IMG_1373Not just my radio silence over the last couple of month. The thick, unsettling silence of my empty house tonight, as everyone is off somewhere for half-term.

Anyway, I know you’ve probably all but lost sleep over the terrible cliffhanger I left you with in early February. But at last the wait is over, as I can finally reveal (drumroll, crescendo: ) that I chose the terribly paid but interesting 6 months contract over a permanent and better paid, but not so interesting job. That’s it for the nutshell version.

The real-life version involved hopes, plans and tears, suspense and twists, but the funny thing is that in a few years, no-one, not even I, will remember the high drama.

And over a month ago now, I started working in communication for the international relations department of a local university. It has been a weird experience: Not working in English for the first time ever, learning about the subtle codes of the French workplace, and about University life in the 21st century.

Learning to forego anything not strictly falling within the Essentials category has also got its challenges, since Essentials do not include flowers, haircuts, new clothes or eating out. So I go around slightly dishevelled, wearing my last two pairs of still smart-looking trousers. But overall, it’s been nice: Work is fairly relaxed, my colleagues are friendly, and I like what I do.

All good then? Mmmwell, not quite…. And not quite involves old fears coming back to haunt me, as Mr Xmas and I talk about moving in together and plans for the future.

Gradually, my one-day-out-of-the-blue-he’s-gonna-leave-me-like-the-others-did radar has gone into overdrive. I scrutinise Mr Xmas’ face, and every word, finding warning signs everywhere in a nasty kind of PTSD-like fashion.

After many months of relative peace and security, it feels like being thrown back in time. Makes me want to howl and hide…

This song by Belgian singer Jacques Brel has been in my head a lot, recently. It came out in 1977, but (like me, ahem…) hasn’t got a wrinkle: It talks about a strange collection of things, which somehow manages to evoke our universal struggles with broken hearts, the passing of time, and friendship. I love it. So here’s to you, my online friends…

Jacques Brel – Voir un ami pleurer (English subtitles on the video)

Voir un ami pleurer from Franco Pachtoune on Vimeo.


6 thoughts on “Silence

  1. Hello again. I have been absent from the blogosphere for some time and am now only just catching up with you again. Yes it’s hard to trust again I suppose after your two other relationships but there are many good men out there just waiting for the right woman to come along. So live the life you have been given at the moment. Enjoy your time with Mr Xmas and if it turns into something more meaningful then enjoy that too. BTW I can say that because for 15 years after my husband died I lived alone, thinking I would never find another person to share my life with and then two years ago my architect turned up in my life and all is good for us. I hope that you will soon be writing the same thing about you and Mr Xmas.

  2. Dear Judith, it is lovely to hear that you have found yourself a nice man, I love the renewed enrgey and joy in your latest posts. I have known Mr Xmas for a few years, without a doubt he is very different from his predecessors, and had been waiting for me a long time… It’s just hard to shake off past traumas completely and trust again. Certain situations trigger flashbacks, and our increasing commitment has made me feel vulnerable.

  3. I am glad that you are enjoying your current work and surviving the challenges of ‘Essentials’.
    As for the PTS, it may take many years for that to disappear. The best we can ever do is allow it to only hum in the background and not let it overwhelm.
    best wishes..

    • Dear Elizabeth, it is lovely to hear from you, and really lovely to see you on such a positive new page in your life. My counsellor said the same thing as you, that the PTS will take years to get to that humming in the background stage, and that only the experience of situations that trigger it, followed by not being abandonned will help me heal. It’s not pleasant, but I am feeling better already. Look after your self ! πŸ™‚

  4. I agree with Judith. You never know when a decent guy will turn up in your life, and in what guise, but in the meantime I hope you have an enjoyable time with Mr Xmas even if he turns out not to be forever. I am always struck by what an nice and interesting person you are, and I feel sure things will work out for you. In the meantime, well done on the job choice. That was courageous and determined, and I’m sure that approach will have benefits over time, Nice to see a post from you πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Peter, I love that you always have something nice to say about people… I think Mr Xmas is a decent guy, at any rate a completely different personality to T and Mr Nice. Job is going well, I just got promoted (6 weeks in, that’s not too bad). Wishing you lots of good things Mr I’m-a-published-writer πŸ˜‰ xx

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