Have you ever been in a situation where you thought someone was a true friend, and would always be in your life, to then find that all along they have been stabbing you in the back?
“There was once a lady called Sarah,
who unfortunately now I can’t bear her,
she pretended to be my friend
but she has done something she cannot mend,
and now I no longer see her” Anon.
This particular person was a friend of mine. She began to have marital problems. Throughout all of the problems I stood by her side. I helped her out when she had no money, I took her out to cheer her up. I even treated her to a new dress when she had lost loads of weight and nothing fitted her. It turns out in return all she could manage was to stab me in the back. To bitch about me to another friend because I went out for a few drinks whilst my children went to visit their dad. This is truly a crime, clearly. I mean how unreasonable it is for me to go out for a bit of social time with friends when my children are not even around. So hand cuff me now, for I have clearly committed the evilest of crimes.
Whilst initially I was upset, I have forgiven her. I do not like to carry resentment as I believe it is a waste of my resources. And, so is being friends with someone who is unable to be a friend back. I never expected anything from you, I did not want you to buy my clothes, or repay me the money I have spent in taking you out. But a thank you would have been nice, along with your loyalty.
friend, I believe, if this is the way you treat all your ‘friends’, you may very well need it.
This particular incident happened at Christmas and until now I have held my silence. I do not want to argue with her, it serves no purpose, but I think by now she will surely notice my lack of presence.
I was always perceived at school as a pretty and intelligent girl who was confident and not scared to stand up for herself. The truth was I was shy and had very low self esteem. I constantly strived for approval from others and all I ever wanted was to be accepted.
I could never work out whether or not I was accepted and so I would do things that I would not necessarily do, and for that reason I have made some bad choices in my life. Nothing which has ended me in prison or anything but nonetheless, if I knew what I know now things would have been very different.
My mum and dad divorced when I was 10. I never thought it affected me until recently. I looked back at my life and realised I have been rather destructive to myself and in particular in relationships. My dad was not an altogether abusive man but on occasion was physically abusive to my mum. My mum was not an overall manipulator but could be manipulative. It is easy for me to see why they are not together now when I look at them both. They are both remarried and happy. Furthermore, they are all friends which is nice to see, though it has taken them twenty years to get there.
As I always wanted to feel accepted and wanted, I became sexually active at 15. By the time I was 17 I was pregnant, to a boy from school. He became abusive and manipulating and I let it all happen. Getting pregnant was actually the saving grace as it gave me the strength to end the relationship as I did not want my child growing up around this man. In short, he kidnapped me, he abused me both physically and mentally, he stole off me and he cheated on me with numerous other girls and even one of my ‘friends’. I did not know at the time but he was also an alcoholic and a drug user, who was also struggling with coming to terms he was bi-sexual. Not that this gave him the right to treat me in the way he did.
After I had my child I met someone who was doing well for themselves and was extremely good looking. He even helped me look after my child. At first things were great, we shared lots of great times. But eventually the relationship fell apart. He became very controlling and rather manipulative and I felt trapped. I was 22 but felt like 32 (I am 33 now and I felt older then than I do now!) I still see this man as he still has contact with my child and for that I will always be thankful. But what I had done was let another man look after me and do everything for me.
To be honest looking back I am not surprised I met someone else. Not only were there issues in my relationship with control generally taking each other for granted, probably due to the fact we were very young and not really knowing how to deal with difficulties in the relationship. Additionally, I found it extremely difficult to communicate with my partner. I am not suprised at this either. Although I’ve always known my parents loved me, whilst I was growing up I was not really told that they did. I never heard the words ‘I love you.’ When I lived with my mum and dad, dad occasionally did not come home. I remember me asking mum one morning whilst in the kitchen where dad was and she told me he had gone to work early. Even at the young age of 8 or 9 years old I remember thinking ‘he did nt come home’. If my mum and dad had problems then they argued. I remember a lot of bickering and sniping, but I do not remember them being particularly happy.
I guess then in some way I had been programmed not to deal with issues and to retaliate by pushing people away, because I believed they were going to leave anyway. With hindsight I now know that this is what happened with this man. I did my best to push him away, as this was a barrier I had put up as I believed he would leave anyway. I could not fully open myself up to love him and I could not believe that someone actually loved me for me. We are actually engaged to be married and had bought a house together. We had everything and could have had more. I kept all the photographs from family holidays we had together and looking at them the other day I broke down in tears as we were actually in love. The way we were looking at each other in the photographs was so extremely touching and it is for this reason that I have kept them as I want my child to have these so they know that we did love each other once. In fact, I believe we still love each other now, but things have changed and us as people have changed also. If I had the tools to salvage that relationship at that time then I would have done. But obviously it was not meant to be.
I jumped from that relationship into another which initially gave me the freedom and excitement I was so desperately looking for. Unfortunately it turned out to be an extremely bad decision, but this I will discuss at another time as this is a very long story in itself.
It was only after I had to make some very brave decisions and walk away from this relationship. It was one of hardest things I have ever had to do. But it was only then that I began to actually find myself. Since my divorce three years ago I left my job, which I had not been happy in for over three years. I enrolled to do a degree I had always wanted to do, and got work at a local charity. I had desperately wanted to do a job where I felt I was making a difference to people for such a long time. I am still single, I am still studying and I am the happiest I have ever been. I have also taken this time whilst I have been single to reflect on past relationships and behaviours, as well as life events such as my parents divorce. I understand why I have acted in the way I have. I have forgiven myself for some of the things I have done. I have apologised to the relevant people for the way I have acted and I am ready to move on. One thing I realised is as my mum never said ‘I love you’ to me as a child I constantly say it to my children. My dad says it to me all the time, and I can easily reciprocate, but until recently I could never say it to my mum. Not because I did nt, but because we just never had. But mum if you ever read this please know one thing, I do love you with all my heart and now I am older I know that the words do not always have to be spoken.
Over the last couple of years I have had many discussions with my parents (separately of course) and I can see both sides of their story. I have also accepted certain things from my childhood and forgiven and let go.
I know I am of worth. I know I have grown up to be a good mum, a kind hearted person who does not judge others and always try to see the best in them. I have ambition and know I will get there. It may have taken me longer than I would have first envisioned but I know that anything is possible and I will keep going until I get where I want to be. So for all of you who have experienced set backs, losses and difficulties never give up, keep going because you will get there, even if the journey is long. If you are not at the happy ending then you are not at the end 🙂
This couple were in court today for taking their kids abroad on holiday for 1 week. They were fined £630, £300 costs and £63 victim surcharge. So you can work (paying tax to government) save up and take your kids on holiday to have some quality family time and let your children experience culture and travel, and be fined (money to go to government again). My son was off school for three months due to an accident, it took the education department two months to arrange a home tutor. He will sit his GCSE’s in just over a year. Who do I issue our fine to for them failing to provide continuous education, which they are obliged to do so. I calculate they owe us thousands, and lets not forget to add on the teacher training days and strike days. There is no justice, the fine this couple received is more than most fines for drink driving or burglary! Just another way of controlling a part of society. Finally the law they refer to is ambiguous and subject to interpretation as it states ‘regular basis’. I consider regular to be something you do often, not necessarily every day, therefore cannot see how they can enforce this upon someone whose children are otherwise present in school, barr a week for a holiday! Grrrr…..Rant over!
SORRY FOR THE CAPITALS, I AM RATHER RILED!
Finally, a refection of the documentary which makes some sense, see link (above) to the Independent’s response to the TV series ‘Benefits Street’ which was on Channel 4 at 9pm on the 7th January 2014. The country we live in sometimes makes me feel so sad. We are consumed with negativity and covered by a big black cloud that is the media feeding us with mostly absolute drivel.
Channel 4 should be ashamed of themselves. The people who were featured in this documentary are real people trying to live real lives. Yes the majority of them are on benefits, for what reasons it is unknown, and for this reason alone who are we to judge? How about the government stop reducing the benefit payments, put a hold of the rise of the cost of living and see what happens then. Maybe you might just see a reduction in crime? One thing is for sure, continue to make the cuts and this situation will only worsen. To target a street which is predominantly made up of single parents, unemployed and people with addictions is a cheap shot. The fact the documentary stated there were around 15 different nationalities on the street says a lot. Lets not forget it was the government who let all these nationalities in. These are now on benefits in our country with no jobs. Funnily enough the documentary did nt feature the other nationalities! I believe these people have been tricked into taking part, with one resident saying “They said they wanted to film for a TV show about how great community spirit is in the street and how we all help each other out on a daily basis,” said Ms Roberts, 32. (4 News)
This type of documentary is not cutting edge. It is no wonder people are growing up and becoming bullies, because they are surrounded by it every not just from people on the street but by the media. Channel 4 have picked on the poor and defenseless, adding fuel to the fire of the picture the government are trying to paint of people on benefits so that they can justify even more cuts. The truth is these people are not a representation of the mass.
On a lighter note, it has been reported that the ’50p man’ selling items, not only trying to make a wage for himself, but help out his neighbours has been offered a job-on the back of the documentary. I sincerely hope this is true as this will install a little faith in humanity.
Documentaries like this is are so damaging. This is not the first, there have been many documentaries like this such as Skint (Channel 5), People Like Us (BBC3). This is the reason why everyone who receives help from the government are seen as the dregs of society. However, being a single working mum of three children and also studying for a degree in Psychology I can assure you I do not receive anywhere near as much money as what people believe I do. I can barely afford to pay my bills every month thanks to the increasingly expensive rising cost of living and the reduction in help from the government. The government are here for one thing…..to govern….to control and I know that until I can get myself in a position where I do not need government help I will always be trapped. The harsh reality is we are often imprisoned in our own lives and left with real little choice of how to live our lives, as we are financially controlled by our own country and forced to live a life which is seen as socially acceptable. It is time to start thinking outside of the box. We all need to wake up and take a stand. Stop believing everything you see, read and hear and question what is actually going on and what is important in life. It is difficult at first, but once you start you will wonder how you have managed to just coast along in ‘zombie nation’ for so long.
No one loves a party more than I do. I have not had a weekend off from socialising since February last year. Add all these parties to festivals and club nights as well as the obligatory wedding celebrations and birthday meals you could say I have had a pretty full on year. In all honesty though this is how I like it! I am lucky that I have such a wide circle of friends. For this reason it is very rare that nothing is going on and sometimes I often struggle to fit everything in. However, It has not always been this way.
Following my divorce I was often left sat in on my own with nothing to do. Majority of my other friends were all either happily married or in relationships, off doing ‘couple-y’ things. It was difficult, especially when all I wanted to do was go out, socialise and forget the misery I was currently enduring. So I had to take things into my own hands! Luckily for me, I do not find socialising difficult so I used to sit in on a Saturday night with a bottle of wine and once I had finished that I used to head into town on my own and see who was out that I knew. I often would make up some story that I had been out with friends and I could not find them. As it was often late, around 12am, most people were drunk enough to not really think much about whether my story was actually legit or not! So more often than not I would be able to have a full night out with my new ‘friends’. I have met so many people in this way. You should not be afraid to meet people in this way. At first I felt that I was being an inconvenience but what I actually realised was I did not have enough confidence in the human race. When our guards are down and we are out having fun most of us are actually very nice people!
The past year has been amazing, I have attended two hen weekends, two weddings, an awesome festival, numerous club nights, lots of birthdays and other celebrations, a holiday with friends abroad and a holiday with the children. I have not had a free weekend since last February.
This Christmas has been a double edged sword. I have had a lovely time and spent time with family and friends but Christmas day for me is always difficult. Trying to keep everyone happy when you have to also accommodate the ex, when he is particularly difficult sometimes, is the hard thing. You cannot help it, but it affects the day, especially when you cannot wake up on Christmas day with your babies watching their excited faces opening their presents. It also highlights to me the people who are no longer here….in particular my grandma, whom I was very close to and miss every day. In any event though it is truly the party season with lots of parties and drinking. This was topped off with the best New Years Eve ever which did not end until New Years Day.
For this reason, it is time for me to take a little time to take stock of all that has happened over the last year. I have grown so much as a person. I have pushed boundaries and at the age of 33 actually feel like I am finding who I am, and I make no apologies for who I am either. I am so grateful for my life and the people in it, old and new. For the next few weeks I am going to be nice to myself, take time out of the party scene, detox, take walks and spend time in nature. Eat lovely food and watch films and read books. I have loved every minute and I will miss this party lifestyle over the next few weeks but I need to recuperate and recover, I want to be fighting fit for the upcoming festival and party season and I know come the last Saturday of January is the day that it will all start again.
I am so excited for what 2014 has to offer me, and at the time though I thought my divorce was a terrible thing, it was in fact the opposite as I have been allowed the space to grow and I once again feel like myself, the adventurous, courageous and confident female I was before. No matter how difficult life gets, keep going, see it as an adventure, as there is always something great around the corner.