Friday, February 20, 2009

Home Movie

A couple of days before a strange woman with an intense look handed me a letter outside my house claiming she had slept with my husband, I happened upon an erstwhile favourite film of mine, 'Broadcast News'. It was late at night, I was already tired, but in spite of the dated look - big hair! big shoulders! - I became hooked once again by Holly Hunter's charming portrayal of an intelligent, lonely woman who allows herself just a few minutes every so often to reach for a box of tissues, take the 'phone off the hook, and weep.

So that's who I remind myself of now.

Oh, I operate, I really do. It's incredible, really. I hold down my two jobs; I trouble-shoot my first big community arts project; I deal with innumerable administrative problems; I handle the sensitivities of others; I take Anna-mouse to school, I read with her, talk with her, laugh with her; I applaud her sellotape and string collages: I take her to London, to the hospital to see Esme, who has had her hip done; I try to make Esme's life easier; I discuss logistics with the Bim - flats - the pros and cons of furnished versus unfurnished, and just how very cheaply you can pick up a pan set these days... and slowly, slowly let everyone know who needs to know that we are parting, for good, but that it is amicable, and we are remaining absolutely firm friends.

People are happy with that. It's a nice, pat ending and easy to deal with, and after all most of them are desperately relieved on my behalf - they never quite 'got' the relationship in the first place.

It is not like that for me. I am sadder than the saddest thing. I am a skinful of waiting tears. Finally the anger which has coloured my life for months now is abating, and the real hard stuff is taking hold. I find it much more debilitating, much lonelier, more difficult to contain at the same time as running this busy life. Anger propels; makes decisions shine with brilliance; takes people's breath away when they see its force whip through you - especially when they don't know where the energy's coming from. I got much better at my job when I was angry: I could function - often better than before.

But this. This is hard. The house is calmer, granted, now that the tension which gripped this little family for months has gone. The Bim and I are kinder to one another. He has labelled himself a 'crap husband' but a 'good friend', and I have to concur. I just need to remember I'm losing only the former, not the latter, because at the moment it feels as though everything has been lost. All that I wanted so very much. And all that I tried to keep together for so long.

I don't think I write sentimental posts very often. I hope there's usually some kind of edge. But tonight I've no edge left. Tonight I'm Holly Hunter, playing Jane Craig, playing myself.

Tonight, I so regret to say, I'm starring in my own film.


Cathy said...

I'm so sorry all this is happening to you. Stay strong and above all keep writing, it can help you through it.


ps Broadcast News, that takes me back. Loved that movie!

rachel whetzel said...

"I am a skinful of waiting tears." I think that is the most beautiful thing I have ever been able to relate to so fully.

Reluctant Memsahib said...

buy Suzanne Finnamore's "Split".

That and keep writing.


Bush Mummy said...

Thinking of you - beautiful post. You are an incredibly brave and talented woman.

BM x

Marianne said...

This is so hard, Livvy, but at least now you have a decision and that's the beginning of the next step and the healing that will come later.

Suffolkmum said...

God Livvy, this was hard to read, I can only imagine what it is to live it ... you are strong and brave and you write beautifully, for starters.

Elsie Button said...

oh livvy, I am so so sorry to hear your sadness. You sound so unbelievably brave, and your writing is so moving. am thinking of you at this time.

Elsie Button said...

Hi Livvy, sorry to bother you but i wondered if i could ask a massive favour... would you mind emailing me at if you get a chance?
cheers elsie x
Hope you are ok? x

Shiny said...

Wow, I just read this and your line "I am a skinful of waiting tears" is exactly how I was feeling this morning, and wrote about, but not nearly as beautifully. How incredible, the randomness of this blog thing, how amazing, the tendrils of humanity that weave through all of us. Life can be so hard and, yet, so beautiful too. I hope your sadness clears to reveal something even more beautiful, and happy x

Stay at home dad said...

Livvy I feel for you. God knows it's not easy all of this. What I can say is that you express it all extraordinarily poignantly. If that's any consolation. And of course our children make it alright in some strange way.

family affairs said...

You haven't commented for a while....I've just come over from Reluctant Mem to find your post and it is SO ridiculously similar to some posts I've written I want to know how you are now. I too had a husband who had an affair and we split up. I know the pain you are talking about. It is the hardest thing in the world. I'd love to hear from you Lx