A Woman Down

I never really liked dancing anyway 😠😂

I do, but not when my favourite, Will Mellor, gets voted off of the UK’s Strictly Come Dancing. It feels personal, I feel attacked. I was quite enjoying the view.

That Matt and Bill don’t feel threatened by my clothed-male-appreciating, of course, is a bonus. In retrospect then women like me know that we don’t stand a chance with someone like Mr Mellor, but that doesn’t mean to say that we don’t appreciate it while it’s in front of us. Will has a lot going for him; he’s kind, funny, sensitive. That he can move and he’s quite pleasing on the eye, too? His wife is a lucky woman.

I’m pouty for a few minutes, but I’m soon over it.

“Wait, wait” I say to Matt, I rest my head on my hand on the arm of the sofa and sigh in a mockery of the way that he did on Saturday when England lost to France. It was sensitive at the time and I wouldn’t have crossed that line back then, but I think the would is closing over now.

“Alright, you. You little shit” he chides. I grin and make haste before he can swat me.

By nightfall we settle down to Gino D’Acampo’s new series, Cooking Up Love.

I find it quite interesting, because for as much as being partnered up with someone holds no guarantees for a relationship, there is no reason why it wouldn’t either. Lust happens sometimes when we first meet someone of course, but working together can be a great way to forge a deeper bond. Matt and I have cooked together a few times, and both of us enjoyed ourselves. It’s a great way to maintain a connection, but can it establish a new one? That’s the question.

“There is a very important difference you must know between pecorino and pecorina, yes?” Gino says. “Pecorino is this hard sheep’s cheese, and pecorina is-” Gino continues, he gestures for his romantically-inclined students to huddle closer and they dutifully obldige.

“Doggy-style” he finishes. Everyone giggles.

“Trust me when I tell you, if you ask for pecorina in Italy then you are going to get it, okay?” Gino adds. They all laugh harder still. I make a note to myself.

“Alla pecorina, per favore”? It’ll go right up there with my current favourite, “voglio divorarti”.

Incidentally, sto amando imparare la lingua Italiana. It’s so… tip-of-the-tongue. Kind of a tomgue gymnastics, if you will.

It’s much, much easier for me to learn than French. With no offence meant to my French readers, of course.

Last night I experienced an unusual side effect of recent events, something that, perhaps until now, I wasn’t even aware was an issue. As I checked my emails, I froze with panic when I saw an email in my spam folder. It was as much ‘my past’ as it was ‘the past’, as in, it was as much the visceral reaction I used to have to my mother stalking me online as it was a reaction to the idea of my ex contacting me after however many weeks. After I’d dared to be quite okay without him once again.

What have I done wrong now?

“You know, it shoudn’t be that way. My past shouldn’t affect me like that, I shouldn’t feel controlled and afraid” I say to Matt, he agrees. He still can’t fathom how my mother found me and condemned me eighteen months after I posted a question on Yahoo! Answers. A question that I posted, might I add, after she fully supported us getting our own place together, but then withdrew her support as soon as we actually got offered somewhere. Frustrated, I asked for guidance on how best to talk to her about the matter.

It took me all of two weeks to realise that her steadfast reluctance was really only because, with me out of the family home, she would lose a lot of the income that she once had. With me gone, my mother would be forced to look for work instead of depending on the state benefits that I bought in.

I’ve realised as of late that there really are two victims in abuse: Those who have been abused, and those who feel that they have been wronged or betrayed by those who they abused. It also go to show why support workers have such a tough time working out who is who.

I have been enjoying more of Bill lately, though it’s been an enjoyment in a way that feels special and right, unintentional but not wrong. We’ve had our issues before, yet instead of tearing one another apart we were able to communicate about them openly, honestly and respectfully. Bill gave me the assurances that I needed where I needed them and he set the record straight where I needed that, too. It allowed us to work and to move forward to be where we are today.

We are friends, but then we also sort of aren’t. We decided to cool off the relationship, but then we kind of haven’t.

I think “in too deep” would be one way to define us now.

I spent last night on the sofa, though for no other reason than because Matt is complaining about a headache and vertigo. I suggest Computer Screen Sydrome, after all, he returned yesterday after a week off work. By morning though it’s clear that it’s not that; he’s croaky, dizzy, sniffly.

I’m disturbed in the early hours by thoughts of Bill, though it’s nothing much in particular. I shake those thoughts off.

No, I’m fine.

I hate been fussed over when bits of me ache. I mean, not hate exactly, but I much prefer to be left to sleep.

Wait, why do my legs ache? Why does my throat feel scratchy? Why is my heart racing?

I feel fussy and grumbly and I’m not sure why, then it dawns on me; I’ve got Matt’s cold.

It baffles both of us how he got it by working from home, but then the pieces fall together – his father was here on Saturday and he’s infected us both. We’re not sure what with exactly, but he has. My nose feels clear for now but my chest feels heavy and my voice already breaks from time to time, I also sound like Whacky Races’ Muttley when I laugh. Pain relief relieves the aches and the fever temperarily, but not for long. Water is more important than food for now; we’re both on a mission to flush the bugger out that way.

I’m pissed – with eleven days to the party, being struck off with a cold was the very last thing that I needed right now. I have games to plan and prepare, desserts to make, six pygmy corydoras to acclimatise tomorrow and four emerald blue guppies coming sometime soon to add some flair to my tank and get the copepod population under control. I get pissy when I’m ill, but not because I ache and hurt – because it makes this productive, stubborn little madam so unproductive.

And because, and with absolutely no thanks to the way that the common cold affects my cerebral ataxia, I tend to stumble around the joint like I drank Bristol’s bars dry singlehandedly.

I really hope that I can start turning this monalogue around, and maybe come next week then I’ll be over this and I’ll have things back under control and I’ll be saying “hey, remember how last week I had nothing done and I was dying a death and Christmas felt so hopeless? Yeah, well the decs are up, the games are made, the dessert is in the freezer and the Christmas cards have gone out”. That wound be amazing if I can do that, but for now I’m back to the couch for a few more hours of feeling rather sorry for myself!

With love & (socially distanced) hugs,

Helen xx

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