My other husband is returning.
It's been a funny old day today. It has certainly had me live up to my name of Constantly Trying, trying being the operative word. We've had the search for the car keys - which turned up under the bonnet on the battery (thank God I hadn't used the car because heaven only knows where they would have landed, and it would have been my fault that they were lost because "you never put your keys away..."), and then there was the telling off over tea. Of course it was my fault. I should have known that he would want gravy with Tandoori Chicken, and I should also have known that he wouldn't want sweetcorn "you never make it nice". I mean I open a tin and heat them - how can you go wrong? "You should have done peas with tea" - he doesn't like effing peas...
I've noticed the other man I'm married to is visiting more and more. The man who turns up and creates merry hell. The one with the temper and the horrid comments. You never know when he's going to be here, and you're desperately waiting for the husband you love to return. I do love my husband, but when he's here I don't like him. "You're worthless", "You're attitude is awful", "No wonder the girls hate you", "We'd all be happier if you weren't here" that kind of thing. Last time my other husband came he enjoyed telling me about how he wanted me dead, how he was going to do it, how he would enjoy it. He told our youngest that he wanted her run over by a car. That she wouldn't get a funeral and that he would throw her body down the bottom of the garden and he would watch how she rotted. Utter, utter devastation.
The two men flicker between one and the other. I've been cocky in the fact that he hasn't been around for a few months, gotten comfortable with my lovely hubby. Yet this week the other one's been here a few times. Our eldest is the only one that looks a bit like me. I'm sure she gets some of the grief because of it. He sits and goes "Raaa" to make you jump. He does it because he finds it funny to watch you get a fright. It works. It's not funny. His words are jumbled. I got wrong today because he wasn't going to give the dog tuna. I had suggested we gave him tuna. We don't have any bloody tuna. "How fucking stupid are you to want to give the dog tuna?" I never mentioned tuna. He gave the dog tinned salmon instead. We're having conversations we aren't even having.
It upsets me that people will hear. I don't want people to hear how I'm spoken to, or how the girls are spoken to. It upsets me that my other husband is coming back, and when he does my lovely, kind, peaceful husband goes away for a bit. I don't want to be frightened of him. I used to be. He's a big, gentle giant of a man, but when my other husband is here he's intimidating. He follows you around and blocks you from leaving a room because he hasn't finished saying the awful things that he has to get out into the open because they won't stay in his head anymore.
It frightens me that my lovely husband will leave completely and in his place this other man will stay. It frightens me what I'll have to do in the future because I can't have the girls surrounded by this. I can't have them frightened. Looking after our girls means that I will eventually betray him. I feel guilt for thinking these things when they aren't an issue yet. He is not a bad man, he isn't, it's this sodding awful illness that laps about him, coming in and out like the tide so that you never know where you are. You never know if you'll need your life jacket or not.
Then he'll go "do you want to watch this programme?" like the other husband has never been here. He smiles at me with that twinkle in his beautiful blue eyes and you forget that he went away.