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…)

Throwback – I’ll never stop giving up

*stream of consciousness*

I sit, and I wait. Sitting and waiting. And I hope that no one will ask what I am waiting for. I would answer “Life”, and they would quote John Lennon “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans”. And they wouldn’t even know that it’s not a simple quote but that this sentence is a line of lyrics from a song he wrote for his beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful boy Julian. And I would bite my tongue because information like that is plenty in my brain. It’s just – no one cares about it. And that’s why I keep sitting and waiting. For life to happen. And to understand it. But that is not entirely true. Because from my place, I have a nice view. I observe and analyse, and I keep to myself. The things I know, are not the things I need to share. But on the other hand, all the half-truths and snippets of misinformation I know, are not the ones others want to hear. It’s a circle. And if I don’t find the right corner to get off, I will stumble, and my clumsy attempt to catch myself will end with me lying face down enduring the spiral, the slipstream that brought this upon me. Upwards or downwards? Which way does it go? Maybe just sideways? Either way, I will end up puking on the floor and emptying what little is inside me. All of it, until the heaving is dry and the acrid smell of bile chases everyone away. Everyone left the building. Including me. I need to pay attention to the little things. Hold on tight to the pillars of this meagre existence, to keep myself from stumbling. And while I am doing just that, all these unfiltered thoughts are rushing down onto the screen.

I put the cigarette to my lips and inhale. No filter. Rolled with my own shaky hands. Because – yes, why? Because it is edgy. Cool people roll their cigarettes themselves. It’s all pretending anyway. Oh yes, I’m a great pretender. Who gives a crap about my cigarettes and my thoughts. But I keep writing. Someday, the romantic voice inside of my head suggests, someone will read the mix of weirdness and eclecticism my brain produces. They will beg me to publish a book – a memoir – a biography of this writer and all will be good. At least, I have dreams. The other possibility, far more probable, is that the words stay unread. I will die in a stuffy room with overflowing ashtrays and too many empty bottles.
Maybe a cat or two. Sheets of papers with the start of the next big novel is strewn across the floor and the bed — music loud and on repeat. And in the centre of it all; me. Picture me like Jimi Hendrix, suffocated on my own vomit. A rock star death. Don’t be alarmed, though. I am not a rock star. I don’t play the guitar well enough and all in all, I am just a coward who never did any drugs. On second thought, aren’t most rock stars ridden with anxiety? Isn’t that why they turn to alcohol and drugs and whatnot? Always on the hunt for the next high? But one day your brain (and your soul too), are just too used to the girls screaming your name and the papers printing your photographs, your name in the headlines. And while you pretend to crave your privacy, the thought of being left alone and forgotten scares you to death. And so you power on, with some chemical help, because you couldn’t do all the shows and interviews and all that other crap that comes with being famous, without it. I don’t envy these people at all — not one bit.

And so I stare out onto the lake. The sky is grey; the water is too. And I wait for the next idea to come up. A real writer wouldn’t wait. They would write. Or am I wrong and a real writer would draw charts and write every idea down? Being organised? Where’s the fun in that? So – no labelling my ideas. Just sitting. Waiting. Staring. Smoking. And while I am doing that, the music plays softly in the background. It’s not loud enough to drown out the voices that keep telling me that I am a waste of talent. I can still hear them judging me and how I spend the days. For them, I am doing nothing. For me, I am savouring the moment. It’s as a friend told me once: We need time to understand who we are before someone else comes along and makes us into the version they want us to be. So maybe – just maybe, my answer to the question “What are you waiting for”, would not be “Life”, but maybe the truer answer would be “To understand”. I guess the reaction would be close to the same. They would urge me to get up and do something.

But, if they don’t see it, does that really mean that I am not doing anything? Because in my mind, eccentric as it may be, I am doing a whole lot. I am not giving up.

###

Author’s Note:

Written in March 2016.

I haven’t had a cigarette this year… And, I don’t know how you feel about it, but I think that the last paragraph in this piece of writing is the most important thing I have ever written. Whenever I encounter people who are struggling with their mental health, whenever I am struggling myself, I remember these words. I am not giving up, even if people are not seeing that I am fighting.

Superpower

It is a common question: “If you had a superpower, which one would it be?”

I used to say: “I want to be invisible.” But I’ve grown out of this answer. If I were invisible, it would be to snoop around and to listen to other people speak when I am not there. Being as emotional and sensitive as I am, I am not sure I could take it though. What if people weren’t nice behind my back. Or worse, what if they didn’t talk at all?

Next option would be “reading minds.” But here too, I think I’ve grown out of it; partly for the same reasons mentioned above. Add the constant noise, because it is all or nothing. What if I can’t be a selective mind reader? I would go crazy within hours, and I would probably hide somewhere where the voice couldn’t reach me.

I think, my superpower should be teleportation. Being where I want to be and with whom I want to be in the blink of an eye. I would visit my friend in London. I am sure we have a lot to talk too, and I want to know more about her everyday life. I would visit people in New York and Texas, and in Greece too. There are people in Australia I would want to meet in person… But most of all, I would be able to visit my sister in Germany whenever I felt like it without planning the ride there or organising a hotel to stay; just pop in for a coffee and be back home a while later.

I wouldn’t want to fly, or do everything in supersonic speed. I wouldn’t want to shrink or be a giant; I wouldn’t need x-ray vision or whatever else…

I thought about invulnerability and living forever… But again, I have too many arguments against it. I could never find happiness if the people I loved died one by one. And that Queen-song comes to my mind – who wants to live forever?

I am modest, I think.

Did you ever think about superpowers? Which one is yours?

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 am made of…

…music.

Tonight I am.

Ups and downs. All the time. I had one very good week. I am not used to it and mentioned it many times. Then came the fall. It always does. Strangely, when it happens, and I try to reach out, no one is there – everyone is busy. Maybe that’s just a subjective feeling; I don’t know.

What I do know is that music is the most soothing thing for me when my mind is acting up.

I went on a date tonight. A movie date to see Bohemian Rhapsody. I grew up with music from Queen, and I know many songs. I read books about Freddie Mercury. Most notably the one by Jim Hutton. I like the band. I do. But I am not a superfan.

Hearing all those amazing songs in a movie theatre tonight was like balm for my soul. Music should always be playing this loud.

Of course, Who Wants to Live Forever made me cry, it always does.

But, the strangest thing happened too. There was something like magic in the air. The film ended, and the credits were rolling. The lights were on, and the exit doors were wide open, but the audience didn’t move. It was as if most people were just enjoying a couple more minutes of great music played loudly. And most people had that smile on their face, the blissful smile that only music or a live show can bring. It was quite extraordinary. And I loved it.

So… Shit mind and mood aside, music made me smile again tonight. It made me light. I know that tomorrow will be different again. I cried a lot these last two days, for no reason. Or seemingly so. I wish I were normal. I wish I didn’t burden people with this; with me. But I do. Because I am made of music. But I am also made of emotions. I am made of all the small pieces that make me whole. (Everyone is, I am not special)

Thank you.

stream of unedited consciousness

Today is tomorrow, agree?

I was wondering, most of my friends these days are real but online. The ones who are most important are the ones I have never pulled into my arms. What if I passed away? What if they did?

I am not suicidal, but I am thinking about accidents or things like that.

Those who follow this blog more closely might have read the name Jamie before.

Jamie was the most fantastic man. His birthday was two days ago, he would have turned 36. He passed away in 2015 from Leukemia. Jamie was my best friend. I only knew him virtually, but he was my best friend indeed. We shared everything. I trusted him, and I believe that he trusted me too. He made me a better person. I like that he keeps popping up in my thoughts almost daily. Music reminds me of him, but also other random things we talked about. When he passed away, it was a mutual friend who told me. That friend was informed by his husband. (No typo. Jamie was gay.) Although I consider Jamie my best friend, I did not know his husband. I remember when Marcus told me about Jamie’s passing. I cried for hours that day. And I felt jealous that Jamie’s husband had not gotten in touch with me personally.

Thinking back at all of this, and thinking about my current situation, I wonder how my friends would be informed. If they would be informed at all. After all, I am not on Facebook anymore. Not having Facebook feels like being alien or invisible. But at least in case of emergency or something similar, everyone would know.

I don’t want to vanish. And one of the worst thoughts for me is to be forgotten. I try to touch people… with my writing, but also with my entire daily behaviour. If I succeed, that is not for me to judge.

I just know that I am as real as I can be. Which can be intense and overwhelming for the people who are close to me.

Compared to other blogs, this one is not frequented at all. A handful of people keep checking in daily. (I see you, and I know who you are. Thank you!!) Also, ever since I have the ‘buy’-button on the blog, I haven’t sold one copy of my book. That’s okay though… I am just curious to know how it works, lol.

One thought after the other. One foot in front of the other.

Mood is still calm and serene. I should be devasted, but I am free instead. And I miss Jamie so so much.

Names…

I have three kids.

My son’s name was found because there were only 3 left on the list:

Olivier

Nicolas

Christopher.

My daughter’s name came to me in a dream. And I woke up and I knew it. There was not one doubt and no arguing.

Giulia

Julie

Julia.

My second daughter’s name was difficult to find. We had a handful of names left. And finally I wrote them on slips of paper and we drew her name out of a hat.

Amalia

Amelia

Emily.

Are names important? My kids wouldn’t be different with different names.

A rose by any other name would still smell like a rose. (Sorry, I don’t know Shakespeare in English, I can’t quote it properly)

My name is Catherine Annette. I don’t know what people think when they read or hear that name. I go by Cathy, haven’t ever known it any other way.

When we read or hear a name, we have an image in our heads. Parents know how that exact thing makes it hard to name the kids.

I am serene and at a good place right now. Yet I often wonder how others perceive me. 💜

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. 💜

Affirmation 2018

I am who I am because I fought to become this version of myself. My opinions are often not very popular, and my way of viewing people and life is a bit peculiar. But I – like you and everyone reading this and not – I am made of every choice, every thought, every emotion I ever experienced. I am who I am because no one is like me. I am unique. I am awesome. To some I am beautiful. I have flaws, and that’s okay. I am talented in my own style. I am not perfect, and sometimes, I am selfish, but… I am me and I deserve to be loved. I deserve to be seen. I deserve to be here. I am who I am. I am Cathy.