Last Week I Was Ready To Say Goodbye
By Clara Autumn

I sat by the cliffs that I’d once used as my hiding place, trying to find a good time. My glasses were smeared with tears and blackened by mascara, but I felt still. For the first time in a week, I felt nothing. It was a bittersweet blessing. I’d packed a bag prior to heading to my hiding place, unsure of how it was going to end. I was ready to say goodbye.

I knew I just wanted it all to stop. I’d left a note worded in such a way it only gave instruction on my affairs and my little boys’ commitments that would need to be kept. Sentiment didn’t seem quite right. I sat on my phone smoking and crying looking at my news feed and knowing that close friends would know why I was doing this eventually. The cars passed me and from the layby feet away from the edge. All I was waiting for was a break in the traffic so I could start my car, build up speed and just make this shitstorm stop.

Last Week I Was Ready To Say Goodbye

I Sat and Cried

A police car pulled up alongside mine. There was no room to pull away and get it done quickly. Then two more blocked my car from going anywhere quickly. My mother knew when I made a quick exit leaving her with my son, that she had seen this before, many years ago. I just sat and cried, harder than I had all week.

Our Relationship Had Ended

My relationship with the person I proudly called my soulmate was over quickly and brutally. And there was nothing to save what I had thought was my little forever family.

The week before, he was feeling unwell himself. After changing his story several times as to where he would be, he left the house for the day. I had that gut-churning, sickening feeling you get when you know you are being lied to.

After he left, I looked at the search history on the computer for answers to what was going on. There it was, irrefutable proof that he has intentions of ruining what we had built. There were pages of searches to sites for viewing being killed. I couldn’t put the pieces together. The man I loved wouldn’t ever do this. I know he was suffering with combat PTSD, but I had never seen him like this before. This wasn’t the man I called my second half.

I Was Reminded Brutally of My Past

He returned that night, but in honesty I didn’t want it to be real. To that point everything had been all I’d ever wanted, and I thought this feeling was reciprocated. I was scared for him and scared for our future.

The next day we argued and I threw my box of food in frustration to something hurtful that was said. He became angry and jumped up on the sofa close to me while shouting at me. After years spent in a marriage where I knew the man you love can also be the one that hurt you, I was scared. I went to slap him, not making contact but just wanting him to get away from me and stop. Never had I thought we would ever be in a position where we would be in a room like that. It was all too familiar, some experiences change you and make you remember the darkest parts when you come close to something similar.

He Never Returned Home

That week spent was tense, but at times we were close. I said I knew that there were things I needed to put to bed about my marriage so we could move forward. However,  I knew in my heart it had died. Although I mentioned nothing about the true extent of what I had really found on the computer, the fear of losing my life with him trumped any infidelity or worry for his mental health.

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A few days passed and he said he was going to his mother’s to get his son a Christmas present with her. He kissed me on the lips, looked at me and told me he loved me, walked out of the door and never came home.

I later discovered he had posted on social media that he had been in a domestically abusive relationship for the last six months. Shattered was how my soul felt. I had been in a marriage that revolved around abuse to the extent I walked away from it with a broken spine and little else.

To be accused of being someone like that when I knew wholeheartedly that I couldn’t even begin to think of being that cruel was a game changer. Imagine being made out to be like the person who had hurt you more than anyone. Then imagine this coming from the person you love more than anything in the world. We had only been back in the country after a holiday of a lifetime a couple of weeks, we were planning Christmas and after that weekend nothing would ever be the same.

I Knew I Was Broken

Here I am a week on, and I feel like a shadow faking its way in a life. I don’t recognise my life as my own. Trying to go through the motions, and putting my face on to see friends who know the truth behind the excuse. However, the person they see is never going to be the friend they knew.

This loss has changed me in a way, and has made me question everything. I don’t want to eat, and this feeling of emptiness isn’t anything about hunger. Those I have spoken too have reassured me that it gets easier, but I know something inside me died with one kiss on the lips, and the click of a door. When the man you saw as forever tells a lie that is designed to undermine your sense of self to cover his own, just carrying on is no longer an option.

I don’t see a future, and I don’t recognise life anymore. I wish I could tell you it will all be ok, but I don’t wish to lie. People do shitty things to get their needs met, I know this. Not everyone has the same intentions as you.

However, when your little boy is wiping your tears, and telling you he will hug you until you stop crying, you know that you have been broken.

I Will Try to Remain Alive

I wish I could bring my son’s family back for him. Even if I could, it wouldn’t ever be the family we knew. It all seems like a lie now. At least this pain is real, I just want it to stop.

I have always written honestly with nothing to hide and nothing to gain. I never thought I’d be in such a dark place again following my teens, but here it is.

How do you just carry on after sitting by a cliff, ready to say goodbye and feeling nothing but peace amidst pain?

I’ll never be your old friend after this, but I will try to be one that’s alive. I’ll work on that.

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