The other day, I was rather upset about some family stuff. Nothing particularly new and it may not have bothered much another time, but on this particular day it did and I fretted about it off and on all day. I'd read in my horoscope in the morning that talking to an old friend would help, but no old friend turned up. I didn't call/email/meet any and none got in touch with me.
Came home unexpectedly early from work, so I got to feed and cuddle The Bhablet before he was packed off to bed. Then V and I sat down and had dinner together -- a very rare occurrence. Usually he has his in front of the Mac and I sit with a book. These days, now and then I see him hesitate before he turns to the Mac, but mostly it's too much of an effort for me now to break my habit. I used to want to sit and chat with him, but how long can you make conversation with somebody who listens to you with half an ear and doesn't pay attention to what he hears?
So I really appreciated him turning to me and asking me about my day. And I found myself telling him all about it, how the whole family thing had been on my mind, nagging at me. It helped so much, and afterwards, I felt so relieved.
Long ago, before April 2005, Vicky and I were truly friends. Years ago, we'd felt a mutual attraction. There had once been mutual respect. It had all combined into an interesting friendship. Then everything changed and marriage didn't bring the friendship back. There has been love all these days, but not that cheerfulness, the back-slapping affection. Not that I want him to back-slap me particularly, but I remember how he could distance himself from my problems and come up with effective solutions. Both he and I have forgotten how to do that, perhaps.
In the last couple of weeks, since the last big fight, our relationship has been changing. I know I've considerably changed the way I react to him. Like I said before, I don't know that this is for the worse, and perhaps it isn't; I just want it to bring the companionableness back.
It's a good time to write this post. We aren't fighting right now. But these days I have begun to look at my husband and look for the man I fell for. Not the man I married, because I don't think I like him so much. But the man whose visits I used to wait for, lonely and alone in Garfa, that man I miss. We both lost out way and I know when and how. I badly want to come back to what we had. Rahul can't ever help us reach it, because he's never known us to be the people we were back then. We don't spend too much time now with the people we hung out with then, so nobody really marks the difference; those who do attribute it to getting married. In our case though, marrige was only one more step on the path I don't want to follow any more.
I find myself thinking thoughts I don't want to think. Shouldn't need to think. Because V had it in him to be all the man I need. If he had it once, surely he has it still? And while I wish for some of the old Vicky to re-surface, I try to remember the girl I used to be, whose trust hadn't yet been found misplaced, who was looking forward to the future, and who had no reason to not try her very hardest. That girl whined but never gave up. When she couldn't beat it, she joined it.
I've been struggling with his smoking for so long now. It's stupid to mind it so much. When my colleagues smoke, when my friends smoked during Proof rehearsals, I stood around inhaling the second-hand smoke. I still love the aftersmell on a smoker's fingers. But now it's become a symbol of Vicky's callousness and double standards. Having made me stop he continues himself. He sneaks in his smokes when he counts on me not wanting to kiss him. It results in me wanting to hug him but telling myself not to, because I don't want another scene and there will be one -- I'll make it -- if I smell the nicotine on him. The stained teeth repulse me. It feels like he's constantly lying to me. It all feels very uncomfortable.
I know, the dust is still settling on this one. I know, it's an addiction. I don't expect him to have the mental strength of the Roys. I do know that's a rarity. But I haven't been able to accept it and I am still fighting the attraction myself. I gave in once, in January and it was so hard not to do so again. And that was only a cigarette. My smoke of choice is ganja, which I haven't had in two years now, I think.
Alongside this I'm trying to work my way out of this fear that comes between him and me. Fear of his violence. Fear of my own. Fear of making my son bleed again. Most days, it feels easier to cave in, claim to be wrong, apologise and carry on. That's not the relationship I want or respect and some days I'm scared I'm putting up with this until I have the strength to walk away and start afresh, but I don't think I'm going any where. I can see what's going wrong here, but I'm still only praying for the strength to set it right, from my side at least. In between all this, there is always a little boy caught in the cross-hairs. As my brother and I were, once.
Today started out promising, almost didn't live up to the promise but ended rather nicely. Maybe tomorrow will end as well, too. I'm willing to live this a day at a time.