Oh dear. I’m a wreck this morning.
Last night I had a brilliant night out. I went out with some new-ish girl friends to a great club. It was a great night. The girls were great, the music was great, everything was great. And I was on fucking fire on the dancefloor.
When I rejoined my friends before leaving the club, one of them said “hello miss 5 different guys!”
I said “really? I thought I got off with the same guy 4-5 different times!”
I was totally smashed.
At one point, I remember thinking this is it. This is my first lesbian experience! Woah major lifestyle changes occurring because I made eye contact with a hot young woman and a few minutes later we were kissing after not even exchanging any words.
Then I realised it was just a womanish guy. Disappointing.
The Great Scot texted me at about 12.30am, saying he might not be on great form on our 3rd date tonight, as he hasn’t been sleeping well recently.
I thought about how absolutely shitfaced I was, and texted back “Unlikely to be a problem” before going back to whoever I was kissing at that point.
I vaguely remember trying to explain CBT to my Uber driver on the way home, which is pretty standard for me.
Then I got home. I always mess around on my phone before going to sleep, drunk or sober, unless I’m exceptionally shitfaced and too drunk to operate a phone.
Earlier that day, I’d had a counselling session. I decided to have counselling last year, because I was struggling. It wasn’t that bad, but I feel like I need to be totally across my mental health because I’m a therapist. Just like on a plane, when they talk about what to do in an emergency, they say “put your oxygen mask on first, before trying to help others with theirs”.
I was struggling with the fact I’d come out of an abusive relationship and not really dealt with it, the fact I had an ex that died, which I’ll never completely get over, and I also knew that how much I was struggling to get over the Whippersnapper was not normal and I needed help with that too. Then the fire at Grenfell happened and a lot of my feelings about fire came back so I knew it was time for some help.
I’m going write a full post or two just about my counselling and what I’ve learnt, but a key realisation is this: whereas I thought my personality and the Whippersnapper’s personality fit together perfectly, like jigsaw pieces, the things that actually fit together perfectly were my deepest, weakest vulnerabilities, and him.
It seems like, over the years, I’ve developed a pattern where I feel most comfortable when my boyfriend needs to be cared for. I feel like phew! they need me so that means they won’t leave me! and it kind of works for a while, but then my own needs aren’t being met, because we’re both so focused on their needs.
In one session, we had talked a lot about how I’ve cared for all my exes, and she said “so what do you feel like you have to offer, besides being caring?”
I was like “…ummm …”
After thinking about it properly for a while, and then more over the next week, I realised I have loads to offer, besides being caring. There are lots of things people say they like about me, and lots of things I’m proud of, besides being caring.
I realised a big thing I have to offer is colour. Literally, because I always wear bright colours and everyone always says they like how colour co-ordinated my outfits are. But also, figuratively. There’s the thing my friend said about how being friends with me is like the bit in the Wizard of Oz when everything goes into colour. One of my friends said “I always look forward to seeing you” and it’s not just because I’m caring, I think he said that because it’s fun seeing me.
But I’ve realised it’s no wonder I’ve struggled to get over WS. One of my insecurities is thinking I’ve got nothing to offer besides being caring, and when we were together, he really emphasised how much he liked the fact I’m caring. After it ended, he would always come to me when he needed caring for, with his drunk 3am texts where he said he wanted to die. It wasn’t that we were perfect for each other, it’s that he was perfect for my vulnerabilities.
It’s like it’s always hard to walk away, but he made the floor an escalator going in the wrong direction.
We’ve spent some time in my counselling talking about each of my exes and looking out for repeating patterns. In yesterday’s session, we got onto the Whippersnapper.
The session was first thing in the morning, and I felt in a funny mood for the rest of the day. It was partly because I got woken up at 3am by really bad period pains, and then I was taking codeine all day, but also because of the session. I’ve been having nightmares about Balthazar and his death recently, so we talked about that, and I got really upset. Then we talked about my abusive relationship with Matthew. I don’t think about it much, but really, it’s awful what happened. When I remember cowering in the kitchen when he was shouting abuse through the door, or hiding in the bedroom while he kicked the shit out of some cardboard boxes and shouted up the stairs that I’m pathetic, or lay on the bed crying while he kicked the mattress – all the times I felt terrified because I genuinely didn’t know if I was safe. It’s mad that that happened.
Then we talked about Whippersnapper before the end of the session.
I have made a lot of progress with WS, over the last few months. I think about him less often, my perspective about him has changed and feelings for him have changed. However, I still think about him more than I want to.
Because he was on my mind a lot, after the session, and because I felt like I’ve been really good for months – we haven’t been in contact, I haven’t looked at anything to do with him – no social media or photos or anything – when I was drunk at 2am this morning, I decided I’ve earned a little relapse.
I googled his name.
His twitter account came up. I had seen this Twitter account before, but he hadn’t tweeted for years. Now he is using the account again.
And he’s in a relationship with someone.
Funnily enough, last night, when I realised this, I thought oh who fucking cares? and went to sleep.
And when I woke up this morning, my first thoughts were about all the guys I kissed last night, and then about the Great Scot, before I remembered what I saw on Twitter.
But now I feel a bit gutted.
There’s a woman who seems really active on Twitter and has a podcast about a TV show. And they tweet at each other a lot. And he’s guested on her podcast. And someone tweeted something about him and she wrote “hands off my man!” And there’s a GIF of him with his arm around her.
I looked at Twitter again this morning.
Fuck, it’s worse than I thought.
When I was waiting for the kettle to boil for my much needed first cup of tea of the day, I thought OK, how am I going to deal with this?
I wasn’t that worried about him getting into another relationship, because I really didn’t think it would happen for a long time. He told me he wasn’t ready for a relationship, which was why he ended things with me, and his behaviour before and afterwards totally supported that.
I realised there’s only two possibilities.
- he’s learnt a lot about relationships from what happened with us, and that’s how he’s able to be in one now, and that means what we had was still significant to him
- or he hasn’t learnt anything and their relationship will be as shit as ours was.
The thing that would hurt most is if I was nothing to him and he forgot me. I really believe he loved me and what we had was a big deal to him at the time. I don’t think he would’ve still texted me saying he loved me, after not seeing me for 6 months, if I meant nothing to him.
I didn’t think he’d be ready for a relationship for a long time, because he was too fucked up even to do the basics with me, like seeing each other regularly, despite me trying to make it as easy as possible – easier than most people would.
But obviously he is ready. And that can only mean he’s got over some of his issues, and reflecting on what went wrong with us must have paved the way for that. Or he hasn’t, and this won’t work either.
And really, do I want to be with him? Am I jealous of her, getting to be with him? Do I want someone who
- is only 23
- lives with his parents
- hasn’t been to university and last time we were in touch was struggling to find a permanent job, when I have a career I’m in love with
- has at least 2 STIs and will always be at risk of passing one of them on to his partner
- has all kinds of intimacy issues and mental health problems
- wasn’t there for me when I needed him, on several occasions
- has the capacity to be horrendously abusive and take too long to apologise for it afterwards
- can’t drive
- has the capacity to lie over and over
- has a life that seems quite small, in comparison to mine – not really travelling much, only going out with the same few friends every weekend, spending all weekend in bed, only having lived in one house his whole life
Also, I’m the one who blocked him on everything, in the end. What did I expect to happen?
It’s OK. It’s natural to feel upset when your ex gets together with someone else, but I can handle this.
It’s a shame this happened this week, because I’ve been feeling a bit funny all week. My best friend had her baby, and at first, all I could think about was how the birth was, how she was and how I could be as helpful and supportive as possible. I felt so happy and excited for her. When I’ve told other people she’s had her baby, I’ve got a bit choked up because this is massive and I’m so happy for her.
But later in the week, I was at work, looking at a display about breastfeeding in the GP surgery I was working in. I started to think what if I never get to experience breastfeeding because I’ve fucked up all my relationships and left it too late?
And then another day, I was talking to one of my colleagues. She got married recently, and she was saying “I thought ‘everything in my life is so perfect’ and then my cat died.”
It upset me because I’ve never thought ‘everything in my life is so perfect’.
I spent the whole day feeling really upset and pissed off that I got sexually assaulted and had anorexia and my house burnt down and my boyfriend died and then my next boyfriend was abusive and it’s so fucking unfair. I just wish just one of those things hadn’t happened. I just wish life wasn’t so fucking hard all the time.
Sometimes I think I’m really unlucky, but then I know actually I’m very lucky. I coped with all those things really well because I have such supportive friends and family. I have a job I love and I’m good at loads of things outside of work.
And also, I usually look in the mirror and think Oh for fuck’s sake but realistically, I’m OK-looking – enough to be able to get off with 1-5 guys just by looking at them across the dance floor.
So after my cup of tea, I phoned one of my best friends and I was crying on the phone, and she started crying too and said “I’m so sorry you’re feeling so sad, you don’t deserve it!” I’m so lucky to have a friend like that.
This isn’t the end of the world. I’m seeing the Great Scot tonight. I have some reservations about him, which I’ll write another post about, but I’m looking forward to it.
If you have any pearls of wisdom (besides “Why are you still talking about this! Get over it you loser!”) feel free to throw them into the comments section.