Curve – 8th April, 2020 (daily prompt)

Whilst you may not be able to see a curve…

If you look close enough…

You can see all the colours of a rainbow.

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Here and there

I’m sat in the front porch of my house: the door is open and I have my feet outside. I have a cup of (interesting) ginger green tea (because I am drinking too much coffee) and am enjoying the spring sunshine.

I’ve been gardening today. The front garden was a bit of a mess so each day I have gone out to do a bit of weeding. I’ve come to the last part where a great big evil nest of nettles await. Hence my green tea break.

Bizarrely, it’s sensation overload, sat in this cosy little porch. Across the road from me a farmer is ploughing the stubble field. Behind me I can hear the jaunty tune of a computer game my son is playing. If I listen really hard, I can hear the breeze in the trees, the same breeze that occasionally enters my little shelter to caress my face with coolness.

My arms are stinging from the nettles and I managed to pick up a few punctures from hawthorn twigs also. Despite this, with the sun on my skin and music playing, I’ve actually enjoyed gardening.

It was a necessary distraction. By rights, I should be on a train now heading to London. There, I would have stayed overnight in a hotel before catching an early morning flight to see Wild Card.

He surprised me yesterday by pointing this out. I didn’t think he would remember, but he did. That’s almost made it worse.

I know, in the grand scheme of things, this is not important. People living in the world right now are experiencing untold horror and heartache because of Coronavirus and I certainly am not trying to forget that. My little problem is exactly that, little.

But, its not making it hurt any less. He has never looked as good as he did today . He comforted me, reminded me that it is our destiny and that we will be together soon. He told me that one day, years from now I will wish he was far away from him and will forget about missing him in this moment. (I told him that it was impossible.) I take comfort in his long projection of our future together. I wish I could focus more positively on something a bit sooner though.

How would I have felt this time, traveling down? What would I have written about? Would this trip have confirmed and consolidated all we say we feel? I will never know now.

So, I’m gardening. Masking the pain of my heart with stinging arms and hands. But like he said, he still there. I need to remember that.

The sharing, the look, the love.

The share… A mixture of feelings. Intrepidation as I walk through the garden because I try to see it with fresh eyes, their eyes. I want them to love it which is bizarre in itself as they may never get to see it in person. A sobering thought.

After, I hastily show them as it was: pictures of long ago, of a time when my father would be seen daily with his hoe or his wheelbarrow. His mother smiles and compliments and I am happy.

What are they thinking? Why does it matter so much? Why did he want me to show them?

The call ends, for now.

The look… Later, we are laughing again. He pauses in his mimicry and mischievousness to look at me, eyes crinkled in a smile. I know that look, love that look, as I know it mirrors mine. He disappears for a moment and then when he returns I watch him. I’m always watching him.

He’s preparing some food and whilst he does, a look of such intensity passes his face. In the hours and hours of my study of his face this look is new. At first it excites: it shows off his deep dark eyes well, his full lips pursed invitingly. But, within moments, my attraction is forgotten. I sense that this face is not as it should be.

I ask if he is OK, and he says yes but I know better.

We walk to his room and he lies down, his head resting on his hand, on his pillow. There is sadness on his face.

And so the dance begins… The to and fro, the questions and answers, the hiding and seeking. Eventually he tells me.

As he was talking with me, he had remembered something he had watched on the news earlier that day. It had come to him and replayed in his mind and had made him sad. He asked if I wanted to see and I agreed because I wanted to understand this transformation in him.

I watch. The boy, small and slight, frightened and alone, is led out of the house. The picture is fuzzy but you can see the little mask on his face. The paramedics are gentle, caring, as he is lifted into the ambulance. Another follows with his bags. Despite this care, there is the knowledge that this little boy is now alone, at 4 years, carrying a virus that he may not survive.

My heart aches for the boy. As a mother…as a human being, you cannot help be touched by that video and all its implications.

But my heart aches for my man too. For his grief. For the way the memory of that video could transform him, so quickly. My heart fills with love for this affectionate and compassionate man and I wish, more than anything, that I could be with him so that my love could pour into him and soothe his pain.

Another day, another ending.

The share… He is lying on his bed again and we are talking. His mother enters and sits with him. He begins to translate. I watch his face as he turns to her, listens, concentrating, and I can hear the lilt and tumble of those words and sounds that I can not understand but love so much. He turns to me then and translates and I write down his instructions.

This carries on for a little while. Occasionally I ask questions, sometimes he mimes to clarify. I’m filled with pride for him as he explains in a language he claims he is not good at but I know better. Hours of us talking every day have helped him and I am proud of that too. Equally though, I can see the concentration on his face and the occasional frustration too.

“You know I get nervous when I have to talk like that and I am trying to listen to my mother and then find the words to tell you. It’s exhausting.” He sees my smile, my laugh and says “but you like it though, don’t you? You like seeing me like that?” He laughs himself but the chance to reply or explain is taken from me as the call has to end abruptly.

The look… Later. Another call. Laughter, laughter, laughter. My sides ache, tears run down my face… And yet, I still see that moment. The moment when he is laughing too, uncontrollably, so much so that he pauses his performance and we just laugh together.

And although he is laughing too, I know this is all for me. I see it in the way he watches me, his smiles at my laughter. He continues until I can barely breathe.

But then he tires and so do I. The joking slows. His head rests on his hand, on his pillow. And at that moment I am overwhelmed. He looks at me with such intensity and love. My heart fills with love and it aches to be near him, my body to touch him, my love to pour into him. I’ve never wanted him so much in all our time together… Our bodies and souls to connect physically as they have just done mentally in our shared laughter.

“What’s this face? I’ve not seen this face before. Tell me what’s on your mind..” and the dance begins, the to and the fro, the questions and answers. I don’t tell him but the explanation is not needed anyway. Within seconds he tells me: knowing me and reading me with ease, as he always does.

As the day before, the call ends with love.

“I love you, so much baby” His voice is soft and a little gruff and the sound and sight of his kisses threaten to overwhelm me.

He watches and waits for mine and I send them, my heart and soul willing for the magic to transport the gesture over time and place so he may feel just a little of what I feel for him.

Joke – 1st April 2020 (daily prompt 1)

Harry Potter fans will know this scene well:

Courtesy of Google

Harry is introduced to a Boggart. A boggart knows your deepest, darkest fears and transforms itself into them to scare you. The Hogwarts pupils learn to combat the Boggart by using a spell that turns their fears into something ridiculous – a spider on rollerskates for example.

Coronavirus is not funny, not one little bit. But amidst the horrors of the news every day, I’ve found the jokes and memes about Coronavirus on Facebook to be a guilty but effective way of putting a smile on my face, just for a moment. It doesn’t change the horrific damage this virus is causing, but the joke relieves my mind of that horror – and that’s so important for all of us.

Laughter feeds our soul – tell jokes, laugh at memes and try to have some fun today. 😊 It is April 1st, after all.

Hello from Lancashire, UK

As someone who doesn’t watch the news everyday, because it is so depressing, I was a little oblivious to what was going on in the world.

I first heard about Coronavirus through my boyfriend who lives in a different country. He was quite concerned by it all whilst I was clueless and felt that it was nothing to worry about as such – it was in China and far away from us. I had faith in science and medicine to save the day.

It started to get serious for me when I went on holiday in February and had to fill in a medical form in the airport declaring that I had not been to China and stating where I was staying – I figured they were checking movement.

Even so, in March when I started planning to go book again to see my boyfriend, I was frustrated that he told me to wait. It was only when I realised it was because of his fears over the Coronavirus that it hit home that this was getting serious and I started to watch the news. Within two weeks, our borders had closed anyway.

Currently, there are 141 cases in my county – there are over 1 million people who live here. The number of those infected has doubled this week.

As a teacher, coronavirus has been challenging. Trying to support scared children and stressed staff is difficult. Trying to plan for a situation that is unique and challenging seemed impossible at times. This week, I was in work on Monday for a few hours, Tuesday for an hour and now will not be back in until next Tuesday.

The first few days at home were fine. I created a schedule so that I could support my two (reluctant) sons with their school work whilst also taking the opportunity to get on top of the housework I never have enough time to do as a full time working, single parent.

A few days in and I started to flag. I’m used to being so busy that I barely sit down. Too much time = too much thinking and that’s not good for me. This has been particularly hard when my children went to stay at their dad’s for a few days.

On the one hand, whilst really needing a break to mentally recover from the horrible two weeks I’ve had, I’ve struggled being alone. All I want is to be bunkered down with those I love – my sisters, mother and my boyfriend seem a million miles away at the moment. I’m missing the companionship and support of a fellow adult.

I’m worried about my children moving between houses but know that they need to do this whilst they can.

I’m scared for my youngest sister who is in the third year of a nursing degree and has been asked to start working as a nurse early to support the NHS. She’s not sure if she is ready, is scared she will become ill as she has a four year old autistic child but desperately wants to help.

I’m worried for my other sister who works as a florist. Her shop closed because it had to, but they were also at the point where they had no flowers to use anyway. I’m concerned about how she will manage financially.

I’m worried and sad for my 15 year old daughter who will not now sit her final exams or get to go to her prom.

Whilst I am eternally grateful for the support of my long distance boyfriend, there’s a part of me that is wondering if we will get through this. I don’t know when I will get to see him again. In the long term, I’m concerned about how this may affect our ability to close the gap as there will be no evidence of time spent together.

I’m grateful for the fact that my dad isn’t alive to experience this. His distress would have been extreme as he would have been anxious for us all. He would have been 80 and had COPD and cancer. The thought of what could have happened and what some families are now going through is terrifying.

I’m grateful that I live in a semi-rural area and work only three miles from home. That rather unkempt but large garden is going to be wonderful as a diversion this year.

I’m amazed at the generosity and kindness of some people through this tragedy.

I’m glad that, finally, if not sadly, the NHS staff are going to get the recognition these deserve. They are our forgotten heroes. Boris – they all need a payrise and better working conditions. As I’ve said for years, take some money from the ridiculously paid sports celebrities.

I’m grateful it’s spring. The sunshine and birdsong gives me hope of brighter days.

I’m hoping that as a species, those of us who survive this will be better people: knowing what to value now.

This is a response to a post from Third Eye mom:

https://wp.me/p1lnBZ-c8N

Found… A few steps behind

After yesterday morning’s early post and my absolute bafflement of what to do, I did what I felt I must. I was true to myself and my knowledge of him. I sent him a simple message.

I love you.

He said last week that I don’t say it enough, only when he asks me. If he was angry, he’d know how I feel without being incendiary. If he was hurt, it would soothe. If he was fed up with me, it wouldn’t matter what I said.

I sent it and went to work. This week his morning texts have been really early – 8.30am – but that time came and went with nothing. I can’t tell you I wasn’t anxious but I was hopeful too. I knew I couldn’t write more than that, so I just had to hope it had the desired effect.

Finally, at 9.30am I got a ‘morning’. That’s it. Far removed from the ‘good morning beautiful’ of earlier in the week. But it was something.

How to reply? Again, be myself: ‘Good morning baby’. No kisses as he hadn’t sent any. There was no response to that, but there often isn’t until we both finish work.

However, when I got back to my office at the end of the day (4.30ish), he had sent me a thumbs up sign about 45 minutes before. That was unusual as he still would have been in work and he never responds to our good mornings unless he is asking how I am- I guessed it was an olive branch… So, I replied with a simple, ‘hope you are OK.’

He called immediately.

It was difficult as I was in work but I was very pleased that I had worn my hair half down and looked well, considering. It was awkward, to say the least, but he asked if I was OK a number of times. The signal went pretty quickly and so I went to my car and called him back.

I told him I had missed him. When I told him it had made me sad, he asked why. I said because he didn’t want to talk to me and he always talks to me. His reply? “You always accept my call.” So there you have it, it was that I didn’t answer. He refused to talk about the day before any further and said he had ‘forgotten’ it now. Well, I certainly haven’t.

We had a brief catch up about the Coronavirus situation in our countries and he discussed how his first week in lock down was being enforced. It can’t be easy over there as they have imposed super strict measures. He has at least another two weeks of this.

Eventually, talk moved on to his work and seeing his usual spark returning, I kept him on this subject. He enjoyed talking me through and I was grateful that, being an English teacher, I was able to question him sufficiently to keep him talking and relax him to normalcy.

It was soon time to pick up my son however, so the call ended. How did I feel? Relieved that he had called and we had talked. Wary that this wasn’t over yet – we needed to talk and he clearly didn’t want to. And, honestly, a bit annoyed at what I thought had caused it and frustrated that he wouldn’t discuss it.

I got home shortly after and messaged to say we were at home. I didn’t know what to do after that and this is part of what needs discussing – his behaviour has left me wondering how to be. That’s a real concern. In the end, I decided again that I could only be myself and act as normal. So, I called him.

He surprised me by answering. His mood had declined somewhat but I kept him online as I served the dinner. I then went upstairs.

Trying to talk to him was difficult. He was sullen and quiet. He was insistent that we didn’t talk about the day before and whilst I was frustrated, there’s no point talking to someone if they’re not in the mood to. I asked him if I should go or did he want to talk? But he just threw the question back at me. I said I did want to talk to him so we carried on.

Following some more awkward silence punctuated by me trying to find a conversation starter – as I have said, it’s him who keeps the conversation going usually – I told him again I was going. He asked why. I said because he wasn’t happy with me and it was making me unhappy because I didn’t know what to say.

He then made an effort and we chatted for a bit longer. In the end, I actually got a kiss and he said he was going for dinner.

Feeling more comfortable, I had my own dinner and spoke with my sisters. An hour later and he called again, and this time everything was back to normal – his joking, his mood… Everything. We laughed together, he smiled and winked and you would have thought there had not been a problem.

We spoke for around 40 minutes and then he said he was going to sleep.

How do I feel? Honestly? A bit annoyed. It’s unusual for him to not talk about what’s bothered him. Any occasions where he’s not been happy and we usually talk about it the next day. He’s never refused before. My sister thinks he knows he was in the wrong. My, albeit limited, experience of that is he apologises. Not this time, as yet anyway.

Whilst I was relieved things had gone back to normal, he’s activated a step back for me that I never considered would happen with him. Maybe it’s a character fault of mine, maybe it’s self-preservation. Maybe I’m just protecting myself from experience of past relationships. But when something like this happens, my feelings dull, just a little. A little piece of my esteem for him chips away. With my previous relationships, particularly my husband, each betrayal and each lie chipped away to eventually nothing. I could feel it in my mind each time it happened. I didn’t expect this to happen with Wild Card, not yet.

The occasions where he has been unhappy with me have been similar. A couple of times when I have been going out at night – he gets jealous and insecure and this is culturally incompatible. As I get equally jealous when it’s the other way round, I can currently accept this behaviour. It doesn’t stop me going out either.

The rest have been to do with me not answering the phone. I think there have been three occasions now where this has led to this reaction. There have been more occasions when I have not answered or missed it but he hasn’t bothered, only to ask why and move on. I have no idea what makes those three incidents different from the rest where he has not been bothered.

There’s certainly an element of insecurity there. And we all know how irrationally insecure I can get, so, I need to temper my reaction to this a little. He’s human too, and he’s dealt with my fears and doubt with patience and love – every time. We are in unique times too – I know him well enough to know he’s worrying about it and he’s been in lock down for a week. That’s enough to unsettle anyone. Plus, admittedly, I’d been hard work earlier in the week.

It does need talking about though, eventually. It’s highly likely, at some point, that I will miss another call. I’m not going to live in fear of that, just in case he has a bad reaction again. And whilst I can’t pretend that I won’t be fearful in that instance, I also know now that he’s activated something within me that means I won’t just roll over either.

Ultimately, he’s not perfect. Neither am I. We have both reacted to situations with anxiety and insecurity and as this is my first LDR, I’m not sure how much of this is normal and how much is a part of our personalities and the strength of our feelings. I love him and I know he loves me. I just have to hope that, when we have spent more time together and these unusual times are over, it will be enough for us both to take steps forward and not back.

Bad day

Another awful week so far. Where do I actually begin?

School has been really difficult. Lots of anxious and scared children, looking for reassurance and comfort and you can’t give any, not really. They look to you for answers you just can’t give, no matter how hard you try. Staff are stressed, worried about exam classes, their own families and their own health. As a leadership team, you’re trying to do the best for everyone without actually knowing what to do for the best. We’ve been meeting morning and night, pouring over Government and council websites trying to work out how to support everyone… It’s been very stressful, to say the least.

My middle son, the one with ADHD and suspected autism is not taking it well, as you would expect. Getting him into school on Monday was a real struggle. The last couple of days he has visited me in school often: today, making himself late for lessons as he insists that I go home. It resulted in a meltdown this evening but we have talked and he seems calmer now.

Like everyone, I am worried about family members and I’m worried about supplies. I haven’t gone crazy like some which means, as the shelves remain empty, I’m starting to panic a little. We are OK for now and I just have to hope that despite the on-coming difficulties, things will settle down on that front.

It’s been a tense week all round and it would be surprising if this hadn’t affected things with Wild Card.

After my emotive panicking on Sunday and his patience and reassurance, I got a lovely text Monday morning. We chatted on text a little and was alarmed when he told me he had taken a suspected Coronavirus case to the hospital that day. We were both panicking. It turned out to be a false alarm however. Thankfully, for all involved.

Monday evening we chatted again and had a weird half joking-half serious argument. You know, one of those that starts as a joke but then sort of goes too far but neither person is 100% if the other is joking or not? It was all OK in the end and we were on the phone for two and half hours on that one call. We both drifted off to sleep still on the phone.

Yesterday morning I had a ‘Good morning my beautiful’ which is just what I needed. The evening was not what I needed though.

It was a particularly bad day yesterday at work. I came home exhausted, stressed and emotional. I called him and unfortunately, he appeared to be carrying on the joke and I just wasn’t in the mood. I kept telling him I would go and he would say no, but then he carried on with his fooling around. In the end, I just said I was going, waved and put the phone down despite him shouting ‘no’ repeatedly. In my defence I was on the verge of tears but… I don’t know. I shouldn’t have put the phone down on him. I’ve done it before, jokingly, and I know he hates it. I hate it when people do it to me. But, I kind of needed him to see that joking wasn’t working in that moment. Even that seems unfair now – 99.9 times out of 100 his joking works.

He immediately called back and I eventually answered. He wasn’t happy. He asked why I had ‘closed in his face’. I explained that I’d had a really bad day, apologised for doing it and promised I would never do it again. I then, tearfully, told him about my day. I think then he realised and he gave me some comfort. He called me later on, made me laugh and checked I was OK. We again stayed on the phone until he fell asleep and my battery was dying.

And then, tonight. 🙁

Do you want the short story? I text him when I got home but when he called I couldn’t answer his call. It rang for ages because he knew I was in. ☚ī¸ I tried calling back about ten minutes later but he didn’t answer. Eventually a few texts have passed between us but he hasn’t called me back. His answer to why not was ‘because’. I sent a sad face, he sent a wry smile.

After that I didn’t respond and I really thought he would call. He hasn’t.

What to do?

I’m annoyed he is being childish. But I know how he feels when I don’t answer, as that’s how I feel when he doesn’t answer. It’s not unusual in LDRs and I think we both have some anxiety anyway. The other times that there has been tension is for this reason too. And then there’s everything that’s going on… Tensions are high and I have been hard work. I’ve kept him up late the past few nights too. We’ve talked for hours and hours this week… Maybe we just need a break?

I’m not making excuses but I am trying to understand. To forgive him like he has me for my silly, irrational behaviour this week. And other weeks for that matter.

So, just under an hour ago, I sent a text. I told him I missed him and I was here if he wanted me.

About five minutes ago, as I was writing this, I got an ‘ok’.

OK? OK!!!!!!!

So, still not resolved then.

I sent an ‘ok?’ and he hadn’t responded. I don’t know what else to do now. He’s clearly not happy. I don’t think it is justified but everyone is entitled to a bad day. I’ve had my fair share of them.

I’ve got to trust that he’s angry and maybe he just needs some space. I’ve been difficult and maybe he just needs to be away from me tonight. Maybe he’s having a bad day too.

I’m trying not to turn this in to something bigger. I’m trying to remember what he said to me on Sunday and his morning messages this week. But it’s really hard because all I want is his face and his smiles and his voice and our happiness.

Update: I have had a text. ‘Good night and sweet dreams.’

I replied ‘ok baby, you too. I’m sorry I have upset you that much that you don’t want to talk to me. Good night xxx’ He’s read it and not replied.

It will be one of the first times that we haven’t spoken on the phone at all since the beginning. I can’t help but fear the worst.

Far, far away

We both knew it was coming, both knew it was going to happen. His country has shut his borders with mine. He feels even further away now, in time and place.

I didn’t book flights in the end. I decided to wait, as he had asked me to initially, until this weekend to make a decision. When he confirmed he had asked me to wait because of his concerns for me, I took that seriously. I also considered what would happen if I unknowingly brought the virus to him and his family.

We discussed it yesterday and it appears he thought I had booked but told me not to when I said I hadn’t. He repeated again his fears about my health over there, and if I got stranded. A day later, and his brother and sister in law would not have got out for their new life. I said about my concerns for his family too if I came, and he told me not to worry about his family but about myself. He admitted that he had wanted me to come but was worried about me. That made me feel better, somehow.

Within hours of that conversation my government warned that a likely border closure was imminent. This morning it happened.

Last night he was particularly affectionate. Today he has called me three times and each time he has looked at me with love in his eyes. He’s right, we can understand each other through our eyes. He’s winked at me and made me laugh and smiled that smile that I know so well now.

He’s getting on better and better with my family. My daughter is more confident about talking to him, and my youngest sister gets on with him well. I love it when we all talk together. I even asked him my usual, ‘Have you missed me?’ in front of them and was shocked when he actually said yes instead of his usual comedy ‘no’. I replied in surprise, ‘yes? Are you just saying that because my sister is here?’ and he said that he missed me all the time, every day and that he wouldn’t keep ringing me if he didn’t miss me. My middle sister even engaged with him yesterday, after she observed his multiple efforts to make me laugh. Perhaps she could see how happy he makes me. We haven’t talked about it yet.

But who knows when I will see him now? How long will the borders be closed? How will the airlines cope without their business?

I feel like I’m stranded on a beach, watching him float further and further away from me. An LDR is hard enough: this has made it so much harder.

It is unlikely that this will be over in May – my government seems to think we will have hit the peak in the UK by then. So, after that, it will be late July or August until it is even possible to see him.

Who knows what may have happened by then?

When I said to him this morning, that I didn’t know when we would see each other next, he said that we would be together when this was over. I hope so, so much.

**********

So, yes, I managed to get myself all worked up about this.

We talked about it though. I told him my fears of how long it could be til we see each other again and my fear that he will forget me: ‘Why will I forget you?’. He couldn’t understand my thinking, once again.

But once again, he showed me patience and understanding and love, so much love. I could see the love so much in his face, in his expression… I could hear it in his voice, our faces so close to the camera, trying desperately to narrow the difference between us. I could feel it, his love.

It was getting late and he was going to go. He asked what I would do – am I going to sleep? – and I replied that I didn’t know. I didn’t. He asked if I wanted him with me and I said yes, but I thought he meant hypothetically. But he stayed on the phone instead.

We talked again about the difficult situation we were in and he reminded me that this would be hard and I needed to be strong. He told me that I had accepted this – was it still what I wanted? I told him it was, but that the situation with the Coronavirus had made it worse. He disagreed and was so much more positive than I am… He said we still have time. That I need to believe in destiny.

He knows how much I love him. It surprises him when I tell him I have not felt like this before, and I haven’t. I remind him that my husband wasn’t right for me.

We talk about my family liking him, my kids loving him and he asked whether they will accept him. I said they do already and he muttered, almost so I didn’t hear, that he wishes for that.

He asked me if I missed his kisses, his touch, his love. I told him I miss everything. I want to be with him, ‘I want to be yours.’ And again he told me, ‘you are mine baby.’

He told me not to be sad, to be strong and believe in destiny. He told me he loves me, so much. He told me to dream of him.

I hope I do, if only to be closer to him.

Catastrophizing

I had my first real bout of depression after the birth of my third child. There were lots of reasons for that. First, I’d had a little postnatal depression or baby blues after each of my babies. Second, my mum was not around and my relationship had been damaged by her own breakdown a year or so before. Thirdly, I knew that I should never have got back with my husband. A pregnancy, planned or not, (it wasn’t) was never going to change that.

In a way, the cause of the depression is irrelevant for this post. It’s what it did to me that matters.

My Health Visitor called it ‘catastrophizing’. All I could think about was what would happen if I died – how would my kids cope? I worried about war and disease and obsessed about stockpiling provisions for my children. At that point, I stopped watching or reading the news and I haven’t since, six years later.

An antidepressant prescription, a decent life insurance policy and a reunion with my mum resulted in a semi-recovery.

You probably won’t believe this, but I am actually a positive person. Friends and family comment on it, pupils at school comment on it – people talk to me about their problems because of it. I try to see the good in a situation. I believe in learning from them.

I actually believe that this is the root of the problem with my mental health.

I am a positive person with insecurities. And what that means is, over certain situations, I have an internal struggle which rages in my brain and threatens to consume me. A fight between hope and doubt.

My break down/burn out three years ago – or whenever it was now – I feel was caused when somewhere in my pysche, I realised that I was in a helpless situation. My dad was dying and there was nothing I could do about it. I was in a challenging situation in work that I could do nothing about, it was just circumstances. My marriage had failed and there was nothing I could do about it.

So you can imagine, for a once catastrophizing depressive, the Coronavirus is the Freddy Kruger of nightmares.

I’ve had so many mixed feelings and thoughts about the Coronavirus situation. Due to my lack of knowledge about it – not reading /watching the news for example – it was a distant problem. And then, as it got a little more serious, I wondered how much was social media or media hype. (As it has got more serious, I of course have started reading the news). And then, I considered that for most people ‘symptoms would be mild’ so whilst needing to protect the vulnerable, I couldn’t understand the panic for everyone. In some ways, these were all signs that my depression was long gone. Hope and positivity remained. Or naivety.

The world is standing still now though.

Fear is gripping everyone, everywhere.

I don’t know what this all means. We see cases and deaths in forever upwardly spiralling numbers but no clear understanding of what this means. Were they all old and/or vulnerable? How many were due to reduced facilities – the sheer numbers putting strain on medical supplies where having the right equipment would have saved lives?

We are told that it is likely that many of us will catch this virus. We know more people will die.

Is it wrong to have hope? I think not.

I have hope that the amazing scientists and medical professionals around the world will find a way to help us. I believe that if we work together, we can support one another through this terrible time.

Whilst I do have family members with medical issues, most are in good health and I remain hopeful that we will manage with the mild symptoms. I count my blessings that my dad is not here to witness this and worry about it. He would never have survived coronavirus and the anxiety would have consumed him every minute, night and day.

I’ve not stockpiled food. I’ve tried to be considerate of others whilst having hope that the empty shelves will soon refill and the items I couldn’t buy will be available. Perhaps this is hope, perhaps this is stupidity. But that’s what I have done.

At the moment, all I want to do is bunker down at home with the people I love and wait it out. Take something positive from this – time to appreciate my family and love them and be with them.

And hopefully, when we come out of the other side of this we will all appreciate the right things a little more. Time with family. How lucky we are to have food and medicine. The people that work so hard, so thanklessly, to provide medicine and care.

And maybe we will care a little less about materialistic things. Selfish people. The non-essentials in life that mattered so much to people which actually don’t matter at all.

My only regret is that I won’t get to see Wild Card. I won’t be able to spend quality time with him. He will be a million miles away, even further away than he was before.

More on this in my next post.

Milestones

I’m cosy in bed. I don’t want to get up. Here I feel safe from all the madness in the world around me.

This week has just been awful. From my ups and downs with Wild Card, ridiculously hectic work at week, increased coronavirus anxiety wherever I turn, an over anxious son not coping with his new ADHD medication to a huge argument with my 15 year old over how much revision she is doing. Oh, and I came on my period yesterday.

I could not wait for yesterday to end. I came home early and was grateful for the peace of my home. I messaged Wild Card. He had responded to my early morning text (saying I was thinking about him) – he had been on the way to drop off his brother and sister in law at the airport. A big day. The night before he had surprised me by being on the phone with me as much as ever, despite it being his brother’s last night at home.

He responded to my message and said he was well and asked if I was home. At that point, my mum arrived.

I’ve not seen my mum for a month. She’d been up for the day and had spent time with my sisters but I’m never 100% sure whether she will make it to me because of how late it gets. But she arrived and I was happy.

Unfortunately, my sisters arrived with my niece and nephew. You know I love them, of course I do, but I wasn’t in the mood for the noise and house-full and I was a little frustrated that they had been with mum all day and then had come to share my limited time with her.

Then, my ex turned up with my youngest to pick up something so you can imagine what happened next – my son wanted to stay and play. The house was getting fuller and noisier, and all I wanted was to sip coffee in front of the fire and chat with my mum.

Just as my ex was leaving – without our son I might add – Wild Card called me. At that point though, my sister had decided to engage in conversation with my ex about something work related. I was forced to take the call upstairs.

I don’t know how much my ex knows. My kids know, so no doubt my youngest has said something. My ex also walked in when I was on the phone once to Wild Card. He’s not stupid. But I’ve not discussed it with him because, quite frankly, it’s been none of his business. Now that my kids know, well, I guess that changes things somewhat. As does the milestone we have just met…

The call with Wild Card was short. He knew my mum was there and I think he called because he probably wanted to meet her. Me being upstairs, not with my mum, confused him a little. I was super conscious of my sister’s on going conversation with my ex downstairs and I was a little distracted. He asked if I was busy and I said I was a little, so he said he would speak to me later. I knew he was a little put out.

I went downstairs and listened to my sister’s conversation with my ex which, not only prevented me from talking with my mum, but prevented me from introducing her to Wild Card. The kids were screaming and shouting and all I wanted to do was shout and scream with them. I just stayed silent instead.

Eventually he left. My sister commented on my being quiet (I was screaming inside) and I told her about my terrible week, being on my period etc. She asked about Wild Card and I admitted that he had just called and explained the difficulty of the past 20 minutes.

Whilst nervous, my mum said she was happy to talk to him and so I called him back.

He was as surprised as my mum was, but I walked over and sat next to my mum, holding the phone so he could see both of us.

In the mental condition I was in, I don’t think I fully appreciated what a big step this was. Added to that, was that I was trying to translate between a heavily accented (and utterly delicious) foreign man with developing English and a partially deaf 63 year old, nervous mother. Interesting times.

It went really well, considering. He told my mum that she had a really nice daughter, (My sister joked that he meant her). He then went and put his mum on the phone too! Very limited English speaking mother meet deaf mother… But we got through it. My mum thanked his mum for looking after me and she said I was always welcome.

Mum and Wild Card chatted a little longer whilst my sisters got ready to leave and offered to drop off my youngest on the way. They did well considering, and by the time I got back to them they were joking with each other – my mum has a great sense of humour, particularly when nervous. At one point she even ‘sang’ to him whilst I stifled a laugh, and he commented that she had caused an earthquake with her voice. Much hilarity all round. 😊

When the call ended, I had half an hour with mum before she left. I told her about my bad week, and we also discussed my other sister’s s new reluctance to engage with Wild Card. Mum admitted that they had discussed it – my sister cannot understand why I have to be with him, why couldn’t I have found someone closer? How can I possibly have feelings for him? Whilst my mum and I acknowledge that she may not understand, I am frustrated that this has resulted in her not wanting to converse with him and even pulling faces when I talk about him. This is going to need a conversation at some point. My mum told me to ignore her.

Wild Card and I chatted for the remainder of the evening. He opened up about his brother’s marriages and I was surprised to hear that he doesn’t get on with one of his sister in laws (not the one from the day before). He told me some interesting stories about her and I felt that we were hitting another milestone as he was telling me some quite personal things – out of respect, he had always limited his talking about them.

He then joked that he was the oldest and ‘single’ and that he ws free to do what he wanted unlike his married brothers (one in particular, so his story told). I reminded him that he was not single and this then led to a conversation about us.

He asked again about my feelings for him and questioned how I knew how strong my feelings were. We talked about our first kiss, him reminding me of parts I had forgotten. He asked me if I missed lying on his chest whilst he played with my hair, did I miss his hugs and kisses… My heart ached for him as he asked me.

He told me how much he loved me and how serious he was about me. And he seemed more like his old self, the pressures of the week finally lifted perhaps.

For the first time in a week, I went to bed relaxed. The bad week was over. He has met my mother: our mothers have met! Who knows what the future holds now?