Monday, February 13, 2012

A Long Distance Love Story: Frankie & Jim


This is a guest post from a fellow Blogger, Frank (her nickname).  She writes a blog called Just Call Me Frank, sharing her life through the lens of living with Multiple Personality Disorder.  It is a very personal dialogue about her experiences and I encourage you to visit her blog.  She and I met on Twitter and instantly became friends.  This post is about her finding the love of her life and how I was involved in putting these two people together.   It's a very touching and warm Valentine's Day post and I hope it inspires you as it does me.  ~  Smooches... The Single Mom

We were asked by Single Mom’s Dating Diary (@singlemomdate) to write about our romance with our boyfriend, the man she introduced us to on Twitter, back in May of 2011; even though we are neither single, nor a mom.

Most of us are not the mushy type, but in honour of Valentines we will do what we can to paint you an accurate and romantic picture of the progression of our relationship with James, the love of “our” life. <insert *gag*>

First of all, if you don’t know who the “we”, in we is, then you should probably check out our blog for info. In short we struggle, live with, sometimes enjoy, a life with a mental condition called Dissociative Identity Disorder, also known as Multiple Personality Disorder.

James, our boyfriend, met Single Mom when he started reading her blog the early months of 2011, he started to follow her on Twitter, we know very little on the specifics but she subsequently directed him to our blog, we had been writing a lot about dating in the later months of 2010, where he read about our life and all the other strange and odd things we write about daily.

The story on his end goes like this: James read many entries in our blog, absorbed our writing, and then started following us on Twitter. One day got up the nerve to leave us a comment on our blog, thereby drawing attention to him. We started watching him on Twitter, with all the other followers we had, we only paid him minimal attention. At first we were only mildly curious about him, honestly we thought him odd. Turns out he’s just British. <insert laughter>

At the time we were going through a bought of un-medicated insomnia so our six hour time zone difference didn’t seem so bad, he flirted with us occasionally, and we flirted back. He’d send us e-mails on occasion, commenting on things, asking questions, agreeing with us that Natural Born Killers was one of the better romance films he’d seen; continuing to read our blog daily. Eventually we began to talk about potentially meeting, and then decided we should have a date on Skype.

We had planned to not pursue relationships any longer after the last one we had ended, decided to come out publicly about our mental illness and work slowly toward helping raise mental health awareness, and writing about our life. We knew we would never be able to keep the Us, and our “illness” a secret from any man we ever dated again, realizing it wouldn’t be right to date a man, then after weeks, months, tell him we were ill. We resolved to a life of being single and only casually dating men, having “alternative” style of relationships. We also didn’t want a relationship for reasons to do with privacy (we like being alone), and complications that might arise because of the way we decided to live, honestly, with no more hiding, so we could heal, come to terms with our history of abuse, and work towards a healthy life for us.

We agreed to a Skype date with James, deciding “why not”, he lives so far away after all, and if we were seriously going to have him visit in the future we should get to know him on Skype. On our first Skype date he drank red wine while we enjoyed a bottle of white, and ate our dinner of pork chops, 6 hours in a different time zone, thousands of miles apart.  We had a good date, and he asked to see us again. We told him maybe in a couple of days; days later we had our second date. It quickly turned into seeing each other every day, on Skype; we would talk, getting to know each other, play on the computer together, he would stare at us all silly on the bad Skype connection. For weeks it went on and we started discussing meeting in person and then we invited him to come visit us. He was excited and did what he could to fly to us as soon as he could. We were still not interested in a relationship; we couldn’t look past the distance, and the difficulty not only with our illness, but also immigration issues. Being the adventurous type, and willing to try anything we thought why not, he was nice enough, and willing to pay his way.

In July 2011 we met James at the local airport; we were excited, slightly nervous. He was better looking in person than on the computer. Our first kiss was seconds after see each other, in the international arrival room of the airport. Someone nearby made a snide comment about “kids”, we didn’t care. After weeks of dating online we couldn’t keep our hands off of each other.

We’ll spare you the sexy details that followed, but after weeks of online Skype dating; and no, there was no naked Skype escapades, in case you were assuming, only one of us is that kind of girl, and we kept he under control as best we could; and not being able to touch each other, connecting on a level uninterrupted by physical touch…need we say more?

He stayed with us for five weeks, ”fortunately” we had gotten fired from our job the week he was to arrive, and so the first couple of weeks until we found another job we go to spend a lot of time with him, and got to know him really well.

He told us he loved us one day shortly after he arrived, sitting on the sofa in our apartment, a day he’ll likely remember forever, because he professed his love to the “wrong” one of us (Cassandra) whose response was expressing her desire for a hotdog.  He laughs about it, but we are sure it wasn’t the way he’d seen that going.

A couple of days later he asked us to be his girlfriend, and we told him “no” at first. We are adventurous, but also logical on occasion. After some emotional conversation over it we decided to discuss it and talked out the semantics about how it might work, living in different countries, and neither of us being wealthy to afford several flights a year. In the end we decided it would be something we could try.
We spent the next few weeks as boyfriend and girlfriend(s), it was both amazing and difficult, difficult because it caused a lot of headaches, literally, for us, as is sometimes common in our particular disorder during high activity, stress and changes.

The day came when he had to get on a plane. Saying goodbye was hard. He promised to try to come back as soon as he could, ­he cried, we held tough, holding him at the international departures door, reassuring him he would be back soon, and it would be okay; waiting until he entered international departures, and we turned away, before we allowed the built up tears to stream down our cheeks.
It was only a month before he made it back, a long month for some, and he promised he never wanted to be away from us for that long again…and the rest…well, the rest is history, and the future. Seven long and event filled months after we made our relationship with him official we now find ourselves living temporarily in England with him. We’ll be going back to the states in the spring where he plans to immigrate, to live with us permanently.  He calls us his angels, and he is, for some of us, our knight in shining armour.

The most important thing we did, looking back over the months we were single, was finally dealing with a lifetime of baggage, condensing it, eliminating some of it; working on ourselves, and changing the way we approached dating and relationships. It’s important to be happy with you, accept whoever you are, to not go into every date thinking they “might be the one” because in doing that you are doing a disservice to the one who is truly “the one” …not to mention putting immense pressure on the situation.  
We try to have a fairly open and transparent relationship with him. We value honesty, even if it’s hard, it beats the pain of the opposite, the pain of secrets. James knows a relationship with us isn’t going to be easy, but he loves us, he loves who we are, and is willing to work at it. He knows we don’t all love him, he knows when he feels the urge to tell us he loves us, he may not be getting an “I love you” in return. He knows that a good relationship required work, and communication, just like a friendship. No relationship is organic.

We are happy we took the time to start dealing with our issues, to be stronger together, to be who we are, to learn to love ourselves, because how can you expect someone to love you, if you don’t love yourself.

Love yourself.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

~Frank et al
We, most of us anyway, want to thank Single Mom  for introducing us to the love of our life. For her beautiful soul we can only wish the same.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's actually beautiful. Its a damned shame that you two are closer than you've ever been and somehow still feel so far away to me :'(

S'ok, I'll suck it up and put my big boy pants on.

Go singlemom, the matchmaker!