Sunday, 20 September 2009

The notebooks

Oh dear. I am struggling through a rather fallow period as far as blogging goes. The truth is, I am rather down and uninspired. Happy to be back at work, although already feeling rather swamped with nightly planning and marking. A troublesome cold rendered me bed-ridden from Friday night till this morning, so now I have oodles of catching up to do: housework, laundry and next week's Maths and English plans.

More concerning is Mabel, the Woebegone whippet, ever since I signed her adoption papers she seems to be getting too big for her paws. She bit a lump out of my elderly Dalmatian's ear yesterday (admittedly, it was just mostly hair and there was no blood). One minute she is meek, quivering and timid, the next she is baring teeth and growling like a feral coyote. I think she must be bi-polar. Why couldn't she have shown these less-than-attractive traits before I adopted her? At this precise moment she is lounging, languidly on the back of the sofa, her cashmere-soft body wrapped around me like an old-lady's stole, her chin is resting on my shoulder. She is watching me type. Sweet, but this is when she gets tetchy, if she thinks one of my other rag-tag and bobtail menagerie is going to usurp her coveted position she will turn rabid.

So, this afternoon, after I opened Pandora's box. When I was younger, during the most troubled and unhappy time of my life I kept diaries. This was the time when I had just discovered the man I was quite happy with, was planning on living with and starting a family with, had cheated on me. But, that wasn't all. Just as I was recovering from that revelation I learnt that the girl in question (Eva Braun) was pregnant. And German. Now, considering that Son of Satan and I had been trying for a child for an eternity, with no luck, this was the most devastating news. Years of anxiety and pain followed whilst we tried to make things work. Unsurprisingly we never managed it. A sense of duty and overwhelming love for his son would send him back to Eva Braun. The bleakness of a loveless life with Eva would send him back to me. I am ashamed to say that both Eva and I tolerated this pinball travesty for years.

I started a diary at the lowest time, just after the discovery of the pregnancy. It was September, 1999. By December 1st of the same year I was hospitalised with it all. The worst and most frightening day of my life. The diaries are a very raw, descent into total despair, and the slow, faltering recovery. I haven't looked at them in years. Sometimes I think I should just burn them. But, I wanted to look at them today. I wanted to learn from them. I keep them all in a big box. I also found hundreds of emails, letters, a photo album. I couldn't bring myself to read much, a quick flick through 5 years of diary was enough to confirm what I always suspected, that the biggest regret of my life is the years wasted on a total fuckwit. Even the photo album, with pictures from holidays, Valentine's cards, train tickets, even that didn't bring a flicker of emotion, other than regret and confusion. How could I have been so stupid and so blinkered?

The diaries are just a catalogue of Son of Satan's vacillations, the dozens and dozens of times he let me down, the promises that were never kept, the twisted emotional manipulation that I fell for over and over again. It is interesting, I guess. To look back with a certain perspective and detachment.

But, now my issue is this, what do I do with it all? Do I keep the archive? Or do I bin it? I was hoping to find some stories about my dad, or holidays with friends or family stuff. The truth is, those stories aren't there. There was no room for them. None of my friends approved of Son of Satan, so I never really spoke of him, my only way of exorcising all those feelings was through the diaries. I stopped keeping them when my dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer. I had nothing else to say.

You know what. I think I shall get rid of them. They mean nothing.


  1. I think you should get rid of them too. It might be cathartic - a weight off your shoulders. In the words of Jan Glidewell (who, incidentally, I know nothing of) "You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present".

  2. Good heavens Miss Rouge. How profound you are!