In between my hating Paul for what he did, and finding a way to get beyond it to a place of renewed friendship and affection, I ignored it. I put it out of my mind and I went on with my life.
It is that time in which I was purposely oblivious to my own feeling and pain that my daughter’s answers lie, and that is a dark place I don’t want to know – not for myself, or for her.
To say I had fully reconciled all that transpired between us prior to Paul’s death would be a lie, and I’m still not there today. He left behind a tangled, complicated mess. Emotions, the intimate details of my life, my feelings for Paul – these are not easy subject matter for me to delve into.
Yet, in preparation for my upcoming discussions with G, I have begun to revisit the past; I’ve reread much of this blog, letters between John and I, my private journals, and email between myself and a handful of trusted confidantes – and I have concluded that my life was disordered and happening outside my control; while living it it did not seem so. It was pain filled, and the storm was constant, but this view that it was somehow incoherent and random is new.
Love and Other Mysteries, which is told in retrospect, is revealing of my discontinuous process; the story is yet unfinished, or even up to date, because I haven’t worked through my own thoughts and feelings past the point of my last post.
Today, my role is mother, and only mother. Would I want my daughter to do what I did – which is to find ways to mitigate having been violated? Would I want her to look at the whole picture – inclusive of her own choices, whatever they may have been, to somehow find rape and assault less reprehensible? Would I want her to look past the actions themselves because the man – any man, was mentally ill at the time? No, on all counts, no.
But the man we are speaking of in this context is her father, so I walk a fine, fine line. Paul was not a monster, but he was capable of terrible things.
I did so much to protect my children, and at the time I thought it was right.
Now, I’m not so sure.