Tag Archives: Corsmor

My husband

A Fragile Rainbow

© 2020 Violet Ashes

Sometimes I forget just how fragile she is.

I left the house late, 6pm, to go & get some groceries in the hope the shops would be quiet. Just a handful of things – but important things. Like bread, cheese, milk, ham.

While I was gone Cory experienced the full force of an overwhelmed, tired toddler’s complete meltdown. To his credit he didn’t try & rationalise or reason with Violet. He just held her until she fell asleep, sobbing in his arms. It didn’t start over anything in particular. Her brain just stopped processing anything rationally.

When I got home she was passed out, snoring heavily on the couch. I could tell she’d been crying. Cory looked relaxed but perplexed. It is hard, there’s nothing you can do when she works herself up to the point that she’s crying that she’s crying.

I woke her so I could give her some dinner. She said her head was hurting & she started crying again. She asked for medicine. Her eyes were glassy & red & she was cradling her head. Rubbing her eyebrows. So panadol to the rescue.

Now she is sitting on the couch eating her dinner, smiling, laughing, happy. Watching ‘Rainbow Ruby’ which appears to be this generations version of ‘Care Bears’.

There’s so much going on & yet nothing at all. We’re mostly stuck at home. Jack & Violet have been inside the house for a month except for exercise & the occasional run to the post office where they have to wait in the car & I hope they don’t get kidnapped or suffocate…

© 2020 Violet Ashes

We watch them. We explain what’s going on in simplified terms. We try not to scare them but they know that something is very wrong. I argue that they should be scared. Fear stops you doing silly things.

Jack keeps taking everyone’s temperature with his grocery scanner & saying that we are ’37’ or ‘100% ouch’. Then he gives us a bandaid. Violet keeps packing her backpack with all of her precious things & knows where her shoes are at all times in case she has to run from the virus. That’s how they make sense of it & protect themselves.

When I see her sleeping I remember just how small & delicate these kids are. Violet is almost 3, Jack is 5. That’s not long to be expected to take on so much. We’re healthy & lucky.

For now, I am content to know she slumbers under a safe roof & she is loved in epic proportions. We protect her & Jack the best we can. The responsibility of guiding them through something I barely cope with, myself, is hard but paramount. And I will do it even if I have to watch a zillion episodes of ‘Rainbow Ruby’ just to make her feel better.

#RainbowRuby #daily #VSLR #JSAR #Covid19 #Corsmor #parenting #kids #family

Small

It’s 5:32am & my little boy is stirring from a night of quiet dreams. My stomach flutters each time his sweet voice comes through the monitor. I lie here listening & hoping he returns to his peaceful mind; for a few more hours, at least.

Nothing makes me happier than holding him in my arms & knowing he is safe. Each time we part I feel insecure & protective. Sometimes I sneak a look at him dreaming in his cot & I vehemently hope he will always be safe & know that he is loved & wanted.

My boy, growing so fast, before my eyes. His hand, once so small that he could only grasp my individual fingers, now grows so quickly that I find us palm to palm. His long fingers interlocking mine, for a moment, & then loose again & always sticky.

He reaches out for his Dad & says his first words “Dad, Dad, Dad…” & every time I hear that little voice it makes me giggle with its insistent, soft tone.

No one will ever be more loved than our children, of that, I am certain.

imag3835_1_1.jpg

© Violet Ashes 2015

Lightning Bolts

Zeus-Hera_shadowsineden.blogspot.com

Last night I dreamt of Zeus & of Hera & their children. Eileithyia – with her watchful eye has followed me through the last two years & two dead babies. She whispers to me & although I understand her in the dream I do not remember her words when I wake & yet her words haunt me.

I awoke with pain lingering in my abdomen & tears on my cheeks. My husband asked me what was wrong, why was I crying & I maintained, “I’m alright, I’m fine” but I am never sure if I am.

The two dead babies in my dream – they float. They stare at me but they do not talk. I know who they are, even now, but they are not mine anymore. Eileithyia runs her hands over my back & through my hair. Whatever she says, upsets me.

I am not the same person I was before I met Eileithyia in my dreams. I am not as fickle or forlorn but I am the same amount of furious. There is a burning in my belly, a ferocious fire that wants to burn the world down – holding in my words, my thoughts & my feelings for fear of hurting people is like having lightning bolts streak through me minute by minute. If only I did not care. Perhaps I could let it out & the burning would stop. Perhaps I would be reduced to Ashes. If only.

We do not talk about these things anymore, my husband & I. I am too angry & he is too sad. All the waiting & the disappointment. The passion & the pain. It beats down our door every month & we fall deeper in all the time. We both know it cannot destroy us, we know no matter the outcome we are stronger together & stronger than anything the Gods could throw at us. But in the meantime, our daily lives are filled with hope & uncertainty; of conversations not endured & decisions not made.

“People ask me how we are,

We are, I say, mostly lost.”

Lightning Bolts – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Two lightning bolts were delivered to my room,
They were gifts from Zeus.

I rock the bolts in a bassinet of pine.

People ask me how I am,
I say “I’m all right, I’m fine.

I push the lightning bolts in a pram,
Till the sun goes down & it gets dark,
& the girls from Jubilee Street hang out their windows,
& they wave & ask me how I am tonight.
I say “I’m good, I’m all right.”

In Athens all the youths are crying from the gas.
I’m by the hotel pool working on a tan.
People come up & ask me who I am.
I say if you don’t know, don’t ask.

Zeus laughs – but it’s the gas.
& he asks me how I am.
I say “Zeus, don’t ask.”

My lightning bolts are jolts of joy,
They are joy boys from Zeus.
I feed them porridge in their booster seats of knowledge.

& in the cradle of democracy, the pigeons are wearing gas masks.

My lightning bolts play in the elevators,
They slide down the hotel banister,
& Zeus throws a gas canister,
& it spins around the pool,
As pigeons wearing respirators steal the lightning bolts.

Zeus wants them back.

O my bolts of joy,
O my darling little boys.
They are lost to us.
& people.. .
They are never coming back.

At night I watch them sleep,
& cry years of tears,
& it’s not the gas.

People ask me how we are
“We are,” I say, “mostly lost.”

Reflection

We fell in love in an afternoon & the sun set as we kissed.
The beauty of the dimming sky; a reflection in your blue eyes.
We kissed & felt a new forever beat in our chests.
An eternal sunset burning in our hearts each day born anew & ending with a kiss.
A kiss as sweet & warm as that first afternoon.
 
I await the setting of the sun each day for the chance to kiss again.
Each sunset on another year together;
a beauty, a reflection, and a promise to each other.
This love is as certain as the sun setting on the day.
 
10th of February; 6 years to the day
a happy anniversary of that first afternoon
I can measure the years of our love in sunsets.
Affection in your eyes that never dims
And a bond which not storm nor rain could break.

Sunset 41 IMG_0657Tumblr
  

Just 4

This morning I had a positive pregnancy test. I would only be very early – 4 weeks at the most. I am positive about this despite what happened to our first pregnancy. I feel healthier & ready – for whatever happens.

There are a multitude of feelings I have about this. This morning when I saw the positive test I wondered whether I should wait to tell Corsmor – but I know that I can’t live that way. First of all, he is my husband, I can’t lie to him. Secondly, this baby is half his, I can’t deny him experiencing whatever there is to experience. I won’t say that I am not hesitant.

We are heading to the beach today & I will tell Corsmor on the shore – where there is nobody but him & I, the ocean & the waves. Whatever his reaction I am sure he will be happy. I am sure he will feel similar to me, hesitant, but happy.

Footprints by Vanerich

Footprints by Vanerich

 

Velvet Buttons

It will be our second wedding anniversary in a week & a half. There are days where I feel as if the time has flown but honestly, right now, it feels like just the right amount of time.

Despite the last two years throwing some of the most difficult challenges at us, at me, that I have ever had to face I am amazed & proud to say that I can still get up each morning & look myself in the mirror. Okay, sometimes it is through the slit of one eye, but it is still me that looks back & at the end of (most) days I smile. The principal reason for this is the man who chose me to be his wife. After almost a decade of knowing him I can honestly say that I would not be here, if not for him.

With our cotton anniversary looming I have been, naturally, thinking about our wedding day – running all the memories through my mind, it is still fresh & beautiful in there – so many tender & spectacular moments that are too divine to describe. As always, I recall my favourite moments & there it is. Shining out in the light on its pedestal. That one shining moment, that is still my favourite from that entire day.

Corsmor & I left our wedding reception much later than we had planned – we were having so much fun & we had to force ourselves to leave. Under the arch of love we bid farewell to our guests & made our way to our bridal suite. We stood in the middle of our room & looked at each other. In the background the murmur from the reception continued on (& on for the next hour or so…)

Corsmor stood behind me & unbuttoned the back of my gown – there were over 30 buttons which were covered in velvet & encased a zip. His fingers worked them all & he slid the zip down with ease. My dress fell to the floor. I turned & kissed him, passionately.
   “Mr Rolfe, may I present your wife?” I whispered
He grinned & his blue eyes glistened. Lump in his throat, he laughed & kissed me again.

My feet were aching & I felt weak. Corsmor ran me a bath & I slipped into the bubbles with no complaint. It was then I noticed that my hands were a light shade of bordeaux – the dye from my velvet wedding gown had worn off onto my skin. I grinned.

I lied there with the handmade diamond pins still in my hair, my glossed red lips, my wedding ring & my engagement ring sparkling. I am sure that I was grinning, my cheeks were aching from smiling all day. I closed my eyes. I drifted.

When I got out of the bath & put on my warm linen robe & found Corsmor outside on our balcony – his suit still on, his tie removed & his top few buttons open. He was fine-looking. Handsome, strong & neat in his suit. He had, had his waistcoat made from the same velvet as my dress – his idea & it was soft to touch & the colour set off his dark, olive skin.
…”You look pretty” I told him. He laughed again & shook his head.

The moon shone behind us, a light fog hung over Mount Lofty & the music was still beating at the reception. We could see the room glowing from our balcony but we could not see in. It sounded like there was a great party, still, going on.

We sat out on the balcony for hours – we smoked, drank champagne & we talked. We traded war stories about the day, about our families & friends, about how happy we were & how much we loved each other.

This precious time on the balcony in the small hours of the morning are what I remember most from the day because it was just us. It was the first time we had been truly alone all day – our first time alone as man & wife & what did we do? We talked. Like we always had – talk had always come first. From the first moment we met online;
    “Are you going to say something? I am going to delete you if you do not talk to me” he wrote
It was a challenge & I accepted.

That is nearly a decade ago now.

Only hours previous we had our photo taken in front of that same balcony & in our window sill. I knew that years later we would want to remember our room & the moments alone. Pictures & notebooks full of stories; that is how I remember. Without them, I am lost.

When the air began to chill & the wild birds started to rustle; the music from the reception had stopped long ago (I had not noticed) we decided to go back to our room.

I texted my brother, Leo.

   “Happiest day of my life…”

& it was.

Wedding Day

Lousy Engineer

Sometimes I wake up not knowing where I am, or who I am. This morning was just like that. Not an out of body experience but the kind of shady-eyed, heart-racing, full-bladder wakeup where you only have one thing on your mind. & once you’ve visited the toilet you look in the mirror as the cold water runs over your hands & you wonder who the hell you are looking at.
“Is that me? Are those my mascara stains?”

YES.

Waking up this week could take forever.

Feels like my body is rejecting me. My brain & heart are in different places & I swear I can feel the spring run through my blood redesigning my DNA. It is never satisfied. Bring back the winter. I approve of the rain & the cold. The long sleeves & the late mornings. The blue dawn & the days I forget my umbrella & refuse to run.

By the end of this week spring will have taken full hold of September & there will be beauty everywhere. Greens, pinks, blues – flowers & faces. I can’t help but let it absorb me but I don’t really approve.

I am not as cruel as you think I am, or as angry.

He works hard & the harder he works, the more often I am alone. The harder he works the more I appreciate him, but the harder he works the less I see of him to appreciate.

It is almost 3pm & the day has been swallowed – I cannot remember what I have done other than write & think & drink cranberry juice. My bladder is screaming at me, I have to go & each time I lose my train of thought & every time I see that girl in the mirror again. I do not know who she is but I would like to peel her face off & build a new one. She is not who I wanted her to be & I cannot figure out how to map my way to who she should have been.

Ashes ©Jan Marie 1986

Ashes ©Jan Marie 1986

Clair de Lune (Moonlight)

I awoke screaming this morning with a man standing over the top of me. In those few seconds I was submerged in decades of memories & my heart pounded out of control. As my eyes focussed & my ears warmed up I heard Corsmor whisper,
    “Hey it’s only me… are you okay?”
I closed my eyes again, slowly. My eyelids visible to me as they shut out the light. Confusion & then relief. As I rubbed my sore neck & shoulders it was then I realised my skin was clammy with sweat & I was shaking uncontrollably.

I got myself up & shook the horror somewhere deep down while I showered & washed off the nightmares that I could not remember. The water was hot enough to burn my skin right to the bone; boil me alive. I stayed that way for an hour or more.

When finally I did get out of the shower, I saw myself in the foggy mirror, my naked body looking small & overwhelmed with red & stinging scars. As I dried my hair I remembered moonlight from my dreams. I wrapped a towel around myself & walked barefoot to my piano where I sat down. The notes from ‘Clair de Lune’ filled my mind. My fingers shook on the keys & I stroked them like a long-lost pet,
“can I remember how to play… this?” I whispered
Then, like the rusty magic of a teenage boy my fingers floated & pressed on the keys, I knew the tune & it knew me. Then came calm, unimaginable.

This tune is part of the soundtrack of my life – first heard as a girl. I dreamed of one day seeing Paris, of walking streets unknown, unseen. Lying somewhere on the grass staring up at a new night sky – stars I have never seen – in a place of beauty rivalled only by the music it makes in my mind.

(visit YouTube to hear – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LXl4y6D-QI)

Moonlight in Paris

Sing With Rapture & Dance Like A Dervish

‘Love is passion, obsession, someone you can’t live without. If you don’t start with that, what are you going to end up with? Fall head over heels. I say find someone you can love like crazy & who’ll love you the same way back. & how do you find him? Forget your head & listen to your heart… Run the risk, if you get hurt, you’ll come back. Because, the truth is there is no sense living your life without this. To make the journey & not fall deeply in love – well, you haven’t lived a life at all. You have to try. Because if you haven’t tried, you haven’t lived.” ~~ Anthony Hopkins, Meet Joe Black

Spring has sprung & we have had some good news at last – just one more operation to get out of the way in October & all should be well.

Running risks, getting hurt, trying, clawing, healing, screaming – all these things are living – but loving – that is still new to me every day & every day I wake up confused… he is still here… he must be mad, purely & utterly mad.
 Ashes & Corsmor

“Good King of Cats, only one of your nine lives”

What I hear is “I don’t trust myself”.

Let me put this down here so that you can hear me. So it can never be deleted. Established 2013.

What I want from you is friendship. I want the kind of friendship that develops over years. Where trust is given but also earned. Where we know so much about each other that it is comfortable & safe. Where we can spend hours together doing activities & our partners can trust us. I want to be able to talk about anything & everything. I want to be able to talk about politics without one of us getting angry & I want to be able to talk about sex without it becoming about you & me. It is not about you & me. It is about the bond.

It does not matter to me that I am attracted to you. I am attracted to lots of people. I would argue that no one is friends with anyone they are not, on some level, attracted to. It is simple biology. Desire is natural. What happens in our heads is entirely ours & no one can judge that. Dreams are not actions.

You said you find this situation unusual. That I would be honest with Corsmor about how I feel. The proposition that you & I can be close without having to have a sexual relationship, you find new & unusual. Well perhaps it is by today’s standards. Today’s standards of unachievable romantic-movie versions of love, friendship & marriage. To me marriage is about constantly learning from each other because you can be completely honest without fear of recrimination or embarrassment. It’s about accepting the other person & vowing to help them become someone more than they are. I see friendship the exact same way. Real friendship. It’s like a marriage & both are hard work. Sure, most of the time they flow along nicely in a routine but you have to keep a constant vigil on that. It stops being easy if no one cares & no one puts in effort.

So here I am, married, which I always wanted to be but never thought I would be. Me. Married. & Corsmor – married? Do you know how many times I have had to field the question,
“How did you get him to marry you?”
It is somewhat insulting & shows how little they know him. I didn’t ‘get him’ to do anything. We fell in love. We spent many years developing a connection & friendship before we ever became a couple & before ever having sex but we had been committed to each other from day one. We both knew we would spend forever together & we’d go to the ends of the earth to make that happen. And we did. That’s the difference.

You & I both have partners who love us & who we love back. They are significantly awesome people. They are the number one’s. They are what makes both of us special. She comes first & so does he. I respect her & I respect what you have together.

I am committed to my friendship with you in the same way I am committed to my marriage. I am committed to learning about you. To being there when you need me & annoying you when you don’t. It’s not logical in my head. It’s just a bond that we seem to have. A bond that I would like to see become something more than friendship, something like best friends, or brother & sisters. But in reality, it probably has a league of its own.

If this is something that you want – if it’s a desire you share or you see this potential in me, then please, keep talking. If not, just say goodbye & let this end. Go back to how you were before we talked. & be happy. Because I can’t do this if you are scared. I can’t do this if you’re unhappy. & I won’t do this if every day we’re faced with fear. Trust yourself. Trust me. If we don’t have that, then there’s nothing here.

tumblr_mrsglrDg5J1s2turgo1_500

Tybalt

The Unnamed Feeling

I have been busy scanning Corsmor’s photos from his albums this week – going back through his whole life. Very few of them are marked with dates so I am relying on his memory, which is excellent, his recall is uncanny.

It has been unnerving staring at pictures of past loves & friends – some of them are not even alive anymore. It does not feel like jealousy, but an emotion a lot like it which at the moment I find to be nameless. He has lived so many lives. Here, with me, he seems to have settled & he is happy – but I look at those photos & wish I knew all the stories, all the moments that he thinks of when he looks at them.

I am not enjoying the process at all – I thought that I would, but I am finding it more & more difficult. I have never been jealous of other women – certainly not his ex-lovers but looking at photos from their lives together, some that span half a decade or more is proving to be quite difficult for me. My stomach is upside down & today I have taken a break. Even after hours away the images are burned into my brain & I cannot shake this unnamed feeling.
 
I know what Corsmor would say if I told him this is how I felt & he would be right. He would say it is his past. That they are stories that make up who he is & I love who he is. He would say that he married ME & not them. That I am the one. That others were loved but that they did not last.
 
All that is logical & I understand that. Unfortunately, it does not make this unnamed feeling go away.
 
…Your love is like a studded leather headlock
Your kiss it could put creases in the rain
You’re rarer than a can of dandelion & burdock
And those other girls are just post-mix lemonade…

Cycle

I cannot explain my close attachment to the Blue Tongued Lizard that has lived in our garden for 3 years but he is important to me nonetheless. I found him today bent over in the garden, looking not-quite-right. It is only 10 degrees here today & far too cold for a lizard to be trying to sunbake. I noticed he has been coming out to bake for a few weeks now, in winter, & thought it odd. I picked him up & gave him a bit of a rub to warm him up, his belly stirred but his eyes did not open. It did not feel right to leave him lying out there to get picked off by a cat or a bird, so I picked him up & took him inside. I made him a makeshift home in my nephew’s toy box with some rocks & dirt from outside & put on a strong lamp to help warm him up a bit.
 
He did stir some more once he warmed up a little. I added a lid of water & some cherry tomatoes which were always a treat for the lizards that Leo raised when we were growing up. He has not touched either one. I spoke to Leo who said to drip some water in his mouth, if he was thirsty he would react – which he did.
 
He keeps doing these deep sighs from inside, curling up a little & then he flattens himself a bit to get more warmth. The sighs hit me in the chest every time, like a series of last breaths. I hold my own breath each time, I am quiet & hopeful that he will keep going.
 
I wish there was more I could do.
 
He has not moved for an hour now & I am too afraid to put my hands in, in case he has died. I am going to wait for Leo to get here & take a look at him. I do not think the news will be good.
 
Corsmor & I live in a little wilderness haven here & enjoy watching all the wild creatures come & go as they please. They are remarkable & motivating. Life is inexplicably going on around us. I have watched Sparrows swarm over the bread crumbs Corsmor throws to them, Black Birds couple up, build nests & eggs hatch into the quickest growing babies I have ever seen. I have awoken to the sounds of Kookaburra’s singing in our Jacaranda tree & fallen asleep to the sound of frogs in our back yard pond. What I failed to realise is that death is going on all around us at the same time. It is taking those beautiful things away from us. A cycle I had never really thought about.  & here I am sitting next to it, with a glimmer of hope & hopelessness all at once. There is nothing I can do but wait.

Red Pedestal

“The practice of putting women on pedestals began to die out when it was discovered that they could give orders better from there.” ~~ Betty Grable

I have been up on this pedestal before & learned that if you do not use it wisely then it is just a platform from which to fall further. Having fallen as far as a girl can fall I can attest to the limitless freedom with which I was filled. Especially since the man I trust the most puts me up there & then pulls me down as he pleases – the freedom of no control is extraordinary.

woman-on-a-pedestal

Fireworks

He told me that my name was pretty;
Kissed me hard & revealed “I had to know”.
There were fireworks under a tiny roof in traffic.
Salt & pepper hair drifted across his forehead
And then through my pining piano fingers.
 
Heavy thoughts, choices made,
Crafted, conscious waiting, a lingering longing.
Our beating hearts, inseparable.
 
On that first day you watched my car pull in,
I watched you cool & easy on the corner.
The stalk. The hug hello. The perfect day.
 
A long walk up the stairs with you behind me,
A blurred movie rolling in an art deco cinema.
Wilting – waiting – willing your soft touch on me.
 
My drive home now absent from memory
Bar the thoughts indescribable of you
Lifetimes lived already, apart, alone.
An eager thrill filled my mind; could I want to?
Make an ordinary life — with him?
 
And no one could have told us that
As he kisses me there are fireworks, still.
Under a tiny suburban roof,
His salt & pepper hair, her pining piano fingers.
A life,
A dream,
A knowing.
 

©Violet Ashes

9 Lives

The last week has been a challenge. An in the mind, in the heart challenge.

There are plenty of things that can be & have been said about Corsmor. I have heard & listened to every word. I have felt every word – both the good & the bad. Some of it the loveliest praise that could be given, some of it like needles in my bed. None of it is new or surprising to me & none of it pushes me away. When you marry someone who has had many lives this is something you accept. It is something you take responsibility for right alongside them. I told him this last night. To which he replied “this is the last of the nine lives, the last chance”.

I cried so hard inside.

So this is the responsibility I have. To ensure the last of his nine lives is one people will never stop talking about…

I Don’t Blame You ~~ Cat Power

Last time I saw you, you were on stage
Your hair was wild, your eyes were bright
& you were in a rage
You were swinging your guitar around
Cos they wanted to hear that sound
But you didn’t want to play
& I don’t blame you

I don’t blame you

Been around the world, in many situations
Been inside many heads in different positions
But you never wanted them that way
What a cruel price you thought
That you had to pay them back
For all that shit on stage
But it never made sense to them anyway
Could you imagine when they turned their backs
They were only scratching their heads
Cos you simply deserve the best
& I don’t blame you
 
I don’t blame you
 
They said you were the best
But then they were only kids Then you would recall the
deadly houses you grew up in
Just because they knew your name
Doesn’t mean they know
from where you came
What a sad trick you thought
that you had to play
But I don’t blame you
 

They never owned it
& you never owed it to them anyway
 
I don’t blame you

Patience & Fear

Light many lamps & gather round his bed.
Lend him your eyes, warm blood, & will to live.
Speak to him; rouse him; you may save him yet.
He’s young; he hated war; how should he die
When cruel old campaigners win safe through?
But Death replied: ‘I choose him.’ So he went,
& there was silence in the summer night;
Silence & safety; & the veils of sleep.
Then, far away, the thunder of the guns.
— Siegfried Sassoon: The Death-Bed

The desperation that filled me a month ago is easing slowly every day. I am distracted by the fact that in a month I will leave the job I have been doing for 10 years & training my replacement. A decision Corsmor & I made when we found out about Pip & now I have to accept & live with it despite the fact things have changed. They are moving my job to Sydney & we decided not to go – I try every day not to think about the ‘what-if’s’ & just hope that somehow this will turn out right.
I remind myself that I am not alone. That many women & men have gone through this & so much worse before. I do get comfort from knowing that time may mend this & must be patient. It is an exercise in tolerance & fear all at once.

What I Carry Inside

I miss you but I am not sure you were ever really here? I would have really liked to know you all the same. You were never here, & now never really gone.

It is 3 days since they told us that our baby had no heartbeat. That little flicker of life we had been mesmerised by only 2 short weeks before was gone. Run away, put out, disappeared…

I already knew but I had hoped on hope & words from Corsmor that everything was okay; that I was just following worry instead of happiness. He was wrong about that but not wrong to hope.

My instant reaction to the news was anger & my head filled with the throb of “I told you so”. I felt strangely vindicated that all these weeks of growing this baby I had known in the back of my mind that it was slipping away & though I had said it many times no one had believed be. Now I felt angry that no one had listened, when in fact nothing could have been done but to wait & to see.

Vindication quickly subsided when looking into the eyes of a truly disappointed & cruelly devastated Husband. One who hoped so hard & held me so many nights while I cried as I bled, as I cramped & as we hoped. His eyes filled with tears looking into my eyes. Not knowing what to say or to do, being only able to stare at me & clumsily rub my leg.

I got up from the table & entered the change room. I wiped the ultrasound material & spots of blood from my between my legs with a scratchy & stiff napkin. Put my still-warm clothing back on, the pants I had bought prematurely & with excitement for my ‘growing belly’ suddenly seemed so big that they could fit me & this entire empty nightmare into them easily. The numb began to wash over my whole body. I gathered myself in full knowledge that the technician & doctor had just gone to arrange to ‘fix this up’ to make sure we ‘get this out of you’. Like it was a dangerous, diseased growth that must be removed & I began to feel that’s exactly what it was.

Walking out of the change room I asked Corsmor if he was okay. He shook his head & said “I’d like to hug my wife’’ to which I requested he did not as I knew that I had a lot more of this to go through today & could not start the crying now. He understood or appeared to.

The technician came back in, her face ashen & so young, no more than 22, not knowing what to do or say except “you have an appointment at 10:30. You don’t have to see our receptionist or pay just leave & go to the hospital at 10:30am”. As I walked past her I said “thank you” & then instantly wondered what I was thanking her for.

So we went back to our house that to me seemed quieter & bigger than it ever had before. He grabbed me in the hall way & the tears escaped me. The heaving, heavy, snotty crying that explodes from you when you cannot hold it in any more – the opening of a terrifying door I was about to walk through. I closed it. I pulled myself away from him. I sat down & I stared. I had nothing to say. To be honest, this is the conversation that I do not remember. I do not remember what we said to each other in the dim, quiet lounge room while the rest of the world ran about on their Tuesday morning beginning to the business day.

I couldn’t stop moving so I called my sister. She came straight down – living only 4 houses up was a blessing this time.

She came in & knew. I shook my head & said “no heartbeat”. Her eyes, like my Husbands only half an hour before filled with tears. But Lara – she is tough & did not let me see too much. Knowing she is the expert on all things baby (having had 2 beautiful babies many years ago) I asked her “what are they going to do to me”. So she gave me some of the run down on what happens now. Why they do it & what all these strange words like “Curette”’, D&C etc. stand for. She really does know it all. The reality sank in a little that my baby was now becoming a ‘product’ that had to be removed. It was not alive anymore. I was not a mum anymore.

Since I could drink it now as I’d fasted for the ultrasound I made myself a double coffee. Making it was warm, it was familiar, it was normal. It was a comfort.

We sat in our lounge room & calm moved over me. As only Lara can she explained why this happens, why she was sorry for us but we talked about the positives too, we joked, we giggled, I winced at the pain from the cramping I was still experiencing.

Only days before I’d finally stopped bleeding & I had felt really well – healthy. I left the house for the first time in a week. My feet were so clumsy in the car that they slipped on the pedals until I was used to driving again by the end of my street. I went to the grocery store just to wander, to get out. I couldn’t believe how much energy I had. Half way down the magazine aisle I almost fainted. It had suddenly occurred to me that I had stopped bleeding & I felt good because the baby was gone. This was terrifying. The thought that I had suddenly felt well & was smiling because my baby had died was enough to make me sick.

It was then that I knew.

4 days later, here we were sitting in my lounge room talking about how they would remove the ‘missed miscarriage’. How they would take away the dead baby. That I would have to go to the hospital & sit in the maternity clinic with the other fortunate Mums & Dads knowing my baby was dead but still inside me. The emptiness was overwhelming. The numbness was a comfort.

We waited in the full car park as a lady reversed her car. Corsmor said “that was lucky wasn’t it”. I could not help but berate him. “Lucky? Yes I feel so lucky”. He apologised. I felt awful. We walked in,

“I’m Violet Ashes, & I have an appointment” I said

“Oh you’re Ashes, okay, yes, the doctor is in theatre but he will see you as soon as he gets out please take a seat” she motioned at the waiting room chairs

“Thank you” again I wondered why I kept saying this?

We sat… & we sat. The tears came & fell as I watched the beautiful mothers & their round healthy bellies. They all had fuzzy black & white photos of babies to be born & I thought of the photos I had. The baby with no heart, the yolk sack, the foetal pole, our everything; our nothing. I watched their attentive husbands & their smiles. I felt so happy for them all, not begrudging at all. How wonderful it must be, I thought. Do they know how lucky they are?

It was half an hour before the doctor came in. Still in full scrubs & dragging another female doctor with him. He was hobbled. His back looked sore. He made a joke about the long walk to the consult room. I didn’t laugh. We sat in Birthing Room 4. He explained slowly what had happened, the hows & the whys. I heard words like ‘chromosome’, ‘natural’, & ‘25% of women’. I wasn’t really listening. He explained my options. Like any option except ‘get this out of me’ would have been acceptable. For the first time I started to listen. I was shocked. The option of ‘you can wait & hope your body expels the foetus’ & ‘we can give you medication that does that & you will bleed it out’. Was he serious? Does he expect me to unceremoniously & with absolutely no dignity or medical assistance bleed my baby out into the toilet over ‘the next few days’? I was disgusted that this was even an option. As if I had not been through enough. I opted for number 3. Put me under, take it out, & send me home – an abortion. The idiot in my head felt relieved; at least I would not have to deal with right to lifers.

He explained he would have to get me on the end of the surgical register as I had explained that it being Tuesday, waiting until Friday was not an option.

“They will not be happy when I tell them they have to stay late” He said.

Again, shocked, I quipped,

“Well I will swap places with them if they like. I would love to be at work complaining about working late instead of here.”

He agreed.

The next few hours were the worst in my life.

My husband & I were shuffled off into another waiting room. I could not hear what the Doctor said to the nurses except,

“You can take of that can’t you? …”

“Okay, take a seat” the nurse said to us.

We sat & waited, filled out some paperwork. It was quiet. We were quiet.

We sat in uncomfortable chairs, uncomfortable with each other, not knowing what to say. My mind drifted in & out of consciousness. Another nurse came out to ask if I’d been given any instructions & I opened my fist to show her two pills I’d been given by the Doctor.

“Did he tell you when to take them?” she asked, to which I replied,

“No, he said you would ‘take care of that’.” So she left us to call him — more waiting.

After 10 or so minutes she came back & said she would take us through to the next waiting room & a nurse would help me. Corsmor made himself comfortable & I looked for & used the bathroom. A typical hospital bathroom it had the smell of having been used extensively. That acrid scent of dry urine filled my nostrils & the bright fluorescent lights made me look pale.

Only six months prior to this I had been in hospital to remove a benign tumour from my left ovary. It was a terrifying & extensive experience. One I was not sure could ever be topped for sheer terror factor, until now. When I’d been led into surgery that day by a very grumpy nurse she had lost her mind over the fact that I had not taken off my make up (apparently I was supposed to know to take it off despite the fact I’d never been in hospital before). So, knowing this, I took my make up off this time. Most of it was blurred & sketchy now from all the crying – but I removed what I could with paper towel, hand soap & water. The taste of Glycerine filled my mouth – I turned to vomit but having eaten nothing that day I wretched.

Exiting the bathroom I was confronted by another nurse; but I smiled at this for the first time in days. It was a woman I’d known most of my life. Her daughter & I had grown up together in a round-about sort of way. Her face was kind & soft, I was pleased to finally see someone I knew & automatically trusted.

In preparation for my coming abortion I had to put 2 tablets in my vagina in order to widen my cervix. A most disconcerting & inaccurate thing to be asked to do – no real instructions given to me, just insert & wait so that half the job is done by the time the doctor comes to remove the ‘material’ from my womb. Yes, because that’s what really matters here, I thought to myself. Ensuring the surgeon can get home to his family on time & doesn’t have to mess around with me for too long. I’m all about the help. “Thank you…” rang in my ears.

Back in the bathroom again she’d instructed me on how to put on the oversized gown, hat, shoes & dressing gown made of paper. It was so big on me I thought I might disappear in it. Disposable clothing. Just like this pregnancy now felt to me, disposable.

Corsmor grinned a little at me as I came back to him & settled in one of the maroon, 70’s shaped & well-worn recovery chairs. Not long after this the cramping started again. Heavy cramping & I could feel the blood seeping from between my legs into the industrial sized pad the nurse had given me. I began to cry again. Tears, inescapable ran freely down my cheeks. Corsmor looked panicked & I told him he felt so far away. He picked up an office chair & moved as close to me as he could. His strong, twice-the-size-of-mine hands wrapped around mine & he stared at me unable to speak.

I began to tell him how I had known, how I had understood all along that I was losing the baby but that I had wanted to hope so much it was not true. He nodded along to what I had to say like it was an old favourite tune. Insecurities began to swallow my brain & I explained that I expected he might leave me now, not being able to follow through with the birth of our first child. He looked confused, hurt, astonished.

Corsmor is 12 years my senior & with me at age 32 I had always felt this was a race against time. Despite this we had done things the traditional way; the courtship, the marriage & then the baby. This is how we had planned & how we had wanted it. In the back of my mind a crazy lady (& I am sure many of our friends) whispered that he had married me to have his kids because of the age gap this could be the only explanation. Of course! This was obvious! How that lady misunderstood.

Corsmor squeezed my hand so tightly that my nails dug into my palm. He told me how wrong I was. How I was what mattered to him. Not a baby. That if there was a choice between me & the ‘pip’ it was always me. This was new information to me. It was wondrous & it was heart breaking at the same time. Heartbreaking that I had never realised how truly amazing my Husband was & how much he loved me. I was as much a part of him as one of his limbs & I felt so humble.

Tears plummeted down my face, as much from the cramping as from the emotional boxing match I was in. It was truly exhausting. Nurses came & went with more pieces of paper & more signing. More intimate questions about my pregnancy, my health. I cried all the way through the Anaesthetist telling me this was normal, & what the risks were.

The sound of risk sounded thrilling. The thought occurred to me I might not wake up. I embraced this thought. I went numb. I stopped crying & I was all business. Something inside me snapped, or woke up. I am not sure which.

Soon they came to walk me to surgery. A nurse took my arm. I kissed my Husband good bye. My helpless, lonely, hungry & tired Husband had to let me go. I watched him walk out, knowing he had to drive home & sit in silence until they called him to say it was done. & there was that face again. That terrified, only-just-holding-it-together face that he had shown me six month earlier when they had wheeled me away to surgery. I could not think about it & I turned away.

A nurse told me to lie down on the table. My paper gown ripped & rustled as I unceremoniously climbed up. They bickered with each other over their duties & how late they were now that I was on the register. They pricked me with needles, they put sticky tape all over my arms. I lied back staring. I felt like a piece of meat on a chopping block. No one smiled, no one looked me in the eye. I begged the universe not to let me wake up. Let me die.

“Count back from 100” the nurse to my left whispered in my ear. My lips did not move. My mouth was dry & I could not speak. As a cloud of cotton wool filled my memory the nurse on my right removed my underwear.

I woke in recovery with a nurse holding my hand & stroking the fringe of hair on my forehead. “There she is” she whispered. “How do you feel?” she asked

“Sad” was all I could manage before a barrage of tears broke through. I was confused & I was in pain. Nothing felt as if it was real & yet too real at the same time. I was cold & my body shivered. I cried. The nurse sat by me for half an hour. She talked me round to a soft sob.

“The Doctors will tell you to wait to try again but they don’t know what women know. Wait until your next period then try again, you will be very fertile & I’ll see you in here before Xmas giving birth to a healthy baby.” She explained

“I don’t think so. I can’t see me wanting to ever risk this again” I said.

“Is your hubby waiting outside, when did you get married? The small talk had started & I told her about Corsmor. How much I loved him & asked when I could see him. I had never wanted to see anyone so much before. The nurse wiped my tears & brushed my hair with her fingers.

“Let’s brush your hair for your husband & wipe those tears, okay” she said.

The woman in the bed next to me explained to the nurse that she had opted for an abortion because she was single & too old to have a baby. The nurse brushing my hair, her breasts knocking against my arm, breathed in sharply & looked at me with terror in her eyes. There was no escaping the conversation next to me.

“It’s okay, that’s her choice & her right” I said. The nurse looked relieved. Here I was, just had the baby I had wanted more than anything removed & I was making the nurse feel better. No one can ever say that I am not charitable again.

They wheeled me out into the recovery lounge & I settled back into the 70’s recliner.

I do not remember a whole lot from this time. I felt sick & dizzy. Corsmor looking worried & the nurse would not let me go until I drank something. I got myself undressed & dressed in my own clothes in the overused bathroom again & wore another industrial sized pad that no oversized pants was ever going to hide.

Corsmor walked me to the car which he had parked too far away & expressed his guilt. The walk in the open warm air was nice, I never told him that.

The last 3 days have been a blur. Mum, Lara & Bella have visited, flowers from my boss & friends have arrived. The house looks like a funeral parlour. Corsmor has not yet gone back to work & does not let me out of his sight. His ‘unbirthday’ passed on the 28th February & he was miserable. My mum visited with cake but the rest of the world either forgot or stayed away which has only added to my guilt. I feel as if I have ruined his life.

I called my Dad & told him about it all today. He was upset. I couldn’t handle the disappointment in his voice & I hung up.

The anger is just about to come through me in the next week or so – I can feel it welling up inside. This whole process has been nothing short of the worst 8 weeks of my life. What began as something magical & joyful has become clinical & heart-breaking. The words ‘our baby died inside me’, torture me. The heart we saw beat had simply stopped. Even though everyone tells me that there was nothing I could have done, that I did everything right, the guilt the bare fact that I lost our baby that will never leave me. I will never be the same, I will never be that innocent again.

It is unlike me to think of a positive at a time like this. However, the one thing that I have learned in these 8 weeks that I will carry with me forever, the only positive, is exactly how much my Husband loves me. How much he supports me. That what happens to me happens to him too. He feels what I feel & he understands. I understand for the first time that his love is way beyond anything I ever imagined. I may have lost our baby but I will carry that with me, always.

Disappearing

 

Beating a Drum

I have not stopped bleeding since we got back from holiday but today we had an ultrasound & saw Pip for the first time. Floating there, 4mm long, approximately 6 weeks old. We held our breath & there, in the middle of the picture as we watched – it moved. A heartbeat.
 
There are no words to describe this moment. Especially since I had been so positive that the technician would find nothing at all, that my fears were real & I was losing our baby. But there it was, plain to see, a tiny little beat – new & slow, but there nonetheless. The technician said she thought that it may have even just started. Corsmor, holding my hand, could not take his eyes off the screen, & then that shine in his eyes – the relief. I will see those eyes every night when I go to sleep for a long time.
 
Although this is a relief – I am aware that this does not necessarily indicate all is well. But today, it is enough to stand in the middle of our kitchen, hold each other & look at our photo of Pip on the fridge & hope that pretty soon, the door of the fridge will be filled with pictures of love that has its own beat.

Pip

Just 6…

We spent the long weekend for Australia day camping in Victoria. We decided that since we had just had a positive pregnancy test it would be good to get away, just the three of us, & relax. I felt fine. Healthy, full of energy.
 
I am certain I cannot be more than 6 weeks pregnant but the started bleeding started the minute we got home from our weekend away. I am terrified. I have read so many websites & books that all say bleeding may be  normal this early but many that say it is not okay. I have taken another test, it indicates still pregnant. I do not know what to do & I am not sure there is anything I can do. My immediate reaction seems to be sit here & stress. I cannot get  my mind off the possibility that maybe I have done something wrong, that I should not have told Corsmor & I should have just left it alone – waited a little longer. Maybe we should have not gone away? Stayed home? Maybe I pushed myself too hard? Perhaps this is just a warning & tomorrow all will be forgiven.
 
On our trip away ‘Pip’ was been mentioned so many times & become part of our lives. Preparations already being made in our minds.
 
I do not know what to do.
 
I am fearful it is all too late.

Us on holiday – our favourite beach – Bells Beach, Victoria.

Bell's Beach, Australia

Bell’s Beach, Australia

Nothing Else Matters

I walked out into the kitchen & told Corsmor we are pregnant this morning. It is very, very early but it was a certain positive. He held me tight & his happiness filled me with hope.

We took a short walk in the forest & went blackberry picking. As Corsmor ate handfuls of berries, his hands stained burgundy, he nicknamed our baby ‘Pip’.

This news we have waited for does not feel real – but I am filled with joy & it does not leave my mind for a minute.

I am tired & calm & it is the end of a very surreal day.

I feel as if we are beginning something. Something that is truly ours is happening. It is life.

So close no matter how far
Couldn’t be much more from the heart
Forever trusting who we are
And nothing else matters
 
Never opened myself this way
Life is ours, we live it our way
All these words I don’t just say
And nothing else matters
 
Trust I seek and I find in you
Every day for us something new
Open mind for a different view
And nothing else matters
 
Never cared for what they do
Never cared for what they know
But I know

IMG_6252edit

The Wall

I know that I am not an easy person to get to know & most of the time I’m fine with that but it’s times like these when Husband is asleep on the couch & there’s no one awake to call that the alone-ness begins to eat at me… It begins to become unbearable…
 
When the wall goes down though I end up with a bunch of people digging at me & I never know who to trust. The result is feeling exposed & empty. It’s then that I realise that being alone with only the snoring from the lounge room for company is not so bad after all.

Image

Missing Denial

I have tried to suppress my submissiveness. Why express something that seems no longer valued or required? After over a year of this I am asking why I am denying this part of me. I do not deny all of my submissive tendencies but they’re much more everyday & mundane now. I care for my husband & for our marriage but there’s a piece missing. Something that had become unique, special, secret has lapsed. I miss the mix of pain & pleasure; not being able to speak or move without being asked. I miss watching porn that he chose, I miss the bruises. I miss the wince of pain when I sit down. I miss jelly legs & his gentleness as I exit subspace. I miss the bonding, the trust & the evolution of something entirely between us & no one else. How long does it take before missing becomes needing?

BDSM Eye

Raining Valentine Dreams

I had a wonderful weekend. Corsmor took me to a restaurant in Adelaide called ‘Sparrows Kitchen & Bar’ where we had a magnificent meal; the duck doughnut was a definite highlight. We watched the summer rain fall over Adelaide & discussed moving to Sydney – I am sure it was a dream.
 
Saturday we milled around at home & spent the evening in bed… we’ve still got it despite being old & married… It was nice being so close to him.
 
Sunday we went off to the Gepps X Markets – we picked up  some veggies for a Jamie Oliver curry we are going to attempt – I am sure it will be a failure but it will be fun trying to get there. We saw the Love Shack crew down there with 2 giant watermelons. Made me laugh, Leo has not changed.
 
Australia lost the cricket which ruined the weekend for Corsmor a bit. It was a pretty boring game but I sat through it despite wanting to strangle myself – & the Aussie Cricket Team.
 
Corsmor is at training this week for some kind of truck licence – he’s had a lot of training through work which is great but so many of the things he talks about weigh on my mind, his new career is a bit scary to a wife… I never really know if he’s happy there – I’m not even sure if that matters to him the way it matters to me. I guess we all complain about all sorts of things but at the end of the day we end up going back there don’t we. Or are we just masochists?

image

image

Surprise

I attended Tap’s engagement party on Saturday… Surprise….Wedding!!!! Happy husband & bride all smiles 🙂

I never would have thought that my oldest friend & I would get married in the same month in such different ways. She really did look beautiful & so happy. As it should be.

404279_497745813577560_642438505_n

IMAG0246-1 IMAG0260-1

 

Deletion

Delete or not to delete. That is the question. When someone sends a text message that you feel is important for whatever reason, do you keep them? Even if it is for years? Would you delete it because someone asked you to?
 
This afternoon Violet & I sat down for a conversation on the lawn & she told me how she finds herself keeping text messages that she feels are important & sometimes, some that are not but she likes what they say. Perhaps it is because she likes how they make her feel is what I suggested. She had some strange reasons for deleting them. Apart from the obvious “my phone was full” she explained that sometimes it just felt right. Like something had come to an end & she didn’t need to rely on that text message to make her feel that way anymore.
 
Personally I delete everything straight away in case someone happens to scroll through my phone. Many things in there I don’t wish certain people to read or have access to. I cannot risk my words being misconstrued, or my text partner for that matter. So, in the event that something is sent to you, that marks some sort of occasion or turning point – what is your protocol? When is the right time to delete something you have been hanging on to for years?
image
Current mood: infuriated
Comments
Corsmor (aka Metatron)
image
“I don’t deliberately keep messages, however, I do go through many, many, many phones. It’s nice to read through very old conversations, even the bad ones. There’s also the ‘you said’ factor that always comes in handy for those occasions when one is accused of saying something…. but in general I think messages should be deleted as soon as my memories full..”