The reason you so often in literature have a naked womanwalk out of her house that way, usually older, in her front garden or on the sidewalk, oblivious, is because of exactly how I feel right now.
You tend to hear about how it felt to come upon such a mythical beast, the naked woman on the street, the naked man in a tree, and that makes sense because it is wonderful to take the naked woman by the hand
And know that you will remember that moment for the rest of your life because of what it means, the desperation, the cataclysm of what it takes to leave your house naked or to take off your clothes in the tree.
It feels good to get the naked man to come down from there by a series of gentle commands and take him by the elbow or her by the hand and lead him to his home like you would care for a bird or a human heart.
Still if you want instead, for once, to hear about how the person came to be standing there, naked, outside, you should talk to me right now, quickly, before I forget the details of this way that I feel. I feel like walking out.
Jennifer Michael Hecht
Last week I did something I have never done before here on Brocantehome. I took a post down that had gone live on the site only half an hour before. Perhaps you saw it. Perhaps it is still there hiding in the busy corridors of your RSS feed.
It was a rant. A whinge and wine. It was about my Uncle dying and my tumble dryer going kaput. About not being able to differentiate between human life and domestic machinery, because my head is currently unable to establish a hierarchy of catastrophe and all- the big and the little, the human and the mechanical seem equally disastrous.
I took it down because it was a diary entry, not a blog post. Subdued hysteria disguised as something meaningful. I took it down because the inner workings of my exhausted mind don't have to become the kind of public property that by their very nature demand sympathy, empathy and surely irritation? I took it down because I am almost forty-one years old and angst, should not be my default mode as a writer.
Bowing out for a while...
Today even before I opened my eyes I knew what had to be done. Everyday this week I have turned up in front of this computer and tried to write something that would stir your souls or inspire your housekeepers heart and some words have spilled out and other whole sentences, entire paragraphs have stuck so tight in my gullet I was choking trying to spill them out and so, on at least three of these days I gave up and went shopping instead. Wandering around staring at lots of things I don't need. Wanting to turn to the other women I saw hovering in aisles full of plastic beakers and toilet bleach and say tell me what you are running away from. Tell me what to buy to fix this gaping void.
I need to stop.
The next six weeks will finally bring to an end the nineteen months of trauma I have endured since my world came crashing down in September 2011. It is almost over. But it has also reached the kind of emotional crisis point I can barely endure and certainly cannot allow to seep into my writing here and that is, I fear, what will happen if I try to pretend that everything is ok. That I am ok. Because I am not good at pretending and you know me too well now not to try to read between every line I write. So I am going to bow out for a little while, in order to strengthen the emotional, physical and financial roots Finley and I need if we are going to step into a more secure future.
Am I depressed?
No. And yes. Certainly my doctor has been trying to force-feed me anti-depressants whenever I am in his vicinity and a kind of low-grade depression has dogged me all my adult life. But twelve months of counselling during 2012 showed me that what I feel is merely the most human instinctive reaction to what happened: to something distressing that happened to me. That as my Mum has long argued, it is hard to label persistent, foreboding anxiety as depression when it has a very specific cause, specifically something not in our power to manipulate.
What am I going to do?
I am going to write, just for myself for a while. Work my head out on paper. Work on my book. Make a few more of my existing downloads available on the Kindle. Scrub the house from top to bottom. Sit on a bench in the park and watch my son scoot around it's circumference. Answer the glut of emails I have found lurking behind filters in my email account. Try to shake off feelings of guilt and obligation. Watch every episode of Girls back to back. Drink coffee with Kath and Diane and when we can both get our acts together, Rachel from Tales From the Village. Get my wayward eyebrows plucked. Try to let people who care about me in. Eat things that sooth my bloated self. Get to grips with Finn's new diet. Go to bed early. Read poetry like this and this and this. Scrawl lines from my favorites into the margins of my journal. Remember how it feels to have a pencil in my hand. Wait this hell out with an empty stomach and a heart full of hope.
Will I be back?
Of course. We have been here before haven't we? I always come back for this is my spiritual home. You are my on-line family. The reason why I have to go away like this from time to time, is because the very process of blogging requires the tug of my audience always at the hem of my dress and sometime I fear disappointing you so much I have to retreat to a place where I can be naked again. Where I can wait for the part of me that has gone a-wandering to come home again. So I can be myself for all of us again. The fun me, not the angsty me. I'm tired, that's all. I guess I just need a long nap...
What About You?
I hope in my absence you will do your own Seasonal Scrub, because nothing in this life feels better than hugging your house to happiness. I hope you will read through my archives and find among the chaff, the kind of wheat that heartens your soul. (For it is there. I am sure it is there). I hope you will sign up to my mailing list so I can let you know when I am whole again. Ready to let my heart spill open. And I hope you will throw open every window in the house and tell Spring you are ready for all the little joys, this, the most gorgeous season of the year always brings.
I don't want you to worry. I am ok and no matter what happens in the next few months, I will be ok. I just need time to heal. To sleep. And to think straight. Please know that these are not the tortured ramblings of a drama queen, but the very real, subdued distress of an ordinary woman like you, living through something I cannot explain (for it is not mine to explain) but wouldn't wish on a passing dog; and further know how very grateful I am to you for supporting me, and loving me, and for always coming back here to pick me up and carry me in your apron pockets. To Gena, and Gayla and Mimi and all those of you who have taken the time to email me, send me a care-package or a simple line or two telling me what a difference Brocantehome has made to your lives, I thank-you. I am so glad to be able to make a difference and this is nothing but a hiatus in my mission to make all our lives lovelier.
Housekeeping Superstardom is still yours for the taking and I will continue to work behind the scenes on making it wonderful. Please take this opportunity to pay whatever you can for anything you want in the download store and email me if you have any problems.
I will be back soon. In the meantime, hold my hand tight won't you?x