It was where I belonged.

Over the next few meetings with my psychologist we dove deeper into me being me and why I am the person I am. I began to feel like I had never thought so much about life and what it all means like I had over the past 12 months. I was spending an abundance amount of time on my own that my brain was literally on over drive with every possible thought and every single memory of the past 10 years questioning myself, my beliefs, values and importance.

I remember my anxiety and depression getting worse and worse. I was good at hiding it most of the time, but sometimes I didn’t want to face the outside world. I didn’t want to talk to family or friends and I would bottle everything up and keep to myself. I tried to make every day a new beginning and start fresh, but something would happen or a thought would pop into my head and it would take me straight back down again.

I remember talking to my psychologist and asking why I wasn’t moving on as quick as I thought I should be. She said “look, it won’t happen over night because you are mourning a loss, and, mourning a loss of someone who is still alive is a different kind of mourning”. It was the loss of my relationship and there is no time frame on it. I could take all the time I needed and no one can force it on me. I know a lot of people in my life just wanted me to move on and be happy, but I was really struggling. I felt like I had taken 10 steps backwards in my life, and they all swiftly kept moving forward.

A new gym was opening close to where I live, I thought about joining but questioned if I would actually go. I have always, for as long as I can remember, struggled with my weight. A close girlfriend of mine who is also my oldest friend said she had joined and encouraged me to go. She said we can go together and if each of us was going the other would be more determined to go, so I joined. I had lost some weight for my girlfriends wedding but soon put it all back on once he got home and I fell into depression. Since then, it has been a big struggle to lose it all again and this rollercoaster of weight loss has been going on since.

I started seeing some old friends that I used to go to school with and I felt like hanging out with ‘new’ people did me some good. They were from a different crowed and I felt like I was able to ‘start fresh’ with these friends and get to know them again. We did different things to what I’d usually be doing with my other friends and I was always laughing when I was with him. Laughing is my most favourite things to do in the world. For that moment, I forget about all the pain I have been in and I’m happy.

Mid May he went away again, this time to Canada. I felt like I had no right to get upset this time, we weren’t together, he was a single guy and was able to do as he pleased, but… I got upset. When he told me he was going, I got a sinking feeling in my stomach. He was going to be away for about six weeks and again, missing my Birthday. He left a few days before what would have been our anniversary. That day sucked, a lot. I tried to pretend it was like any other day but I couldn’t help but remember how we celebrated two years ago. Paris, breakfast in bed, strolls through the streets, Eiffel Tower by night, my heart literally ached.

About a week before he left, I decided to start this blog. It wasn’t something that I had been thinking about for a while, it was spontaneous. Something for me to do in order to get my story, thoughts and emotions written down. I felt like the people around me were sick of me talking about him, me, anxiety, depression and life. Again, that’s my anxiety kicking in, and I’m sure my friends and family were always happy to lend an ear.

We saw each other the morning he left, we talked about what day was coming up and I tried not to get emotional but I knew my eyes were tearing up. He said the date is something that he will always remember, something he wont forget. He still cared about me and always will. When he was leaving he gave me a hug and I couldn’t help but cry. I don’t know if it was the fact that he was leaving or the fact that being in his arms was something I had been missing so much for so long and that when his arms were around me I felt protected and loved. It was where I belonged. He told me not to cry and everything was going to be OK. Was it? I hoped so. I hoped that I was strong enough to move on sooner rather than later and to work harder at being… just me.

Like I have said previously, every night before I’d go to bed, I was determined to make sure that the next day was going to be my day, I was going to wake up and work hard at so many things in my life. Eating better, working out, working hard with my photography and promoting my business and being happy. I read all the ‘self help’ books in the world and saved every motivational quote I came across. For a split second or a few days I was so motivated to get out there and change my life, be a bigger and better person, successful and ultimately, happy.

As my birthday was approaching, I wasn’t at all interested to celebrate. I couldn’t help but remember my pervious birthday and thinking I can’t wait until he’s home next year to be with me to celebrate. I wasn’t interested in anything anyone wanted to do, I was happy to be with my family and have a quiet celebration.

I tried to organise just a small dinner with three of my closest friends and nothing seemed to go right, they weren’t available on the night I wanted to go so I decided to just go out with one girlfriend. I can’t explain the feeling, I was happy to be celebrating, but I felt a gaping hole in me. I didn’t want to make a big deal about it, so I stitched it up and headed to her house. She asked if her fiancé could come, “Of course I said” after all, ‘Its just the three of us’.

Boy, did I get a shock when I arrived…

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Just me.

Being the new year, I was determined to make it so much better than the last. I knew things couldn’t change overnight, but I was sick of feeling sad all the time and I was desperate to be happy, so, I decided to make an appointment to see a psychologist. I figured if I was able to speak to someone who knows nothing about him and nothing about me and my life it might make me understand where I went wrong.

I booked my first appointment and off I went. I felt sick I was so nervous and, I got there forty-five minutes early!!! I had no idea what I’d say, how much I’d say or where I’d even start. After filling out some paperwork, she welcomed me into her office and I sat down. I felt like my heart was going to beat out of my chest. Why on earth was I so nervous?

“So… what would you like to talk about” she asked. Blaaah!!! Nothing but word vomit came out of my mouth, I pretty much started at the beginning and told her where it all started, what my life was like, how happy I was, what I was doing for work, my family life, friends, him, everything. I could see she was sitting and staring at me, taking everything I said in. She didn’t write a lot down, but when she did it made me think twice about what I was saying. Did I do the wrong thing? Is it my fault? Am I a bad person? Should I have done more?

By the end of the first session I thought I’d feel a lot better. I imagined feeling like a whole weight had been lifted off my shoulders and that I’d come out of there with a clear mind, but I felt nothing. I didn’t feel better, or different. I was glad that I was able to say what I needed to say without feeling judged. But as for the pain and uncertainty… nothing.

I spoke to my mum and told her how it went. “Yeah, it was okay” I said. I don’t like talking about things like that with my parents, I don’t like the fact that they feel my pain when I’m sad or upset, they shouldn’t have to feel it too. I really thought that after being on medication and seeing someone who I would magically feel better. She explained that these things take time and they don’t just ‘magically’ happen over night.

I remembered the whole rollercoaster conversation that I had been having with one of my closest girlfriends. I braced myself for the road to come, but was just so desperate to get to the end where everything was ok and I could go back to feeling normal. I knew it would take a while, but I was so eager to finally get there. Day to-day life became a little bit of a struggle, not all the time, but sometimes I would feel really unmotivated and unhappy. There were days where I’d really miss him, and just want to be with him and I wouldn’t enjoy the company of the other people I was around.

Back at the psychologist I started talking more about me and where I went wrong in life to be feeling like this, I always thought I was a good person and would go above and beyond for anyone in my life. I felt like I was being punished for taking everything for granted. Was it because I was stubborn? Or always took him for granted? Picked fights over the smallest things? What? Where did I possibly go wrong to end up the way we did?

Over the weeks my anxiety was getting worse and worse. I couldn’t stop putting stories in my head of what people were thinking of me. “Look at her, she deserves to feel like this” “Sucked in, she thought she had her whole life planned out” I couldn’t even get in the car without getting anxious at a traffic light in fear of what the people next to me were thinking. When I get anxious I go quiet and don’t want anything to do with anyone around me. I want to sit on my own and process everything. This often comes across as being in a bad mood, or angry and really annoys me. Everyone has a different way of dealing with it, I don’t judge them, so why should I be judged?!

I couldn’t stop myself from thinking about the past 10 years because reality was finally starting to hit home. I was alone, without him. I thought I had come to terms with what had happened, but boy was I wrong. I began to put on this front around my friends and family that I was dealing with it all. I wasn’t. I was a mess, I became a professional at pretending I was ok, and pretending I was having fun when I was out, pretending to have this smile on my face. I decided it was just easier to tell everyone I was moving along with life than sit there and have the same old conversation with them over and over.

Whenever I saw him on the odd occasion I felt instantly better. We celebrated his Christmas at his family friends house and I loved every second of it. It was like nothing had changed. I missed him, a lot, and I felt like he missed me too, but he was already happy, he was going to be OK so I needed to be ok.

I realised that this was the beginning of a whole new chapter of my life. I hadn’t been alone in 10 years, and had never been just me, we were always ‘him and me’.

Do I even know how to be… just me?

When The Clock Strikes Midnight.

Christmas if my favourite time of year. It’s when my whole family gets together and has a great time. We have it at our house every year and most years we spend it sitting by the pool and having an amazing lunch prepared by my parents. This year, however, I felt a big hole inside me. He wasn’t there. I know there were a few christmas’ where he was away, but this time he really wasn’t there. This killed me.

I wasn’t planning on doing anything for New Years. I couldn’t help but think back to this time last year where I announced to everyone, “This year I will become Mrs…” I felt so stupid and almost betrayed by my self that I had actually allowed myself to think something that amazing would happen to me. 2015 would have to be the worst year of my life. I lost my boyfriend, my partner and soul mate, but I think what was effecting me the most, was the fact that I lost his friendship. Don’t get me wrong, we were still great friends, but to me it was different, I felt he was the only person on this planet to really get who I was, and who I was really able to be myself around and it killed me that I didn’t have that anymore.

I didn’t plan on celebrating New Years Eve this year, I felt like I didn’t have anything to celebrate, for the past 10 years we have celebrated together and this year I just felt so lost. I had been invited to a few of my friends parties, but nothing that interested me, my brothers were going to be out and my parents were away. I was quite happy to sit at home on my own. I received one last phone call from a friend where he was able to convince me to go to a party he was going to. It made me think, I could either sit at home feeling sorry for myself or I could go out and have a good time with a few friends.

On the way there my anxiety was absolutely going through to roof. I was with one of my friends who was doing her best to keep me sane, but deep down I felt like I was going to crumble. Upon arrival, I felt the party atmosphere smack me in the face and at first I didn’t appreciate where I was, I just wanted to go home and be on my own. “Why though?” I kept asking myself, here I am with my friends, having a good time and enjoying everyone’s company. It’s so much better than where I could have been.

I couldn’t stop thinking about him, he had asked early on in the week what I’d be doing and when I said nothing, he really encouraged me to go out with friends and enjoy myself. When I found out that night that he was at home and not out celebrating with his friends, my heart almost shattered. Here I was, celebrating with a lot of his friends, and he was at home. The guilt I was feeling could have swallowed me whole. I decided not to let it all get too me too much and try to enjoy my time at the party.

I really tried my best to enjoy my time and put a smile on my face. I really felt the love from all my friends around me, I tried so hard not to bring the mood down, I don’t know how well of a job I was doing, my anxiety felt like it was so visible. When I get anxious, I go really quite, I don’t like to talk to anyone, I would just rather sit on my own and absorb my own thoughts and feelings, this makes it quite difficult when I can’t escape from people and I have to interact with them.

My girlfriend made sure I wasn’t alone all night, her and her boyfriend made me feel needed and wanted when I was feeling the complete opposite, I tried hard to enjoy my night with them, but couldn’t help feeling a little third wheelish (Now, however, I kind of consider myself as the third person in their relationship. Ha!)

The clock stroke midnight. I wiped away the tears rolling down my cheeks hoping no one would notice and hugged and kissed everyone whilst we let off some fireworks and toasted to the new year. My girlfriend grabbed me by the hand and took me to a quite place, she just hugged me a let me cry. Part of me felt so stupid and guilty for ruining a good party for her, and part of me was so thankful that I was with her and not at home.

Not long after midnight, I left that party and went past my other friends house where she just had some family over and a couple of friends, as funny as it sounds, I really felt the love that night from these two girls, they were adamant that I wasn’t going to spend the night alone and only insisted that I get out of the house.

I made my way home and as soon as I sat down I couldn’t control the tears. I think because I had just come from two houses full of people to an empty house, I went from a real high to an even lower low. I couldn’t stop thinking about ‘this time last year’ and how in a space of 12 months I was in such a different place. Somewhere that I never, ever imaged I would ever be. I thought this year, we’d be celebrating together and we’d be so happy that he was home and excited for the year ahead.

I was so desperate to be happy, but all I kept remembering was the ‘roller coaster’ I felt like this was only the beginning and I had to prepare myself what was to come.

How do you prepare for such a thing?

Treading On Eggshells.

We kept it quite low-key for a while. I let him be, allowed him to settle back into reality and tried hard myself to keep busy. I didn’t want to suffocate him, I knew how anxious he was about being home and having to face everyone, I didn’t want to be another thing he had to worry about.

Part of me was so happy he was home, I missed him, I missed my person, even though we weren’t together he always made me feel calm and happy and just knowing he was right around the corner made me feel so much better given the circumstances. He has a very calming nature (most of the time) and I felt at ease.

We had our friends wedding the following week and I was quite excited. I was so happy for them and it couldn’t have happened to a happier couple. This time, however, he would actually be there and I think I was quite excited about that too. We were seated next to each other which was fine, I wanted things to be as normal as possible and in saying that, things could have been a lot worse given what happened over the past few months.

I went early with him to the grooms house to help out a little bit and slowly but surely people started to show up, I hadn’t seen a lot of them since the break up and I think they were a little unsure on how to act around us but we were acting so normal, we were even arguing about stupid shit like we would as if we were still together and soon enough everyone else started acting normal around us too. The ceremony was amazing and although I think a few of us were going to pass out from heat exhaustion it was still as beautiful as I imagined. The bridesmaids looked gorgeous and the Bride, absolutely stunning.

After everything started to settle and life started to get back to ‘normal’ I felt myself falling. I started to distance myself from people, friends and family. I found it harder and harder to get out of bed every day. I knew I had to get up to go to work, but as soon as I got home, I would sit on the lounge and spend all day there until I had to go back to work in the afternoon. I found it physically impossible to get out of the house unless I absolutley had to.

I literally cried all the time, and if I wasn’t crying I had tears filling up my eyes. When I was around my brothers or my parents, I always pretended I was ok. I didn’t want them to worry, or think anything was wrong. I spoke to a few close friends but not even they knew how I was really feeling, I didn’t want to keep carrying on about how much pain I was in, how I hated everything about my life and how unhappy I was. Alot of them were in the happiest times of their lives and I tried not to take that away from them.

After a week of not being able to get out of bed, I finally decided to take myself to my family doctor. I told him what had happened and how it was impacting me on a daily basis. I thought if I went to my doctor first, he’d be able to fix it and everything would go away, I wouldn’t need to tell my family how bad I really was. I guess they aren’t stupid though, I knew they knew exactly what was going on but were treading on eggshells around me. After a lengthy conversation with my doctor he advised me I had severe depression and anxiety. How? I thought to myself, sever? I wasn’t feeling THAT bad… was I? I knew that I wasn’t feeling 100% but didn’t think it required medication. I felt I had anxiety, because I now believe I have had it for a long time and just not knew what it was.

I was prescribed antidepressants and anxiety medication, which, to be honest I wasn’t too keen on, I couldn’t understand how a pill was going to make me feel better when this was all in my head. I knew I was over thinking everything and I couldn’t switch my brain off, I knew I was feeling like this because I was only thinking negatively, I thought the whole world was against me and couldn’t stand the thought of being happy.

Once I finished at the doctors and got home, I called my mum straight away, I told her how I had been feeling and whats been happening, she was more than understandable, and I can say that I felt so much better as soon as I told her, like a whole weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Not long after I hung up with her, my dad called, I could hear in his voice he was concerned for me as most parents would be. He told me everything was OK, there was no expectations of anyone, and its ok to feel the way I was feeling.

I was taking the medication for a few weeks, I started to feel slightly better, but I felt like I was just telling myself that because I was taking something for it. I knew deep down this wasn’t fixing my problem and I knew that I couldn’t keep feeling like this as I was a burden to everyone else around me. I decided to go back to the doctor and explain to him how I was still feeling, I didn’t want to be in the medication as I didn’t want to become reliant on it.

I was referred to a psychologist which was quite scary, although I knew that speaking to someone who didn’t know one thing about me and didn’t know one thing about him would do me the world of good. As it was getting close to Christmas, I thought I’d wait till the new year to start fresh and would book an appointment in the new year.

I was dreading Christmas this year, I know that I had previously spent a couple of Christmas’ without him, but this time I really was… without him.

He. Was. Home.

The thought of him coming home made me sick to the stomach. One minute I was so, so, SO excited to see him and I just wanted to be wrapped in his arms to take all my pain away and the next minute I couldn’t think of anything worse than seeing him. I knew how much I wanted to be with him, I knew how much I didn’t want things to end and how much I just wanted to go back to the way things were. I knew I wasn’t happy without him, but I also knew I could be happier with him. I buried the hope that things would work out, but I mean, it was us, there was no way it was over.

I knew how I was feeling, what I was thinking and what I wanted. I planned out in my head how I wanted it all to go. The only problem is, I had no idea what he was thinking, feeling or wanting. What if he didn’t want to get back together? I didn’t want to accept that. We were meant to be together, we fit perfectly.

I asked his mum to message me as soon as he got home. I needed to know that he was defiantly home this time and didn’t ‘miss’ his flight again. I woke up to a message really early in the morning “He just got home” it said. I could not for the life of me get back to sleep. Whats going to happen? Will he call me straight away? Will he wait a few days? Will he not want to see me at all? What do I do when I see him? Hug him? Kiss him? Or just a high-five? Do I just burst into tears? Cry? Smile? Laugh? Do I pretend like nothing happened? “Just go back to sleep and see what happens tomorrow” So, I did… at about 4am.

Late afternoon the next day, I got a call from his mums number “Hello” I answered, “Yoow” He replied, which he always did. This smile just took over my face and I couldn’t control it. I missed his voice more than I thought and for some reason I felt very calm and relaxed. We decided to meet at a local park around the corner to catch up. I called a girlfriend straight away and told her what was happening, I wanted to be sick. “You’ll be fine” she said. “Just go in with a clear mind” It was anything but clear but I went anyway.

I don’t know if it was awkward or not, I often don’t feel awkward in situations unless they are really bizarre but I just wanted him to hug me, which he did… It was a friendly hug though, not an ‘I missed you so much hug’. We sat down at a table and both played it cool for a while. He told me stories of his trip, I kind of didn’t care about what he was telling me but sat there with a smile on my face acting interested. He knew I wasn’t, he’s known me long enough to know that I didn’t care what he was talking about. “You don’t really care do you?” “Nope” I replied. “Sorry” A lot of the rest of the conversation is quite a blur. We literally sat there and talked for over four hours.

We went over a lot of what we have already talked about, that we just needed to be apart, we wanted different things, and different ways of getting them. I wasn’t prepared to live a lifestyle he wanted for us and vice versa. I cried during most of this conversation and he said many times, he doesn’t know what the future holds for either of us, he wants to live this life of travelling and not being tied down to anything, he didn’t want the pressure to be someone who he didn’t want to be. I get it. I understand it. But I still couldn’t accept it. Why was he saying these things? How can he be OK with us not being together anymore? How can he think of all of the memories we have and not feel anything. He asked if I wanted him to come and sit next to me for a hug, I said no. But I so, so, SOOO desperately wanted him to sit down next to me, put his arms around me and just hug me and never let me go. He was my person.

He asked on many occasions did I want to get back together? My heart wanted to scream out YES! But, for some reason it wouldn’t come out of my mouth, I knew what I didn’t want in a relationship and I also knew what I did want. I wanted someone who would care for me in other ways than he did, someone to look after me, someone who would put my needs and wants first on occasions, someone who was willing to make sacrifices for me and unfortunately he wasn’t willing to do that. At that point I started to feel I was thinking more with my head rather than my heart. I could have easily forgotten about that last few months and just said “Yes, let’s get back together” but did I actually want that? I started to question myself. I do love him and I do so badly want to be with him so how come I wouldn’t allow myself to just say yes?

The conversation had to come to an end eventually, I was still crying and in full disbelief that this was happening to us. I truly believed that once he saw me, he would realise that he missed me so much and he was crazy to not want to be with me. I believed that as soon as he hugged me he wouldn’t want to let go, as soon as we spoke he would realise how understanding and patient I am and as soon as I cried he would realise just how much I love him and want to spend the rest of my life with him. He would come to the realisation how much he hurt me and that he’d want to do anything to fix that.

When we left, he put his hand out for a fist pump. I just looked at him, he giggled and said he didn’t know what to do. I told him “Hug me!!” He did. It was the warmest, heart-felt yet saddest hug we have ever had together. He got in his car, I got in mine and he drove off. I just sat there and absolutely balled my eyes out. I couldn’t believe this was happening to us. I started to hyperventilate because all my emotions got the better of me. A few minutes later, I saw his car come back down the driveway to the park. I immediately stopped and was calm again. “Are you OK?” he said, “Yeah, I’m just trying to make a phone call” My eyes all blood shot and puffy.

That night, he organised for a few of his friends to meet him at the local pub for a few drinks and invited me to tag along. I really wasn’t sure if he wanted me there or not, but he insisted. When we were all together, it was like nothing had ever happened, we all laughed and listened to his stories and got along with no problems at all. I felt like the last nine months didn’t exist and everything was normal.

On the way home I was talking to my girlfriend and told her I was feeling ok with everything. She said the next 12 months will be an absolute rollercoaster, I didn’t quite understand that because I felt like everything has already blown over and we were friends and it was all good.

Little did I know…

There Is No Such Thing As Perfect.

I never really understood the saying My head is saying one thing, but my heart is saying another until now, because with all of my heart I was prepared to stick this out and be with him and give him everything he wanted and to just love him more than ever. But my head was saying that I needed to be brave and leave, I needed to put me first.

I attended his cousin’s wedding without him. It was beautiful, my best friend was also invited so I went along with her family. His parents were there and really happy to see me, we all danced and enjoyed each others company and all in all was a lovely day. I just hated that I was there without him. I loved sharing all those events with him, looking nice and feeling good about myself, he always made me feel like the prettiest girl in the room and even though he was on the other side of the world still managed to tell me “You looked really pretty”.

As the days went on, we still talked but mainly argued. I was pre occupied with helping my best friend plan her wedding, still having some sort of hope that we’d work things out and he’d be home by then and those discussions also turned into arguments almost every time we spoke. I had that much anger inside of me that every time we spoke I felt like I hated him more and more! But, at the same time, I would have done anything in my power get on a plane and be there for him, I wanted to shelter him from all the hurt and pain he was going through, I just wanted him to be OK.

There were countless days that I didn’t want to talk or see anyone. I allowed myself to just sit on the lounge all day and watch movies and cry at the drop of a hat. I had dress fittings to attend with a smile on my face but ache in my heart. Every time I tried on my bridesmaids dress, I just pictured me walking into the church and seeing him there but I quickly removed the thought from my head and remembered what reality I was in. Throughout August we talked a lot and I felt like this was the worlds longest break up, with him only having limited access to the internet it was hard to have a full conversation without being cut off.

For our anniversary in 2012 we booked a hotel for a couple of nights in the city. One night, before we headed out to dinner we had the TV on and the movie The Lost Valentine was playing. I heard the quote “Now you have my heart. Keep it next to yours and bring it back to me. I will always Love You” – Caroline. I wrote it down and kept it in my phone. I sent him the screen shot one day when we were talking online and he replied “I will always love you too. Together, not together, other side of the world or in the same neighbourhood and I’m always here for you too, even if we don’t end up together we will always have something” and to that I replied, “Just find your happiness, that’s all I want for you”. This was my way of saying that I will always love him, he will always have my heart and just because we can’t be together right now, doesn’t mean any of that changes.

Every time we spoke, I always had hope that we would work it out, that he would tell me he’s on his way home to sort out all this shit and we would pick up where we left off and be happier than ever but every time we spoke and it didn’t work out like that I would get even more angry and upset for allowing myself to believe anything would be different. I really believed we were the perfect couple, just not in the perfect situation (I can hear him saying “there is no such thing as perfect”)

Towards the end of August, I really started to panic that he wouldn’t be at my best friends wedding, I wanted him more than ever to be there. Before he left, all I could imagine was being at that wedding with him and enjoying our time together. We fought, a lot, about whether he’d be back for the wedding, I said a lot of nasty hurtful things to him and looking back at these messages, part of me cannot believe I said them, but then the other part of me isn’t sorry for saying them at all. I was hurting, and from where I was standing, he was the one who hurt me. He left, and before he did, made many promises and now he was breaking every single one of them. The wedding was me clutching at straws hoping everything would just fall back in place.

When he told me he wasn’t going to be back for her wedding I was devastated. I was holding onto so much hope that he would make the effort and come home, that he would stop being selfish, and for once put me first. I didn’t expect us to get back together, but for him to just suck it up and be there for me. After all, his whole family would be attending… Again!

One night when I was having a couple of drinks with the bestie and I told her that he wouldn’t be home for the wedding she told me she didn’t think he would but didn’t want to hurt me anymore than I already was. I started to explain to her, that as much as this day was all about her I couldn’t help but imagine how it would be walking into the church with a gorgeous dress on, hair and make up done nicely and him seeing me walk down the aisle. I hoped it would maybe help change his mind a little on marriage or at the very least, us. I tried desperately to hold back my tears but I couldn’t do anything to stop them running down my cheeks. I could see the her eyes start to well up with tears too. She put her hand on my hand and I felt that she was feeling my pain. At this point, I knew there was nothing else I could do to have him home for her wedding and I had to just embrace it for what it was and enjoy every bloody second of it.

The next two months were going to be really busy for me. I had my best friends wedding and all the events that come along with it (Bridal Shower, Hens etc) and the day after her wedding I had another good friends Bridal Shower to start off her wedding celebrations. This all kept me really busy which was great, but I still always had in the back of my mind what my reality was. I still cried almost every single night, every time I thought about anything that happened in the last 10 years I always got tears in my eyes, (even now writing this) especially our Europe trip, which, to me means more than anything in the world because everything about that was magical and to think that the person who I shared all of these amazing things with is no longer part of my life devastated me.

Leading up to the wedding, we went a few weeks without talking. I wanted nothing to do with him at that stage, I could say I hated him, really hated him. I always said to myself I will never regret the last ten years, but always wish that things worked out differently. Her wedding was amazing, she looked absolutely gorgeous and they were so, so, so happy!

The day after her wedding, I had my other girlfriends Bridal Shower and it was go, go, go for the next few weeks. The week after, we had her hens party. It was so nice to get away for a couple of days and relax. She was marrying one of his best mates so I knew he wanted to be home for this wedding (finally)

After partying one night whislt we were away, I woke up to another text.

I’ll be home on the 20th…

I Still Love You.

He was due home around July 5th with his cousins engagement being a few days later. I couldn’t wait to see him and move on with life. One morning, I woke up to the most heart wrenching message (it may seem a little dramatic now, but at the time, I felt like my heart was being pulled out me) He had “missed” his flight, he read the time wrong on the ticket. He was very apologetic and said it was an honest mistake, finishing with an “I love you”. At first I didn’t believe it and had to re read it a couple of times, I saw the sincerity in his message and began to believe it was all real. “K” I replied, “Dont talk to me again until you are standing in front of me”.

I expected him to have booked another ticket straight away to at least be home for another cousin of his wedding (I know, I know! They’re Egyptian, there is a lot of them) two weeks later and I had pressured him into making sure he was home so I didn’t look stupid in front of his family again! Paragraphs and paragraphs of messages were sent backwards and forwards about how disappointed I was in him and how much I hated him for what he was doing to me and that everything was his fault.

Reading back on these messages has been incredibly hard for me, and looking back I kind of see where it all went wrong, but at the same time, I’m not sorry for acting (or overreacting) the way I did. I was filled with so much anger and in a sense I guess it had been building up over a few years. He advised he now didn’t want to come home to ‘face the music’ he couldn’t be the person that we all wanted him to be.

“Your not even trying, I know your not, you are so pathetic” “What exactly are you doing right now? How the fuck are you living? How are you eating? What country are you even in?” I was raging with absolute hatred for him, I was so angry with him, but, was I also angry at myself? I didn’t know, I had a million and one things running through my mind I didn’t know what to think about him, about us or about our future. “I don’t give a fuck what kind of hard time you are going through, you have been going through a hard time for nine years”. The thing with him was, he was always so smart, in nearly every aspect of his life, he knew what he wanted, he was also so driven and was determined to work hard towards his goals but at the same time, he was so lost and half the time he had no idea what he wanted in life. I think it came down to him being split down the middle with either following suit of what everyone else around him was doing and following the ‘norm’ of society just to fit in, or to go against the grain and live his life the way he believed it should be.

He struggled with his for a long time and I know deep down it hurt him more than he ever led on. He was the kindest human being in the world, and carried a lot of pain between trying to please his family, friends and of course me and trying to fulfil his life of things he wanted to accomplish without disappointing any of the people who he cared about most. I knew all of this, I knew the pain he was in and the confusion he was going through but at this point in time, I couldn’t care less. I didn’t care what he was going through, I felt like I had been dealing with it for nearly 10 years and I was over it.

“I cannot stand the thought of you! You have no idea the sleepless nights I’ve had. The anger inside of me makes me physically sick!”

“This isn’t over” he said “Why cant we just go on a break”

“This isn’t even a relationship, I don’t know what it is anymore. I don’t care for you, I don’t even know if I love you, I do know that I can’t even say those words to you”

“If I am at this wedding on my own, I will never forgive you. Ever”

“I cant believe where we are right now, I thought I’d love you forever, I never thought you would do this to me, after everything else you have put me through. I feel like I am in a never-ending bad dream”

“I’m sorry that I’ve hurt you so much, I really am, it was not my intention. You knew I wanted to travel for a while and I don’t know what to say, I’m sorry, I love you” he said. I knew he was sorry, and I knew he had absolutely no intention to purposely hurt me but I was hurt beyond words and I truly believed that if he knew how hurt I was because of him, he would have come home.

“Like I said, I stopped caring a while ago” which wasn’t entirely true. I did care, but I cared too much about him, and not enough about myself which I have learnt the hard way and I am now coming to this realisation.

“It’s hard when we both want such opposite things and neither of us are willing to compromise, you’re always trying to force me to be someone I’m not and I’ve probably done the same to you too”

This is true. And, I hate admitting it. I wont necessarily say that I was always trying to pressure him to be someone he wasn’t, because I LOVED everything about him, I just wished that sometimes he had more stability. I would encourage his beliefs, protests and goals but I also wanted to encourage him to think about and work towards our future, our relationship and our goals as a couple and towards the end of our relationship I started to realise this was never going to happen, he was to head strong in trying to save the world and fight for what was wrong with the world, rather than fight for our future. I always told him, “You can live whatever life you want, as long as you are coming home to me at the end of the day” and I always swore I would stand by that, as long as he was taking care of me and his family and we were a priority in his life then I would always encourage and support him in every other aspect of his life, but I felt I wouldn’t be a priority and I would have to battle the other part of his life for the rest of our relationship.

“I’m getting away from all the drama and noise to try to figure me out like you keep telling me. I’m also getting a chance to live a particular way, in say, a collective house and seeing how much I want something like this to be a part of my life” That was it for me. I was done. Those are the words I didn’t want to hear. I finally came to the realisation that I had lost my battle, I let him slip through my fingers after holding on for so long. He was my person, we all have that person and he was mine and I lost him. I was completely broken.

“Then do it, enjoy your life” What we have/had obviously doesn’t mean enough to you, I don’t want to be apart of that life, I’m done”

“It does mean something to me, we have been together for nearly ten years”

He kept pushing for a break and not necessarily a break up. In hind site it probably wasn’t such a bad idea, but, I don’t like to live with regrets and the unknown will always be there, but where would we be if it was just a break? Maybe still in this same position? Who knows?  I can’t live my life now wondering what would have happened cause that would just be torture.

“We are officially done. You have chosen that life over me. I am over it all. I honestly hope you find whatever it is that you are looking for, and that you are so happy with this life that you chose and I really mean that. I hope you find happiness one day. The past nine years have been absolutely amazing and I wouldn’t change any of it for the world. I will always, always Love You. Always.

“This isn’t over, I love you”

I couldn’t take it anymore, I had been physically sick and cried for hours, my whole body was in pain and I just wanted to sleep. I had decided the next day I would tell my parents and I would also go and see his parents and tell them what has happened.

I was really scared to tell both of our parents. I didn’t want my parents to react in a negative way, being their only daughter they have always done everything in their power to protect me, and feeling that they weren’t able to protect me through all of this would have killed them.

I cried to my mum, which I never do. I sobbed in her arms and just wanted her to take all my pain away. After all, our mums are our super heroes and they can do those things right?! She told me she knew things weren’t okay for a while, she knew something was wrong with the way I had been acting, and here I was thinking I was being so strong and able to cover up my emotions. She told my dad what happened, he did the same and just hugged me. They loved him, and loved that he loved me, but I guess in a sense wish he made some different decisions.

The next day, I was meeting up with a family friend of his who I have become quite close with over the past few years. I mentioned to her what happened and told her that I was going to see his parents that night to explain everything to them. She offered to come with me for support. When we arrived, his mum was so happy to see us. I get along very well with his parents, our families always got long too so for me, I was just breaking up with him, I was breaking up with his parents and family which, over nearly 10 years have become my family.

I was physically shaking when I started to tell her what happened. I had a massive headache from trying to keep my tears from flowing down my cheeks. I saw the smile from her face drop and her heart sink. She asked me to stop and if she could call his dad downstairs. I don’t think I stopped talking for about twenty minutes, I just said everything that was on my mind. I told them how I felt, what had happened between us, how I had been feeling, what we had been saying to each other and I did not hold back. I was very upfront with everything I said to him. I think they were just as devastated as me, they didn’t want to believe it. They love their son more than anything in this world, but they could also see the hurt I was going through and they felt it too.

It was nothing like I expected, we all cried and hugged and cried some more and talked for hours. The last thing I wanted out of all of this was to hurt and disappoint them. After our discussions they understood where I was coming from and were just as heart-broken as I was. They told me they loved me and that nothing will change between them and me. They said they weren’t sad because of him, they were sad because they were losing their daughter.

“I went to see your parents last night, they know whats happened, they just want you home safe” I told him.

“I still love you! I don’t know why you are making this so final and official”…

Was Love Enough?

I have always been upfront with what I wanted in my life and more so in the last few years. I had my life planned out in my head, I knew what was going to happen and how I would live. The whole travel experience wasn’t planned, but it turned out to be one of the best of my life. I didn’t exactly have every single detail planned to the T, but I knew I would finish school, find a great job, eventually fall in love, get married, have kids and live happily every after. I really didn’t think that was too much to ask for, after all I thought it was quite realistic and ‘normal’.

I hate using the word normal because over nearly ten years, I was slowly taught that there is no such thing has normal but for whatever reason, I was unable to accept any other way of life, I wanted what I wanted. I felt I had given so much of myself and it’s almost like I got fed up with everything overnight. I think there was so much going on in my head that I exploded with frustration.

“Ive given you everything. You have always been my number one, you have always come first in my life. I haven’t in yours and I don’t think I ever will” I blurted out in a message and I truly believed this, and this time I wasn’t scared to say it to him. Everything I ever did I always thought of him, it didn’t matter how big or small it was, I always had him in mind. I don’t think it was the same for him and still to this day I truly believe that. I’m not denying that he loved me, because I know he really loved me, but I just don’t think I was as high a priority as he was for me.

He got angry. Really angry. Obviously he disagreed with what I said. “This has been a two-way relationship, you really think that you are so much better than me and that you’re perfect and I’m the fucked one”. Wrong. He was amazing! Pure sole, kind heart, generous, funny, outgoing, adventurous, sweet. The list literally couldn’t end. He was lost, I didn’t care, I didn’t care about what he had to say about anything else in his life right now, our relationship was on the line. He has been ‘lost’ for ten years, he never knew what he wanted to do with his life, every time he found something, he would lose interest in a few days. I was just so angry that this is what he was saying to me.

I’m not one to judge, but I had some direction, I worked for many years, travelled, and was prepared to work hard on my business and eventually settle down. He was all over the shop, one minute he’d tell me he wanted marriage and kids the next minute he said things like “Marriage is just a piece of paper” This crushed me more than he ever realised, it made me feel completely worthless and for just one second he couldn’t let me have something I had been dreaming about for years.

Marriage to me was more than just the white dress and big party. It was about us committing to each other, our future our life. Yes, of course, I dreamed about the white dress and the day that fairy tales are made out of, but over the years he really grounded me with what a wedding is supposed to be, as ironic as that sounds. He helped me see what it should be about and not what it could be about. I don’t think he believed me very much, he still thought I wanted this big, extravagant over the top thing but after being to a few weddings over time, I wanted nothing like that.

I never questioned how much we loved each other, ever. But was love enough? To simply love someone with everything you have, can this hold everything together? I truly believed that love could conquer everything, especially for us. There isn’t anything that we had been through before that could get between us, why all of a sudden is this making me question all of that?

I started to hit this brick wall with myself. Over thinking absolutely everything in my life. I had so much time on my hands and I spent most of the day on my own, all I could do was think and think and think. Could this be good for me? Who knows, I was never one to enter into such deep though, I was always happy to plot along in life and just go with the flow, I never questioned anything, this is how it has happened all around me and this is how it will happen for me. There is nothing that could come between us. I needed to be patient he was going to come home and we were going to work this all out.

We broke up… for a week. I didn’t tell anyone because I knew that it wasn’t going to follow through, I knew that there is no way in this world that we would let something like this come between us. I asked him to be home for my Birthday and he said he would definitely try. Within a matter of days, we were back to normal, I so desperately wanted to put it all past us and just move on, allow him to be in his element of travelling and enjoy spending this time with his family in Egypt.

Unfortunately he didn’t make it him for my Birthday, he was unable to get a ticket in time, but it was ok, his cousins Engagement party was only a few weeks later and he assured me he has booked his ticket and would be home in time for that. I couldn’t wait, part of me felt really guilty and only wanted him to be so happy, but the other part of me wanted to be selfish and not give in to what I wanted. And, no it wasn’t just about marriage, and I can’t seem to get that out of everyone’s heads! Yes, for a while it was, I mean, what girl doesn’t want to eventually settle down with her partner of nearly 10 years?! It was more about starting to take our future seriously, will we get married? If not, lets move forward already? Buy a property, move overseas? Have a couple of kids? Start a business together? Just SOMETHING. What ever it was going to be, it was going to be ok, he was going to be home soon, and I was going to do my absolute best to be so open-minded and conscious of his needs and wants too.

Leading up to the engagement party I couldn’t control my excitement! He was going to be home soon, things would be back to normal and we were going to move on. It couldn’t come quick enough.

One morning, I work up to a message from him, I was shattered, but I was also upset and angry and I think every single emotion to ever exist engulfed my body in a matter of seconds.

 

It changed everything…

Me Against His World.

Every time we spoke, I kept asking him when he was coming home, I just wanted him here, I was so excited to see him and to start our future, which, if I’m honest, I was already kind of planning in my head but he didn’t need to know that, although, I’m pretty sure he did! I missed him more than I ever thought was possible and so, so much more than any other time he has travelled. He said a few times he wasn’t sure when he was coming home which killed me inside but reminded myself he was happy and enjoying life.

Over a few weeks I started to get a little angry at him, I had so much time on my hands that all I could think about was him and how he just got up and left with no intention to let me know when he would be coming home. How was I ok with this? How does he think this is normal? How can he think I would just sit here and wait for him? Is he even thinking about me or our future whilst over there? So many questions and thoughts continued to circle in my head.

I would bury these feelings, thoughts and emotions. I  always told myself, he would be home soon and everything was going to be fine, it was all in my head and I just had to keep myself busy.

I think my friends were split down the middle, some of them really felt for me, and others thought this was selfish of him. But I knew him, I knew he loved me and wanted to be with me. He just needed this time alone and to be able to travel how he wants and where he wants without me in the back of his mind. Everything was going to be fine and I was counting down to the next time I saw him and was able nestle into his arms where I belonged.

One morning I woke up to a message from him “I want to buy into this restaurant”. This was the first message that I read when I woke up, sort of unpleasant compared to most of the messages I usually get from him. Pure anger took over my body. “He WHAT?! Here I am, waiting patiently for him to come home, so we can finally move on with our lives and start a future together and here he is, not even thinking about our future!!” “Why the hell would he want to buy a restaurant? With what money? Where is he going to live? He knows nothing about running a business!!”

Nothing but anger riddled my body. I had lost all patience with him, but I couldn’t bare to fight with him then and there “Rightio” was my reply. I wanted to say so much more but I honestly could not be bothered. This was just another one of his ‘things I’m going to do’ that he never actually does. But I was still broken inside at the fact that he obviously wasn’t thinking too much about me.

This is how the next six months of absolute hell took over my life.

For the next few days, I was being quite short and blunt with him in my responses. I was furious at that comment and really wanted to have a proper conversation with him, not just over messages. He knew something was up because I would often say ‘luv u’ instead of ‘Love you’ (I hated when he would say luv u cause I felt like its not real, weird I know but it was our thing) so he knew when I would use it, there was something wrong. I told him not to worry and we would have a conversation when he got to Egypt on the phone. He wanted to talk then and there, but I really wasn’t ready and asked him to call me when he got to Egypt.

Looking back at these conversations, I unfortunately see how much of a fucking bitch I was to him when all he wanted to do was talk and I would bite his head off. But at the same time, I don’t blame myself for acting that way, I was literally at boiling point and I couldn’t handle any more of his shit.

I asked if he was thinking about us when he thought about buying this restaurant? Me? Our future? Sometimes, when I think back, I get so angry at myself so jumping down his throat so quickly. We talked about it, he said he would have to move there for a couple of months every year, and then the rest of the year here in Australia but he wasn’t sure and said he still had a lot to think about. “Fine” I told him, “If thats the case then we shouldn’t be together until you figure that part out” I told him that I was happy to travel a little more, but not right now, I wanted to do some things here together first. I told him I had been patient with all of his other travels, and other things he wanted to accomplish in his life before he settled down. I told him I couldn’t wait any longer, “Im sad, upset and unhappy, I don’t want to be unhappy anymore”

He didn’t know what to say. He was leaving for Egypt the next day. I told him I missed him which I did more than anything in this world, but I was all over the place with regards to my feelings.

He arrived in Egypt, I still didn’t want to talk to him, he had sent me a few messages, but I ignored them as much as possible because I knew what was coming and I hated it. But I felt like I was backed into a corner and I was so tired of always fighting for him. It was me up against his big bad world, and I knew I was going to lose.

We fought, and we fought a lot. About everything…

Keep On Keeping On.

Remember how I said something big was coming this year? Well this is not exactly what I had in mind, but I reminded myself that this was going to be his last trip alone and I was super excited and happy for him. He was meeting up with his best friend who was already travelling and I was happy that he was happy. I knew that I had this time to work hard on my diploma and create something that we could both work hard towards when he returned.

The car ride home was horrible. I was sad, but I was also really angry, I don’t know why but I just felt really angry and I took my anger out on everyone around me for the next couple of days. I think I was angry at him, but I was also angry at myself because all I wanted to do was cry and cry but I knew I couldn’t do that around my friends and family. To them it wasn’t a big deal, a lot of them have never had to go through this and I really don’t think they knew how hard it was and after all, its not like it hasn’t happened to me before.

This following year was going to be big. He had just left, my first year of not being in full-time employment, I was studying, my best friend was getting married and much, much more. About a week after he left, I was so motivated about everything! I was going to work hard and finish my diploma, I was going to work hard at losing weight (something I have battled my whole life) I was going to work hard at getting my photography business up and running and I was so determined to be so successful.

I had no choice but to keep on top of everything and continue on with my day to day activities. I spoke to him online as often as possible and he called me as much as he could. When we spoke, I was so happy, I could feel the smile on his face when he would tell me stories. I knew how happy he was, how much he was loving every second of it. After the first few weeks, life started to return to normal and I kept myself busy with nannying, studying, seeing friends and being with family.

His Birthday is at the end of March and as much as I wanted to share it with him, I knew that the next best place for him to be was travelling the world, being in his element and absolutely loving life. By this time I didn’t think I could meet him in Egypt as I had the responsibility looking after the kids I nanny and other commitments. I also had a plan to buy a big, beautiful, expensive computer, something I could call my own, something I had worked hard for and saved a lot of money for. I saw this as an investment to my business and career and as much as I wanted to explore Egypt with him, I felt it was a better decision for the long run.

I was really torn between what decision to make but I thought Egypt will always be there and I can travel anytime I want to. I decided on buying the computer. I think he was disappointed in my decision, as was I because I wanted more than anything to be with him and meet his family. But I knew that in order for me to make something of my career I had to take this step. An Investment.

I continued to work hard on my studies and was passing every assessment I completed. I knew I had it in me and I was learning so much. He was super proud as were my friends and family. The only thing I could do to get my mind of him not being here was keeping busy. My best friend was getting married in October and it was such an exciting time for her and I wanted to be there for her as much as possible. We went to our first dress fitting and on the way he called me, I didn’t want to be that person to bring down the mood, but I just burst into tears the second I heard his voice. I just wanted him here. I knew that as soon as I got off the phone, I would be ok and continue the day as normal, but for those couple of minutes it was hell. My bestie just put her hand on my knee and to me that meant more than anything, she didn’t have to do or say anything to me, but knowing that she was there and that she could feel my hurt meant so much to me.

As the weeks went on, I’d like to say it got easier, but that would be a lie. I told myself I was ok, and I was happy and that was what I was showing all of my friends and family. But I knew deep down, I was miserable, he is my favourite person in the whole wide world, the only one who truly gets me and he wasn’t here.

So… the countdown for his return begins…