This blog is about Love and romance, loss, struggle, strength and courage and an ongoing journey as I find my way out of currently what feels like a point where I can either sink back into the black abyss of depression and medication or fight my way back to the strength I worked so hard to obtain only a year ago. My ongoing journey…..perhaps my “Eat, Pray, Love” experience!!!
I am starting this blog both as an informative reach out to others who have felt absolute crushing, demented, painful heartbreak at a time when you thought you had been given the most wonderful gift in the world ‘True, everlasting love’, finally at a time in your life when you thought it would never come…when you reached a crossroads…a time you felt it was meant to be…plus eventually a source of help and strength and maybe something else marvelous to come from it…that I can share….because that is what life is about, sharing and community….although at this point I have never felt so alone….
The children have grown, you think you have reached a beautiful point in life after much struggle personally, healthwise, financially. You’ve risen above some of the most excruciating of life’s challenges; years of depression, a child you were told was going to die within 5 years of diagnosis from an incurable but ridiculous disease that takes years as you watch the quality of life disintegrate slowly (but he is still here and almost 21 years old), bankruptcy. almost fatal car accident, the list goes on…. only to find the person who in my case was magically brought back into my life after 30 years apart and halfway around the globe where it looks like the perfect end to a beautiful and romantic love story is not who you think he is and behaves in such a bewildering inexplicable way…. you feel you may never love again…ever…never want to.
WHERE I AM RIGHT NOW
I am sitting in bed. I have just spent two weeks in and out of it…in foetal position crying, sleeping and many hours just lying here wondering if I will ever feel about life the way I did up til only 3 weeks ago.
I should be at work…I simply can’t be..I can’t focus on anything for any semblance of time at the moment although somehow I feel I may be slowly working through it…right now I don’t care if I lose my job…
4 May 2015 I arrived back from what I thought was a trip that would be the most incredible time in my life.
I flew to America, Arizona to finally get to see and hold in person the man who I thought was the love of my life.
How did I come to that as some would say ‘over the top, romantic but silly’ conclusion? Here is the background;
Early 1980’s I was coming home from Highschool and the American Aircraft Carrier USS Constellation was visiting Perth (Western Australia). I was at the bus terminal about to change buses and I turned to see two guys who really looked as if they weren’t quite sure where they were going and I thought….Sailors! As a young girl I was fascinated by the promise of interesting stories and gorgeous foreign accents and one of them in particular as we caught each other’s eye made my heart skip a beat. He was handsome, dark olive skin, dark hair, amazing eyes and a captivating aura even then…I had to say hello.
His smile was amazing. I asked if they needed help at all, that they looked slightly lost. He said they were trying to work out which bus to take…and we started talking…I could not take my eyes away from him…even his voice mesmerized me.
There was an immediate connection. I was only 16 and he was early twenties. We spent a number of days together whilst the ship was in, at one stage he visited my house and asked my then guardians permission to take me out. I still have photos of us together at that time people look and say how good we looked together even then. Our time together was amazing and one day after a lovely day out I went back to his hotel room with him and we kissed as he leaned back against the wall and I could feel he wanted me….I knew it but was so innocent and I saw him see the shock in my eyes at feeling his want for me he stopped and said “no, don’t worry, we are not going to do that” and with that promptly pulled himself together and put me a little distance away and said ‘You are not ready for that. We can wait…’ the control it must have taken because the want from both of us was very strong….he was….a gentleman. I was both relieved and very disappointed….I was so sad when the ship went out, but we continued to write each other for a long time.
He wrote often, sent photos and beautiful jewelry and a made a tape of songs that I played until it fell apart!. We spoke on the phone occasionally, he always updated me on where he was. He expressed his affection and a wish to come back to me and Perth to live but I as a very young girl and did not have the same level of focus as he and I went on with my life more so than he did at that time. At one stage I had taken off to another state, even overseas and he managed to keep track of me through my guardians whom he had made friends with and kept in touch. They liked him very much and hoped we would somehow find our way back to each other.
One letter I still have he wrote to me whilst waiting to go in to class at college, which he was doing at night and working during the day. I think he had left the Navy by then. He wrote “I hope that all this effort I am putting into college will pay off in the end”, “can you send me some more photos, I have one of you in my wallet that is worn from taking it out to look at and putting it back in”, “I know I will be back when Australia defends the cup (the Americas cup) in 86 or 87, I just have to be patient, our time will come”, “Please stay in touch Roz, for a while there I thought we had lost touch for good and I have to say it was not a nice feeling at all”….
After a while I guess it was too serious for me to contemplate and would take too long so I went on with things. But I never completely forgot him…ever. As the years went by every now and then I would see the photos of us and wonder….
I last heard from him almost 4 years after the ship had gone but had pretty much done quite a bit over those years and he finally stopped writing.
30 plus years later and after both having been through divorce and a lifetime of differing experiences, I was at what I thought was finally a turning point. I was coming through a blinding bout of depression, had been suicidal…my sons were now older (my eldest still ill but in a type of remission) had left and were living at their fathers and there was just me with time to finally deal with me.
I had made the decision that after years of secretly struggling and many years on the anti depressant roundabout from which not one Doctor had ever suggested I take a break from, I made the choice to wean off them and see what life could be like un-blinkered and medically unassisted. I was very sick as I was coming off them and the story I will tell in another post but for now…Joe and I.
The first week I started to wean I was also when able trying to put my own consulting business together slowly. On the days I was well enough I would read and research and slowly started to create my own wordpress website and read up about SEO and the like which was not second nature to my generation (I was 47 at the time).
I joined up that marvelous business networking site Linkedin and was browsing peoples names I knew from years ago as a curiosity and I browsed Joe. I saw that he had done OK and his time at Uni had paid off and was pleased for him. There was an old familiar feeling of sadness when I looked at his photo…he was still so handsome to me but had obviously aged and I wondered how his life had been.
I didn’t realise it at the time but as a premium account holder he could see who had browsed him and after a couple of days I received a request to connect from him. I was in shock but I accepted straight away and then it took a few days for either of us to make a move. I found the email address and so I wrote a short hello and how wonderful to see you on here email. He wrote back pretty much immediately and said that he had been in shock when he saw my view of his account and that after a little while he had realised that he had never really forgotten me. I wrote and said the same and within a couple of days we were emailing each other several times a day. And then we talked on the phone for over two hours and it was amazing.
He said how wonderful it was that we had reconnected and had been given this second chance and that we must do something with it….that it had not happened for no reason. He told me he was there for me to be by my side and bring me out of my illness and back to the Roz he knew I could be and true to his word for weeks he wrote and talked me through some tough times. He also encouraged me to exercise…said if I was going to be with him I would have to be fit, healthy and strong to keep up! So I refocused on life, a life with him and worked hard to get fit and strong again.
A couple of weeks into our constant talking and love and care, one day in the midst of a phone call, we had been speaking for at least an hour he said “can I tell you something?” I said “Yes of course” and he said “I Love you”. I was nicely surprised and overwhelmed but immediately blurted back that I loved him too…I did…I still do. The impact from him uttering those three perfect words I had never ever felt before in my life and doubted I ever would again. It made perfect sense to us the timing and the reconnect. What had been missing in my life all these years was this man who never really went completely from inside of me, from a young girl of 16.
In honesty it was not a smooth ride the last 9 months of us writing constantly and the occasional phone calls. Admittedly, I tried to pull away a few times as I was recovering because I found it so hard to be so far away and as that wore him out he would pull away for a while but would always come back when I asked him. And it was not always my fault for trying to end it. He would not write and started to become less clear about what was happening with him that I would feel ‘my god is this worth it?’. The answer was always ‘yes’. I knew in my heart I deeply loved this man and the effort was well and truly worth it. But the tyranny of distance and time was coming between us yet again.
Our initial months of communicating were fervent and initially he said he knew we had to do what it took to bring our lives together, that with him is where I was meant to be and he wanted it immediately. But I was still unwell and there were things I needed to tie up and sort before I could move to be with him and over time he grew impatient and started to put in doubts.
He would repeatedly say “I just wish I had brought you back with me 30 years ago and given you the life you deserved”, which became a haunting repetition about the 30 years that we had missed together and every time he said it it made me sad and I could not believe how often he repeated it. What was the point? It didn’t happen that way for whatever reason.
His demeanor would change from engaged and how wonderful it will be when we first make love to how he did not know how to do this long distance thing and how were we going to do this. At one point his busy job became extremely busy and high pressure he had told me he was very busy but I had no idea just how so until I went to see him because he just could not communicate it. This man who wrote the most amazing letters years ago and in the beginning of our reconnect, who could very succinctly say what he needed to had all of a sudden stopped communicating and it was me then who would write almost daily because I felt I was losing him a second time and I was not prepared to do that. He had become a Exec for a large tech company on the West Coast of the States and he was working remote and was Managing a team worldwide plus co parenting a young daughter he had out of wedlock at a late age (she is 12 this year, he never married her mother) and the gravity of that I guess I did not quite get until I saw it for myself.
But that in itself was not where it all went wrong….I need to rest now. Recounting the good parts whilst writing this made me feel we were still in that place of hope and promise which I now know will never be and knowing that drains and still hurts incredibly. I will finish the Roz and Joe story next….But I need to cry now….