September 27th, 2003


plagued by "if only"s

Came home from a lovely evening at the pub last night to find a letter saying my godfather had died. Feeling pretty beaten up about it.

Collapse ) I haven't been much in contact recently. Partly because by the time I was at university, I didn't have the motivation to keep in contact with people from school. Let alone the elderly ex-chaplain and his wife. Then there was my increasing disillusion with Christianity. By the time I got to university, I didn't feel at all comfortable even in the low church C of E - I tried various other churches and none of them fitted either. I just didn't know how to explain that to them. If I couldn't explain that, how to even begin explaining that I wasn't heterosexual?

So I drifted out of contact, apart from Christmas cards.

Then, sometime last year, I figured I really ought to write again. I was going through a stage of wanting to contact my old friends, to thank them for ... putting up with me, loving me at a time when I wasn't very lovable. I wrote them a longish letter, explaining some of the things I owed them - telling them about the state of my parents' marriage, and how it had entirely put me off legal marriage, and... some intensely personal things about Richard & I that I don't feel comfortable writing here.

They replied fairly quickly, but one of the first things in the letter was "Are you currently a member of a church?", and I just didn't know how to answer that. "No", without an explanation, was insufficient. So I left the letter unanswered. And sent an Easter card, saying we should really try to visit the next time we were somewhere near Oxford. I honestly intended to visit, but things like my illness and my mum's cancer and finishing my thesis and applying to go back to university got in the way. And a few weeks ago, I thought I really ought to write to them, telling them what had been going on in my life, that I was doing teacher training and was happy - even if I didn't answer the question of church or mention the non-heterosexuality and non-monogamy.

But I didn't get round to it. And now it's too late. And I wish I had've bothered to make the effort a bit earlier.

I thought I'd learned the lesson about not putting things off when Richard's mum died. And I said a long time ago, about a relationship that's long since dead, that it's pointless thinking in "if only"s. There's the quote from Granny Wetherwax in Discworld where she's talking to an ex-partner of many years ago - Collapse )

And that's what I've tried to live by.

But there's still times when you want to go back and change things, anyway.
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