Backing away from the edge

What a difference a day makes.

I still can’t work out how much of this is me and how much of this is actually worth worrying myself about.

I had a really good head-dialogue with myself today. For every negative thought, I countered it with a fact or a reasonable positive. This was following some great CPD in work about not allowing ourselves to make snap judgements, that we should think slowly and process. Such as…

What if he is going off me? He’s still calling you every day. He’s on the phone for hours. He wouldn’t do that if he didn’t want to.

What if he changes his mind about me coming? He has given no indication at all that is the case. He’s discussed your trip with you, with his brother in front of you. He has joked about picking you up. He’s commented on the time left until your trip. Worry about it if it happens.

What if he is talking to other girls? There’s no way you can know that or stop it. He has reassured you that to tell his parents about you, for you to speak to them.. For him to speak to you in front of them… For you to be invited into his home, he is taking this seriously until you meet and make a decision. He has said that if you become a couple, his Facebook will be deleted and he will start again with you.

What if he doesn’t like me when I get there? There is absolutely nothing you can do about that. You might not like him! You might irritate each other. There may be no spark. But there is no way of knowing. You can only go off how he has been in the last few months – every day conversations.

It’s felt a bit different recently, why? You can feel the tension building. It is possible he is too – he has made comments which show his insecurity and even jealousy. You have spoken for hours every day practically for three months. This is despite a language and cultural barrier. You have felt more insecure so he may have felt that too. And things changed with Second, if you remember. But you know now that he actually felt the same as you, even if he didn’t show it the same way towards the end.

Last night things felt more back on track after his low mood. I had tried calling and texting but didn’t get a response immediately. He then messaged to say that his great uncle was visiting. Half an hour later he called and we chatted for a little while. He started by saying he loved my eyes, that I have beautiful eyes, then laughed and changed the subject… So quickly that I almost doubted he had said it.

I then let him know that I was waiting for a medical appointment that night. He was surprised and quickly asked what was wrong and was I sick? I tried to explain it was a check up for a new insurance policy. He didn’t understand that at all, not as in the language but as in the concept. It took some explaining but he got there. He then told me to call when I had finished.

The half an hour appointment turned into an hour so it was quite late when I attempted to call back and I half expected him not to answer because he would be asleep. Instead it turned out he was on the phone.

I went sick. My stomach lurched and my heart sank and I of course thought the worst. It doesn’t matter that he spends most nights on the phone to me, for hours, the fact that he was on the phone at that time made me lose all sense.

Within seconds he had sent a message asking me to ‘please wait.’

Waiting and thinking are not a good combination for an insecure, paranoid, over thinker.

When the phone rang five minutes later, I actually contemplated not answering. For about five seconds.

I answered, he was normal but I unfortunately was not. You already know I’m not good at hiding my thoughts and emotions. At one point he told me to look into his eyes… It’s then I realised that I hadn’t actually been looking at him at all.

Of course, he knew exactly what was wrong with me. He repeated his reassurances that in his culture, the fact that he spoke with me in his home and that I had spoken with his parents meant that he would not be talking with other girls – what would his parents think? He said he had told them that we were serious. He asked me to read about his culture again.

He then went on to say that he had got jealous about the doctor coming to my house at night when I was alone. I was astounded, but he was serious. I was strangely comforted by that.

As I was typing the above, he called me. We had a really good conversation for about an hour. He’s admitted that he’s not been himself for about a week now (I knew there was something!). He went on to talk about his home situation: the fact that he has been living alone for 11 years and only recently started to live with his family again. I sensed that it was difficult for him, and he admitted that he liked it and also didn’t. He said he wants to travel, to get away from this ‘atmosphere’ and that there was a lot going on in his head. I also know that work is challenging for him at the moment. So, in all, he’s shared with me some of what has been bothering him. And, as far as I can tell, it’s nothing to do with me.

The conversation ended when my youngest came in crying after falling out with his brother. I sat him on my knee and cuddled him and smothered him in kisses until he’d stopped crying. I was holding my phone during this time, with Wild Card watching on, I assume. When I looked up at him there was a look on his face, a gentle smile that I haven’t seen for a little while.

A little later, once I’d put my youngest to bed, he text me, asking what I was doing and where I was. We went back and forth for a little while and then, finally, I got the affectionate texts that I’ve been missing for just over a week.

I feel calm. I feel secure. I feel like I’m doing the right thing. I’m not worrying.

Long may it last.

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