------------ ---------- Diary of a Goldfish: The Unreliable Narrator

Diary of a Goldfish

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Unreliable Narrator

View from my back yardSooner or later I had to write again. I have been out of touch with all of you. I have not been reading blogs. I have been busy leaving my husband and running away to rural Wales.

When I first began to talk to others about my marriage, and it being in the trouble it was in, I was very conscious of the danger of editing the past. If it was going to fall apart, I thought, I don't want to start telling stories about it having always been bad, as if the last ten years of my life – my entire adult life so far – had all been a big mistake. That would be ridiculous.

It's not that it turned out to be a mistake. And it's certainly not that I didn't love the man – I loved him as much as I thought myself capable, which was a very great deal. But it wasn't what I thought it was. When I began to talk to others about our problems, I couldn't pretend for very long that it had just been the last six months or a year. And I couldn't pretend that our problems weren't deep or that they hadn't damaged me.

I don't lie to myself very often. Or if I do, I am bloody good at it. Whenever I've made mistakes in the past, or whenever I've become disillusioned with projects or people or places, I have always understood why I thought the way I thought at the time. Even when I was wrong – even when I was foolish to see otherwise – my mistakes have made a kind of sense to me. Not that it's always easy to forgive myself.

I don't yet understand why I thought as I did about my marriage, why I presented what I presented to the rest of the world. The facts I edited out. The spin I put on what was left. And this blog is the documentary evidence. I haven't blogged properly for a long time and
I thought about abandoning or deleting Diary of a Goldfish, but I like blogging, I want to keep blogging and there is so much of my history here. Only, as every historian knows, eye-witness accounts are not always to be taken at face value.

So here I am. I find I trust myself a little less, but I like myself much better. I am living in the most beautiful place in the world with good friends to whom I am as useful as they are to me. My heart is full of love and hope and is in very safe and capable hands. And
here I am, writing again.

Labels: , , , ,

Comments on "The Unreliable Narrator"


Blogger Emma said ... (11:56 AM) : 

Good to see you back. The decision to be honest is huge - and can be very difficult when you blog. I'm glad you have friends nearby and that you feel useful.


OpenID starrlife said ... (12:31 PM) : 

It is good to hear from you! It's very hard to expose our marriages to the world. Others never quite have the whole picture and rush to judgment in a way that may not always help. So, hoping for the best for your future- love brings us to strange places, perhaps where we were meant to be, knowing new things about ourselves. It is never wasted. Sounds lovely in Wales!


Anonymous Ducky said ... (12:44 PM) : 

Good for you for being so honest with yourself this time around. I know what you are going through and I think that most of us fall victim to it in our lives. I'd argue it might even be a gender thing, but sometimes I wonder if the guys don't 'summarize' relationships even more than us ladies.

My recommendation: If you don't already, keep a diary/journal. I keep a diary and, although I don't write every night, I try to write often. And as I get older, I recognize the importance of being as honest as possible to *myself* in the diary. When I go back to read it, I realize that my life was happier than I realized, and it helps.

Best of luck to you. I hope you will continue to blog.


Blogger Mary said ... (1:16 PM) : 

Good to see you posting again. Sorry to hear there's been life-turbulence, but if there's one woman I know with her head screwed on securely enough to deal with things in a sensible manner, it's you.


Blogger S. said ... (1:53 PM) : 

So glad to see you back!

There are enormous cultural pressures to edit out the difficult things about our marriages, and I think that means most of us go into marriage with a lot of ignorance about what being married is really like and that makes it hard for us to be honest with ourselves about what we're experiencing.

You're not alone.


Blogger Ruth said ... (9:08 PM) : 

I'm glad to see you back and hear that you're with friends. Sending a gentle hug...


Blogger IrrationalPoint said ... (10:32 PM) : 

Sorry to hear things have been rough, but glad to hear from you.



Blogger Jess said ... (1:00 AM) : 

I have been out of touch with you, too, but thought of you often. Very glad to see you, and that you've found your way back. You've been missed. :)


Blogger Diane J Standiford said ... (5:25 AM) : 

I think we bloggers all need to take a break now and then. Exposing so much is exhausting. I have never read back over my own blog...ugh. I had it printed out, into a book, because it does cover a special, eventful period of my life. I find other bloggers to be very open-minded to my feelings, my life. I never feel judged. I bet we will not judge you either. Bloggers are not your average Joe.


Blogger Emma said ... (7:56 AM) : 

Oh goodness. Glad to see you back.


Blogger pujols said ... (6:54 PM) : 

glad you are back, missed your take on the world


Blogger FridaWrites said ... (9:57 PM) : 

I am glad to hear from you and that you are doing okay right now--being in Wales sounds perfect for your spirit.

It's very difficult to talk about marriage in a public space, particularly if you're hoping thigns will change or need to self-protect your emotions (even as you're probably longing to share with someone). It's scary not to know what will happen.

I for one am glad you did not delete the blog, though you have every right to if you want to.


Blogger Dad said ... (4:35 AM) : 

Life's turnbulances pass.

many Moons after they pass you look back and wonder just what the big deal about them really was and "Stress" that people would put in your life becomes something so unimportant that you really wonder if you should have more of.

Or why when after all you have been through you should be really weally miserable and are not tis a strange world the harder it was the more fun and enjoyable it becomes
Phew Glad yer back need your spin!


Blogger Never That Easy said ... (1:48 AM) : 

Welcome back Fishy: I'm sorry that this is so behind the times, but I'm just catching up. I'm sorry that you've been facing such challenges, but I'm glad your back. Being honest with yourself (and, through your blog, all of us) is a near impossible feat, but good for you for trying. I wish you all the best, as you move forward.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:03 PM) : 

Wotcha Deb,
Bloke who did your 'logo' here.

I still remember the first time I saw ya.

You rock!


Blogger LuAn said ... (3:50 PM) : 

"The truth you speak has no past and no future. It is, and that’s all it needs to be." - The Messiah's Handbook.


Blogger 洪筱婷 said ... (4:35 AM) : 



Anonymous Gary Miller said ... (11:06 PM) : 

Never having been married, I can't comment on what you must have gone through.

I am, however, immensely happy and pleased that you've decided to keep writing.

Your words touch a lot of people and it would've been sad to lose your valuable insights into life.

Welcome back Goldie!


Blogger 李哲維 said ... (10:16 AM) : 



Blogger Elizabeth McClung said ... (1:45 PM) : 

I am glad to see you blogging, I miss your voice.

Exposing that private part of yourself shows the courage that I admire.

I admire your accepting the good also.

I hope Wales is good for you - Bora Da! Have a cutch.


Blogger Katie said ... (12:10 AM) : 

Just seen this, belatedly.

I am sorry for the turbulence; I am glad you are safe, well, and being looked after. Take good care. See you back when you are ready to come back.



Blogger Jen said ... (4:12 AM) : 

Good for you. Take care. I hope you keep blogging. You seem pretty damn sweet.


Blogger Agent Fang said ... (1:05 PM) : 

Wow, what an amazingly frank and open post. I'm so sorry to hear about this. I also empathise as I am currently going through something similar. It totally sucks, but life is a process you move through and ultimately, I believe, become more fully who you are. Deciding that is sometimes hard, but ultimately empowering. I'm so glad you haven't deleted Diary of a Goldfish - I still tell people how brilliant it is and to check out BADD. Take care xx


Blogger seahorse said ... (10:28 PM) : 

I burst into tears when I read this. I can't believe how crap I've been letting my blogging friends go the way I have. I berate myself for not being there more and I really want to be there now. I am at your disposal. And I mean that.


Anonymous elle said ... (2:38 AM) : 

Firstly thanks for letting us know you are ok and briefing us on the sitrep.

Now, unreliable narrators. I was talking about Humbert Humbert at the weekend, and there are so many other great examples. I like Nick from Gatsby and of course the Wife of Bath is brilliant. It’s tempting to try and explain their actions in a way that might relate positively back to you – to say they were understandably emotionally driven, or sensibly protecting themselves – but that is probably disingenuous. They all had different motives, but they are evidence that there are no reliable narrators. Words don’t carbon copy the world; they just get us closer or further from the truth.

Regarding blogging, I think it’s good to keep a filter between private and public. I stopped writing my mom & pops Singapore blog for a while cos I wasn’t enjoying the country and didn’t have anything nice to say. I didn’t want to put into the public sphere something I’d want to take back later, or make accusations in a space where people couldn’t fairly respond. Although it makes the blog less interesting, I think it is the right decision.


Blogger Blatherskite said ... (6:23 PM) : 

The bliss of this unreliable narrator is matched only by the indolent apathetic embrace of the unreliable reader. You can't be bothered to write and I can't be bothered to read, we conspire to propose a marriage of compliance.

But when you choose to read yet then you write. I conclude: the reader is eternally my favourite author.


Blogger Sage said ... (12:09 AM) : 

I write openly about the ups and downs I have with my guy, and get so many self-righteous types telling me to ditch the guy, that I took down my old site (persephone's box). I'm back again, and still up and down, but there's a certain vulnerability to being honest about crap that people are loath to see - they want it all to end. There's a perceived strength in stability, but I think it's a bit of a load. Life is in flux. Sometimes stability is stagnation.

Anyway, hang in there, chick!


Blogger Elizabeth McClung said ... (11:20 PM) : 

I am glad you are a) alive and b) safe and c) back blogging. I hope things go onward in an interesting way.


post a comment