Clare’s Story part 1
This is part of a very special series of blogs. It is Clare’s story. Clare is just like you and me. An ordinary person living an ordinary life. Yet so unhappy that when I first met her, she felt all hope was gone.
Let’s meet Clare.
It was an ordinary day. Clare was standing in her kitchen with an armful of laundry; clothes for herself, her husband of eight years and two kids aged 4 and 6.
She threw the clothes in the machine, just like she had a million times before. Then her mind went blank. She stared at the controls, not knowing what to do. She started to shake, and then to cry. For the next fifteen minutes, she found herself on the kitchen floor sobbing uncontrollably.
‘I can’t even work this machine properly. I’m useless. What is wrong with me’ Clare wept.
For the answers, we have to go back four days earlier.
As always Clare had washed, then ironed her husband’s shirts. He was very particular about looking smart at work. Standing in the kitchen, she had handed him a freshly pressed shirt to put on.
As he did so, he noticed a small mal on one sleeve. ‘What’s this?’ his angry voice demanded as he tore off the shirt and pushed the offending sleeve under her nose.
‘Can’t you do anything right now. Can’t even use a washing machine and clean my clothes? God, you are useless, it’s a wonder I put up with you at all!’ he stormed.
‘I’m sorry,’ Clare faltered, ‘I didn’t mean it, Alan. I just didn’t see.’
‘Didn’t look’ Alan replied, ‘didn’t care, more like. F……ing useless woman, don’t know why I keep you’ And with that, he stormed upstairs, grabbed another shirt and slammed out of the house. Leaving Clare softly weeping that she had upset him again. And not a little scared at what mood he would be in later that day when he returned.
So today, on this ordinary day Clare had found herself breaking down at the thought of using the washing machine and the possibility of getting something wrong again. How she longed to be the perfect wife and mother, and how everything around her seemed so wrong now.
About an hour later she was standing at the school gate to collect her eldest. She smiled with the other mothers’ all of whom she felt must be happier than she was. A friend, Paula, there to collect her 7-year-old, said hello and asked Clare how are you, and how are things.
‘Great’ Clare heard herself reply, ‘we are all fine thanks. How about you?’
‘Oh, we are planning our next family holiday once the school breaks for summer’ Clare had forgotten the sun was shining, it just hadn’t seemed important as she had driven to the school, practicing smiling along the way.
‘That’s lovely. I’m not sure yet what we are doing yet. Alan will have something planned’
In truth Clare had no idea if he had, but since she would have no part in deciding any case, best to say it would be a surprise.
‘You are so lucky,’ Paulasmiled again, ‘such a thoughtful man. He was the best looking when we all started dating years ago. You really are fortunate.’
‘Yes, I suppose I am’ Clare didn’t really feel she wanted this conversation to continue, ‘oh look there’s Timmy. We need to dash, lovely to speak to you Paula, bye’
Clare hugged Timmy and walked with him back to the car. Quietly driving home she wondered, briefly, why she felt so bad.
Once home and with her neighbor who had looked after little Alec gone, Clare set about preparing dinner. And as she did, she wondered if she could get this meal right. She wanted to do things right, but now had little belief in her abilities.
When I first met Clare this was her situation. And it had been like it for several years. She had married the man of her dreams, loved the first two years of married life, and then slowly lost herself and her self esteem along the way.
In a later chapter, I’ll introduce to more of Clare’s life and the journey she undertook. In my estimation, she is one lady of courage.
© Ellie Appleton www.elliescommunity.com