What I want

I’ve heard some hard truths over the last few days.

That I’m being too patient, too nice. My belief that he is too good for me is clouding my judgement.

I’m a simple person. I’ve never desired riches or designer brands or fancy cars. I believe in working hard, family and showing/sharing love.

In a relationship, fancy restaurants and expensive gifts whilst gratefully received are not the be-all. Something simple which shows thought is much more valuable.

I’m well aware of my flaws. I can wish I was more beautiful or thin or intelligent and I will work to be the best I can be. But I know that I am just an average girl. It is who I am.

I want someone who sees the beauty in me, who will tell me I am beautiful even when I wear no make up and need a shower.

I want someone who will give me the gifts of love and care and respect and forgiveness. To feel loved and wanted every day, no matter what I’ve done wrong or what mistakes I’ve made. To make me feel appreciated and needed.

The only man who has even got close to showing me that much love is my dad. And my dad is gone.

Life is so unfair.

I can’t remember the last time Wildcard told me I was beautiful. I can’t remember the last time he said he wanted me or missed me without me asking.

In being angry with me, in sulking with me, he took away the only thing I’ve asked for: his love.

Am I not worthy of that? I ask for so little but even that is too much.

Time and time again I am let down by men who take my love for granted. Men who fail to see, until it is too late, that just because what I want is free and simple to give, it still requires effort.

And this is why I don’t feel good enough.

He is probably 98% back to normal now but there is still a lingering tension in the air.

My friend is adamant I’m giving too much, forgiving too much. But I don’t know any other way to be. This is who I am.

Day 12/13 – in the night

For me, thinking of any kind leads only to more thinking. I sometimes wish I could just switch my brain off.

Yesterday, after questioning me, I opened up to Wildcard and asked about what’s next. I explained that I had flights I needed to move and asked how I should proceed. He looked genuinely surprised that I needed to ask. He repeated that I can come when I want etc etc. I said no, does he want me to come? He replied, “I want you to come.” Despite some gentle probing/suggesting, there was little more said.

Yes, he was unwell, but he spent most of the afternoon on the sofa. I sat with him a while but started to feel in the way. I asked him, and he said I was crazy and that I didn’t need to go anywhere.

Hours passed though. I suggested we watched a film together ‘or something’ and he half agreed. But when I came back from the kitchen he had started to watch his TV series.

I once read something that said there is a part of your brain that wants you to be happy. So when you get a thought in your head, this part of your brain actively searched for evidence, manipulates evidence, to make that thought true.

And so it was with me. He doesn’t want to watch anything with me. He’s bored. I’m invading his space. He didn’t want me to come. He’s not even touching me now. Should I try to go home earlier?

And so on.

Eventually, I went into the bedroom and got my laptop out. That way, I was giving him the space he may have wanted or, if he chose, he could come to find me and we could watch something. It beat just sitting there.

After a few moments his mother called as she had made fresh orange juice. We sat together, but once finished he lay back down to watch his series. I stayed there for five or ten minutes then went back into the bedroom.

Not long after I heard his mum speaking to Wildcard and he shouted me. I came out and his mum disappeared. It appears she had questioned him on why we were not sitting together. He asked if I was angry at him and I said no, but I just wanted to do something with him. He reminded me he was ill and asked,what? What did I want to do? He didn’t feel like watching a film.

His mum returned with tea and cake and there was a heated conversation between them. I drank tea but there was an atmosphere. We talked a little and then it was time for bed.

He kissed me tenderly, repeatedly, and asked if I was angry or sad. I said no, and so he said goodnight.

But I was. I was now convinced that whilst he has feelings for me, they’re not of the depth or intensity of mine. He probably didn’t want to say anything whilst I was there but that it would probably come when I went home.

I was being childish and sulky but I felt genuinely sorry for myself. I reflected that I didn’t think I was a challenging girlfriend (you may beg to differ) as what I wanted was simple. I don’t need expensive gifts or fancy restaurants. All I want is to feel loved, every day. I want to feel, that in his eyes at least, I am beautiful and wanted. That I am his. That’s all.

Whilst my brain could find some evidence of that, at that moment it wasn’t enough. So I cried. And I felt sorry for myself. And I accepted that once again, I felt more for someone than they did for me. I felt my cloud nine dreams come crashing down around me and my heart ached. Maybe my friend was right – I’d put him on a pedestal. My attraction to him was making me feel like I was punching above my weight and that was making me feel insecure. She told me he was lucky to have me and that I should be patient and have faith. I was feeling none of this.

During this time he had messaged asking if I was OK, and I had said yes. There was no point going over everything again.

Not having washed my make up off and crying had led to stinging eyes and, sniffling a little, I went to the bathroom to wash my face. He heard me and shouted and I said I was OK, just washing my face. He continued to call me. I dried my eyes and feeling I’d hidden my tears the best I could, went to him.

He knew, as well as I did that I had been upset. But I didn’t see the point in trying to talk anymore. I had come, we’d had fun, but I wasn’t who he wanted in his future. That was what I had decided.

You know, I hate writing about this. I hate describing my flaws in all their depressing glory. My childishness. My weakness. But I have to, to learn and to purge.

We had the usual to-ing and fro-ing. Him trying to get me to speak, me refusing. He lay on the put-up bed on the floor and I stood at the foot of it, my arms crossed protectively around my body. I must have looked pathetic.

Eventually, too tired to fight any longer, I sat on the sofa. He stood and sat next to me. Now, the following day, I realise how close he sat to me but at the time I was oblivious, so wrapped up in my own woe.

Gently, gently, he questioned me.

I told him that I was sad because I had accepted the truth. That he didn’t feel the same as I did. I told him I knew he loved me and cared for me but that it wasn’t same.

He asked how I felt then. I told him I was completely in love with him and I accepted that his love was not the same as mine.

He asked how did I know that? Who had told me that? I said he had. I had asked him how he felt and he couldn’t tell me. I wanted to know about our future, if he wanted to be with me, if he was happy with me. If he was glad I had come. If we were serious. And he couldn’t or wouldn’t tell me. In my eyes, that only meant something bad.

He told me I was crazy – “you are here now, with my family”. How did I know he didn’t love me the same? I told him I tried to be a good girlfriend but I couldn’t make him love me more. He replied that I was a good girlfriend and I knew he loved me.

In an anxious state, I can’t look at the person I’m upset with. I was staring ahead, or at my hands that were wringing. He kept pulling my hands apart and placing them down away from each other. If I started to claw at my pyjamas, he would put a hand on top to stop me. He told me to look at him, that I must look at him when we are talking. But when I looked at him, I just felt overwhelming love. I wanted to drown in him, and kiss him, and float away on my dreams of our life together.

His eyes were kind, smiling almost. He held me, and whispered in my ear that he loved me and he wanted to be with me.

He genuinely couldn’t understand why I felt this way. I tried to explain. I told him that I didn’t trust my own judgement of how he felt and that I needed to be told. I told him that I knew his ex-girlfriends had loved him and that he had been happy with them for a while but I was scared he wouldn’t want a future with me like he didn’t with them. I said I wanted to be different.

He told me I was different – I was here now, they weren’t. I was here with him and his family- they weren’t. He said how he had driven three hours to take me to the beach, just to make me happy. He told me again and again, “you know I love you”.

Eventually, we parted. He took me to my room and kissed me again and again. And laughed and called me crazy. He made me promise I wasn’t going to cry again. I promised, and I didn’t.

This morning he came to me and we made love. And that is how it feels now – our bodies now familiar, the adrenalin of time apart ebbing away – now is just love and pleasure.

I have two and a half days left. I’m determined to be bright and cheerful and to try to not worry. This morning I hate myself for my errant thoughts, my fears and my doubts and my crying. I can’t do anything else now. I have told him and showed him how I feel. I can do no more. So I must enjoy my last days with him and pray that what is meant to be, will be and hope that actually what is happening is this…

I hope that in typical male/female fashion, he loves me but can’t tell me. And that I love him and I can’t stop telling him and that is the only problem between us.

To my love,

I know I’ve been different these last few weeks. Probably months. We have both been through some tough times, haven’t we?

I can not tell you how many times I have wished to be alongside you through your dark days, supporting you. I hope you have felt that I have tried, despite being so far away.

And you, you have a way of talking sense, even though you don’t always fully understand my situation. You make me laugh, show great patience. I hope you know how much I appreciate that.

You have said from the beginning that this relationship would be hard. Long distance relationships are by nature. The time apart is hard, and all the heightened emotions that come with that. And then, for us, there are cultural differences which are not so much a problem for me and you but are for others – our governements included.

And then…covid. Covid has kept us apart for over a year now. So what was always going to be a challenging situation is now even more difficult. The building hope of a visit and the devastation of another cancelled trip. Not knowing when we can be together. Not knowing where this relationship is going – it is on pause, almost.

I wouldn’t change my time with you though. I would rather have this than anything or anyone else. Our time has created a love so deep, so powerful that we have survived life’s ups and downs and are thriving through Covid’s restrictions.

Ironically though, for me, a love like that comes with a fear of losing it. Our relationship is so precious to me and I am so grateful that I have found it that I am perpetually scared it will be taken away from me.

No doubt, some of this comes from how I feel about myself and my confidence. You are so wonderful, that I can’t help but think that you deserve more. Someone more beautiful, someone younger. I can’t understand what you see in me, perhaps. In turn, this fear and low self worth means that at times I act in a way which could jeopardise what we have. I doubt and question and test. I need constant reassurance that this is real, my love is returned equally. That you feel the same…you still want me.

Time should have proved that to me, I know that. But time has a sneaky way of adding to those fears too. After 18 months of daily contact, albeit online, it is not surprising that we have fallen into an easy life together. The honeymoon period over, perhaps. I crave the look of desire you once gave me, the times you told me I looked beautiful. Even the times you asked if I loved you, missed you…

It is a normal part of every relationship, I know that. What makes it harder for us – well, me – is that the distance means I don’t have the other parts. The cuddles and kisses. Holding hands. Sitting together, thighs touching. You stroking my hair or putting your hand on my back to guide me as we walk. The knowing smile and look in your eyes as we gazed at each other over dinner, a reminder of the love we had just made or the promise of what was happen next when we were alone. All things that I loved in that one week we were together.

The distance makes me need this more. My insecurity and fear makes me crave this more. The time apart and the difficulties we have individually faced make this essential for me.

I know you love me. I know it in your actions and how you tell me every day. I know you miss and want me in how many times you call and your perseverance in this relationship. And yet, at times, I crave more. I can’t have the physical so I need need words – out loud, spelled out. I know that’s not fair to expect from you. It is not like you don’t say it. And you shouldn’t have to say it more just to appease me.

As time has gone on, and disappointment and missed time together (covid, grrrr) has plagued our relationship, I’ve found that I am scared to dream of our future. I once pictured you here. I dreamed a life for us. Now, it seems too much to hope.

We have talked about it enough for me to know you are waiting until we are.physically together to talk everything through and make decisions. I respect you for that, don’t disagree with your plan. This is the rest of our lives and there is a lot to discuss. It is absolutely right that this should be in person after spending more physical time together.

But the anticipation is killing me. The not knowing, the questioning and guessing and wondering… all not-good for an insecure overthinker like me. And as time goes on, I fear that I will do something to make you not want me anymore. Or that someone better or easier will take you from me.

And to see others reunited…getting married…that is hard. I want so much for that to be us. To know that you want that, me, as much as I want you. To know the difficult beginning is just that, just the start of something wonderful.

I want a life with you. I want to give you a good life. Be there when you need me. I want the excitement of building a life together, you and me, making the best of this world. You inspire me to be better and I want the same for you.

I love you so much. I’m so grateful you are in my life. And I’m sorry for my fears and how they sometimes taint the good that we have.

Don’t give up on me baby.

The hopelessness of hope

Are you a positive person or negative? An optimist or a pessimist? Glass half full or half empty?

Up until a few years ago I would have said that I was a positive person. People have told me I am a positive person. I try to see the good in every situation, try to learn something from the bad.

At some point, that changed for me. How easy it is now to spiral down the rumination vortex to a bleak and dark place.

I’m in my bed looking at two pencil portraits that I made of Wildcard and me. They were copies of stills from videos that he took of us when I visited him in February 2020. I am proud of them. But up until now, they have spent most of their life in a cupboard. Why? Because I feared hanging them up would be a bad omen. That I was being too self-assured about our relationship, presumptuous.

This year, so far with some success, I have been planning and preparing. I’ve used Mel Robbins’ free course and bought a great Legend planner. I haven’t met all my goals. But I feel good about what I have achieved. I feel there is some purpose and plan to what I am doing. To forgive myself for not completing everything is a big step for me.

What I can’t do, and I have tried, is plan my future dreams. My skills at shutting off unwanted emotions are top class – they caused a break down a few years ago. Hiding emotions simply saves them, festering, for another day. The more you hide, the more they multiply and grow strong. I know this.

My top class skills are currently throwing a impenetrable forcefield around my dreams. I start to think of them and whoosh down it comes. Blank. Nothing. Gone. I see a glimpse or a hint and then, no more.

Those dreams are fuelled by hope. Hope that my relationship with Wildcard will continue to stand strong against the pandemic and everything else which makes it hard. Hope that legalities and finances will allow a life together. And … bang. It is down again.

I can’t think about it because it is everything I want. And like the pictures, if I dare to hope…if I dare to dream aloud and acknowledge what I really want, then the fear of the hopelessness if it doesn’t happen is too much to even contemplate.

Equally, the Love is Not Tourism Facebook group gives me mixed feelings. Hope when I see couples still together, still planning on reuniting in the future. Hopeless when I see couples who have parted, no longer able to maintain their love in this situation. When I read of their passion and belief that they were soul mates, that the love was a lie or not strong enough…I am filled with fear that I feel too much. And when I see the wedding pictures – we did it! – I feel hope that one day it will be us and hopelessness that it may never.

I can’t ever imagine a life without him. That is how much I feel. I have possibility in my life now, because of him. My future isn’t fixed. I know that I want him in it. I want what I feel to be the truth, the reality. Because if it not… if I am wrong… I will never feel hope of love again. I will lose all faith in myself and love and a dream future.

So I hope that my dream future is hard to imagine not because I am scared but because it is too wonderful to contemplate or imagine. I truly, truly hope.

Enlightened – again

Wild Card and I have been talking/together for nearly eight months now.  As long distance relationships go, I don’t know if this is a long time or not. However, there’s still a lot to learn about each other.

We both seem to like our routines and when something changes, we seem to naturally fall into a new one. Recently, the lockdown has been lifted in his city. He’s started going out walking again and his new thing is to call me as he walks. I like it.

I like it because his voice is so goddam sexy and not being distracted by his face, I hear his voice better – the accent, the tone etc.

But, I also like it, because I’ve realised that he is a little more open with me verbally without the video. Recently, he has said a few things over the phone that have indicated how serious he is about me – talking about our future together, plans for holidays etc.

Last night, was a little more sombre of a phonecall. He’d had a bad day all round, but it was topped off by a call from an ex-girlfriend. (Again, this is the second one. Believe me, I know how wonderful he is but even so…)

I was proud of how calm I was. I was pleased he wanted to talk about it. I was happy that he opened up about his past with her. I listened, I consoled.

Perhaps more importantly, I learned.

He was with her for nearly two years. They didn’t have sex because he was respectful of her age and culture. She never met his parents though she attempted to weasel her way to meeting his mum (he was not happy about that).

He ended the relationship because she was overly dramatic, jealous and demanding. He knew she loved him, but she made him anxious and wary. She wanted to be on the phone all the time. She questioned his every move and manipulated situations so that she could imprint herself into his life – his mother, contacting a work colleague or Facebook friends. She constantly talked about marriage with him although he had told her it would not come to that.

So, what have I learned?

Well, I suppose how serious he is/was about me. He has talked about a future with me. He introduced me to his parents relatively early on and I have of course stayed with them when I visited in February – I talk to them fairly regularly now. Wild Card and I have had an intimate, sexual relationship. (I’m trying not to think about the respect thing here, but it was mutually wanted so.. Yeah.)

He has told me he is happy with me, that he loves everything about me. Most of the time, we laugh and we enjoy each other’s company.

But – isn’t there always one – I can see some things that I do or have done that could upset the apple cart.

I’ve got to get a handle on my insecurity and occasional jealousy. He’s been patient so far, but it’s quite clear from what I heard tonight that his patience is not endless. I don’t blame him for that.

He didn’t tell me these things other than to off-load about a girl who keeps contacting him and who he doesn’t want to be with – he made that very clear. I’m glad he felt he could discuss this with me. However, I could see some… Similarities in our behaviour. That has concerned me.

Without a doubt, the past few months have been very, very tricky for everyone. Corona has played a big part in the start of our relationship: our moods and anxieties, our social lives and the ability to see each other.

Then there are the other facets of life and a long distance relationship that have also had an impact.

We’ve survived this far. Most of the time, things are great. Occasionally they are not. Sometimes we are both at fault, often my insecurity and fear acerbate the situation. Whilst he always forgives me and tells me not to worry, there is always a shift in his behaviour for a little while after. I don’t know if I am the same or not.

He’s going through some difficult times too at the moment which are not helping.

Last night reminded me, once again, yet again, again and again… I need to relax. I need to remind him of the woman he loves. I need to have faith and trust.

So, I am digging myself out, clawing myself out of the dark in the hope that he will still be in the light when I emerge.