@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…