Trip 5, day 3: The switch.

I can hear the crackle of the open fire. Something delicious is on its way for dinner.

It’s been another lazy day. So far, apart from a mild hiccup last night, Day 3 wobbles have not surfaced. That’s not to say they’re not there- they are – but I’m managing them. Just about.

I’ve read two books, doodled, listened to music, played online games, played cards, and stared at Wildcard any chance I get.

It’s very hot here. Too hot to venture out. I’m enjoying relaxing, I really am. Honest.

I keep remembering that this is his holiday too. He needs to relax even more than me. He’s not had a holiday in two years. And believe me, it’s not that I want to be pff out every day either. I love just being close to him. It’s just…I don’t have the means to entertain myself like I do at home. At home there is always something to be done. Here? Nothing.

There’s always thinking. I have the time and capacity for that. I love him with an astounding complexity. There’s no other way to describe it.

He’s sleeping now.

******

The meal was delicious.

I will admit, I did start to feel a little…restless. We played cards briefly, but I didn’t find a game that he would latch onto so it was a couple of games and then he’d had enough. I drew, I read. Yup- restless.

Maybe ‘restless’ is another cause of Day 3 wobbles.

I tried hard, I really did. I acknowledged that my big feelings were affecting me. I tried my best not to let them escalate or alter my behaviour. Admittedly, I was a little quieter today. But that’s ok. No outbursts, reduced sulking, no arguments.

And then, it happened.

In one of our jokey moments, I’d whined about wanting affection ( I literally whine to torment him – very fun). He didn’t understand however, so I explained it to him by stroking his arm and squeezing his hand. He replied that I wanted to be treated like a pet? That man has a real sense of humour. πŸ˜†

He must have taken it on board though. A few hours later, to my surprise, he reached out and stroked my hand and arm. I couldn’t believe it.

Let’s be clear here, he does touch me. His feet always find themselves in my lap or nestled behind my back. He will sometimes steal a kiss as he walks past. He slaps my bottom. When we are alone we cuddle and entwine legs and arms but we’re just not alone very much. To put this in context, it’s not his culture to have regular PDA. And I probably want far more than my fair share as I figure I’ve missed out on it for months and I’m a romantic. And he is irresistible. But…well, there isn’t a lot of it. Or, enough of it.

So, as I stared dumbfounded our hands, his hand swirling patterns on my skin, I got a lump in my throat. I turned away and admittedly…there were few tears. The fan was the most interesting thing in the room. As always, he noticed. He asked why I was upset and after a pause I replied, “because you don’t touch me like that very often.” He was a little shocked.

Since then? Woah. I’ve had stolen kisses at every opportunity. In the car he grabbed my hand in between gear changes (he has never done that before). He’s caressed my skin. It’s like I’ve flipped the switch somehow.

And I wonder if, in this circumstance, it’s about what you don’t know. They’re not a physically demonstrative family outside the European norm of two kisses on the cheeks. He’s never brought a girlfriend home before – probably never spent such a prolonged time with one. He’s a man set in his ways each day.

Of course, there’s a good chance he will forget this all tomorrow. But for today? We’ve survived Day 3 wonderfully.

One said he loved me

One said he loved me, but played me like a game,

One said he loved me, but loved another just the same,

One said loved me, but later laughed upon my face,

One said he loved me, then disappeared without a trace.

When you say you love me, don’t be surprised if I do fear.

When you say you love me, speak to my heart not just my ear.

When you say you love me, say it loud so the world does know,

For perhaps when you say you love me, I won’t be afraid you’ll go.

Insatiable

There is a hard stone in the middle of my chest, weighing me down. I feel like it’s threatening to pull me over and then down, down, down in to the earth.

Very little seems to take away the sensation. I’m binge eating like never before: each day telling myself that tomorrow I will eat better. But my non-hunger is insatiable. Nothing helps so I keep cramming it in. I crave salt and then sugar. I am thirsty. Nothing satisfies me.

I miss him.

I always miss him. Every day. And every time I go, I don’t want to leave him. But this time was different. I didn’t want to come home.

When I did, the world seemed dull. Like all the colours were muted. Cold seems to seep from the ground and into my bones. I walked into my home, and I hated it. I hated everything about it.

My children arrived and for a moment, when they hugged me and kissed me, my heart was light again. But soon they were bickering and arguing…the dishwasher needed emptying, food needed cooking, and needed to unpack…and I didn’t want to. I don’t want this life.

Just thinking that makes me feel bad. Another stone drops into my heart, heavy and aching. How can I be happy leaving my children behind? I’m not.

But nothing, even them, is erasing that heaviness in my chest.

Last night, for a moment, I was free.

As I do sometimes, towards the end of our call, I ask him to tell me something nice. He usually does the opposite in jest and makes me laugh, or acts like a pantomime dame in his over exaggeration.

But last night, he told me he misses me. He misses my lips and my kisses. He misses my face and my smile. He misses my eyes, he misses my laugh.

And my heart felt light. I felt my soul soar, I was surprised at his honesty, his tone, his rush of words like he had no control. And I told him, “you sound serious this time baby.” And this time, this time he was.

Realisations

Sometimes my emotions come out of nowhere. Don’t get me wrong, I have a vague awareness of them. They dance about at the edge of my consciousness: teasing, hinting then disappearing temporarily with my metaphorical flick of disdain.

So when they do return, they return stronger than ever. My emotions and I may run the dance a few times before they explode into my vision, refusing to be subdued any longer.

I have known this about myself ever since my breakdown. My highly skilled counsellor made me see this – how dampening them down for so long just prolongs the inevitable .

I have learnt a little since then. I’ve learnt that I need time alone sometimes. In these moments, I may allow an emotion to float to the surface. I may even write about it on here a little. My technique is nowhere near perfected though. That is a definite.

All this information isn’t new. And it kind of depresses me (excuse the pun) that at 41, I still haven’t figured it all out. Is that what life is?

Tonight I had two realisations that may help my journey of helping myself.

I have talked of my eldest son previously: he has ADHD and is likely to have autism too although this is still being investigated.  Over the years, I have learned his triggers and have become better at understanding and managing them.

What I’ve never realised, is that I have my own too. Odd, as I have also written that I suspect that I have something too.

Tonight’s trigger resulted in another emotion filled dialogue with Wild Card. It’s not an argument.  But it’s not nice either.

In hindsight,  I realised the following:

  • There’s an external trigger.
  • I mull over it in my head
  • I try not to – try to be positive, ignore it
  • I fail and it turns in to either a spontaneous outburst or
  • He notices I’m mulling and makes me tell him
  • I tell him the surface issue
  • He doesn’t react how I want him to
  • The floodgates open – defences come down, and all sorts of buried thoughts and emotions erupt
  • He talks me down
  • I think that he is better off without me/I’m ruining our relationship
  • He calms me and eventually tell me what I needed to hear
  • I ponder and realise he was right all along

Of course, I wonder why he can’t tell me what I want to hear straight away. Cut out the middle man. Go straight to the soothing part.

I love everything about him. Yes, sometimes I wish he was a little more forthcoming. But I wouldn’t change him. Who he is now, is who I love. What I think I wish for says more about me than him.

And one of the things I love about him is the way he makes me think differently. Yes, it’s tough. He just to wade through emotions and preconditioned thoughts and ideas…but eventually he gets there. And when he does, something in my head shifts, just a little.

He tells me what I need to hear.

Truth is, I realise that I do indeed have triggers. Now I need to learn how to self soothe them. Deal with them. Not push them away, because then they grow stronger – from a two headed monster to a multi headed monster.

The second realisation, which again was pretty obvious now I know it, is that I try to self soothe with food.

The food numbs my brain, just a little. Some attention is siphoned off my problem and onto the food. The saltiness of the tortilla chips. The sweetness of the chocolate. My brain goes into an involuntary tug of war between problem and taste sensations. The more my problem wins, the more I cram into my mouth to balance it.

Then, one of two things happens.

A tsunami of binge-created guilt hits me. Success! My problem is now forgotten in the complete self loathing that is dominating my every thought. It’s a week trodden path of working out how much I’ve blown it, hating myself for doing it…etc etc.

The other is that I eat to the point of fullness or sickness. Once again, bingo! My physical feelings overpower anything else in my head. This is a pretty nasty one because it is a two hitter- the guilt surely follows the physical feeling.

Therefore, my realisation is that I eat to feel not to numb.

Now, I need to find out what to do about it

Harry

It’s still less than two weeks since I came home and left Wildcard. It feels like months.

But it’s OK. I’ve got myself a new boyfriend. He is called Harry.

Harry was kind of foisted on me. I told him repeatedly that Wildcard was the only man for me, but he was insistent.

He makes me laugh from the moment I set eyes on him. He is loving and gentle and open. He says the things that Wildcard implies but only rarely states.

We decided to call him Harry because it’s an English name. The original name was ‘Carlos’ but that didn’t sound right either.

Visually, he is a little freaky. Big, almost white-blue eyes that stare at you from behind black circular glasses. Wide, rounded cheeks and a double chin. He has a dark beard and dark hair like Wildcard though…. His voice is higher, and whines.

Regular readers, have I confused you? Let me explain.

Wildcard makes me laugh like no one else has ever done. My family has always joked that I have no sense of humour. Apparently that isn’t true – I just hadn’t found the right person to make me laugh.

Wildcard and I talk on Messenger. And on Messenger, there are filters which get updated regularly. My sides have split over his pizza face and when he was a corn on the cob. It’s not just the filter of course – it’s what he does and says. He is hysterical.

With or without filters, he knows how to make me laugh. The things to say, the faces to pull…the silly dances, the jokes.

With this new filter though, he has created an alter ego. Harry is the romantic person that Wildcard won’t be.

It’s true that whilst I laugh readily at Harry and his antics, his appearance is a little quirky. And yet, I’ve grown to love this romance and affection. He says what I want Wildcard to say.

Harry has been around for about a week now. I’ll admit, my overthinking, over-analytical brain considered why Wildcard can’t say these things- he’s created Harry as his opposite. He must know that is what I want him to say. Why can’t he say it?

Well first, he does say it. He says it when it is right for him. Second, he is saying it. Which made me question why he needs to be in character to do it.

Why is he afraid to be readily open about his feelings?

I guess there is only a couple of reasons why. He isn’t like that – not everyone wears their heart on their sleeve.

And I suppose the other is fear. Fear of opening up. Fear of getting hurt. Over the past two years of being together, I’ve pieced together that his first girlfriend hurt him. He loved her. She pushed him to marry and he wasn’t ready so she went and found someone else – her ultimatum didn’t work and suggested that she found this man whilst still with Wildcard. I’ve deduced that he has never really forgiven her despite still being ‘friends’. She knows about me and has questioned him about our relationship. She has hinted about leaving her husband and being with him. He told me he can never forgive her.

It explains a lot of his jealousy and paranoia and his reactions when he has believed me to have done something wrong – like the getting a lift from my ex. I’ve always know he is less secure than he makes out he is. Perhaps now I have reason why.

Lost in…

The day of my departure.

I’m packed and ready to go. I was determined to not be an over anxious mess this time. Not sure how successful I’ve been.

Last night I just felt numb. I was quiet and brooding though I tried not to be. Part of me was sulking too I guess. It was my last night there and I wanted something. When I was a child, the last night of a holiday was always a big deal. You’d go out for a meal or go somewhere special to mark the end of a great trip – go out with a bang I should say. It’s not that I wanted or needed to go out. I think I just wanted some recognition.

I suppose I need to remember that Wildcard may not see things that way. From what I gather, his experiences of holidays have been camping for the summer in his family’s village. He told me that as he and his brothers got older, they hated going. Not quite the same then.

But then, I guess I want to see that he is feeling it too – she’s going home, I’m going to miss her. Let’s make the most of it. But there was nothing to mark this. After sitting in the lounge for a while whilst he continued with his usual routine – the occasional ‘Are you ok?’ ‘What’s wrong?’ punctuating the silence, I got up and went to my room, heart heavy and soul weary.

He shouted me and I ignored him. I had no energy to answer and I didn’t want to talk about it. Childish? Probably. I couldn’t help it – in my head he should feel the same and I shouldn’t have to explain everything.

Before long though he came to the room. He asked again what was wrong and then lay with me, his legs claiming me. He smacked my bottom occasionally. Tickled me a few times. In that way he was trying.

We were shouted for tea and apparently his mum noticed I wasn’t myself. I hate that, I tried to act normal, but that heavy feeling inside is hard to overcome.

And of course it is wrapped up in a multitude of other feelings. Fear he doesn’t reciprocate. Guilt over my children. Worry that we may split up and I never come back. Wonder that he still hasn’t made us official. Anger that I’m torturing myself again.

We drank our tea, said goodnight to his parents and I got ready for bed. When I went into my room he was stood at the window and I went to stand with him. He kissed my cheek and my forehead and I rested my head on his shoulder. We cuddled a little on the bed and he gently kissed every part of my face. But when he told me he was going to bed as he was tired, I couldn’t help the tears.

And I couldn’t explain. When he left me that night, my trip was over. I didn’t want him to leave. It’s not that I wanted sex (although I would never say no to him), I just didn’t want him to leave me. I managed to explain enough that I didn’t want him to go and I wanted him to be near, and could he stay just a little longer? So we talked a little and we cuddled and we kissed and eventually I had calmed enough to tell him to go to bed. Prioritising me enough not to go to bed when he was tired said enough to appease me.

He messaged not long after, telling me not to be sad and that he loved me. And with that I fell asleep.

At some time in the night I heard movement outside my room. I’m a light sleeper mostly, so anyone venturing to the bathroom will wake me. To my surprise, Wildcard came to my door. He’d had a bad dream about his Grandmother and couldn’t sleep. He came in, shut the blinds and cuddled up to me. We slept together for the rest of the night although neither of us sleeps well with someone else in the bed. It was magical though, and something we haven’t done since my very first trip in Feb 2019. I sent a thank you to his Grandmother. I have dreamed of her once too as she beckoned me to into her family, and I have no doubts that she had done this.

In the morning there was love and passionate and affection. Then he went to work, leaving me to shower and pack.

I started shaking about an hour after he left. I felt calmer than last time but the anxiety was coming from within my body, not my mind. His mother asked me for help and as I sat with her, I told her that I felt nervous. She asked me why and I started to weep. I couldn’t help it. She asked me again and so I told her.

‘I don’t want to leave Wildcard.’

She looked at me, confused, and asked me to repeat. I said it again but she still didn’t understand so she asked me to translate on my phone.

She then understood and told me not to be sad and she was sorry. She asked me if I loved him and I told her, yes a lot. So now she knows.

Later, once I was calm again. She told me that she had misunderstood me at first, and thought I had said ‘ I don’t want to live with Wildcard’. We laughed for ten minutes straight over that one and I felt better after it.

He came home from work and we all ate dinner before Wildcard and I lay on his bed and just cuddled. I may have wept a little.

At the airport he sat with me for nearly 45 minutes until it was time to drop my bag. I told him to go, but he didn’t.

I’m lost in him. I’m lost without him. I don’t know when I’m going back. I’m just…lost.

For my sons

I don’t know if this is a subject you want to hear from me. I imagine not. But I think I am the best placed to give you this lesson.

I don’t envy either of you. The world is a very different place than it was when I was your age. But some things stay the same.

The world is filled with images of how we ‘are supposed’ be. Instagram, Facebook, advertisements, magazines, film…all telling us what is attractive. This is for men and for women. The pressure is there for both.

Remember one thing. Someone, somewhere made the decision of what ‘attractive’ is. They then published it for one reason only – so we will buy what they are selling so we can look and feel like that. Keep that in mind every time you see an advert for abs, or for bulking up or whatever else men are subjected to.

My advice? Be healthy. Exercise, eat well, keep clean and tidy and dress well. That, my sons, will be enough. No one is enamoured with someone who never brushes their teeth.

I’m sure you realise though, that the pressure on women is perhaps even greater and always has been. Not only are they presented with professionally made-up women with their perfect hair and make up, these women are airbrushed and filtered. Whilst the male physique never really changes from a fashion sense, a woman’s certainly does. At this moment, round bottoms and tiny waists are in fashion. How ridiculous is that boys? A woman’s shape can be in fashion or not. What message is that giving them?

So for that reason, here is my advice to you.

No matter how beautiful you find a woman there will ALWAYS be a part of herself that she hates. She might even be unhappy with most of herself.

How will you know? It’s the part that she covers up: with make up, with clothes, with her hands. It might be the parts that she is always working on – a new diet or exercise plan, a new cream or make up product.

Make no mistake, whilst she wants to improve herself for her own wellbeing, don’t be fooled. If you are with her, she is doing it for you too. If not, then for whoever she wants to find. How much that is an incentive to her will be different for every woman but it will be there. Why? Because we all want acceptance. We all want to be needed and wanted and desired by someone else.

So this is where is becomes difficult for you. How do you navigate this emotionally difficult situation? How can you seem supportive and non judgemental but not dismissive of her feelings? That my sons, is the tricky part.

Whilst it is not your job to boost the self esteem of every woman you ever date, it is certainly your role to support her with that difficult task.

How?

By noticing.

On the days where she has tried extra hard with her hair or make up or clothes, tell her you’ve noticed. On the days she gets out of bed with her hair dishevelled and wearing cuddly pyjamas, tell her how much you love her eyes or smile or whatever else made you want to be with her.

Tell her, this woman you love, that to you she is perfect how she is, flaws and all. Tell her you don’t care if she thinks her bum is flat or boobs are small or stomach is flabby or whatever else. You love her how she is – healthy and happy and her.

No one is perfect boys. No one. Maybe there are parts of her that deep down you wish were a little different. Know this – we each could describe an construct a perfect person to be with. But what is perfect for us may still not be perfect in their eyes. Loving someone is loving all of them.

At the same time, if you say these things too much then it can have the opposite effect that you were trying to achieve. She won’t believe you and think you insincere. I know that it is a difficult balance, and it will be different with every woman. Again I give you this advice…Notice. Pay attention.

Never, ever tell a girl she is too fat or thin even in anger, even if she is. The moment you say those words you will lose something in your relationship which you will never get back. If you are worried about her weight then support her with it when she asks. Exercise together, cook together, encourage and support never criticise or point out her mistakes.

A woman’s self esteem is fragile boys, no matter how confident she seems. If she loves you, it becomes all the more delicate. Remember that.

Confused but not crying

Those who know me or who have been reading my posts for a while will know that I have a little epiphany from time to time. It’s like the jumble of thoughts that are in my head finally clear and everything fits into place.

That is not to say I won’t get anxious about Wildcard again – I will. My anxiety is a part of me as much as my freckles are: whilst they almost disappear sometimes, in other times they are vibrant and unmissable. So it will be, I guess, with my anxiety.

It is also hard not to let familiarity and ‘routine‘ (and I say that for want of a better word) continue. This is some of what I read about and watched a few days ago… I’m anxious about a certain thing. I allow myself to think about it repeatedly, unchecked. My brain registers that and almost comes to expect it. So then my brain will look out for signs and reminders for me so I continue thinking about it. And so on. This is my daily life and what my brain expects and plans for.

I need to re-route my brain.

I need to let my dreams of the future be the focus of my thoughts but not of a future with him.

Wow that hurts.

But I have no control over that future and until he is ready to talk about it at least, I can’t keep dreaming about something he may not want or may never happen. No, instead I need to dream about a life for me.

Today has been a great day with him. The tension has lifted and it was like we were back to how we were a few months ago – before his family troubles, the sad loss of his grandmother, covid-visit stress and the recent arguments. We laughed today, a lot.

Pexels

I wrote the above yesterday. This morning I have waved off my sisters and my youngest as they go on a little trip with a family friend. They offered to take him months ago as we thought I would be going to see Wildcard. Huh.

As I predicted, my buoyancy has waned a little. The anxiety is at bay but my overthinking isn’t.

Whilst sitting drinking coffee with my brother in law and our friend this morning, he asked for an update on Wildcard and my return to his country.

I could hear myself trying to explain what happened. I heard myself say that when he first gave me his reasons I couldn’t understand but subsequent discussions have clarified it for me. In short, I heard myself explaining away the situation. Neither of them knew what to say. Our friend said “but surely he wants you to come when you can?” which of course were my sentiments too. I tried to explain how he worries and overthinks. It sounded a little like excuses to my own ears, even though I know it is true.

I’m so stuck between thinking that he isn’t ready to commit, isn’t sure about me or that I’m rushing things and putting pressure on through my anxiety and in typical female fashion of wanting commitment and a label, yesterday.

I’ve been with him for 21 months and we have talked multiple times every single day

But I have only visited him, seen him in person, twice for a total of three weeks.

I believe we are in a serious relationship, but not yet serious enough for us to discuss our future.

A commitment in this long distance relationship is bigger than a normal relationship. He is commiting to starting again career wise, moving away from his family and friends, moving to a new country.

He is still calling, still wants to be with me but just wants breathing time between visits.

His parents like me and want me to come. He would allow me to come in August even though he would prefer it to be delayed.

Yesterday he asked me to remind him to do something in early September.

Am I holding out for something that will never happen? Or am I letting my anxiety and insecurity ruin something good?

Confused, but not crying. Is this progress?

Tears and fears and talking part one

It is hard not to feel like I am in the eye of the storm somehow. It has been a tumultuous 24 hours.

I know Wildcard, probably as much as he knows me. Perhaps a little less- his understanding of me sometimes is uncanny.

I said that I thought his anger came from me having travelled with my ex from the airport but also that I hadn’t told him soon enough. I knew this. But my desire to get home did override the common sense of discussing it with him before. I had tried to broach it in a call before I left the hotel and he didn’t take me on. And then, because it wasn’t certain, I didn’t mention it in the airport. I found out it was definite just before I boarded and it wasn’t the right time to mention it then.

When I landed, as requested, I messaged to say I was safe and he responded. I attempted to call him and he didn’t answer. Knowing him, he was too tired/half asleep but I know full well he could have answered. I was going to tell him then. I was anxious that he hadn’t answered. I was anxious about how my ex would be with me. I was tired and nervous and fraught. So I didn’t message to tell him how I was getting home. There may even have been a little stubbornness in there too – you don’t want to answer because you’re tired but I’m tired too, so why should I have to tell you this? The complexities of my mind.

He has continued to be ‘off’, ‘cold’ the last few days. I know him enough to know the stages of his annoyance:

  • ❄❄❄❄ Ends our calls with ‘talk later.’ Snappy and cold. Will ignore messages by reading and not responding. Doesn’t answer calls but will call me.
  • ❄❄❄ Calls perhaps a little less than normal. Calls are shorter. Frosty reception but periods of normalcy. No kisses, no I love yous, no take cares, no joking comments. Will not let me off the phone if I am upset to make sure I am OK but no real warmth as such. If I question him about the state of our relationship he is non-commital. May seem OK when he is talking to his family.
  • ❄❄ Calls are as frequent as normal. More normal conversation – asks if I am OK, talks about everyday things. Will tell me to take care, and sleep well. Sporadically will send kisses. Some calls start OK, some start with moods. Definite thawing. Still no ‘I love you’. Responds with ‘I know’ or ‘thank you’ if I say it to him. Will pass the phone to his family for me to say hello.
  • ❄ Some joking. Some kisses at the end of calls. Tells me not to be sad and checks I am OK but may seem annoyed whilst on calls. Often interchangeable with ❄❄ until there is a sudden return to normal, lovable and loving Wildcard.

You also need to remember that I’ve seen this from the other side – weeks of him barely speaking to his mum when they have rowed. I think I get off lightly in comparison though it doesn’t feel like it at the time.

So, yesterday we were moving between❄❄❄ and ❄❄. There was a five hour stint of no contact which is unusual but he seemed a little more himself. After an afternoon call I couldn’t take it any longer and had to ask him what was going on.

We started with messaging and then I just called. We were on the phone over an hour. What is clear is that he was as unhappy with me being in the car with my ex as the fact that I was late in telling him. For example, I told him how important he was to me, and he replied that he was ‘not that important if you get in the car with your ex’. He feels I should have asked him his opinion when the option came up.

Jealous, yes. Controlling? Maybe a little. This is very much a cultural thing. But part of me is thinking, if we are that serious that I need to confirm that with you, where is the engagement ring and the commitment from you? There is also a part of me that realises the depth of his feeling from his reaction. He loves me enough to keep calling and to be jealous but is angry all the same.

Anyway, there were a lot of tears on my part. I asked him straight out if he still loved me and wanted me (a stupid question if you consider my previous paragraph but at the time…) and I got ‘not important’ which is his stock phrase when he is being awkward.

I cried and he stayed on the phone. If I disappeared to blow my nose he would call me in panic until I returned. He asked why I was crying as he should be the one crying as I had done the bad thing. ??!!

At the end of the call, once I had stopped crying sufficiently, he told me to take care, sleep well and even gave me a kiss. Moments later he even messaged to say goodnight and tell me not to be sad which was a temporary move to ❄.

Today, he called me a number of times this morning as he was getting ready to go to a family wedding. He warned me he would be busy today and so would speak to me later. Probably a ❄❄ overall. Who knows, maybe being busy will help him miss me.

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.