Monday, December 31, 2007

The Sheets Are In The Wash

After a day, struggling with sleep and gloom, (tears did fall last night, eventually) fighting my way back from town (food – you’d think I was preparing for war) in a city preparing to shut down for the revelers tonight, I finally find myself sitting alone, quietly thinking about what a nice day I shall have tomorrow. I decided to spend New Year's Eve quietly and I am so glad I did. Not that I am unhappy, far from it at the moment. I just need the quiet and space and to be peacefully by myself. It is actually a lot easier than going out and being sociable, knowing full well that you are going home at the end of the night to an empty bed as everyone else disappears with their husbands and live-ins. (Sounds bitter, but no – just a statement of fact) I blame society for making us all thing we need a sloppy, drunken kiss, with a random stranger, on the stroke of midnight to have had a successful New Year. Or maybe that is just throw-back thinking from when I was a student…who knows. Who cares?

I sent a text earlier – and I’m feeling pretty OK about it. No post sending nausea. I just needed to get something off my chest before tomorrow. I hope it is received with the good feeling/intentions it was sent with - if received at all. I also wrote some letters and am doing OK. I am OK. Ha-ha! (I have a worry free brow and a smiley face too) I finally got those damn sheets off the bed and straight into the washing machine tonight, without hesitation, I might add. So, tonight I shall sleep in clean sheets feeling all proud of myself. (Hopefully)

I am really excited about tomorrow (for why, I am not sure, but I am going with it at the moment) - I even have that flippy feeling in my belly. A crisp, clean, new day. It (the day) had better smell like fresh laundry too. Laundry that has been blown dry by the wind – or I shall be most disappointed.

Nine minutes and counting. Here’s to new beginnings and fresh starts.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

"THIS IS MY HOUSE!"

By 8:30 this morning, I was up, ironing the new white tablecloth. I had to gather up all the papers off the table with my eyes half closed, holding the ‘offending’ items as if there were contaminated by some extreme strain of 'ex-boyfriend'. I then dettox-ed the table, lit candles and set the table for ONE, smoothing out the crisp clean linen. I made porridge and vowed to buy Rich Tea biscuits to fill up my biscuit jar.

It is difficult to find things that the ‘other’ did not like, especially when you had so much in common (I’m safe with the porridge and the biscuits…). It is also deeply necessary to reclaim your house, when the two of you nattered on casually about it becoming YOUR HOME. TRD was desperate to move in – me, I was not so sure. Anyway… the hall rug has been hovered within an inch of its life and is now in the washing machine being boil washed and the kitchen windows are (part) washed. I have also been belting out “THIS IS MY HOUSE!” at the top of my lungs, so I am sure my neighbours will think I am nuts. All this was done before 9:30AM. He is lucky that I was never in his home, or slept in his bed, or cooked in his kitchen. He has no memories to surround him, to grip him tightly, taking his breath away. I can be blocked and deleted and removed at the click of a button. I, the other hand, have a house that every inch screams, “He is not here anymore”.

I have had sixty-nine other members view my profile since I put it back up online the other day, over thirty of which were from yesterday and eight new ‘fans’, bringing the grand total to thirty-two. They may all look bizarre and untrustworthy, but who cares at this point? (“D-I-S-T-R-A-C-T-I-O-N”, sings Dolly) I was rather amused by a young lad who had made himself a 'fan' of mine. I think he must have been watching The Graduate recently. His profile suggests he is twenty-five, but he has the face of a sixteen year old. I think I may be just old enough to be his mother and Mrs Robinson, I ain’t.

Back to bed to consume porridge and tea…

Was just sitting smoking a cigarette, looking at the shambolic mess on my 'me' made coffee table thinking, “Thank God I didn’t carve out our initials on this", as I wanted to (with the fancy French tooling knife I bought him). Now that, would have been harder to remove.

It is so very hard, at these times in our lives, to keep going, to put one foot in front of the other; to keep getting out of bed in the morning and to carry on. I defy anyone to tell me otherwise. Regardless if you have been seeing someone for one year, three months or six weeks, if you have fallen in love the pain is just the same. The hurt is as deep, the shock and the withdrawal as unbearable. I miss him to the extent that I cannot find the words. I clean the house and dress the table and wash the floor, but he is still here, I can feel him, and I am still not allowed to have him.

Friends and family say he is a coward (thwack) - I find that very difficult to hear, but I think they feel let down too. I think they feel some of the betrayal that I do, because they all bought into him and I and us.

We were supposed to be going away together for New Year; a tentative plan had been made for a cottage, west of here. I think part of me knew I would never get there. It seemed too perfect to happen to me. Instead, I am curled up like a cat in my bed that is now pushed far into a nook of my room, surrounded by three protective walls; I feel OK here. I look across the room at where we once slept, trying to picture us there, but it just seems like a dream of sorts, now. A very nice dream, but still a dream mind you, I could draw every outline of his tattoos if you asked me, the curve of his lip, the pits of his eyes.

I almost ran home from town this afternoon. So desperate was I to get back inside, to feel less exposed and… safe. I wanted to cry, but haven’t – yet. Every time I hear a car drive up the street my heart still thuds in my ears, I don’t know why. Actually I do, I have this undying hope that he will realise what a mistake it all was and come back.

I don’t feel sorry for myself or morbid like I did when the other break up’s happened, I just feel a terrifying loss and a moderate amount of betrayal. This time I have kept going, I know how to activate the coping strategies, now. BUT everything just feels so very wrong - like someone, like some God-like power up there, made such a terrible, terrible mistake and I’m just sitting here, looking upwards, my face pleading with them to correct it. I guess I’ve already said that…huh?

Valentine’s Day cards are in the shops already. Give me a break.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

How to Get (Overly) Sentimental About an Old Fag Butt & Some Plastic Bags

3:00PM
Still reeling from my earlier find, I promptly deleted D from my "Favourite" list. He can’t see me, I can’t see him.

4.35PM
Started painting bed frame in order to rid bed of bad karma, now 3 exes have slept in there, (slut!) that cannot be good. Painting it black didn’t work, so wiped it back off again with kitchen towel and thought about going to B&Q.

4.54PM
Got all pictures of D from round the house, and dumped them in a heap, in the middle of my bedroom floor, alongside other bits and bobs I found; letters, drawings...

4:57PM
Put new tablecloth in washing machine – making it nice and fresh and sparkling white. NEW NEW NEW. No more looking at the old tablecloth with D’s writing on it for a while.

5:00PM
Tried to put out recycling, then realised at the bottom of the bag would be D’s drawing of houses and tabletops – put offending bag in hall – swearing at it.

5:05PM
Hoovered kitchen floor, finding remnants of meals we had made, bits of his Rizla papers, tried not to heave.

5:10PM
Ignored fag butt in cracked cup tucked away behind the juicer. One of his.

5:12PM
Got out the bleach and bleached the floor. Hopefully memories of cooking meals together, eating breakfast, drinking coffee and reading papers, looking through Elle Decoration for things we liked about houses, me getting Banjo lessons, kissing him, him writing nice things to me at the kitchen table… will all get magically bleached away too. Either that or I will pass out from the fumes.

5:14PM
Opened window in kitchen because of fumes.

5:24PM
Got upset over carrier bags. He was getting pissed off at how many we got when we did online shopping, until I told him they could be recycled. They got kicked into the hall with the recycling.

5:30PM
Started trawling through dating website “matches” for me, saying: “I will get back on this fucking horse.” “I will like this...” “I am interested...”

5:35PM
Tried to order groceries online. Nobody in Scotland is allowed to have food until the 3rd January – apparently.

5:57PM
Mopped floor again.

6:28PM
Mopped floor again.

7:26PM
Got maudlin over cooking spaghetti – fucking everything reminds me of him. We could never decide how much to cook – ever - and we always got it wrong. Cooked him spaghetti carbonara from scratch to cheer him up one night. Home cooked spag bol was our first meal together.

9:00PM
Went through Internet Bookmarks deleting ALL traces of past boyfriends. I am done with the snoop-doggy-dog. It leads to nothing but heartache. Plus I think I am officially over Ex 1 & Ex 2. Actually I think that happened a long time ago, but just wanted to get rid, rid, rid. Didn't touch the D stuff. Maybe tomorrow...

9:15PM (ish)
Started chatting with a guy online. He seems nice, has a nice face, but bloody hell who knows. Could be another mentalist.

Please Respect That Decision

Home again and while checking websites etc...

"[The Recently Departed] has chosen to prevent you from contacting him. Please respect that decision." Thwack. (Note on the dating website.) Thwack.

That, would be my big fat answer that he himself could not tell me. Now I feel like a stalker. I think I might be sick.

Don't Waste the Pretty

I am on the train home from the Highlands. I left at 6.50AM this morning. I didn’t expect to be leaving so soon after Christmas, but had started to get itchy to get home and get things organised…for what I’m not entirely sure. I just have this huge compulsion to get home and find order. Chuck out things. Get the D stuff away so I try not to look at his pictures, or read his emails and texts. Maybe it is the old Scots in me that knows one must have all your affairs in order before the start of the New Year. Bills must be paid, the house must be clean… a clean slate for the coming of the New Year. I also didn’t want to inflict my misery on my family for any longer. They had done a sterling job of dealing with my grief and my tiredness and loping off to bed when things had become too much and too noisy.

I know they want a big hoopla at Hogmanay, I as I can think of nothing worse, I booked yet another ticket and am getting my sweet ass home to baton down the hatches, and for the first year in my life, spend New Year alone. It seems rather fitting considering. I am also quite looking forward to the solitude. I think.

I decided the other day, to put myself back on the dating website. I couldn’t go back on with the same profile as I had met The Recently Departed, so I updated and altered and spent most of yesterday checking what was happening. I don’t really know why I am there, maybe so D can see me there, maybe so I can move on, maybe so I can just get back on the proverbial “horse” as so many have told me will help to ease the hopelessness of being dumped when you least expect it. I wrote to D the other night asking him if he could answer ‘Why’ he refused to talk to me. I had spoken to my Uncle about it at great length (he’s a bloke after all), as I have done with so many of my now, long suffering, friends and the unanimous decision seems to be that it is through cowardice that he ended things the way he did, and why he now refuses to make a rough break up more peaceful. I doubt my writing was the smartest thing to do, and I am not sure at this point if it my eagerness to press that old self destruct button of mine, or what… but part of me just wants him to know that I miss him and want him to be in my life. This is a confusing thought however because I keep having this nagging doubt that if someone can just dump you like a sack of old stones at the drop of a hat without any real explanation, what kind of man does that make them? Part of me hovers over the idea that he thinks he might catch my depression, as he is prone to bouts of this himself. If I were to listen to the words of my current and painful bible: “He’s Just Not That Into You”, they would be screaming at me to tear up his pictures, delete all contact details and get on with my life. They would be yelling at me, not to “waste the pretty”.

Amusingly, I thought that if he didn’t respond to my humiliating email – I would drop out of the online dating thing and just hermit for a while nursing my raw heart, but as my mouse hovered over the “delete your profile button”, I got an influx of emails from men that didn’t seem half bad. It is a strange business to be in, half in half out, but perhaps somewhat more realistic than my last attempt. In my defence, however, I do remember thinking before I met D that I would give it a go and if he weren’t for me, someone else would be. I seemed more balanced and logical back then. But then I hadn’t been swept along by his adoration, his apparent love and desire for us to be together. I had also not fallen head over heels for than man. This time, however, cynical girl is back, and I’m sure this shall make for a better landing – if I can keep my mouse off the delete button… I suppose it’s just OK to have people saying “Hey lady, you’re pretty” – even if they are lying through their cyberspace asses.

I had this insane idea that The Recently Departed needed to know that I still loved him and that I missed him, just in case my barrage of emails was not enough to highlight that fact but, I argued with myself that I kept saying that I had to move on in those emails so he would take me at my word, blah, blah, blah, blah; bleugh. Christ, I DO SOUND LIKE A MENTAL PERSON. Or maybe just a hurt person?

Duck this train is cold. I love how my mobile phone refuses to believe I swear (Not that I am writing this on my mobile phone, the thought just popped into my head). Even though I have written ‘fuck’ enough times in text messages for the predictive text function to get the word, it still behaves like I’m some kind of lady and censors my potty mouth.

So yes, when I go home today, the house shall be swept and polished within an inch of its long life. Black bags shall be filled with shite, diaries shall be cracked open and preparations for the great 2008 shall begin. Rather appropriately the crescendo of Elgar’s Nimrod is blasting through my headphones, apparently even iTunes is backing me up on this one.

While I was at my parents I persuaded them to take me to an old antique place that I go to every time I am home. It is tucked away, out in the middle on nowhere and requires a car to get there… I managed to get some replacement crockery for the pieces I broke a few months back when trying to clean with a shaky hand, (everything costs about £2.50 so it is heaven for the skint) and a traditional white table cloth for the kitchen. I also hilariously bought some kind of dead stoat to wrap around my neck. I am not a fan of the fur trade per se, but as this was an antique, I could hardly say no, and if the poor bugger had died already to make some old lady decked out with pearls look good in her society set, then I might as well make the most of him. That’s my excuse anyway, as I play with his little dangling foot that sits somewhere under my chin. I also managed to find myself an old table for a fiver, filled with woodworm, but so perfect for the bedside table I have been searching for, I couldn’t resist. It is currently residing at my parents’ home, infecting their timber-framed house.

I love old things. Anything with a bit of history that is not mine, plus they seemed to make things so much better in yester years, no bonding in a sweat with your Ikea MDF. No, no, no.

Shit and I need to get more photos for my profile for the dating thingy-bob. Bollocks. How to make a miserable face look pretty. I also need to write the letters back onto my keyboard as E, I, L, N, A and O are all now gone, and as much as I wish I could touch type, I cannot. A big fat marker pen should do the trick, could you imagine thingy Jobs’ face?

Yesterday I had to fill out yet another form for the Job Centre. A painful task that left me shaking and scratching my hands, with my Mama looking on in a concerned fashion, encouraging me to carry on ticking boxes that would explain to the grey faced man at the receiving end about my suicidal behaviour and self harming. It feels like such an intrusion these days and just reminds you how nuts you sound on a bad day. Lately as things have been getting slowly better, these days are easier for me to manage, so they never seem to come as such of a shock as they once did. They are also a lot less now, (the bad days) or so it seems, and if I don’t have any outside anxieties to deal with, I can now go for a week, or two without having to take to my bed, or self-harming.

I refused to self-harm when D ended things. It was my first reaction but I refused to let him win on that one. It is a constant battle to keep my nails away from my skin, but since D-day (Dump Day) I have managed; although I did think I was going to go for it Thursday night filling out that form. The scars are still there, but I am trying to “look after” them by slapping on the old oil, to reduce the scarring. It is a strange thing to do, to make nice of something you were so determined to destroy.

I wonder if I will have any new boyfriends when I get home. “Avoidance, avoidance…” Nah, bollocks; D-I-S-T-R-A-C-T-I-O-N.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Wii Strain And Two Stitches

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

I survived Christmas. I have Wii strain and my throat is hoarse from screaming and shouting and my hands, raw with clapping. And I am now the family reigning champion, (butt kicking) ten pin bowling player. I do feel like doing a lap of honour and would, if my arse wasn't quite in so much pain from playing all evening. Or I might don a grey tracksuit and head out to pound the streets, playing the Rocky theme tune on my iPod - in a week, when I can walk again.

Seven of us filled our family home in the Highlands for Christmas Day in an idyllic Christmas Carol, Christmas card fashion. There was an enormous bird, the men sat on their arses while the women prepared a feast to rival all feasts. Presents were exchanged and Champagne consumed before midday. I, of course drank pear juice from a champagne flute. My (Step)father ate his first Christmas dinner in two years and I laughed. Until I slept and then I wasn't in quite such a joyful mood, but boy was that smiling face plastered to my skull.

Christmas morning, did however start out a little unusually, with me finding two strings of cotton poking through my recent (skin) biopsy scar. I had been in hospital having a hunk of my skin cut out a few weeks ago now, had had four bright blue stitches that had already been removed - leaving a comedy, pirate style scar - but what the hospital failed to mention was that the two stitches, under the skin, would work their way out through the scar as my body rejected them. I envisaged all kinds of internal parts oozing out from the scar as I itched to pull on those little thready legs. And, of course, everybody had to have a look. Well, I made everyone have a look. I imagined their impending exit/entrance to be something akin to a scene from Alien. Nothing so fancy marked their departure, as the urge to pull them out got the better of me this evening and the once black (now somewhat faded from swimming around my internal tissue) stitches, are now sitting pride of place in a tiny tin on my mother's bathroom shelf.

Being surrounded by seven very boisterous, chatting and slightly pissed, family members and friends made for a loud clatter in my head so just before lunch I retreated for a break. While I was remembering to breathe, I realised I had a lot to be thankful for, regardless of recent strains between myself and my loved ones. When D left they were right there, no questions asked, no rubbing my face in the fact that I needed them there and then, and hadn't wanted to know a few weeks previously when I had been ferociously kicking against their intensive involvement in my life. When I called to ask if I might spend Christmas with them after all, there was no "Oh we're deemed good enough now, are we?". They just made up the bed and met me at the train station. I keep forgetting that Mum can sense my mood changing faster than a barometer, so she nudges me towards the door when she feels me flagging. She sits with me when stages of missing D hit like a freight train and the tears fall. Yes, I have a lot to be thankful for. It also troubles me slightly as I find it hard to reconcile our "strains" and just enjoy the family I have had for the last few years.

I also began to wonder if their might be a Sir Claus after all, as the hopeful fantasies of D returning into my life seemed a little less available today. He is still gainfully searching for his next soul mate, online and I just feel all hope fading. Maybe it will be a relief to be rid of the longing, but nothing seems to be able to take away the shock of the speed at which he decided to leave and I got my Dear John. And I simply cannot get over his absolute refusal to acknowledge my existence which doesn't help when you have no real idea "Why?". I have become a social pariah. I miss his hypnotically soothing voice and it seems so utterly bizarre and unfair that I am not "allowed" to hear it again. It is funny what makes you miss "them", the smell of my old fashioned toothpaste. A jar full of white chocolate drops. "You Go To My Head"...

I think he broke my heart you know.

Monday, December 24, 2007

'Twas The Night Before Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house,
My family were laughing - all I could think of was "The Louse";

The Diazepam was hung by my bedside with care,
In hopes that a quietness, soon would be there;

I'd cried when my uncle, trying to get me to laugh,
Said something that D said and I carved out a path...

A swift tearful exit, with no hope of return,
Found me lying, under cover, with thoughts that made me squirm.

The memories were frequent, all smug in my head,
While visions of him dating, made me feel like I was dead;

"Dramatic" and "Stupid" I hear you cry out,
But I'm gutted and miserable just like a skinned, boneless trout.

I'm supposed to forget him, like he has done me,
But how just to do that - and how will that be?

I'm bored of my heartache, I'm bored of the pain,
I wish I'd never met him, if this was all I had to gain;

This Christmas, "Our" Christmas, was what he told me,
While sitting in my kitchen, with me on his knee;

Naive I am, maybe, to believe someone at their word,
But good Lord Almighty, what have I just learned?

That all men ARE wankers, that lie and then leave?
This Christmas alone, is enough to make me heave.

So Santa, Dear Sir, if you could grant me one wish?
I ask you for amnesia, so that I can forget all this pish.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Lack of Warning Signs Does Not a Relationship Make

No one was more aware than I that Tuesday was the day I was supposed to be meeting The Recently Departed at King’s Cross. By an evil twist of fate I had missed the train on “my” day (Monday) and when I travelled was “our” day. T-h-w-a-c-k. I read things into everything these days. Evil twist of fate that is not helpful at all, methinks. Fuck that. Fuckety-fuck-fuck-fuck-that. But, because of that fateful twisty-ness, I kept thinking it was a “sign” for something good to happen. Like D to be waiting at the station. Ha. Hahahahahahahahahaha. Ow. (Side splitting pain.)

Good did happen after my surprise entrance at my previous workplace. It came in the form of Dim Sum and Pad Thai on my mates couch in East London. Everything seemed smaller than I remembered when I arrived in her house, no Scottish high ceilings. The rate of exchange between North and South is similar to that between the States and the UK – in favour of the North. We loafed, my friend and I, and made a plan of attack for Wednesday. I had a meeting in the morning that we had to get to then it was Muji all the way baby. Small and gorgeous designful objects that you cannot live without, all waiting for me. In London.

When I went to bed that night, we chucked the couch cushions on the floor and threw a duvet over them upon which I was to sleep. That is the very same way I slept when I ran out on the Ex-ex. The same couch cushions, the same duvet and blanket. So very far away that all seemed. Apart from the recently ended relationship factor. At least D wasn’t a drunken, bullying bum that snorted too much coke, pissed in cupboards and threw things at my head.

A good sleep later (with intermittent jerks awake, wondering where the hell I was) and we were off to Southwark (Suvock). My London friend and I walked over the bridges and jumped around like eejits, taking the obligatory photographs of us being very clever and very beautiful in the cool, crisp morning air. After the meeting we headed home, buying a triumphant copy of Heat Magazine at the platform kiosk on the Underground. And then I c-r-a-s-h-e-d. I thought my head might fall off with tiredness as we sipped tea and giggled at my forthcoming (ad)venture.

Along with the crash came doom. I tried plastering enthusiasm upon my face as we ventured out again, when all I wanted to do was curl up into a ball and sleep. The test was over; I had got on the train and been to my meeting. I had said “Hello” to everyone and now I just wanted to go home. Even the thought of Muji couldn’t rouse me. But I persevered and we pulled it off, my stressed out London Friend and I. I have a bag of tiny notebooks and earplugs to prove it.

I think it was that day, with the encouragement of my able sidekick, and after a day of feeling utterly taken for a ride by The Recently Departed that I went back online dating. Never have I been less enthusiastic about anything in my life. It was also that night that, full of the voices that had said: “Get back on that horse girl!” I emailed a guy I had been very loosely chatting with before I met D, and asked him if he fancied meeting for coffee the next day. Now that, I fancied even less than the thought of yet more men flicking through my desperate cry for a “soul mate” and/or being taken for a ride. Again. Someone asked me if I had no "warning signs" with D. Warning signs? What the fuck? It was going great – is that now a warning sign? Apparently it is. I think that is just dumb. My warning signs of the past have been my physical revulsion at the thought of my new and annoying boyfriends, actually being my boyfriends and then dumping them time after time. I thought it was A GOOD SIGN that I liked this one on sight - that I didn’t want to dump him. That my skin didn’t crawl at the thought of him touching me, even through several layers of fabric.

Next morning after avoidance sleeping, I emailed Coffee Bloke and cancelled. No dates for me. I also took myself off the dating website. I was kidding myself that I was ready for this. I was still so shell-shocked from D’s departure there was no room left for anyone else.

The last (sort of) day made me realise that in my hometown I can survive in my bubble (of sorts) but take me out of that and I need to have patience with myself. I need not to expect myself to be able to do all that I want and think I can do – well I can, but I just need RESTS. That night (Thursday) I was supposed to be hanging out ‘till the crack of dawn with my London Family at their Christmas bash, but due to the events of the day I had to cut the evening short. I decided that I should stay with J another night and not try to visit someone else. I decided to go to their studio at four instead of one (getting completely lost on the tube on the way). I decided to go out for the meal and leave after. It was so hard to say goodbye, I think I missed half the people I wanted to speak to. I did see my old mate, my Pen Friend, who just hugged me and told me he loved me and that I looked great. That nearly broke my already thrashed heart.

Next morning I was back on the tube and back in King’s Cross by 12.30PM. I was on the train at 1PM, headed back "home". I just sat there in my shit seat thinking I wanted longer - I needed longer. And that I should have been heading South instead of North.

I plan to go back in February. Maybe I’ll even travel First Class. I feel a life coming on.

"I’m Going to London to Buy Heat Magazine"

And so my enormous journey (the one to London anyway), began before the date of my last posting. I couldn’t unscramble my head enough while it was happening to record it in its entirety, or in any coherent way at all. All the mixtures of feelings, emotions, sights, sounds and smells. The many, many, “thwacks”, the highs and lows, the familiar and unfamiliar faces and a city that pulls me and pushes me with the same outstretched hand. There was no way to find my way through it coherently - it all happened too damn fast - so much so, that it all seems like a fantastical ideal, a dreamlike state in which I have been for the past five days. Today I am waking up. Slowly. Slowly and somewhat painfully.

Today has been difficult, tiring and on some levels, illuminating. No, no, no, illuminating sounds too positive, joyful, God-like, epiphany-like. No, perhaps, “informative” would have been a better description. Most of my day today has been spent in bed feeling confused, somewhat bewildered and very uncomfortable with where I am and where I’m at, on oh-so-many levels. It has also been a day for thinking. Thinking things through and finding answers.

Tonight finds me sitting on my couch, in my freezing flat in Scotland, just as I was last night, the night of my return. Last night I was huddled in many, many blankets, falling asleep fitfully on the couch - tonight I am in my pajamas, as I have been all day, wearing a beret and fake Ugg boots.

Christmas is fast approaching. I can’t stop it from happening. If I didn’t think there was the potential for fatality, I would stay here in my own home for the whole damn “festive” period. I don’t want to rain all over my family’s Christmas. I don’t want to be the lump in the corner feeling weird and displaced. I don’t want to be embraced into the welcoming arms of my family, to let go and feel loved. I also don’t want to be reminded of what should have been.

I shake my head trying to regain my focus on the job in hand. Trying to shake off the melancholy, the image of his face and the longing. Trying to shake off the feeling that I don’t belong here, that I have so much to do to get on with my life, that there is not enough time… Shake, shake, shake, like a nervous tic.

And so, to London.

I missed my train. I missed my tea fuelled, reclining seat, free newspaper, First Class train journey by one-and-a-half-minutes on Monday morning. When the bloody hell did British Rail start running on time - surely National Express didn’t make that much of a change in a week? Never mind that now because even though I had purchased a £50 First Class, one way ticket (D and I were supposed to be driving back up to Scotland for our own Christmas on Christmas Eve) yes, even though I had this ticket, it was non refundable, exchangeable or magical and to travel on the next train that day, in Standard Class, would have cost close to £100.

I stood outside the station, chain-smoking, trying not to lose it completely and on the phone with my Mum who was trawling the net to find a way to get me on my way. Tickets to travel the following day cost £45 so, swallowing my despair at paying nearly £200 to make a trip that should have cost me a quarter of that (I’d already had to buy another single ticket to return home on Friday – instead of going further south to meet D’s family) I got on board and paid the money.

I left the station feeling stupid and frustrated. Towing my suitcase, and shamefully walking for the bus home, I held onto everything I had to stop myself from breaking down. Someone was obviously punishing me for trying to go ahead with the plan, even without D. Maybe they were just trying to test my resolve. When I got home I cried. I cried and cried and cried and cried. I cried for the stupid train, for my staying in bed that extra five minutes, for failing at something again, for the lack of D and everything else I could scrounge up. At least I had something to do, I suppose.

The next morning, I was up and out like a canon ball, singing: “I’m going to London, to buy Heat magazine”, just like the advert. I milled around the station with an hour to spare and sat on the train at 9.50AM thinking “I’m doing it!” “I am fucking, bloody, bastarding doing it. Kiss my ass and call me… um, Delilah!” One year, eight months and twenty-three days.

Since the last time I was on a train, things have changed. “Standard” Class is just about the same as Fist, sans the free tea, newspaper and reclining seat. But the very helpful young man at the station had bagged me a table for four all to myself (until York anyway) there was a plug for my laptop and FREE Internet the whole damn way. Plus nobody to accidentally fall asleep on the shoulder of, sitting beside me.

I was full of the joys of spring, texting everyone and their mother screaming, “I’m doing it! I’M ON THE TRAIN”. What followed was five hours and forty-five minutes of watching (shit) films, sleeping like a dead person, getting a dead leg and planning my surprise visit to my old work place where I was arriving a day early, unannounced. I was almost rubbing my hands with glee. When I arrived in King's Cross it felt entirely normal, like I’d never been away. I charged up my Oyster card, picked up my tickets for my return journey and awaited the arrival of my London mate J, who was coming to meet me. After a brief bus journey I was walking up the oh-so-familiar street that I had walked up for four-and-a-half-years, fully prepared to sit back down at my old desk and get on with my work. I buzzed in, saying I had a delivery in a mangled (pretending to be disguised) voice and walked down the stairs, going back in time.

The familial faces looked and looked again, sort of remembering, sort of thinking “Who…?” I crashed a meeting and there were hugs all round, I felt like I’d never been away. I wanted my job back. I wanted to be back here, in the bosom of my London Family, kicking a more refined and harsher ass. I wanted it all back.

I was back. I had flippin’ done it.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Amazon Pish List

Stupid (and I mean stupid) things, remind you of The Dumpers when you least expect them to. You would think that “one” would become accustomed to the dark side, creeping into your thoughts when you are having a happy moment -post ‘annoyingly silent and cowardly dumping’. Especially once you have reached the age of thirty and have had vast swathes of “I know how this story ends” life experience behind you. But alas no, it still always manages to surprise me in a jumping-out-of-the-shadows kind of way. Thwack.

"Don't be happy", it says. "No, no, not for an instant!" It shouts, "Because (thwack), you will be back there, down in the piss-smelling-gloom whenever we want you to be”. Then it does the maniacal laughing thing that screams of “I told you so”.

J, who I am staying with in LONDON TOWN (yes, I am here) was using my Amazon account today to order some last minute presents for Christmas and my Shopping Basket was overflowing with things that I thought The Recently Departed would have loved (the past tense did not apply at the time, obviously). The Road to Wigan Pier, Twelve Angry Men, Citizen Kane... all unpaid for Christmas presents, or presents for... whatever/whenever, all looking up at me, snickering behind their covers. Cheapo bastards.

Well, I say they can all “Fuck right off” because I have a date tomorrow.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Heralding the Rise of a New Hero

"I thought and drove... and then I drove more and thought a lot more. I also sang a little. Badly. And every time, I came to the same conclusion: That we would be better of splitting up." Just over a week ago now, I got that email. My Dear John.

I sit here in a mess of fresh laundry and bags, maps of London and Oyster cards. Tomorrow at 9.50AM I shall be on a train to London. It has taken me one year, eight months and twenty-one days to get to this point. Granted the journey has panned out a little differently to the one I was expecting, but maybe it is better this way. I'm doing it on my own, as it should be.

At the beginning of this year, after too many booked, paid for and missed trains, I gave up on the idea of going back to London, for a while. I told myself that I would aim to get there before Christmas. So, here I am and it's nearly Christmas, my ticket is booked (I made a deal with myself that if I went, I would be going First Class all the way - leg space, and free tea, here I come) and nothing but nothing is going to stop me from getting on that train tomorrow. Not even my very weary and broken heart.

D had asked me to his parents for Christmas this year. An invitation that was rescinded along with our relationship. "I’m sorry to tell you so close to Christmas, but I couldn’t leave it until after, and I really [hope] that you can get a refund on your train ticket." I was going down on the train to meet him, then off to meet his family followed by days of skipping around London Town visiting friends and being gorgeous. Pah.

I wrote him one last email this evening. Now I'm done. Yes, I miss him, yes I desperately miss him, but he doesn't want to be with me - clearly, or he would be banging my door down to make things right, right? I still can't take down the photographs or delete the texts or emails, maybe after Christmas and New Year are over, it's only been a week after all.

Tomorrow I shall be my own hero because I know how hard and how long I have fought to get to this point and I don't need a film or a boyfriend to tell me that. Just me, my Diazepam and my First Class ticket. Wish me luck...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Waiting for the Flowers to Drop

D sent me flowers. Orchids (he loved them). With a card that said "I love you". I can't remember when they came. I can't. I'm sitting here trying to remember. I'm frantically checking my head and my diary, looking for clues. I can't believe how much you feel the need to remember everything when your lovely, blissfully happy relationship, gets broken. I should have taken notes. I should have paid more attention when it was happening. I should have looked up from the future and seen what was right in front of me. I should have taken the time to savour the moments that are now scrambled up in a confusing mess of fast fading memories. If I don't remember, it will all be forgotten and then I might never remember that we were ever a couple. Maybe that fact alone is indicative of something that should never have been. That scares me.

I'm looking at my diary. He arrived here at 7:15AM on Friday, November 30th. I was there, with my styrofoam cup of gross, black, weak tea with one sugar, for him, that he always drinks, even though it tastes terrible. I think we had had a minor disagreement about something over the weekend and while he was sitting in the kitchen contemplating or being remorseful or whatever he did in there, he ordered me an orchid. A beautiful waxy, white stem with thirteen beautiful heads, all looking like vaginas. Maybe I got them Saturday. Maybe it was Monday. Or Tuesday. The first head dropped last night and the rest are beginning to fade. The pure white petals are turning a little yellowy but the vaginas themselves are still looking perfectly poised and preserved. The irony.

So I sit here, in my pyjamas and floor dragging face, watching that damn stem. Waiting, daring even, for the flowers to drop off, one by one. It's like an episode of Countdown with that annoying timer that sounds while you are trying to unscramble the Conundrum. It seems to get faster the closer you get to working it out and finally you are left screaming for more time when it makes its final "do-do-do-do!" I hear the ticking of that clock when I look at the flowers. He will have forgotten me by the time the last head drops. I will have forgotten him and it will all be over. No Warner Brothers fancy, serif font. Just silence and I am screaming for more time.

Friday, December 14, 2007

A Spoon Full of Sugar

Today I feel like my face is dragging along the ground. It's been dragging along all day, and I now have a chin full of grit and dirt and pavement. Today I miss him, Mr. Recently Departed. Friday's are usually when I go and meet him at the crack of dawn at the bus station, cup of tea in hand. We see each other and beam and cling onto each other like idiots, his beard tickling my face. But not today, the first of many looming D__ free Fridays. The lack of him is very evident. None of my inane "positive thinking" over the past 24 hours has worked and he still isn't "coming home" (his words). It blows. It more than blows.

I had counselling this morning with my Friday Counsellor - my last session of the year. We spoke at length about my newly "dumped" status. I spoke calmly throughout the whole appointment and was not the blubbering wreck I fully expected to be at the recollection of recent events, or the mere mention of his name. Even though this situation sucks on so many levels, it has freed up my "me" time, which, when you are in RECOVERY (Oh yes, yes, I am), is a good thing. We talked about my impending trip to London (Monday) and my continued plans to put one foot in front of the other. It wasn't until I left, that the face really started drooping. Now I doubt I will ever smile again, bloody wax face.

So, I mooched round the shops, trying to get a grip on the day and tasks that needed doing. I met a friend for a bowl of nutritious soup (I haven't eaten soup in about a year - it's been a textural thing) and it stayed down. It is harder than you think to eat soup when your face is frozen in melancholia, your swallowing mechanism doesn't work the same way - maybe it doesn't want to eat either. Plus my head was so full of snot it was hard to have both my mouth and nose closed (cold number two). Then I headed east to try to pick up my second batch of medication for the "festive" period. Of course, trying to get my (supposedly) repeat prescriptions is never easy. They, (Doctors) get all twitchy when you need Diazepam. Never mind that you are on hard core anti depressants and sleeping tablets, it's the tranquilisers seem to freak them out. I arrive at the surgery to pick up the prescription and the doctor has scrawled "WHY?" all over the form for the Diazepam and irrigation fluid I have requested. I have to make an emergency appointment for an hour later to go back down to the surgery to explain to a doctor why I need the medication I have had for the last two years. It makes me nervous explaining why. I feel like I'm taking a test. He also questioned my need for irrigation fluid. Do they never read the files they have in front of them? Obviously not because he wanted to see evidence of my self-harming. He wanted to see the scars. Humiliating? Yes.

Tonight I have been eating all the sugar I can find, and now I feel very sick. The sugar fix was required while swallowing my contraceptive pill. It didn't make it go down any easier. Mary Poppins lied.

And no, he still hasn't called.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

(Why) Are You Goading Me?

Why do we behave the way we do when we have been dumped? Why do we call it being “dumped”? Why is a normally “balanced” person made to feel they that they are behaving like a crazy person when the latter word/action has been activated?

Books are out there in their billions on how to “survive” break up’s and magazines are filled with “rules” to be followed when a break up occurs, but are any of them actually realistic? Suddenly and overnight, we are supposed to erase the heartbreakers’ numbers from our phones, delete all the amazing messages we were keeping to make ourselves smile. You are not allowed to call them, you are not allowed to wallow and you are absolutely not allowed to show the “dumper” that you have been affected by what they have done. “Are you kidding me?”

This morning I grabbed my well-thumbed copy of “He’s Just Not That Into You” (HJNTIY), from the Charity Shop pile (of course it was heading out – I had found my soul mate for Christ’s sake!) thinking I would find the salvation I was looking for… I opened the book at page 184. “I will not go out with a man who has previously rejected me”, said the mantra. Good point I thought. I read the index “HJNTIY If He Is Breaking Up With You, page 113". I crept to the page, hardly daring to look at what I knew was coming. There it was “What you need to do immediately is turn down the psychotic”. My plans for romantic gestures to “win” him back were mentally crumpled up and tossed into the waste paper basket, instantly. But is that fair? Should I even be reading this junk? My body and mind says, “Fight for this man” and why shouldn’t I, isn’t that what guys do in films and how romantic heroes are born? But the stigma remains and I feel like a private screening of Fatal Attraction this way comes and I have the starring role.

I check my email constantly expecting the Recently Departed to regain his old considerate self and have emailed me. I have my mobile phone surgically attached to my body and check that it is turned onto to ring and vibrate simultaneously, just incase I should miss a call or text from him. In my heart of hearts I know he won’t call, or anything else for that matter, but there is this tiny speck of hope that keeps returning, thinking “What if…?” Exactly, “What if?” If he called me up tomorrow and begged my forgiveness and told me he missed me and wanted me back, I would tell him to sling his hook – or would I? I have been here before with the ex before him. He kept “dumping” me and then changing his mind. Experience has taught me taking back a bloke after he leaves, leads to an impenetrable lack of trust for the dumpee, unless of course you are God-like in your ability to forgive and forget.

I am on day four of my post break up tour and I am still standing. This fact alone does not surprise me in the slightest because I know how this story goes. I have been here enough times already to know how to cope. I know I just have to get through the disbelief phase, the crying phase, the putting all his stuff away phase and the getting back on the horse phase and then I will be OK. However, my old friend “I told you so”, is also still here, sitting quietly beside me. “I knew it was all too good to be true.” But, for the first time in my life, I am not sitting here thinking: “What did I do?” because I know I didn’t do anything. This kind of crazy came straight from him.

He still refuses my calls, he hasn’t replied to any of the emails. His silence is deafening and maddening and is currently like a red rag to a bull. I know that you cannot make someone talk to you if they do not want to, but c’mon, seriously? He is (or I thought he was) a 30-year-old male with a lot of life experience that seemed to be the most kind, generous, considerate man I had ever met. He was a man too, not a kid – yet here he is playing stubbornly in the sandpit with the other girls and ignoring me.

Last night I came home, after a day of carefully structured distraction by my gorgeous friends S and K who have been constantly at my side since Monday morning, to find that the Recently Departed had put “new” profile pictures on the now infamous, dating website where we “met” and where we now seem to be co-habiting in a rather troublesome manner. Yesterday they were viewable only by his "favourites", today all and sundry can see them, including me. “Why don’t I just stop looking?” Are you crazy? This is personal and now he is goading me.

It was minutely less crushing when there was just text, but nothing, nothing, could have prepared me for clapping eyes on that oh-so-very familiar and penetrating gaze of the man I am in love with, staring up at me from a photograph on my screen. It hit like a ten-ton truck in the chest, when I saw that he had used a picture I took of him. I captured it quite by chance one day, when we were laughing and joking about. He suddenly looked straight at me, like he was looking into my soul and I got it. It was a private time - it was my favourite picture, now there it was, acting as a lure for others.

It’s like looking at the photograph of a dead person, looking at the face of the person that has just extracted themselves from your life. You know you will never again feel the touch of their skin, the smell of their breath when you kiss them, the sound of their voice in your ear. You look, you ache and you torture yourself.

I burst into tears. Why would he be so insensitive? Why would he use a picture I had taken of him, why would he slap me in the face like that? I called him AGAIN (yes, I know I said I wouldn't), but I did and asked him if he would kindly remove the picture as I thought it massively inappropriate. C'mon the dude is an amazing photographer, he has pictures of himself coming out his ears - why pick that one? Of course, I got derailed to his answer machine. So, I sent in the big guns. S called his house phone and left a very polite message, making the same request. The photo is still there today and now he has included “mad people need not apply” to his text. Personal? Nah, I’m just paranoid.

So, overnight it would seem I have turned into his nemesis and I have no idea why. Dammit, I forgot, by trying to get someone to explain/treat you humanely you are crazy and therefore deserve to be treated without respect.

I had signed up for more heartache as a knee jerk reaction to being dropped like a hot stone. Big mistake. I got more interest in fifteen minutes than I did in the couple of weeks when I initially signed up and received an influx of emails that I couldn’t respond too. It was all too soon, so I hid my profile. He however, remains there, smiling smugly at me, advertising for a wife.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Mobile Phone Bills May Vary

Oh lovely, thoughtful Hindsight, how I do adore you, you and your magical ways of pointing out the obvious that I am so blind to see. I do enjoy your visits immensely, but I must admit it is fucking annoying that you come so readily, after the fact. In the future, would you mind so terribly, appearing like a shiny beacon of reason while I am actually doing the stupid thing that I shall regret later?

It is was with a sickening thwack of reality, that I opened my mobile phone bill that so sensitively arrived this morning (three days post traumatic dumping via email). It was with that now familiar and quite annoying thwack, that I got my "Do not get so carried away by the new love in your life that you spend hours on your mobile chatting away like you have all the time (and money) in the world" message. Upon opening said bill, this was made loud and abundantly clear. It was Mr. Hindsight who so smugly pointed out that in my need to appear whimsical, carefree and devoted to my new beau that I had acted like an £80.91 fool and I now have the certificate to prove it.

I think I might frame it. I might have it enlarged, poster size and tape it to my forehead - like a billboard for all to see. Just like the sticky-fingered criminals in the US that have to parade outside Wal-mart for days on end, covered in sandwich boards saying "I stole from this store" and have the general public jeer at them, pointing.

What am I, TWELVE?

I Lied

"Oh yes, it is THE END, honest..."

"Weeeeeeell", (she said in a really annoying, whiney voice) "I really meant it at the time!" But sitting here, feeling full of stupidity/remorse/anger/frustration and God knows what else, all I can think of is "Blog this baby!" Or I'll never believe this little beauty in ten years time.

And so, I ask you to picture the scene, the happy couple are strolling off into the sunset in my last post on the old bloggo. The scene fades to black through a diminishing hole, the music reaches it's cheesy crescendo "... and we can build this thing together, standing strong forever, nothing's gonna stop us now..." and Mr. Love and I walk off into the sunset.

"Yeah Rozza, the only end you have in your horror-scope is the big, fat end of your fanciful dreams of a "happily ever after" ending." (Is a "happy ending" not a porn phrase?) I think I might have been a tad premature with that little gem. Well, at least I get to say "I TOLD YOU SO" regarding my theory that people always love me and leave me. And I am also right about mental people not being allowed to have sex or be in relationships, the proof being that "they" (men wanting in your knickers) say "Oh, I don't care if you are mental, I want to get to know ALL of you…" But, before wiping away that tear of incredulous joy that someone finally understands you... don't let him anywhere near your heart until he has seen you in a heap, on the floor, and then see if he still wants to play doctor to your dribbling patient.

As you can gather from that charming reenactment, my last contribution to the masturbatory act of blogging was to sing and dance off into the sunset with my new man, my new life, and my newfound confidence. I didn’t need that old misery blog anymore, no, no, no. I was off to be happy. “Pah!” I got dumped on Sunday (yeah, like two days ago) after weeks of idyllic love and spending copious amounts of time with an amazing man, who talked to me about building houses together, starting a business together making the things we both loved and babbled on about baby names sitting on my couch. And then I got dumped. VIA EMAIL.

I know we are all living in this super modern world where we all live by the click of a few carefully thumped keyboard keys, but come on. I suddenly feel like Carrie Bradshaw getting dumped via a post-it note. Oh, and I have just committed the cardinal sin of break up, I wrote the obligatory "ranty" email. I am ashamed (but only a bit). Every time, I say "No, no, no I will not lower myself and write the angry email". But, in my defense I had just found his new 'advertisement' on the dating website where we met. So startled was I, that I instinctively called him, obviously without thinking first (or breathing) – "there was obviously some mistake here…" I must have also been a bit intrigued at the speed at which he had mended his broken heart and was out scouting for his next piece of meat. I got the "two rings while I check who’s calling" and the “you're answer phone” rejection. Excuse me while I go vomit. And swallow another Diazepam.

Back to his new love ad… He now writes in the same slack way I do (lots of ‘no, no, no’ ing). He refers to himself as I referred to him AND professed lots of (new) love for things that we shared together. That, my friend, is more than a little creepy. Maybe he was one of those weirdo predators that your mother always warns you about, the Internet Hustler. If he was he must have been gutted to find out I was penniless, unemployed, oh and mental.