Ouch.

I’m ill.

It started Friday with that prickly, tickly throat thing. By Saturday morning I was bed ridden – head cold, cough, temperature, sore skin and aching body. Everything hurts. You know the type. I’ve completed three lateral flows but they have all come back negative. So it’s just your usual flu. How nice.

I’m vain and sentimental enough to want to speak to Wildcard often as he cheers me up but not want to because I look awful. What a cruel world.

Yesterday I had ‘joined them for lunch’, as in, he had propped me up on the tea kettle, always looking at him. My favourite thing to look at. He turned to speak to his parents and whilst I had no idea what he was saying, I caught that face. The one with the twinkle in his eye, where he seems to speak from one side of him mouth in an almost cheeky mutter. He was saying something cheeky and funny. He then laughed.

I felt this absolute tsunami of love wash over me, right in that instant. So much so that there were years in my eyes. I can’t tell you how much I wanted to be with him, right there, right then.

He’s called me multiple times today. He’s laughed and joked at my broken voice but has been caring too.

Tonight, after what seems like 48 hours in bed, I finally got up and made soup and watched TV with my daughter. We are watching a series together.

In the scene, the hero stares lovingly at his girl. As he slowly reaches down to press a kiss on each of her cheeks, my mind was taken back to only a few months ago. I’d been stood in the doorway to his apartment as he washed his car. He finished, brought in the coiled hose and brushed up the last of the water. Closing the heavy door behind him, he turned to me, glancing up the stairs before grabbing me. He kissed one cheek and then the other. He kissed my forehead, my nose, my chin and finally…finally….my lips. It was the most romantic and loving thing he had ever done.

My London friend and I have barely talked for two weeks. I don’t know whether that says more about her or me. She’d never shown a dislike of him up until that time: instead helping to calm my anxieties and appreciate him for the good man he was. Not anymore. So now, we have nothing to talk about. She is now in the same bracket as my sister and my old best friend: people who have openly stated their dislike and distrust of him, with no evidence, so now we don’t talk as much.

Whilst a part of me will always be wary, will always doubt and question (partly because of my past history, partly because of my confidence and partly because of what I know has happened to others) it is a very very small part. I love him and trust him. I don’t believe you kiss someone like that unless you want to and feel something.

If only I looked this cute when ill.

Enough (cont from previous post)

How to explain?

I told him that my last trip with him was the happiest I had been. I was so happy.

But that trip had signalled a ‘mental’ end. For me, I had decided that once I got back there would be no more relaxing and dilly-dallying. No. It was time to start work.

When that didn’t happen (my DBS wasn’t back), I faltered. I mourned not being with him and the life I wanted with him. But I couldn’t motivate myself wholeheartedly to do much else. Whilst I couldn’t explain this to him as eloquently as I have just now, he understood. He told me not to worry – I would be working soon. He told me to fill my time, and my mind, with other work. He’s always right.

I continued. And then…and then there was the incident with my London friend. I hadn’t told him what she had said but he pressed me and so I did. 

This was hard to explain – naturally, he took the affront and felt that she (and I) were accusing him of being bad and of not loving me.

But that isn’t it. I told him that I know he is a good man. Her words, her belief that I was an option actually made me feel bad on me. That I wasn’t good enough. The reason he hasn’t made a commitment or a decision was that I wasn’t good enough.

“Did I say that? Have I ever said that to you? You must understand my thinking.”

He was angry with her for inserting herself so negatively in our relationship. He talked of his culture and the ‘white thread’ that family brought to support a couple when they were struggling.

He said there were no problems between us.  That he just needed time to get everything right where he was, before he made the final move to commitment and leaving his country.

He told me…he told me that he had never met a woman like me before. He told me that I was beautiful and gentle and a good woman, and that his parents had said the same. He said he was the bad one – he didn’t do half of what I did for him and so I had no reason to think bad of myself. When I asked him why he didn’t, and I say that not because I want him to do those things but out of curiosity, he said he wasn’t in the position to do it. It wasn’t his way and I knew his situation. (I repeat, I don’t expect those things from him. I don’t need gifts as such. I perhaps just need a symbol.)

He talked about how we shared our life, and how we had done so for two years now. He told me he had never spent so much virtual time with a woman, none of his ex girlfriends. And I was the only one who knew his family – didn’t I realise that was something special?

That is what he had given me, I concluded. Not a token. He had made the decision to give me his life, of a fashion. Outside of me, and his parents, and his Instagram aspirations he does little else. This isn’t a man going out all the time. He rarely goes anywhere.

I am enough. He told me I am enough. What actually said is that I’m better than, more than that.

So….

Enough already. Stop with the mopsing and the worrying and the overthinking.

I am enough.

Just

I can’t help but think that these journeys are unnecessarily complicated. I’ve only just published my last post which I completed yesterday because of the complications.

My experience through the airport of Wildcard’s country was relatively simple. Except that no one knows how to queue. People were pushing in to check-in from all angles. As I can’t speak their language there was little I could do but glare. Oh, and watch Wildcard as I waited. He stood at the barrier until I blew a kiss and waved him off. I watched him disappear for a moment then reappear, trying to see me in the queue again and then slowly walking to find his parents who were sat someone in the airport. I felt a pull from my solar plexus as he walked away – like my heart was pining for him as the distance grew, a complete physical manifestation of missing him.

So, due to the queue jumpers, check in took longer than needed. I had originally booked a priority ticket on Ryanair which gives you a 10kg carry on and a handbag. I had brought a 20kg case with me inbound as I had gifts to give Wildcard and his family and also brought toiletries etc, some of which I have left there with the bigger case.

Of course, once I had filled my smaller case with the gifts from Wildcard’s mum, I decided to buy a 20kg case pass again. I shouldn’t have bothered. My small case weighed 6kg. I prefer not lugging it round, it’s true, and security is easier with liquids and electricals packed away. But I’m not sure the cost justifies this. Is it more economical to buy the 20kg case when you buy your ticket? I’m not sure. Plus ‘priority’ is a joke. I’ve been on 8 flights this year and only once has Ryanair honoured priority pass. Plus, I think most people buy priority anyway, so it hardly makes a difference.

The plane out was delayed slightly which added pressure to my already tight schedule. My second flight to the UK (which I am now sat on, waiting to move) was not until 6am. I landed at 10pm, and once we had disembarked and went through security, picked up luggage and walked what seemed miles to the pick up point, I was wondering if it was worth going to the hotel.

It was. I travelled less than 10 minutes on the complimentary airshuttle and arrived at a comfortable hotel room with a huge bed and spacious walk in shower. It was 11pm before I had spoken to Wildcard, showered and looked for taxi options. Annoyingly, the hotel shuttle didn’t run until 5am and I needed to be at the airport for 4.30am. Check your hotel carefully. Airshuttle buses run at unique times for every hotel, if they even have one.

I didn’t sleep wonderfully well – my head was filled with Wildcard and the thought of a 4am get up – but being comfortable on a huge bed was better than sitting on a hard metal chair in the airport. Even if I had not slept, which I did, being comfortable for 5 hours was worth the £45 for the hotel. There were no comfortable facilities at the airport for my wait, although there may have been if I had booked a transit/connecting flight??

I woke, dressed, made my way out of the hotel and found a convenient ATM right outside the hotel. That was the simplest part of my morning. It all went downhill from there. I ordered my taxi via Cabify. This is the second time I have used them in Spain. I was quoted €13 for a 10 minute journey which is still cheaper than the €25 cost of a taxi transfer via the hotel. As before though, the taxi never arrives on time even though you can watch their journey on the interactive map. Secondly, there were a few other people waiting for taxis which made me wonder why the hotel hadn’t honoured its hotel room + transfer package if there were a few people needing it. Ah well.

The taxi driver didn’t speak English. We managed to communicate that I was going to the airport. He took me to the wrong terminal. I didn’t know this until I tried to enter the terminal and was told to go down two floors and get a bus. Sounds simple? It’s not at 4.45am when you are 15 minutes late and don’t speak Spanish. Plus, there was noone around which gives the airport an eerie feel and you can’t follow the crowds in the hope of getting to the right place.

But, I got there and managed to get to the right terminal. My next problem was that the UK Gov locator form wouldn’t accept my vaccination QR code and so the Ryanair staff wouldn’t check in my bag until I had done it. So, I stood at the front of the queue furiously fighting with it. Eventually it was done and I made my way to security. I weaved through the empty barriers and watched people walk straight through the ‘priority’ section, even though that was for disabled people or prams and they were neither.

The security alarm went off twice as I tried to walk through and the security didn’t speak English. You can tell they were talking about me though as I was ‘wanded’.

Soon I was finally, finally through security. I had a little time to grab a coffee and wish for the millionth time I wasn’t gluten free as I tried to ignore the beautiful fresh sandwiches and pastries on offer. Likewise, the plane offers nothing gluten free for breakfast. I’m probably hangry as well as exhausted.

I’m now on a train heading towards the centre of London so I can catch my final train back up North.

The flight to London was fine – practically empty – which makes the 4am get up worthwhile. I don’t know if it is covid or me but I really hate packed aeroplanes now.

When we landed though, I felt the physical pang in my chest. I was in the UK, home, and as far away from Wildcard as I can be. My heart aches with missing him. My heart tornadoes with thoughts and feelings and fears of the future.

Why can’t I just love him and him love me, and why can’t we just be together?

4am

Good morning!

I’m sat in the departure lounge. My flight leaves in two hours and I haven’t slept yet. I probably should have done and I’m regretting sitting down. I now feel really sleepy.

Travelling alone, I can’t risk having a sneaky sleep. I feel vulnerable and I’m scared I will miss my flight. But I really, really want to. The mask weirdly makes me feel even more tired. Looking around, no one else is sleeping either, even the ones in groups. Do they feel like me?

I can’t wait to see Wildcard. We had a tricky month after my last trip but things have been great since. I’m determined to be positive and confident and not worry about the future. I’m just going to enjoy the here and now. That’s all we truly have, isn’t it?

I wanted Wildcard to show some excitement about my coming but he didn’t. That doesn’t mean he isn’t. He just doesn’t declare it openly like me and I have accepted that. Sometimes, even now after nearly two years, some of his joking sends a pang of fire through my veins. It’s too easy to worry. I know I’m too sensitive and I wish I wasn’t, but then isn’t that just who I am?

It’s nearly 5am now. I wasted a bit of time walking around. The airport is getting busy now. I’m waiting for my gate number (which I’m informed is in 15 minutes). I’ve had an unpleasant incident at one of the restaurants here – giving me a disclaimer where they clearly state they fry gluten free food with all other food that is not gluten free and they couldn’t get me out of there quick enough.

I can’t wait to be sat on the plane as it means I am a step closer to him: that feeling of comfort and ease when I am close to him. And not overthinking of course.

Confused but not crying

Those who know me or who have been reading my posts for a while will know that I have a little epiphany from time to time. It’s like the jumble of thoughts that are in my head finally clear and everything fits into place.

That is not to say I won’t get anxious about Wildcard again – I will. My anxiety is a part of me as much as my freckles are: whilst they almost disappear sometimes, in other times they are vibrant and unmissable. So it will be, I guess, with my anxiety.

It is also hard not to let familiarity and ‘routine‘ (and I say that for want of a better word) continue. This is some of what I read about and watched a few days ago… I’m anxious about a certain thing. I allow myself to think about it repeatedly, unchecked. My brain registers that and almost comes to expect it. So then my brain will look out for signs and reminders for me so I continue thinking about it. And so on. This is my daily life and what my brain expects and plans for.

I need to re-route my brain.

I need to let my dreams of the future be the focus of my thoughts but not of a future with him.

Wow that hurts.

But I have no control over that future and until he is ready to talk about it at least, I can’t keep dreaming about something he may not want or may never happen. No, instead I need to dream about a life for me.

Today has been a great day with him. The tension has lifted and it was like we were back to how we were a few months ago – before his family troubles, the sad loss of his grandmother, covid-visit stress and the recent arguments. We laughed today, a lot.

Pexels

I wrote the above yesterday. This morning I have waved off my sisters and my youngest as they go on a little trip with a family friend. They offered to take him months ago as we thought I would be going to see Wildcard. Huh.

As I predicted, my buoyancy has waned a little. The anxiety is at bay but my overthinking isn’t.

Whilst sitting drinking coffee with my brother in law and our friend this morning, he asked for an update on Wildcard and my return to his country.

I could hear myself trying to explain what happened. I heard myself say that when he first gave me his reasons I couldn’t understand but subsequent discussions have clarified it for me. In short, I heard myself explaining away the situation. Neither of them knew what to say. Our friend said “but surely he wants you to come when you can?” which of course were my sentiments too. I tried to explain how he worries and overthinks. It sounded a little like excuses to my own ears, even though I know it is true.

I’m so stuck between thinking that he isn’t ready to commit, isn’t sure about me or that I’m rushing things and putting pressure on through my anxiety and in typical female fashion of wanting commitment and a label, yesterday.

I’ve been with him for 21 months and we have talked multiple times every single day

But I have only visited him, seen him in person, twice for a total of three weeks.

I believe we are in a serious relationship, but not yet serious enough for us to discuss our future.

A commitment in this long distance relationship is bigger than a normal relationship. He is commiting to starting again career wise, moving away from his family and friends, moving to a new country.

He is still calling, still wants to be with me but just wants breathing time between visits.

His parents like me and want me to come. He would allow me to come in August even though he would prefer it to be delayed.

Yesterday he asked me to remind him to do something in early September.

Am I holding out for something that will never happen? Or am I letting my anxiety and insecurity ruin something good?

Confused, but not crying. Is this progress?

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.

Tears and fears and talking part two

My daughter tells me that I am not the same anymore. I’ve lost a strength – in her words, my ability to say what I think, argue my point. She said the mum she used to know wouldn’t have put up with either men – my exes mood or Wildcard’s sulking. My son – the one with ADHD – said that I am too nice sometimes.

I’ve lost my fight. I’ve know that for a long time, since my Dad became terminal. I lost my fight on the day the darkness decended and I succumbed to burnout/depression/break down or whatever you want to call it. The last part of my fighting died when my dad did. I’m a different person now.

I’m not fighting my job loss. I’m not fighting with my ex for being unreasonable and I’m not fighting with Wildcard for also being unreasonable. I don’t fight with my sisters when they take me for granted (which really annoys my kids). I don’t fight with my kids when they also take me for granted. I have, in all honesty, become a bit of a door mat.

So, as mentioned in my previous post Part one, this morning when Wildcard called me I was asleep. The call was brief, he was frosty (❄❄❄). He called back an hour later. I was asleep again, because that is what soft, depressed and overly anxious people do. He was getting ready for the wedding and looked delicious. The call was short and he said we would speak later.

Half an hour later he called again. This time I pretended that I had been awake when in reality I had gone back to sleep. He was sat in the car waiting for his family. I could see his nerves, how he is when he is doing something out of the ordinary. I could hear it in his conversation with his parents. He put his mum on the phone and we spoke briefly. I told her I miss her and she asked about my youngest. I told her that he wants to come to visit.

Wildcard then came back on the phone and he said he was going and that he would be busy so it would be later. I asked him to message when he arrived and he agreed. I got my take care ❄❄.

To my surprise, when he arrived he not only messaged but called me as well. A quick call, but appreciated nonetheless. That was five hours ago now but not unexpected.

What was unexpected was the conversation I had with my ex this afternoon.

He has finally thawed out – it has taken him a week to talk civilly to me. Today he was back to normal. We actually talked though – about the situation with Wildcard and how things have progressed. I warned him that I may well go back soon and he said that was expected. I also suggested that all three children have asked to go at some point, which is true, but hinted that I may take my youngest sooner rather than later.

The upshot? He has accepted accepted situation and the apparent seriousness of my relationship. He said he was shocked and hurt at first but is happy for me. He knows that the children may want to go and won’t stop me taking them. He even offered to speak to Wildcard to confirm that he wasnt happy about picking me up from the airport either. He apologised for his mood and said he was over it now.

It was a relief. Whilst his mood would never stop me – which he acknowledged – I feel better knowing that he can now be calmer and that an obstacle between Wildcard and I has effectively been removed. I am free to visit again without hassle and I can take my children unchallenged.

So what now?

It is up to Wildcard. If our disagreement has had one positive outcome it is that in our arguing I told him exactly how I feel and what I want, some of which I couldn’t say to his face. I told him I want to marry him, spend my life with him and have a baby with him. Deep.

Ideally, whilst I have the opportunity, I would like to take my youngest over. He and Wildcard have a great relationship and his mother has a soft spot for him. As he is under 12, there are limited Covid rules for him to worry about but I would need to ensure that I follow all guidelines to keep him safe. Out of all three of my children, he is the one who needs me and missed me most and the one who needs care when I am not here. By taking him, we are moving the relationship forward. Wildcard himself suggested a holiday at a seaside resort for my children and him. It seems like an ideal solution.

I’m hoping we are now in a steady thaw. In the next few days, all being well, he will be back to normal. I’m hoping that when I share with him what my ex has said he will feel better about everything. It is also an indication of how serious our relationship is becoming.

I know there will be those of you reading who will not like the way he has behaved in the last few days. I get that. I can only say that, if I knew an ex had given him a ride home, I probably wouldn’t have liked it either. This is who he is. He is not perfect or flawless. But I accept this about him in as much as he accepts my anxiety and nervous crying. I hope, anyway.

Tears and fears and talking part one

It is hard not to feel like I am in the eye of the storm somehow. It has been a tumultuous 24 hours.

I know Wildcard, probably as much as he knows me. Perhaps a little less- his understanding of me sometimes is uncanny.

I said that I thought his anger came from me having travelled with my ex from the airport but also that I hadn’t told him soon enough. I knew this. But my desire to get home did override the common sense of discussing it with him before. I had tried to broach it in a call before I left the hotel and he didn’t take me on. And then, because it wasn’t certain, I didn’t mention it in the airport. I found out it was definite just before I boarded and it wasn’t the right time to mention it then.

When I landed, as requested, I messaged to say I was safe and he responded. I attempted to call him and he didn’t answer. Knowing him, he was too tired/half asleep but I know full well he could have answered. I was going to tell him then. I was anxious that he hadn’t answered. I was anxious about how my ex would be with me. I was tired and nervous and fraught. So I didn’t message to tell him how I was getting home. There may even have been a little stubbornness in there too – you don’t want to answer because you’re tired but I’m tired too, so why should I have to tell you this? The complexities of my mind.

He has continued to be ‘off’, ‘cold’ the last few days. I know him enough to know the stages of his annoyance:

  • ❄❄❄❄ Ends our calls with ‘talk later.’ Snappy and cold. Will ignore messages by reading and not responding. Doesn’t answer calls but will call me.
  • ❄❄❄ Calls perhaps a little less than normal. Calls are shorter. Frosty reception but periods of normalcy. No kisses, no I love yous, no take cares, no joking comments. Will not let me off the phone if I am upset to make sure I am OK but no real warmth as such. If I question him about the state of our relationship he is non-commital. May seem OK when he is talking to his family.
  • ❄❄ Calls are as frequent as normal. More normal conversation – asks if I am OK, talks about everyday things. Will tell me to take care, and sleep well. Sporadically will send kisses. Some calls start OK, some start with moods. Definite thawing. Still no ‘I love you’. Responds with ‘I know’ or ‘thank you’ if I say it to him. Will pass the phone to his family for me to say hello.
  • ❄ Some joking. Some kisses at the end of calls. Tells me not to be sad and checks I am OK but may seem annoyed whilst on calls. Often interchangeable with ❄❄ until there is a sudden return to normal, lovable and loving Wildcard.

You also need to remember that I’ve seen this from the other side – weeks of him barely speaking to his mum when they have rowed. I think I get off lightly in comparison though it doesn’t feel like it at the time.

So, yesterday we were moving between❄❄❄ and ❄❄. There was a five hour stint of no contact which is unusual but he seemed a little more himself. After an afternoon call I couldn’t take it any longer and had to ask him what was going on.

We started with messaging and then I just called. We were on the phone over an hour. What is clear is that he was as unhappy with me being in the car with my ex as the fact that I was late in telling him. For example, I told him how important he was to me, and he replied that he was ‘not that important if you get in the car with your ex’. He feels I should have asked him his opinion when the option came up.

Jealous, yes. Controlling? Maybe a little. This is very much a cultural thing. But part of me is thinking, if we are that serious that I need to confirm that with you, where is the engagement ring and the commitment from you? There is also a part of me that realises the depth of his feeling from his reaction. He loves me enough to keep calling and to be jealous but is angry all the same.

Anyway, there were a lot of tears on my part. I asked him straight out if he still loved me and wanted me (a stupid question if you consider my previous paragraph but at the time…) and I got ‘not important’ which is his stock phrase when he is being awkward.

I cried and he stayed on the phone. If I disappeared to blow my nose he would call me in panic until I returned. He asked why I was crying as he should be the one crying as I had done the bad thing. ??!!

At the end of the call, once I had stopped crying sufficiently, he told me to take care, sleep well and even gave me a kiss. Moments later he even messaged to say goodnight and tell me not to be sad which was a temporary move to ❄.

Today, he called me a number of times this morning as he was getting ready to go to a family wedding. He warned me he would be busy today and so would speak to me later. Probably a ❄❄ overall. Who knows, maybe being busy will help him miss me.

Power

I’m lying in bed and I have tears streaming down my face. Some are through pain and some through laughter.

Wildcard is definitely moody. But he won’t talk about it.

So I’m not sure if it is the fact my ex (and my daughter) drove me home or the fact that he thought my sister had, and now knows she didn’t. It is probably both.

He is still calling me at the usual times. There is an awkward atmosphere occasionally. Other times he talks as normal; I swear until he remembers he is supposed to be annoyed. He won’t tell me he loves me though, or kiss me goodbye. I expect that now, as after 18 months I know his m.o. when he is annoyed with me. Yesterday I managed relatively comfortably with it, somewhat secure that it will probably pass with time.

Today has been a little different.

I was heart warmed when he messaged me first thing with ‘Good morning my love.’ I hoped this signalled he had got over it and would be back to himself. He had quite a stressful day on today which I know had been bothering him so I wasn’t surprised when he didn’t respond to my reply for a while.

His contact today has been limited though. He eventually called me at lunch when he was at a restaurant with his parents. The call was brief and he had no headphones so couldn’t talk much. As requested, he did call me back to show me what they were eating- and I had asked for a picture because it was something traditional I had not seen before. But still, no love you, no kisses and no response when I questioned it.

Since then my mood has dipped. I’m already anxious about this relationship and things like this don’t help. I took myself off to bed and wept a little.

My ex is angry I’m with Wildcard. Wildcard is angry I got a ride with my ex. My daughter would have been upset if I had got a hotel. I can’t win.

I lay in bed feeling the despair of uncertainty all over again. No news from the union. No call from Wildcard. No sign of any decent jobs.

And so I prayed. I thanked for the life I did have: my family and friends, the opportunities I’ve had, my health. But then I asked for help. I asked for strength. I asked that I could stop worrying and be happy and enjoy my relationship. I asked for guidance.

I swear to you, within minutes Wildcard called. He was visiting family. The call was brief but at least he called. He messaged then to say he was tired, it was very hot and we would talk later.

I lay back down and thought. He must have seen that I looked a little upset. But at least he called. I could see he was tired after a stressful day and a lot of travelling so now was not the time to air grievances. I felt a little better but was still anxious to move on.

As my eyes began to close again, and considering this was only five minutes after Wildcard’s call, the phone rang again.

This time it was test and trace. They’ve called every day. I wasn’t in the mood but knew I had to answer. A youngish male voice answered and started his spiel. I interrupted and asked if I was going to be called every day. He replied yes, and that I would probably know the script better than him by now and should he continue at speed?

I told him to continue, I would listen and I.knew he was only doing his job. He then proceeded to speak as quickly as he could, meaning I was laughing hysterically down the phone. He paused, asked if I was crying or laughing, then started again. Amidst laughing, I answered his questions. He retorted that he could tell I was at home from the echo of the room – was I residing in a Palace? Did I have any further questions?

I replied no, but asked if he could call me tomorrow as that had been the best call I’d had so far from Test and Trace.

He said it was probably the worst then told me he would say the next part slowly so I could hear him properly. He then proceeded to read at speed again, and I was laughing once more.

He finished the he wished me a good day and said he hoped he would get to speak to me again.

The call ended with a smile and I thanked the power of prayer and laughter.

Return to the doghouse, or, rejection.

I’ve been home a few days now. I did start to write a post about my final day but didn’t know how to finish it.

I slept the majority of the two days I’ve been home so far. I don’t know why. Sure, travel tires you but I don’t normally feel this tired. I hurt my neck in the journey home- my back pack was far too heavy and I felt it pull. Since then I have limited motion to the right and felt sick with the pain. Maybe that’s what is wrong.

And maybe it is a lot of things.

Perhaps it is the state of the house. I left my 17 year old, seemingly mature daughter to take care of the pets. She had friends round and her Dad and aunties checked on her. The house was a mess. Think: sour milk that never got to the fridge, pizza boxes with mouldy pizza in and enough empty soft drink bottles to make a raft. Oh and she hasn’t washed a towel in two weeks. However, the pets are all well and alive so that is something. I’ve never left her alone before so maybe this is typical.

Maybe it is that I now need to think seriously about my future. I need to find a job or start my business. My hope of coming home with a sense of the future was dashed – I know that I must plan for myself alone.

Maybe it is the fact that my ex is barely speaking to me for going to see Wildcard and Wildcard is now barely speaking to me because he found out that my ex and daughter ended up getting me from the airport when my sister let me down. Yep, figure that one out.

And then this morning I was woken by my nearly 50 year old half sister – the one I haven’t spoken to for three years – at 6.30am crying and hammering on the door. She was drunk, in distress, and had fallen out with my even more aggressive half brother who had pushed her over. I have lots and lots of bad history with her, but I have good also. She is very much alone – a fact she is aware of as much as her blame for that. My Dad would be heartbroken to see her like that. She is involved with a man who is no good and as I sat there and watched her I just felt awful. She has told me some of the things he has said to her, apparently in jest, and I could see how this has made her change her appearance. His drinking and drug use have clearly increased her own drinking. But most of all, I just saw someone who was lost. Missing her Dad (she has no mum) and just craving love and attention to the point of changing herself. I saw me. And I didn’t like it.

How much of what I feel for Wildcard comes from that loneliness, that desperation for love and acceptance? I have lived a life rejected by my half siblings, simply for being born. In turn they have marginalised me from the rest of my dad’s family- only the ones who don’t get on with them, get on with me.

However much they chased me afterwards, my ex husband, my first boyfriend and Lost Soul played with my feelings enough and let me down to the point of rejection. I forgave and accepted and tried, but in the end gave up on them. Once I’d given all I had, there was no more going back – regardless of their promises and pain and love.

I’ve had issues with friends – the one who rejected me because of my relationship with Wildcard for example. And now there is work. Rejection if ever I’ve felt it. I’m not wanted.

So what if, my desperation for a life with Wildcard comes from that? He has shown me undue attention in two years. He is deliciously handsome and funny and knows me like no other. What if my desire to run away from the rejection here is a key incentive in my commitment to him? I would be lying if I told you I hadn’t thought of starting a new life there.

And he does hurt me, from time to time. He says things to make me nervous. He can be childish and maybe even a little spiteful – he’s angry with me now (even though he says he isnt) so his response to my ‘I love you’ is ‘I know’. Oddly, it hasn’t affected me like it usually does. I know him well enough to know why this has put him on edge. I know how he behaves when he feels this way. And I know, usually, it will blow over. He is still calling me and answering my calls and texts. He will stew, he may discuss, he will forget. Maybe.

But no matter which way you look at it, I was desiring more ‘finality’ in our relationship than he was. And that feels like rejection too. Maybe he isn’t ready. Maybe it is finances. Maybe he wants to meet my children. Maybe it is too soon for his parents. Maybe my behaviour freaked him out. Maybe I want too much, too soon. Maybe it is not meant to be.

And this, then, is my problem. I’ve lost all faith in my own judgement and thinking. The more I think, the less I know. The more I think, the more possibilities my stupid brain comes up with. So many, that I can reject and accept everyone with no clear decision on which is most likely.

So, I’m in the doghouse. And I’ve a feeling that I am the only one who can get myself out.