The divorce, with its many ramifications and aftermath, and the imminent move together have triggered the worst attack of Global Insecurity I have had in ages.
My ex is staying, for a few days, with relatives, away from the area, and Lad and his Lass are on holiday together for a week. I am, therefore, alone.
Almost immediately, the positive, cheerful, ‘I am coping!’ mask slipped – and all the terror I had bottled up for weeks began to come out. I am restless, pacing up and down, trying to out-walk the distress which seems to be building, like a giant wave, far out at sea while I, both petrified and mesmerised, stand on the shoreline unable to move, just waiting for it to engulf me.
What strikes me now is this: Despite everything (and I have only scratched the surface of it all on here), I have kept going. I have not given in permanently to despair or fear or bullying or disappointment or financial hardship or the loss of people who mattered to me.
But now, it suddenly all feels like too much. The buoyant cork that is Ali in nature is battered and waterlogged and struggling to pop up again.
I think the busy – at times, frantic – nature of the past year’s events has kept my mind from giving in to sadness too much: There has been so much, in the practical sense, to do – dealing with solicitors, looking at houses, phoning estate agents, trying to offset the worst of the emotional fall-out – that I have not had time or energy to grieve and cry and get angry.
And now it has hit me, hard: How ambivalent I am about moving; how afraid of being forgotten; how terrified of being lost, emotionally, in the new place; how much I fear the gap left by my absence closing over without so much as a backward glance; how distraught I am as a result of those who have bled out of my life because of the divorce and the panicky, hysterical wailing horror that they might be joined by others once I move; how traumatic the divorce was – and how angry, furiously ragingly angry, I am with my ex and all those who have sided with him.
I am not claiming these thoughts are logical. High waves of emotion rarely are. I am not saying that they are even realistic. Terror strikes out wildly and indiscriminately through the Amygdala and, like a storm, leaves damage in its wake – but the weather eventually clears and goes back to a more normal setting.
My throat closes, and my eyes fill, at the very thought of saying farewell to the house, the village I have lived in for so long – and, most importantly, the friends I have made here (some very dear, and important, to me).
I know that I shall only be twenty miles away – and that, for some, this will not (I hope) prove an insurmountable barrier; but I have already been burned by people leaving my life and that insecurity is, therefore, very real and very hurtful in my heart.
At times like this, I always feel insubstantial, invisible almost. I feel, right now, like a ghost in my own life, as if I am haunting the familiar sights and people, and they are vaguely aware of a presence but put it down to draughts or uneasy dreams.
Untethered, I drift between the house I live in and the one I am buying, between those I love here and those I hope to get to know there. Untethered, I want the move to speed up and be over, and I want this Limbo to go on forever so that I won’t have to face the terrible wrench of saying goodbye. I want to stay – and I want to go.
Life, as we know, goes on, uninterrupted, without the dead. It has to. The spark of life carries a wonderful imperative which no individual loss can disobey or hope to change.
Divorce is a little death, moving another, loss of friends a third.
Three in a row.
So, forgive me, if you actually know me, if I seem a little distrait, very clingy and insecure, nervous and unable to settle to anything. Forgive me if I rage or weep or seem un-trusting in your presence. Forgive me if I withdraw and stop trying things out short term. It is not you. It is the trio of little deaths bringing my earliest and most enduring fear of loss and rejection scenario up once again.
It is the ghost of the baby me who wails and totters and cannot get relief and peers endlessly out of unfamiliar windows to see if her missing parents are ever going to come back.
They did – and so will those with whom I have a strong and enduring bond. Although I will not carry them with me physically, those who are lodged in my heart are here to stay emotionally. Trust comes hard. But that is the orange ring I need to cling onto, and have faith in the strength of.
Love survives divorce, a move, death. That is the lifebuoy I need to keep within my sights during the next few scary weeks.