Partner of a Pilot
The Candid Diary of an Airline Pilot’s Girlfriend

Nov
09

Okay, so I need to vent! I was in SUCH a great mood last night too… Bf had left to do a very quick trip away, and then last night, as I was flossing my teeth, I lost my root filling. I lay awake most of the night, and then was woken to the noise of drip drip dripping this morning. The weather outside was awful, driving rain that was coming down in sheets of rain. There was a leak in our ceiling. The most annoying thing about this, is that our roof is only 2 years old, since our bedroom is in the part of the house we had extended.

Never mind, we have emergencies insurance with Direct Line, I thought… So I got on the phone to them, only to be told that the insurance only covers plumbing emergencies, blocked drains, electrical wiring emergencies, locks or securing the property after a burglary etc… But that it does not cover things like leaks from a roof. I rang Bf at a cost of over 40 pence per minute (we would usually Skype when he’s at this particular place) and he asked me not to claim on the house insurance, since we’d lose our no-claims discount. He asked me to go up into the loft and investigate, which I did… Not fun at 7:45am, when you’ve only had about 5 hours sleep!

I could not reach the area of the roof where the leak was coming in , as I think it is where the gable joins the main roof. I could not see obvious leaking water from the roof, so I am assuming that it is running in along a join, beam or joist, and heading directly for the plasterboard. It was cold up there above the mountains of loft insulation, and I was aware of the fibre glass particles I could see flying around in the glare of my torch beam as I lifted sections of the insulation up. I must have been inhaling it too, and it’s nasty stuff that can irritate skin even on the outside of your body.

I gave up and returned back downstairs. For now I have placed a bucket underneath the crack in the plasterboard where the water is leaking out. I now have to ring and get some builders/roofers out to give me their opinions. This weather is set to remain for the week. Bf doesn’t return until Thursday, and I am not sure whether to sleep in the room in the mean time!? Why the bloody hell doesn’t this crap happen when my damn pilot is home???

Oct
08

OK… So, My gut is telling me I should hate this, but I actually think it’s kind of fun.

Its the in-flight safety demonstration by Cebo Pacific Air Flight Attendants for a Low Cost Airline in Manilla, Philippines.

It wouldn’t work for British airlines of course because they aren’t allowed to recruit in a way that discriminates against sex, weight, age, or physical appearance.  I can only imagine how off-putting it would be for passengers to watch some of the heffalumps and gay trolley dollies that work for Bf’s airline as they jiggled all their wobbly (and in some cases wrinkly) bits and glared hatefully at the passengers, because let’s face it, the UK cabin crew wouldn’t look nearly as happy or perky about the prospect of performing…

I can’t imagine there would be much oxygen left in the crew cylinders afterwards either-or before for that matter!  It’s a well rumoured crew hangover-remedy to have a quick suck on the on-board emergency oxygen supply if you’re feeling a bit ropey.

Not only that, but I’m sure that the unions would have a field day with it.  Actually, bearing all of that in mind, I rather wish Bf’s airline WOULD try to start this in-flight safety dance! HAHAHAHA! I’m sure the videos would be Youtube GOLD!

What are your thoughts?

Sep
17

I have to say, that I cant remember ever feeling as accepting and at peace with my life as it is as I feel at the moment… That is not to say my life is picture perfect; but simply that I am living in the moment and accepting the things I cannot change.  I downloaded an iPhone app called The Now that momentarily sends me little push messages (like texts) that remind me to live in the moment.  My favourite so far is this one by Eckhart Tolle

I am doing a very full-on 8 week course of mindfulness.  I am only about 3 weeks in, but am having to practice for over an hour a day, and I am really noticing huge changes in my outlook on life and my ability to stand back and see things more clearly. It is hugely empowering not to feel hijacked when stressful events are playing out, and not to allow my mind to run away with me about regrets and ‘what ifs’.

From what I have observed over the last few years in various groups, forums and blog posts; I think that these are factors that often plague pilot girlfriends and wives early on in their partner’s careers or after events like infidelity or career changes.

Bf is away at the moment… a four-day long-trip to an exotic location.  Am I jealous? Not a bit actually!  I am actually grateful to have time to indulge myself in a routine that allows me to be a bit selfish.  That’s not to say I don’t miss him at all, but I am really enjoying my own space more than usual.  I have been able to spend hours on the phone talking to the other people in my life that I love and miss, without him rolling his eyes or getting fed up about me not prioritising my time with him.  I have been to meet one of my very dear pilot wife friend’s and her lovely family as they literally made a flying visit to the country, I’ve had lots of time to practice what I am learning on my course without interruptions and I have spent a girly night-in with my neighbouring girl friend-having a few too many mojitos without needing to consider him.  All very healthy in my opinion, I love Bf, but I also love being with my friends and spending time talking to the people I care about or doing exactly what I want too.

The great thing about his job is that it facilitates my doing this… So rather than dwelling on what his career can potentially inflict on me, or what I might be missing out on, I am focusing on enjoying each moment as it happens and enjoying all of the opportunities that it presents me with.

I had a call earlier this week from my grandmother, she was heavily burdened with worry about my father, and was in two minds whether to call me and stress me out, but I was able to listen to her and reassure her.  I felt really at peace, and it felt good to be able to support her.  I also learned a great deal about her past that I hadn’t previously known simply because I listened.  Listening to people and giving them your full attention is such a huge gift, it sounds easy, but in practice a lot of people don’t do it because they are too busy ‘waiting to talk’ rather than actively listening to people..

When my step-father died, I realised that I wanted to know everything about him, and I desperately asked everyone he knew to email me with their stories and memories about him, but most of his childhood stories will never be known to me because he is gone, and his stories died with him. Its odd, but I realised after that, that I rarely ask my older relatives about their ‘past lives’.  I think that people enjoy a chance to tell you stories and pass on their experiences.  I am glad I know a bit more about her, because she is 87 and wont be around forever.

Bf, says he has noticed huge changes in me recently, not all for the better, because I am putting my own needs ahead of his a fair bit now.  I have to say, that being ‘selfish’ at times is not all bad, as it actually enables us to be positive and independent. Also, because our needs are met, the side effect is that we are actually more capable of being supportive of others in the process. I had lost sight of that frame of mind somewhere along the way after we had our daughter, and now I have found myself again…

I am constantly reminded of my evolution as comments (like this quite shocking piece of advice from one reader to another) on old blog posts that I wrote years ago, arrive at my email inbox… The people who leave comments, and who are in the same bad place that I was when I wrote some of them remind me of how desperate I felt at times.

For a time, I considered deleting the offending posts, and even my whole blog, so that Google et al would stop delivering people to my blog for them to post and project all of their insecurities and stresses onto my blog…  For a while, the comments really bothered me, and transported me back like an emotional time machine to re-living and massaging those negative thought processes and absorbing all of their negativity like a sponge.  Now however, I feel able to distance myself from the person who wrote those posts and the people who now identify with them.  Instead of transporting myself back, and dragging myself down a horrid rabbit hole, I treat them as gentle reminders of the amazing journey I am on.

I have taken to wearing a butterfly necklace that my mum gave me recently… She bought if for me as a gift after I expressed a desire to find a nice piece of jewellery that had a butterfly on it, because after my grandmother passed away, I once asked a vicar for a way to explain death to a child… She suggested I explained it by using butterflies as a metaphor: to suggest that caterpillars do not yet comprehend the true beauty of the life ahead of them, and that their caterpillar friends would not understand it until they too, were butterflies… I really connected with this illustrative suggestion, and talked to my younger son about it after my step father passed on recently.   I know he found great comfort in the analogy.

Whenever I want to remind myself to be positively present in the moment and to be mindful of the changes I have made in myself, or if I want to connect with my father: I pause and hold the little marcasite butterfly pendant hanging around my neck.  I find that it is a great way of anchoring my thoughts and feelings, and focusing on what is going on right now.

That is my offering to anyone who struggles with ’emotional hijackings’ and rumination… It is impossible to live in yesterday, ridiculous to try and live in tomorrow, and although sometimes difficult, what we have to focus on is right now.  For me, mindfulness has been a real sanity preserver.  If you are interested in the concept of how to live free from the woes of yesterday and the fears of tomorrow, Eckhart Tolle’s book The Power of Now is a great read, but ultimately I recommend doing a course in mindfulness, and NOT reading polluting yourself with too much potentially toxic reading if you are not in the right place to distance yourself from other people’s negativity…

Support groups or discussion forums are, in my opinion a safer place for someone prone to absorbing negativity than perhaps blogs, because you have the wisdom of a whole crowd, rather than the opinion of one person and the readers who were attracted to the content of those posts by search engines and they therefore tend to be much more balanced than reading just one person’s thoughts.  I have links to a few in my side bar of my MAIN PAGE if you are interested in looking at these other resources

Sep
14

I have a new hero… I have to say, I am a self proclaimed Michael O’Leary hater… He is undoubtedly a creative marketeer, but I think his marketing tactics would be better suited to something like sleazy PR for bottom-feeding celebrities than the airline industry. Still, I guess there’s only room for one Max Clifford, and I dont imagine someone like Michael O’Sleazy taking to second place very kindly.

His latest suggestion of dispensing with First Officers and having a member of cabin crew train up to ‘land the plane’ makes a mockery of the highly skilled job that all pilots do. Actually, I’m sure you could train a member of cabin crew to ‘land the plane’, but what about when if the Captain keels over from a heart attack, or there is a serious emergency, or both? Then what?!

Clearly, this will never get passed by the CAA, but what pisses me off is that he knows this and yet still feeds off all of the press idiots that continually give him column inches and air time… I am sure he sits in his office with his PR and marketing team offering prizes for the most outlandish and ridiculous statements that he can offer as words of ridicule to bite the hand that feeds him.

I think that’s why I love the Thromby Air site so much (picture above is from Robert E.Coli’s Thromby Air site)… It’s great to see someone finally openly having a pop back at these people’s expense…

This video makes me chuckle too… Clearly a lot of people love to hate him:

I also have to applaud the honesty of this actual Ryanair Pilot, Captain Morgan Fischer, who has stood up to his own CEO’s outlandish and unsafe remarks by suggesting that the CEO be sacked and replaced with a member of cabin crew instead… Though, knowing Bf, and how fearful he is of his reputation within the company, I have to wonder if he is about to retire, has a job offer elsewhere to go to already, has been put up to it by Michael O’Leary himself, either that or is thinking of a change in career paths… Who knows!

Sep
11

Right… I have reached the end of my tether… My ‘fat jeans’ don’t fit me any more! In all the chaos of this year, my physical exercise has really been the element that has given, and I am eating tons of chocolate! Not really a good balance, but I am focusing on what is right for me right now, which is making sure that I can surrender to the ‘wisdom of no escape’ and accepting what I cannot change even if I don’t feel like embracing it-rather than winding myself up into a physically great but tense mess…

I often find myself craving the solitude and peace of walking by the sea or up a mountain. I had a panic attack about a week ago after Bio Dad passed out on the phone. I really thought for about 90 seconds, that he had died of a heart attack, because he has advanced familial dilated cardiomyopathy and chronic heart failure and he stopped talking mid-sentence.

He lives alone over an hour away from us, and there was nothing at all that I could do except listen to the silence and shout and cry down the phone to Dad in the hopes that he was still alive… It was like horrible deja-vous

Thankfully, he did wake up, but I think it means that he is declining into another episode of heart failure. His legs are numb a lot, he is exhausted, forgetful and clearly struggling to get enough oxygen. I know that it is a terminal condition, as is his advanced familial dilated cardiomyopathy; so I have to accept the inevitable, that sooner or later it will become reality instead of just fear… But I also have to cope with my powerlessness to change that too..

Its horrid, because people say kind things to me in an attempt to comfort me about my Step-Dad’s death: by telling me that it’s wonderful that he lived the life that he wanted to, without making restrictions, suffering debilitating pain or knowledge of his impending death, but all of those words now haunt me when I think about my Bio Dad’s sickness…

  • He is on a total fluid restriction of 1 Litre per day for the rest of his life.
  • He is on a salt restriction for the rest of his life.
  • He is never allowed to drink alcohol again.
  • He is on an ever-changing cocktail of drugs with nasty side effects
  • He is not getting enough oxygen in his blood because of his heart failure-which means that his quality of life is very limited, and he sounds drunk from slurring as a result.
  • He is depressed and forgetful
  • Every time I talk to him he wants to tell me about solicitors and wills.
  • He never calls me or the rest of my family any more, and has become incredibly withdrawn and insular
  • He admitted to me the other day that he has given up hope on ever meeting a companion because he has no desire to be intimate with a woman any more.

It is painfully obvious that he is going through all of the things that people comfort me that my other Dad escaped.

Bf was away when it happened, and so were the boys, and I honestly just didn’t know how to ‘come back down’ from the panicky, fearful place that the flash back had taken me to. But my daughter was my anchor, and I took her out to get some time out…

When Bf got home the next morning, I know I was distant and angry at him for never being there to support me when I need him the most. It’s stupid because he cannot help it… He’s an a long-haul airline pilot, so by default, it’s his job to be away, and I knew what I was signing up for when I got into a relationship with a (then future) pilot! But to be honest, you never imagine THIS stuff happening, I considered other negative adpects like jealousy, but not really having to go through family tragedy alone… The truth is: you never actually know what that means until the shit hits the fan, and you’re left holding the fort down alone.

At least when I was a single parent, people felt the desire to offer assistance when I went through difficulties, but when you are in a relationship, even a relationship with someone who is half way around the world at times, people just assume that you have everything you need, regardless of whether he spends a lot of time away.

The night he came home, at 4am I was awake ruminating and working myself up about all this. I got up, got dressed and told Bf I was leaving… I felt like I needed to run away from everything and everyone, even the kids, I felt that I was surplus to requirements and that I wanted to run away from everything and disappear into thin air… Bf was very sweet, but I ‘pushed’ him away (not physically), I told him I didn’t want him, that he was not supportive enough, and that I was leaving him.

As I got to the front door, I realised that at 4am, I had nowhere to go, and the irrational side to my thinking suddenly dawned on me, so I sat downstairs and cried for about 30 minutes instead. The next day I made an appointment to see my doctor who suggested antidepressants… That actually really annoyed me, because what I am going through is stress, grief, and bereavement, NOT clinical depression! I hate that the doctors in my practice are so trigger-happy with the prescription pad! There is no magic pill for grief, and I know that antidepressants would not take away the stressful issues that are beyond my control.

I accepted a prescription for beta blockers for the panic, but only as a precaution in case I ever get the uncontrollable desire to run like the clappers again. Thankfully though, my course of mindfulness was due to start the next day, and I am finding the practice to be very useful in gaining peace in surrender to ‘no escape’.

I am making more time for myself, and taking care to meet my needs, I even indulged myself in a full body massage at the manor house a few miles away on Tuesday, and a head, neck, back and shoulder massage today. I know that unless I look after my own needs and put myself first for a change, that nobody else will… My mum is in her own hell with her problems, and I doubt she’d even notice if I disappeared (I do feel for her, and actually booked her a massage today too as a surprise treat)… Bio Dad is too ill to notice if I dont call, and too insular and forgetful to make calls. Bf is self centred, and although he is making a lot of effort after my recent issues, it doesn’t come naturally to him to put my needs ahead of any of his own. Children are dependents, not there to look after your needs (though some parents seem
To forget that) and friends are great, but there is only so much you can expect of them…

I have learned the hard way this year, that I am the only person that can be responsible for my happiness, and I am taking that responsibility seriously; because only by allowing myself permission to put myself first, can I have a meaningful relationship with others and be a decent mother to my children. So I am trying to surrender to acceptance, and let go of control over what I cannot change, and do the best that I can at the things I can.

Sep
03

So, I’m going to do the unthinkable now and shatter the illusion that living with my pilot is bliss. Recently, we’ve been going through a rough patch…  This year has, without a single doubt, been the hardest of my life… For those of you who aren’t regular readers:

  • December – My work at my prior job dried up, and I got very ill, barely avoiding hospitalisation
  • January – I was notified by te company I had been contracting for for 2 and a half years, that they were going under, and could not offer me any future work
  • February – Spent fruitlessly job hunting
  • March – I nearly lost my biological dad, as he ended up on a life support machine in ITU after a pacemaker operation
  • April – I got a new job, but tragically lost my step-father under extremely traumatic circumstances the next day, then got fired for grieving 2 weeks later, and found out the day after that that my biological dad was terminally ill. Then my Mum had a breakdown, and Bf got stranded in Asia for 2 weeks by the ash cloud that grounded all European flights
  • May – I didn’t bother to celebrate my birthday… I just felt too traumatised by april, and was stressed out at at the prospect of Bf being trapped away again by the ash cloud…
  • June – We went away on a few trips which was nice, apart from Bf stressing me out about spending time with my kids on holiday
  • July – I started my new job, amid a ton of stress from Bf about ‘the impact that my job was having on our family life’…

Yeah, that last bit made me laugh too… Seriously, the long-haul airline pilot had the audacity to complain that ‘the responsibility of having to look after his own daughter (my sons were away with their Dad) was taking it’s toll on his free time and affecting his life to a point that he wasn’t happy with.  I wanted to shout at him “HELLO!?! My life has revolved around fitting in with your career for the past 4 years, I moved homes and areas for his career, stayed home to mother his child because I struggled to find childcare that would fit around his career, put up with the stress of him starting a long-haul career, which he didn’t make easy, and he stands there whining that he has to babysit his own child?!?!

Then he had the cheek to get all misogynist on me when I asked him to get some washing out of the machine that I put in before I went to work. I got home from a day at work, to find his model aeroplane in parts all over the table, and our daughter being entertained by the neighbour’s child… He had been building his model all day, and hadn’t taken our daughter out to do anything, simply let her play with the neighbour’s kid and watch TV… He had made her lunch, but that was the extent of his efforts.  He also hadn’t bothered to hang out the washing… It was just ONE thing for crying out loud!

When I asked him why, he shocked me with his response… He shouted “I dont know ANYONE else who has to put up with this from their WOMAN! This is b*llshit.  That is woman’s work!”  I was literally stunned into silence (but not for long)… Recently, he’s been hanging out with a friend who I used to really like.  This man is a pilot that Bf trained with in his cadet days… He now works for another airline, but lives close by.  He is married to a wonderful woman that I have had the pleasure of meeting a handful of times… She was not what I expected though.  Bf told me early into our dating, that his friend wanted to be a long-haul pilot, and was dating this girl from the far east, but that he couldn’t work out why, as she barely spoke English, didn’t ‘get’ Western humour, and he said it couldn’t have been the sex, because from what he could tell during their house-sharing days, they never did it… I asked if he was faithful to her, and although he never mentioned specific details, he indicated that he had ‘heard’ about things happening which would indicate ‘not’.  I must adit, knowing that they had met at uni here in the UK, I was a little surprised at her apparent inability to communicate  well or grasp the culture, and her willingness to be in a relationship like that.

Bf explained that he felt that his friend just wanted a wife who would be loyal and who’s nature was to accept his career goals and personal wishes without question!  In short, that the cultural differences and communication barriers were trumped by his desire to have an ‘obedient’ wife.  I was pretty stunned, but Bf didn’t seem to have a high opinion of it either.  Over the years, news filtered through to us… It seemed that they were getting married. I said, well there must be more to it then! Bf seemed sceptical. They had not invited anyone to the wedding except immediate family, and he said the wedding only came about because they had expired all of her student, girlfriend and fiance visas.

Some years later, I arranged a big party, and invited this man, and his now wife to come.  I found her to be not only pleasant, but also very articulate and switched-on.  When I said this to Bf, he said she definitely seemed to have better communication skills since the last time he saw her, he noted that it was only logical that she would become more Westernised, since she was living in the UK. Last summer, they moved near to us, after he was given a base transfer by his airline.

Initially this was great, he and Bf get along very well. It was summer, and they often went out flying models and riding bikes together… It had a very positive impact on our relationship, but with hindsight, I think it likely that his friend was happy at the move, and the summer put a positive spin on life for his friend, which rubbed off on Bf.  Then, as the winter drew in, the novelty of relocating had worn off.  This area is expensive to live in, and they could not afford to buy a property, and his wife was working in the city.  I remember once asking him what it was she did, and his dismissive response was something along the lines of “Oh some kind of administrative crap… Keeps her busy until she has babies.” This was my initial first-hand indication that he was not quite the ‘charmer’ he portrayed.

As the nights drew in, healthy outdoor pursuits were exchanged for swimming sessions, followed by binge drinking sessions at the pub.  I can only imagine the topic of conversation, but I got little flashes of it on occasions when Bf came home drunk… He was often aggressive and verbally abusive when returning from drinking sessions with this guy (something he doesn’t do when he drinks with other friends).  I’d say things like I bet your friend doesnt go home and say stuff like that to his wife! Only to be met with retorts along the lines of “Believe me, life is not happy in THAT little camp.”

2 weeks ago was the final straw, I said to him “Listen, I am working more hours than you are right now, the least you can do is look after your daughter and hang out the washing!”  He said “I am the main bread-winner and I pay the lions share of the bills!”  I literally could not believe my ears! Surely we were a team? I have turned down very highly paid jobs over the years in order to prioritise our family and facilitate his career! I argued this point, only to be told that I had promised him that I would not prioritise a career over motherhood, and that I should do something less demanding!

I nearly exploded! I explained that I was not prioritising a career ‘above’ the needs of my family, but that I did want and deserve a fulfilling career! I am lucky enough to have found something that I consider to be a decent career, with the flexibility of working part-time and to be able to work from home for some of that time. Then I realised the source of his comments, and suggested that he might be better off finding himself a far-eastern bride to put up with his misogynist crap… His response “maybe I should… ‘you lot’ (westernised women) want equal rights, but you still expect to be treated like a lady!”

I seriously don’t know how I stayed so level headed and calm, because his comment made me want to rip off his head and shove it up his arrogant arse! Instead, I said “Oh, is that right? …Is your Daughter included in that generalisation too then? Do you want her to grow up believing she is worthy of having respect, equality and love; or do you want her to be with someone who expects her to raise a child, keep house and hold down a job whilst her partner idly indulges in a ‘part-time’ hobby career and fannies around with toy planes whilst complaining how hard done by he is that she doesn’t pull her weight?” Bingo! That comment hit the mark, and he came down of his stupid high horse. He apologised, and just said he was struggling to adjust to me working so hard.

Then just over a week and a half ago, he ended up on another unplanned binge drinking session with this friend… He had been supposed to be home by 7pm for a special dinner I was making just for the 2 of us.  I rang him at 6:30 to ask him to grab an ingredient I had forgotten from the supermarket on his way home.  Out of nowhere, he said “I am not going to be home within the next hour… It’s been brought to my attention, that I shouldn’t put up with your shit!”  I hung up the phone on him, shaking with anger at his venom, and his friend’s obvious disrespect for his wife, and clearly me too!

I sent Bf a text saying “I did not deserve to be spoken to that way, if you want to get into this state with X, then please dont come home like it… Stay with him, since he loves your company so much when you’re drunk, as I do not. I’ll see you tomorrow x”  It took all my effort to put the kiss, but I didn’t want to have an argument with him drunk.  He did come home very quickly after that, and pretended to forget his prior comments, but when I declined his drunken amorous advances, he sneered at me… He was apologetic the next day, but it means nothing to apologise if the person keeps doing the thing they’re apologising for!

A few nights later,  I went out for a girl friend’s birthday night out. We had a fantastic, funny night and had a few drinks and danced like we didn’t care!  I received a lot of male attention and it made me realise that Bf needs to buck up his ideas.  I am not a bad catch, I have a good job, adorable children, I am intelligent, I take care of myself, and damn it, I deserve respect!  I had kind of forgotten that in all the trauma of this year, and so had Bf!

I didnt lap up the attention, despite the way he’s been behaving of late, I do love Bf and I respect the boundaries of our relationship, but a few days later, one of the men in question, a friend of a friend, sent me a Facebook friend request and a message with his mobile phone number, saying it would lovely to hear from me if I ever fancied a chat.  I accepted his request, not with the intention of acting on his flattery, but  I guess because it was flattering, and Bf hasn’t been so appreciative in quite some time.  I feel rather ashamed with hindsight, as I would not have wanted Bf to do the same to me.

Then Bf went out on another drinking session with ‘First Officer Misogynist’.  When he came home, he was pretty disrespectful, he even threw a tea-towel in my face!  It might sound petty, and it’s hardly domestic violence at it’s worst, but it did hurt and I was very upset by the total lack of respect.  I started to type a text message to my new Facebook friend to complain about Bf, but then thought to myself ‘why am I doing this? This guy has clearly expressed an interest in me, I have no interest in him, and all it will achieve is confusion.’

So I stopped typing, put my phone down, and talked out my feelings with Bf.  I made him understand why his actions were inappropriate and hurtful.  Then I got a call from a good friend and was upstairs chatting, and Bf appeared at the door way, with my mobile in his hand, and a face like thunder… It took me a few seconds to realise that he had gone through my phone and found the drafted message that I never sent… I had forgotten to clear it off the screen.  Just my luck to get caught when I had already resolved to do the ‘right thing’!

He called me every name under the sun, and naturally wanted to know who the guy was, etc.  To be honest, I had reached my limit. I was so calm… I apologised, because even the thought of sending that message had been entirely inappropriate, but I told him that he had been awful to me recently, and that I had come to realise that I didn’t need to put up with it, because there were plenty of men who would appreciate me if he didn’t want to make a go of it with me!  He jibed back with some pretty insulting words, but we did eventually make our peace, though he was still in a bit of a sulk when we went to bed.  The next morning I woke to find an empty bed. He’d apparently been up pacing the house since 5am feeling sick… I didn’t care. I have felt like that a lot recently and he has not been too great at being there for me through my grief… A part of me took comfort in it, at least this man was not the robot-pilot I had started to believe he was turning into! I was glad to see his pain, because it meant that he was still capable of feeling emotional about me!  I think my shift in attitude was a wake up call for him…

He had to go on a trip a few days later, and I got so many texts, Skypes and calls, that I couldnt fail to feel appreciated! But when he got back, he arranged to go for a ‘swim’ and drinks with FO Misogynist again. My heart sank on the phone as he told me, but I decided not to try persuade him not to, as this just seems to amplify his resentment and anger. Instead I said, “okay, but if you get drunk with him, don’t bother coming home tonight…. If you get drunk, stay at his place in the spare room, because I dont want you coming home to treat me like dirt!”

Then I went to a work leaving do.  I was on annual leave, and so wasn’t planning to go, as I had my daughter with me, but I thought, oh heck, why not?  At 6pm I got a text from Bf, and didn’t even bother to check what it said… Knowing he was out with FO Misogynist, I could safely assume it would be something that would piss me off.  Then I saw a missed call from him, and called him back.  He could hear music and asked me where I was, I could hear concern in his tone.  He told me that he was home, he had come home early to spend time with me!

I stayed out a while longer because it was a work do, and being a new-ish job, I was enjoying a chance to talk to my new colleagues outside of work.  When I got home, Bf was depressed, my boss had suggested we go back, but he said he was too tired and gave me a ton of grief to guilt me out of going back without my daughter.  I stayed, but I said, “remember this feeling of the boot being on the other foot next time you are on a trip and I get pissed because you stayed out until silly o’clock!”

I asked why he had come home and not stayed out drinking with his friend.  He said that he could not stay with his friend, because his wife would not appreciate the two of them getting back to hers drunk! HA!  FINALLY! A break through, FO Misogynist might be feeding MY bf with all this ‘don’t put up with her shit’ rubbish, but underneath it all, he knew which side his bread was buttered. God I loathe men who portray false bravado, and dish out misogynist advice, and then creep home to their wives like obedient puppies!  I think maybe the penny had dropped with Bf too. I hope so.

Then he told me I had changed over the past few months (by which he meant I am less tolerant of his ‘my way’ attitude).  He blamed my job, my friends, and anything else besides his own shitty attitude… I told him a few home truths, and said that since my Dad died, I could not see the point in putting up with his attitude when he drinks with his friend, and comes home with a rotten attitude.  I think I even said ‘you dont like it when the boot is on the other foot do you?!” Then he confessed that he didn’t, and that he didnt want to be my next ex, and watch someone else take his place.  I found myself softening a little… He hasn’t displayed vulnerability for so long!

We went to bed, and an hour or so after I went to sleep I was woken by him kissing me… He had tears in his eyes and he was very tender and passionate, treating me to some tenderness that I have missed for a long time.  I asked him where all this came from, and he said “you wanted something different.”  My heart melted… I had really thought that FO Misogynist had stolen ‘my’ Bf away from me forever, but he was back!  He told me over and over again that he loved me, and spent the whole night with his arms wrapped around me, and I think that something clicked and he finally ‘got it’.

I have to say, that was over a week ago now, and he is still being extremely appreciative and loving and mindful, so I am feeling extremely positive about our future again.  I guess in some ways, the grief has taken its toll on both of us, still is.

Aug
20

Okay, so this is something a bit light-hearted, and it certainly brightened up my day and made me chuckle… Actually that is an understatement, I had tears in my eyes from laughing so much!  I got an email today from someone called Richard E. Coli, who claimed to be the CEO of a new budget airline called Thromby Air.  The email read as follows:

Hi,

Just a quick update regarding some recent innovations at Thromby Air.

We have heard much discussion of “standing room only” plans of some
of our Low Cost airline competitors.  Thromby has done better…
Following a lengthy development program based on the Tetris computer
game, our new high density passenger loading plan is ready for launch.
You can read about it here.

As if that isn’t brilliant enough, we have also announced a new preferred
seating program called “Thromby-Bay”.  With this revolutionary system
passengers are able to bid for their preferred seat.  Why pay a fixed price
to sit near the front and still find yourself seated next to a sweaty tap
salesman who wants to tell you his life’s story?  Bid to get the seat, and
neighbor, of your choice*.  Learn more about Thromby-Bay here.

Remember, nobody cares more about your money than Thromby Air.

Regards,

Robert E. Coli
CEO Thromby Air – Lowest of the Low
www.thrombyair.com

…Intrigued, I HAD to check out the site… I can’t remember the last time that I laughed that much…

I especially liked their complaints section and their in the news page (this page is probably my favourite of all of them, as it is a collection of all of the most far fetched, but scarily close-to-the bone humour of the whole site)… The whole site is an absolute riot, and very clever!  I urge you to click on each and every page on the site and have a good giggle… This is definitely on to watch girls and gals!

One very funny thing, and I’m pretty sure it was unintentional on the part of the advertising companies, is that airlines including Easy Jet, KLM, and others had an adverts on the site! HAHAHAHAHA! It’s either sheer brilliance or ignorant irony on the part of any budget airline to advertise and link themselves with this site…

I was also highly amused that on the Thromby Air Management Training Page the ads that google ads had generated (through key work rich tagging systems) were actually from bona-fide Speech and Management training companies!  either way, it only added to my joy.  In fairness, this site is far more aligned to the famously ridiculous PR circus that Michael O’Leary plays with Ryanair, rather than Easy Jet… Though, being a US based site, I imagine it’s just a big old mish-mash of humour based on the wide array of Budget Airline PR that has amused us over the years.

I will now forever think of SLAPs (Surcharges for Low Awareness Passengers) when I hear about the ‘hidden’ charges that airlines are imposing on passengers for silly ‘extras’

To the brain behind Thromby Air and ‘Richard E. Coli’, thank you, what a terrific site.. I hope you continue to add to it and provide us all with plenty of laughter!

Jul
29

I had another bad dream the other night… I have taken sleeping tablets every night since, and seem to have avoided dreaming at all as a result…

I dont remember all of it, but I remember fighting with my ex husband. He an I have been arguing a lot recently (did I mention that his silly young girlfriend is pregnant again? She’s due a year after their last one popped out, and he’s already using it as an excuse to be a loser to my sons). Any way… In my dream I was fighting with him and I ended up murdering him!  I felt no remorse, until I looked down and saw that the bloody body lying on the ground in front of me was my  terminally ill father’s.   I woke up in floods of tears!

I cannot tell you how traumatising these nightmares are, even after you wakeup and realise it was just a dream.

Thank Goodness that Bf was home and not off jetting around in the tropics somewhere… Not that he was much good. Pilots are so pragmatic about stuff like that. But I have to say that I was glad he was there!

Jul
21

I had more vivid nightmares the night before last… In the first, I was waiting in the airport with Baby. We were about to go on a trip to an Island near the one we’ve just visited, and Bf was already with the crew planning the flight and doing his pre-flight checks. After going through airport security, I realise with horror that I forgot to check in my suitcase-and that I left it at home! I rush back home in a taxi to grab it, and make it back inside of half an hour.  The stress of the frantic journey is overwhelming and I feel sick to the pit of my stomach for the whole time. I try to send a text to Bf about it, but he must have his phone switched off.  In the end, by the time I got back to the airport, we have missed the flight.

I woke from that dream feeling really stressed out, but relieved that it was only a dream, and then realised how stupid the scenario was. However, I proceeded to go back into a very similar dream, only that time, instead of forgetting my suitcase. I was in the departure lounge, and I get a phone call on my mobile phone informing me that my Dad has just passed away. I am completely overwhelmed and distressed by the news, and desperately want to contact Bf… However, in much the same way as before, he is un-contactable.  I feel incredibly frustrated and stressed, that despite the fact that we are probably only separated by less than 100 feet, that I am completely unable to communicate my distress to him.  I end up leaving the airport to get to my father without managing to speak with him.

I woke up from that one in a sweaty mess, and lay awake feeling thoroughly stressed out and upset, and worried that if I went back to sleep I’d just torture myself with a different scenario instead!  I am not sure why I am having these nightmares. Last night, I took a sleeping tablet, and thankfully avoided the restless night.  I can only imagine that it is a combination of the stress of the past few months, the fact that Bf has been unable to be as supportive as I would have liked because he has been away on trips when awful things have happened, the heat and the stress of wanting to do well at my new job after my experiences at the last place.

I went to my mindful meditation class today, and explained my frustrations about my lack of sleep, and as it transpired that other people in the group were having issues with anxiety and hectic routines too, we practiced a ‘walking meditation’.  I really didn’t enjoy the walking meditation. In the past I have practiced sitting meditations, and body scan meditations (laying down).

The teacher asked us to stand for a while, with our eyes closed and concentrate on our breathing, becoming aware of any sensations in our bodies, noticing things like where we felt our weight supported in the soles of our feet (heels, mid foot, ball of foot, etc).  She invited us to shift our weight around and notice the sensations with the changes.  I started to sway involuntarily a bit, and then I felt really frustrated because I couldn’t relax as much as I do with the sitting or body scan (laying down) meditations that I have practiced so far.  Then she asked us to start walking very slowly, noticing the sensations in the soles of our feet as we shifted our weight across the foot, and pay attention to how we balanced as we lifted our feet, etc…  Every now and again she would say things like: ‘relax, notice if you are holding any tension or tightness anywhere, and how that makes you feel, relax your stomach muscles… If your mind starts to wander… Notice where it wanders to and gently pull yourself back to into the practice, by anchoring your thoughts to your breathing.’

I tried to follow her instructions, but found myself feeling self conscious about my posture, and felt silly as I thought about how silly we must all look walking around in slow motion. It reminded me of my old after school club drama lessons, which made me even less able to relax.  I began to find myself feeling frustrated that I was not getting as much out of this practice as I wanted to. I felt out of my comfort zone. After going through various exercises of paying attention to synchronous breathing in and out to the actions of each foot, and then paying attention to the sounds we could hear, and the sensations, she asked us to try to focus on one part of the experience alone.  I wanted to focus on the sensations in my feet, but noticed that I became pre-occupied with the noises instead.

Then finally, she invited us back to our chairs, to discuss our experiences. As I sat back in the chair, I felt like I was back in a comfort zone.   I explained that I didn’t get as much out of the walking meditation as previous meditations, and that I wasn’t as relaxed as a result… However, the teacher said that mine is a normal reaction to a first walking meditation, and that you actually learn more from noticing your reactions to these situations than you do by simply relaxing into something you can already do (and is in your comfort zone)… Since mindful meditation is about acceptance, if I struggle to be at ease with this; I am being too self critical, or have placed unfair expectations on myself about how I should feel about it, then I am likely to carry this through into life in other areas too.

It was interesting to note that some of the others found the walking meditation really relaxing, and one lady experienced similar self consciousness about her posture and relaxing her tummy as I did, except that she then mentally hardened herself, and said she dealt with it by saying to herself “Oh I dont care, Im going to do it any way”.  The teacher suggested to her that this kind of defensive reaction sets her apart from others in her mind, and she is therefore putting up barriers between her and other people in situations where she feels anxious or stressed, she said that although subtle, these little things that we do can have wider implications on our relationships with others than we realise!  She invited her to explore her feelings as she notices them, but to be curious instead of judgemental and self-critical or assumptive, and to be kind/gentle to ourselves.

So, as she pointed out, breaking outside of your comfort zone, though awkward, can be a good ‘growing’ pain, as long as we can be open and receptive to exploring our reactions.  I am finding the whole this SO fascinating.  I actually can’t wait for next week. I am going to attempt to do some more walking meditation this week.  Any way, although it’s only 9:30, I must go to bed, Bf has to be up at 4am for a short-haul flight, and I have no doubt that he’ll wake me too, and I cannot afford to be tired as I am still in the courting period at work!

Jul
17

Last night, I went to bed restless. I am not sure why. I struggled to get to sleep, probably because I was up too late on my new MacBook pro.  Bf rang me, and we chatted at about 1am, he was just about to go out to dinner after a hard afternoon’s shopping.  He hired a car down route and drove off to some radio controlled model shop to buy cheap parts for one some of his models… One of the perks of the country he is in at the moment is cheaper goods than here in the UK.  The downfall is the time zone difference.  He was just about to go for a night out at a Jazz bar with the captain, the hosties had all piled off to somewhere that neither of them fancied going.

He told me that he’d buzz me when he got back, if it was okay with me, to say goodnight.  After that, it took me over an hour to get to sleep.  When I eventually did, I ended up having horrible nightmares.  One that I remember vividly, is clearly a reflection on my anxieties about death and health issues surrounding my loved ones at the moment, and probably as a direct result of a little rumination about the news that my family friend was just diagnosed with pancreatic cancer… So here’s how it went:

I went into hospital for routine checks on my heart, and gave in a blood sample, then I went to collect the results after some time had passed (the details between are hazy).  The nurse checks my name and seems hesitant… She suggests taking another blood sample, and I tell her I hate needles, can they please check again. She looks down, and then concerned whispers to another nurse.  She returns, and informs me that she is sorry to inform me, but I have ‘blood disease’.  “What does that mean?” I ask. She tells me that they need to run further tests, and I press her for more detailed information, but she is reluctant… So I start to push more specifically, is it related to leukemia? I ask… She asks me if I came alone… I tell her, no, I have my children with me, and point over to the play area.  A pained expression appears on her face, as she asks me whether there is anyone that can come to help me look after them.

At that moment, I start to panic, and ask her again if it might be cancer related.  She doesn’t answer, and I repeat my question again… She says something along the lines of needing to admit me for more tests and asks if there is anyone that I might call to come and help out with the kids.  I look her in the eyes directly and say, ‘look, I know you cannot tell me yet what this is, but is cancer something you suspect it might be.’ The answer is simply ‘yes, we are not able to rule that out.’

The dream felt so real… I remember looking at the kids and feeling sick… What would happen to them if I died?  How often would the boys see their sister?  Who would bring the boys up if I died?  …Please God not my awful Ex!  Then I started to think who I could ask to help me with them and support me today?  Bf was on a trip, I couldn’t possibly worry him with the information when he had to operate a flight home in less than 24 hours… I couldn’t tell my mum, she’d lose the plot and fall apart after everything she’s been through recently… Dad is terminally ill himself, so I can’t tell him, it would finish him off and send him to an early grave!  I suddenly felt very alone, and very sick, but focussed on how this would affect all of the people I love so much.

Then, Bf saved me… He rang me and woke me up! Never in my life have I been so glad to be woken from sleep at 6am!  I still felt so nauseated that I could cry. I know it was a dream, and that blood disease is a stupid term that I made up in my head, but the panic, fear, and sorrow was extremely real, and I had a hard time banishing them, even though they made no sense now I had woken.  I told Bf all about the dream, and he was very sweet about comforting me, despite the fact that I know him well enough to know that his pragmatic pilot mind was probably thinking I was just being emotionally irrational.

It was nice to have a little verbal hug from him just as I needed it the most.  Thankfully, I was able to quickly drift-off again into a nice un-memorable dream.  Any way, must go to bed now, and have some sweet dreams. I have downloaded some nice sleep meditations from iTunes especially!

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