Endless vultures

Did you read my last post? This is a follow-on.

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Carrying the weight of so much feeling isn’t easy, particularly when you are insecure and anxious. I hate that part of myself.

I try to spin this positively. I am a sensitive, emotionally perceptive, empathetic person with a huge capacity to love. I have a big heart. The problem with a big heart is that you feel so much, therefore you have increased emotions and anxiety.

That is my theory and I am sticking with it.

Unfortunately, and I don’t know why having come from my mother’s family who are readily affectionate and show emotions, I associate showing these emotions too much as weakness. Is it the British stiff upper lip? Being the eldest? Coming from Dad’s side? I have no idea. All I know is that this in turn creates more anxiety because I think I have shown too much.

This is a thought that runs through my head daily. I tell him that I love him every day. Multiple times. (I do this with my kids too. I will get this wave of love and emotion so I tell them. In my view, you can’t tell someone you love them too much.) Does he get sick of it though? I doubt it when I consider his responses but I still wonder. 

This last year with Covid has been so hard for everyone. Putting the tragedy of deaths related to the virus to one side, those of us lucky enough to be ‘just struggling with lockdown rules and feeling the impact on our wellbeing and mental health. Add a LDR onto that and you can see why this is augmenting what it already difficult because of lockdown and because I am an emotive person with anxiety issues. God help him. How does he put up with me?!

If all was right in the world, I would have visited him countless times and my kids would have met him too. I think we would both know by now where this is truly heading. We don’t. We both think we want to make this work but are conscious that more physical time is needed together and there is a lot to talk about. Our life together is on hold whilst we spend every day of our life together virtually. Confusing stuff.

Like any relationship, there are good days and bad days. There are days when our life outside each other weighs in and interferes with mood. There are days when we – ok, I – struggle with missing him so much and the constant waiting and hoping for a time we can be together again. There’s jealousy from time to time and insecurity from both of us.

Occasionally, very occasionally, I wonder how this could work out. Whether I feel too much, and does he feel the same? Will he wait for me?

There is 9 years between us and my life is midway. I have the kids, the divorce, the house, the career. Whilst he is settled and well-placed compared to some in his country, I know he is not where he wants to be (metaphorically speaking). As the weeks roll on – a year now since we were last together- I wonder how long he will wait to decide upon where he wants to be.

And the vultures are still flying round. Exes, new conquests, old conquests. He tells me because he ‘wants to be clear’ with me and hide nothing. He tells me they mean nothing. Just friends. Only  we both know they want more.

And I know some of them can offer more than I can. They’re closer, younger, prettier etc etc. I can’t help but be insecure. I can’t help but panic.

He tells me I have nothing to worry about, he loves me. He won’t delete them because they haven’t done anything wrong (just major hinting, grrr). I love that he wants to stay friends. I love that he doesn’t want to hurt them unnecessary.  I hate that they keep trying.

I hate that we are not further along in our relationship, because of stupid covid, so that our status is out there and celebrated. Being a Muslim, you don’t have a girlfriend. He can’t celebrate me in the wider world because I shouldn’t exist. The fact that his parents and brothers know about me should be enough and means a lot. But I cannot wait until our relationship puts a great big metaphorical bullet through each and every attempt to woo him back.

One ex does know about me although it hasn’t stopped her trying periodically. Others don’t.

I don’t blame them for trying. He is wonderful and amazing and handsome and funny.

I…well, I kind of blame him.

He can’t go against his culture and his sensitive nature. He isn’t encouraging them. But he isn’t putting a stop to it either. He won’t tell one of them outright about me because ‘it is none of her business’ plus he ‘will not push it in her face’. ‘If she asks, I will tell her.’ He ghosts her instead if her messages become too familiar. He worked with her and is friends with a cousin of hers so he doesn’t want to offend either of them. He keeps it friendly and doesn’t initiate any conversation. (I want him to rub her face right in it by professing his undying love for me to her in every which way he can.) But as she doesn’t know I exist, I can hardly blame her, can I?

I want to be important enough that he tells everyone. I want to be important enough that he would choose blocking them rather than hurt me. Unfair and selfish I know.

I don’t want to change him or make him block someone who has innocently fallen for him – the man of my, and clearly their, dreams.

So yes, occasionally I wonder if it is all worth it. Because in those moments I believe that it is only a matter of time until my heart is broken.

Insecurity is a relationship killer.

But just the hint of a thought of losing him makes me sick to my stomach. I can’t walk away when I love him so much.

So, the vultures can keep circling because it isn’t dead yet. Endless circles because it isn’t going to end.

They can keep circling until they fall out of the sky for all I care. My focus is going to be on him and us and battling my insecurities, not on them.

Cry in the night

I want to call him but I can’t. It is nearly midnight there. He will probably be asleep.

Tears threaten again.

I’ve spent the last couple of hours in a bizarre state that I can’t quite name. Anxious but numb. Grieved but angry. Disappointed but relieved.

Unhappy probably sums it up reasonably well and yet not quite.

What am I doing?

To feel this insecure after a year… to still be affected when I should be able to shrug it all off, confident in the knowledge that all is OK. But I don’t. Something takes over. The quiet voice in my head is unheard or ignored and I allow myself to free fall in to pain and doubt and tears.

Tonight though, I got angry. He’s not seen angry too often. He tries to laugh it off, to joke. Not this time.

This time, I got really angry. I swore and I put the phone down. I haven’t done that before.

Of course he called me back. And I hesitated, just a little, but I wasn’t strong enough to not answer. He was shocked.

We talked about it. He made me smile a few times. I cried. He said he didn’t understand. Like I should be confident in all this. So why am I not?

He wouldn’t let me go until I was calm. He asked me again and again…did I hate him? Was I angry? Was I sad? By the end of the call I wasn’t anything. This unnamed emotion. He had fear in his eyes.

I don’t know who’s to blame.

I don’t know if I can carry on like this. I never thought I would write these words.

The insecurity is killing me. It doesn’t matter how much he calls. How much I am part of his life. How often he tells me he loves me. His care and his time…I still worry. I still get anxious.

At times he doesn’t help. It is his nature to tease and joke. Sensible me, that little voice, knows it. But my heart is uncontrollable where he is concerned and I fall for it. Is it his insecurity that makes him act so?

But when will I be secure?

I’ve asked in my LDR group. I’ve told them of my happiness and my love and all the ways in which he is right for me. And then the doubts and fears. They tell me this is normal. This in LDR. You have to talk it through, explain your feelings.

And I do. And he listens. And he tells me I am crazy and he can’t understand how I think that way. Like I should be confident in all this. ‘I give you all my time’ he says, and he does. So why can’t I feel secure?

So tonight, I consider giving up. Maybe he isn’t right for me. I’ve been wrong before. Maybe I expect too much. Maybe he deserves better. Maybe covid has destroyed what could have been.

But just the thought of saying goodbye…my world threatens to implode. My chest tightens and my heart pounds. How would I ever live without him? I never want to be without him. I’m crying now, just thinking about it.

Is it my need to control? My mum thinks it is. He’s the only one who doesn’t need that from me. I don’t need to mother or fix. So I have no control. To give up gives me the control. But I don’t want to.

I want to be with him.

I want to be with him.

So why am I so scared?

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.

Choosing and learning

I’ve really been enjoying writing the discover prompts. They’re challenging my creativity, making me think.

Bring honest, I could relate every single one of them to Wild Card. But I wanted to divert my mind from the fact that I wasn’t with him when I should have been, by doing something creative.

It has been a weird week.

Wild Card is struggling with the strict quarantine rules that his country has imposed. He’s been in quarantine longer than me too. He’s bored, he’s anxious and I’m helpless. Of course, this activated my barely controlled anxiety….

He assured me it wasn’t me and talked to me about how he was feeling. Whilst frustrated that I couldn’t help, I think we both felt better that he had shared. I’m not as worried now when he is quiet or when the call is short – I’m pretty poor as a distraction. Quarantine does not give you much news to discuss.

We’ve had a few bumps in the road this week. I could lay the blame on a number of things… His mood, my period, both frustrated about my cancelled trip, boredom, sexual frustration, his joking, my insecurity… Or maybe this is just where we are now, five and a half months in to our relationship.

The first major bump he dealt with by confirming his love for me. He explained his love, gave evidence after evidence of how he loves me. All he wants is for me to be smiling and laughing. He kept saying, ‘I don’t know what’s in your head’, which to me signals his frustration. He feels he is doing all he can to prove his love. And you know what, I actually agree. He did acknowledge though that some of his joking may have triggered my little outburst. We both apologised and moved on.

Unfortunately, the next day brought round two. This time, it was a language barrier -created misunderstanding. But, I think as part of the hangover from the day before, he was really frustrated. I asked him if he wanted me to go and his muffled ‘no’ meant that we stayed online until my phone died. Again, we both apologised, expressed our love and went to sleep.

The next morning, yesterday, I was pretty worked up though. Whilst I could apportion the blame to both of us over the past few days, I was well aware that my insecurities were biting us on the ass. Again.

So, when I got my good morning text I called him – not video – and we talked it out. I’ve read that the best time to have an ‘argument/discussion’ etc is when you have prepared for it… when you’re both calm and thinking straight. So, a little fearful this was going to start round three, I took the plunge.

It was a really, really good conversation. I acknowledged and apologised for my constant need for reassurance and he told me that he doesn’t mind it, if that’s what I need. I told him that my insecurity was probably my biggest flaw. He told me about his mind state at the moment and reassured me that it was nothing to do with me and apologised if it had concerned me. He told me that he has absolutely no problems with me and our relationship at all but thinks that I have, even though there aren’t any. That was a stark comment.

The biggest ‘issue’, if you can call it that, is that I cannot hide anything from him. He knows me so much better than anyone else in such a short time. No matter how I try to hide my worries, thoughts… How I may try to swerve conversations that I’m not ready for, he knows me and knows I’m doing it. This in turn makes him anxious because he worries about what I’m thinking.

So, what I’m saying- what I have realised- is that I’ve found someone that understands me, knows me like no other. That our relationship will have to be built on 100% honesty and truthfulness because we both know when it isn’t. And that is really, really, exciting.

The conversation ended with us both feeling like we had overcome the issues. We had discussed, been open, and worked out the problem, together. We had acknowledged our own faults in this situation. We had found a solution, together.

You would think, having had serious relationships and even being older than him, that I would know what I’m doing. I don’t. He is so different from anyone I have ever been with.

I’ve realised that relationships are very much a learning curve. At the beginning, you hide so much of yourself, give just a little – just enough – to keep the other person interested. But as time goes on, you relax more, show more of yourself. As a couple then, you learn about each other and navigate through the intricacies of each others personality. Some things are a match and the discovery of that brings you closer together. But some things aren’t.

For some, those discoveries, those mismatches, are enough to end the relationship. You’re not compatible. For others, you learn how to deal with, accept, manage those differences. You both shift a little… Realign yourselves, together, and that makes you stronger as a couple.

My internal shifting has been to realise that I can’t manage this relationship like I did my marriage. They’re two different people. I can’t hide anything from Wild Card and neither should I want to or have to. When we have a problem, we talk it out together which is a galaxy apart from what happened in my marriage.

Yesterday I learnt about myself and about us. And I made a decision. I’m choosing to be with him, to love him, to go on this journey with him. So, therefore, I choose to trust him. I choose to believe that he loves me as he says and wants me as he says. Because the only person doubting that is me, with very little evidence. I chose to let go of my jealousy and it helped. I’m now choosing to let go of my insecurity. I’m choosing to show him my true self because he knows who that is anyway. He knows me, loves me for me, so what the hell am I

So, yes, it has been a really weird week. But our relationship has come out of it stronger than ever.

Part two of ‘Stupid’

“OK.” My voice is weak and pathetic. There’s no point trying to get him to talk as I know he won’t. I’m screaming inside – my own need to resolve this before he ends the call, my fear that he may not call again ripping through me. He will sleep on it and I will lose him.

He’s frowning but I go for routine. I say ‘bye’ and send him a kiss. He doesn’t respond.
“Do I not get a kiss?”
“No.”
“Why?”
“We will talk tomorrow.”
I pause, letting that sink in. I know he’s angry with me. I know there is nothing to say right now. I just have to have faith that this will blow over, again.

“OK, bye.” I send one more kiss as I always do.
“Bye.”

The call ends and I drop the phone, and my head, on to the bed.

I will him to text me. To send me a kiss or an ‘I love you’. Anything. But minutes later and there is nothing.

Sure, he is not as vocal as I am at sharing his attraction. But I see it on his face, I feel it in every single call. There are moments, almost times he can’t control, when he has complimented me… Once, when I had answered his videocall, he’d involuntarily said how beautiful my eyes were, like his mouth had vocalised his thoughts uncontrollably and then he immediately changed the subject. More recently, in our first phone sex experience, he had surprised me by calling a part of my body beautiful. Just because he doesn’t say it like I do, doesn’t mean that he doesn’t feel it. He showed he wanted me frequently when I was with him. He’s a man. I’m a woman. We are not the same.

I’m shamed. I’m stupid. I’m sorry.

So, I call again. He doesn’t answer immediately and for a moment I think he isn’t going to. But he does. He looks the same though, his expression is the same.

“I’m sorry.”

“Why are you sorry?”

“For being stupid.” He says nothing. “I love you.”

“I know.” He pauses. “We will talk tomorrow.”

“Maybe I need you to say it back to me?” I brush my hair back off my face and admit defeat. There’s nothing more I can do. “OK, bye, speak to you tomorrow.” I still send a kiss.

I can do no more. I stand up, stretch and go down to my children; my mind and heart numb. What more can I do?

I put my youngest to bed, heart and mind heavy. I just have to have faith, I tell myself. I go to the bathroom and was off my makeup, trying to drown out negative thoughts by focusing on massaging the creamy scented lotion into my face.

I go to my room and immediately notice the flashing on my phone. Frowning, I pick it up. He’s tried to call, four times.

I call back but he is not answering. As the call rings out I message him:

“Please answer. My phone was charging upstairs.”

The unanswered videocall cuts off and my heart plummets. But within seconds he is calling me.

I answer, wondering why this is not on videochat but really glad it isn’t: I did a very poor job of taking my makeup off. I explain why I didn’t answer the phone. He listens and says OK and I am relieved that this wasn’t another thing for him to be frustrated about.

There is silence again and I lie on my bed.

“Are you angry with me?”

“No.”

“Are you upset with me?”

“No. I just don’t understand your thinking.”

I sigh. “I know, I’m stupid.”

“No, you’re not stupid. But I don’t understand why you think that way.”

“I’m scared of losing you.”

“But why are you scared of losing me? Why do you think you will lose me?”

“You say things that make me jealous. Those words stick with me.”

“But you know I am joking. I talk to you every day and I am at home. I have no time for other girls. You are the only girl in my life.”

“I know.”

“Who first said about this being serious? What did I say to you when you were with me and went for coffee? I told you that I wanted a serious relationship with you. I told you to get to know me and my family and make a decision. I said I wanted you first.”

“Yes you did. But when you joke about other girls, I get jealous.”

“We’ve talked about this before. Yes, I have girls on my Facebook. But they are just friends. What did I say about this?”

“That’s they are just friends like I have male friends and as long as it was respectful, it was OK.”

“You have men on your Facebook.”

“Yes, but they’re all mainly fellow dog lovers.”

“I’m not joking here. You have men on your Facebook and I don’t say anything because we have already talked about this. I told you that if we get married we will delete our Facebook and we will make one together, your Facebook is mine and mine is yours. But for now, we have our own. You have men on Facebook and I don’t like it. But that’s how it is for now – we are not married so I cannot say anything. But I don’t like it. “

“I don’t like it when you don’t kiss me goodbye. You don’t like I when I don’t”

“No.”

“Well, I don’t like it either.”

“Yes.”

“And I don’t like it when you don’t tell me you love me. I tell you everyday.”

“Yes.”

“I don’t like it when you don’t tell me.”

“Yes.”

There is a pause again. Everything that could be said has been said.

“OK, I will go now and we will talk tomorrow. OK?” His voice is normal now.

“OK. Mine is too.

“I love you.” He sends kisses down the phone.

“I love you too.” I send them back.

I’m calmer now. I don’t know why he responds the way he does to my insecurity or doubt in him. Frustration maybe? In his eyes, he has done all he can – told me he is serious, given me time, introduced me to his family, calls me frequently every single day.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again – my insecurity is going to chase him away.

This morning I’ve had my usual text and videocall. 😊

Stupid, stupid, stupid

“Yes, that’s fine. You go and speak to whoever is on the phone.”


“What?!” His face is surprised, incredulous, but mine scowls back at him. I couldn’t feign nonchalance if I tried.


“I said, someone is calling you and you want to go. So go speak to them. I will speak to you later.”


“No, wait… My Dad has just called me, my dinner is ready.” He stares at me for a moment.


“Yes, OK. Speak to you later.”


“No, wait. I will show you.”


“You don’t need to show me anything. It’s fine.”


Regardless, he carries the phone, and me, out of the room.


“Ah, they are talking to my brother. We will go to the kitchen. So, what’s the problem?” He places the phone down and proceeds to pour himself tea. I take the time whilst he’s off screen to compose my face, breathe and try to calm. Inside my heart is pounding and my stomach aches. A deep breath:
“I can go, it’s fine.”


He’s back on screen now, frowning and looking at me intently. “No, it’s not. What’s the problem?”


“Your phone rings twice and you decide to go. You clearly wanted to speak to whoever it was.”


“I’ve told you, my Dad called me about my dinner. Look you can see, I’m having my dinner.” He shows me his tea and bread and looks at me again. “I want to speak to my brother too but I am in here, with you, to show you.” He sips his tea quickly and then looks at me again. “And I told you yesterday about this person who is calling me. I don’t know who they are. When I answer the phone there is nothing. I will block them.” 


The phone moves slightly as he begins to type or whatever else he is doing. My mind races, doubt and fear and self loathing fighting in my brain.
“So you’re saying it is just a coincidence? The phone rings and you want to get your dinner?”


He answers with frustration this time, his patience waning a little.
“I will show you.” He picks up the phone and starts to walk out of the kitchen.


“No , it’s fine. It was just a coincidence.” There is a weakness to my voice now, a hint of shame. He ignores me and we walk into the living room. He shows me the tea on the table and I can hear his parents talking in the background. He props the phone up again.


I watch him eat, drink and talk but his eyes are never far from me: checking I am still there. He pauses and looks at me.

“There is no one else in my life. You are the only girl in my life. OK?”

I nod slowly. The adrenalin is abating now and pain and shame rush into take its place. He carries on eating and talking and I carry on watching.
I study every curve and angle of his face that I have kissed and stroked. I watch his deep brown eyes as he smiles at one of his parents and then his hands as he gestures as he talks passionately.  I have no idea what they are talking about. I hope it’s not me.
“I will go now. I will let you eat and talk to your parents.” My voice has softened but even I can hear my feeble attempt at hiding the emotion.
“No, I have finished now.” He stands up and walks out of the room. I realise at that moment how little he has eaten – his usual refills of tea lacking. Later, I assume that this is due to me and my jealous outburst.
He takes me back into his room and he lies down.


There is an awkward silence.


My mind races through the day. His frequent phonecalls and check-ins: “Are you OK, is everything OK?”  Our laughter and smiles. I don’t know what to say anymore. I’m sinking. I study his face as he studies mine.
I’m overwhelmed. Does he not realise? I do. I’m very aware.
The words dance on my tongue. To say them would explain all but then show yet another weakness…

I start to speak, my mind consumed with truth but I stop myself. I should know better: he will never stand for that.

“Go on. Tell me.”
There’s no point trying to lie or cover up. He knows me too well. I sigh, my mind searching through the words I need to say, alarms ringing inside.

“It’s just that…I know I’m not beautiful, and thin and smart and… my age and everything. I just wanted to let you know, I’m aware of how lucky I am to have you.” The alarms in my head are screaming now. Even I know how bad and weak that sounds. But part of me hopes he understands enough to soothe.

Instead I see anger.
” Who said that? Who said you were not beautiful and smart and everything else you said? “
“Well, me. I know I’m not.” I look at my own face in the camera, screwed up in ironic disgust. “But I just want to let you know that I know I am lucky.” Even to my own ears it sounds pathetic. And it’s not working.

“You think you’re not beautiful?” He’s incredulous. And not happy.
“Yes. I know I’m not.  I know you could find someone better than me. And I know I’m lucky I have you.” My attempt at sincerity is just coming off as pathetic and I know it. But there’s no way out of this now. He’s scowling  and there is something else on his face, something I can’t quite read.

“OK, so you want this to end. Tomorrow I will find someone else. Someone better for me than you.”
If there was some small part of me that hoped for a different response, it died in that moment.

My voice is small: “Is that what you want?”

“No, I don’t want that. That’s what you want. For me to find someone better than you. That’s what you said? You want this to end?” His voice is scarily calm. He’s now lying on his side, his head resting on his hand and I can see a close up of his face and the unreadable emotions in his eyes. Unreadable except for the anger.

I shake my head, eyes wide. I realise how like a scared child I look. Not attractive at all.
” No, that’s not what I said.” My voice is weak now. “I don’t want you to find someone else.”
“But you said that you’re not beautiful or smart and I could find someone better. So you want to finish this.”
Again my head shakes and my eyes begin to well.
“No, that’s not what I want. I love you.”


There is silence again. I search his face, fear ripping through me. I don’t know what to say or do but I know that this moment is reaffirming my self-hatred. If you lose him tonight, it will be your own doing.

“I love you.” I repeat the words but he does not reply. Picking up the phone, he rolls on to his back. I can still see his face and his expression. This one I can read. He’s shutting down.
“Right, I will go now. We will talk tomorrow.”

I try to take comfort in ‘tomorrow’ but  I hate ending the call like this. Experience has shown that I have no choice though. His talking and thoughts and emotions are now locked behind that steely face.

Jealousy, part one.

I’m told, because I’ve searched for it on Google, that jealousy is healthy in a relationship. It shows we care, apparently.

What isn’t healthy, is when we act on it and let our emotions overcome us and so we react in an ill-considered way.

Jealousy often comes from fear and low self esteem – the thought that the one we love will find someone better than us. They will forget us and move on.

It’s important to process your jealousy. What’s causing it? And I just don’t mean, what has your S.O said or done to create it but what were your thought processes in allowing it to breed and multiply. Just like a nasty virus.

I am well aware that my jealousy stems from my own insecurities. It comes from previously dodgy relationships. It comes from societal stigma about my weight and the belief that no one will love me if I am big.

Processesing that jealousy before acting upon it is important. Like the knowledge that whilst I’ve had four/five failed relationships, I’ve pretty much ended each one of them. Sure, I was treated like crap at various points through most of them, but it was me who pulled the final plug each time. They’ve all come back too. Or tried to. Not bad for a fat girl, eh?

I’ve managed to meet some very, very attractive men. Surprisingly so. OK, yes, it hasn’t lasted, but it happened in the first place! I’m not as ugly-average as I think I am.

No, meeting people hasn’t been an issue as such. They’re not queuing out the door or anything, but neither am I as wholly detestable as my mirror image suggests. I just have not managed to meet the right person.

What’s the right person? It used to be a scarily long list of attributes. Now, it’s more abstract than that. It’s evolved.

I will admit, I have a type. After some teasing by my sisters about this, I put it to the test. I found images of all the celebrities that I was attracted to. And well, yes, they were pretty similar. Even if they didn’t have the dark, hopefully curly hair and the athletically tall body I liked, there would always be some facial similarities. So, yes, I have a type. Don’t we all?

But, putting aethestics aside, my ‘wish list’ has developed over the years. And probably simplified whilst becoming more abstract and complex:

1) Attraction and sexually compatibile – someone who loves to give and receive physical contact. Holding my hand or stroking my hair will do just fine day-to-day, thank you. But I want to kiss until my mouth is burning the rest of the time.

2) Someone with the intelligence to stimulate my mind and inspire me. I don’t need him to have a raft of qualifications either.

3) We’ve got to laugh. A lot.

4) Trust, trust, trust.

5) Someone who loves me for who I am, insecurities, imperfections all.

6) This is a hard one to explain. Because at first I thought it existed. Then I decided that it was a fiigment of my literature soaked mind and it did not exist. Then I found out that it does it exist, because I have felt it: The sense that someone completes you. I know this directly contradicts my earlier points. But it’s like… Your soul is now complete yet your mind and body will improve and be stimulated because they are around.

I’ve talked before about my theory that the perfect person for you , and there is more than one, has to meet three sets of criteria. When we date and it fails, it usually because of an incompatiblity in at least one of the areas that cannot be overcome or accepted. Each failed relationship helps us refine and define each area: physical compatibility, mind/personality compatibility and soul compatibility.

The problem I have, is that I have met someone who meets all three. Really meets them. But I’m insecure and jealous, so is he. Oh, and he lives in another country. And, to add insult to injury, an World pandemic keeps us even further apart whilst filling us with fear and panic. Great.

So how do I attempt to deal with this? Today’s effort are in my next post.

Update and reflection – part one

I left my story three days ago with me trying to follow the online advice I’d found.

To recap… Since being on holiday, and after a week of intense shared feelings and emotions previously, Wild Card was being distant. He was completely justified in this: he had gone on holiday with his family. But the timing, my anxiety… Well, it basically sent me over the edge. If I had left him and we had gone back to our normal LDR routine, it would have been difficult but manageable. The complete shift was playing with my already anxious insecurities.

The psychologist’s advice:

1) Don’t go on about how you feel, don’t question, don’t nag, don’t whinge. (All of which I was doing)

2) Don’t be the first to message/contact all the time – don’t over compensate (Yes, I was doing this too)

3) Don’t be so quick to reply when he does message. Take your time. (The minute my phone goes, I reply)

4) Focus on yourself. Eat well, exercise. Spend time with family and friends. Enjoy your life outside of him. (Nope, I wasn’t doing this)

5) When he comes back to you, talk about what happened. But only when things are back to normal.

So, on Wednesday, after an evening of panic, I initiated the plan. My last post ended at 11am with no contact.

First of all, I’m going to tell you that it worked. Second, I need to admit that I still went crazy, and I mean crazy. Third, I’ve learnt my lesson.

Game playing is never good in a relationship. Unfortunately, that’s the path my insecure mind decided to take.

My first game was to post something on Facebook. He always contacts when I do this. It was nothing – a picture of the rare blue sky and a comment about the onset of Spring. It could have been worse.

By the time I returned to my office he had indeed got in contact. He ended up calling me and showed me the stunning place where he was with his family. I was touched that he wanted to show me and sensed his frustration when I had to go back to work. Success!

But, it wasn’t enough. Some social media stalking later and I had sent a message that undid all my good, calm work. (My sister doesn’t think I did anything wrong but, I do).

By the time I had got home, after some further social media stalking (I have said all along why I hate social media and this is just proving me right) I had hit crisis point. I was in tears, on edge, frantic. I was convinced that this was the end. It doesn’t matter that he’d called – that was forgotten.

I called him, expecting him not to answer but needing to anyway. He didn’t answer, but messaged quickly to say he was driving.

By the time he had messaged me to say that he was back at his accommodation, my scheming had pitched to a new level. I was going to manipulate rule 4 to get a response.

Dangerous, dangerous territory. I know this. But I couldn’t help myself. I needed an answer to my fears, either way.

So when he messaged and asked what I was doing, I told him I was going out. I wasn’t. Knowing how he might respond, I added to the lie by putting more make up on and doing my hair so I looked like I was going out.

Long story short, I got the desired response. He questioned, he called. He wasn’t happy. I got the ‘I love you’ I had been missing but I was also told that he would call me when I was out.

Some of you will not like that level of control. I do. It shows me how he feels. And you need to remember, the times that he has reacted like that in the past , I’ve still gone out. It doesn’t affect my actions, it just proves how he feels. It’s part of his culture, him, and as I have said before, it’s no different to how I feel when he goes out.

Problem was, this time, it was a lie. I wasn’t going anywhere with anyone.

Luckily for me, my sister arrived, unfinished uni assignment under her arm, looking for help. I told the sorry tale of my scheming and was suitably told off. She then gave me my alibi.

By the end of my confession he had indeed called. He spoke to my sister, was told that I had cancelled to help her, and he was happy.

The remainder of the evening, he sent me some lovely personal pictures of his family on holiday, pictures that he would not put on Facebook but shared with me. I also got another video chat last thing at night. He was still quiet, but he was in a shared room with his family.

The next day he was travelling home. After my game playing, I decided that I needed to calm down. Be true to myself but calm down. My scheming and panicking were going to chase him away.

Continued in part two…

Battle of the baggage.

I am in a good place at the moment. I am. But I forget that not so long ago, I had anxiety and mild depression. I need to keep remembering that and give myself a break.

I had contact from Second earlier in the week. What started out as a ‘hello, how are you’ soon turned into a ‘are you OK with your decision not to meet me’. With one text he would outline his desire to have met me, the next that I had made the right choice and I could do better than him. It was confusing. I got the sense he was waiting for me to say something. I clearly didn’t say it, whatever it was. The conversation ended as abruptly as it started. What he did say was that he didn’t understand why I had felt insecure (which was the reason I took a step back and allowed things to develop with Wild Card).

That has resonated with me, particularly today. I did feel insecure in his intentions. Whilst I acknowledged the frequency of his attention (which must have meant something) the quality changed. I qualified that with his personal life at that time, and yet I still couldn’t help feeling that he was not ready for anything more than what we had. Have his messages confirmed that? I know he liked me and I know he was interested. So have my insecurity and anxiety tainted my understanding? In the end it doesn’t matter. Whether it was me or him or both, things developed with Wild Card regardless and I couldn’t carry on.

However, my anxiety has peaked a few times this week with Wild Card and I don’t know whether it’s me or him. My sister thinks it’s me.

So what has he done wrong? Not much really.

Monday evening, I pathetically tried to busy myself as I waited for him to contact me. I didn’t want to contact first because I don’t want to come across as clingy. What the? I know how stupid that sounds as I write it. When he finally did text me he wasn’t happy because he had been waiting for me to text and ask how he was (he has been really ill) and I hadn’t. He said that the evening was ‘our time’ and I could message when I want. If he was busy, he would get in touch as soon as he could, so where was the problem? Oddly, I felt reassured.  No silly game playing needed. Just message him when I want to.

The next night was equally good with a lengthy conversation which involved me asking him some long awaited questions. He answered honestly and intelligently and I felt secure and happy with his responses. I was really happy as the call ended.

The next night didn’t go so well. I was tired after a 12 hour day in work. Our chat started off OK but then we ended up talking about the break down of my marriage. I just couldn’t get him to understand, I couldn’t explain it right, and it left me frustrated and him suspicious that I was hiding something. The call ended on a ‘meh’ but he text me immediately after which made me feel better. I attempted to give a written explanation which he appeared happier with and it hasn’t been mentioned since.

The fact is, everytime I get anxious about him and stew in my doubt and insecurity, he always calls or texts or shows me affection and then I feel stupid. Yesterday I got all worked up because he didn’t call when I thought he was going to but he called later on, oblivious. When I pointed it out, he was surprised, hadn’t realised there was an issue, but then was apologetic. He messaged and called me again in the evening but I was in the bath. After a brief chat, he left me to it. After I got out, and as I applied my various creams and potions, I considered whether to call him back. I didn’t. At one point, looking at the time, I thought about just texting him goodnight. Again, I didn’t. Don’t ask me why, particularly when he has told me to text when I want. Eventually I checked my phone and he had actually text me goodnight.

I don’t know what’s wrong with me.  I can’t even remember if this is normal for me, even without the extenuating circumstances. I know that if I’m not careful, my behaviour is going to ruin things. It’s like Lost Soul over again, which has got me thinking whether I was to blame for that one too. No, I wasn’t, but I didn’t help.

Whether we like it or not, we carry the baggage of our past relationships round with us.

My first, serious relationship involved a man that I completely adored. We would be inseparable for a couple of months and then out of the blue, he would end it claiming that he didn’t actually love me at all. He destroyed me quite a few times – I was in my late teens to be fair – but eventually he chipped away my feelings for him and I ended it after three years and an engagement. He stalked me for eighteen months. As in, repeatedly visited my work place, looking for my car in the car park even when I was hiding in the back.

My next relationship was similar I suppose. Earth shatteringly intense but I wasn’t in love. There was a surprising break up from him, then an apology and a resurrection and then we mutually ended it and few weeks later.

So, there’s a pattern already. Men who break up with me when I don’t expect it and then they come back.

My husband. Well, he let me down a lot. Lied. Didn’t put me first. Wasn’t an equal, a partner. I knew he loved me but as time went on it was shown less and less. No intimacy or affection and more and more lies. He didn’t fight to save us, despite his protestations of love. We had a separation and then got back together. It didn’t work.

Lost Soul. He played with me. Pulled me in and pushed me away. Confused me, made me doubt everything that I felt and thought.

Goodness, is it any surprise that I am like this?

I just don’t know how to combat it. I need to trust and have faith, but how do you do that when you’ve been hurt? It’s taken me three years to consider dating again and clearly I still have the hang ups I’ve always had.

I’m so scared of looking stupid, so scared of being made a fool. Again. You’ve got to trust someone with your heart to fall in love. Without trust, you can’t have a relationship. I’m not even near that stage yet and I’m already panicking. I can’t help but see the bad in every subtle change and picture an eventuality where I’m hurt and foolish. I’m doing it right now.

I don’t have any answers to this. I know I’ve got to be positive, just enjoy it for what it is now and have faith that what will be, will be. I don’t know what else I can do. It’s a battle, but whether it’s with Wild Card or another man in my future, I can’t succeed unless I fight my insecurities.

Falling

It’s been five days since my last update on Second. Maybe that says something.

When I last posted about him, he had called me on sunday after dropping his kids off. We had three, long conversations on the phone and it felt like things had gone back to normal. He told me that he would call me on Tuesday as he drove to his parents’ house – a long drive by all accounts.

He surprised me though by texting once he had landed on Monday evening and then by a phonecall as he had paused for a break from his driving. However, when my son interrupted the call he apologised saying he had forgotten that I would have my children. I said it didn’t matter – my daughter was in the room and knew I was on the phone to him – so we spoke for a few more minutes before I said I should let him go then.

“Oh, OK then.” He said it with surprise, like he would have carried on talking. I was so confused! I couldn’t back track so we ended the call.

He didn’t call Tuesday as he had originally suggested he would, but at 10pm when it had turned into Christmas Day where he was, I sent him a voice message wishing him Merry Christmas and hoped he had a lovely time with his family.

Nearly two hours later he replied saying thank you, he was tired after long journeys and busy days and that he would message me the next day.

Which he did. I got a Merry Christmas in the morning and a photo of him and his Dad. I wished him a good day and then there was radio silence… Until I sent him a photo of myself – to return the favour of course – once I had put make up on and done my hair. He saw it but didn’t respond for another five hours. (Yes you read right) He complimented my hair, asked about my day and had I had a good time etc. Shortly after he said he was going to bed.

The next day was my walk with my friend and as I thought one of her gifts was funny and pertinent to a conversation I’d had with him, I decided to send him a picture of it. He replied, short and sweet, but fine.

Again, hours later he sent me a sweet little Christmas video. I sent him some pictures of my walk. He sent me pictures of what he was doing. Chit chat, and then silence.

Four hours after that he sent me a text saying he was sat outside looking at the stars. He then told me he was lonely. I asked a few questions: Asked if he was alright, but he said he was and he was with his uncle. I told him I was always there if he wanted to talk and he thanked me and said he just missed someone to cuddle. I sent him loads of cuddle emojis and he asked about my joke present then went quiet again.

An hour and half later and at 1am where he was, he sent a text asking if I was still awake. Unfortunately, I didn’t see it until 10 minutes after he’d sent it and although I replied, I knew he was probably asleep. Turns out he was.

This morning when I woke I checked my phone and he had just been online. He’d seen my reply but hadn’t bothered to text me back. I waited an hour and a half then sent a simple ‘are you OK?’ He replied quickly, saying yes, asked how I was and said he’d fallen asleep before I had replied. I said I’d guessed as much. Nothing since.

Yes, yes, I know, he said he would be really busy. He must have told me five times. And he has messaged me. But the hard thing is, whilst I knew he would not be messaging me all the time, I didn’t expect the delays in replying particularly when he has already read the message or the fact that at times he has been online but not messaged me. It’s stinging, I will admit it.

I’m trying to do as I promised. I’m texting less so that he can be with his family. I’ve touched base a couple of times. And I do miss talking to him. I’m surprised at how much.

I have a feeling he was probably a little drunk last night. Part of me is touched that he reached out to me when he felt lonely and that I was the last person he messaged before he fell asleep. But… Part of me wonders if that is all I am to him. A distraction when he needs one.

My feelings are falling away. I hate not knowing where I stand and as I over analyse everything and have the self esteem of a hedgehog, this few weeks are not doing me good.

I wonder whether this is contributing to my growing feelings for Wild Card – ever there, ever attentive. Equally though, it’s adding to my fear factor – a few weeks ago I liked them pretty equally and selfishly wanted both (for now) to act as a buffer to the rejection I was sure I would get from one at some point.

I don’t know what to make of it. He’s doing what he said he would. I’m falling for Wild Card. What’s my problem? Is it my ego? My self esteem? Fear?

All I know for sure, is that it’s just making me a little sad, that’s all.