Abida Mian's Blog

An outlier that's living, learning and being myself…

Archive for August, 2013

The kindness of friends, slowly recovering

Lately, I’ve been going to work over the weekend, I find that it helps distract and focus my mind and eases the anxiety. I’d be working away, and someone would knock on the window, smiling at me. Either it’s a local resident who’s seen me around for years or a client. They are bewildered as to why I’m working, but it’s the one thing I have control over.

Watching my dad’s health deteriorate has been the major factor in making me really depressed. Thankfully, although I try and hibernate away from people, some try and help me. One such friend, whom I’ve known for a few years offered to look after me after seeing how thin and tired I was looking. He’s in his sixties and lives in an amazing house in Eaton Square, he has his own driver, cook and housekeeper. I’m very simple and feel uncomfortable when someone does something for me. I get told off for not going to see him often, but I explain it’s because I don’t want to be a burden on friends when I don’t feel like smiling or having a conversation. He got my favourite meals of roast dinner followed by jam roly-poly with custard made especially for me, my face lit up – but he still had to force me to eat all of it. I provide some humour at least, as he laughs at my suggestion of doing the dishes, and he comments on the fact that I open the door to the car before the driver does, because I find it disrespectful for someone to have to open a door for me.

As a former doctor, he tells me that I look anaemic and my eyes are really tired. I sleep about five hours on average, I try and exercise to help relieve the stress and it’s been helping somewhat. He’s really nice and says that he’s rattling around the house with no wife, kids or other family, so I am welcome to come stay and hide there whenever I feel down.

He’s kind of like a father figure, giving me advice, and also lecturing me on how disappearing is immature and selfish on my part, when he couldn’t get hold of me, he was worried something had happened. I apologised as when I’m depressed, I switch off from everything. I then get probed on my love-life, I said that I hadn’t really felt like dating, but at the start of the year I saw a divorced man that I really liked but didn’t want children, then took a break and briefly saw another guy, very generous but his plans were to move abroad so I gathered he was only after something casual, then after some advice from my boys at work who are in their early to mid twenties, advised me that I could easily pass for someone their age (such sweeties) so I should aim for someone younger as apparently there’s something wrong if a man is in their forties and unmarried meaning they have no intention of changing lifestyle – not sure I completely agree with that comment!

After deleting my dating profile, I had the intention of taking a break and letting romance come naturally. Out of the blue, I get a message via my blog from a guy from Denmark. He went to some effort in composing it, and I googled his name and got an idea about him. Obviously it’s a bit of a distance, but he mentioned that if we hit it off in time there was a possibility that he could work from the London office, and so it wouldn’t be an issue. When I wrote a blog on genetically engineering a man, it was like I got my wish answered. He’s 6ft4in, super smart, and does what most men fail to do, keeps his promises, when he says he will call, he does and even if he’s running five minutes late, he’ll text to say so. We Skype and spend about 2hrs chatting nearly everyday, he loves children and is very close to my own age, which I’ve never experienced before. Fingers crossed 🙂

I’m very grateful to have nice people in my life even when I don’t deserve it at times.

Facial Disfigurement

Before I got ill just over two years ago, I met someone that changed my perception of attractiveness. I remember after a few initial telephone conversations, I thought that this guy sounds lovely. Just before we were going to meet, he called and said there’s something I have to tell you, and I understand if this means that you no-longer want to meet with me. He then went on to explain that he had a serious car crash about twenty years ago, and lost an eye and suffered from facial disfigurement. I was unsure of what to say, but given that I enjoyed chatting with him and that it must have taken courage for him to wonder how I would react, I decided to take a chance and see him.

I was slightly nervous of what to expect, but within a few seconds of meeting him and seeing him smile, I honestly didn’t notice there after. We got on really well, but our period of dating was cut short when I became ill and just disappeared (something I have a habit of doing when stressed). Two years later, our paths crossed again, and he got in touch wondering why I disappeared, I explained the situation and he said that he always remembered the way I hugged him and made him feel safe. So, we resumed our relationship, and seeing him again was like meeting an old friend, very easy, everything was going well until he told me that if we were to get serious then I must know that he doesn’t want children. He divorced his wife who cheated on him with someone from her work, they were married for twenty years and had four children together. I recall going quiet when he mentioned that I’d get a ready made family without going through the torture of childbirth, in my mind I thought it sounded like a really shallow comment, but being polite I just went quiet and then he asked how I felt, which I just replied with I’m not sure.

I find expressing myself through writing much easier than through face-to-face conversation. Once I knew he didn’t want children, I became more distant, he thought I was cheating on him, and seeing the disappointment in his face, I assured him that I’ve never cheated or want to cheat on anyone in my life, I’m a genuine person. I recalled what a nice guy called Stephen wrote to me about longing for a family like me but having a relationship with a woman that already had children and similarly didn’t want anymore, he was willing to build a life around them. I thought I’d follow Stephen’s lead, and forget about any plans of having my own children, instead just concentrate on building a long-term relationship.

The problem was that in my heart I knew he wasn’t enough, even he would voice his concerns that I’d end up leaving him for someone younger. Emotionally the barriers came up, and he found it difficult to get close to me and understand how I felt about him.

It came to an end, when I was shopping in Westfield and I passed this small boy who was crying with two security guards at M&S. I overheard the security guys saying that they don’t think he can speak English, given that the boy was wearing a turban, I thought I’d speak Punjabi to him and see if he responds, which he did. I asked him what was wrong, and he was frightened that his dad would get angry about him getting lost. I put my arm around him and said I think that he will be very pleased to see you, and he mentioned his older brother was annoying him – I can recount the numerous times my brothers annoyed me, he started to smile again. I thought, I can’t wait to have one of those, but I’d be giving that up if I stayed in that relationship.

Shortly after, I decided that I’d rather be single with no kids than with someone that doesn’t want them. He understood, although tried to persuade me that given more time, I may feel differently, I never will though. That said, he was a nice guy and I had to respect his decision of not wanting children. I remember it took me months before I felt like dating again, I’m very selective as to whom I open my heart to and invest time in…

IVF or Adoption

IVF

Recently, a woman that I met through work told me that she was going through IVF for the second time. The first resulted in her two year old son, but she openly disclosed that both the first and now her second attempt used an anonymous donor. I was a little taken aback, it’s not the usual topic of conversation you have when you first meet with someone. Her son was gorgeous, and she said that her reasons was that she left it too late to conceive children naturally, so in her forties and single with a successful career behind her, she thought IVF was her only option.  I admired her decision to go it alone, especially the whole pregnancy experience, but I’m not sure whether I’d be inclined to follow suit if I got to that age and hadn’t conceived naturally. The thought of an anonymous donor is particularly off putting.

I love children, so the thought that I might not meet someone I want to have them with has crossed my mind on occasion. However, I know if I ever got to that stage in my life, I would most likely adopt. After watching a documentary on adoption months ago, it made me think of how wonderful a gift it would be to give someone a chance of a good life. I was really taken by this one young boy, he was about eight, and he was stuck in this foster home, as most people that adopt have a preference for babies and toddlers, as they perceive that older children would most likely have behavioural issues. This young boy was really disheartened that his chance never came, you could see it in his eyes. Tears were rolling down my face, I found it really emotional. I just wanted to hug him and if I’d won the lottery, I would have adopted him there and then. It would make no difference to me that he’s White and I’m Asian, to me he was just a really nice kid that deserved a chance of a loving family. Sadly there was no happy ending to the documentary, and I often think about whether he managed to get adopted, I really hope so.

For me, I know I have a lot of love in my heart to give whether or not I have children biologically is irrelevant.