I remember being 14 years old, laying in my bed in the dark, staring up at my ceiling covered in glow in the dark stars and listening to Mariah Carey songs, crying my eyes out convinced that there was no pain like heartbreak. At such an impressionable young age I fell in love just as quickly as I had my heart broken and every guy I met and took a liking to became my ‘soul mate’, at that age it was often hard to distinguish the difference between infactuation and love and as a result I had my heart ripped to shreds far more than I probably should have.
You’d think I would have learned but in truth the more I hurt over a guy the more I loved them. It was like I craved the pain I felt during heart breaks and thus developed an unrealistic view and unhealthy obsession with bad relationships. Sometimes I dated bad guys with bad reputations and sometimes I was the bad one with the worse reputation. I probably have a very messy and disappointing history of dating, some may call my attempts at making failed relationships work but at the time I saw it as being a hopeless romantic. Hopeless maybe but definitely not romantic, that’s how I would describe my love life from about 13 – 19. I know you’re probably thinking, oh my god, a 13-year-old can’t fall in love and whilst I agree I probably wasn’t in love, I was 13 when I first experienced my first true emotions for a guy.
I’ve talked about previous boyfriends before, and by now, if you’ve made it this far, you’ve probably got your own conclusion as to the type of person I was/am and how I was as a girlfriend. I like the idea that you’ve come to your own conclusions and no doubt it’s far from what I wish you thought of me, I have however portrayed myself for exactly who and what I felt I was. I can assure you I’m very different but in some ways I’d like to think that my good qualities have remained.
In my short 24 years of life I have been on a rollercoaster of emotions regarding my relationships. I’ve been in some pretty toxic ones and I’ve been in some really great and life changing ones too and I’ve learned so much from my companions over the years that I don’t regret any of them. These scars I wear on my skin are the evidence of a life lived and loved and I wouldn’t replace them with an unblemished one for the world. Why? Well because I have a story to tell, I have wisdom to share, I have mistakes I have tried to rectify and without these foolish teenage problems I probably wouldn’t have become so curious about the world and people as I am now. I probably wouldn’t have met some crazy and enlightening people, I probably wouldn’t have realised how jaded I was in my opinions or lack thereof. I probably would never have been able to step out of my comfort zone.
It took a very long time for me to be able to get to the point I am now, where I can talk about these relationships or even memories of the past that I am deeply ashamed of. I enjoy sharing these things with you because I want to share a deep part of me I’ve never been able to share with anyone else.
Behind my blog I am a person who is so afraid to share my emotions that I just end up shutting down. I’ve had so many boyfriends and friends complain about my inability to share what I’m truly feeling and though they thought they had it bad, I felt more frustrated by the walls I surrounded myself with.
When I started this blog, my first sentence was, I don’t want your sympathy, all I ask is that you listen.
I stand truly by those words now because I’ve never wanted someone to feel sorry for me. I just wanted someone to listen, I don’t want to have a therapist analyse my life and my choices, I don’t want a friend to ask me how I am because they are waiting for me to do the same, I don’t want my family to be concerned about the worrying things going on in my head. I found more comfort in talking to a stranger, who doesn’t know me from Adam, and really at the heart of it, I’m hoping someday, a lost soul will find my blog and tell me, ‘I feel the same way’ and for us both to have an unfiltered chat about our lives and bond over the fact that we are having a bad day. Because to me, it’s natural to feel ‘done with life’ because the bus didn’t turn up. When I say done with life, I literally mean, want to kill yourself over it. I know, I know, that’s not a healthy outlook but fact is so many people feel that way and they feel so ashamed to say it. But if they got a chance to say it, maybe just maybe someone will hear it and say to them ‘I’m sorry you feel that way, it really sucks, but maybe tomorrow it will be better.’ Rather than the typical ‘omg, you’re so dramatic, get over it.’ So when I talk about how heartbreaking my break ups were, I literally mean that. Looking back on it now, I laugh at how dramtic I was avbout every breakup, but at the time I felt like my world was ending and I will not sugar coat that emotion just to fit in with what someone thinks is a normal way of dealing with things. If you’ve made it this far in my journey through blogging then surely you’re not surprised by how melodramatic I am?
Have I earned your time to listen yet?
So I’m back in my bedroom in the dark crying and singing along to Mariah Carey because she will always be my ‘Queen. I don’t even know why I was acting this way but I was just so devastated that I’d yet again been left broken by ‘Voldemort’ the first guy I swore I would love forever. This pretty much went on for about 3 years, with a few breaks in between where I dated some good and some bad guys. Voldemort was a truly awful guy, I would say it was more to do with age and his ego, he had a very big ego but I don’t think he quite realised his behaviour could impact anyone in a truly negative way. He was selfish and self-centred but again I’d like to give him the benefit of the doubt by putting that down to his age, lack of maturity and incapability to accept responsibility. I can’t say that now because I haven’t seen/spoken to him in years. The last I heard about him was literally when we finally broke up, he had cheated on me with a girl on holiday, never even bothered to tell me this, even when I found out I shamefully carried on following his footsteps like a shadow, eventually word spread through the grapevine that he had contracted syphilis from her, you know, swings and roundabouts I guess. I try not to go into too much detail because I do talk about this relationship in one whole blog post.
In between my relationship with Voldemort, I dated a few guys who were very sweet, I dated a guy a year younger than me who treated me so nicely but at the time his age made me feel so self-conscious that ultimately we had to break up because of it. Then I hung out with a few guys from parties I had met but it never went beyond, hanging out a couple of times, and then the love fire burning out quickly. One particularly bad guy I dated, was a friend of mine, who went a little nuts, broke up with me, and then started dating one of my close friends, except he didn’t tell me we had broken up, he had just stopped talking to me and then the next thing I knew I was walking around town with friends and I saw them holding hands. This has happened to me before but on a larger scale. So my early teenage years were spent pining over guys who didn’t want me, hanging out with guys who didn’t care about me and rejecting guys who did. If that doesn’t teenage love affair then I don’t know what does.
Then I experienced my first relationship with Neal, again, long story short, he was my very best friend, we fell in love, were together for 2 years which in that time was basically forever. We had become so in love that we were convinced we were going to get married and have babies, I was so diluded in thinking forever meant forever that I tattooed myself with this memory. I laugh about it now but I’m really looking forward to getting this bastard scar off of my skin. Just an honest warning to you teenage rebels, getting a tattoo for your boyfriend is not a good idea. This realisation will come to you many years later, when you’re trying to explain what the tattoo means to your partner.
When we broke up, I went back to my solo Mariah Carey concert in my bedroom in the darkness. I spent months in this daze having to remind myself to breathe. The pain hurt so bad that I actually felt it physically, my body felt like I was shutting down and I just didn’t even know what to do with myself. There were so many nights when I’d be crying, my eyes pressed shut so tight that I could see stars and I’d feel my sister come into my room, sit down beside me and just stroke my back. She would never say anything, she’d just soothe me by rubbing my back or playing with my hair. My other sister would send me text messages, happy ones to try to bring me out of my misery but it wasn’t until I let myself feel better that I mustered the courage to get out of bed. My first proper conversation with a human being after this turmoil was with my Mum. She’s the sweetest person I know and yet at the time we didn’t have the kind of relationship where we could talk about personal things like relationships. She was very against my sister’s and I dating before University and was very old fashioned in thinking. Hell, she was disappointed in my pre-marital sex behaviour and so I knew my break up was difficult for her too. We sat down at the dinner table just her and me, I was watching her cut up vegetables, I looked like a walking zombie but she didn’t criticise. We were there in silence for a few moments before I spoke;
“I’m sorry I disappointed you.”
I mumbled trying so hard not to cry. She didn’t stop cutting her vegetables, I thought she hadn’t heard me but then she replied;
“I’m sorry he hurt you, I’m sorry they hurt you.”
That was it, I pretty much wailed like a baby. My Mum got upset too and we talked about what had happened and what had gone wrong, how she felt, how I felt.
“What happens now?”
I asked my Mum hoping she would have some kind of answer for me and my broken heart. Wasn’t Mum’s suppose to know everything? Couldn’t they make anything better?
“Someday you’ll find someone who is going to love you the right way, and they’re going to treat you so nicely, the way you deserve.”
She said with sincerity and comfort, for the first time looking in my eyes, I could see her pain, I recognised it because it was the same pain that I had in my eyes.
“Someday someone will love you and they won’t walk away from you.”
That was the moment that my Mum and I became friends. I loved my Mum sure, but that was the first real conversation we ever had and I excepted her to reprimand me, or say ‘I told you so’ but she didn’t she supported me, she loved me and that was all I ever needed. When I talk about that conversation with her now, 6 years later, she says that she knew I needed her because she could see the pain was different. It wasn’t me being a typical teenager, I was in distress and it frightened her. I think it frightened me too. If ever I was going to die from a broken heart it was going to be in that moment from that boy and my Mum brought me back from that moment. Despite the heartache I felt over Neal, I gained so much from the experience, I’m thankful because over the years My Mum and I have become so close and I’ve been able to talk to her about things more now I’m an adult than I could when I was younger.
The next few years were a mixture of toxic and depressing relationships. I dated friends that had bad intentions for me, guys who were more interested in my friends. I had a boyfriend emotionally abuse me, a boyfriend who physically abused me.
Then I met her. Katie was a pretty girl with a confident attitude. She intimidated me and I felt like a little girl when I was beside her. At first, she was my friend who exuded confidence that I lacked. She knew how to attract male attention and we could go out with a few pounds in our bra and come home with the same amount. With her I was adventurous, I was funny, I was different. Even on quiet nights, I had fun with her. Our friendship blossomed so quickly that I didn’t even realise what was happening. In the beginning, we’d kiss in front of guys to excite them, but eventually, we’d just kiss because it felt natural. It all felt so natural with her. Whilst I had experimented with sexuality, pretend to kiss my girlfriends, learning to make out during sleepovers, with Katie it was different. I grew up in quite a strict Catholic background, I didn’t have much experience with being around homosexuality. I wasn’t frightened of it and despite my grandmother being homophobic I liked to stay open to anything. When our kissing became a little more passionate I asked Katie about where she stood on homosexuality and she replied so nonchalantly;
‘I don’t believe in labels’
And that was that. Katie went from being my friend to being something more. She didn’t like labels but we understood that we were together. I loved Katie, I knew in my heart we were not going to wind up together but we liked to pretend play house. We could spend days in bed planning out how we would rule the world together, we’d spend nights out with friends, feeling free. We never hid who we were together but deep in my heart, I knew it wasn’t who I was. Thinking about it now, maybe it was just that I wasn’t ready to be quite so open with myself yet. We never broke up, we just drifted apart, she went to University, made new friends, then moved to another country. Sometimes I see her on Facebook and I see the places she’s been, the people she’s met, the accomplishments she’s made and I feel blessed that I got to spend a few years getting to know someone so real and true to herself. Sometimes I feel this ache inside me if I hadn’t been so afraid of who I could have been, then maybe with Katie I would have found who I actually was.
I started writing my list of guys after I saw an episode of One Tree Hill where Brooke has a picture collage of all the guys she’s kissed. I loved the idea because I thought one day I’d write a book of all the people I loved and lost. Slowly but surely I’m giving you insights into each and every significant relationship I’ve had and hopefully through that you can get to know me a little bit better.
I’ve listed at least 10 significant relationships I’ve had, I link that blog post below;
After Katie I met Drew, then Freddie, then I met Lara. Lara was an older woman who had her life altogether. She had dreams of moving abroad and working for a big company. I don’t want to be too specific about Lara because we actually do still have common friends and I don’t want to hurt her any further than I may have done in the past. Lara was what you may call, my sugar Mommy. She basically paid for me to live a certain lifestyle when I came to visit her. She would take me out to expensive dinners that I certainly could not afford, she would buy me clothes and jewellery and lavished me with things that none of the guys I had dated ever did for me. There were a lot of things that bothered me about my relationship with Lara. First of all, I met her on a dating site, my first and only experience with going on a dating site. She was a complete stranger to me, again my first experience dating someone completely alien to me. She was a lot older than any woman I had ever dated, sure I’d dated older men but not women. The dynamic to me felt different, I didn’t feel like her equal. Whilst she knew what she was doing with her life, I didn’t, she was content with herself, I wasn’t. Our relationship was nice, but it wasn’t spectacular. I just didn’t feel like I could connect with her on a level that I had with others. It always felt like she was above me, she never said it or acted that way but it always felt that way. Whilst my relationship with Katie was fun, I felt with Lara…oh my god, I’ll just say it. I felt like she was my Mum. Isn’t that sick? Ugh, but I told you I would tell you the truth. I felt like when I kissed her, she was my Mum. I always felt like if I wanted to make a foolish teenage mistake she would reprimand me like she judged me for being young. When our romance inevitably fizzled out, I moved on very quickly. With her friend Amy.
I’m ashamed to admit it, yes I basically bounced from one person to another with no concern for anyone else. Much like Lara, Amy was a little older than me, she was definitely more mature personally but she was closer in my age. She had just graduated and was so excited to start her life out. At this point in my life, I was toying the idea of being with a ‘thuggish’ guy who had a bad reputation. In complete contrast to Amy who was a good girl from a good family. Amy and I were very similar, the way we dressed, our need for fun and adventure, but in our view of romance we were polar opposites, she wanted to be strictly with one person and I was afraid of commitment. I know now that my selfishness ended our relationship but don’t worry karma got me in the ass, in the end, my next boyfriend was the physically abusive kind. And I’m sitting here thinking, why did you do this to yourself?
After kissing many frogs and having my ass handed to me. I had a chance to evaluate how I was living my life. I had many regrets by the time I started University. I was in the wrong frame of mind but I’m glad I went because I discovered so much about how life works, reality is so much more fragile than I could have ever imagined by I was a lot stronger too.
Again a string of one night stands and failed romances led me to feel completely lost and alone. I hated love and I hated myself but the one thing I held on to was knowing that for every time I had my heart broken, I was just that much wiser.
So when I met my partner in 2012, I knew that he was the one.
How did I know he was the one? Because for the first time in my life, I felt this strong sense of urgency when it came to him. Norbert made me feel safe and secure and loved and I hadn’t felt that in so long. Even if at first I was afraid to allow this relationship to become part of me, he made me feel like it was the right decision to make. I didn’t feel the need to let the relationship consume me, I didn’t feel pressured or insecure. Norbert could kiss me and make me feel like the world was okay, he helped me face my fears and accept forgiveness, that I wouldn’t allow myself to feel. Norbert rescued me from my prison but he also encouraged me to be my own person. No one had ever asked me to be myself, or love myself or be positive. No one had ever asked me to be strong, or independent but he did. Norbert asked to be a part of my life and wanted me to be a part of his life whereas every other lover and loser I’d had has simply expected me to be a part of their jaded lives. For the first time in my life, I had someone who not only completed me but also contributed their share in creating a life with me.
I’m glad my previous relationships didn’t work out because I would never have been able to have that time to be on my own, to come to those realisation, to have that clarity which ultimately led me to meeting the love of my life.
I’m glad my previous relationships didn’t work out because imagine the kind of life I would be in now if I had continued to fight to make an already failed relationship work. I count the days I’m out of those relationships as a blessing and a testament to the strength I’ve been building in myself. I have so much appreciation for those I’ve loved and lost because we’ll all be forever bound by those memories but never will we have to be held down by the chains we were tied by. I count those people as my teachers because each relationship taught me such valuable lessons that all in all I use to this day.
If I’m annoyed at my partner, I remember to let it go. If my partner says something unreasonable, we discuss it. If we have a disagreement we work it through together. All these things make up a healthy relationship and we are constantly growing together.
By no means is my relationship with Norbert healthy. There have been many broken plates, drinks spilt, nights spent arguing in the hallway. I’ve packed my bags and threatened to leave, he’s gotten into his car and driven off but we have not spent one night where we haven’t gone to bed with a kiss on the lips and an I love you (we never go to bed angry because our mantra is if we’re going to be angry then we aren’t allowed to sleep, this has lead to us being awake for 48 hours straight). Whilst to some people that may not be a good sign, to us we know it works. We are happier now than we have been in previous relationships and we know that for every bad day we have we have 10 good days to make up for it.
I’m glad my previous relationships didn’t work out because my life, my relationships (with friends and family) and my future is so much better now than it was back then.
Maybe someday, you’ll get to hear their side of the story…(I laughed because how impossible is that) but maybe just maybe… it might happen you never know.
One thing is for sure, I no longer want to be angry at the people who ‘abandoned’ me, I don’t want to hold grudges and be resentful anymore. My life is good and I’m genuinely happy so there is no longer any reason to feel anything but love.
Do something to make your parents proud today, your kids proud someday but most importantly, you proud every day!
Peace and Love