Hatred. it isn’t the sort of despairing, self-raging hate that Mina feels. Mine is a very different sort. It is that icy exterior – the frigid paralysing stare that hint at throbbing, nuclear heat beneath. It is a fury that years of experience and training have taught me to control, to focus. This isn’t the hatred of bombastic fights and loud threats. This is pure bloodlust. There is nothing but malevolence in me, and a desire for surgical destruction, abruptly delivered without an ounce of mercy – like a Scorsese movie come to sudden, terrifying three-dimensional life. I don’t carrying the anger of thug, or the indignation of a spurned husband, but the directed fury of an avenging angel.
This fire was out this morning. I saw that Mina was having trouble, and I knew that today was a rough day. My car was being serviced, but I decided to take the bus back home, and meet her out for lunch and give her a chance to talk and things to do that she didn’t have to think about this flashback that was washing over her, just some relief. We started to talk at lunch and I could see the tears bubbling up under the surface, so I changed the topic – I knew she didn’t want to have this cry here, surrounded by the staid Swiss. We got through lunch, and I gave her a couple hugs before I went back to work. It was the best I could do.
Back at work I began to feel sickness creeping on and the steady inflow of work was exhausting me. Until her post splashed into the world. Suddenly, that fire was re-ignited. I felt the hatred turn radioactive, and my vision grew darker, with a pernicious focus. My day wasn’t over, but my brain was flooded with adrenaline. I could only think of the evil intent. Find him. Destroy him. I know where he is. I know what to look for online. I can find him. I know I am physically much larger. My mind conjured the feel of his windpipe collapsing in my hand. I got up, and I left, walking around the factory in ankle-deep snow. The fire would not calm. I sat alone in the conference room, and made myself a cup of tea. The ritual finally allowed me to recenter myself, and as I pushed the urge from my consciousness, exhaustion took hold, and I came home early, and slept.
This is the ugly part of poly. My toughest daily struggle is to always be the best version of myself for Mina. Of course I don’t succeed. In fact, I rarely succeed, but being able to fail is part of what makes marriage special. But as much as I struggle with myself, and being the loving husband, the caring protector, and the insatiable lover, it is a whole new sort of challenge when you give others permission to reach into the deepest corners of your relationship, and start stirring their own spices into the stew. Especially when those people choose to treat those you love as disposable. It is more than indignation: this woman is my treasure, and the person whom I draw so much of my happiness from, and yet you get to come into our lives, enjoy her as I do, and treat her with no more care than someone you paid on the street? What gives you the right to be so callous with our lives, with the very core of us, the place we draw peace and safety?
She doesn’t need vengeance, you know. She needs care. She needs love. This destruction – that is a selfish desire, perhaps born in an unselfish place, but it is still something I want for me. Not for her. When she told me she would still go back to him, knowing she would be hurt, I was stunned, absolutely stunned. And yes, I would forbid it. I would grab her phone and smash it to a million pieces, and brick every computer in the house rather than let him do this to her again. If somehow, in spite of my efforts, he found his way to her, he would then being taking his life into his own hands. And yet – in forbidding this, I hoped to give Mina some peace, some knowledge that this was really over, that it would never happen again. Instead, I watched her wisps of hope curdle into despair. This is the most pernicious aspect of it all – the absolute impotence I have to salve these wounds. Nothing I do can close, cauterise, or even numb this wound. This man, this bastard, has sliced open our life that we built through so much pain and at such enormous risk, that we have struggled so mightily to construct, and left a corroding pit in it.
And why does he have this power? Who decided that he could choose who gets to be happy, and who has to be damaged?
It’s the questions I ask myself every time she falls in love. We’ve been through this many times, and I never understand why these men get to be the ones who fuck up our life, and why they don’t have to pay the price of the damage they cause. But – I don’t get to be their reckoner. I am merely the nurse who has to sit and heal, the one, the only one who is always there. Tonight, Mina gets a massage by candlelight. She gets a loving husband who focuses on her (when he stops writing this stupid screed). And tomorrow – she gets to keep her husband, no matter what insults and injuries may come, and every other tomorrow, so long as I have tomorrows to give.
This entry was posted on Friday, January 18th, 2013 at 22:09 and is filed under abuse, rant. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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