Empty, by The Cranberries, was one of my favourite songs as a teenager. I could only aspire to the incredible Dolores O’Riordan’s vocal talents, but I would sing this to myself in my room, quietly, when I thought nobody could hear.

Today this song popped into my head and, as I don’t have any of my old CDs, I looked it up on YouTube.

Unfortunately, the song was preceded by an ad for an ovulation predictor kit – the last thing I want to see when I’m reflecting on how all of my plans fell through my hands!

For a couple of blissful days over Easter, I thought my beloved ex was coming home for good.

And then I made a classic mistake: I thought he was angry at me, I tried to clarify the situation, I made him angry for real by “forcing” him to “understand” my feelings, I cried, which  made him angrier, I tried to mend things and I just made him angrier still by talking when he just wanted me to be quiet and let him sleep.

He can’t bear my compulsion to make up after an argument, to fix things, to reconcile immediately, and so my best efforts are worse than pointless: they’re ruinous.

I would love to stop, to be the perfect partner, but I have my own needs (however unhinged they may be), and I can’t simply go to sleep when my misery is so extreme that I’m squashing thoughts of self-harm, but the feelings still demand an escape, and, for example, cause vomiting and chest pain.

I picked myself up and tried again the next day.

Keep hoping. He’s come home. He still loves you. Be patient – you’ve put him through a lot. Be patient and kind and don’t hurt yourself and everything will be OK.

The next night, he decided to leave again. And here I am. Empty.


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