Things have not been so hot chez byrne recently. I don't want to cause a panic so let me start by saying that the stash is safe and the lack of temperature refers solely to non-knitting things. The fact is that married life is not quite the domestic bliss it's cracked up to be. In fact I'd go so far as to say it was periods of domestic silence interspersed with blazing rows and tentative reconciliation. The best, or quite possibly worst, episode took place on friday night and the repurcussions are still being strongly felt.
Now naturally I am not blameless in all this because as ever it takes two to argue. I don't want to go into the details but some things were said that I never thought I'd hear someone I care about say to me and I can't get them out of my head. I've just been talking to a friend who tells me that it isn't good to hear things like that as sooner or later you'll start believing them but I think it might be a tad too late for that.
When things started going bad at work I was being repeatedly told that I wasn't good with people, that I wasn't communicating ideas appropriately and that I wasn't any good at persuading people. For a while I fought my corner and insisted that it's hard to sell bollocks to clever people who are being told by people more senior to me that it is bollocks and they don't need to buy. But then I gave in and decided they must be right and I was wrong and that must mean that I was a bit useless. This is what Dr P and countless others would descibe as 'entering a phase of low self-worth'. Since then it has felt like I was like one of those russian dolls. There's the outside me all painted and strong and then there are these other versions inside, each a bit smaller than the last but trapped and that can't be seen until you take away the larger one. Somewhere right in the middle is the littlest one who has a voice even higher pitched than mine and who squeaks about having value and being good at things and having useful skills. It squeaks about deserving respect and trust. It likes socialising and doesn't feel ashamed about how it acts as it has the confidence to back up its actions and to judge these as appropriate. That's somewhere in there right in the middle.
As you move through successive layers there are hurtful things people have said tatoo-ed on the outside of each doll. You can still hear the squeaking here but it is pretty muffled so sometimes it's hard to make out the words. Then as you move out further the surfaces of the dolls get thicker and instead of other people's words being tatooed on the surface my own thoughts are carved into them. Lots of things like 'what if they're right that...' or 'what if it's my fault that...'. You can barely make out the squeaking except every now and again when a word or two comes through and reminds you that there is a person inside that used to be different. And each time that happens a new doll forms with a skin even thicker than the last one trying to block out the squeaking because somehow it's better to be worth nothing and just to accept that than to remember that once you were worthy of more than that.
I told Pooch this morning that I felt like I was trapped inside a facade that was painted to look happy. I felt like there was something inside screaming to get out, clawing at the walls until my fingers are all bloody and my voice is hoarse. He said he didn't understand. He said an awful lot more than that on friday night but I'm supposed to be able to forget about that and move on.
My friend says that people don't think it's my fault things have gone like they have with Pooch. That people are concerned and that if Pooch doesn't want to come out I should go by myself because people want to see me even when I'm by myself. But I just can't believe it. I am so ashamed. Ashamed of my marriage, of what I've become, of the things I can't bring myself to do because of the shame. Ashamed that I don't want to go out by myself, ashamed that I secretly believe people think his behaviour is down to me, ashamed of his behaviour, ashamed of him.
I haven't written anything like this on my blog for months because I was ashamed. I didn't want people to know what was going on so I tried to hide it. But at the same time I ended up not going out because I thought that if they asked me I might not be able to lie and it was better to be ashamed and alone than to admit all wasn't rosy. But to be honest that hasn't really been working that well for me so after much consideration I am effectively jumping out of the closet. I am at the moment terribly terribly unhappy but not depressed. I think if I made myself hide it any longer that would change and it is (probably) better to be outed than to risk falling back into the abyss again.
When you next see me will you do me a favour though - don't ask me about the specifics. Don't ask me to talk about how I'm feeling because I'm just not good at all that emotional stuff. Just talk to me about normal things and remind me how comfortable it can be to be a part of the world even when things aren't going that well. Remind me that it doesn't make any difference if you don't hide things and that you don't have to pretend to be happy and robust to be treated with respect. Or if all else fails ask me what it's like trying to keep the tension even when making cabled socks in two colours using the magic loop method.