Oh look, I’m back. No dishes to report on today, no concerts or films viewed on TV or at the cinema. No live music events or dates; restaurants or pubs to review. There could have been loads, literally, over the past couple of years but no. Nothing, nothing at all.
The Kibosh was firmly put on this blog 2 or 3 years ago when its contents caused a constable to pay me a visit; not once but twice. Over the content of what was contained here and some other stuff, on social media. The reason. Harrasement of my estranged wife, or, that’s what they told me. The first copper was quite pleasant and understanding; the 2nd, with her sidekick, less so. But she was on first name terms with my estranged wife so there was little doubt where her allegiance lay. I guessed they’d carried out a raid or something together in the line of their respective roles so no sympathy for the man amongst us.
The alleged harassment began with a litany of sarcastic, hostile and abrasive social media posts aimed at her and the man I discovered her having an affair with in 2014 whom she eventually moved in with. It was suggested to me that to overcome the very severe grief I felt over the discovery and estrangement was to write it all down, in a blog. Get it off my chest, so to speak. So I did, writing a root and branch exposé of my relationship and marriage with my…spoiler alert…my (now) ex wife. She clearly found it, read it and so the police came round, had a chat, told me to remove it and stop the social media stuff. So I largely did. The stuff about us, our relationship, our marriage, our separation went and so, largely, did the Twitter and Facebook output. I say largely because there were lapses. Mostly caused after I discovered my ex and her new partner had a baby almost and exactly 9 months after she left my house. And about 12 months after that, I discovered her new partner, the person I discovered her having an affair with was none other than the son of my next door neighbour.
Now, this freaked me out and caused a bit more social media hostility, especially at weekends when I’d had a bit to drink. The effect it seemed to have on my ex was to decide that, now the whole thing she had previously worked so hard to conceal was in the open, there was no need to be discreet about it in future? So I would often arrive home with her car parked outside next door’s house, the screams of some child emanating or running past a window within the house culminating, one Saturday afternoon, in them all coming round for a party. I arrived home from a day at Chester Races. There was her car, there was her new family. What happened was a level of confrontation without any violence but I did hear the weasley voice of her new partner screaming platitudes down the phone, supposedly at the police. Long story short, everyone went home. I was quite pleased about that. Another notch in my mental health.
The bottom line is, any marriage can break up and many do. Including, regrettably, mine. I cannot speak for others but ours hurt like hell. And like the discovery of her affair, the pain was enhanced and revisited as new revelations about her, her new family, the who, the where and the why-for were revealed like the daily punishment inflicted upon Prometheus. It was 3 years of horrible, painful, torture; I kid you not. I explained this to the 2 PCs at the 2nd visit but the advice I was given was, get counselling or get arrested. The ex was entitled to go where she liked and I, well I had to simply put up with it or lose my liberty. Cunts.
And so it went on but there was great relief when the next door neighbour moved out. I would like to think it would be through a sense of shame, in the old fashioned way when people used to say, ‘don’t shit on your own door step’, but every day I saw her was a reminder that my wife, while we had been together, was sleeping with her son; was now living with him and she’s had his baby. Nice. I threw a fist pump in the air when I saw the ‘For Sale’ sign go up outside her house and rejoiced when she finally left. She was a nice lady but I was seriously glad to see the back of her and yes, good riddance I thought. And it helped.
So after all that – and this is a somewhat abridged version so as not to incur the wrath of our guardians and protectors – I gave up on this. Blogging served a purpose but I got told off for it and lost the will to continue. The line these days between free speech and harassment is a thin one and easily blurred. I could have written a book and inserted the same words, sentences and stories. It was all true, it still is. And the words still exist but ‘in private’ only. I don’t look at them and I won’t reveal it but its testimony to something. To what? I don’t know; to my feelings, my pain, my life, our marriage and our divorce. To her credit, she arranged for the divorce and made no claim. Nor I against her. She sent me a nice message after my dad died, which I thanked her for but she sent yet another which I bridled her for. She replied by saying she would never contact me again. I didn’t quite understand why she thought I would want her to contact me again but thankfully she has kept true to her word.
It is coming up to 5 years after we separated and there are still times when I think about her, when I miss her, when I dream about her! Or is it missing someone? The company, the physical contact. When, in 2015, I was seeing the sublime MF-M my feelings for my ex disappeared for I felt MF-M was by far a more suitable, more intelligent, more experienced person to her, in my eyes. A few months later I succumbed to temptation and much to my enduring regret, ended that relationship with MF-M.
I’ve finally got round to getting the counselling suggested by the WPC those years ago. I’ve talked about all of this and about my first wife too, who died from cancer in 2004. Amongst other things I’ve talked about life, my life I suppose. I’m going to be 56 in a few weeks time, I’m getting old. I live in an area which no longer offers anything for me. The legacy of everything that has happened and much discussed in counselling has left me largely relationship phobic and I feel a bit lonely. I go on trips, go to live gigs, visit London for football and literary events but always, or nearly always, on my own. The dates come and go. Last year I met some lovely women but there was always a reason to end it.
I shall have to move. London ideally but more realistically Nottingham or Manchester. Where there is a city, where there is life and culture. I have a responsibility, of course, to my 19 year old son. We’re both getting older and we both need our independence. I’m not sure when but I see a new horizon and I have to get closer to it.