Being a woman of colour who also has a stammer, I feel like I’ve been handed a triple dose of dealing with cray people! Though, this particular ‘chapter’ in my life no pun intended, reminded me that you don’t have to go out into the world to encounter cray people.  Guess what? They’re actually much closer to home, it’s just that sometimes we fail to recognise that. And that’s ok because as human beings we tend to irrationally, rationalise bad behaviour. Not because we are stupid, it can be for a number of reasons e.g. being bias, low-self esteem etc. That’s why I like to think that we can always count on life to throw us what I like to call the ‘grenade effect.’ When we experience the grenade effect in our lives, there are two types of people left after the ‘explosion’… gosh, this is cheesy as fuck, I apologise… Basically, we see people for who they truly are when life throws us a big old grenade.... 


The two types of people:

  1. The people who are there to piece you back together, because hypothetically the grenade didn’t kill you, it just injured you really badly.

  2. The people who are running the fuck away.


As much as I enjoy providing you with metaphoric examples, to state my point, I’m going to stop now because things are always better said directly.

Although I do love a good metaphor, so I wouldn’t count on that…. 


But for now, I’ll try my best to speak to the point...

When I went through my breakup, people showed me their true colours and it wasn't a pretty pallet, excuse the bad dad joke..... I learnt a very bittersweet lesson, which was a breakup leads to more breakups.  And although at the time I felt like I was at such a loss; I realised and you will realise that the people you lost during that period, were never really a loss at all, just another life lesson. And that’s not me trying to be all sassy, that’s just my truth and maybe in time, it will be your truth as well. I have many recollections of ‘people showing me their true colours,’ during my breakup and even to this day now. But I’ll only share one particular recollection with you because, if I shared all of my recollections, I might revert back to having trust issues… 


I call this recollection, ‘FAKE BITCHES.’

It had been exactly three months since my breakup and I was indecisive about attending a concert because I knew my ex would be there. But then I got over that hesitation and went into my ‘fuck him’ phase and went to the concert with my friends. I didn’t want to miss out on an awesome event, which turned out to be a RIGHT SHIT OLD SHOW because of the following reasons:


  1. The weather was SHIT, it wouldn’t stop raining! 

  2. The music was SHIT

  3.  My intoxicated ex-had approached me twice

  4.  & I was stone cold sober 


The only two things that were remotely holding me together on that day were being in the company of my two good friends and demolishing a lush fish & chips. Although I soon fell apart when two more shit shows, showed up, this time in the form of two mutual friends of me and my ex. They approached me and my friend, I say friend because at this point my other friend had left and to be honest I don’t blame him. Anyways, since the breakup, neither of these ‘two friends’ had been in contact with me. Which at the time I had irrationally justified it in my head that maybe the both of them felt awkward to ask how I was. Then I came out of my ‘wet senses’ and thought, why should it be awkward? For four years, we celebrated birthdays, holidays, nights out, getting together for dinner and drinks, we were BLOODY FRIENDS! Why the fuck would it be awkward? And then these two lemons made it awkward. The two of them fucking acted as if we were all meeting for the first time. I won’t bore you with the details of the entire conversation between the three of us, because it was so painfully awkward and boring. I just really recall how much disregard they both showed me throughout our brief and final encounter with each other. And I’ll always remember something specific one of them said to me, “why don’t you come and join us up front.” And you may think, “what’s wrong with that question Vanessa? They’re being nice! Well, it wasn’t nice,  what was said was beyond insensitive, because the two of them had come to the concert with my ex! Why would you invite me to bust moves with my ex?


•    Nice would’ve been either one of them dropping me a message to ask how I was.

•    Nice would’ve been either one of them asking me in person how I was.



Neither questions were asked……..

So how did I respond to their dumb invitation? I told them to fuck off and walked off. 

Nah, I’m always out here killing them with kindness baby! I kindly declined the invite, by reminding them of obvious reasons. Before I could finish off my sentence, they both made it very clear that they didn’t want to hear me out. It was like telling someone you had been in a car accident and that person shows you not one shred of empathy. Oh look, I made another metaphoric comparison, but that’s how it felt at the time. They made some lame excuse and we parted ways for what I like to think will be forever now. Unless life funnily throws us in another awkward situation! It was also very clear that unnecessary sides had been taken in the breakup, their loyalties were with my ex. They were never truly my friends during those four years. They were friends with me because I was an extension of my ex. And now that I and Bob was over, this also meant that the three of us was over. 


From this particular experience, I’ve learnt the following key lessons: 


  1. To just simply accept, ‘people’s true colours’

  2. Not take it personally 

  3. (the most important) To learn from it and move on with my wonderful God-given life, and start to fill it with people who show me their genuine colours. Because when people hurt us so badly, we tend to this stupid thing. Our hearts harden and we lose faith in the human race. We’ve all done it and sadly some of us still do it and it’s a real shame. Why allow a negative experience to rob you of all the beauty that people are? 


This post is not me bashing the people who cut ties with me or disrespected me to my face. It discusses the bigger picture of this subject at hand. In an ideal world, a breakup should only affect the two people who were in the relationship. But we don’t live in an ideal world and I’m glad we don’t, because that would be hella boring! The reality is that breakups lead to further breakups and yes it sucks at the time. However, I ultimately came to understand that to an extent; a breakup does affect the people around you and its natural to cut yourself off from people or have those people cut you out of their lives. Because now the circumstances have changed and it may no longer be deemed as appropriate to stay connected with certain people. When you're in a relationship people knew and connected with you as a couple, not as an individual. I still to this day bump into aquatints who say to me, "Oh hi, aren’t you Bob’s girlfriend?" You see my point? Once the circumstances have changed, you are no longer known to your family, friends, colleagues and your local kebab shop as Vanessa & Bob. It is now Vanessa Alba Rodrigues, I know, I have a dope name!  Big up my parents and Aunty.


Notice how I stated to an extent because I made it clear to anyone I encountered who knew me and Bob, that regardless of these new circumstances, I wasn’t going to allow that to change the tone of the conversation. Then it was up to them… and if the new circumstances changed their perspective, cool homie. At least I know your true colours now…..