An equal pound of your fair flesh …
I’m conscious that one moment I was here in this place and the next, just like that, I was gone. Vanished, and rudely, with no explanation. I don’t want to labour on about me – I never have in the past and I see no sense nor value in changing that practice now. I simply have never found ‘me’ to be a particularly interesting subject and can’t think of a single compelling reason why anyone else would. However, I do want to provide some explanation for my evaporation before I start posting my customary drivel once more.
Exactly two years ago, this very day, I drove away from Grenoble, knowing that I would be flying to the US of almighty A to settle for the foreseeable future with my Husband (he of the lauded, virtually vaunted by me, two brains). It was what I had fervently wished for, wished with all my aching heart and now it was becoming a reality. But niggling my soaring spirits, was a looming disquiet caused by a spate of blogging friends receiving a poisonous mail from a woman who I could, but will choose not to, unmask. Suffice to say that her actions quite literally unhinged me over the course of the following months and although I tried to write, tried to whistle while I worked out my new￼ and longed-for life, increasingly paranoia crept over me, self-doubt and self-loathing wrapped me as a strait-jacket and I shrivelled under the resultant and suffocating weight of what felt like the heftiest, most immovable shroud.
There were other factors – that ocean and the time difference conspire to make one feel very far away; this place is far more foreign to me than France ever was; loneliness a familiar but never welcome guest. But the gaping abyss into which I stared and felt helpless to tackle, was caused by a malicious woman whom I have never met. I am a forgiving soul. This made it harder. I choose to live by the words ‘Primum non Nocere’ or ‘first, do no harm’ and I don’t understand enmity. Many would, indeed have and probably still do, call me naive. I prefer it that way. I prefer to believe in the good, in the positive, in the decent, in the lovely. But it does mean that when caught unawares by the actions of a spiteful and vindictive person, I was entirely ill-equipped to deal with it. I know who you are.
But I, being the richest poor girl on the block am fortunate that I had the unerring and may I say remarkable love of a good man to support me as I first lay thrashing at the bottom of, and then climbed slowly out of, often slipping back and disturbing yet more toxic shale, the mineshaft I had tumbled into; that I found a wonderful and talented psychoanalyst to guide me through what turned out to be a mire of influences from the very beginnings of my tenure on this earth, the bevvy of issues, unresolved and packed in trunks to languish under the stairs, which every so often lurched out and knocked me sideways, the noxious flotsam and pernicious jetsam from my own clumsy attempts at living a decent life and a need to find the Me clamouring to breath the clean fresh air of a guilt free existence and to love Me so that I could, in turn, be loveable. It turned out that I had sorely neglected Little Miss Me, Me, Me and it was time to give her a spit and polish, a hug and a caress and to reassure her that I can be proud of who she is. That bit is a struggle but I repeat my mantra daily. Oh. And dogs. In a moment of what most would call low-level insanity, we adopted three dogs to join The ineffable Bean on the same weekend about eighteen months ago. I believe and The Bean has proved more than once in her life, that dogs are the greatest therapy to humans and, the need being great, the cure surely had to be plentiful. We don’t profess to be sensible, we understand it might be construed as excessive to increase the poundage of a canine entourage from 7.5lb to nearly 150lb overnight. But we aren’t hurting a soul and we have saved three harmless souls from a fate far worse than having to reside with us in perpetuity.
Now that I have dealt with it all, I am comfortable that, I am, as they say here, all set. Reset if you will. And what I emphatically know is that in order to be the person I am, the content version of her, that I have to write again. I have to do what comes naturally to me – plague the world with nonsense. And you, you if you choose to, can read it and your opinion will be valued, whatever it is.
Join me as I start spinning stories once more. I’m rather excited. I just couldn’t bring myself to enter the room, blinking wildly, mane on end like a wholly deranged, if recovering, nag. Well I could, but it didn’t seem decorous and I might as well at least pretend for a tiny while that I can be teeny bit refined.
PS. Because there must always be a PS: The title is taken from Shakespeare. Shylock to Antonio, striking his bargain as he lends him needed funds in his desire to win the hand of Portia. The woman I speak of hurt me mightily. I am not vengeful but a pound of flesh taken without the spillage of a drop of blood appeals. Pens and swords, eh?