Niall’s virtual diary archives – February 2003

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12th February 2003

Back from UK, preparing to leave Spain

19th February 2003

Ruth, the final episode

Wednesday 12th February 2003: 11.26pm. Some five weeks have passed, but it feels like months. I have done an awful lot of travelling in the last two months and I think I have seen virtually everyone I am still in contact with, with a few more beyond that too. Phew, makes you tired just to think of it!

Anyway, twas great to see everyone again and the trip costed a total of five hundred quid, which is expensive but not much more than I had expected. Furthermore I now have established a support network with which to move country and given most of it is based around London, that will probably be my home for at least six months until I have a warchest once again.

Well I have to be out of Spain in the next two weeks maximum so that means in reality I must ship the computers at the start of next week (which is not coincidentally when I'll finish downloading a backlog of eps). I'm still not sure how to do this - send everything in packages via some insured courier for the computers and the rest in boxes normal mail or using some removals service. A removals service would maybe be cheaper now I have more stuff. The internet will know.

I've been feeling really edgy and uneasy all the time recently - I suppose it's understandable - and I slept on my sofa for about five hours last night yet woke feeling like I still have far too much energy. Nervous energy I suppose. I need to stall myself - I can do cleaning and packing of lesser used items, but the computers won't be leaving for at least another 100 hours. Once they're gone, a lot more boredom time will be freed up so I'd imagine cleaning and sending stuff will all proceed much more quickly. Provisionally, I should be flying out for the last time on Tuesday 25th February.

Needless to say, without computers things will be different. Email and updating this site will return to using a telnet session which is alright actually and either more or less updates will happen here. Given the astronomical prices of renting a flat around London, I'll have to work either one or two months while sleeping on floors before I can afford a deposit on somewhere. I want somewhere of my own on a six-monthly basis and probably given the nature of contract work, it'll be somewhere in zone 2.

Anyway, time to enter the pre-bed routine. I want to be up 8am this morning, get myself cleaned up and then start various balls rolling. Cool, right, next entry is when it comes as always, be happy!

Tuesday 19th February 2003: 12.23am. Phew! I feel knackered. I lugged two 15-20kg boxes to the post office today, the first in a batch of the twelve I estimate I'll need to post in order to send all my stuff to the UK. It was snowing as I did this, which has got to be rare in Madrid. Children (and some adults) around my wheezing tottering self were throwing snowballs, and seemingly having loads of probably first-time fun.

Each of those boxes cost around fifty euro to send. Interestingly, the one-way flight I bought today cost exactly the same and its baggage allowance is 20kg. So effectively I could travel for free except for how to get home!

I feel so much better having sent those boxes. For the last few days, I had been getting more and more anxious because I hadn't even started and I knew if I didn't soon, I was merely storing up problems for myself. Still, it's so much easier to concentrate on my port of the Lynx web browser to Symbian (ie; my new mobile phone, a Nokia 7650) which is my recent little project - I already have it to a mostly successful port of the curses library to Symbian, all I need do is port a BSD sockets thunk layer and work around the global static data ban in Symbian which I consider utter lunacy.

Next few days will see more boxes go, and more rubbish thrown out. Plan is the weekend till next Wednesday week when my flight is shall be for cleaning and saying goodbyes. Until then, more downloads to keep me going, and tidying up loose ends.

I saw Ruth for the first time last Sunday in oh, about two years. In fact, unless she's unreliable as usual, I should even be taking her out to a posh restaurant next Thursday. How can this be you may ask? How can I bear to be in the presence of one who wrecked my life, robbed years from me and sank me into a (at least) 18 month depression which it could be argued I shall never recover from?

Well, ultimately, she sent an email for my birthday marking out her contrition, so I said I was leaving soon and would she like to say something face to face, and she said she did, so it happened. What I hadn't expected was how much I enjoyed what turned into a near four hour chat, and I don't mean evocation of memories of past feelings, this was standalone, and despite that it should have been a highly uncomfortable experience, it was slightly that first ten minutes and then that chemistry took over.

I'd forgotten that chemistry ...

God only knows, she has proved dangerous for me. From what she told me of her life since us, the months that followed were fantastic for her. She felt free, free of the weight that was me. She improved her life in almost every area, while I lay wallowing in a near-suicidal depression which I doubt I'll ever fully recover from. So clearly, the danger is quite one-sided.

However what one must not forget in all this was that I let her do this to me. Sure, her fucked-up-ness screwed me up right and proper, but that's only because I let down all my defenses (I had some silly ideas then about true love equating lowering barriers and such as a path to removing the feeling of loneliness - now I know we're all intrinsically lonely, and to try and change this reality of existence is the path to ruin, not who you do it with - at least for my type of personality, others of course achieve this bliss with ease). So quite simply, just like some highly addictive and life-destroying drug, the best method of handling it is understanding it.

And that, quite simply, is why contact needed to be reestablished. So both parties could heal wounds, learn where the mistakes were made, and hopefully improve for the future.

What makes this possible is that ultimately, she is a nice person. She screws people and situations up, but that in my opinion is through her applying a fundamentally wrong approach and methodology to situations which then leads her to do entirely the wrong (re)action. However, from everything I've ever seen, it all did stem from trying to do what she thought at the time was the right thing for all concerned (even if in fact it was the best for her and worst for everyone else), and that, my friends, is what makes her a power for good and not evil.

Hence, given this fundamental precept is held by her, I feel much value is to be gained by forgiveness. That, by the way, is going to be some time in coming. Whenever I'm around her, I still feel this overpowering instinctual almost-animalistic urge to shag her senseless, and I'm pretty sure it works vice-versa too. And it is precisely that which rings so many alarm bells in the old cerebrum - I know my subconsciousness is just screaming danger, danger because it itself is being tugged between two emotions - "sex now" and "this thing nearly killed you, get away". Resolution of those emotions shall take time, and mostly importantly exposure, and I don't doubt gaining this ability shall greatly improve me for the future.

I could go much more into depth on this, but I won't. It is after all a public forum, and discussing how someone else works in detail which would be necessary for my own account wouldn't be ethical (I've gone far enough already, but I know she has always regularly read this so if I ever went too far, she'd tell me). Suffice to say that it might have taken two years, but I finally understand 90% of what I did wrong two and a half, maybe three years ago and hopefully I now know how to recognise the same danger and hopefully avoid it in the future. Without last Sunday, I could only have said I had a very good idea - now, I know.

Right, time for bed for me. I am pretty shattered, and there's lots to do tomorrow never mind the next few weeks. Cya all later, be happy!

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