So January this year when we returned from our holiday of a life time , what started off as a normal conversation about what to do today ended in the love of my life packing a bag and walking out the door . 6 months on and I'm still healing but it's a long process and I know that now ….
I met him about 6 years ago but at the time I was in a new relationship, which turned out to be a complete waste of time , and he had just come out of a long term relationship so the timing was definitely not right. We became good friends and when my relationship with said time waster came to a finish, we decided to go on a date as it felt like the right time.
Well, it was a roller coaster romance from the start. I don't mean we had ups and downs . It was all ups and higher ups. We never argued. He was mature and funny and we got on so well. I got back from a spontaneous city break he took me on just a few months in and said to my sister 'oh shit, I'm in love with this man!'.
He met my family, I met his . We had one minor hiccup about 6 months in when he wondered if I was just looking for a fling or something serious as I was a bit of a closed book (even though inside I would have married him then and there if he'd asked me ha ha ). I told him I was sure I wanted to give it a real go and we made it official and soon after had our first holiday and moved in with him when I got back .
I loved living with him. His flat was a real bachelors pad and we enjoyed each others company. I was body confident, we had a lot in common, enjoyed exercising together and going out for nice dinners. About a year in , which felt like a life time , we went on holiday to a seaside town and saw this little cafe for sale. We spent the holiday forming this silly idea about how we could move out of the city to a beautiful quaint seaside village and grow old together.
When we got home, he said 'I've looked into my funds and I think we could do it'. I never had any money, I worked hard but never went to university or had any real skill per se so I was on a fairly low income wage whereas he had a mortgage and a great job so this venture would be at his financial risk .
So we did it. We put an offer in on the lease and just went for it . I was 21 years old and what a whirlwind it was . You can imagine my families faces when I told them I was moving to other side of the country to open a cafe but it felt so right . We had this crazy pipe dream that was turning into a reality.
The stress began straight away . Before we had even moved . The business consumed us from the start. When you move into a new house (it was never home gimme it was a house ) it's supposed to be beautiful and exciting . I didn't get that . The intimacy soon stopped and the long stressful hours started. The money drained quickly from all the work that needed doing and to top it all off, we had offered to host Christmas . I faked smiles even though we had no money in the bank and I felt so alone.
Living on cafe food, working 16 hour days and having no intimacy with the man I loved, meant I had put on a substantial amount of weight.
We even had to pick up extra work to help fund Christmas and rent . There was no 'us' time. We were just business partners.
Everyone says 'the first year of a new business is the hardest' . I won't deny that and yes, the second year was better /easier in some ways. We tried to not put so many hours in to the business and have more 'us' time but it was too late . I had lost me . Even when we would go away for the night and go for a lovely dinner I just wasn't myself anymore . I felt huge and ugly . After 2 and a half years, we decided to sell the business .
Things changed for the better . We could start planning our future again . Searching for a house we could call home and new jobs and a new start. He did lose money in the process but we knew it was a risk and it wasn't much as we managed to sell it for a good amount.
The sale went through quickly. We moved in with my parents while we house hunted as a temporary arrangement . They were having issues of their own but it was a big house so we had our own space. We were able to enjoy Christmas for the first time in years and paid for my dream holiday to Thailand. At Christmas , he made me a photo album of our story at the cafe reminding me of the good times we had . At the end of the books ' no regrets '.
The problem was, it was far too late. My confidence was shattered. I wasn't the same person as I was. I didn't even know how to really have fun. I couldn't relax. But our relationship was rebuilding . Our holiday was amazing and much needed. We talked a lot about our future; what kind of house we wanted , how many children ….
When we returned , things quickly returned to how they were and one day we woke up and I was getting ready to go to my first personal training session in a desperate attempt to gain my confidence back , a normal mundane conversation escalated and escalated … the truth came out. He didn't want that house we had dreamed of neither did he want children . He said he never knew what he wanted but now he knows what he wants for him to live a happy life. Without me? Not necessarily but without all that I want and have dreamt about .
We decided it might be best if he go to his parents for the night and sort our heads out . I knew then that was it. It was such a sad 24 hours that followed. I cried to my mum and dad who sat and rocked me like I was a child again. My sister came to visit that day and slept in my bed with me as I cried myself to sleep.
Oh I sound dramatic do I? It's just a break up! The thing is, I soon realised that I had became so dependent to him that I had lost everyone close to me and had nobody left but my sister and parents . Even my sister, my best friend , I had sidelined in the past few years. I knew I had so much personal healing to do and friendships to rebuild. I knew I had nothing at that point . I had no confidence , I hated myself . It was a tough realisation. It wasn't just the break up that broke me. It was the change I knew was coming .
We met briefly the next day and he said some hurtful things that I can understand now. I mean, let's face it, how was he supposed to love me if I barely loved myself ? I went to work and while I was at work he packed the rest of his things and left. No real goodbye . After all those rollercoaster years we had together , 'no regrets ' he had told me at Christmas , and yet, no goodbye.
That night I came home from work to an empty space. He'd taken the tv, the coffee machine, the Xbox. Perhaps technically they were his . I don't know . The empty space with just me , an empty shell. My sister stayed with me all week, I'll never forget how she was there for me that week.
I spent the next few weeks taking each day as it came . I was so lonely . Broken.
I tried to lose weight to help my confidence but it was more than that and I wasn't ready to tackle my weight at that point, in hindsight. I went out one night with my work colleagues but hated it. I felt so uncomfortable. I soon developed what I now know to be a binge eating disorder to help deal with my emotions. I've had a long time to deal with the breakup. I know I should be over it by now and I guess I'm over him. I think I was over him before we broke up. It's all the extra shit that's hard to get over. I'm dealing with my eating disorder every day, my stress caused a severe outbreak in psoriasis which I'm trying to control and I'm starting to rebuild relationships but it will be a long time before I am myself again.
This is the first time I've spoken about it, properly.
So, this is the year of me. I need to start by loving myself.