Hello

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I have a weekly face time catch up with a best friend of mine. A best friend I’ve actually only known two years, a best friend who’s been a best friend possibly less than a year but, regardless, the best of the best.

Doesn’t matter how long you’ve known someone, all that matters is that they’re there.

But when you realise they are there, even when you didn’t expect it because you hadn’t asked them to be…that’s when you know just how special they are.

I cancelled last weeks’ FaceTime because I was incredibly stressed out for reasons discussed previously and also on that day Dad decided to visit.

I half-reluctantly met him and it was perfectly pleasant but I’m purely going through the motions now (I’m so fed up with him and would be happier without a connection…but mum begs me to stay in touch).

Anyway, a perfectly pleasant lunch ends with him saying its time I met my half-sibling. He spoke about him so casually throughout lunch, ‘oh Jason has exams soon…oh Jason’s doing this that and the other’ and it’s weird to hear my dad talk oh so normally about a half sibling he surprised us all with a few years ago. The half-sibling he dotes on so much more than he ever did me. One of the reasons I had to pick my mum up all those years ago, one of the reasons there’s no money left and mum can’t pay her bills. I wasn’t even 7 years old when dad started the affair, barely 15 when the kid came along and just 19 when I found photographs and letters and skype messages telling the truth. So much hurt from a man that never cared and yet mum asks me to ‘be nice because he’s still your father and he’s so stressed out.’

Oh yeah, let me just put the man who hurt me over the years, who hurt all of us, first. Let me put him first simply because he has the title of father when all he is in reality, is a glorified sperm donor.

I broke down when I got home after lunch – my head was all over – food was too much to contemplate and I hadn’t been sleeping due to nightmares and I simply didn’t want to be alone so I went to his house to spend the night. I text her apologising for cancelling with no other explanation other than ‘I’m really stressed out’ and she completely understood because great friends always understand.

But you know what an even better friend does?

This…

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I got this through the post on Monday and I cried. It took me completely by surprise and I cried. I sat on the kitchen floor and cried. I cried because I was slowly realising how much support I have. I’ve never doubted her support but this simply just got me. It went straight to my heart and seemed to release all that pain.

I hadn’t even told her any of the reasons why I cancelled because I’d been so busy the entire week. But that’s the thing. She didn’t need to know the ins and outs to be able to help me. She just knew something was up and that small postcard contained more support than you can even begin to imagine. A small postcard that has pride of place on my bedroom wall. A new daily reminder I can get through all this. A daily reminder that there are people there even when I don’t expect them to be.
Especially when they realise I need them before I do.
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Infamous Same-Names

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What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet definition. (William Shakespeare – Romeo and Juliet)

An association with something, anything, can lead us down very different paths depending on whether the association is positive or negative. Unfortunately I have, due to more-than-unfortunate-circumstances, developed a negative association with a name…

[Insert name here because after all this time I still try to protect others in my posts]

Whilst we can’t taint the same group of people with the same negative associations I have noticed I do just that but, arguably, the more-than-unfortunate-circumstances that led to such an association are more-than-understandable.

I went to senior school with a guy called Name Number One. He came to stay at my flat one week four years ago….I had to force him to leave. I had swimmers come home with me from training to try ensure the situation went as smoothly as it could go but it didn’t go very smoothly at all

I asked him to leave because it was the second time he had visited and ‘tried it on’. It was the second time he had made me incredibly uncomfortable in my own home. In fact, far more uncomfortable this time round because it was far more intense this second time round. Far more nerve-racking, far more scary…

It could have been scarier. It could have been worse.

But that’s not the point.

A Same-Name-As-Name-Number-One came into my life around a year ago. He kissed me whilst I had a boyfriend, a boyfriend he knew about. He knew and still went for it…I did fuck up too in that situation, I text him the next day to clarify a few things and him kissing me ultimately led to me realising how unhappy I was but that situation with my ex-boyfriend was also very unfortunate at the time and that’s not the point of this post.

Following the break up there was one person texting me. Following the break up I was stupidly convinced he was devastated that I was a mess due to his actions and, wait no, I wasn’t stupid, I was lied to. I was all over and I went to someone for support that I shouldn’t have gone to. I know that. But I also know that does not mean what happened to me that night was my fault.

I know that now.

It wasn’t my fault.

Looking back I can see the guy who kissed me whilst knowing I had a boyfriend and then hung around, trying to stay in touch, acting sympathetic, saying he simply cared about me,  trying to see me post-break-up…I can see now that I was so completely broken that I could not see his actual intentions. I can see now that I was so vulnerable and someone was actually taking advantage of that.

I can see now that I did put myself in a dangerous situation but that does not mean what happened to me that night was my fault.

It wasn’t my fault.

I keep telling myself that but I don’t know when I’m truly going to believe it. I never did anything about it. I didn’t see the point and I actually still don’t. I want to tell someone new about it but I still don’t want to do anything about it. I know I should, I know we need victims of abuse to speak up and whilst I want to, I also don’t want to take it further (in a legal sense).

I saw ‘Name Number One’ on Friday and I most definitely didn’t expect to. It was at a school-dinner-reunion-thing where people from all ages and year groups came to send off our most recent headmaster who was retiring. I froze when I saw him but not as badly as I did that time I saw him in the street and had a mini-panic attack in an alleyway as a result. I froze for a minute or two and then found a different group of people to go and talk to.

So what is in a infamous same-name?

I’ve noticed I avoid Same-Names-As-Name-Numbers-One-And-Two at all costs from a dating perspective; I can tell you all that I have genuinely swiped left on tinder on pretty much every Same-Name I come across or avoided Same-Names that I meet and God, does that sound silly to type and read out loud! However, Same-Names I come across from a more neutral, maybe work-based, perspective I don’t seem to judge in the same way.

I think I just know I’ll never be romantically involved with a Same-Name and I think that’s understandable. You don’t think all fruits are going to be sour simply because the lemon is but I don’t think I could ever trust or fall for a Same-Name and, to be honest, that’s okay.

However, hating on a certain name just gives them fame and I realised on Friday night that a lot of the fear has gone. I obviously hate what one Same-Name tried to do to me and what one Same-Name did do to me but there is far less fear and whilst I was shaken for a few minutes – I know I always will be – I realised how much stronger a woman I have become.

Still Standing. Always Smiling. And didn’t I smile all night that evening…

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The Number Game ain’t a Fun Game

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Pesky little things numbers, aren’t they?

We place so much value on what a few digits can tell us and yet they truly tell us nothing at all.

I will be the first to admit I become obsessed with the number on the scales all too quickly at times and the number can either comfort me or send me into despair.

I haven’t been happy that the number on the scale seems to have increased and not dropped at all lately. I usually let it dictate my happiness but there’s more to life than numbers.

A friend pointed out my ‘amazing ass’ the other day and so I had a little think.I put together two pictures one from this week and one from 5 weeks ago…here it is…

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Same beautiful smile, same happiness. The only difference was the number on the scales.

But look at the change…not only have my legs gotten more muscular I think I look healthier. Now I’m not saying I was unhealthy in the first picture but I do think I look stronger as a whole in the second.

The numbers have dictated my happiness in the past but that’s all they are…numbers..and I’m worth more. They don’t reflect true values such as friendships, work or even that muscle you’ve clearly gained in the gym!

So chin up and ignore what those numbers tell you. It’s only a digit and only you get to decide what it means.

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V-Day-D-Day (Part 2)

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That’s right…V-Day-D-Day got worse yesterday AFTER I published my new post so here I am making an additional one. In all honesty, this guy deserves a separate post anyway, so well done him!

Firstly, let me provide you with some humour as to why some of my previous Valentine’s are ‘special’ in a not-so-special-way:

  • 2013 – I was surprised when we arrived at the restaurant with a triple date with people I really didn’t like.
  • 2014 – A friend was visiting for the week and instead of sleeping next door I found him in my bed and he harassed me.
  • 2015-  A date was kidnapped by his sports team right when I was due to meet him – story was never verified but I’m happy to award points for originality here.
  • 2016 – I was in a relationship where the guy didn’t do anything, where I felt more single than had I actually been alone.

And 2o17?!?! Drum roll please my lovelies!

So, I basically got dumped by a best friend yesterday but remember that guy who hurt me? (I refer to posts such as Shit Happens, A Beautiful Contradiction, Raw)…he damn well text me. It’s sort of ironic considering there was a hint of him in my mind when I wrote V-Day-D-Day (part 1) about boys lying to me.

My heart sank when his name flashed up on my phone. I actually panicked a bit. I didn’t know what to do. I do miss the fun we had. But this guy hurt me. When we were ‘dating’ he continually asked me to trust him. He wanted me to think he was genuine. He seemed to care whether I had eaten or not. He asked about my past and the future I wanted. I met a couple of his friends and he met mine.

And so I opened up that heart of mine. Just a little bit. I spent so long with my heart in a cage but I let my heart open up to the idea of something more.

The idea of being with him.

I tried to keep my heart shut but friends convinced me that he liked me. He was doing things that were more than sex. We had sober dates, romantic dates and of course we had drunken dates.

For the first time in forever, I thought someone liked me. And I let myself like that person back.

I let myself become vulnerable because I thought he was worth it.

But then one evening he ripped the band-aid off.

Let’s be honest this has been completely platonic. I thought after ten weeks I would have developed feelings but I haven’t. There’s never been any sort of spark between us. I want to fall in love with my best friend and you’re not that. We should end this. 

Completely platonic. 

Never been a spark. 

You’re not that.

The Demon was incredibly cruel to me following that. It told me I was stupid to think he liked me, that I was wrong to open up when he asked me to, that I was weak for revealing my vulnerability, that I’m only good for sex and not worth anything else. It told me I was ugly and fat and had I never told him about my ED he would have liked me.

It told me lies. Just like he told me lies.

I’ve written before that I don’t want him back but that hopeless romantic in me thought what if he wants to apologise? What if he wants to make up for what he did? I’ll never sleep with him but could we be amicable?

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So I truly was just sex to him for almost 3 months and last night showed he has no respect for me whatsoever. To think he could even consider trying to do this to me.

That’s what stabbed my heart last night. That’s what broke me a little bit more. Any consolation that perhaps I was a touch more than sex, gone.

I live my life by what I call the three-C’s. Stay Classy, never Chase a boy and never Crawl back. He dumped me and I never begged him to change his mind. I strongly remember holding my head high through the tears and walking out of that bar leaving him to settle the bill. I proudly remember refusing to reply to his text following that evening.

(Well done NYE-Drunk Len…you did us proud ❤ )

I’ve slowly been moving on and you think you can play on the fact you know I had feelings for you? You think I’m the type of girl to wait and hope for you to like me back?

Well, you’re a dick and I don’t want you back.

It’s your loss [insert name here]

You chose to lose me and now there’s definitely no prospect of anything ever happening again. He apologised after I replied. I bet he didn’t think I’d turn him down…I bet he thought I’d go running…but that shows how cruel he is.

How cruel some men are to play with our feelings, to pick up and drop our fragile hearts without a care in the world.

You clearly still think about me. You clearly still want me, even if it’s to sleep with me. You clearly had some level of ‘spark’ if you actually had the balls to text me to try get me.

But.You. Can’t. Have. Me. 

I was crying before but now I’m smiling.

And you know what, my lovelies? That means I’ve won.

He chose to lose me.

But I chose to respect myself and the value of my body and my soul.

I chose me ❤

And just look at what he can’t ‘tap’ anymore….

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Too Glam To Give A Damn

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Self-confidence is the best outfit you can possibly wear. 

I broke down at law school this week, I’d let the emotions get on top of me and I hadn’t dealt with them healthily at all. I’ve spent a while feeling fat and overweight and ugly…all those horrible words said to me by others years ago and the horrible words I learnt to value my worth upon.

I couldn’t hold it together and I broke down in the middle of the class. Two of my really good friends came to help put me back together and I told them exactly what’s been going on. The family, the fear of being told I have cervical cancer, the hurt, the financial situation, and I told them I’m recovering from bulimia. That I have purged and I was so  ashamed of myself for, in my words, ‘failing’.

So, it’s been a tough one this week but we had a girls night out (with a close male friend too) and it was simply everything I could have wanted. I could feel how much the week had gotten to me though because I was feeling back in a place where I was nervous to go out, struggling to find clothes, hating that girl in the mirror. I was filled with this fear that I’m going to be that fat friend with my other skinny counterparts. That I’d look so fat and ugly in any pictures that surfaced the next day. I could feel that dread burning. The desire to be thin rising yet again.

The night before I tried on my outfit and hated the way I looked so before going out I tried something different. I didn’t want that fear to be there when I went out. I didn’t want the demon to stop me having fun. So I stood in front of the mirror and I took a deep breath in and I smiled at myself. I thought about how much fun I knew I was going to have. I thought about how much me and E had been planning this night and how excited I genuinely was. I thought about how much I wanted to dance with someone who’s become one of my closest friends, to dance without a care in the world. A night where boys were not on the menu!

Smiling seemed to make me smile even more.

And I felt the smile glowing. I felt my confidence starting to grow. I laughed at some of the antics from the week before and at the thought of only god knows what was going to happen later! I started to smile at how much my friends cared when they saw me break down. I started to remember that there are people who think I’m awesome and, if I’m honest, I do think I’m pretty awesome too.

I was smiling simply because thinking of my friends, my excitement, even those damn sexy shoes I was going to wear made me happy! I was smiling because I knew exactly what outfit I was going to choose and although I had started the evening so scared that I was going to be fat, when I went back to the mirror I loved that girl staring back at me. I loved the curls in her hair, that smile and her dimples. I loved how happy she was.

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I loved me.

Just the way I was.

The way I am.

And I realised I could care less about people who made me feel fat and ugly all those years ago because all that matters are my friends who made me smile again. My friends who picked me up in that corridor when I could barely stand. My friends who danced with me all night long. My friends are beautiful people. And you know what? So am I.

Too glam to give a damn? Too damn right ❤

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Raw

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Hands tense, gripping what they can. Trying to stand tall but everything is crumbling.

Heavier weights to try numb the even heavier pain.

But it’s falling away. It’s being ripped away.

It hurts. Oh it god damn hurts.

The pounding starts. The voices come running. Whispers turn into screams.

Walls back up but still spiralling downwards. One step forward yet five leaps back.

Lift even heavier. Push through the pain. It helps the hurt.

But why does it still hurt?

Tears stinging. Why is it still so raw?

I’ll never see him again but why am I scared that it might happen accidentally?

How did one person take away all my strength? All my confidence? All my self-worth? Why did he have to take it, just to have sex with me for a few months?

I can’t do it right now. I can’t fix myself right now. Somebody please pick me up because I really can’t stand on my own right now. Anyone. Please.

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I Was Spiked Last Night

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Well, there’s an attention-grabbing title.

Nothing  else can sum up the thoughts spinning in my head right now about my world that was literally spinning last night.

I went to a house party with my housemate, Tom and it was perfectly normal but true to party style it got hectic. I’d had a tough day yesterday and knew I didn’t want to get too drunk in those circumstances so I was good with my alcohol. I just drank my wine and had loads of fun with Tom’s friends.

No problems there.

I went to get a soft drink when I finished my wine. I remember walking up to a table and saw a bottle of lemonade and asked this guy stood there if he could pass it to me. He made some joke about wanting something in return to which I actually clearly remember saying, ‘I’m not looking for anything, just looking for a mixer’. He laughed and took my glass and proceeded to fill it for me.

It’s a strange feeling to remember this small conversation but I cannot for the life of me remember his face. I even remember he kept hovering around and I kept catching him looking at me. The problem was, I thought nothing of it, I knew me and Tom would be leaving shortly and I just sat and drank my ‘lemonade’.

But the room started spinning and my speech became incredibly slurred. My instinct when my speech slurs is that I might be about to have an epileptic fit so my reaction was to find Tom. I stood up and fell over almost immediately and I think it was the lemonade guy who caught me. I broke free and luckily bumped into Tom who was coming into the room.

When I spoke to him this morning he told me that, I said ‘something’s wrong, take me home’ and that he has never seen anyone look the way I looked last night. I’m so glad I found him in time. The drugs were only just starting to kick in and I don’t even want to think of what would have happened had I not found Tom and passed out somewhere.

I remember little bits of the journey home. I remember Tom carrying me at stages and I remember throwing up badly at the tube station. I remember that I couldn’t stand let alone walk and I kept passing in and out of consciousness. Tom pretty much carried me to my room and got me into bed.

I’m unbelievably grateful to have him in my life ❤

The whole situation has kinda shook me a little bit. I’ve been…you know…still can’t find the strength to say the word but the thought that the night could have ended so much more worse than me vomiting at a tube station scares me.

It got me thinking bout how I victim blamed myself in that situation and even last night. That it was my fault. That I put myself in that situation. I let that guy pour me wine and I let someone give me ‘lemonade’ last night. That it was my fault, that I could have prevented it but didn’t because I’m an idiot. Because I’m a stupid girl who should have known better.

Why do we try to teach girls how to not get raped rather than teach people not to rape?

But somehow I still feel like its all my fault.

That I asked for it.

I won’t know who spiked me. I won’t know if they’ve spiked someone before or if they’ll do it again. The thought of what could have been scares me but my housemates truly looked after me today. We spoke about it a lot and that’s definitely helped me come to terms with the event. I suppose I can only try to learn from the situation which would be to always pour my own drinks. But even then, should I have even considered this person was going to slip me something?

To think someone could happily drug someone, treat them as a piece of meat and sleep with them passed out is such a horrible thought. That would have made me feel ten times worse than after that guy…

I try to pretend it didn’t happen.

The nightmares from that night only stopped about 2 months ago.

Can only try to move on from last night.

Just be grateful it wasn’t worse.

Be grateful for Tom’s quick thinking and his actions.

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