Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Day 257

This is a new photo of Scully, my 'pet' sheep's skull, with an old photo of flowers superimposed over her. I've always been interested in the juxtaposition of decay and growth, and the concepts of metamorphosis and resurrection, and they seem like a particularly apt subject area right now.

A couple of friends wrote to me this week mentioning the 'A' word - anger. It was only after I read what they wrote that I realised I've not written anything about anger yet in this blog. It's an emotion I don't feel very comfortable expressing, but I've certainly felt plenty of it over the past few weeks.

Anger hit me for the first time on the third day after Iain left. The feeling was so strong I was afraid I was going to get completely eaten up by it, so I asked my brother for advice about what I could do to work through it. He suggested writing a letter to Iain that listed everything I felt angry with him for, and then burning it. I spent an hour writing the letter. My hand was shaking so much and I was writing so fast, my handwriting was barely legible. To avoid having to write 'I am angry with you for...' at the beginning of every sentence, I set out my grievances in a numbered list. There were 75 of them. About half of them were habitual things rather than just one-off events. And some grievances went way back, to twenty or twenty-five years ago. I never realised until I wrote that letter that I had been bottling up so much anger for such a long time. It wasn't a very nice thing to discover about myself. One of the many, many life lessons I need to take away from this experience is that I need to learn to express my anger (non-destructively, of course), rather than suppress it. Reading back my list of grievances, I came to the sickening realisation that our marriage had not been anything like as happy as I had always told myself it was. So I can add self-deception to the growing list of personal failings I'm beginning to recognise in myself.

Writing the letter was very cathartic, and burning it afterwards was a nice symbolic touch. As I watched the smoke rise into the sky I could feel anger's hold on me lessen, and I could feel Iain's power to hurt me any more start to melt away too.

When we started building the house, we moved out of our rental in town and moved into the yurt, and we put most of our furniture in storage. When Iain left we'd still not got round to taking our stuff out of storage, so on Monday I rented a removals truck and, with a little help from eight of my friends, cleared the storage unit and filled two sheds with stuff - one with stuff I want to take back to the UK with me, and one with stuff to sell on Trade Me, which is New Zealand's equivalent of eBay. My 'homework' over the next few weeks is to put a few items every night onto Trade Me, and gradually reduce the 'to sell' pile.

Anyway, I've wittered on for long enough, and my yoga mat is calling me. I am so grateful for my yoga practice right now. 

1 comment:

  1. I think the letter was a wonderful idea Helen!
    Stay strong my friend.