Blogging is what happens when you make other plans

My blog, in the planning stages:
A humorous, edgy, adult take on dating from the pov of a single mother.

My blog, in reality:
A fucking depressing soul splurge covering death and depression with the odd bit of anal sex for jollies along the way, and a chilling insight into the mind of a neurotic 30-something with, ahem, issues.

Depressed D comments:
‘Can’t even get my own blog right…’ (said in suitably Eyeore-ish tone)

Grieving D comments:
‘I wonder if my Dad is reading this? Do they have the internet in… hmmm. Where is he, exactly?’

The D that’s fucking The Pirate comments:
‘Why hasn’t he called? WHY? WHHHHHHHHHHHHYYYYYYYY? Shall I ring him? Shall I, huh? Shall I just call him? Oh – what? You want me to comment on why our blog has gone so horribly off-piste? For fuck’s sake people – I’m busy here! Doyouhaveanyideahowtimeconsumingnotringinghimis?’ (the latter hissed  ‘your mother sucks cocks in hell‘ stylee).

The end.


I see dead people

Last night I dreamed I was walking under a bridge with my Dad. We were chatting away – I don’t know what about, I can’t remember – and then I stopped.

‘How are we even having this conversation, Dad? You’re dead…’

‘I know. It’s OK. I still care about you…’

And then I woke up. It was too much. My logical brain took over. But I really wish it hadn’t. I really wish I could have held on to the dream.

Because it was nice, chatting away with him. Even if I can’t remember what we were chatting about. I’d like more chats with him. And you know, he seemed OK with being dead, which is nice.

But what if it was actually my Dad and not a construct of my imagination, talking to me while I sleep, trying to let me know he still loves me? What if the people we lose visit us in our dreams, when our minds are at their most relaxed and receptive? What if he came to see me, travelled all the way from wherever into my subconscious, and I booted him out without giving him a chance to say what he wanted to?

What if. Dangerous words.

I don’t know if I believe in ghosts or spirits or ‘the other side’. But I want to. I really want to. I really want to spend more time with my Dad. Real time, imaginary time, dream time… The kind of time doesn’t matter. He was real last night, in my dream. He was real and he was talking to me and it was so good to see him, and that’s good enough for me.

People say ‘I’d do anything to see so-and-so again, just once.’ I’ve never really understood it until now. I’ve never understood the power of regret. I really would do anything to be able to say all of the things I didn’t, to make sure Dad knows that I love him, to let him know how fucking proud I am of him. That’s the biggie. I think he knew I loved him, but I’m not sure he knew how amazing I thought he was. Think he is. He was a rock and roll star! In a band! And so many people loved him. So very many.

My eyes have been quietly leaking all day. Sometimes not so quietly, actually. I was sobbing in the loo within 3 minutes of arriving at work this morning. I wish I hadn’t woken up today. I really want my Dad.

The scars of your love

The ring finger on my left hand bears witness to my absent husband. Two tired grooves, as worn in as I am and now part of me. The skin is shiny. I have been permanently branded a failure.

Which is possibly why I’m trying so hard – too hard – with The Pirate. Not because he is The One, but because I am buggered if I am failing at another relationship so soon after the last one.

I’m not sure stubbornness is the basis for anything much really. And come to that, walking away with your self-respect mostly intact really isn’t failing. But while my head knows these things, my will is taking a little longer to catch up.

It would help tremendously if my left ring finger didn’t silently admonish me with its missing ironmongery. I used to play with my wedding and engagement rings, running my finger over the tops. I still do now they’re sold and gone, rubbing the silvery skin over and over, trying to erase the guilt. Out, damned spot…

I feel so guilty that I couldn’t keep my family together for my boy. I can’t tell you how amazing he is. I can’t tell you how much he deserves perfection, stability, security, a solid family unit. He deserves so much better than what he’s got.

And fuck it, so do I.

On skinning cats

I have two friends. (OK, I have lots of friends, if you’re going to be pedantic. But this blog entry is about two of them.)

One of them has given up on me. I can’t really blame her. I annoy the fuck out of myself. I think standing by and watching me carefully and wilfully fuck up is more than she can bear. That’s the generous interpretation of her recent absence from my life. The less charitable take is that I don’t listen to her advice. Or rather, I do listen, but I don’t act upon it and do things her way. Maybe she thinks she knows how I should live my life better than I do. And who knows, she just might.

My other friend is giving me space to fuck up. Specifically, 3 months. I have until December 6 to be a dickhead do things my way, and then he’s taking over. Staging an intervention.

If I can’t prove to him that I’m totally cool about things with The Pirate, he’s seizing my mobile phone and ending it for me. If I can’t prove to him that I’m not still crying myself to sleep at night, he’s going to serve me an anti-depressant lodged in the top of a pink fondant fancy. He’s going to help me get my house ready to sell. I have 3 months. Less than that, now, actually. The clock is ticking…

They both think they know better than me. This is not hard. My tea cosy would do a better job than me at decision making right now. But the second friend has patience and is, in the short term, willing to listen to me witter on and on and ON at him about The Pirate, and work, and how lonely and isolated I am, without judging or getting cross.

He also trusts me enough to try and climb out of this hole my way, without turning to anti-depressants as the first rather than last resort. He has faith in me. He listens to me and says he can still hear D in there somewhere. He believes she’ll come out again.

(You know what heartens me about all this? He’s a MAN. Ones that can listen and be supportive do exist!)

His faith that everything will be OK, that I’m stronger than I think, makes me think that he might just be right. I know he would rather die than call The Pirate and end it, so he’s really banking on me getting my shit together. Equally I suspect that, if it came to it, he’d make the call if I couldn’t. (Imagine that! ‘My friend doesn’t want to go out with you any more…’ So very 1992…)

I am feeling more optimistic about the future. This time last week, it was a dense, velvety black void of deafening, heavy silence. It’s still looking pretty dark, but I think I can see the first few stepping stones through it. Seeing my counsellor is helping. Keeping an hour-by-hour mood diary, planning my week more. Blindingly obvious advice like ‘do more of the things you enjoy’. Yes. That makes more sense to me than Citalopram.

So this week I shall be doing more bathing, and cooking, and reading, and seeing people who love me. I told her about my crabby retreat and she approved with a caveat – don’t exclude the people that love you. They will heal you.

All you need is love, but I’ve been looking for it in the wrong place. There’s plenty of love in my world. It was there all along. My friends…


The only way is up

Or at least, one would hope the only way is up. I guess there’s always the chance I could skulk along the bottom of this pit of woe forever. Sideways, like a crab. Yes. I feel like a crab at the moment. Snappy and irritable and beady-eyed, and with a tendency to sulk back into my shell at the slightest of slights. (Why are crabs so very cross with the world, I wonder?)

I have no room in my head for anything other than breathing and making sure The Boy doesn’t go out with beans in his hair right now. People have been calling me and emailing me and inviting me to do things. Returning calls and replying feels like an impossible task. My Dad’s best friend has invited me to lunch on Sunday. It was nice of her, but her email ended with ‘and would you mind rewriting the attached introductory letter to our business? I know you’re good with words…’ And it made me cry.

Accepting that people asking me to write stuff for them is a verrrrry touchy subject right now (I still haven’t finished The Pirate’s bastard website), why did she do that? Why did she offer something nice but make it conditional? And dear God, why did my one single, solitary, poxy talent in life have to be something that people can take from me as if it has no value? Yes. I don’t feel valued.

The Pirate said he would take me away this weekend to thank me for writing his Bastard Website. (This is now its new name.) And then he cancelled, after I’d arranged a kennel for the dog and had my nails painted and got all excited, because he’s too busy. And that is the value of my words. They are not worth creating space in his life for, yet fuck me I’ve had to create space for them. Hours and hours of bloody space. (The Neverending Website might be a better name for it. Certainly jollier. If it had an 80s theme tune, maybe I’d feel less homicidal when I’m writing it.)

The above paragraph is unfair. The Pirate has no time to take me away because he’s trying desperately hard to launch a new business. He also has no money to take me away. I haven’t quite disappeared up my own arse so far that I can’t see that. But I just want to feel important to him. I am being so crabby with him at the moment. My little eye stalks venture out of my shell and I tentatively sidle up to him and open myself up a bit, and he (in my fucked up head) rejects me and I either snap at him or disappear back into my shell, swearing never to come out again, ever ever ever.

I don’t know what’s worse, the crabby snapping or the hiding. At least I don’t smell of fish. (Do I?)

Ooh! Had another pep talk from my Mum. This one was awesome.  I’ve not got it half as bad as she did when she was depressed, and she shook herself out of it. I’m just being dramatic.

Argh! Mum, when you were depressed you had a husband (my step-dad) who loved you dearly, your Mum and sister who loved you dearly in the same village, a lovely house and no need to work. Without wishing to belittle your feelings and accepting that even beautiful millionaires with carefree lives get depressed, I have no supportive partner, no supportive family or friends nearby, a son to raise on my own, a more-than-full-time job and a dead Dad. So fuck off. Just fuck off. Depression Top Trumps! Yeah. Fuck off.

That might have been a better title for this blog entry. It’s what I want to say to everyone and everything, other than The Boy. Fuck off stupid clients with your stupid demands. Fuck off stupid Pirate with your stupid demands. Fuck off stupid pretend friends with your stupid demands. Just – fuck off stupid life with your stupid demands.

One step closer

The path to my front door is uneven, so when it rains, big puddles form. The Boy likes a good jump in a puddle – it’s part of the job description of being 3.

So tonight, I walked and he splashed his way to the door. I opened it, he went in ahead of me – and deliberately wiped his feet on the only piece of post on the mat. I started to tell him off, and then I saw who it was from. The divorce courts. My divorce papers have arrived. Wipe away, my son…

I have seen them before. My husband brought them round last weekend, to make sure I agreed with what he had written and therefore wouldn’t contest it. And I signed them. I don’t agree with them, but we have to divorce for *something*. As petitioner, he can’t cite his own adultery. As a stubborn cow, I refuse to divorce him – there’s no way I’m paying for a divorce I didn’t want. So we have to divorce for something.

I won’t contest it through the courts. I will contest it here. This is why my husband is divorcing me:

Previous to the birth of The Boy, D worked long hours and commuted a long distance. We moved house to reduce this – this did not work. I always came second to her job, and after returning to work post-maternity this remained the case.
We were in absolutely shit loads of debt and I work in a volatile, redundancy-happy industry. When I returned to work post-maternity leave – just over 2 years ago – I was managing a team of 14 people. Today, I am managing 3. My employers have cut deep. I was the main wage earner, we needed my job to keep him in stupid Alan Partridge Lexuses, so yes. I worked long hours. Diddums.

No love in the relationship, no sexual relations during 2009 and 2010.
This is just a lie. I loved him dearly. And I might have worked long hours, but I made damn sure he knew that I loved him. And we did have sex. I’m not going to say we were at it like rabbits, but then I was a new mother, newly returned to full-time work. For her sake, I sincerely hope his new teen girlfriend doesn’t end up with an episiotomy scar that overheals and needs re-opening and restitching – or, if she does, that she can fuck her way through it better than I could.

I was a house husband, father and also had a high pressured full time job. No help from spouse other than financial.
Hmmm. We had a cleaner, so that’s the chores dealt with. I got The Boy up, dressed and breakfasted in the morning, and off to his childminder. My husband collected him at night – didn’t have to feed him, the childminder did that. My husband did the washing, I did the ironing. Neither of us walked the poor dog. He looked after the cars and the lawn, I did the grocery shopping. Oh, he did ALL the cooking for us, even at weekends, but then he wouldn’t let me. Hated the mess I make in the kitchen, and he was home earlier than me. We’d shifted our working days to suit childcare – he started earlier to finish earlier, I started later to finish later. His idea, not mine. I did all the cooking for The Boy, and led the way in all of the weaning/potty training/child raising decisions. So yeah. No help? Wanker.

Two very separate people with a child in common, no shared interests or friends.
Sort of true, and sort of not. We had shared friends. But they weren’t enough. He specifically wanted me to share HIS friends, and as they all seem to have married the girls who bullied me when I was 17, I wasn’t really up for this. I can see why that would frustrate him, but equally, he should see why hell would freeze over before I’d sit with Jo C at a dinner table.

Ah, that feels better. I have signed to say I’ve received it, and sent it back. One step closer to being totally free.

Please don’t read my blog

No, I don’t mean you. It’s OK for you to be reading it.

Unless you’re my mother. Or the boy who sits opposite me at work. Or – and here my heart skips a beat and not in a Mills & Boon way – The Pirate himself. Imagine that!

I didn’t think I was being stupid. The internet is, like, really huge. There was 112,000,000 blogs floating around in it in 2008, according to Technorati. I figured my self-indulgent ramblings would just get lost in the soup. I find the act of writing cathartic. I find the idea of people who know me reading what I’ve written – accepting that I have shared the link with some of my friends – quite horrifying.

And clearly all manner of bad things would happen if The Pirate did stumble across it. I think he’d recognise himself, what with me reproducing entire chunks of our conversations and our social life and my pet name for him and all.

But you know, I thought the chances of him reading it were pretty slim. He only uses the internet to look at s a l m o n  f i s h i n g forums and eBay. I’m safe. Until I look at my site stats and see that I’m getting a surprising amount of traffic from a fucking s a l m o n  f i s h i n g  forum. And this was before I’d written my entry about the disastrous f i s h i n g  trip. What are the chances, huh? How did a  f i s h e r m a n even pick up on my trust entry? What did HE search for? Oh god…

And then, if you search for ‘Does Sarah Jessica Parker drink coffee?’, I’m on the first page of Google. What if The Pirate ever wakes one morning with a burning desire to know about SJP’s hot beverage preferences? What if my mother does? And worst of all, what if my repeat mentions of The Pirate – and let’s face, I bang on and on and ON about him – somehow get me on Google’s first page of results for ‘The Pirate’, and that’s what he Googles. He knows I call him The Pirate. He knows I write. Oh fuck. There are waaaaaay too many Pirates in this paragraph…

These are the things that keep me awake at night. Fuck world hunger. SEO is where it’s at.

I originally set up this blog with two goals in mind: as a release for all the neurotic mental pressure in my head, and to learn how blogging works by doing. I have singularly failed at the latter. I can’t fully optimise it in case anyone finds it, I can’t share it properly… It’s like leaving my diary open on my bed.

But I don’t seem to be able to stop. Writing purges my mentalness. And writing here stops me sending mental emails to The Pirate.

But if by some awful twist of Google spider fate, you do happen to be reading this, Pirate Boy: Hi. Still want to come for dinner on Sunday…?