Wednesday, 30 April 2014

The art of really knowing that you love someone

Dear world,

I feel closer to F than I have ever felt before. Significantly closer. The way I see him has changed in the last two weeks. Before that he was just my boyfriend. I didn't know if it would be me and him for good, didn't know whether we could work after this whole cancer thing was over and we would have a normal life. But now, I just feel like we belong together. We are a team. He's not my boyfriend, he's my partner. My lobster (reference to Friends, where it is said that lobsters fall in love and mate for life, walking around claw in claw.) I even told him that he was my lobster, and he responded by holding out his hand like a claw for me to take, haha :) Which I obviously did!

The weeks before this were actually really tough! I went to Denmark for two weeks, which was nice in that I got to see my family and a lot of old friends. But at the same time, F started on radiotherapy, which has turned out to be absolutely dreadful. We had all thought that radiotherapy would be much more durable than the chemo. We knew that his skin could get itchy and uncomfortable, and various other small side effects could occur, but we expected much less nausea and fatigue. In reality he has hardly been able to get out of bed of pure exhaustion and discomfort. Every single day has been like the worst days of chem. It was hard to hear about.

When I returned to England, I had assumed that I would be visiting F immediately, since all other times, when I have been in Denmark he has been counting down with me for my return, hardly able to wait the last few days, and he has come with his mum to pick me up at the airport. This time he didn't want to see me at all. Not for the first 10 days I was in England. He would barely talk to me on the phone when I called, and hardly replied to any of my messages. I got really scared that the cancer was just becoming too big a burden in his life, so he would not have mental space for a girlfriend. The cancer sometimes turns him into a different person: depressed, grumpy, angry, withdrawn. I know that this is not who he really is, and I try to be as overbearing with any rude comment he makes when he is like that, or when he ignores me and wants to be alone. But after 3 weeks of not being himself, I got really scared that he was turning into this other person more permanently.

Finally, I put a bit more pressure on him, to let me come see him. His mum had told me she really thought he would benefit from a visit, so I was more insisting than I would have been otherwise. I told him I didn't mind to pay the £30 for the train at all, or the 3 hour ride. And that I wouldn't be disappointed or bored if he wanted to sleep while I was there. He initially said he felt ill and just didn't want company, which I had to accept as an excuse. But then suddenly, after we had talked about other things for a while, he gave in and said he wanted me to come. He told me that after really hearing my voice again, he realised how much he missed me, and said that the main reason he didn't want me to come was actually that he was feeling self conscious about his appearance these days. I offered to come un-showered with greasy hair and no make-up or deodorant on, wearing old clothes. He said that would actually make him feel better, so in the end that was what I did. Very weird experience to be dressing down and trying to look particularly bad when you go see someone you love for the first time in a month.

And once I was there, oh my! He was just the most wonderful, caring, affectionate person I have ever known him to be. He was so happy to see me, and so happy I came in the end. I had not expected anything from the visit, I had prepared for him sleeping a lot of the time I was there, and being moody for most of the rest. But I was just so taken aback by how loving he was to me, and how deeply I connected to this human being! I have never in my life felt closer to another person. And I could see on him that he felt the same. It was really quite an extraordinary experience. I thought to myself that nothing will be able to tear us apart. If he still cares this much about me, after having put almost everything else in his life on pause because he just cannot care about it at the moment, then we are really special. I am really struggling to explain this. I just felt so strongly and surely about him, and even though I always worry that he is thinking the worst, this time I was so sure he felt the same way about me.

After I went back to Oxford, the feeling that we belong together just stayed with me, like a relieving peace in me that came from knowing that we can do it all. He won't ever stop loving me. I know that. And God knows I won't ever stop loving him either :)

It just feels really good to be so sure.
I have spent a while away from him since then, and I have also visited him once in the meantime, which was much less intense than the first visit, but still very nice. And nothing is going to chance my mind about this.

He is my lobster!


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