Update: Modifying this online with the wordpress editor in my browser earlier screwed with the line breaks and paragraphs. (I should stick to Windows Live Writer.) Fixed.
This maddening post has been tumbling around in my mind for nearly a week now. Never quite forming words, nothing coherent anyway – only fragments. Yet it begs for release, to be expressed, and since writing is my therapy, I will grant its freedom. Maybe this fragment of The Sisters of Mercy’s A Rock and a Hard Place, from which I borrowed my title, will help glue my fragments together:
A rock and a hard place await for for me
Between the devil and the deep blue sea
Everything I ever did right or wrong
Hid out of sight where I belong
And I didn’t have the heart to tell her why
And there wasn’t a part of me that Didn’t want to say goodbye but
Cause and effect go hand in hand with
The devil may care but I don’t mind and
I Thought she’d never quite understand so I
Left her there that night but will she
Find me? I don’t think so, no
When you go, you go alone
And I’m gone….
I have shifted gears again, out of writing about atheism and back to my personal shit. This is probably boring. You have been warned.
Almost a week ago my ex spoke to me on the phone. She told me that she wants to chat, in person, the next time we see each other. (When is undefined but probably over a weekend.) “There’s a lot going on here” and that her aunt wants her to move to Cape Town but she wants to stay in Johannesburg to be close to our son. “A lot going on” is a precursor for “There’s trouble here”, which most likely means that wherever she is, she has messed up the relationship there and it won’t last much longer. (Because that’s what she does. Let’s just say that she is difficult.)
So what might this mean? Maybe she wants to come back. Again. Her timing for leaving couldn’t have been worse. She left right after we had a meeting with social workers (regarding the court case about our son) where she said that she wasn’t leaving. Then she showed up at the court case, and it’s very clear that my chances of getting our son back are very much better without her around. (My chances are 100% by the end of the year, without her.) Not only that, but he doesn’t even like her.
We used to have a wonderful relationship. It was the two of us against the world, and I loved her more than I could ever love any woman. She had this weird habit, when she was pregnant (and she was huge), of sleeping literally on top of me. I sleep so deeply I would never have known, but she used to tell everybody about it. (Maybe it would’ve been less endearing if I’d ever woken up like that.) We had the most amazing sex right up until the night before our son was born.
But our romantic relationship ended in 2009, when she was more interested in partying with someone else at night and leaving our son with me, than being his mother. I have tried to make it work since then, tried so many times that I lost count. But the last (almost) two years, even in bed we were adversaries, enemies in the eternal battle for the blanket. Never won, never lost, but always fought valiantly.
In this last time together, my feelings were about her daughter, and I do still miss her terribly. All I wanted up until two months ago was for a family with both our son and her daughter. But everything is different now, and taking her back would involve, besides having to hear from too many people how stupid I am to do so, the risk of not getting our son back at all. It’s not fair to be the one that she always returns to, not because she loves me, she doesn’t anymore, but because it never works out anywhere else. Of course I may have read too much into her single statement. I don’t know.
Edit: Fragmented is right… I forgot one of the most important parts. A few years ago, when we were still in love and fighting the world together, we had a mutual fear regarding our drug use. In her words it was the fear “of going mad” caused by our meth use. We’d talk about it for hours, and I promised her that I would always be there to take care of her, no matter what. And that is my dilemma. When I made that promise, I meant it, and I still mean it, even though she has long since forgotten. In a way, her behaviour is the result of her worst fear coming true. The problem is that she doesn’t know it. In her “madness” she forgot how she really felt about me and our son, and for a while back then, she treated someone else like he was me, and me like a stranger. For a while, it was like she reversed those roles completely, but I still feel committed to the promise I made years ago. I am still the same person, sober and older and wiser (and I’d like to think better) than I was back then, but the same person anyhow. I still feel the same, and I still feel responsible for her, because I promised her that I always would be. It’s hurt me to keep my promise, but I have kept it all this time. Much of the time, I still think of her as she was, not as she is. And I have never once in these last six years even spoken to her about that promise.
“A promise is a promise” is a lyric from one of our favourite songs from back in the day when she was still the person I fell in love with. (Placebo – Broken Promise) But is a promise still a promise when the person you promised it to has changed so much that they are no longer that person, and they don’t remember how important it was?