Well it’s been about six weeks. And it’s been awesome. It sounds terribly melodramatic, but I’d kinda forgotten what being happy felt like. Of course, there’s always frustrations in life and it’s how you deal with those — work has been quite stressful of late for a number of reasons, but things between us have been amazing.
After spending a very welcome couple of weeks relaxing in Cornwall with my Aunty, we were in quite constant contact. I talked to her about it, always more understanding than my immediate family were before. I faced into talking to my parents and brother too — the former took it well, the latter was more challenging, he always is. But I’m proud of myself for tackling it more maturely.
As for us — I officially exist in your online world now, which was a huge barrier for me. I’ve even been exchanging texts with one of your streamer friends which has amused you greatly, last weekend you were here and were even talking about us possibly working out ways to combine for some stream stuff, getting involved. That sounds great! I don’t want to muscle into something but if we can both enjoy something together then great!
Of course occasionally things get to me, but I’ve been better at talking about it to you, and you’ve been receptive and understanding. It’s so much healthier, I know I’m a sod for bottling things up and I’ve worked hard to stop it. And you’ve not been the unpredictable enigma when I’ve been more open — part of me still baulks at it, but the more times we do it and it doesn’t explode then the more I’ll feel comfortable, I think.
We’ve had drama too — an unplanned pregnancy, a miscarriage, but we’ve come through it. It wasn’t the plan, but had fate not been so cruel to you then we’d have made it work somehow, for now we’ve added to the contraceptive arsenal. I’ve resolved not to rule out the possibility of kids, I actually got quite used to the idea for that brief chunk of time when we thought we had one on the way, but it would be better if we were settled in the same location.
You’ve got back on the planning to learn to drive train — I think that’s really important, if you move away from your family you need to be able to get to them. You need independence. It gives you more options for finding a job up here, too — the plan is, basically, back on. When we see each other we’re excited again, as our time together gets close to an end we don’t want to be parted. Next weekend we’re not going to see each other and it feels hard for both of us. Bittersweet or what?
Last weekend amongst reacquainting ourselves with a gig we went out for a walk with my Mum, she’s determined to make things work. She at least has acknowledged she made things difficult last time around, of course there are things we didn’t do so well too, particularly me. I had a really honest conversation with her and Dad about that, and they’re resolved that they want to make an effort and I think it went really well. You treated her to coffee and cake and we walked back to theirs.
My brother will be more of a challenge, and we’ll probably have to make allowances for him being a bit unreasonable. If he were younger I feel sure he’d have been diagnosed as being on some kind of spectrum — but I feel confident that over time we’ll be able to ease into something resembling normality, particularly if we get Mum on side. I’m not going to rush that, he has a lot of stuff going on with his wife’s side of the family at the moment.
When I started writing these letters this is NOT how I expected the story to unfold. I’ve omitted quite how much I shared with some folk about what happened with you, particularly your Mum. As we start to see mutual friends again I don’t want you to feel judged, I was very selective and only confided in people I trusted so I don’t think that white lie or omission of openness is too bad.
The other thing I haven’t mentioned yet — but might yet — is that I logged into my Twitch account the other day for the first time since well before things went wrong for us. There was a notification that he had gifted me a subscription to your channel late April time, so that would be after we’d ended and possibly as you’d been letting him down. Obviously at the time I’d have been furious — but now, well, maybe it’s just a coincidence but it seems unlikely.
He’s pretty much nuked his Twitter profile, removing swathes of Tweets. I’m not sure why I looked, force of habit from before maybe. You did say that he’d been ‘a bit weird’ and reacted badly to things. I guess on the face of it that’s pretty understandable — I’ve chosen to file him away as a victim of circumstance and pay him no heed any more. Maybe I’ll mention the gifted sub to you, maybe I won’t. I don’t want to keep raking up that stuff, I want to look forward.
And I am looking forward, you’ve already booked a train ticket for your next trip up here — we’ll have the evening together then off to a surprise birthday party, whilst we went to a gig last weekend with a few of the gig/festival folk, and a birthday party just after I was back from Cornwall, this will be the first sizeable gathering of friends we’ll have been to together — I’m looking forward to it immensely.
I’m not sure how often or whether I’ll return to these pages — not that it has a ginormous readership, it’s been nice for me to revisit and be able to write in such a different tone and from a different state of mind. Obviously I’m not going to share these pages with you, and may well eventually delete them entirely, although they do chart probably the most difficult chunk of time I’ve had emotionally, they also document growth, strategies and ways to get through things.
They chart the danger of isolation, the pitfalls of not communicating — and I mean that in both directions — and I suppose in reaching an unpredictably saccharine ending they document the power of love, forgiveness and not losing sight of the importance of happiness. Sure, I don’t pretend that everything is or will be perfect, but who can honestly say their life is? But I think we can be happy together, and that’s just bloody brilliant.
I love you, Bert