Creative Writing, Mental Health

To My Wife

To my wife.
 
I loved you almost straight away. There was something free, something beautiful, almost spiritual about you. You lived with more courage than I could imagine ever having.
 
I never thought someone like you would ever, ever want to be with someone like me. Your energy filled the room and drew people to you. I kept to the shadows. You took risks and lived, I was cautious and thought about consequences.
 
When you chose me I didn’t believe it. I was so happy, so proud, so in love.
 
But even at the start I think I knew there was a sadness in you. You had been through pain and suffering and I thought I could help. I steered you away from the risks that I thought could hurt you, I mellowed you out and I thought I could help you heal.
 
I watched as your confidence grew. You never finished school but you worked so hard and moved up through the ranks. From the bottom to the boss in a few short years.
 
I watched as the pressure took it’s toll. I absorbed as much as I could but I wasn’t well myself. I couldn’t carry both of our pain, I couldn’t shoulder all of the struggle.
 
I know I withdrew, I know that I hid. The same calm that saved you at the start may have held you back.
 
When that wildness came back I denied it, I couldn’t face it, I refused to accept it and I chose to ignore it. Deep inside I knew that it was there and I began to suspect the truth.
 
I ignored your true cries of pain and hid deep deep in the dark of my own suffering.
 
I watched you as you slept, every night after I watched you suffer with your illness I laid there. I repeated to myself over and over “all I ever I wanted is you”.
 
I watched as you withdrew. Never present, never with me. I felt myself move further and further away from your heart. I told myself it was fine that you loved the animals more, or your friends. You never used to have friends, I should be happy you had them now.
 
When times got dark I was helpless. You tried to leave. I begged you to stay. All I ever wanted was you. You tried another path to leave. I think. I don’t know. We never talked about it after.
 
I accepted that I didn’t deserve your affection. I knew my place. You worked hard I should support you. It was your time.
 
As you got further and further into your illness I lost my strength. I failed you. I broke.
 
My fall was hard. It was seeped in the shame of my failure.
 
From the bottom I looked up and I saw you there. All I wanted was you. Still. I loved you. So much.
 
I took the leap and I dragged myself up and I got help.
 
I started to get better. I became a better man, a kinder man. An honest and courageous man.
 
As I recovered I gained clarity. I looked at you and I saw that the love was gone. I had waited too long. I had lost you.
 
My joy at my own wellness was tainted. I laid there still, every night, all I wanted was you. I love you. I love you. I love you?
 
As the truth became clearer and clearer my heart started to melt.
 
I saw that you didn’t love me. I felt you push me away. The harder you pushed the colder my heart grew.
 
You started to hurt me. You pushed harder and hurt deeper with every act.
 
One morning I woke up and I fell into a thousand tiny pieces as I realised I didn’t love you anymore. You didn’t love me either it was time to leave.
 
12 years we tried. We promised we would grow old together but we failed each other.
 
We both lacked courage when we needed it. Our hearts were not strong enough to keep the love alive.
 
I don’t blame you and I hope you don’t blame me.
 
I loved you with every fibre of my being but it wasn’t enough.
 
I know we are better apart, we won’t hurt each other anymore.
 
Sometimes though, in my solitude, I hear it. I hear my soul repeating over and over:
 
“all I ever wanted was you”
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