You loved me. “Dearest” and “Beloved” are the best translations I can find for “Cariad”, as a form of address. I got the job in Wales to be close to you, as well as to get away from Oldham, where teenagers were picking on the tranny. I had been going to you every weekend for two years. Four years later I got the job in England to get away from you. I had only applied for jobs in England, not in Gwent.
We were still speaking on the phone, just about every night, until August this year. I felt you let me down; probably I let you down. After I lost that job, practically we were cohabiting for eight months, yet I still had to keep on my own flat. I was still visiting- Christmas two years ago was the last time. The phone calls were boring, and it was hard to think of anything to say: we could moan about Quakers, or talk of your beautiful cats. Then we just stopped.
I have just had your Christmas card. You always sent them at the last moment, but this is prudently early so I may return one. “Hope all is well. Love.” It had me in tears of bitterness, rage, frustration, regret. You loved me and your daughter got in the way, and now she is just about your only social contact, apart from Ocado deliveries. All your enthusiasm, drive and energy going to
Mine too, of course.
In September 2010 I had the realisation that my mother had always done her absolute best for me. She was not God. She controlled me completely, because she could do no better. My rage at her melted, and now I know “forgiveness” is the wrong word, for there is nothing to forgive: I love and honour her, though I only got to that point fourteen years after she died. With you, I have just found my pain and resentment anew- yet I do see, you always did the best you could, which, considering our shared curse and your other difficulties was pretty impressive.
It is unresolved. I might phone you. I wish you well. I never loved you with that aching yearning I can feel, yet you impressed and delighted me and I was quite happy to form such a partnership as we could; and now I do not know how either of us could gain anything by further contact.
Though since I wrote that, we are back phoning occasionally.
Right now my life has all the challenge I can bear. I have limited the challenge: often, I spend four or five days in the week alone indoors. I am not satisfied with it. I am bored and resentful, and the siren thought that I deserve more than this crosses my mind, though I have no claim on anyone. I have judged myself harshly.
I have always done my best.
it is as it is
I rebuilt my friendship with him, and he confirmed that he had got more angry than he needed, and I am very happy with my gentle way of approaching, asking forgiveness rather than offering it; for that friendship gives me pure delight. I know him. I know all I gain from him, so am willing to give a great deal; and the giving is getting, the giving is delight. We find a way to be together, which is not always possible.