When Jack and I first began to talk…and it was very difficult at first to go back over the past…he gave me his perspective on everything that had happened during the stressful strained relationship (which was not a romantic relationship) that we had as both colleagues and housemates.
It was interesting to hear what had been going through his mind and compare that with my own perspective of the situation. But what moved me tremendously was hearing Jack talk about what happened to him when I mysteriously vanished from London.
He said the hardest thing was that he kept on hearing rumours that I had left because of an affair with a married man, the husband of one of my co-workers (you may remember that I attributed those rumours to originating with Jack, but he said he would never have said something like that about me). But worst still was the tiny drips of information the few people who did know what had happened allowed him to be aware of.
First he was told I had to leave London because of an emergency. Then he found out I had been in hospital. Then he found out that I was not going to be coming back to London anytime soon. Then he was told that I had been the victim of a violent crime. Eventually, someone let slip that I had been sexually assaulted at the same time.
Jack told me he was horrified and felt utterly helpless. The situation weighed on his heart. I know Jack is perceived as always laughing and joking, always affable and gregarious….but there is another side to Jack. He can be quiet and contemplative, he is a man of deep feelings and profound conviction. He had no idea where I was, but he wanted to reach out to me….yet he had no idea what he could possibly say to me.
Jack said the anxiety he felt for me ate away at his joy. The worry lingered on and on. He had to get on with life…and Jack’s life is a full and exciting one, travelling, socialising, creating, and lots of public appearances. That way of life suits him, he has always given lots of energy but also felt energised by his lifestyle. But he said with the burden on his heart, he was perpetually exhausted. He lost a lot of weight. His hair changed colour. He struggled to sleep. His judgement was impaired. His temper was sometimes short.
I know I had a tough time dealing with the traumatic challenges that effected me. But Jack also suffered. So just as I have felt immense relief since we made peace, he says he has healed and regained his joy and energy.
Love – isn’t it wonderful!! Two people who were a source of great pain to one another, who were estranged….can make peace, fall in love, and decided they want to navigate the rest of their lives together. I can honestly say that being Jack’s has made me more deeply happy and content than I could ever have imagined. He has breathed life into me….and I hope I have done the same to him. The energizing force of forgiveness should never be underestimated.