Life is funny, fucked up, exciting, amazing, beautiful, depressing, terrible, heartbreaking, confusing and an infinity of feelings.
For four years, I was certain that I was in a loving relationship with a person whom I thought I would, later on, spend the rest of my life with. Doesn’t that sound oh so lovely? And then poof, that went to SHIT!
But things don’t just go to SHIT, do they?
From my 27 years of experience in this wonderful planet, not counting the period from being a baby to a child because I didn’t know SHIT! Also, I can’t really be bothered to do the Math, but you get where I’m going with this; I believe to an extent that in our unique lives things can just happen so suddenly, that can either make us or break us. I also believe that things don’t just suddenly happen to us out of the blue, even though it might feel that way at the time; in some cases, the problems were already present, we just failed to notice or act on them. And I’m pretty sure if things were to always suddenly go to shit, a large majority of the human race would be going into cardiac arrest every day. & if like me you are currently a resident of the UK, you know as well as I do that our NHS is struggling as it is!
In my case what seemed to be suddenly the end of my world, was a long time coming, a very long time coming…. To reiterate, things in my relationship got to a point where my parents, in particular, my dad saw how distraught I really was. Issues in the relationship had gradually built up and I'd finally started to see how shit things really were. I knew I had to do something for own well-being. At the time, the decision I made felt drastic but in reflection, it was the best decision I’d ever made; I and Bob needed to go on a break. The reason behind the break? We needed to regather our thoughts, in addition, this was Bob's final opportunity to get a perspective of what he wanted out of our relationship. You would think after being with someone for four years, you would know what you wanted from your relationship. Yes, that may sound like a bitchy jab, but its fact! Going on a break wasn’t at all like a comical 'FRIENDS,' Rachel and Ross scenario. No! Going on a break was extremely heart-breaking. Because not knowing what the outcome would be for our relationship every day for 2-3 weeks, was mental torture for me. And yes, I know I was the one who proposed ‘the break,’ but I couldn’t see any other solution at this point. And to put the fucking cherry on top of this already shitty cake…. The second distressing situation I was also dealing with was my new employer, which was turning out to a be a living and breathing nightmare! I didn’t enter knowingly that I would be working for Satan. When I got offered the job it seemed promising with lots of potentials. I thought I was finally in a position of having a stable full-time income, which would also give me time to invest in my writing without being broke! Although it wasn’t too long till my new job also went to SHIT! However, it was already subtly SHIT, I just had failed to acknowledge it. In the beginning, I justified my employers disturbing conversations down to opinion and his uptight personality down to stress. My focus was to carry out my role to my best ability, suck it up for the experience and shortly leave after a reasonable period (6 months was my initial plan).
Life, however, doesn’t always go according to plan. I and Bob resumed from our break, Bob claimed that he still loved me and he was still unsure about his decision and needed more time, but I knew that was just an excuse to face the truth. After an 8 hour conversation in person in my bedroom, I finally stood my ground. I told him "if he couldn't make the decision for us, that I was going to make the decision right here right now." I was initially going to end the relationship, but I myself was unsure, I still loved him and proposed that I was willing to work through our issues in our relationship, because I really believed we had a future. Looking back on that conversation I'm relieved we didn't work through our issues, because I would probably be fed more lies by Bob in order for him to keep our aimless relationship alive, divorced or stood up at the altar. After briefly starting to discuss our issues, that was when he finally came to a bloody decision! Bob said he couldn't see us ever working through our issues and also deep down he had always felt that he could never see us having a future. He knew he had been selfish in letting the relationship continue for as long as it did. It was painful to know that the person I’d invested my whole being into had been flat out dishonest with me, to serve his own selfish needs. And that was that I was officially back on the single market, a market I never thought I would be on again. Shortly after, I decided it wasn’t worth the paycheck to work for such a disgusting verbally abusive human being. I went past the fact of 'sucking it up' and was fed up with had given my best at the job with 0 appreciation in return. I wasn’t going to waste another second of my life being in an environment where I would get continuously beaten down. I’d already gone through that in my relationship. And so, I QUIT
As I said it was a long time coming for all of this shittness and it began with me choosing to ignore and even worse justify red flags (give people the benefit of the doubt) and then things gradually build up and boom it happens….
And then we think why has this happened to me all of a sudden! Why do we do this? Is it because all humans are just really dumb? No, well a lot of the people I’ve come across in my life are...However NO! We all have our individual reasons for why we accept bad behaviour; whether that be the goodie but oldie blinded by love theory, family, friends etc. However, regardless of whom or what, bad behaviour shouldn't be excused! Nothing, nothing justifies someone treating you like a second option or a physical and emotional punchbag etc. We have the power to let people around us know how we should be treated. Unfortunately, there are no escaping people mistreating you and not everyone is going to acknowledge their fault, and that’s ok, more fool them.
I believe that we have four options when dealing with someone who presents us with bad behaviour:
1. Cut these people out of your lives
2. Deal with the situation by continuously standing your ground & not accepting bullshit.
You're always going to come across fools.
3. Accept that person is not worth your time or energy, forgive and move on.
4. Be civil
So, what was my reason?
LOW SELF- WORTH.
I didn’t know my worth and for a long time and that led me to put up with a load of SHIT. Not only in my relationship, but with people in general. My worth was tied to people, this behaviour couldn't continue and it did..... more on that later on :)
After an explosion of all things shitty, all I could think of at the time was…...
WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME!?
And I believe that this in itself is a natural human response when we are faced with a dilemma. But sooner or later, we have to stop questioning why this is happening to poor old me. Because you will never find the answers when you’re stuck in victim mode.
This video from Will Smith really resonated with me and it may with you:
I had to slowly take responsibility, in order to get my power back. But how? Well for me I had the help of my amazing family, friends and faith. However, no matter how much support I got, I was holding of all the cards. It was down to me and as painful as it was I had to get on with things.
But how? Well stay tuned, that will fully be explained in the following chapters, so stay tuned. But something that has helped me reevaluate my actions, were these wise words from Matthew Hussy...
Next time instead of saying why is this happening to me?
We could question the dilemma this way, to get a more productive ongoing solution.…
What can I do next?
What have I learnt?
How can I prevent this from happening again?
Now I was in no state of mind to contemplate question 2/3. But I still had some rationale to contemplate question 1.
Two days after my breakup, my mum urged me to change my sheets and take down all the photos of me and Bob. I could either dump or return everything to Bob. Now I thought my Mum was being pretty savage, but her savageness was simply her way of not wanting to see her child surrounded by further pain. Of course, I protested at first trying to make her understand that I just wasn’t ready because I knew taking down those photos and returning everything would make it even more final. And I didn’t want to believe that it was really over (at this point I was in the denial stage). I don’t know exactly what made me acknowledge my mum’s advice, but the next day I started to strip away the 4 years of my life from every wall and drawer. And being the emotional person that I am, I did it whilst listening to Adele and some other beautifully depressing music. Once I had taken everything down and it was all packed away in a box and plastic bags, I looked around and I couldn’t recognise my own room. It wasn’t my room, it was as if I had just moved in or started to redecorate.
What did I do next?
Oh yes…. FIND A NEW JOB!
I dreaded the thought of having to sign on, I recall speaking to my Speech Therapist about this… as I felt doing that would be such a low point in my life. For all of you that don’t know I HAVE A STAMMER, SPEECH IMPEDIMENT WHATEVER YOU WANT TO REFER IT TO. My therapist reassured me that I had nothing to be ashamed of and the system was there for a reason to help people. She also reassured me that not every employer would be like Satan. I started to nervously apply for jobs again and after being rejected by Paperchase, soon after I got offered a position at a clothing concession. It was only a part-time position, but it was something to tie over my finances and a platform to rebuild my confidence. When I got offered the position it felt like the greatest news in the world and I celebrated with a Big MAC.
I was single and back working in Retail. Although at that moment I did feel that I was back at square one, I also had a glimmer of hope that this was the beginning of things moving more forward than ever.
Lessons we can learn:
*Pay close attention to red flags and call them out.
*Going back to Square one is the beginning of even better things to come.