No more about SS said do not write to me any more and of course that felt bad. I had been trying to help but she didn't like my methods. I knew she wouldn't like my methods but doing what she likes wouldn't have helped her. So I ask myself, should I have stuck to doing what she liked so that she would still love me? But I can't help answering, no, because if you stick to doing what people like, they don't love you, they love your doing what they like.
But what's the difference? Am I anything other than the things I choose to do (or don't choose to do if they are things I just do without thinking or choosing at all, but we are not looking at those things here, because I think that after all, you can make up for the things you can't control by applying the things you can)? I feel as though I am, so I could say I'm something other to me, but to other people, well, I'm not so sure.
It is the worst thing about me that I'm aware of, that I am perfectly able to pretend but I choose honesty. I know, it's supposed to be a virtue, but is anything virtuous that hurts others?
Why was I trying to help her? In the broadest sense, I was doing it because I want to help people. I'm only able to do it in my own idiom, and that doesn't mean I give all my money to charity (it's dubious what help that is in a lot of cases, given how little some charities actually achieve), nor do I volunteer a lot of my time in helpful ways. I suppose I need a connection to begin with. Maybe I just need to feel my volunteering is wanted -- mine personally, not just that of any avaiable warm body -- because I rarely feel better than when I'm doing something for someone else. In the narrower sense, I was doing it because she has gone badly off the rails, if she was ever on them. I wanted to rescue her. Believe me, if I have ever met someone in need of being rescued, S is it. Or pretends to be it.
Well, maybe having an oaf like me ride to your rescue is not something she enjoys, or anyone would enjoy.
And maybe that wasn't what I was doing. Maybe I just wanted the old S back. Maybe I just wanted the boring, one-note specimen that she had sent instead of the lively, engaging, wonderful person I had known to disappear.
Wrapped up in that is that I never believed she was the real thing. I believed she was a pupa, which could become a butterfly if circumstances allowed. But she wrapped her cocoon tighter, to the point where it seems suffocating, a cage rather than a step on the way to something better.
I could easily fix my marriage. I mean that I could easily fix it for Mrs Zen. I do sometimes think about why I won't. What difference would it make for me? Would the gain in happiness, which I would surely make, outweigh having to lie to achieve it? It wouldn't feel right either, but my life already doesn't feel right. What difference would it make what makes it wrong? Perhaps I should look at it less selfishly, because it would certainly be better for my children if I made a better job of being married. Are children better served by lies if they make a better world for them than they are by the truth if that is painful? I think I have always found it hard to accept that the truth should not bring life's rewards.
Things are clearer with S. It's probably just as easy to fix my relationship with her. I mean, we could be friends. But I don't want to. Again, I only mean that I could fix it for her. And there is just no point to that. Friendship doesn't really work when it's a oneway street in the same way that marriage does. Yeah, I'd be a great friend for her to have. But what is in that for me? I have three children. I don't need another needy, demanding person who feels no obligation to give anything back in my life.
S said write no more and I won't. Not to her or about her. She is no more than the scent of perfume in a room she has long left, and I have never liked perfume on a woman anyway. I shut the door behind her and open the window. Soon the scent is gone, and the fresh air comes in to clear my head.