I don’t tend to do personal posts.

In fact, I don’t think I’ve written one about me specifically for a LONG time, since I was a teenager perhaps. Sure, I’ve written about what’s going on in my life, I have no problem sharing that with anyone, but I tend to stay away from emotive posts. I’m not sure why, maybe I’m just conscious of exactly how much I share with the world.

Today is an exception.

Today I have a day off from work, I usually ear-mark those days for blogging and indeed today is no different. Only I don’t feel like pretending to be happy, reviewing and talking about things that make me feel pretty, or intelligent, or cheerful.

On the inside, I feel ugly, unwanted, fat, stupid and fragile. Not broken.

That’s important, I’m holding on to that.

I’m keeping in mind that I’m actually doing ok, things are starting to fall into place. My blog is doing quite well, the work on my boat is coming along nicely and I have a new pet gecko, Nugget, who I’m absolutely in love with.

Unfortunately, love is the problem. Though on reflection, I’m not sure I ever did.

Basically, my ex and I were together for a few months. In hindsight it was a terrible idea, he’d got out of a LONG relationship and wasn’t ready to go back into another one. Me on the other hand, had been single for 2 years and probably couldn’t quite believe my luck.

In my mind, I saw this playing out exactly the same as it did my parents. They came out of relationships to be together, and just last week they celebrated 26 years of marriage. They’re soulmates and still in love with each other, they’re the perfect team and I admire them a lot. I hope that one day I can have something half as good as what they do.

In reality, our relationship yoyo’d a lot. While my friends welcomed him into our friendship group, invited him on nights out and so on, I was kept a complete secret. It was stupid, I couldn’t even tag him in a photo I’d taken or tweet something we’d just been laughing about. He’d delete the tag and ignore anything else.

As for meeting friends… ha, not a chance.

For a while I tried to be understanding. He used the excuse of ‘I’m worried about my friends judging me for moving on so quickly’, to which I responded, clearly they aren’t friends if they don’t want to see you happy..?

It was pointless arguing, I could never win. I just carried on being the secret and tried to accept it as normal. Surely one-day it’d all work out.

It didn’t, and it kept eating my up inside. What was wrong with me?

Why am I being kept a secret?

Is he embarrassed by me?

Sure, he’d gone from a skinny gym-nut to a girl with tits, ass and curves in abundance; kind-of one extreme to another, but he’s hardly Adonis either.

I’d question him about it and I’d barely get a response, he’d just say ‘I don’t know’ smirk and then try kiss me. He’d say ‘we get on well together, I like how we have a laugh, thats for sure’.

Eventually it hit me. He didn’t see me as a potential partner, just as a ‘friend-with benefits’, to hang out and have a laugh with when it suited. To get him out of a stale relationship, and stay with him until he felt brave enough to ‘be single’.

I wasn’t anything close to what he wanted. He proved that when he suggested we should do Weightwatchers together, and establish some reward system whereby if I lose X amount of weight, he’d agree to making our relationship ‘Facebook Official’.

I lost my shit.

I was astounded at him. I told him I was happy how I was, I don’t care if I’m a size 18, I have nothing to be ashamed of. If he wanted skinny he could go back to his ex. I wasn’t changing for anyone.

That night I vowed I’d never speak to him again. I wanted to stick to it, but did I tell you he’s reasonably good with words?

He’s the kind of guy that will tell a girl exactly what she wants to hear.

‘I’ve fucked up with someone who was perfect for me.’

‘I’d do anything to see you again.’

‘I’ve made a lot of mistakes but this is by far the biggest.’

He’ll lure you back under false pretences, just to get what he wants, for a weekend or two, then it’s back to how it was before.

Being a secret, not being what he wants and ‘I don’t know what I’m doing to be honest’.

There’s been one phrase that has haunted me a little bit through my love life. When I was 17 my first boyfriend broke up with me, I was crushed and thought I would die of grief. I would have done anything to make it right again, to get back together with him and to live happily ever after.

After countless attempts, the final one resulted in a fight with another girl (I’m not proud of it, but still), my dad sat me down and told me ‘Ashley, you need to learn to have some self respect, please.’ I felt so ashamed of myself, to have caused so much more grief for myself (and others), instead of accepting it and trying my best to move on. I suppose we all do stupid things for people we think we care about.

Sadly, my lack of self respect came back to haunt me again. Instead of telling him to stick Weightwatchers where the sun doesn’t shine, I was blinded once again by my desperation to make my relationship with him work. Deep down I knew at that point I should have stayed well away, I spoke to different friends, asking for their opinion until they gave one that suited my decision.

It was inevitable, of course I was going to give him another chance, he told me he cared about me, that I was perfect for him, that he wanted to be everything I was looking for. It was going to be better this time, I was determined.

My friends were skeptical, concerned to say the least. That awful phrase ‘have some self-respect Ashley, please’ returned and rattled around in my mind for two weeks. Finally, something changed in my mind.

I laid in bed looking at him, thinking about how I felt.

Like I was standing on the edge of a cliff waiting for him to push me off ready for the next girl to come along. Totally unloved, pushed into a corner with a blanket thrown over me so no-one could see me, like I didn’t exist. He’d already thrown away the card I’d made for him for his birthday, and rubbed out the writing I’d done on his wall with some lipstick. He forgot my name that day too, called me by another woman’s name.

I felt hollow, unattractive and miserable.

He was telling me about the tattoo he’s going to have, it was my idea, a mermaid, with long blonde hair, curves, buckets of tits and ass, all in purple and aqua blue. My favourite colours. He wanted to have a scroll underneath it that says ‘man’s ruin’ – more like my ruin.

I looked at him and saw an arrogant, ignorant, selfish teenage boy. How could I have possibly thought he was the mature, sexy, kind, funny man I wanted?

The next morning he drove me home, and we agreed I didn’t want to see him again.

That was it, I’d found my self respect. It doesn’t stop me from feeling upset, or all those horrible things I’d said I felt earlier.

You always wonder what YOU did wrong when a relationship comes to an end. Right at this moment, I’m not sure what I did wrong. I suppose throwing myself at him in the first place was the biggest mistake. I kept giving him chances, even though he’d basically said some totally unforgivable things. I kept allowing myself to get hurt and I forgot how to be strong.

I was ready for a relationship, he wasn’t, but we carried on anyway.

All that considered, I still care, I still pray something in his mind will change and suddenly he’ll become everything I’ve ever dreamed of.

I know for a fact, that will never happen. Sadly, he will never change and I pray for the next girl that has to face the same shit I did.

Or maybe he’ll read this and learn something from it, I don’t know.

Right now I have to start the re-building process. Even though it was a few months ago, I still can’t remember what it was like to be single, carefree and happy. It’s as though my mind has blocked it, like it’s a traumatic event or something.

I’ve tried Tinder and it’s nothing but depressing. If anything, it’s helped me decide I want to be completely alone for a while. There’s nothing wrong with that.

I’m 22, I’m still finding my feet and thats ok. I still have my life ahead of me and I’m sure there will be plenty more of these heartbreak posts to write in the future.

Time to work on that self-respect.




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