Sometime ago…

About three, maybe four years ago, I phoned a friend who has lived in Italy for a long time. He said I don’t laugh as much anymore.

That took me right back to when I was 19, care free, loved and happy. He and I were close friends, we spent almost all our free time together. When he drove, I changed the gears. Sometimes he manipulated me, but I was too easy going to mind. His best friend, Steve was another very close friend. When he was home we were a trio.

That conversation on the phone made me feel the hardship I’ve been through. My marriage went from love and fun to fear, protecting my daughter, realising I kept money after I’d done the shopping until I had almost enough to get me and my daughter away. I asked for a divorce but he would not go. Then I could not bear that he had gone. I know now that I felt guilty, as if I owed him something. I owed him nothing.He was not even legally entitled to see my daughter. This is the first time I’ve said this publicly.

My next relationship was loving, but after time I realised he did not love my daughter. He injured his back badly. Caring for him was snared with guilt trips and his jealousy. He had been possessive from the beginning. I liked it, as I had eyes for no one else. But it became hard work. I asked him to leave.

I spent almosr a decade without a man in my life. I met Geoff fifteen years ago, but we’ve been mainly friends. There have been dates, but primarily I was a mother and worked hours to suit that.

Recently, my ex neighbour made sure I noticed him. I had thought him boring but kind. He certainly isn’t boring. I began to like him. And then in April last year, I fell in love with him.

I won’t tell the rest of that, it does him no favours. I have gone through every emotion since September last year. Today has been miserable because I love him still.