I should have written this hours ago – this morning would have been good. Today has been one of those amazingly loaded days, where something of seemingly vast enormity occurs early on and fails to find resolution ina day of turmoil and increasing pressure. This morning I finally posted the letter to my Mum. I wrote it a week last Monday after my counselling session and I’ve hung onto it for a week – ostensibly to be sure it says what it ought to. It probably does.
Really though the week has been an outstanding demonstration of how to prevaricate. I mean a professional level of delay. First you see Mondays are my days for getting embroiled in this stuff – I have counselling and then go to the pub or home and spend a few hours writing to sort myself out. It’s quite hard to make myself do this sort of thing on other days. So that was a good delaying tactic. Then, fair enough, I’ll be wanting to review its contents; ensure I’ve said the right/wrong things. Then there’s grammar and spellchecking. Then of course I’ve got to print it… I type because my handwriting is horrible and the last thing you want someone to be squinting over and attempting to decipher is “Mum, I was molested as a teenager”. Then there’s no paper at home. Just scrap paper. So I’ll need to print it at work – transfer to a memory stick and so on. Never happened. I finally re-read it properly on Monday before counselling. I’m not a great believer in endless re-writes; I write what I mean to write. I made a couple of tiny changes.
I went over why I wanted / needed to send it in counselling. Concretised it again if you will. Tuesday morning – printed the fucking thing. At home – found some nice good weight paper. For some reason that felt important. Enveloped it. Wrote a covering letter to wrap the envelope in. Went and found Mum’s address right away and wrote it on the envelope. All good progress. Taped it shut (we’re using ancient stationary from my Nanna). No stamps. Arse. Well, I can get some on my way to work… Somehow I ran out of time before work. Too busy to go at lunchtime. Accidentally left work too late to drop by the supermarket on the way to climbing. Didn’t feel like going to Asda after climbing. Tomorrow, y’know.
Wednesday morning: got tired with my prevarication – and also needed stamps so I could post my sister’s birthday card. Declined The Lady M’s offer to post them for me. Left for work early (having eaten nothing as I felt awesomely tense) and went to the supermarket before work. Bought croissants. And asked for stamps… they actually said they didn’t have any large letter first class stamps. My heart leapt/sank/fell out. Then they looked again. I bought stamps. Letters and stamps in my hands: 9.10am. I stamped and posted the letter. Noted that the post would be collected at 5pm. Went to work.
I’m not sure what sensation I expected on posting the letter – a rise of elation or sudden terror. I don’t know. I got numb, hummingly numb. Oh, and immediately afterwards almost got hit by three cars in a row. I may have been distracted. It hasn’t been a good day – I’ve been completely distracted and withdrawn. Not actually thinking about the fact that I’ve just sent my Mum a long letter explaining a whole load of shit that she doesn’t know and the possible consequences of that – just… numb. And increasingly tense. Right now I feel like I’m made of sticks. Not straw – I’m tougher than that, but not bricks either. I can’t sleep – which is why I’m doing this.
It’s a hell of a burden to drop on someone and maybe that’s why I’m uptight. On the other hand it could just be that I’ve got no idea when she’ll actually get and read the damned thing. When I wrote to Dad seven years ago I stuck a first class stamp on it and had every expectation that it would arrive the next morning. Royal Mail is not what it once was and she could get it anytime between tomorrow and next Tuesday. So until then I’m in limbo. I’m worried about consequences, and I realised that there aren’t any for me – not really, not unless I take on Mum’s emotions and responses as something I can feel responsible for, and I don’t think that’s a good idea. I’ve already been living with this for years, so it’s no change for me; it’s one less person to hide things from. That’s a good thing. I’ll be here for Mum, because this is probably going to be difficult for her, and I’m sorry for that.
So where does that leave me? Quarter to two in the morning, stroking a cat I guess.
Living with horror I’ve written before about my own experiences of sexual abuse. It’s not fun reading and not much fun writing it either. At the time I was receiving