in so many ways, I, as the author, am similar to the character of Olive. I have been the receiver of much criticism throughout my life. A child's perception of continual demands for the required perfect standards of an adult were, for me, both difficult and painful to comprehend.
My husband died in the year 2014. We were partners in life for forty years. His death was one of pain due to those long years of alcoholism. The three months spent in hospital prior to his death were days of delusional thinking, lack of awareness and incoherent interactions. Being a witness to a slow death and knowing that it was, in many ways, self-inflicted and perhaps may have been avoided, puts a strain on families as it did on me, and communication does not exist.
He was not a physically violent person, but violence comes from speaking and can be equally as detrimental to a person's self-confidence as physical beatings. Continued criticism may be a form of violence as it slowly reduced a person's ability to conduct a life of self-worth.
Much of this occurred in my life. On my sixtieth birthday, after forty years, I developed some much needed courage, decided to jump out of a plane, and then in a short period of time following this event, I told my husband that I must leave him. It was painful. Many people failed to understand my reasons. Often alcoholics are great at deceiving others and people wondered why. His presentation to people was one of being carefree and attentive to his family.
I spent eight years in a small country village to mend the damages that life had dealt, returning to the coast and my much-loved sons and grandchildren. I now live happily alone in a village for the over-fifties in a small, plastic house, with flowers out the front. My happiness is complete