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.