Despair and shame

Dear Sas

I think it must have been Autumn 1982; Jassie was almost five and Annie had just turned three.

You were in the early stages of pregnancy with Kayla.

We were a normal young family with good friends and family but the appearance was superficial.

We both knew the precariousness of the business, money was tight and arguments were more frequent than they should have been.

I was running a failing business and the demons which had been held at bay for most of our life together, were becoming harder to ignore.

The business trips to Sydney inevitably led to a furtive exploration of the bars in Oxford Street, not much ever happened, mainly because I was  so totally daunted by the process. There were however, some falls from grace, leaving me in a state of bewilderment and shame.

The guilt of failure coupled with the shame of a double life was driving me to the darkest of places.

You could and did support me through the agony of a failing business but the darker enemies were unseen.

It is hard to fight an enemy you cannot see and there must have been times when you despaired at the mood swings and the darkness.

It was becoming harder and harder for me to fight for the light and you were the innocent participant in my own Greek tragedy.

There was only one way out of this morass. I had insurance and you would all be better off without the angry, bitter, frustrated person, even I; had grown to loathe.

It is impossible to love someone when you hate yourself

I became Sydney Carton in “A Tale of Two Cities’; my death would be the gift of life for you all.

“It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.”

There was one thing I needed to do before I took this fateful step, I needed to heal some of the hurt, I needed a good memory to leave behind.

Sunday bloomed as only a delightful Autumn Sunday can, the trees shone with the leftover rain from last night on their orange leaves and we set out, heading to Albury and a day at the lake.

We walked with the kids down below the Dam wall, I showed them where the old race circuit used to be, we played on the rocks and threw stones across the water, I held the kids and you, as if it were the last thing I would ever do and we picnicked by the water.

The drive home in the late afternoon was peaceful as the kids slept, we held hands, just like we used to do and that evening’s dinner was a special takeaway treat.

“Thank you Daddy for a lovely day” were the last words I heard as the kids toddled off to bed.

“I could be good, I could beat the demons, I could succeed” were my thoughts as we lay together that night.

The thoughts of a melodramatic end were wiped from my mind. and tomorrow; the drudgery of life would begin again.

Would I really have done something? In truth I don’t know, I do know this day of simple joy had been the tonic I needed.

The demons would remain, the mindless need to prove myself would not leave me alone, but for now; the routine of normal life would suffice.

For now; I had a new meaning and a new purpose.

Sas, as always; you were the meaning and the purpose.





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