The Fall of Phaeton, 1596

New Year’s dawn woke me with thunder louder than I have ever heard. It roared and tore as it rippled through the sky above me. I sought sight of the storm so potent in its rage. Lightening sheeted across the world above tangling with billows bruised purple black filling every possible corner of the sky. These clouds crashed against each other full to overflowing caught between summer heat and a blast of Antarctic winter. The tension was extreme I anticipated gods and goddesses of ancient myth to burst forth in furious battle. Expectation of rain became an intense pressure within me as the atmosphere boomed above and around me. Finally after a phenomenally long period of impossible noise, gentle tears drifted from the ripe clouds slowly landing on my taut skin; soft cold kisses that gave me shivers. After further deafening rapturous thunder shattered the skies, torrents of rain cascaded drenching the world. As the weight of water released bird song returned to the heavy moist air and thunder retreated leaving only the sound of rain.

This awakening, when only a very few hours before I had lain myself to rest after gazing for hours at the unknowable vast beauty of the stars, was so impossibly perfect I was moved to tears. I lay myself to sleep again skin drenched with the scent of new rain and asked myself to dream a vision of 2014. In the last clutches of 2013 as the witching hour fast approached I had been unintentionally yet viciously reminded of what my life had been like during my marriage. A dearly loved friend was apologising to me for not having been able to empathise until now because now she has tasted what it is truly like to tangle with a pathological liar and narcissist. It sickened my stomach and deep dark knot of hatred opened within me. I was horrified for her. Then memories seeped out that I thought I had lain to rest long ago. Breathless with the stench of it I turned upon myself with a very dark view of how I was then coupled with terrible fear that I am blindly repeating the same ignorant mistakes now. I sought fantasy to escape the darkness but it was not real, it left me empty. I sought God but although belief remained the stringency and hypocrisy of religion left me cold. I sought comfort in wine although it softened the edges it ultimately returned me to fantasy. I sought a lover and although intensely beautiful it was not real it was hidden and secret causing deep bitterness and pain within me. Knowing my lover was making a life with another while experiencing my husband alternately ignoring me, raging at me, losing himself in despicable addictions, or confusing me with his disgusting and poisonous charm was more than I could bear. 

I built a life out of lies. I found deceit easy. I had everyone fooled including myself. Until the intense weight of it all crushed me and I fell into deep illness. I nearly took my own life several times. I tried to destroy everything in my world, including the love openly offered to me by people I should have trusted; my lover, my family, my friends… but it is almost impossible to trust anyone when you do not trust yourself, or love anyone when you do not love yourself. I clawed my way up from the bottom building a new holistic image of myself, a new version of my dancing self emerged. I thought now I was strong, that I was able to hold my face, unmasked, to the sun. The conversation I had with my friend reminded me that there is still some dark poison deep within me. I will extract it with fortitude, kindness, honesty and most of all by communicating. That is the ultimate difference between ancient past me and this current me poised to face 2014 I am going to talk about what I see, think and feel even if it feels as though there is no air in my lungs as I try to open my mouth. Because I have lived in a ‘dream world’ and it became a nightmare. I want to be sure that I am living feet firmly planted in the real world, comfortable in the skin I live in.

Words by errant satiety image: The Fall of Phaeton, Joseph Heintz the Elder, 1596

22 comments on “Fortitude

  1. mrmodigliani says:

    The first and most important step is the decision to live one’s own life for one’s self. It is a very hard decision. Blessings to you Errant.

    • That is very true and I wish to reassure you that is one that I have taken and will always consider of upmost importance. I was taken aback by the resurfacing of what I considered ‘old’ feelings and they made me aware of self deception still lurking deep inside. This piece was cathartic and I feel better for having shared it. For I really know now that they are old feelings relating to many years of marriage now distant and I choose to continue moving onward 🙂 Thank you for your words of support and blessings…

  2. jayne says:

    I’m so glad to have met you now – at this point in time. You are inspiring in many ways. XO, Jayne

  3. hispetitelle says:

    My New Year’s post had a similar tone, but while I used some flip humor (my fall-back position) you eloquently expounded. I’ve used those vices and the long faded scars on my wrists are constant reminders of old hauntings. I look forward to reading your journey.

  4. dievca says:

    I would love to sit and share the turbulent weather with you — relishing it’s energy and force. I would love to share a bottle of wine, plus conversation to take the edge off of turbulent memories.
    “Perfect” hides many flaws, no one will ever be perfect. But everyone can just “Be”. You cannot have beauty without ugliness. joy without pain, but you can limit the impact. You have learned that you are loved –remember to keep loving yourself.

  5. Sofia says:

    I can’t anymore to what everyone has said. Great advice had been given.
    I will just add that I will be here supporting and cheering you on…
    “You go girl” let’s make 2014 a great year!

  6. […] I could. I left three times but was committed, until I could no longer cope, to making it work. I have talked briefly recently about how bad it got, I won’t go there again in this post. Now because of these beautiful women who have to have […]

  7. […] Is my heart open? Or is it just safer to remain in the shadows for fear of hurt. Terror surrounds me. I get so anxious when I think of full potential and the ability to really truly love. I cannot open my heart; I am in fear of him, his ability to inflict pain makes me question his ability to express empathy, to love anyone other than himself. I am in terror and I need love, absolute beauty and love to entice me out. I need to be worshiped and honoured before I can allow myself to open and offer my absolute. I do not feel safe here. I can pretend all I like but that does not change a single thing. It makes me less open and more distant from my truth and my life. I do not serve him or myself through this pretense. What is the next move? Endlessly confirming how I feel in writing does not tell him a thing. Withdrawing more describes separation. I am so afraid. I walked to the edge, he asked me to come back so I have, but I am aching for the edge, I only returned out of fear, fear of him. […]

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