Blasts from the past

A couple of weeks ago, I had my last counselling session.

I had a few final topics I wanted to talk through with her, while I still had the chance

  • the trip to Paris, and how Andrew got depressed
  • some work pressures
  • an issue with my friend Ruth

As I was walking to the session, I reviewed in my head what I wanted to bring up.

I thought there was a 4th one? What was it?

I couldn’t remember.

I got to the session and we discussed the above topics:

  • as I wrote in a previous post, he might’ve got depressed because me being ill reminded him of death
  • don’t take responsibility for things that aren’t my problem at work
  • talk to Ruth.

It was a nice final session. She said she’d loved working with me, which meant a lot, and I said her insights had a really positive impact on my relationship with Andrew.

It wasn’t until a few days later, I remembered what the 4th topic was.

Bollocks. It was the Whippersnapper.

I was washing up when it popped back into my head.

I had meant to ask her opinion about the Whippersnapper.

The Whippersnapper was someone I’d dated for a few months in 2016-7.

You can read the drama as it unravelled on here, but these are the edited highlights

  • we had a few brilliant dates, and seemed to fall for each other quite quickly
  • we both found it a fun, hot quirk that he was 7 years younger than me
  • the one thing I didn’t like was that he always rescheduled our dates. Partly because he kept having outbreaks of things like genital warts
  • it turned out he used to be really overweight and lost loads of weight aged 18, but still had major body image problems. He had got STIs from sleeping around to try and boost his confidence.
  • he often cancelled our dates because he thought he looked bad
  • I tried to help with his body image problems.
  • I told him how sad and disappointed I felt when he cancelled and he said he’d stop, but then didn’t
  • Of all the dates we had, only had 2 didn’t get rescheduled. The reschedulements often got rescheduled multiple times.
  • I gave him an ultimatum to either stop cancelling or stop dating me
  • He decided to stop dating me
  • We spent the next 6 months texting heavy-hearted messages. He would get drunk and text me at 3am saying he still loved me and/or that he wanted to die
  • One night he sent me 18 messages calling me a cunt
  • I reached the end of my tether
  • He had a hissy fit when I told him to stop messaging me
  • He told me he’d lied about his age all along. He was actually 10 years younger
  • I said all I’d ever wanted to meet up and say goodbye in person, then move on.
  • He said, “sure, but not until I’ve got a new job. I can’t meet you while I’m unemployed.”
  • I thought this is bollocks and blocked him on everything.

It was a very long time since anything had happened with the Whippersnapper, but a few months earlier, I looked at his Twitter profile.

Then I drifted back into the habit of looking at his Twitter page, every so often.

And then ‘every so often’ drifted into ‘every day’.

I had wanted to talk about this in counselling, as I didn’t know why I was doing it.

In the past, I looked at his social media because I was pining for him. I’d stare at photos of his face and feel full of longing and sadness.

This time I’d look at photos of him and think actually he did have quite a big head or very gummy smile.

  • I felt like I was appraising him more objectively, but I knew it was bloody weird.
  • I’d look at tweets he and his girlfriend had sent to each other, and I felt kind of fascinated by their relationship.

    I’d think this isn’t the relationship I wanted.

    But I’d also wonder why he could do it for her but not for me.

  • I had wanted to figure out with the counsellor why I was looking at his profile.
  • Then, there I was, washing up. I was listening to a podcast, which turned out to be about herpes, and it made me think of him.
  • I’m going to have to figure this out myself.
  • As I washed up, I tried to figure out why I’m drawn back to his Twitter account.
  • I don’t want to be with him. Andrew gives me 100 times more than the Whippersnapper did.
  • Andrew is like a well-made coat that would keep me warm for the rest of my life, that fits me perfectly.
  • The Whippersnapper is like a cheap jumper from Primark that’s not as warm as it looks and never quite fitted properly.
  • Maybe it’s because it’s unresolved.
  • I tend to stay friends with exes, or at least have a decent debrief and end of placement review with them, before parting company.
  • With WS, the last time we saw each other, we had still been together, as he’d dumped me by text.
  • Then I’d ended up blocking him.
  • Maybe I was searching for some sense of resolution on his social media.
  • I talked to Andrew about it, and said the way it had ended with WS had always stuck in my craw.
  • “I won’t if you’re not comfortable, but I was thinking about getting back in touch with WS. I think I really want an apology from him, for how he treated me.”
  • “Of course. I suppose – just be aware he might not apologise, so it might not be possible to get what you want from it,” he said.
  • “That’s true.”
  • A week or so later, I unblocked the Whippersnapper on Facebook and sent him this message.
  • (I didn’t like to say that the ‘something’ that reminded me of him was a podcast about herpes.)
  • I could see that he read the message immediately.
  • It was a Saturday afternoon and I went to a craft place to paint a plate. (I had 12 goals for 2019 and I’ve been doing one month. One goal was to paint a plate, as I painted one a few years ago, and it’s my favourite plate now, and I wanted a second one.)
  • I forgot about the Facebook message while I was painting, but then suddenly remembered afterwards, and checked my phone with a slightly shaky hand.

    Nothing!

    He hasn’t responded!

    At first I thought it might be a surprise for him to hear from me, might take a while for him to decide what to say.

    But then the rest of the weekend went by, and then the following week, and still nothing.

    I was surprised how I kept forgetting I had messaged him, and only remembered every so often.

    I suppose I had imagined that now a couple of years had gone past, he might’ve grown up and reflected on our relationship, and regretted some of things he’d done.

    His absolute lack of response confirmed for me that that wasn’t the case.

    And that gave me the closure I needed.

    As soon as I sent the message, my urge to check his Twitter went away.

    I have stopped now.

    At the same time, I had another blast from the past.

    A few weeks ago, it was another Saturday afternoon. I had joined Andrew and his work colleague, who were in a pub in central London. They’d been on the People’s Vote march.

    The friend had just left, and Andrew was in the toilet. We were about to go and have dinner somewhere.

    I checked my phone, and saw this message.

    “I know this is a bolt from the past.

    But your story about the painting.”

    He was still typing.

    It was from Abrasive Uber.

    He was someone I met in a club. We chatted and I liked him a lot, and we decided to go back to mine, but then he annoyed me so much in the Uber home, that I hated him by the time we got back to mine.

    In the morning, somehow he managed to pull it back and we had a fun time.

    “You really pissed me off last night,” I said.

    “Sorry, I think I was just trying to be funny, like Larry David!” he replied.

    We lay around chatting and laughing and eating toast, and then I had to get ready for a date I already had planned, meeting a guy for Sunday lunch.

    Abrasive Uber looked mournful as I put my makeup on.

    After that we had a date which went well, then we went back to mine.

    We tried to have sex, but in the opening stages, while I was taking my cardigan off, he commented that a painting on my wall was ‘creepy’.

    “Oh. My ex-boyfriend did that. He died a few years ago in a fire.”

    It rather spoilt the moment.

    We talked about seeing each other again, but then Abrasive Uber said he only wanted to be friends with benefits. I was open to that, but then he never got back in touch to activate the benefits.

    I hadn’t heard from him for nearly a year.

    What’s he typing about the painting? I wondered.

    “Would you allow me to use it in my current stand up material?” he finally wrote.

    Wow! I was not expecting that!

    One of things Abrasive Uber and I had chatted about was the fact he had tried doing stand-up comedy, but then lost his confidence.

    The night we met, I’d drunkenly ended up drawing a social anxiety CBT formulation on the back of something in the club.

    Andrew came back from the toilets.

    I showed him the messages.

    “What do you think I should say?” I asked him.

    “I think it’s nice of him to ask,” he replied.

    “Me too. He could easily just have done it without asking.”

    And I certainly didn’t ask his permission before blogging about him.

    On the other hand, I didn’t like the idea of a comedy club audience laughing at me or my ex-boyfriend’s death.

    I replied:

    He said:

    I went for dinner with Andrew, and Abrasive Uber exchanged a few more messages about how we were, before the chat petered out.

    I wonder if he will end up using it in his stand up.

    Then, a couple of weeks later, I was asleep in Andrew’s bed. I woke up really early and checked my phone.

    It was about 7am on a Saturday morning.

    The night before, my family had been messaging each other about the fact my mum hasn’t been well.

    I was checking to see if there were any more messages about that, when I saw this!

    From the Whippersnapper!

    And then more:

    I couldn’t believe it!

    Exactly what I’d been hoping for.

    I haven’t replied yet. I’m not sure what I’ll say.

    When Andrew woke up, I showed him and he thought it was really nice that WS has sent that.

    “I expect he took a lot from you,” he said.

    At first I thought he meant WS had depleted me, which I agreed with, and described how bad some of the dramas had made me feel.

    “No, I meant he probably gained a lot from being with you. He’s probably treating people better now.”

    Then he added, “you couldn’t be with you and not be better afterwards.”

    13 thoughts on “Blasts from the past

    1. I’ve just discovered your blog, and I LOVE IT so much, it’s just the kind of thing I’ve been wanting to find! I’ve really gone on a binge the last few days, because your writing is wonderful – so funny and insightful. I really like the way you step back and analyse how you feel to get to the bottom of it. That, and the discussions you describe between you and Andrew, are both really good models for managing when things are tricky.
      I enjoy writing too and have gone through phases of trying to do it regularly, but it’s such a difficult thing – your blog has reignited my desire to get back into it though! So thank you for sharing. *fan girl rant over*
      PS big fan of Andrew 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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