Wednesday, 23 March 2011

three hundred and sixty-five.

fifty-two weeks ago Muffin and i were in england.

fifty-two weeks ago Muffin and i were laid in bed at around eight in the morning, watching one another's faces and reveling in the fact that we were together, finally, after all these years.

fifty-two weeks ago Muffin and i were touching one another's faces and whispering little vocal love notes into one another's ears.

fifty-two weeks ago Muffin asked me, officially, to be his girlface.

in those fifty-two weeks so many things have come to pass. emotions, hair colours, accommodations and countries. it's been a scary, fun, intimidating and overall completely beautiful.

i've been thinking how to best reflect on the last year and i think, for me, the best way to do it would be for me to reflect on the months individually... see what i processed and have a nice, clear vision of what i've gone through to get to this point. to this place where i feel more confident, safe and in love with my relationship with every passing day.

so, let's get this show on the road. it might be ugly, it might not. we'll see.

march 2010
the last time i saw him was yesterday morning, 29th March at 0708am...
we held one another in the queue together until I wasn’t allowed to be snuggled up to him anymore and then we held one another over the barrier until he was too far up the queue to be able to touch me anymore... even then he left the queue three times to come hold me and kiss me. The final kiss was the best one… I held the left side of his face with my right hand and kissed him as hard as I could. My left arm wrapped as tight around him as possible. I held my breath and memorized every single detail that I could in the seventeen seconds we held the kiss… I memorized the smell, his eyes, his lips, the taste, his hands on me… everything. My mind scrambled in a million difference directions in an effort to commit every single detail possible to memory. 
I dragged myself up the stairs and stood at my bedroom door for two minutes before holding my breath and going in… I stepped past the threshold and waited… performed an internal investigation to see what emotions my body was going to throw at me… I meandered around the room, touching everything I could remember him touching, smelling everything I thought might smell like him. I flicked on my PC and stared at it… not really sure what to do. I opened my email and started writing him… within three words I started to cry again.
all i knew how to do at that moment was cry. I sat, slumped in my chair and stared at the photo on my desktop.

April 2010
'well there are plenty of other boys out there that you can be with...'
this sentence was actually said to me by the muffin about an hour ago...
obviously, if you are an avid reader of my blog, you will know that muffin has been fixed... this is old news, but news that muffin has been dealing with by sweeping it under the carpet anytime the topic of children might possibly rear it's ugly head. a topic he is understandably jumpy around due to our history...
he said this and my heart sank... i had absolutely no idea what to say in response to this, so i said nothing. i remained silent and he babbled about something and then said the phone was about to die. i said okay and that i loved him and hung up.

On this day, at this time in twenty-four weeks I could very well be back in america… 
The only thing that keeps me sane through all these thoughts is the knowledge that just slightly over a year after my departure from all things English I will be returning with Muffin… he and I will return to the world of accents and Scotch Eggs. We will return and endeavour to begin a new life with a new culture and a new world to explore… 

May 2010 

In 100 days I will not have to worry about when my citizenship will be coming through.
In 100 days I will not have to worry about whether I have enough money to get the bus to work.
In 100 days I will not have to worry about when I will purchase my ticket back or how I will get to the airport…
 In 100 days all I will need to worry about how how good I look when I land and the first thing I will say when I see him again.
the date has changed because the thought of being away from Muffin for much longer than that kills me... actually kills small parts of me. i look at him now and it just fucking aches that i can't put my arms around him. it makes my body actually feel physical pain to know that he is 3,000 miles away and it is not possible to go all Master Fantastic on him and reach over to Iraq and pick him up and snuggle him.
so, because of distance, because of time and because my tiny heart is so, SO sick of hurting, i will fly direct into Seattle in 100 days and be greeted by my Muffin FINALLY with the knowledge that this is for forever. we will NOT be forced to part due to the ARMY or a treatment facility or anything... we will finally be allowed to be together, just the two of us, for the rest of our lives if we so choose. the prospect of this makes me so ecstatic. 
when he muses with me about picking me up and tells me that he will be 'driving me home,' it makes my heart do a little hoopity dance that i can't help but love. i adore him and i adore everything that we will be doing together. 
June 2010
In seventy-seven days, I’m leaving… 
I HATE it when one of us has a series of busy days, because typically the other one of us has the tendency to get quite clingy and needy and I can’t deal with that. I love when we talk and I love the fact that he and I are pretty much constantly on the same wavelength… what I DON’T love is the fact that he is most likely going to read this and freak out and think immediately that I hate him and don’t want to move to america. I so do, but whilst all of my time here is winding down and his time in Iraq is winding down we are talking less and less and it is hurting more and more. I feel disconnected, lonely and tired. I guess I am just incredibly worried that I will arrive in america and all the things I had been hoping for will have completely dissipated due to the lack of contact and we will have nothing left but a bit of sexual frustration which has to halt eventually like most things. I worry that I will arrive and all of these eggs that I have put in my basket will just get tossed around and broken and then what will I be left with? Nothing. I’ll be back where I started… 
this isn't to say that i don't want to go to america and give it a go still... this isn't meant to be taken to say that i am staying in england and never talking to dane again... this should be taken for the fact that i am finally, for once in my life REALLY thinking about what i am doing (wait, does this mean I am ACTUALLY a human, capable of rational thought processes?! WHAAAAAAAAT?!)
several weeks back Muffin had told me that he was busy and that he didn’t have the time to contact me as much as I wanted and that he worried if we had to go a day without talking I would fall to pieces. Well, ever the spiteful little lady, I spent the following two days not talking to him, purely to show him that I was able to do it. since then I’ve severely cut down my talk-time with him which has, in turn, left him emailing me less and… well… let’s just say we only really talk during the brief calls he makes to my mobile, which SHOULD be good enough, but when he spent the first two or three months grooming me with between three and six LONG and incredibly emotional, lovely emails a day and photos and videos and OMG… 
I’ve been left feeling a little like a deflated balloon. I’d gotten so used to having him there, always sending me emails and taking photos and things… 
Now, I just feel complacent. I feel like I’ve backed off SO MUCH that we’ve created a distance that makes me feel really ugly inside. I don’t feel as excited as I used to when I see him come online…. I still DO get excited, but nothing like I used to. People at work have started to notice that I don’t talk about him as much and I guess I just generally have this fear that when I get to america it’s either going to be incredibly good or really, REALLY bad. 
I am aware that I am most likely in a tizzy at the moment because I am scared. I realize that perhaps my mind is creating this fabulous series of doubts in an effort to stop it from having to process all the scary stuff, I AM going to persevere… I AM going to go to america and I AM going to give this time with Muffin a proper go. I know I would regret it for the rest of my life if I didn’t. 

I officially now have an email in my inbox worth £512. 
I find it baffling that I can spend such a vast amount of money and have so very little to show for it. Like, if I had something really substantial like a pony or a dolphin as a result of that transaction, I would feel much more satisfied, but overall, it is a massive anti-climax… I had built-up the tension about booking a ticket, worried myself sleepless most nights thinking about leaving, desperately hoping that the purchase of this ticket would magically make all the little twinges go and quell every little concern I had.
Now I still find myself concerned and still have twinges, but am half-a-grand poorer. 
I’ve since handed in my resignation and I officially finish work at half past four on Monday 23rd August.
And there we are. I officially leave my favourite place in the entire world in fifty-eight days.
At half past three on the morning of August 26th I will be drunkenly bundling all m y favourite people into a hired van after a night of celebrating the birth of my Pow and my last night in the country. We will nearly all be in fancy-dress and we will (hopefully) make it to the airport for four in the morning. it will be an emotional affair that will most likely break my heart harder than it was broken when I left america. The people I have bonded with over the last six years have grown to be so special to me and the thought of living without them bloody kills me. 

...we are strong in our convictions, support and respect for one another. Our history is beautiful and has built us up as a couple that can withstand most anything because of what we have seen and endured both together and individually.
But when you travel out, there’s a layer that makes-up about 1/28th of the rock that is a little out of control and that you just can’t maintain, no matter how hard you try… bits keep falling off. Like if you were to take a bowling ball, cover it in maple syrup and then roll it around in corn flakes then play catch with it. The bits just won’t stay on and things just get messy.
The main reason this layer is so out of control is because of the distance and time since we’ve seen one another…
The time for words has now expired and they seem to have become mechanical and monotonous for me. 
I need human interaction and warmth from Muffin.
In fifty-seven days I will be there for him like nobody ever has been.
I will love him as gently as he needs it and show him that it is possible for someone to be there for him unconditionally and selflessly.
In fifty-seven days I am going to be everything he ever wanted and I can’t wait. 

July 2010 
so, I’ve not heard his voice since last Wednesday. That’s the first point. The second point is that I am a needy loose-cannon who needs to get a freaking grip.
’m not just terrified… I am both excited and terrified. Like, I am SO superpumped to see what it will be like to live with Muffin… so excited to see how many kisses we will be able to fit into a day and how many cuddles we’ll have. I can’t WAIT to have his arms, voice and body within arm’s reach at most given moments… to finally have all of this rubbish ocean malarkey out of the way and to just be able to be with one another. I honestly can’t wait. No matter how scared I am, I know that what I will feel when I finally get to go and be with him with no pending date for departure will be so, so much bigger and make any doubts, worries and whatever else my mind can conjure completely disappear. He’s my world and I can’t wait to actually start my life with him.  

...she asked how things have been with Muffin… I said they hadn’t been great. I outlined the roughdraft of that essay by discussing the lack of contact, the busy-ness and the fact that he seems to enjoy participating in leisure activities with his estranged spouse (going to gigs, meals out and generally hanging around).
Now, I don’t want to sound unreasonable, as I KNOW he is living with her and I KNOW that some interaction is unavoidable, as I have been there myself with my own special version of “The Estranged,” but in my opinion, there are two problems with the situation.
I think for a week I was setting my mind into position of “defeated” before it had even begun though…  preparing myself for coming back on my return flight and wondering why I was even bothering going in the first place. I had played-out a scenario in my head that saw me stay here and live the fabulous single life for a while… being promiscuous, decadent and some other adjective I can’t even think of at the moment. For a week I had seriously considered calling it all off, so terrified of the possibility of it not working that I didn’t even want to bother because we would both just end up getting hurt anyways. I had lost the will to get excited when I heard his voice, forgotten how to say “I love you” and not sound bored… 
Since then, over the weekend, I am finding the weight noticeably lifted… I have been focusing on the more positive things… realizing that I shouldn’t expect things from my relationship, but rather be grateful for the things that I get…. The emails, photos, videos, phone calls. Despite their rarity, they are such beautiful little sparkly parts of my day... or maybe that’s because of their rarity? I love Muffin and really, honestly want to give this a go so I can see what kind of a perfect thing we can create together… some sort of magical super-couple that has seen ten years pass with every possible obstacle in their way but with love persevering at full speed. 

August 2010
five days ago today, i was somewhere over the atlantic. i was still drunk and my eyeballs were still puffy from saying goodbye to all my favourites. i had taken six 10mg valium and just wanted to sleep but was distracted by the DISGUSTING woman sat next to me who refused to take her stupid neck-pillow-thing off, even whilst walking down the airplane aisle to her seat.
five hours ago i was in the middle of a jet-lag coma, certain i would never come out of it. i laid on the bed and apologized profusely to Muffin for being so tired. my head just simply refuses to play nicely with the Pacific time zone. i keep waking up when i would wake up in england...
Muffin is wonderful but has been over-compensating and feels the need to constantly try to impress me with the sights and points of interest in the area, when all i really want to do is sit and... actually, i've no idea what i want to do. at the end of a shopping trip or a mince around town i come home and just feel lost. i am here, in this house that is unfamiliar to me, has a distinct lack of my THINGS (because i'm a fucking retard who didn't pack until the last minute whilst she was drunk and weepy, thanks Nick, by the way). i've placed my fake teeth on the shelf and my books are over there on that chair, but it still doesn't feel like HOME.
being with Muffin is really, REALLY nice, but still feels incredibly strange. i keep picking out stupid faults and i don't know if it is because i'm scared and want to go home or if it's because i really, honestly am trying to look out for ME this time. i was laid in bed with him this evening, on my left side, nestled against his right, explaining to him that i loved him but that i really, REALLY need to be happy for me. the stupid thing? i feel guilty for saying that... for saying that i will get back on a plane in november if i am not happy. i need to be happy. i need to feel like i am thriving. i need to feel normal right now...
September 2010
two weeks had passed by a mere eleven hours and we were laid in bed.
this was thirty minutes ago.
in a sleepy haze, as my left hand drew up the entire right side of his body, he told me that i complete him.
because he was such a sleepy bear, i didn't ask for him to elaborate, but i didn't want to say anything else either... i just told him i loved him... which i do, so much.
i laid there, listening to his heart beat and sighed, the air forced out of my lungs causing a breathy scene on his tummy hair, apparently, because he stirred and asked me what i was thinking. "nothing..." was what i said...
what i was THINKING was completely different.
what i was thinking was what ways i complete him... we are, danie, signing out, still scared, but kinda excited about the road ahead.

i guess at the moment i am just wondering... if i should stay here and see how it all pans out; see how this story ends. or should i jump ship again to find a destiny for me, not someone else?

i've been going through a weird phase since i've been away from washington... i began processing things re: my relationship in a stupid way and letting my imagination go wild. i've been moody with him and worried and taking a lot of that out on him, which in some ways, i could say is justified, due to the fact that the worry and mistrust is his own fault, but he REALLY doesn't deserve it. it all became calm last night... we had a long talk when LaDonna and i got home from our day's shenanigans and we talked about how honest he feels like he can be now and how much he wants to work to make things perfect for us. we talked about his other relationships and the reasons they failed and why he felt ours was special... he reassured me in a big way and when i hung up the phone, i writhed on the bed in glee until my mobile went again and he told me in a smug voice that he had written me an anniversary present and it was SOGOOD and he wished he could play it for me but he CAN'T because our anniversary isn't for several more days. all these little things, i know they're just teething problems that we'll get through eventually, i just need to keep a good head on my little shoulders about it all and make sure i don't lose sight of what's most important... although, as more days pass, it seems that a lot more importance is lying on US rather than just ME, which i am not sure what to do with, but i'll just run with it and see how it goes.

sometimes even now it all seems so foreign to me... i'll see his face and it'll take me back to that July in 2001 when we first started dating. when i walked into the McDonald's where he was employed and he made excuses to come to the front of the store to talk to me. i still can't believe it's real occasionally. 

October 2010
two weeks ago Muffin rang me and asked me if i would be willing to make a toy.  
he asked me if i would make a blue car with red racing stripes for his son. i obliged, immediately invisioning how i was going to create the most perfect, woolen piece of machinery ever for his little boy.
after many days of work and a lot of procrastination, i finished it last night.
i introduced myself and pulled the car out of my bag and Ryu immediately hopped off the jungle bars and snatched it from me, telling me it was amazing and dancing around on the rocky playarea with his new car-friend. he then came up to me and asked if i wanted to come over to play...  
again, i stopped. i had to catch my breath and realize that this was okay and that i could do this. i could spend time with this little boy. he's not a threat, he's not evil, he's just an innocent kid who wanted to play. i looked at his grandmother and she said i was more than welcome to come over. i tried to imagine all the things that could go wrong if i went over and couldn't come up with one so i took a deep breath and said, 'okay.'
...i arrived home and texted him to say that i love him and that i love his son. 

every now and again the past comes back to get me. OUR past. the past that he and i struggle so violently to escape. the past that forced us apart so abruptly eight, nine years ago. 
thousands of questions have gone unanswered over the years... questions i could turn the volume down on for a very long time, but questions that have been forced to the front of my mind since he and i have decided to give all of this a proper go.
what do i do with this? how do i deal with it? does it just go away eventually?
who knows. i guess we just have to see what thursday brings us.

i worry that over the last several weeks, whilst i was away in Cheyenne, i processed a lot of things alone and have not had any form of a safeplace or soundboard to help me to make any healthy or conscious decisions, leaving me wondering if the decisions i've made are okay and will benefit ANYONE, let alone me.  
this hit me hard because in all the time i had away in Cheyenne, and even now, five days later, i have yet to tell Muffin everything that's on my mind. i don't feel like i CAN. he just has so much going on at the moment and i don't want to have to add to it with all my crap.

i seem to have completely lost the will to fight. like a dog who's been given that final shot to be put to sleep, but still has the little bits of energy to kick or flail its limbs. i remember this feeling in England. i remember the helplessness and i want to stop it now, because it almost killed me then and right now, it seems to be accelerating and feeling worse by the day. it's stressing Muffin out and... i don't know.
he feels like he's losing me. he held me so tight last night and said he didn't know what to do. i don't even feel like it's appropriate for me to ask for anything specific anymore... i just feel stupid when he gets like that. like i've done something wrong. i feel like i shouldn't have to ASK him to do nice things... i feel like he should want to do nice things for me if he feels like he's losing me, that i'm not going to tell him what to do.

we were snuggled on the sofa after a deliciouso Arby's din din, watching a film and enjoying the fact that we've been together for seven months when Origami decided to text and say she wanted to finally pay him her half of the mobile bill, so could they meet up. she wanted to meet at Wal-Mart, so he said okay and asked if i wanted to go.
as we walked out he just kept repeating that it was awkward... i asked why and he said he didn't know. this happened three times before i said, "well, you either need to tell me why it was awkward or stop saying it, because it's doing no good and obviously you WANT to talk, but if you're not going to then please stop." or something along those lines...
he kinda told me some things and then, for some reason, announced to me that he kept a five-foot distance from her the entire time. i told him that it didn't look like it to me to which he replied, 'fuck off."
so, there we are. after a lovely seven-month anniversary day featuring him making me breakfast and us going on a workout date, we got to pander to his estranged wife and then come home to him holed-up in his "beat lab" playing guitar loudly and doing whatever else it is that he does in there...

November 2010
no matter how may cuddles, sexytimes or amazing kisses, i will always wonder how much commitment is behind it all. i've all this before, only to have it stripped from me and to have to wait eight years to have it again.
i feel stuck in this place full of mixed messages and general confusion.some days he's really, super, megaexcited about our future, and others... he's just, not.
i feel taken for granted and hurt.
wednesday night became the night that i officially learned how hard it is to be the significant other of someone in the ARMY. 
i never realized it was so hard. i never realized that i would feel so lonely and i never, ever realized how much his job would affect me.

i have a flight that i could get on at 12:50 today... a flight that will take me back to England, Franny, cider and the life that i knew as my own just over three months ago.
i would worry about Muffin and where that would leave him. i'm not completely sure how it would actually leave him as he, like Pow, seems to find it easier to joke when actually, i'm being painfully serious. i asked him several times last night how he would cope if he came home today to find me gone with my key sat on the coffee table. he joked as he snuggled under the warmth the heavy stream of water the shower was spewing at us, said he would cry for ten minutes and then get over it, move on. part of that scares me, because i believe part of that to be true. after a bit more joking he had to abruptly get out of the shower because his emotions got the better of him. as we dried i asked him what was up, what he was thinking... he said that he didn't want to lose me and that he felt like he was already losing me.

December 2010
it feels like he's hiding.

any bad things aside, he's incredibly beautiful and makes me smile bigger than anyone ever has. he's so beautiful and listens to me and loves me. things are all just so new at the moment and he's just... i love him. everything about him. he's a beautiful person and i adore the evenings that we get to spend together and the mornings i get to see him before he goes to work. it's not completely what i dreamed of yet, but it will be, i can tell. for all the fragile moments we spend together, i love him... because he knows me and i know him. we'll be okay, i can feel it in my bones. 

January 2011
he just seems to feel nothing. he doesn't seem to share the same excitement and overall enthusiasm that i do in our finally being together. he doesn't seem to have any interest in learning about me or doing things with me unless they directly benefit him. 

February 2011
this has been the first valentine's day that i feel like i've been really, absolutely in love. i spent the entire day in complete awe of how much i love Muffin... i stared at his hands and feet and nose and literally couldn't believe how much i love him. it hurts, how much i love him. he made it a perfect day and i can't seem to find enough words to thank him for giving that to me.   

...Muffin walked into the kitchen with one hand behind his back and the other holding a supermarket bag with my ham. he mumbled about flowers and how he hadn't gotten me anything huge and then pulled me close and handed me a cutesy ceramic cupcake with five carnations and a heart in it. i was immediately delighted with the glitter, cupcake and flowers and sat the gift down to kiss his face off for being a good listener when he pulled away and said, "oh dear, it looks as though this came with a ring." it was at that moment that i forgot how to speak and how to not weep.

all of this, this heavy, horrible came to a head a week or so ago when i just completely lost it with Muffin. there were tears, raised voices and a lot of honest realities expressed that worried him. since then he's tried, bless him. he's really making the effort to hold me tighter and for longer. he's really showing me that i have at least one person that loves the shit out of me and wants to see this over so i can resume normal activity.

last night i held Muffin and was terrified to let him go. i held him and he kept attempting to escape but i just pushed my face into his chest harder to stop him from leaving me and seeing my tears. i don't want to lose him, i don't want to lose myself. i am so terrified that he will see me as this broken thing and not want to wait around until i put myself back together again. i just want someone to hold me. make me feel okay. i don't want words, i don't want eye contact, just a cuddle. 

March 2011
i think for march, it's going to be better for me to just tell you things, as i don't seem to have blogged much about the last month. immediately after the last blurb up there was posted a lot of crappy-crap came to light. a lot of things that have almost caused me to leave Muffin. i very nearly walked out the door to never look back. 
the things that have happened have not been blogged about for many reasons... the pain, the discomfort and also because i just don't even know how to approach the topics. let's just say Muffin was doing some questionable things and HAD been doing those questionable things up until our eleven-month anniversary (which was an AWESOME anniversary present, btw). 
since the discovery and hideous fallout things have been amazing. things have felt a lot less secretive, mechanical and ugly. i now feel more and more every day like i can trust him. like he is being honest with me and things will be okay. 

so, all in all, despite the last year's quite severe ups and downs, it's been worth it... the year has offered me great insight into my personal strength and also into what we will be able to achieve. he's a good person who deserves to be loved as good as he gives, which i am now doing. 

hopefully, this is only the first of many anniversaries, so join me on the ride.


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