Knocked off kilter

I still don’t understand why I got so upset about what I’m about to tell you.

Maybe the telling will help explain it.

I went to DD’s house on Sunday night to cook him bubble and squeak risoni with the leftovers from his Saturday roast.

I returned home at 10.15pm to find my front screen door ajar and the front door itself wide open.

My heart sank. I had definitely locked it when I left.

I stepped tentatively inside and the dogs barked a joyous greeting from behind the closed glass door to the living room.

I registered relief that they were alive.

I noticed that the TV was still there. I hoped that was a sign I hadn’t been robbed.

I walked nervously from room to room, turning on every light to check if anyone was hiding.

There was no one and nothing appeared to be missing.

Then I walked into the kitchen and cried and cried.

I cried so long and so hard that I got myself worked up into a total state.

I figured the youngest and her dad had dropped into the house after skipping training to grab some stuff and then forgotten to close the front door on their way out.

So my house had been left wide open at night for four hours.

I was scared and angry that my safety had been compromised.

It felt quite terrifying to be there alone, knowing that no-one was coming home to me. If there was an intruder in the house, I was on my own.

I texted DD, but he didn’t answer because his phone is on silent after 10pm.

I texted my ex to tell him I’d found the front door open, but I didn’t hear back from him either.

So I just kept crying. The dog wanted me to throw the ball to him 50 times. I didn’t want to throw the effing ball, I just wanted to cry, so I yelled at him.

I turned off the lights and went to bed, where I lay crying a bit more and panicking every time my old house creaked.

Eventually my ex texted to apologise and DD texted to make sure I was OK.

I wasn’t OK.

It really got to me.

I felt really fed up with the burden of taking care of everything myself.

I wanted to shout at my ex that he might not love me any more, but I am the mother of his children and consistently kind to him despite everything, so could he please care a little more about my wellbeing and not put me, my dogs and my home at risk.

I didn’t feel safe.

Eventually, I took two antihistamines because I knew they’d make me drowsy enough to sleep. I woke at 5.30am with a sore head and sore eyes from the crying and lack of sleep.

It was just an accidentally open door, that’s all.

But it knocked me for a six.

I’m not sure the telling has made it clear why it upset me so much.

But it’s good to get it out.

My ex rang to apologise again last night. He said he felt terrible about it and understood why I was upset – though he didn’t know the full extent of my wild distress.

I thanked him for his apology. Mistakes happen to the best of us. I had stopped being angry at him about it pretty quickly.

I’m not sure men feel the same vulnerability that women do in those situations. I don’t think they entirely get how scary it is.

However, no harm was done, except to my equilibrium. And it’s slowly returning, as it always does.

Song of the day: David Bowie “Afraid”




9 thoughts on “Knocked off kilter

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  1. I totally get y u were so upset. Dont beat yourself up about being so emotional about feeling unsafe/relieved/frightened all in 1.. i think its a totally natural reaponse

  2. I completely get this. I think it’s the sense of feeling vulnerable and thinking we shouldn’t be. I’m single and I get frustrated a lot about things (in reality I’m feeling disempowered / not in control of) … when (in all honesty) at those times I just want to hand the reins over to someone else to take care of shit for me.

    1. Hi Deborah, I feel your pain – it’s really exhausting being the person who has to do everything. I have no idea why I got a house because it means there’s a garden to worry about as well.

      1. I know! I’m unemployed at the moment and so try to eke out the time between mower man visits and am completely ignoring my overgrown garden and raging-out-of-control bamboo. I’ve always lived in units before this house but love the privacy that a large yard gives me. (I just never go outside…. make use of it!)

      2. I keep thinking if I ever had the money or time to tidy it up maybe I would go outside and make use of it! But I don’t have money or time!

  3. I totally get it Alana, it’s a lot of pressure being the only one around to take care of things, and most of the time we’re so busy we just get on with it..but then when something like that happens, it throws you off kilter, the “what ifs” flood in and you feel really vulnerable. I was terrified recently when I heard an almighty crash outside the house late at night, I thought someone was trying to break in – it was only a very clumsy possum abseiling against the windows, but I wished I didn’t have to face the perceived threat alone!

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