Surprised with Pain..

2003

Arsefuk had been acting moody all morning.. Daisy, a friend from Jozi, was visiting for a few days and I was concerned that he was annoyed with her presence.. He did not like people staying over.. but I hadnt had a friend over for quite awhile.. so I didn’t think he would be so bothered.

What I didnt know was that I would never forget that morning and the events for a very long time.

It was early.. His agitation was clearly evident.. It almost looked like each hair on his body was standing to attention. He was getting ready for work and I could take it no longer. I asked him to come outside for a minute because I needed to talk to him. Daisy and the kids were still sleeping and I didn’t want them to hear.

It was soo quiet outside, and the sun was just beginning to peek over the horizon. Salt & Pepper,my two border collies, were sooo excited to see us walking in the garden so early that they grabbed some toys, wagged their tails and followed.

“What’s going on?” I asked. “There is obviously something going on and I just can’t take it anymore..”

He cocked his head to one side and said “It’s nothing, leave it alone”

I persisted, I probably shouldn’t have..I probably shoud’ve walked away right then and there.. Maybe things would’ve been so different. Maybe..

“Come on… I know something is going on. You are barely speaking to me. You disappear to the room when you are home and when Daisy talks to you then you just mumble and walk off. Do you want me to ask Daisy to go?”

“Briget, Its not Daisy. She is fine..” was his response.

A long pause ensued as I saw he had more to say…

After a few moments.. he blurted “Briget, I don’t like YOU… I think you are loud, uncouth,fat and gross.urrgh!”

I felt like I had been punched in the stomach.. I couldn’t breathe..Was I hearing right? But before I could ask anything further he continued to talk..

“I have felt this way for years..You disgust me, You embarrass me in front of people all the time with how loud you are and I don’t like it. You are ugly and fat and I don’t find you sexually appealing at all.. I have been wanting to say this to you for a many years and just didn’t know how..I mean, look at you!.. Who would want to climb into bed with you?”

OMG, I am crying.. no sobbing.. how? why? when? I am officially dying on the inside..

Between tears and sobs and breaking heart, I manage to speak..”You gave NO idea that this was how you felt. 10 years.. we have been married for 10 years.. and now.. NOW you say this to me? 10 years of me trying to change for you.. 10 years of me sacrificing my life for you? 10 FUCKEN YEARS!?!? ”

“I don’t understand how you could do this to me.. Now? this morning? WHY NOW?” I am repeating myself, I know, but I am confused. I need answers, I just can’t think of the right questions…He tried to walk towards me and I stepped back instinctively, in case he grabbed me by the throat to get me to lower my voice .. “DONT.TOUCH.ME!” I growled at him.. too hurt and upset to care about whether my mom could hear us.

He stood there in the garden, and continued talking to me about how he felt, getting it off his chest as he put it.. I finally understood why he hasn’t kissed me in 9 years, he told me he just didn’t like it.. turns out he just didn’t like it with me. I finally understood why I wasn’t allowed near his work, why he never liked people to visit, why we never went anywhere, why our anniversary dinners consisted of KFC, why he never sat with me on the couch, why he and I lived separate lives..

I finally understood.. but the understanding did not come cheap. It cost me my heart, my dignity, my pride..

[I sometimes look back and wonder if he wasn’t having an affair at the time.. doesn’t really matter now. Him declaring an affair though would’ve hurt far less to be honest.]

It all fell into place..I stood there in the garden..and listened..too numb to do much of anything else I suppose. Turns out he had a WHOLE lot of stuff to get off his chest that morning.

Eventually when he ran out of insults and “truth” he said goodbye and went to work..leaving me standing there in the garden with the dogs looking on at me with pitiful eyes.. I do not want pity.. I do not need pity.

So I dried my eyes.. composed myself and went inside as if nothing much was going on.. No one needs to know the truth of how pathetic my life truly is..this is for me to deal with.. but not right now.. I can’t think too much of anything right now..

No one knew of what happened that day. I never spoke of it to anyone till almost 2 years later.. It was my burden.. All mine.. to speak of it would’ve have disabled me with pain. He never spoke of it again as if it never happened.. and I only allowed myself to cry at night, alone in bed, where no one had to see my pain..

I did make decisions though that day. I decided that I was going to take control of MY life and never allow anyone that kind of control over me ever again.

I went on the TLC and allowed the nazi’s there to help me shed the weight. Was the hardest thing in the world (anyone with post-baby weight will understand) But this was very important for me. For no-one else but me.

I went and got sterilised so that I could make plans for my future without worrying about falling pregnant again. Pregnancy made me very ill and I couldn’t have that anymore.

I gave my Computer Business all of my energy regardless of what he said. I was going to be a success and did it all on my own with no help from him. Not that he would, he wouldn’t even sit in my shop so that I could go to the doctor. But I didn’t care. I was not going to be dependent on him for anything anymore.

And two years later…when I could no longer tolerate his indifference, his verbal and physical abuse, his total lack of commitment, when I felt stronger and more confident in myself..

.. I left him.

And have never ever looked back.