strangers

We’re becoming strangers again. 

It started so subtly that I just put it down to a bad day, but now it’s becoming a bad week. And it feels like crap.

We’ve just had a week away and I honestly thought that we’d come back more loved up than ever. It’s not that we’re one of those couples that needed a break away together to fix things, but we needed a break from life, so we locked ourselves away in a tiny cottage up north and spent our nights playing scrabble and our days in bed eating rubbish and watching Netflix, which was bliss. 

But since we’ve been back, things have been different and our conversation has felt strained at times. I’m kind of feeling like it’s the harsh sting of reality and getting back into our daily routine that’s affecting us, and nothing else. Well I’m hoping anyway. 

But the other night he said something I’ve never heard him say. 

I’ve never ever heard him doubt us. Maybe once a long time ago, before we were even together when there were so many obstacles in our path and we were stuck in the ‘right person but the wrong time’ scenario. I was unsure and he reassured me, but I know better than anyone that you can only take someone’s uncertainty for so long, before you start to doubt things yourself, and I think that’s what happened with him. 

But that was a long time ago, and since then we never talk about breaking up, or if I ever do, or if make up weird scenarios where we’re not together or one of us dies or cheats he refuses to talk about it. It’s almost as if I’m talking about dragons or fairies or pigs flying. He treats it like the most impossible thing that could ever happen, and it’s always been that way. 

But the other day he was responding to something I’d said and insinuated that there was a chance we could possibly split up, as though the future wasn’t certain. In fact he said ‘you never know.’ As in ‘you never know what the future holds, we might break up.’ 

Even though they weren’t his exact words that’s exactly how it felt. I’d had a long day, I was tired, I was stressed. But those words hit hard and more than anything, they hurt. It hurt to think that maybe he sees a future where I’m not in it, because I can’t even begin to imagine one where he’s not in mine. 

I don’t know if it’s been playing on my mind or contributing to this whole feeling, there’s other factors too. There’s money worries and a wedding to still pay for and the stress of work and just life in general. But something feels different and I can’t shake it. It’s like this weird mood hanging over us like a blanket and every morning when I wake up I can still feel it wrapped around us, some mornings tighter than others. 

I know we’ll be okay eventually, it’s just tough right now. Really, really tough. 

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the cusp of adulthood

I’m 23 years old, I’ve had an birthday, I’m a whole year older and something feels different. 

I actually feel older. I feel as though there’s a part of my life that I really need to get in order, it’s like an itch that needs to be scratched and I won’t rest until I’ve done it. I need to stop being spending and start being a little more thrifty, and I also need to get my act together and become more organised.

 I feel as though I’m a woman now. 22 was like the cusp of adulthood for me, and for the whole year I felt as though I was invincible. I bought what I wanted, when I wanted. I got engaged after three weeks of being with my partner (absolutely no regrets whatsoever),  I booked countless holidays and getaways, and I just stopped caring about what I should be doing and focussed more on what I wanted to be, which felt amazing. 22 was my favourite year, because I discovered who I was and what I wanted and I was finally free to be the person that I’d been trying to be for so long, but 23 feels even better. It feels like I’ve entered this year already knowing all of these things and having tried and tested them, I’m now ready to adult, I’m ready to take life a little more seriously and I am SO ready to get married.

I feel happy and secure and certain that things are going my way, and most importantly, I feel as though I’m a person who deserves to be happy. That’s the biggest lesson I learnt at 22, and the 23 year old me is more than ready to embrace it

freedom

I’ve been a free woman for a year.

And when I say free, I mean it literally. 

I became free.

I’d been in a relationship for five years, and at least 4.5 of those years were toxic. Looking back, I was in love with the idea of being in love, and the idea of the perfect family. I swore that I would only ever have children by one man, and I also swore that I would never leave, because I was afraid of the unknown. I was afraid of being a young single mother with emotional and physical baggage, and I was certain that the shit I’d been through would ruin my chances of having another relationship. I believed I was damaged. 

I used to flinch at everything. I would cry in the shower almost everyday towards the end, and I contemplated suicide at least twice. 

I used to hang out of my bedroom window and wonder what would happen if I just threw myself out. I knew it wouldn’t be death, not instantly anyway. But it was a cry for help. I knew I’d be seriously injured, I knew that people would figure out I was unhappy and I knew that they would realise that I needed to get away. That I needed to be free. 

Looking back now, I have no sympathy whatsoever for my former self. I could’ve and should’ve got out sooner. I was weak and I allowed myself to fall apart when I’m surrounded by women who have been so much stronger than I’ve ever been. I’ve never had a man around the house, and I’ve never seen anyone rely on a man before. I’ve pretty much been surrounded and brought up by single women who did the handyman jobs (not always great but whatever) mowed the lawn, fixed the car, play fought with me, watched football, took care of bullies and basically filled two roles instead of one. I had a mum and a dad, without having a man around and I saw my Nanna do the same for my mum. I thought that I would never fall into the trapof falling for someone who treated me with little respect or anything less than I deserved, and if I did then I would kick him in the balls and leave with my head held high. I was brought up to say no if I didn’t want to do something or go somewhere, I was allowed to express my options whenever and wherever I could and I was sassy as hell. I threw strops, I argued even when I was in the wrong and I always thought that I knew best. I was demanding and impatient and took the biggest risks, not knowing if they’d pull off, but I knew my own mind and I knew that if I wanted something, I would get it somehow. 

But then I met him. 

He suffocated me, he diluted all of that sass and personality and stomped all over my kind nature. He took advantage of my generosity and my willingness to please everyone around me and moulded me into somebody nobody liked. He told me he didn’t like my friends, and gradually I started to look at them in a different light, especially when they said they didn’t like him. He blamed me for everything in his life that went wrong, he said my choices and decisions had left him in the shifty situation that he was in, and therefore his shit job, his lack of income and his poor uni grades were my fault. He told me I needed to tone up, that I’d let myself go too often so I’d spend ridiculous hours in the gym, buzzing off fat burning tablets and dizzy from skipping meals. I’d make myself sick just to lose a little bit of weight I’d gained from eating one two many takeouts that he let me pay for, every single time. He was jealous when I achieved anything, so much so, I considered rejecting a job offer just so I didn’t have to deal with him loathing me any more than he already did. And then when I took the job he pestered me so that I pestered them weekly until they gave him an interview. He accused every male friend I had of fancying me until I stopped talking to men altogether. He told me I needed to be more assertive on nights out with men who offered me a drink, to the point where I snapped at a man that got a little too friendly one night and ended up getting punched. He told me that I’d failed as a mother, when I came out of hospital with post natal depression and didn’t just fall naturally into the role like everyone expected me to. And worst of all, he put his hands on me to the point where it became normal. It started with him almost breaking my arm when he got so angry that he twisted it behind my back and shoved me against the wall. He told me he’d kill me and I believed him. After that I lost count. He pushed me down a flight of stairs mid argument, punched me infront of our friends because he was drunk. Dragged me down the street on the floor whilst I was pregnant because I’d been sick all day and couldn’t stomach date night and almost knocked me out in front of my mum when he punched me in the middle of the street and I hit my head on the concrete. He was violent and aggressive and everyone knew it. But I defended him to everyone. Our college tried to separate us and sent me to counselling and him to anger management. My teacher, my friends, my mum. They told me they were afraid for me but I didn’t back down. I thought that somewhere deep inside there was someone who loved me and that one day, he would change and we would live happily ever after. 

There was no happy ever after though. There was just argument after argument and in the end it wasn’t the physical abuse that ended us, but the emotional. He left whatever was left of me hanging by a single thread and for months let me believe that he was on the verge of leaving. That he could no longer put up with the person that I had become and that if there was one wrong word or one step in the wrong direction he would be gone. I was on eggshells, thousands of them and every day for two months I weaved in and out and tiptoed around them with baited breath. 

And then I met someone who encouraged me to start walking without fear. And I walked right over them. I felt them all crack beneath me one by one and I didn’t care. I didn’t care one single bit.

That was a year ago today. A year ago today I told him to leave. I didn’t care that it was 6 days before my birthday, or that we’d just celebrated our five year anniversary, or that I was in my final term of uni with a three year old and a new job. 

I told him to leave and it was the best decision I ever made. Because even now, with a fiancĂ©, a four year old and a wedding in 6 months. I am freer than I’ve ever been. 

I am happy.  

a problem halved

I haven’t posted in 13 days. 

I’ve come to realise that I only post when I’m feeling really passionate about something, or when something is really getting me down. Although I don’t even know if that’s true, because I’ve just had the best week ever but I didn’t get the urge to post. 

Today I have though. My head doesn’t feel clear and I’ve woken up in a crappy mood. Such a crappy mood. The kind of mood where you feel as though you just need to let it all out, but you’re tired of going over the same thing. 

Yesterday I saw a post on instagram that said ‘if she mentions it more than twice, it’s getting to her’ and at first I thought what bullshit, but now I’m starting to really think about it, and I guess it’s true. 

I’m the type of person that can take a year and day to say what’s getting to me, or I can be completely blunt and tell you what I’m thinking almost immidiately, but both mean the exact same thing – whatever I’ve decided to tell you, is really getting to me. Because if it wasn’t, I just wouldn’t say anything at all. I hate arguments and uneccessary drama so the more I can avoid it the better. 

So If I mention something once, it has without a doubt been playing on my mind for a while and I’ve already came to about 62739 different conclusions in my head, probably had a few restless nights thinking about it and have gotten to the stage where I’m hoping that a problem shared is a problem halved. 

Now again, I’m not the kind of person who likes to go on and on, I just hate things becoming a thing or an issue because then every time you try and address it, it feels dirty or taboo. So mentioning the exact same problem again later down the line takes a little more work, and by this point I’m probably ten times more frustrated, the conversation will almost definitely turn into an argument, and I will at some point without a doubt reinforce that ‘we’ve had this conversation before’ or that ‘I’ve already mentioned this and it’s still the same, you’re just not getting it’. 

Yes I really am that predictable.

So by the time it gets to the third time, I’ve given up. I can’t be bothered to do the ‘we need to sit down, we need to talk’ thing. I stop being able to see a way to resolve the issue and become weirdly accepting of it, but almost in a dismissive sort of ‘I don’t care anymore’ kind of way and then I go cold on the whole situation.

I guess that’s where I am now.