Friday, April 08, 2016


Less than a month from seeing the love of my life again and he has become withdrawn. Reading back through our messages there was nothing to suggest this a month ago. He was so determined to meet me at the airport. Now he doesn't reply to my messages for whole weekends my history gives this a great big warning bell. It has happened to me at least three times before. Once at uni I went away on a rail trip round Europe and when I got back my boyfriend of two years had moved in with another girl. Well he ignored me for a month or two, and then that was what emerged. Hamish also started behaving strangely he was quite happy to sleep with me, but started getting text messages at unexpected times and shoving his phone back in his pocket. Then he gave me the old it's not you it's me speech. Seamus delivered the classic

after a period of silence.

A period of silence is not a good thing. I am very worried. Well I not so much worried as in between just writing him off and gritting my teeth and trying to make other plans, demanding an explanation, or just not making it easy for him and waiting for him to come back to me. Why should I make it easy? apart from to know the truth. This I think is what psychologists call ambiguous loss such as when a person goes missing, and you live in hope. It is quite a common method for men to break up with you I have noticed. My first boyfriend did it. As far as I know I am still going out with him. We never split up, he just disappeared. It was harder in those days with only phone and letter as options.

So is it better to know? is it better to know your love(d one) is dead, or to live in hope. It is a bit like it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved. I have always felt ambiguous about that one. These experiences and knocking the expectation of finding joy in new relationships out of me, and I am starting to think never having loved at all would've been at the very least more efficient

Or another one that I actually uttered myself. It's not you being unfaithful that bothers me, its the lying about it!! Yes again, not true. The unfaithfulness is very bothering. Of course it is. That one is nonsense. Anyone who does that needs to be kicked to the curb.

Can't really say that about George because we never had a relationship in the real world

Thursday, February 18, 2016

The One

Ok I am going to subject you to some more drivel about how in love I am.  Maybe I can look back in 5 years time and see just how addled by brain was. It is true when you are in love (which I presume this state is) levels of  adrenaline, serotonin, dopamine, cortisol .. you name it oh..  oestrogen, testosterone they are all up.  So it is like being on crack cocaine

Anyway having not even kissed this guy properly. I feel more certain (than I ever have) that he is "the one".

OK so winding back. In the past I have heard the words "I love you" quite a few times (just for the record not from  George yet)  and it is certainly stirring, and often I have felt something back.... but not like this.

I remember in the first few months with Neil, I heard him telling his friends that I was "the one" and I felt a mixture of flattered and uneasy. He was a narcissist and was in the early stage of putting me on a pedestal. Right up until the end he claimed he loved me, but it was a strange sort of love. He slept with other women!

When I met my husband I remember writing in my diary that "something quite magical is going on" because we had talked non stop for 1.5 hours. But I even remember as I wrote it, it felt contrived. Who am I at this distance to say for sure I didn't feel it, but I think I was so desperate to stop the chase and get married and settle down and he was the first man who came close.

But still, it was nothing like this...

I feel completely at ease with him even though we are so far away. I trust him. I fancy him like hell. He fancies me back and doesn't ever make me feel insecure or unwanted - well there have been times when I waited 48 hours for an sms but now that never happens. He always checks in with me.

I am so desparately looking forward to seeing him. For a while I couldn't eat. But I am ok now.

We seem to have the same values - though maybe not the same politics. I literally can't wait to be in his life and spend it with him. I never thought I would feel this way at this late stage in my life.

That's it. Lets see what the love rat can do

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

A man is not, and has never been a plan

Well the fairy tale continues. Daily Skype and messenger contact from George is pushing every romantic button in my body (as well as many other less romantic ones). Since our first polite email exchange of thank you notes, it has emerged that both of us had a terrible crush on the other and basically can't wait to rip each others clothes off. It hasn't really gone beyond that, obviously it can't because we are now on opposite sides of the world, but it hasn't stopped me having fantasies along the lines of I will go back to my country of origin and live with him whatever it takes, and I think he is the one..

I kid you not he looks like this ...

at 47 he is three years younger than me and I can't for the life of me imagine what he sees in me, except, he would remember what I was like at 18. Unattainable goddess of the six form common room.

So as much as I try to scratch the fairy tale it keeps on coming back. It is reaching the level of dangerous obsession but he is fueling it by contacting me each night and morning and being amorous towards me. 

This evening I had a thought. Whilst a man is not a plan I think what I crave is stability. So being a pretty much untouchable single mother who never went out and got pleasure from just running her own show and being around her child was one sort of stability, and another sort that I would really like would be a partner that I can trust who I have a lot in common with (shared history and interests) and profoundly love and feel attracted to. If such things still exist. So far his approach has been very different to anything I have encountered in the last 10 years.

I am startled by how ready I am to give up my life here. For someone I barely know. This element of it feels like internet dating era madness. But looking back a couple of posts, to be in my country of origin has never been off the agenda. I am just waiting for Connor to be old enough or to negotiate to take him too. It seems, and George has just added grist to the mill.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

A Fairy Tale

Once upon a time a kind, funny, generous and  (in her own way) beautiful princess named Fiona (not that Fiona) was trapped in a country far far away by an evil overlord, Simon and a pair of golden golden handcuffs applied by the self-serving corporation to which she was indentured.

Day after day she worked without reward and in the evenings she tried to look after and nurture her  illegitimate son Connor. Connor was the son of he evil overlord Simon, but Simon contrived to ignore him as far as possible and take no part in his  upbringing. The villagers never knew whether this inattention was due to Simon's inner demons or a preference to spend his time with exotic asian princesses from other lands.
One year Simon released Fiona for six weeks so that she may travel back to her homeland across many seas to see the people she loved. He cautioned her, as he always did, that she had better return before the stroke of six weeks or he would remove the child from her and take her to "court"

So Fiona and Connor made the long and perilous journey back to the icy kingdom and spent Christmas with their extended family. One evening, Fiona being free from her duties wandered into town to meet an old school friend George. She did not know George well, but he had sent word that he wanted to meet her. He strode into the hotel lobby wearing a cashmere coat. He was tall dark and handsome, and as he kissed her on both cheeks as was the custom in that land the coldness and firmness of his cheek on hers was electrifying. They spent an evening together huddled in a local hostelry eating earthy food and talking about how their lives had gone. They had much in common, more than would be reasonably predictable Fiona thought. A love of music and sailing, oddly both had Autistic brothers.

When it was time to go they were reluctant to say goodbye but again with a gentle brush of the cheek he left through the revolving door. Fiona could not deny that she was smitten by this man. He was intelligent, good looking, generous, gentlemanly posh and sexy. Being the age she was she thought I have nothing to lose. I will write him a thank you letter and tell him what a lovely evening I had. By return mail he responded in kind calling her wonderful and the evening " the best in some time" and vowing to see her again when she was next in town.

He send a message to say he was "missing her already" but Fiona could not discern of this was a cute colloquialism or turn of phrase common to that land having been away for so long. Or indeed, in her darkest thoughts a cad like ruse to keep her on the boil.

When the six weeks was up a fairy swept her back to the country of the overlord and corporation. Fiona was lonely and confused, but she and George kept in touch and, in the fullness of time, she came to visit George again. This time he confessed his love for her and they lived happily ever after splitting their time between Europe and the Antipodes playing duets on a baby grand piano. Skiing and yachting, Supporting each other in whatever life threw at them and yet being fully independent and fulfilled individuals.
Fiona knew at last that love existed and she had found her soulmate.
The End


And everytime I think of this man I remind myself that that is indeed what he is, a fairy tale concocted by my own imagination 

Friday, July 31, 2015

Of desperate crushes and personal effectiveness

Some time ago when I was in fact married, I developed a crush on someone who did not know I existed, and of course I could not act upon it. I was a moral sort of girl who believed in her marriage vows. I used to have delightful waking and sleeping fantasies, I strove to be near him, I hung on his every word and then one day I realised it was causing me a lot of unhappiness, this unrequited love that I couldn't act upon was eating me from the inside
out, and seriously could I blame love? this *thing* came from within. I was in fact foisting this misery on myself. From that day on it became easier to deal with. If I can make it happen then surely I can make it go away, and, within time, it diminished. It's a good job that man didn't encourage me.

Now I realise I can see an analogy in personal effectiveness. I was going to write a self deprecating piece about how my brother had always been more effective than me. He knew what his dreams were and he grabbed them enthusiastically. He married a sensible and driven woman and they raised two very personable and hard working successful children. He even has time for his own interests. He plays a musical instrument, is widely read and takes an active role in politics.  I on the other hand have never known what I wanted. I have always needed a champion, a leader... which ironically
at first, was him, my brother. I put my pocket money towards his hobbies. I enhanced his stamp collection, bought old 78 records, even a airfix model for him to make, sincerely believing that these were *my* interests. I was/am honestly ripe for the plucking for control freaks the world over.

So once again helpless in the face of a higher force but what?  misfortune?  my gender?

A victim of love
A victim of circumstance
A victim of genetics

What I realised in trying to write this is something I have probably thought before. There are plenty of people out there ready to put you down, There is no need to do it yourself. You are hurting yourself in the same way that nursing a hopeless crush was hurting yourself.

There is no need for that. Others will look at your output and judge you ineffective and I could join them, take a long lensed objective view and say yes, I am indecisive, prone to subject myself to irrational leaders (or manipulative ones) but... how is this going to help?

Possibly in the sense of "know your enemy" but If I state that I am not personally effective, if I highlight even silently to myself how I can't do things and make the wrong choices, it could potentially actually make it so.

Be careful what you wish for II

I was in church last Sunday, having the opportunity to reflect on my life. I am not a very good believer. I'm not sure I even believe, but I go to a church that has the most incredible choir and choral tradition of church music that I love, and I find about once a month it is a good place for contemplation. Often a little thought pops into my head and this week it was: Be careful what you wish for...remember the other things that you have desperately wanted in your life and how they have worked out for you.

It won't have passed you by that I have been chronically homesick for 25 years. It is getting worse not better as I face my son's teenager hood as a single mother, and meanwhile my parents on the other side of the world are getting older. I am not particularly enjoying my job, my ex is controlling, and I fantasize daily about running back to the bosom of my family. Particularly as my son is at a crossroads being about to start high school would this be the ideal time to run? will I look back and regret it?

So at the risk of covering some old ground, what else have a longed for over the years? Well first I longed to get married. I wanted to become that mythical ringed creature with the promise of eternal love and fidelity. I ruthlessly put it into action instead of biding my time and letting the natural order of things take
precedence. I made it clear to the young immature boy who fell in love with me that marriage was what I wanted and, in him, I got a dependant. A sort of man-child, an irrational dictator, an ineffectual fop and when I was no longer good as a playmate, he pulled the plug on me.

Overlapping with that I longed to have a baby. It took me 10 years to get my desire. I was 24 when I got married  27 when I was ready and 37 when I actually had a baby through three miscarriages, several periods of unexplained infertility and the IVF rollercoaster. For whatever reason getting this baby put a huge wobble on my marriage and culminated in me being jettisoned in to single parenthood at 40.

I longed to own my own home. And so I dove in at 40 (!) with an inappropriate man to home ownership..having played the waiting game with that other inappropriate man for a baby and a house.

So if I were to sell/rent out my house. Negotiate with my ex, take my daughter away from all her friends and move back to my country of origin. How could I expect this 25 year yearning
to work out?

Yearn to marry - get a dependant
Yearn for a baby - end up single
Yearn for a home - end up with a mortgage alone at 50
Yearn to travel home - what'll it be ??
lose your child
... or gain a dependant
... or end up married

Incidentally, I put a specific "prayer" out to the universe about this this morning. Dear higher being/god/circumstance/inner fairy godmother, what do I have to do to make this manifest? What can I do to get out of this bind whereby I am a wage slave/puppet/house elf isolated from my family and controlled by my ex? And this was the answer

"Pay Simon [Father of my child] off"

Now I wouldn't have expected that from God.

Hello Again

I found a couple of unpublished posts from about a year ago. I don't know if I have time to write regularly, but maybe I will just put these ones out there and try to keep going...

Sunday, September 07, 2014

What is a real man, again.

Well, I have been divorced (or at least separated) for almost a decade now. Attempts at finding a meaningful adult relationship have been largely unsuccessful. Whilst I have not given up on it, it is at the very least on hold. Something I found a little useful lately was a reflection on what I didn't want in a man. Based loosely on the things I have encountered during and after my marriage;

(1) Irrational dictator (Simon: barking at me that "we are not doing this, we are not doing that" and then later (quite often) turning around and deciding to do it himself),
(2) Groundless opinions (Simon again: freely given baseless opinions on everything from Immigration to which colours go together),
(3) Passive aggression (Simon also: to accompany the above, shut down if people don't agree with you, and refuse to discuss - this includes big life decisions like buying a house, moving in together, having a baby),
(4) Outright bald aggression (Neil: If a person doesn't agree with you shut THEM down, physically if necessary)
(5) Unfaithfulness and the accompanied necessary lies and possible gaslighting (making me think it is all in my mind (Neil)),
(6) Meaningless posturing/assumptions about their role in my life - "I'm here to Protect and Provide!" whilst doing neither, and without being asked to anyway (Neil). "I can just see where this is going, you'll move in and get half of my assets" (John, and school dad)

(7) Distain and indifference (all of them ultimately),
(8) Objectification ie "I couldn't just sleep with anyone, I REALLY LIKE you" followed by a litany of my physical charms and nothing about me as a person (Seamus and Hamish (in actions if not in words)),
(9) Cherry picking - you would be perfect if it wasn't for your child (Seamus)
(10) Ineffectual posturing (Simon - earning a 5th of what I do then turning up at school in a business suit handing round his card, telling the teacher how to do her job...)

Then I got to thinking maybe many of these are the dark side  of what we consider attributes of a REAL MAN. We like our men to be strong, and admire us physically. We socialise them that way.  I may be in the minority of women really not liking to be objectified. Even more demanding, we want our men to bond with us for life, help us to raise our children, not look at other women..So if I was born a man, and couldn't rise to these expectations maybe I too would "fake it 'til I made it"

I see so many unhappily married parents of school aged kids.  The men who manage to be faithful to their wives, take an interest in their kids, bring home the bacon, and project an ideal of manhood are in the minority and their wives become tired, irritable, critical and unappreciative, and stop making an effort.

I set to wondering if maybe being faithful was, to men, the ultimate sacrifice they make for their women. It is not in their nature, they have to work at it every day relentlessly pushing down their urges and finding the best in themselves for the greater good of their families, and they actually want credit for this - from their wife and from society. It is analogous to women keeping young and beautiful - diet, exercise, a nip and a tuck, whatever it takes (subtext - to keep our man) it's not easy or natural for us we would rather eat donuts and wear a velour tracksuit. We actually want credit for that (from our husbands and from society). Both may be doomed to failure, but it doesn't stop us trying.

My mistake is that I have always wanted to get beyond this. I have wanted to be with someone who is actually my friend, is with me for who I am, rather than (as well as) my physical assets and has no trouble being faithful and keeping their end up financially, and tells the truth in small and large things and confronts problems head on.

There have been very few people with whom I have formed an easy, mutually rewarding, relationship of this kind. People who do all of the above and who make me laugh, give me just the right amount of space, compassionately observe my life, build me up where necessary, be honest about my flaws. Who treat me like a human as well as a body. People I really long to come home to... and in fact those people would be my mother and my son and a few close friends in my university days.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Other people's damaged kids

Oh My! people have I got an update for you? Well, I suppose I took a risk, I went away over Christmas for six weeks. I wasn't sure about Seamus's level of commitment. We had had very happy times together in 2013, but it still seemed to have "Hamish" overtones. Never the less I had heard those three little words a few times. I thought it would be a test, and that we would find out how we truly felt about each other.

Anyway over Christmas I had some trouble with my mobile phone and our communications were challenged. Then I got it sorted but things were still very quiet. I eventually queried how quiet he was and this was the reply:

Hi Fiona Yes UR right my absence is an indication that something has changed. I have been talking  with a woman friend from work this is totally unexpected but we have connected really well. Its not that I don't or haven't loved you, I really don't want young kids at this stage in my life I've known this for some time as I have mentioned to u. Anyway, I would like to pursue a relationship with her. I know you will be hurt, I don't know it you still wish to keep in touch or just write me off. Let me know your thoughts love Seamus Happy New yearI'm sorry for letting you down.

Hmm well it arrived on the morning of New Years day. I was at my parent's house. There was no place for middle aged grief over a middle aged dalliance, so, not to be crude I restricted my tears to the few minutes it took to visit the bathroom that morning.

Being in the protection of my family cushioned the blow, but now I have returned home and reality has hit. Worse still that "woman friend from work" also has kids ever so slightly  (2-5 years) older.

I do have a postscript on Seamus, but for the moment I will concentrate on Connor. We are in a SPOC relationship - Single parent only child.  It is almost impossible for me to judge his sociability or behaviour, but I always get good comments from friends who invite him on playdates, he was a dream to travel with over Christmas, and my (highly biased) family found him no trouble at all.

The only people who have mentioned / been honest enough to criticise his behaviour are my friend  Marcia, Seamus and Connor's own father Simon who said "he is painful". The horrible irony of this crap from Connor's own father is not lost on me. Years of infertility and IVF lead me to consider adoption. Well I recall his response "I don't want to raise someone else's damaged kids" and now the stupid git won't even raise his own kid.

I think the SPOC thing is relevant the single parent only child relationship is a particular pressure cooker environment.  Journalist Sue Carpenter in the Daily Mail describes her relationship with her daughter thus: 
 ..when Simi was just seven years old, and we were walking along our local strip of restaurants in South London, with Simi vetoing all the ones I liked while making a strong case for the one with the chocolate brownie and ice cream that she preferred, that I suddenly stopped. ‘Hang on, Simi,’ I said. ‘How come you’re making the decisions? I’m the mummy, you’re the child!’ Since then, I’ve become increasingly aware of the very particular relationship I have with Simi, that of Single Parent and Only Child.
 and ..
Simi would select the TV channel or DVD and set the table while I cooked supper. Then we’d cuddle up on the sofa and often end up going to bed at the same time. I had nobody to answer to, nobody to undermine or question my way of raising my child.

I recognise something of our relationship in this.
In my early days of my relationship with Seamus, Connor and having "young kids" in his life did come up, my close friend Marcia (who has three kids) recommended that, to alleviate his concerns I should do a parenting course, because in her opinion Connor had become entitled, and manipulative and I needed to learn some strategies to rein him in. So I went ahead, hired a babysitter and did the six week course and associated exercises.

He is nowhere near as difficult as some of the kids I encountered on the course there, but I know there are some particular things about our relationship that make it hard for others to be part of it, and that I am not as harsh in my discipline as I might be, not least for the lack of a moderating influence in the shape of another child.

Anyway,  it did not work out with the woman friend from work and Seamus would like us to take up where we left off. Doubtless there is still friendship and chemistry.

Which leaves me perplexed. Has the not wanting young kids thing gone away?  Am I just a back up plan? that just seems the obvious conclusion. I also conclude that this could happen again the next time some prospect comes along. Cheifly I ask if I am strong enough to handle it?