Delayed Reaction

If there’s one thing I should have learned about myself that I haven’t is that I often get delayed responses to things. No surprise since I do certain things by the seat of my pants, like getting a tattoo the day after I’ve drawn it for example. In this case, it’s The Frenchman. Yes, him again. I’ve been feeling fantastically low for a good few weeks now and it’s not letting up. I think it kicked in properly when I was feeling ill and spent a whole day crying like a demented baby. Since then, it’s come in waves. Today was a bit shit, really. Things like listening to music, any music, is disgustingly horrible, but I still do it because, well. It’s music. And I can’t live without it, which is why I’ve got music stuff incorporated into tattoo number 5. I’d love to share pics but I can’t because…well. Anonymity and all that malarkey. Even the fact that it’s my birthday tomorrow and I’ll hit the big 2-9 is just….meh.

What didn’t help, was that I met with The Ex yesterday. Since we’ve missed each other at a mutual friends’ last couple of gatherings by an hour or so and we’ll both be going to a christening next month, I thought it a good idea to get the first meet out of the way instead of doing it in front of everyone. It was fine. We had a drink and a bit to eat. He’s doing well, still with his girlfriend and apparently less on the coke, more on the gym. It wasn’t particularly awkward, though he did bring up ‘us’ a few times. But I sat there, opposite him and thought, I spent 9.5 years with you…how? There were absolutely no residual feelings on my part, which was good, but all I could think about was The Frenchman, and how their qualities were so different. This feeling I have now is way deeper than the regret and sickly ugh-ness I felt after The Ex. And I didn’t like that. Nor did I like the fact that as soon as we walked into the pub, ‘Lights Out, Words Gone’ by Bombay Bicycle Club came on. It’s a song that made me cry the first time I heard it, just because I think it’s beautiful. And all that was in my head was lying on a hotel bed, listening to it in Toulouse with The Frenchman. It’s the first time I’ve ever heard it played anywhere at all.

Sigh.

I hate this about myself. I hate that I feel things way later than I should. I hate that things might have been different if I’d have voiced my concerns before throwing my toys out of the pram. He’s since told me that there was no conspiracy for me to not to meet his friends. The first few times he wanted to spend time alone with me and the last time, they were busy. It was a major bone of contention for me and perhaps, if I’d have just said, I’m not happy with this, I’d have made a different decision.

I dunno. I miss him, a lot. And when he comments on my Facebook update leaving a trail of kisses in caps, it really hurts. For the first time, I can understand why people choose not to to keep in touch with exes, because it hurts more than it helps.

Oh well. As Freddie Mercury said, show must go on.

If you snooze you lose

So Mr Soldier texted me again about an hour ago.

‘Your lips are looking too hot.’

He was referring to a picture I’d put on Facebook from my night out yesterday, my lips streaked with deep red lipstick. I replied back with ‘thanks’ and when he texted back and asked if he could kiss them again, he got a ‘nope’ in response. I mean. Really? Anyway, this went back and forth for a few minutes, him saying what he missed about me and me saying ‘I’m off the market’. Then he said:

‘It’s been over a year now.’

Well, yes. It almost has, kinda. So why keep harping on about it? The sex was good, but really? It can’t be that hard to go get laid somewhere else. I replied back and said yep, a lot can change in a year and he said he wished things hadn’t changed. I reminded him that he was the one to flake on our arrangement, and now it’s too bad. If you snooze, you lose. That’s the way of the world. You can’t just pick someone up and put them down whenever you feel like it and expect them to hang around. Besides, I’m so not interested. Wouldn’t go back there if you paid me. That’s the last time I dally with a friend’s brother!

Bloody men.

That thing between life and death…what a bitch!

These are the words of a text I received from The Ex today. What a headfucker of a day. At 4.15am, my phone buzzed and woke me up – which doesn’t often happen. It was a text from my Ex (a particularly boisterous text) followed by another asking for me to call him. I replied, asking if his text was meant for me. No, was the reply. Fair enough. I turned around to fall back asleep, and then my phone rang. What followed was a 3 hour conversation.

We covered a lot of ground. Initially, he was calling because a mutual friend of ours (ish) had told him I was doing coke, sleeping with his friends etc etc. I know who he was talking about and I don’t understand why she’s saying this. I haven’t done coke. I tried a little on my gums on a night out with Mr Music because I wanted to know what the fuss was about. It was disgusting. And I’d told my friend this while we were talking about coke in general. As for me sleeping with his mates, well. I haven’t! One of them tried it on with me, twice, but I said no. Furthermore, the friend of his who tried it on is now sleeping with the friend whose been stirring shit. Lastly, I wouldn’t dip into that genetically inbred pool if you paid me. So, of course, I told him all this. He said he believed me, he just couldn’t understand why she was saying these things. The conversation then covered our relationship, our new relationships and everything in between.

The worst thing he said, was that this time last year, when I was begging and dying for him to take me back, he said no because he didn’t want to feel like I was doing it out of pity for him and the way he acted when I left him. He wanted me to take the time to really think about what I wanted, but that he did want to get back together. That hurt. A lot. I don’t know how I could have made it any clearer that I wanted him back. When he left me crying until I thought I’d vomit up my insides, twice. When I’d call and text and call and text. I don’t understand how he could have thought it was pity. He said saying no was the hardest thing he’d ever had to do. I felt incredibly sad and I told him that. Throughout our relationship he could be the master manipulator. He could pull anyone’s strings and have them marching to the beat of his drum. But there’d be times he’d do things and I wouldn’t understand why. He used to tell me he wanted me to figure out the reasons why instead of him telling me. He said, that there were certain things in life that he didn’t want to influence people over, so he would do things without explanation to make them think about why he was doing what he was doing. And if that sounds complicated, it’s because it was. I don’t know how many times I’d told him while we were together not to do this. I could never figure it out and it inevitably led to arguments. It seems that him rejecting me, almost a year ago to the day, was borne out of the same idea. He said he wanted me to want to be with him (which he would know was for real after a period of absence), and make that want known, followed by ‘hint, hint, nudge, nudge’. He said there was one point when we’d met and I was so upset, but I still couldn’t tell him I wanted to come back. And that even now, he knows I wouldn’t be able to say that, even if that’s what I still wanted because I’m that stubborn.

It was a hard conversation. Very emotional, very deep. Despite that, we still laughed like we were old friends. He told me I sounded strong and sexy, like the 17 year old girl he fell in love with and not the 27 year old woman who left. He told me he wanted me to give 100% of myself to the next guy, like I didn’t with him. And for his part, he told me about what he’s been up to. About his relief at easily being able to make a woman come in bed, which he did maybe three or four times with me, though not through lack of trying. In fairness, his new girlfriend sounds nice  enough. It sounds like she’s giving him everything he wants and was never able to get from me. We spoke about friends we used to hang out with. His best friend (who’s friends with Gym Buddy and the reason we met in the first place) is back with his girlfriend. When they were together, we all used to hang out. I really liked her and then when they split (in a particularly nasty fashion), I never heard from her again. I actually contacted her again this year and we swapped a couple of emails before she dropped off again. Turns out they’re back together now after being apart for a couple of years and expecting a baby. I don’t know why but that news really got to me. In my head, we were always going to be the ones to do that first. We were always the couple our friends used to talk about as the pinnacle of what relationships were. Hard, yes, but solid. Which was the case for many years. We were meant to get married first, have kids first. Now, that’s happening to them instead of us. He said the same thing, that I was meant to be the grandmother of his grandchildren and now that’s not going to happen. In the end, he started to get upset and said he had to go, at 7.30am.

I was confused. I was tearful and I was sad. He was such a huge part of my life for so long and I couldn’t understand, why now? Why are you telling me this now? We’ve had comms throughout the year, it’s not like this was the first time we’d spoken since the split. We ended up texting until around midday. What have I deduced from this?

He feels regret. He says he thinks he loves his new girlfriend, but she isn’t me. I almost felt like sending him the link to my post about moving on. He said he felt like he’d ruined me and it had been playing on his mind for a long time. That he felt I’d become someone else as a result of what went on during our relationship. To be honest, I think he felt guilt. He’s really into his new girlfriend but it isn’t the same. He said that a lot. The sex is great, but it’s not you. She’s very reactive, but she’s not you. She’s great, but she’s not you. I told him that of course it’s not the same. It’s not meant to be. But if he really likes her then he owes it to her and himself to really try, instead of holding onto memories of what we had. He said he’s learned a lot from our break up (though he’s still on the coke??) and he understands why I left. He doesn’t want me to only tell people about the bad times because he has apparently never badmouthed me. To his friends, to his new girlfriend. It sounded a lot like a case of ‘what could have been’. ‘If only’. If only he hadn’t of played this mind game with me last year. If only I’d have tried for one more week to get him back. He sounded like he didn’t know what he wanted. He said he didn’t know what he wanted. Distracted by memories and nostalgia and I told him that it wasn’t fair to put me through this just because of those two things. He replied by saying he thinks he knows what he wants, he just hadn’t properly dealt with things until today. And knowing that I’m happy makes that easier. I’ll always be the love of his life and even though he’s old school and therefore bound to hate The Frenchman or anyone else, he’s also an adult and wants me to be happy.

By the time we said our goodbyes, I felt a bit better. It felt like he just needed to talk some things out and figure things out in his head. And although I shouldn’t be the person he goes to for that, I can’t deny it was nice to talk to him again. Our break up was hard and messy, but the comms we’ve had since then have been friendly enough. After ten years, of course I care about him. Of course I want him to be happy. He’s such a strong person, I know how much it takes for him to talk about his deep feelings, let alone cry. It goes against everything he was brought up to believe, so I knew how much he needed to talk last night.

It’s left me unfocused and with a headache. My trip to the National Gallery turned out to be a waste of time because I couldn’t focus on anything at all. Not because I’m confused about my feelings, or anything like that, but because I’ve been left with this feeling that I can’t describe. This feeling of…..this. I have to agree with his text. Life is a bitch and full of what ifs and regrets. But I do know that this year I’ve been happy. I can’t lay my unhappiness all on him – I know I could have done things differently to make myself happy – but I wouldn’t have done even a quarter of the things I’ve done this year if we’d have got back together. And it’s only after I’ve done said thing that I realise how much I’ve changed since I left. Or reverted back to my old self.

But I still can’t help the feeling that all of this shouldn’t have happened. And because of a massive case of crossed wires, miscommunications etc, it has. And that is such a shame.