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.

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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 1 – I am loved

My soon to be seventeen year old is fiercely independent. I am proud of her. I’m proud of her determination, her spirit. Her kindness. As a child, she was a timid, blonde haired, blue eyed fairy. As a young adult she is a fighter.

So to see tears well in her eyes tonight…was shocking. Tomorrow I travel. So tonight I asked her what she would like me to bring back. “Nothing,” she said, “just make sure you come back.”

She has been my support and my strength this last week. Nights of no sleep. Endless ruminating and calculating and searching. She told me to go, told me to put myself first. She was angry when my sister was unsupportive and actually phoned her to say her piece. Wisely, my sister didn’t answer.

But then, that shows love too, doesn’t it? My sister not wanting me to go. Actually being unhappy about it. Today, she messaged me early and we have spent most of the day together. There was no apology – her feelings are valid – but effort was made to build bridges.

Later, unexpectedly, she came again with my five year old niece who apparently was crying because she wanted to see me before I left.

My ex’s response was interesting but not unexpected. He flew off the handle, argued about the inconvenience. Later, calmer but not calm, he would tell me that he couldn’t understand how I could leave my children for two weeks or why I am not taking them on holiday instead. My daughter says he still loves me. I don’t know about that.

Money aside – one person’s tickets compared to four- I am going for myself.

My mum, in her own act of love, echoed by my best friend, told me to put myself first for once. Do what I wanted.

Whilst the pull of seeing Wildcard is the driving force, it isn’t the only one. I’m tired. Tired of worrying. Tired of anxiety. Tired of wondering how I will survive once my settlement money goes.

I say I, but it is we. Not just my children. I financially support both my sisters and my ex husband. I’ve paid both sisters’ rent this month. I’ve bought and cooked tea twice at my ex’s house this week as he has no money. Earlier in the week I paid for shopping. I paid for fuel in cars that I will never drive. Tonight, my youngest sister walked out my house with bags of food as she has none either. And it is more than that. I’ve listened and counselled and advised. And yes, to an extent, they have for me too. Whilst I will always help when I can, and worry that I may not be able to much longer, I am tired. Tired of worrying about everyone.

So, tomorrow, I have chosen myself when I go on the first part of my journey. I’m terrified but can’t wait for that feeling of pride in myself when it turns out ok. The freedom of travel alone.

And then, when I finally arrive in Wildcard’s country, I will have time with the man I love. I will have time with his family, who barely speak English and so can’t talk about things that may weihh me down. I will also have time to myself. No house to clean, no sisters to mother, no ex to support. I am going to rest and enjoy but I am also taking my laptop and plan to work too. I will help out round the house – if Wildcard’s mum will let me – and I am hoping we can do some cooking together. I will miss my children more than anything. That is my one regret. But, I hope to come back stronger and be the mother they love, not this shadow-self.

Wildcard is still very anxious about me coming. And that shows love too. His list of concerns, some valid and some just out there, must come from a place of love. I hate that he is worrying and I hope that it doesn’t marr our time together. But I need this trip for more reasons than him, although he remains the biggest one.

So now, I sleep. In 11 hours I will be at the airport. And my act of self love will begin.

Decisions, decisions

It has been an interesting couple of days.

After much discussion, contemplation, Google use and note making, I’ve decided to go to see Wildcard.

He is conflicted about it. He wants me to go but is worried about a variety of things. He has expressed how he feels, on both sides, and has left it to me to decide as ultimately it is me who is taking the risks as he sees it. There was a comment that he thinks I dwell too much on the now and not the future and that I must be sure I’ve done my research and thought things through.

Do I dwell on now??

I actually think that I do worry about the future and probably too much. But at the same time, after losing Dad, I’m very much of the opinion that you do have to live for now. I’ve weighed up every option and going now still seems the best for so many reasons.

The question is…how soon.

My plan was to leave on Sunday. He and his parents are happy with that – I would arrive on the Monday. He was concerned about me being able to get my PCR yest for my return home so I have sourced one at the airport. This means I will have to stay about 5 days longer. What a shame.

But. This is conflicting with something else. My Aunty’s belated 60th Spa weekend, cancelled repeatedly due to Covid.

I love my Aunty. I want to go. The Spa is AMAZING. But I don’t want to be grilled and questioned about my situation, and due to who is going, that will happen. I don’t want to travel to high Covid area and that is what will happen (yes, it is still open). And I don’t want to delay my trip by a week.

Why? Because who knows what will happen in a week. The surging variant here may change which level the UK is on, preventing me from going. There is political unrest which may affect flights or at the very least will make him more panicky – I have checked these things, and I am OK for this coming week. You could argue that another week won’t make a difference. But it might.

So, what to do?

The longer I leave it, the more likely flights will get booked, covid pcr tests will get booked. I want to book today. I will book today. But when for?

Being selfish, I want to go this weekend. Hell, I would go now if I could. I’m sorry for my Aunty, but weighing it up, seeing Wildcard and having a break from my whole sorry situation wins.

Does that sound like a decision made?

I just don’t know.

Goodbye birthday

You will be glad to hear that this is my last birthday post for this year. It is 11.44pm.

After my sulk in bed, things improved.

Wildcard sent me an amazing video of my image and wonderful lyrics.

My friend came round and showed me an unexpected act of kindness.

My sisters and family came round. And whilst it was noisy and hectic, it was fun too.

When everyone had left, I spent the evening on videocall with Wildcard and his family. The highlight was, when he had jokingly pointed out his flaws and his mother saying that he shouldn’t be like that. He asked me if I accepted him like that, the good and the bad. I said of course and he asked me to tell his mother that – in part jest but it still felt like a big moment because I did. Outloud I told her I liked the good and the bad, and accepted everything about him.

Yes he has flaws, but I truly do accept and love every one of them.

And then end of our conversation, I asked him to tell me how he really feels about me. Out in the open, in his own words. He told me that when I am with him, lying next to him, he will whisper in my ear all that he feels.

I cannot wait.

Birthday breakfast

I’m 41! Yay! Please feel all the sarcasm in that because believe me it is there.

I am in a good mood though. Last night’s bath, face mask and moisturise has made me feel fabulous this morning.

Of course, my morning hasn’t gone to plan but I am OK with that.

My ex said that he would come early for our youngest to allow me a sleep in. Although we have been divorced a year now and I have been with Wildcard for 17 months, I still get nervous when there is a chance Wildcard could call whilst my ex is in the house. But, as my ex was coming early to leave by 8.30, and Wildcard normally calls at 9.15, there was no issue.

Except Wildcard called at 8.10am. He had taken my ‘I want you’ as physically, which is not inaccurate, and had called for some sexy talk. We haven’t had any of this type of intimacy since Valentine’s Day, I think because of his Grandmother’s death. So I was happy with this. Until I heard my ex come up the stairs and go in to my son’s room which is next to mine.

Our conversation had just started so I buried my head under the duvet and whispered which works in this context. I couldn’t relax of course, fearful that someone would walk in at any point. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy hearing all the ways he wanted to love me physically, how he missed me and wanted to kiss and hug me. And that he was mine. So whilst I was unable to be physical in any way, mentally and in my heart I was happy.

Very shortly after the end of that call, my daughter shouted me. Today she has a trial shift as a kitchen porter in a Michelin started restaurant and hotel. She was nervous, unprepared and needed me. I got a belated happy birthday once she was sorted.

I got dressed and drove her to the beautiful Hall. She was in tears with nerves and I felt for her. A simple job but the first she had gone for. I’ve not stopped thinking about her since and she has only been there an hour.

Ironically, I came home and cleaned my own kitchen. Ironic because she had messed it up making my birthday cake and was too tired to clean up before bed. So, housework has been part of my birthday whether I wanted it to or not. So is life.

I have just had a delicious coffee and my Warburton’s Gluten Free sourdough loaf toasted, with egg and avocado. This is a treat as, at £3.40 a loaf, I refuse to buy it regularly. It is delicious though. I can’t remember the taste of real bread any more, but this is as close as I can remember.

What now?

Well, my house still needs a tidy and I need to make a fire as it is cold. I want to watch something but can’t relax as I keep thinking about my daughter.

I miss my mum and dad. Mum text this morning but hasn’t called. I’m half glad because I think I would cry.

And, whilst the phone intimacy was desired and appreciated, I want more from Wildcard. I need more. Not a gift or present. Him. I want him. I want to feel like I am his, and he is mine and that finally, I can have some security. I’m waiting for it. Not a proposal – now is not the time – but something. A declaration. I don’t know. We will see.

Birthday

In 55 minutes from this very moment, I turn 41. I feel old. Maybe 41 isn’t old to you. Maybe I am old enough to be your mother or big sister. Either way, my 41st birthday has hung around my neck all week.

I realised whilst lounging in the bath that I haven’t actually celebrated my birthday properly since my Dad died.

On April 2018, my Dad was in hospital. After an evening of pizza, cake and WWE (my son’s request as it was some big event), my sister and I drove to the hospital. Dad was drowsy but woke when we arrived and quickly reached into his hospital bedside to pass me a present and a card. I remember he apologised it wasn’t something more but I was just happy he was still with me.

The card, the last he ever wrote, is forever imprinted in my heart: it forms part of the tattoo that I had about a year after his death. There are photos of us too, me holding the joke moustache pencil topper (like dad’s real tash) to my lips as he kisses my cheek. Daddy. ❤

2019 I purposefully booked a week away in France with my children for my birthday. There were no presents or cards, no other family. I bought us a cake each from the patisserie and we did go out for dinner but it felt like a normal day and that is how I wanted it.

Last year, my 40th, I also chose to have alone. I had originally wanted a garden party in the summer but Covid ruined that. I had also planned to see Wildcard and not let on it was my birthday but covid ruined that too. My dad wasn’t there, mum wasn’t there and I couldn’t see Wildcard. So I spent the day pretty hard to myself with visits from my kids and ex and my sisters. I made my own dinner and my own cake.

This year, I am not ashamed to say that I also want some time alone.

I don’t feel like celebrating. I don’t want another year of me cooking for everyone (although someone usually makes my cake.) We can’t go out for a meal, I can’t see my mum, dad or Wildcard again. No-one can afford gifts and I certainly don’t want them to buy me anything, plus I don’t need or want anything anyway.

I lie.

I want my Dad again. I want my mum to visit. I want Wildcard to be here with my family. I want all the people I love to be around me. And I can’t have it. So because I can’t have it, for the third year running, I don’t want any of it.

Yes I am childish. Yes, I am sulking. But I am very much an all or nothing girl.

However.

I want nothing until tea time. Up until then, I am going to do whatever I want. No housework. No cleaning. No cooking for everyone else ( I love cooking, but noone really cooks for me. My dad did.) I going to eat what I want:

Fresh berries and yoghurt with a side of buttery sourdough toast. I may even have an egg.

A turkey salad sandwich and some crisps.

Ricotta and spinach cannelloni with a side salad.

Birthday carrot cake. Yes, that is a lot but I don’t care. I very rarely eat that much.

At tea time, I have invited my sisters and children and ex round and I am buying pizza for them. The above will be gluten free but the pizza won’t be. I feel like I have fulfilled my obligations to them.

Wildcard has asked me a couple of times what I want for my birthday. I told him the truth: I want him. That’s it.

“It is impossible.” He says.

I tell him he is an intelligent man and he can work it out. Let’s see what he comes up with.

Bruised

That is, I am feeling emotionally bruised today. And a little lost.

Yesterday was an interesting day. My six year old son told Wild Card that he loves him. Yep, you read right. We were both a little shocked.

Wild Card is great with children – mine, my sisters’ and his own family. He’s one of those people who seem to attract children. He will be out walking, talking to me, and children he doesn’t know will run up to him.

Naturally, I wanted to talk to him about it. Did he realise that my son meant it? For him to say that unprompted means something? How did Wildcard feel about it?

The conversation was difficult due to the language barriers and some misunderstandings. The upshot? He’s aware of how this all may affect my son and he conscious that there’s more than my heart that could break. He is ok with their relationship developing if I am.

I can’t pretend that it hasn’t worried me. My son is very affectionate – the type that hugs his teacher – and Wild card has been in our lives for ten months now. They’ve talked and played online games. I suspected that if they met in person, my son would form an attachment to Wildcard. So, yes I was a little shocked but not surprised. But however it has happened, I don’t want my son to get hurt if this doesn’t work out.

Last night, I talked to my sister about what had happened. She initially said how sweet it was but as we talked, expressed some concerns too.

And then, I’m not sure why, she took the opportunity to express some of her own concerns about my relationship. And they have floored me.

Written two days ago, only posted today. More to follow

Magic – 25th April 2020 (daily prompt)

Magic exists.
Magic is love.
Love has the power
to transform,
to appear
And disappear.
Love has the power
to create life
and even
to take it
away.
Love can break and make
a heart.
Love has the power
to add sparkle
in the eyes of
those who are loved.
Love inspires
belief in the
possible.
It feeds hope
And cures
Sadness.
Love creates power
and energy,
stronger than
any other force.
Yes, love is magic,
And magic, is
Love.

Milestones

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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