Living without breathing

August 24, 2010 § Leave a comment

The chronic procrastination continues.  The background to this new blog is so overwhelming that I can’t excite myself at the idea of sitting down for 10 hours to type it all out.

This is a heavily edited version of what’s been going on in my life for the last three years.

Hound and pressure then-boyfriend, Rome, to marry me, four and a bit years into our relationship.  Design an engagement ring, choose the South African diamond, leave Rome the following weekend.  Wade my way through months and months of Rome’s torturous grief while having a brief affair with a 45yo married executive, Boyd.  Months after the affair ends, Boyd’s wife Winona gets a phone call from bitter Rome (who since found out that my affair with Boyd happened a little too shortly after our break up for his liking) who lets the feral cat out of the bag. Winona flies across the country (literally) to tear my hair out.

After resounding never to sleep with a married man again, I am a couple of months into a casual affair with a co-worker, Adam.  I lament on and off for many, many months about the painful reality of our relationship which is just a love-tainted affair and nothing more.  18 months later, he leaves his wife and turns everyone’s world upside down.

The months following are horrific, painful and stressful for everyone in our lives.  His wife, Leslie, wants to slit my throat and is going to desperate and gruesome lengths to win her husband back and repair her family (they have two children).  Daily we face all the gossiping bitches in the office who are taking great pleasure in the juice we provide.  Adam is dealing with being a single parent to two confused, upset, distressed children – one of whom is special needs (his daughter, Elizabeth).  And I have landed a partner, an ex-wife and two children quicker than I can say “Jack Flash” . I spend months choking on the reality of what my life has become.

In truth, I never really recovered from that choking.  Which is what leads me here, now, to the Everchase.

Whilst the ex-wife has settled considerably, the children adore me and Adam and I live in a beautiful home which we share with his children 7 nights out of the fortnight, I am sad to say that I am still choking.  Yes, it is possible. 

Once the panic of choking subsides, you realise that you can still actually breathe and so, over time, you learn to adapt to a harder, more uncomfortable, less pleasant way of breathing, of living, of existing. 

Long term choking means you are still alive enough to pay bills and vacuum the house 10 times a week and wash out the filthy rabbit hutch which your children wouldn’t look twice at.  You are alive enough to plait hair and clean teeth and dress your step-daughter; you are alive enough to cook dinners, make school lunches, pick up dirty washing and put shoes away; you are alive enough to watch Shrek for the 13th time when really you want to watch a horrific blood and gore film.  Long term choking means that you are alive enough to recognise a cold, wriggly body in between you and your partner’s at 6am on a Saturday morning.  It means that you are alive enough to go to football games on Sundays when you would rather be in bed recovering from a hangover.  It means that you are alive enough to be able to plan your whole week, month, year around which weekend you have the kids, the junior footy season and your partner’s ex-wife’s travel plans – in fact you couldn’t even plan this well when you could breathe like a normal person.

You’ll be amazed at all the things you can do while you are choking.  And you’ll do them so well that no one will even think twice about asking how your breathing is.  That first week that you vacuum the house 10 times in 7 days means that you can do anything without even having to think about it – and no one else will either.  If you can manage holding a Tupperware container for your child to vomit into, folding 8kg of washing, shopping for shoes with two kids in tow and coming home from 10 hours of relentless work while still managing to look pretty, act perky and then cook a hot, delicious meal for your family, breathing is seriously the last thing on Earth you have to worry about.

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