Found… A few steps behind

After yesterday morning’s early post and my absolute bafflement of what to do, I did what I felt I must. I was true to myself and my knowledge of him. I sent him a simple message.

I love you.

He said last week that I don’t say it enough, only when he asks me. If he was angry, he’d know how I feel without being incendiary. If he was hurt, it would soothe. If he was fed up with me, it wouldn’t matter what I said.

I sent it and went to work. This week his morning texts have been really early – 8.30am – but that time came and went with nothing. I can’t tell you I wasn’t anxious but I was hopeful too. I knew I couldn’t write more than that, so I just had to hope it had the desired effect.

Finally, at 9.30am I got a ‘morning’. That’s it. Far removed from the ‘good morning beautiful’ of earlier in the week. But it was something.

How to reply? Again, be myself: ‘Good morning baby’. No kisses as he hadn’t sent any. There was no response to that, but there often isn’t until we both finish work.

However, when I got back to my office at the end of the day (4.30ish), he had sent me a thumbs up sign about 45 minutes before. That was unusual as he still would have been in work and he never responds to our good mornings unless he is asking how I am- I guessed it was an olive branch… So, I replied with a simple, ‘hope you are OK.’

He called immediately.

It was difficult as I was in work but I was very pleased that I had worn my hair half down and looked well, considering. It was awkward, to say the least, but he asked if I was OK a number of times. The signal went pretty quickly and so I went to my car and called him back.

I told him I had missed him. When I told him it had made me sad, he asked why. I said because he didn’t want to talk to me and he always talks to me. His reply? “You always accept my call.” So there you have it, it was that I didn’t answer. He refused to talk about the day before any further and said he had ‘forgotten’ it now. Well, I certainly haven’t.

We had a brief catch up about the Coronavirus situation in our countries and he discussed how his first week in lock down was being enforced. It can’t be easy over there as they have imposed super strict measures. He has at least another two weeks of this.

Eventually, talk moved on to his work and seeing his usual spark returning, I kept him on this subject. He enjoyed talking me through and I was grateful that, being an English teacher, I was able to question him sufficiently to keep him talking and relax him to normalcy.

It was soon time to pick up my son however, so the call ended. How did I feel? Relieved that he had called and we had talked. Wary that this wasn’t over yet – we needed to talk and he clearly didn’t want to. And, honestly, a bit annoyed at what I thought had caused it and frustrated that he wouldn’t discuss it.

I got home shortly after and messaged to say we were at home. I didn’t know what to do after that and this is part of what needs discussing – his behaviour has left me wondering how to be. That’s a real concern. In the end, I decided again that I could only be myself and act as normal. So, I called him.

He surprised me by answering. His mood had declined somewhat but I kept him online as I served the dinner. I then went upstairs.

Trying to talk to him was difficult. He was sullen and quiet. He was insistent that we didn’t talk about the day before and whilst I was frustrated, there’s no point talking to someone if they’re not in the mood to. I asked him if I should go or did he want to talk? But he just threw the question back at me. I said I did want to talk to him so we carried on.

Following some more awkward silence punctuated by me trying to find a conversation starter – as I have said, it’s him who keeps the conversation going usually – I told him again I was going. He asked why. I said because he wasn’t happy with me and it was making me unhappy because I didn’t know what to say.

He then made an effort and we chatted for a bit longer. In the end, I actually got a kiss and he said he was going for dinner.

Feeling more comfortable, I had my own dinner and spoke with my sisters. An hour later and he called again, and this time everything was back to normal – his joking, his mood… Everything. We laughed together, he smiled and winked and you would have thought there had not been a problem.

We spoke for around 40 minutes and then he said he was going to sleep.

How do I feel? Honestly? A bit annoyed. It’s unusual for him to not talk about what’s bothered him. Any occasions where he’s not been happy and we usually talk about it the next day. He’s never refused before. My sister thinks he knows he was in the wrong. My, albeit limited, experience of that is he apologises. Not this time, as yet anyway.

Whilst I was relieved things had gone back to normal, he’s activated a step back for me that I never considered would happen with him. Maybe it’s a character fault of mine, maybe it’s self-preservation. Maybe I’m just protecting myself from experience of past relationships. But when something like this happens, my feelings dull, just a little. A little piece of my esteem for him chips away. With my previous relationships, particularly my husband, each betrayal and each lie chipped away to eventually nothing. I could feel it in my mind each time it happened. I didn’t expect this to happen with Wild Card, not yet.

The occasions where he has been unhappy with me have been similar. A couple of times when I have been going out at night – he gets jealous and insecure and this is culturally incompatible. As I get equally jealous when it’s the other way round, I can currently accept this behaviour. It doesn’t stop me going out either.

The rest have been to do with me not answering the phone. I think there have been three occasions now where this has led to this reaction. There have been more occasions when I have not answered or missed it but he hasn’t bothered, only to ask why and move on. I have no idea what makes those three incidents different from the rest where he has not been bothered.

There’s certainly an element of insecurity there. And we all know how irrationally insecure I can get, so, I need to temper my reaction to this a little. He’s human too, and he’s dealt with my fears and doubt with patience and love – every time. We are in unique times too – I know him well enough to know he’s worrying about it and he’s been in lock down for a week. That’s enough to unsettle anyone. Plus, admittedly, I’d been hard work earlier in the week.

It does need talking about though, eventually. It’s highly likely, at some point, that I will miss another call. I’m not going to live in fear of that, just in case he has a bad reaction again. And whilst I can’t pretend that I won’t be fearful in that instance, I also know now that he’s activated something within me that means I won’t just roll over either.

Ultimately, he’s not perfect. Neither am I. We have both reacted to situations with anxiety and insecurity and as this is my first LDR, I’m not sure how much of this is normal and how much is a part of our personalities and the strength of our feelings. I love him and I know he loves me. I just have to hope that, when we have spent more time together and these unusual times are over, it will be enough for us both to take steps forward and not back.

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Lost

I dreamed of him last night. I was travelling to get to him. He called me when I was half way there and everything was OK, we were excited and happy. Then I missed the last train. I called but I couldn’t get through to tell him I was stranded.

I genuinely don’t know what to feel this morning. I’m kind of numb.

There’s a voice inside that is telling me that it will be OK. That he just needed space. He still messaged me. We’ve had an inordinate amount of contact recently and that can’t be sustained. He loves me. He’s frustrated when I doubt his love so I have to trust that this will be OK.

My sister asked me if I was not angry with him. She said he was being childish and unfair. I was frustrated at first, last night. Now, I don’t know. I’m trying to understand why he may have been like that and there are reasons.

I’m hurt he didn’t want to talk to me. There’s a part of me that feels rejected.

I don’t know what to do today. I don’t know what I will do if I don’t get my good morning message – my hopes are resting so much on that.

I don’t want to play games. I don’t want to perpetuate his insecurity any further. But if he needs space, if he needs time then I need to give it him.

I don’t want to have a other tear filled conversation. I don’t want to argue with him. We need to talk about it though.

I just want him back. Even if he has been unreasonable. Even if I have annoyed him. I just want him back.

What do I do this morning? I feel lost. I’m trying to run through what I could say or shouldnt do and I can’t think straight. I don’t know what to do for the best. If he’s feeling angry and insecure, does he need contact and love and reassurance? If he needs space, would contact frustrate him further? I don’t know what to do.

He must know how much I love him and miss him. I have to have faith in that too.

I just want to hide away this morning. I don’t know what to do.

Bad day

Another awful week so far. Where do I actually begin?

School has been really difficult. Lots of anxious and scared children, looking for reassurance and comfort and you can’t give any, not really. They look to you for answers you just can’t give, no matter how hard you try. Staff are stressed, worried about exam classes, their own families and their own health. As a leadership team, you’re trying to do the best for everyone without actually knowing what to do for the best. We’ve been meeting morning and night, pouring over Government and council websites trying to work out how to support everyone… It’s been very stressful, to say the least.

My middle son, the one with ADHD and suspected autism is not taking it well, as you would expect. Getting him into school on Monday was a real struggle. The last couple of days he has visited me in school often: today, making himself late for lessons as he insists that I go home. It resulted in a meltdown this evening but we have talked and he seems calmer now.

Like everyone, I am worried about family members and I’m worried about supplies. I haven’t gone crazy like some which means, as the shelves remain empty, I’m starting to panic a little. We are OK for now and I just have to hope that despite the on-coming difficulties, things will settle down on that front.

It’s been a tense week all round and it would be surprising if this hadn’t affected things with Wild Card.

After my emotive panicking on Sunday and his patience and reassurance, I got a lovely text Monday morning. We chatted on text a little and was alarmed when he told me he had taken a suspected Coronavirus case to the hospital that day. We were both panicking. It turned out to be a false alarm however. Thankfully, for all involved.

Monday evening we chatted again and had a weird half joking-half serious argument. You know, one of those that starts as a joke but then sort of goes too far but neither person is 100% if the other is joking or not? It was all OK in the end and we were on the phone for two and half hours on that one call. We both drifted off to sleep still on the phone.

Yesterday morning I had a ‘Good morning my beautiful’ which is just what I needed. The evening was not what I needed though.

It was a particularly bad day yesterday at work. I came home exhausted, stressed and emotional. I called him and unfortunately, he appeared to be carrying on the joke and I just wasn’t in the mood. I kept telling him I would go and he would say no, but then he carried on with his fooling around. In the end, I just said I was going, waved and put the phone down despite him shouting ‘no’ repeatedly. In my defence I was on the verge of tears but… I don’t know. I shouldn’t have put the phone down on him. I’ve done it before, jokingly, and I know he hates it. I hate it when people do it to me. But, I kind of needed him to see that joking wasn’t working in that moment. Even that seems unfair now – 99.9 times out of 100 his joking works.

He immediately called back and I eventually answered. He wasn’t happy. He asked why I had ‘closed in his face’. I explained that I’d had a really bad day, apologised for doing it and promised I would never do it again. I then, tearfully, told him about my day. I think then he realised and he gave me some comfort. He called me later on, made me laugh and checked I was OK. We again stayed on the phone until he fell asleep and my battery was dying.

And then, tonight. 🙁

Do you want the short story? I text him when I got home but when he called I couldn’t answer his call. It rang for ages because he knew I was in. ☚ī¸ I tried calling back about ten minutes later but he didn’t answer. Eventually a few texts have passed between us but he hasn’t called me back. His answer to why not was ‘because’. I sent a sad face, he sent a wry smile.

After that I didn’t respond and I really thought he would call. He hasn’t.

What to do?

I’m annoyed he is being childish. But I know how he feels when I don’t answer, as that’s how I feel when he doesn’t answer. It’s not unusual in LDRs and I think we both have some anxiety anyway. The other times that there has been tension is for this reason too. And then there’s everything that’s going on… Tensions are high and I have been hard work. I’ve kept him up late the past few nights too. We’ve talked for hours and hours this week… Maybe we just need a break?

I’m not making excuses but I am trying to understand. To forgive him like he has me for my silly, irrational behaviour this week. And other weeks for that matter.

So, just under an hour ago, I sent a text. I told him I missed him and I was here if he wanted me.

About five minutes ago, as I was writing this, I got an ‘ok’.

OK? OK!!!!!!!

So, still not resolved then.

I sent an ‘ok?’ and he hadn’t responded. I don’t know what else to do now. He’s clearly not happy. I don’t think it is justified but everyone is entitled to a bad day. I’ve had my fair share of them.

I’ve got to trust that he’s angry and maybe he just needs some space. I’ve been difficult and maybe he just needs to be away from me tonight. Maybe he’s having a bad day too.

I’m trying not to turn this in to something bigger. I’m trying to remember what he said to me on Sunday and his morning messages this week. But it’s really hard because all I want is his face and his smiles and his voice and our happiness.

Update: I have had a text. ‘Good night and sweet dreams.’

I replied ‘ok baby, you too. I’m sorry I have upset you that much that you don’t want to talk to me. Good night xxx’ He’s read it and not replied.

It will be one of the first times that we haven’t spoken on the phone at all since the beginning. I can’t help but fear the worst.

Milestones

I’m cosy in bed. I don’t want to get up. Here I feel safe from all the madness in the world around me.

This week has just been awful. From my ups and downs with Wild Card, ridiculously hectic work at week, increased coronavirus anxiety wherever I turn, an over anxious son not coping with his new ADHD medication to a huge argument with my 15 year old over how much revision she is doing. Oh, and I came on my period yesterday.

I could not wait for yesterday to end. I came home early and was grateful for the peace of my home. I messaged Wild Card. He had responded to my early morning text (saying I was thinking about him) – he had been on the way to drop off his brother and sister in law at the airport. A big day. The night before he had surprised me by being on the phone with me as much as ever, despite it being his brother’s last night at home.

He responded to my message and said he was well and asked if I was home. At that point, my mum arrived.

I’ve not seen my mum for a month. She’d been up for the day and had spent time with my sisters but I’m never 100% sure whether she will make it to me because of how late it gets. But she arrived and I was happy.

Unfortunately, my sisters arrived with my niece and nephew. You know I love them, of course I do, but I wasn’t in the mood for the noise and house-full and I was a little frustrated that they had been with mum all day and then had come to share my limited time with her.

Then, my ex turned up with my youngest to pick up something so you can imagine what happened next – my son wanted to stay and play. The house was getting fuller and noisier, and all I wanted was to sip coffee in front of the fire and chat with my mum.

Just as my ex was leaving – without our son I might add – Wild Card called me. At that point though, my sister had decided to engage in conversation with my ex about something work related. I was forced to take the call upstairs.

I don’t know how much my ex knows. My kids know, so no doubt my youngest has said something. My ex also walked in when I was on the phone once to Wild Card. He’s not stupid. But I’ve not discussed it with him because, quite frankly, it’s been none of his business. Now that my kids know, well, I guess that changes things somewhat. As does the milestone we have just met…

The call with Wild Card was short. He knew my mum was there and I think he called because he probably wanted to meet her. Me being upstairs, not with my mum, confused him a little. I was super conscious of my sister’s on going conversation with my ex downstairs and I was a little distracted. He asked if I was busy and I said I was a little, so he said he would speak to me later. I knew he was a little put out.

I went downstairs and listened to my sister’s conversation with my ex which, not only prevented me from talking with my mum, but prevented me from introducing her to Wild Card. The kids were screaming and shouting and all I wanted to do was shout and scream with them. I just stayed silent instead.

Eventually he left. My sister commented on my being quiet (I was screaming inside) and I told her about my terrible week, being on my period etc. She asked about Wild Card and I admitted that he had just called and explained the difficulty of the past 20 minutes.

Whilst nervous, my mum said she was happy to talk to him and so I called him back.

He was as surprised as my mum was, but I walked over and sat next to my mum, holding the phone so he could see both of us.

In the mental condition I was in, I don’t think I fully appreciated what a big step this was. Added to that, was that I was trying to translate between a heavily accented (and utterly delicious) foreign man with developing English and a partially deaf 63 year old, nervous mother. Interesting times.

It went really well, considering. He told my mum that she had a really nice daughter, (My sister joked that he meant her). He then went and put his mum on the phone too! Very limited English speaking mother meet deaf mother… But we got through it. My mum thanked his mum for looking after me and she said I was always welcome.

Mum and Wild Card chatted a little longer whilst my sisters got ready to leave and offered to drop off my youngest on the way. They did well considering, and by the time I got back to them they were joking with each other – my mum has a great sense of humour, particularly when nervous. At one point she even ‘sang’ to him whilst I stifled a laugh, and he commented that she had caused an earthquake with her voice. Much hilarity all round. 😊

When the call ended, I had half an hour with mum before she left. I told her about my bad week, and we also discussed my other sister’s s new reluctance to engage with Wild Card. Mum admitted that they had discussed it – my sister cannot understand why I have to be with him, why couldn’t I have found someone closer? How can I possibly have feelings for him? Whilst my mum and I acknowledge that she may not understand, I am frustrated that this has resulted in her not wanting to converse with him and even pulling faces when I talk about him. This is going to need a conversation at some point. My mum told me to ignore her.

Wild Card and I chatted for the remainder of the evening. He opened up about his brother’s marriages and I was surprised to hear that he doesn’t get on with one of his sister in laws (not the one from the day before). He told me some interesting stories about her and I felt that we were hitting another milestone as he was telling me some quite personal things – out of respect, he had always limited his talking about them.

He then joked that he was the oldest and ‘single’ and that he ws free to do what he wanted unlike his married brothers (one in particular, so his story told). I reminded him that he was not single and this then led to a conversation about us.

He asked again about my feelings for him and questioned how I knew how strong my feelings were. We talked about our first kiss, him reminding me of parts I had forgotten. He asked me if I missed lying on his chest whilst he played with my hair, did I miss his hugs and kisses… My heart ached for him as he asked me.

He told me how much he loved me and how serious he was about me. And he seemed more like his old self, the pressures of the week finally lifted perhaps.

For the first time in a week, I went to bed relaxed. The bad week was over. He has met my mother: our mothers have met! Who knows what the future holds now?

Overthinking, bad maths and logical thought.

I will admit, I walked into work feeling quite negative this morning. Whereas sleep normally soothes my anxieties and provides me with a reality check and clarity, this morning that didn’t happen. Maybe writing my post this morning didn’t help either – I usually write at night but was too tired and had spent my evening gazing lovingly at Wild Card. Whilst worrying.

(Disclaimer: I am absolutely, definitely suffering from PMT)

I actually wondered if I could go through with this LDR this morning…

Maybe I do not have the right temperament for this. I am naturally anxious, have a low self esteem and plenty of relationship baggage to impede me. How long will I cope with this? The second visit was going to cement things for me. Now it probably won’t happen.

How much of this ‘relationship’ is a figment of my desires and imagination?

How can he possibly be interested in me? Last night he sent me a photograph of himself and it was just… Perfect. It actually made me gasp, my heart racing. And then I think… How the hell is he with you? Is he even with you? How do you know? Maybe you are just a distraction or a game.

It doesn’t help that he is a joker, a tease. Every day he asks me if I have missed him and love him. I always answer truthfully. Every day I ask the same. He always says no. Always with a sly look on his face or with comical emphasis. (He does text that he loves me and misses me BTW, and he always says I love you before we say goodnight but my mind wasn’t thinking about that). Most of the time I know he is joking. But sometimes, 2+2 really does equate to 124658 which means he doesn’t love me.

I walked into my office deciding that perhaps I need to take a step back. Perhaps that’s what he wants. I need to focus on myself. I’m thinking about him, this, far too much. Am I really that happy? Or do I just think I am.

Luckily for me, my first meeting was with the Head of MFL and someone I get on with really well. I’d actually confided in him about Wild Card a few weeks ago as he had repeatedly asked if I was OK and offered a trusting ear. He was good to speak to – knew of Wild Card’s culture and country, had dated someone from another culture and well, was a man. He’d given me some sound advice so far.

We talked work for a while and then the conversation moved on the Coronavirus. He is much more upto date on events than I am (I don’t watch the news purposefully) and he talked about his concerns for his pending trip abroad with his wife and small children. I put across my, seemingly, naive stance on it and we discussed it further. It then dawned on me… I am probably right, Wild Card’s reluctance could be wholly to do with the Coronavirus. I mentioned the situation and my colleague agreed, particularly knowing the culture of responsibility for guests and acknowledging the health care system there. I felt like a weight had lifted.

And then, a little later on in the morning, I happened to read a fellow blogger’s comments on my last post. And she completely and utterly made sense, again understanding his culture. If he and his family looked after me so well last time, how would they cope if I was ill? If I was stranded there? It was the first thing he asked me when I had broached the visit yesterday and whilst I may have convinced him that I was fine with it, he clearly isn’t. And his family probably aren’t either.

Wild Card had messaged me as usual and we had a quick chat with him asking how I was etc.

Someone who doesn’t care would not repeatedly ask if you’re OK.

Someone not interested in you would not spend hours of his day talking to you and making you laugh.

Have I forgotten his care and love when I visited? Have I forgotten his passion and the look on his face? Have I forgotten the frustration he has when he thinks I don’t believe or trust his feelings? Or that I have met his family and talk to them? Or his hurt when he thinks he’s upset me with his joking?

So, breathe. Stop with the bad maths and overthinking.

Update…

That night when I spoke to Wild Card, he again brought up Coronavirus, telling me that more cases had been diagnosed in his country. I siezed the opportunity and just asked him if that what why he didn’t want to book. He admitted it was. He said that, if I fell ill, he worried about the health care I would receive or what would happen if flights were cancelled. Everything slotted in to place for me, and my irrational fears were ill founded as usual.

What do you think?

Wild Card called me Saturday lunch time as he had been required to work extra to cover a sick employee. He was out in the van and we chatted whilst he made his way to his destination. He pulled faces to make me laugh – not safe I reminded him–and winked and smiled at me.

I told him about my daughter knowing everything. He asked what she had said and I told him: she wants to meet you and your family. I think he was a little surprised by this but I reminded him that he had suggested it too. He kept coming back to it, jokingly, and I figure it made him a little nervous. I again reminded him that he had said I needed to tell my family.

After that, there was another call and then pretty much silence until late at night.

By that point I was climbing the walls.

He knew I was going out to see a family friend and I’d told him when I’d be home. I actually got home later than planned but called him anyway. No answer.

An hour and a half passed. Still nothing. So I text him. Nothing.

Just at the point where I thought I might actually implode, he called. He’d been asleep after the extra work. I calmed, eventually, and decided that I hadn’t scared him off. It was just coincidence and my overactive imagination. We had a long chat as usual and everything seemed fine.

Sunday was similar. We had some early morning texts then he called me about an hour later and made me laugh again. His next call was a few hours later and at this point my sisters and Aunty were here.

Usually he won’t stay on the phone if I have visitors because he feels that my attention should be on them. This time though, he interacted with them and they all joked at my expense. I loved it – he was with us even though he was far away.

When my family left we were still on the phone: he shared with me some pictures of his family and of himself as a child. By the time the call ended, we had been on the phone for two hours.

I spent the day marking. But something was playing on mind. He still hadn’t confirmed my visit.

Last week when we discussed it, there were a few things he needed to sort first. There was something with work and his sister in law visiting. He told me not to book and that he would know more by Friday. Friday came and he told me his sister in law’s travel plans but did not mention my visit.

All weekend I’ve wondered what to do. Do I ask him again? Wait for him? Did he assume that I have already booked? My sisters told me to just ask so I did – I sent a message.

About an hour later I got a brief reply saying ‘ok’ and telling me that he was out. Another hour after that he called – he was sat in his car outside the train station waiting for his brother. He brought up my text.

The first thing he asked was whether I was worried about Cornavirus. I explained that as it is here and in his country, I could catch it anywhere. He told me he was worried about my safety and what if I was quarantined? I reassured him that I would have travel insurance.

He told me that there was no problem then and I could come when I liked over the Easter holiday. I asked if he wanted me to come and he said yes and seemed to pull his sincere face, the one he pulls when I am insecure and he is trying to reassure me.

But then, in the next breath, he told me to not book until next week, once his sister in law had visited and his brother had left. I was so confused at this point. Why tell me I can come when I want, that he wants me there, but then ask me to hang fire on booking? I told him again that I did not have to come but he said again that I can but just wait to book.

His brother arrived at the car not long after that so he said he would call when he got home.

I was, am, so confused. I thought about what my sister had said earlier:

What she said was true (and the reason I have given you all the details of our communication), every day, cumulatively, we are on the phone for hours. He would not do that if he didn’t want to be with me. So what was the problem?

He called as promised when he got home. Before long he was sat at the table, eating, and I could hear his parents having a quite heated/enthusiastic conversation. I heard the word Corona mentioned a number of times. He joined in at one point. After a few minutes of me observing but not understanding this conversation, he said he would call me back shortly as he ws talking with his family.

He did, and we talked and almost fell asleep together again. I love that. Neither one of us wants to get off the phone but we both start to drift off. It feels like we are lying together.

There could be lots of reasons why he doesn’t want me to book but of course my head jumps to him not wanting me to go. His family are worried about Cornavirus – I know that from when I was there in February and from conversations I’ve had with Wild Card over the past weeks. Maybe him and his family are worried about me visiting with the outbreak – there are many more with the virus in my country than his. If I was to catch it there I would have to stay there. Perhaps they are worried for me.

Maybe he hasn’t asked his parents yet. Their middle child is about to leave home… Maybe it’s not the right time.

Perhaps it is financial. I know he spent a lot of money when I was there and he would not accept any from me. Maybe it’s just not convenient and he doesn’t want to upset me. I just don’t know.

All I know is that I am really confused. I’m the sort of person that likes plans straight and clear. I want to know what’s happening. I need to plan and book and be sure everything is ready. So maybe its my own need to control that’s the issue.

Or maybe he just doesn’t want me to go.

What do you think?

Underestimated

You know that I love words. I love it when you find the perfect words or word to sum up a situation. My title is just that.

Last night, I told the whole truth of my situation with Wild Card to my fifteen year old daughter.

My daughter is my eldest child. As such, I don’t know how typical our relationship is but it is certainly changeable. She is very close to her Dad and considers herself a ‘Daddy’s’ girl yet we are close too, to a certain extent. She certainly doesn’t tell me everything – what teenager does, I guess? – but there are moments when she will come and confide in me.

My daughter compliments me more than any other person I know. She tells me I’m beautiful and compliments me when she thinks I look nice. She tells me how proud she is of me, for all I have achieved.

Conversely, however, this also creates a source of conflict between us. She absolutely refuses my help. I’m an English teacher, she will be taking GCSE literature and language in two months, but she refuses any help from me at all. She won’t let me help her plan her revision. She didn’t not want my input in discussing colleges and college courses. She wants to prove to me, and I guess herself, that she can do this without me. That’s a bitter pill to swallow. How can she be proud of me, but not want my help? It’s something I have had to accept and be confident that she will ask if she needs me.

Lying to her this past month has been really difficult for me. She of course knew about Wild Card, partly because of the extent of our communication and also because I had confided in her that I was ‘online dating.’ To be fair to her, she had encouraged me to ‘put myself out there’, but I also know she feels conflicted because of her loyalty to her father. But I did not tell her that I was going to visit Wild Card.

This was for two reasons. I see no point in telling my children about my situation with Wild Card until I am convinced it is serious. For them to get attached to him, which I think they would, and then for him to disappear at some point… Well, that would double the hurt for all of us. (Although, I recognise that them talking to him now is probably creating that situation anyway.). Secondly, I didn’t want to put her in the position of lying to her father. It’s none of his business, but she should not have to lie to him on my behalf.

When I returned from my trip, I was on a high. I wanted to tell her everything but still wasn’t sure it was the right time. About a week ago, I did tell her that Wild Card and I really liked each other and that we had met recently. She laughed at me. ‘That’s pretty obvious mum.’ She asked when I had met him but I didn’t tell her.

This week, she has confided something big in her life. I was driving her to her Dad’s alone – her brothers were already there. She said she needed to tell me something, then blurted out that she was bisexual. Yes it was a surprise – I had no idea – but I was touched that she was able to tell me. She hasn’t told her dad yet.

Her honesty has plagued me all week, and last night I decided to confess all. Only problem was, she had worked it all out already. She said she was suspicious when I booked my trip. She said there were clues about his nationality, of which I hadn’t shared, and she had guessed that he may have lived where I was visiting.

I completely underestimated her. She went through all the clues she had used to work out what I had done and I was astounded by her intelligence and thought process. She said that by telling her I had met him, I had confirmed her suspicions.

I also underestimated her feelings about the situation. We lay on my bed and I showed her all the photographs from my trip. I told her about him and his family, and how they had cared for me. I also told her some of my fears – that I have no idea how this will all work out.

She told me that he sounds like a good man and that it is obvious that he cares about me and likes me. She said that she would love to meet him and his family (I was really surprised about that). She was genuinely happy for me and actually reassured me a little. She did talk about the future and asked what will happen if we got married (!) and whilst I told her that was so far in the future that it wasn’t worth thinking about, she was enough aware of his culture to know that it is a possibility. We are serious about becoming serious. She told me that if I decided to live with him, she fully supported me but she would not come with me. I told her that, even if that was a consideration, we are talking years and years from now.

I feel like a weight has been lifted. She has the facts and I have her support.

For me, there are three things that need to happen for me to be 100% confident that he is serious about me – even though, by considering his culture, me visiting him and knowing his parents is pretty serious. The first is that I book for my second visit. Whilst we have talked about my coming again and he has told me I am welcome, he has had to confirm a few things with his family before I book. Last night he confirmed one thing, but didn’t actually tell me to book my flights and I won’t until he does. The next is that he tells his whole, extended family about me. (I fully accept this is a big step and one for the future, but that will be confirmation). Finally that he changes his social media to acknowledge his relationship with me.

Today I will tell Wild Card that my daughter knows everything. Before my trip, he had asked me what my children know. When I told him they didn’t know I was visiting him, he had said that was probably for the best. Since then, he has repeatedly suggested that I bring them to visit him. When we had our ‘serious’ talk earlier this week, he said that I needed to tell my family. I replied that my sisters and mother knew already, but maybe he was talking about my children.

Maybe I have underestimated his need for security too. The fact that I haven’t told my children yet does not prove my commitment to him and us. Every time we speak he asks if I have missed him, how much, do I love him, how much. At first I thought that this was just conversation, a routine of ours. Perhaps he needs this confirmation as much as I do.

Part of me is scared that he will panic when he finds out my daughter knows all. To me, it is a big step. But it was a step that had to be taken and I am glad I have done it. I underestimated how important it was for my daughter to know, and how much it was playing on my mind that she didn’t.

In my next post I will let you know how he reacts.

Confirmations

It’s been a whirlwind few days.

Saturday night I reeped the reward of my scheming, and karma came to bite my on the ass. I was going out with my sisters and because of the way I was dressed etc, Wild Card was convinced I was meeting someone else. This prompted me, in frustration, to ask him to clarify what we were to each other. I got my answer, he got his reassurance. When we discussed it all the next day, he said it was normal for us both to feel some jealousy at this stage. I feel jealous too so I can’t disagree with him.

Sunday was met with multiple calls again, including some with his parents who looked genuinely pleased to see me. We both had plans with our family but I received a message late on asking if I missed him. I told him that ‘my mind, my body, my heart and my soul’ missed him to which he replied ‘I’m happy’. He called when he got home and, I kid you not, he had me laughing for the full one hour 40 minute conversation. I could see it in his face – he was happy because I was happy.

Monday’s conversations took a more serious turn.

I’m not sure how it happened but we ended up discussing our future together.

He reacted to my concerns with passion and reassurance, telling me how much he loved and wanted me and that we would be together. It wasn’t just his words but the way he said it, his determination to prove it to me, that finally reassured me.

He admitted some of his own concerns about our situation though. Strangely, it made me feel better in some ways because it felt more real. It is natural for him to be thinking these things.

It was a difficult conversation but it needed to be had. We are both committed to trying this and so that is what we will do. We hope to confirm my next visit at the end of this week and then I will book my flights.

Whilst more reassured, my anxieties are ever present. I’ve come to accept them too.

Last night’s (second) call of an hour and a half was beautiful. He danced to the music I was playing, looked at me the way I loved. We talked about our first kiss. He told me that he knew things about me that I didn’t know about myself, but wouldn’t elaborate on it.

At one point the talking stopped but when I said I would go he didn’t want me to. So, we ‘lay together’, looking at each other, until both of our eyes fell for sleep.

If I hadn’t been lying downstairs I probably would have continued to ‘sleep’ with him but in the end I was forced to say goodnight.

I’m happy, content. I feel loved and feel love in return. I know I am a big part of his life now – his actions show this.

So why am I waking at 3am in the morning?

Update and reflection – part two

So, I did message in the morning to wish him a good journey, just the once. I didn’t respond when he did because it wasn’t needed.
My calmness was rewarded with messages in the afternoon, a video chat half way on his journey and another when he got home.

Yesterday, his first day back at home, he called me as I was leaving work (which is really early for him), when I got home and then he was messaging me throughout the evening as he visited family.

At one point he called, a silent video, whilst we messaged. We talked about how we had been having amazing sex that time a week before, and it was so hot and exciting to see his guarded but obvious facial expressions as we wrote to each other.

He called again when he got home. Things seemed back to normal. He asked if I missed him. He asked if I loved him. He questioned my feelings, particularly in response to the fact that I have been married.

He struggles with this. He doesn’t believe me when I say that I didn’t feel for my husband like I feel for him. That sex with my husband wasn’t like how it was with him.

I am being entirely truthful when I tell him this. And this, this is the source of my anxiety because it is true. Yes, I loved my husband. We were happy, for a short time. But the majority of our relationship was filled with unhappiness and doubt. I worked so hard to make it work, for years. I told myself: that’s what you do when your married, you work on it. There’s no such thing as a soul mate. You find a good person, accept their flaws and work on it.

The cracks in the relationship with my husband were there in the first year. If I hadn’t got pregnant within the first year, we probably would not have stayed together. But I pulled him along the path of a serious relationship, hoping that each stage would cement those cracks: live together, get engaged, buy a house, get married. They never did. The cracks became a chasm. Years of little or no sexual intimacy. Him sleeping on the couch. An 18 month separation. A third pregnancy from a one-off unprotected sexual encounter in the hope that it would repair the awful sex life we were having following getting back together.

My postnatal depression following the birth of my third child was in direct response to the fact that I knew that nothing had changed. My marriage was over and had been for some years. We stayed together for a couple of years after that, but he slept on the couch, we had no intimacy and we argued continuously.

This feels very different with Wild Card, irrespective of the long distance.

***********************

It was getting late as we talked and I told him I would let him sleep as he was in work the next day. He said no. He told me to ‘come here, next to me’ as he lay down, eyes weary.

‘You want me next to you?’ I asked.

‘Yes’. I lay on my bed too and just watched his face as his eyes closed. I could see the softness of his lips, his dark lashes resting on his face. And I was transported back there, to him. When I closed my eyes I could remember the feel of his body next to mine, the sound of his breathing, his smell, my feelings as I lay with him… loving him, and feeling loved in return.

Eventually we said goodnight, sent kisses and ‘I love you’s and the call ended.

Today has been more of the same. A morning call followed by a longer afternoon call where we played games on messenger – that was fun. He played with my youngest for ages too which earned him even more of my affection. Another call on the way home from the gym. And again this evening…

I love every second. I love the way he looked at me tonight. I even love that my sister asked why we were not talking on the phone and he replied:

“She knows me and I know her. We are talking with our eyes.”

And my goodness, were we…

This is what I have got to try to remember when I’m panicking. Days like today.

Back to reality

Yesterday morning’s journey home, and the rest of the day in fact, was filled with messages and phone calls and expressions of love and longing.

It’s a weird situation to be in: whilst my body ached, physically missing him (you know, unsettled stomach and butterflies etc) the regular contact and heartfelt affection from him made me happy. Made us both happy.

“Come here. Come here to me and rest your head on my chest: it’s your place. Come here to me. I want to stroke your hair and kiss your face and kiss your hand.” Every word a memory of him doing exactly that, of me resting my head on his chest as we cuddled in bed, every single day. Knowing that he wanted those moments again too, well, it makes it all the more special.

Today I was back in work. I woke at 4am, again. And whilst I dozed for half an hour or so, eventually I just ended up looking at our photos and reading all the messages from yesterday.

At 6am I wished him a safe journey – for the remainder of his time off work he was travelling with his family and was about to set off on a seven hour car journey to stay with relatives.

I’ve thought about him all day. Of course I have. And whilst I feel justified in that – we’ve only been apart for a day and I was concerned about his long drive, I know that I have to get back to reality at some point. He can’t keep dominating my every thought, can he?

Sure, things are really good between us. But this is going to be a long process if it works at all. And my life has to carry on.

This is going to be the hard part, I guess. Not just missing him. Not the anxiety and wondering. The loving him from a distance and trying to live a normal life part.

Part of this is self preservation as much as anything. If it does end then my life needs to carry on. I can’t put my life on hold for something that probably has the odds stacked against it. It hurts me to say that, but it’s true.

My life has to carry on. And yes, he will be a part of it. We will continue with our routine and hopefully we will see each other again soon. But I can’t live on cloud nine, can I?

When I finished work I messaged him and asked if he was OK, still driving etc. He called me and he was indeed still driving and deep in concentration. God it was good to see his face. And then his Dad saw me from the back seat and made such a fuss of me, saying hello and talking about their trip. It was so lovely – he genuinely looked pleased to see me. And when my gaze drifted to Wild Card’s face, I could see he was pleased with his Dad’s reaction too. That was nice.

He’s just messaged to say they have finally arrived at their destination. I’m longing to see him, to speak to him, but his life has to carry on too. So, I’ve told him I’m glad he is safe and sound and have asked him to call later, if he can, because I miss him.

In the meantime, whilst every sense is attuned to my phone and waiting for that call, I have to carry on with washing and tidying and getting ready for work.

Reality is not easy.