I’ve had a broken driveway gate for 5 months. I wrestle with this gate day and night and recently broke a good pair of shoes during the tussle. And that is when the gate broke me, and my landlord became the recipient of my bipolar rage. He was right next door and I railed against him and the injustice of my gate, shouting and cursing at the negligence of his responsibilities as a landlord.
It was in this irrational state that I decided this was all my ex-husband’s fault. Say wha’? My applied logic at the time was – I gave him a choice. Stop drinking or I leave the marriage. At the time he just laughed at me and poured another drink. He chose alcohol, not me, so I left. And I was the one that had to leave my home because his parents lived on the property too and it was all just a complicated mess. A choice he made. And a choice that has led me to my current living arrangement – a flat with a broken gate. A gate that made my mind snap. So you see, it was all his fault.
I flew in to work, still raging, dialling his number before even putting my stuff down. I was gonna rant and rave and accuse and blame until….. until….. Until I got some kind of reaction out of him, damnit! He didn’t choose me! He let me go like an unwanted employee. Four years of pent-up anger and rejection was headed his way.
Then the strangest thing happened. We haven’t spoken for almost 2 years, and on hearing his voice my burning fuse…. difused. We talked. I didn’t mention the gate. It was never about the gate, really. I got to ask my question – why did you choose alcohol over me? And for the first time, I got a response
“I honestly don’t know why I did. I guess I didn’t realise you were so serious about it…..
And then, he apologised. He said “I’m really sorry”. And it was sincere. As the world melted into the background, I said thank you and cried, and he mumbled and cleared his throat a lot. I’m not religious, but the only way I can describe how I felt is to say, I felt baptised. Years of grimey anger and regret, sadness, guilt washed away. Fear, disappointment, doubt, stripped like a second skin, away in that one moment.
Give up your heart left broken
And let that mistake pass on
‘Cause the love that you lost
Wasn’t worth what it cost
And in time you’ll be glad it’s gone
-Linkin Park – Roads Untravelled
I’ve been given a gift. Ironically a broken gate has brought me closure and with that a great sense of peace and freedom. And hope? My beloved, lifesaving Hope has returned. AND the gate has even been fixed.