The boyf and I have just come back from a long weekend in Wales. We stay in his campervan; it's cosy and kitted out with everything we need, but as everyone who's ever been in a campervan knows, they're not the most spacious of living spaces. Room to swing a cat, there is not.
This doesn't help things when the mood turns sour.
When boyf is 'up', there is no one quite like him in the world. He is funny and loving and witty. His self effacement makes him all the more appealing. His jaw is somehow squarer, his being more...well, just more. The sex is passionate, experimental. I find him magnetic.
When he is down, things are still just about ok. He is like an injured animal; quiet, docile - and mainly asleep. If I have enough energy, I can (almost physically) pull him out of it; cuddles, slapstick humour, even reading out loud. If I am too tired, we sleep it off together; and the outlook is generally brighter in the morning.
But it is his short fuse, his likelihood to snap, that I find so difficult to deal with. One day, it will mean the death of us - perhaps literally. This angry demon inside him can be triggered so quickly that sometimes I won't even recognise what's done it. This holiday, we've had ridiculously dangerous driving through some sort of testosterone fuelled racing from the lights with some lads in a suped-up Fiesta, followed by them trying to run us off the road and overtaking/undertaking us, shouting expletives out of the window and using the whole gamut of hand signals in their portfolio.
All the while, boyf is shouting back, grinning like a loon, and I am curled up in the passenger seat like a dead leaf.
We've also had a meltdown when some other twat pulled into our pitch (which we'd paid for, marked 'reserved' and left our bikes there) on the campsite and then disappeared to the pub. They came back after two pints and proceeded to have a long argument with the site owner. When they eventually moved, boyf started the engine to park in the space, missed the right gear and ran into a boulder, making a terrible crunching sound and shattering something indeterminable under the van.
Horrendous expletives were loud, in front of children, and unstoppable.
I find this very difficult to deal with. The crux of it is that I am totally embarrassed, to the point of humiliation - and if I could have left the site, there and then, I would have done. (Sadly, I was wearing a towel and not much else.) I was brought up to be polite, to swallow your anger, to be totally non-confrontational. Now this, I know, is not good either; but there has to be a happy balance, where you can allow yourself to be angry (this guy was a twat, after all), but to make your anger felt in a non- confrontational way. To be assertive but not overly aggressive. And afterwards, when all is fixed and the situation has melted into memory, to have a good laugh at the guy's expense and to vow to kick his van next time your passing. (Also soon forgotten.)
It sometimes takes a day for the 'seeing red', The Magic Finger to Roald Dahl fiends, to go away.
And then boyf is worried that I do not love him any more. He is right in a sense; some of the love has rubbed away. Particularly if his anger is directed at me, because I am a wooden doll, a passive child, taking the blast of his aggression. I am blank. I don't know how to react.
Usually, I run away.