A Man on Pause

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A Man on Pause

On a day to day basis l write to you all in roughly a 95% totally candid manner. The 5% absent usually is the dark, dark vulnerabilities we all have or the secret skeletons in the family closet, or like l have said before l change the names of many of the characters in my stories. A classic example of that is in The Father I Never Knew series, my Father’s name is not Ben, nor is my Sister’s name Jenny. But my name is Rory, Suze is Suzanne and Scrappy is Scrappy Doodlepip. But on rare occasions and usually with topical posts, the writing comes close to the 100% mark.

Suze is back on Saturday from her third visit to visit her daughter and the grandkids in Australia, and in addition to Scrappy l will be delighted to see her home, as l have missed her. I am very lucky that l don’t suffer with loneliness  and my sympathies genuinely do extend to those who experience this on a day to day basis. But l do understand feeling alone.

This particular visit of Suze’s was much shorter than her previous two, being only seventeen days and that is due to her not being able to get more time off work. She will return Saturday after a gruelling almost 24 hours flight and travel time back home to have one clear day on Sunday to ‘relax and recover’ from jet lag, before she is back into work Monday. I am not envious of that at all, but l am sympathetic!

But something l have noticed with her recent down under visit, that wasn’t present in the previous two, is how envious l have been of her trip. I refuse to call it a holiday or a vacation because that’s not fair, whilst yes she is on holiday leave, l cannot see her ‘vacation’ as basically being anything more than a live in sitter for her grandkids as that enjoyable. That sounds bad as well, and l don’t mean it to. She loves being with her grandchildren and loves seeing her daughter, but apart from a few jaunts out, she has seen nothing of Australia.

In the last few years, l have started to miss the big country a lot. I left Australia in 1977 with my family to return to the country of my birth, and l did not want to leave, and cried. What did l know of England? My Sister was born in Australia, and she most assuredly did not want to leave. My Father irrelevant to all his strangeness didn’t wish to leave, but we left for my Mother’s sake. She missed Blighty end of discussion. But l am tiring of England.

I don’t discuss some topics with myself lightly, yes there we go, l talk to myself, every day, sometimes for hours on end. Live with it, you probably do too. So with certain issues l go at it hard in a typical overthinkers manner.

It’s not jealously with Suze, it is literally that l am eager to take a break, l actually need a holiday and fast. The last few years have held some real challenages for not just myself or even Scrappy but for Suze as well. We need a break as a family, and we need a break as a couple. For one reason if not several, this has proved very hard to actually achieve. The last holiday or break we had was our first, and that was in 2014, when the three of us went to Cornwall for Christmas week and prior to that was in 2005 with my Father for three days over one weekend.

Emotionally, personally, physically and mentally  I am more or less spent. I am tired, really, truly weary. There is currently a lot going on in my life which requires me to pull on my reserves of energy and those reserves are sitting in already empty vats, so it is a hard pull. The chronic pain of this damn injury with my neck and shoulder is at times crippling, not just physically, but mentally too. I just want it fixed, so l can get on with my life, our life. I seek direction in certain areas of my life like many of us do as well. I need clarification of what is going on and not just on my shoulder, but with my life.

I refuse to have any more depression in my life, no more, l am done with that. I pulled myself out of a hole of darkened hell last year and l am not returning. But that doesn’t mean that l don’t feel it at times.

My Father’s estate following his recent death and dealing with my Sister is hard and draining work, much harder than it needs to be, but l find that l have to at times battle her every step of the way and l will be very pleased when that’s done, because perhaps and there is no guarantee of course, but perhaps that will lighten the load. It is obvious that the financial inheritance will be greatly received as that will most assuredly ease off some of the pressures in the home front.

It will mean that Suze who is working in a job that tears her down so terribly emotionally, will be offered the relaxation of not being the sole income earner, and she can then relax a bit, and hopefully if not before that it will gift her the security every family cries out for, but also, l do hope that she finds a job that is more befitting her intelligence and abilities and meaning she doesn’t have to work at something she hates just to make ends meet and pay the bills. But l worry for her, and this too proves to be draining.

Suze misses her daughter and her grandchildren desperately and when they emigrated in 2015 it was almost like a part of her soul was torn from her and was awful to watch. She has a son, but they are not terribly close and there was a rift between them after her daughter moved to Australia which was only healed last year when he sought help with an unknown drug additction, which nearly ruined his family but also the relationship with his Mother. But damage was done, and now he too is moving away – not emigrating, but to a location that is not a mere hour away, so this means that her ability to see those grandchildren greatly diminishes also.

Suze is very much a family orientated person, where as l am not. With my upbringing, l was oft surprised that l bothered keeping any kind of relationship with either of my parents. But l did, as l felt obligated to. But with Suze it’s all natural and loving. When she and l got together one of the things she enjoyed was that l was not family orientated. She couldn’t have any more children, and l didn’t want any, and l had none of my own, so on that level we were suited. But over the years l have often wondered if that view of family orientation has changed? I have never stopped her from seeing any of her family, l have encouraged and supported her in any way l could.

In 2015, l wasn’t completely oblivious to what she was experiencing when her daughter emigrated and l did what l could to support her emotionally to get her through it, but l wasn’t her son, her daugher or even her grandchildren, so l could only award what comfort and love l was able to.

As a couple we have been through many challenges; her coming to terms with my Aspergers which she considered a great hurdle. Me coming to understand what SAD was and trying to remember that at certain times of the year she would be prone to different moods and depression. Her coming to terms with my depression and us celebrating my victory over it and not giving in to it. Us having to combat a serious illness l had had for years, but was only successfully diagnosed in 2016 and then as a couple celebrating my recovery.

My Asperger’s is a hard challenge, l know that, but one of the hardest challenges or hurdles l have ever had to negotiate as well as Suze has been the menopause and subsequent post-menopause.. When l first met her, she explained she was coming out of menopause, and entering post-menopause. I remember that day very clearly. It was a Monday afternoon and we were having a coffee together and she asked if l understood what it was? I acknowledged that l did, but had no first hand experience per se. She slipped off and from her bookshelf she took out this huge book .. remember the old family bibles? Well it was that size, she walked over and slammed the book down on the table with a laugh. It hit the table so hard, it woke Scrappy!

Blimey, l remember thinking, that is a shit tonne of information to absorb! But over the next year l read that book, all 500 pages of it and absorbed everything. In fact even today l still read articles on menopause, to ensure that l know what to expect. I am not personally physically, emotionally or mentally experiencing it directly, but l do indirectly as her partner. Suze has read very little on the subject, which is kind of ironic, but she said she would rely on my Aspergian mind to relay anything of quality and then simply tackle it head on.

When we first met in 2013 we were very tactile as a couple, and that lasted till the middle of 2015, when it stopped and Suze changed. Our tactility, closeness and intimacy had disappeared almost overnight. It was that sudden, it was a shock to both of our systems. As Suze would say as l am sure most women would, her choice of sexuality and sensuality was taken from her without her permission! I would say that is a pretty true statement.

I know that not many men write of this, l have known of men to get flamed for writing on this topic – we have no rights to write! We DONT know what it’s about, we need to be more understanding and sympathetic! Well l am all of those things, l have not stopped loving Suze, l adore and love her more now than when we first met. That is how relationships are supposed to be! Supportive and l am. But that doesn’t mean, that l don’t miss her, miss our closeness – fine l can go without sex. I saw the damage of two adulterous parents and remember what that did to me as their son, and my ex-wife cheated on me and gave birth to a daughter before we were even divorced, so trust me when l say adultery is not my bag!

But Suze changed so much when this happened, add on to that her daughter emigrating, her favourite grandchildren no longer around, her son becoming hostile to her and you could see this woman change. Since then she has evolved and l love the fact she has – but she is still different.

Suze had a trial with HRT, and it wasn’t for her, and during that period in 2017 we actually broke up and were like that for a few months, still in the same house. We broke up because if l had thought she changed in 2015 l was so wrong. At her own concession, she almost became the devil overnight and l swear l was worried for my safety as she had become so volatile, so much so, so great the pressure l snapped, my depression hit me hard, so it was a truly awkward time. We loved each other, but … yeah but! Seperated but still living together was hard. From May 2017 till November that year l battled a dark depression and then finally one day I beat it, it’s not been back since! Suze was on HRT from April 2017 to October the same year, and it nearly destroyed her and us. However by January of this year we were back as a ”’couple”’. I use it loosely, because truth is, l don’t know where l am in her life.

Suze says she loves me, and l don’t deny that, but in 2017, she conceded to the fact that she didn’t love me the same way anymore. I still love her the same way, just deeper. As a couple we stopped sharing the same bed in March 2016 because of my snoring and her light sleeping,  but we have never shared the same bed again, now l don’t think we ever will.

I know she misses her grandchildren, and tonight in a brief FB call she said if not for Scrappy and myself, she wouldn’t return. There is nothing for her in this country anymore to hold her back, although she has no direct hankering to live in Australia. She talked of serious life changes when she gets back, one is to find herself a new job. I’ll not fight her on that, l agree.

Before she left we had a very frank chat, l said that whatever she decided to do with her life, l would support her and of course l will. We are friends, great friends, and a couple of sorts l think, l don’t really know anymore what we are. She doesn’t like to talk about certain things anymore, and okay then we don’t l say, but when you wish to l am here. I don’t know what the future holds, none of us do.

I hope we are still a couple in a years time, l think we will be, and it’s just that life, well life sucks at times for us all, doesn’t it? It’s just another hurdle to jump over and take in our strides.

Thanks for reading.

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