Another rainy morning here in South Wales.
I want to write something but I can’t really think of anything to write about. I’ve had a fairly busy couple of days, for me. Yesterday I ran into my ex again. This time I decided to be friendly, as being cold the couple of days previously had left me with such a feeling of melancholy. As a result of my increased warmth, I was invited to join T. for a hot drink outside a local cafe.
For most of our conversation this was a lively and pleasant experience. Another friend walked past and invited me for coffee this morning. We discussed art and T. encouraged me to try sketching on the street. He relayed how this was a sociable and satisfying experience and that perhaps my abstract paintings were somewhat insular, which is true. He talked about his family, who are currently visiting en masse, as they do every summer. I told him how bored I have been and the volunteer work I have signed up for.
In the time it took me to drink the tea he bought for me I noticed that his demeanour suddenly altered and he looked slightly disturbed. Soon after he said that he would have to go shortly. Not long after that he announced that he was leaving, even though he still had quite a bit of coffee in his cup. I realised that he was asking me to leave. So I got up and carried on up the street to peruse the second hand shops, as I had been planning to do when I happened upon him.
Obviously this is a bit of an odd denouement, socially speaking. But I have got used to this sort of behaviour from T. In truth I was just pleased that he had invited me to join him, and we managed to have a nice chat. I realised that in withdrawing my affection I had facilitated him reaching out to me. Where previously he had said he was unable to meet me for coffee, he was now inviting me to join him. As there has been some progress in my mental health — I am planning community activities for myself for the first time since moving here — I was happy to relay my progress to him. I think this came of something of a surprise. Now this morning I have been round to my old friend Liz’s house for a coffee.
I have employed a similar tactic with Liz. I wasn’t convinced that she was really extending herself with enough enthusiasm for me to bother to making a trip around to her place for a drink, even though she has invited me round a few times. Yesterday I noticed a change in her expression of good will — she really did mean it. She wanted to see me, and so I changed my tactic and went around to see her.
What I am trying to say is that I am done with people taking me for granted. I do’t expect miracles from people, no one is perfect, but I do require an acceptable level of respect. I take this to mean that I am improving in my mental health. My standards in relationships are increasing and so these same relationships, even though not perfect, are improving. It is the first time that I have really experienced change for a long time. This is also reflected in my changed relationship to finance. I am protecting and taking care of my resources of money and time. I have limits. I am employing strategies of self-care. These changes have taken a long long time to arise. I’m grateful that I didn’t have to wait forever.