Rescued.

Sunday was a beautiful spring day here.  I opened all of the windows in my house to release some of the stagnant energy and to let the sunshine in.  My two cats were curled up on the sofa in a sunbeam that had entered through the front door.  Everyone that has cats know how they love lazing about in sunbeams!  Odin had been scrapping with a neighbourhood cat and had received a scratch to his nose, so after all of that excitement he had got himself comfy on the sofa for the rest of the afternoon.  Freya lay curled up next to him but she was on alert.  She could hear all of the birds twittering away and it held her interest for quite a while.  I sat for 10 minutes or so just watching these two,and every day I am reminded how they saved my life.

This year it will be 3 years since Pedro and Felixia (their rescue names!) came to live with my then husband and I.  My ex husband and I were due to move into our first house as opposed to a flat and he knew how much I wanted cats.  P never grew up with animals like I did, so he wasn’t really bothered.  He left the “cat hunting” to me, so I started checking out rescue centres for kitties.  P being the kind of pompous twat that he was, would have preferred pedigree cats.  He was all about showing off and status symbols, but I’ve never bought a cat in my life.  Every pet we had when I was a child was a rescued animal.  I chose to adopt my two from a Spanish rescue charity.  My reason for that is because my family have also adopted animals from foreign countries, mainly Spain due to the way that they are generally treated out there.  So I checked out my chosen charity’s website and fell in love with a grubby, skinny little half Russian Blue street cat.  The charity exclaimed that they could only rescue Pedro if someone paid a deposit to have him because they were short on space in the rehoming centre.  I got the money together, sent the payment and Pedro was safe from the cruel streets.  I then went on to another Spanish charity and asked who needed rescuing the most.  I wasn’t bothered about colour, sex, age etc.  I just wanted to home a cat that needed it the most.  So I was offered a little black and white cat called Josephine, who was struggling with life in the rehoming centre surrounded by so many other cats.  Unfortunately just 3 days before she was due to come to England, she became poorly with a virus so she wasn’t able to come over at that time.  The charity asked if I would consider taking another cat on in Josephine’s place.  Josephine not being well enough at the time meant that there was a space for a cat on the transport which the charity try so hard to fill all gaps before starting their journey to England, which meant no one was getting adopted in Josephine’s place.  I felt bad for little Jo, but they assured me that they had found another home for her once she was well enough to travel again.  So I was offered Felixia.  My ex husband said that she was “ugly”, but I didn’t care.  Of course, she wasn’t ugly at all. She just had a grouchy looking face, but that’s one of the things that I love about her!  She is the sweetest little thing I’ve ever known.

My cats arrived in the country on 15th July 2014.  I must’ve driven friends and family crazy in the lead up because I was that excited about getting them!  I remember picking them up from Portsmouth and bringing them home for the first time.  Odin was so, so timid.  Freya was an instant lap cat!  They’re both such different characters.  Another reason why I love them both so much.  Odin was straight from the streets and even the television and washing machine had him baffled.  He would sit and watch them nervously!  Slowly he came out of his shell and it’s taken a few years, but I think we’re there now.  Freya has always been full of affection but she used to hate being picked up.  She now knows that I’m not going to hurt her and she loves being held as I dance around the house with her.  Freya was rescued from a “killing shelter” with her 5 kittens.  Sadly 2 of them passed away due to a virus, but a lovely lady in Spain has kept her 3 remaining kittens and has given them their forever home.

When my marriage fell apart, I was a mess.  I felt like I wanted to die.  My ex husband had been caught having an affair and ended up in a psychiatric hospital.  I would visit him in hospital, (something that most people don’t understand, but I will perhaps explain my reasons in a future post) and it was so exhausting.  Mentally, I was shot.  But when I came home from a long day at work where I wore a false smile that hurt my face and then travelled to the hospital to watch my husband curl up in the fetal position and sob uncontrollably until visiting hours were over, Odin and Freya were there for me.  They brought me such comfort during those dark times.  I used to lay on the bed with them whilst they purred in my ear at the end of those long days, and I used to think “So this is what unconditional love feels like”.  And that’s why I generally prefer animals over people.  Odin and Freya have never intentionally hurt me, and they never will.  They are always there for me.  I know that they love me, and not just because I feed them! 🙂

On the really bad days where I wanted to take my own life, they were close to me.  They had already suffered abandonment once in their short lives, how could I do that to them again?  I know that no one would love them both like I do.  Odin has a lot of quirks that I don’t think people who had not owned cats before could handle.  Freya is very demanding of affection.  What if her next owner didn’t give her that?  And on the days where I just lay in my bed, festering in my pajamas and staring at a wall for 3 hours solid, Odin and Freya encouraged me to get up.  Someone had to feed them and clean out their litter tray.  No one else was there.  Honestly?  If I didn’t have Odin and Freya, then I really don’t think that I would still be here now.  I’m beginning to think that we rescued each other.

And now that the bad days are over, I have company.  The three of us depend on each other.

With love, Darling Soul x

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One year on.

This time last year, I signed for the keys to my house following the separation between my now ex husband and I.  In all of my adult life, I had never lived alone and I remember almost shaking with the anticipation of what was to come next.  I had no idea what to expect or if I could even do this.  I wanted to prove to him that I could do this without any of his help.  “Put your big girl pants on and just deal with it” he used to say to me, even throughout our relationship.  He was adamant that I was incapable of being on my own, when in fact the irony in this is that that actually mirrors his own feelings.  He has proven to the world that he is incapable of being alone by hopping from one woman to the next, never really understanding himself.

I remember walking down the mossy slate path to my new home and turning the keys in the lock for the first time.  My heart was thumping in my chest as I explored each room, picturing where my furniture and belongings would go.  After all, I had no one to tell me where I could and couldn’t put my things now.  I imagined my cats sleeping by the fireplace after a long day of playing in the garden.  I could see myself with my feet up on the sofa, cup of tea in one hand and a book in the other.  I could see myself in the garden laughing with my friends on a warm summer’s evening.  I was eager for the memories that I would create in my new home; alone.  Then when my furniture arrived and was put in place by the removal guys, I was given some paperwork to sign before they left.  I sat down on the sofa and it was so quiet, I could hear their truck’s engine start as they then drove off down the road.  I suddenly burst into tears and I don’t think I stopped crying for a good 20 minutes or so.  For the first time since my marriage fell apart, I was totally alone.

Seeing this photo of me holding my new keys for the first time has had me reminiscing about probably the hardest time in my life.  I am smiling in the photo yet I look beyond exhausted, following weeks of going back and forth emotionally as my ex husband played games with both my heart and the heart of the woman he cheated on me with.  Mentally I was exhausted too, after supporting my ex husband during his time in a psychiatric ward.  He had threatened to take his own life after his bubble was burst and he had simultaneously lost both his wife and girlfriend in the blink of an eye as we finally found out about each other following nearly 5 months of deception and lies.

I wish I could go back to this time a year ago, and tell myself that it’ll all be okay.  When times are hard, everyone tells you that things will work out eventually, but at that time you don’t believe it.  At that time, the pain I was suffering caused me to almost take my own life.  This is not something that I am proud of, but it is the truth.  To be honest, the only thing that stopped me from doing it was my cats.  That probably sounds stupid, but I had two little souls in fur coats that depended on me and loved me unconditionally.  I rescued them from a very bad start in life and it wasn’t fair of me to put them in another bad situation.  They saved my life.  And I am so grateful for them, and my incredible friends and family for being the constant in my life.

Over the past year, things have slowly fallen into place.  I am settled now into my solitary home life, which is something I have come to enjoy.  I take great solace in doing what I want and when I want, no one to question me or answer to.  My life had always revolved around my ex husband you see, his wants and needs and even his career took over my life. My next puzzle piece will be securing a position in a job of my choosing.  Because of my ex husband’s career in the military, mine always took a back seat.  We moved often and I was never able to fully settle into a role.  It’s my time now.

With love, Darling Soul x

PS. When you’re having a hard time and nothing seems to be going right, remember…this, too, will pass.

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Loosening my grip.

Sometimes I feel like I won’t find love again.  Not because I don’t want to find it, but because I don’t think I am capable of loving another person again with the sheer intensity that I loved my ex husband.  I have loved people since, but it wasn’t the same.  The walls that I built after the news of my ex’s infidelity are high.  The bricks are tough and strong.  A brick or two may have come loose over these past 18 months nearly, but I just can’t seem to view any possible relationship without scrutinizing every little detail.

Why does he like me?  What does he want?  Why is he saying nice things?  What is he trying to achieve?  I question every little thing and my God, it’s beyond tiring.  For me and those involved.  It takes the fun away from the chase because I’m too busy over analysing the other person’s facial expressions and actions when I should be enjoying their company and what could become.  I question because when my ex husband left, I had several guys act like they wanted to console me when actually all that they wanted was sex.  If that doesn’t make you query everything that someone who supposedly likes you does, then I don’t know what will!  That was a really horrible and confusing time for me, and very unfair and gross that people who I once considered friends would try and take advantage of me in that way when I was especially vulnerable.

Now see, I love animals.  They cheer me up and their love is unconditional.  They ask for nothing in return.  They don’t have ulterior motives (apart from food perhaps!) and they love honestly.  They don’t hate or hurt.  They don’t lie or cheat.  They know when I am sad or upset and they use their own wonderful little ways to make me feel happy again.  Why can’t people be more like animals?  Sometimes I wonder if I would be better off on my own with my animals.  No one to disappoint or hurt me.  But I wasn’t made for this life.  I am energetic, bubbly and I talk far too much.  I wasn’t created to be left alone for long periods of time.  Dammit, being an empath sucks sometimes.

Guess where I’m going this weekend…to see my ex inlaws.  Lots of people are confused as to why I’m going to see them, but it’s not their fault that their son/brother is a dick.  I was very lucky to have a special relationship with my inlaws and right from day one, they treated me like I was part of the family.  Even now, they still do.  I realise that this is not a luxury that many have and I was indeed lucky during my relationship with him, and now it appears that my luck continues even after divorce.  His parents sent me some money for Christmas and asked me to come and visit, so this weekend will be the first time that I’ve seen them in nearly 14 months.  I’m excited to see them all but also nervous.  Their house holds many memories for me and knowing that his new beau has visited their home will probably make me feel slightly uneasy.  Actually to be honest, I have no idea how I will feel.  I do have a meditation class before I head off to see them though, so I hope that I will receive lots of love and light before my journey which will help me to deal with possible conflicting emotions during my visit.

Before I finish up, a very dear friend of mine sent me this little bit of wisdom yesterday.  I think we can all relate in some shape or form.

With love, Darling Soul x

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Elastic heart.

So last Saturday, I went on a date with another guy.  We had been texting back and forth for a number of weeks, then one night we were on the phone to each other for 4.5 hours!  I started to think, “Hey, I like this guy”.  I had a really nice evening with him, although conversation didn’t flow as easily as it did on the phone, I just put that down to him coming across as slightly shy.  After our date, we continued to text for a few days before I asked if he wanted to meet again.  He totally avoided the question!  So I decided not to text him and would wait for him to make contact again.  He texted me yesterday evening, asking how my day had been and how I was etc.  I replied but asked again if he wanted to meet up.  This was his reply:

“As for meeting up again, I had a really nice time meeting you, it was fun and a good giggle but for me I didn’t really feel there was any spark there romantically.  It felt more like a friendship thing for me so I would be up for meeting again as it was fun but more as friends rather than a date, still if you’d rather not I’d understand.  Just don’t want to mislead you in any way as I know you’ve had your fair share of being messed about by blokes.”

Firstly, I felt quite hurt.  Did I have a right to feel that way?  Probably not, but my thoughts are if you don’t think something is going to work out, then you don’t continue to text and converse with that person daily.  Secondly for me, unless the date is an awful experience then I think you should always meet a second time.  This Disney style “romantic spark” that he is looking for…it doesn’t exist, in my experience. 

Another issue is that after spending 5 years in an emotionally abusive relationship, I find that my go to thought process is “What did I do wrong?” and “What could I have done better?”. I try to snap myself out of that and since I’ve been loving myself better lately, I find that the thought process lasts only momentarily instead of hours or days on end like it used to. I may be coming across as a whiny little bitch with rejection issues, but this date and my date from the other week are my first experiences of dating full stop. I don’t really have anything to compare them to, so I’m still very much learning. On the plus side, this date didn’t really like cats and when I told him that the cats slept with me on the bed, he told me that it was gross and disgusting. Clearly, it wasn’t meant to work out! Other date is neutral toward cats and I have made many a comment about my two fur kids without him saying “Eewww”. Maybe he’s just being polite…?! For his sake, I hope not!

In my opinion, second guy has lost out here. I am a good woman with so much love to give. First guy is meeting me again tomorrow after work for a drink, and I’m actually looking forward to seeing him. I have thoroughly enjoyed his company so far, talking about anything and everything with no awkward silences or pauses. Let’s see where it goes.

With love, Darling Soul x
 

So with the dates I’ve been going on lately, my parents told me that I should cool it on the “crazy cat lady” front.  I asked why.

“It might put some guys off” they replied.

But you know what?  I don’t actually care.  I have two rescue cats who are a big part of my life.  If I hook up with a guy that dislikes cats, then it’s not going to work, is it?  So I am up front and honest, and yes to some I may come across as a “crazy cat lady”, but it’s part of who I am.  I am passionate about animals and in particular, my pets.

Then someone said that maybe I should take out my nose ring for dates and replace it with a stud.  Why?  I like wearing a nose ring.  I got my nose pierced with a ring about 10 years ago which was before they became fashionable, I can tell you.

Several people have told me “Your eyes are pretty.  You should wear contact lenses or get laser eye surgery.”  I actually like how I look in glasses.

My ex husband hated my weird ear piercings.  At that time, I told them all out because I know he didn’t like them.  Then when we split up, I went and got a new weird ear piercing and put the jewelry back in my other ones!  And they’ve stayed in ever since, whether someone likes them or not.

My teeth are a little crooked in places and I have a chip on my front tooth.  I sometimes bite my nails when I am anxious.  I waffle a lot when talking.  I draw my eyebrows on everyday due to an over plucking incident in the 90s, haha!  I’m a bit overweight and I really enjoy my food.  Sometimes I swear too much.  I am opinionated.  I have broken veins on my nose.  My skin scars really easily.  I click my knuckles and my neck.  I’m incredibly clumsy.

How can you love someone else until you love yourself?  Totally and utterly apologetically.  And I think for the first time in almost 30 years (holy shit, I’m 30 this year!), I’m comfortable in my own skin.  It’s a really great feeling!  Love and enjoy yourself for who you are because you are pretty awesome.

With love, Daring Soul x