This is not the life I wanted to live

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I have no idea where to start. I guess the beginning is as good a place as any. I apologise now for the length of this, it's a long story.

I'm a 27 year old female Veterinary Nurse that would really like to press the proverbial reset button.

Posting this feels like throwing a coin into a wishing well.

In December 2012 my 75 year old father was found in a coma in his flat by my mother after I had tried to call him on numerous occasions and he hadn't answered. He was in hospital for 3 months. He died on March 21st 2013. I was 25. My heart broke so hard and so loud I literally heard it crack inside my chest. It was my fault. It was my fault he had ended up in the coma. I hadn't seen him in almost a year. He would always cancel our plans to meet. What I didn't realise is that he had become a total recluse, an agoraphobic and a hoarder. I was the only person in the world that he spoke to and I didn't know what was happenning. The doctors said he had given up the will to live. After a course of Mirtazipine and much medical intervention it was looking like he was going to make a miraculous recovery...until he passed. I will live with that guilt for the rest of my life. At 25 I had lost the only man that would ever love me unconditionally.

Six months later, in October of the same year, I met a then 18 year old 'man' that changed my life. He was a colleague at work. He was handsome, sweet, intriguing and very persistent. I left my boyfriend of 8 years for him. He was the first good thing to happen to me after my dad died. And now I wish I had never met him.

I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.

The first 3 months of the relationship felt like I was using up all my 'happy'. I watched an episode of Grey's Anatomy recently where a couple of the characters were talking about being worried about using all of their 'happy' up. I panicked. What if that was me? What if I had used it all up in those first 3 months because I hadn't paced myself. I thought 'this is it.' I had found the one.

He said all the right things. Always complimenting me, telling me he had never felt this way before, the sex was incredible. I had never been so physically attracted to anyone before and for the first time in my life I felt uninhibited about my body.

The 7 year age gap was meaningless in the beginning. He was a colleague. My equal. But I had never been with anyone younger than me. And I obviously didn't know what was coming. What I should have expected.

We kept our relationship a secret from our colleagues with the exception of a few of our mutual friends. It was ridiculously exciting. Spending the night at his house, him driving us to work but planning to arrive at seperate times so we didn't get caught, him waiting in the car for me around the corner after work. It was the kind of romance you see in films or read about in novels. But if the cameras kept rolling or the authors kept writing, eventually the ending would look like mine.

A couple of months passed and we got less and less careful. I was so proud to call him mine I think I got slack about hiding it to be honest. I wanted everyone to know we were together. The secret romance was fun but I didn't want the other nurses to think he was available. So word got out that we were together. I was worried that the lack of secrecy of the relationship would take the sexiness out of it for him. But he seemed equally as happy for at least a month after that.

I can't pinpoint the day things changed. There were good days and bad days once 2013 turned into 2014. I wish I had kept I diary. I wish I had written down what had happened and how I was feeling every day. Maybe I would have noticed a pattern. Who knows now.

I read something the other day that said relationships end because people stop putting in the same amount of effort to keep you as they did in the beginning to win you. In his case, that is 100% true. Unfortunately for me, the more he pushes me away the harder I fight to claw my way back.

You fight like hell to hold on then you fight like hell to let go.

Things were really rocky for the six months between January and June last year. He would go days without speaking to me, he wouldn't care if he saw me, he stopped telling me he loved me, he stopped wanting to have sex with me. But I never stopped trying. I would always contact him first, always make an effort to see him even though I knew he didn't care whether I was there or not, I would still try and initiate sex even though I was always knocked back. You'd think after weeks of being rejected I would give up. False hope will be the death of me I swear.

Eventually on Tuesday June 10th 2014 I asked him whether I was what he wanted anymore and he said he didn't know and that he needed time and space to think. It had taken six months of him pushing me away for me to finally call him out on it.

Thankfully he had left the hospital I was working at, otherwise I would have had to face him everyday. I can honestly say I don't think I would still be here today writing this had that been the case. Fate intervened.

The next four months were the hardest of my life. I didn't have my dad and I didn't have the love of my life. I lived in a flat in London on my own. Every night I would come home from work and cry myself to sleep. I stopped eating. I thought the loneliness was going to kill me. I thought my heart was hurting so much it was sure to fail. I wanted it to stop. I just wanted my heart to stop beating. Being a Veterinary Nurse I had access to drugs that could make that happen painlessly and peacefully. And I thought about it. Every day I thought about it. But then I would think about my beautiful mum who had only lost her sister a few years previously and I remembered how hard she had taken that. And I thought about my sister who had lost her dad only the year before. And so I didn't. I didn't because of them. And only because of them. So I kept going to work, I kept saving animals' lives all the time wishing I could just take my own. And I kept coming home every night and crying myself to sleep. My dreams were the only time I got to see him and I never wanted to wake up. Him and my dad.

It did not let up. The sadness. The emptiness. The loneliness. I called it my little black cloud. It would follow me wherever I went. It was the height of summer last year when I went through this, beautiful hot sunshine most days and yet wherever I went was this dark cloud that would just rain and rain and rain on me. I felt like my legs weighed twice as much as they did before. They say when you're in love it's like you're walking on air. You're weightless. With a broken heart it takes all the energy you have just to take one step. I was exhausted. I had a headache everyday from dehydration from crying so much. I cried so hard my forehead felt bruised. I was an absolute mess inside. I was carrying around this burden, this weight of sorrow and it was so heavy. I think anyone that has felt sadness like that knows what I'm talking about.

It was so fragile though, my act of being ok. A song, a smell, anything could remind me of him. I remember one day a male vet was wearing his deodorant, it was like being hit by a freight train. I was stuck in a small theatre with him breathing it in solidly for 2 hours. I still don't know how I managed to hold it together. I politely asked him not to wear that fragrance again.

On the outside I was just a girl trying to pass her final year vet nursing exams. Thinking about the future. I would wake up and put on my make up and go to work and pretended to everyone I was ok. Not one person on this earth knows what I was feeling in those months. And nobody ever will.

After four months of being apart, he came over to the hospital with a patient to perform an MRI. My heart stopped. I have an arrhythmia so I think it actually may have literally stopped. It took me 20 minutes to get my shaking under control before I could say hello. It was the first time I had seen him since he had left me. We talked and it was like nothing had changed. After he left I was inconsolable. I sat in the garden and smoked (which I never do) whilst having what can only be described as a nervous breakdown. He texted me later that day to day how good it had been to see me and how he missed me. If I could go back to that moment and stop myself there I would. Oh god would I. But I cant, and I didn't. And so after a couple of weeks we were back together. And it was like the sadness had suddenly been lifted from me. I was happy for the first time in 4 months. I was elated. I was walking on air.

Now, 8 months down the line, things are worse than ever. But it's different. Because I can't go back to that. How I felt in those four months. I can't. I won't. So now I'm holding on for dear life to this boy who I love more than life itself. To someone who will never be able to return the feelings I have for him. And I'm right back in that place. Wishing I could switch off my humanity. Wanting to be numb. We're together but we're so far apart it's almost unbelievable. How did we get here? From that sickeningly happy couple in the beginning to this. I barely recognise myself when I look in the mirror. Have I lost all self respect? I'm with a man that will only have sex with me in a shower in the pitch black so he doesn't have to look at me, so he can pretend I'm someone else. Who would rather watch porn and wank than have me when I'm in the next room. I'm 27 but I look younger, I'm not one to brag but I'm quite attractive, everyone said he was punching above his weight when we first got together. How did I get here? Is this really all I'm worth?? All I've ever wanted in life is to be happy. And for me, happiness is to love and be loved in return. I don't think that's a lot to ask for.

I look at my friends with their husbands and children or their boyfriends that they live with and I see how happy they are and I ache. I physically ache with longing. I want all those things. But I want them with him. I didn't think it was possible to love someone this much. It's an unrequited love that is slowly killing me and I don't honestly know how much longer I can feel this way for.

I don't expect answers from anyone, I know what I should do. But I'm a shadow of my former self and I don't have the strength or the will to walk away from this person that is eventually going to break my heart for a second and final time.

It's just cathartic to write it all down and throw it out there into cyber space.

2 likes, 22 replies

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22 Replies

  • Posted

    I am so sorry.  I really hurt for you.

    I wish my tears could wash away some of your pain.

    Just never forget the family who love you, don't let their hearts be broken too.


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    • Posted

      Thank you, Pat.

      It's difficult to remember the other people who love you in life when all you can feel is the overwhelming sadness and need to make it stop.

      I love my family dearly but they've seen me struggle and I think they would understand that I would quite literally be in a better place, even if that place were no place at all.

      It's hard not to think selfishly when the grief is at its worst.

      Thank you for your kind words. x

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    • Posted

      You are a lovely person, I see you trying to reply to all the people who wrote to you, and considering what you are going through, that is so kind of you.

      I am a massive animal lover and I guess you must be too, being a veterinary nurse.  That again tells me what a special person you are.

      I want to tell you what a waste to the world it would be if you were to leave.  There are many, many reasons as I see it, but one has to be your gift for writing.  I found your initial post so intriguing, interesting and well written, I could have read on forever!!  You are a gifted person.  I understand how bad you are feeling now because I have been in that place too, but please, please consider staying and making your mark, I cannot bear the thought of your talents just being wasted.

      Don't let one stupid person ruin your life.....what you have to offer the world is priceless.


      Pat x

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    • Posted

      Hi Pat,

      I do adore animals. I always have. There's something very therapeutic about stroking a pet, isn't there? It always calms me down. I know they pick up on emotions very easily so I try to exude relaxation when I'm around them which helps. Even if only for a time.

      Reading back on reflection, perhaps my post was a little graphic. I just didn't see the point in sugar coating my story when it all feels so raw and brutal. I think an underlying anger is evident which I'm sure people can relate to.

      I suppose I find it all too easy to write what I'm feeling and thinking. Like a stream of consciousness. Everyone always says I wear my heart on my sleeve, people can quite literally read me like a book. It's not a good match when the person you're with, the person you're trying to understand, is closed off and it's impossible to know what they're thinking. It's very one sided in that sense. Makes me very vulnerable. Thank you so much for saying that though, it really touched me :,) x

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  • Posted

    There arer lots of us out here that wants to forget. I'm waiting for counselling to put right my demons and it comes from more than one relationship.

    We all dream of being happy and who knows where it will come from.

    All I can say is keep talking it does help.

    I hope all goes well for you and me!!!

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  • Posted

    I just celebrated my daughters 27th birthday with her and I can't imagine her going through this kind of sadness. You deserve to be loved and happy.

    I went through this type of affair with someone much younger than me and it lasted for 8 years, then I was dumped. It was easy for him, because our relationship was secret also. Now he has someone 7 years older than himself. But wants to meet with me for no strings... I know how degrading it feels to be with someone who never loved me. It hurts!

    But, you do have the opportunity to change that. I'm an old broad of 54, trying to figure out how to feel good about my life. I'm very blessed to have my 2 daughters. I wish you could reach out to your Mother. You don't deserve to carry the guilt of your Dad dying. You do deserve a man that adores and dotes on you. You are in a toxic relationship. I understand how bad it feels, and don't know quite what to say except that I hope you could find a way to feel better about yourself.

    This guy doesn't sound like he knows what he wants. I wonder if he gets how much he's hurting you? Love really does stink sometimes.

    Why do we get involved in impossible situations. It's hard to get past the overwhelming feeling of being addicted to someone. But if you know he's hurting you, you should try.

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    • Posted

      Thank you, Holly.

      My mum is actually incredibly supportive despite her disapproval of the relationship. She doesn't necessarily understand how I feel but she accepts it and I know she only wants me to be happy, however that may be. I know her worrying about me keeps her awake at night so sometimes I wish I hadn't confided so much in her.

      You hit the nail on the head when you described it as an addiction. It's the most painful kind of withdrawal for which there is no substitute.

      I think he knows that it's hurting me but I think he thinks it's hurting me less than it would if he just cut me loose. He's pushing me away until I finally cave and walk away of my own accord. Which I don't seem to be able to do.

      Your daughters are lucky to have you as a mum. x

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    • Posted

      Hey Sweetheart

      You do whatever you need to do to stay alive. There's a way out of this, even if it isn't apparent right now. You are a smart, caring soul in a pretty cruel world. But we need you here to make it a better place. Unfortunately your guy doesn't get that, but someday when you have the strength to walk away, he will. It's sad because like my one girlfriend told me, she thought my friendlloved me in his own weird way. Your friend obviously has issues. You sound like a sweetl loving girl, more sensitive than most. Your heart is broken, but it is a good heart. The trick is to make it stronger without hardening it. I am so glad you're a nurse and animal loversmile I'm a nurse too & that has been my saving grace. My daughter is a nurse too.. I'm sure your Mom is so proud of you! Ii am praying for you.. I know you're struggling, but you're stronger than you know! Take care Sweetheart.

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much Holly.

      After the recent developments I'm in a darker place than ever but I've survived the first 24 hours so maybe there's hope for me yet. Sometimes it hurts so much I think I could die from the pain of that alone without actually having to do anything.

      I know you should never wish your life away but I want to skip forward in time to know that I'm either ok or that things get worse and I should get out now before it is literally intolerable. I always think things can't get any worse and then they do. They always find a way even when it seems so impossible.

      Thank you for sending me your strength and for your prayers. I hope someone is listening. They haven't been up until now... x

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  • Posted

    Hi there, i know exactly how you are feeling and have recently had a similar experience with my ex-girlfriend. We met 6 years ago at the gym where she was an instructor. She made all the chasing and got my number off the system and texted me to ask me out for a drink and to this day i regret agreeing to meet her. It was unbelievably good at the start and i thought i had found the love of my life. After a year or so i moved in with her and her 2 kids from a previous relationship. It was ok for a year or so but to cut along story short, i didnt get on with her son who was 15 at the time we met, he was a truly vile kid who would go out of his way to make his moms life a misery and my own and this put huge strain on the relationship. After a while she dumped me and said i was the problem and that she didnt love me. I was devasteted as i still loved her and wouldnt excepr it was over. She would ignore my calls and when i saw her at the gym she would walk straight past me. AFter a few weeks she agreed to meet me but then didnt turn up and wouldnt answer her phone. This happened on 3 or 4 occasions. I was really distressed and cpuldnt believe that someone who once supposedly loved me would treat someone that way. I was so down and like you said the grief was so much, it was a struggle to put one foot in front of the other. I constantly thought about taking my own life. One day was so bad i was going to go to a lake that i knew in the middle of nowhere and hang myself from a tree. I was living at my parents as i didnt have the money at that time after moving out of the ex's house and on that day my brother was over with my 7 year old niece. She never ever hugged my before but on that day she came over to me and gave me a big hug and i cant tell you what that meant. I knew i couldnt put my family through the hell of me taking my own life. I still felt like utter sh*t but i knew that i had to battle on. After about 6 months my ex emailed me out of the blue with a photo of us together on holiday and saying how much she loved that holiday. I emailed her back but again like before she didnt respond. I emailed her again a few days later but again she didnt respond. I was so confused i decided to go round her house to see what she was playing at. She answered the door and i confronted her and asked what she was doing. She eventually said that she had been seeing someone else but she really missed me. I was so angry i dont know how i didnt strangle her, how can someone be so cruel to do that and on top of that put images in my head of her being f***** by someone else, i was humiliated and felt about an inch tall. I was 37 living back at my parents and felt so pathetic when all my friends were married with kids and living in nice houses. I have never felt so alone and hollow in my life. After about another 8 months i was just starting to feel alittle better, when she texted me asking how i was. I didnt resond. She texted again a few days later and again i ignored her. A few months later after xmas she texted me again. I was in such a bad frame of mind after what is a lonely time at xmas when your single and dont have kids of your own that i agreed to meet her. We met up and it was like old times again and we got back together. I thought everything was ok between us but then 14 months after we got back together, she texted me to say she was dumping me. As before she wouldnt answer her phone and so i finally tracked her down at the gym. She got in to my car to talk but all the begging and pleading didnt do any good and again i humiliated myself. She said there wasnt anyone else but i now know she was lying. I wish i had never clapped eyes on that cold bitch. Its been 3 months since that happened and as much as i despise her for what she did to me, im finding it hard to move on, even though i wouldnt p*ss on her if she was on fire. She has just drained my confidence and self esteem thatr im angry at her and myself for getting back together with her when friends warned me not to go back. Im 40 now and feel like ive been robbed of the chance of a family of my own and have wasted so much valuable time on someone like that, who didnt deserve my love. I know im not a bad person though shes made me feel like i am, that i worry no one will ever love me. I look young for my age and im told that im very good looking and look after myself by going to the gym but i still feel unloveable. You are still young and if i could give you any advice it would be this, dont waste time on someone who doesnt love you, there not worth it. I dont want this to sound patronising,but life goes by so quickly, i cant believe where the last 15 years have gone and have so many regrets about opportunities missed and time that i will never get back. Be selfish and look after number 1, get your life back on track by focusing on the things you want, you sound like a really nice caring person and believe me, there are many men who would love to meet someone like you with a good, honest heart. Sorry ive rambled on but i found it quite therapeutic to write this

    Emis Moderator comment: I have edited this post due to the swearing. These are open forums so as per the T&Cs please do not use offensive language in posts otherwise they may be deleted.

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    • Posted

      Hello Edward,  your story is sad and i am glad you found it therapautic to reply to Switchitoff. You was trully treated badly by a woman ( it's not just men that treat women bad it happens with women treating men badly too). We have to learn from our bad experiences and not waste time with the wrong person. I am sorry you feel unlovable and missed out on a family. You ae loveable and like Switchitoff you have had your self esteem and confidence knocked.  I don't know your circumstances now but i can reassure you that you have plenty of time to find love. Thou you must concentrate on the present and work on loving yourself first, nobody can love you until you love yourself first. I wish you the best and i know it does help to read and write posts on this forum.


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    • Posted

      Thank you, Edward.

      Firstly, my Dad was 50 when I was born so don't give up hope! It's possible, I'm living proof.

      I can't even find the words to describe what I think of your ex. But she sounds like the worst kind of person. I'm so sorry that you too have had to go through something like this, as I know so many poor people have.

      I know exactly what you mean when you talk about wasting the best years of your life on them. I was with someone I wasn't in love with for so many years, not really feeling anything. Now I'm with someone I am completely and utterly in love with but who doesn't love me and I feel everything. Sometimes I think it's my karma for leaving my previous boyfriend.

      I think I've forgotten how to be selfish. That doesn't sound very humble, what I mean is I always put him first. I have done for so long and to such an extreme that I honestly don't know how to not do that for someone I love.

      I wish the right person would come along and rescue me from this unthinkable situation but it doesn't seem likely somehow. Or even better, what I should be wishing for, is the strength to walk away. I pray for that some nights, I don't practice a faith but I pray to the universe to give me the strength to leave the man I love. How odd and sad that sounds.

      I'm glad you found it therapeutic. It's amazing how much talking to strangers going through similar situations can give you some perspective on your own problems. I'm grateful you shared that with me. x

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  • Posted

    Hello,  The reason your with this guy is because you don't believe that you deserve better. You have low self esteem and confidence. You don't believe anyone else can love you and you don't love yourself. The more he rejects you and treats you like you don't matter, and are there to be used, your confidence will sink lower. He is controlling you and using power to make you feel this is your lot and that you will not be worthy of love elsewhere. When your father died you felt misplaced guilt and because you have not greived properly and dealt with this you sub conciously that you should to be punished. This is why you have chosen to stay with a man that treats you badly. Conciously you want to be loved and be happy. When you met this guy you wanted to love him and him to love you, after losing your father you needed to be loved. This guy saw a vunerable woman and took advantage, treated you nice then showed his true colours, by that time you were already in love and dependant on him.  Then he rejected you, then you was still greiving the father you lost and you were hurting so bad. Don't blame yourself for your fathers life, he chose to cut himself off from society and family. Maybe he was trying to cope with something and that was the only way he could cope. Hoarding is usually a emotionally problem, it's a way of holding on and protecting themselves. He may of been depressed.  I feel that you would benefit from counselling. You have so much emotional pain and hurts and living in a toxic relationship. If you have the strength to leave this guy the sooner the better. Counselling will help you to work through your feelings, your pain and to help you decide whats best for your life. Then you need to work on your confidence and your self esteem. Firstly go to your GP say you need counselling. One day you will be stronger and look back and know that this guy is emotionally and mentally abusive. You are a unique and capable of being loved and to love someone who deserves you. Gain Self belief, self respect and be in control of your own destiny. I realise that you need help to start this process and it will take time, start now, your young and have a whole life ahead of you. I hope you start soon. I want to encourage you, you remind me of my younger self in so many ways but different circumstances. If you would like to pm me i will get back to you. 

    Best wishes.



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    • Posted

      Thank you, Elizabeth.

      I did have quite a few sessions of counselling after my father passed. She was a lovely lady but I have to say that I did a lot of talking but wasn't able to work through my problems. Those problems are still there and unfortunately now my relationship has added to the burden. I tried Citalopram last year, after he broke up with me, and it did nothing other than prevented me from being able to physically cry. I stil felt everything in excruciating detail but I was unable to release my emotion in that physical way which felt unhealthy and like it was just building up under the surface.

      I don't feel like I have confidence or self esteem issues. When I look in the mirror I don't think to myself that I deserve this, or that I'm worthless. But equally, when he rejects me or doesn't return my sentiments it does make me feel incredibly unattractive, undesirable and self conscious. As I'm sure anyone would.

      I have given serious consideration to checking myself into a clinic for people who are at risk to themselves because I don't always trust myself when I'm feeling at my lowest. I don't know how viable an option that is.

      Thank you for your support. x

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