The Leaky Leg.

By Alison September 22, 2007 14 Comments 2 Min Read


The night before my period starts my brain goes a bit bonkers. Snippets of crazy dreams pinch me awake and my whole body throbs with some kind of tingly exhaustion. While I am desperately aware that sharings your evening escapades is the height of all that is deadly dull, some dreams are so very loony they require analysis and demand debate. This I’m afraid is one of those dreams.

There is a knock on my door and I open it to find an old boyfriend standing there. He has grown taller since I last saw him but I feel it would be rude to mention it, so allow him to embrace me in a spiky hug instead. Alison, he says, there is a hole in your leg.  I look down and to my surprise he is right: there is a pin sized hole just below my knee, softly oozing a silvery liquid. We go to the doctors and wait, holding hands, in a room papered in portraits of Princess Diana. We don’t talk. For once I have nothing to say. The doctor comes in, rolls up my trouser leg, and shakes his head. I smile benignly at the man holding my hand. I’m bleeding, I say. He shakes his head again. No, he says, it’s not blood. It’s your life seeping away. Just keep mopping it up.

Oh God. It’s too awful isn’t it? Just keep mopping it up.

I’m all of a muddle lately.  I feel like I’m something of a middle-aged battleaxe, head down determinedly making it through my days. Mustn’t think. That would be a bad thing. A very bad thing indeed. Must keep on keeping on, mopping it up and starting over. And over. And oops, over again. On the one hand the benefits of keeping on keeping on, wrapping doubts in beautiful, comforting ritual are many. They bring contentment and contentment is not to be sneezed at. But on the other hand bigger issues are eating me alive. Threatening my fertility, making holes in my skin and wrinkles on my brow.

I don’t say it much. I’m not allowed to think it. But I hate not being the family we were. Loneliness gets me at 9.00 on a Saturday night. Pokes me in the stomach and runs away giggling.

Like I said occasionally my brain goes a bit bonkers so do accept my apologies for putting on you like this. I’m off to bed in my crimson high heels.  Legs and life wrapped tightly in cling film.

Night Sweeties.


  1. anna marie says:

    Life after a divorce does get better, I promise. The first year my emotions were all over the place; the second year I mostly wasn't lonely; the third year I fell in love again, and this time it is for keeps.
    That all said, you are a very gifted writer…you should consider writing some memoirs for publication.
    Anna Marie

  2. Grace says:

    Oh, I'm so sorry that you are dealing with this. Going through a divorce is tough, and the life, dreams and family that you've lost have to be mourned. Good days will sometimes be intercepted by bad days. All that I can tell you is that you will make it through. You have so much going for you and so much support both near and from afar (I live on the other side of the planet from you!). The pain is part of your healing, so be assured that you are going through a normal process that takes time. There's no set timeframe for "getting over" what you're going through.
    It may feel like it to you right now, but your life isn't seeping away; NOT AT ALL! Your cup of life isn't half empty; it's brimming over with many blessings. So, promise yourself that you will remember to relish the good times and to take extra special care of yourself during those not-so-good times.
    Hugs trans-Atlantic cyberhugs from me to you! 🙂

  3. Lesley says:

    De-lurking to say how much I identify with your post. My husband of 20 years has just left and yes, my life is bleeding away, bit by bit. People keep saying that this will pass, and although my head knows it, my heart refuses to listen. You have my deepest sympathy.

  4. Gena says:

    Your life is not seeping away sweetie,nor are you middle aged! you are a beautiful vibrant YOUNG woman!and all of your lovely rituals and homemaking expertise,is all in a good cause, you are preparing your nest for the next chapter, and there will be one, when you least expect it, and you will have that family life again, only a hundred times better.xxxx

  5. Rebecca says:

    I just wanted to send you hugs, and echo Anna Marie's suggestion that you write some memoirs… or at least get them started! You have plenty of life to document yet, I'm sure.
    All the best to you this Sunday morning– may it bring you much peace and comfort.

  6. Dad says:

    Hi Al,
    you must take after me for weird dreams (remember the one I had recently). I think about you being alone in the evenings all the time and assure one day it will all change for you. In the meantime just reflect on the sayings of Finley, like that one he said whenwe were in the car yesterday "mummy I love you so much I could kick you" what a gem.
    Love you forever,

  7. loulou says:

    I've been reading your blog for years and I don't think I have ever posted. I just wanted to say that once again you have put into words (via a dream) what others feel. ' seeping away…'. Lonliness gets to me, too, at 9pm on a saturday night…or to be honest, any night. And its difficult to give yourself a good hard shake and start over, and over, and OVER. So be kind to yourself. And your Dad is a Prince!

  8. Anne says:

    Oh, the joys of PMS. A curse at the best of times, down right evil when dealing with exceptional life challenges. Although the challenge of my life is different than yours, when my hormones are knocked askew, everything is dark and morose and impossible.
    Then one night something shifts and upon awakening, the darkness is gone.
    May you soon have a morning where all things are possible again.
    (BTW, on a totally different subject – I love your Dad and Mum. And Finley. Probably because your love for each other comes through so clearly in your blog. And it is lovely.)

  9. DamonD says:

    Mine left on my 26th wedding anniversary although we had been an item for 32 yrs. I thought I would die of heartbreak.
    That was seven years on I have been remarried for five.
    Big Hugs all will come right.

  10. Jenny says:

    Oh Alison May!! I have read your entire blog, and keep up with you whenever you write… you are one of the strongest, gifted, beautiful people I've ever known in this world.. (yes I feel I know you) and this 'too shall pass'. I'm not a terribly religious person, but have faith that there is a reason… when a door closes a window is always left open, and you need to know you ARE better off than you were even a year ago! Keep your chin up darling, the sun WILL be out soon!

  11. Sharon S says:

    I'm glad you said what you're not allowed to say. I'm sure someone has been comforted because she is feeling the same.

  12. What a sweet dad you have! I know this is off topic (but I so relate to your post – I just don't know how to properly respond)… I was a bit weepy as I said to my parents last night, "I don't understand why this sister I love so much won't talk to me." My dad said, "I know, babe, MY sister hasn't spoken to me in 8 years." I felt a deeper kindredness with him! It has nothing to do with what you're posting about but I think I'm going to try treasuring the family I have and releasing the family I don't have. Blessings… Polly

  13. Mari says:

    Alison – have just seen Rachael Ray on Hallmark channel this morning(approx 10.30)- she has a show!

  14. Patricia says:

    Dear Alison: you are not alone in your feelings, and I for one, can empathize with your angst – thank you for sharing for your feelings – you give much needed validation to those of us who do not express ourselves so openly, so please keep it up. YOU ARE NEEDED!
    A cyberspace friend, Patricia

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