Eighteen months ago life offered me a new beginning. I reached for it with both hands and eyes wide open – or so I thought. A move to a literal paradise on earth, filled with the wonder of nature and the peace of the countryside would surely afford me a bliss-filled space, both inside and outside of my own head, in which to write. Particularly when accompanied by a reunion with, and subsequent marriage to, the undisputed love of my life. It has been a long time coming, this reprieve from hardship and pain.
Little did I realize that I was about to enter an era of further stress and heartache, not because of any defect in our love, but because of the vastly different twists and turns our lives had taken and the habits developed in our individual and family ‘soups’. The ongoing stress of living in ways that are contrary to my values cannot be underestimated. At times I fight to the point of exhaustion for the things I hold dear. Things like social justice, environmental awareness, equality, personal responsibility, accountability, and even the simpler values like cleanliness, organization and straightforward communication. On a directly personal front, interactions within my new circumstances are fraught with miscommunication and defensiveness born of difficult pasts, and which leave me reeling in confusion. The negative impact on my new husband and myself is huge. At times it seems bottomless, fathomless and cruel. I am not used to hostility for the sake of itself. Unravelling the threads that have been woven into the tapestry is an impossible and thankless task. All I can do, it seems, is hang onto my convictions, brace against the tempest and…write, write, write.