“I’ve never before written a diary and these writings were only meant to be a lifeline out of unbearably painful circumstances. After surviving three months of burning hell I realized two things:
– I had enough material to write a story that could have meaning for other people than myself
– society has no sympathy in circumstances like mine. Even though research has shown that divorce can be as hard as losing a spouse, that the grieving process is very similar or the same.
I saw that it was in my power to open the discussion on this matter and even though I use my own name and real-life situations to do so, it is not only my story, but the story of most people that go through divorce – there are a lot of similarities in the experience even though each divorce is unique. I weave my past into the story and the result is a Young woman’s dramatic story of struggle but told with humor and respect.”
The Author, Kristborg Bóel, is an independent 42-year-old mother of four. She lives in Iceland, in a small town in the East.
Kristborg has an education as a teacher from the University of Iceland and a degree as a vocational- and educational consultant from the same school. Writing has always been a big part of her life and she has worked for the media in some form for most of her adult life. For TV but mostly newspapers.
Kristborg Bóel has had two long-term relationships, the first for fifteen years and the latter for three.
The book 261 days follows Kristborg’s break-up with her boyfriend, and father of her youngest child, in the fall of 2015. The day of her break-up she also did one of the most difficult things of her life.
My body is heavy like a wet woolen sweater. I have difficulty breathing, like something heavy is lying on my chest. Feel like I have an open wound inside of me. Like my heart is minced meat past the best-before-date in the grocery store cooler.
I just lie here like a wounded animal that can’t get up. Cry unceasingly. I can’t do anything. Anything else than lie here and stare at the ceiling. Exhausted by all the thoughts I can’t handle any more than I could handle supervising 70 people at an underground sweatshop.
I don’t even get a break during the night. Barely dose for a few minutes here and there but wake up crying, sweaty and my heart racing. The bed is afloat with sweat. To top it all I am full of hormones from my recently terminated pregnancy. The murder of my daughter, April.
Once in a while I come to my senses. Not for very long. It’s like my brain is made of Teflon-coated foam and cannot receive input, is not aware of any circumstances. Everything is such bullshit. Last week he was my boyfriend, he slept by my side the night before last. Now he’s gone. Forever. There is nothing left but the glaring silence and everything, everything, every single thing reminds me of him.
His smell is still on my sheets. I lay with his pillow in my arms, soaking wet with tears. I want nothing more than for him to come and hold me and comfort me. Just one more time. Telling me it was a joke. A bad decision. That he realized that he didn’t want to lose us. Me and the kids. That he will be home after work and that everything will be fine. Every cell in my body hurts. Feel like a junky in withdrawal. Want to scream and yell but can’t even do that. Am to weak. Can’t make a sound.
Today’s theme song: Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart. Alicia Keys (The Element of Freedom).
The book is based on Kristborg’ s diary and reads like a diary for 261 days in her life around the time of the divorce. She also looks through the rearview mirror at her own past that often sheds light on her present.
I am the youngest of three siblings; have two brothers that are a lot older than me. I was almost raised as a single child since they had moved out when I was old enough to remember.
My dad was the alcoholic. My mom didn’t drink, or almost not at all. To be raised with alcoholism seems to have scarred me for life. At least until now. I don’t trust mankind because of that. Yes, and so? I’ve heard it 100.000 times. But what can I do to escape this?
Feel like I have not gotten sound advice from health officials. I have tried almost every method available to me – spiritual and material, except maybe to have this mess hypnotized out of me. I’ve been told to go outside and hug a tree. To connect with the earth. My psychiatrist advised me to “put everything in a bag” and imagine taking the bag up a mountain. Find a remote area, open the bag, bury the shit and I would walk back problem free. Like burying a body. No joke!
Distrust and jealousy are the worst feelings in the world. If a brain surgeon told me that I could have an open brain surgery and have parts of my brain and the problem removed, I wouldn’t think twice.
I don’t remember that much about my father drinking when I was a child. I understand that he was a “binger” and that he ruined all holidays and vacations with his drinking. My first memory of his drinking is when I am about 10 years old. I guess it’s rather brutal. My mom woke me up in the middle of the night. It was winter. The darkness was blue; snowy and windy. She whispered softly that I needed to run over to our next-door neighbors as my dad was walking around with a knife. She did not think he would do anything bad but wanted me to leave right away. I got dressed and ran out in my nightgown, to the safe haven of our friends across the street.
We lived in an old, two story house, the house my dad grew up in. My mum still lives there. I realized early that the atmosphere in my home wasn’t like everywhere else. My parents never argued, and I think I never ever heard them raise their voices. What was lacking was any sign of love or affection between them, there was nothing but habit. We rarely did anything as a family, there was no trace of family life. They are good people, they loved me dearly and wished all the best for me. They just didn’t have much to give as they were both sick – him with alcoholism and her with dependency.
Went to the doctor to today. The reason was threefold. Started by pointing at my nose and asking why I had this chronic redness around it. He put on his glasses but didn’t see anything wrong, so I offered the solution that I would powder my nose. He agreed.
Next, I asked about contraceptives for divorcees. I realize I don’t need hormones while I am not sexually active but, you know, the time might come without warning. We decided I could go have a DIU which you really don’t need in this day and age in Iceland. Easy peasy.
Finally talked about how nervous and down I was. If I was perhaps on the wrong medication?
Me: Okok. My drive is definitely still there.
BestFriendintheUniverse: Hu? What do you mean?
Me: The doctor was extremely cute, and nice!
BestFrindintheUniverse: What? The Pussy Doctor? Are you sure you’re, all right?
Me: No, I sincerely doubt that. But nevermind. I’m so terribly happy that my drive is still there. I’m not frigid! And think about it, the man is a gynecologist and must know his business very well.
BestFrindintheUniverse: You can do a lot worse than ask him on a date.
Me: Ask HIM on a date? Does one do that? He’s my doctor?
BestFrindintheUniverse: Come on. What’s wrong with that? He’s divorced right? The date is 2016, right? We just have to find out where his divorce is at.
Me: OMG, I don’t know. Should I maybe just send Dr. Pussy a message?
I have no time to waste, and do not wait for results from the divorcestatusinvestigation. What is wrong with me?
Me: Good evening, doctor. Well. As it is so highly inappropriate and weird to send a stranger a message this late on a Wednesday night, I’ve decided to top it all and top myself while I’m at it. I’ve no idea what your status in this world is, whether you divorce was six months ago or half an hour. Almost don’t know your name. I just know that this was an unusually pleasant doctors visit. Okay, I’ll just go for it. As you only live once and all that. Yes, all right … might I perhaps ask you to dinner? Yes, I know. Strange message. And I wont cry if you say no, I’ll just powder my nose some more.
261 days was very well received and sparked a lot of interest. It went to #2 on the best sellers list in it’s second week. Kristborg Bóel also got a lot of media attention and has had, and still has, a lot of positive response from readers. She plans on writing another book that will be out in the spring of 2019.
“I feel I have to close 261 days with another book. I’ve had so many messages from readers wanting to thank me for opening up about this difficult matter in such an honest and sincere way, thus enabling readers to reflect on their own experience and realize that it’s is normal. When we leave the character in the book, she is not in a very good place even though she has worked a lot on herself as these things take more time than the book covers. Now, three years later, a lot has happened that I want to share and hopefully give readers the hope and believe that everyone can come through a winner at the other end of this long and difficult journey.
“It’s been very long since a book has kept me in bed past noon!” – Goodreads reader *****
“The story is an extremely honest, funny, bittersweet and sarcastic journey through the authors divorce and circumstances and herself. She opens the door to her innermost self – which not many authors dare to do, especially for her debut.” **** DV (Weekly newspaper)
“Dearest you, that I don’t know at all, but know so well after reading your book. The book was like a godsend into my life that ended with a divorce after 35 years and has kept me sane for the last week.” Reader
“Got the book delivered home and finished it the next day. Couldn’t stop, cried, laughed and relived feelings I had long forgotten. Powerful book that everybody should read and learn from.” Reader.