I could not believe Jacques parents had sent him to a clinic in Switzerland without telling me in advance or sending me his address.
I carried on commuting on the tube, forty minutes each way, to work in the travel agents, and coping with my difficult mother. The only joy I had was the time I spent with my daughter Madeleine.
Suddenly, out of the blue, three months later, I received a letter from Jacques. He was going to Israel, and he wanted me to meet him there.
I was confused. Why had he decided to go to Israel straight from Switzerland? How could he expect me to take Madeleine away from her new routine? Where did he think I was going to find the money to travel there?
Unknown to me, Jacques had returned to the kibbutz where we had met, working as volunteers and told them I was going to follow him there with our baby daughter. He had convinced the doctors in the psychiatric clinic that he would be ok living on a kibbutz as it was a safe and supportive environment. His parents, relieved that Jacques had been diagnosed with anxiety, not psychosis, sent him the fare money.
Unfortunately, I had written to a friend on the kibbutz telling her that we had been separated for three months. She divulged to the committee that I would not be joining Jacques as we were not together any more and Jacques was turned down.
Shattered, he overdosed on the medication the clinic had given him and he was evicted from the Israel.
Jacques phoned me two weeks later.
“You are my wife still aren’t you?” he asked
“Yes of course I am, where are you?”
"I'm at Uncle Bernard’s in Paris. They tried to keep us away from each other.”
“Yes, I know.”
“I’m going to do something crazy.”
He had put down the phone.
I sat down staring into space wishing none of this had ever happened, knowing if we had stayed together I could have helped him without any interference from anyone else.
Bernard phoned me an hour later and told me Jacques had disappeared from his room. He was very sympathetic with me. He understood that we had been treated badly.
“If you hear from him tell me; and if I hear from him I will phone you.”
After an hour of worrying I had a call from Jacques. He said he was just about to board the ferry from Calais to Dover and would see me soon.