He didn’t call

He didn’t call.

I thought he would.

I expected a call after 30 minutes. It didn’t come. After an hour I checked again – nothing.

Driving home I thought, as I often do.

Is this a good thing? It means he fully trusts me and how can he not? I’ve made my thoughts and love for him very clear. So why did he question my time from work, when he thought I said I would be home an hour earlier…but meeting a friend at night is ok now? I never go anywhere anymore.

I thought about the past and his jealousy- how I always liked it because it was proof from a man who shows so little and actually was how I felt too.

So, I was a little sad there had been no call.

I got home and for 45 minutes, distracted myself with nonsense all the while trying to tell myself this was a good thing.

I argued with myself over posting something provocative on social media, just to see…but I didn’t.

I argued with myself about sending a message, just to tell him I missed him. But I didn’t. It was too late, he would be asleep and he would have messaged me if he wanted to.

Just as I started to spiral into the negativity and self hatred…I heard a ping.

“Are you still out?”

“No baby”

And he calls and I am happy. Because I know he is never awake this late. Because I know he was thinking about me. Because I know he has some trust and some fear.

He called. And I am happy.

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Over…

Annoyingly, this post would be much better in context. I started and finished a post two days ago but never published it. I explained my last post and my negativity. I expressed my absolute love of Wildcard.

Yesterday however my relationship was over. Almost.

Before I get into why, I have realised something. I am, as a person;

Often overwhelmed

Always Overthinking

Frustratingly Over weight

Frequently Over planning

Resulting in being Over tired

I really wish I wasn’t.

Yesterday I had made tentative plans to meet my London friend for lunch. Due to some unforseen circumstances, it didn’t happen. So we chatted as normal. That’s when she told me that Wildcard had sent her a friend request, that morning, on Facebook.

Some context here. Wildcard wasn’t happy when I went to visit her in London. He wasn’t happy when he discovered – accidently – that she and I discuss a lot about our relationships. He doesn’t understand our friendship. He spoke to her briefly when I was in London and I have sent a screenshot of her profile during a conversation. He knows what she looks like.

Some more context. It was agreed between us (after some naive, innocent but silly actions where I really annoyed him) that if friends or family contacted us through social media we should discuss with each other before accepting. This is what he did when my mother made a friend request.

So, you can imagine how I felt. Why had he done this? Did he know who she was when he sent the request? Is he doing this to other women? Is he spying on me through her? Does he not trust her? Or me? Is it a coincidence that he does this on a day we were supposed to meet up (and looked unhappy about it)?

She offered to proceed how I wished – add him and test him to see what he would do. I refused. To set a honeytrap is showing distrust. I didn’t do it when I first met him and I’m not going to do it now.

In the end, due to my overwhelming emotions and anxiety, I contacted him and had it out with him.

He claims it was an accident and he didn’t intend to do it.

We argued over his whole social media profile, and not for the first time. Being 9 years younger than me, he uses social media in a completely different way than I do. It’s not a way to connect with friends and family but a means to an end – he wants to build his profile and make money from it. He has never hidden this. He has never hidden his profiles or pages. I know there are thousands of women on his sites and he has told me about them. He is a handsome man. And he isn’t the only one who has pages like that. Doesn’t mean I like it though. I hate it.

We’ve also discussed the fact that I am a hidden relationship. His culture doesn’t believe in dating. What we are doing is against the laws, culture and religion of his country. I know this. I know this is why I am absent from his social media – just another name amongst thousands.

But being told by someone else that his pages look like ‘a dating site’ and that I am noticeably absent was heart wrenching. So I brought it up- even though I knew why – and listened to his reasons again. I told him I was nothing. No one knew about me – we are not ‘serious’ as in not engaged so I am nothing.

I could go on and on, just as the conversation went on and on. There were two further conversations about the situation. The upshot is, he maintains he accidently sent her the friend request, that he has never hidden his plans for his social media accounts or the number of women on them. He repeatedly told me he loved me and wants to be with me. He is certain about me. I’m his only one. But he admitted, again, that he is uncertain about his future and is reluctant to have to start again at zero.

Unwillingly at first, I discussed this with my close family. They believe his reaction to my planned trip and the timing of the friend request are no accident. They feel it is likely that he was checking her out either because he doesn’t trust her (which he doesn’t) or to find a vantage point to check I was doing what I said I was. My sister even thought in checking out her page he may have accidently sent the request. My daughter agreed having done this herself. This sounds like him, to be honest. Controlling, yes. Paranoid and wary, absolutely. But then, so am I.

During the day there were two moments where I thought we were over. I didn’t think I could ever trust him again. I don’t know if I believe his story even now. My London friend certainly doesn’t. She thinks he is a player and a liar. I haven’t heard from her all day.

The other was when we were both angry. Neither of us wanted it though.

But I’m not over it. Not by a long shot. There is a heaviness in my soul now that hasn’t shifted all day. I’m tired and miserable. By the end of day yesterday, I’d had all the confirmations of his feelings I have longed for. My London friend would say that he knows how to talk me round.

He may have contacted her because he was interested in her.

He may have contacted her by accident as he prowled her account.

He may have contacted her to check up on me, in the hope she wouldn’t recognise him, as she posted pictures of our day together (something I don’t do.)

He may have contacted her to add further numbers to his social media.

At this moment it’s hard to know the truth.

My heart was ripped out yesterday. It’s easy to believe the worst when you are anxious. It’s even easier to believe the best when you’re in love with someone.

I don’t know if I will get over this. My London friend thinks he has wormed his way back and I will forgive and forget. Maybe she is right. Maybe my family are right. Either easy, what I know for certain is I won’t forget about it. This isn’t over.

Fight

I’m exhausted but I keep going to bed.

I’m medicated but I am still sad.

I’m fighting and I’m losing.

Well, it is more like a stalemate. At times, anxiety is completely kicking my ass. But the fact that I am trying…well, that has to account for something.

So, what is my battle plan?

  • I’m getting up and following my face and make up routine. Even though I didn’t want to.
  • I’m still showering (I didn’t last time.)
  • I’m keeping in touch with people better (not hiding away yet).
  • I’m looking for jobs.
  • I’ve applied for a job.
  • I’ve planned a business
  • I’ve bought a domain name.
  • I’m doing some housework each day.
  • I’ve started a course and enrolled on another.
  • I’m trying to get out the house each day.
  • I’ve bought and am reading a self help book.
  • I’ve completed a financial review.

Anxiety’s counter attack:

  • Tight chest and panic attacks
  • Can’t sleep at night
  • Wake multiple times in the night
  • Constantly thinking about what has happened and my predicament
  • Keep finding myself in bed.
  • Don’t want to get up in the morning.
  • Doubting everything.
  • Worried – even more – about my relationship
  • Can’t trust people
  • I want to be alone
  • I feel scared – a lot.
  • My eating habits are bizarre.
  • Sometimes I just …sit.
  • I could do more on my business but I can’t.
  • I could apply for more jobs, but I can’t
  • I keep crying.
  • I probably need to take the increased medication I have been given but I haven’t yet.

And that’s it. That’s my daily battle, minute by minute.

Me, trying to make myself carry on and do things and be proactive.

Anxiety, making me tired and paranoid and crushing my chest like a vice.

My sick note runs out on Tuesday. I know I can’t go back. I know I need to use this time wisely. I just need to win the battle first.

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.

Pondering

I’m a light sleeper, so when my phone rang at 1am I jumped up and reached down at the end of my bed to see what time it was ans who was calling.

Bleary eyed, I saw that it was 12.55am and that it was a private number. For some reason that my asleep brain could only answer, I hit the green button.

A female voice answered. An unknown female voice.

I can’t remember exactly what she said, but it was along the lines of:

“Why does my boyfriend have your number on his phone?”

Remembering that I had just been rudely awakened, the following thoughts tumbled into my brain:

Who the hell is this?

Does she have the right person?

Is she calling from her boyfriend’s phone? There’s no way Wild Card is with someone we else right now.

Why has some random man got my number?

Why is she trawling through her boyfriend’s phone?

I could be his bank manager for all she knows.

So, being the intelligent and fast thinking woman that I am, I replied:

“Hello?”

Yeah, I didn’t know what else to say.

I think she may have repeated the question. I know I repeated ‘hello’. She then put the phone down.

What the???

For a start, I haven’t spoken to any other man than Wild Card since Jan, and before that was Second only. Sure there were a few when I was dabbling in online dating but that was eight or nine months ago! Who the hell still has my number?

Turns out, quite a few. Scrolling through WhatsApp there are many strange faces staring back at me.

Even so, without contact evidence she has clearly gone through his phone book. I could have been anyone!!

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.