The Way We Were.

By alison October 15, 2006 25 Comments 3 Min Read

Kiss2_2

I can’t forgive you. Even if I could
You wouldn’t pardon me for seeing through you.
And yet I cannot cure  myself  of love
For what I thought you were before I knew you.

Wendy Cope.

Sad Sunday morning. The baby is at Mum and Dads and my mouth is a gash of purple berries after a lovely little wedding. A wedding that kind of made me want to cry.

I can’t wake up. So I run down the stairs in the  nightie with the broken strap, clutching it to my chest and hoping the church-goers are still eating breakfast when I nip into the porch to grab the Sunday papers. I throw a tray laden with pretty things together. Madagascan vanilla yoghurt in  a tiny little blue spotty sugar bowl. Two tangerines peeled and piled on a gilt edged plate and a huge rose strewn cup filled with boiling water and slices of lime…

I carry it back up the stairs and bury myself under the blankets.  Supplements everywhere and the rosy glow of  one of my lamps fooling me into thinking everything will be alright.

Nobody told  me it would  be so hard to be a grown up.   Nobody said that some mornings I would forget to hate him and miss him like hell. That I wouldn’t mind the fact that he was probably lying beside his Nicky, if only he would ring me  and tell me everything will be alright.  Wrap my fragile little heart  up in sellotape and stand once again between me and the rest of the world.

You get used to a person you see. The stupid things they say and the way they idly stroke your leg while you watch Coronation Street. The fact that they can never look on the bright side but will aways be there to help you see it when times are hard. A look that says, you’ve gone too far. Be careful.The memories you share. The hopes and dreams you used to have. And your babba. Most of all your babba.

We are friends now. Still family. Brother and sister. We sit companionably with too many cups of tea and laugh about everything we have always laughed at. He wipes the filthy window of his car with my favorite Cath Kidston tea-towel and I remember why I don’t want him back. That he doesn’t care and he never did.

He says "I can’t move on till I know you are ok with this."

I say, "How is she? Does she make you happy? Are you ok? Really ok? Cause I like my life without you Mark, I really do."

Occasionally I touch his face.   Worry about him. Love him like I brought him up and watched him fly the nest.  Wish for only good things for him. For the kind of happiness I know is waiting around the corner for me. Because he will never live here again. Sunday mornings aren’t what they used to be and we are not who we were. And except for moments of self doubt, when I am aching for something I can’t have right now, when I ‘m scared of wanting too much, more than I deserve probably,  a whole new england, it hardly matters .

Once as he was leaving, he turned around and hugged me. A quick strange unfamiliar kind of hug. "I did this for both of us you know?" he said.

And I smiled. And leaned into him and said "I know and I’m grateful."

Because I am.  Sunday mornings will never be the same but he has given me the possibility of a a life less ordinary, and the chance to be with somebody who makes me want to be a better me, and for that  I will always be grateful.

Don’t think me strange. Or stupid. I just loved him. But now I  understand that we came undone for a reason. 

Other Things To Do At BrocanteHome

25 Comments

  1. Crystal T says:

    I wish you a future that is better than you imagined. Someone who loves you and CARES about things you care about…just because YOU care about them. How nice it will feel then, yes? Because you have lived under the umbrella because of the rain, the sun on your face will feel SO MUCH better then. Oh and the sun is coming my friend. Good times are coming along…

  2. Susana says:

    Big hug to you Alison. –
    Susana

  3. Gena King says:

    I wish I had all the right things to say Alison,that post just breaks my heart, like Susana I send you a big hug xx

  4. Gena King says:

    I wish I had all the right things to say Alison,that post just breaks my heart, like Susana I send you a big hug xx

  5. Ashley says:

    Wow…you are an amazing woman. The world needs more genuine souls like you. God bless you.

  6. Claudette says:

    Alison,
    Look at the photo. Very closely. Look at your eyes and posture. Any pocket-book physcologist could tell you…you knew then.

  7. Claudette says:

    Alison,
    Look at the photo. Very closely. Look at your eyes and posture. Any pocket-book physcologist could tell you…you knew then.

  8. Nancy says:

    I know your ache…your longing….your realization.
    It gets better but it never fully goes away….and that is okay. It just means our hearts are still tender and forgiving and soft enough to remember and yearn for what WAS good, even amidst the bad.
    It has been 11 years for me…10 with my new Love….and I STILL miss him….his smell, his sexy eyes, his manliness, his strength, albeit intertwined in his many weaknesses. I still search for his face in that of our daughter
    But, he released me to have a better life and I will never forget.
    This too shall pass….or ease its sting somewhat.

  9. cassandra says:

    You brave, beautiful,inspiring woman. Your heart is so true and honest and you give so much to so many, love of the very best kind will surely come soon. You deserve it. P.S.Brocante has brightened some of my darkest days,and just think it exists because of you,now thats pretty special.xxxx

  10. cassandra says:

    You brave, beautiful,inspiring woman. Your heart is so true and honest and you give so much to so many, love of the very best kind will surely come soon. You deserve it. P.S.Brocante has brightened some of my darkest days,and just think it exists because of you,now thats pretty special.xxxx

  11. Kim says:

    I really think that we have different seasons to our life, especially during our twenties. Times in which we do certain things & are with certain people for a reason. Often the reason is a lesson of what we shouldn't do, but its a reason. Of course, when it is happening, it doesn't seem like a reason, it just hurts. And then, someday, you realise that it all fits together. That all of the stuff that you went through, experienced, etc, were to get you to the new place. The new, amazing, you-didn't-think-that-*your*-life-could-be -that-good place. I think that time is coming for you soon, Alison.

  12. Kim says:

    I really think that we have different seasons to our life, especially during our twenties. Times in which we do certain things & are with certain people for a reason. Often the reason is a lesson of what we shouldn't do, but its a reason. Of course, when it is happening, it doesn't seem like a reason, it just hurts. And then, someday, you realise that it all fits together. That all of the stuff that you went through, experienced, etc, were to get you to the new place. The new, amazing, you-didn't-think-that-*your*-life-could-be -that-good place. I think that time is coming for you soon, Alison.

  13. Sheila says:

    Your honesty is to be applauded. To pretend all is well when your heart is broken would be the normal response. Sometimes we stay with things the way we are because it's safe, if not perfect. Tuck your love for him into a little space in your heart, and make room for the new love that is coming, when you least expect it.

  14. lizzie says:

    I read somewhere that to make a relationship work you dont need shared interests (interests change over the years) you need a shared common purpose. Maybe there is much we dont know but be wary of him telling you he has done this for your own good – dont be too civilised about all this – keep your own counsel in your own heart. Here endeth the lesson !

  15. lizzie says:

    I read somewhere that to make a relationship work you dont need shared interests (interests change over the years) you need a shared common purpose. Maybe there is much we dont know but be wary of him telling you he has done this for your own good – dont be too civilised about all this – keep your own counsel in your own heart. Here endeth the lesson !

  16. Terri Pollhein says:

    Part of me wants to congratulate you on your ability to be civil to him.
    Most of me wants to ask you if you're wearing your wellies, because he is shoveling out the biggest load of B.S. that the British Isles have ever seen!
    He didn't consider you for a second. And he certainly didn't consider his son.
    The only thing he's right about is that you are better off. He is a pig.
    Didn't I understand he worked in the psychiatric field? He's playing you and should not be trusted. Ever. At all.
    You're so beautiful and talented. You can do so much better. And, I think you will.
    God bless.
    Terri

  17. Terri Pollhein says:

    Part of me wants to congratulate you on your ability to be civil to him.
    Most of me wants to ask you if you're wearing your wellies, because he is shoveling out the biggest load of B.S. that the British Isles have ever seen!
    He didn't consider you for a second. And he certainly didn't consider his son.
    The only thing he's right about is that you are better off. He is a pig.
    Didn't I understand he worked in the psychiatric field? He's playing you and should not be trusted. Ever. At all.
    You're so beautiful and talented. You can do so much better. And, I think you will.
    God bless.
    Terri

  18. judy says:

    I don't know you, but I love your blog!
    So, I would not begin to think I should leave you advice.
    But, I do heartily agree with what Terri and lizzie said.

  19. judy says:

    I don't know you, but I love your blog!
    So, I would not begin to think I should leave you advice.
    But, I do heartily agree with what Terri and lizzie said.

  20. I've been reading your blog for months, and it always cheers me up. I found it when I was looking for domestic advice, but I fell in love with the way you write and I felt a kinship to your heartbreak over Mark leaving…
    My own "Mark" died on me two weeks ago. We had a relationship as you described- "We are friends now. Still family. Brother and sister. We sit companionably with too many cups of tea and laugh about everything we have always laughed at. He wipes the filthy window of his car with my favorite Cath Kidston tea-towel and I remember why I don't want him back. That he doesn't care and he never did."
    I was not ready for him to leave me again, but that's for my blog, not yours. lol…
    Today's blog was just what I needed while I was missing him terribly. Thank you!
    Love,
    Candice Roomberg

  21. It seems you are much stronger having gone through these past few months Alison. I can see in you the beginnings of thankfulness for having walked through hell. That is something to be proud of. When you can look back and see that with the tatters of your life, you sewed a beautiful quilt. Yours is quite becoming, my dear.

  22. It seems you are much stronger having gone through these past few months Alison. I can see in you the beginnings of thankfulness for having walked through hell. That is something to be proud of. When you can look back and see that with the tatters of your life, you sewed a beautiful quilt. Yours is quite becoming, my dear.

  23. Annabelle says:

    Dear Alison,
    Nobody wants to see a family split but I must agree with Terri and Lissie; they definitely speak the truth. Once a partner loses the other one’s trust it will never be the same unless you’re a saint and can forgive and forget the breaker of trust forever. Unless that happens the marriage won’t work.
    My parents tried but my mom couldn’t forget or forgive and became suspicious of his every move. Our home was a living torment and we kids couldn’t do anything about it. My mom wanted to hold on for two reasons …she still loved him and because of us. Still that wasn’t enough.I completely understand that unless ones living through it,it’s hard to really know what the best decision would be.I know quite well there are too many connectors to disconnect from a marriage…how can I forget my mom’s lament heard in the early mornings as my little sister and I awakened and the long fading sobs at night as we fell asleep. How terribly sad she was and us two kids lost in the battle crying for love and keeping each other safe for we were still very much a part of the disconnecting picture.
    Love, shared memories and hardships and a life born from your union; these are hard things to neglect and play a role in a separation. But if one stays in a relationship for anything other than mutual love shared by both than I think it’s the wrong decision for ultimately no one will be spared the hurt.You must remember that at the end of all these caring souls’s counseling, the final decision is yours and only yours.
    Love,
    Annabelle

  24. darcie says:

    I commend you Alison for eating this elephant-one bite at a time. Mark will see the terrible things he has done to you and Finn and he will know what a worthless person he has been. He will want you back. But the knowledge you have gained through this experience will allow you to make choices in regards to him with your eyes wide open. Always thinking of you and reading your posts daily.
    Much love to you.
    Darcie

  25. darcie says:

    I commend you Alison for eating this elephant-one bite at a time. Mark will see the terrible things he has done to you and Finn and he will know what a worthless person he has been. He will want you back. But the knowledge you have gained through this experience will allow you to make choices in regards to him with your eyes wide open. Always thinking of you and reading your posts daily.
    Much love to you.
    Darcie

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