Spring Cleaning

Posting on this blog feels like coming home. This was where I poured out my soul, where I could be open and honest, where I shamed the devil. I moved to a new blog because this one was getting rickety, but I wasn’t comfortable with sharing my secrets there – or perhaps, at the time, I was just too hurt and angry to feel I could speak rationally.

Yesterday a kind (and handsome) surgeon took possession of my gall bladder. The gall bladder exists to store bile. It’s not an essential organ – it just crouches in the gut, storing up all that bitter stuff, dispersing it as it sees fit. Mine was full of stones which crunched against each other making me hurt. I’m glad to be rid of the seat of anger, and I’m ready for some Spring cleaning.

I need to empty that cluttered box my attic. I thought that if I left the box tucked away in a dark corner it might crumble to dust and blow away, instead of which it has continued to pulse, emitting an unhealthy ochre glow. I can ignore it in the daytime, when a variety of activities and healthy obsessions keep my mind occupied, but the evenings are difficult. If I watch a movie on Netflix I relax, and that’s when the box makes itself known to me, the memory of its contents making me weep. If I try to write, I find myself writing about the box. If I try to read blog posts, the box flashes between each read. As long as I’m doing Japanese puzzles online I can only see it through the corner of my eye, so that’s how I spend every evening. I don’t go to bed until I’m exhausted, and then I read a book until the words blur.

Some of you might have correctly guessed that the box is a metaphor for my son, Paul. In January, after suffering long years of abuse from him – abuse of many types, from financial through to physical – the police recommended that I seek help from North Devon Against Domestic Abuse, who helped me, and also referred me to Splitz – an organisation that assists people in breaking away from harmful relationships. My risk assessment showed that I was in real physical danger and I accepted their advice to apply for a restraining order. The restraining order forbids him to approach or contact me for a year.

This is the son I bore, raised, loved dearly. He’s charming, plausable, and he’s a monster. He doesn’t see himself as such, but that is how I see him. No matter what the background cause, no matter what the addiction; no matter what turns a man into a monster, a monster is a monster. To deny that would be to deny that a face, once hacked to pieces with a blunt knife, is not defaced.

Perhaps he will revert. I don’t know, but meanwhile he is what he is, and because I slapped a restraining order on him, he has disowned me – or rather, since he cannot bully money out of me, come to my home for protection whenever he does something stupid, or take it out of me whenever he is angry, he has disowned me.

He knows how well I loved him, how accessible I was, how caring, how tolerant. He knows he abused me, over and over, and in very many ways. He knows that I have cause to be frightened of him. He knows that many loving parents have cut off their children for far less. He knows, deep down, that I have taken the only action left to me in order to be safe and secure, and that I should have done so long before I did.

All the same, he’s disowned me.

So he says. I say it’s just another dirty little trick to make me go running to him. I’ve seen it all before.

But it doesn’t stop me hurting.

There. I’ve tipped him out of the box. Now maybe I can get back to writing, and catch up with my blogging friends.

©Jane Paterson Basil

16 thoughts on “Spring Cleaning

  1. Oh, Jane. Can’t imagine how it felt writing that post, emptying that box. You know you did the right thing to safeguard yourself and ultimately Paul too. People can be charming, disarming even while they wound and love is the hardest thing to put aside, but if you saw his behaviour from outside your relationship, you’d see it as a black and white decision. I hope getting rid of that box helps you to write as I know how important it is for you. Just good to see you here x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s just occurred to me, Lynn, that you haven’t heard the news about Laura. She’s pregnant. The baby is due in early November and her sister and l are thrilled to bits. It’s what she’s always wanted, but we didn’t think it could happen – and the time was never right before now. She’s carrying a big, healthy boy according to the scans and tests xx

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You did tell me, yes. Such lovely news, though I can’t believe she’s so close now! So pleased for you all. Very exciting and these last weeks will pass so quickly, though if Laura is like many of us, she’ll wonder if pregnancy will ever end as she gets bigger and bigger! Very happy for you all. Will you be a ‘Nan’, a ‘Granny’ or something new? I know someone who’s a NeeNee 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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