Time

The days have continued to be eventful but weirdly, I have been relatively calm.

I’ve got into a nasty habit of checking in on three apps multiple times a day. Probably boredom. Facebook, WordPress and my email account.

Occasionally, when really bored, I will watch some of the weird videos on Facebook. I say weird, but actually, I found my favourite motivational speaker on there: Mel Robbins.

So, two days ago, and I don’t know how else to explain this, I watched a series of videos and read a series of articles that made something shift in my brain. It was a combination of posts and videos from different motivational speakers who actually said a similar thing. It was about taking action on your dreams and the power of visualisation. It made sense. As a depressed or anxious person, you dwell or ruminate on the negative. Therefore you feel negative. Such a simple concept really and not one I haven’t read before but somehow the triad of approaches made something click.

The articles I read were actually about narcissism. I hate the way society jumps on a bandwagon and there seems to be an obsession or trend with narcissists and red flags. Anyway, following my London friend’s query about whether Wildcard may be narcissistic, I had to look into it.

He does have traits – maybe we all do – but not all. I don’t believe he is a narcissist, nor am I qualified to label him, but again the fact that he had traits made something shift in my brain.

So that evening, in the silence created by the dying embers of his sulking, I decided to broach the subject of the summer. If you remember, I have my original flights for August – the ones I booked months ago before my impromptu trip in July as he had spoken of us travelling maybe. I have one week to change them. So, I broached it.

He was shocked, bordering on contemptuous. I could tell you how this disagreement covered two days but I won’t bore you. I will try to be succinct.

He couldn’t understand why I wanted to come back so soon. When I reminded him of what he had said, the ‘come when you want’, the ‘come next month’ and the travelling, he denied it. After some miscommunication resolving, I understood the following:

  • ‘Come next month’ was said to me when I was upset to calm me but he never expected me to actually do it.
  • The travelling trip was an either-or. By coming in July, the possibility of the trip was cancelled.
  • He didn’t want me to come in July and had always wanted me to come in August.

There was talk of it being too soon, he needed to relax between visits. He said his brothers may be visiting and he may be travelling with extended family.

I didn’t cry. Can you believe that? I was strong. I was angry even. I was…more like myself. It was also my turn to sulk. I told him he clearly didn’t miss me like I missed him. That I had assumed he would want to see me whenever we could, like me. That I clearly wasn’t that important to him.

He said it had nothing to do with missing me – if that was the case, he would want me there every month. He talked of needing to ask his parents again and I told him not to bother. I’d had my answer.

Of course he did anyway, and they were happy for me to return though it was clear he still wasn’t and the call ended on a sour note.

However, ten minutes later, he had messaged me apologising. His parents had apparently shouted at him for not letting me come. They were happy for me to come. He said that he would speak to his brothers and let me know. I told him that if he didn’t want me to come so soon, I wouldn’t. He replied that we would speak tomorrow.

I still didn’t cry. Sure there were times when my eyes threatened it, but I didn’t cry. I am not sure I can explain why. It is possible that because my mind has been consumed with him and dreams of our future, the thought that this may not happen has contributed to my anxiety. Perhaps the realisation that he isn’t perfect, that maybe he does have narcissist traits and that this had led me to feel this way (both good and bad) has cleared my mind a little. The realisation that actually, my imperfections may not lead my to losing the man of my dreams but a man I had dreamed about and idealised. That it can be his imperfections which may end it, not mine, has contributed to my mind shift.

Yesterday, after work, we spoke again at length in an attempt for me to understand him. He was stressed and agitated. He reiterated his parents liking me and being happy for me to come. But then proceeded to both explain why he thought it was too soon but also to tell me that he would speak to his brothers.

In summary, what I have gathered is, me coming causes a certain amount of pressure and stress which is not unwelcome but he wants a break. I also think there are financial implications which he hinted at but denied when questioned. It was an either or – July or August – and the July trip caused him a lot of worry about me. He feels a return in October or November is better but if I want to come I can come at the end of August. He said I wasn’t thinking of him and his family and only of myself and my desire to be with him. I argued that I only thought I could return so soon based on his words which have turned out to be false in an attempt to calm me.

Despite his determination for me to understand him, he has repeatedly said he will speak to his brothers. I keep telling him I won’t come.

In a weird way, this has kind of cleared the air and eased my tension. I can’t pretend I’m not a little hurt, but my anxiety has eased. The truth has settled my overriding ruminating.

In discussions with two of my Facebook friends, we have all concluded that he just needs more time for whatever reason. He wasn’t ready to talk about our future and he is not ready for me to come regularly. Despite his courteous assurances that I am family, I am in fact still a guest and I knew that really.

I’ve done that typically insecure thing of jumping on a suggestion, a possibility, letting my desires and dreams take over and then panicked when they didn’t come into fruition. They were my dreams, not his. We haven’t got to the point of discussing and deciding upon our dreams together.

This morning, it is like the world has shifted. We have gone back to normal, back to the way we used to be – an hour’s call of me laughing at him and him laughing because I am. The pressure has lifted, and if I am being honest, it is the pressure that I had applied.

I’m some ways, and this is real far out thinking, I feel like we have passed a test almost. One of my biggest fears has always been that I am like his exes – completely in love with him whilst he is happy but with no real intentions. I am aware that each of his exes hit the point of demanding a decision, a formalisation of the relationship. Every time he has ended the relationship. In a sense, I have done the same thing. The difference is, he hasn’t ended it. I know I am different to them. And this has now confirmed it. But at the same time, I must not make their mistakes and chase and pressure him. I need to have faith in our relationship now and let time to what it needs to.

He needs time. We need time. And at last, I don’t see that as a bad thing.

Happy?

I forced myself into action yesterday. In cartoonesque fashion, I pictured a numbing bubble coming from my solar plexus and consuming me, anaesthetising my pain and fears.

Of course there were ripples of hurt which threatened to pop said bubble. But I didn’t allow myself to dwell.

Instead, I sat with my legend planner – the new one I bought when I first realised I had issues at work – and planned how I was going to work on my house in the next 8 weeks.

For, I realised, with or without him my life will go on. That’s a fact.

I had my union meeting yesterday too and things are moving along. My settlement should be completed in the next few weeks. I will paid until Christmas but officially leave their employment at the end of August. This means that I can start a new job in September. I just need to find one.

So, I reasoned, that gave me eight weeks to spend time with my family and get my house sorted. There is tidying, cleaning and decorating to be done. As seems to be the annual tradition, the kids want to swap rooms. There’s plenty to do.

My numbing-bubble visualisation got me through the day. I thoroughly cleaned the lounge and made dinner. I didn’t allow myself to go back to bed. As I said, I can’t pretend that my hurt didn’t threaten to overwhelm me. I just didn’t let it.

Wildcard called me as much as usual yesterday. He was a little more chatty. The slow thaw continues. I even got a kiss goodnight. I actually plucked up the courage to tell him what my ex had said. I could see him thinking and processing that, and I know that he will need time to do so.

Later, I spoke to my London friend about her upcoming trip to see her boyfriend and we discussed Wildcard’s continued sulkiness. She advised that I be normal now and don’t bring it up again. She was surprised he was still moody- over nothing – but said it showed his jealousy. I took her advice on board.

So this morning, I chose to be happy. I put my makeup on before he called. I sent a lovely good morning message. And when he called before work, I was bright and cheerful.

“Why are you happy this day?”

“Because I love you.”

He pulled his usual face in attempt to tease me. His parents got in the car because they wanted taking somewhere, and Wildcard kept me on the phone the whole journey. Once they had left he asked me again:

“Why are you happy?”

I told him that I had spent the week crying and not sleeping and feeling sick. I couldn’t do it anymore. I was choosing to be happy.

He said little but again I could see this running through his mind.

As he parked up at work, I said my customary goodbye whilst he said his sulky one. But as I showered him with phone kisses and I love yous, there was a little amusement there which he tried to hide.

He is still sulking. I am still nervous. But there is nothing more I can do. I’ve apologised and cried till I couldn’t breathe. I’ve not slept and panicked and ruminated. I’ve tried to explain, ignore and now I choose to be happy. Not because I am, but because that is what I need to do.

Maybe I should have done things differently. Maybe he is overreacting. But I still love him. This will need discussing at some point but when he is ready.

In regards to my August trip- well, that remains to be seen. I could cancel, rearrange or…and here is a thought…actually go. I’ve looked at some hotels which aren’t too expensive. I have a week to make a decision. Let’s see what the next few days hold.

Oh.

For want of a better title, this little word with have to do. I do it a misjustice – those two letters, with a simple change of tone can cover a complex array if emotions. Which, considering, is quite apt.

I’m in a weird state of head- numbness. I say this because whilst my head feels devoid of emotion – never a good sign- my stomach is beating its own tune of woe and pain, signally the churning effects of anxiety and angst.

But my head? It could be a bit of shock or it could be a bit of ‘I told you’ and maybe ‘I was expecting this’. It maybe a bit of hope and a little disbelief in my own judgement.

So what’s the problem?

Let’s go back a day and I will fill you in.

After my previous post and the realisation that I hadn’t heard from Wildcard in five hours, I decided to send a quick text asking if he was OK and wishing him a good day with his family at the wedding.

I was rewarded with a series of video calls which spanned the rest of the afternoon and early evening. He included me in this wedding by showing me every part of it and by including his mother on the screen to wave at me and say hello. This was a real sign of thawing and I had more hope that the end of his sulking was nigh. His quick call when he got home showed that whilst a little kiss was permitted, the sulking hadn’t quite gone altogether.

Yesterday morning was similar. I had my morning call. No affection as such but he told me to take care and have a good day. He even, unsolicited, sent me a beautiful photo that he had taken of him and his mum. Then…nothing again. Knowing his shift patterns had changed a little, I waited and waited.

I had an online appointment at 3pm and so messaged at 2pm to let him know. I had a reply at 2.55pm and he let me know he was still working. I even got a heart. So yes, I was feeling positive we had turned a corner.

When he finished work he called and we chatted almost as normal. He told me his cousin had just had her baby and that they may go to visit. My departing kiss was declined but he called again within the hour on the way to visit and again when he got there. So, in terms of frequency and purpose all was well. Affection was hit and miss.

He called as he was leaving and then once he got home. His conversation, whilst lacking at times, was better. I even got the beginnings of some of his sillier, jokey behaviour which is a really good sign.

Am I giving you too much detail? For my own benefit as well as yours, I am trying to prove why I thought things were going the right way.

In the evening, he mentioned a gift for his birthday that I had been unable to bring as it had arrived after I had left. He asked if I had sent it yet. I said no, but I would just bring it with me. He frowned in surprise. ‘Why don’t you just send it?’ I replied that it would probably be quicker if I brought it when I came next.

‘Are you serious?’

I want to tell you that it was a look of pleasant surprise on his face but it wasn’t. ‘When are you coming?’

‘I don’t know. You said next month sometime. You said we may travel.’

What?‘ Genuinely, it was like he had no idea what I was talking about. My heart sank. So he hadn’t meant what he said.

He then turned to his mother and, glancing at me, I can only assume told her that I wanted to come back next month. He laughed a little as he spoke.

And that is the ‘oh’ moment for me. The lid has gone on the coffin, and whilst it may not be sealed yet, the fact there is a coffin says it all.

A man in love would want me to visit as soon and as often as possible. He would repeat what he had said before- that it was my home too, I could come when I wanted, the flights were cheap so come next month. He didn’t. He laughed.

Maybe it is surprise. Maybe it is shock I want to return so soon. Maybe I exhausted his poor mother. Maybe he was still angry. Maybe he just isn’t missing me yet. Maybe I have taken their words too literally. Maybe I am crazy.

This morning I have woken similarly numb. And dazed. I don’t know how or who to be. Do I message or not? Do I give up and leave it to him or not?

I’m lost.

Day 5 – family

When Wildcard came home yesterday, I told him about going to the pharmacist. He was convinced that my medication wouldn’t be in his country until I showed him on my phone. Even then, it took the tablets actually arriving and him seeing they were the same, to relax.

It was an interesting day even with this as soon after Wildcard had left for work that morning, some cousins of his father arrived.

I never know quite what to do in this situation. I’m a guest – quite clearly they’re not there to see me- and as I don’t speak their language I feel in the way. So, I always opt to stay in Wildcard’s room unless I am called.

Before long, Wildcard’s mum called me for breakfast and I offered to stay in his room. Of course she insisted that I ate with the family. And, of course, they didn’t speak a word of English. So that made both of us who couldn’t communicate.

After breakfast I went back to his room whilst they talked. I have no idea if this is the right thing to do or not. Before long though, quicker than I hoped, Wildcard was home for his breakfast. I sat with him whilst he ate and his cousin was in the kitchen with his mother. We then lay on his bed and cuddled whilst he dozed. And that, is happiness right there.

I really didn’t want to have dinner with hisnfamiky, preferring to eat with him when he came home but he told me to eat. As usual, dinner was amazing and his parents tried frequently in involve me in the conversation. They’re so lovely. One of the cousins had left by this point so there was just a lady left. When they cleared away – telling me to relax in the process – I went to get my music and notepad to sketch a little.

With my earphone on, I tucked myself away into a corner so that they wouldn’t feel obliged to try to talk with me. His mother wouldn’t have it though and soon called me over to their table.

To be fair, we had a nice chat and I was again impressed with how much English she actually understands. As you can imagine though, I was only lifted when he walked back in the house at the end of work.

I’m magnetised by him. I just want to be close and touching him, skin touching. Again, as I said in my last post, I’m convinced he is the same, as he will stretch out to make contact. I can pass many minutes quite happily with his feet on my lap, stroking his legs and daydreaming away.

In the evening we went for a walk which I enjoyed apart from the constant staring of passers by. We decided that I was probably the only tourist in the whole town. Ah well.

We had supper when we got in, and I could see how tired Wildcard was. It probably explains the mild disagreement we had later on that evening although, I’m convinced psychologically there is a reason for it too- last time I was here we had a minor misunderstanding after a few days. Maybe it is the adrenalin and heightened emotions of the first few days easing. Along with exhaustion from travel and poor sleep. It was something and nothing but enough to unsettle us before bed.

As is becoming our new routine, he returned to where he was sleeping and we started messaging, him asking what me what was wrong etc. It was minor, but with everything, it had blown out of proportion a little. It ended with kisses and love though. It is to be expected that after 19 months of being together, we will disagree sometimes. All part of being a family.

Sulking off the pedestal.

In a vain attempt to pull Wild Card out of his sulk, or at least learn how to deal with it better, I of course have read whatever I can.

Anything you read online has to be taken with some caution. Just because someone claims to be an expert/doctor /whatever, doesn’t mean they are or even that they’re any good. At least though, it makes me feel some control and gives me a distraction – – even though the distraction is still him. Weird but true.

These are the highlights from my study:

Sulking in adults usually comes from learnt behaviour as a child.

It is passive-aggressive and non confrontational. But designed to create the most impact and irritation for those on the receiving end whilst the sulker is feigning innocence.

Sulking happens when someone feels betrayed or let down by someone close to them. Someone they thought knew them better. Someone that they love.

Sulkers act this way because they are hurt and angry and don’t know how to express these feelings appropriately or how to deal with them.

The purpose of sulking is to get the other person to feel what the sulker is feeling. Their intended’s attempts at reconsoliation or apology will be ignored or denied a number of times.

Real reconciliation will only happen when the sulker feels that their intended has learnt their lesson, understood their wrong doing. This is often a power or control play. It is manipulative. The intended will need to show a high level of distress or anxiety for this to happen.

At this point, all is forgiven as the point has been made.

Sulking involves silent treatment, one word answers, eye rolling, tone of voice, sighs. They will respond to questions about what is wrong with ‘nothing’. Any irritation shown by the intended will be used as extra fuel for the sulking because the passive aggressive behaviour makes them look innocent.

Despite its manipulative outlook, sulking is actually unpleasant for the sulker too. They are in distress, feel let down and alone.

My last conversation with Wild Card tonight proved that he is still sulking with me but still claiming there is nothing wrong.

But you know, today was more than that. It wasn’t just malicious sulking with the design of teaching me a lesson. That was yesterday. Today, I actually realised how low he was.

I don’t know if our altercation has caused this low mood. But he’s not just sulking, he is unhappy. So maybe, he is not the only one who has fallen off his pedestal. Maybe I have for him, too.

I took something we both loved and enjoyed and devalued it with an angry, flippant comment. Which I don’t even mean. So, yes, I probably have fallen off my pedestal too.

Breaking a plate.

John Lewis

I really wish I had published my last post. In it, I wrote down a conversation I had with my boyfriend. He said something so romantic and poignant that I felt blissfully happy.

Disappointingly, I have to report that we have met another bump in the road. A week after the last one.

My experience of relationships is that there are stages where things seem to go wrong and this is often when they tend to end. Around the three/four month mark seems to be a common one – when the lust and honeymoon period end and you realise that actually, this person isn’t right for you. Sometimes around six months. Then around two years – this is usually when one partner wants more commitment than the other is willing to give.

I’m hoping, with all my heart, that we overcome this six month bump in the road.

There are some factors that are having a real impact on our relationship. One, is that long distance relationships are not easy, not easy for anyone. Take all the usual insecurities and anxiety you feel in a new relationship and double it, triple it and you’re somewhere close. Of course, when you really love that person and feel that connection, no problem is insurmountable.

Two is the fact that I was unable to make my second trip to see him in April. I think this would have consolidated things for both of us, either way. I think, if it had gone as well as we both expected, we would have both felt more confident about our feelings and our future together. Instead it’s deepened the missing, added to the anxiety of the unknown.

Three, is coronavirus. Not only did this stop my visit, it’s potentially going to prevent a future one for sometime. It’s meant that we are both in lock down and whilst that initially meant we have more time to talk to one another, there is nothing to talk about. So you want to be together but there are silences. Most of those time we accept those silences because we just want to be in each other’s company. Sometimes, they cause an issue. See below.

Four – more recently, my boyfriend has started Ramadan. I have to state here that I fully respect his religion and his choice. I am amazed at what he is doing and am proud of him for doing it. The issue is, I had no idea how much it would affect his general mood and behaviour. He’s exhausted, most of the time. He’s sleeping in odd patterns. He’s quiet and grumpy. And for an anxious person like myself, far too many erroneous conclusions have been jumped to which have caused problems.

Take yesterday. Relatively good day communicating. Usual laughing and joking. Regular contact. All good.

But then, his last call of the day (which has been occurring just after his first meal of the day when he breaks his fast) went wrong. Typically the call doesn’t last too long. He eats, he gets drowsy, he falls asleep. I can cope with that. I understand. Occasionally though, that short time between the start of the call and him getting drowsy is filled with… Nothing. He’s silent. He’s staring into space.

I need to state a fact here: he is the silence filler. He’s the one that cracks jokes, makes me laugh, fills the void. I am pretty useless. I try to make conversation, but go back to point three. By this time, there isn’t much to talk about. If we were together, no doubt we would just cuddle together, watch TV, content in the physical connection and silence. It’s clear that’s what we want. But it’s very hard to achieve when you are staring into a phone. And have anxiety.

It doesn’t matter that he has told me before – more than once – that his silence isn’t to do with me. Sometimes, he’s just in one of those moods. It doesn’t mean there is a problem or I have done something wrong.

So, the fact that I asked him what was wrong and he said ‘nothing’, should have been enough. The fact that he also said ‘it isn’t you’ should have been enough. Or even that he looked exhausted and we had a good day.

Oh no. Idiot here strikes again.

I made a comment. Something that has really hurt his feelings. I knew as soon as I said it that I shouldn’t have. I didn’t even mean it. It was born of frustration and missing him and childish selfishness and anxiety. I did wrong, not him. I own that. I’ve apologised, profusely… explained myself.

My boyfriend is amazing in a multitude of ways. If he upsets me, he is apologetic and caring. He won’t let me off the phone until he knows I’m OK. He owns his mistakes. If I am upset because of my anxiety or a perceived (and often imaginary) problem, he is equally caring and patient. He talks me through, settles me. Leads my thinking into a better place.

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said the other way round. If I upset him, he sulks. It takes time for him to come down from that – I, on the other hand am notoriously volcanic: I erupt, behave badly, quickly realise, apologise and forgive. Move on.

I will state again, this is my fault. I have taken a time where he just wants to be in my company and I have cheapened it and thrown it back in his face.

But. I have apologised. I have tried to explain.

He has said I did nothing wrong – we both know I did. His behaviour has changed accordingly so I know full well he is still hurt.

He’s not ghosting me. He’s still in contact, still answering calls and texting. But he is sulking.

If the past is anything to go by, he will slowly and surely come round. I will need to be patient and positive – like he is with me. Each day things will return to normal until it is forgotten.

Time will tell though. Six months in, we are experiencing each other’s flaws and working out if we can accept them. I know full well you can’t change them.

Mark Manson talks about China plates. That a big problem in a relationship is like dropping a plate. It breaks in two. But with hard work and determination, you can fix it. It may be a little weaker than before, but in time you will not notice that weakness and it will not impede on its use.

But break that plate two or three times and you have problems.

I don’t know if we’ve broken the plate. I don’t know if it’s just a chip – something you accept and get used to and eventually ignore. It might even have shattered and we are both trying, and maybe failing, to put it back together.

I don’t believe it is the last one. But one day it might be. One day, my stupid mouth and even stupider insecurity is going to smash that plate. Or maybe, his post-stupidity behaviour might cause me to smash that plate like an enthusiastic Greek.

I’m calmer than the last time he behaved like this. I was tempted to tell him, since I’ve apologised, to get back in contact when he’s forgiven me. But only for a second. I’m being patient, like he is with me. I was the one in the wrong and I hurt him. Yes, he’s being childish. Yes, despite telling me there is no problem, he is behaving otherwise and he is not in the right mood to discuss it.

So, be it a scratch, a chip, a break or a smash… Watch this space.

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.

Lost

I dreamed of him last night. I was travelling to get to him. He called me when I was half way there and everything was OK, we were excited and happy. Then I missed the last train. I called but I couldn’t get through to tell him I was stranded.

I genuinely don’t know what to feel this morning. I’m kind of numb.

There’s a voice inside that is telling me that it will be OK. That he just needed space. He still messaged me. We’ve had an inordinate amount of contact recently and that can’t be sustained. He loves me. He’s frustrated when I doubt his love so I have to trust that this will be OK.

My sister asked me if I was not angry with him. She said he was being childish and unfair. I was frustrated at first, last night. Now, I don’t know. I’m trying to understand why he may have been like that and there are reasons.

I’m hurt he didn’t want to talk to me. There’s a part of me that feels rejected.

I don’t know what to do today. I don’t know what I will do if I don’t get my good morning message – my hopes are resting so much on that.

I don’t want to play games. I don’t want to perpetuate his insecurity any further. But if he needs space, if he needs time then I need to give it him.

I don’t want to have a other tear filled conversation. I don’t want to argue with him. We need to talk about it though.

I just want him back. Even if he has been unreasonable. Even if I have annoyed him. I just want him back.

What do I do this morning? I feel lost. I’m trying to run through what I could say or shouldnt do and I can’t think straight. I don’t know what to do for the best. If he’s feeling angry and insecure, does he need contact and love and reassurance? If he needs space, would contact frustrate him further? I don’t know what to do.

He must know how much I love him and miss him. I have to have faith in that too.

I just want to hide away this morning. I don’t know what to do.

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.