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.


I don’t know how I’ve managed to get myself in this situation again. Very much deja vu from last year.

After a fabulous first four weeks of Summer Holiday and a restful yet home-productive fifth week, I met up with my work friend on Thursday. We haven’t seen each other since she joined me for a few days of camping in late July.

She’s had a shocking holiday for a variety of reasons. We had a good time on Thursday despite this and I listened as she told me about the various things that had gone wrong for her, including having to cancel a much awaited trip due to her Mum’s frail state and then a major bust up with her best friend.

She’s low, there’s no doubt about it. As all good friends do, I tried to give advice which of course included trying to make the most of the time left.

Attention soon turned to this bank holiday weekend and her desperation to get away for a few days.

I wholeheartedly agree with her. For me and my own grief, travel and trips away have kept me going. They’ve put a renewed purpose in my life which is about me as a person, not me as a daughter, mother, sister, teacher.

She has no one else to go with, can’t face it alone, and I am happy to go apart from some pretty major obstacles in my way:

  1. Childcare. My kids are with their Dad for the majority of the weekend but there will be a morning that I will have to ask my sisters to hell until I get back.
  2. My dogs. Unfortunately my lodger is also away so there are four dogs to look after.
  3. Finances. Other holidays, home improvements, school uniform and then being the family’s personal bank for loans has put a major strain on my finances.

Since yesterday, we have messaged back and forth about places to go. And like last year, she’s not happy with anything that I suggest. Last year, this resulted in us not speaking for two weeks. It has taken us a while to get away from that.

Like her, it hit me this week that the end of the holidays is nigh. I will have school prep to do next week. I need to start with early nights. So the chance of one last cheeky trip is very appealing. You only live once etc…

But there are so many reasons, hurdles, why this is really difficult. And I don’t know what to do.

Time is ticking on and really, we should be leaving in the next few hours. She has given me a get out but I don’t want to let her down any more than she has already?

What do I do??

Unwanted, thoughts and feelings.

I was angry, now I’m numb. I know there will be tears later but that will be when I’m alone.

At 9.30am I sent him a friendly text asking him of he wanted to do something later.

He replied that he was going on a date and what was I up to.

And I quote, from a recent post:

I know from past history that after a night of emotional and physical closeness, he often disappears (another way Mumslovelife was correct). This can be physically – I don’t see him for a while – or emotionally, he will pull away and start talking of a new girl he is interested in or even an old one he claims to still want. It’s often overdone and obvious. I can see how this is a way of protecting himself after he has shown his vulnerability to me, particularly when I have then refused him the physical intimacy he has asked for.

I wasn’t surprised by his response. He may well have a date. He may not.

I did my usual – acted nonchalant. I said I was at a loose end, no kids etc.

He asked what my sister was up to.

Adrenaline was pumping. This was my opportunity. I didn’t want to do this over text but I needed to do get this out in the open.

I told him he was missing the point. That I wanted to spend time with him and see where things go, that we’d played around for too long.

The conversation went on for a while. The upshot is, he says he doesn’t feel for me in that way. He has apologised for leading me on, claims I am a ‘dear friend’ and nothing else.

I said that dear friends do not treat each other that way repeatedly. He admitted he had behaved badly but said he didn’t mean to be.

I don’t need to go in to the rest.

It would have been enough for him to say that he didn’t want to take it further and he didn’t think it would work. That would have hurt but I would have had some dignity at least. Instead he has made me look like a love-sick idiot. Like I have imagined the whole thing.

What can I say that doesn’t make me sound bitter?

Either he is a truly horrible person who has repeatedly played on my feelings – friends don’t do that which ever way you look at it – or he is hiding his feelings and willing to make me feel even worse in the process. I’m wrong about him in both senses.

I can’t believe that I’ve imagined it. I can’t believe all these people who have seen us together have been wrong. I don’t believe that he has lied when he has spoken about his feelings. I can’t explain why he has done what he has done though.

So maybe I am wrong.

All I know, is this has destroyed my fragile ego even more and made me feel all the more lonely.

It had to be done though. No more wondering and reading into everything. He either does feel that way and doesn’t care or does feel that way and doesn’t want me. Neither feel good and I have to move on. Forget about him, somehow. It was all in my mind.

Someone out there will want me, one day.

Why happiness is mine to accept

To understand this post, you may want to read the previous one first! https://startingfromthemiddleblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/11/why-am-i-depressed/

I have a good job, a nice home and three beautiful and healthy children.

My dad has survived lung cancer and his prostate cancer is in remission. He is still with us.

My relationship with my mum has improved. She is happy and I know she will always be there if I need her.

Never say never. The job I have now is suitable for my situation on the whole. I get time off with my children. My job is enjoyable and challenging and I am good at it. There will be time for change in the future when the moment is right.

My children know they are loved. They know they can depend on me. They may not have as much as some but they have more than others. They are polite and well mannered and have a healthy interest in reading and history and technology, of course.

Happiness is not just for those in a relationship. I can be happy without a man. But at the same time, love could be on the horizon til the day I die.

At least I know that the connection exists. Somewhere, out there is another connection – so strong that nothing will keep us apart.

I tried my best to keep my marriage alive. What I have now are lots of happy memories, three beautiful children and a much better relationship with their dad.

As I write, I am an able bodied woman with no major health concerns other than the need to lose weight. It could be worse.

Life can be good if we open our eyes to it.

The maze and the box

One of the most important qualities a person can have is the ability to listen. 

Today, over a beautiful coffee and a decadent scone, I told my friend about what had occurred yesterday with Lost Soul. She listened. I spoke. 

I manoeuvred myself through the maze that is my thoughts of Lost Soul. There were dead ends. There were dark, scary corners that I didn’t want to go around. There were light filled paths of flowers and butterflies that resulted in more dead ends. Eventually I got to the middle. There wasn’t much there. Except the exit. The exit was there. 

She listened. She questioned occasionally. And at the end of my manoeuvres she told me that I had answered my own questions: I had worked this out myself. Here are my thoughts:

Fact is, he has had more than enough opportunity to start ‘something’ with me. He hasn’t. He hasn’t called and he hasn’t indicated he wants anything more.  After what happened a few weeks ago, he is probably well aware that if he tried again, I would say yes. 

But he hasn’t tried again. He clearly doesn’t want there to be anything more. His coming round means nothing. Sure, he is friendly towards me. You wouldn’t visit – even if it was to see my sister and her husband – if he didn’t feel welcome here. You wouldn’t touch someone needlessly as you walked past them unless you cared. But it doesn’t mean he wants any more than that. As my friend said, he was brazen enough to ask for it last time so there’s nothing stopping him from doing it again if he wanted. He clearly doesn’t want. 

Part of the long process of getting over him last time was about putting a box around my feelings. The box’s label said ‘only if’. I pictured a time when we could be together. In that box I was single and had lost weight. My children were cared for equally by me and their dad, meaning I had time for him. Lost Soul had matured. He had a career. He was settled, happy – knew what he wanted. He wanted me. He was single.  

The box helped me because it gave me hope but allowed me to get on withy life. However I knew that it was very unlikely that all those factors would align at once. If it did, we were fated to be together. I knew that in reality it wouldn’t happen, but I had that little sparkly box of hope to keep me going. 

I know that it is never going to happen. I know that if it did, it probably wouldn’t work. 

It doesn’t matter that everytime I see him, my heart just sings. It doesn’t matter that I am unbelievably attracted to him. It doesn’t matter that I thought we were soul mates. 

He does not want to be with me. 

And so I am taking that sparkly box of hope called ‘only if’ and I’m going to place it in the deepest, darkest part of that maze. And then, I’m going to will Sleeping Beauty’s thorny fortress around it. I’m going to relegate it to the fairytales because that is all it is. 

I’ve got to get over this. I’ve got to stop hoping that everytime I see him, this could be the time that… He doesn’t want me and never will. 

I’m ashamed of myself for being so.. so weak. Yes, this really, really hurts but I have got to accept it. 

My friend suggested that I ask my sister to not bring him round again. My heart sank. The fear inside that I would never see him again…  I also know that wouldn’t work for me. Not seeing him doesn’t change how I feel because my sparkly box of hope still exists. 

No, I need to learn to exist in this life with him in it but accepting that he will never, ever be mine. I’ve got to get over him, once and for all. 

Less is more

As anyone could have predicted, I did not  hear from Jay today. When I didn’t hear anything in the day, I excused him by expecting it at night at a similar time as I had messaged him on Sunday. I gave him more manners than he deserved perhaps. 

Is that harsh? I don’t blame him for ending our little chats. The distance was ridiculous and if anyone tells me that I am going to have to look that far away to find a half decent man to chat to/date with then I am going to give up now. I suppose I am just not sure why he continued after the first, very late night chat. I’d love to know what is going on in his mind. Probably not a lot – about me I mean…or do I? 

I think I would have preferred the old “It was really nice talking to you. Perhaps we can chat again sometime?” which translates into you helped pass a few minutes enjoyably  but this is going nowhere. You don’t deserve to be treated like shit but don’t  your breath for my next contact. Instead my weakly fluttering heart was considering why he wanted to talk again and why he was willing to text me the day after that. What did it all mean? My ego got a little nudge, a little awakening, despite Doubt and Reality shaking their heads at it. 

Was that sneezing fit actually real in our last conversation? If not, that is the weirdest way to end a call I’ve ever experienced. Saturday night should have stayed as it was – two lonely/bored people brightening up their evening by enjoying conversation without fear or expectation. 

And so, bye bye Jay from London. It was nice talking to you. You made me smile.