Feelings and Words

I’m terrible at putting my feelings into words, no matter which language. But I tried, and tried again, and eventually, something resembling sense came out.

Y knows now that I want more than an “enjoying the moment” relationship with him. He knows that I want to share life with him, because of the person he is. He also knows that I’m broody, and that all barriers I had in that respect – being scared of starting over, sleepless nights, organising work around family and all that – have disappeared over the course of the last few months. He knows how much I value the time we’ve spent together so far. He knows that I feel he has helped me understand that it’s possible to feel totally comfortable with somebody. Comfortable enough to stop sucking in your belly fat. He knows that as I’ve been getting to know him better and better, I’ve discovered more and more precious parts of his personality. I haven’t found anything that has turned me off, or that has become boring over time.

I still know considerably less in that respect. I did rather bulldozer into our calm and cuddly as usual time together with this today, and I wasn’t expecting a full answer. At least I know that he’s not running away scared. He wanted to know whether I felt I have been wasting time with him. He also wanted to know whether we need to change anything between us immediately.

We don’t. I just needed him to know that I’m in for a shared future, and that I’m ready for that now. I told him that I need to know from him whether he wants any of that. If he doesn’t, I would indeed be wasting my time from that point onward. If he does, let’s see how we make it happen. ❤️

Now I’m going to switch off from that and just give him time. Maybe I’ll have to increase my yoga, and listen to a lot of Bach to switch off properly. I’m proud of myself for talking about this today. I nearly postponed it, but then pulled myself together after all. And I nearly managed to say everything I was going to say, though it didn’t turn out as eloquently as I had intended.

Conflicts

I haven’t been agreeing with Y’s choices lately. I think he is behaving recklessly, and putting himself at unnecessary risk, as well as indirectly putting me and my kids at risk (and others, but I’m putting my family and myself at the center of my concerns here).

It came up, because the last few decisions caused me to decide that we wouldn’t be seeing each other for a few days, because I felt the risk was indeed too high just now.

I was feeling frustrated too, for so many reasons that go much deeper that anything I have told him so far.

I felt frustrated because he’s more than intelligent enough to take care – but he’s choosing not to. Also because I trust this man, but his decisions are making me doubt the trust I feel. I want him in my life more – but do I, if he’s choosing unwisely? I want him to be more present with the kids too, and have actual relationships with all of them. But do I want them to be confronted with the reckless behaviour? I definitely don’t want them to be exposed to it. I want his reliability, something I greatly appreciate in him. But I need him to be reliable when I’m not directly involved too, and at the same time I know that this is a lot to ask and a step in the relationship that definitely crosses the line from casual / relaxed to pretty serious.

Still, conflicts with him never cease to amaze me. He asked yesterday whether I was frustrated or angry – he could sense something was off although we were just texting. I delivered.

He made the mistake of trying to make a distracting joke (while owning that he gets my point), but I wasn’t having any of that.

Anytime we’re in some sort of conflict, he doesn’t invest in defending himself. He simply wants to know what the issue is and to understand where I’m coming from (yes, it’s always me who complains…). He then carefully puts his standpoint into words, or simply apologizes and vows to do better or to take my points into consideration in future.

And then actually does that.

In other words, he has never veered off into unconstructive back and forth. It’s always constructive, trying to understand the problem, and to create mutual understanding of the situation and then to solve it.

How crazy is that!

I believe I tend to do the same. I stay calm, I try to stay objective and try to feel into the other person’s point of view. It’s the first time I’m in the receiving end of this type of conflict management though, and it totally blows my mind and soul. Conflict actually increases the trust I have in Y, rather than creating hurt that needs time to heal.

Crazy.

I’ve dealt with my frustration too. Frustration, as I told Y yesterday, is a solo feeling, and I would take care of it. I vented to myself and the furniture yesterday, and later went for a run, deliberately pushing myself and shedding the negative feelings. I know there are things I still need to talk about with Y, but they are now disconnected from the immediate frustration I was feeling yesterday. And now I can’t wait for a few days to pass, hopefully without any signs of illness on his side, so that we can see each other again.

Can’t Sleep

Things are on the brink of changing. I’m on edge, and I can’t sleep.

They don’t have to change; I want them to change. I finally have a clear picture of what I want, and it’s not a career-chasing single mum life with disposable relationships here and there.

Goodness knows how this will turn out, and what I’ll feel compelled to do. Goodness knows when I will be able to sleep well again.

Rolling Out of another Year

This year has certainly been – different. We moved house, the kids are all going to school, Y and I are still a thing (I can’t help being amazed at the same time as being happy!), Corona came and changed how we do things, long distance happened, D and I are in irregular but distantly friendly contact, I have actual responsibility in my now full-time job, I’m going to be working from home for the foreseeable future, I’m learning a new language, and for once, I actually feel excited about my birthday. I think the last time that happened was when I turned 17.

Some things haven’t changed though: I still turn to yoga for stability, calm and basic body care, my kids still think I’m weird (in a good and amusing way), I’m running to feel strong and capable (again), and I still start projects light-heartedly that then scare me as soon as I’ve irrevocably started and make me look rather badass, when actually I’m just wondering how I could be so silly as to think I could do it myself, again.

Case in point: I recently ripped out a brick wall and dry wall and then redid the somewhat raw wall I found underneath, and also changed the plumbing and the electric stuff that was just loosely hanging between the real wall and the dry wall.

I didn’t put all those cabinets in – the guys delivering them did that. I’m proud of my work on that wall, but I’m also doubting my sanity.

Let’s see what this next year brings. I haven’t thought about goals or anything like that – a healthy sleeping pattern would be a sensible goal (she wrote at 1am…), but for now I think I’ll just enjoy feeling excited and loved up, and get myself to bed for another far too short night of sleep.

Reset

What do I want? Am I where I want to be? Am I the person I want to be? Am I really and truly happy?

Sometimes life can be too full to ask those questions. Sometimes the answers are too messy to be looked straight in the eye. Sometimes they are too painful to confront.

My answer is a painful no at the moment.

What do I want? I want stability, a partner, I want to know that I am not alone with decisions and responsibilities (although for some I will always be alone of course). Do I have any of that? No.

Am I where I want to be? I want to be able to stop worrying about financials. I want to be available as a parent without overdoing it. I want to be a partner to a capable adult human being and know that person is also my partner. I want to feel that I have enough time and energy to do my job well. I don’t. I’m so used to making up for the gaps in parenting on t’s side that I forget that the kids are old enough to take on more responsibility than I am expecting from them. I feel alone with every decision -although I have people to talk about decisions with, nobody will be “in it with me”. There is nobody who wants me to be in it with them, either. My energy is lacking, although I’m doing my best to eat well, and take care of myself.

Am I the person I want to be? I feel I should be a stronger parent, and have stronger boundaries for how others treat me. I am letting myself be pushed to one side, and it makes me furious at myself. I’m exhausted from the noise in my head. I’m taking steps – I’m back running, and doing yoga. I’m trying to improve my sleeping patterns. I’m speaking up when I feel hurt, not accusingly, but just to explain why I feel hurt.

Am I really and truly happy? No. I’ve let the pandemic situation roll me over. I’ve spent so much time indoors, alone, because I was frightened. I let myself become enclosed, and I let the noise in my head take over. I’ve let my expectations take over, and although they were not unfounded, I have led myself into a disappointing situation in which my desires are being met, but my needs are not.

Time to reset those standards. Time to find that pool of inner strength and independence again, and to walk with certitude. With all the practise, I should be getting good at this soon.

Catching Up

I’m still amazed at how drama free Y and I are together, and have been through these last six months of being apart. I mentioned that to him, and, quite typically, he thought it was amusing that I would even find it worth mentioning. Why would I think about how it would be if we were different than we are? Because how else should we be, but drama free, considering that we are both levelheaded, and not attracted to drama in the first place?

Catching up felt as if there was no need to catch up. The feeling of missing each other was gone instantly, as if the last six months had not been real time, but had just that second shrunk into insignificance. Catching up felt like everything was just right again after a stormy night.

The main difference for me is a deep feeling of being deeply content. I had missed that.

I say all this was easy and free of drama – but I really don’t want to have to do it again.

Tomorrow

Tomorrow he’ll be back, and I really can’t wait.

I’m so proud of us, too, for sliding into this being apart situation so easily, without any drama, without overcompensating, without losing touch or feeling that we were less important to each other than before, and actually growing in our relationship, rather than sailing stormy seas.

So here’s to whatever the next months may bring.

Big Baby Steps

Today I told my mum about Y.

She’s visiting, and took me out for dinner, and I had already made up my mind that I would tell her about him.

She likes the idea of who he is, and what I had to say about him. She also explored some long-term questions – like the effect of the age gap later on, and what if he wanted kids? Would I consider having more?

She’s happy that I’m with somebody who cares about me and does me good (and that he’s a musician). I’m happy that I can be open and can mention his name as freely as I do with the kids and friends.

I couldn’t have told her earlier. I certainly couldn’t have told her when he was still my “toyboy”. Then, I had to know for sure that he was not going to disappear, or that I would suddenly grow bored and change my mind. I didn’t want to have to explain again that I had been stupid and that the guy I had glowingly been talking about was no longer interested.

But after these six months of long distance situation, I am sure. I am sure that Y will be in my life for some time to come.

Cry Baby

I ALWAYS cry whenever I come across lovely stories including babies.

Birth stories? I’m a hopeless heap of tears. Big brothers and sisters meeting their new baby? Pass me the tissues. A beautiful story of a baby overcoming disease or some other kind of adversity? Good thing I’m not wearing makeup these days.

Let’s face it, I am as broody as it gets, and it’s a bit disconcerting.

I don’t really want to go all through the baby phases again. The sleepless nights, the crying, the sore nipples and sore bottoms, nappies vs elimination communication, tantrums, etc etc. It’s not something that I would choose, thinking about the whole thing rationally.

But my body seems to think differently. I’ve put on weight in all the mummy places, and I can just picture it being – perfect. Which it never is, I know that. I drink up all the baby stories, they just find me. I want to hold All The Babies, even when they’re crying. Even the whole idea of giving birth and feeling sick for at least 3 months and all the other frustrating pregnancy quirks don’t seem that bad to my hormonal self.

Thank goodness for no effort contraception. I feel safe with my IUD, safe from my crazy hormones causing me to “forget” or to assume that nothing will happen.

Saying No

It’s strange, how difficult saying no is. I said no today, but it took me a few tries.

Actually, it didn’t. I said no, but my no was ignored until repeating it for the fifth time felt so rude and just giving my phone number seemed an easier way to end the encounter.

I walk the dog post a construction site every day. I know the workers by looks, they know me. One of them, probably about 20 years younger than me, stopped me today, asking whether we could talk. I pointed to my earplugs, indicating that I was on a call (the perks of home office… Taking part in meetings while walking the dog…).

Even that wasn’t accepted. I had to insist that I was actually on a call.

“Just give me your number then! We’ll talk later!”

“No, I don’t really want to. What for anyway?”

“We’ll talk, and then we’ll figure that bit out”

“No, I’m really not interested”

“Come on, just give me your number. Don’t be like that”

“No, I don’t want to”

Then he held his phone up to my face, for me to type one my number. All while I was trying to keep track of what was going on in the meeting.

I gave up for a moment. It’s easier to just type something, and get this situation over with. I typed in the first four numbers.

Then I stopped. “No, I’m not giving you my number. Bye” I don’t know what else he said, I left him where he was; luckily the dog actually came quickly, without stopping and putting me into the awkward position of but being able to get away with the purposeful stride I needed at that moment.

Saying no should be a lot easier. Being taken seriously should be easier. I want my first no to be heard. I want my daughter’s no’s to be heard. I don’t want to have to insist or be rude or fight for my no to be taken seriously. My daughter claims she has a boyfriend, as she has already found out that this is the most effective way of getting rid of unwanted advances. We have a plan and a phone code word for if she’s being followed and can’t get rid of the guy, if that first measure doesn’t work.

It’s silly, but I’m proud that I insisted on my no today, in the end. I didn’t even try one of the potentially easier ways out, saying that I have a boyfriend, or a husband for that matter – anything to identify myself as out of bounds. I insisted on my no being accepted, by this man in the streets as well as by myself.