This was an extravagant Valentines Day! You see we have our own special day, the 17th of February is the day we met and we like to celebrate it so we don’t bother much with valentines but we both remembered to buy a card and I got flowers.. Of course I asked for the flowers while doing the shopping. I spotted my favourite flowers of the moment, Alstromeria, had never seen them in such a vibrant shade of red before and so armed with the fact they were on offer I stated that oh wouldn’t these be nice for valentines day! Hahaha! He plucked out the two bunches so technically he got them for me! Although I am a very romantic soul and I know my husband is too; he used to surprise me with beautiful little poems or love notes left around the house for me to find while he was at work. While these days I often find a post it note on my pc monitor in the middle of the night!
When I was little I had a prince and princesses colouring in book. In every single picture I made either the one of them dying or dead! The happy cuddling couple soon became a distraught prince cradling his dying love or vice versa. I usually killed them off with a sword or dagger to the heart and drew in lots of blood and tears! I imagined them taking the killing blow that was meant for their love. This is the effect Romeo and Juliet had on me! Those star crossed lovers!
Heartbreak surrounded me in the news, in films and books and it called to me. Hans Christian Andersons’ The Little Mermaid, Watership Down, Bambi, Dumbo, etc. I would always find the heartache in any film or book. It called out to me and then it would cling to me. As an older child.. Love Story, The Last Unicorn, E.T. and as an adult, The Last of the Mohicans, Edward Scissorhands, City of Angels, Meet Joe Black, etc, etc. I cried my eyes out for hours in the season two finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, where to save the world she has to kill Angelus, a bad vampire, but his soul is restored to him and he turns back into Angel; the good vampire whom Buffy loves. Realising the world destroying portal is still opening up behind him she asks him to close his eyes before plunging a sword through him and he falls into the portal sealing it and saving humanity. It was even worse in the last ever episode of Angel when Wesley meets his end. Stabbed through the chest and lying on the floor bleeding out he is found by Illyria, who was the human girl “Fred” whom Wesley loved but died and was taken over by Illyria, this demon with no feelings. However she has slowly been developing human feelings and before Wesley dies she asks him “Would you like me to lie to you now?” She takes the form of Fred and talks lovingly to him as he passes and I am just one great heaving wreck on the sofa!!
I felt the fragility of life from a young age, it tore at my heart and my imagination. I would play act the dying bride of the grieving lover, bringing myself to real heartbroken sobs. I would find a quiet place up the park and put on one girl plays, sing sad songs and cry. Sometimes I would be discovered and a concerned adult would ask if I was okay. Sometimes I would say “Oh yes I am fine” and other times I would tell them my dog had died or my friend was ill and would accept their sympathy happily! I realise now that heartache called to heartache.. And my heart did ache. The secrets I could not tell consumed my happiness. I would play with other children but I always felt different, a step away from a real child. I preferred to be on my own, I was safer on my own. I didn’t realise at the time just how far away from a normal child I was, just how damaged I was.
I couldn’t tell anyone that my mother was Mistress Jekyll and Mrs Hyde. I couldn’t bring myself to tell anyone the extent of the school kids bullying. I couldn’t tell anyone about the dirty old man who would lay in wait for me to pass him by as I ran home from school, even though I would get such a hiding from my mother for arriving home late; Or the dirty young lad that pretended to be my friend for a price; Or that the babysitter my mother trusted liked to hurt me, firing pellets at my feet and yelling at me to “dance”, tying me up and shoving me into a dark cupboard, having me stand on one leg for what felt like hours and hitting me if I put my other foot down. Power games, a young man with obvious problems taking his issues out on a child.
I dreamed of an unbreakable trust, a love so great someone would be willing to die for me! That to die to save someone would mean you were loved eternally. Imgine how it would feel to be loved so much a person would die to rescue me, to save me. I couldn’t tell the truth so I made up stories, lived in a dream world where lies were so much better than the truth. Lies would get me some loving attention and even the times I was found out and got into a whole heap of trouble it was worth it!
We are surrounded by tales of tragedy in all forms of media. Touted as the epitome of romance, the pinnacle of love. But it is not! Tragic romance is dead to me now.. I can still cry at a sad film or book but it doesn’t call to me anymore. The height of love is trust. The apex of love is togetherness. I believed dying for each other was as good as it got.. I was never more wrong. I would never ever want my husband to sacrifice himself to save me! i’d want to find a way through together! The greatest love is living for each other! Living the years of your life out together. It will always end in pain but by then you have a lifetime of love at your back to guide you forward.
12 thoughts on “Valentine Thoughts”
I grew up believing all love was tragic, and I wanted no part of it. Now I know a love it’s not necessarily love done right if it’s characterized by tragedy, and I am much happier for the lessons that got me to the knowledge.
On the Buffy examples front? I stopped watching Angel during its fourth season while it was airing, then watched it with my boyfriend at the time a few years after the show was over. During the episode “A Hole in the World,” he and I watched the scene where Wesley sits vigil over Fred during her transformation. We were blown away by that scene. I turned to my ex and said, “This is so amazingly done, it’d be funny if it was one of those ‘done in one take’ scenes.” We watched with the commentary on afterward and were both delighted/amazed when one of the commenters noted that the scene was meant to be shot the next day, but that they’d felt up to doing it at the end of the earlier day . . . and had done it in one take. It amazes me to this day, and I still get goosebumps thinking about it.
i am glad you have also found happiness. all love is tragic in the end as when our time is up we don’t naturally leave in pairs but i don’t kow why the idea of love and death got such a hold over me at such a young age!
that scene with fred becoming illyria was crazy good! There is no beating joss whedon at storytelling! amazing to learn it was one take! i just watched it yesterday and almost added it as well but i felt one heart wrenching moment was enough and wesleys death was the one that “got” me the most. probably because i was already wound up knowing it was the last ever episode. i read your blog so know that you got to work on buffy! wow! just wow! you are now my hero! lol!
It must be healing for you to tell the truth about all of this childhood abuse. No more secrets. I’m so sorry you had to go through all of this. I’m toasting you here to an old age without pain. It’s a thought worth entertaining, right? I pray this for you and for your family.
it is very strange, my family have access to my blog so it is definately no secrets anymore! there is healing but also still an anxiety that i’m not keeping quiet anymore. I promised my truthfullness when i began my blog and i will hold to that.. lancing the boil once and for all! I am lucky that I have such a loving family around me that make me feel safe enough to do this.
Shelley, Like you I am the romantic one in my relationship with my wife, unlike you and your husband, It is not a shared experience. But even one sided romance is worth the effort, because sometimes the joy does slip out, or there is a crack of a smile, or a hint of a twinkle. Each is the presence, each is the gift of warmth, each is knowing you may have touched something deep. Your upbringing, the abuses you suffered, and the torment, have found a way to make you whole. Yes I know it has been a struggle, but it is a trip you have gained so much from. Thank you for a little vision. Take care, Bill
Hi Bill, oh long live romance! As you say even one sided is worth it. we don’t do gifts very often but i might give him a bit of my chocolate bar if i am feeling particularly romantic! but maybe not.. after all it is choclate! it is lovely when he leaves his little post it notes on my monitor, knowing i’ll most likely be up each night and distracting myself from pain with the glorious internet. he helps me get out of bed but i then tell him to go back to bed himself, no point us both being up! I’d say our romance is about touch, a quick hold of hands as we pass by, a soft hug or gentle kiss, intimacy and yes each one if a gift, a promise too. i’ve been through a lot but many have been through worse. what i have now is so much better and i wouldn;t know how good it is without knowing how bad it can be.
Wow, so powerful. I never saw my acting out as a child in such a way before, I owe so many little boys apologies for the way I treated them. I was the angry child that would have happily killed my tormentor. I am so very grateful that I never actually did that, but there was a time when that very thing could have easily happened. Instead I started praying that he would have an extremely painful death, one that he knew he was dying and there would be nothing that could be done to save him. He died of a massive heart attack. I felt relieved. I am so very glad that you found the kind of love that has given you healing and trust.
There is always a reason behind children acting out, even if it’s just they didnt get their own way or to the terrible reasons we’ve had. i used to feel terrible about my lies and stories i used to get attention but then i forgave myself and let what other people thought of me slide off me. everything i did was a product of my situation. i have to say i am glad your abuser died in such a painful way. i hope it gave you some closeure, some sense of justice.
Alstromeria (I copied and pasted the word- I haven’t been able to remember how to spell it) is a flower that captivates me, too! That red color surprised me, as I am used to seeing pale shades and patterns. They are vivid!
I judge a movie by its ability to make me cry, even with laughter, though it doesn’t take much to evoke my tears. Perhaps it is because, like you, my mother was a Miss Jeckyll/Mrs. Hyde. I, too, sat alone outside, crying out in a whisper for help to be rescued. I, too, was a compulsive liar to avoid punishment, but, as you know, it often backfired. I was bullied mercilessly, someone like your dirty old man was in my path, my mother was livid when I arrived home late, our family was full of dark secrets, but then our similarities end. Such a babysitter! My heart bleeds for you, like the red lilies that you and I like so much.
I, too, have come to the conclusion that trust and togetherness are top priorities. When I think of the time when my loved ones and I will part, I grasp on to my belief that the parting will be only for a short time: death is not the end.
Yes it was such a deep shade of red and most unusual, i do wonder if it was acheived naturally or dyed. there has not been any discolouration of the water in the vase so i’m thinking they have not been dyed. i will keeping my eye out for any more unexpected colours. i love how long these flowers can last. buy them when the flowers are fairly closed, change the water a few times and snip a little off the bottom of the stems at this point and they can be looking beautiful for a month! brilliant for me because they are such a luxury and i only buy them when they are on special offer.
I am sorry you grew up in such a similar situation. a family with those dark secrets and you had so much else to deal with. i am shocked at how many experience this. it would see that the completely loving nurturing home like my husband grew up in are very much the minority! these days cast a big shadow over our whole lives but we don’t have to stay in that place. it is a very hard thing to leave the past in the past but that’s where it belongs and we can try to have the life we deserve. I know it is a place that i could only have got to with togetherness and yes trust and when we are sperated i do hope it’s not forever!
Your post, as well as the comments and your replies are so powerful! Thank you for sharing.
Thank you Patti, it’s a pleasure to share and an honour to receive comments.