Birthday blues

This day six years ago I was full of hope. Hope that I was starting out on the normal kind of life that other people seem to enjoy.  We’d had a lovely Valentines day the day before and I woke up to a cold, crisp morning lying beside the love of my life in a cosy holiday cottage. He bought me a heart-shaped silver necklace, with a diamond in it, quite ‘girly’ for me but I loved it. And a birthday card depicting a really old couple with some funny line – and inside he’d written that he hoped that would be us in years to come.

We wandered up Walla Crag together, hand in hand, still lots of snow on the ground from the harsh winter we had in 2010. Then back down for a hot bowl of soup in our favourite cafe. I was blissfully unaware of what I was doing wrong. I still don’t know what I was doing wrong, but unbeknown to me, his passion was slowly dying that day while mine was growing.

He went home three days later on the 18th without saying anything about it. We embraced as he left and I felt sad to see him leave, but content in the knowledge that he loved me and would be back. He hugged me so very close and told me everything would be OK, then pulled away in his car.

The next morning I got a text that almost ended my world. He felt that his feelings had changed and we were growing apart. Complete news to me of course. Up until that week, he’d been declaring his undying love for me, over and over. It had taken me a while to accept that – as someone who was completely unused to being in a relationship it was hard to let go and be myself. Eventually he wore me down and I fell absolutely, completely in love for the first time in my life. I was 50 then and it was my first relationship with anyone, other than a few dates with a boy when I was 15.

Three days after my 51st birthday it was all over.  I was devastated. What did I do to turn him away like that? Of course, it was my own fault, that’s what I believed. Everything my whole life long has been my own fault.

Six years on and I’m still not over it. Not completely.  I met the niece of a friend a couple of years ago and I heard her saying to her Aunt when they thought I was out of earshot ‘Poor thing. she has a broken heart.’  And that was without me saying a word to them about ‘him’.

I think I did have a broken heart. Broken and flung back to the wilderness I was in before he came along. That lonely, isolated place where I keep my own counsel, my emotions are locked away and I smile at everyone I meet and tell them all is well.

So yes, six years ago today I was full of hope. That hope is long gone and I manage somehow to get through every day. I do things, go places, see exciting stuff. I’ve taken a helicopter over New York, been snorkelling on the barrier reef, listened to Opera in the Sydney opera house, seen the hot springs in Iceland, danced in Red square.  I’ve acted Shakespeare on the stage, sung in choirs to a packed house.   I’ve done so many things, but none of it – no, not one of those things can lift me from the lowest of low places I am in. the place I exist on my own, without him, the person who made me love him with all of my heart then snatched it away so suddenly.

So, dear blog, I am telling you this because I can’t tell anybody real. To the real people I know I smile, I help them out, I bring cake into work to celebrate my birthday and I tell them I am fine and all is well with the world.


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