I reread something this morning. It was an old blog from nearly four months ago: https://titflasher.wordpress.com/2012/06/03/734/. In it, I expressed my shock, anger and grief over a love affair gone wrong, my desire to recover from it as quickly as I could and move on.
In the end, it wasn’t the fact the relationship had ended which prompted this person’s excision from my life. It was the fact in a subsequent private message session after I sought to understand just what on earth had happened, he accused me of being paranoid, searching through his stuff and generally being an awful person.
He then brought up all the reasons why he and I were not meant to be together, loading the blame onto me. He accepted responsibility for none of it, not even the event which precipitated our downfall.
In the end, I could bear it no longer and set out some facts for him, whereupon he climbed down, apologised and said I deserved someone far better than him. He still wanted to “be friends” but said that I probably “needed space”.
In fact, I needed more than that. You see, I have some excellent friends. I have friends who not only would go to the ends of the earth for me and back but have done and continue to do so. I have friends I laugh with, cry with, protest with, some I know intimately and others less so.
From very different walks of life, some are shy, some clever and witty, some quieter and more thoughtful, some brash, some funny, some wise, some openly loving, some who take their time before committing to friendship. Some I see rarely but am still deeply attached to, some I see/ talk to often.
All of them have two things in common – all are brave people in their own way and all take responsibility for their own beliefs, opinions and actions. Why on earth would I want an ex-boyfriend, who ended a relationship badly and bitterly and then condemned me for the breakup as a friend? That’s not a friend by my definition.
So dear reader, I cut him out. I followed my own five step plan to the letter. I followed it through night after night of sleeplessness, missing his body next to mine and day after day of wondering just what I had done so wrong to merit his rage, wrath and disdain of me.
I did my best not to pump mutual friends for news of him and when asked for details of what had happened, I again did my best to be discreet and non-blamestormy. For the most part I succeeded. There are a couple of late night conversations that make me wince a bit now but I did not, apart from a couple of very close friends, divulge detail that I felt was better left unsaid.
To be fair, many people were so shocked by the news that they struggled to understand it so I did get quite a lot of enquiries. Unfortunately, he did not act with quite the same tact and in time, as these things do, the news filtered back to me.
This hurt a lot but I used that to finally break the hold he had on me. If someone I cared about so much could make a such joke out of us, they really did not deserve my time, my love, my thoughts or my respect.
In the meantime, I followed step two. Step two involved replacing him in my bed and thankfully, two people popped up at just the right time. Both knew the score, both were happy with the situation. Both helped heal me.
I was determined to not get anywhere near a relationship again. Love has been a source of pain to me all of my life. I seem to constantly get it wrong, hurting people or getting hurt in return. This last foray into love took a lot of courage for me to even contemplate and in truth, it was only because we had mutual friends and so much apparently in common that I took that step out over an emotional cliff.
I had chosen badly for the last time and I was not going to repeat that mistake. I am happy on my own. I have a very full life, I don’t need a relationship when I have so many wonderful, giving, loving friends. Despite life being a constant challenge, I am surrounded by that love and it lifts me and gets me through countless bad experiences, situations, grief and sorrow.
What I did need was some fun, laughter, sex and silliness and I put together a small list for exactly that reason. When in a relationship, I am deeply loyal. When I am single, I don’t have any scruples about sex, other than that (a) it is safe; (b) both parties know the score; and (c) there is mutual respect.
So a couple of months ago, when someone popped his head above the parapet I though “Great, another potential fun buddy”. My sense of humour is a little bit of an acquired taste and in order to be discreet, in conversations with friends my buddies were given titles, names that were funny to me and intrigued my close friends.
This person became known as “The Stalker”, mainly because he had made it onto my friends list on facebook nearly two years ago, which was an achievement in itself, given that we had no mutual friends (I do recall accepting his request, putting him on limited profile for a bit and taking him off when I received no weird messages or comments).
We exchanged comments on posts a few times but only got talking recently. A silly conversation turned to all sorts of topics and within days we were pretty much in constant contact. He just creeped up on me, in true stalker style. A few of my friends were a bit edgy, a couple asking me whether he really was a stalker. I really should learn not to give people alarming tags …
M was on the sidelines, smiling to herself every time I mentioned him but prefacing it with “I don’t want another relationshit.”
After some hedging, and me making it quite plain that I was not interested in another relationshit (even if I had been it was way too soon after the last one), we made plans to meet. I knew quite a bit about him already but I made some discreet enquiries. Everything he told me checked out. Meeting someone for a date when you only know them from the internet was new territory for me. Also, I now AM a bit of a paranoid cow; sometimes life experience makes you that way.
I should have known really, back then. I was taking way too much time over him and no-one checks out someone they just intend to have fun with. With M chortling in the background, I went up to London and spent a wonderful evening in the company of a very funny man.
In fact, the Universe could not have done a better job of putting together a man who was deeply attractive to me, physically, emotionally and politically. Knowing this trick from before (yeah fuck you Universe, we’ve been down a similar road, although not with quite so many ticks in the boxes) and sticking two metaphorical fingers up at the sky, I made it clear to him I was not going to travel there.
Saturday turned into Sunday before I got home and it was nearly Sunday daytime when we finally got off the phone to one another.
Midweek, I was in M’s kitchen again. We were doing our usual thing – she was cooking, we were yakking ten to the dozen, I was texting the Stalker in between. I opened my mouth, the “I don’t want a relationshit” phrase came out, she looked at me square in the face, with the look she gets when I am being a complete fool. I stopped, look back at her and said “Dammit, I am in a relationshit already, aren’t I?” “Yes” she said, “and you have been for a couple of weeks now…”