Death by Indifference


« I was up early with the birds. Just want to be in your arms right now my love ». Seen. No reply.

I call you 3 hours later. You don’t answer, though I see you go online as soon as the call drops. Your phone has a personal tune for my calls and you will have seen the missed call notification. You don’t call back or text.

You post bits and pieces on social media, which you know I can see. You’re out and about, though you told me you were working….you don’t share anything with me, though I can see you online throughout the day. I wait…

Another 3 hours go by before you call me. Chirpy as ever. No mention of missed contacts. You’ve just finished work…I try to explain (calmly and avoiding any mention of inconsistencies etc) that your lack of care upsets and confuses me…Here’s the thing, we’ve just been away for a few days and your hand never left mine. Our lips locked throughout. Now you just sound grumpy and you neither acknowledge nor reply to my ‘explanation’.

I call you back after 30 wasted minutes trying to leave a lost cause alone (you live in take it or leave it land). I stutter something about needing to explain my feelings. You’re watching TV. I stupidly suggest having the conversation another time if you aren’t free. You reply « whatever you want » but the tv stays loudly on and you say nothing. I get the message and end the call, doubly frustrated.

20h and I still don’t know if you’re going to suggest going out tonight. Unusually, I’ve made other plans. You call: do I want to join you and your son +1? I explain that I have other plans. « Bring anyone along » you say. It obviously suits you to have company. I know this as I’m geeing up my friend to join this last-minute plan. To be fair, she seems keen. We hadn’t really fixed anything much up, so this suits. I feel better.

She and I arrive at the venue. You’re not there, despite our being late. No message. No call. Finally I call you. You’re on the way and eventually you all arrive together, 1 hour late.

The evening is jolly but I can’t help noticing your distance. You’re all smiles. Mr attentive to the group but a million miles from showing me any affection. Its the wild swing between total affection and indifference that kills me. My brain is blind to the obvious as it tries to rationalise the flip.

My friend has to leave. Its just you me and your son +1. They’re staying at your place tonight. The bar is closing up early. In a flash, you’ve paid and we’re standing to leave. As we step outside, the youngsters say goodbye to me. Its all happening very quickly. You stay next to me and there seems to be a plan. They walk off and I ask « aren’t you going with them? » I’m delighted as it seems to mean that you’re coming with me. I’d hoped you’d ask me back to yours anyway. I mean why wouldn’t you? You’re walking fast towards my car as you say « I’m just walking you to your car ». By the time we get to it, your son has arrived in his car. No time to say anything before you hop in and it speeds off. Its midnight. I’m alone and confused. Everyone but me knew that was going to happen.

I drive home (30 mins), bleary eyed. I’m 50 years old with an equal age partner of 2 years and that just happened to me. Home. I wait in vain for the « home safe? » text that never comes. I have a glass of wine and take the cat to bed when I’m exhausted enough.


Me and the birds again. No text and today I don’t bother either. Whats the point? You’re online for hours before you send a mindblowing « have a lovely sunny morning and lots of kisses to you » text. I’m paralysed. How do I reply to that? I work through several drafts, each avoiding anything even vaguely challenging. I erase « you’ll be pleased to hear I’m alive/got home safe » and « perhaps we should have that chat today? ». I settle for « thank you and have a lovely sunny day yourself +2 kisses ». And that, it seems, is that.

I guess I didn’t reply to your text quickly and enthusiastically enough. You’ve done this to me before. I have to adapt to your mood swings and your indifference. If you don’t text, call and or respond to my contact, I should understand that « you’re just like that » and wait it out. But if I (as you perceive it) don’t respond appropriately (because I’m totally paralysed), the silent treatment commences.

I don’t even want to hear from you now. Mainly, I don’t want another crazy-making call from you – the one where you act as if nothing happened and then I go along with it, exhausted from analysing. I know you aren’t afraid to lose me. I know you don’t hear my voice or empathise. You will only go as far as test texting: a loving message to see if I’ll still put up with enough of your shit for it to be worthwhile…for you. The day the answer is « no » will be the end of this and I don’t know why that makes me so afraid.

I read a short quote today that hit home. It said, essentially, that someone who truly loves you will always make time for you and will never be too busy to care.  Love is never indifferent.