Errr, hi, hello….Ahem.
24 hours ago, I was on cloud 9. Now I am back in purgatory, I think. I have given myself the day to be a disaster. Cry. Be in heated rooms. Walk around with puffy eyes. I hope that tomorrow I can do a bit better.
I met a boy. A man, in fact. Not so long ago.
It was not when or what I thought it would be, but it was a lovely surprise.
I had responded to his contact on the internet with a bit of reservation – 38, widowed with 2 kids. But, I thought, hey, he seems like a nice guy. And I was so glad I did. We hit it off marvellously. He liked my profile. He had only ever dated women with children, but made an exception.
Despite both going away, we made it work. I went to Tassie over Easter. He came and met me in Singapore. He took me to the airport. We saw each other in between. We talked at least once per day. Texted many times. Developed “in” jokes.
While I was in London, he played me a song on his guitar over the telephone. Blackbird. It made me cry – that song does at the best of times, but his gesture was touching and one of the most romantic things I have ever experienced. He followed my progress on marathon day. He rang me when I was feeling stressed/emotional/ratty. He was keen to start a relationship, to have me in his life.
The time that we spent together was amazing. It did not matter whether it was high tea at Raffles or some pikelets at his home. It felt magical. Blessed. Like a holiday.
The two little girls – oh, the little girls. They were a delight, and I found myself falling for father and daughters. Not one, but three! I surprised myself and him with how comfortably I could interact with them.
It was everything I had not seen before. It occurred just at a time when I was starting to feel comfortable with being single. Like always, I gave myself to it fully. Enjoyed it and delighted in it and submitted to it. It was not perfect, there were some flags in the distance, but it felt good and right. I felt the nice mix of contentment and excitement, with only minimal anxiety. I was aware that there might be limitations in some areas (some significant barriers to having children), but I was willing to accept that. Life does not turn out the way we expect it to but it is incumbent upon us to make the best of it. I made it clear to him that I wanted a good relationship before children, and the egg would not come before the chicken (interesting turn of phrase but there it is).
His actions were loving, but when we got to talking about things, that is when it started to get a bit uncomfortable. It was hard for him to open up. I was patient, and listened carefully to what he was saying when he did. I sensed a bit of holding back.
As planned, we met up over the past weekend, I drove from the airport to the Mornington Peninsula. We were both thrilled to see each other. He made me something delicious for dinner and we had a lovely evening followed by a lovely brunch and afternoon tea.
I gave the girls a goodnight hug and kiss. The older girl, the less effusive one, said “I love you, Cilla”
After that, he and I got talking, a bit of a state of the union thing..
Him: “I don’t know whether I want to have more children”
Me: I don’t know whether I want to have children either, I want the relationship before the children, I said that”
“You are an amazing gorgeous caring woman, you could have any man you want”
I want you.
“I feel a bit broken, I don’t know that I can ever love somebody again”
[Silence, wheels turning…]
Me:Don’t touch me.
“I feel like a need to exile myself for a few months”
COULD YOU NOT HAVE WORKED THAT OUT BEFORE YOU WENT ON INTERNET DATING?
[Silence. Silent tears]
I left. Not before telling him I loved him, and the girls. That I did not want his money, or anything else, just that in return. Just needed to put that out there.
I have cried for the past 18 hours, with a few bits of sleep and work in between. I howl when I think of the bedtime exchange with daughter number 1, I can feel my heart cracking.
I thought back to my marathon to try and give myself some solace.
I held my head up despite it being hard going. I am proud of that.
Now, I just wonder WHY IT MUST BE SO HARD? How can I keep my head up proud when I just feel like curling up in a ball?
Those little sparrows of Faith, Hope, Trust and Love, ones reared from chicks recently, don’t have a branch to rest on. They are just flying haphazardly around the tree. Me.
Through my tears, as the little sparrows were floundering, I realised I must find some way of supporting them, of holding on to them.
Faith in myself, Trust in myself, Love for myself and Hope for my future.
I know I have a lot to look forward to but just can’t see it at the moment. It all seems a bit dreary and colourless, without that excitement. I wonder whether I will ever get there again. Whether I will be too scared to appreciate it if it occurs, for fear of losing it. That every time this happens a bit falls off me.
I feel a bit ashamed of myself, for falling for him. Foolish. I don’t really want to talk to anyone about it. I wonder if I did something wrong.
My kind little voice has said “hey, you did good, you were honest, kind, loving. You did good with the kids. Don’t worry, one way or the other, it will get better.”
He loved my lifestyle – travel, freedom, intellectual stimulation. He was tantalised by it. He loved my company, and said I was fun to be around. I probably provided him some escape from a world where he felt trapped and lonely. I was the rebound from a rebound – he had not been single much at all since he was widowed.
He is a beautiful man, and I understand where he is coming from. I feel sad for him, too. I have left the door open, I am not ready to give up on things, but know that they don’t look good.
Doesn’t make it easier for me. Not today. That feeling of being back at square one, of feeling lost and like I have no place. That is here. I know to go forward.
Thanks for reading.