A lifestyle blog all about Birmingham, UK.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Why getting my heart broken was the best thing to happen to me

I guess this is another post that I have been wanting to write for some time, but seeing as I am currently on a roll of getting things out in the open, lets do this! I wanted to share with you why getting my heart broken was probably one of the best things to ever happen to me, because who knows where I'd be now without that moment.

My ex-boyfriend was lovely, and I'd never say a bad word about him because he genuinely isn't a nasty guy and I know that he probably never meant to hurt me. Just like he probably never knew just how badly I would cope with it all. I met him whilst at university and after talking all day every day for like two months, we were reunited after a summer break and we made things official soon after. I can honestly, hand on heart, say that I fell in love with him. Although I had boyfriends before, this was different and I just adored everything about him. Things were great for ages but it started to go downhill when we were coming to the end of our second year at uni. However, because I was so in love with him, I failed to see what was going wrong where and how it could end, so quickly, so soon.

I am aware that I probably sound slightly ridiculous here, we weren't together for years, we weren't married and we didn't have kids and therefore, the pain wasn't half as bad. However, at only 19, this hurt me like nothing else ever had. I coped with my mum being a lesbian, which you can read about here, I coped with living with various characters at uni, I coped with friendship issues and family problems and bad grades throughout the years, but nothing that had managed to have such a profound affect on me more than this.

It was on a Friday evening when my ex started acting weird with me and I asked what was up. He looked at me for what felt like a lifetime and said that he didn't love me anymore. I never realised how much I craved love and attention until that point and the fact that I, and myself alone, had managed to make someone love me, but then fall out of love with me, it blew my mind. Obviously, I questioned him on everything; what had I done? where did it go wrong? how long had he felt like this? Just the night before we had snuggled and fallen asleep in his bed. How can someone switch their feelings off so bloody fast and why was this happening to me? Even after him answering them all, I was so confused. There were still so many unanswered questions. I traced my steps back to everything that had happened for weeks beforehand and thought, should I not have said that? Did he think that joke was serious? I got the first train home, cried on a elderly woman's shoulder before getting into bed and sobbing into my beans on toast, which I later threw up. I couldn't function and I couldn't handle living in a world where me and him weren't together. How was I going to get through this?

I was fortunate enough to have my friends and family be there for me in such a rubbish time and I'll be honest, I would have ended up doing something stupid if it hadn't have been for them. Back in Liverpool in my cold uni room which was still full of his things, I lay looking at the ceiling for about three weeks. If I wasn't in bed looking at the ceiling in disbelief, I was drinking countless bottles of wine and sobbing whilst walking home from nights out. I had nothing in me, I couldn't go to uni, I didn't want to spend time with anyone unless it meant getting drunk, I would ignore phone calls. All I wanted in life was him and I spent a good four or five months after telling him how crazy I still was about him. Lesson number one, you can't make someone fall in love with you.

Eventually, after not speaking to him over summer, I began to start acting fairly normal again. I pushed myself into a summer job, I started thinking about my third year of uni and what I wanted to achieve from it and I hung out with friends, sober. I stopped ordering takeaways and eating my feelings and most importantly, I stopped feeling sorry for myself. It was a difficult period for my family at the time, so I had to be there for various family members and soon I realised that I needed to just get on with life and that spending every day moping around, waiting for a phone call from him saying he made a mistake, was not doing me any good.

I went back to uni feeling much more positive about the future. Although I was hurt and would still cry at least three times a week, I was slowly getting myself into a better place. Soon, me and him met up for a catch up and it was surprisingly fine, and I went home thinking wow, maybe we could be friends here. Lesson number two people, trying to remain good friends with an ex isn't always the best thing to do, especially when one has feelings still, and the other doesn't. A couple of months later, we met up again. However, this time he was really flirty with me and I loved it. One night he walked me home and we kissed and it happened again a month or so later. I thought maybe we could be friends who...kiss? No, no, NO. I soon found myself spending Sunday afternoons in bed staring at the ceiling again. Because I was still in love with him and still craved his attention. We would text often and I would lie to myself and say it was all a bit of fun, but it wasn't. The feelings were still there and I needed him in my life.

I dated countless other guys, but they were never enough. They weren't him. I would find myself being sat on dates and thinking, how did I end up here? Am I doing this because I want to or because I'm just trying to put my attention into something else that isn't him? Although I was smashing uni, my social life was on a roll and I was feeling confident in my own body again, I hated myself because I wasn't allowing myself to move on from this person. Over a year later, and he was still such a prominent figure in my life who I needed. I graduated uni, got myself a job and a flat and started acting like an adult. But deep in my tummy were still these feelings and every time he would pop up on my phone, I would still get some kind of bizarre buzz out of it.
In January of this year, I bumped into him on a night out. The shock of seeing him in the flesh after 8-9 months knocked me sideways so much that I had to run to the toilet to be sick. I didn't know how my adult self should act around him after so long, despite the fact that we still spoke most days. However, something happened that night and I remember thinking at the time, that I would look back and be thankful for this moment. I lost my friend who I had been on the night out with and on a freezing cold night, I didn't know what to do. I rang him to ask for his help in finding her, but after three phone calls and a couple of texts, he ignored me. He ignored me in my time of need and suddenly, I had a moment where I thought, what am I doing?

The next day, whilst eating a sausage sandwich and watching Big Brother, I had the sudden urge to cut him off. Like I should have done years ago really. I text him an essay saying how I still really cared about him and I wanted us to be friends, but I was hurting myself and not allowing myself to move on. I can honestly say that plucking up the courage to do this was one of my strongest moments in life so far. I grabbed my headphones, walked down to the docks by myself and cried. I cried because it was well and truly over, the whole thing, and there was no going back. In the moment of tears streaming down my face, Whitney Housten 'I'm Every Woman' came blasting through my headphones and I laughed and cried tears of joy. It may have looked like I was having a breakdown, but who knew Whitney would help me in such a time of need. I think I even skipped for a few minutes and danced on a bench or two. I didn't care. I had given up on him and it felt so bloody good.

I had the feeling over the next week or so that he was going to get a girlfriend. I don't know why, but I saw him tagged in a photo and just knew it. It was just a waiting of game of when it would appear on my Facebook feed. A few weeks after, it appeared. I was sat on the bathroom floor after a shower and stared at the phone for five minutes. Tears started rolling out of my eyes, but it wasn't because I was sad. But because I was relieved. Finally, he was gone. I had no reason to have anything to do with him anymore, he had found someone. Over the two years since he told me that he didn't love me, I had imagined how I would cope with the news of him moving on. However, I never thought I would be glad to see him move on, but I was. That is when I knew I was over him, after years of putting myself through hell of why I wasn't good enough for him and wondering if we would ever get back together, it was over in a heartbeat. I deleted him off everything. Not in spite, but just because it didn't feel right to have him on my social media anymore.

I have written this post because I have since realised how having my heart broken was the best thing to happen to me, because it changed who I was for the better. I had always been the type of girl who needed love and attention and needed to feel wanted. I am no longer that person. If someone wants to love me, that is fine, but I don't crave it anymore. After years of looking at myself in the mirror and asking why I wasn't good enough for him, I looked at myself after and thought, just because you're not good enough for him doesn't mean you're not good enough. I have grown into a stronger person throughout the last two years; I have learned to look after myself, be my own friend and have respect for myself. I spend time by myself, which I never ever did before, and I enjoy it. I have thrown myself into work and falling back in love with Birmingham since moving home. All of this couldn't have happened if I wouldn't have gone: "You know what, what am I doing spending so much time and effort on someone that doesn't care, when I need to work on myself?" By working on myself and reassessing the way I am with others, what I shouldn't take for granted and what I want in a guy, I have discovered so much about myself and now, I am excited for the future.

All it took was for me to realise that by still caring about my ex, I was hurting myself. By putting effort into him, I wasn't allowing myself to move on and have another guy notice how great I am. By spending less time worrying about what he is up to, I have had time to think about work, success and my future and what I want from it. By no longer having him on social media, I don't get reminded of his existence anymore and to be perfectly honest, I feel like a different girl to who I was eight months ago. I am proud in what I have managed to achieve to this point in life and all this wasn't down to anyone else, it was because I did it, despite everything going on around me. Getting my heart broken helped me become who I am now, and I am glad it happened.

It was the best thing that has ever happened to me.  


Sunday, 7 August 2016

Being brought up by two women...

I guess I have been contemplating writing this post for a good few years but just never thought it was the right time or whatever. But then, when is the right time to write about something so personal? May as well just say it how it is right?! But I haven't properly written a post in a while because I have been lacking some serious inspiration and motivation (when you write all day at work, it is difficult to get into the habit of coming home and writing all night too) so thought, I'll come back with something a little different... I grew up in a lesbian household, surprise!

I know in this day and age, it is hardly something to make you any different, but I thought it would be worth sharing. I have a mum and a dad, my dad is getting remarried to a lovely woman called Jackie in November and my mum recently got married to her partner of 10 years, Clare. Let's get some back story here... My mum and dad were together until I was seven, so they have actually been separated 15 years now. I won't go into the reasons they separated because it doesn't really matter. Soon after my mum started spending a lot of time with a woman, who she was with before Clare. I guess being seven years old, you just think two women hanging out were best friends and the whole lesbian thing didn't actually cross my mind until I was 11. Being so young and naive when my mum came out meant that I didn't really get it and just went with the flow. I still don't know all what happened now but I don't care because it is in the past. However, my sister is four years older than me and she struggled with it much more as she actually knew what a lesbian was.

I think I was in year six when people in my class first started talking about gays. It wasn't something that had ever crossed my mind and I didn't like that other people knew what they were and I was so oblivious. For me, my mum was with a woman but surely she wasn't gay like the people in my class were talking about. I guess I also thought that because I had my dad and his new family who I spent pretty much every weekend with in my life, I wasn't an odd one out in my friendship group. However, with all this talk of gay people suddenly happening in what seemed like every classroom of my middle school, well, it started to drive me a bit insane. So one day I plucked up the courage to just ask my mum if she was. She cried and said that she was, and we hugged and that was it. I told my closest friends and they all promised that they wouldn't tell anyone, because at 11 and 12 years old, you can almost guarantee getting bullied at school because of it. However, I did tell someone who I thought was a friend but wasn't really in my group and my school life did change.

For a few months, people in my year would pop up on the likes of MSN (those were the days!) and say things, but the majority of the time, and god knows how, I managed to shrug it off because I knew I wouldn't be a loner at school because my friends still liked me. I wouldn't ever say I was bullied for it, I know my sister had a bit of a rough time at school so I was lucky in that sense. For a few years at school, a few would make gestures around the room but I would just ignore them. I ignored the one guy because I was convinced he was gay himself (I pride myself on having a particularly good gaydar!) and would you have it, he now is, so take that as you wish...

However, when people ask me if I had a difficult upbringing etc because of my different family situation, I laugh. I am aware of those who have been brought up by gay relatives and have related issues in their life back to it, but I never would. I was brought up just the same, even in a household of two women. The only slightly difficult thing was dealing with four hormonal women at the same time! I was lucky enough to still have my dad as a male figure in my life, but Clare has always treated my like her own and supported me through school, went to parents evenings, came to my graduation last summer, it has never been a weird situation in my eyes and if anything, being brought up in a different home situation has helped in a range of ways and lets face it, if I ever need woman advice, wow, I can take my pick of who I can go to!

Someone once asked me if I could have been brought up by a mum and dad and had a fairly normal childhood, would I. My answer was no. Who knows how life would have turned out if it would have gone down a different path. The thing is, my family have made me, me. Who I am today is because of them. The way I am with others, is because of them.

One even asked me if I was gay because of being brought up in a household of two women. After almost eye rolling myself into a different dimension, I simply told them that a) it isn't actually their business at all and b) no, I like men as much as any other straight girl. Thinking about the amount of dates I have been on since I was 18, I could even argue I probably like men too much.

The thing is, my mum genuinely is my hero. She could have lived a life where she wasn't happy just to please those around her, but she didn't. She decided to bring me and my sister up in a home still full to the brim of love and normality, despite the differences. I laugh when I read articles about how gay marriage is the worst thing in the world. Because it isn't, it is actually wonderful how far we have come in just 15 years really. Being brought up by lesbians is not damaging and definitely does not impact your future, I am living proof. Seeing my mum and Clare on their wedding day was one of the happiest days of my own life, because my mum finally had her happy ever after. I wouldn't take that happiness away from anyone.

My little world and the people I have in it would be very different if I hadn't have been brought up by two women, and because of that I wouldn't change a thing.

Have any questions on the whole thing?!
Send them over, I will be happy to talk about it! 
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