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Wednesday, 31 March 2004

There Are Silences Between These Lines

Topic: Lactose Incompetent

Things I've been trying to avoid blogging lately: the fear, the filth and the fury.

From the book I'm reading:
"Unconsciously Milton was adhering to the Greek custom of shaving after a death in the family. Only in this case what had ended wasn't a life but a livelihood. The beard fattened up his already plump face. He didn't keep it trimmed or very clean. And because he didn't utter a word about his troubles, his beard began to express silently all the things he wouldn't allow himself to say. Its knots and whorls indicated his increasingly tangled thoughts. Its bitter odor released the ketones of stress. As summer progressed, the beard grew shaggy, unmown."

I have sort of hinted at the fear. I haven't succeeded in socialising without drinking, therefore I don't yet believe that I on my own am enough. I no more answer the phone than last year - now I'm usually asleep if it rings, then I simply didn't want to speak, but the outcome is similar - I miss the call.
Mostly I'm rushing around, knackered, with the bizarre result that I feel stressed by the pressure to socialise. It was absolute agony forcing myself to go away for two weekends in a row - I had a cold, was tired, felt nothing more pressing than the need to curl up under a duvet all weekend. The threat of its absence seemed a privation of the worst sort, and I came >this< close to cancelling again and again, eventually having to force myself out with the rationalisation that viewing work as normal and friends as a trial is madness.
I was right, of course, once you're there, out, it's fine, and had a great time. Yet, somehow, the agoraphobe inside is so thankful I have an empty unbooked holiday next week, with not a single brunch chartered. How do I let myself get into the sort of state where friends seem like a drain on my resources? Insane.

The filth: mundane. Mundane and compelling. It's getting dirty around here. No washing machine, vacuum cleaner broken. Tybalt's cat sitting each weekend lends itself to feeding said animals things that will make them puke the next day. I'm sat here under a blanket, surrounded by the debris of my Easter huevos, wondering how I'm going to get cat-puke mark number three out of the carpet. Ew.

The fury: like Milton's beard, the less I speak to Tybalt, the more the repressed feelings emerge. The quietus provided by my south London beige refuge is slowly allowing things to escape.
Problem: the prominent emotion arising is utter rage. Rage to the degree that I feel unable to address it or to speak sensibly about it.
On a superficial level, I've managed to hack a sort of 'working relationship' out of the mess of the disintegrating partnership, in order to sell the house. It seems improper to address my feelings of vehement fury to her; we're not in a relationship any longer, I'm happy not to have to deal with any of her irrational resentment, and likewise, I'd rather keep a lid on mine. Distance is my ambition, really.
But the rage doesn't let me just listen passively to an excuse, or a petty demand, a text message bill for #13.75, or a blandly craven or selfish statement from her. It bursts into furious flame inside me. It rips apart the spoken forgivenesses and apologies, and remoulds them into lies. Untruths.
I'm pretty mild. I'm generally pretty tolerant. But rippling beneath that is a dementia right now - it's slowly seeping out at work, and beginning to dribble into my dealings with friends. It's so bad it makes me feel as if I should confess. Literally. To a priest.
It's alarming. When will this rampant bitterness escape? Exorcise itself? And how?

This page graced by sarsparilla at 8:54 PM GMT
Updated: Thursday, 8 April 2004 3:28 AM BST
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Thursday, 1 April 2004 - 12:05 AM GMT

Name: Hotline

Just to let you know that I'll be in London this weekend (for you-know-who's 40th), and would be very glad to force you out screaming into the open and use up some of your as-yet unbooked, blank time...

Thursday, 1 April 2004 - 7:03 AM GMT

Name: Vanessa

Lovely! Prepare for a big hug, then.

Thursday, 1 April 2004 - 12:46 PM GMT

Name: l Legomen
Home Page:

Good to see the Blogging is back at full throttle ! :-)

Thursday, 1 April 2004 - 3:41 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

Sounds like a zombie flick, doesn't it? The Blogging.

Thursday, 1 April 2004 - 6:43 PM GMT

Name: Legomen
Home Page:

"Ee woz Blogged Guvna. Came aht ov nowhere they did. Now ees just cravin' flesh."

Thursday, 1 April 2004 - 7:43 PM GMT

Name: Looby
Home Page:

I almost want your life to continue to be a bit rubbish if it makes you write so well :)

Friday, 2 April 2004 - 6:44 AM GMT

Name: Lux
Home Page:

"But the rage doesn't let me just listen passively to an excuse, or a petty demand, a text message bill for #13.75, or a blandly craven or selfish statement from her."

I don't think this is irrational resentment. She's clearly being a pain in the bruised cervix. Of course b1tching her out isn't the answer, but you don't have to stay silent about it either.

I'm not really one to be giving advice on this though. I tend to be pretty passive myself.

Friday, 2 April 2004 - 10:55 AM GMT

Name: Cyn
Home Page:

In reading your entry, I'm struck by the recollection of just how long the aftershocks of a broken (long-term) relationship can last.
Hang in there, this can't last.
Despite appearances to the contrary, this is not madness--it's clutching on to one's sanity.

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