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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.
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