Sunday, April 25, 2010

Diary of a Mad – I Mean Really, Really Mad – Wife

I've often thought of excerpting clips from my journal on this site. I'm a firm believer that misery loves company and if there's anything revealed in my journal entries it's misery.
The thing is, I can't bring myself to go back and read them. It feels like trying to go back to sleep after a nightmare. I just don't want to close my eyes and face those frightening images again.
Or face those pages on which my pain is written so clearly.
I've suggested often on this blog that readers keep a journal. And it's advice I stand by.
I've always kept a journal. In fact, I recently pulled out my journal from grade 8, in order to read a passage or two to a grade eight class I was visiting to talk about writing. It had the usual adolescent angst – a vow to "stop letting Allison bug me", the thrilling news that a boy I liked – gasp! – looked at me and his look "lingered" least in my imagination, if not reality.
But as I read further, I found a note I had tucked into the book. A note that my mother had written in the midst of psychotic episode. Her alcoholism, combined with a prescription drug addiction led to some pretty wacko times in our family. She spent a number of years in and out of psychiatric hospitals, being misdiagnosed until some exasperated psychiatrist finally told her to get the hell out and go to an AA meeting. She did. And remained sober – and sane – for 25 years until she died in 2007.
That was then. But for me, when I opened that book from 1978 and found that bizarre note, it felt like now. Right this second. I could remember so clearly the anger. The sense of loss. The confusion. Feelings I had so successfully buried.
And feelings that I've quite successfully buried, I fear, again.
The reason I think they're buried rather than "processed" is that I can't bring myself to open my journals from three years ago. I don't want to feel those feelings again. I'm fine. I can function. I can smile and do my job and parent my children and, for the most part, forget that my husband betrayed me in the worst possible way.
Which tells's time to get excavating.

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