Friday 5 February 2021

A Love Unlived - "If you tame me, then we shall need each other"

Have you ever been in a position that you meet someone and the connection is so strong on every level and the feeling is mutual but you have to make a truly sad decision and agree to walk away to enable the other person to mend due to recent grief of loosing a parent?

Well that is me and my situation. I did not want to walk away but I had no choice as I wanted to respect that person's wishes and allow the person the head space to grieve without any feelings of guilt that whilst he is in the dark place cant provide me with what he believes I deserve.

It is a love unlived and it sucks...

The conversation was intense. The tears in both our eyes as we sat touching hands and every now and then a deep hug which I did not want to let go from. His strong arms holding me. I always felt so safe. But now that has gone.

Starring into one another's water logged eyes as we spoke of our feelings, demons and grief was so powerful but the sadness was overwhelming. 

Grieving is complex and effects people in so many different ways. There is no right or wrong and no time scale, in fact does grief ever go? I don't think it does it just gets easier to manage and cope with. 

Right now his priority is taking care of his 2 sisters, sorting out his late mum's affairs whilst working all hours god sends to make ends meet and trying to just about stay afloat mentally. He is doing all he can and I am so proud of him. He has started anti depressants and engaging in therapy. But the only thing he has any remaining space for is himself, which is so important to enable him to heal. This of course I understand but for me, selfish as it might seem, this has left me feeling broken and so very sad. 

They say time is a healer but as I've mentioned in other posts...time might heal but time is in limited supply. Our time on earth is short and some peoples time is sadly shorter than others. He of all people should understand this as his mum was only 59 who died suddenly in her sleep. I cant even comprehend how traumatic this must be for him and his family. It must be heartbreaking returning home every night after work to the home where your mum passed away. He had moved in with his mum and gave up his flat to support her following the separation of his parents after 36 years, another massive recent loss.

My heart aches for him and his pain but also for me and the unlived love. No one knows how things could have panned out but being unable to try and be stunted by growth at the very start feels so unfair especially when the feelings are mutual and so strong on all levels. 

I have only felt this twice as an adult. The French/Portuguese man I speak about in other posts and now this man. 

This sounds so selfish as he is in hell right now grieving for his mum but I feel guilty grieving for him and what could have been for us.

Not being able to contact him and see him, even to ask how he is doing is going to feel impossible. I told him that the only way I can respect his wishes and allow him time to grieve and not contact him is to block him on a messaging service and once I feel less sad I will return. I do this out of fear of not being able to suppress the urge of wanting to contact him. Of course I could still call him but this is something I am less likely to do. 

Contacting someone struggling is something that comes naturally to me. If someone you care about is hurting you are there for them. And this is something he too believes, which is why he cant give me what I deserve right now. He knows that he can always reach out to me, but he is a private, proud man and I know that he won't. He told me that he hasn't even responded to some of his closet friends messages since his mum passed. I guess I should be thankful for the limited time we did have together. 

We met at the beginning of August 2020 but sadly his mum passed away not long after. A massive sadness to happen at the start of any relationship. I felt for him. But as we both knew the connection was strong between us and rare nowadays. I stayed open to him. Since that time we have grown and got to know one another very well in every way possible. Knowing and understanding each others values, beliefs fears and struggles. Its almost like grief and having a strong bond/connection fast forwards emotions about one another.

As he often looked my in the eyes and stroked my hair he frequently told me that he liked me just as I am. Being forever the romantic, I felt like Bridget Jones being told this by Mark Darcy for the first time. He did nothing but praise me and say the nicest things. Things I never really had in my long term relationships.

He knew of my past and all the things I had been through and never once judged me. It was like he had a real true understanding of the pain I had suffered and he too had suffered along the way. I felt at times like he was the male version of myself.

"To you I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other, To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world...." (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry) (Alley Cat)

A very special factor for me was that he was very aware of how I felt about children. Having made the decision to come off the contraceptive pill after such a long time. I wasn't sure how this might effect us and our intimacy. We discussed this and he was happy to continue what we had without using any contraception. For me this was massive. To have a man to actually take that risk with me knowing that it could or could not change our lives totally. I have been on the contraceptive pill for 26 years and coming off the pill was indeed a huge thing for me. He was so supportive and seemed to actually understand a woman's cycle far more than I did, he said it was growing up with 2 sisters!

Of course nothing happened, which at this time is probably for the best but I also now have this double sadness of not only having to be apart from the man I care for but grieving from knowing that the potential of maybe even having children with him has just gone. It might not have ever happened and certainly wasn't planning on it but just knowing that there could be a slight chance did give me some hope, something no man has ever wanted to do before.

I know he is breaking from the grief of loosing his mum but I am breaking from loosing any hope that I might have actually had something special.

I am unsure of life right now. I feel like I am grieving for the unlived love for him, the child that I am unlikely never to bare, the loneliness of all of my friends being on different paths with having families of their own and to put the nail in the coffin the fact that I have zero outlet for this as we are in a national lockdown. The gym which is usually my savior and coping strategy has gone and yes being a therapist I know what I can do to help myself but the process of actually doing it feels too tough right now.

This man was so in tune with me on every level and we even spoke of our thought processes and how we can both experience from time to time unhelpful thinking errors; the should and musts, over generalising and catastrophising. Having that emotional intelligence was so very important for us both, we just got each other.

I feel an overwhelming urge to be with him and sail this storm with him, partnerships aren't always smooth sailing and you have to take the great times and difficult times together....but instead I find myself drowning in my own tears. 

Some people might say it wasn't meant to be, some say I am unlucky and others refer to it as bad timing. What ever it is I have a massive sense of injustice. Two people have a connection but grief stops it in its tracks, a love unlived. All the things we spoke about wanting to do together have gone. In my experience when things come to an end it is usually because you and the other person often no longer like each other in that way but that simply isn't the case which somehow makes it just so sad and unfair.

Last night we spoke of how we will miss each other and that we want each other to take care and not engage in unhealthy behaviours. We both wished that each other could see what others see and how wonderful we both are. I dont necessarily think I am wonderful and people often tell me that I dont see what they do, but doesn't everyone feel like that? I certainly know that this man doesnt see the best of himself and definitely cant see what I see. I feel that he sees himself as he was in the past and not the person he is growing into. The grief he is experiencing is exacerbating some of his feelings that rear their head from time to time. We have both suffered with mental health and I guess times of despair, like loosing a loved one can cause mental health difficulties to arise. Anyone that has experienced mental health difficulties will know that there is no time scale on dealing with this. I just wish I could be with him and be of comfort to him.

I hope he misses me as much as I miss him and looks through our pictures, videos and music playlist but is that selfish of me to hope because he already has enough going on without the additional sadness of missing me? Perhaps he wont as he is already at capacity of missing his mum? Perhaps that makes me a bad person, perhaps it makes me human?

Where do I go from here? I simply just have to be me. I will take each day and battle through like I have always done. I have no doubt in my mind that I will recover and so will he. Will our paths ever cross again? I can only hope so, because hope is all I have left and with out hope what has any one got? 

A true love unlived....

"Holding on to hope, my choice, feel no guilt" (Alley Cat)

Monday 1 February 2021

Natural hormones....after 26 years!

I've been on the pill for 26 years without a break! I always used it for contraception in long term relationships and loved how easy it was having a regular light cycle. I'm 42 now and single and no need for consistant contraception, I've not anyone to have children with so I started to question why I was even on it. 

The thought of coming off the pill scared me to death. Everyone would say your body will go back to how it was before the pill. But I was 16! I'd not long started my periods before starting the pill as I had my first boyfriend. 

All I remember about periods was that I was petrified of leaking in my school uniform and boys laughing and girls thinking " thank god its not me". 

I cant remember any pms, cramps, etc because I was so young and it was so long ago. I remember periods being horrible but was that because I'd just started and of course its horrible because I was 16 or because they actually were?!

So 3 months ago I decided to bite the bullet and come off the pill. So far, I feel I have more energy and more in control. My periods are in a regular 26 day cycle and last a few days, wasn't as bad as I thought!

I think my main concern was not wanting spots or weight gain. I don't remember if this was an issue at 16 as I was just a regular teenager. But so far so good.

I like the fact I'm not pumping artificial hormones into my body. I guess things can change as time goes on especially as I'm hitting middle age and pre menopausal age! But for now being off the pill feels liberating! 

Wish me luck! 

Turning the light off...

Why is it when I need to sleep I must have darkness? In fact I like it that dark, the room I sleep in has blackout curtains and I also wear an eye mask to prevent any unwanted light seeping in through the cracks of the curtain and disturbing my already light sleep that I have each night. 

But the moment I am upset and distressed the very thought of sleeping in a dark room scares the life out of me. When feeling this way the darkness makes me feel vulnerable, alone and abandoned. 

Perhaps it comes from night terrors. I've suffered with night terrors for years. The only relief and comfort I get at those scary times is to be in the light and sleep with the light switch firmly on. 

I have had the same night terror for years and unless you have ever experienced night terrors will not appreciate how scary they are. They make nightmares feel like a Disney film. My night terror is reoccurring and is always the same thing. 

Last night was one of those nights... I was extremely upset.

As I crawled into bed following an extremely sad phone call I had with someone I really care about. This person who has suffered through the years, similar to me, of mental health difficulties and has recently lost his mother where she passed away suddenly in her sleep.

The last 5 months have been extremely difficult for him and his family. We have become extremely close and I consider him to be the most special person I have known for a while. 

Recently we have become attached not only in an emotional way but a physical way too. He became my special someone. 

Other than the French/Portuguese man I had a connection with, he has been the only one I have had a great connection with as an adult.

I know that we both understand one another and have total respect for each other in the most non judgmental way. In fact I really didn't think I would ever find someone who lived in my own country that I might even consider allowing into my heart. But I allowed him in, even though I was petrified of being hurt.

I cant even imagine how difficult his life is right now. He is not only coping with the passing of his mum and everything that goes with the death of a parent but dealing with other demons. 

To be able to engage in a healthy relationship requires the right amount of mental capacity and resilience and with out this it is likely that the relationship might suffer in some way if we allow it to.

For him the timing isn't right and having another person to satisfy the needs of takes time and effort. Something he feels incapable of doing right now. He explained to me that he wished so much that he could and re assured me that he has never met such a wonderful, kind and caring women, but he wants to be able to reciprocate that but hasn't the strength right now and unsure when he will. 

He is doing all he can to try and gain resilience and strength by going to therapy, taking medication but anyone who has suffered with grief and mental illness knows that this transition doesn't happen overnight. This process takes time, no matter how much you might want it.

So as I lie in bed with the light firmly switched on, I feel less lonely as when the light is off. Should I revert back to being a child and maybe have a lullaby? 

"Do you know any lullabies?"

"I know one but I had forgotton the words"

"I'd still like to hear it"

I wonder if he struggles in the darkness? Or anyone else for that matter? Why is it that when the darkness comes and the light is turned off it feels more of a lonely place. 

Perhaps for others the darkness is solace and actually more of a comfort but for me if my light is on at night whilst in bed it usually means that I am suffering.

When will I feel able to turn my light off once more? For that I do not know the answer to, no different to how he might feel in terms of feeling better mentally.

Time is the only thing in life that makes things better but time is the one thing we have limited amounts of. If I turn my light off will I sleep again or should I allow myself this time to sit in the light and not feel scared? I opt for the second option. The light being on wont be forever but for now, it is what I need.

Pans Labyrinth

Saint Valentine

Valentines day....Love it, loathe it or just tolerate it...?
It comes but once a year on February 14th. 

There are many Saint Valentines but the one that we chose to remember and celebrate is St Valentine of Rome he had many spiritual responsibilities, well known for being the patron saint of engaged couples, happy marriages and watching over the lives of our loved ones but surprisingly he was also known for interventions regarding bee keeping, travelling and health conditions like epilepsy, fighting the plague and fainting.

Historically valentines was celebrated by holding a festival named Lupercalia, which is a fertility festival. A goat and a dog would be sacrificed, the goat for fertility and the dog for purification. The blood, would then be  dipped onto strips of goats hide. The strips would gently slap both women and crop fields. Women welcomed the slap as they believed that it would promote fertility. According to legend, later on in the festival the women would all write their names onto pieces of paper and place in an urn. The bachelors would then take it in turn to choose a name and then the pair would match and often marry.

Nowadays it's more of a commercial celebration between loved ones. 
It seems that couples are everywhere and when frequently single I often feel like there are smug couples every where. I sometimes long to be part of that smug couple! The romance, the love, the sex and everything in between. Yes I know I will now take off my rose coloured spectacles as I know that Valentines isn't necessarily all that. It can just feel that way after years of being a singleton.

I have celebrated a good few over my 42 years. Some nice and some pretty know just going through the motions as it's what is "expected" 

I've also had some pretty crap ones....

The most memorable one and if I'm honest by far the very best and most fun was one where I was single! I know sounds strange but I had the best ever valentines day.

It had been a couple of years of splitting with a long term ex and I'd had many many dates up to that point but found myself single on Valentines.
So after sitting alone in my house a couple of nights before the 14th  I thought I'm going to go out and celebrate valentines! .......

So I phoned up my local curry house and booked a table for 1, they did repeat the number 1 with a curious tone in their voice several times before believing I was serious. And so it was booked! Table for one at the local curry house at 7:30pm on valentines! 

I turned up and as expected red balloons and streamers hung from the ceiling. The tables were decorated with red heart sparkles and a single red rose on each table, covers of cheesy love songs playing in the background as the restaurant hadn't a licence to play the real songs and a small romantically lit candle flickering on each tablecloth.

The room at this point was half filled. At first, on lookers didn't seem to stare at me as for all they knew my "significant other" may well have been hanging a coat or parking the car or popped to the toilet. But as I was seated and the waiters took the second place setting away, it was clear I was alone. The looks I received were mixed, ones of surprise, curiosity and sympathy. I looked like I had been stood up. As couples arrived people did appear to be noticing the table for one.

I carried on without a care in the world and munched my way through the special valentines set meal. By the time I had finished my main course, a group of 6 women entered the room. A combination of ages, they sat down, laughing joking and in general good spirits... couples looked in disgust that their romantic meal was now being disturbed by a bunch of tipsy women but they didn't seem to care. 

The women were in direct line of my table and once they had established that I was sat alone beckoned me over. I hesitantly walked over clutching my sparkling pink rosè. They spoke over one another all trying to ask me why I was alone. The majority thought I had been stood up. 

I took a deep breathe and proudly said, I am single and decided I wasn't going to be forced to stay in just because the social norm is for only couples to come out. They cheered and said that was why they were all out too, they were all single and wanted to celebrate that. They had love for one another which was evident and to me that was the loveliest love to see.

The waiters returned and asked if I wished to be seated at the table with them. So as they ate their main courses I sat and drank waiting so we could all enjoy desert together.

We spoke about love, live and the universe. Following on from desert they asked if I wanted to join them to go to my local pub as "the night was still so young" of course without any hesitation I agreed and the night was one of new friends, good friends, laughs and too many drinks!

It certainly was a Valentines to remember.

So can valentines be celebrated singularly as one can love thy self, or with friends and family? Does it really have to be significant others that we celebrate with? Lets change the world and celebrate love with whom ever we love and care for, romantic or otherwise.

As for this year due to the pandemic and being single for yet another valentines. I might bake myself some heart shaped cookies, pour myself a large baileys and stick on a feel good chick flick, that never fails to make me smile and feel warm.

Will I feel sad? Most likely.... As at this moment in time there is only one person other than myself who I'd like to share valentines with. Perhaps I will drop that person a text just to say I am thinking of them.... for I'd lasso the moon for that person and I know if that person could they would for me too...