Sensible

How are we in the middle of January already?!

As suspected, it wasn’t long before things with Wildcard went back to normal. Sensible me knew this would happen. Unfortunately, sensible me doesn’t always prevail.

I had a HUGE row with my ex this week. I say row but it was more me shouting at him. And that was purposeful. You see, he timed his conversation purposely to ensure both sons were home and listening on loud speaker. He then manipulates the conversation so I explode, and then hammers the message home to my children – quite overtly and calmly – that I am the issue.

In truth, he is selfish and manipulative and deceptive. My daughter – daddy’s girl by the way – is aware of this. My boys are not.

I’ve read somewhere that disappointment comes from expectation. I expect my ex to treat me with respect. I expect him to play fair. I expect him to be considerate. In reality, he doesn’t. Hence the divorce I guess. What I won’t do, is play his game. I could tell my children so many things about him, but I don’t. He can make his own mistakes.

Sensible me knew what he was doing. And as Wildcard said, I should have calmly played along. Then, when the boys weren’t there, I could have said my piece without them hearing. I wasn’t sensible. I was outraged.

Sensible me also knows that I am not earning enough money and that next month I am going to struggle. I’m still lost in indecision. More tutoring? This will take time away from my children and Wildcard – what’s the point in me leaving a high powered career to only overwork myself again? Supply or a permanent teaching post? See above. I don’t want it. I DON’T WANT IT.

I still want my own business. I still want to be creative and helpful and flexible. The small business I launched just before Christmas didn’t do as well as I’d hoped. I’ve done little with it since.

And so, all this ties together to mean one big … huge…decision.

I’m considering selling part of my property to my sister.

She is desperate to have our childhood home. Or at least a part of it – buy land and build on it. At present, she couldn’t afford all of it, but some of it. Financially, I need help. Paying off some of the mortgage or debt would help. I fell out of love with my home years ago. There has been years of conflict over my buying the house from my parents. My step brother and sister hate me for it and subconsciously, I can’t get past that. Finally, my sisters are worried that if I marry again, I may lose part of the house – their childhood home – in another divorce. Including if I was to marry Wildcard, and particularly because of their wariness of his Nationality and intentions.

Oh and my ex is still on the deeds.

He offered to be taken off some time ago but we haven’t got round to it. I don’t know if I will be able to remortgage now I am earning half of what I once earned. It’s a mess.

I’ve looked at a few solicitors and am considering making an appointment to get some advice. If my sister bought half of the property, I could pay off my mortgage, my debt, make a few improvements and maybe even give my ex a little. Even though he doesn’t deserve it.

It would mean that the pressure to work ridiculous hours goes. It seems a sensible option but of course there are negatives too.

I’ve realised that I have no one to discuss this with. My mum is too close to the situation, as is my other sister. My ex? Absolutely not.

I wish I could discuss this with Wildcard but I can’t for so many reasons. The language barrier. The implications about him. I don’t want him to know that I could be struggling financially in the near future. I don’t want to force a conversation about our future although it is what I really want to do. I wish we could plan together. But he isn’t ready. Maybe I need to be a bit more sensible of the implications of all of that.

In the short term, I need to apply for some more tutoring posts and try to boost my hours as much as I can. My sister owes me money and I will have to ask for it back.

It’s hard work, being sensible.

Crave

I should be used to the insomnia by now, but I’m not.

I dread going to bed because I know I will lie there and think of him. And my situation.  Equally, I dread going to sleep because of how often I dream about school. No closure there then.

I’m not sure why I posted my last post. I mean, yes, those thoughts and feelings were valid at the time of writing. It’s funny how you see things differently after a sleep. Or seven, in this case.

Wildcard, unfortunately, wasn’t seeing anything differently. Ever since that last outburst- which was 100% my fault – he’s been off. Yes, I know, we’ve been here before. And yes, I’m probably being a little oversensitive/paranoid/self absorbed but he half admitted it last night. He also keeps saying “so, you’re starting again…” which is a bit of a give away. I haven’t started anything …in the past week.

Of course, at this time of year, everyone starts evaluating and analysing their life. I’ve recognised just how hard this year has been for me and I’m determined that next year I will be more positive and proactive. Mel Robbins is leading the way in my thinking and I highly recommend you looking her up if you want some excellent coaching and life advice. I’ve been dipping in and out over the past 18 months but I’m committed to seeing things through to the end this time.

Some of her advice hits a little hard at times, mainly because you realise she is right. A lot of my ‘issues/anxieties’ with Wildcard are actually anxieties about myself. It’s not his place to make me feel good about myself, neither consciously or subconsciously. More and more I’m realising that I have to start loving myself and who I am. I feel like I’m in the eye of the storm at the moment. Things are ok, but I have some real tough decisions to make. I need to trust myself and my judgement. 

Whatever this was with Wildcard has blown over now. He often tells me that he just needs time and he will soon forget – he laments his terrible memory. I, on the other hand seem to store things in my head to make inaccurate equations with later.

My London friend’s words are still rattling around. I thought my conversation with Wildcard mid-December had banished them, but apparently not. They’ve been resurrected now more times than a tacky Hollywood villain.

My head just can’t seem to process my current situation. I do suffer from anxiety and due to previous relationships, I have anxious attachment. But there are fundamental things that my head can’t figure out. Like…

We’re in a long distance relationship – do these things just take longer? How is covid impacting on what would have happened? Are we following his culture or mine in this? Or, is he just commitment phobic and I’m being stupidly dragged along? Or, am I putting on too much pressure because of my own low self esteem – I need his formal commitment to make myself feel valued? My London friend thinks he is just waiting for someone better to come along. It’s easy to believe that when you dislike yourself.

My biggest problem is I cannot trust my own judgement any more.  It is affecting every area of my life. I thought I was a good teacher. I thought I was doing well. I thought I had finally ‘cracked’ the weight loss. I thought I had got myself in to good habits. I thought I had found the love of my life and dreamed of him being with me and being a family.

I love him exactly the way he is – I love everything about him. And yet sometimes I crave more, but I know this is more about my insecurity and self esteem than anything else. What I crave is confirmation that I am not imagining anything- he loves me, completely.  We will be together one day. In these moments, it doesn’t matter how many times he has called me or told me he loves me. My mind craves more.

Problem is, I’m never satiated because it’s coming from the wrong person. It needs to come from me. What I mean by that is he tells me he loves me, every day. He shows me he loves and misses me, every day. I know that. But I’ve recognised that when I’m feeling insecure and anxious, I crave the ridiculous over the top stuff. But that isn’t him: I just want it because of how I feel.

It is not the first time I’ve thought something along those lines. I remember writing a post about how my past relationships had caused me to be anxious – it wasn’t my fault! – but I’m a toy train on a circular track. I stop at the same stations, only to move on and come around again. I’m hoping this real focus on coaching, such as that by Mel Robbins, will help me change the tracks and send soothe my cravings.

Along comes the fool

This post was written six days ago

Sobering, heart wrenching reality. Wow, it hurts.

The last few days I’ve really tried. I realised how much I had let myself go. I’ve started my face care, pampered myself. Even put makeup on when the furthest I’ve gone from my house is the coal bunker. I’ve tried to install some pride and self esteem in myself.

But the puzzle pieces have slotted together this afternoon. And I realise just how ridiculous I am.

My family have long teased me about how I act around Wildcard. They’ve joked about my constant laughing and smiling, and even how my voice changes. On Christmas Day they laughed as I practically ran to pick up the phone as I hadn’t spoken to him all day. My sister mimicked me by grabbing a Barbie doll, and copied how I flick my hair and laugh like a school girl, taking great delight in showing him.

I laughed with them, although it stung a little.

Today, when my daughter got up, I exclaimed how much she looked like me – I had braided her damp hair last night and today it is hanging in chocolate waves like mine. She laughed and said, “not quite”, before pulling the expressing I apparently make when I’m talking to Wildcard – engaging my natural pout and widening my eyes. She joked again at my voice and laughter. And it stung a little bit more.

Just then, Wildcard called as he was on his way back to work. Determined, I kept my voice neutral and said hello. He was part way through his usual sing song “hello daarrrrling” when he stopped in his tracks.

“You didn’t say it.”

“I didn’t say what?”

“Hello darling, you just said hello”.

Then it dawned on me. “Oh..so when you say ‘Hello darling’, it’s not you being affectionate, you’re laughing at me.”

He laughed at that and continued with his impression of me. I told him what my daughter had said and he laughed again, “so she has noticed too?”

My eyes filled up. I thought he was doing something nice. He was laughing at me all along.

He was about to show me something else I apparently do when I kiss him, when he was interrupted by a work colleague. We made a hasty goodbye.

It doesn’t matter that he messaged immediately to say he was just laughing with me, and that he loves me. The damage is done.

And so, the puzzle pieces slot together and form a picture of a clown, an idiot, a fool. Something everyone laughs at.

So, after two years, why do I do that? I pondered as tears streamed down my face. I don’t realise I am doing it, but clearly everyone else does.

Because I’m trying to be something I’m not. I’m trying to be the beautiful, sweet young thing..when actually, I’m an average, overweight 41 year old.

I feel like such a fool. Who am I trying to kid?

The reason he doesn’t show me the affection I want is because he doesn’t feel it.

The reason he doesn’t give me compliments is because he doesn’t see anything worth complimenting.

The reason he hasn’t proposed or bought me a love token is because he isn’t sure he wants me. I’m not worth celebrating or treasuring or championing.

I’m just entertainment. A nice girl. A fool.

Thoughts of you

“Sometimes, my love, I get so frustrated. So frustrated that I could just explode like an overfilled balloon.

Occasionally, a really BIG frustration is our language barriers, simply because I can not explain. Sometimes there are emotional things to say, layers of things, and we don’t have the words. So we simplify and in simplifying, we are missing a huge part of what needs to be discussed. 

Take tonight. Yes, we’ve discussed this before. But the simple sum of it, not the complex and unique equation. So let me try now.

I miss you every single day. From the moment I am awake until the moment I fall asleep, thoughts of you are with me. Most days,  just to see your face and hear your voice is enough to keep me going. I still miss you, and wish there was more, but I can be satisfied with what we have as it is a promise of more to come.

Some days are not so easy. Those are the days I need you. I need to feel the warmth of your skin and hear your heart beating. I need the softness of your lips on mine.

On those days, seeing you and speaking to you is not quite enough. I need more.

Sometimes, I just need a date, somewhere in the future that I can fix my mind on, so that these hard days are just a step towards when I will next be with you.  Covid has stopped that. Yet again we are in the unknown, not knowing when borders will open and we can plan to see each other again.

And then there are days where something will happen, something small, but it just adds to how I’m feeling. Maybe you’re busy and we can not talk as much. Maybe you’ve had a bad day and you can’t be as present. Maybe an ex has called or … anything that makes me feel further away from you. Perhaps I’ve seen a couple in love and feel jealous. Maybe I’ve had a bad day. I,, n those small moments, it feels like you are a million miles away. The missing you and that little thing come together to just explode the distance in my mind. Then, my body is filled with the shrapnel of those thoughts and that pain.

And then comes the next pain. Because I try to hide it. I know i’m being irrational and stupid and I try but I always fail because you know me. But in telling you, it makes it worse because then you’re frustrated too.

In those moments, I wonder if you’re better off without me.  I’m no good to you.

A beautiful life

Ok, I admit it. I’ve not been taking my medication. My antidepressants. And it’s for no other reason than I keep forgetting. It’s been a few weeks now of having the occasional tablet.

Interestingly, no one has noticed. There hasn’t been a noticeable shift in my moods. I don’t feel much different either. I’d always hoped that once the stress of work had gone then I would be more like myself.

However, work stress hasn’t left me completely as I have said in previous posts. But that is not what this post is about.

I’ve discussed it with my sister and I think I’m going to lower my dose and try to remember to take them. It seems the best plan.

I’ve been thinking about the past year. It was just over a year ago when I had my anti depressants upped the first time. And then again when I was negotiating leaving my career.

I still can’t believe it sometimes. But – as hindsight is such a wonderful thing – I can see how unhappy I was there. In fact, I wonder if I ever was truly happy there. Convenience, and I guess success, made me stay there so long. But no, I wasn’t happy.

But what the academy did to me was worse, I realise that now. I lost complete faith in myself. They stripped me of my confidence and my self esteem. I have spent 10 months doubting everything I do. In those ten months I have put on two stone. I’ve stopped all the healthy habits I once had – like reading, facial care, taking tablets, sleep, eating well, exercise. I’ve stopped putting makeup on each day. And whilst a bit of make up doesn’t matter, what it shows is that I gave up. I gave up.

I was so proud of my weight loss and how it made me feel. I want that back.

I’ve had a disappointing week- my business has not taken off like I’d hoped – but I can’t let this haunt me or put me off.

This is just the beginning of the new life I am going to lead. It’s a very short period of time in my life and it will come and go.

I’ve had a beautiful life so far, despite everything. I had a full childhood and experiences that many have never had. I’ve been loved. I’ve been successful. I’ve had children. I’ve travelled. I’ve built relationships.

I could list the negative things, of course I could. But I won’t. That was my life then, and this is my life now.

I’m not giving up.

Boost

Hello all,

I’m sat in the waiting area of a pop up vaccination centre. I’ve just had my booster and my flu jab. Through choice. Eeek.

I really don’t want time to sit and think. It’s not good for me: I dwell, I ponder, I stress.

It’s THAT time of the month again so naturally, my brain has switched to permanent negative and emotional.

A weird thing happened yesterday. It’s hard to explain, unless you know me, so I will summarise.

*********

I continue my post nearly 24 hours later.

Whilst I was typing away happily, I started to feel dizzy. Before I knew it, I was flat out on a hospital bed sulking a glucose tablet with a fan on me. Highly embarrassing.

Apparently it was something to do with blood pressure or blood sugar or something. I was there probably an extra 25 minutes and then suddenly perked up.

I’m now sat on the train on the way to work. I’m tired. I hope I’m not coming down with some symptoms like my first vaccination and I will be over an hour away from home. Eek.

I’m still loving work. Tutoring is all the best bits of teaching. I was surprised by my wage too, and need to look further into it. I was expecting much less. Obviously, more is great, but I’m wondering whether I have to sort my own tax and NI.

At the same time, I’m ready to break up for Christmas. Weirdly, as I’ve only worked about 6 weeks. Ah well.

What do they say…this is the life?

As an aside, my arm is killing me. Not just the injection site and muscle, but in my armpit. Think my lymph nodes are working overtime. In fact, I generally feel achy and extremely sorry for myself.

Covid, I hate you.

Realisations

Sometimes my emotions come out of nowhere. Don’t get me wrong, I have a vague awareness of them. They dance about at the edge of my consciousness: teasing, hinting then disappearing temporarily with my metaphorical flick of disdain.

So when they do return, they return stronger than ever. My emotions and I may run the dance a few times before they explode into my vision, refusing to be subdued any longer.

I have known this about myself ever since my breakdown. My highly skilled counsellor made me see this – how dampening them down for so long just prolongs the inevitable .

I have learnt a little since then. I’ve learnt that I need time alone sometimes. In these moments, I may allow an emotion to float to the surface. I may even write about it on here a little. My technique is nowhere near perfected though. That is a certain.

All this information isn’t new. And it kind of depresses me (excuse the pun) that at 41, I still haven’t figured it all out. If that what life is?

Tonight I had two realisations that may help my journey of helping myself.

I have talked of my eldest son previously: he has ADHD and is likely to have autism too although this is still being investigated.  Over the years, I have learned his triggers and have become better at understanding and managing them.

What I’ve never realised, is that I have my own too. Odd, as I have also written that I suspect that I have something too.

Tonight’s trigger resulted in another emotion filled dialogue with Wild Card. It’s not an argument.  But it’s not nice either.

In hindsight,  I realised the following:

  • There’s an external trigger.
  • I mull over it in my head
  • I try not to – try to be positive, ignore it
  • I fail and it turns in to either a spontaneous outburst or
  • He notices I’m mulling and makes me tell him
  • I tell him the surface issue
  • He doesn’t react how I want him to
  • The floodgates open – defences come down, and all sorts of buried thoughts and emotions erupt
  • He talks me down
  • I think that he is better off without me/I’m ruining our relationship
  • He calms me and eventually tell me what I needed to hear
  • I ponder and realise he was right all along

Of course, I wonder why he can’t tell me what I want to hear straight away. Cut out the middle man. Go straight to the soothing part.

I love everything about him. Yes, sometimes I wish he was a little more forthcoming. But I wouldn’t change him. Who is now, is who I love. What I think I wish for says more about me than him.

And one of the things I love about him is the way he makes me think differently. Yes, it’s tough. He just to wade through emotions and preconditioned thoughts and ideas…but eventually he gets there. And when he dies, something in my head shifts, just a little.

He tells me what I need to hear.

Truth is, my realisation is that I do indeed have triggers. Now I need to learn how to self soothe them. Deal with them. Not push them away, because then they grow stronger – from a two headed monster to a multi headed monster.

The second realisation, which again was pretty obvious now I know it, is that I try to self soothe with food.

The food numbs my brain, just a little. Some attention is siphoned off my problem and onto the food. The saltiness of the tortilla chips. The sweetness of the chocolate. My brain goes into an involuntary tug of war between problem and taste sensations. The more my problem wins, the more I cram into my mouth to balance it.

Then, one of two things happens.

A tsunami of binge-created guilt hits me. Success! My problem is now forgotten in the complete self loathing that is dominating my every thought. It’s a week trodden path of working out how much I’ve blown it, hating myself for doing it…etc etc.

The other is that I eat to the point of fullness or sickness. Once again, bingo! My physical feelings overpower anything else in my head. This is a pretty nasty one because it is a two hitter- the guilt surely follows the physical feeling.

Therefore, my realisation is that I eat to feel not to numb.

Now, I need to find out what to do about it

Too

I have completed my first “full” week of tutoring. Well, as full as it can be at present. I’ve got three full days and two afternoons. I’m loving those two mornings off but realistically I need to be earning more money.

Earlier in the week I was contacted by a teaching agency who had seen my CV online. I was invited to interview and the recruiter was very persistent in saying I could have full time work if I wanted in January. As a supply agency, I could also have short term and emergency cover if I wanted.

I was flattered at her persistence and agreed to go to the interview, which was this evening. I took everything I needed with me to work today, and planned to complete the application form over lunch.

I had a great day. I taught four session and three of those were 1:1. These new pupils could be potentially challenging- and I felt a little like a babysitter at first as I got the sense they were with me because the school couldn’t do anything else with them – but I worked my charm and they slowly but surely got on board.

These boys are only a year older than my own son. Added to that, I’ve always been able to get through to disaffected boys on the whole and get them on side. It’s what I’m good at.

The last session was cancelled so I decided to go and buy lunch before my interview. Except, I realised, I didn’t want to go. I get so much job satisfaction from this role. I don’t want to teach full time again, at the moment anyway. I enjoy working with small groups of pupils who often come to me with no confidence or self esteem. My aim is to give it them.

I’m pretty sure I’ve done the right thing but it has thrown up some questions for me.

How can I increase my income?

How long can I afford to do this?

Am I being selfish?

I still receive daily job emails and I’ve noticed that some of the tutoring agencies pay more. Like £10 an hour more. That’s potentially £250 a week more.

Problem is, I like this agency. It’s a small business and I like the way the owner thinks. He’s paying me the top of what he advertised but I’m wondering if I should have pushed for more when he asked what I was expecting. Weirdly, the agency I didn’t go to asked the same thing.

How do you price yourself? How do you ensure you are not asking too little or too much?

At present, I’m still on probation so I won’t be asking for a rise any time soon. But I will do in the future. The schools seem to be happy with me and 2 out of 3 have asked me to do more work. That’s bringing money in for him too.

For now, and at least until Christmas is over, I’m happy with what I’m doing.

Of what we think

“I dreamed that my mother had a baby. I asked whether it was a boy or girl but she wouldn’t tell me, no one would tell me. And then I asked you, and you told me it was a little girl.”

He told me about the dream this morning. Whilst I don’t subscribe to dream dictionaries as such, I do believe in the symbolism of dreams and that we dream of what we think.

Yesterday an earth shattering clang was heard across the land. It was the sound of borders closing again.

Who knows how long for this time? But I believe it played on his mind as much as it is playing on mine and his dream says it.

Our age gap only matters in one distinct area and that is reproduction. I know he wants a baby. He has told me. He has shown me. He loves children. He wants a little girl. He dotes on his cousins and children flock to him, including those in my family.

After my last child, I swore I would never have any more. I was done. But that was before Wildcard. That was before I fell so in love with this man that all I want is to have his baby. Not just for him, but because I want his baby too.

I’m 4 months off 42 years of age.

I know women who have had babies at 42 and older. It happens. But we still seem a long way from that point. He wants to marry first. I get that. I respect that. But it takes time, a lot of it. And I am definitely not getting any younger.

The borders shutting have delayed everything again. Any hope I had of seeing him at Christmas have been destroyed by Omicron, who definitely sounds like some futuristic robot villain.

So my biggest fear, the one which has simmered on for two years like some nasty potent spell of doom, is that he realises that I can never give him the child he wants and he leaves me. Even though he loves me, he leaves me to go off into the baby making sunset with some lithe and fertile youngster.

Covid exacerbated that fear. Omicron is now blowing it up like a huge neon zeppelin for all to see.

And, after he recounted his dream this morning, I have to believe that it is on his mind too. Apparently his mind feels it is still possible. Here’s hoping.

However, his dream added the final kick this morning and I’ve been a bag of nerves ever since. Despite a great day – I’m loving tutoring – those shut bordered are closing in on me.

At the end of our call, I couldn’t help myself.

“Will you wait for me?”

He told me no.

He also told me it was a stupid question so deserved a stupid answer.

Half an hour after our called ended, he sent me a message-

“I love you baby. Stop crying now.”

He knows me so well.

5am

I’m ashamed to say that I’m still awake. It’s 5.30am.

I wish I could say I had been out socialising. Or had spent the night having passionate sex, or talking the night away by candlelight. I’d even settle for working a night shift.

No. Nothing so enjoyable, satisfying or productive. I just can’t sleep.

Since my last ‘woe is me’ post, a few things have happened. My ex apologised…then asked for money. I ranted at my daughter for the unfairness of it all and then realised that I’m to blame. I could say no. I could have a clear picture of my finances to be able to say yes or no.

So this morning in a flurry of purpose, spurred on by last night’s attempt until 2am, I got to work.

Yes, it took hours. Yes, it was absolutely depressing. Yes, I’m going to be severely short of money in January. But I did it. I even managed to sort a few things out.

If my plan to work full time from October had happened, I would be ok. It’s now 22nd Nov and it still hasn’t happened.

I sat and wrote a list of 18 ways I can increase my income. I was pumped, positive. Who says I need one source of income? Why can’t I put all my skills and hobbies to work to earn more cash?

By this afternoon, it had all come crashing down. Maybe, I just need a proper teaching job.

There is a Head of English job going in the next city. It pays well. I could do it. I don’t want it.

I’ve looked at exam marking. Considered babysitting, selling anything sellable in my house and writing. Working abroad. Getting a lodger. Getting an evening job washing dishes like my daughter. Ridiculous.

This, this is why I’m sat here, bleary eyed and a little dizzy and wanting but failing to sleep.

I’m tired. But I’m also tired of lying in bed and worrying, missing, stressing, thinking, hating.

I wish I could afford a life or business coach, but I can’t. I wish I could keep away from my savings but I don’t think I can. I wish I could be there for my children and earn enough money to live comfortably. I think it is impossible.

My positive note for today is that I have faced the rather depressing 6 month old elephant in the room. Now I just need to work out how I can earn some money.