Staying sane I hope.
Since handing over my manuscript to the journalist, I have spent every hour I can going over and over the 200 plus pages. Every time I do I find more mistakes, and every time I correct them or make a sentence stronger or clearer, I am forced to relive what was done to Don.
Some of you know, but apart from Don who only has my voice to record, I am the only one who knows just how monstrous it was. People who know just the bit you can explain are horrified and sometimes unbelieving. But I carry within me the whole of what I know was done to him, and imagine how much worse it would have been when I was not there. Some mornings he was in absolute terror and would not let certain people touch him...others he was fine with.
The last time I was with Melissa she took me into her bedroom and told me about a picture she had bought. As she turned it round I knew exactly why she had stopped in the street. Poor kid. She said to me this picture was "how Dad felt inside all those five weeks." Its by Michelangelo. The face has a mix of horror, anger, desperation, pain, disbelief...an on and on.
The manuscript will be published and should you read it, the sad thing is you may wish you never did. I know now why he was forcibly kept alive. the big $$$$ are Research, and any abuse justifies this they think.
So on Wednesday I was in a particularly dark part of the manuscript, and I wrote this,
"Sometimes as I rewrite and re edit this I wonder can I go on with this. The sun shines outside, and there is a tinge of cool in the air. I persevere because until I expose what happened to Don, I can not walk in the sunshine, not be lighthearted, nor have any sort of life at all. The damage inside me is deep but I know and have faith that out of what I am going through, and out of what Don was put through something really good will emerge, and that if there is the will there, things may improve just a bit. I don’t have a choice but to keep going, to see this through. To turn away now would be to condemn myself to only half a life and I know that it would be this which would break my wonderful Don’s heart. I know he would want me to live, to walk in the sunshine, to be happy again. But sometimes when the spirit is weakened by reliving it is so hard. I have to remind myself how strong I am, how wonderful our family was and will be again. I know that by persevering, I can begin the healing for not only myself but for our daughters."
I found myself outside in the late afternoon sun after writing this and I was just sobbing outloud, because it has been the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, reliving over and over so as to make it readable for others...clear for others, enabling it to be published. I was dragging branches to the big pile in the middle of the paddock, for burning in winter...practical life goes on. It was just so achingly beautiful all round me that I lost it again...but found it in double quick time when in amongst the branches was the largest blackest red belied Black Snake, sunning himself in the last rays of the sun. He was as thick as my wrist...I can tell you I walked the acre back to the house, very quietly and for much of the way backwards. Not a tear to be seen.... nor a sob to be heard..needs musy.
Sometimes wonder if Don might have a thing or two to do with events which bring me out of tears...but then again could have just been a snake... he'd be perverse enough to make me wake up to myself this way...
Don't worry that I am depressed by all of this...most of the time I am okay, interested in the girls' lives, their relationships, in the lives of my sisters, and friends, and you lot...but as I get closer to finishing the editing and the manuscript gets stronger, that part of it, the remembering things half forgotten takes some can just overwhelm me.