Decisions, Decisions, & More Decisions

Sooooo, it’s been quite the while since I have posted. In this time I have discovered

  • Good fences, make good neighbours
  • Vacuuming stairs is exhausting and redundant with 4 hairy beasts in the house
  • People are more interested in deciphering my past, than meeting me in the present.
  • The goat that currently resides at the bottom of my garden, is a great listener, when her ears are scratched, or if I have stale bread to feed her (She’s not mine)
  • I shouldn’t do my grocery shopping online last thing at night when I’m tired, or I could end up with 27 packets of crackers and 32 kitchen rolls (I kid you not!)
  • The elderly neighbour who has complained about barking, hates everything, everyone and everything. Truly sad existence
  • Teenagers eat copious amounts of cookies while hanging out at your house, they also expect the supplies to be replenished to enable this cycle to continue unimpeded.
  • I LOVE the peace and quiet of NOT hearing a TV. My TV is now my computer monitor and the envy of most of my visitors.
  • Most important of all, that I’m doing ok.

They saying moving house is one of the most stressful things you can do, and they sure weren’t lying. The amount of crap I had packed in boxes that I have no need for, no use for was truly overwhelming. I believe I meet the criteria for pat rat, possibly heading towards an intervention as a hoarder.

Most of my tasks have been taken care off, unpacking clothes, ordering new appliances etc I just have to finish emptying boxes and wait impatiently for the arrival of my recliner. This recliner is my on indulgence. Not a car, not jewellery, not clothes, but an electric Lazy Boy recliner. Any visitors to my home will understand this is my throne from where I will rule my modest kingdom, I don’t anticipate sharing this chair, as with great power, comes great responsibility. *Pauses for dramatic music crescendo*

I’ve become quite the house ‘butch’ cleaning, washing, dusting etc all done to a schedule that I don’t like to have interrupted. My family are still somewhat shell shocked to see that I have coped, kept house, fed myself and my hairy beasts and not managed to burn the house down or poison my dogs or the goat! This pisses me off as well as pleases me. On low days I wonder if they thought I lived under a bridge with the Trolls? and on good days I am happy to endure their friendly banter.

So far so good eh? For the most part 99% of the time it is. I’ve been here almost 3 months, and I’m starting to exchange friendly conversations with the neighbours, I’m the cool one that always has ice lollies or randomly finds a football that I can’t use when their Grand kids call to visit with them. You’re sensing a ‘but’, yup it’s coming…….sighs. My ex every 2-3 weeks will send a random text asking to visit the dogs. She is pleasant, respectful and I have no issue with her seeing them, I have only one stipulation. Dum Dum Dummmmm that she will never set foot in my home. Initially I thought this was selfish but I have come to realise this is what I need to take care of me. My new place is mine and the hairy monsters and anyone invited into my home is welcomed and valued and someone I want to spend time with. Unfortunately she no longer is any of these things. So I take the hairy beasts to my Dads enclosed garden and she gets to visit with them. I have never once to date, refused to let her see them or not worked it around her schedule. The view I took was, ‘what if it were me?’ and I wasn’t going to bed with them them curled around me or, a wet nose nudging my hand to hurry up and get outta bed suddenly stopped, how would I feel? Answer:DEVASTATED
Seems simple so far, yeah I agree, but now we are coming into Fall. The weather is changing, very soon having a visit outside will be impossible due to weather and I won’t move on her being in my home. So what do I do?

I have friends telling me to just tell her to go to Hell and stop her seeing them. I have other friends telling me that she never bothered with them when she seem them everyday so it’ll be no big loos to her……. I could go on and on sharing folks views, truth is I didn’t dwell on it too much. I thought she would get bored or distracted with seeing them and to an extent she has, the time periods between her visits are getting longer and longer. She has made some noises abut when she gets settled in her new place, having them overnight (Yeah, NO). Then BOOM, I get a text, see her name and assume its another visit with the dogs, OH NO, not this time. This time its a cryptic ‘I’ve left an envelope for you at your Dads. Of course I had to go see what it contained and lo and behold it’s money, which is half the current book price of the car we had, half the price of the last repair I paid for and £50 which she had itemised to help with dog food and licenses. All very civilised right? Wrong, also enclosed was a little hand written note telling me that I obviously don’t care about her feelings and that’s only to be expected but it really upsets her seeing and leaving the dogs, and that she doesn’t want to cause them or her unnecessary upset. She goes on to thank me for letting her see the dogs. I am standing looking at this white, lines piece of paper, reading and rereading it. I must have read that note a hundred different ways. Different inflections in my tone, breaking down the sentence structure. I stuffed it back in the envelope with the money determined to tell her to shove the whole lot where the sun doesn’t shine. It wasn’t my finest hour.

So for the next few days and nights, this damn piece of paper wove itself into my thoughts. I swung between pissed to apathy and everything in between.
So I don’t care about her feelings? I have done nothing but accomodate her visiting them, I am polite when she is there but I don’t want to talk about anything other than the weather. I chose to not hear about what she’s doing and I make a point of not sharing anything personal with her. While it might seem a little tense, it’s civil and at least the dogs get to explore the garden without their leashes. If I didn’t care about her feelings, I wouldn’t let her see the dogs. I would have started proceedings to sue her for half the debt she has left me with. I don’t have any interest in what she’s doing, where or with whom. We are no longer together and our relationship didn’t have any offspring of the human variety, so I don’t need to see her and I don’t need to let her see the dogs. Honestly right now if I could chose to never run into her again or have to take the dogs to ‘visit’ I’d be ok with that. I honestly thought I would find a void without her in my life, the truth is I haven’t. This sounds harsh but it is the truth. Am I being a bitch, honestly I think everyone will have varying views on this subject.

So what’s next? What do I do with the money? I wish I had an all knowing, all wise guru to give me the answer. Alas they seem to be in short supply. Should I just give her back the £50 she allocated for the dogs?, that way she can’t say she maintains them and has a ‘obligation’ or ‘right’ to see them. I know this would hurt her and no doubt she and her circle of friends would read into this, I wouldn’t do it simply to hurt her, I just need her to know that I am responsible now for these hairy brutes, and that her token £50 is not anything I want or need. As for the rest of it I run between giving it all back to her, or spending it on something ridiculous. Maybe I should donate it to an animal shelter. I just don’t want that envelope with money in my house or anywhere near me. It’s been almost 3 weeks since she’s texted and I know she will be in contact in the near future. So the clock is ticking on any decision I make. Do I use a magic 8 Ball?, try and find a crystal ball? or a helpful Gypsy?

Decisions, decisions. The last thing I have discovered? It sucks to be an adult!.
For now I enjoy the little things, and I wait for the next adult decision. There isn’t a manual or self help guide for this, what I do know is that life is far to short and wonderful to waste worrying about the impending doom of a text message or hastily scribbled note.

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Filed under March 2013

Adulting Sucks A$$

It’s 2.43am in the morning of Thursday 15th April 2016. I believe now that I am on the home strait of finally seeing the end goal of having somewhere new to live and to start the next chapter of my life.

The house has been sold, so I’m in the process of decluttering. I have been RUTHLESS!! which anyone who knows me, will understand how this is the exact opposite of how I am. I have found clearing ‘rubbish’ or deciding if I need to keep a box of VHS tapes or the floppy discs that I stumbled across very freeing.

Normally I detest change, avoid throwing things away, just in case in the pending Zombie apocalypse I might need that half used glue stick or the Gameboy SP. I think in some ways it has been as if I am clearing history, letting go off the acquired junk. Then I realised it wasn’t erasing history but ensuring that the path ahead is free from any clutter of the past relationship. Clutter….some memories or just possessions that we had gathered up together, possessions now we are apart either seemed laced with infectious irony or just meaningless material items that I no longer gain pleasure from.

I’ve watched my ex through this time sorting pictures and letters etc. she seems to have slowed down in her urgency to for a complete finality to us or defined end.

 

Declutter

Declutter

I’m throwing things away under the reasoning of
Have I looked for it?
Will I need to use it in the next two weeks?
Is it irreplaceable?
If the answers to these three questions were NO, then I happily tossed it out. I didn’t worry that someone else might need it, or in six months I might suddenly wake in a panic wondering where my roller skates from 1986 where????
(Side note. I would kill myself if I were to even contemplate skating let alone find a way to magically shrink my feet back to the size they were!)

Strangely I am looking forward to the challenges of creating my new home, colours, decorating, heck even housework knowing it’s my mess, my house, and taking care of it I am running scenarios in my head, which are no longer scary but actually optimistic and maybe evcen filled with a little hope.

By now I know you’re thinking so, you sound happy, things are progressing when’s the BUT coming?
The BUT, has the form of my furry family. I am owned and loved my five furry little gremlins, who make sure I don’t oversleep when they need out to bark at any pending danger, such as next doors cat washing herself. They make sure I know it’s time to eat, and in case I might forget they have an established ritual of jumping on my head, or barking at me to ensure I’m not asleep and that I know if they are not fed in the next thirty seconds they will pass away from starvation!
Cute-Puppies-Wallpaper
They are my comfort when it’s a bad pain day, my entertainment when a butterfly dive bombs them, and my fiercest , most loyal defenders, who create a fur wall between me and any impending threats. If you pass their sniffing test you might be allowed into the house, as for sitting too close to me, well that’s another story. They do however take their lead from me, they understand when I tell them someone’s ok, or a friend and safe to come into our domain. They also know when I use the ‘Mom’ voice that it’s time to listen.

They are tiny in stature, but in their minds they are mighty, ferocious beasts. They are my pride and absolute joy. Two of my little dudes are qualified and working therapy dogs. I cannot find the words to express how this proud this makes me, that these little guys trust me enough to share their amazing talents with other people. We work primarily with special needs kids, of all ages. The kids are stunned to see a dog arrive for class, they clamber for their turn to stroke or talk with the dog/dogs. Listening to a child with an incredibly debilitating speech impediment, read fluently to this furry little dude, who cocked his head to listen, who watched him intently but always without judgement. My little guy didn’t realise they were reading about ‘The Cat In The Hat’, he just believed they were telling him what an awesome little furry guy he was. My lil men, take their job seriously and happily accept having their nose cleaned by a helpful child when they sneeze, or wearing boxers on a visit because one of the kids was having issues wearing boxers and not his pull up nappy.westie My lil men listened to stories told in an indecipherable way to us silly adults, but in a way that made total sense to that little girl. I watched my little men, lean into the child,  as they showed them the pictures in their books. I watched as they could walk into a classroom and know instinctively which child needed them that day, whether it was a belly rub, or a lick to their hands just to let them know, it was go to be ok. I could type pages and pages retelling the funny stories and incredible miracles that I was privileged enough to witness.
In a radio interview, when I was asked to describe it, I told them ‘It’s just like watching real Harry Potter magic’ I just hold the leash, they do all the work.

My ex has decided that she wants to contribute to their food, vet bills etc In theory sounds great. In practice I believe it will toxic. Paying towards their various needs will allow her an excuse to come ‘visit’ them, spend time with them. She knows I won’t let them out of my sight so that would involve her knowing where I live and having a reason to call.
She couldn’t be bothered with them when she lived here, I truly don’t believe it will serve any good purpose to accept her money. I would prefer she didn’t help with their costs and just left them and I to get on with our journey.

Selfish? HELL Yeah!!! I don’t want the complication, the toxicity, the drama. I know in her own way she is fond of them. With her working full time she at least was sensible enough to agree they should be with me, as I’m home and have more time for them. Will I agree that she can come see them, in theory, probably. I truly believe that the notion or novelty of her seeing them will wear off and eventually fizzle out. The question is whether or not I can suck up my misgivings and fears to allow her to get bored with her ‘dog visits’ ?
It sucks being an adult! I hate that I am feeling bad for her in case she is missing the dogs, and I know I would be devastated if I had been kept from them. It would have been so much easier if I could just be a bitch and tell hadulter NO………..

I honestly don’t know what the outcome will be. Some days I can see clearly what I should do and other days I cannot see my hand in front of my face. I think it will be one of those decisions that I can’t make until its the only decision left to make.
Again being an adult is truly CRAP!

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Filed under March 2013

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things..

Funny I couldn’t even type that title without singing it. I have found myself enjoying alot of ‘firsts’

For the first time in almost 27 years I now have a car that’s mine, I don’t have to schedule when I need it, I don’t have to explain where I am going or with whom. I am not complaining in any way, I still have to pinch myself every time I open the door and see it in my driveway. I wonder if I’m reluctant to enjoy it because I’m waiting for the universal ‘HAHAHA ONLY JOKING!!’, and for it all to come crumbling down. Ever the pessimist!!

Finding things where I know I left or put them is so pleasing. I realise that might sound trite or petty, but the amount of ‘missing’ items I have now discovered inside a plastic bag, which has been tied and stored inside 3 or 4 more plastic bags!!!

Doing what I need to and want to, without having to think about anything but getting back to walk the dogs or let them out for a toilet break is truly the strangest and most freeing feeling.
I have decided to celebrate the little things. Enjoying having a little Scooby doo on top of my rear view mirror, pleases me. scoobyHaving an R2-D2 vanilla air freshener , pleases me, while smelling great!

Remembering the handbrake is on the dashboard and not on the floor, makes me grin each time I get it right. Admittedly each time I reach to the floor it makes me laugh, so it’s a win, win. I think now I delight in little things, which before I either didn’t notice or or found redundant. I create vinyl graphics for friends, either for their cars or to put on shirts etc.
Having the opportunity to now design something for my jeep, or  just for the spare tyre on the back pleases me and I’ve found a little intimidating, cuz my friends are asking what I’m gonna create for it, or are offering various suggestions. It’s so much easier to create for friends than make a decision for what I would like. It’s a great quandary to have, and most likely when you next check back I will still be procrastinating about what I want to see on it, if anything.

For tonight, I am enjoying a few of my favourite things, spending time with my dogs, indulging my Youtube viewing addiction, while munching chips dipped in ketchup (Seriously try it!)

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Filed under March 2013

Mourning For ‘The What Ifs’

For almost 6 months now I have been single and have experienced everything from guilt, emotional pain, remorse, despair but yet I have slowly come to the realization that the overwhelming emotion I have been battling in my dreams, the strange ache in the pit of my stomach is not for the loss of a 26 year relationship, or a woman I once loved, but it is grief.

Grief and mourning for the children I will never get to hold, the little hands that wont reach up around my neck when they’re tired or afraid. Lately my sleep has been interspersed with mini movie reels of what I have always secretly yearned for but chose to not pursue for a myriad of reasons, not least that my ex didn’t want children, and in fact didn’t even like to be around little people.

It was not a decision I came to lightly. When we met I was 16 and never thought that I would be loved by anyone, never thought a same sex relationship would be tolerated in the tiny country village in which I live.
In my mind I always pictured an old fashioned brass weighing scale, where on one side there were kids, marriage, family life etc and on the other a same sex relationship with someone I loved, who loved me. Depending on my mood, the scales balance would shift daily.

It never occurred to me that I could have both, or that 10, 20 years later I could still have had both. The first few years of our relationship were spent hiding, trying to be safe and keep each other safe. Knowing that we had huge targets on our back, but it was the 2 of us against the world. We would be the ones to make it and show them all.

I’ve worked with and volunteered with children for as long as I can remember. A room full of little people at a Birthday party I delighted in. Folks telling me that I should be a Teacher or work with special needs kids as I seemed to have a talent or knack for it, while pleasing to hear, simply hurt. Each time it was mentioned I wanted to explain why these little kids were my pure joy, but I doubt anyone would have taken me seriously. I will never forget reading about Hans Christen Anderson, this amazing storyteller found his audience with children, quite by accident. He discovered they listened to him without judgement or mockery when he told his magical tales, and to them it didn’t matter that he suffering from a debilitating stammer. I can still recall the book in my hands, how the ink smelled, the picture of him sitting at a fountain with a gaggle of eager little people hanging on his every word, my tears fell silently onto the beautiful illustration, because in that instant it was as if they were writing about me.

It wasn’t because I had a talent with children, it was that they had patience for me. One goofy adult who would play their games, listen to their stories, answer their questions and never seen a frown or judgement when I stuttered or stumbled over a word or got too excited and couldn’t string 2 words together.

I used to daydream of a ‘normal’ life, the kind you would see in a 1950’s ad for the perfect home, white picket fence, you get the picture. Alas the reality was just the opposite, we had to live a life that was simply fraught with anxiety, stress and secrecy. Only now it has occurred to me that for almost all of our relationship the only safe place was inside our home, behind locked doors. The result of which was we were either so exhausted from the pretence that when we got home we collapsed and dozed in front of the tv or did ‘our’ own things or we forgot that it was safe to be close with each other, affectionate with each other.

Tonight I watched by new Great Niece coo and blow bubbles as my Sister held her. I adore this child, and love seeing her change daily and watch my Niece become the most amazing Mother, but it also causes me a little hurt, or pang of the ‘what ifs’.

I know that I could foster, volunteer in any number of ways, but for now I think I need to spend a little time working through this new found emotion that has manifested itself in dreams etc.

While I make peace with the choices I made, the decisions I felt were the correct ones at the time, I get to watch this new human being, grow, change and become everything she can be. My new start, new place to live will also be blessed with a ring side seat of being involved in this little ladies life and getting to watch her blossom.
I’ll also be able to tell her stories of her Mom growing up, how alike they are, and how at one of the lowest points in my life she taught me to revel in the little things. To enjoy the smiles, to blow bubbles and to sing silly songs because it makes us both happy.

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Filed under March 2013

Being Gay And Guilty Of Stereotyping

I had the pleasure of attending my friends Wedding Blessing. They were celebrating 33 wonderful years together and decided to renew their vows. I can honesty say I have never experienced anything quite like it nor do I think I ever will again.

wedding handsThe Service the was mostly organised by the Wife of the couple, her Husband was happy to be a statue and stand where he was bid. He would have stood there naked if it would have pleased his lovely wife.

There I am sitting in the pew, waiting for it all to begin and I noticed the Minister. He was an older Gentleman, small in stature but he had the most compelling voice. He introduced himself and welcomed my friRoman-Collarend and I to the Church. Turns out he is the reigning World Champion in Flower Arranging. Mac, as he introduced himself to us, never mentioned this, in fact had it not been mentioned in the Thank you speech, none of us would have been any the wiser.

As the Service continued, I should have been focussed on my friends but I couldn’t take my eyes of Mac. There was something just so familiar about him, I suspect he just had the gift of making everyone feel like a friend. At the end of the service my friend arrived over to us with Mac and another guy on her arm. The other guy, was the opposite of Mac, over 6ft tall, manicured nails, designer glasses, couture suit, aftershave that wafted around us, making me want to enquire its make. I shook hands with Mac again, adorned in his Ministerial Robes and turned to shake the hand of this handsome stranger and to my utter shock and disbelief as I’m shaking his hand, he’s introduced as Macs Husband.

As the reception continued, I found myself musing, if I had some internal notion that Ministers should be celibate, or must be straight. Maybe it was the fact I had looked at Mac, this small, elderly man and decided he had to have a typical Ministers wife at home, who would make sure his attire was neat and tidy and he had his glasses with him. Why shouldn’t he have a husband?
Why couldn’t or shouldn’t a Minster be gay?
Should the Flower arranging title have been a stereotypical clue?

As I started to munch through a ham sandwich, I wondered if there were other preconceived notions I had or held about other folks?
I like to think I am open and accepting of anyone, no matter race, creed, size or shape, but today I had written this enigmatic older Gentleman off as a retired Minster who must have a home maker wife. His Husband came over and sat at the table my friend and I were at.
What an interesting man. He talked with passion on many different topics. He made me laugh when he talked about Mac forgetting where he had left his reading glasses, only to discover they were on top of his head.

The tone of his voice, softened as he playfully teased Mac and you could easily hear that it was in jest and he was indeed proud of his Husbands many different achievements, his World Champion Status, his standing in the Church. They way they smiled at each other, the twinkle in each others eyes made me yearn for something similar.

For the first time since the end of my current relationship, when asked if I was with someone, I confirmed my single status. The words sounded so strange coming out of my mouth, but after they were said I actually felt more at ease. We spent the rest of the afternoon critiquing Celebrity outfits and decided we obviously had much better taste than they!

Two days have past and I still find myself reflecting to Mac and his delightful Husband. The incorrect assumptions I had made, the look of surprise I tried to hide when we were introduced.
How can I be outraged and pissed off when someone makes an incorrect assumption about me when I am just as guilty as they are?

My hope is that this chance encounter with a delightful new couple will teach me a valuable lesson. You truly cannot judge someone, based on a two second glance. I would have missed out on a delightful afternoon in their company.

So what did I learn?

Never judge a Minister by his job,
never assume you will suddenly have these gay spidey sense that will tingle and alert you to every other LGBT person in a 1 mile vicinity to me.

Oh yes, I almost forgot. I can say I am recently single without bursting into flames and complimenting a gay man on his aftershave ensures you a BFF for life.

 

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Filed under March 2013

Fun Sized Future Hero

As a family, we have been blessed with a new baby girl. She is my Great Niece, sleepingwhich still seems strange saying it, but stranger still she is my Twin Brothers first Grandchild.

My Bro and I have grown closer the older we get. His wife passed away almost 2 years ago, so this little lady has been something/one for them all to focus on. He is truly head over heels in love with this little girl. He was always a very hands on Dad, but I have a feeling he’s going to be a very attentive Grandpa as well.

When I look at my Bro, I still see a goofy kid that was a pain in my ass, who loves fast cars, UFC, Smokie And The Bandit Movies and has never met a flavour of ice cream he didn’t like!smokey
These things I remember with fondness but the things that I truly associate with this man now, revolve around the love of his life, his two girls and his new love this beautiful baby.  As a single Dad he never missed a step, he took each blow that came his way and even had the hard conversations, the embarrassing conversations. His children know he loves them unconditionally and that he would gladly take  bullet for them, or kill anyone that would be stupid enough to hurt them.  He works hard, and expects nothing but the same from the folks he surrounds himself with.

Watching this tall, hairy beast of a mountain man singing softly to his Granddaughter would melt the coldest heart. I know he misses his wife, they had been High School sweethearts. She passed leaving behind a 21 year old and a 14 year old. I know as proud as he is to hold his precious Granddaughter his heart his heavy and aching knowing how much his wife would have loved all of this, the build up, the excitement and ultimately the healthy arrival of a new life.

It occurred to me when this brand new little girl comes of age that she hopefully won’t have to face alot of the prejudices, that exist today. Everything from women being paid less for carrying out the same job as their male counterparts to having someone judge her character on which sex she chooses to sleep with.
I find myself chuckling as I type this, my mind racing with the ridiculous things that will be obsolete. The idea of her not having to fulfil the archaic roles that women notoriously have been pushed and moulded into makes me wonder how she will react to me when I share my ‘In My Day’ stories. She’ll be 18 and I’ll be 62. It will no longer matter whom she will chose to love as long as they’re a good person, treat her well and realises my Brother will inflict harm to anyone that causes her heartache.

I struggle to picture these changes. Will we ever have a time where people will just be people. A time when it wont matter about how much money you make or what car you drive. A time where there will not be world hunger, child abuse, starvation, the list goes on and on. I wonder will there still be Pandas, Elephants, Whales, Giraffes living in their natural habitats or will she only hear about these amazing creatures in books and listening to stories?

My youngest Niece is 16 and fiercely defends her family and extended family regardless of topic or choice. I hate that she has to defend me, but makes me proud and humble that she does so willingly. For her she doesn’t have a ‘Gay Aunt’, she simply has an Aunt who will let her away with most things, buys the cool gifts, stand in line over night with her for boy band tickets and an Aunt who will come pick her up whenever she calls, no questions asked or explanation needed.

Now she gets to be the ‘Funtime Aunt’ to this new little life. I watch her cradle her and sing her the latest One Direction songs or explain in depth to her about which one is the better looking and why. I wonder how many late night phone calls she’ll be woken up by, needing a ride home. How many times she’ll be the lender of money?, How many times she’ll roll her eyes while listening to the latest music sensation, or how many cuddles she’ll willingly offer up when needed or just because.

If I have done my job correctly this 3 week old little baby is going to be spoilt, indulged and know that when she feels the world is against her she always has someone that will be her cheer leader in her corner.  I suspect that I will still be called upon for the latest ‘clothes trend’ purchase, but if truth be told I love that at 16 she still wants to come hang out, watch the latest movies and dance along to the latest pop song. I love that she makes sure I have my meds with me while we’re out and even takes me to task when I don’t. She still wants to climb into bed beside me to watch Saturday morning cartoons while she munches through my cereal and spill orange juice on the bed.

superheroMy Great Niece has an amazing Aunt, who is going to be one of her heroes. I know because she’s already one of mine

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Filed under March 2013

TIME MISMANAGED

26 years, 312 months, 8736 days, all units of time gone. We had been together 26 years and almost 2 months when suddenly we weren’t, if this were a cartoon strip at this point there would be a spiked KABOOM!

broken-hourglassI start 2016 as a single woman, I have not been single since I was 16 years old. I never got to be the rebellious teenager, or party too hard with my friends, I wonder what did I miss out on.

Starting to unravel two entangled lives is alot more work than you might at first think. Mortgages, car, animals, possessions, lol, that’s before you factor in the emotional nuclear fallout of being blind-sided by the one person in this world you were sure would never tell you they didn’t love you anymore.

She had decided that living and loving someone with a chronic illness was not what she had signed on for, nor wanted. Suddenly I had gone from being the main breadwinner, the workaholic, the adult almost, even though she was ten years older than I.
I became the one making sure the bills were paid and the details taken care of. She was everything I wanted and I treated her as if she were a precious diamond, making sure she had money, motorbikes, cars, anything she mentioned. It’s what I had watched my Dad do with my Mom. He bought her everything he thought she even might have a fleeting interest in, looking back now I wonder if she would have traded it all for more time with him, to watch a movie, take a walk, eat a meal together.

Please don’t think I am portraying myself as a martyr or that I am completely innocent and am a disabled person whose partner of 26 years just dumped and ran out on. I am as equally responsible as she is in all this. The more time that passes the more I see how how sad I was….., we were. How we were together but only on parallel paths, occasionally crossing the streams to create magical times, experiences, memories, but enevitably resuming our parallel paths of co-existence.

We had a rocky start, with my parents deciding she was a pedophile and taking advantage of their naive brainiac daughter. I was under parental house arrest until 18, when I left home. This was my Birthday present to myself, for us. I had chosen her and our future over my controlling parents and we were fugitives fighting the system, fighting everyone’s negative opinions and fighting to prove we were going to make it and beat the odds as well as living a closeted gay couple, confused yet?

 

When she decided we were no longer a couple, I had known something wasn’t right. The secrecy around her phone, the nights out with her ‘friends’, the wedding parties and events she attended alone, damn even PRIDE was her and her friends while I watched the parade pass without so much as an acknowledgement.
I let these things wash past me, I knew she worked hard every day, I didn’t want her to have to be stuck in the house looking at four walls because I was ill or because she felt trapped. The very least I could do was make sure she had the money she needed to go out, to go on the trips, collect her and make sure she was safe after a night of partying. Taxis are unpredictable, not always safe and expensive, here we can add several other explanations or rationale I applied to these events over an over.

Here we need to backup a little. A little relationship history might help make things clearer. We had been together a little over 7 years. My day revolved around work, home, repeat. At this stage the internet was only free at the weekend, which limited my use of it,  and since I don’t watch tv, I would invariably end up passing out when I got home,  while she made sure she got to watch all her recorded programs. We even joked the tv schedule was like her diary, something she’d have to check before she could commit to any social event……anything really.

I was bored, isolated and living the ‘successful gay couple dream’ but something was missing, as to what that was,  what I had no idea. I enjoyed the internet and with the introduction of chat forums I was able to find myself cutting up with folks from all over the world. Enjoying like minded views, arguing the finer points of the latest geek theory.
We would both be in the living room, she would be glued to her tv shows and I would reach for my headphones and pop in to a chat forum to enjoy the banter.
Bluegreyeyes40, sent me an im and told me that my screen name was cute. Little did I know that would start an affair with a woman who lived on the other side of the world.
Suddenly I was that woman, the cheater. I was so against anyone who could ‘step out’ on their partner and suddenly I was that person. I was able to manipulate, lie, and travel back and forth to the States. I had no idea what I was doing but I was addicted, she was like a drug, like the air I needed to breathe. In my head I always knew I would never leave my relationship and that I was so sure she would come to her senses, turn away from her googlebox and see me. In my mind the affair I was having didn’t really count. I was delusional, I stood to lose everything but I couldn’t help myself, I was like a moth drawn to a flame.

The affair ended it had ran it’s course and I resolved that I would work harder on our relationship. By now we had been together 14 years, I started to believe my dalliance was something that just happened out of circumstance, right? Wrong…
I started to believe that everyone  had blips and thus worked harder to make things better. I tried, I took emotional blows and I accepted them gladly this was my punishment for the affair, so ‘suck it up Buttercup’
Suddenly I saw her someone who someone who said things without thinking that often caused offence or required I offered an explanation to people, someone that I no longer looked at through rose coloured glasses and I needed to find more and more inventive reasons in my head as to why we were together. During this time we had made the mistake of working together and nothing kills a relationship like that. I was her Boss and while I was chewing her out for some mistake, she would shoot back something that was personal and had nothing to do with the work at hand. I was trying to make sure she was safeguarded from any errors or hassles, all I did was come across as controlling. Add to that the Bosses Father in law who decided that I would be his next play project. He needed to get this gay abomination out of a job. It resulted in both of us being made redundant, he gave us cheques that were severance and a bribe to f@@k off into the clear blue yonder and never bother him again.
She was distraught and I was defeated, impotent. She didn’t want to go the legal route and take that Bastard out by the roots, I wanted to fight, show that ignorant buffoon we were people, who worked hard and not just a gay couple that were an abomination in his eyes. She wanted to just move on, she was embarrassed and upset, I felt I had caused this and the very least I could do was show her I would support her choices.

She quickly found employment and I ended up with a couple of chronic illnesses that would remove my ability to work. Suddenly I am home all day, everyday. She going to work and I was wasn’t. I was consumed by guilt, and self pity. I had lost my ability to earn an honest living, I was weak, just  a pathetic excuse of a human being. You can see where my self pity was spiralling. I wasn’t taking care of anything in the house, laundry, dishes, food. I was sick and angry, more frustrated than a mouse in  a maze.
We both were trying to adapt and not be a burden, and we didn’t communicate any of this to each other. We didn’t talk about the weather, the news……. It seemed that our time was spent with her asking how I was and me telling her I was fine no matter how much pain I was enduring. I thought I was protecting her and she wasn’t sure just how ill I was.

Tick, tick, months passed they turned into years. Someone along the way we had stopped being physical. Not just sex, but those hugs, touching, reaching for each other. I decided since I was ill and had gained weight I was a burden, unattractive and she didn’t find me physically attractive any more, add to this the self pity and loathing and I had my own purgatory that must be pay back for my affair. Trouble is I never spoke to her about it, I’d been the one to have the affair so it was only fair that took this on the chin.

So much time wasted, resentment grew but my guilt was a buffer. This was my punishment for choices I alone had made and the very least I could do is endure it and not bitch and whine about it.

Again I feel I need to reiterate I am not a martyr, nor do I want your sympathy. I was as guilty of having choices that could have led us down a different path, and I didn’t.  The next number of years were no different, we co-existed locked in each other worlds but apart, the chasm grew and neither of us acknowledged it, or perhaps we didn’t want to.

She is gifted musically and can sing like an angel. She got involved with a ‘gay only’ choir and that chasm I mentioned before suddenly became a celestial black hole. I felt pushed aside and as much as I resented this, decided that the sins of my past were dictating our future. Single invites when other couples were invited, never meeting her new friends, never having their numbers that would have been useful the one night no one could contact her and we were all convinced she was laying dead in a ditch from a car crash. The list could go on and on and the whole time I was able to blur the lines between reality and my guilt fuelled need to accept a situation that was making us both miserable. Again let me share at no point before or after any of these events did we think to talk to each other about how we felt. I don’t allow myself to wonder about the what ifs.

Instead I chose to draw in the sand. I now chose to look forward. I now only want to find somewhere to live, that’s close to my immediate family that I can afford. Sounds straightforward, right? I’ve skipped the part where the house needs to be ‘made ready’ to sell.
The part where everything that is ‘mine’ has to be sorted through, packed up and perhaps temporarily stored in a friends garage if I haven’t found anywhere to live and the house is sold. The fear that simply typing that causes throughout my mind feels insurmountable.
I have been making phonecalls, filling in paperwork, filing paperwork, seeking advice about what type of housing I could be entitled to. All while she stayed with her BFF, yet calling everyday so she could watch her recorded programs under the guise of spending time with the dogs. It offered me the opportunity to use the car for a couple of hours. Leaving the four walls was simply blissful, but then paranoia kicked in. What was she doing while I wasn’t there?
Who was coming into the house?
What was being taken out of the house?
As hard as I tried to quieten these voices in my head that were screaming at me, I just couldn’t. She was now a stranger to me and I couldn’t trust her ever again. The irony of this is not lost on me. Here I am the cheater who can’t trust someone who had the good sense to say ‘enough’

Do I think she cheated? I truly don’t know
Do I think she knows I did? I truly don’t know
However. What I do know with absolute certainty is that ‘settling’, or ‘making do’ is NEVER an acceptable choice or option. Staying quiet for the sake of the status quo, simply is too high a price to pay.  Fighting for a relationship no matter what the odds is only acceptable if you are willing to talk about the hard things, ask the hard questions and ultimately be willing to be open to the idea that, it’s just not meant to be.

If you have endured this lengthy post until now, please know I share it so that perhaps someone might stop just long enough to ask themselves if they are happy.
If you’re not happy, simply accepting it, whether through guilt, misguiding loyalty or just because is too high a price to pay. Life is too short to be miserable, no matter how scary the truth might be.Regrets, what ifs, or mourning for children not born or a life path not chosen is a waste of effort and only perpetuates pain.
Dance to the tune in your head, watch movies wrapped up in a comforter together all day with your cellphones switched off, eat dessert for breakfast, know that a fleeting glance shared with each other that warms you from the inside out should be the reason that ‘settling’ is never a viable choice.

Just remember, please, having the courage to accept it’s over, is the last act of love you can share with each other.

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Filed under March 2013