The fear

T said to me tonight

“So what if she “kicks off”, what’s the worst that can happen?”

(Amongst a lot of other things)…

I feel so utterly pathetic that despite “knowing” that – I can’t properly believe it.

I know I’m not a child. I know she can’t hurt me. She can’t punish me….

Why do I still have this fear??

I’m a married 30 year old for Christ’s sake.

Lots of tears tonight. Feeling rather delicate and very tired now I’m home. Bed for me soon.

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Anxiety over seeing her

Hey everyone,

I thought I would write a little something whilst I’m on the train to work this morning to set out my latest feelings regarding my mother post-wedding.

After he total disinterest at our wedding she pretty much vanished and I’ve already written about her passive aggressive blanking of my wedding photos on social media and her clearly purposeful “liking” and commenting of other people’s photos such as my sister and my step-brother’s girlfriend’s. Well last Tuesday she text me asking when “we” got to see the wedding photos…

I was shocked because 1) she’s only in two photos from the entire day and 2) she didn’t give two hoots about the day when she was actually there and now she wants to see photos?

I replied to say I wasn’t sure, which I wasn’t at the time.

The the next day, Thursday last week she text again (this was very weird after two weeks of nothing!) to say “fancy meeting up soon” – that was at the bottom of other nonsense but was clearly the point of the text. My heart fell because, well… no I don’t.

I replied to all her random shite and then said yeah sure just let me know when you’re about in an attempt to kind of park that bit but she responded immediately with a list of times and dates. Annoyingly we ended up agreeing on Friday night (this week).

Nothing was said about where we would go or whatever but I was already trying to plan something where I could drive so that I couldn’t drink. Drinking around her right now (well ever really) is a bad idea.

Anyway, fast-forward a few days and I begun having bad dreams and nightmares and by Friday night I dreamt that someone led me in the dark down some concrete steps and as I couldn’t see, I didn’t realise there was water at the bottom – like a lake or something and I was about to drown. The next night I had another strange dream…

I then woke up yesterday morning and I felt absolutely physically exhausted. There wasn’t any reason for feeling like that, I had 8 hours sleep but I felt as though I’d only had two. I took a day’s holiday from work and so did my hubby and we had a nice relaxing day. In the afternoon we spoke about my mum and I told him how it was making me anxious and nervous.

Hubby thinks it’s the stress making me physically feel so bad, I’m not so sure but I do feel a thousand times better since we spoke it out so maybe he’s right.

Anyway, hubby’s view (like most people’s) is that I should only do what I actually WANT to do. He can’t understand why I’m agreeing to see her at all, especially after the wedding. I just feel as though it’s the path of least resistance.

No I don’t want to see her. I hate it and I hate how it makes me feel before, during AND after but equally telling her that would cause a shit tonne of drama and I seriously don’t want that either. I agree to see her every now and again purely to keep the peace (kind of peace anyway…).

I don’t think it’s going to be long before she points out it’s only ever her asking to see me and only ever her texting me first…. I’m not sure what I’ll say when she says that to be honest. It’s true.

I’m anxious about how she will be and what she will say when I do see her. Will she dance around the wedding like it never happened? Will she make digs at my loved ones like my dad and stepmum? I just don’t know.

It’s hard predicting how she will behave when one moment she’s so blatantly disinterest and disapproving and the next is asking for photos!!

I’m trying hard to stay “grey-rock”… trying to not react to anything, not to show any frustration, anger or sadness… just not reacting whatsoever. Every time she goes on about photos I want to tell her that there’s plenty on Facebook but she already knows that and me pointing it out just tells her that I’ve noticed she’s ignoring them. So I stay shut.

I have been running conversations through my mind, what will I say to things. For example:

Her “Your dad looked old”

Me – “funny, he said the same about you”… hahha but no, I should probably say “well it’s been 30 years, I guess he would look older”.

Her “Your stepmum looked gaunt”

Me – “She’s done so well losing so much weight this year!”

Her “We weren’t in many photos”

Me “yeah we decided to have more on our own than with family”

Her “the bedrooms didn’t have air-con, we couldn’t sleep”

Me – “Oh that’s a shame! How annoying for you”.

Her – “We couldn’t stay for breakfast as had to get home for the dog”

Me – “Oh I know, that’s fine! We had plenty of people there for breakfast anyway”.

……

Can you see my thoughts are all over the place?

The other thing bothering me is that I will not see her husband ever again. Neither will my husband and I have no idea if she realises this. It’s her birthday next month and soon enough, possibly when I see her, she will mention it and she may invite us to a meal or whatever…. I will have to say no as we do not want to go.

How will I do that? What do I say?

“We won’t be able to make that I’m afraid but let me know when you’re free and me you and (sister) can do something”….

Or do I tell her the truth?

“Sorry but I’m not comfortable to see your husband so we won’t be coming. Let’s do something separately when you are free?”

Surely it’s going to start WW3? She won’t admit that he was an aggressive arsehole at my wedding. She won’t see all the ways he was rude and just look at how she reacted when she found out her husband wasn’t sitting at our top table! She went mad and removed herself… what will she do to this?

Then there’s Christmas ….

What are your plans this Christmas Day?”

Me: “We are spending it at my dad’s this year”

* wait for WW3 to erupt*

Boxing Day we have the kids….

I haven’t spent a Christmas Day with my dad since I was a child. She won’t expect that, but as we were no contact last year, I’m pretty sure she thinks I owe her. I also refused her Christmas presents when she wanted to give them to me in April.

I won’t be going to her house over Christmas – and she won’t be coming to mine (not that she’s ever been to mine!!).

All these things are in my head. They take up so much space and time. These constant thoughts are the cause of my disturbed sleep, my anxiety-producing dreams and possibly the fatigue I felt yesterday.

And yet this is the least dramatic path?! Ahh.

That’s it… I’m married!!! Part 3

Following on from Part 1 and Part 2, this is the 3rd and finally part of our wedding day.

After we all had breakfast (with yet more wasps!!), we packed up the cars and headed home.  Me and my hubby and the 3 kids in the back of the car drove home, still not quite believing that our Big Day was over and that we were now officially married.  The kids said that I was now really and legally their stepmother and I told them that nothing would change.  They said they knew but I just wanted to reassure them I wasn’t going to suddenly turn into the wicked stepmother !

When we got home it was another absolutely boiling day so we ran around opening every single window in the house and then my husband and eldest stepson went out and got everyone a naughty McDonalds. After 8 months of dieting and constant exercise, that was very much enjoyed I can tell you!

An hour or so later my Dad and stepmum came over and they and the children watched us open up all of our cards and presents.  My stepdaughter made a list for us of what everyone gave us so that we can send individual thank you cards out.  It was fun.  My sister and her boyfriend came over too with a huge wrapped present. She was very excited to watch us open it and I can see why now.  She had made us a “box of dates”.  In this box were several gift bags and in each gift bag contained a “date”.  For example, one bag had a tablemat, plastic plate and cutlery and a voucher for a supermarket – along with a miniature bottle of champagne and two glasses. Another had two hula-hula necklaces, cans of cocktails, there were also vouchers for various different restaurants, bags of sweets, a cinema voucher and a bowling voucher. She had clearly put a lot of time and effort and thought into this and we absolutely loved it.

My mum had given my sister a gift bag to give to us which contained a card, a candle and a glass ornament and she said she had sent us £100 to my bank account.

I text her later in the day and said thanks for coming and that she looked lovely (I didn’t really know what else to say and for someone so image-obsessed, I knew she would like that).  She said thanks and “Ditto”. That was that.

The following day when the children were back at their mother’s house, we headed into town and I went into one bank to change my name. That was fun! We then went home and packed for honeymoon.

Over the last week that we were away, a LOT of photos have gone up on Facebook and Instagram. There are loads of really lovely photos of me and my husband and of the bridal party and of me and my dad etc – as anyone that uses Facebook or any social media will know, photos like that tend to get a lot of “likes” and comments and these photos were no different… with the one exception of ….. have you guessed it?

My mother has not “liked” or commented on a single one.

I know, I know, it’s pathetic and very immature that this hurts me and I know I’ve written this before about her. It’s stupid. I really do need to get over it but I can’t help it. It feels so passive aggressive.

The morning after the wedding she “shared” a post about some dancers… I am pretty sure she did this just to prove she was active on there and just purely ignoring me/us.  Later that day, she started to “like” my sister’s photos of her and her boyfriend and even my stepbrother’s girlfriend’s photos of her and him.  She commented on one of the photos saying “beautiful!!” with a heart emoji.  As I said above, as ridiculous as this might sound, it hurt. It really did hurt.

My husband slept the day before we went on honeymoon and I looked at all of the photos she was commenting on of everyone else and tears fell down my face as it hit me.  She didn’t give two shits about my wedding day or my happiness.  She was nowhere to be seen, she made no fuss of me whatsoever – she didn’t tell me she was happy for me, proud of me, that she was glad.. anything.  She didn’t even try to fake some happiness or pride.  She just wasn’t around.

That, mixed with leaving before 7am the following morning without even saying goodbye – the fact her text could have said I looked beautiful or that I seemed so happy – anything really but only said about the dog (who by the way was staying with someone overnight so not home alone).  That hurt too.

And those things now mixed with her ignoring my wedding photos on Facebook whilst very clearly (and purposely I have no doubt) liking and commenting on everyone else’s was just sad.  I know it probably makes ME sound like the narcissistic one here, but I just wanted her to make a bit of a fuss of me on my big day.  I would have liked her to have written a status about “her daughter’s wedding day” or uploaded some photos of me and my new husband – heck, even of herself at our wedding.. but there is literally NOTHING at all.  For anyone that didn’t know I had got married, there is no evidence of it whatsoever. Just random shit, oh and a post about how she brought herself a new car a few days later….

I did cry. I had a few tears silently as my husband slept. I didn’t want him to see me upset two days after we got married.  I text my stepmum and said “I just don’t get it”. We had a short conversation and then my phone rang and it was my Dad.  I took the call outside into the garden so I didn’t wake my sleeping husband and he said that he did not want me to be upset right now. He said this should be the happiest time of my life and I should not think about her. I shouldn’t let her get into my head.  I told him that I knew that and that I knew he was right, but that I couldn’t help my thoughts/feelings.  He understood but told me to try and block those thoughts out until we have got back from our honeymoon – he said not to let her win.  I cried a little as he spoke to me, not enough for him to hear.  It was nice to have him phone me, I needed a bit of “parenting” in that moment I think.  It was also nice because he’s not done that before.

He told me on that phone call that my Stepmum had said to him, despite everything I’ve said about my mum she could never quite believe she was “that bad” but having seen her and the way her and her husband behaved at the wedding, and the day after – and since – she could now see she really was “that bad”.  I laughed Yep.  He said that as a mother, she just could not understand how you could be like that at your own daughter’s wedding.

He said that he thinks she felt jealous and left out.  I said if she felt left out or excluded then she only had herself to blame and he said he most certainly was not defending her.  He said that he thinks at the wedding she saw how well me and my dad, stepmum and brothers get along now (she hates that) – and not only me but my husband also.  That she would have seen how well I get along with my husband’s family and how well my dad’s family get along with them – and also my sister and my brothers (who are from different sides) also got along so well.  He said that she clearly felt like she didn’t have a place and that for all we know, the reason they didn’t come to breakfast the morning after could have been because her angry, idiotic husband was threatening to say something to me/my husband or my dad which clearly could quite possibly be the case. Who knows.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that in the grand scheme of things, I should be thankful nothing worse happened. That nobody had to be removed, nobody had a fist-fight etc and I am – but her utter disinterest and now her passive social media stance does hurt.  It just does, whether it should or not.

I don’t really know what happens from here to be honest…. what happens next?

I am already anxious about when she next decides to contact me and ask “When am I seeing you next???” because I just don’t know how to be with her. I mean, I haven’t really known how to be with her for a while since breaking no contact but now…. there is no need for me to keep the peace for the sake of the wedding and yet I have no intention or desire to start a discussion or argue with her.  Now I feel a bit at a loss with it all….

If we were to discuss the wedding I am sure she would show as little interest as she did in the lead up to the big day as on the big day itself… she might even complain that she felt left out and I just don’t know what I would say to her now.  What even is the point?

I know we’ve all said it countless times before but I know I can’t change her – I truly know that, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it does it? and I don’t like it.

I don’t think I should have to be eternally thankful that my mother didn’t ruin my big day do I.. I guess in her head, she feels sorry for herself. I know how she thinks sometimes and I am sure it will be something along the line of “She barely even noticed I was there. She barely spoke to me, I had no part in the planning of the wedding or on the day itself.  She seems to have forgotten who brought her up when he father didn’t want to know.  She has a very short memory!“.  I can literally hear her saying those words – and then some. I am sure the money they gave us will also be involved in both his and her anger but my husband did thank “all sets of parents” and then nodded over to each set, his parents, my dad and stepmum and my mum and stepfather for their help with money to make our day possible.  We also gave out flowers to each of the mum’s – my mum, his mum and my stepmum (she probably hated that too!).

The thing with my mother is, she likes to be the main attraction – the centre of attention and she wasn’t.

I’ve questioned a lot since the wedding, what could we have done to include her that we didn’t and I just can’t think of anything.  She and her husband had reserved, front-row seats for the ceremony, she was offered (and refused) a seat at the top table, we thanked them for the money they gave us during the speeches, we gave her thank you flowers, we sat them with the people they liked the most in the family…. I don’t know what else she was expecting to be honest. I just don’t know.

She didn’t even dance with me in the evening.. she hasn’t sent me a single photo of us during the day (did she even take any? I’ve no idea!).  She genuinely has acted as though the whole thing was a dream and didn’t happen.  It’s just plain weird.

It’s very difficult to ignore behaviour like this from your mother at such an important time of your life.  The balance of not bothering to confront her, knowing there is no point and at the same time feeling like a fraud and a fake pretending it isn’t upsetting me… it’s a weird one. It leaves me feeling very unsure and uncertain.. very up in the air really I suppose.

I like to think sometimes that she doesn’t do things purposely to hurt me, it’s just a side-effect of her being so terribly self-involved but then I think the blatant ignoring of my photos and statuses about the wedding is actually being done on purpose to hurt isn’t it. There is no other explanation that I can come up with.  My husband reminded me that she knows that is a way of getting to me because when me and my sister had a falling out a year or so ago, at her house, I said to my sister that she ignores my Facebook posts and posts about all her other siblings and friends.  He thinks she heard that and stored it up as a way to get to me, knowing it had bothered me before.  What better time to implement that than now?

Anyway, despite all of this, it has been the most wonderful time.  The wedding and the honeymoon were amazing and I do feel extremely grateful and lucky about everything else. I’m not that upset about her at the moment, but it is on my mind a lot.  It’s like I am trying to “work it out” but I guess when it comes down to it, there isn’t anything to work out.  It is just her being her.

That’s it…I’m married!! Part 2

So, to carry on from Part 1, our guests had been lined up outside ready for our confetti shot and after about 5 or so minutes someone came to get us.  As we walked towards all of our guests all standing holding handfuls of rose petals and our photographer all ready to snap away, we walked through the man-made aisle laughing and trying to avoid being smacked in the eye with a petal or ten! It was a very fun moment I have to say despite everyone’s viciousness! (I told them that too!).  It was particularly lovely to see my Nan who looked so excited at finally being able to do this – she’s waited 30 years to see me married.

From that point the photos begun.. my goodness there were A LOT of photos!! I’ve never really taken in quite the amount of photos that the bride and groom have at weddings before so I was quite shocked. It was also a VERY hot day, about 30 degrees which in sunny England, is rather ridiculous! Unfortunately there was also a wasp’s nest on the roof of our venue and so wasps were literally EVERYWHERE that day – so many photos had to be retaken from me screaming and flapping around (now the ceremony wasp made sense).  That was rather annoying but I didn’t know there was a nest at this point and thought it was just because it was such a hot day and there were a lot of drinks around.

Due to the issues with my mother and stepfather, I didn’t ask for many family photos, instead we had a photo with each “set” of family – so a photo with my husband’s family, a photo with my Dad’s side of the family and a photo with my mother’s side of the family.  Ordinarily we would have both liked more than that, but it was the easiest way of keeping things simple.

Oh I’ve missed a bit haven’t I, let me just quickly go back to the confetti shot… my stepfather (aka the prick) was there and this was the first time me and my husband had seen him since that night last October.  He went to say congratulations to my husband at exactly the same time the photographer spoke to him and so it looked as though he had ignored him and he pulled a face and muttered something about him… when my husband realised (like a nano second later) he apologised to him and shook his hand and patted his back – despite wishing he could just ignore him… he did not look happy!! He said congratulations to me but clearly he didn’t mean it. I thanked him but not overly and moved on within a second.

Back to photos, my mother and “her lot” sat quite far on one side of our venue, my dad and “his lot” on another – but my 3 brothers (from my dad’s side) and my sister (from my mum’s side) were all in the bridal party and so in nearly every photo at this point.  My dad lingered around a lot and joked about – he actually seemed rather drunk at one point but I was told he was just “high on excitement” haha, bless him.  He seemed VERY happy.  My stepmum also seemed very happy, she told me how much she loved my dress and  how beautiful I looked. She seemed so genuine – they both did.

You may notice there is a distinct lack of mentioning my mother here and that is for one reason only – she was barely there.  I mean, she was THERE but she kept her distance the entire day. I barely saw her.  I imagine she probably told me I looked nice but I don’t remember it… I also imagine she probably told me she was very happy for me/for us … no actually, I can say with certainty that she did not say that.  I have no idea quite where she was during the entire day and evening, I imagine she sat outside in the evening when we were dancing or mingling with guests, but I don’t know.  She was pretty much not there.  I know that given the background and our current relationship, this is better than her kicking off or causing a scene but it was weird though.  I didn’t have time to acknowledge this on the day – its something I’ve thought about more since the wedding.

After what felt like hours of photographs in the boiling sun and wasp city, it was finally time for the sit down meal.  We were told to hang back so that all guests could be taken through to their tables and then our MC (toastmaster) announced us into the room as Mr & Mrs.  Everyone clapped and cheered and whooped and we walked through them all smiling and laughing, it was great fun. I didn’t look at anyone in particular and I purposely avoided my mother and stepfather’s table.

When we were all seated the food came out, at the top table sat (from left to right) the best man, my husband’s dad, eldest stepson, stepdaughter, groom, bride, youngest stepson, my father and then my husband’s mother.  It worked well.  My mother who, as you may remember, took herself off of the top table sat at one of the 3 tables in front of the top table but luckily (as bad as this sounds) she was at an angle where I couldn’t actually see her face from where I sat.  Unfortunately however I could see her husband’s face and he was one angry man.

By this time I had been made aware of a few things he had said or done and so I knew the mood he was in.  His face was pure anger. Just like the time he kicked me out of his house a year ago and just like the time on the train.  I really dislike him and seeing him again only reconfirmed that.

Apparently when my husband arrived at the venue in the morning, he saw my stepfather driving in the opposite direction so when he then came back, my fiancé (to break the ice having not seen or spoken to him for a year!) said to him “Was that you I saw driving a moment ago?” and he said… “Yes, I was hoping to ram you off of the road“. I mean wow.

My husband said he ignored that comment entirely and turned to talk to someone else where he then heard my stepfather say (to someone else) “and then I came back for another go!“.  What a dick. My sister says this was probably a joke but after everthing that has gone on and after a year of us not speaking at all, and moments before my husband was about to marry me – it was certainly not funny or appreciated.

During the confetti photo he was heard to say “Oh for fuck’s sake, if I’d known it was a family photo I would have stood at the back“.  But the worst thing I think was his angry face. I’ve never known someone to look so consistently angry.

After the wedding breakfast, the speeches begun.  My Dad went first, I was very excited for this.  My dad is very nervous of public speaking and I know he has been worried sick about the speech for about a year now – no exaggeration.  He had told me a lot recently that it wasn’t a long speech, but that he meant every word of it.  Well, his speech amazed me – and my husband too.  It was incredible.  He did not look at all nervous, he told the room that I was a beautiful, kind, caring and intelligent woman and that he doesn’t tell me enough how proud he is of me.  He spoke about how I am a stepmother to my husband’s 3 children and how much time and effort I spend with/on them. He spoke about how my husband was a great guy with fantastic morals and said that if he could cherry-pick a husband for his daughter, that he would be right at the top.  He also thanked him for laughing at his dad jokes. Ha.

I have been told that during my dad’s wonderful speech, stepfather apparently rolled his eyes, laughed sarcastically and refused to clap.  Apparently my mother looked like she was chewing a wasp which I quite believe given how much she hates my father.

Next was my husband’s speech where he spoke about how we met, how he proposed, about what a fabulous stepmother I am to his kids (aww) and about how he always feels loved and appreciated by me.  He promised he would always love and protect me.  It was lovely.  Then the best man’s speech which was a great mixture of funny and sentimental, he actually choked up and had to stop speaking for a moment which was very cute.  In all, the speeches were just lovely.  I felt extremely lucky and happy for the ten millionth time that day.

Everyone raised a glass to us and then clapped for all of the speeches and then my husband’s dad stood up, came over to congratulate and shake my father’s hand for his speech, then before long everyone was congratulating each other – the best man, the groom – I thanked all 3 of them for their speeches and all of a sudden I burst into tears with happiness. That was the first time that day that I had cried.  I just couldn’t believe how lucky I was.  I couldn’t help but think how differently this day could have gone, how differently the speeches would have been… how I might not have ever felt this way and the strength of that just hit me and the tears came flying out.  It wasn’t a hysterical breakdown don’t get me wrong, just a few tears of joy and luckiness I guess.

Again, my mother and stepfather were not around – not that I looked for them, I just noticed their absence then and again now as I recall the day.  I can’t help but think that my mother’s envy from how great the speeches were, from how well my husband’s family got on with my father’s family etc would all have been way too much for her.  She would have been absolutely seething.  Especially as during the best man’s speech he spoke about my husband’s stag do and their little inside jokes with my father – she would not have liked that one little bit! My father also made reference to getting to know my in-laws and even spoke of how wonderful my mother-in-law’s cakes were!! She would have been furious.

After that, me and my new husband were taken off by the photographer for some photos of just us two.  We were handed a glass of champagne each and then went off for about an hour.  I think the photos will be lovely as they were much more relaxed, the sun was much cooler by now and I’d had a few glasses of drink to relax.  The main part of the day was done which was sad, but I felt I could now just enjoy myself. We had photos taken in the fields, in front of a beautiful sunset, with lovely clouds – all sorts of things.  By this stage my wedding dress was so dirty but I just didn’t care – I didn’t want to worry about a bit of dirt on my dress, I just wanted to really make the most of every second and I am so glad that I did.  Funnily enough when we got home the following day and I shook my dress out to hang up, a beetle came out! LOL!

When we got back from having those photos it was time to cut the cake and have the first dance.  Our first dance was to a song called “My Best Friend” by Tim McGraw.  It isn’t a particularly popular or well-known song but we loved it.  As cheesy as it is, the words truly do sum up how I feel about my now husband.  Neither of us know how to properly dance and so we just kind of cuddled and moved from side to side as the song played.  It went really fast and before I knew it, the DJ welcomed other couples to come and join us on the dance floor.  When I turned around to see who was coming, my new mother and father in law and my stepkids all ran towards us and I burst into tears again!! There was something about that moment that really hit me.  I know (again) it is very cheesy but it felt like my new family were walking towards me or something – I’m not sure. It was lovely and everyone was (playfully) laughing at my sappiness.

From that point the night just flew-by. The evening guests arrived about 7pm and I barely saw them.  I remember however, being at the bar stood behind my (angry) stepfather waiting to get myself a drink and he turned around, holding his drinks and just totally ignored me and walked past me like I didn’t exist.  I remember thinking then, that could have been his chance to say something.  He could have said I looked nice, he could have said he is happy for me.. that he is sorry about how he treated me this past year – anything really.  But he decided to blank me.  I think that sums him up as a person.

I think I had a few too many wines because all of a sudden we were being told to get into the car with our bags and taken to the special “hideaway cottage” where we would spend the night.  I don’t even remember saying goodbye to anyone!!!

When we arrived at our hideaway cottage, it was dark and so we couldn’t see the surroundings but the actual place was lovely. It was much bigger than we had imagined and had a fully kitted out kitchen, bathroom, lounge area and bedroom.  We were both shattered and clearly not going to  be doing any cooking and so we went to bed straight away.

In the morning I was woken by my alarm but my husband(!!) was wide awake and playing on his phone – tracking bloody aeroplanes that were flying over us because he is a plane geek LOL.  He seemed very happy, as was I.  We both giggled and laughed and looked at our wedding rings.  It was all so surreal!

We got showered and dressed and then I saw a message on my phone from my mother. I knew what it was going to say before I even opened it.  It said that she had gone home “for the dog”. It was sent at 6.50am.

I was not at all surprised and told my husband.  He seemed utterly furious and just shook his head. He said “I think that’s it now darling”.. meaning he doesn’t think me and her will ever have any kind of relationship at all now the wedding is done.  He seemed very worried for how I felt but I felt fine.  I utterly refused to let her ruin a single second of this special time. He was definitely more angry than I was! I didn’t reply to her message, just read it and closed it again. I wasn’t at all surprised that she had left early. I wasn’t surprised she didn’t want to congratulate us again or say goodbye or anything else.  Given the way she acted during the entire day, it really wasn’t a shock.

At 9am we were collected and driven back to our venue where we walked into the breakfast room and all of the guests that stayed were waiting for us.  As we walked in they all clapped and cheered us again and I laughed and (probably) went red.  The kids were there, my husband’s parents, my dad, stepmum and brothers and their girlfriends. It was lovely and do you know what? the absence of wasp-chewing mother and angry bear stepfather was a blessing because everyone was relaxed.  Everyone was chatting and laughing together, there was no separateness or awkwardness.. there was no tension or worries.  It worked out well.

I told my Dad and stepmum about her text and they both looked surprised and rolled their eyes in disapproval.  They both kept telling me “don’t let her get to you today, this is the happiest time of your life”.  I told them I was genuinely fine.

Part 3 coming next…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s it… I’m married!! Part 1

Wow, well hi again everyone at WP!! I got back from my honeymoon a few hours ago and thought I should write a little blog about how the big day went.  I can’t believe that not only is the wedding all done and dusted, but that the honeymoon is too!! I’ve just this minute finished unpacking our cases but we now have about seven hundred loads of washing to do (only a slight exaggeration!!) and then it’s back to work again on Monday. Booo!!!

Anyway, less of the depressing stuff.  Let me tell you about the wedding.

SO last Wednesday, the day before the wedding me and my (then) fiancé went to our venue to take all of our stuff – this included table place names, seating charts, decorations, iPod with our playlists on, everything basically.  Going there 24 hours before the big day was so exciting. It was still really hard to believe at the time (it still is) and we were both on a bit of a high.

From there we drove to my wedding dress shop where I finally got to try my dress on one last time before the big day. I was nervous about whether I had put any weight on and whether the alterations had been fixed since the last fitting – luckily the dress did fit and the alternations were fine.  One of the buttons had come loose on the back of my dress so the lady in the shop quickly sorted that for me and then I got to carry it out of the shop! That was seriously exciting stuff.  My fiancé was so worried the dress would be in a see-through bag as he didn’t want to see it before I walked down the aisle but obviously it wasn’t so all was good.

From there we went to the florist to drop off one last flower box which were going to be our centerpieces and then we went and got a drink from a nearby coffee shop.

A few hours after that and I was finishing packing my suitcase.  I was so nervous that I would forget something important that I had been packing and unpacking for days. I had even been Google-ing what I needed to take and even took along an emergency kit which included plasters, safety pins, scissors, you name it! My sister arrived a while later to come and pick me up as me and 3 of my bridesmaids (including my sister) were staying at a guest house the night before the wedding and getting ready there.

When she arrived she seemed a bit miserable. She said she was really tired and had a busy day.  This did put a bit of a dampener on my mood and after an hour or so of her being there, my mood changed and I burst into tears at the thought of having to leave my fiancé at home.  He was great and reassured me that as soon as the other girls were around, she would be better and that I would be fine once we had got to the guest house and unpacked. I knew he was right but suddenly felt very sad to not be with him.  It’s quite a strange feeling leaving your fiancé behind knowing that the very next day you will become man and wife – or maybe its just me.  Perhaps I am more of a sap than I realised ha!

My best friend arrived shortly afterwards and luckily for me she was in very high spirits and lifted the mood instantly.  As my now hubby (eek!!) predicted, my sister snapped out of her miserableness and things picked up. We drove to the guest house and met another of the bridesmaids and were shown around the place. It was great, they had a swimming pool, a cinema room, a roof terrace – amazing stuff.  We picked our rooms (me and my sister in the room with the double bed and the other two girls in the twin room) and then we headed out for dinner at a lovely country pub where a work friend of mine joined us for dinner.  The service was terrible that night but I didn’t really care.

When we got back to the guest house we all got into our pjs and dressing-gowns and sat on the roof terrace to have a cup of tea. A few of the girls gave me cards and small gifts which I was not expecting – one of them even gave me a cluster of celebration balloons which was so sweet! I felt a very lucky girl.  We all said goodnight to each other and headed off to our rooms to get a good night’s sleep… I started to feel butterflies about now. My wedding dress was hanging up on the curtain pole right next to my bed – I just couldn’t believe I was getting married in the morning! ME!

It wasn’t the best night’s sleep I’ve ever had as the room was sooooo hot.  The light had a fan on it so we switched that on and my sister made me laugh by saying “imagine if the fan chopped our legs apart..” just what I wanted to hear the night before I got married!! Still it made me giggle and before I knew it, my alarm was going off (stupidly early!).  I jumped straight in the shower before the hair and make up girls arrived and then we all piled in to the other room.

The hair and make up girls arrived at 6am and started work immediately on the other bridesmaids.  I told the bridesmaids that they could have their hair and make up however they liked – I really didn’t mind as long as they were happy.  Watching them start to get their hair and make up done was very exciting, even at 6am.  It was my wedding day!!

About 8am the final 2 bridesmaids arrived (my stepdaughter (12) and my now sister-in-law.  I gave all of the girls a little present (a necklace and earrings set) but told them they didn’t HAVE to wear it, it was just a small thank you.  I had also made them these cute little things you put on the stem of a champagne glass, each had different colour beads and said “bridesmaid” apart from mine and my sister’s – she had “sister of the bride” and I had “bride” (obvs).

We staggered having breakfast in two’s and before long it was my turn to get my hair and make up done.  The girl doing mine put my hair up and clipped my veil in whilst I was still in my pjs, that was quite a strange look but fun!  Soon we were all done – hair and make up and all still in our pjs.  Then the florist arrived with our bouquets and my dad’s button-hole and then the photographer… and then my dad himself. AGGHHHH shit was getting VERY real at this point!!

I had absolutely no nerves whatsoever, I was so totally calm, very relaxed but very excited. Me and my fiancé had exchanged a couple of messages during the morning and both reassured each other that we would turn up LOL and that we loved each other so much.  I had no reason to worry – I couldn’t wait to see him, to get there.  I just wanted things to speed up but equally I wanted time to go as slowly as possible so the day didn’t end too fast (which it did).

The photographer was clearly very good at what he does, but maybe slightly forceful. He surprised me as when we booked him, he seemed super nice but on the day he was a little scary! I wasn’t the only one to notice this, I guess he had a job to do and a tight schedule.  He told us what to do, where to stand, when to get our dresses on etc.  My favourite part of the morning I think was when he took the “dress reveal” picture where he  captured my dad seeing me in my dress for the first time.  My dad’s face lit up, his eyes filled up with tears and he told me I looked absolutely beautiful.

I cannot write that moment in a way that would convey the happiness I felt.  I have written about my dad on my blog for the last year or so but we haven’t ever had a real relationship. There has been (literally) years where we have not spoken to each other at all and over the last 3 years or so, we have been slowly building something up.  In the lead up to the wedding he and my step mum have been really great, they have shown a lot of excitement and happiness for us which was so lovely.  I never, ever thought I would have my dad walk me down the aisle and yet there I was, looking at him looking at me – he seemed so proud.  I felt pure joy in that moment. I felt very emotional and very lucky that I was able to experience that moment. A moment I had literally always wished for. I choked back the tears so I didn’t ruin my make up – as did he and we had a cuddle. I cannot wait to see those photos, I think I will cry properly when I do and I can ruin my face ha.

Before long the wedding car arrived, I was excited to see this car and to travel in it with my dad.  The bridesmaids left to get to the venue before me and about ten minutes or so later, we were off.  The driver didn’t fill me with confidence when he said he wasn’t sure where the venue was… he also didn’t fill me with confidence as he near enough stopped ON every single roundabout trying to look at his map and drive!! LOL.

During the drive to the venue I was still very relaxed. Things were still extremely surreal.  I could sense my dad was getting nervous (probably about seeing my mum after so many years) so I was probably trying to calm him.  I chatted about random stuff, nothing of any importance and then I saw the sign for our venue and knew within a minute we would be there. OH MY GOD THIS IS REAL!!!!

We were bang on time but the gates were closed and I could see feet.  Someone from the venue ran towards the gates and asked us to stay put.  Clearly there was still people not yet seated in the ceremony room.  I hoped that my fiancé would see the car had arrived and would feel reassured (if he needed it!).

And then they opened the gates and my 5 bridesmaids stood lined up, looking beautiful, holding their bouquets, smiling at me as the car drove as close to the venue doors as possible and I felt this huge surge of emotion in me and nearly burst into tears.  (Oh I forgot to say that when the lady told us to stay put, I asked her to get my mother as I had told her she could see me before everyone else – yawn).  Anyway, I had to swallow my tears back down again – still no nerves but a lot of emotion.

Just as my dad was helping me to step out of the car, my friend from my old work came running past (late – as usual!!) trying to cover his face and they were shouting at him “don’t look at the bride!!” haha that made me crack up. I got out of the car and was ushered immediately into the room where the wedding breakfast would take place to go and speak to the registrars.  I said hello and kissed all my bridesmaids and my mother quickly and then went to speak to them – unexpectedly my mouth had totally dried out and I was given a glass of water and a straw (not to mess up the lippy I guess!) and I confirmed my details, my fiancé’s details and my father and witnesses details.  Within a few minutes they headed out and into the ceremony room.

I turned around at this point, shrieked with excitement and disbelief and thanked my bridesmaids. I singled my stepdaughter out first and told her she looked beautiful and told her that if she got nervous when walking down the aisle, just to look at her dad and that he would be so proud of her.  I have since been told that she did not take her eyes off of him and that she kissed him before standing at her seat – bless her.

The ladies that worked at the venue then asked us to go and line up outside the ceremony room, me and my dad last.  My heart started racing at this point!!!! I heard all of the guests stand up and our wedding song began playing. Jesus, this is it… this is the big moment .. I couldn’t believe how fast it was all going.  Then it was our turn.. mine and my dad’s big moment to make our entrance – my first glimpse of my groom!

We took our first step into the room, I was grinning like a Cheshire cat on speed at this point.  My veil was over my face and I saw a few familiar faces beaming back at me and then I saw him – he looked SOOOOOOOOOOOO handsome. So utterly happy. I walked towards him smiling and just amazed that I was so lucky.  When we reached the end of the aisle, the registrar asked the room “who gives this woman to this man?” and my Dad replied with “I do”.  She thanked him, he lifted my veil off of my face and I gave my bouquet to my best friend and bridesmaid.

WOWZAS.

I am still getting all the feels and butterflies typing this out more than a week later. It is so fun reliving it.

Me and my fiancé beamed at one another. We were clearly both in utter disbelief that our big day had come. Neither of us were crying, we were both looking at each other smiling and happy. We held hands (or more accurately we squeezed the life out of each other’s hands!).  My mouth totally dried out again here and when it came to repeating the vows, I wasn’t even sure I would be able to talk.

At one point during the vows, I giggled out loud, I can’t remember why now – I think it was when she said “to be your wife” and I just couldn’t believe that word was about me.  When I giggled, the entire audience giggled and I relaxed a bit more.  I nearly cried once during the vows and that was when my groom said the words “I will love you always” and he squeezed my hand and nodded his head as he spoke.  I exhaled deeply and continued without blubbing – thank god!

We held hands during the exchange of vows and rings and then they announced us as man and wife! The registrar said the groom may now kiss his bride and everyone clapped and whooped as we smooched!!

As we prepared to walk back down the aisle together, now a married couple the funniest thing happened…. a wasp flew into my face and I freaked out! I am really petrified of wasps and so I flapped around like you wouldn’t believe as the registrars, my groom and a few guests tried to swat it away. Needless to say everyone found this rather amusing!! We walked out of the room to L-O-V-E by Nat King Cole and we kind of danced our way out where we were then ushered off into a little room and our guests made their way outside to line up for the famous confetti shot.  We were given a glass of orange juice AND a glass of bucks fizz (my favourite!) and we both took both – haha greedy!!

I better stop here as I am aware this is realllllyyyyy long and as my hubby keeps telling me “nobody cares about the wedding as much as we do”! so sorry if this is far too detailed, but its fun haha.

Part 2 to follow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEDDING DAY!!!!!

Hi WP fam!!

It’s finally my wedding day, nearly 7am and I’m watching my bridesmaids have their hair and make up done and feeling very excited!

Thank you to all of you for all of your help, advice and encouragement with all of the stress in the lead up to the wedding with my mum and everything else. You’ve all helped me so much.

I know it sounds weird, but I’ll think of you all today and be forever grateful. Xx

Anxiety

Happy Friday guys. I hope you’re all doing okay.

I’m feeling a bit anxious today. My mother text me last night asking when she was going to see me before my “big day”. To be completely honest, I don’t want to see her and I wasn’t prepared for her message because I’ve been annoyed with her blatant lack of acknowledgement for my wedding and her blatant silence and ignoring all my social media posts about said wedding etc… it’s so clearly passive aggressive and I know I should just laugh it off but it is soooooo annoying!! Gah.

Anyway, I suggested either tonight or next Sunday morning and she picked tonight. So I text my sister to invite her and she’s away this weekend so can’t come! Ahh! I don’t feel comfortable being on my own with her and immediately regretted not having checked with my sister before suggesting tonight. Damn!

Anyway, long story short, we are now going to a pub down the road to me. She is going there with her friend and I’ll meet them there an hour or so later once I’ve got home from work and changed etc.

The thing is, I don’t want to go. Like it’s making me feel a bit miserable and a lot anxious.

I worry I suppose that she will upset me. I worry that I’ll have to be firm and tell her “no” about something – like her giving her (negative) opinion about my fiancé, her made up fantasies over “all his family” or whatever else she might say. On the total flip side, as I said earlier and before, the total absence of mentioning my soon to be husband’s name – or my stepkids – is equally as hard! (I know that’s hypocritical).

It comes back to the same stuff I know, I just wish she was different. I wish our relationship was different but it isn’t. The illusion has vanished now and I’m seeing her and it (our relationship) for exactly what it is…. and that’s crap.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather have the knowledge that I have and I’m glad I can see everything I saw in her before was just a projection…. I’m glad the illusion is no longer there tricking me and keeping me stuck, but… you know… ouch?

Before I suggested she brought her friend, when it was looking like it would be just me and her I genuinely felt sick. What would we talk about? I haven’t got anything to say to her? I feel so awkward!! So hence I suggested she brought her friend along so there’s an extra person for conversation purposes. Isn’t that terrible?

It’s hard to relax and enjoy an evening with her now. It’s hard trying to find the balance between keeping my boundaries, not allowing myself to be sucked in to giving her what she wants (be that total adoration, compliments or slagging someone off)… and also not being so defensive and angry that at any point I might stab her eyeballs out!!

It’s like the worry is in my body already this morning. Just from seeing my mother tonight. How sad is that?

The really ironic thing is that a few years back, the idea is going to the pub just me and my mum would have excited me so much!! The idea she might want to spend time with just me would have made my day (life!)… and now it fills me with utter dead. How things change.

It’s the empty questions (said with utter disinterest and hints of anger) such as

“All wedding plans done now then? That’s good.” …….

It’s the fact that it shines a light on her absolute lack of involvement in the wedding planning process (thank god I know), but you know – it could have been different. In another world.

It’s how obvious it is now that we have nothing whatsoever in common. It’s the horrible feeling I have when I see her now that I don’t actually feel much positive towards her.

It’s turned into a relationship based on a kind of appeasing, like me trying to keep things calm before the wedding. It’s a relationship based on my sense of “should”. My sense of duty in a way. I know that’s not true. I could have said no about seeing her – I didn’t need to suggest tonight but the idea of seeing her next Sunday worried me because it would be only a few days before my wedding and I didn’t want the risk of being triggered into anger or grief or anything else that close.

At least seeing her tonight means I have 12 days to recover from it. Even if nothing bad happens it’s still triggering for me these days.

I need to find a way of staying detached enough not to fly into rage…. find a way not to let her words penetrate me… find a way not to let her blatant lack of acknowledgement of my fiancé and kids upset me…. find a way not to let the emptiness of the “bond” (broken!!) upset me and yet say something to keep things smooth. Not to automatically turn into the person she wants me to be, who I used to be for her. Find a way to stay authentic and true to myself – but a detached me….

Christ!

Child psychology

Okay so I’ll write a proper blog about this soon, but for now I just wanted to write that I’ve officially signed myself up to do a child psychology course and I am SOOOOO excited!

It’s home learning/ online so I can do it in my own time and around work etc, but I decided I needed to do something for myself that I was interested in and they gave me some joy.

The syllabus is so interesting! It’s all about development stages of babies and children, then about attachment and the consequences if that goes wrong and then goes on to be about all sorts of other things like home, family, school, intelligence, nature/nurture, how children think and more.

In terms of career, it probably won’t open up any doors because it’s not a masters or anything remotely amazing but it’s just something I know I’ll enjoy and I need it right now as I’ve finally realised I hate my job LOL.

If nothing else I hope it will stand me in good stead for being a parent one day (hopefully).

So yeah. Yay!

Email exchange with T

So I broke down crying earlier this afternoon and decided to email T. This is what I said:

Dear T,

I hope you are having a nice break. I have put off sending this as I don’t want to disturb your break but it’s been tough as I need some steadying. 

I had a dream about you on Friday night and it affected my mood all day yesterday. I cried last night when I was finally on my own before bed and I’ve cried again this afternoon. I’ve also had a constant headache since Friday which is clearly related to my feelings. 

I’m not really sure what the main reason is, I was the same last Sunday afternoon. The dream stirred up some stuff but also I think I’m just processing the losses – which are so clear to me at the moment in the lead up to the wedding. 

It’s hard to explain this, but I keep thinking about how I used to hold my mother in my mind when she was away as “good” and loving and caring and warm – and then be so utterly disappointed and hurt when she came back and wasn’t any of those things. I think I’m worried that’s going to happen with you. I’m not sure why I feel that now after 4 years!

I’ve really *got* the reality of the enmeshment stuff lately, it’s now so clear that it’s total enmeshment or nothing. That’s painful to see and feel. 

In my dream I had to pick between seeing you longer, but you being distant, disinterested and cold OR seeing you for less time, but you being focussed and warm. It was a really painful choice. 

Anyway. I just needed to reach out because I feel so unsettled and anxious – I know you’re still there, but I’m feeling a bit up in the air with all of this. 

And her reply:

Dear Twink,

It feels the break has allowed you to access some painful memories and associated feelings and, perhaps, part of you is struggling to hold me as good, and having good feelings about you, in the absence. It’s hard to hold a safe middle ground when experiencing this and I hear it has been difficult to stay steady at times.

I am thinking about you and I ‘see and hear you. I am interested in you and want to hear how you are doing. We will talk some more on Tuesday.

In the meantime, I hope this helps a bit. 

Warm wishes

……………………………………………………………..,,,,,,,,,,

Okay so I know this is just me and where I am with this right now, but her reply was disappointing. It didn’t help AT ALL. The first thing I did was scan the email for length, it wasn’t as long as I would have liked it to be. Yet I read it to my fiancé who said it’s lovely. He says that the reason I’m disappointed is that, and I quote, “it doesn’t say “I love you””. Erm no. I don’t want it to say that. He says I do.

I don’t, honestly I don’t but yet, I think most people who read the above will probably think it was a great reply so why am I feeling like a petulant child who is sulking and what exactly did I want it to say?

I don’t know.

Anyway, there we go. That’s where we are for now.

Confused thoughts

Okay, it’s late and I’ve been drinking prosseco but this is a last ditch attempt at me trying to figure out what is in my head today.

Here are the facts: I woke up having dreamt of T all night long. The dream involved me being at her house (which was an amazingly decorated mansion). I had a session, or maybe a few sessions, but also saw other parts of her house, other rooms, walked through hallways etc. I saw people preparing for a party that I wasn’t invited to. I saw her son and daughter who were “studying and then planning to cook a stew and watch a film”. I saw T half asleep on the sofa, and I freely walked to a toilet in her house and back, taking my time, stopping to chat. T was half asleep when I got back and I didn’t mind at all – in fact it reminded me of my Nan sleeping on the sofa. T told me she was friends with an old teacher of mine and that teacher had asked her how I was. Apparently she asked if I was studying and said she was glad as she knew I had potential. T told me that when you’re a teacher, some of the kids you teach stay with you (emotionally) and that I was one of them. I was really moved by this and wondered if she had seen back then, that I was a sad and lonely child at home.

I was torn however between wanting to stay longer and see T for as long as possible – and knowing if I stayed, t would be different and that seeing her in her “real” life might be painful for me. Trying to decide which I wanted more: to see her more or to keep her the way I had her now was tough. It felt grossly unfair. It made me want to scream and cry. I want her both ways! I want to see her loads, all the time! I want to be there for the party, for the dinner and film! Yet I want her to keep her softness and her interest. I don’t want, I can’t bare, to experience her as busy, distracted, cold, uninterested, moody….

I woke up miserable. I felt angry all day – though I was, and am, still very aware it’s tears I need to cry rather than real anger. I can feel the knot in my stomach and the sting in my eyes even now. All from a dream 24 hours ago.

Anyway… I decided this morning to write as if I’m writing to T with no intention of sending it, just to clear the thoughts out. I do this a lot and what I find as i do this, is that I don’t like being that vulnerable with her. I don’t like it. I’m not sure when this started happening. It never used to be a problem.

I found myself thinking I shouldn’t let her know her power. It’s dangerous. I found myself thinking, if she knows how much you need her, how much you think of her, she will take advantage. She will get a big head. She will mock you. She will love it. Try and stay adult. Try and stay grown up. Don’t be young.

I then found myself thinking, it’s weird that I have so many thoughts and feelings about T, so many times I want to reach out, so many times I am desperate for a cuddle from her, or for her to do or say something that makes me feel she’s so soft and nice and warm…. just soft…. and yet, all of a sudden she switches in my head and she’s much more a “no nonsense” kind of woman. A woman that doesn’t “do” hugs. Someone who is likely to frown upon someone needing reassurance and someone being vulnerable. Not in a nasty way, just…. not someone you would want to cry to or ask for a cuddle from. Not someone you would feel talk about deep feelings with.

Why is this split happening? Where has this come from?

It’s like when I’m apart, she’s soft and open and warm and caring…. and then when I’m there, or nearly there, she changes again. I sit in front of her and try and be grown up. Even though I know so many times before I’ve been able to be open and vulnerable… and she’s never laughed.

It’s like the image I hold in mind is one person, and the person I sit in front of (or go to email) is a different person entirely. Why is this?

I have a feeling this is something to do with the whole good mother/bad mother thing. It feels like it must be. It must be transference mustn’t it? I spent a lot of time when I was younger thinking (hoping) my mum would be kind and soft and affectionate and then seeing her and seeing she wasn’t. Is it that? Why would I be experiencing t that way?

Now I’m confused because which is real? Both? Neither?

So I used to dream about my fantasy mother, hope and wish she would be soft and caring and love me etc….. and then she would come back and be detached and cold.

And now I find myself dreaming of/thinking of T all caring and loving and soft…. and then experiencing her as the opposite.

In my dream she was one way – but then she would be the other if I stayed too long.

So is this transference that she isn’t and won’t be what I want and need? I’m preparing myself to be shocked and let down? The dream gave me the insight that she was different when I wasn’t around…. that if I stayed longer, she would hurt me by being detached from me?

This clearly isn’t a coincidence that she’s on a break right now and so not here for me to check in with. I could email I guess, yet I don’t because I don’t want to annoy her. And I don’t want to get a reply that doesn’t give me what I need koz that’s actually worse.

I wonder is this why sometimes I feel I don’t want to go because she’s all good in my head and I don’t want to “feel” something different?

Don’t push it. Don’t ask for too much…. ?

I am aware these words and thoughts are rather tangled and confused, I’m still trying to figure this out properly.