Monday, July 23, 2007
Two year reflections III
More two year reflections
I am sure I have said this before, but I still don't understand my divorce. It is different from not understanding why he left me. I have been heartbroken before, and I know the agony of thinking everything was fine and then having someone walk out on me.
I feel the need to call myself to account, to have a consistent story to tell myself and maybe one day my son. I don'twant to dress it up, lie or fill it with platitudes. I need something that makes sense. So here are three versions, the best, the worst and Simon's ( I can only imagine Simon's)
After 13 relatively happy years of marriage I finally realise my dream of having a baby. Simon meanwhile realises that he has been living a lie, there is no way he can keep up the pretense of doing his stressful job and earning enough money to support a family and a comfortable home life (ie earning the same as me). He always wanted to keep his options open - not have kids, and not commit to a career, so that at any minute he could up stumps and go back on the road. He wanted me to be a playmate, not a breast feeding, baby obsessed homebody. It is not fair to
himself or his wife to commit to the 2.2 kids and white picket fence, and he has just realised. He panics, he feels suicidal, he tries to back pedal, and ends up trying to take his life because he feels so trapped by it all. He is completely out of his mind and begins to get a lot of psychosomatic symptoms, he behaves bizarrely and I do not recognise the man I married. He is blind to what he has just done, halfed the household income and left me literally "holding the baby" working full time, picking connor up from daycare, running to and from the psychiatric clinic everyday, I am under a lot of stress, my work suffers, when he says "I can't give you what you want" and "I am very ill I may never work again, you have to tell me - Are you on this journey with me or not??". I remain numb and can not answer him, having a very keen understanding of my marriage vows. When he leaves, I feel nothing bur relief. What he was offering me was an adult child, he never empathised with me, he never pulled his weight, and now he was asking me to support him financially and emotionally for the rest of his life. I thought (rightly or wrongly) I could do better on my own.
I was a selfish woman who negleted her marriage vow "in sickness and in health" and ruthlessly upgraded, within a year, to someone who could give my child and I the stable home life I craved. And the outcome was.... what poetic justice, I was hoist by my own petard and moved in with a self obsessed, potentially BPD, possibly violent, unfaithful man. All the opposite attributes of simon who was - no no they have something in common - self obsessed, ineffectual, gentle, idealistic, sensitive, dependant, failure of a man.
We were happily married for 9 years and then Fiona became desperate to have a baby. This was made worse when she lost twins at 15 weeks and then had another earlier miscarriage. I hated to watch her go through so much pain, I think she was depressed. There was nothing I could do to support her. I felt the best remedy was to give up on having kids. She had other ideas, she practically forced me to go through IVF with her (after 5 years of trying we had now been married 14 years). No one understands what IVF is like for a man, it is so disempowering, it is all about the woman. It caused me a lot of stress, I worked hard and took a better paid job that was frankly beyond my capabilities.
Although she was successful on the first round of IVF she had a difficult pregnancy, she was in and out of hospital, it was like having an old car that was always going wrong. I was afraid the whole time that she would lose the baby and I couldn't face the effect it would have on her. I swore I would never go through this again. When the baby came along, Fiona was happy, but she was so wrapped up in the baby she didn't notice (or understand) the stress I was under. She took 3 months unpaid leave from work, and I hung in with my job until she returned to work full time and could support the family, feeling unsupported and utterly stressed I didn't realise what was happening to me and a year after our son's birth I tried to take my own life. In a blur I had Fiona get me admitted to a mental health clinic for my own safety and where I could recover. She visited me with connor, every evening or almost every evening, but I don't think she ever understood my illness. At one point she said "I just want a functional husband".
After 4 months I came out of the clinic. She was cold and hard and impatient with me. She seemed focussed on the past and determined to stick to her goals of having a big family and buying a home. I told her I could not give her what she wanted, to have another baby and buy a house. I told her I would probably never work again and asked her if she was on this journey with me or not. Around this time she got angry with me, lost patience and cuffed me.
She broke my heart in that moment. I was at my lowest ebb and she could not support me. We went through counselling together, but we had nothing left, our goals were just too different. Eventually I moved out.