The Man Who Changed My Life

Sitting down to write is becoming harder and harder. I cannot hear my voice anymore and sometimes, I wonder if I can hear it but don’t recognise it as mine. I was a spoiled writer for a while. I sat down, and the words would just flow out of my fingers and onto the screen. It is not like that anymore. It all stopped being easy in 2015.

In September 2015, I met Dan. Dan was a dream come true, and with him, I grew considerably. He helped me to become an adult. And I was already 32 at that time. I never met Dan in person, we had arranged to meet, we even were in the same room, but we chickened out. There was a massive build-up to that day we didn’t meet. Three years. We spoke on the phone, shared secrets, had incredible phone-sex too. It all sounds so weird and unreal. But it was not. Something fit. Profoundly. I felt abject loneliness without you. The love I felt was real. The pain I felt was real too. Dan is a musician. I used to love his music, his compositions and his lyrics. His music made me into the person I am today. And yet, I can’t listen to it anymore. Too much of him, too much that does not fit the person I saw glimpses of.
Truth is, he treated me like the best thing that could have ever happened to him. Truth is, he treated me like a piece of shit when he was busy with his life. Our relationship (if you want to label it as such) followed a particular pattern. He would get in touch, and I had to drop everything, or he would be upset and grow silent for weeks. I didn’t want that to happen, and so I did everything I could to humour him, make him feel happy and understood, give him a reason to come back. At the same time, it is not as if he manipulated me into doing things I didn’t want. But he just didn’t care about me.

I was a welcome distraction. When he was agitated or nervous, I was there to take the edge off. In the beginning, we spoke about many things; we had a real bond. But that changed and to this day, I am not sure why. He grew distant, and I became a mere sex-toy or masturbating fantasy; I knew exactly what to say to make him cum – and he knew what I needed to hear to get off too. I hated it, but his attention was too important to me to stop it. We were toxic. Several times he tried to end things. The first time he did it, I experienced my first anxiety attack. It was humiliating, and he was the one who helped me through it. We did not end things. The second time he tried to end things, he told me to ignore him and his messages. I was fed up and agreed. Until he got in touch a couple of months later and everything was like it used to be. I spent nights with him on the phone. Sleep deprived, my kids noticed the change in me.
I was happy and bubbly when he was a part of my life. Then he cut me off again. And came back and cut me off.

In the meantime, it was 2017. He was planning a tour with his band, and the last concert was in my home country. We made plans to meet, and I arranged everything – even a hotel room. But days before the big day he ignored my messages and didn’t get in touch anymore. It was a horrible time. I cannot deal with rejection and being rejected and ignored by him – wow… It was the worst feeling ever. Our opportunity slipped through our fingers. It took months before he got in touch again. And this time, he really broke me with a couple of things he said. It really hit me hard. And some of those things keep repeating in my head. Almost a year later. Who cares? Not me. It doesn’t matter; you don’t matter. I was never interested in you personally, I don’t care about anything you do. It was just for my pleasure. Even now, I get angry when I think about it. How could I have been so obsessed and blind? Why is he a charming man to most people and he showed his asshole side to me?

Between September 2015 and 2018, Dan was a constant inspiration in my writing. When I was finally able to make peace with the situation, I stopped writing. I have not kept any evidence or reminder of our time together. Sadly; or maybe it is better this way.

He is in everything I write, the memories we didn’t make; the emotions I wanted him to have; the thoughts I projected on him. I wanted him to be someone he couldn’t be for me. And I suffered to the point where I was ready to destroy myself.

For a while, I wondered how I could even live when he didn’t like me. I became obsessed and kept checking his social media channels and to keep him in my life like this. It was unhealthy. And I am ashamed of my behaviour. He never promised me anything. Quite the opposite actually. Will it hurt you if I tell you that I can never fall in love with you? I cannot love you.

And I realised something very important: what I felt for him was not love. I just liked the attention. His attention. He saw me, paid me compliments. As long as there is cum in my balls and a mind in my brain; I will never forget you. In his own way, he made me see myself with different eyes. I am grateful for that. And if it hadn’t been for him and a massive telephone bill, I would not have started to work.

Missing Dan became a comfortable feeling. It allowed me to wallow in my misery and melancholy without taking responsibility for it – he was to blame. Now I know that it is bullshit. He is not to blame at all. It was not his fault. It wasn’t mine either. I guess I was just one of a few after all. He used to say that it was different with me. I loved it when he said that, but I never believed it. I am naive when it comes to him, but not that naive. Still, I wonder why he was so open and trusting with me; incautious. Does he do the same with all the women who are drawn to him like moths to a flame? It stings to know that I was probably replaced for someone else — younger, fitter, freer.

In a different life, we might be the perfect couple. In this life, we are best when we are apart. You are the only one who can fill the holes in my mind, in my soul, and in my heart.

I am sure that I am breaking a couple of promises I made to him by writing this, but it is time. It is time to let go.

I didn’t share too many details now, but if I polished our story and added more romance, it could be a bestseller. Famous rock musician meets married mother of three and saves her from a dead-end life. Heck, I even lost 20kg because he challenged me.

Dan had a lot of power over me, but I don’t regret it. I gave it willingly. I needed this. I needed a man like him in my life. He woke me up. Because of him, I learned a lot about myself, and I am very grateful about that.

Today, with months of distance between us, I can think back with a fond smile. He is not a bad guy. He just doesn’t give a damn about me. And he is fighting his own battles, like every one of us does.

Why do I feel the need to write this now? I don’t know. Maybe because I am finally able to say that this chapter of my life is definitely over. My own behaviour in this entire relationship was new to me. I was overwhelming and intense – still am; I am not sure where this intensity came from. I would have run too. Some days I miss the feeling of him in my soul. I miss the words he said, and I miss the way he made me feel. And I allow myself to feel that way. After all, he was an important part of my story. He let me go through hell without knowing it. He raised me up – but that he knew.

So, in the end, Dan is gone. My muse and inner voice are gone too. The woman I was for and with him does not exist anymore. Just tiny parts stayed the same. Who am I? Who cares? And why can’t I hear my writing voice anymore? It doesn’t matter. All that matters is that I learned my lesson well. And no matter how damaged and bruised I am because of all of this; I don’t hold any grudges; I would probably do it all again.

I just want him to be happy; I want him to find serenity and love – because he deserves it; even if it is not with me.

Cathy

(In italics are direct quotes…)

101 things I dislike

Throwback to 2016 when I wrote this list. It’s been a long time, and I updated it somewhat — not a lot.

Can you relate?

Without fear of being judged (read: with near panic like fear of being judged) I will try to come up with 101 things I don’t like.

1. The colour orange

2. Flying

3. The cold weather

4. Snow

5. Chocolate

6. Ketchup

7. Christmas songs and decorations in November

8. Waiting

9. Being ordered around

10. People who don’t say thank you

11. Rude people

12. Unanswered questions

13. Lemon

14. birds

15. Feathers

16. The sound of my alarm clock

17. Being tickled

18. Being taken for granted

19. Negative people

20. Emotional vampires

21. Instruments that are out of tune

22. Cocky people

23. Jealousy

24. Drivers not setting the turn signal

25. Wondering if my English is good enough and if others understand what I am trying to say

26. Doubting myself

27. People who make lots of noise when they are eating (!! Important one)

28. Fruit

29. Killing animals – even flies

30. Not being taken seriously

31. People who aren’t getting the job done right

32. Belching

33. The smell of vomit

34. Touching door handles in public spaces

35. Not seeing anything at a concert

36. Payment declined – for no reason

37. Forgetting my pin code

38. Water touching my ears (anything touching my ears)

39. Swimming

40. Crowds

41. Ignorance

42. The smell of cold smoke

43. Sprite or any sweet beverage

44. Anything bitter

45. Having a stuffed nose

46. Being surprised

47. Offering presents

48. Shopping for clothes

49. Animals

50. Meat

51. Saying goodbye

52. Deadlines

53. Gory horror movies

54. Going to church

55. Thinking about negative things

56. Mess left by the kids after eating nuts or grains

57. Jazz

58. Musicals

59. Long fingernails

60. Not having enough sleep

61. Chanel no 5

62. Visiting a home for disabled people

63. The sound of chalk on a blackboard

64. Expensive rents or mortgages

65. Working in a garden

66. Sketching, drawing, painting

67. Pens that aren’t working

68. Coffee with sugar

69. My double chin

70. Milk

71. Hairy feet

72. Star wars

73. Harry Potter

74. Lord of the rings

75. The way eyes itch from allergies

76. Almonds and nuts

77. Bread (with the exception of French baguette)

78. No toilet paper when I am on the loo

79. Autocorrect

80. Forgetting to save my work when I just wrote 500+ words

81. 0 likes on stories or poems I thought turned out great; 21 likes on mediocre poems or stories

82. Questions with obvious answers

83. Gossip

84. Talking bad behind someone’s back

85. Losing track of people who once were an important part of my life

86. Wasting time (mine and the time of others too)

87. Forgetting things

88. Broken promises

89. Being unable to speak straight sentences lately (stuttering, not finding the right words)

90. Dentists

91. Being late (me or people being late)

92. Being intense

93. Migraines

94. Fishing for more things I dislike

95. No network or wifi

96. Social media knows everything about us (bye bye Facebook)

97. Being watched while crying

98. Being stared at

99. Not knowing how other people are seeing me

100. Oranges

101. That I found 100 things I dislike…

Are you surprised? Why? Now, what do you think?

I must confess…

…that my loneliness/is killing me now/

Sorry… Britney wanted to sing along.

So… My confession.

Yesterday I listened to many records, and I even wrote about it. It felt so good. I still feel the ripples of the music I heard reverberating in my soul.

But… As much as I praised vinyl, I don’t own many records. They are very expensive, and I made a rule to just invest in vinyl that is special to me.

As for CDs… I own close to 2000 of them now. Of course, they don’t look as good (or special or edgy) on pictures than vinyl does.

I wondered today: who cares? No one does. I mean… If music affects me and you can’t relate to that, then it doesn’t matter on which devices I am listening. Plain and simple, no?

Music is my daily companion. And once in a while, like yesterday, I get the chance to immerse myself in. I hadn’t done that in such a long time, and these hours were precious. Priceless, really. As you probably noticed, I shared poems afterwards. Inspired by the music.

When I was a child, I had a walkman. I found an old radio with chipped plastic corners. Later, I got a stereo (when I was 9). Music was by safe haven ever since I was a child. Lyrics touched me. Made me feel strong. Made me feel weak. Made me cry. Made me laugh. I feel strongly when I listen to music. And I am well aware that most people cannot relate. But it is a part of who I am.

I am not a particularly huge fan of this band or that. I think I’ve grown out of that. But there is one band – Anathema – which I listened to since I was 15. Twenty years. I fall back onto them again and again because their music is like a soundtrack of my life. Their lyrics touched me and still do. It gives me strength. It makes me weak. I saw them three times. Last time was last November, and shortly after their gig, I wrote a post on this very blog. Something personal. (Link to when you click on “post“).

I don’t have many passions in my life. Music is one. (Listening, and I can sing okay.) Writing is the other passion. And often I am not sure if I am any good at it. I believe that I am. But that one (1) star on Goodreads makes me worry. Am I overestimating myself and my skills?

I have a friend who keeps telling me that if I invested in advertisement for my book Unquiet Minds, I could find worldwide fame. I don’t want that. I just want a couple more people to let me know that I touched them. Maybe it is all pretense. Maybe it is all just a pile of shit.

Words are falling out of my fingers, and I cannot stop them. One thought after the next.

Randomness.

By the way… I went to the movies today. I saw a Luxembourgish movie. Superjhemp retörns. Other superheroes are young and handsome and skilled. We have Superjhemp, an average middle-aged man who is working a dull day job. He is soft around the middle and gets his superpower from cheese (Kachkéis – cancoillotte) and beer. He flies with both hands in his pockets and has a fable to fly through closed windows. Overall, he is very Luxembourgish. As so often, this movie was adapted from the comics with the same name. And it was hilarious. I doubt though that non-Luxembourgers will find it funny. But it was.

Ok… So… This escalated quickly. All just to say, that I am an impostor and that I only own (+/-) 30 vinyls.

Thank you for allowing me this space to ramble.

Vote for my book. And buy it. If you want a signed copy, we can make that happen too. Get in touch: catherine.micqu@gmail.com

Thank you.

Cathy

Let this new week begin. 💜