Wednesday, 29 April 2015

And that makes Nine (and a half?)

Free Spirit - Original Acrylic Painting 11x14 by Cherith Toillion: Pinterest

That would be Nine men I've slept with. In my life. Number Nine last night - the Tasmanian. And it was lovely. I had 'first time sex' with a man and it was like '10th time sex'. Felt like we were already comfortable lovers. What a relief. My instincts about the Tasmanian were spot on. We are very sexually compatible. The half bit would be Berlin - if we're counting near misses.

We had drinks. I had too much wine. And suddenly shagging him in the back of his minivan seemed like a wonderful idea!  Tacky? Maybe. Delicious? Most definitely. And it wasn't anything about the gymnastics of sex. Nor the performance of it. But more the connection of it. We both relaxed against each other, and were happy and lighthearted. And then when he put himself inside me I just felt all of him and it was beautiful. A rich, moving and connected orgasm that rocked me and took me onto another plain for a little while. Delicious!

I talked him through my objections to 'exclusivity'. I don't want to be alone so much and he won't be able to be present enough with me for me to be ok. And, of course, I shouldn't be trying to fill up all my empty bits with any man. But I have also spent too many weekends and nights as lonely as hell. And I don't feel up to being in another relationship that recreates that for me. I've just started the healing process of being free after almost a year of recovering from the fuckedupness of the Narcery I endured for 5 years. Of feeling desired and wanted. Of unleashing my own sexuality on the world. Confining it again so soon? I think that's not a good idea for me right now.

And when I told him gently I think he really got that. I asked him if he wanted me to 'map out my landscape' for him properly so he could understand what men are around me and how the relationships work. He said he didn't know if he wanted that - that he thought it may hurt him too much to know. And I thought I wouldn't want to know when he was being intimate with his partner - for the same reason. I told him I would answer any questions and tell him what ever he wanted to know. But that I wouldn't force that info on him. And that we could change the rules of disclosure whenever we wanted. It's a new way of being for both of us - I want to manage it as gently and respectfully as I can.

Am I becoming a bit of a 'slattern' in the face of this recovery period? Maybe I am. And a lot of people might judge me for this behaviour. But I'm actually quite proud of myself. I'm playing naughtily for the first time in my life and it feels terrific!! I was the ultimate obedient daughter, golden child. I needed to fit into my Narc mother's ideal of how to behave. I was the oldest. I was responsible and compliant. And the policer of the rules for all of us siblings. And up until recently I was just not a girl who plays easily - if I took my family to Disneyland, I would be the one holding the snacks and jerseys while the rest of the family goes on all the rides. I have always held back and been reluctant to actually participate in the life of my loved ones, and even my own.

So one of my girlfriends was admonishing me a bit today to be careful with my heart. To protect myself better. To be careful with my body. And even though she's right, I also want to be risky. And frisky. And playful. And sexy. And out out out there just having a shitload of fun for a bit.

And in the middle of that, I bumped into an ex-pupil of mine from when I was a teacher more than 20 years ago. There was some serious chemistry with this boy then, not acted upon. And today he was suddenly standing in front of me, sexy as all hell. And I had my own naughty thoughts about how brilliant it would be to consummate that chemistry now - all these years later. Chill everyone - I'm not acting on it as yet. It's just nice to entertain the thought. Because I'm free to do so.

And next month I'll find out whether I have a long life ahead or a short one. And I'll think then about how that plays out for me. But for now I'm just going to be free.

Really really free.

Monday, 27 April 2015

In pursuit of sex. Or love? And is pursuit the right thing anyway?

I had a beautiful weekend. With one of my Cape Town girlfriends. We stayed together in my house and got drunk together on wine. And laughed our heads off. And told each other our truths about where our lives are at. Although we've been mates for over 20 years, we're actually so much closer now, since my big crash, than ever before. Because I'm no longer scared to let my precious people in to my innermost thoughts. I am no longer hiding in my own shadows, ashamed of the real woman who lives there. It's a wonderfully freeing thing. And so very rich to be able to just talk and be, and know that you are loved.

And throughout the weekend I have also been engaged with my various lovers or prospective lovers. Or ex lovers. And by engaged I mean connecting with some. and mulling about others. Bush Man popped into my messenger system with a delicious naked selfie after months of silence. Asking if I still remember him. And feeling frisky, clearly, and asking me for some new naked pics because he's lost his old ones. I laughed. and complied. Because it was fun to feel desired and playful with him. and because, if truth be told, I was feeling needy and lonely - my Tasmanian had disappeared on me, and my old abandonment issues began to bubble to the surface. Playing with Bush Man for a few hours helped soothe that. And, true to form, Bush man was soon gone as quickly as he arrived. I know this is who he is. I miss him, but I know this is all I'll have of him and so I have peace with that - he told me it would be like this, and he's true to his word.

And I even sent a tame pic to Charlie Harper in my drunken state. He responded (!!) by calling me 'My Angel'. Really?  And said the pic was 'Stunning'. But nothing else. I was surprised he responded at all. But I'm not going to rise to the chasing bait now. If he wants me, he's going to have to come and try and get me. And depending on how hard he tries, I will consider my options and feelings then.

And the Tasmanian and I have been in contact a lot. A sexy, seductive engagement - far away from each other but still finding a way to be intimate. This pre-sex playing is great fun! He was also away from home, working in another town, and I only really had access to him late at night. But he was around a whole lot of drinking buddies and so, on a couple of evenings, just really disappeared on me, not really explaining his absence to me at the time. I really felt those abandonment things coming back at me thick and fast. All those wounds, old and new, can take a situation and twist it into the most horrible scenarios. He's drunk and shagging another chick. He's irritated with me and doesn't want to talk to me. He's over me already and now I'm just making a fool of myself by keeping in touch. I shouldn't have sent him that sexy pic because he'll  show his mates, or even worse, the chick he's shagging, and laugh at me. Or something. Uggh. Horrible horrible stuff.  MY stuff though. Not his.

So I tried to handle it in the most emotionally intelligent way possible. I told him I wasn't OK. That his absence hurt me. He got angry and grumpy and sarcastic a bit - so clearly I was making him feel blamed. He kept trying to push me to move on - didn't really feel happy with the discomfort of my sadness. And in the face of that I just kept on trying to explain that I wasn't blaming him. That I just do have these abandonment issues, and if he would be kind enough to manage my expectations about when he would be able to contact me, and when he couldn't, then I would manage my own feelings much more easily. I think he got it. And did try to do that more regularly after that, which I do appreciate. It's so nice when my man has compassion for how something makes me feel and does something to fix that.

We talked some more about his exclusivity need - where he needs me to be exclusive, although he won't be. I said 'No' again, and he's trying to push the issue, playfully telling me to inform the other 'dancers' that my dance card is full. But I'm still not biting. I'm not going to commit to that. At least not now. I'm free. I'm open. I'm learning new things with new people. and I still have no idea what the sex is going to be like between us. I'd love to know. Soon. Because I'm really craving that connected and beautiful sex that I haven't had for a long long time. Well, maybe a glimpse of it with Charlie, but very short lived!

I mulled about Bachelor number 1. And I sometimes think I should call him up and propose a casual sexual relationship. We're geographically incompatible. But maybe the sex would be lovely? Did I miss a trick there by moving on from him so fast to focus on Charlie Harper? And I pined a bit for Mark. Sent him some WhatsApps that he read but didn't respond to. Sigh.

So all of this flying about in my head. I feel an anxiety and an urgency about getting it settled. And maybe that's because of the backdrop of the pending doc appointment - am I fine or am I dying - maybe I don't have a lot of time left before my illness makes me no longer sexually desirable to anybody and I lose my chance at the sexual connection I'm craving forever. Or maybe it's my daddy issues screaming out loud and strong - hold me. Save me. Surround me. Make me feel safe. Protect me. Anybody. Please!!

So just letting it all be here, around me, without judgement. This is a tough road I'm walking. And I'm carrying many things that I'm trying to work through. I guess I still need to allow myself to misstep every now and then. Send that ill -advised message. Reveal too much of myself sometimes. Not respond in the perfect way.

Just be my own best friend on this road,

And get laid soon.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Showing up as Authentic Me

What a weird space I'm in right now. This limbo month of not really knowing what my health prognosis is for the future is a bit of a mindfuck. I'm living every single connection I have with people in a very raw and real way. It's exhausting!

This past weekend was full of lovely connections. I spent Saturday morning with a longtime mate who I began a friendship with in the working space. But over the past year we have settled into a much more intimate and connected relationship, talking in a very real way about our lives. I think the shift was me, no longer pretending I'm living the dream in my very sorted life, but rather showing up with my authentic, less than perfect, thoughtful and raw space, and just telling the truth about what I'm living. Which gives her the courage to respond in kind. And the result is so very satisfying for us both. Two women. Walking a brave journey. Sharing it in the moment for a bit. My whole body felt exhausted after that...I had to go and lie down for a few hours!

And then on to an afternoon with another dear mate. More connecting. More realness. More lovely. And then to an evening engagement party for another of my mates. And there was my whole tribe. And I took Berlin as my 'friend-without-benefits' date. Because I missed him and wanted to spend some time with him. And also, a little bit, to gently shock my friends, if I must confess. Show up with another man, not my husband, just to jolt them all into the reality of who I am now. This (scarlet?) woman who is out there, seeing other men, living her new reality of this open marriage.

Berlin was great company. Our 'near miss' intimate moment from a few weeks ago has resulted in a warm affectionate space for us, and it was just cozy and comfortable to be with him. Sitting close together, legs touching, but not having any intention of moving that along to something else. His arm loosely behind me on the couch. Nice. Comfortable. Easy.

By Sunday morning I was seriously finished, and spent most of the morning in bed, not even getting up for my cast-in-stone breakfast date with myself at Tasha's. I only dragged myself to the shower in the afternoon when it was time for me to have coffee with yet another girlfriend. Which was also real and lovely. Rich, nurturing girltime.

I didn't spend any time with my Tasmanian. Which I would have really struggled with, I think, had I not had such a really busy social schedule. On the one hand, of course, that's the key. Live a rich and full life of my own creation so I'm not pining away, lonely at home, waiting for Prince Charming to ride up and rescue my sorry ass from myself. On the other, it made me think very seriously about his desire to create an 'exclusive' relationship with me. Where he gets my undivided attention, and that of his live-in partner. And I get his divided attention, when he can find secret time for me. I want to be able to head off on weekends away with my lover. Connect when I need the connection. Invite him to be my partner at engagement parties. But this wouldn't be like that. I like this man, and would enjoy an intimate relationship with him. But going exclusive with him? Not sure I'm up for paying the lonely price for that. Not yet anyway. Maybe I'd feel differently if I fell madly in love with him. But at the moment we're just playful and connected. But not in love.

And then there's the issue of Charlie Harper. Who has not showed up again in any form. And I'm still nursing some sore heart and bruised ego about that. And grilling myself about being too needy and scaring him away. And imagining various 'you bastard' conversations I may have with him if I should ever bump into him again. But also, I need to look into the mirror and see myself about that again too. If he didn't see 'me' enough to want to be with me, then we should not be together. I mustn't try to be different from who I am to make myself more attractive to him, which is my temptation. If he can't enjoy sexy me, and manage needy me, then he shouldn't be allowed to come anywhere near me.

Tasmanian seems to be able to like me even though I have showed him sexy me and needy me. Bush Man too. And Berlin. Once he got over himself. And, I'm thinking, the more I have the courage to show up as completely myself, which some people will like, and some wont, I'll be sifting through the piles of people who should be with me, and those who shouldn't. Because, really, who wants to be with people who don't like the real me? Where I would need to twist myself like a pretzel before I'm accepted. Fuck that! I get the real concept of this, all of a sudden, but I am still working though it at an emotional level, I must confess. But I will keep at it.

I'm an interesting woman. Aware of her own shit. Loving. Good. Sexy. Playful. Real. Clever. I can create great happiness and joy with men who have the courage and balls to be with me in all my flavours. And who take the time to know me and enjoy me. Being that woman should be my goal. And filter out all the shit Charlie Harper types who don't have the courage or the depth to be able to enjoy a woman like me.

Hear me roar!

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Just Kiss a New Boy

Not really the solution at the moment, I know. The masculine energy I'm craving is about old child wounds, and giving in to that yearning probably isn't the most healthy psychological response to it. More healthily I should be looking at holding myself. Tuning into my woman network. Immersing myself in purpose-driven work projects. But I kissed a boy instead. Gave Charlie the right amount of 'response time' on my last ever message to him, and then adopted the 'you snooze, you lose' policy and moved right on.

So New Boy needs a name. I think I'll call him The Tasmanian, mostly because he is a high energy, high emotion, high intensity guy who seems to do everything on fast forward. He's in a long term relationship. And always has a 'significant other' on the side. He expects his significant other to be exclusive with him, and hasn't been challenged by that double standard. Until now, of course. Because I did. At drinks last night. And when I challenged him he shifted from the Tasmanian energy into something completely different. Worried and sad a bit, I think.  Because he feels like exclusivity is non negotiable anyway. But he wants to be with me. So now what?

As I responded to him, I could start finding my truth about it. I'm not in any way in love with him. Yet. I could fall in love with him. And if I did, maybe I would only want to be with him exclusively. But at the moment, that's not the case - although I do like him a lot. And I suspect that we would have awesome sex together, although that is yet to be tested. I kissed him. On two dates so far. And kissing him was lovely, although I was aware of holding myself back quite strictly both times from an emotional connection perspective, and I am worried that this could influence the sexual connection we may have if I decide we'll go there. Like it did with Bush Man.

But my real reluctance is about two issues, I realise. One: I'm actually really enjoying having the freedom to play the field if I want. Even though I'm not really doing that anywhere as much as it sounds, just not being tied to anyone in particular is a freeing feeling. The downside of that, of course, is the horrible loneliness and rejection I keep facing when things don't go the way I want them to. The Charlie Harper moments that cut away at me in brutal ways. Having someone consistent that shows up as my lover as often as possible is what I think I was looking for. Maybe the fact that I was considering this with Charlie, but not really comfortable with it with the Tasmanian is indication enough that I shouldn't go there with him?  Although I did sleep with Charlie. And that opening and intimacy does change things in one's mind about how to do this.

Issue Two caught me by surprise, though. I only realised it when I started telling The Tasmanian that this was my problem with exclusivity. Mark. Seriously. Mark. Mark and I had a lovely phone conversation the other day, and when I asked him about how his family and marriage fixup project was going, his response was intriguing. He said that he had managed to make home a lot more peaceful (due to a lot of the talks I was having with him about how I was trying to do the same thing), but that his actual relationship with his wife hasn't improved the way he'd hoped. And that he was considering having the 'Should we separate or not?" conversation with her in the next few months. I suddenly realised that if I went exclusive with Tasmanian, then the Mark relationship wouldn't be able to resume. And I'd hate that. Because I know I love Mark really deeply, and am actually just holding a space for him if ever he becomes free enough to be with me.

And I don't actually know whether he would still want to be with me in that way. I know there would probably be no permanent and regular thing, even if he did. We'd probably only find very irregular moments to be together on business trips etc, because of how very busy he is. And I don't think I would be able to be ok with such infrequent hookup times, even though  would really really enjoy the time we would create together anyway. So even if he left his wife. And if he wanted to be in a relationship with me, I think it would be a part time thing. Non exclusive.

So I said that to Tasmanian. And it made him think. No answers or decisions... it's too early for that anyway... but something to think soberly about.

I think I am going to sleep with him. A few times. And then figure out whether this is something I would like to put my heart and soul into or not. And keep incredibly honest with him about the fact that this is what I'm doing. That we both need to decide what this thing might be. And not allow him to pressure me into making commitments that aren't going to be right for me. Because that would just be settling. And I shouldn't do that. Not at this stage in my life.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

You've been Charlie Harpered!

I'm Manic! I know that this is probably a normal thing. I'm in that month where I wait patiently to find out whether I'm dying or not!

But my mind really doesn't want to dwell on that in any conscious way. Instead I am full of crazy emotions. All of them connected to men in some way. All of them obsessing about sex in some way. All of them, I suppose, just seeking some comfort and holding at the core of me while I wait this scary shit out.

I messaged Charlie. Just could not hold myself back.Sent him a Pinterest quote:

"At some point you have to let go of what you thought should happen and live in what is happening."
And then I texted: "Just like to know what that is..."

But. Nothing. He read it. Didn't reply. Went onto Ashley Madison instead of replying. Dick! So I think  I'm coining a new phrase: "I've been Charlie Harpered". Charlie Harper is the Charlie Sheen character in Two and a Half Men. Serial girl-fuck-and-leaver. That's what Charlie calls himself on Ashley Madison. Asshole - I should have really really looked that up before I lost a bit of my heart to him. What a fucking cliche!!!

Bachelor #1 has retreated. He got retrenched at the end of last month and is dealing the fallout alone. I've messaged him a couple of times, just to support him a bit, actually, but he's very clearly needing some solitary time. I have thought about messaging him and saying that I'm in a nasty space too - let's have some comfort sex together. Might still do that. Can a girl be forgiven for being a bit sluttish in her potential death sentence month??

There's another boy that I'm playing with a bit. The one I met before #1 and #2. The one who was a bit sexually forward for my fragile disposition. He's me in another costume in many ways. I recognise too much of me in him. But one of the benefits of him being my mirror, is that he remains as present as I do. No distance. No mystery. No feeling abandoned. He's right here. Full on. And If I really wanted a shag, I'd have him over in about 10 minutes! But shit. I also know I can't fuck with his heart. He is actually as fragile as I am. And I know how I felt when Berlin sent me mixed messages - 'I don't want to be with you but I do'. And I'd feel terrible if I hurt him the way I felt hurt by the Berlin situation.

Messaged Berlin and told him I need sex. He teased me and said that's contra-indicated in my medical condition. I said I have a new prescription I need to try out. He said OK. When I find the shag buddy, he'll wait for me around the corner and drive me to the ER if I stop breathing again. All very funny. And not so much either. He said why don't I consider shagging my husband. I said I'd even considered that for about 30 seconds. Then naa.

Didn't message Mark. Thankfully. Or Bush Man who can't show up - he's a two hour flight from here.

But all of this doesn't really calm the panic that's happening deep in my heart. Panic about the work and selling I'm not doing enough of because my head isn't here at work at all. And panic about this body of mine. My life. My future. My mortality. Thinking about dying by not being able to breathe. Thinking about trying to survive a lung transplant. Thinking that I'm creating a major fucking drama in my head about all of this and that I know, at some level, that I don't have this disease at all.

And not having that intimate person in whose arms I could just take some refuge. Just being held for a while so I can cry through this terrifying stuff. I'm looking for my dad again aren't I? Just needing that masculine energy to enfold and protect me for a while. Someone to hold the baby for me? With me?

This is brutal stuff people. Brutal!

Friday, 10 April 2015

But Healing isn't just about Medicine

Ground Zero. Driving myself to hospital alone in the dark. Saving myself. Fighting for explanations for my health. Trying to be an equal partner in my healing process with my doctors. Trying to keep myself positive and buoyant in the face of terrifying potential disease. Trying to stay strong and not disappear into an emotional hole from whence little healing and strength is possible. Trying to rewrite my 'hospital story' from the last time where I allowed myself to drift away from everyone who would care about me. And the deep and dark depression that followed that. Trying to keep breathing. Keep moving.

And Charlie. We made love in the afternoon. I so enjoyed being with him. He played the Carpenters. I LOVE the Carpenters. First time sex together was slow and sexy. And languid and lazy. And a sudden and magical connection moment when he put himself inside me eventually and I felt myself explode with a beautiful and deep orgasm that set him off as well. And it felt so very lovely to be in that place for those moments. And then he felt suddenly ill and rolled off me, running to the bathroom. Too many shooters the night before on top of no breakfast or lunch and suddenly Charlie was feeling miserable. He came back to bed and fell instantly asleep. And I snoozed next to him for a while, getting up to get him some water and have a shower. And I texted him while I lay there, telling him how lovely I had found that, knowing he'd come across it later.

And then I thought I should leave. He wasn't feeling well and I sensed he didn't want to be unwell in front of me. So to protect his dignity, I asked him to show me out. We kissed at the car, and I was gone. Heading home to be a mom to my little family who were on their way home from a happy holiday in Mozambique. By that night, the 'poison pill' had been taken and I was in hospital.

And then Charlie 'disappeared'. I did what I promised myself I would do - I texted all my close friends about what had happened to me, and asked for the support I needed. I even put a post on FaceBook - very unlike me - just asking for my mates to stand close - because I needed to not repeat my pattern of self isolation while I battle my demons alone. I didn't text Mark. Idiot. I should have. He's one of my best friends. But I didn't. Thought he was away on holiday with his family and somehow didn't want to intrude on that. But Charlie? WTF? Just started very distant 'get well soon' and 'sorry to hear that' messages. It was so fucking disheartening. Just no stepping up from him whatsoever. I even asked him to visit me in hospital because I needed some TLC. And his only response was that he would try the following day if he could find somewhere to drop his son off for a bit. Never showed. Not even a fucking bunch of flowers! I cannot tell you what a monumental feat is was for me to not fall into a hole because of that. I can't believe I was left alone again in hospital! Last time by Mark. And Berlin. This time Charlie. I make love to a man and he leaves. And I'm not just left to lick my wounds. I'm left fighting for my life. What, The Fuck. Is that About?

So I worked my ass off to make that not hurt so bad. I charged up my phone and started connecting with all my precious people. Telling them how I was feeling. Letting them support me through my Easter weekend. My precious mom-in-law showed up and took control of my home and my children, and my in-hospital care. Gluten free breakfasts. Hospital clothes. Visits from my children. She sat and cried with me when we read though my CT results. She just picked up the slack and held me safe through it all. What a wonderful gift the universe gave me when she came into my life. The real mom support that I was not born into. Blessed angel woman.

And my friends, dispersed across the country on their holiday weekends loved me from far. Checking in. Showering me with warm affection and care. Berlin. Stayed close and caring. Talked me through the rough bits. Tried to reassure me about Charlie's abandonment. Told me that sometimes things just need to grow, and that maybe Charlie is confused. And that I should stay away from texting him all my needy stuff.

And I walked the hospital corridors. And I read books. And slept. And tried and tried to keep myself in that positive frame of mind that would help me heal. Because every single time I thought of Charlie, my heart would begin to ache, right in the very same place that the Lung damage had hit. And the pain felt unbearable.

Both of my Cape Town best friends dreamed of me the same night. One dreamed I was in a castle with her. It was cold and raining, and uncomfortable, but she knew we were safe from the worst. And the other dreamed that we were both on an incredibly high cloud together. And she was terrified about how we would get down. And I smiled at her and reassured her that we would be safe going down the terrifying high ladder next to us. And she didn't want to go on it. But I said - 'Don't worry. We'll be safe. Watch me. Follow me. And I started to climb down. And then the ladder started to fall away from the cloud. And I fell with it down down down...away... and she screamed for the people to save me. And they rushed to where I would fall and inflated a huge jumping castle inflatable thing which I landed on. And I was safe. But she had no idea how to reach me again because now the ladder was gone.

This isn't an easy road I'm walking, is it? So much to learn about self care. And demons. And pain. And the neglect and abandonment that comes form my early Narcissistic mothering days. The long shadows that still reach into my life. The Autoimmune disease that comes from childhood trauma. The weak coping skills to deal healthily with self care. The dysfunctional expectations of relationships based on the pathological road I've walked. And the rechoosing of men who abandon me like my father did. All packed into one week of hospital.

A better week this time than last. Because I'm changing all of this slowly.

And that is all I can ask for. That it's better than before.

Lung Attack

I've been in hospital for a week. Again. And so much has happened since my last cheerful post, I don't even know where to begin my story. I think  I'll keep this one medical, and move to the emotional parts of my journey in my next blog.

I went to bed on Friday night early - I was exhausted. I had spent a happy afternoon making love with CHARLIE(!!!) at his beautiful home across the city from me. Because of my autoimmune diseases that I have, I seem to be particularly susceptible to Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs), and I'm most likely to start one after sex. So I took my new 'protocol' antibiotic, Macrodantin - I'm supposed to take one every time I have sex as a preventative measure. I also take Trepiline at night - it settles my anxiety levels and helps me sleep.

At 10 I woke up with a pain in my chest. I was struggling to breathe. I just assumed I was having a bit of an asthma attack, so I went to my son's room to take a puff of his Ventolin. Still groggy from my Trepiline, I slipped off to sleep again, thinking that I was going to be fine after the swig of Ventolin. At midnight I woke up again. This time the pain in my chest has horrendous, and I realized I could hardly breathe. I was dazed and confused and could feel my faculties slipping away through lack of oxygen.

My little psychic voice whispered to me then. 'Check side effects of Macrodantin'. I Googled it immediately. It had all the normal stuff, and then said that if you suffer any breathing problems at all, 'get thee to a health practitioner without fail!'  OMG. I was alone at home with my young sons. It was the middle of the night. I could feel my senses slipping and slipping and I realised I didn't have enough time to wake up someone to drive over and fetch me. I was going to have to take myself immediately. And leave the kids alone in the house!

So I did get to the emergency room intact and they did all the right things to get me lucid again, treating the event as an acute asthma attack. So I got oxygen and nebulised and booked in to figure out what happened. And found myself in the middle of a 'House' series medical mystery.

I went for a CT scan. It's the second time I've had one - they did one last time I was holed up in August last year. Both scans came back with some long and scary words, talking about scarring on the lungs, and 'opacities', and all sorts of horrid sounding things. And Rheumatoid Lung. And Interstitial Lung Disease.  And so I started Googling again.  Those words are very scary: They have with them the words 'fatal'. And 'Lung Transplant'. I started seeing a path ahead for myself that looks incredibly grim, And ill and bleak. And shorter than I would have liked.

My week in hospital was about clearing up the infection that had now developed in my lungs, and shoring them up with cortisone and antibiotics and antihistamines. And I was completely dependent on the piped oxygen to keep my oxygen levels at a safe 96%. If I was off oxygen for any length of time, my SATS would drop to about 86% or 88%, which is the level that guys get to when they try to climb Mt Everest and start making bad decisions because of faulty capacities. I decided to use the time to work myself well. Lying in a bed with drips and meds being poured into me wasn't going to be the only way out of there I decided. So I got out of bed, switched on the walking app on my cell phone, and started walking the hospital corridors in my dressing gown, trying to get in as many steps as I could before I needed to go back to my bed and replenish my oxygen levels. I was averaging 5km per day of hospital corridor! Doc couldn't understand how I could do that - he said my lungs were dispersing oxygen in an odd way and that I shouldn't have been able to do that walking. But I could. So I did. And think that moving felt like such an important thing to do as part of my own contribution to healing myself. Stronger body. Exercise. Lungs moving.

After five days in hospital they released me and I've spent the past 3 days at home. Finishing off the antibiotics, cortisone and anti histamine tablets to settle down this acute attack and get my lungs breathing properly. Yesterday I took myself off to my family doctor with all the reports and recommendations and medications to just try to make sense of it all. I still don't really know what's actually wrong with me - and it's all right to get myself settled after this attack. But how do I make myself heal now? How do I understand fully what's happened so I can manage it better? My lungs seem shredded - criss-crossed with scar tissue and debris from these attacks. I have heard that lungs can regenerate after years of smoking destruction. Will I be able to rehabilitate mine?

Doc's thinking is as follows:

1. Ground Zero is the attack I had on Friday night. Probably Asthma. Vomiting included
2. It looked just like the attack I had in August last year (after Mark) which landed me in hospital for nine days
3. I had a mini attack about 6 weeks ago when I was with Bush Man. Sore chest. Fatigue. Vomiting.
4. These attacks were triggered by something. They're a symptom.
5. I took Macrodantin before each attack. Twice that was teamed with my weekly Chemo, Methotrexate.
6. Macrodantin has severe lung damage as a side effect in rare cases. So does Methotrexate.
7. I also have some indications of Rheumatoid lung, which could also have triggered the attacks
8. Something else entirely that we haven't thought of yet triggered them.

So I'm off to a Pulmonologist next month. I'll need a lung biopsy to try to diagnose the issue and assess the damage before we know how to proceed.

And I need to walk through another month wondering whether I have a fatal disease or not.

And be ok..

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Whew. Safe.

Charlie is back.

I'm so very relieved.

I didn't hear from him all day yesterday and I was beside myself believing that I was too needy and that he had decided I was too much for him. And spent the whole evening telling myself that we were done and that I needed to let go of him now and deal the sadness and move on. I nearly even reactivated my Ashley Madison profile. But when I went online and looked at the lists of men in my inbox, I just felt tired and sad. So didn't.

And went out with a girlfriend for dinner. Which was the very best thing to do. Staying at home and agonising about him would have been a horrid way to spend the night.

So just as I got home after dinner I got a message from him, laughing at the joke Berlin gave me, and said 'He's probably right'. With a big smiley face. And then he just gently reassured me that, actually, he fancies me 'rotten' and is finding it hard to manage his life comfortably with his teenage son, and wishes he could be with me more.

And this morning he asked me directly if I still want to be with him. I said 'Yes. Still!'

And so we're back. And I'm feeling so much happier, somehow knowing that he's there, wanting to be with me.

One of the things my mate and I were talking about is that we both probably set very high standards for communication. We're both communicators by profession - she's a writer, and I teach people communication skills and sell, and, well, here I am writing as well. So we are both actually highly skilled communicators because that's our profession. And I know it feels weird for me when people don't communicate with me with the same effectiveness that I bring to my own communication. And maybe that's where the problem lies. Just because I am here, ready with a hundred thoughts all neatly framed into words and concepts, doesn't mean that every person I meet can respond in kind. And maybe I need to look more deeply into how people are behaving with me. How they're bringing themselves to the party in ways that are different from me.

I suppose it's part of the Love Languages concept. We express ourselves in different ways, and need input in different ways. I think it's time I started seeing Charlie for who he is and figuring out how he operates in this world. I'm so going to love that journey of figuring him out. Learning about someone. Being discovered myself. Working with a man who will be honest and open with me, rather than malignant and deceitful and manipulative.

I feel the breath of fresh air. And it's lovely!

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Coming on too Strong? Again?

So after this morning's blog, I did call Charlie. Didn't get him, but left a voice message for him. He called back a while later and we had a happy chat, trying to find a time where we could meet up for a bit - today or tomorrow. And we left it at a 'I'll call you' agreement - he would call me when he was done with his work and we'd try to make a plan. So I spent the rest of the morning prancing around happy as a lark. Delighted that we would meet up some time today.

Except we didn't. I got a WhatsApp from him breezily saying he was heading home. And off he went. I was so disappointed. I can't reconcile this way of being to real relationship stuff. How is it that people don't do what they say they'll do. Or don't fix it if they do get into a place where they can't do what they say, why not tell me that things have changed? This has happened to me with Berlin. And John. And Mark. And Bush Man. And Stellenbosch Banker. Am I choosing badly? Is it a guy thing? Is it a Narc thing? Is it a 'everyone-but-me' thing? Flip I don't know. But every time it happens it HURTS me. Hard. Like I'm prepared to do a shitload of heavy lifting and they're just not. Unless they're in the mood or something. And they're sure as hell not going to let me into their process to soothe me about feeling neglected and abandoned or anything.

So I did it. I sent him a vulnerable WhatsApp conversation. Which I now regret sending. But it's done. Sigh. Here it is:

1 Apr 1:26 PM - Charlie: On my way home  
1 Apr 1:48 PM - Trudy: Oh. So we're not going to try see each other today?
1 Apr 1:50 PM - Trudy: Am I trying harder than you are to create something here?
1 Apr 2:05 PM - Trudy: My lunch just finished.
1 Apr 2:12 PM - Trudy: Shew.  I'm just going to say it. I like you. A lot. I want to invest time and energy into exploring the potential of a relationship with you.

And I know it's early and all that. But I do keep second guessing myself about whether you're in that same place as me.

If you're not, it's really cool. No pressure. But I'd like to know if you're not.

I see myself sharing a lot more of myself on this chat than you. And I see you sharing less of yourself now than you did when we first met.
1 Apr 2:13 PM - Trudy: And in the absence of conversations and time together I'm struggling to figure where it's at.
1 Apr 2:15 PM - Trudy: And you send me lovely emoticons when you connect with me,  but even those are so open to interpretation that I'm afraid I'll read too much into this communication
1 Apr 2:17 PM - Trudy: So Charlie, be kind to me please. If you're out there playing the field or moving on I'd just like to know. And if you're also wanting to invest here to see if something will come of it, then tell me too
1 Apr 2:18 PM - Trudy: I love passionately and wholeheartedly. It's who i am. But I do need some sense of safety in order to go there.
1 Apr 2:19 PM - Trudy: And now my 4 o clock just cancelled. I have the whole afternoon opened up.
1 Apr 2:23 PM - Trudy: Oh. This is also my PMT week. .. so I do know I'm more vulnerable than usual. But this is what's coming up for me so. ...
1 Apr 2:54 PM - Trudy: And I'm painfully aware that I use my words a lot more than you do so now I'm afraid I'm putting you in a painfully awkward place. Aaaaggggghhhhhh..... I'm intense, ok. I just am! 

He read it. And didn't respond. Fuck. I think I just tried to hand over the baby again. And I think he may just have walked away from that.

So I sent it to Berlin and said 'this is what I did'. His response was gentle: "maybe it's a little early for that, Trudy". "He feels pressured now. You have to do something to lighten it up a bit".

Hmh. Not bad advice actually, I thought.

So I sent a lighter bit:
1 Apr 4:06 PM - Trudy: So I just for crapped on by one of my mates for sending this to you
1 Apr 4:07 PM - Trudy: He says I should have my phone locked away and each finger handcuffed during PMT week.

1 Apr 4:09 PM - Trudy: Alternatively he suggests you confiscate my phone and tie me up. .. which could be more fun!

And he hasn't read this. Yet.

I want to tell myself that if he is going to be a significant person in my life, then he'll have to live with and put up with this heavy and intense part of me. But showing it too soon may be a mistake. I will be terribly sad if this chases him away completely. But I guess that if it does, I should be glad I know sooner rather than later, when I've entirely lost my heart to him.

And my heart it in a very very wobbly place now. I'm struggling to find my grown up feet about this. My heart wants this man. And I have been in so many fucked  up, pathological relationships that I have no idea if what I'm feeling is normal. Or too intense. Or what?!!  I just really really don't know.

The Place in Between

It's Wednesday. I saw Charlie on Saturday night. It's been almost four days and I find myself feeling like a pining teenager, Waiting for the phone to ring, Filling all the spaces between WhatsApp contacts with stories in my head about what I think he's doing. Most of those things involve imagining him with other girls. New Ashley Madison contacts that he's out with, meeting, charming, kissing. He's a wealthy man. A great catch. I can imagine that there are girls around him often, chasing him often.

I don't want to be one of those girls. I want to be the one he wants. Who wants him, not for any money he may be able to throw around, but just for him. I like him too much! And all my inner voices are screaming at me to be careful here. DON'T EXPECT too much. Don't allow your heart to disappear into the rabbit hole. You don't know yet whether he really likes you. I know I walked away from our lovely Saturday night drinks with a lightness and happiness in my heart. and when we were together I was absolutely sure we were in a mutual and happy place. That both of us wanted to pursue.

But now, four days out, I'm not getting a good feeling any more. His connecting with me has slowed to a trickle of a couple messages a day with many hours in between of nothing. I initiated a potential date for last night with him yesterday morning. Asked him to come with me to a play I want to see. He just responded lightly: "No, can't tonight, :)" No reason. No 'Let's do it tomorrow rather'. Just "Can't". I walked through the whole day with a sad foreboding in my heart about it.

And then I bought the tickets anyway. And then started connecting in with all my mates to find someone to go with me. I just couldn't face yet another night alone in my house with my family all away. I must have contacted about 15 mates - not one of them had the space to go with me. And I started seeing myself going alone, until I thought about my big son. I asked him. He said yes. And so we went out together, which was lovely. And I got through another night.

Sometime during the play I got a message from him saying he was just back home after an evening out at hockey with his son. Oh. Gosh. Sigh of relief. Was nice to know that he wasn't out choosing some other social event instead of being with me. Our kids must come first. But I'm still so worried about his reduced connection with me. I responded to his message playfully with a pic of me and my son out on our 'Date'. He didn't even read it last night. Nor this morning. and I've had no "Gooooood Moooooorning boooooootiful' from him like I have been getting ever day since we met.

So I'm suddenly in the desert again. After the intense and delicious connection of Saturday I'm just craving more of it. I want him so much. I want to love and to be loved. I want a relationship. I want someone to wake up in the morning thinking about me. I want this. And I have no idea whether this is going to be.

It's Easter weekend starting in two days. I don't know whether my family will come home from Mozambique or head to my husband's mate's place for a few day of motorbiking there. And so I'm trying to decide how to play it. In my fantasy, Charlie calls me and says he has the whole weekend free and could we be together? And then I head over to his place, or we fly to Cape Town, or drive to the bush and spend all that time living and loving and getting to know each other. And I feel idyllic blissful happiness. Or he says 'we'll hook up sometime this weekend' and I sit around waiting for him to do something, and we get a couple of measly squeezed-in hours some time. And I feel miserable. Or I just give up and head down to Howick to watch my kids break themselves on their bikes and spend happy time with them. Or maybe they come home instead and then I spend the weekend pining, but at least with my family, and not alone like now.

So I'm in this place in between. I don't know what it's in between. It starts with a beautiful, connected moment, moves into this nowhere place, and could either end with another happy connection. Or a slow and excruciating drifting away, with me once more wondering what could have been if the connection could have been explored.

I want to call him. Should I call him?

Fuck I don't know.