Moaning Moody Men Day

Is there something I’ve overlooked today? Some sort of masculine celebration? ‘All men be moody, aggressive neanderthals’ day? Or maybe it’s ‘Male appreciation of PMS’ day?

Maybe I just opened my mouth too soon and jinxed everything.

Where to begin…?

My son has had a few low days. He doesn’t know why. Weird because I recently commented how positive he was, talking about college and his future. Then WHAM he’s low. He messages me earlier to say he’d had a row with his father and wanted to leave his Grandad’s birthday early as he was about to cry.

I tried to give him some strategies and advice, but in the end had to go for him. On the way, I was shouted at by a particularly aggressive white van driver because apparently looking at the on coming traffic and not seeing him beckon me out immediately from the opposite direction, is not a good thing.

I arrived to get my son and we had a one sided conversation. He told me he wanted to go to his female best friend’s for TLC. I dropped him off and went home. I messaged him some encouraging words but, having had no reply 20 minutes later, decided to call to check on him. He was fine and was being subjected to a face mask.

I put the phone down and tried to get my mind off my son by reading for a few blogs whilst waiting for Wildcard to call. After 10 minutes and seeing the time, I checked Messenger to find that he’d actually tried to call me twice whilst I was on the phone to my son. I’d had no notifications.

I called him, and cheerily apologised. After all, we have been getting on really well the last few weeks – every call full of laughter and love. Even though it’s Ramadan, bar the first two days, he’s been great – I even told my sister. Yep, spoke too soon.

He was moody. Couldn’t understand why I didn’t call him back sooner if my call to my son was so short. Didn’t believe that I’d had no notifications. Was passive aggressive for the rest of the call, answering in short clipped answers or being surly. And no, I didn’t get my ‘I love you’. But, according to him, he’s ‘not angry.’

He said goodbye – scowling – and I tried to remember that the first week is always the hardest and he’s probably hangry. And, I’m the same when he doesn’t call back straight away, although perhaps not so passive aggressive.

Within 10 minutes, I heard the front door open and my young son had arrived home with his dad in tow.

Of course, my ex was moody. He showed little understanding of our autistic and AdHd diagnosed son’s inability to cope in social circumstances, even though that’s been the case for 10 years plus. I mentioned his low mood but that was ignored also. I commented that he should know he is like this, to be cut off mid-sentence and be told that ‘he could have at least cracked a smile’. When I asked whether being shouted at was ever going to help put a smile on his face, he ended the conversation rudely and walked out.

I was then informed by my youngest that he’d been told by his Dad that he would meet Wildcard ‘over his dead body.’ Apparently my youngest had mentioned the plan to one day watch a film with Wildcard when they finally meet. OK, perhaps saying that at his paternal grandad’s birthday party was not the best idea, but hey – Wildcard and I are nearly on 3.5 years of relationship.

So all in all, a successful day for the male participants of this mock celebratory day.

And me? I await my last call with Wildcard with bated breath and wonder if you can buy armour against hangry surliness.


Mad, mad, mad.

If it wasn’t for the effects of my beta blocker, I’m pretty sure I would be physically feeling more of the anger inside my head at the moment.

Boy, am I mad.

My ex, finally, is in a positive place. Following some weeks off sick with low mood, he has returned to work. The bank has reviewed his pay, so not only is he getting a pay rise, he’s also received one for his positive appraisal and a bonus. If he keeps a clear head, and that is an if, financially he shouldn’t struggle any longer.

Which is great news on a whole lot of levels, particularly as he won’t need to lend money from me every month. Something he has done every month for years.

Yesterday, whilst noting his positive mood, I decided I would tell him about my May trip to see Wildcard. There never is a good time for this conversation, but if he’s in a good mood his reaction is not as extreme. He smirked and made a rather irritating ‘Are you now’ comment. Other than that, his reaction was ok.

I should know better because every time I go, he makes comments. Today, whilst he waited for our son to get ready to come to his house, he talked about his trip to the city yesterday with our daughter. He used some of his bonus to buy her a few things and take her out for dinner. Mainly because he had no money on her birthday. Or any other time for that matter.

That little fact was forgotten of course, when he got his dig in. He commented that I didn’t have to go jetting off, that I could take the kids out instead.

I’m seething.

I’m seething because my money is spent on my children, as a whole, while he contributes next to nothing.

I pay for school lunches and uniform, and after school care. I pay for clothing, pocket money and buses. I pay for birthday parties, presents and Christmas. For many years, I’ve funded his ‘gifts’ to them as he hasn’t had any money and I rarely get it back.

I don’t drink or smoke or gamble. I no longer can afford my fancy face care or makeup, so budget buy. I don’t buy myself clothes unless desperate.

My money is spent on my children, supporting my ex and, when I can, I go to see Wildcard.

Who the hell is he to comment on how I spend my money? How dare he make comments about how I interact with my children! The majority of my money has always gone on my children because he never has any. Yes, when he gets a bonus, he will spend some on them. But it is rare he gets said bonus. The everyday costs of our children are 90% paid for by me. Often, I’ve bought him food shopping or lent him money for food. Meanwhile he’s still smoking and has his nasty little habit.

I am livid.

I know that the comment comes from me going to see Wildcard. If I was going on a trip with one of my sisters or a friend, he would positively encourage it, saying I deserved a break. I am aware this is all linked to me going to my boyfriend.

It’s irrelevant. He has no right to make comments on how I spend my money, or imply that I don’t do enough with my children. Maybe if he pulled his weight as a parent, I’d be able to do more.

Mad, mad, mad.


I’m sat in my car.

I can hear the hiss-tap of the rain as it hits my windows and the occasional gust of wind.

I’m sat in a local beauty spot. Usually you see rolling hills and distant cities. I can just see rain and clouds mostly. UK Spring time apparently started four days ago, and whilst it has been brighter and lighter, winter has not quite given up its hold yet.

The same could be said for me.

On the whole I’m feeling brighter. I like my job and feel more confident and settled than I have in a long time. I’m happy there, for now at least.

Since booking my flights, I’ve felt like my relationship with Wildcard has settled too – thank goodness. Maybe with the pressure off, we’ve both relaxed. We’ve been laughing again, affectionate again. Not that we weren’t before…I guess the undercurrent has gone and not just for me.

My daughter is starting to look better. My son is still having his difficulties but is feeling the positive pull of College.

Winter darkness hasn’t quite disappeared yet. Sometimes inwonder how I will ever find my way out of all this. How will I be truly happy again? What do I want to be happy? Sometimes, it feels like there is now way out and I will continue in this spinning limbo.

I had hoped that the therapy will push me out of the final patch of shadow and into the sunlight. Today though, I’ve been told I will get my therapy in the next 12 weeks. It’s much longer than I had hoped. I can’t seem to find the answers to my worries. Someone to help clear my mind and gain clarity would have really helped. 3+ months waiting for that seems too much.

I have little choice though. I guess I just have to keep going, keep searching for my truth. I refuse to stand still. I refuse to sink. I will cling on to the light, the positives and keep searching.


I wrote the above a few days ago.

It’s Saturday now and I’m cleaning as usual. That’s what I do at weekends, I clean.

It gives me little satisfaction. Although my house looks better for it, and I’ve devised a system that really works with my regular feelings of overwhelm, I can’t stop noticing all the things that need doing: that I haven’t, or can’t do.

I wonder if maybe it is all too much, like some of my relatives think.

As I showered, I contemplated this. I realised something significant. It’s not just fear of failure and rejection that are my triggers. It’s something bigger than that. It’s my fear of not being enough.

This is not a new concept for me: it’s one of my biggest issues with Wildcard, often self imposed. What I realised today is that it is an underlining streak of darkness in all aspects of my life.

I give my all to something or someone, but when I don’t reach what I aspire to, or I don’t get back what I expect, I feel like I’m a failure and or my best is not enough. I’m not enough.

I gave my all to marriage. It failed.

I gave my all to my career. I couldn’t cope anymore and ended it.

I work hard in my home every week. It’s not good enough.

I care and love my kids best I can. They’re still struggling.

I love Wildcard more than I have ever loved another man. Still no commitment.

See what I mean? I give my all, don’t get the returns I expect, so plunge deep into negativity.

I have no idea how to break this cycle.


I’m calm – relatively. It’s morning and despite being a Saturday, I woke quite early. I have a fluffy throw around me, have stoked up the fire and made a coffee, and have some lone time to journal.

This morning I woke to thoughts of redecorating, house maintenance and house work. Literally, these were the thoughts that went through my mind.

I’ve let many, many things slide in the past 5 years and although I knew it – and worried about it – I also know I was an expert at ignoring it. I’ve realised recently, like a dawning awareness, just how much my house has grown tired and unloved.

And it is unloved. It holds far too many memories, far too many feelings of guilt. Fear even.

There are times when I’ve made a beautiful garden. There are times I’ve redecorated and redesigned. But they were in a different lifetime, with a different me. I look back on them, shrouded in the mists of memory, and they are like looking at a version of myself that no longer exists.

I’ve been told, so many times, that this house is ‘too much for me’. Whilst a part of me remains indignant, the proof is before me. Repairs remain unfixed, rooms undecorated, garden overgrown. Inside, some rooms are cluttered, carpets need replacing.

When Dad died, I had the finances to do the work but not the will. I didn’t want anything to change, even the leaking tap. Then, feeling alone, I was fearful of getting work done. There have been many times when I have employed someone, only for the work to be shoddy and overpriced. And, with my new found low-esteem and lack of confidence, I’ve not attempted to do anything myself either.

That last point isn’t quite true. For the last eighteen months, I have slowly started to undo the knots of chaos, caused by my depression. (The fact that I’m even calling it depression is a step forward, I think). I’ve refused to give up. I’ve tidied and organised.

It’s an on going battle though. Now I’m working full time again, I have less time and energy to do it. With everything that happened with my children, even daily chores have slipped this last two weeks. This is why I woke to thoughts of housework this morning.

Just over a year ago, I made the decision to return to full time work. I made a plan. With my salary returned to a decent level, I planned how I would renovate my house step by step. I planned how I would get control of my finances and finally cut the apron strings with my ex-husband. I planned how I would prepare for Wildcard to come to me.

A lot has happened since then. I started and left the job. My son’s mental health declined and my daughter’s physical health with it. My finances nosedived again – I have now spent the money I have saved for Wildcard’s move to the UK, just to survive. The world has descended into financial crisis with rising costs for food and fuel and electric. My dreams of Wildcard coming have faded.

This week, the deputy Headteacher at my new school has thanked me for all I’ve done and told me that she will do all she can to keep me there. There’s no guarantee of a job of course, my contract is a maternity cover and they would need to make a new job for me. There’s also no guarantee that it would pay what I deserve.

I have mixed feelings about it. I am happy there. It is convenient, being local, and the hours are good. I’m working with SEN children which I am passionate about. I’m even enjoying the extra work they are giving me, as they are aware of my background and strengths.

But… I don’t know if I want to be sucked back into that world. There are issues with the place, as documented by the high turnover of staff. They won’t be able to offer me a role back to what I am capable of, even if they wanted to. I could apply for other jobs, more appropriate to my experience and earn good money again. A stab of fear tuns through me at the thought. Whilst I’m happy, I know that’s not what I want for the rest of my life. I know that I still yearn to use this old house and land for some good. I know that I want to be my own boss and to do something that I am passionate about.

How can I start something when I have nothing?

I can’t believe that after nearly two years, I’m still in limbo land. I sometimes wonder if some of my desperation for Wildcard is linked to having a sense of purpose, a direction, a partner. When I dreamed of him coming here, I had a focus. I pictured us working on the house together, building a life together.

Maybe part of what I’ve been feeling this year, is recognition that I can’t put that pressure on him (even if he doesn’t know why). This is my life, my career, my house, my responsibility. Whether he comes, or not, those facts won’t change.

We could talk about my terror that he’s going to decide to come and my house isn’t ready but it would be pointless because I don’t think it will happen. And that’s it, isn’t it? I no longer am confident he will come.

I needed to get my head out of cloud 9. All my hopes and dreams were wrapped up in him. Now, I’m sitting in a rundown house and realising that whilst I dreamed, the outside world continued to age and decay.

Unfortunately, whilst this post has helped me admit some home-truths, it hasn’t yet yielded any of the answers I need. I can only hope that with the clarity that’s dawning, answers – a path – are on their way.

Be Gentle, Be Kind

That there, is a rather indulgent coffee for 4.30pm, made with single cream and some salted caramel syrup. First, I rarely drink coffee in the afternoon as I won’t sleep. I also don’t have syrups in my coffee as they’re too sweet. And cream goes in coffee at Christmas.

As I spent 12 hours overnight in the A&E departments of two hospitals, I think I deserve it.

I originally started a post at 6.30am, sat in a treatment room of the second hospital. I’d been awake all night. My son was sleeping on the ‘bed’. Here’s what I started writing:

How dare I start to feel happy again, finally. My anxiety was slowly being controlled. I am happy at work. Things with Wildcard were steadying. 
I'm sat in A&E with my son and it's 6.30am. We left for the hospital at 10.30pm. We've been awake ever since and this is our third hospital (although the first doesn't really count as they sent us away as apparently 16 years doesn't equate to a child.)
I won't say why we are here. Just like I didn't tell you when my daughter was in A&E just four days ago for an on-going illness that became acute. 
There's nothing quite like thinking your child may be seriously ill. I'm going to allow myself to feel sorry for myself. However, I know thinking does nowhere near compare to knowing - my heart goes out to anyone whose children is poorly. 

Yes, I was kind of bitter and angry there, wasn’t I? Angry at the world.

Since we arrived home at 10.30am (he is fine by the way), I’ve slept for a few hours, showered and started some stew:

This is comfort food at its best. It’s made from chicken – bones and all – vegetables and herbs. Full of goodness. What’s more, it’s easy to make and – more importantly- it’s what my dad used to make.

I’m being kind to myself. I hope you noticed the drops of cream on the counter (although that was a little exaggerated) and the dirty pan behind the stew (reality). I should could have got up and cleaned yesterday’s dishes. I haven’t. I made the stew, then made the coffee.

I need comfort and gentleness. The stew is all that, wrapped in a warm Dad hug. I don’t make it much, mainly because it never tastes quite like Dad’s (it is impossible to replicate) and also because it used to make me feel guilty. Dad used to make this regularly – a few times a week with different meat – and I got to the point where I was sick of eating it. I pretended to and binned it. It was one of my sad confessions on his death bed. I loved the stew, loved the fact that he cared enough to make it for me, but sometimes didn’t want it again (sorry Dad).

Now of course, I’d do anything to come home to the smell of it, Dad bustling in the kitchen.

I was angry this morning at the world. Now, I’m not. I’m still exhausted but I’m relieved that my son doesn’t have a life threatening bleed in his neck. I’m grateful for the kindness and understanding of many of the staff which cared for him, and me.

I realised before, walking into the kitchen that I had left dishevelled when I rushed him to A&E last night, that this is the saddest part of depression. You spend months, years trying to fight a mental illness. By the time that you start to recover, you then have to try to wade through the mess of things you neglected because you couldn’t cope. Recovery is hard enough, but having a mountain of unfinished business on top of the gargantuan issues that possibly caused the depression and are still there, is heartbreaking.

I’ve decided to be kind to myself.

I’m slowly, slowly working through the things I put to one side. There are many of them. They worry me. But, I’m being gentle to myself in recognising that I couldn’t manage them then, and expecting a magic wand to resolve them instantaneously now is unhelpful. It will take time and that’s ok. Slow and steady.

So, I made my stew and made my coffee and I sat down to write. I allowed myself time to write this post. The pans will be washed and the cream mopped up, when im ready. They will be done at some point. Leaving them because I’m lazy is not acceptable. Leaving them as an act of kindness to myself when I am physically and emotionally exhausted, is .

The coffee has long gone and my stew is smelling like my childhood home. I’m going to make a fire and bask in the warmth of my home and the luck that both my children and ok and with me.

Prompt: goodbye

Describe the last difficult “goodbye” you said.

Although not the most recent, it’s certainly the most difficult: saying Goodbye to my dad before he died.

He had been in hospital for a few weeks. We knew the end was coming. The selfish parts of us hoped it wouldn’t be this time.

But we were given a choice and we made the decision to end his suffering.

We didn’t tell him. So, in those initial hours when the treatment was still in his system, he was alert and talking. He ate and drank. And we had to pretend that we hadn’t just sanctioned the doctors to let him die. We couldn’t say goodbyes overtly because we didn’t want him to be anxious as he declined. I think he probably knew.

When the end finally came, he’d been unconscious for a few hours. We’d sang to him and talked to him and reminisced. With his last breaths, we told him over and over that we loved him…we thanked him for being the best dad…we told him he could rest now, we would be ok.

We’re not of course. But it was still the right thing to do


As the title suggests, last night I did not sleep well.

Yesterday was my first day with him back. He called in the morning and he made me laugh. He called a few times in the day and then again in the evening, like always. I spoke with his parents. I laughed. My daughter said it’s the first time she’s seen me happy in a few weeks.

We had an interesting conversation, Wildcard and I, about his extended family’s reaction to his brother and wife. If you remember, I was jealous of her being introduced. I want to be part of the family, like her.

Turns out, I needn’t have bothered with all that emotion. Despite the effort his brother had put in to visiting and buying gifts, the welcome of the returning nephew and his European bride was lukewarm. It’s caused arguments and has upset his mum- of that I am truly sorry. But, Wildcard said a very clear ‘I told you so’ to me about how his family have behaved. He reminded me that for him, his brothers and parents are the most important people and they know me. I got the sense that for him, that line of conversation was now forever closed. He will not be taking his wife to visit them. Whether that wife will be me if for him to know and me to find out.

We talked in passing about when I would visit next as he told me that his brother plans to return in July. That gives me the end of May holiday and August. Before I slept, I spent some time exploring prices. The flights are significantly higher than last year and it is worrying me.

Once again, I’m back in the same position of wanting to book before it gets too expensive but not wanting to push him for a date, particularly when he is still exhausted by his brother’s busy trip.

That, and general worrying about my house and kids stopped me from sleeping. I also woke at 5.30am with bad stomach ache and have been awake ever since.

Today, Wildcard was quiet and ponderous. I don’t know if it is the family arguing, or he’s tired, or worried about the fact he skipped work yesterday so he could rest, but he was not himself. It upset me a little. And then it angered me some too. But then, as I hadn’t slept, it’s hardly surprising.

I’m still overthinking. I have a counselling appointment this week and an appointment with my doctor to discuss the ADHD and autism screener I have completed. I’ve changed my anxiety medication and feel happier on those. I’m still trying.

I don’t trust my own judgement still. I don’t trust my own mind. I’m not sure I even trust other people so much.

I don’t know if my worries are valid, anxiety, half-truths or just lies to protect myself.

I was looking at photographs this week, and I realised just how much my house has degraded since Dad’s death. Maybe the feeling I have that I have changed/ am not the same, are true. I’m actually depressed but masking it. I don’t feel depressed. But I also know something is not right.

And then, when I consider that, I think about how Wildcard still loves me despite me not being my best self. Why? Why would he stick with me through all of this if he didn’t love me? I’ve said it before and will say it again, there are far easier options than me.

But, if you have a hard time trusting yourself, how can you possibly trust anyone else?

Some people believe positive thinking and gratitude sort you out. Some think it’s medication. For some, fresh air and a healthy diet. Maybe it’s all of them.

Well, I’m not giving in not matter how few hours I sleep.

False smiles hide what the face doth show

By rights, my cheeks should ache. My laughter lines should be deeper. I have smiled and laughed and oozed sweet happiness all week.

Underneath I’ve felt loneliness and jealousy and angst.

He’s tried, I know that. Late night calls on walks where he is exhausted.  Snippety calls to show me where he is. And, once, a message acknowledging that he missed me too and recognised how we hadn’t spoken that day.

Maybe I am a bad person. I’ve hated every moment. I’m so happy that his brother has finally visited, for them and him. For me, it has just hurt. The pain of missing him. The anxiety of feeling he isn’t missing me.

My friend has told me to step out of my feelings of rejection and consider it from his point of view. He’s done his best. He may see my negativity as selfish.

She’s right of course, on every level. An anxious person would feel this two weeks as rejection. Thinking only of how this is hurting me is selfish. And, he’d contacted more than was expected. Just not enough or as much as I wanted.

There’s nothing quite like finally hearing my phone ring, answering in a swell of happiness and love, only for the call to end after 4 minutes.

My mask has slipped on occasion. Most times I replaced it within a nanosecond or was even more Stepford Wife on the next call. I’ve aimed for understanding and caring and supportive. No pressure. But, I’ve told him I miss him, because I do.

The morning after the day we didn’t speak, he called me. It surprised me. And the moment I saw his face, I wept. I tried so hard not to, but I was just so happy to see him. I hoped that his tiredness and the bad light stopped him from seeing. I doubt it.

Tonight is their last night. Today and last night have been the worst for contact and I hit my limit. I’d had enough of feeling like an afterthought.

I didn’t hide it when he called but we didn’t talk about it either. The phonecall was 2 minutes because he was too tired to talk.

My friend talked me down after that. Once calm, I of course saw how I’d let my emotions take over. Luckily for me: moments later he called again and my smile was back in place.

Tired or not, though, he has called three times since then. I talked out of the explanation for my sad face with something about work. A half truth.

I await my last call. It’s their last night, so it overrides my insecure need for validation. He will be mine again, soon enough, I hope.

And whilst I don’t believe in hiding feelings as it only builds resentment, holding on to wildfire emotions is essential – instead of allowing them to blaze uncontrolled.

Calm, considered discussion of issues is better than emotion filled explosions that I later regret.

Trip 6, Day 1 (part one)


I’m on my first train.

Finally, finally, I’ve felt some excitement for my trip. Don’t get me wrong, there have been moments of excitement when i booked or when i spoke to Wildcard about the trip a few weeks ago. But in the close lead up, this was the first time.

As my sister was driving me to the train station, Wildcard called me. That is the moment I felt it: when I saw his face and knew that by the end of this day I would be looking into his eyes, in real life, face to face.

My whole body has come alive with excitement and love and anticipation. And I could see the excitement on his face too. ❤️

I’ve come to the conclusion that every trip will feel different. I didn’t expect that somehow but it has been the case.

I’ve felt a lot of anxiety leading up to this one which has surprised me: I’m a solo travelling pro now. However, the run up to Christmas, planning my sons’ birthdays and trying to get ready for my new job – on top of being organised for a trip. Yes, that’s probably what has done it.

I’ve had mixed reactions on missing my son’s 16th. First, he was the one who told me to take this flight. Close friends have told me to just go – I’ve planned and been there for every one of my children’s birthdays, as I should be. One of them pointed out that being there on the actual day isn’t the key thing – how many children have extended birthdays over s few days, or are in school? A few people have gasped at my going. I’ve gasped inwardly, admittedly. But, I planned a little party for him last night and spent all day cleaning and putting up birthday decorations. I cooked his favourite food and invited his close family. And you know what? He spent 95% of the time upstairs. We all understood – he’s autistic, and has never coped with large gatherings. But it has made me feel a little better. Tomorrow he has a few close friends coming over and I have shopped to buy food, snacks and drinks. I can do no more.

So that’s one source of my anxiety put to rest. Hopefully.

I can’t pretend either that I haven’t spent the last few nights in an anxiety spiral over whether there is any point in me going. Seems silly to say that now, in the bright light of day. A large part, although I’m only just admitting this, is because he’s working a lot in the first half of my trip. He’s worked on 5 of the 6 trips to be fair; but at this time, his work will keep him out all day and later than usual. He won’t come home in the afternoon for dinner. That’s a long time to be sat at his home, waiting for him each day. With all the arrangements I’ve had to make and the stresses of strikes here there and everywhere…well, it made me think. He admitted it in different conversation recently: he’s keeping a month of his holidays in reservation….that made more sense. Nonetheless he can’t help having to work as he is covering someone else’s planned holiday. I just have to deal with it.

The usual mental devils have reared their heads though. He doesn’t really love you. He’s not excited. You’re wasting your time. He’s never going to marry you. Blah blah blah. After two nights (and the rest) of this on repeat, I’ve had enough of these thoughts. No more.


So, I’m now on train 3 waiting to depart for London. I’ve got a window seat – yay!- and my phone is on charge and I have a flat white coffee in front of me. Happy days.

As I turned on my phone, a photo memory popped up of ‘spotlight on Wildcard’. ❤️ Synchronicity at its best. A selection of memories from over my five trips and him in all his delicious glory. And then, as I put my music on, the very first song to play on shuffle is the song that most reminds me of Wildcard, followed by the Maroon 5 song where Adam Levine is in pilot gear…I am very, very excited now. 😊


As you can see, I’m now sat in the departure lounge. What you don’t know, is I am still early. Oops. I’ve taken a punt on the gate on the Ryanair app being correct, even though it has just changed. Trying to avoid the crowds, you know?

I’ve not spoken to Wildcard since this morning but he had told me he would have a very busy day: he sent me a voice note a few hours ago. I’m still excited. I am anxious. But mainly excited now.

And so I wait for my plane. And after a 3.5 hour flight, I will be in Wildcard’s Country.


I’ve had a tumultuous time since I last posted.

I spent some more time in my new school and loved it. I also braved a day on supply in a primary school. I don’t know why I was so nervous about it – and avoided it – but I loved my day there. It’s given my confidence that if the work in the special school is not for me, I would be happy working in a primary. It’s also confirmed, again, that I want to start my business. The work situation has settled for now and I am finished for Christmas. In the end, I’ve earned reasonable money the last two months so the pressure is off a little.

I’ve become increasingly aware of how much the end if my leadership career still affects me and my confidence. I thought I was over it but it’s clear I’m not.

The situation with my son continues. We’ve had dramas, periods of calm and full blown anxiety at times. Most of the time, our anxieties have proved to be only that of which I am very grateful. Unfortunately, some immature actions have alerted agencies and us as his parents to his vulnerability to be influenced by others. His SEN makes him both naive and impulsive and his weaker social skills are also not helping. Support is in place now and I’m, finally, beginning to feel we’ve bolted the horse in the stable (rather than when it’s already left, if you know that saying). I can’t pretend I’m not worried but there is some comfort.

My son’s key worker has been a real support and is actually an ex-teacher herself. He has become a real ally. We’ve had some frank conversations about what has happened to both of us and the state of the education system here. She’s given me faith but also insight that I’m not over what happened. I’ve been put forward for more counselling and I’ve accepted. I think it will be good for me and help to release the poison of the past.

Things will Wildcard have been good lately and it’s only 8 days until I fly out to him for my sixth visit. Similarly, there’s been a few events and realisations of late which are helping me to understand him and our situation a little clearer.

My Facebook friend – the one married to a man from Wildcard’s country – continues to be a real friend and source of comfort and understanding. We talk a few times a week and her situation and place within the online community has helped me understand to a greater level, how challenging a marriage of different cultures is – regardless of how much love you have. I think anyone in an LDR of this kind acknowledges the differences but is blinded by their love and wish for a union to really see how hard it can be. My friend, five years into closing the distance, is still learning and experiencing the challenges of different cultures.

Conversely, the World Cup had also highlighted a few things which have led to meaningful conversations with Wildcard. His relationship with his parents and his loyalty and dedication to them, is not just that of a son but also an integral part of his culture and religion. Being the last son there, the eldest son, he feels this responsibility keenly. And, being the eldest and in thar position of responsibility myself once, how can I not understand that?

We’ve had one moment of tension recently, when he mentioned how his brother and his then girlfriend (now wife) had travelled and resided together. This is forbidden in his religion and is something that Wildcard would never do. Unfortunately, my face portrayed my….well, jealousy of this time they’d had alone together. I love Wildcard’s parents, I really do but of course I would like to experience time with Wildcard alone where he is not on edge. Ironically, of course, even if he agreed to it, he would be more anxious than when his parents are there. Wildcard saw my jealous contemplations, questioned me as usual and became frustrated at what I said.

I’ve no doubt that at this current time, he’s doing the best he can. I love him for exactly who he is – I love that he has integrity and is a good man. I’d never want to change him, just for some alone time. I explained that to him and he later told me I had done nothing wrong. The moment passed and has been forgotten. But again, it’s highlighted the type of man he is and why things are as they are.

So, all in all, as the year comes to an end, I’m feeling some peace going into Christmas. I’ve a very busy week ahead of me before I travel but I’m looking forward to happy festivities with my family and then spending a week with the man I love.