Trip 6, Day 5 – waiting

Today has been a little different.

It started the same although Wildcard came to me a little later. Not that I was clock watching or anything. Whilst still being his jesting self, I’ve noted that he is paying attention to my needs with a keen eye and held me much longer today when he saw I needed it.

After breakfast and his departure (apparently my half hearted suggestion that he stay with me was something out of a romantic film. Boo.) I sat and did a bit of home housekeeping with emails and checking my online banking. No sooner had I done that, than my ex messaged asking for money. I said OK, as I usually do, but then sat stewing for half an hour before sending a rather long irate text. His attempts to pacify me were poor to say the least. My attempts to be calm even less so.

I need to cut more ties. I know it and so does everyone else. His need for financial support still, five years later is now just frustrating. Even more so because for the past 18 months, I haven’t had the same money I used to. Frustratingly of course, I took the leadership job in September to help with this situation: higher pay to get to a point where he can be taken off the mortgage I pay, and therefore he has no hold or threat over me anymore.

As one of my New Year’s reflections was a real desire to get a much better handle on my finances, I spent some time this morning in subtle planning and exploring. I want to get to a point where no penny is uncounted for.

Wildcard’s beautiful inscribed gift with ‘my wife’ on has given me some more hope that some point soon we will finally marry. I’ve thought this deep down for a while, and it’s not that he hasn’t already said this, but I think he has probably considered me his wife for some time. For him, the paperwork is a legality only needed if and when he decides he is ready to move to the UK with me. I suspect for the time-being, he’s actually quite happy with the arrangement.

And I understand why. I spent the afternoon in the kitchen with his mother. She showed me how she cooks some of her amazing, traditional dishes. We talked, albeit stiltingly, of her traditional role. He is well looked after and cared for, is providing the role of an elder son exactly as his culture and religion state. He has a career, a car…a life. I’m part of that life every single day with the multiple calls we have. He is not after a visa – whilst the UK is appealing, he has much more to lose here than many of his fellow natives who seek a foreign marriage. He has little desire to leave his parents, potentially give up his job and car, and move to a cold wet country where the culture is so different to his.

But I do know he loves me. I just still don’t know if it is enough, if I am enough, for him to give up on what he has.

His parents are wonderful and I love them dearly. I can’t pretend I don’t feel pangs of guilt at my hopes of dragging their son away. I wish there was another solution but there isn’t. In the past I’ve suggested us marrying but waiting some time for a visa – for me, it will give us more flexibility on our visits and I am happy with that for now. He doesn’t see it that way, so I will have to wait a little longer.

*****

I wrote this earlier with some resigned acceptance. Whilst it is not what I want – I want to be with him as closely and as often as I can – I do understand the situation and ironically love him for it

Unfortunately, subconsciously, this must have lodged somewhere. Like an annoying sticky bob seed.

Later that day – a day that passed by so quickly as I talked with his mother – he came home and there was joy in his voice as he greeted me. We ate and then I watched his daily ritual of preparing the sofa to relax – moving cushions, getting his water and phone charger, getting the warm blanket – and was heart warmed as I noticed him prepare my area too.

I soon joined him, his feet in my lap as always, my hand touching his skin. He plays on his game, I read on my phone. The last few nights, his mother has joined us too – making her own little snug opposite us blanket covering her and phone in hand. We’ve laughed as Wildcard has danced or done one of the many jesting things he does that makes me love him. During this time, he turned and asked what time I was leaving on Saturday. A simple question and no doubt as they were discussing plans as Wildcard is hoping to take the day off.

But it lodged in my heart. It found the sticky-bob seed of resignation and inflamed it. I started counting the days left, particularly as I had calculated that at best he would only work Thursday morning and take the rest off.

I couldn’t help it. I couldn’t.

I worked out that, with his brother coming Feb and Ramadan in April, I would not be seeing him until at least June. Five months away, again. And that thought, along with “I don’t want to leave him” is like an automatic push button on my tears. I turned my head and tears fell.

I was careful. No sobbing or weeping. No body heaving. But he knows, as he always knows.

“Are you crying?”

“No.”

“Look at me.”

I moved his strategically placed pillow and crept up so I was now resting in my place, on his chest. He asked why I was upset and I explained. He hadn’t considered how events would prevent my visit until the summer. But he spoke of us traveling again, south this time if I wanted. He joked I could try to fit him in my suitcase but then remembered his gift and reminded me that was what it was for.

(My waterworks have started again)

And then, I just lay in his arms and he held me – longer than I thought he would – until I was calm again.

Once in bed of course, I started again. I messaged my friend and she reminisced on the times she had felt this way when her relationship was long distance. It’s normal, unfortunately. There’s nothing to quite compare to the anguish of knowing you will go back to waiting. Even when you are soul brimmingly happy, as I am.

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Trip 6, Day 4

Maybe it was the extra kisses, but I didn’t sleep great last night. I just wanted him with me. I could hear the occasional sounds of his moving as a thin partition wall is all that separates us when we are in bed. I tried my best to ‘manifest’ a visit. Didn’t happen.

In the morning he came to me as usual and he held me. Those moments are so precious. There are studies about 20 second hugs and their health and relationship benefits – you should try 20 minutes plus of being locked in someone’s arms, feeling the heat of their body and hearing the beat of their heart. If I could physically get any closer, I would. I can’t, of course.

Another beautiful breakfast and then he went to work. My heart ached today- I couldn’t face him going again and leaving me. The novelty, if there ever was one,  has truly worn out.

I spent the rest of the day watching Bridgerton, writing a few poems and going into climatic shock when I went to the roof terrace to hang out washing and feeling the warmth of 19° sun on my skin. Winter here is definitely not like home. I relished in the sunshine and it revived me a little. However warm and comfortable I may be, I’ve sat in his apartment for three days.

Revived, I went down and was rewarded with a call from Wildcard. He was still working and asked where his mother was. I took the phone to the kitchen and they had a conversation.  I could tell he was mildly agitated about something but know so little of his language, I had no idea about what.

Knowing he would be home within the hour, I settled myself to another episode, happiness blooming inside me of his soon return..

When he comes home, it’s like a full scale firework display inside. As he changed out of his work clothes, I proceeded to clear away my things, aching for that first kiss. Just as I was leaving the bedroom – he called for me to wait for him there and he disappeared into his parents room and quickly returned with something in his hands.

He had a big smile on his face and was excited.

“I have got you a present”

His face was just shining with anticipation. I admittedly, was a little shocked. I thought it was a joke to be honest – may be stain remover as we’d discussed an ink stain on his coat? – and eyed the package in his hands with calculation.

Still excited, he went to close the blinds but said he wanted to see my face when I opened it.

So I did. It was a beautiful, thoughtful, sentimental and heart-felt gift. My mouth opened and I stared. Every part of it had been designed and chosen by him. Every part showed – no declared- his love for me. For all to see. No, it wasn’t an engagement ring. But it didn’t need to be.

Trip 6, Day 3 – love

I woke at 7am and internally groaned. I’d done it, yet again. Stupid, stupid.

Later in the evening, after his message to say he loved me, I’d gone out to say sorry and kiss him and he’d told me it was ok and was forgotten. He must love me just on this basis alone.

Nonetheless, my heart sunk a little as I woke and remembered. I did my customary mini-morning glow up and got back into bed to read and wait.

He came in early again, just after 8am and like the previous day, we cuddled to get warm (he’s not warm sleeping here he does and it always makes me feel guilty but he insists I take his room). Then he held me and started to watch things on his phone. And I buried my face his neck and breathed him in.

Yesterday, I’d have been annoyed he was on his phone. Today, I just relished in the warmth of his arms and legs wrapped around me and the touch of his hand stroking my skin, phone or not.

But that wasn’t all. At every opportunity, he kissed me. My cheeks, face, lips..over and over. More than usual – notably more. And my heart swelled.

After some time he asked if I’d noticed all his kisses? I smiled and said, “of course”. He was trying. He always tries, no matter how stupid my outbursts. He listens, he tries and I love him for it.

Again, he stayed with me much longer than he should. We had a lovely breakfast again, and then he finally went to work at 11.30am. And I really love him for that too.

There is a great reel knocking about on Facebook at the moment, where Jay Shetty is on a talk show and he discusses how his value of time kept causing conflict early in his marriage. He realised that, whilst his wife was always late, she was late because of the vibrancy and spontaneity that he loved about her. He had to accept the good with the bad.

I love Wildcard’s integrity and sense of humour. I love his teasing and his joking and the way that he makes me laugh like no one has ever done before. I love everything about his man and don’t want to change anything. When I get upset, often it’s because he’s not doing what I am doing. But he isn’t me! We are different in many ways, and ways that work: when I allow myself to realise that he is not me, so will not act as I do. He shows his love in many ways when I allow myself to see them and stop myself from being insecure and anxious. If you allow yourself to look for beauty and love, you soon realise that it has been right in front of you all this time.

This evening we have laughed frequently, played and joked and he reached for my hand. He even stayed up later. I just kept looking at him or feeling his hand in mine or his feet in my lap, and I felt insanely happy and loved.

Happy Guilt

Wildcard and I have a verbal dance. Not being a dancer, I can’t complete this analogy properly but will say it is tango-esque.

He’s a joker, a teaser. Making me laugh for hours and hours is one of the ways he has consistently showed me his love this past few years. He delights in it.

Occasionally though, he will say something a little to the left of laughter…or, more likely, my mood will not see the humour in it. I’ve observed this trigger and know that it’s entirely to do with my fear of losing him and of not being good enough. We then begin our dance of tooing and froing…of empassioned pauses and fast turns, emotional filled, shocking and tense.

Last night’s gem isn’t hard to qualify as I was clearly in that mood yesterday as you can see from my post. I was feeling fear and doubt.

After writing that post, he called as usual, and I tried very hard to raise my positive energy and cast away my fears for another day. And I succeeded at first.

He then made a joke. It was a common one, something he says regularly- daily, even. It’s a joke which I laugh at, accept, feel warmth about 98% of the time.

Today though, I followed up with a question…

And he, as usual, continued his joke. No, he didn’t think of me that way. It didn’t even enter his mind.

The dance stops dead. The female lead freezes and stares at the male.

I was triggered. My mind shifted out of our usual joking – the joke we had had every day – into new territory. It side stepped into a new beat.

I questioned again, digging, clarifying…emotions overriding common sense. At this point, I’m glazed over, mind racing. There’s a lump in my throat and I feel the too-familiar tingle of tears in my eyes.

She spins and turns away….he stalks towards her.

He’s not oblivious. He knows that I’ve entered the dance, stamped my feet and sauntered away. He, of course, chooses to dance.

He questions me – why am I crying.

I reply, I’m not. I’ve managed to stop it.

He retorts, you haven’t. You look like you will explode.

The dance continues.

So I ask again, you really don’t think of me that way?

Yes, he says finally with humour and depth and truth in this eyes. I think.

At that moment she relents and is swept into his arms in a final montage of love.

He says I’m stupid, of course, with humour. Why would he be with me if he didn’t think like that? Why do I ask these questions when I know the answers? Indeed, why do I? The voice of sense is in my head…she sits there smug, knowing the truth but watches as my inner imposter takes the lead for a spell.

This morning I called him when I woke. He was in a good mood and as we greeted each other, he gave a huge grin and was chuckling to himself as he did something on the phone.

“Why are you laughing?”

“Nothing.”

This of course makes me nervous. My brain goes into overdrive- what …or who…was he laughing at? Was he speaking to someone else when I called? Have they sent him something?

“Why are you nervous?” He asks.

“I’m not.”

“You are. Why are you nervous?”

“What were you laughing at?”

“I’ve sent you something. You haven’t seen it yet.”

Oh. So when he was laughing and doing something on his phone, he was actually sending me something. Oh.

I look at my phone and he’s sent a series of photos and I gasp and put my hand to my face and then laugh with him. At first, I don’t remember him taking them but eventually the memory breaks.

The photos are intimate but in an innocent way. We are in bed together and it was one morning when I was there. In the photos he is shirtless (it was the height of summer) and I am wearing a vest top but we are cuddling: with him looking at the camera and me with my head against his chest. Intimate, innocent, but kind of sexy. In the first of them, the angle isn’t great as I look at the camera too, and it’s not very flattering for me, and I remember telling him I didn’t like the photo so I moved to rest my head against his chest and closed my eyes. In the others, it’s recorded a loving moment and I hadn’t remembered or realised he’d taken so many.

There’s been a few times I’ve thought I’ve caught him taking surreptitious photos when I’ve been reading or when I was crying at the airport, saying bye to his mum, and I’ve just gone along with what I was doing- if he wants candid photos, let him. I take them often enough. But I’d forgotten this moment, and in its intimacy I realised once again that he loved me when he took them and he loved me enough this morning to have been looking at them before I called. So, yes, he does think about me in that and every other way.

I ended the call in happy guilt. Guilt that my mind jumps to the negative, so quick to allow my inner demons to cloud my judgement. Happy that he has proved again that he loves me and wants me.

About an hour later he called again, this time in his car. He was waiting for his parents as they were travelling to see family for a special event. He looked jaw-droppingly good. I asked to see what he was wearing and he panned out, a little reluctantly.

I told him he looked delicious, and he said he’d brought the blazer jacket I had bought him some time ago.

“Is that the jumper I bought you too?”

“Yes,” as he moved the camera to show me again and I glimpsed the ring I made him and the watch I bought.

“Baby! It’s like I’m there with you!”

He smiled shyly and looked to the side – the gesture he makes when he’s showing his true emotions. He laughed a little, and showed me his footwear – which I’d also bought him. 😍

“Oh baby, I’m there with you, hugging you with the jacket and jumper and ring and watch and the shoes!”

We both laughed and smiled at each other and then his parents got into the car.

As we ended the call, I thought about the fact that today, he had surrounded himself with many the things I have bought for him over the past three years. He didn’t need to – he has other things he could wear that I haven’t bought. But he chose to.

Now, I’m just happy. 🥰

Trip 5, day 1

Travelling makes you patient. That’s my new revelation.

I’m sat waiting for my flight. I’ve seen the gate number on the Ryanair app but it hasn’t yet appeared on the notice board. There are a handful of people here and I’ve bagged a great seat next to an industrial fan.

Boarding doesn’t close for another 45 minutes. Soon the rush of people will be here.

There is a marked difference in the airport this time – now Covid has apparently departed, people are travelling again. I was lucky enough to travel last year and can see and feel the difference. Despite the bad press, this London Airport was smooth and efficient. Too efficient really- I was through security in a blink. What I will say is, it’s clear some people have forgotten the rules of travel: there were lots of people who were sent away to repack.

I need patience. I’ve realised how much I can be impatient and how this is a trigger for my anxiety. I automatically think the worst.

I’ve got two weeks with Wildcard. I can’t wait. I also can’t deny that something has shifted and I’m not sure what.

However, I was really really happy last night when he told me that he has taken 9 days off. Actions speak louder than words – I’ve said this before – he is choosing to use his holidays to be with me.

After a major wobble the other week, I had an enlightening conversation with my Facebook friend, one of two who are in serious relationships with men from Wildcard’s County. This wonderful lady has been a rock for me and has helped me navigate many a relationship stress. She’s talked me through this one, and made me realise how some of my behaviour has put pressure on him around my visits.

She’s an expert. Her husband is living with her and they have two small children. She’s lived this life and whilst she acknowledges the difficulties, she’s happy.

She helped me put a new perspective on some of his recent behaviours. She’s honest and highlights the good and bad in this life we lead. She says I’ve helped her as much as she’s helped me. It’s funny how we find people like that, when we need them.

And so to patience. Here are my trip pledges:

I am patient and understanding.

I am reflective of how others feel, not just me.

I’m committed to relax, laugh and enjoy.

I will not apply pressure to myself or him. It helps no one.

And now, to wait patiently.

Trip 4: day 2, travel and arrival

If you’ve read my last post, you’ll know that I commented upon the challenges of a long distance relationship and the sheer amount of organisation needed.

Mistake me not, he is worth every second. Barring the first trip, Covid has been ever present in our relationship. Multiple tests, multiple heath forms… this week’s trip pales in comparison. But I will say it again, he is worth it.

I’m on the plane now. I’m tired but comfortable. I started to question myself and my feelings, wondering at the changes I feel and what that actually means. My conclusion is that the absence is not excitement but fear. I’m not nervous or scared. Ok, my connecting flight bothers me a little, but in general there is no anxiety at all. That has to be a good thing.

In a way, its kind of left a void. An empty space not filled with any emotion right now.

******

It’s two hours later. I’m still on my flight but we are starting to descend. I then need to check-in for my second flight and wait for the final hour’s journey to be with him.

As we have got closer, I feel like I’m slowly awakening…unfurling like a rose bud. My heart and body and soul are calling out to him and waiting for his answer. I need to touch his skin, look into those deep brown eyes with all their mischief and…love. Yes, love.

No number of hours on video calls can compare with being 5 minutes in his company.

I’ve listened to my music on replay and have been reading my book. I’m now bored and impatient. I want him.

*****

I’ve seen his face. Yes, still on a screen but I’m so much closer now. I could see that little twinkle in his eye and know he is excited too, no matter how much he teases me otherwise.

Considering my anxiety, the stop off at this airport was relatively stress free. I didn’t know where I was going and neither did a few of the staff, but check in and security was easy. I’m about half an hour from boarding my last flight. I can’t wait.

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.

Happy?

I forced myself into action yesterday. In cartoonesque fashion, I pictured a numbing bubble coming from my solar plexus and consuming me, anaesthetising my pain and fears.

Of course there were ripples of hurt which threatened to pop said bubble. But I didn’t allow myself to dwell.

Instead, I sat with my legend planner – the new one I bought when I first realised I had issues at work – and planned how I was going to work on my house in the next 8 weeks.

For, I realised, with or without him my life will go on. That’s a fact.

I had my union meeting yesterday too and things are moving along. My settlement should be completed in the next few weeks. I will paid until Christmas but officially leave their employment at the end of August. This means that I can start a new job in September. I just need to find one.

So, I reasoned, that gave me eight weeks to spend time with my family and get my house sorted. There is tidying, cleaning and decorating to be done. As seems to be the annual tradition, the kids want to swap rooms. There’s plenty to do.

My numbing-bubble visualisation got me through the day. I thoroughly cleaned the lounge and made dinner. I didn’t allow myself to go back to bed. As I said, I can’t pretend that my hurt didn’t threaten to overwhelm me. I just didn’t let it.

Wildcard called me as much as usual yesterday. He was a little more chatty. The slow thaw continues. I even got a kiss goodnight. I actually plucked up the courage to tell him what my ex had said. I could see him thinking and processing that, and I know that he will need time to do so.

Later, I spoke to my London friend about her upcoming trip to see her boyfriend and we discussed Wildcard’s continued sulkiness. She advised that I be normal now and don’t bring it up again. She was surprised he was still moody- over nothing – but said it showed his jealousy. I took her advice on board.

So this morning, I chose to be happy. I put my makeup on before he called. I sent a lovely good morning message. And when he called before work, I was bright and cheerful.

“Why are you happy this day?”

“Because I love you.”

He pulled his usual face in attempt to tease me. His parents got in the car because they wanted taking somewhere, and Wildcard kept me on the phone the whole journey. Once they had left he asked me again:

“Why are you happy?”

I told him that I had spent the week crying and not sleeping and feeling sick. I couldn’t do it anymore. I was choosing to be happy.

He said little but again I could see this running through his mind.

As he parked up at work, I said my customary goodbye whilst he said his sulky one. But as I showered him with phone kisses and I love yous, there was a little amusement there which he tried to hide.

He is still sulking. I am still nervous. But there is nothing more I can do. I’ve apologised and cried till I couldn’t breathe. I’ve not slept and panicked and ruminated. I’ve tried to explain, ignore and now I choose to be happy. Not because I am, but because that is what I need to do.

Maybe I should have done things differently. Maybe he is overreacting. But I still love him. This will need discussing at some point but when he is ready.

In regards to my August trip- well, that remains to be seen. I could cancel, rearrange or…and here is a thought…actually go. I’ve looked at some hotels which aren’t too expensive. I have a week to make a decision. Let’s see what the next few days hold.

Power

I’m lying in bed and I have tears streaming down my face. Some are through pain and some through laughter.

Wildcard is definitely moody. But he won’t talk about it.

So I’m not sure if it is the fact my ex (and my daughter) drove me home or the fact that he thought my sister had, and now knows she didn’t. It is probably both.

He is still calling me at the usual times. There is an awkward atmosphere occasionally. Other times he talks as normal; I swear until he remembers he is supposed to be annoyed. He won’t tell me he loves me though, or kiss me goodbye. I expect that now, as after 18 months I know his m.o. when he is annoyed with me. Yesterday I managed relatively comfortably with it, somewhat secure that it will probably pass with time.

Today has been a little different.

I was heart warmed when he messaged me first thing with ‘Good morning my love.’ I hoped this signalled he had got over it and would be back to himself. He had quite a stressful day on today which I know had been bothering him so I wasn’t surprised when he didn’t respond to my reply for a while.

His contact today has been limited though. He eventually called me at lunch when he was at a restaurant with his parents. The call was brief and he had no headphones so couldn’t talk much. As requested, he did call me back to show me what they were eating- and I had asked for a picture because it was something traditional I had not seen before. But still, no love you, no kisses and no response when I questioned it.

Since then my mood has dipped. I’m already anxious about this relationship and things like this don’t help. I took myself off to bed and wept a little.

My ex is angry I’m with Wildcard. Wildcard is angry I got a ride with my ex. My daughter would have been upset if I had got a hotel. I can’t win.

I lay in bed feeling the despair of uncertainty all over again. No news from the union. No call from Wildcard. No sign of any decent jobs.

And so I prayed. I thanked for the life I did have: my family and friends, the opportunities I’ve had, my health. But then I asked for help. I asked for strength. I asked that I could stop worrying and be happy and enjoy my relationship. I asked for guidance.

I swear to you, within minutes Wildcard called. He was visiting family. The call was brief but at least he called. He messaged then to say he was tired, it was very hot and we would talk later.

I lay back down and thought. He must have seen that I looked a little upset. But at least he called. I could see he was tired after a stressful day and a lot of travelling so now was not the time to air grievances. I felt a little better but was still anxious to move on.

As my eyes began to close again, and considering this was only five minutes after Wildcard’s call, the phone rang again.

This time it was test and trace. They’ve called every day. I wasn’t in the mood but knew I had to answer. A youngish male voice answered and started his spiel. I interrupted and asked if I was going to be called every day. He replied yes, and that I would probably know the script better than him by now and should he continue at speed?

I told him to continue, I would listen and I.knew he was only doing his job. He then proceeded to speak as quickly as he could, meaning I was laughing hysterically down the phone. He paused, asked if I was crying or laughing, then started again. Amidst laughing, I answered his questions. He retorted that he could tell I was at home from the echo of the room – was I residing in a Palace? Did I have any further questions?

I replied no, but asked if he could call me tomorrow as that had been the best call I’d had so far from Test and Trace.

He said it was probably the worst then told me he would say the next part slowly so I could hear him properly. He then proceeded to read at speed again, and I was laughing once more.

He finished the he wished me a good day and said he hoped he would get to speak to me again.

The call ended with a smile and I thanked the power of prayer and laughter.

Return to the doghouse, or, rejection.

I’ve been home a few days now. I did start to write a post about my final day but didn’t know how to finish it.

I slept the majority of the two days I’ve been home so far. I don’t know why. Sure, travel tires you but I don’t normally feel this tired. I hurt my neck in the journey home- my back pack was far too heavy and I felt it pull. Since then I have limited motion to the right and felt sick with the pain. Maybe that’s what is wrong.

And maybe it is a lot of things.

Perhaps it is the state of the house. I left my 17 year old, seemingly mature daughter to take care of the pets. She had friends round and her Dad and aunties checked on her. The house was a mess. Think: sour milk that never got to the fridge, pizza boxes with mouldy pizza in and enough empty soft drink bottles to make a raft. Oh and she hasn’t washed a towel in two weeks. However, the pets are all well and alive so that is something. I’ve never left her alone before so maybe this is typical.

Maybe it is that I now need to think seriously about my future. I need to find a job or start my business. My hope of coming home with a sense of the future was dashed – I know that I must plan for myself alone.

Maybe it is the fact that my ex is barely speaking to me for going to see Wildcard and Wildcard is now barely speaking to me because he found out that my ex and daughter ended up getting me from the airport when my sister let me down. Yep, figure that one out.

And then this morning I was woken by my nearly 50 year old half sister – the one I haven’t spoken to for three years – at 6.30am crying and hammering on the door. She was drunk, in distress, and had fallen out with my even more aggressive half brother who had pushed her over. I have lots and lots of bad history with her, but I have good also. She is very much alone – a fact she is aware of as much as her blame for that. My Dad would be heartbroken to see her like that. She is involved with a man who is no good and as I sat there and watched her I just felt awful. She has told me some of the things he has said to her, apparently in jest, and I could see how this has made her change her appearance. His drinking and drug use have clearly increased her own drinking. But most of all, I just saw someone who was lost. Missing her Dad (she has no mum) and just craving love and attention to the point of changing herself. I saw me. And I didn’t like it.

How much of what I feel for Wildcard comes from that loneliness, that desperation for love and acceptance? I have lived a life rejected by my half siblings, simply for being born. In turn they have marginalised me from the rest of my dad’s family- only the ones who don’t get on with them, get on with me.

However much they chased me afterwards, my ex husband, my first boyfriend and Lost Soul played with my feelings enough and let me down to the point of rejection. I forgave and accepted and tried, but in the end gave up on them. Once I’d given all I had, there was no more going back – regardless of their promises and pain and love.

I’ve had issues with friends – the one who rejected me because of my relationship with Wildcard for example. And now there is work. Rejection if ever I’ve felt it. I’m not wanted.

So what if, my desperation for a life with Wildcard comes from that? He has shown me undue attention in two years. He is deliciously handsome and funny and knows me like no other. What if my desire to run away from the rejection here is a key incentive in my commitment to him? I would be lying if I told you I hadn’t thought of starting a new life there.

And he does hurt me, from time to time. He says things to make me nervous. He can be childish and maybe even a little spiteful – he’s angry with me now (even though he says he isnt) so his response to my ‘I love you’ is ‘I know’. Oddly, it hasn’t affected me like it usually does. I know him well enough to know why this has put him on edge. I know how he behaves when he feels this way. And I know, usually, it will blow over. He is still calling me and answering my calls and texts. He will stew, he may discuss, he will forget. Maybe.

But no matter which way you look at it, I was desiring more ‘finality’ in our relationship than he was. And that feels like rejection too. Maybe he isn’t ready. Maybe it is finances. Maybe he wants to meet my children. Maybe it is too soon for his parents. Maybe my behaviour freaked him out. Maybe I want too much, too soon. Maybe it is not meant to be.

And this, then, is my problem. I’ve lost all faith in my own judgement and thinking. The more I think, the less I know. The more I think, the more possibilities my stupid brain comes up with. So many, that I can reject and accept everyone with no clear decision on which is most likely.

So, I’m in the doghouse. And I’ve a feeling that I am the only one who can get myself out.