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Older & Wiser

Well… it’s not often I actually add any detail to my life… but today is different.
Firstly, let me apologise (again) for being bad at keeping this up to date. This time I’ve actually had a valid excuse… I’ve been courting. No, really… it’s true!! Well, I was courting…
Before Christmas, I hooked up with a lassie called Elizabeth Barnes, or Liz to her friends / work colleagues. I’ve known Liz through work, though beyond a few conversations which were interesting, never thought she’d be interested in anything more than friends. One night in Chelmsford town centre, we met, danced a little & kissed once or twice, and I walked her home.
We met up a few times more before the holidays & over Christmas we texted, and indeed phoned each other… It was going well. When I returned to England after the break it actually started to get better, meeting up more often and the relationship growing more. Now Liz didn’t come without her complications… she was just getting over a problematic ex, she was a divorcee, a former partner had passed away… but she also came with her intrigue… her dad was from Belfast, her grandad and cousins all lived in Belfast, so she knew a bit more about where I was from than most of the girls I’d met in Engerland. And, she was genuinely funny and I enjoyed her company greatly.
And so it progressed… until it went wrong… somehow.
On a Sunday in late January, we kissed goodbye, and left each other, as we’d done before. During the week, we texted as normal. On one of the weekdays, she went out with old work colleagues, and got home at two in the morning. At this point I think I started to notice a change. Terms she used in her texts were increasingly neutral (i.e. calling me "mate", rather than "hun" – no, it had nothing to do with Glasgow Rangers FC before you ask). On the Friday, she disappeared from text… until the Sunday evening. This was odd, as Liz could talk for England… quiet, I realised, was not a good sign.
On the Sunday she let me know, via text, that at a friend’s birthday party, she’d bumped in to her ex-boyfriend (see above) in a club. On telling him that he should go away & enjoy himself, leaving her alone, she felt that was the last of it for the night. She’d had some problems with him calling & texting after they’d split up, however, upon returing from the ladies, he grabbed her, dragged her out to the alley way outside the club (via an alarmed, back door), pinned her to the wall & threatened her. A shocking incident, I’m sure you’ll agree!! With having set off the alarm, she said, the bouncers arrived upon which he attacked one of them. The police arrived shortly afterwards & he attacked one of them!! Crazed!!
The police wanted her to press charges, but Liz wasn’t sure she wanted to agravate a relationship which was already stressed. You can understand it, really. Anyways, Liz was obviously stressed at this point…
You can understand it really…. ex-boyfriend traps you physically, he’s big, and he threatens you. No wonder you’d be stressed!! I remember when I was at Uni & I received my  death threat. It was a worrying few days… though as with everything in NI I guess you get one with your life & put the evil-doers to the back of your mind. I guess, receiving a threat from someone you once knew very well is even more shocking. Anyways, Liz asked me for some time to deal with the incident… I naturally tried to give her room.
After a week or so, I was beginning to struggle with the worry, I wasn’t sleeping well at all. My girl was under threat. Apparently the ex was also missing at this point according to Liz. I didn’t get much of an explanation of what ‘missing’ meant and I wasn’t going to ask, but I took it to mean he was not at home or work. Who knows, really??
After two weeks, nothing much had changed. She occasionally responded to text messages saying she was getting it tough… she never answered the phone saying she didn’t want to talk… then came a shocker. She told me she wasn’t living at home, nor was she using the mobile number I had for contact. I say shocker, because she didn’t tell me she had moved away, or that she had changed her mobile profile. There was obviously a complete absence of trust in me… but no reason as to why. Of all the feelings, the absence of trust is a hard one to take, particularly when you’re trying to help someone you care about.
Having taken that one on board, as we moved into week three, I was beginning to wonder more around how Liz was getting on in her head. I wasn’t able to speak to her, I was increasingly worried about her worrying and I was getting piecemeal text messages by way of interaction. I had no parameters around how long things were going pan out with the police, no idea how long she’d be looking for room… I was dealing with a brick wall almost.
I’d probably called once or twice in the two weeks prior, but in the third week, I probably called twice at least. I also texted… but this time I got no response, until the Sunday evening. Shocker number two!! Liz said she could do without the phonecalls and texts, particularly at "silly times" of the clock. Fair enough, I’d called one weekend after midnight. Now the late calls probably weren’t much of a help, although she’s not adverse to the practice herself, so I was a little taken aback with that one so, I apologised. Then she came out with the line… I was to leave her alone. Full stop.
I was staggered!!
She was a girl I’d liked, more & more. A girl who made me laugh, who was quite pretty, and who shared many of the same values as I did. She’d been under stress, and I’d tried to be the supportive guy. And now, after spending three weeks, of acting oddly, not working with me at the relationship (for reasonable reasons) she was telling me to leave her alone?! Odd I thought so I asked her why… via text and also I left a voicemail asking why?? What had I done to annoy her?? Weren’t we sharing a relationship?! I got a text message which was even more disturbing… apparently my voicemail "crossed" a line, that She didn’t owe me an answer & didn’t need to justify her actions. Who was I to ask for a "why"?! I was only courting the girl, eh??
I’ve not heard from her since.
On the Monday morning, I was due to work from home in Chelmsford… until my VPN software decided not to connect. When I can’t work from home, I work from Chelmsford OSC, where, as fate would have it, Liz works. It was actually a pretty good work day, I got lots done, but in the midst of it all, I saw Liz several times, as she walked past me at my desk. She wouldn’t even make eye contact with me. I felt almost guilt like… Yet I’ve done nothing wrong. I would argue I did everything right. I tried to be supportive. I tried to give her her space, I tried to be there to talk… yet some how I was made to feel like I’d screwed up… Liz claimed in her last text message that she tried to do "this nicely" by her "silence". What "this" was I wasn’t quite sure… though I assume it was dumping me. I’m yet to hear that line of course… Yet there is still no "why" as to what shehad done.
I have asked, twice… but I’m not a gluton for punishment. I’ve not had an answer, and I suspect I never will get an answer… however, I’m at a point now where I appreciate that she’s done me a favour. I liked Liz, she certainly was a catch for her age, with a good figure and a nice smile. She made me laugh when we met. That said, she treated me with contempt in the last three weeks, and someone who acted like she did doesn’t deserve my time. So by treating me so badly, she made me realise that I deserved better. That’s a great lesson for me to learn. I’ve deleted her number from my phone, I don’t have to contact her through work so once I manage to forget her from my day to day life, I’m clear. I’d be her friend, certainly, I doubt I’d court her again if she asked (though I doubt that’d happen), but I get the impression that she doesn’t care, and that saddens me to a point.
I don’t know what happened… as I said, I’m sure I never will… but I can’t help but wonder why did happen… was I too supportive?? Was I over the top in trying to back off?? Did she meet someone else who she liked more?? And old work colleague perhaps on that work night out?? Who knows?! Perhaps one of her friends will tell me some day…
So, what’s the lesson?? Well, if something appears too good to be true, it usually is. Really, trust me, at the moment… it really is. When you think "this is great", be afraid!!

About Mcfaggen

Having grown up in Co. Fermanagh where most of my family still reside, I thought it would be worthwhile to keep a blog of my travels around the rest of the UK, Europe and the World.


One thought on “Older & Wiser

  1. You\’re right…  you do deserve better.

    Posted by Catherine | February 27, 2008, 18:58

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