A Letter

Dear M

First you should know that I love you.  When I told you that I meant it. I loved you before we were together, while we were together and I will go on loving you now that it’s over.  And because I love you, I’m hurting right now. Just as I have never loved anyone like I love you, I’ve never hurt like this before. It’s a hurt that goes deep to my core and I’m not sure if it will ever truly go away.

I tried so hard to give you everything I thought you wanted. I gave you, your children, and your animals love. I treated you gently, and with respect. I worshipped your mind, body and spirit and complimented you on all three as often as I could. I admired you. I supported you, financially and emotionally. I validated you. If you needed me I was there without hesitation. I gave you my trust and told you things that I haven’t even told my closest family about.

You were my everything. I thought about you from the moment I woke up until the moment I fell asleep. I still do. When I wasn’t with you I felt like a part of me was missing. I missed your eyes, your voice, your smile, even your smell. I still do. I longed to hold you, to brush your hair, massage your shoulders, watch you bathe, and to fall asleep and wake-up in you arms. I still do.

I tried to give you everything, but it wasn’t enough. I’m sorry. I’m sorry too for the mistakes I made. I don’t feel bitter towards you. I’ve tried to convince myself that I’m angry. When I started this letter I thought it was going to be a rant, but I love you too much to feel bitter. I don’t want to hurt you, even though I know you’ll never read this.

Farewell, my angel, and take care.  Thank you for the time we were together. I will never forget it and I will go out into the world a better person for having known you. I truly hope you find someone who will look after you and who can give you everything I couldn’t and more, you deserve it.

With Love

A

Another day

another new experience.  The Hearthstone meet was a great success. OK, so there was a little panic attacking when the technology failed on me at one point. But I survived, and everyone had a good time.  As expected I didn’t come anywhere, but that wasn’t the point. The point was spending time with number 3 son and try something new. On that front I’m a winner!

I’m determined that this is going to be my new life. The new me. Trying new things and meeting new people. I’m certain that the more I do it the easier it will become.  And perhaps, the more I do it, the more chance there is of me finding someone special to hold again.

Well that went well!

I only went and did it! I’m so pleased. Nerve-wracking though it was I went in there, smiled, showed and interest, talked to several people and generally had a good time.

I’m part of something!

I walked out feeling on top of the world. So very, very happy. I can’t wait until next week when I can go again. This was so the right thing to do. I can go there once or twice a week, Join in with whatever I want to do. Get to know the very friendly people there and make a bunch of new friends. I would never have thought that a couple of hours could make such a difference, but it has. It really has.

In addition to the social and creative benefits, it also means that I have even more in common with my son. Plus I have something else to talk about with other people. I feel like the possibilities are endless – just from making a relatively small positive step.

And tomorrow is another positive step. I’m taking number three son to a Hearthstone meet. I was going to just spectate because I’ve not been playing very long, but now I’ve decided to actually compete. I’ll probably lose. But that doesn’t matter. I may even come last. But that doesn’t matter either. Tonight I feel better than I have done for a very long time.

The first step was a great success, better than I could ever have hoped. I genuinely feel that I’m on the way to a better future and a better me.

I have a strange mix

of fear and excitement about tomorrow when I go to join the amdram group. Fear at the thought of walking into a room full of people I don’t know. Not knowing what to say. If I do know what to say, getting the words to come out right and thus making a fool out myself.

On the other hand there’s the excitement of starting a new adventure. It’s something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but never got round to.   And ironically the idea of meeting new people excites me too.

That’s the problem with social anxiety. You’re fully aware that humans are social animals, and you want to be social, there’s just that infuriating illogical bit of your psyche that keeps throwing imaginary obstacles in your way. The whole thing’s made worse, because the logical part of you knows damn well that it’s all illogical and that the obstacles aren’t real. It’s just sometimes the illogical side seems stronger than the logical side and it takes over.

But I’m going to do this. I’m going to walk in and smile. I’m going to be part of creating something – even if it’s only a small part to begin with.  My son said he’d come and see the performance, even if I’m only handing out the programmes at the door.  This is something that has to happen. This is the first step of the journey. This is important.

Drinks with my boy

I had a drink or two with my son last night. The first drink we’ve had in a pub together since he turned 18. We talked a little about me, but mostly about him. He’s embarking on the biggest adventure of his life so far – he’s been accepted for a place at LAMDA!

When he was in about Year 8 at school, he had the chance to work in the lighting booth for a school production. He pressed a button to turn on a light and since that moment he’s dreamed of being a Stage Manager/Theatre Techie –  a dream he’s doggedly pursued. He took part in every school and college production, he did workshops at the local theatre, he joined a youth theatre group. He even created his own stage manager’s toolbox, complete with plasters, electrical tape, and breath mints.

When he was choosing what A-Levels to do, the headmaster of his school advised him to take more academic subjects, presumably so he could go on to University and prepare for a ‘proper’ job. But my son stuck to his guns and took creative subjects. His determination, and belief in himself has certainly paid off. I am so proud and inspired by him. I have no doubt whatsoever that he will achieve his ultimate goal. It was absolutely amazing to see how passionate and animated he became as we talked about his future.

It seems strange, a parent taking inspiration from their child. We can learn a great deal from the younger generation though. As we grow older we get set in our ways and the fear of change becomes stronger. We forget about the youthful, anything is possible, exuberance that we all must have had at some point.

Big changes have happened in my life. I have more free time available than I have for a long time. I have no-one to please except myself. NOW is the time to set some goals and work towards them. Who knows what  I could achieve in a few short years?

AmDram

One of the things I put on my To Do List was Join an Amateur Dramatics group. Well to day I made the call and I’m going to meet-up with them next Tuesday. The timing is perfect too, because they’re just about to start discussing their next performance.  I’m really quite excited about it. Step 1 of discovering myself complete!

It’s actually been quite a good day all round. Took the dogs out for a long run, ordered myself some new glasses. Did some paperwork. Did some housework. I feeling pretty good, despite the fact that last night I found out that it’s definitely over between me and her. Perhaps that’s why I feel so much better today. The relief of knowing exactly where I stand. The uncertainty has been removed. I feel so much calmer and less stressed. It’s only when the stress has subsided do you realise quite how wired you were. I can begin the process of moving on properly without worrying if it’s really necessary.

The fact that I actually want to move on is telling I think. As is the fact that everything went so wrong so quickly. It wasn’t meant to be. Pure and simple. I feel a sense of loss, but if we are like this now, what would we be like in a year, or ten years, or longer. She has hurt me, but it’s not an incurable hurt. I’ve got some good memories to go along with the bad ones. And, along the way, I hope I’ve learned something. It’s certainly inspired me to do something about who I am and how I feel about myself.

Gruntweasels

Gruntweasels, 12 million of them sitting in a line. And the amazing thing is, not one of them like cheese!  They sit there yaktakiting away with their neighbours to the left and the right and not once does one say “Let us partake in some nice cheese”. They discuss the merits of flamboldering, they converse for hours about the philosophies of Mergual Fringshood. Rarely a day goes by without the subject of shillbrunting coming up. But cheese? Never!

It’s not even as though they don’t have access to cheese. Every day, trucks come by and drop off great mountains of the stuff. Sometimes it’s dropped off by helicopter, once every two months a black steam train delivers continental cheeses, and crackers too! But the gruntweasles ignore it. They act as though they don’t even see it. Blocks of cheese the size of skyscrapers, but the gruntweasels act as though they can’t even see (or smell) it. It certainly doesn’t enter their knobbly heads to ask who is sending all this cheese, or from where, or why.

In fact it’s a complete mystery. No-one knows – except presumably whoever it is that is so diligent in ensuring the gruntweasels have copious amounts of something they don’t want, or even acknowledge.  All anyone knows is that there are 12 million gruntweasels and lots of cheese.

Another mystery is where does all the cheese go if the gruntweasels don’t want it? Many have seen it delivered, whether by truck, or helicopter, or by steam train. But no-one has ever seen it being taken away. A team of scientists once stayed-up all night, watching the cheese and the gruntweasels. After many hours of observing and making notes they were all distracted by a purple goffling flantering by. When they looked back all the cheese was gone. Only the gruntweasels remained, discussing the finer points of Shildralkean Art. All the cheese had silently, instantly, and mysteriously disappeared. The scientists gave-up and went home to have a cup of tea.

Maybe gruntweasels do like cheese, a lot. They just eat it when no-one else is looking. A silent signal passes down the line. It’s safe, no-one is watching. We can eat. They devour the cheese in an instant, so that not even a crumb remains.

There are many mysteries in this world, but none so mysterious as the gruntweasels and their cheese.

There’s an ache

Deep in the pit of my stomach. I’m finding it hard today. Possibly because it’s been one week since I last heard her voice. Possibly because I had to attend a meeting with people I didn’t know in a place I didn’t know. I don’t cope very well in such situations. Worse still I couldn’t tell her about it and she won’t be asking about it.

After the meeting I wandered around the city centre. I didn’t have anywhere to go or anything to do, so I took the opportunity to wander aimlessly. It’s been a long time since I’ve had the chance to do that so I enjoyed reacquainting myself with the city I love. The doorways, the hidden features, the  tiny things that many people walk past every day and may not notice. I should dig out my camera again. That’s something else I haven’t had the time to do for too long.

Perhaps that’s the key. In order to go forward, I need to look back and rediscover who I was. Rediscover the things I used to enjoy. Build on the foundations and work from there.