Here we are at our Sunday story, today I will tell you the story of Roberta who shortly after the wedding realized that her husband was anything but a prince charming. She too, like many other women, showed her courage by making a very difficult but necessary decision to get out of the tunnel of violence.
“Go and let the stories, or life, happen to you, and work for these stories of your life, pour your blood and your tears and your laughter on them until they bloom, until you bloom.”
Women that run with the wolves – Clarissa Pinkola Estés
I have always been a curious, intelligent person, but perhaps a bit naive. Growing up in a simple and unpretentious family, with little social ambitions, I always thought I was worth little. This was one of the causes of the painful events that unfolded over the course of my life.
During my adolescence and university years, I had few, but long and passionate stories. I grew up with a depressed mother who was unable to teach me anything emotionally. I therefore lacked that “sentimental education”, which should already be taught at school.
I proceeded as self-taught in my love stories whose common denominator was certainly the lack of self-esteem. I thought I was worth little. But I only realized this after hard work on myself, after the separation.
Good girls do not go to heaven, as they teach you in catechism, but they often end up in the jaws of some wolf, just like I did. I was “great”, however, as some of my friends say, and I defeated the wolf by digging in the resources I found within me. I was saved thanks to hard work I did on myself and the people I met after the separation, who helped me understand that anything is possible. Just want it. Within a year I was able to remove a violent and selfish father/husband from home and to rebuild a life made of passions that I cultivate every day and that have helped me to understand who I am and what I want.
The first thing I did was to resume the passion for photography, music and theater that I had abandoned. On my difficult path I met an association of single parents, One Parent, even though, when I entered in it, much of the work had been done and I was no longer the princess who believed in fairy tales. I was helped a lot by an anti-violence center and by a good lawyer who supported me in the divorce and who believed in me, making me recover my esteem in myself.
The separation involved the purchase of half of our house with the related mortgage, but I put all my energy. I worked hard and now, economically speaking, I am better off than when I was married. A great satisfaction! Creating my own consulting firm and working in public relations, helped me to open up to others and understand that I was worth something. I met the fake prince in a period of great enthusiasm and I believed his promises which immediately turned out to be just lies. Two children were born, but it was never a happy marriage, based on complicity and respect. He lied to me all the time. After yet another lie I turned to a free legal service for women and from there my new life began.
“If you go to the lawyer, I’ll kill you” I heard myself say in response to a request for separation, but I didn’t give up and went first to the police and then to the lawyer. And so I surprised him: he didn’t expect a similar reaction and I think he still doesn’t realize how strong and combative I could be. I won. And if I did it, other women can do it too, all those who find themselves with a fake prince charming, indeed with a wolf dressed in blue, in the false guise of the man of your dreams.
Yes, because the fake princes in the eyes of friends are the best men that could happen to you, the ones who when you go to a party everyone looks because they are always well-groomed and well dressed and confident.
It was not easy, but I did it and I changed my life: now I am a fulfilled and serene person. When I look my children in the eyes, I see so much of myself and my dreams and I think I did well to get rid of that burden that was harming them too. After 6 years I have finally divorced, I have created a circle of affection and friendships around me and my children.
For nothing in the world I would go back, indeed I only regret not having done it before, when I realized what kind of man he was. Life and its most delicious fruits are all in front of me. In front of us.
If you want to tell your story and share it, you can contact me by email or in response to this post.
Difficile raccontare una storia di violenza come la mia, ma il pensiero che, leggendola, anche una sola donna possa sottrarsi ai soprusi perpetrati fra le rassicuranti mura domestiche, mi da’ la forza di ripercorrerla e donarla. Sono una sognatrice idealista, abbarbicata ai propri sogni, sempre pronta a tuffarmi con entusiasmo, nelle storie, nelle persone, negli eventi. La mia passione, fin da piccola, è stata la Germania, con la sua lingua e la sua gente, una terra così fredda e tormentata che ha sempre esercitato su di me un fascino inspiegabile. E’ dall’età di 17 anni che fantastico sul mio futuro, sul matrimonio, sull’uomo ideale, un compagno per tutta la vita finché morte non ci separi.
“Tutte le arti contribuiscono all’arte più grande di tutte: quella di vivere”
Inciampo in avventure e delusioni, storie più o meno serie, finché un giorno, al matrimonio di mio cugino, inaspettatamente, incontro l’uomo che sognavo da tempo, fratello della sposa. Sembrava tutto quello che una donna come me potesse desiderare: dolce, spontaneo, affettuoso, anticonformista, per giunta, un bell’uomo tedesco. Il mio sogno si avverava. Lasciai famiglia e lavoro per andare a lavorare in Germania. Lui viveva in Olanda, al confine con la Germania, quindi pensai ingenuamente che, stando li’, avrei potuto tenere ben separati l’ambito lavorativo e quello sentimentale. Invece, innamorata pazza e desiderosa di stare con lui, mi feci convincere che il lavoro che avevo scelto non andava bene per me e che il mio posto sarebbe stato tra le sue braccia.
Dopo alcuni giorni in cui quell’uomo, a sua detta per dimostrarmi il suo amore e per proteggermi, mi faceva appostamenti davanti ai luoghi che frequentavo e mi ripeteva che il mio posto non era lì, ma con lui, crollai: un attacco di panico mi stroncò e Lui mobilitò tutta la sua famiglia per venirmi a riprendermi e portarmi in Olanda.
Inizi; allora l’idillio amoroso nella terra dei tulipani e dei mulini a vento; tutto sembrava magico e fatato, la vita che avevo sempre sognato. Lui mi adorava ed aveva la capacità di vedere tutto sotto un alone dorato; non badava alle apparenze ed io mi sentivo accettata per quello che ero, senza artifici o finzioni, mi sentivo apprezzata nella mia essenza, senza costrizioni o formalità. Non mi chiedevo, e forse non mi interessava nemmeno saperlo, come mai non avesse un lavoro e come mai percepisse un sussidio, così come non badavo al fatto che vivesse quasi sempre solo, eccezion fatta per le visite fugaci dei parenti o per le nottate in cui veniva a trovarlo il suo migliore, e forse unico amico.
Così, per quasi un anno, abbracciai i suoi ritmi ed i suoi stili di vita squilibrati, ai limiti del normale; per me c’era solo lui, non diedi retta a nessuno quando mi misero in guardia, mostrandomi l’evidenza e dicendomi: “E’ un uomo problematico, non fa per te. Sei sicura di volerti sposare?”. Io stavo bene con lui, punto. Il resto non mi interessava: non mi interessava il fatto che vivesse di notte anziché di giorno, che abusasse di birra e marjuana, che passasse il suo tempo al computer, impegnato nei videogiochi, che non gli importasse di niente, che avesse interessi ristretti oltre ad avere parecchi problemi alle spalle.
La nostra, ai miei occhi, era la storia d’amore ideale, quindi decidemmo, dopo quasi un anno di vita insieme, di sposarci e di metter su famiglia: ero al settimo cielo. La mia gravidanza arrivò cercata ed in breve tempo; decisi di tornare in Italia per dare la notizia ai miei. Zampillavo gioia da tutti i pori.
Feci la prima visita ginecologica in Italia; sentii per la prima volta il suo cuoricino.
Purtroppo dall’ecografia risultò una cisti ovarica di natura sconosciuta, quindi fu necessario fissare la data per un intervento tempestivo: non potevo lasciare che una cosa simile mettesse a rischio la piccola vita che stava crescendo dentro di me, così decisi di sottopormi all’operazione in Italia, per non incappare nelle barriere linguistiche che avrei sicuramente trovato in Olanda. Lui non accettò la mia decisione ed iniziò a perseguitarmi con telefonate continue, dicendomi che sarei dovuta tornare subito da lui e fare l’intervento lì; iniziò a parlare di promesse non mantenute. Fu uno schiacciasassi sulla mia condizione psicologica in quel momento, avevo paura di perdere la mia creatura. Non eravamo ancora sposati, ma la data del matrimonio si stava avvicinando; in quel momento a Lui non interessava la mia salute, ma solo le scadenze ed il matrimonio imminente, voleva farmi sua definitivamente.
Io invece stavo cambiando: quella vita dentro di me mi stava aprendo gli occhi, rivelandomi la vera natura del mio futuro marito: collerico, ossessionante, possessivo; per Lui era inconcepibile che io prendessi una decisione autonoma senza metterlo al primo posto. Ma ora c’era un figlio che cresceva nelle mie viscere.
Passai giorni d’inferno, Lui decise di raggiungermi in Italia in prossimità dell’intervento, continuando a ripetermi quanto fossero incapaci i medici italiani e quanto la nostra Sanità fosse inaffidabile. Non mostrò empatia per la mia situazione e il suo allarmismo continuo sui danni dell’anestesia al feto venivano prima di ogni altra cosa. Per fortuna l’equipe medica era molto preparata e l’operazione riuscì benissimo senza danni a nessuno.
Ora non ci restava che tornare in Olanda e organizzare la cerimonia nuziale; ma io non mi sentivo più innamorata di lui e cominciavo a vederlo sotto un’altra luce, oscura ed opprimente. Probabilmente gli ormoni della gravidanza avevano preso il sopravvento sul mio idealismo senza scrupoli.
Iniziai a prefigurarmi una vita a tre ma vidi solo un abisso, un buco nero, un tunnel senza vie di fuga: io e la mia creatura avremmo vissuto come due ostaggi alle sue condizioni; no, un bambino non avrebbe potuto vivere così.
Pensai che il matrimonio mi avrebbe chiarito le idee, invece iniziò l’incubo: tornati in Olanda notai subito le condizioni della casa: Lui non se ne era più occupato da quando io ero andata in Italia e versava in uno stato di abbandono, di sporcizia, di lerciume inauditi.
No, non era proprio una casa a misura di bambino. Reagì ai miei rimproveri dicendo che avrei potuto dare una mano a pulire, anche dopo un intervento ed incinta. La situazione era cambiata: non c’erano più filtri fra i miei occhi e la realtà che ora mi appariva in tutta la sua nitidezza e in tutto il suo squallore.
Non accettò il cambiamento e si tramutò in un’altra persona: irrispettoso, irriverente, senza scrupoli; il suo pensiero fisso era il sesso, a lui non importava che io fossi convalescente e con gli ormoni influenzati dalla gravidanza.
E furono litigi e pianti. Non ero più creta da forgiare fra le sue mani, ma una madre che lottava con le unghie e con i denti per la sua bambina.
Non volevo più star lì, quella vita non faceva per me, non faceva per NOI.
Lui era sempre più furibondo ed iniziò ad ubriacarsi pesantemente, la sua personalità malata emerse prepotentemente; la sua diventò una battaglia in cui i vincitori si portano a casa il bottino e sopravvivono, ed i vinti soccombono. La nostra bimba nella mia pancia era solo un trofeo da mostrare.
Non ce la feci più a resistere e decisi di scappare letteralmente da quella situazione. IO non sono proprietà di nessuno, mi appartengo e mi amo. Nonostante lui mi avesse annullata completamente e mi avesse resa una larva che faticava anche ad esprimersi a parole, scappai dalla tana del lupo. Il bene di mia figlia ed il MIO bene erano lontani da quel bruto. Tornai a casa, in Italia, ma l’incubo non finì.
Anche da lontano, con email, telefonate continue, messaggi, continuò la sua opera di terrorismo psicologico; non mi riconosceva più perché non lo assecondavo come prima; ero diventata un’estranea e, secondo lui, dentro di me c’era un mostro che lui doveva uccidere, tutto questo perché avevo messo al primo posto la mia bambina e non la mia vita con lui. Passai la gravidanza senza un compagno accanto, o meglio, con un compagno che da lontano non faceva altro che mettermi ansia minacciandomi, insultandomi, facendomi sentire una nullità e giocando sul mio forte senso di colpa. Trovai conforto solo nella mia famiglia ed in pochi, ma veri amici.
Il fardello della sua lontana presenza era molto più pesante da sopportare rispetto alle dimensioni della mia pancia, che intanto cresceva di giorno in giorno. Affrontai il corso pre-parto da sola, quando tutte le altre avevano, nei giorni dedicati alla coppia, un compagno premuroso accanto. Ricordo ancora quel giorno in cui l’ostetrica del corso ci chiese di scrivere alcuni pensieri che iniziassero con “Mi sento mamma perché…” e “Non mi sento mamma perché…” ed io scrissi: “Mi sento mamma perché mi hai salvato la vita”. Ed era vero! Anche il parto fu un’avventura vissuta senza compagno, c’era mia madre ad assistermi; Lui non sarebbe stato in grado, aveva perso la calma per un’operazione in laparoscopia, figurarsi come avrebbe reagito alle contrazioni, ai dolori, alle mie urla, al fatto che non lo considerassi. Così come non avrebbe sopportato di essere messo in secondo piano rispetto alla bimba, di cui non avrebbe potuto soffrire i pianti, lui che odiava i rumori forti.
Ci avevo creduto con tutta me stessa che potesse cambiare, che potesse far curare quei disturbi psichiatrici mai veramente affrontati e disintossicarsi dall’alcool; ma nonostante la nascita di nostra figlia Lui continuava a tormentarmi, minacciarmi ed insultarmi. Capii allora che il mio amore non avrebbe potuto salvarlo ma che quello che già nutrivo per la mia bambina avrebbe invece salvato me, e lei, portandoci in salvo, al riparo.
Ogni tanto ripenso ai mulini e ai tulipani, alle casette di legno, alle brezze marine. E mi rivedo attaccata al mio sogno d’amore. Allora gli eventi che si sdipanano davanti ai miei occhi non mi sembrano un fallimento, ma solo un pezzo della mia vita, il cui frutto meravigliosa e’ lei, mia figlia, la mia gioia, il mio raggio di sole. Quando sulle nostre fragili vite soffiava un vento crudele e rapinoso, la sua luce benefica mi ha dato la forza di reagire, mi ha messo le ali che ci hanno fatte volare abbracciate sopra la pianura e i campi di tulipani, portandoci via, lontane dal male e dal dolore, verso il nostro meraviglioso futuro.
It is difficult to tell a story of violence like mine, but the thought that, by reading it, even a single woman can escape the abuses perpetrated within the reassuring domestic walls, gives me the strength to retrace it and write it. I am an idealistic dreamer, clinging to her dreams, always ready to dive with enthusiasm, into stories, people, events.
My passion, since I was a child, has been Germany, with its language and its people, a land so cold and tormented that it has always had an inexplicable fascination on me. Since the age of 17 I have been fantasizing about my future, about marriage, about the ideal man, a companion for life until death do us apart.
“All the arts contribute to the greatest art of all: that of living”
I stumble into adventures and disappointments, more or less serious stories, until one day, at my cousin’s wedding, unexpectedly, I meet the man I have long dreamed of, the brother of the bride.
He seemed everything a woman like me could wish for: sweet, spontaneous, affectionate, nonconformist, moreover, a handsome German man. My dream came true. I left my family and went to work in Germany.
He lived in Holland, on the border with Germany, so I naively thought that, by being there, I could keep the working. Instead, madly in love and eager to be with him, I was convinced that the job I had chosen was not right for me and that my place would be next to him.
After a few days in which that man, according to him, to show me his love and to protect me, stalked me in front of the places I frequented and repeated that my place was not there, but with him, I collapsed: a panic attack cut me off and he invited all his family to come and pick me up and take me to Holland.
Beginning; then the love idyll in the land of tulips and windmills; everything seemed magical and like in a fairy tale, the life I had always dreamed of. He adored me and had the ability to see everything under a positive light; He didn’t pay attention to appearances and I felt accepted for what I was, without artifice or pretense, I felt appreciated in my essence, without constraints or formalities. I did not ask myself, and perhaps I did not even care to know, why he did not have a job and why he received a subsidy, just as I did not mind the fact that he almost always lived alone, except for quick visits from relatives and when his best, and perhaps only friend, came to visit him.
So, for almost a year, I embraced his rhythms and his unbalanced lifestyles, at the limits of normal; for me there was only him, I didn’t listen to anyone when they warned me, showing me the evidence and saying: “He is a problematic man, he is not for you. Are you sure you want to get married? “. I was fine with him, period. The rest didn’t interest me: I didn’t care that he lived at night instead of day, that he abused beer and marijuana, that he spent his time on the computer, playing video games, that he didn’t care, that he had narrow interests beyond to have several problems behind them. Ours, in my eyes, was the ideal love story, so we decided, after almost a year of living together, to get married and start a family: I was in seventh heaven. My pregnancy arrived wanted and in a short time; I decided to return to Italy to give the news to my parents. Joy gushed from all my pores. I made the first gynecological examination in Italy; I felt her little heart for the first time.
Unfortunately, the ultrasound showed an ovarian cyst of an unknown nature, so it was necessary to set the date for an urgent intervention: I could not let such a thing put at risk the small life that was growing inside me, so I decided to undergo the operation in Italy, so as not to run into the language barriers that I would surely have found in Holland. He did not accept my decision and began to persecute me with continuous phone calls, telling me that I should go back to him immediately and do the surgery there; he started talking about broken promises. It was a crush on my psychological condition at that moment, I was afraid of losing my baby. We weren’t married yet, but the wedding date was approaching; at that moment he did not care about my health, but only the deadlines and the imminent marriage, he wanted to become his property.
But I was changing: that life inside me was opening my eyes,
revealing to me the true nature of my future husband: angry, obsessive, possessive; for him it was inconceivable that I would make an autonomous decision without putting him in the first place. But now there was a son growing in my womb.
I spent days in hell, he decided to join me in Italy near the surgery date, continuing to repeat to me how incapable Italian doctors were and how unreliable our healthcare system was. He showed no empathy for my situation and his constant alarmism about the damage of anesthesia to the fetus came before anything else.
Fortunately, the medical team was very well prepared and the operation was successful without harm to anyone. Now we just had to go back to Holland and organize the wedding ceremony; but I no longer felt in love with him and began to see him in another light, dark and oppressive. Probably the pregnancy hormones had taken over my unscrupulous idealism.
I began to envision a life for three but I saw only an abyss, a black hole, a tunnel with no escape routes: my creature and I would have lived as two hostages on his terms; no, a child could not have lived like that. I thought that the marriage would have clarified my ideas, instead the nightmare began: back in Holland I immediately noticed the conditions of the house: he had not taken care of it since I had gone to Italy and was in a state of abandonment, of dirt , unheard of grunge. No, it wasn’t really a child-friendly home. She responded to my reproaches by saying that I could help clean up, even after surgery and pregnant. The situation had changed: there were no more filters between my eyes and the reality that now appeared to me in all its clarity and in all its squalor. He did not accept the change and turned into another person: disrespectful, irreverent, unscrupulous; his fixed thought was sex, he didn’t care that I was convalescing and with the hormones affected by pregnancy. And there were quarrels and tears. I was no longer clay to be forged in her hands, but a mother who fought for her little girl.
I didn’t want to be there anymore, that life wasn’t for me, it wasn’t for US. He was increasingly furious and began to get heavily drunk, his sick personality emerged forcefully; it became a battle in which the winners take home the spoils and survive, and the losers succumb. Our baby in my tummy was just a trophy to show. I couldn’t resist anymore and decided to literally escape from that situation. I am not owned by anyone, I belong to me and I love myself. Although he had completely nullified me and made me a larva that struggled even to express in words, I escaped from the wolf.
My daughter’s and MY life were far from that brute. I returned home to Italy, but the nightmare did not end. Even from afar, with emails, continuous phone calls, messages, he continued his work of psychological terrorism; he no longer recognized me because I did not go along with him as before; I had become a stranger and, according to him, there was a monster inside me that he had to kill, all this because I had put my little girl first and not my life with him. I went through the pregnancy without a partner next to me, or rather, with a partner who from a distance did nothing but make me anxious by threatening me, insulting me, making me feel like nothing and playing on my strong sense of guilt. I found solace only in my family and in a few, but true friends.
The burden of his distant presence was much heavier to bear than the size of my belly, which meanwhile was growing day by day. I took the pre-birth course alone, when all the others had a caring partner next to them on the couple’s days. I still remember that day when we were asked us to write some thoughts that began with “I feel as a mom because …” and “I do not feel as a mom because …” and I wrote: “I feel as a mom because you saved my life “. And it was true! Childbirth was also an adventure lived without a partner, my mother was there to assist me; He would not have been able, he had lost his temper due to a laparoscopic operation, let alone how he would have reacted to the contractions, to the pains, to my screams, to the fact that I did not consider him.
Just as he could not bear to be overshadowed by the child, whose crying he could not have suffered, he who hated loud noises. I believed with all my heart that it could change, that it could cure those psychiatric disorders that had never really been addressed and detoxify from alcohol; but despite the birth of our daughter, He continued to torment, threaten and insult me.
I understood then that my love could not save him but that what I already had for my little girl would instead save me and her, bringing us to safety, to shelter. Every so often I think back to the mills and tulips, the wooden houses, the sea breezes. And I see myself attached to my dream of love. Then the events unfolding in front of my eyes do not seem like a failure, but only a piece of my life, the wonderful thought is her, my daughter, my joy, my ray of sunshine.
When a cruel and ravenous wind blew on our fragile lives, its beneficial light gave me the strength to react, it gave me wings that made us fly embraced over the plain and tulip fields, taking us away, away from evil and from pain, towards our wonderful future.
A great love, illness, betrayal and Clara‘s choice to let go of that stolen love.
“Birth is never as sure as death. This is the reason why being born is not enough. WE WERE BORN TO REBORN “
An anonymous room, an armchair like the ones you see at the dentist, a floor lamp with a drip filled with orange liquid hanging and you, lying down, completely astonished with an arm extended to the nurse and a terrified and lost look looking for my eyes. You squeezed my hand tighter at the exact moment that damned needle pierced the vein and drop by drop you started your first chemo. I no longer remember what I invented, how I did, but I managed to reach you, to cross the door of that huge hospital and without even knowing where you were, I managed to find you and sneak into that room. The astonished amazement on your face at seeing me there has erased all my fears, all guilt. Chemotherapy? Yes, it was chemo what you were going to do. Drop by drop that orange liquid would have destroyed that damned tumor that had taken possession of your blood, just as we were living a fairy tale, recapturing us with unprecedented violence in reality. Chemotherapy? yes, the very thing there that we have all heard about, but no one has the courage to ask exactly what it is, what they do to you, how to do it.
In that room, nothing more than a drip and I was able to safely enter without anyone stopping me or asking me anything. And we, there, eye to eye peering into our hearts, talking lightly and with the smile of the two of us, of that absurd love in the eyes of all that had overwhelmed us a year earlier, unexpected and powerful, upsetting our lives quiet of two families envied by all. The elderly lady next to your chair with her needle stuck in her arm, looked at us dazed and amazed by our muffled laughter, so out of place in that place made of anguish and chloroform molecules. And while the drops flowed, one after the other, we organized ourselves for the next day’s skiing. I wouldn’t let you look at that needle and let you talk, I flooded you with light chat, full of projects, I stunned you with programs, I made you make great promises. And so, by preventing each other from talking about that tumor, we discovered together that the nausea did not come and that the day after chemo you could drive, ski, eat polenta and mushrooms, sleep in the cold in a remote cabin in the snow and give me a whole night of love.
Chemo after chemo, checkup after checkup, we found that you weren’t that bad, that you could catch a plane and run away for a weekend, that you could mingle with the cheering crowd and see that concert without stopping for a moment to sing and dance close to me, that you could run under a violent summer storm with soaked clothes and shoes in your hand and suddenly stop and kiss me in the hall of an old building, stunned and inebriated. And discover that it was nice to caress that head, now without hair, and look at your face with no more eyebrows. We could still make love for hours even immediately after chemo and smile at that doctor’s words as he told you it was normal if you couldn’t do it anymore.
We, who could not waste those few moments to be together, had sensed that in our long hugs and in those interminable kisses there was something omnipotent, traumaturgical, an inexplicable alchemy and so, chemo after chemo, reading together the pages of a book, listening to your Ipod together, telling us, dreaming of our future, we got there, to the day when, in front of you, with your arms still marked by bruises left by sharp needles, I opened that envelope and I read that report that decreed total remission. Your cancer was gone.
We had crossed paths a few years earlier by pure chance, we had loved each other as neither you nor I had been able to do. And there, in that very moment, I realized it was time to let you go. You entered my life at the wrong time, it would not have been possible to go further, our children would never have accepted it. Each one took back his gift from the other. That love had had the greatest effect: you were healed and I had opened my eyes to my life. I found the courage to end with a broken marriage and a life that could no longer be mine.
I took my life back in hand. Walking alone, with my kids next to me, I would start all over again: a new job, a new future full of uncertainties, difficulties and fear ahead. I gave you back to her and your children. You have been one of the most precious gifts that life has given me, next to you I discovered what it really means to love, without reservations.
As promised, we never looked for each other again. We resumed walking in the footsteps of our lives, on two parallel paths. And here I am, with life that has returned to amaze me. The time that has passed has hollowed out, blunted, decomposed. Until you arrived, the man of spring. Because life knows how to make you reborn, always.
Today’s story is that of Clementine, a woman who realizes that something is missing in her golden life. For a time she feels confused, lost: she has a husband who adores her, a much-desired son and a fulfilling job. What can she miss?
Every morning leaving house before him, I would slide away from his body, letting him sleep. I was confused and sleepy in the kitchen in front of my cup of hot milk and wrote a love note saying good morning. For him. He would do the same by making me find a note in the evening. Good morning Princess. Goodnight beauty. Everyday. Years of engagement and marriage, the arrival of a child, had not in the least affected this sweet routine, the effusions, the love atmosphere and peace that hung around us. You don’t look like a married couple, many told us, but two sweethearts in love like the first day.
These sweet actions have cheered my wedding, apparently perfect and envied. Yet I felt inside me that a piece of my heart was missing. Yes, somewhere something was inexorably wavering. Sometimes I found myself in the office lost in distant thoughts, in imaginative worlds, losing all contact with real life. Something was wrong. The circle did not close perfectly on my life as a wife and mother. I had the terrible feeling of pretending, living a life that didn‘t belong to me. I was fumbling in an attempt to look into the immense void that had opened inside of me. What was I missing? A loving and caring husband, a desired and loved child, a satisfying and profitable job.
I had all the requisites that this society counts among those indispensable for a happy and fulfilled life. Yet they weren‘t enough to make me feel complete. The sleepless nights began without a reason. My fear began of compromising with my increasingly frequent bad moods what I had built and wanted more than anything else in the world. That house, designed, furnished, desired, was becoming a prison in which my soul yearned to feel free and at peace.
This is how you found me when you entered in my life.
I saw you at an cocktail. You were on the sidelines with your drink in hand. You looked around bored. Instinct did it before me, before the elaboration of any rational thought, I was there next to you, talking about everything and nothing, happy to be inundated by your immense smile. I had lost track of space and time when my husband came to tell me it was time to go and asked me to introduce him to that new friend. Ginevra, nice to meet you.
That night I did nothing but think of you. I wanted to see you again. I just needed to see you again. In the morning I drank my coffee quickly and sneaked out of the house with one goal. Find yourself. In our conversation you told me to work in a real estate agency across town. I called the office saying I wasn’t going to work that day and came to see you. What madness!
A woman had changed my life. My belly was in turmoil, every fiber of my body trembled, when, standing in front of the agency’s window, I was trying to find the courage to come in and ask you if you wanted to have lunch with me. But the footsteps went by themselves towards your desk, without my being able in any way to hinder their determined and firm progress. I was passing by, shall we eat together? Yes, gladly … Then my heart was not wrong when it was deluded that for you too that meeting had been something strong and overwhelming. I went crazy with joy.
How to tell the happiness of that and subsequent lunches. Oh how many! Dinners at her house, chats on the sofa, walks looking at each others in the eyes. Ginevra and me.
When I was away from her the thought of those lips weakened me, I could not work, concentrate, think. Suddenly I no longer felt that emptiness that was drying me up. Ginevra had filled every gap in my soul.
Thus began my life in the middle, split in two realities. During the day still wife and mother, in the evening often a clandestine lover. I fulfilled my duties as a married woman: shopping, preparing lunches and dinners, the child from school, the swimming pool.
But a fire was growing inside me that made me feel alive and happy, making every molecule in my body vibrate. How many lies and how many excuses to cover that fire. I escaped more and more often from the hands of my husband who sought me out at night, in the dark.
I had to go away. I could not bear this life any longer. I was tired of too many lies, of the falsehood that I was surrounding my life with. And then I wanted to be with her, wake up and fall asleep in her arms. Everyday. So, on a June evening, the windows open on the incipient heat, I sat next to him and told him that I was not in love him anymore, to have great and new feelings for another person. I omitted that it was a woman. I didn’t want to upset him any more than he already was. But it wasn’t long before the truth broke out.
My husband did not accept that truth too harsh for his pride as a wounded male: his wife was leaving home for another woman. And then my son. In the midst of daily fights he was contended among the reasons of a father who camped dangerous consequences of my bad behaviour on his psyche.
Lawyers, psychologists, judges, friends no longer friends, poisoned my daily routine.
My battle still continues today. A relentless struggle to claim the legitimacy of our love. To try not to get overwhelmed by feelings of guilt for having lost everyday life with my son. No more kisses in the morning and cuddles in the evening, but only aseptic meetings for a few hours in anonymous places that take my breath away and the words to tell him how much I love him and how much I miss him. Short phone calls. How did school go? While a “as usual mom” closes the door to our brief conversation.
Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night in an indescribable anguish. Thoughts that create inner troubles, bizarre nocturnal awakenings and strange dreams. But above all an idea that terrorizes me: that she is no longer next to me and that my bed suddenly becomes cold and empty.
I think and think again: is it really that important to understand what we are, in love? Because love changes us, devastates us, makes us evolve, we lose ourselves, our boundaries as man and woman, our sex, and we become something else. I can’t find the answers I’m looking for.
I just know that today I am no longer the woman I used to be, writing good morning notes to her husband in an “almost perfect” life. I bet all my chips on this number, for me a winner in the roulette of life.
Starting from today, on every Sunday I will post stories about women. They are real stories of women who often have had to struggle to emerge even in very difficult times.
Today’s story, taken from the blog
http://blog.pianetadonna.it/lestoriediagatha/romina-2/, is that of Romina, a strong and sweet woman who managed family and work at a time when everything could seem lost.
My adolescence had passed unscathed until the separation of my parents which had sanctioned for us new and unexpected balances, no longer close around the reassuring family lunch table, curling up in symbiotic relationships. My mother and I became one thing.
When I was 23, however, when we had now learned to rebuild new domestic scenarios and to move in the balance on new unsuspected balances, black clouds thickened over our lives. My mother, with whom I had shared everything since we were alone, in symbiosis with each other, always, MY MOTHER, falls ill with cancer.
I follow her with all the love I can, support her and take care of her, running from one visit to another, from one doctor to another, confused and stunned by their grim words. I bounce between relentless white coats as my heart is empty and colorless. I try hard to show her my smile so that she will find the strength to cling to it and fight the dark evil that was taking her away.
But at just 49 years old I see her go away in my arms, helpless, flabby, unable to hold her next to me.
I still needed you.
I was becoming a woman and I needed your help, I was asking for your advice, your scoldings, your wisdom. The cozy domestic intimacy you were the pivot of, was dismembered and torn apart. Nothing would have been like before. With your absence, reality took on dark traits.
It is not true that if you lose someone because of an illness, you are more prepared to his death. My pain is endless.
I am alone. The days follow one another in the same spasmodic search for new senses, goals to hold on to go forward, not to give in, supporting the pain, always alive, scorching. My love relationships overlook the abyss and look under the black precipice of despoiling. Misunderstandings. How to explain the magma that flows inside me? I can’t feel life anymore, I search for it, I crave it, but I don’t feel it. Yet sometimes in the dance I can feel for a few moments the heartbeat that had stopped that day, when I had to let her go away from me, unjustly. Sometimes the dance manages to repaint my world in black and white with bright colors. A corner of paradise, all mine.
I had started at the age of 5 years with classical dance and artistic gymnastics and, without ever stopping, I had gone through modern, jazz, belly dance, couple dances: smooth, boogie woogie and Caribbean, my undisputed passion. When I’m happy I need to dance to express the joy that roars me inside, when I’m in the dark the dance brings light back into the dark and empty rooms of my soul. The notes of music take me away from pain, where there is no place for anyone. A dimension in which there are no diseases and detachments, no misunderstandings and hardships in living. Just me and music. And it is precisely on a dance floor that one evening I run into his eyes. Gently, he invites me to dance holding out my hand. I feel the grip of his warm body against mine, I abandon myself lightly letting myself be guided. With my eyes closed. That evening I am a dancing fire star. He is an Italian boogie and acrobatic rock champion. Between us there is immediately fire set on fire by the dance steps, marked by the notes of the music.
And with the light dance steps we start to plan a life together, a house, a family. Three children are born, three boys who soon fill our home with cries and joy. But the clouds are not long in spreading out over my blue sky again. With three children, working away from home makes family management difficult, I have to quit. Meanwhile, love is not enough to keep up the pieces of my family and my life, which are inexorably crumbling. I separate myself from my dance and life partner, as had happened to my parents, many years before, and I find myself alone again, this time with three children to raise. I soon realize that the divorce allowance is not enough and I no longer have a job. What can I do to keep giving my children what they need to live? They are still very young and the road to growing them is all uphill. I have to find the strength not to lose heart. I have to do it. I find my kindergarten teacher diploma in a drawer and decide to open one alone without having an initial capital. As luck would have it, a place not far from my house is for sale. Using all my courage, I decide to take it over and repay it sliwly with the same income guaranteed by the registrations. A great bet. Of course, the first it will be tough, a lot of work and very few earnings, but I’m not discouraged. Such enthusiasm in this project is such that the registrations in a short time grow, guaranteeing not only some initial income, but reaching the point of creating a brand and a franchising network. Today I am a fulfilled woman, I love my job, I enjoy my children growing up and when I can I still go dancing. On evenings of freedom from family commitments, you can meet me on the track, or twirl lightly in a ballroom, free as the air.
The force of life has scrambled the clouds from my horizon.