Bullies – Nature or Nurture?


Today is one of those days where I just want to scream.  I’m sure we all get them.  (Actually, boys, do you get ‘screamy’ days?)

I’m not one of life’s criers.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ll cry at films, TV programmes, stories in newspapers, even adverts, but I don’t seem to cry about real life stuff very much.  However, today, several times, my eyes have filled with tears and I’ve had to stop them from falling.
I consider myself to be quite a ‘tough cookie’.  I’ve always held my own and maintained a calm persona even if underneath I’ve been fuming with anger or tearful through sadness.  But today, I just feel like walking out.
I’m 27.  That’s the age of a grown-up.  I move around in an adult world.  Yet somehow, in this grown-up world, there are still people who are simply nasty through-and-through.  They’re hell bent on being ‘top dog’ and focussed on making others miserable.  Most of the time I can take it on the chin and I watch as others fight against their domineering ways.
In my opinion, there’s no excuse for rudeness, no excuse for bullying, and definitely no excuse for being a total and utter douchebag.

But it leads me to wonder…  Are people born bullies or does life carve them out to be that way?



LilliesandLove xx


PS  Sorry for being moany, but as I said at the beginning of the post – it’s been one of those ‘screamy’ days!





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My Early Days of Fashion


Disclaimer:  I use the word ‘fashion’ in the title loosely

I’ve never claimed to be fashion forward. I’m not one of those girls who can look amazing in whatever they wear.  My wardrobe isn’t in style and I don’t have the latest designs.  However, I do love clothes.
I mean, I really love clothes.

And shoes.  And bags.  And jewellery.  And make-up.

I’m often to be found browsing through fashion and beauty blogs, or looking at the latest items to be released onto the websites of High Street shops.  (As I’m on a spending ban, I just fill up my basket and then log off – sort of helps with the withdrawal symptoms).

So, when I was browsing through some old family photos the other day, from when I was a baby, I was quite surprised to see some of the outfits I was… erm… rocking.
I appreciate it was the 1980’s and fashion was altogether different, but I’m still not convinced that the cool kids at the baby group were dressed like this.  In fact, I’m considering booking my mum an appointment at the opticians this weekend; surely only bad eyesight can be an excuse for some of these get-ups?

So, if you need a laugh today, go ahead and take a look at the pictures below….
LilliesandLove xx
 
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The Day I Proved My “Stalker’s” Identity

Note: This is a very long post so it might be worth making yourself a cuppa before you settle down to read it…




Ok, so the title to this is slightly misleading; it took me more than a day to catch him out. In fact, it took weeks of suspicion and further weeks of planning and plotting with my Mum, but once the wheels were in motion, I got the proof I needed surprisingly quickly.

In previous blog posts I’ve mentioned my first ever boyfriend – the one I hold solely responsible for all my body image issues.

I was 15 when I met him and we got together. Having dropped out of school at 13 I hadn’t really mixed with people my own age, so when he started paying me attention I was flattered and lapped it up. Looking back now, the fact he was a 24-year old man and he was dating a 15-year old girl (who looked a lot younger than her age) seems bizarre and, frankly, quite concerning, but at the time I thought I was mega cool – dating an older man who had a motorbike, check me out!

After being with him for a few months (I’m going to call him Bob for ease of reference) I absolutely, 100% did not want to be with him anymore, but he’d worn my self-confidence down to such a degree that I honestly believed nobody else would ever want me. He made me believe I was ugly. He would point at other women in the street, on TV or in newspapers/magazines and he’d ask me why I wasn’t them. Sure, I should have dumped him, but I was 15, impressionable and, by that point, convinced I was an abomination of nature and I should be grateful that he was even dating me.

I started college aged 16. Obviously, I made new friends, started socialising and going down the pub (I know, I know… legal drinking age is 18… Don’t do this at home kids!) As was to be expected, I’d tell Bob all about my day and part of that conversation would involve me using friend’s names. It was at this point that his controlling nature took a turn for the worse.

In addition to the mental and emotional abuse, it started getting physical. He would push me on his bed and bite me – and not the spicy bedroom kind of biting. He would pin me down so I couldn’t move and bite me until I bruised. I will never forget him saying to me “Now everyone will know you have a boyfriend” – he was marking his territory.

Looking back now, I can’t work out how he would have done it, but I remember him somehow getting my tongue between his teeth and pulling it and pulling it until I had tears streaming from my eyes and honestly believed it was going to come off. I’m sat here now trying to work out how he did it, but I honestly can’t – he didn’t bite down on it, there were no lasting teeth marks, but the pain was intense and was caused more by the pulling – the strain of it being stretched beyond capability.

There was one particular occasion where he bit my face, in one bite engulfing my bottom lip and my chin. He also bit my neck that day. I managed to hide it from my parents (again, I have no idea how) but I remember wearing roll-neck jumpers and really heavy make-up to college until the bruising went down. I remember being boiling hot and not being able to do anything about it because anything else I wore would show my neck. My friend’s actually asked me why I was wearing so much make-up and I said I was just trying out a new look. I wore loads of foundation and concealer and I wore ‘Heather Shimmer’ lipstick because it was so dark.

I knew it wasn’t right, but for some reason I didn’t have the strength to leave him – I guess I believed him when he said nobody else would ever want me.

I hated him though. I mean an INTENSE hatred. I felt sick when he touched me or kissed me and I made every single possible excuse in the book not to sleep with him – believe it or not, I managed to get through our whole relationship without having sex with him. Again, I have no idea how I managed it. I’m just thankful that his violence didn’t extend to that part of our life.

Anyway, to cut a long story short – it was an incredibly abusive relationship, I went to the pub with my college friends one night, two boys from college said they liked me and asked if they could take me out on a date, I realised I wasn’t hideous and I finished it with Bob. Yada-yada-yada.

He was not a happy bunny.


He text and called constantly.  He emailed, he rang my home phone and, eventually, he seemed to give up.

Then, 6-months later one of my email addresses locked me out of it, saying my password was wrong. My security questions wouldn’t let me back in either. I set up a new email address – the same thing happened. When I got to the security questions, one of them had been changed to “Who Am I?” I didn’t know the answer, so I got locked out – I had to set up a third email address.

A few days later, I was checking my emails and I noticed that a message was showing as ‘read’ but I knew I hadn’t opened it yet. I thought it was odd but carried on. Over the following few days I noticed it happening over and over again – then one day it happened while I was sat at my computer. A new email came in and before I had a chance to open it, it was marked as ‘read’. I will never, ever forget that horrible feeling of realisation and horror that somebody was in my email account at the same time as me.

There was only one possible person it could be. Someone that knew my email address, someone that knew me well enough to guess my password – someone that wasn’t happy with me.

I spoke to my mum and we came up with a plan to catch the culprit. Mum would create an email address for a fictional character called ‘Deano’. She would send me emails from him (which we wrote together) talking about things that had happened at college, plus drinking and drugs. Mum would also email me from her own account, we would have ‘arguments’ with each other and she would appear to be exasperated with the way I was acting.

‘Deano’ didn’t exist, I wasn’t taking drugs, nor was I arguing with Mum. I was at home, doing my coursework. In fact, I didn’t really go out anywhere – we were too concerned about Bob’s actions and I was nervous that if I went anywhere, he would ‘happen to be there’. We didn’t know how far this stalking would go or, ultimately, how much of a danger he was to me.

Below is the transcript from the email conversations that caught Bob out. He contacted my Mum out of the blue one day having read emails between me and ‘Deano’ as well as the fake arguments between me and Mum. As you will see, he started off trying to be really nice to Mum and trying to win her over, but when she began to fight my corner his tone changed and he started telling outright lies and trying to get me in trouble. Mum played along, acted dumb and acted like the concerned mother of a tearaway teen, when in fact she knew everything he was saying to her already as she’d helped me write most of the emails!

It was at this point, when Bob thought he had Mum on his side, that he slipped up and we got our proof – the golden moment for us was when he mentioned ‘Deano’ – I remember Mum and I screaming with excitement when we read it. We’d caught him! He’d finally given us the indisputable proof we needed!

I have to say, the final email on this post – which I sent to Bob directly – makes me want to high-five my 17-year old self. I just wish I could have been a fly on the wall when he read it and realised he’d been caught!

When you’re reading the below, please note that Mum always replies to emails in the body of the text of the email she’s received and puts her replies in italics. I’ve done the same below, so hopefully you’ll be able to understand it.

Please bear in mind the whole time you’re reading these email that Bob was weaving this story from the information he’d read in our fake emails. He tells lie upon lie and my Mum pretends to be shocked and horrified (so please don’t believe what you read!)  Also, I was FIFTEEN and he was TWENTY-FOUR.  I think this is important when you read some of the things he said about me.

He tried very hard to cause problems but he didn’t bet on the force of my Mum and I working together!

EMAIL FROM BOB TO MUM – 13 September 2002, 11:59am

Hello,

I’m hoping I’ve got the right address, I guessed it!

I hope all went well with you and that [my brother] is managing ok. I am still in contact with Penny, the odd email saying “hi, how are you”… I kind of get the impression that Penny is not really interested any more.

Penny seems to be having problems with her email accounts, I gave up on them a long time ago – so I think she’s using wanderinglover@********.com.

Sometimes she’s chatty, and others it’s “oh, I’m tired… etc” I know she’s been ill and that it cannot have been easy for her. I sense that she’s changed alot in the last 6 months, and also during the time we were going out. Maybe it’s new experiences that she is craving, and just going through a phase (I did).

I’m not sure how or what you and [my dad] think of me, or what Penny has said about me, but I will admit to being a bit of a plonker just after the time we broke up. I got the feeling Penny was confused and maybe had somebody else on her mind.

Basically, I’m worried about her – she seems so different. I have offered to take her out for a drink and to catch up, but she says she’s tired all the time (fair enough). I’ve not actually seen Penny since the end of February, so I may be totally off with my assumptions.

Every now and then, when she emails – I get the feeling she would like to see me, and only just the other day she said she can’t.

Cards on the table: I would love to get back together with her, I think I can do things 100 times better than I did when I was with her. Maybe she’s more into her college friends (of course, I’m a bit older) I would just like to offer her some security, that’s all.

I did email her the other day, saying that I was thinking of going away before Xmas, and hinted that I may ask somebody to go with me. Maybe that was wrong but I wanted to see if she was interested. Her college work comes first of course, but I get the impression she is a bit unhappy at the moment.

I hope I haven’t upset you with my observations, obviously I cannot and do not know the full story, but I do genuinely care for Penny and would like to see her happy (with whoever it may be).

Thanks,

Bob.



EMAIL FROM MUM TO BOB – 18 September 2002, 4.27pm

Hi Bob,

Just remembered I hadn’t replied to you, so here goes. I shall reply by each paragraph so I don’t have to keep scrolling up and down, but I’m not really sure what you are asking me. If I still haven’t answered your questions, let me know:

I hope all went well with you and that [my brother] is managing ok. I am still in contact with Penny, the odd email saying “hi, how are you”… I kind of get the impression that Penny is not really interested any more. – – – Interested in what? Friendship? More? You don’t say.

Penny seems to be having problems with her email accounts, I gave up on them a long time ago – so I think she’s using wanderinglover@********.com. — – I think so too. I think she has been having problems, but not really sure what – I know she has a little‘curse’ at times, but then she seems ok. As she knows more about computers than I do, I leave her with it.

Sometimes she’s chatty, and others it’s “oh, I’m tired… etc” I know she’s been ill and that it cannot have been easy for her. – – – That’s just how she is – one day she’s tired, the next she’s better – rather like [my brother]. At the beginning she had to take each day as it came. Now she is a little better, she is having to watch herself, so she doesn’t have to miss time at college.

I sense that she’s changed a lot in the last 6 months, and also during the time we were going out. Maybe it’s new experiences that she is craving, and just going through a phase (I did). – – – She has changed – it’s to be expected at her age. She has also changed cos she’s met new people and experienced new things in the past year – you being one of them. This time last year she was new to college and new to your relationship – her first. Within a matter of weeks, she was being coerced into something she knew was not right (your birthday sleepover) and then she owned up and had to face the consequences. Where were you when she went through it with us? She had to do a lot of growing up very quickly then, to face the ‘flack’ all on her own, without your support. It’s bound to have had an affect on her. Going through a phase? In which way?

I’m not sure how or what you and [my dad] think of me,or what Penny has said about me, but I will admit to being a bit of a plonker just after the time we broke up. – – – What [my dad] and I thought of you? I never got a chance to find out exactly what you were like because we never saw you. YOU thought we didn’t like you and were trying to keep you and Penny apart, which did not please me, because at time I tried real hard to find ways for you two to meet when there were difficulties, and all you thought we were doing was putting obstacles in the way to keep you parted. Not true! Being a plonker after you broke up? No, you were an idiot at times before you broke up – you couldn’t see that Penny had difficulties at times getting to see you; you wouldn’t come down here to visit, and then you sulked. I think that was the final straw for Penny. And I felt sorry for you, because at the time I thought you had thrown a good relationship away through your sheer pig-headed, obstinate ways. How sad.

I got the feeling Penny was confused and maybe had somebody else on her mind. – – – When?

Basically, I’m worried about her – she seems so different. – – – In what way?

I have offered to take her out for a drink and to catchup, but she says she’s tired all the time (fair enough). — – She is a lot of the time.

I’ve not actually seen Penny since the end of February, so I may be totally off with my assumptions. – – – Not sure what you mean by this?

Every now and then, when she emails – I get the feeling she would like to see me, and only just the other day she said she can’t. – – – I don’t know how she feels, but you must admit that the way things ended might make her apprehensive about what you will be like now. I understand that you were derogatory about so much of her life – including [my dad] and I – that there comes a point where you say ‘enough is enough’.

Cards on the table: I would love to get back together with her, I think I can do things 100 times better than I did when I was with her. – – – Ah! But can you think more of her than you can of yourself? That is what counts in a relationship – you have to consider someone else and what they want, not just what you want all the time.

Maybe she’s more into her college friends (of course, I’m a bit older) I would just like to offer her some security, that’s all. – – – Oh come on you’re not that much older than her. It’s not that she is into her college friends, she is just into friends who treat her with respect – who care for her, her feelings, and make her feel good about herself. I wouldn’t say she especially wants security at this time of her life, just respect, understanding and consideration from her friends.

I did email her the other day, saying that I was thinking of going away before Xmas, and hinted that I may ask somebody to go with me. Maybe that was wrong but I wanted to see if she was interested. — – I presume ‘someone’ means Penny. Seeing as you haven’t seen Penny since February – about 8 months ago – do you not think that your friendship is not at the stage where you could spend a week or a fortnight on holiday? I would have thought that you needed to reform your friendship before you started thinking of a holiday together. After this length of time, taking into account that you broke up, I don’t think a weeks holiday would be a good thing. Also, after 8 months apart, surely you would not presume that she would be sharing your bed so quickly – what do you think she is? If this is how you think of her, then I think you should forget altogether forming a friendship with her. I would think you were more into satisfying your own needs than forming a real relationship with Penny.

Her college work comes first of course, but I get the impression she is a bit unhappy at the moment. – – – Let’s just say that Penny is still a teenager and so is experiencing a typical teenager phase – hell to live with at times, dissatisfied with life a lot of the time – wanting to be doing the opposite of what she is doing/wanting to be going anywhere but where she is going – don’t you remember how you felt when you went through this phase. Sometimes I am planning her 21st birthday party, other times I am wondering if she will survive to her 18th. Ask your mum what it’s like.

I hope I haven’t upset you with my observations, – – – No, why should you? You can observe as much as you like and I will answer the same.

obviously I cannot and do not know the full story, – – – What full story? What is happening here is life – the ups and the downs – and at the end of the day,it will all blow over – we just have to be patient.

but I do genuinely care for Penny – – – You really should have shown it more when you were together

and would like to see her happy (with whoever it maybe). – – – So would I – that is all parents want for their children.

You may think I have been harsh with some of the things I have written, but you wrote to me, asking my opinion, and I have replied giving my opinions. If they are not to your liking, then I can’t help it, but I have been honest with you.

It is no good me replying and only telling you half-truths or lies – that will do you no good at all.

Feel free to get back to me if you wish.



EMAIL FROM BOB TO MUM – 18 September 2002, (time unknown)

Thank you for your comments… The truth is all I ever wanted.

Interested, as in not wanted to even meet up for a chat…

Sorry, I didn’t expect Penny and myself to share a bed on holiday. Not at all.

Perhaps it is best if I do not email her anymore. Yes I agree that I didn’t act very well during our time together, and I had my reasons. Things are a lot different now, and I guess (from what you say) that they are for Penny as well.

I don’t think it’s fair to say that I “forced” her into various things. I never made her do something that she didn’t want to do. If she wasn’t happy, she could have said. I’m not sure how much you know but me and Penny never actually slept together.

The emails that Penny sent me during the time we were together were very flattering, and she said that I did make her happy and that things were great. The fact that she didn’t tell me she was having doubts before we split up made it even harder to understand.

Sorry about not seeing you and [my dad] more. For some reason I had the impression that I was regarded as “the older boyfriend”. I have always been cautious of what people think of me and I wanted to make the right impression.

From what I’ve heard, Penny’s college friends seem ok. I have only met a handful ofthem, but I’m in no position to judge them.

All I’m really saying is, that I’m here if she wants somebody to talk to, or to go out for a drink with… Or if she’d like to visit,or vice-versa then I am here. She appears to have brushed off my offers so I was on the verge of giving up.

It would have been nice to have visited more and gotten to know you both. I am in a position now where that is no problem – but I think that ship has now sailed…

I have found out that apologising wont get me anywhere with Penny – but I was totally gutted the way we ended and that I haven’t been able to see her to chat to.

Penny sent me an email on Saturday evening, asking if I’d got another email, I hadn’t and replied by email and text that she’d better send it again – I’m not too sure what that was all about… The ball is in her court now, so whatever it was she wanted to say: if she wants to then I am listening.

I think you’re right – I did throw a decent relationship away through stupidity and lack of consideration. Just because something didn’t work first time around, doesn’t mean that it won’t a second time.

Maybe I should just ask her outright? “Do you want to meet up with me, at all?”

I suppose that would answer my question.

Once again, thanks for taking the time to reply.

Bob



EMAIL FROM MUM TO BOB – 19 September 2002, 8.13am

Before I answer your email in full, can I ask:

You said you didn’t act very well during your time together, and you had your reasons. Can I ask what they were – you don’t have to tell me, but I would be interested to know.



EMAIL FROM BOB TO MUM – 19 September 2002, 9.36am

Hi,

Well I suppose because I was pretty pissed off some of the time. When my Dad died I never really let it get to me. Unlike Mum who went to pieces.


That was on my mind a lot. Especially February the 13th when Penny and I didn’t have a good week – that was Dad’s birthday and I suppose I was just in a foul mood. This is really the reason why I was like that.

Things are different not – I’m doing very well and am quite content at the moment, I am over all that now and am very happy at present.

Hopefully that has answered your query.

Bob



EMAIL FROM MUM TO BOB – 23 September 2002, 11.10pm

I’ll reply as I did before – in the paragraphs…

Thank you for your comments… The truth is all I ever wanted. – – – Good, because that is what you will get. You may not like it, but at least you will know where you stand with me. 

Interested, as in not wanted to even meet up for a chat… – – – Have forgotten what the question was. If it was that Penny doesn’t seem interested, then you will have to ask her that yourself – I won’t answer questions that are up to her to make a decision on. 

Sorry, I didn’t expect Penny and myself to share a bed on holiday. Not at all. – – – I’m surprised. After what went on between you when you were going out together, you didn’t waste much time in getting what you wanted, did you? Yes – I know exactly what went on and don’t ask how/why I know – I do – that is all you need to know. Perhaps if you had taken things at a slower pace, it might have made Penny feel that you wanted her for herself and not just as a ‘toy’ for your own gratification. Did you ever stop to think how much pleasure you were giving her/how much pleasure she was getting from your ‘romps’. After all, when you slept together as your ‘birthday present’ you hadn’t got past first base, but a matter of five weeks later – at one visit a week –you had certainly accelerated down the line at top speed. How must that have made Penny feel? Used? Did you ever consider her feelings? Whether she was ready to progress at such a fast pace – with her very first boyfriend? Oh, but I hear you say, she could always have said no. But could she? From what I understand if she didn’t satisfy your needs, you kept on at her until she did as you wanted. Now I wouldn’t call that the actions of a caring, thoughtful boyfriend, more the actions of a selfish individual who was only out for his own satisfaction and gratification (I said I would be honest and speak my mind). And what you asked her to do – don’t you think at the age of only just turned 16years, with her first boyfriend – that you had no right to ask her to do this. Did you not have any sense –I mean this act should have been something that comes about after a long, loving relationship, not the result of a hurried rush through the motions over a matter of weeks. 

Perhaps it is best if I do not email her anymore. – – – That’s up to you. 

Yes I agree that I didn’t act very well during our time together, and I had my reasons. – – – Which you explained. If you had spoken to her about your thoughts and feelings, if only to say it was the anniversary, then Penny would have understood completely – she has been there herself, but to take it out on her – now that isn’t fair and she doesn’t deserve it. 

Things are a lot different now, and I guess (from what you say) that they are for Penny as well.

I don’t think it’s fair to say that I “forced” her into various things. – – – See the long paragraph above. You may not think you forced her into anything but let’s be honest, you did put her through it if you couldn’t get your own way. She dreaded refusing you. I have experience of how she was, when she couldn’t make it to see you for some reason or other. You would never come here, you always expected her to do the to-ing and fro-ing, and if she couldn’t for some reason, you would sulk and make her life a misery. She would do all the travelling, and then when it was time to come home, you wouldn’t even accompany her on the journey at times, in your mum’s car. Now that is not the actions of a caring boyfriend – more of someone who only thinks of themselves more than any others. 

I never made her do something that she didn’t want to do. If she wasn’t happy, she could have said. I’m not sure how much you know but me and Penny never actually slept together. – – – Oh, I know, don’t you worry. You may not have slept together – that would have been bad enough, but as I said above, you progressed your relationship so quickly over a matter of five weeks, that Penny probably never knew whether she was coming or going. When you think she only saw you for a couple of hours once a week, you certainly didn’t let the grass grow under your feet, did you? If you cared about her, why did you rush her so, and why did you badger her into doing what she did for you? Did you not stop to think/ask that she might not want to carry out this action? As I said above, this should be kept for a loving, close relationship where each one of the couple knows all about each other first – and I’m not talking about their favourite food etc – and you should also be sure of where the other has been before embarking on this type of relationship. Don’t you read the papers, about all the diseases etc that are passed on nowadays between couples who don’t know enough about each other? 

The emails that Penny sent me during the time we were together were very flattering, – – – Pity yours weren’t! If you could have texted her loving texts instead of smutty ones it might have made her feel she was loved and not being used. 

and she said that I did make her happy and that things were great. – – – Thnk about it – would she have said if they weren’t, and risk a moan or a sulk with you. 

The fact that she didn’t tell me she was having doubts before we split up made it even harder to understand. — – I think perhaps as time went on and you were getting more and more selfish and sulky, that she found it harder to talk to you. From what I understand, you always wanted your own way and moaned if you couldn’t get it, so why would she want to rub you up the wrong way – it would only make things even worse than they were already. 

Sorry about not seeing you and [my dad] more. For some reason I had the impression that I was regarded as “the older boyfriend”. I have always been cautious of what people think of me and I wanted to make the right impression. – – – Oh come on! If I had had any doubts about you being too old for Penny I would not have agreed to you going out with her, although from what I understand, you started going out before we were told – why did she have to lie about that? How could you make the right impression by staying away? How can you make the right impression when you are supposed to stay for dinner but back out just as I am going to put the dinner in the oven? I was none too pleased that day, but like Penny, I didn’t say anything to you either. We may both feel displeasure but we aren’t rude enough to show it. How could you make the right impression with us when you kept letting Penny down – once because you had no petrol in your bike. How much would it have cost to have put a gallon of petrol in it? And why wait until 20-minutes before you are supposed to get here to give her this excuse? 

From what I’ve heard, Penny’s college friends seem ok. I have only met a handful ofthem, but I’m in no position to judge them. – – – Who knows what Penny’s college friends are like – I’ve hardly met them, so I cannot judge. Only time will tell just how pleasant and good to Penny they are. 

All I’m really saying is, that I’m here if she wants somebody to talk to, or to go out for a drink with… Or if she’d like to visit,or vice-versa then I am here. She appears to have brushed off my offers so I was on the verge of giving up. — – You should be telling Penny this, not me. I will not influence Penny one way or the other – I will advise, or put my foot down if I disagree strongly with something – but I will not influence. 

It would have been nice to have visited more and gotten to know you both. – – – Pity you didn’t think that at the time. 

I am in a position now where that is no problem – but I think that ship has now sailed… – – – You’ll have to ask Penny that one. 

I have found out that apologising wont get me anywhere with Penny – but I was totally gutted the way we ended and that I haven’t been able to see her to chat to. – – – Sometimes an apology isn’t good enough – anyone can keep apologising then keep doing the same thing again. The true way to show you’re sorry is to stop doing the thing that is causing the upset. As to being gutted the way it ended, well that was down to you – you put her under so much pressure at the end that I think she just felt that enough was enough – she didn’t need that hassle – she was better off without it. To be honest, I was surprised as well that it all finished so quickly. 

Penny sent me an email on Saturday evening, asking if I’d got another email, I hadn’t and replied by email and text that she’d better send it again – I’m not too sure what that was all about… The ball is in her court now, so whatever it was she wanted to say: if she wants to then I am listening. – – – This is something you will have to sort out with Penny. 

I think you’re right – I did throw a decent relationship away through stupidity and lack of consideration. Just because something didn’t work first time around, doesn’t mean that it won’t a second time. — – That depends on how the two people involved in the relationship feel about the situation – whether they feel it is worth giving it another try, and that is entirely between you and Penny. 

Maybe I should just ask her outright? “Do you want to meet up with me, at all?”

I suppose that would answer my question. — – Suppose so – as I’ve said before, it’s between you and Penny and at the end of the day, the decision is hers. 

I found out a while after you split just what had been going on between you – in every aspect. Up until then I was always sorry that you had broken up as you seemed quite pleasant. I always thought you would have been really nice if only you would ‘pull your finger out’ and get yourself sorted. I felt this was spoilingw hat could have been a good relationship. You never went anywhere, you never did anything, there was just no enthusiasm on your part, for anything. Once I found out how you had treated Penny, I was not happy to say the least. I won’t go into details about how I found out about you both, but how could you have treated Penny this way – she was only 16 and in her first relationship? Through your own selfishness – interested in your own gratification – you treated her like some kind of slut – you just don’t know how this has affect Penny and for this I am very angry with you. Luckily I never knew what was going on when you were going out together. Why did you use Penny in this way? 

Anyway, I think I have made all my comments. Feel free to reply.



EMAIL FROM BOB TO MUM – 24 September 2002, 8.27am

A quick reply – pointing out something that you DON’T know (and there’s not a lot).

Penny was not in her first relationship. I’ll tell you, as we are discussing the truth here: His name was Ross who she met through the ME Society.

Did I push Penny that much? I did tell her that she could try and talk to me, but shea dmitted that she found it hard to say things face-to-face.

She wasn’t the one who sent me a message saying “I may want to use the L-word”

Smutty texts? We were both guilty there.

Yes I know about diseases and do you want to know how long Penny waited during her time with [one of my later boyfriends] before they slept together? (and I mean properly). That’s what she has told me – I apologise if it isn’t true.


Penny was probably my third serious relationship – one day, I think early November she basically said to me “Do you want to sleep together?” and I said “No”. Turns out she wanted to test me. Anyway, that’s irrelevant.

Penny replied the other day, saying that she is basically not fit enough to meet up and have a chat – so I’m going to call it a day. I don’t want to start a war of words with you when I know that 99% of it is me – and if I did that then I’m sure I would make you think even less of me.

The truth is, I have been thinking about her, ande verything that happened, a lot over the last 6-months. I speak the truth when I say not a moment goes by without me thinking “What a pratt, Bob”. The amount of times I’ve been sat at my desk at work, dead miserable thinking about what I chucked away.

Thanks for the replies.

Bob



EMAIL FROM MUM TO BOB – 24 September 2002, (time unknown)

Bob,


I’m also writing to your home email address, as I noticed you replied at 8.30 this morning so I thought you might not be at work today.

Please be truthful with me as I really do need to know the answers to the questions I ask you. Things have been going on here and I need to know the full story.

What do you mean Ross was her first boyfriend? Do you mean that she had met him or just that he was a ‘boyfriend’ over the internet? If she had met him, can you tell me when, where, how – as much as you know? You wouldn’t be getting Penny intot rouble, but there are reasons I need to know, which I will tell you about – depending on your answer.

Can you be honest and tell me the sort of thing she wrote to you please? I know this may be hard, but Penny has told me she sent you nothing, she said she never replied to those type of texts. I really do need to know the truth here.

How comes she told you she has slept with [name]? What on earth made her tell you? And what did she tell you? Did she just come out with it? Was it something you asked – it seems strange to me to tell you – a past boyfriend – such a thing. And yes, we are being honest, I do know how long it was before she and [name] slept together – I was appalled when I found out and her behaviour with him is one of the reasons I’m asking these questions. It’s a bit complicated and I don’t really want to go into it at the moment.

What do you think she would have done if you had said yes in November? When did you find out she was testingyou? Is this why the sexual side of the relationship moved along at such a fast pace? And while I’m asking, how ‘eager’ was Penny in this?

You wouldn’t start a war of words with me – I wouldn’t take up the bait.

All I can say is – learn by this experience and take it into future relationships. Learn by your mistakes. I know it may sound harsh but it’s a fact of life. Sorry I can’t do more.

Sorry to get so personal with the questions but it is really important that I know theanswers. All I can say is if you think anything of Penny you will tell me the answers to the questions I have asked. You know about [name] and how fast things moved along, and I want to make sure that Penny doesn’t go down that path again. Oh, I know it’s the norm nowadays, but it really affected Penny and I’ve got to make sure she goes along the right path in the future. Can you reply in the paragraphs please so I can keep track of the answers?



EMAIL FROM BOB TO MUM – 24 September 2002, 10.50am

Sorry for the confusion – our work server is being a pain, we have no shared drives and can’t access any of our usual work/databases. It’s a miracle that emails are working (sometimes).

I’m also writing to your home email address, as I noticed you replied at 8.30 this morning so I thought you might not be at work today.   Please be truthful with me as I really do need to know the answers to the questions I ask you. Things have been going on here and I need to know the full story.

It’ll be easier to reply using my work address – then I can format it better and come back to it as this’ll take a while to type as I’m trying to look busy (!)

What do you mean Ross was her first boyfriend? Do you mean that she had met him or just that he was a ‘boyfriend’ over the internet? If she had met him,can you tell me when, where, how – as much as you know? You wouldn’t be getting Penny into trouble, but there are reasons I need to know, which I will tell you about –depending on your answer. 

I do not know exact dates/times, but I know that he played her along a bit and told her things that she believed and he then went off with somebody else. Penny refers to Ross as ‘him’. Sorry, I don’t really know any more than that.

Can you be honest and tell me the sort of thing she wrote to you please? I know this may be hard, but Penny has told me she sent you nothing, she said she never replied to those type of texts. I really do need to know the truth here. 

I don’t actually think I sent many, not graphic ones. Penny did say that I ‘drove her wild’ and that she couldn’t wait for us to sleep together. She also said things like ‘I really do love you’ and that she wanted some security, and that ‘you are wonderful’.

How comes she told you she has slept with [name]? What on earth made her tell you? And what did she tell you? Did she just come out with it? Was it something you asked – it seems strange to me to tell you – a past boyfriend – such a thing. And yes, we are being honest, I do know how long it was before she and [name] slept together – I was appalled when I found out and her behaviour with him is one of the reasons I’m asking these questions. It’s a bit complicated and I don’t really want to go into it at the moment. 

I think that we emailed and she said she was seeing him. I think I said something like ‘make sure you are sure about him before you do anything’ and she replied ‘whoops, too late’.

What do you think she would have done if you had said yes in November? When did you find out she was testing you? Is this why the sexual side of the relationship moved along at such a fast pace? And while I’m asking, how ‘eager’ was Penny in this? 

I don’t know what she would have done. I don’t think I asked. Penny being ‘eager’, well I suppose she was keen. Yes I think the only times she didn’t want to do anything was when she was ‘ill’. She got pretty frustrated when she was ‘ill’ so yes, she was keen.

You wouldn’t start a war of words with me – I wouldn’t take up the bait. 


All I can say is – learn by this experience and take it into future relationships. Learn by your mistakes. I know it may sound harsh but it’s af act of life. Sorry I can’t do more. 

Well I have tried to put it all behind me. But I’m still thinking about her.

Sorry to get so personal with the questions but it is really important that I know the answers. All I can say is if you think anything of Penny you will tell me the answers to the questions I have asked. You know about [name] and how fast things moved along, and I want to make sure that Penny doesn’t go down that path again. Oh, I know it’s the norm nowadays, but it really affected Penny and I’ve got to make sure she goes along the right path in the future. Can you reply in the paragraphs please so I can keep track of the answers? 

I still think the world of Penny and it’s frustrating that she can’t see me. But you have asked and I have told so I hope this helps you.

I would like you to know that if Penny ever did start seeing me again (if I was that lucky) she would be treated with care, respect and I would try and see to it that I didn’t go against your wishes or be a pain in the arse like I was before.

My mum told me what you thought about her college friends, ‘slutty’ was the word I think you used, and to be honest, I didn’t think they were a good influence on Penny.

If you have any more questions, I’ll try to answer as quickly and truthfully as possible.
Bob



EMAIL FROM MUM TO BOB – 24 September 2002, (time unknown)

re Ross – do you kow if she ever met him, or was it just an ‘internet romance’? How long before you started going out did this go on?

You say that Penny couldn’t wait for you to sleep together – why did you not take her up on this offer? What stopped you? Did she mean it?

Regarding what you did get up to – Penny has told me that she did this almost against her will. Can I have your comments on this? Did you have to ask her or was she a willing participant?

As for going out with Penny, I don’t feel I can comment one way or the other. This is something you have got to work out for yourself and I wont sway of influence with either of you.

Why not ask her outright – ‘go out or say goodbye’ – then at least you will know where you stand.

If it’s good news – good; if it’s bad news, at least you can let go and start afresh with your life?

Do you realise that we’ve chatted more over the past few days than we did in the 6 or so months you went out with Penny. It’s a pity you weren’t like this then – it might have helped.



EMAIL FROM BOB TO MUM – 24 September 2002, 11.33am

I’ll try my best again…


Yes, she did meet Ross. It lasted about a month and I know they finished on February13th.

I didn’t take Penny up on the offer because I didn’twant it to get in the way of a decent relationship. I just said ‘no’. I don’t know if she meant it but I guess we’ll never know.

If she never wanted to do what we did, she could have just said. I think we were alone 2or 3 times at my house and never did she show any signs of being uncomfortable. My Mum was nearly always around so there was never any suggestion that she was being forced.

I can only go so far with Penny and she’s said that she’s too tired to see me so make of that what you will. I would love a second chance, but I don’t want to keep on at her.

It’s odd we’ve chatted so much over email. It was 7-months altogether. I gather that Penny has not told you everything and that is why you are asking me. I hope that I’ve helped and not made it worse for her.

There was something good between Penny and I, and (you can tell her this) think it’s still worth fighting for.

Bob



EMAIL FROM MUM TO BOB – 24 September 2002, 4.15pm

re this Ross– do you know how old he was and where he came from please.

Do you know anything else about him? I have a feeling Penny will deny his existence, so I want to be able to present her with as many facts as I can.

Many thanks. Could you reply as soon as you are able – I am expecting Penny to be in, in about an hours time.



EMAIL FROM BOB TO MUM – 24 September 2002, 4.31pm

Penny said that he was ‘about my age’, but I think he was a tad younger. I do not know where he came from but I knew they met through the ME Chat site. I also know she was VERY hurt by him and that she was very low at that point. She said that she once thought about killing herself – I don’t know if you knew that.


My final thought:-

Penny needs guidance at the moment – she is craving new experiences, and is probably enjoying being in the social circle of her college friends… She wants to experience what they do and doesn’t want to conform to a lot of your requests.

Penny feels isolated, she needs to know that you are there to support her. This needs to be a one-to-one thing and not talked about around the dinner table.

I also think Penny may be seeing somebody, or wants to, or is thinking about it…

The above statement may seem a little odd, but trust my judgement.

Hope this helps.

Do you not think that Penny will ask where this info came from?

Bob



EMAIL FROM BOB TO MUM – 24 September 2002, 4.43pm

Bob,

Replying in paragraphs: 

Penny said that he was ‘about my age’, but I think he was a tad younger. I do not know where he came from but I knew they met through the ME Chat site. I also know she was VERY hurt by him and that she was very low at that point. She said that she once thought about killing herself – I don’t know if you knew that. – – – Penny has said this to me many times – every time something goes wrong. 

My final thought:-

Penny needs guidance at the moment – she is craving new experiences, and is probably enjoying being in the social circle of her college friends… – – – Don’t I know it! 

She wants to experience what they do and doesn’t want to conform to a lot of your requests. – – – Ditto above. 

Penny feels isolated, she needs to know that you are there to support her. – – – And I will if I know what’s going on. If I don’t know anything, how can I support her? I would have supported her with her hurt over Ross, if I had known about it. 

This needs to be a one-to-one thing and not talked about around the dinner table. – – – We’re always having one-to-one’s – I don’t like spoiling my dinner with this kind of chat. 

I also think Penny may be seeing somebody, or wants to, or is thinking about it… – – – You’ll have to ask Penny about that one, I don’t like to say. 

The above statement may seem a little odd, but trust my judgement. – – – Now this is a very odd thing to say – have you got anything in mind when you say this? Come on – be honest – do you know something else that I don’t? 

Hope this helps.

Do you not think that Penny will ask where this info came from? – – – I’ll comment on that tomorrow – there is a reason. Why not ask her your question today while you have the chance, and then you will know her feelings for sure.



EMAIL FROM BOB TO MUM – 24 September 2002, 4.49pm

I emailed Penny earlier saying that it’d be nice to chat if I can come and pick up the adaptor for my radio that [my brother] still has…

I’ve answered all the questions that you put to me. But I’ll say that I have heard about Deano, which sounds like a name from a comic book. But then again he could be a great bloke.

So I’ve left the ball in Penny’s court and she’s free to email or not, as she wishes.

I hope you have some luck with your chat tonight – Please let Penny know that I am there for her if she wants me to be.

Bob



EMAIL FROM MUM TO BOB – 24 September 2002, 11.58pm

Hi Bob,

I want to thank you for being so honest with me – it really has been a great help.

I’m not sure what else to say for the moment, but I may get back to you with more questions – leave it with me.

Good luck for the rest of your life and don’t hang about too long waiting for Penny to give you an answer – tell her you want to know one way or another – you don’t want to waste any more time if she’s not interested – that should get some sort of response out of her.

If you want to write again, please feel free to do so. In the meantime, once again, many thanks for your truthful, honest answers.



EMAIL FROM BOB TO MUM – 24 September 2002, (time unknown)

I just hope I’ve done some good. I also think you’ve helped me and given me some things to think about. I have sent Penny an email asking if we can make a fresh start as friends if she’d like to – and that [my brother] has still got the adaptor or my radio so I’d like to pick that up at some point.

I suggested to Penny that it could give us a short time for a chat.

Bob

AT THIS POINT, FEELING THE TIME WAS RIGHT, I EMAILED BOB MYSELF.
HE STILL HAD NO IDEA THAT WE KNEW HE’D BEEN HACKING INTO MY EMAILS OR THAT EVERY FAKE EMAIL HAD BEEN A PRODUCT OF MUM AND I WORKING TOGETHER.
THE FOLLOWING EMAIL IS WHERE I TELL HIM THE TRUTH…

Bob,

You have been telling Mum how you would like me back and how much you have changed. So, I think I should write back to you about this, I think there’s some things you should know.

First of all, I wasn’t happy that you emailed my Mum. I dumped you over 6-months ago – me, my family and my life are nothing to do with you anymore.

You keep telling Mum how I was really happy when I was with you. Well, I was happy at the beginning, yes. But, you began to annoy me when you kept moaning and whining, and you always talked down to everyone – as if you were so much better than them.

You moaned about your Mum and Stepdad. Do you not want your own mother to be happy? You always thought about yourself – you didn’t seem to care about your sister when she was having problems at school either.

You say you cared about me, is this really the truth, or did you just like having a girl on your arm to show off to all your friends? If you cared about me, you wouldn’t have kept putting me down all the time.

Kylie was more pretty than me. Dido was more pretty than me. Geri Halliwell was more pretty than me. If that’s what you thought, then why were you with me?

You used to talk about Peter. You knew how much I loved him and his music, but you felt that you could say all that stuff about him. I know he isnt someone I am close to, but I respected you and all your ‘friends’ that you knew through the radio, so why did you feel that you were able to undermine everyone that I cared about?

You used to slag off Gemma. That was, and still is, unforgivable. Gemma is a good friend of mine and has always been there for me when I have needed her She cheers me up when I’m down but listens to me when I need her to. You used to fight with her and tell me what a loud-mouthed cow she was. Believe me, if I wanted to start telling you home truths about your friends you wouldn’t have liked it, so I didn’t do it. Why did you feel you had to be so harsh to/about her? She hugged me one night so you had to hug me too. Pathetic.

You crossed the line. You started dissing my family. What gave you the right to do that? Nothing. If anyone hurts my family, if anyone says anything about them, that’s it. You crossed the line once, I could take that. Twice, it’s pushing it. But you did it constantly, all the time. Hurt them and you hurt me. Hurt me and you don’t get away with it indefinitely. It’s time for you to face up to what you did.

Let’s talk about when we saw each other shall we? Yes, lets. I used to come to YOU. I used to pay £3 on the bus to see you. You wouldn’t come and see me because you “couldn’t afford it”. My family are not well off. Mum and Dad used to have to hunt for money to pay for me to see you and you couldn’t dip your hand in your pocket once. Going out and getting a job would have helped us. And you couldn’t be bothered. You once text me half an hour before you were meant to come round mine saying you weren’t going to be here because you had radio stuff to do. Wow. You cared about me soooo much.

Do you remember the day that I nearly got attacked on the train? I phoned you and you couldn’t have cared less. You weren’t happy that I wasn’t going to see you that night. The next day I was on my way to see you and the same man tried to get to me at the bus stop – I was really terrified – a man saw me crying as I was walking down the street and looked really concerned about me. I told you when I got off the bus and you said, “Really? Do you want to go to HMV?” Do you realise how much that hurt me?! Chris, Matt, Ivan, Mark, Jamie, Karim, Ty, Jack, almost everyone in my class cared more about me than you did. They were all out baying for the mans blood and you actually didn’t give a toss.

February 13th. The anniversary of your Dad? Why didn’t you tell me? You gave me hell that day. I phoned you when I was in McDonalds and you had a go at me – I cant even remember what for now. You just thought you could take it all out on me. I know your Dad dying was a bad thing to happen, I don’t doubt that, but you were always telling me it didn’t effect you. I had a sister that died, I had a Nan that died, and I cared about both of those. Did I give you hell when it got round to a time that reminded me of them? No, and I explained to you why I might be weird. You couldn’t do that though could you? Too much hassle.

Valentines Day. Yeah, thanks for the card by the way. Oh sorry, I forgot, you didn’t get me a card did you?! Silly me. I had to ASK for a present and what did you get me? A mug. A bloody mug with the words ‘Worlds Sexiest Woman’ on it. How stupid. I was 16-years old, I was not a woman. You put no thought and no effort into that, anyone can buy a mug – it’s not hard.


For my birthday, you made me a CD. How much did that cost you? Not even 50p.

You NEVER took me out. Not once. Not even to McDonalds. The only time we went out were with Simon and Linda and then you spoke about radio all the time and took the mickey out of me. Yes Bob, I am slim, but it doesn’t mean I eat lettuce all the time. And as for Simon and Linda? I found them the most mind-numbingly boring people I have ever met. But because they were your friends I went along with you and them and didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to hurt your feelings.

Do you know why I dumped you so suddenly? You were doing my head in. I had enough of all the childish ways you had. All the nasty things you said. All the times you told me about these people that were much better than me.

I had low confidence anyway and you made it even worse. In the end I was only with you because I didn’t think I would be able to get any better – that’s how little I thought of myself. Then, I went out to the pub. And I found two people that said they liked me. And guess what? They were both better than you. 10 times the man you ever have, and ever will, be. They treated me with something verging on the borders of respect, and they made me smile – you just used to put me down.

Bob, I DUMPED you over 6-months ago. Move on. I want nothing more to do with you. I never want to see you, or hear from you agan. Don’t attempt to make contact with me or my family ever again.

PS As you know, my email address went down several months ago and I had to get myself Tigerdawn in the end.

But, the darn email server seemed to have something against me because guess what? Tigerdawn blocked me too! Oh, I am just a mere girlie, I wouldn’t understand the technical side of these things.

Or would I?

I kept losing control and eventually managed to pinpoint it down to two people. My ‘secret question’ was changed to ‘Who Am I?’ but when I contacted [the email provider] they said they couldn’t tell me the answer to this question unless I got the police involved. I asked another source and they told me the same. Therefore I decided to try and catch the hacker myself. I set up Tigerdawn purely to catch the hacker. I informed the person I thought was doing the hacking, as well as some other friends who, to be honest, were a complete figment of my imagination. My mum also set up a new email address and wrote to me at Tigerdawn giving me real (imaginary) hell – we were in this together. Again, this was just a story to try to get the hacker to reveal their identity. We had a feeling who the hacker might be because the following day, after Mum wrote me a nasty email, he made his first mistake. He made enquiries about how things were at home – only the hacker would feel there were problems because he was the only one who thought there were problems. We still weren’t 100% certain until Tuesday when you forgot yourself for 5-minutes and mentioned something that only the hacker would know about – DEANO. Deano doesn’t exist – don’t I write lovely emails to myself?! My Mum loved reading them.

As you know, you are now in control of Tigerdawn and you can have Wanderinglover (sorry, I took it back to send this!) as well because I now have no need for them. I opened a proper email for my proper friends at the same time as I opened Tigerdawn and Wanderinglover.


As you can imagine, after everything that happened, on Tuesday Mum took copies of all the emails to show me and I’m going to keep them all, especially the one that mentions Deano.

Should you ever try hacking or, in other words – stalking – me again. I don’t like to be like this but I wouldn’t have been if you hadn’t tried intruding on my life when our relationship was over. You had no right to read my emails and I can’t forgive you for invading my privacy.

You have caused so much long-lasting upset that I have now come out of, and I’m not going to go back there again.

The only reason I have been talking to you the last few months is trying to find proof as to who was hacking into my email accounts. I had to ‘keep you sweet’in order for me to get the evidence I needed. Now I have what I need, I don’t need to keep in contact with you anymore.

So, like I said, I never want to hear from you again. That would be the second big mistake you’ve made this week.





After this last email, I only heard from Bob once more – he phoned me to try and talk and I still remember the last words I ever said to him: “If I ever hear from you or see you again, I’m going to the police.”

I’m so, so proud of the 17-year old me.

LilliesandLove xx








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Body Image – One Step At A Time

Anyone who knows me, whether through my blog, on Twitter or ‘in real life’ will know that I have body image issues.  The way I see myself does have a certain impact on my everyday life, however, I don’t often show the outside world; I’m very good at hiding my feelings.

However, having said all of the above, I am a MASSIVE hypocrite and am always totally baffled and really saddened when I see another person (male or female) suffering from having a poor opinion of their self-image.  I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve seen/heard women saying they feel ugly or inadequate and I’m taken aback and shocked at how they could feel this way when I don’t see what they do.

Unfortunately, with the way the world is, I don’t see this improving; in fact, I can only see it getting worse.  Every magazine, television programme, film etc these days shows celebrities looking perfect and, although we know that as normal human beings, without access to personal trainers, hairdressers, professional make-up artists, expensive designer clothes and Photoshop, for us to look so amazing is unachievable, we are still left feeling that somehow, we just don’t compare.

This is what upsets me the most.

I look at the children of my friend’s and family and wonder how old they will be before they start looking the mirror and mentally tearing themselves apart bit by bit.  How old will they be before they decide they’re too fat/too thin/too short/too tall?  How old will they be before they get called a nasty name by another person and believe that those words and that description of them is true?  I look at these children with their openness and innocence, and I worry for their future.

For me, I think I know where my body image issues come from – I’ll give a brief outline below:

I dropped out of school when I was 13.  I was a lot smaller than the other children in my year, I was pale skinned, I was ginger and I was a book-worm.  I was an easy target for bullies and they took the bait.  At the age of 13, I ended up with depression.  I left school one afternoon, told my parents I wasn’t going back and never did.  I’m very lucky – I have an amazing, understanding family and they accepted I’d tried with all my strength to make it through school, but I just couldn’t do it anymore.  The bullies had won.

At the age of 15 I had my first boyfriend.  He was 24.  At the time I thought I was really cool for going out with someone that much older than me, but looking back on it now, it seems really odd.  I wasn’t street-wise and I looked a lot younger than my age.  I’m sure he decided to date me because I was easy prey for him.  Being my first boyfriend I had no idea what to expect from a relationship.  I won’t go into huge detail here as it’s not really what this post is about, but he used to leave me terrified and covered in bruises, he would tell me I was ugly, that no other man would want me and he’d point at women in the street or celebrities on television/in magazines and ask me why I wasn’t them.

Even now, to this day, every single time I see a pretty female on television or in the street, I feel sick.  It’s insane and I know it is, but I can’t help it.  I’m nearly 27 – it’s 12 years later and I still bear the scars of that first relationship.  I’ve learnt to keep these feelings to myself, but to know that my boyfriend finds another woman attractive, thinks she’s pretty or has a nice figure provokes a reaction in me that is hard to describe – I get red hot, my heart starts pounding and I feel physically sick.  I also get an overwhelming feeling of wanting to run.  Quite often I have to take myself out of the situation as it’s the only way I can cope – I’ll walk out of the room on the premise that I need a drink, or if we’re out then I’ll say I’m going to the toilet.  I just have to take myself away from the situation.

(Thankfully, I’m a pro at hiding my feelings and my boyfriend has zero interest in my blog, so he will remain unaware of the above!)

As I said, I’m sure this must sound insane to some people, but I’ve lived with that every single day of my life since I was 15.  It’s never gone away and I’m not sure it ever will, but it’s something I’ve had to adapt to live with.

Despite all of the above, I am absolutely 100% not happy for anyone to feel like this.  I don’t want one single other person in the world to feel the same feelings as I do.  I’ve had plenty of years of practice to be able to look cool, calm and collected on the outside whilst my stomach is flipping in somersaults of panic on the inside; but somebody else may not be able to do that, somebody else may not be able to cope.

So, although I’m just one person and I can’t change the world, I will be posting about body image issues in the future and linking them under the tag ‘Body Image’.

I may not be able to solve everyone’s problems, I may not be able to even solve my own, but they say “a problem shared is a problem halved” and, if nothing else, it may help some people to know they’re not alone.

LilliesandLove xx
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My Week In Pictures


I don’t seem to have taken many photos this week – I obviously haven’t been doing very much exciting!


I made Goats Cheese, Red Onion and Asparagus
Quiche for dinner with one of my best friends.
Massively proud of my very talented friend
Ian Cook (PopBangColour) for his work on this
BugARTi Veyron – it’s being reported by all the
big car media platforms!  Amazing!

I paid off the second of my credit cards.
And a third one too!
My boyfriend gave me half a flower.  Yes, HALF
a flower.  I love it though!
It was my best friend’s son’s Christening yesterday
and I officially became his Godmother – such a
proud moment for me!  I wore this gorgeous dress
from Miss Selfridge for the occasion.





LilliesandLove xx
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