An hour is never enough

Soooo… I just got home from T’s and have to write because something odd happened.

As I pulled out of her road, I felt my eyes water a bit.. I was quite surprised.  I drove home not really thinking much and then as soon as I got into my house, I bawled my eyes out like a baby.

Today was my last session until Tuesday 20th June.. not that long really is it? AND it’s because I am going away on holiday for a week. It’s not even like she’s going anywhere.

I thought I was okay about it. She even asked me at the end of my session how I was feeling about the break and I said “well it will be weird not coming here, twice“… and she said “yes, and you will be missed“.  I’ve since thought about those words, “you will be missed” – they aren’t quite the same as “I will miss you” are they? Am I being petulant? Obviously it was nice that she said something.. and hey, who knows, perhaps that is just the way she says things? Plus if she had of said “I will miss you” I think I would have burst into tears… so probably best eh?

Clearly I will miss her more than I admitted to her or to myself.  I am really painfully aware at the moment at the huge difference in the connection that I have with T compared to the… “connection” I have with my mother. Or more to the point, the connection that I haven’t had, don’t have and will never have with my mother. It just hit me like a steam train. I saw my mother at the weekend and it was suddenly so obvious.. it was empty.  It is nothingness.  I sensed a boredom from her like I used to before I became what she wanted me to be.  Now I’m not that person again and that is dull to her.

I thought to myself mid-tears, I wonder if this is what children feel like when they are going away and will miss their mothers/parents… I wonder whether adults still feel that way?  Probably not I imagine, not for a week’s holiday.  I thought how I was already looking forward to being reunited with T – and I haven’t even left yet!!! How mental is that? I also wondered whether this may have been how I felt as a child when my mother used to go away a lot without me.  Perhaps it is me remembering that feeling somehow.  It also made me think of my stepdaughter who is currently away on a school trip for a few nights and has asked if she can come to stay with us Saturday night instead of Friday night because she wanted a night at home between the trip and coming to us.  I didn’t really get that – I do now.  She wanted to spend a nice, homely evening at home with her mum first.  Ouch.

I thought that seeing her again seems so far away…  That I miss her already and it’s not even been a few hours yet. Clearly just knowing I wouldn’t be seeing her was enough.  Having said that, I had tears in my eyes last Tuesday when I left her’s and the only conscious thought had been that the hour went too fast – that it wasn’t enough. That I wished it wasn’t over yet.

I thought how nice it would be if I could see her next Friday, the day I return from my holiday and, coincidentally, my birthday. I would love to see T for my birthday.  Ha! How many people want to see their shrink for their birthday? LOL.

I thought to myself how nice it would be if our sessions weren’t time restricted. I know the reasons why they are, but ignoring all that, how nice it would be?  What if we could just chat and chat until there was a natural closing – perhaps I would talk so much that natural close wouldn’t come for hours… or at all!

How nice would it be if we could have a cup of tea together? I sometimes picture sitting on the usual sofa but with my feet up and a small blanket over me.  Perhaps wearing a really snugly, oversized cardigan.  It would be pouring with rain outside creating that lovely smug atmosphere when you are safe and warm.  We would laugh and chat and it wouldn’t be because I was paying for an hour of her time or because I was “in therapy”. We just did because we wanted to chat, we enjoyed it.  I would leave eventually feeling all warm inside and emotionally “fed”. I would fall asleep feeling happy.

Now that is obviously the fantasy and not the reality.  Unfortunately the reality is shit in comparison to that, but wonderful on its own accord – obviously.

I guess it is the sadness of knowing I won’t see her for a while mixed with the sadness that I can only have her on paid, restricted kinda borrowed time.. mixed with the slap in the face blatant comparison of her and my mother.  Of what I could have… and what I do actually have.

I drafted a text to her which tells her that I cried when I got home and admits that perhaps I’m not as fine as I first thought, but then I thought what’s the point? I mean, what can she say to make that feel any better? It’s just how it is.

It’s probably also a bit of the inner child in me mourning the loss of the mother I would have loved to have.  Just reading this back before publishing has me snotty-crying again.

I think I will go and blare out my new favourite angry song. I sing it (shout it) at times like this. It’s very much about my mother and appropriately entitled “Bloody Mother F****** Arsehole……. here’s a link if you fancy singing along in collective anger.

bus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Inner-strength

It’s Monday morning, about 11am as I start to write and I’m at work reflecting on the weekend. I am feeling quite good really. I still have this new feeling of strength. It is quite hard to explain but it’s like I have this new lease of life, a new inner strength and feeling that I will survive and I will grow and that I will not be defeated.  It isn’t a feeling I’ve ever had before but I like it.

I have therapy tomorrow night and I am looking forward to going and sharing this with my T. I nearly emailed her at the weekend to let her know how I was feeling. I thought to myself that she might like to know that I was feeling determined and not in a bad way, then I questioned whether it was really for her, or for myself. Perhaps I just wanted to share my feelings with someone and who better than T? But I didn’t… I talked myself out of it because it felt a bit self-obsessed to think that T would benefit from me telling her before my next session.

I feel like for the first time in my life I really believe that my parents’ shortcomings weren’t about me. Such a simple statement to write, yet such a huge piece of knowledge to feel.

It still feels as though me saying out loud at my last session that neither of them can deal with my feelings somehow slotted together loads of pieces of a puzzle and I finally saw the full picture.

I’ve been reading a book over the weekend called “Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents” and it is very enlightening. I wish I could read the entire thing in one go because I am kinda obsessed at the moment and keen to understand as much as I can – I always get like this with new feelings/knowledge.

Anyway, over the weekend I saw both parents.

I went to the party (the one I only got invited to on Tuesday evening via my uncle). I obviously saw my dad and his entire side of the family. I was nervous on the way there and felt quite sick about it. I had promised myself that I was going there as a strong, independent woman and not a child that was fighting for her daddy’s love. I wanted to go there with my head held high, I wanted to prove to them as much as myself that I don’t need to be the victim, I don’t need to get drunk and cry, I don’t need to try and get through to him and I did exactly that. It felt as though I had gone with fresh eyes. I saw my dad, watched how he interacted with me, with others.  I noticed quite how awkward he is around me. I really saw and felt the emotional disconnect but for some reason, it didn’t hurt. It is sad for sure, but I just saw the situation for what it is.  For whatever reason he can’t emotionally connect with me.  I watched everyone going into a photo booth for pictures and a few hours into the evening asked my Dad if he fancied having a photo with me, he said yes (I imagine he didn’t feel he could say no but whatevs), we both put on silly props and pulled silly faces for the pictures.  I have kept the print out and it’s a nice memory.  In the past I wouldn’t have asked my Dad to go and have a photo with me, I would have watched him in there with my brothers and felt left out and jealous, but the new me decided if I want something from him, I am going to have to ask because he just isn’t capable of thinking about these things.

Towards the end of the night the subject came up of my future wedding (reason being that my separated aunty and uncle were both at the party and my dad was saying how awkward that must have been). I told my Dad that me and my boyfriend probably wouldn’t have a huge wedding day and had been discussing having a small registry office ceremony with closest family only and then a party in a hall. I told him that way we avoided awkward table plans, meals, speeches etc etc.  I said he could avoid my mum and stand at the other side of the hall if he wanted to! He said that he worried about my wedding day because of my mother. I said my mother was two-faced and would be nice to him on the day so he didn’t need to worry about her.  He said that he did worry because if anyone kicked off, it wouldn’t be him, it would  be her. I told him he didn’t need to worry about that.  He said that he knew she wouldn’t want him there and he worried about what that would mean for me.  I said if he didn’t feel comfortable walking me down the aisle or giving a speech then he didn’t need to. I told him if he didn’t even want to come then he didn’t have to, I wouldn’t force him.  He said that he would walk me down the aisle if I wanted him to (well, durr?) but that he did not want to do a speech. He said he hates speeches.  I felt disappointed but told him that was fine.

Clearly most father’s would want to do a speech at their only daughter’s wedding day, but you know what? What would he say anyway? So it’s a shame but not a surprise. It seemed quite symbolic to me really. I kept my strength and my smile and we all shortly left the party at the same time. I text him after to say that I had enjoyed seeing him and that I loved him.  He said the same thing back. I have thought since that perhaps I shouldn’t have text to say I love him but it’s done now and I’m not trying to be punishing so ….

On the way home I dropped in to my mother’s because she is the only parent I know in the world that is always up drinking with friends at gone midnight on any given weekend. She was there with her husband, a friend and my sister and her boyfriend.  We stayed about 2 hours I think.  It was okay, there wasn’t any drama it feels a bit like groundhog day when I’m there – all the nights there are the same. Alcohol fuelled surface level chat.  I only went there to shut her up.

I felt very on my guard which I often do, but more so because of the things she’s been saying about my boyfriend. I secretly willed her to say something to me so I could defend him/us but I knew she wouldn’t because she wouldn’t dare say anything in front of him. She did her usual fake niceness to him and that made me angry. So fickle and fake. Then we left and went home (we usually stay but didn’t because of everything that’s been said behind our backs).

She seemed angry with me, I just got that vibe from her and since then I put a status on facebook last night about how it was mine and my boyfriend’s 3rd year anniversary and it’s got a lot of “likes” from friends and family – but not from her which has amused me.  It’s a very different tactic from her because as I say, she is usually so fake and puts on the display that everything in her life is hunky dory so I am surprised by this yet I actually prefer it.

I’ve thought since that I wish she would just stop being so passive aggressive and backstabbing and just confront me. How hard would it be for her to say to me that she misses me and that she feels it is down to my boyfriend? At least I would have the chance to tell her she is wrong. Even if understand now that she doesn’t really miss ME, she just misses the enmeshment of having the previously very dependent and emotionally weak me “need” her. I don’t need her anymore and it’s killing her.  I would like to say I feel sad about that but at the moment I don’t. It is her own doing.

I am unsure why I feel so much more anger and aggression towards my mother than I do my father – they are both shit in different ways and both have made me feel very lonely and unlovable growing up… might need to think on that.

My boyfriend seemed very quiet and unhappy yesterday morning. I asked what was up a few times but he said nothing was wrong (it clearly was). I left him a while then went to give him a cuddle and tried to speak to him again but he maintained that nothing was wrong so I told him to stop being passive aggressive then – either tell me what’s wrong or stop being stroppy.  Eventually he opened up and said that he just struggled being at my mother’s the previous night. He said he feels very “trapped” there and obviously it is hard for him to go there knowing she’s been slagging him off.  Equally I guess he wants to go there with me because he wants to protect me and he knows that if I go alone, she will attack me.  I told him I totally understood.  He said it’s just such a horrible place to be. He said the conversations are “f*cked” up and that she is just awful. I agreed.  He said that it was so hard for him because I seemed “to be having a great time!”.  He said that I was laughing and drinking and he couldn’t understand it.  I told him that is only because I was just going through the motions. I knew we wouldn’t be there long so I just nodded along with whatever tripe she was talking.  I said that at the end of the day, she is never going to change – there is nothing I/we can do about it, it is just the way she is and so I guess I just know what to expect. I don’t have any expectations or hopes for her at the moment, I feel so little towards her, even the guilt has melted away and so I guess I just took it on the chin more than I used to.  He said he guessed so. He said he felt as though he had a “emotional hangover” from having to go there. I understood that.  I feel bad for him, it is asking a lot to take him there knowing what she is saying about him.  I did say to him that if he finds it really tough, perhaps he should confront her himself? He didn’t really answer that. I don’t know how to make this better for him really…

So it all went okay. I am glad I got through it feeling the way I do. I hope this feeling lasts. It feels so much better than the previous feeling I’ve had of being downtrodden, depressed and hurt.   I’ve felt like that for long enough now. I never even thought this feeling would be possible, it hadn’t even crossed my mind previously to try something new.

I know that it is sounds aggressive, but I feel like this is my chance to “win” to take some control back. I want to recover and heal and I want to feel my true feelings. The anger, the hate, the pain all of it and then I want to be released from the old feelings. They’ve taken all of that away from me for long enough.   The pair of them are nothing but emotionally crippled fucktards.  Thank god I went into therapy

Ooh ps, read this link: it is very helpful if you have emotionally immature parents like me  –

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/new-harbinger-publications-inc/parents-who-drive-you-cra_b_7511242.html

 

 

Tug of War

tug of war

NOUN

  1. a contest in which two teams pull at opposite ends of a rope until one drags the other over a central line.
    • a situation in which two evenly matched people or factions are striving to keep or obtain the same thing:
      “a tug of war between builders and environmentalists”

My mind feels full up today. I can’t quite grab hold of any particular thought and work it through enough to clear any space but all sorts of things are rattling around in there. I don’t feel peaceful – neither do I feel massively upset, I just feel the opposite to rested and very confused and uneasy.

I have spoken to my friends today about what happened between my mum and my partner on Saturday evening and they are all saying the same thing – that I can’t be to blame for their argument. That they are both adults and it is down to them, but that it wasn’t really my mum’s business and perhaps I could have told the pair of them to shut up.

I think because of the problems it caused it has left me confused and feeling a bit in the middle. Whenever I argue with my other half it leaves me feeling very detached and uncomfortable. It always takes me a while to warm back up and not feel this way so that won’t be helping. He is really angry with her and earlier on referred to her and my step-dad as “pinky and perky”. I tried to explain the situation as I saw it, very calmly but he closed the conversation down pretty quickly I think because he disagrees and didn’t want to carry on the argument today.

I think what a lot of it comes down to is this:

He hates her. He has never liked her. He has heard all the stories of the ways she has hurt me growing up and has heard the things she has said to me about him and is convinced that she just wants me back for herself and because she blames him for me going low contact with her, she likes to find any weaknesses in him/our relationship and insert the fears into my head. He also sees me dealing with some really horrific things in my therapy trying to heal from her abuse and can’t then see her in any other light. I can’t blame him for that at all I would be the same. He sees it that she did that Saturday night because I was clearly upset – it did cause a row between me and him AND what is worse for him, I then defended her to him when we argued by saying that he is a big boy and could handle that conversation himself. I also said that I agreed with some of her points but that if he was that pissed off with her, he should phone her himself and they can discuss that without me.

Maybe she genuinely feels it isn’t right that I should have to work full-time with a baby when most people don’t have to. Perhaps she genuinely feels it isn’t fair when his ex-wife still doesn’t work and her youngest child is nearly 9 years old but that I would have to work in order for him to make child maintenance payments to her.  Maybe she genuinely wants what is best for me and therefore wanted to argue this with him and try to prove her point that it is wrong for him to suggest I would have to work full time – particularly when I have spent the last 3 years looking after his children and making lots of other sacrifices in life to enable him to finance us living together whilst he paid the mortgage in its entirety for the last 3 years for his ex-wife and her new partner to live scott free. Admittedly none of this is her business or her row to have. Or maybe she just found a conversation that my other half doesn’t like to have (because he is a private person and because he knows she is likely to stir things up somehow) and she found something that me and him were not united on. She found a topic that me and him hadn’t discussed between ourselves and once she saw the shock on my face and saw my reaction towards him, jumped on the bandwagon and did succeed in stirring the pot. Making me insecure or doubtful of him could therefore mean that I start to lean on her again, like I used to – therefore I would “pick her” instead of him.

Lots of maybe’s and no definitive answers of course.

My mum is obviously not a normal, healthy mother – she is seriously narcissistic and therefore her “love” isn’t genuine. It isn’t normal mother-daughter love we are talking about. I know that. The reason for her wanting to “protect me” if you can call it that, is probably all down to a power struggle. Wanting to win me back – probably for her own narcissistic supply. But I cannot deny that having her fighting for me felt nice. I know that makes me sound messed up, but if you had a mother that made you feel like you couldn’t ever do anything right, that you were always in the wrong and then one day she starts to “defend” you – you might feel the same way too. This is why I think I’ve gone back into the denial phase. She has managed (in part) to suck me back in. I think they call it hovering. Although she hasn’t suceeded completely, because I am still trying to be objective and can see her floored reasons for this and I haven’t turned her good and him bad which I might have done once.

Likewise, my other half could have found a way to end that conversation. He didn’t need me to rescue him. His anger yesterday was misdirected at me. His anger was for her and he shouldn’t have taken it out on me (I did tel him this). I think he had my best interests at heart, because he wouldn’t want me to work full-time with a baby if we had any other option. He wasn’t saying it to be nasty and he probably gets sick and tired of me moaning about how unfair things are because of him having an ex-wife and children to pay for when he cannot do anything about his past – and perhaps he wouldn’t even if he could because otherwise his children wouldn’t even exist. I think the fact that he hates her so much fuelled their argument. I think the fact she hates him right back made it worse.

I think that despite what they were actually saying to each other, the underlying message was “I will get Twink on my side – I will win her” because they are in direct competition for my affections. Neither wants to lose and both for very different reasons.

The harsh, really shit reality for me right now is that at the moment, I still feel like “she’s my mum” and have something in me wanting to protect her… even though the evidence is stacked against her. Even though I’ve been hurt so badly from her. Even though I’ve wanted to shake her before because of the pain she’s caused me….. I think I’ve had some sort of tiny glimpse at how painful it will be to really feel the pain of this and so I’ve jumped backwards into denial and bargaining instead of acceptance.

I just sat there and froze hoping they would sort it out and leave me out of it – but it didn’t work out like that.

I can totally understand my other half’s frustrations, I really can.. I just wish someone could see this from my point of view. Even if I am going backwards in my recovery, that happens sometimes, it doesn’t mean I will be stuck in this stage forever, but that must be very hard to accept when your with someone who is doing that. How difficult it must be for my other half to see me potentially falling for her games – if that is what they are. I know he really does have my best interests at heart, but for some reason it is harder to believe because I live in doubt that he really loves me even though he’s never given me reason to doubt him. Another legacy of the narc mother perhaps.

 

Excuse the obscenities but.. how fucking fucked up.

 

Mother, Partner & Me

Last night ended in disaster. I am writing this at 1pm Sunday afternoon and have just about stopped crying enough to be able to see the screen. 

Last night me and my other half went over to my mum’s house for drinks. For background info: my mum is hugely narcissistic/has NPD. I went low contact with her about 2 years ago and now feel extremely emotionally disconnected with her. 

It all started yesterday morning. I was woken up with a phone call from my younger sister. Not ideal. But then it got worse, she was phoning to tell me my mum wanted to go to a certain restaurant for Mother’s Day. She got pretty shitty with me when I said I would need to speak to my other half before agreeing. She said it had nothing to do with him, he could see his mum and I would see mine. 

That might sound reasonable to most people however because of said low contact and said NPD, I like to have him with me at all times otherwise I tend to come away very upset for one reason or another, be that getting verbally attacked or her getting inside my head about my boyfriend and how genuine his feelings are for me. 

Mother’s Day itself is a bit of a tricky one this year. I don’t like this day where I am meant to “celebrate mother’s”… it is full of all kinds of hypocritical and conflicting feelings for me. 

Anyway, clearly her phoning and being shitty with me and the actual topic itself pissed me off. I spent the rest of the morning feeling very miserable and was rather snappy with my other half and his kids… other half helpfully pointed this out (read the sarcasm) and that made it worse. 

So at 8pm we went to said mother’s house and the evening was going as it normally does – standard conversations, standard drinking blah blah blah…. until… (of course there was an “until”. My mother asked us what our plans were in terms of marriage and babies – what were we doing first. I had told her that I was having some problems with my fertility and that we had no money and somehow she asked my other half a question about how much I would need to work when we did have a baby. He said quite possibly full time…. 

It went hugely downhill from there. I won’t bore everyone’s with the ins and outs of the conversation but safe to say, me and my other half had very different views on my working hours. I went quiet because I was shocked and upset, my mum and stepdad began to discuss this with him expressing their anger at his suggestion…. it was now about 2am and everyone had been drinking for hours. I knew this was going to cause huge problems for me the following day so went to bed. 

So when we woke up my other half was very visibly pissed. He wanted to leave immediately and said “I fucking hate it here”. 

I started crying (he didn’t see). I’m not entirely sure what I was crying about, but I felt strangely apprehensive about leaving. I felt very much in a lose/lose situation. 
We left and I was feeling really shit. My other half drove stupidly fast the whole way home. And then we got in and WW3 commenced. 

He threw all sorts at me, how I told them things that were none of their business, that these conversations were private, that we all ganged up on him etc etc… I told him that he is a big boy and could have told them he didn’t want to continue the conversation or he could have stopped it himself… he told me he doesn’t want me talking to my mum about our plans because she is a “bitter, twisted old hag” ..

I would usually agree but there is something about someone else saying it, or perhaps what I am feeling at the time? I don’t know why, but that hurt. I told him he should phone her himself and have a go at her, not me. He told me this is what she does, makes me doubt him and causes insecurity in me and arguments with us… she sucks me back in. 

Then I told him that his past decisions (previous marriage, kids etc piss me off because they affect our/my life and future so much – i.e. the fact I would have to work full time with a baby because we can’t afford for him to pay his CSA and our own bills… agh. 

Then I cried – yes, again! Euugghhhh.

He’s gone out to drive to his fucking ex’s house to take something the kids left (symbolic much!). He asked me to go with him for the drive but I didn’t want too. 

But I watched him drive off down the road and then fell about crying again feeling a strange mixture of sadness, anger, guilt and something else. 

What a shit week this turned into. 

Relationship Triangles

I’ve realised that me and my boyfriend are currently playing the roles of “rescuer” and “victim” – then both “persecutor” at times – we are totally following the Karpman’s triangle/relationship triangle to a tee –

It is hugely eye-opening for me that my whole life, all of my relationships, I’ve attracted men that might “look after me” and have automatically fallen into the “victim” role – without realising… then they get fed up with their role, or I do, and it goes wrong and ends – I had no idea.  Recognising that pattern is very insightful but * at the same time.  I feel ashamed, embarrassed, guilty, weak…. Stupid.

I was looking for stuff in my boyfriends that no adult can give me – unconditional love – protection – safety of never being abandoned etc.  I have basically been searching for a mother/father role haven’t I?  In boyfriends?

I need to learn not to try and seek that stuff from boyfriends…. I need to not expect or want my boyfriend to mind-read or fix me when I am down.  I guess I need to deal with my counselling stuff with T and not bring that home – it clearly doesn’t help the dynamic.

Being “looked after” is a parent/child thing – not a relationship thing.  Perhaps that is why the sex life took a tumble…. I mean, who wants to have sex with their child!! Perhaps that also explains the lack of romance and the lack of effort in keeping the “relationship” alive… because the relationship has turned into purely rescuer/victim stuff……. There hasn’t been room for romance? Isn’t that sad? I feel very upset about that.

I feel stupid really because I thought I had finally found a relationship that was entirely different. I thought it was just the men that I was picking that were wrong for me, I hadn’t realised it wasn’t that I was just picking the wrong men – I’ve been entering into this triangle thing every time, even with my boyfriend . I thought boyfriend was the “hero” that came along and made it all better – and that is entirely the problem.

I feel scared that now this has come out into the open that we won’t be able to tolerate it. What if we can’t fix it? What if boyfriend is put off completely and can’t see me any differently after “seeing” it?

I feel ashamed that I’ve done this – that I’ve let this happen. What if I do lose him … is our love strong enough for us to climb out of this triangle together and still be okay? I’ve spent the last 3 years feeling so sure I have finally found “the one”. Someone that I feel safe with, secure with, someone I don’t worry about cheating on me or leaving me – someone that “gets me”, encourages me and supports me. Having someone that understands all that I do in my counselling and can be there for me when I am going through tough times without judgment..  and now I realise we’ve been in these roles, does that mean none of it was real?

He said a while ago, “God, being the rescuer is tiring.  Can I be vulnerable for a while?” and I feel panic all over me that he has admitted he is tired of his role … he was resenting me and I didn’t even know. How blind have I been?

How do we turn this around? I know the fact we’ve been able to identify our roles in this is a great start… but now what happens? How do you change the only dynamic you’ve ever known in each other.. in the relationship… how do I stop that need of mine to be looked after and protected when its clearly been automatic and unconscious desire all this time? My entire life? How do I get that need met elsewhere – or put it to bed… to stop it ruining another relationship. It wouldn’t have mattered who I met if I had that need, I guess………

I assume that I met boyfriend and he was attracted to my vulnerability because it was less threatening to him than his ex wife was… he didn’t feel needed or loved or appreciated by his ex-wife and he met me and I was sending out signals left, right and centre that I needed him and I would be grateful – that was the pull. He sent me signals that he would be caring, stable and give me unconditional love and that was my pull… our roles in the triangle were born there and then. We just had no idea. I remember reading this article a long while ago and being too afraid to show him. I was afraid that if he read it, realised it was true that he would leave. And now he has read it, I feel the same.

I know logically it isn’t just my fault. It is both of our issues that have allowed for it to happen and I know that I am working on myself in counselling so I am doing the best I can do, but I do feel extremely worried and upset right now that maybe now we’ve realised, it can’t ever be hidden again. I can’t bear to think that we might not be “real”.