Did you notice the curtains across the picture of the woman on the left? When I saw them – in real life – I assumed they had been placed there to protect a valuable picture from the sun.
But I was wrong.
The woman in the picture was the first wife of the man in the picture on the right. After she died, and he remarried, he insisted his first wife’s painting remain on the wall. Turns out his second wife wasn’t at all happy about that, and had a curtain rail placed above the first wife’s painting so she could draw the curtains across her predecessor’s image when her husband was out.
Which got me thinking…
I imagine being the second wife of a man whose wife died is quite different to being the second wife of a man who left his first wife for you. It must be very heady stuff to have a man abandon his marriage and family because he is so in love with you.
But, if a man has done it once, does the second wife ever – in a secret, vulnerable moment – experience a feeling of insecurity that if he’s done it once, he might do it again?
My back hadn’t felt good since a recent trip.I’d lugged heavy luggage up and down way too many flights of stairs, and although the shoes I’d worn – with my orthotics! – were good solid shoes, they perhaps hadn’t been right for so much walking.But I figured that things would sort themselves out after a few weeks back home in my normal routine again.
I was in my apartment one Saturday morning, bending down to pick something up, when my back ‘went’.I sank to the floor, the pain so intense that I struggled to catch my breath.My legs tingled and I felt panic rising.Was this a stroke?Was I going to be paralyzed?
I was at the farthest point in the house from a phone and I couldn’t move for the pain.I waited about 10 minutes, trying to calm myself with deep breaths, then managed to shuffle on my butt down the hallway towards the kitchen and found my cell phone.With that in my hand, I hauled myself on to a chair and sat trying to work out what to do. I didn’t need an ambulance, but I wanted someone to know what was going on, so I called my daughter. Continue reading →
I’ve always loved the weekend. The anticipation of that last period on a Friday afternoon in high school, when our French teacher let us read old copies of Paris Match, instead of having to endure learning verbs or vocabulary or translating French to English or vice versa.
And then that drag on the stomach on a Sunday evening, listening to ‘Sing Something Simple’ on the radio, driving back from a day out on the coast, knowing school beckoned the next morning.
Or when the kids were young, and Friday afternoon meant the freedom of the weekend, just hanging out and enjoying being with them, before the Sunday evening routine of making sure homework was done, bags packed and clothes laid out for school next morning. Continue reading →
I love this book. It was my ‘bible’ in those first few months after my husband walked out on me, assuring me I was not alone, and talking me through the healing process. Even now, two years later, I’ll pick it up, and read through a few pages. There’s always something in there that helps me see how far I’ve come, in both practical and emotional ways, but still acknowledges the hurt and loss that will probably – to some extent – always be with me.
Written by a therapist, who was blindsided when she found herself in the same situation as so many of us, she gathered together the stories and thoughts of over 400 women who had also been abandoned. Patterns emerge throughout the book, both of pain and healing. You – and we – are not alone. Other women have walked this path before us. Their stories are painfully recognizable… and their healing and transformation inspiring. Continue reading →
Now that the “battle” is over (I have been officially divorced ten months), I have my future in my own hands: I have a life to live, a future to embrace. Right? Well, maybe not exactly quite there yet.
I had thought I was coming to grips with the rejection and grief that official court-signed document had delivered when I first read the words: Certificate of Divorce. Yet more and more I realize I have been withdrawing into myself. Was I depressed? Yes. Was I anxious about this wide-open future? Absolutely terrified, to be honest and still am. I’ve been taking a mild anti-depressant for over a year now and that helped me to stop bursting into tears at little or even no provocation, but the grief over the death of my marriage, the fact that money is a constant worry. No little pill can make any of that go away.
I was drifting further and further into the hinterland of aloneness, staying home, not answering letters, turning down coffee meets with friends, even family. I’d say I was busy, but the truth was I just couldn’t get out of my misery and into the world. I didn’t want to hear one more person tell me that I’m better off without him. I know that but why can’t I get over the stupid, senseless grief? Continue reading →
My mum was sixty-three when my dad died. She lived on an isolated island, my siblings and I between 3-24 hours travel distance away. Ever the mother, she didn’t want us to worry about her, so, despite her great grief, she did three things to keep herself healthy.
1) She tried to eat well even though she had no appetite.
2) Come rain or come shine, she went for a walk every day along the beach, sometimes barely able to see as her tears mixed with the rain soaking her face. Continue reading →