Monday, 14 July 2014

First love - first loss

I know that it is a rather traditional way to start a story but I am telling you the truth when I say that Magda was my first proper girl friend. Sure enough there had been a couple of short lived relationships that lasted a few weeks but to me Magda was the real thing. We were together for almost exactly two years and these were the best two years in what hasn't been a over-happy life.

When you are a foster child happiness can be hard to find. The sense of having no roots and no family history to share with friends and co-workers and the, sometimes overwhelming, sense of loneliness can almost unendurable.

My closest friends Eve and Ella have already described the broad-brush details of what went wrong in an earlier blog entry. It has been a tumultuous six months and not a time that I will ever forget. Indeed early 2014 is right up there in the "Didi nastiness scale" with when I was taken away from my birth parents and placed in foster care. Yes, it has been that bad!

Flying solo having once had a co-pilot isn't much fun. I have felt surrounded by grey clouds for much of the time and I've been aware, all too painfully aware, that I have been a source of much worry to my friends and foster parents alike. Believe me that wasn't through my own choice!

Do I think that Magda and I have a future? Deep, deep down in that little nugget of my brain labelled reality the answer has to be no. Magda's emotional roots and so much of what makes her who she is lie in Norway - the country of her birth. England was never her home, it was the place where she lived which is something rather different. After the break-up and her return to the parental nest we did discuss me moving to Norway to be with her. But it was always just words, not deeds. The hard fact and the one we could never find a way round was that I do not want to leave my friends,  my job and the safe familiarity of England to move overseas.

So that is the end of the story. They say that you never forget your first true love and I hope that I never forget Magda

Didi (Monday 14th July 2014)

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Remembering Magda

Ella and I liked Magda and over the last few years we have seen quite a lot of her, usually along with Didi, but sometimes on her own. Our babies Alice and Nicola loved her and when they heard her voice they used to go crawling or running to her.

The relationship between Didi and Magda started going wrong in November 2013. At the time Didi wrote, "Where before it was Didi and Magda it is now just Didi - yes I'm sorry to say that the two of us have split up. Magda has moved out of my flat and now is staying with friends on the other side of town. It was all done in a very civilised and semi-amicable way but I don't think what we once had can ever be resurrected. It's the old story being repeated for the nth time, where n is an exceptionally large number, where two people wanted different things from a relationship.

Magda was always more sensible and more laid back than me but, so it now seems, nothing could have been further from her mind than a civil partnership. When she realised that was the way my mind was starting to work she wanted out! As far as I know there wasn't any third party involved in the break up, certainly not one involving me that's for sure! We were together two years."

Ella and I hoped that things would sort themselves out but as the weeks went past we started to realise that it wasn't just one of those minor rows, soon forgotten.
At the start of December Didi wrote, "I really don't know how I would have got though the last few weeks without the support of my closest friends. I'm still struggling to come to terms with what has happened. I 100% didn't see it coming and I'm cross that I so misjudged the situation. Not for the first time my big mouth has got me into trouble.

In my job you are paid and expected to have a happy smiling face all the time. And that isn't easy when all you feel like doing is curling up in a ball and not coming out of your flat ever again. So many things in the flat remind me of Magda. Even some of the food in the cupboard are things that she particularly liked and which I will never eat. The problem is that throwing it out is like accepting that the relationship is over and that hurts like crazy!

When you have been a pair for 2 years most of the people you know only think of you in that way. So invitations from my more fringe friends have tended to dry up when they realised that I was single again. They don't seem to want an odd or spare girl at some of their events.

I haven't been out nearly as much as I used to and there is nothing more boring than sitting in your staff flat on your own for your entire day off. I haven't given much thought to Christmas. Most of what I had planned was based on the staff rota at the hotel and when Magda would be free. Now the second of those two doesn't matter any more. One thing that hasn't changed is that I will be going to see some of you lot down in South Wales at the "gathering". Be prepared for me to be in a funny mood!

I don't know how Magda is. It isn't that I don't care because I care so much that she is happy. I just haven't spoken to her or seen her for 2 weeks. That feels like a life-time. I would have her back tomorrow if that is what she wanted. She knows that but she wants time and space to think through where she goes next. I wouldn't be too shocked if she went back to Norway as I imagine she needs some TLC as much as I do."

Christmas came and the two of them were both so sad. They stayed in regular touch with us and Didi's Christmas letter updated all her friends on how things were.
"I had so much hoped that when I posted before Christmas I was going to be able to say that I was back with Magda and that everything in my life was wonderful. Well I'm not and so it isn't.

I saw Magda briefly when I was in town. She looked so sad I just wanted to rush over and give her a big hug but as I was on the Park-and-Ride bus and she was walking into the town bookshop I couldn't. I did get off the bus at the first rather than the second stop and hurried back to see if I could find her but I couldn't. It was all very upsetting.

The Christmas rota at the hotel is a shambles. When people have a party around Christmas or New Year they don't give a thought to the poor suckers who have be on duty at the venue. Customers have paid their money and they expect decent service. This means plenty of staff around but also means that the staff at the hotel don't get much of the holiday time off.

Somehow I have managed to get the 24th, 25th and 26th off work but the price I have had to pay is working the next 8 days in a row (27th Dec to 3rd January). I am going to Eve and Ella's "Open House" on Christmas Day, staying there until late afternoon and then driving down to near Penarth (west of Cardiff) to attend the South Wales bash on Boxing Day. I will need to set off from there early on the 27th to get back to the hotel to start my shift in the afternoon. So no drinking for me on either day.

The weather forecast is dire for the next couple of days but I reckon I will travel almost regardless. Hopefully I will see quite a few of the readers of this blog at one or other of the events!"

Over Christmas it seemed that the worst was over. It was all quite dramatic and romantic with Magda arriving unannounced at the South Wales bash to talk to Didi. There were lots of tears and laughter and what we hoped was a happy ending. 
But it wasn't to be. Within a few weeks Magda had flown back to Norway. The story that was put out for public consumption was that it was for a holiday with her parents but now we know that she didn't expect to be coming back to England.
Magda and Didi exchanged regular "just good friends" emails for the next few months but in early July 2014 even that stopped. So that is where we are today - one good friend probably gone from our lives for good and another friend left emotionally battered.
I have a lovely picture of Didi, Magda and our two babies sitting together in our lounge and I hope that perhaps one day fate will allow us all to meet up again. 

Never push a loyal person to the point where they no longer care.

Honey - you need to think about this!

"Never push a loyal person to the point where they no longer care"
Too often since we left the group you have tested our loyalty. We have defended you publically and privately against people who think you are an "egotistical nob head".
But now it seems that they were right after all?
"The forum is mine, mine, mine and if I want to destroy it I can, so there!"
Your forum friends have stopped accepting your explanations at face value. You have never acknowledged your own responsibility for the decline of the group and maybe it's time to leave the conspiracy theories behind and to stop being paranoid. There will always be people around who disagree with you, criticise you or disrespect you. Don't waste a lot of time and energy proving them right, prove them wrong instead. 
Making up lame excuses is as harmful and stressful as lying. Stop creating problems or exaggerating them to show yourself in a better light. Your defensive attitude makes your forum friends and potential supporters uncomfortable. So uncomfortable that many of them stopped posting and left the group.
Learn to say you're sorry without launching into a long-winded explanation that spreads the blame all over the place. Stop hiding behind fictitious reasons for the lack of posters. Trolls were never the issue, it was always down to the moderators doing too little to see the forum through the quiet spells that all groups have.
If you had invested your energy into finding solutions rather than creating excuses the forum would still be around. I think we all know that!
Eve July 13th 2014
Rest in Peace "Adoption and Fostering in the UK"