An essay on rage, creativity and healing.

The tap, tap, tap of your foot under the table, your eyes flitting, your kind smile, your pauses, your quiet confidence and inability to settle, all feel like coming home when we first meet. Your child is also strong just like mine, your family difficult, your knotty past not unravelled; you understand. 

I breathe a sigh of relief and that’s it; you are now on my team. 

I forgive you one hundred times for your faults, because, so what if you don’t tell me you love me? So what if conventional signs of affection are absent in our relationship? We hold tight in my bed (you only hold tight in the dark) and I whisper ‘you are the best thing that has happened to me in a long time’ and you whisper back ‘I feel the same’. My fit and my match. That is all I need. You are now my home.

I let you go your own way, I know there is no other way to keep you, because that is me as well. The way you look at me, your open, warm silence, tells me you are coming back every time. 

Until you go for good. 

To be left by your home is untenable, and I rage. I had no clue (I didn’t know! I didn’t know! I wail at my friends and the walls over the coming days). The way you did it; I can see now there was no other way, as it was too uncomfortable for you not to make the ending anything but black and white; it would have stalled the job at hand. ‘It is time for me to move on to the next stage in my life, and I don’t see you in it’. ‘There are feelings, but not enough to stay’. 

I feel the icy whoosh of every good thing we ever made together leaving my body all at once as I realise what is happening, streaming upwards iridescent through the crown of my head. Then you leave to start your next stage, your new beginning, without me, whilst I am left here staring at the kitchen table. 

I drive for hours through pale green country lanes; I heave in a garage forecourt. You are moving on. I eye up a pan of boiling water and imagine plunging my arm in. You have already moved on. My rage at the world is incandescent; it is like a blowtorch, but I turn it inwards so my children can’t see. My rage isn’t against you (I would still hold tight and gingerly reach out to your naked  back on the side of my bed, hunched over your phone, if it was still there); my rage is at the world. I forgive you as I always have. The world took away the only person on my team; there is no way the world wouldn’t have eventually.

I wander lost, drunk, rage-fucking, fucked by rage, for weeks. With clarity I seek out people to fuck; it sobers me up. I become an expert at charm and leaving. I listen to Peaches’ Fuck the Pain Away on repeat. You are my hyperfocus. I can’t eat. The world is vast and pulsing, more real, in hypercolour. The trees breathe, music is clearer, people I can’t see talk to me. This isn’t heartbreak; it’s too hallucinogenic, too sharp and vast, too adrenaline-filled.

One night I am lost and I don’t know which way to go. I start to type as I don’t know what else to do. It’s not gentle, it is a torrent, but the words make sense, and they are beautiful, and have soul. They are a map. I go to bed calm, satisfied; dopamine sated. 

From now on at night my rage at the world turns into written things, sharp, funny, poignant and clever. All the things you never said I was when you left (when you left you said I was a nice, kind, generous person); well FUCK you. I am not those anodyne things; I am a fucking raging woman who can turn rage, through alchemetic means, into things the world wants to read. I now make amazing art. I don’t write for you, but rage is my conduit, and something different emerges on the screen. 

From rage comes something not resembling it; it has an impetus to transform into something else. Rock is compacted by rage’s force and transforms into precious elements. Not over the course of centuries, but in fast motion. The elements were underground, but rage compacts then breaks the rock open as the words flow; pushing the seams of gold to the surface. I mine and polish what the stratum reveals. Rage also creates watercourses running through those rocks, and I drink from them. Rage turns into Lifeforce. And I am full of it.

So now it is time for me to say; it’s time for me to move on with the next stage of my life, and I don’t see you in it. There are feelings, but not enough for me to stay.  But I will keep the rage (my gulley) and turn it into words; because they are now my home. 

Previously published as part of the Rage series of curated words on the Magical Women website. And in print here.

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