Well, is there anything that I can say about this past week that won't seem like the wildly disproportionate ravings of a sad, mad mind?
I splurged rather a lot of money on a highly reputed week-long summer school in an activity very close to my heart (I'm not putting a link - they deserve only good publicity). The working method was anathema to me. I hated it, and hated myself for hating it. That's all, really. Attacked with sharp knives in a precious part of me, a small skill that usually makes me feel competent, confident and centred.
The people were lovely, the food and drink quite excellent. I took it one breath at a time like a good buddhist, and so somehow did not run screaming from the place leaving behind me the sour taste such exhibitions tend to leave; survived it and got home only a bit shell-shocked, wondering: what the hell was that about?
Norwich is an ancient, cultured city. I'd been there only once before and that was more than thirty years ago, but sharp as yesterday, because it was traumatic. I went there to visit my love, who was inexplicably doing his teaching practice as far as possible from our home in Yorkshire. While there I found out why he'd grabbed the opportunity to absent himself for a while. I mentioned that I'd been to the house where we used to live. S and her new baby were flourishing. No, I hadn't seen T, who'd been ill in bed. At this my love went white and rushed to the phone, and thus it was that I found out he and T had been sleeping together and she'd recently had an abortion. I hadn't seen it coming, not at all. There had been clues, but I'd ignored them because I knew my friend T was only attracted to women. Not bisexual. Not even ever so slightly ambivalent. Lovely, adorable T who was very fond of him, but would never desire him - I guess she was the ultimate challenge to a womaniser. I don't suppose she'd ever given a thought in her life to contraception. What were they thinking? Whatever did we all think we were doing with each other's hearts and minds, never mind each other's bodies, back in the 1970s? I should have fled screaming at once from Norwich and from that relationship. It took me much longer to leave it.
I hadn't thought of this for many years until I found myself going to the city last week. On the bus from the railway station to the university, a sharp burst of recognition hit me. I think we must have passed the street where my love was living all those years ago. Norwich is a lovely city with a truly wonderful art gallery, but perhaps it's somewhere I'd do better to avoid. I don't really believe in such things, but, well, what if that need to run screaming remains inside me to be triggered every time I re-enter this bit of the ether? This might not be completely hokey - much about cells and energy that we still don't know...
Just leaving a pebble.
Sounds very, very difficult. Both back then and this past week. Be kind to yourself.
Not strange at all. As I see it, only to be expected. I suspect I would have the same reaction were I to visit Plymouth... Oh, our 'difficult' places - within and without.
I believe our difficult places do mark us. Maybe they leave a map in our cells and so set our souls wandering on a torturous path. Or maybe they bind our soul to a time in place and so root us in the past.
As someone already said: be kind to yourself!
I am so sorry. It sounds like a horrible week on all kinds of levels. I hope that you can recoup now that you're back. It sounds as though you are.
It's odd how deep feelings can be partly dormant in one's system, rather like lava in a (small) volcano! Not just feelings from difficulties, but feelings about the expression of love (family or friends) which might have been easier, if circumstances had been different. The feelings are all there, but partly buried in order that one can keep afloat in the world. Perhaps that's the difference between people who are mostly sane and the very neurotic -the mostly sane manage to keep more outward-looking and afloat. Not being judgemental - a lot of it's probably due to upbringing and also basic character (genes, nerve structure etc). Your description of your experience is very touching.
oh jean, i do feel for you. thanks for telling us... give yourself some time for things to settle in you...
Ugh, that's a tough one, and I can see how it would be hard to ever get over. I've finally come to the conclusion that some wounds never completely heal, even if we do go on with life. We can face up to it, even forgive, but the scar remains and with some situations it's just healthier to avoid contact with the triggers.
At any rate, be glad it's over and you're home!
Oh, there are places I will never, never go back to, not for anything.
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