Last Thursday was my hair and make-up trial for the wedding. I only mention it because the beautician looked at me and said, ‘You’re not wearing any make-up right now, are you?’ and I said yes I was. She frowned and said, ‘Not much, though, are you?’ then gave my face a very brief wipe with some cleansers and went to get the make-up. I stopped her and asked for the pack of wipes and set to work myself to clean off my face, and it really was astounding how horrible the cloth looked in the end (this is why I don’t use those wipes). And really the conclusion of this story is: it made me realise just how adept I’ve become at hiding all the scars from my own self-harm. A rather excellent make-up artist is convinced I don’t wear make-up, and yet I know I spent about 30 minutes putting it on that morning. I mean, I’m not even wearing this stuff to look fancy; it’s just to look normal. And it’s great to see proof that I’m succeeding…but all the same, what a lot of effort just to look like I’ve made no effort at all. A bit like David Bowie’s late ‘90s ‘I spent six hours being done up to look like I just rolled out of bed’ hair.[br][br]At lunch today I went and bought this impressive foundation the beautician used on me. £30 it cost. I can’t believe it’s come to this – spending £30 on three-inch box. What can I say? This is the price one pays for normality, I suppose. And confidence. I tried it out quickly when I got back to the office and magically I felt happy. It really doesn’t take much.[br][br]Earlier in the day, I caught my previously long-lost half-brother on IM. It was so exciting! My breath caught when I saw his name turn up on my contact list, and I was so nervous messaging him. I never know how he really feels about this whole reconnecting thing. I can understand how weird it must be for him (long complicated story), and I keep telling myself that, if he decides it’s just too strange for him and doesn’t want to talk to me (like I imagined he must have decided for the couple years), I’ll be fine with that. But that’s such rubbish, isn’t it? I mean…yes, I’ll accept it if that’s the case. But really, I’ve been dreaming about knowing him all my life. Him and my other brother, whom I’ve never spoken to and I don’t see that happening any time soon. I don’t think he’s remotely interested. I could be wrong – it’s all guessing. But that’s the impression I’ve had somehow, even though nothing’s been said. So it’s just this one, and yes I SO want to be friends with him.[br][br]We spoke a lot just after my son was born – that was the first time. Then after a few months he disappeared and didn’t really respond to me anymore. I kept e-mailing every few months, with no replies. Then one day earlier this year he wrote me briefly asking where I’d disappeared to. So I decided maybe he DID want to stay in touch, but just wasn’t ready to talk, himself. I replied, and he never wrote again.[br][br]Then last week I was reading ‘Shopaholic and Sister’ (okay, I’ve really got to find more profound things to base my life on, I know, but what can I say? I’ve always had a weakness for things like Sweet Valley High) and it involved trying to get to know her long-lost half-sister…and I got this pang in my heart. Like, yes, I relate, I so want to know this person. So isn’t it funny timing that today I suddenly talk to him![br][br]It went really well, I think. He asked me about politics, and I’m not one to talk about politics much but if it means speaking to him, I will talk about absolutely anything. I mean, I have my views anyway – I’m not TOTALLY out of the loop; I just don’t like getting into debates with people, is all. It makes me feel stressed. And also politics depresses me, or makes me feel really angry. But it went nicely – he’s a really lovely person. Then the conversation moved on, and eventually I had to leave (too soon, I thought) for my lunch break and said I hoped we spoke again some time soon, and he said he’s always around, even at work, and to please message him absolutely any time.[br][br]I can’t actually express just how thrilled I was at that. It felt like my heart was seizing up in my chest. I didn’t want to leave. But then, I felt this anxiety I might ruin it by talking too long. I’m terrified of awkward pauses. They’re easier with him, because there’s so much history being unmentioned. That’s my theory, anyway. It will take years to become very close, is my guess. I’m willing to wait, though. I love him. Even though I barely know him, and I don’t know what his voice sounds like, I love him. He\’s one of the little family I have in the world. He’s my brother.