me it was different. It was a horrible experience in which I was abused and manipulated and felt so alone and didn’t trust anybody and couldn’t speak to my mother about it because she kept telling me I was ‘evil’.
When I told my mother this today, she started making excuses. So I didn’t want to talk about it anymore.
‘You’re just like your father, you never want to talk about the big things, the real issues that matter.’
I can’t talk to you about it, because you make out like I was the evil one, and you didn’t understand me, and you still don’t. It was five years ago. I need to move on.
I also realised that my mother is not easy to talk to, and sometimes talking to her brings me down. Sometimes. I love her very dearly, but she doesn’t like to admit when she is wrong, and is constantly arguing and making excuses. It’s very tiring and depressing, sometimes.
I also realised that sometimes I do this too, to my husband, which is why he doesn’t really talk to me properly lately. I know I do this, and I need to stop, because I can’t bear it when my mum does it. It makes me feel trapped and anxious and it also means I can’t trust her.
When she asked what was wrong, and I said ‘nothing’, I lied. There was something wrong. I just didn’t want to tell her, because I know she will tell her friends my business, and then when they see me they’ll be all up in it, asking me how everything is.
Like yesterday when a neighbour that is a bit weird and odd and nosey cornered me and asked me how I was feeling after my miscarriage. I was furious. Why did she tell her?! What right did that lady who doesn’t even know me and is such a big gossip, have to know about my private affairs?!
It’s none of anybody’s business, and my mum doesn’t understand that just because they are close to her, doesn’t mean I want them to know my business. So if things are bothering me now, I can’t tell her, because I know everybody we know will end up knowing.
I’m not saying my life is so important that she has to tell everybody. I’m just saying that my mum tells people stuff. She just does. She would deny it vehemently and say no no no but last month a close friend of mine said,
‘Hey, Marie told me you were feeling really isolated out in the country, you never told me!’
Who is Marie? Some loser little sucker who I really hate, but whose mother knows mine pretty well. How did she know this? I told nobody this. Nobody. Except my mother.
See. If Marie finds out about my ‘marriage problems’, she will be gleeful and go around telling everybody who’s anybody, whether they want to know or not.
So that’s why I can’t open up to my mother.
If I tried to tell her why, she would deny it and get angry and shout at me and make excuses saying ‘oh but it’s only so and so’.
I don’t care if so and so knew me in my nappies, she doesn’t know me now and has no right to hear about my private matters.
So, right now, all my problems are kept inside me, and it’s really ripping me apart. I feel so helpless and upset. This marriage malarky is really hard, and I need somebody to help me, or listen to me, but I don’t trust anybody.