This is a Blue post.
They’re rare these days, so I’m sure you can handle it.
I can’t always be hilarious….jeeeeeez!
While I am happier than I remember being in a long time, while my sad-making body chemicals are finally starting to right themselves and while everything seems a little clearer and a little brighter, there are Blue Moments.
I guess, you don’t just get over a relationship like the one I had with Him.
Sure, I’ve distracted myself from it.
I’ve pushed it down under lots of other things.
I’ve been very practical and factual about it on the surface.
And I sometimes I really do think ‘Hey this isn’t so bad!”
But most of the time, all I’m dealing with is what’s on the surface.
Because I don’t think I can deal with all of it at once.
I think I’m fine – I think I’m making progress – and then I realise I’m really not.
It overwhelms me and I know I’ve been kidding myself.
It’s still a ‘thing’.
It still hurts.
And I curl up into a tight little ball and stay very still and very quiet for a little while.
And then I feel better.
I feel brighter.
I still feel we made the right decision.
Most of the time, I feel I’ve moved on.
Other times it feels like I never will.
And it’s made me afraid.
Afraid to open up to someone new.
Afraid to be any more than ‘casual’.
Because moving on means letting go.
It also means stepping into The Unknown.
Being vulnerable and risking being hurt like the many times it happened before Him.
Being with Him was safe and warm and just full of love.
He was my home.
It was never like that with anyone else.
Right now, I don’t think I can be hurt again.
And I don’t know if I can find someone to make me feel like that again.
But I do have hope.
And I do know that this feeling isn’t forever.
I can already see how much progress I’ve made since it all happened.
And I know I can’t stay in this one place – this limbo – forever.
Moving on is a good thing.
A scary thing.
But a good thing.
I’m tentative and I’m building up walls.
But I’m leaving gaps between the bricks.
Just in case.
Alison: Can I ask you a question?
Alison: She never cheated on you.
Tom: No, never.
Alison: Did she ever take advantage of you in any way?
Tom: Well, no.
Alison: And she told you up front that she didn’t want a boyfriend.
I bumped into a guy I used to work with when I was out for drinks a couple of weekends ago.
We chatted for a few minutes and suddenly he brought us onto the topic of 500 Days of Summer.
Former Colleague: Have you seen that movie?
Me: *insert witty ‘Eh, like Duuuh’ remark here*
Former Colleague: I really hated the girl.
Me: *choking on drink* It’s Zooey Deschanel! How can you not like her!!?
Former Colleague: It was just the character. She was so awful. Such a bitch.
Me: *getting worked up* I thought she was a brilliant character. The whole film was so real. It wasn’t a black and white relationship where there’s a good and bad guy – it was just a real relationship that didn’t work out.
Former Colleague: She was the bad guy. She led him on and used him.
Me: Ok, so she didn’t act in an ideal way and do the obvious ‘right thing’, but she warned him from the start where her head was and he said it was fine and kidded himself.
Former Colleague: He fell in love with her.
Me: And she didn’t fall in love with him!
Former Colleague/Soon to be top of my Enemy list: She was going out with him and hand-holding and everything. She was a slut.
Me: *mouth falling open* What!?
Former Colleague: Look, if she wasn’t some quirky cool indie chick and had tarted up in a short skirt and killer heels while carrying on the way she did, everyone would be calling her a slut. But because she’s the Alternative Miss, the behaviour is viewed in a different way.
Me: *now so high-pitched only dogs can hear* How can you say that? She wasn’t in the right place for something serious, but she wanted some intimacy. She needed some human contact and to feel close to someone, but without the heaviness of the We Are In A Relationship label. And she was honest with him from the beginning, she never led him on or hid her true intentions. Sure she could’ve been less selfish and ended the relationship, but he could’ve been less blind and done the same. There wasn’t a bad guy. They were just being human. Humans are flawed.
Fomer Colleague: No, she was just…
Me: *cutting him off* I really think we’re going to have to agree to disagree here, cos I have to go find my friends now…. *storms off*
And what is today’s lesson, Class?
Sometimes I take attacks on fictional characters a little too personally….
While I do miss Him and just being in a relationship, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t enjoying being properly single for the first time in about six years.
Sure there are the Blue Periods and moments where your heart hurts and breathing become difficult, but all in all, The Single Life is quite pleasant.
I feel my age again, free of the stress of saving for a mortgage or trying to stick to Our Five Year Plan.
I go out on week nights again (something that’s made a lot easier since moving into the heart of the city), I’m strengthening relationships with old friends and I’ve the time and energy to start new friendships.
One downside though is having to rejig friendships with a couple of my guy friends.
I’ve always had far more male friends than female, and for years, I’ve been One Of The Lads, which was refreshing and comfortable – I just didn’t realise the reason this was so easy for me to achieve in some cases was because I had a boyfriend.
Someone to put a ‘This Girl Is A No-Go’ sign around my neck.
(not literally…cos that would be weird…and very Edward Cullen-esque)
But now the sign is gone.
And suddenly those easy relationships have a new twist.
And Jesus, I don’t mean that every boy I know is throwing himself at me (pffft, ‘as if’, to quote Cher), but in some cases, things have shifted.
The easy relationship isn’t so easy anymore.
Things aren’t a straightforward black-and-white and there’s a deliberate drifting into the grey.
Any physical contact leaves you wondering What Was Meant By That, whereas six month ago I could’ve sat on their laps for hours with the greatest of ease and no awkwardness whatsoever.
Suddenly the term I Always Had A Thing For You is being thrown around.
And even worse, YOU’RE starting to look at THEM differently.
They’re not the Kid-Brother Type anymore – they’re A Boy you get on really well with and What Does That Mean!?
You have When Harry Met Sally on repeat, which you watch while shouting “Shut up, Harry! We can be friends! We Can! We Can!…can’t we?”
Don’t get me wrong.
In most cases it’s been fine.
In fact, most of my guy friends have rallied around me and adopted Protective Brother roles.
But there are a couple that have been difficult.
The Rules have changed.
And so I’ve had to change to suit them.
The week after The Final Goodbye was tough.
I don’t think the situation had properly registered with me before and this was the first time I really felt like it was over.
I can also safely say that during that week, I was THE MOST needy I’d ever been before in my life.
On one particularly bad night, I was chatting to a friend on Facebook Chat and said:
I’ll be honest – I was only maybe 80% joking.
But for me, while it was tough knowing that I couldn’t talk to my best friend anymore and couldn’t text every single detail of my day to him, the physical intimacy was the thing that got to me most that week.
And I’m not talking about the dirty stuff, so quiet your cat calls.
You know, the little things like holding someone’s hand or feeling a hand in hidden places like the back of your neck.
Curling up on the couch and stretching your legs across someone.
Feeling a hand much bigger than yours grip around your wrist or cradle your face.
Feeling someone’s fingers knotted in your hair.
Or just being held, not because you’re sad or drunk, but because it’s a normality.
I felt particularly bad for some of my male friends that week who had bear the brunt of my neediness and found themselves putting up with their You Used To Be Cool friend asking them for cuddles, linking them and forcing them to hold hands.
Definitely not my proudest moments.
Thankfully I’m back on track now and while the longings still haven’t subsided, I’m no longer the crazy girl leaning against men on public transport and taking not-so-subtle sniffs of their musk.
Although we all have our moments of weakness…
The next big challenge was to move my several tonnes of belongings from the house to the new apartment.
It’s really remarkable how much stuff you can accumulate without even realising – and on top of this ‘stuff’ I also had to transport a couch, a bookcase and a desk.
I think this was the moment I felt most alone since the break-up.
I have no family and so without Him as my trusty other half, I was faced with an overwhelmingly daunting task of moving all this stuff by myself and without any transport.
And suddenly I realised that while I’ve been incredibly unfortunate in the Family area of life, I have managed to stock up some wonderfully kind and generous friends.
That fateful morning I finally escaped what I was now coming to see as my own personal House of Horrors, I had two trusty male friends to provide a van and willing hands to help me move My Life.
I sat in my new room that night surrounded by all my worldly possessions and felt more hopeful and lighter than I had in a very long time.
I wasn’t free yet though.
I had to see Him one last time as we signed off on our lease with The Evil Landlords.
After the ordeal of cleaning up the house – that The Evil Housemate was conveniently absent for – and after giving a metaphorical two fingered salute to The Evil Landlords by refusing to give them even more money (on top of confiscated deposit) to pay to fix something ridiculous, I brought Him back to my new apartment for a final chat.
We spent hours talking about our relationship, trying to pinpoint what exactly had gone wrong, reminiscing about The Good Old Days and wondering about the future.
I did my best to make him see the importance of spending our separation evaluating what he wanted and what I wanted and who we were, so that when we meet up in six months time, we’d know for definite whether it’s a Yay or Nay for Us.
We broke our No Physical Contact rule as we said goodbye.
I had known we’d have a final kiss that day and I wanted so badly for it to be beautifully memorable.
A final kiss worthy of the end of our relationship.
However as we huddled under a useless umbrella as the rain poured down our backs, I found myself more preoccupied by the fact I looked disgusting as my fringe was pushed off my forehead and tucked into the hood of my rugby hoodie and my face was flushed and sweaty from the humidity.
This was going to be the last memory he had of me for the next six months.
This is what his brain would throw up as he meets yet another pretty, fabulous blonde and begins the inevitable Ex comparison.
I also realised how hard it is to give a kiss your all while standing on a packed street, trying to keep an umbrella steady with one hand.
And so it was an inevitable disaster.
A calamity, if you will.
But it was a very typical thing to happen to Us, so in a way, it was oddly comforting.
As you probably remember, myself and He Who Must Not Be Named moved into a new house and adopted new kittens a mere three weeks before The Break Up.
Bad Timing City.
He moved back in with his parents and after I found a new home for the Nordie Kittens, I was left in the giant house with the odious task of searching for new housemates so I didn’t have to break our 12-month lease.
I also had the pleasure of dealing with the Landlords From Hell.
After a few weeks of heavy-breathing phonecalls from foreign men, I eventually interviewed one half-normal guy and handed him a key to my home.
And instantly regretted it.
The first bump came the day he moved in.
He needed to move in immediately, which meant he would be living there during a month myself and HWMNBN had already paid for, so I told him he could live there rent-free for those two weeks and then begin paying from the start of the next month.
Cos I’m nice.
And probably an idiot.
BUT I did emphasise the need for him to still give me the deposit and one month’s rent on the day he moved in – basically he was getting 6 weeks for the price of 4.
He was living there a whole week and I had to say it to him 3 times before he gave me the rent.
The next few weeks consisted of him living on my couch (I say ‘my’ couch, because a leather suite came with the house, but he still insisted on always lying on MY one), hogging the TV and internet and working a lot less hours than he told me he would be and sucking up electricity from 12 in the morning until 12 at night, which pushed the bills FAR higher than I’d expected (and he was still only paying a fixed amount).
There was also the day I came in to find him lying on my couch in his underwear.
Oh and there was his tendency to always leave his bedroom door open, so every time I passed by – which was every time I went to my room – I could see him….lying on his bed….usually in, yes you guessed it, his underwear.
Add to that the fact he always used MY dishes (and not the ones that came with the house) and then never washed them properly, he took food from my cupboards, refused to buy household items like washing-up liquid and black bags, left the bins overflowing rather than change them, left bits of food everywhere… *stops for a breath*... and then combine those with a million other things AND his passive aggressive tendencies….are you getting the idea!?
At the same time, I was struggling to find the much needed third person to fill the last room at the time, so I made a decision.
I was out of there.
I never wanted to live in Tallaght anyway – I’d only stayed there for Him – I was ages away from work and friends and now I wasn’t even happy in my home.
Screw the lease: my sanity was WAY more important than our deposit.
I spoke to HWMNBN who immediately told me I should leave and not to worry about us losing the deposit.
And so I was almost free.
Now I just had to tackle the landlord….
To be continued…