Chapter Two

Life doesn’t need to throw the curve balls; we do a great job of that all by ourselves. Freewill is merely the choice; the choice to listen to our heart and listen to our intuition, or choose to ignore both.  If we choose to ignore our feelings and stop taking responsibility for our actions, we become unaware, living without compassion.  Bad behaviour is then justified, truths remain untold and defensiveness dominates…

@sarahklugman (29th November 2011)

We have to talk is what they say, to clear the obstacles, clear the way. A conversation void of blame, an open space to speak without shame.

I awoke with such a heavy heart the next morning, unable to reconcile anything my husband had said to me.  My chest felt tight and tears were welling up in my throat.  I quietly got out of bed and sought refuge in the kitchen, where I sat, as the tears streamed down my cheeks.  The plug had been pulled and everything I had held true was being washed away.

When my husband appeared, his face looked tortured.  He made himself a coffee and sat down.  When he started to speak, he spoke slowly, censoring every word that left his lips, weighing up every syllable.  He said a lot and yet said nothing.  I couldn’t make any sense of what was and what wasn’t being told.  He stressed that no decision had been reached.  No decisions were being made.  Nonetheless, I could see that he was testing the water.  I could feel that his energy had shifted, as he sat uncomfortably within his own home.  ‘Just be honest with me’, I pleaded, ‘talk to me, tell me what you are thinking’.  But he wasn’t capable of doing that; he was a rabbit caught in the headlights.  His face however told me everything I needed to know, but didn’t want to hear, as his mind turned over the thought, “How does it feel if I am no longer with this woman?”

There was nothing I could say and I was scared of hearing words that could truly mark the end of our marriage.  I left him with his indecision and took our dogs up to the woods, seeking comfort and grounding amongst the ancient trees.  Every part of my body churned away, as I recalled the previous nights conversation.  I was so confused.  I felt cast adrift from everything I had thought to be real.  I had never felt so alone in the world.

When I returned, my husband’s Mother and her first cousin had already arrived at the house; they were over from Holland to celebrate his sister’s birthday.

The weekend was completely surreal.  My husband behaved like the past 24 hours had never happened.  He was chatty and attentive.  He spent the whole weekend behaving as if everything was just peachy, as if he cared about me, cared about us.  He had mentioned to his Mother that we were going through a difficult period, but gave no outward indication that he was about to turn both of our worlds upside down.  He talked animatedly of his time in Berlin, singing its praises.  He talked about his work, cajoled by his ego.  He talked and talked and talked, about everything and anything, just not about how he felt about us or me.

I felt betrayed by the man who sat so calmly, chatting away with his family.  How could he pretend so easily, pretend he was still my ever-attentive, loving husband, holding my hand when we went out for dinner with his family, draping his arm around my waist protectively, whilst inwardly preparing to call time on our marriage?  The previous night he had labelled our time together as being for a ‘Reason’, as opposed to a Season or a Lifetime.  I felt like I had been thrust into a play, with no script or direction; standing centre stage in the spotlight.

It wasn’t until the Monday evening, the house now empty of our weekend guests, that I attempted to start a conversation.  Over the weekend I had written a list of what I needed and wanted to know.  I again asked if someone else was involved, as he seemed so detached from the enormity of his revelations, so uncaring, buoyed by someone or something else perhaps. He reiterated his previous answer.  Irritated that I was insinuating that he had cheated on me. Nothing he said made any sense.

What was clear though, abundantly clear, was his repetitive insistence that he wasn’t in love with me.  He started digging around the foundations of our shared history, questioning decisions made years ago, questioning our ideals, our plans…  I felt defenceless and utterly disappointed.  He wasn’t able to give me any reasons and couldn’t or wouldn’t tell me how he was actually feeling.  He didn’t trust me, not one bit, censoring every word that came out of his mouth.  Something was not being said.  I could feel it.  I knew it.  Yet, I didn’t want to venture too far down that path.  I had asked him, twice in fact and he had looked me in the eye and answered me, “No.  There is no one else involved, I have not slept with another woman”.

He didn’t sleep in our bed that night, instead falling asleep on the sofa and when I questioned him about this the next morning, he said that he hadn’t been sure if he was welcome in our marital bed.  Oh hindsight dear friend, where were you when I needed you?

He was a bundle of nervous indecision.  His energy was like a piano pendulum, swinging from one side to the other at breakneck speed.  He again sat down opposite me at the kitchen table and for the first time since he had returned from Berlin, he started to cry.  He said that the marriage was definitely over; he didn’t love me and that was it.  I sat in believed, disbelief.  I couldn’t believe he was actually saying the words.  ‘What the fuck!?’, filled my mind and my heart.

And with that he left, taking a small bag with him.  He would stay with his sister for the night, as he was due to travel back to Germany the next day, for another meeting.  “We will talk when I get back”, were his parting words.

Six hours later, he sent a text, asking to see me and talk.  His sister had listened and talked to him for several hours and he said that he knew that he didn’t want our marriage to be over.  He wanted to make us work, stressing that he would do whatever it took and that we would and could find our way through this.  So back he came and we spoke for several hours, holding each other close.  He returned to his sister’s house that night, to get a few hours sleep before leaving early the next morning.  He would be gone for four days and on his return we would start rebuilding our marriage.  I believed him.  I wanted to believe him.  I needed to believe him.

When he left the house, I felt numb.  I was playing catch up, frantically searching for clarity.  Was this a result of his medication?  Was he having a midlife crisis?  What was real and what was fantasy?

The next morning, before his flight left, he sent me a flurry of texts full of promises, assuring me that he would make everything right and that he loved me.  Twenty-four hours later the texts stopped.  My inquiring texts were ignored and he remained off radar until his flight landed back in England three days later, calling me from the airport to say he would get a train back home.  When I asked how he was, he dismissively said that he was living ‘moment to moment’.

I could feel my heart in my mouth when the call ended, yet I also felt slightly defiant.  How dare he behave like this?  I was his wife.  Our eighth wedding anniversary was on the horizon.  I wasn’t scared.  I was feeling indignant.  I wanted to hold him accountable.  I had questions that needed answering, many questions.

During his trip away, I had felt a great need to write, to make sense of my situation.  I had dug out an old notebook, containing a few sporadic entries dating back over a decade, all written as if I were writing for an audience.  I had never been able to keep a journal, an account of my thoughts and feelings.  I had always wanted to, recognising the light it could throw on the darkness within.  My ego, the voice of judgement, had always stopped me, so on the rare occasion that I did write, I would edit my words, in order to avoid writing honestly, scared of facing how I actually felt and what I really wanted.  Writing meant that I would have to face the very thoughts and fears I had spent a lifetime hiding from.  I had perfected the art of giving my feelings a very wide berth, scared of shining that torch inwards.

@sarahklugman (25th November 2011)

Remember the moments, pause in thought for a while. Keep your heart full of love and don’t let your life become futile.

I knew that I needed to write without thought, to open the floodgates and purge my pain through vocabulary and at the same time get some clarity on my situation.  It was time to be honest with myself.  Neurons were moving at lightening speed, as they attempted to assimilate a semblance of order to the past nine days of my life.  My head felt like it was going to explode, held in place only by my weighted heart.  I was exhausted by all the revelations, exhausted to my very core and wanted to feel the sweet relief of nothingness.  Primal sounds emerged from my throat and were screamed into the world.  Yet within all of this turmoil, a feeling kept emerging, well, more of a knowing really, a knowing that this would not defeat me.  Something in me had shifted; something inside me had changed.  I filled pages with melancholy and pages with questions.  How had I not known that he no longer loved me?  Why was he throwing everything away?  Where was the man I married, where was that empathetic man?

I felt totally bulldozed.  I had been flattened.  My heart was in pieces and all my vital organs knotted in fear.  I was on total autopilot and as the words poured out, a self-preservation started to take hold.  ‘I must keep myself safe’, became my inner mantra, as I shook with tears. ‘I must keep myself safe’.

The decision to end our relationship may be of his making, but there were two of us in this marriage and I was not naive enough to believe that everything about our union shone brightly.  I knew that I had lived in a shroud of fear; being the person I thought I should be, as opposed to, well just being.  You need to understand, that up to that point in my life, I was the eternal doer, a person in perpetual motion, the ‘doing verb’ equivalent of a being human.  Everything had to be just so, I had to keep all the balls in the air and if God forbid I dropped one, well that would be it, Game Over.

So for the first time in my life, I asked myself profoundly searching questions.  Was I living the life I really wanted?  Was I meeting my own needs?  Did I feel safe in my marriage?  Every question was answered with a ‘No’.  I wasn’t happy with my life and I wasn’t speaking my truth to myself, or to others.

I knew that I was being given a choice here, an opportunity to step up.  The Universe was literally shoving me forward, forcing me to get in touch with the pain and feel the emotions.  So I wrote and wrote, writing list upon list, asking myself what I needed, as opposed to what I wanted and for the first time I saw the difference between the two. I wanted to feel loved, I wanted to be looked after, I wanted to be wanted…  What I actually needed though was really interesting in comparison, quite a contrast to my perceived wants.

What I needed was to be present, to be living life in the moment, to be in touch with my emotions and to remain aware of myself within and throughout this process, wherever it took me.

Despite the pain and deep, deep hurt, I knew that the Universe was offering me a unique invitation and that I could feel safe in the knowledge that it would all be okay, albeit in the form of an almighty kick up the arse.  But I knew the invitation was genuine, I knew this because the continual chatter that had been the background noise of my life had stopped.  My head was clear, free of criticism and doubt.

When he walked through the front door, he was buzzing from his trip.  He avoided my gaze, and launched into his pre-prepared monologue, calling time on our marriage.  “It is over”, he said, “I’m sorry, but I don’t love you and I need to leave”.  An hour later, with two bags packed, he walked out of the door.  I called him a coward and I called him disrespectful, but I didn’t scream, nor did I plead or beg for him to stay.  He attempted to place the blame at my door, saying that he had tried to talk to me over the past year, but that I hadn’t listened.  Oh please!  I most definitely would have recalled a conversation that started with ‘we need to talk about our marriage’ or ‘I am not sure I love you’.  He had done no such thing.  He may have formulated these conversations in his head, but had not uttered a word.

‘Go’, I said quietly.  ‘Just go’.

Through my sobs and tears I sent texts to my girlfriends and within half an hour, Sharon was by my side, wiping my tears and plying me with white wine.  She couldn’t believe what was happening.  I sat in shock, unable to move or talk.

The next few days are a blur.  Sharon called my parents and they arrived the next morning, wanting to take me home with them.  I fought them on this, that I clearly remember.  I was scared to leave the house, scared of leaving the marital home.  ‘What if he changes his mind and comes back and I’m not here?’ I cried.  I couldn’t think straight.  I was a mess.  Bags were packed and I was bundled, with the dogs, into the car.

I was devastated.  No other word can describe how I felt.  I hadn’t realised such feelings of sadness were humanly possible.  My parents delivered me childlike, back into my old bedroom, where I sat rocking backwards and forwards, sobbing my heart out.

Ironically, the more I felt the loss, the greater my love for him felt.  Two days passed, the daylight hours engulfed in Kleenex and Sauvignon Blanc and my dreams were full of nightmares.  On the third day an email arrived, a long-winded email, attempting to explain and justify his behaviour in equal measure.  Again, many words yet very little content.  Talk of chapters coming to an end and new books now to be read; metaphors for life, wrapped in the cowardice of avoidance.

The Intuitive Mind

The intuitive mind floats adrift from our thoughts

Yet in harmony with its coastal tide

At one with the unfolding, natural course

The point where your truth, it cannot hide


The intuitive mind cannot be coerced

Nor reached through intelligence alone

Impressions are formed, they light up the dark

In oneness, you need never atone


The intuitive mind has no motive in life

No outcome it seeks to reveal

It flows with the cycles and rhythm of time

To bring forth, what you cannot conceal


The intuitive mind has compassion and love

Stands evolved, with humility in place

Understands we’re all human, expanding within

Contentment reached, with dignified grace

Chapter One

@sarahklugman (19th October 2011)

Sometimes it’s hard to hold the space, to keep your energy high. To believe that you can create the life that will ultimately satisfy.

This is a story of one hundred tweets.  It comprises of many other things too, and although not a usual way of documenting a story, this is my journey over the past sixteen months of my life.

In October 2011, I was a wife, daughter, sister, friend, acquaintance…  The list was endless.  The point is I wasn’t me.  I was living my life as I thought it ought to be lived.  All I did was think.  I was the woman I thought I was meant to be.  This created a constant separation in myself, as I neither knew who I was or who I was meant to be.  I knew there had to be more to life, yet I was stagnating and could not fathom how to change the record.

I was happily married to the only man I have ever truly loved.  A great man, in search of his life’s purpose, within the ebb and flow of life.  The problem was, he wasn’t happy.  He wasn’t happy that his body was becoming painful, his joints becoming rigid and stuck, he wasn’t happy that he could not think himself well, he was not happy with how his past had played out, he wasn’t happy that he wasn’t happy.  This in itself, is something that honest communication could have helped with, however neither of us spoke this universal language, or perhaps we did, we just spoke it in totally different dialects.  So, what could happen, well, what happens in many relationships, we stopped trying and then we stopped communicating altogether.  Of course, we still spoke, joked, and laughed even, just not about the things we should have been speaking about.

Outwardly, I lived a charmed life.  A husband, a house, a job, good prospects…  ‘You can be anything you want to be’, became a prison sentence. A mantra reinforcing that I was not yet good enough.  Everything would have to be in the right place for me to be happy; I was striving toward an unknown goal, forever out of sight.

Where along the line, did it become a requirement to know exactly what you wanted out of life from the outset?  How is this even possible?  Why are we all so content to presume that others know what is best for us?

We both knew the marriage was rutting.  Yet neither of us made a concerted first move.  Honestly, I don’t think either of us knew how.  I was feeling exhausted from collecting the tickets, holding the coats, handing out the programmes… He was working hard to prove himself with an international coaching company, well that’s how it appeared to me and I am firmly of the belief that everyone should be encouraged to shine, to become the best they can be and sometimes that means one of you does the unsatisfactory day job.  That’s what working together means; you help each other be the best they can be.

As this non-communicative bumbling continued, my husband’s dose of steroids, essential to ensure the level of mobility we all take for granted, were continually being adjusted.  Despite trying to support him with this, I felt that he physically flinched whenever I asked how he was feeling.  I was either asking in the wrong way, or in the wrong tone, so I stopped asking, in a sense perhaps trying to normalise the whole situation.  Saying nothing, had the same result as saying everything and by the beginning of October, our marriage was in a sorry state.  Yet I never doubted his love for me; that we were an unconquerable team.  I honestly never doubted.  No one did.

@sarahklugman (15th November 2011)

Fear can stop you in your tracks. Your creativity and soul it will hijack. The only way to stop the fear, is to just not let it interfere.

So my tail of tweets, starts in November 2011, when my husband went to Germany for a business meeting.  He hadn’t bought a return ticket, as he wasn’t sure when everything would be wrapped up.  I honestly had no reason to think this was out of the ordinary.  Why would I, he was my loving, attentive husband.  Four days into his trip, on a Friday, he sent me a text to say he was loving Berlin and that he would be really grateful to be able to spend the weekend there, hanging out with the guys he had been meeting with.  I was disappointed of course, but understood that some space and time alone would be good for us both.  I want to mention that my husband called me from the taxi on the way to the airport, to say that he had forgotten his wallet and had little cash on him.  He nearly missed his flight too, due to a combination of heavy traffic and a clueless taxi driver.   The Universe was starting to conspire…

On the Monday morning, I sent him a text to see how his weekend had been.  His reply sang the praises of Berlin and how great it was to live by the seat of your pants, without knowing how you’ll pay for your next meal.  He was feeling free.  Yes, yes, hindsight is a mighty bedfellow.  Alarm bells appeared to be ringing in everyone else’s heads, but not mine.

So a further three days went by before we finally spoke.  When we finally did, he sounded weird, plain weird.  He said he’d be home on the Thursday and that we really needed to talk when he got back and that he had done a lot of thinking.  I said that I loved him, he didn’t reply.

So, that’s where he was, or more to the point where he wasn’t.  I, on the other hand, at a higher level of myself, which I couldn’t explain at the time, knew that the shit was about to hit the fan and something inside me began to shift.  It was almost immediate.

I knew at this juncture of my life that I was merely ticking off the days.  The gap between how I was living and who I really was, widened every day.  I had allowed myself to become trapped by fear.  Trapped by the constraints of everything I believed to be true about myself.  Afraid of making the wrong choices, kept me firmly locked within myself.

Yet something changed inside me that day.  This had nothing to do with my mind.  I just felt safe.  I didn’t feel afraid.  I knew at a very basic level, that I would be okay.  It would all be okay.  I have been told by a few people in my life, my husband included, that the Universe never gives you more than you can handle.  I hadn’t really understood what they had meant by that, as life had always felt like it had to be choreographed, rather than free styling to the music.

In late February 2011, I had met a wonderful woman.  She describes herself as being educated at ‘The Universal Academy of Witchy’.  She magically combines homeopathy with electronic acupuncture.  I had witnessed the effects she had had on some of the shiniest people I know in my life.  I knew that I really wanted (read needed) to see her.  That she would be someone to help unlock me from my mind.  It took three years before the opportunity to see her presented itself and looking back, any earlier and I would not have been ready.

The experience was amazing.  She held my feet, as I lay fully clothed on a reclining chair.  She told me that I had been conceived out of so much love from my parents and so wanted, that my spirit had not been able to enter my body and was therefore an external entity to my body.  It made so much sense.  That was why I had always felt so disjointed from my body, from life.  I suddenly understood what it was like to be present.  I momentarily experienced it.  Lived it.  I understood.  I understood that the meaning of life, well for me anyway, was to be present, to live life in the moment.

I had spent most of my life in fear.  Scared of losing those I loved, scared of not succeeding, scared of succeeding, scared of standing out, scared of not standing out, scared of saying the wrong thing, scared about not wanting to talk…  After my session, I started to learn to observe my thoughts, rather than engaging with each and every one.  I started to realise there was more, but still felt trapped in my life and its daily monotony.  I was a veritable victim of my own making.

Around the same time, many close friends, people whose opinions I truly valued and who appeared to be a lot more in their bodies than in their heads, than I certainly was, started talking more and more about the impending 2012.  They talked about shifts, egos, consciousness and many other words I couldn’t understand beyond the intellect of my brain.  I was told many things, which I believed and many things that terrified me.  I felt like a rabbit in the headlights, because I was not present; did not live life in the now.  My ego ruled me and ruled me mercilessly.  It kept me small and I dutifully complied.  It told me I wasn’t good enough and I wasn’t going to become present and that everything I was hearing was all rubbish and that I was fine as I was.  Free will is not a good friend to a dominant ego.

By November 2011, I was starting to feel my body as part of my whole being, aware that I was not a separate entity to my flesh and blood.  As this feeling became stronger, I started to become aware.  Aware that there was nothing to be scared of.  I had the beginnings of feeling held.  Held by life.  Held by universal karma.  I don’t know… all I can say is that I felt held both consciously and physically.  For the first time it felt safe being me.

So with this new feeling of safety within myself, I went to pick my husband up from the airport.  I held myself tall and full of strength as he walked out of departures.  He looked like I remembered, yet somehow not so.  He seemed buoyant.  He hugged me strongly and held my hand as we walked to the car.  No sign of what was to come, beyond a feeling that one of us was about to step up, clear the air and pave a way for a renewed partnership and chapter in our marriage.

I cooked us a meal and opened a bottle of wine.  He checked emails in his study.  The scene was set.  We sat down to eat and I suddenly felt very nervous.

As he started to speak, I knew my life, as I recognised it at that time, was over.  “I am not in love with you anymore”, was the first thing he said.  The rest is much of a blur.  I asked if he had met someone else.  “Of course not.  There is no one else involved.”  Honestly? I asked.  “My head was turned in late September, but I have not been in contact with her at all since then.  I promise.”  The rest of his attempts at an explanation just didn’t make sense; didn’t make sense at all.  I cried, I questioned, I attempted to reason, but to be honest, I was in shock, which is not one of those emotions you can really prepare for… I had only taken one mouthful of food and my world had instantaneously been turned upside down.  That’s the thing about shock; it sidelines you.  It picks you up, shakes you around and then hurls you into the abyss.

There I was, sat in front of the man, whose love I had never, ever doubted.  I believed in us, believed we were a team, in it for the long haul, the whole shebang.  So to be faced by this man, this man I knew so well and suggest that our marriage was over and had been for a very long time, well that just didn’t make sense.

I didn’t rant or rave, I just sat there, tears streaming down my face, whilst I listened to the words I had never, ever wanted to hear.  My husband no longer loved me.  Hadn’t loved me for a very long time, yet didn’t know what he wanted, although it appeared that I was not part of what he did want.

How can you ever be prepared, for being told that you are no longer loved?  It’s not something you can ever really get your head around before it happens, let alone in the midst of it.  We all think about death at one stage or another, we project how sad we think we are going to feel, how hard it is going to be, then cast the thought aside, unresolved, not reconciled and you carry on with life.  But a marriage, a commitment, vows taken at the height of a love, promising to be there for each other, in the good times and the bad times, how could I have not been aware that things were so awry?

I sat, unable to move.  What was going on?  Where was the man I loved and trusted with my heart?  Many decisions had been made.  I could see that, it was written all over this face.  He had already started visualising his life without me.  I asked again if there was another woman involved and he looked at me as if I had asked him if he had killed someone.  “Of course I haven’t slept with someone else.  My head was turned a few months ago, but I promise that nothing has happened, there has been absolutely no contact.”

I just couldn’t understand what was going on.  How could he have moved so far from me emotionally, so quickly and stealthily?  It was as if he had closed the shutters.  He didn’t have any empathy and appeared to be in a manic state of mind, keeping himself and only himself safe.

This all happened on the Thursday evening and madly enough we slept together that night.  I just wanted to feel close to him, to erase what I had been told.  When I looked into his eyes, I knew, what I didn’t want to know.  I could feel that he had shared himself with another woman.  I didn’t even acknowledge this thought to myself.  I pushed it away, willing it to not be true.

@sarahklugman (18th November 2011)

My lover I long for you with a pain so deep and pray that your heart will once again leap. Universe, hear my soul, let us once again be whole…

The uncarved block

The block stands solid

Wholeness providing perfect form

Uncarved; the chisel lies superfluous

To mind-made indentations

Limited by their own thought

Stunted by material creation

Kept alive by fear and uncertainty

By thinking too much…

Inspired living, within reach

Within all of us

Hidden within soulful sight

Wholeness, perfectly formed

In the still, uncarved block

And with that you went…

There’s no more to say

Vocabulary’s all spent

I had pledged my heart

I’d pledged every cent

In the depths of the promise

I drowned in intent

Believed you regretted

Could say what you meant

Sincerest, regards

And with that you went

Slamming the door in your wake

Not an ounce of lament