‘Tho’ I keep searching for an answer, I never seem to find what I’m looking for….’

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Alice tries to get through the door

I don’t know if this is a good idea but I felt after yesterday’s email and blog I needed to close a few doors once and for all. I needed to explain it even know you don’t need to know about it. People keep telling me I’m like a dog with a bone. Well, it’s about time this old dog buried/gave up that bone.

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Hooray I here some of you say. Well, I’ve always been slow on the uptake, not a quick thinker and it’s only because I feel like I’m in my own Bermuda Triangle at the moment. I exist but then again I don’t

Everyone around me who I love dearly are hurting in some way, must point out it’s not what I’ve done, it seems life is being cruel to the people I love and I can’t help because I have nothing to give.

So this is my story, and when I’m finished you can tell me what you think, I won’t be offended. 🙂

Ever since I can remember I wanted to be a ‘Daddy’s girl’ i just wanted his love, for him to hug me, to understand me, to share things like football matches, although we did see Newcastle Footclub train at Houghall and I met Kevin Keegan and Peter Beardsley but I’m going off track.

I am part of a three. I am the middle child yet I am the eldest. My brother is my Dad’s son, my half-brother as I was told, how do you half of somebody? Anyway, I always thought I never had my Dad’s love because I was female. My sister and I have lived in my brother’s shadow even though he never lived with us but there was always a presence we felt we had to live up to.  I have been told it’s a generation thing to why my Dad is the way he is. I myself think it’s rubbish. I’ve tried to understand and I can’t. & we’ve never really got on. I do love him but it’s took him 32 years to say he was proud of me and that was because of a car. If I knew that was all it took I would have done it sooner.

Growing up my sister had health problems and I helped my Mum look after her and helped my Mum around the house, I always thought I mustn’t be a bother to my Mum and bottled things up. Not sensible, after a while it would blow up in my face and come tumbling out. I couldn’t talk to my Dad, he was in his own little world and once I became a teenager we just didn’t understand each other at all. I don’t think he liked how independent I had become.

From this relationship of trying so hard to be loved and failing and having a hard time at school I lacked confidence. It was only when they tried to push me into the lower band that I began to fight. I worked hard and got better grades than expected. I went to college where they tried to hold me back to.

I had a few relationships before I came to Leeds. One which at college a year after school and the lad was younger than me and the relationship might have survived if it hadn’t been for the arguments I was having at home with my Dad (sorry to mention it) and his parents having problems. I also got it in my head he fancied my friend who I thought was far prettier than me so was hit by the pangs of jealousy. We were doomed.

Sometimes the best things in life are free...Like friendship,a hug,reading,cake...and a green bag
Sometimes the best things in life are free…Like friendship,a hug,reading,cake…and a green bag

I then home where I went out with a lovely but strange lad and that went well until the pressures of college and leaving home and then my best friend dying and everything got too much I had to end it.  Then moving onto Leeds. I decided after such a long time spent in Middlesbrough, losing my best friend and then my Grandma and then moving to Norwich for the summer (this is when I met Rachel, Best friend for life :D) that I needed to concentrate on the course. I moved into a flat in a block called St Mark’s and within a fortnight was out again after the others wrecked the kitchen.

This is where I met Chris (the ex, the love of my life. ). It didn’t start then. It turned out he was on my course. In this flat we had a couple and a guy living there. The other guy kept to himself so there was just me and Chris. Me being the ‘motherly’ type said why don’t we share cooking and stuff. We went to the cinema a few times together, went bowling with friends. He saw me at my worst when I was still having problems with my periods (sorry I suffer from ‘bad periods’ and used to be in a lot of pain and throw up). I managed to poison him by not heating up a ready meal properly, he met my Dad and he still wanted to go out with me.

However, it took at least 8 months before anything happened. I was oblivious. Yes, I know what you’re thinking but I just saw him as loyal happy Chris, nothing more. It wasn’t until Rachel pointed it out that he fancied me. I remember sitting on the sofa at Spens house (behind woodhouse carpark) watching Moulin Rouge (I think and which Chris took me to see on Valentine’s Day, big hint there Helen!!!) and he offered to make a cup of tea or something and she said ‘he fancies you, you can tell by the way he looks at you’

I was shocked at this revelation. how could Chris with lovely blue eyes and great personality love little old me? No, seriously? He had seen me at my best and worst and still he liked me! I had to find out. I planned to meet him at the weekend for lunch and spring it on him. However, it didn’t turn out like that. We all went out to the student union to dance/party and it was cheap drinks £1 a bottle if I remember rightly. Anyway all I remember was towards the end of the night I was completely rat bottomed and Rachel came up to me and said ‘He knows, and he’s started crying!’.

Well my head just started spinning. What could I do? I decided to pretend I didn’t know and carried on with the evening. Chris and I walked home or should I said staggered and I remember the fresh air hitting me and I wanted to lie under the car next to the flat rather than walk up 3 flights of stairs to my room. I think I scared Chris because he sat up all night watching me. When I woke up in the middle of the morning, still dark I asked him what happened and asked if What Rachel had said was true. He told me that he had loved me since the moment he met me and loved the fact how outgoing and independent I was and most of all loved my smile.  This I couldn’t believe. We became a team. I told my Mum and she said ‘Helen, everyone knew but you, we’ve known for ages it’s just you who hasn’t’. Dur!

So started the rest of my life. I so I thought. The first 4 years were magical. But then I think with the pressure of  him repeating a year and us lot not being there and me finding it hard not getting the grades I wanted and now having to live in the ‘real world’ and earning  a wage. Looking back I can see the cracks forming, We never went on holiday together and one I hate to admit we never shared a bed at home only on holiday. I feel like I’m giving too much away but after 3 years I’m still trying to process it and I’ll tell you why shortly.

Living in Bramley, Chris trying to do his uni course me trying to work, we started to drift, I wanted to go out and do more, we didn’t go out drinking as much like we did at uni, all our friends were in similar situations and found it harder to meet-up. I then moved onto my job with Olan Mills and loved it Chris was having a hard time at Zavvi and that is when I think he started to change. I wanted to settle down, start a family and try for my driving license so we could get a car and go out more, he liked the outdoors and wanted to go walking, what a great opportunity. But no, a car was bad for the environment and he started playing mind games in a way because I have always been bad with money and was finding it hard to save whereas he wasn’t and used to spend as little as possible and would say to me, ‘I’m trying to save a deposit so I can buy the house you want’. So in a sense I felt I needed to give things up because he was doing this for me.

My problem was and still is I don’t have any self belief. I thought at this point we were going through a sticky patch, that’s what relationships do right?  One half has difficulties the other steps up and vice versa. I was in denial. It was of course the beginning of the end. What Chris wasn’t telling me was that we were on different wavelengths different paths in life. I was later told he was frightened by  the idea of settling down and freaked out. Thanks for telling me.

You see the whole problem started with me enjoying my job as a photographer and Chris hating his at Zavvi. They wanted him to become senior management. He wanted to become a power ranger sorry I mean park ranger.

I agreed that if he wanted to quit his job I would support him like he did me when I lost my job at Olan Mills (only to rejoin again 3 months later). So off he went to train at a college to do something with forestry and the outdoors. I started to learn to drive. I loved it and then, well then that’s when the shit hit the pan. He started bringing a young lass back with him, yes I know what you’re thinking and you’re right.

I thought great he’s got a friend. they would go off cycling and everything, even went camping together. I got fed-up of working and coming home to no tea, Them both lying about., I can see it all now, you could cut the atmosphere with a knife. I would go up on the computer of an evening and finish some work, He wouldn’t sit and watch tv with me as it ‘bored him’. Surely you just sit and watch nonsense with someone because you want to be with them to share time with them, doing things they like.

It was only when it got to three driving lessons in a row and I was going over the same things and making the same mistakes that I was asked what was wrong.  I said that I knew something was up with Chris but couldn’t pinpoint it.

I had to stop my lessons until I knew what it was. He and his now girlfriend had gone off on a trip. they had left the house mucky. I got back from work and there they were sprawled one on the sofa one on the chair and the place stunk. I flipped and lost it she fled and then the truth came out. He didn’t love me, hadn’t for a while, loved her and had done ‘it’ in the house but wouldn’t say where. My world came crashing down in an instant. Good thing we had separate rooms. All this happened before one of my best friend’s wedding. He ruined it. And what made it worse was although I may have known it subconsciously looking back. My friends knew before me. Granted they told him he had to tell me but he was a coward and didn’t.

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What has hurt me the most was the night his girlfriend pulled one of her tantrums (she had a lot of issues, lot more than me and was 10 year younger than me) He said to me that she didn’t want kids, but he said he did and would make a great father. Another stab in the heart. anyway he sat there crying that she wouldn’t answer the phone and there’s muppet me comforting him.

So I’m going to skip ahead, I moved in with some friends, also going through a break-up, one of them had been a great comfort and invited me to stay. However once in, I was helped to move in, I hadn’t really packed properly and had way too much stuff. I felt lost, I felt numb, I became a walking zombie. I tried to talk to  my friend, but obviously by this point it she wasn’t bothered or it could be as pointed out she had enough on her plate and  perhaps had enough.

A house cropped up, I made the rash decision to move in, it was familiar, I could have what I dreamed of, furniture, cushions make it how I wanted (another thing Chris didn’t like, why get cushions and stuff when it’s not our house I would hear him say). I also thought in one sense it wasn’t working at my friends, I didn’t feel comfortable. They needed time together but I was in the way. My friends were due another baby and I felt that I had to get myself sorted so no harm would come to this child or to my friend, after the loss of their last child (natural causes, a very sad event and not me in anyway). I know it sounds silly, it’s the way I think. But it felt like if I couldn’t be a bother to anyone and as everyone expected me to ‘get over it’ and move on nothing else bad would happen, it wouldn’t be my fault and no one else would get hurt. The moment I got told both were safe and well I felt a sense of reprieve, I sat and cried for the first time in ages.

Then as it all started to surface slowly but surely, I realised I  had made the mistake of moving into a house with the same layout as the one I lived with Chris. It’s quite simple the house is just way to big, and to many ghosts even though it’s not the same house. It took me ages to get used to nobody being upstairs sending secretly message on the computer or playing games. Another clue when he became edgy if I ever went up to the computer room. So from moving in here to me shutting down completely regarding who I was and emotions. My friends had a little girl and is now two and the cutest little thing in the world.

My favourite flower.The Daisy chain. The chain can easily be broken
My favourite flower.
The Daisy chain. The chain can easily be broken

Everyone keeps asking for the ‘Old Helen’ back. The reason she disappeared is because she felt like an idiot for what happened. yes as people keep telling me, nobody died. But what did happen is I felt like a muppet for believing in someone who could love me for me and then let me believe in myself. I lost trust in myself and the world. I shut down and it took ages to reboot. Not only did I lose 8 years. I lost The relationship with his parents, especially his Dad. Who to me, gave me the relationship I craved with my Dad. We were thick as thieves. On holiday we would go out on a morning for a week.  We would compete for food at meals times, eat as quick as each other. We would have conversations about anything and everything and he shared my love for photography. That is what hurts. The people, not just me who got hurt, but my Mum and sister, his parents. So much was lost and what for? a selfish moment and because one person couldn’t turn round and say, this is not what I want any more, before it was too late.

My life now is not what I expected. I crave a family, I crave to be a mother. I was to scared, deep down, to say to my myself and admit the relationship wasn’t working  but I loved him and I didn’t think anyone else would love me. What an idiot.

I am now at the point where I think I’m starting a fresh, a bit late, no money, nothing to offer, but loving the opportunities that have come knocking on my door.

All I have left to say is, to the friendships I’ve lost in the last two years, some have been mended others haven’t, I’m sorry I pushed you away, I’m sorry I tried to stand on my own two feet. I’m sorry I couldn’t tell you how I was feeling,  I felt ashamed, a failure, I let this happen and now I felt like I was drowning and couldn’t cope which led me to feel left behind because I said the things I thought you wanted to hear. I’m sorry for not asking how you were as I was scared you’d be falling apart and I couldn’t fix it.

And finally, thank you to everyone including my Mum and Sister for your support. And to people at bookclub and radio for the amazing opportunities. And to Darren. for a fantastic job, for pushing me to go look at book club, to restart my driving and finally for running.

Thank you for reading. xxx

I leave you with this

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