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.

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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.

Day 14 – last

So, this is my last day.

I had a moment of shock yesterday when I realised the time of my flight, the 2.5 hours I needed to be there before my flight and the hour needed to get to the airport. Tomorrow, then, I will leave his home at 11.30am. In my head, I had the whole morning and early afternoon with him. Damn 24 hour clock.

He looked at me and said that I was acting like this was the final time I would be here. I can’t deny a part of me worries about that, like a part of me worries about every last scenario. What a waste of energy. If only I knew how to stop it. After 41 years, I still have no idea.

Today when Wildcard comes home from work, we may go out. He has talked of us going to a local beauty spot or maybe to the nearest city. I’m happy with both or either. I just want to be with him.

Disappointingly, neither of us woke early enough for our morning cuddle. He came in to my room, late for work, and gave me hasty kisses on my lips and neck, cold from the water he had used to wash. A missed opportunity. Hopefully not the last.

Day 5 and 6 – settle

I slept well last night for the first time. The noise from the traffic only wakes me in the morning around six and the call to prayer just after four but both times I am able to go back to sleep. I’m settling in this home. Progress.

Yesterday we had a delicious dinner then sat in the main room, relaxing. Wildcard has a particular place where he lies, and I have taken to sitting at his feet end. He will stretch his legs out to touch me, and I will shuffle closer so he can rest them on my lap. He will then watch something on his phone and I will sketch or listen to music, one hand absent-mindedly stroking his skin. At times, he rubs me with the soles of his feet or kicks me gently in a jiggling motion so I look at him. When I turn back to my phone he does it again. If I stand up he clamps me with his feet. It is all these little things that I love as we settle into this new way of being together.

Ok, I’m lying a little. I love everything. His smell when I walk into his room. The sound of the door when he comes home. The sound of his flipflops as he walks to my room in the morning. The glint in his eyes when he teases me. The way he winks at me. His soft, soft kisses. His laughter when he watches something funny. Resting my head on his chest. The way we entwine our legs together when we cuddle. Him kicking or slapping my bottom when he follows me up the stairs. I love everything.

I’m so glad that I am here for another week. One isn’t enough.

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.

Day 3 – rituals and routines

At 2.30am, Wildcard came into my room. Neither of us could sleep. We talked and kissed and cuddled then he left to go to sleep. I didn’t want him to go, but it is respectful that he did.

Again, I struggled to sleep last night. Wildcard lives on a busy road and there were very few moments of no traffic. Then the dogs started barking and cats yowling…. you get the picture.

I eventually must have slept and woke at 7. I wrapped his presents, blew up some balloons, washed and brushed my teeth. Then, like the first time I was here, put on my headphones and listened to music to wait for him.

He had a sad face when he walked through the door. He was tired and was due for work. He kissed me good morning and we cuddled a while. He then opened his presents. More kisses, more cuddles then he went to work.

I missed him the instant he left.

I washed, dressed and applied make up then fell back to sleep, waking only at 12. Wildcard has gone to a city for work so will not be home until later. I feel oddly comfortable in his home, but I wish he was here.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder

Don’t know, but they are a genius

It is now early evening. Wildcard came home around 5 and the elation that ran through my body when I saw him was, well, unlike anything.

As is typical of me, because I can’t allow myself to enjoy anything, I spent the afternoon missing him like crazy and wondering what he was thinking. Was he happier now I was there? Not only from a safety perspective but also a personal one? Were his feelings as strong as mine? Because I honestly didn’t believe they could get much stronger – but I was, yet again, wrong.

I’m currently sat in his room. He is really tired, and whilst every cell in my body is magnetised to his, he can’t seem to sleep with me next to him on the sofa. Not sure whether to take that as a compliment or not. I’ve found myself just wanting to touch him every time I’m near him. And, to be fair, I think it is similar with him. He lay his head on the cushion next to me, and it slid to rest on my arm. Or he will stroke my arm, hair etc.

But, I’m being selfless and letting him have sleep. Aren’t I a good girl?

I was in the middle of writing this when Wildcard’s mother called me. Throughout the day she has been showing me some traditional cooking. It was now time to complete and decorate his birthday cake.

I had so much fun and we were laughing- me her assistant and her the chef. Her English is much better than I – and probably he – thought, definitely in terms of understanding.

For the first time, Wildcard had a birthday cake. His Mum and Dad changed their clothes and we even sat at the entertaining table (as an aside, we sat at this table for the whole of my first visit. Now I sit at the family table and I am absolutely honoured ❤). We took loads of photos and I am just happy. His mum saved the candles and he told me it is for next year which means even more. It suggests it a new routine, and one that includes me.

The chair and The Midnight Library

I’ve recently read a fabulous book called ‘The Midnight Library’. It is a thought provoking fiction book about life decisions and the millions of different lives we could have had, all based upon the decisions we and others make. I highly recommend it. I’ve passed it on to my sister who isn’t a reader but who is binge reading it as we speak.

I am someone who believes very much in the recycle, upcycle, reuse movement. I love browsing in charity shops for bargains and on Gumtree or Buy, Sell, Swap for treasures. I have found some absolute gems from time to time. I don’t see the point in buying new if there is a perfectly good secondhand one available.

My recent trawl for a desk for my son led me to finding solid wood table and chairs for £25. Apart from the amazing price, I was also amazed by the pictures and the description. I had previously owned the chairs before, and indeed had one left – the rest worn out and burnt on the fire at some point. So what? I hear you say. Well, in the description, it was stated that they were from my boyfriend’s country- or styled in that fashion.

I have said this before, but I believe that my life has led up to meeting him. Yes, yes…I know this is highly romanticised but it amazes me how much I had clearly loved his culture and country without actually knowing it.

Take his cuisine. I have been cooking a version of his cuisine at least since my daughter was a baby and probably before. 17 years, give or take. I love the flavours associated with his culture, without realising it in some cases. Ok, yes… I cook other cultures too – Greek, Chinese, Thai, Indian. Thing is, I hadn’t filled my house with objects from these cultures. I had for his culture.

There is a jewelry box I bought five years ago. Jewelry in a filigree style which I love, bought ten years ago. Colours that I love, very much of his culture.

There are certain pieces of music, particularly from films, which I love which is definitely of his culture. They call to me and I sink heart and soul into them.

I was amazed when I first started speaking to him, because I realised how many items I had in my possession with a link to his country. I was astounded when I saw his beautiful country – its landscapes and architecture and culture – how much it encapsulated all that I love.

When I think back over the years of my adulthood and the way that I have tried – and wanted – to live my life, there are remarkable similarities to his culture that I had no idea about until I visited him a year ago. My values are unique in my family to a certain extent: they are his. I knew next to nothing about his country – I even had to look up where it was as I wasn’t sure.

Without a doubt, he is everything that I find attractive in a man: he is my type. But it is more than that.

About four years ago, I had a vision dream. I’ve only had three in my life. They are dreams of absolute brilliance and clarity, unlike a normal dream. And when you wake you feel an energy, an awakening, a knowing that is profound.

In my dream someone (who I now know looks very much like him) walked through my door – tripping over as he did so. In real life my heart flipped and I woke from my dream with wonder. I didn’t recognise this man, had no idea why this sudden thought had come into my head, and knew that there was something more to it than a normal dream. When you dream about a someone, in general, whilst they may not look like that person, you tend to know who it is. This person was a stranger. The dream came to me from nowhere and appeared in my mind with some force, clarity and brilliance. (The only other dreams I have had like this were after the death of my Grandfather. I will tell you about it sometime.)

I don’t know if it is fate or destiny. I don’t know if it is coincidence. I just know that it appears that my life, my decisions have led to him. I belong with him.

Time for words

I am assuming that I am right in saying that anyone who comes on to WordPress, as a reader or a writer, must love words.

I love words. I’m a reader and a writer. I love the spoken word, the written word, the drawn word, the sung word. Even the implied word. Words fascinate me.

It is hardly surprising then, that my apparent love language is words of affirmation.

Sure, physical touch is important too. I like to be hugged and kissed and caressed. I like making love as an expression of commitment and affection and the sharing and giving of physical pleasure. But, there is a time and a place for such things whereas words are much more flexible. A quick text. A voicemail. An email. A little note on the fridge. A card or letter. A whisper in the ear or against lips in a kiss.

In some ways then, a long distance relationship is a good fit for me. All you really have is conversation and time. You have to talk more because it is so much harder to do anything else. Physical is out the question in between visits, gift buying is more challenging for so many reasons, as are acts of service. So, yes, talking and time are the key things.

Wildcard’s love language is definitely time. So again, this works well. He gives me lots of time, we talk a lot. Jackpot.

Almost.

The things about love languages, if you believe it – and the more I think about it, the more I do – is you often give the love language you like to receive.

I tell Wildcard every day that I love him. Repeatedly. Whenever I feel like it in fact. And if he doesn’t like that, well it is tough. I didn’t start the relationship saying it. But the more I love him, the more I say it. I tell him when I miss him. I tell him when he looks good. I tell him when I am horny.

Ironically, he is the better communicator. He fills the gaps and the silences. And there are some – mainly because we talk so often and because of covid there isn’t much to talk about sometimes.

But, as we both like his love language of time, it really doesn’t matter. When Wildcard places his phone on the dining table so that I join him and his family virtually, I love it. It doesn’t matter than I have no idea what they are talking about most of the time. I just love being with him. I don’t mind some of the quiet times and the silences because we will find something to talk about eventually, or we will joke with one another.

He isn’t as forthcoming with his words of affirmation though. Oh, he tells me he loves me – every day, at the end of every video call. Occasionally he will tell me he misses me or that he wants me. Sometimes he will tell me I look beautiful. He is, however, more likely to tease and joke with me because that is who he is.

I love who he is – every little thing about him.

But occasionally…sometimes… I just need to hear it a little more. Maybe I am having a bad day. Maybe I am really missing him. Maybe I am just premenstrual. Just sometimes I need to hear it. Because I can’t just go up to him for a hug or a kiss or hold his hand. I know he gives me his time – so much of it – but sometimes I just need a little more.

I can be in a bit of battle with myself sometimes. Not to get upset or disappointed or panicky when I don’t hear it. I have to remind myself that he shows his love in other ways…

Like, playing an extra game – even though he was about to say goodbye – because he knows I am anxious about something.

Like, going late for his dinner because we are talking.

Like, always returning calls and messages, always checking in regularly.

Like, going for a walk in the cold and wet – which he hates- because we talk less when he doesn’t go out walking.

I could go on and on.

Unfortunately, tonight, I lost the battle a little.

He had put a story on Facebook and it contained the lyrics of a song – first in his language then in English.

I didn’t know the song but the lyrics were along the lines of ‘girl, don’t be a fool. You don’t own me. All I want for you is to walk away’

And in that moment that I read them, my heart sank. So, what did I do in that heart sinking moment? I sent him an exclamation mark in response to his story.

I regretted it straight away but I didn’t have much time for that because he called immediately to ask what was wrong.

I had to answer of course. It was hard to explain so I kept it simple: I didn’t like his lyrics. He could see I was nervous. He assured me that they were not directed at me or anyone else and he even asked me what a couple of the words meant. He said he just liked the song. I told him it was fine and to ignore me but he asked me if he should delete it. I said no repeatedly, but as he saw my nerves he did it anyway.

After we said goodnight again, I sat contemplating the last five minutes and what had just happened.

Why? Why should those words effect me in this way? He has sent me songs directly with written lyrics in both languages, just for me. They’ve been romantic and heartfelt.

This story wasn’t directed at me, but it felt like it. Because…It’s like my worst nightmare come true. Him telling me that he doesn’t feel the way I do about him.

And then I think about time and actions – his love language. All those moments and minutes and hours devoted to me.

I also think about the occasions when he ‘slips up’ and utters something…that when I question him, he claims not to have said. Like they way he likes my beautiful eyes, or the thing I do with my lips (he wouldn’t elaborate on that one so I have no idea) or that he likes everything about me. They are fleeting, unexpected and often so guarded that they mean all the more in that instant – as if he couldn’t help himself from saying them. Or when he mentions a plan for the future unexpectedly… A trip he has thought about maybe.

So, with all these words, what am I saying?

Part of getting to know someone is learning how they love. And it can be hard sometimes if they way they love is different to you. You can’t change someone in that instance and neither should you want to: you’ve fallen in love with them.

Words are so very powerful. They’re so telling. And yet they can also hide and decieve and lie from the mouths of someone distrustful.

Time doesn’t lie. It can’t hide anything. And yet, it says so much.

The justification of tears

I need to step away. Not because I love him any less, but because I can’t love him more.

Another call which ends in tears.

Tonight we laughed, and I mean laughed, at a stupid present I bought him. And it was stupid, there is no doubt about that.

So why did I cry?

Because he asked me why I wanted to send it. It was a rhetorical question – part of our shared joke. But the truth slammed into me.

I wanted to send it because I love him. Because I want to show him how much I love him. Because I want him to be happy.

How can my tears be making him happy? They can’t and they don’t.

Here is the simple truth behind every tear…

I’m nothing special. His previous girlfriends sent him presents. His previous girlfiends loved him passionately, just like me, and still do.

I’m no different than the others. Except…

I’m far, far away. I can’t kiss him gently to show my love. I can’t make him breakfast or go on long hand-held walks, sharing life. I can’t plan for our future because I don’t know how long that future will be. I can’t be there for him, physically, when things get tough.

I cry when I miss him. I cry when I’m disappointed I can’t see him. I cry when I think he can never love me like I love him. I cry when I think that one day, he is going to see I’m nothing special. I cry when each one of those girls try to get him back.

My philosophy in life has always been: if you work hard you can achieve. I am where I am through sheer hard work.

I can’t work any harder to show him my love, to show him that I am worth loving. Hard work can’t make me special.

I’m powerless. And so I cry.

Should I walk away? Give up now?

Are my tears, however justified, acid that is eroding his love and respect for me? The respect for myself?

I want him to be happy, more than anything. I want him to have a life filled with love and happiness. And no matter how hard I try, I don’t think I am enough. Because I can’t stand out. I can’t be any better than anyone else, because I am not.

An average girl, loving in an above average way. Love is not enough.

He told me that I am better than him because I try. All the gestures I make. He knows I love him. And he is happy.

I’m tired of Facebook and its LDRs. I’m tired of the success stories. I’m tired of the weddings. And now, as the months roll on, I’m scared of the failures and the break ups that appear daily.

But I’m scared of walking away. Giving up is not in my DNA, not without hard work. Not without an 100% conviction that I cannot do any more.

And so I cry because I don’t know what else to do.

But then, I think it is only fair to add that this is not the first time I have cried today or even nearly cried.

I nearly cried when my sister asked to borrow money again. Is that all I am good for?

I cried when my ex husband asked to borrow money again. He pays me nothing for the children. I will be, for the fourth year, buying all the Christmas and birthday presents again. And now he needs to borrow money.

I nearly cried when my boyfriend told me that the girl who keeps messaging him, despite him often ignoring said texts, told him that she loves him. He told her she was just a friend to him. He didn’t tell her about me. Yes, I know it is not his culture to have girlfriends. Yes, I know he is a very private person and doesn’t want a relative stranger to know his business. But it still hurt.

I nearly cried when I found out that my mum has visited my sister (in her bubble) and not me. Mum will drop presents off for all at my sister’s house this Christmas but won’t come to me.

I cried when my daughter stopped talking to me and only started again when she thought I was buying McDonald’s. I cried when my autistic son refused to eat his because they put cheese on even though we asked for it not to be on. I cried because apparently it was my fault when all I have done today is try to make him happy.

I cried as I walked home. I cried because I’m tired. I cried because I just want to be loved. I want to feel appreciated. I want my best to be good enough. And you know what? I want someone to do their best for me because I am worth that. I want to be important to someone and I feel important to no-one.

Oh, and I miss my dad.

It is pretty obvious that I’m a thinker. A dweller. A ruminate-r. So, after reading the wonderful advice I received this morning, I didn’t know how to answer. I needed to think.

Luckily for me, my children were still asleep, the dog didn’t seem to want the toilet yet and so I just lay in bed, gazing at the sunlight peeking around the curtains and just thought.

As is often the case, things felt a little better this morning. I cringed inside at my behaviour (he hates it when I put the phone down on him and I haven’t done it in months and months and months.) I thought about his. I thought about my feelings and our ‘future’. I thought about the advice I had received and the absolute truth within it.

And then I called him. Yes – I know, I know. But I needed to. He normally calls me in the morning, but I needed to speak to him before my youngest came bounding in. It was gone 9am by this point and usually there would have been some contact so that didn’t help either.

He was asleep. I woke him. And as he turned his lamp on and I saw those big brown eyes looking at me, and heard his sleepy voice, he had me all over again. He asked me repeatedly if I was OK but it wasn’t long until we were interrupted.

The call ended and I was determined to heed some of the advice given to me. Today was about making myself feel better. Me time.

So I showered, I shaved, I moisturised top to toe. I spent ages on my make up and hair whilst my daughter chatted to me, lying on my bed. I put clothes on that she said made me look pretty and I tried to feel better. It worked a little. I certainly felt calmer.

I had another couple of calls from him then took my children to their Dad’s. I then MADE myself clean the house. No feeling sorry for myself and dwelling. So I cleaned. I made a fire. I folded washing. I put happy music on and sang and danced. I can’t tell you I didn’t think about him, because I did. But I tried not to.

Without making me ill, covid has affected me and my relationship in a number of different ways. It has stopped me from seeing him and potentially progressing our relationship. It has stripped me of doing all the things that I used to do to fill my time, as in when I first met him and when I was content with my lot. And it has given us so much more time that I think we have both become more dependent upon each other. I don’t know if that would have happened automatically as our feelings grew, or not, but having more time to do it certainly has contributed.

During my cleaning, I’d gone outside to the bin and heard the familiar sound of geese flying overhead. The sound automatically makes me think of my father. It’s not an unpleasant sound and it doesn’t bring back unpleasant memories but naturally it brings a sadness. On this occasion though it actually brought some creativity and I ended up writing a poem about my dad and about all the things that remind me of him at this time of year. I actually shared it on Facebook as I have family members that I thought would appreciate the sentiment.

I was beginning to make myself something to eat when I heard the familiar ping of my phone. When I looked, Wildcard had written two lines: ‘you love your dad’ ‘and me I love you baby’. I replied that I loved him too. He told me that he hated to see me sad and that he was here for me, I knew that.

This this is why I love him. He could have just liked my post. He could have checked in on me when he called not 10 minutes later as planned. But instead he messaged to tell me he loves me, to tell me he is here for me and that he wants me to be happy. This is why I love him.

He did call as usual as he set off on his daily evening walk. Tonight we reminisced about our time together, remembering things about that week that were so special. I felt calm and loved – the way it should be, the way it is when I’m not worrying.

When he got home, he prepared his dinner and I got mine. This is a new thing for me. I can count on one hand and the amount of times I’ve eaten over video chat in a year. Ridiculous I know, as I clearly ate with him when I was with him, but I really struggle with this. He however eats in front of me nearly every day. So this week I’ve been making an effort to slay that and although I’m a little uncomfortable I kind of like it too. Like we’re eating together.

The rest of the 2-hour call was spent with him making me laugh and laugh and laugh. I know him well enough to know this is his way to support me and make me happy. In return, I love the smile on his face and his laughter just as much.

So where does this leave me? I know I can’t leave him. No matter how hard this is at times – and it really is – I know it’s hard because of how much I love him. But I can’t give up on him. I also can’t change who I am. I am anxious I am insecure and I try my best everyday to not be like that, but I am. At the same time, I think my friend is right in that I need to spend some time focusing on me and my own happiness. Maybe when we come out of this lockdown in just over a week I will be able to do more independently. Maybe.

For now, I just need to carry on, I need to have faith and have hope and I need to remember that life has a way of working out the way it’s supposed to.