Waves

How do you like my pool?

I’m soaking in the last of July’s heat in the pool. It was a good investment, considering. My children, sisters, niece and nephew have barely been out of it. Today, however, I have it to myself.

As I was floating about in the heart shaped doughnut, my next post was milling about in my mind. But when I logged on, I realised that it had actually been six days since my last post! Where did the time go?

A quick recap of my last post and I think I know where we are up to.

In summary, Wildcard indicated that he had not expected or was not ready for me to come back so soon. After me initially being quite assertive and strong over this, we’d had another heated talk and I began to understand a little more. Others around me, not so much. But then, it is nothing to do with them.

We have had a relatively good week, Wildcard and I.

I had an early morning meeting with my union and I’d informed Wildcard that he would have to get up early if he wanted to speak to me. We’d laughed because he struggles to get up for work nevermind just to say good morning to me. And yet he did – he called nearly an hour earlier than normal. Although he claimed he had woken to go to the toilet, I don’t believe him.

Yesterday I told him that I had to change my flights by the end of the day. He suggested September or October! A month earlier than planned so I seized that opportunity. I’m booked for mid September. He was very thoughtful when I told him of the booked date today but I know that the rapidly increasing Covid in his country is concerning him. He thinks his country may well shut again.

My friendship with my London friend is coming on. We have just clicked and have lots of similarities. Tomorrow she flies out to see her boyfriend and I’ve been with her every step of the way. I’m very, very excited for her and can’t pretend that I’m not tempted by her repeated offers for me to join her.

I was riding on a wave of excitement this morning when I spoke to her. I had changed my flights last night and was feeling positive. We shared stories of first kisses and the overwhelming feelings of traveling to see someone you love and miss so much.

I got swept away. Last night I had remembered the feel of our first kiss and I told her about it. As usual, my emotions and love and need for him just swelled like the pull of a great wave.

This is often the way with me. I get overwhelmed by a feeling and in that moment, I just need some relief or release. If he was here, I would have hugged and squeezed him and kissed him on the lips. When I feel like that with my children, that is what I do – I hug them and shower them with kisses all over their cute faces. But Wildcard is not here.

So I messaged him. Before long he called me. I was bright and cheerful. I felt good. He was sleepy and quiet.

Right there and then, threatened by this overwhelming love for him, I needed something. I couldn’t have that physical touch and so I needed his affection, his words.

Unfortunately, he is not one for words. He jokes and he teases and my love comes from that. He gives me his time. When I’m with him, his loves comes from playful slaps on the bottom or tickles more often than the tender, gentle kisses he surprises me with. (Which of course makes those kisses all the more special, darn him.)

And it is no good asking him to tell me. He has admitted himself in the past, he doesn’t like being forced to say or do something . He will do it when he wants and when he is ready. So in those moments then, he won’t give me want I want in the way I want it. He does it his own way.

(I’m out of the pool by the way. Apparently floating on a giant doughnut gives me motion sickness.)

So his answers to my questions were ‘no’ in that jokey way I find so cute when I’m not being hormonal, needy and emotional. It is his way of saying yes without saying it. I know that, he knows that. My emotions however refused to accept that.

Floating around the pool getting increasingly more nauseous, I realised that my tears are my release then. When I am not soothed by the physical or by his words, I cry. And slowly and surely, my emotion and need is released in each mini wave of tears. I am self regulating by crying. Hmmmm.

I also know I comfort eat for the same reason. When doing something stressful, I will ‘wake up’ from my stress obsessed thoughts and find myself in the kitchen cramming something in my mouth. Honestly, I catch myself doing it.

These waves of emotion are more common around my period. There is no surprise there. Wildcard knows it too – he said that I just need to get it out and I will be ok tomorrow. Hmph.

Before you think him callous and unfeeling, know that on these occasions whilst not giving into my repeated and needy demands for verbal affection, he will not end a call until I am tear free. He will attempt to make me laugh, change the subject but will not go until he is sure I am OK.

And that, with tears in my eyes as I write this, is how he shows me love.

Cancellation of hope

He likes being right. It is something his brother told me months ago when I was drawn into an amicable disagreement between them. Watching two people disagree in a foreign language is interesting. Particularly when they both turn and attempt to draw you in to their side.

Anyway, I digress.

He likes being right. So it is naturally that when news broke that Belgium was stopping flights in and out of the UK he laughed. “And you wanted to come!”

I stopped watching the news weeks ago. I don’t hear anything I want to hear. But I looked at the BBC website and saw it was true. New strain. Fears of how quickly it spreads.

I wasn’t laughing.

Seeing that my reaction was somewhat more sombre, he tried to cheer me up. He told me that everything would be OK and not to be upset. We knew this might happen. Well, he did. Boris’ statement of the ability to travel in tier three, however ill-advised, gave me one last spark of hope.

Tonight, history has repeated itself. Just two months before my hoped visit, his country have also suspended flights to the UK. There was only a small hope of me going in February. Now I have none.

I sent him a link to the article, not expecting him to see it until morning. He called me though, drowsy with sleep, to comfort me. He can’t understand why I get upset as he knew this would happen. I’ve got to accept it as there is nothing else we can do.

I know he is right. But it hurts and I miss him. And I want to be with him again, to feel it all again. For him to feel it all again and not forget me. Not make a choice for an easier life and forget me.

He wanted more time. Well he has certainly got it now. It doesn’t make me happy.

The justification of tears

I need to step away. Not because I love him any less, but because I can’t love him more.

Another call which ends in tears.

Tonight we laughed, and I mean laughed, at a stupid present I bought him. And it was stupid, there is no doubt about that.

So why did I cry?

Because he asked me why I wanted to send it. It was a rhetorical question – part of our shared joke. But the truth slammed into me.

I wanted to send it because I love him. Because I want to show him how much I love him. Because I want him to be happy.

How can my tears be making him happy? They can’t and they don’t.

Here is the simple truth behind every tear…

I’m nothing special. His previous girlfriends sent him presents. His previous girlfiends loved him passionately, just like me, and still do.

I’m no different than the others. Except…

I’m far, far away. I can’t kiss him gently to show my love. I can’t make him breakfast or go on long hand-held walks, sharing life. I can’t plan for our future because I don’t know how long that future will be. I can’t be there for him, physically, when things get tough.

I cry when I miss him. I cry when I’m disappointed I can’t see him. I cry when I think he can never love me like I love him. I cry when I think that one day, he is going to see I’m nothing special. I cry when each one of those girls try to get him back.

My philosophy in life has always been: if you work hard you can achieve. I am where I am through sheer hard work.

I can’t work any harder to show him my love, to show him that I am worth loving. Hard work can’t make me special.

I’m powerless. And so I cry.

Should I walk away? Give up now?

Are my tears, however justified, acid that is eroding his love and respect for me? The respect for myself?

I want him to be happy, more than anything. I want him to have a life filled with love and happiness. And no matter how hard I try, I don’t think I am enough. Because I can’t stand out. I can’t be any better than anyone else, because I am not.

An average girl, loving in an above average way. Love is not enough.

He told me that I am better than him because I try. All the gestures I make. He knows I love him. And he is happy.

I’m tired of Facebook and its LDRs. I’m tired of the success stories. I’m tired of the weddings. And now, as the months roll on, I’m scared of the failures and the break ups that appear daily.

But I’m scared of walking away. Giving up is not in my DNA, not without hard work. Not without an 100% conviction that I cannot do any more.

And so I cry because I don’t know what else to do.

But then, I think it is only fair to add that this is not the first time I have cried today or even nearly cried.

I nearly cried when my sister asked to borrow money again. Is that all I am good for?

I cried when my ex husband asked to borrow money again. He pays me nothing for the children. I will be, for the fourth year, buying all the Christmas and birthday presents again. And now he needs to borrow money.

I nearly cried when my boyfriend told me that the girl who keeps messaging him, despite him often ignoring said texts, told him that she loves him. He told her she was just a friend to him. He didn’t tell her about me. Yes, I know it is not his culture to have girlfriends. Yes, I know he is a very private person and doesn’t want a relative stranger to know his business. But it still hurt.

I nearly cried when I found out that my mum has visited my sister (in her bubble) and not me. Mum will drop presents off for all at my sister’s house this Christmas but won’t come to me.

I cried when my daughter stopped talking to me and only started again when she thought I was buying McDonald’s. I cried when my autistic son refused to eat his because they put cheese on even though we asked for it not to be on. I cried because apparently it was my fault when all I have done today is try to make him happy.

I cried as I walked home. I cried because I’m tired. I cried because I just want to be loved. I want to feel appreciated. I want my best to be good enough. And you know what? I want someone to do their best for me because I am worth that. I want to be important to someone and I feel important to no-one.

Oh, and I miss my dad.

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?

Holiday blues

Being the first day of Half Term, and considering I am exhausted and lucky enough to have the house to myself, you’d think I would be pretty content today.

As my title suggests, I’m not.

I’ve been having a Dad day. I think about my Dad everyday in one way or another, but often they are fleeting glimpses of a memory or a recollection of his loss. I acknowledge the hurt but I tell myself to move on: I have too many people relying on me to dwell.

But today I can slow down: no school for a week. So the flood of emotion I have held at bay breaks its dam and consumes me.

I sat in my living room, oh so still, the only movement the rise and fall of my chest and the trickle of tears. I let it take over me. I pictured him in my mind… In hospital and at home. The funny things he’d say and do. And I swear, as I cried, I could almost feel him hugging me – the memory was so strong.

That was this morning. My eyes are still stinging and puffy from the tears. I feel even more tired than before. And the anxiety-ache has taken residency in my chest again.

You cannot escape grief. You can’t ignore it or out run it. Because just as the strength of your love for your loved one with never wane, neither will the grief. You just learn to build a dam around it.

In our grief we are not alone.

Immersion

A lump in my throat and a damn in my eyes. I carry the pain in my chest. It heightens my nerves, my anxiety.

I bustle on – room to room, job to job. I exist on coffee and adrenaline, searching for a cure. Nothing helps.

So I give in.

I sit alone in the room. I search for it. Hit play. Close my eyes.

As the music starts I see him. I can feel his hand in mine, rough from years of farm work. I can feel the stubble on his cheek as I kiss him, saying “I love you Dad.”

The tears arrive finally. My eyes stay screwed shut and I make myself go there, to the time I said goodbye.

Grief overwhelms me but I feel its sweet release.

And then, just as it becomes too much… the memories too sharp, too focused, too painful… The song ends.

I breathe. I wipe the tears from my face. I stand up and carry on living.

You’re just a thought away Dad. Just a memory away. Xxxx