I got to bed last night and I had all kinds of things from the day clinging on to me. Mostly they belonged to other people and I’d got close enough for some of the stuff clinging on to them to transfer to me. It happens when you talk and when you listen. I’m glad to be someone that friends and acquaintances trust with the big stuff. Rape, childhood sexual abuse, the horrifying terminal diagnosis of a partner only months before the wedding when they thought they had their whole lives ahead of them. Old age and dementia. Care home fees and a reluctance to visit a doctor, even though it’s clear to all around that some sort of medical intervention is needed quickly.
And in the midst of all of that, and in an effort to protect some other people I love, I ended up bumping up all rough edges and sharp corners against the one person who has promised he’s on my side and by my side through it all.
We went to bed covered in the day’s shit. but it was sticky shit, that sort of clung on and wouldn’t just slide off. And anyway, I’d taken it for other people so I couldn’t just let go of it. ( I may also have been covered a little by some I’d thrown in the direction of my husband. )
As I lay in bed trying to fall asleep and feeling heavy hearted I thought of what people say. Christian people. ‘Hand it all over to Jesus. He’ll carry it for you.’
But I couldn’t just ‘hand it over’. It was clinging and stuck and I don’t know how to get it off me. So in my head I imagined Jesus ( first visualisation always Sunday school Jesus in a flowing robe with soft hair and a bit floaty; quickly and actively replaced by a big, strong man in trousers and a t shirt, but still with beard) walking up to me and gently peeling off all the stuff. The bits that wouldn’t peel easily he’d get a grip of and tug pretty hard. Other bits left stains – like the underside of sticky labels, and he got a damp cloth to remove the marks.
While he was doing that I fell asleep.