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Bird-NorthumberlandFor Informed Insights behind the written word
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Have you noticed how the pigeons are behaving at present? I have been highly amused watching a pair of pigeons who sit on the fence in my back garden most of the time, they are real time wasters. The male pigeon is continuously flirting with the female edging his way along the fence little by little towards her (well I hope she’s female, otherwise I have a couple of gay pigeons). He pretends he isn’t sidling towards her and she pays scant regard to him, pretending to ignore him. Finally he gets close enough and leaps on her. It’s all over in seconds; she flies to the other end of the fence and it starts all over again. When she has had enough of his attentions, she shakes her tail feathers, looks at him and I can hear her saying “Is that it!” She then flies off. By this time I am absolutely convulsed with laughter. Unfortunately it’s day in, day out at the moment and I am wasting hours of good working time watching them!

This state of affairs is of course replicable with humans – allegedly some of the regular excuses that women make are – I have a headache, or I’ll sleep in the other room tonight dear. Not sure that the pigeon can do that. Some time ago, I had a call from a woman who asked me to meet her in a coffee bar as she wanted an analysis of her writing done. This woman, I can’t give you her name so I will call her R explained to me that she was in her 40’s. She looked good for her age but instantly I could identify from the writing that she was currently in “a state of flux”, indecision was strong in the writing. R had a strong family pull, her home and children were very important to her, but I could see that in many ways she felt they were holding her back. R had a good mind, she was intelligent and very numerate, in fact she was studying accountancy but there was more to it than that. I could identify from various traits in the writing that R was completely dis-satisfied with things in her life but, she was being pulled in so many different directions. She was unhappy and some of the indications in the writing were highlighting issues with a man. The man wasn’t her dad as is so often the case so it had to be a partner; she said they had been together for nearly 20 years. Guess what? I had actually been able to pinpoint an age which was an important time in her life, 22 years which was actually R’s age when they had got together. Memorable time obviously!

There were feelings of isolation in R’s writing; now this can regularly be seen in the writing of teachers or people that do a lot of public speaking, but in a working housewife it is definitely rarer, although words and letters were generally close signifying a liking to have people around, the letter “I” stood alone. In the handwriting of a housewife, with family all around, you would expect to see the closeness of the family unit but this indication was definitely missing from this sample of writing.

Part way down the page on the right hand side there was a definite river coursing down through the page. This is an extra wide gap between words that stacks up one line under another, forming a river of emotion. To me, this signified a yawning gap between R and her partner, and was obviously significant of problems at home. I tentatively mentioned this to her, and R burst into tears. It seems that she had been sleeping in a separate room for months, her partner’s loving attentions had become too much for her. She was tired with looking after all the children, tending to everything for them and also with having no support from her husband. He wanted home cooked meals every evening and still expected her to bring in some money for the household accounts and to have sex on tap as and when he wanted it. His physicality was just too much on top of everything else, she had put up with his requests every night for nearly the whole of her married life, R needed respite and someone to talk to.

After chatting with her for a very short time R admitted to me that she had been meeting with a man at work over the last year, just to talk initially. He had listened to her and had offered a comforting shoulder whenever the tears had come. He had even offered to take her children along with his to different events, to try and relieve some of the pressures on her. He was widowed and had 2 boys also. The meetings and the comforting shoulder had led to other things; as a result she wanted to leave her partner but because of the indecisiveness in her psyche and fear of making decisions that could tear her family apart, she was struggling to continue with her current life. She knew her mother would not understand and would definitely not support her, coming from an old school of ‘you made your bed, now you’ll lie in it girl’ attitude. The rest of her family were scattered around the globe, so no support there. What R really wanted was for someone to make the decision for her but obviously I couldn’t do that and neither could this man. However, she did tell me that the release of being able to talk about it with someone who did not know any of the parties involved was a great help to her.

Ultimately I have heard from other people around R that she continued to meet with her male friend for the next couple of years until her own children had reached college age. She, in turn, continued to do her part-time accountancy course which gave her some confidence in her own abilities but she continued to live separately from her partner. When R passed her final accountancy exams, it gave her the courage to leave her partner and as I understand it she was intending to set up a small business but to this day I have no idea if she moved in with her supportive male friend or not. What would you have done? Would you have moved in with him? Or would you have continued to put up with the excesses of your husband?