With or without you

I’m not sure I can do this again. I don’t think I have the strength. Equally, I don’t have the strength to cope without you either.

You tell me not to worry. You tell me that this may only be a month or two. Not a year. Everything will be ok.

But I cry. Huge tears streaming, mascara smudging, nose red running. I look grotesque but feel worse.

You ask me to explain but I can’t. To you this is nothing. You don’t see that this is part of the problem.

Why aren’t you disappointed and upset too?

You tell me its only been three weeks. You remind me that you haven’t even asked me to come. You don’t see that this is also part of the problem.

Nearly two years we’ve been together. I’ve counted it month by month. Why? Because each month makes us more serious.

We’ve passed the time you spent with the doctor. Only six or seven months together. But you travelled hours in a day to visit her. Went out of your way. You haven’t done that for me. Yet you found that you stopped missing her when you were apart. What does that say about your feelings for me?

And your first girlfriend, the one you admitted you loved. The one who hurt you. You bought her gifts to show her your love. You showed her respect. How long were you with her? Two or three years? I have nothing to show for your ‘love’.

And then there’s the crazy girl. Again, two or three years was it? My only consolation here is that she wanted to meet your family, your mother, but you didn’t want her to. You didn’t want to marry her.

I’ve met your family. You tell me that is important. So you need to understand, that is all I have. Being with you and your family makes me happy because I love you. But being with you does something else: it makes me feel special and important.

That’s all I have.

No gifts. No grand gestures. No direct invitation. No engagement. No disappointment that I can’t come. Nothing.

Now I have nothing. So what’s stopping you from walking away from ‘serious’ like you did with your first love and the crazy girl? What’s stopping you from walking away from the doctor you loved with grand gestures but bored of her when you were apart?

I have nothing. I am nothing.

And that is why I cry.

I realise now that I pushed my visits. I pushed because I missed you and loved you. I needed to see you and be near you. I needed to feel that you loved me, face to face.

But I pushed because in being with you, I was special. I was important.

Now, once again, I can’t be with you.

I can’t live without you. But you, I think, can live without me.

Final thoughts…

On Lost Soul.

I can’t tell you that I won’t ever mention him again because I will. Maybe the next time that I see him, months from now or maybe I will reminisce about my time with him, good or bad. But for now, unless something new happens, I will not post about him after this. I think it is the best way to move on.

I survived my weekend. I coped. I was strong. OK, yes, I was really angry but I’m not angry now. I’m fine.

I will admit to one thing though.

Yesterday, I purposefully went to see my brother in law knowing there was a chance he would be there. That wasn’t why I went exactly, but it contributed to it.

I actually wanted to go so I could speak to my brother in law about the situation, as we have done before. I couldn’t get hold of him on the phone so I decided to call round. I even filled my car with things that needed to go back to my sister’s (I swear she thinks my house is an extension of her cupboard) which again, needed to be done but wasn’t my incentive to visit. As I was loading my car my son came home and wanted to come with me: all the better to add to the lie, but it somewhat lessened the strength of my purpose. I couldn’t talk about things with my son there, so why was I going?

We arrived and my son offered to knock on the door to see if my brother in law was in. I stayed in the car, heart pounding, questioning what the hell was I doing.

My son shouted that he could see someone/thing through the glass of the door and it became clear that it was my three year old nephew. The blinds twitched and I saw a face at the window. For a second, I thought it was Lost Soul – only when I entered the house did I realise that was not the case. The power of the imagination, eh?

We unloaded the bags into the house and had a brief chat. My brother in law said he was intending to visit today anyway so my nephew and my youngest could play and this suited me fine as it meant we would be able to talk. This finally ended my suspicion that Lost Soul was hiding in the house somewhere, waiting for me to leave. Pathetic I know, but I could have sworn it was him at the window and it took so long to open the door…

Just another way of how this situation has messed with my head.

My son safely upstairs in his room and the younger ones playing, the conversation began.

I relayed everything that had happened in the last week, from his comments, flirting and kiss last weekend, to the events of Saturday.

Give him his due, considering how close my brother in law is with Lost Soul, I can’t fault his loyalty to me. By the end of the conversation I felt reassured: there had been no occasions where I had instigated the flirting; Lost Soul always started it, did flirt, did say he was attracted to me and did say we had a connection; his ‘dear friend’ comment was ridiculous. And finally, that although we acknowledged that Lost Soul and I could have been good together, he was still playing the same games/didn’t know what he wanted etc etc.

My brother in law said he was proud of me: for putting myself out there and for calling Lost Soul out on his behaviour. He laughed at the ‘dear friends’ quote too, “what is he going on about?!”

I assured him that when Lost Soul and I came into contact again there would be no atmosphere from me. Mainly because I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of thinking that I was heartbroken over him.

I don’t know what I am. I feel a kind of release in that I don’t need to wonder any more or regret what I haven’t said. I’ve been open and honest and – strong. Something I have not felt for some time. There is almost a freedom to the feeling.

Of course I am still questioning everything. How much I imagined or willed into being compared to how much he led me on and manipulated. How much he actually meant. How much I was influenced by my physical attraction to him, blinded by it.

I had a difficult evening with my daughter last night, which is a completely different story, but at one point she said that she hadn’t spoken to me about how she struggling because she knew how difficult I was finding things. “And then last Sunday you were so happy and then the next day you were sad again.”

I was so frustrated that he was the cause of both of those emotions. That his minor attentions could make me so happy and then so deflated when they ended. No person should have that much power over you, whether they do it intentionally or not.

Equally though, if this has all been complete nonsense, how would love feel with someone who actually does want to be with me? Someone who values and respects me, who I am attracted to and connected to. If I feel so strongly about this farce, then who knows how amazing the real thing will feel.

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.

Still thinking…

About ten minutes ago I received a text from Lost Soul thanking me for dropping off his things and ending with “I didn’t know you had been”.

Is that just to explain why he hadn’t text earlier? Or a comment that I hadn’t seen him when I dropped it off?

I of course hope it was the latter.

I replied that it was no problem but his dad looked busy and I didn’t want to disturb him.

Nothing since. And he’s read it. Bit of a full stop on the conversation, eh?

I should have asked about his car or his nephews or something. But I can’t send anything else now because too much time has passed. Trust him to also reply when I’d just said I need to meet someone else.

And this is it folks. This is what my head does with every text, look, comment, touch, embrace.. Silence.

What women still think

He didn’t reply to my message all night. Didn’t look at either, as far as I can tell. Of course, I can see the bulk of a WhatsApp message through the alert so maybe he saw it and ignored it. Maybe he did want to come round and see me…

After a long and busy day at work (tha nk goodness because that means I’ve been occupied) I check my phone to see that he messaged at 8.21am apologising that he had only just seen the message. He said he was off work today and asked what time I was home.

Was this a good sign? I was probably just thinking far too much into it as usual. I checked the time and said I would be home in half an hour.

The reply was relatively swift: he’d be around soon to collect but it would be a flying visit as he was looking after his nephews.

So he didn’t want to see me then. Or maybe he really couldn’t-it was late after all. I decide either way to remove the torture out of it and offered to drop his stuff off on my way to pick up the kids. He thanked me.

Because I’m back in Looneyville, I call home and pick up his stuff but not before I’ve sprayed deodorant, perfume and eaten a mint. Just in case. Almost impossible, but just in case.

Should I tell him I’m free this weekend? Invite him round? I want that kiss again, those soft lips on mine. Even without that, I just want to be with him. I’ll tell him it’s just as friends – if he even asks – but I can always hope for more. I’m good at that. No, I won’t ask. I will sound too desperate. Maybe he will ask what I’m doing. Still hoping.

I arrive at the house, feeling sick, and walk to the door to find it ajar. His Dad is there doing some work. I hand over the item with all the usual pleasantries and leave. I notice his car isn’t there. Maybe he wasn’t in. Maybe he was actually babysitting.

Maybe I’m never going to learn my lesson. Maybe the only way I will ever get over him is to find his replacement. So what if it took me thirty odd years and a failed marriage to find him? So what if I’ve tried to get over him before by dating other people and it didn’t work?

What other choice have I got?

Strong.

I can be strong.

I can resist.

I can remember the lessons of the past

And refuse the pull of a fictional future.

I can admire from afar

But keep my distance.

I can harden my heart to possibilities

That were never possible –

apart from within my heart.

I can focus on the truth..

The truth I’ve learned the hard way, every time.

His heart connects to mine;

Our minds are so alike;

We inspire the greatest within each other; but,

We will not be together.

Learn.

Take heed.

Live.

Arrggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhggg… 

As expected, I have seen Lost Soul again. I knew it would be a matter of time. 

Today was my daughter’s thirteenth birthday. Scary. That’s all I will say. 

Part way through he turned up. Yes, there had been an issue last night at my sister’s house where they had a little get-together (I wasn’t there). And yes, apparently they needed to talk about it. He came through the gate and asked me if my sister and b.i.l were there. I said yes. He stood there whilst I spoke to a friend – I was sort of blocking the door. Eventually he said excuse me and I moved to one side. He purposefully touched my arm as he walked past and said thank you. What the ??!! 

I am thoroughly ashamed to say that I played my old game of ‘nonchalant ignorance’ . I act as if  he is not there but not in a passive aggressive way: no, I am the life and soul of the party. 

 As the last of the teenagers leave, my sisters suggest that we have a little get together of our own. He decides to join  us (one huge flaw in my plan as, by pretending he is not there, I didn’t hear his conversation so don’t hear how that decision comes about) and then goes off with my sister and b.i.l for supplies. 

I can’t help myself. Whilst he is gone, I take advantage of my son needing a shower and jump in too. I tidy my bedroom a little. I get changed into some casual but flattering clothing. By the time I’ve put my son to bed, they’re back. I continue to ignore him. In my head, I’m playing it cool, not showing how much I want him. And boy,  do I want him. Even in his casual clothes, just the sight of him makes me ache to be kissing him again. 

We all sit in the garden and we all chat happily.  I, again, purposefully do not lavish any attention on him but aim to be jovial. (I am well aware that this may appear calculating). Then, out if nowhere, he decides that he wants to go home. 

My battered ego flickers. Does he realise that I am ignoring him? Is this his countermove? Is he waiting for me to ask him to stay? Would he stay if I asked? Is he going because he thinks he has no chance of repeating our time together? Is he leaving because he knows my ex will be returning my daughter later tonight so doesn’t want to waste his time? 

Then my b.i.l thinks out loud that perhaps he should go home too. This time I make a fuss – not too much – but it results in my b.i.l deciding to stay. As LS leaves, he walks past me and again touches my arm as he says goodbye. I’m the only one he touched. 

When Lost Soul has gone, I ask why he left. My b.i.l says that he had twisted his arm and that LS half wanted an easy night. I note that he didn’t even drink half of his pint before leaving. 

Maybe he wanted an early night. Maybe he had enough alcohol the night before. Maybe he just didn’t want me to get ideas. 

Either way, he still has a power over me that I can’t resist. I still want him.