The Only Way Is Up… Hopefully!

When times are tough you have to remember that things will always improve, so that’s what I’m trying to do – the only way is up, Penny, the only way is up.
I’m writing this blog post not to encourage any sort of pity-party or people feeling sorry for me, but simply to update you as to where my life is at the moment. My blog has always been an extension of myself, never focussed on one subject, but as the tag-line says “a little piece of my world”, so I want to be honest with you all.

Ok, here goes…


Basically, this past week hasn’t been great. Here’s the story (I’ll try and keep it short).


Warning: Contains some reference to ‘ladies issues’
I started getting severe stomach pains and soon after began bleeding. Not being ‘lady days’ I thought it was a bit odd and ignored it for a little while. It would come and go – I’d have 12 hours of nothing, then I’d get the pain and bleeding again. The pain was in the right hand side of my stomach and could be so strong that I’d end up doubled-over in pain.


Eventually I decided to go to the doctors and get it looked at. I have a coil which is due out June 2013, so thought perhaps, with a year left to go, it was playing up a little bit.


The nurse carried out an inspection and said she would do some swab tests (sorry, I did warn you) and that she couldn’t tell if it was the coil causing the issues but due to the blood loss and pain, she would refer to the hospital for an urgent scan. She then gave me a telephone number for a Sexual Health clinic and told me that if it got too bad I should call the number immediately.


I went home wondering exactly what to make of the situation and if Kris had given me some sort of STD. I had myself checked last year and was clean, but he hadn’t been checked for a while, so obviously my mind was running over-time.


Having left the doctors and told my mum what they’d said, she asked if perhaps I could be pregnant. I said I didn’t think so, but decided to do a test. Negative. I was relieved but there was a part of me that thought “Well, at least that would have answered the question.”


I tried not to worry over the weekend and kept myself busy but with the continued pain and bleeding it was hard not to be reminded of it. I phoned the Sexual Health clinic and explained my situation, they booked me in for an appointment (yesterday) and said I could meet a doctor who specialised in coils and would be able to tell me more.


I went to hospital yesterday and spent 3-hours in there having tests. They found that I have an infection (not an STD, just a standard infection, which could have been caused by the coil or from being ‘too clean’ – bit of a back-handed compliment there!) Whilst I was there, I had to give a urine sample (again, sorry!) so they could do a proper pregnancy test. They tested it and came back into the room with a look on their face that told me something wasn’t quite right. Turns out that there was far too much glucose in there, so they think I may be diabetic. Great. As I was there I thought I may as well get everything done in one go, so they took a blood sample and are sending it off to have my sugar levels checked, to see why the anomaly is there.


Having done everything I had to do with the nurse and doctor, I then waited to see the coil specialist. She did what she had to do, told me that the coil is more or less in the right place and nothing to worry about, then dropped the bombshell – she thinks I may have Endometriosis. Again, great. She said that they would use a coil to help treat Endometriosis so she recommends I leave the coil in. Once the infection has cleared up, if the pain gets easier then I should continue as I am, but if the pain is still intense then they will need to investigate more.


So, in 2-weeks or so I should find out where I stand – I guess the one positive to this is that I have had a full MOT check! Might as well get it all sorted in one go, eh?


The other major thing that has happened is that I have to move back in with my Mum.


When I split up with my ex I ended up with loads of debt and over the years it’s spiralled to the point where it’s unmanageable, I can’t afford to eat (literally) and have ended up in a Catch 22 situation – I pay some off my credit card but by doing that don’t have the money to pay a bill, so pay that bill on the credit card thinking“I’ll pay it back next month”. Next month comes and I pay some off the credit card, then I can’t pay another bill so have to pay for that using the credit card. And so it goes on.


So, 7-years after moving out I’m going back to live with my mum. From a gorgeous 2-bedroom flat that I love, from having furniture, my own front door, a place to call my own… back to a tiny bedroom. I’m absolutely gutted but after years of thinking I’ll be able to get out of my situation one day, I’ve realised now that it’s never going to happen while I’m living alone. I can’t afford to pay for the everyday costs that come along with life as well as paying back my debts.


I’m just massively grateful and so, so lucky to be able to move back in with mum.


I think admitting the situation I’d got myself into was the worst bit. Telling my family that all these years I’ve been hiding the truth, trying to get through it on my own. Telling them, basically, that I’m a fuck-up. (Excuse the language).


Last night I got home from the hospital, laid on my bed with the cats and just sobbed. Then I went round Kris’ and cried. Watched some TV, went to bed and cried. (First time he’s ever seen me cry, eek!)


With the pain, the bleeding, the wondering if I’ve got diabetes, wondering if I’ve got Endometriosis and whether it’ll affect my ability to have children, and now having to give up my flat and my adult-life (or so it feels) and move back to mum’s – it just feels like suddenly everything has fallen apart.


I know I sound melodramatic and as I said at the beginning of this, I don’t want pity; there are lots of people in the world much worse off that I am – health issues happen and I have to deal with it, and the debts are something I got myself into (albeit without meaning to).


I’m just so grateful to have family, friends and a boyfriend who all care about me and are supporting me.


I think my new motto for the moment will have to be “the only way is up” and I’ll be repeating it to myself every day… the only way is up, the only way is up, the only way is up. Better times are coming, for sure.

LilliesandLove xx

Sticks and Stones May Break Your Bones, But Words Can Break Your Heart

‘Sticks and Stones May Break Your Bones, But Words Can Break Your Heart’ was originally posted on my old blog on 20 March 2011 but I have re-posted it here as I intend to write a more detailed account of the stalking element of this story at a later date (you can read that now, by clicking here).
I was a late bloomer when it came to relationships. I dropped out of school when I was 13 as I was being bullied, so I missed out on some of the most important years of a persons life when it comes to learning social skills. In order to gain acceptance onto the college course I wanted, I had to prove my determination to them, so I joined a Hospital Radio station in the local area. It was there I met Charlie. I was 15, he was 24. He took an immediate interest in me and spent a lot of time helping me and teaching me what I needed to know. I felt no attraction to him, but as I felt he was the only person I had to look after me, I eventually became his girlfriend. 
I still remember now the boredom I felt in his company, the annoyance I felt at him always being around, and the repulsion every time he kissed me. I hated him. But, before I knew it, and without me realising, he managed to emotionally batter me in to believing he was all I would ever get. He told me I was ugly, he would show me women on the television or in magazines and tell me I couldn’t even begin to compare to them. He would ask me why I wasn’t as pretty as them or as talented as them, and, knowing no different and thinking this was the normal way men treated their girlfriends, I accepted it. Worse still, I believed him.
Months passed and my first day at college came around. I was really nervous being with all these new people and hardly spoke to anyone, but within a week I’d made friends and was having a really good time. I noticed other girls with their boyfriends, being showered with affection and gifts, and wondered what I was doing wrong. When I saw Charlie I would tell him about my days at college and tell him about my new friends. Whilst I was at college, if I didn’t text him back within a few hours he’d have a go at me and ask what I’d been doing – being in a lecture with my phone on silent wasn’t a good enough excuse and he would make me cry, telling me I was a terrible, selfish girlfriend. Although I hated him, he’d told me no other man would ever be interested in me, and I believed him. Then things took a turn for the worse. One day when I was at Charlie’s we were in his room talking (I never slept with him, I made excuses not to – just the thought of it made me feel physically sick). I was telling him about the people in my class, recounting a story of something that had happened that week, when he pinned me down on the bed by my arms and gave me a lovebite on my neck. It wasn’t an action of romance, or of passion, I was telling him to stop because he was hurting me, but he wouldn’t. I wore a roll-neck to college all that week. This happened a few times, the worst one being when he bit my bottom lip so hard that my lip swelled up, bruised, and my chin was bruised too. When he’d done it he said “Now everyone will know you belong to me”. I wore a lot of make-up that week and managed to hide it from my family and friends at college.
I didn’t want to be with Charlie, but I knew no other man would ever want me – I was disgusting and should have been grateful that Charlie was willing to be with me when there were so many better girls out there. Then, walking down the corridor at college one day I saw a guy walking towards me. As he passed me he smiled and said hello, I literally stopped in my tracks. My friend’s couldn’t understand why I was so shocked, but they didn’t know what was happening to me when I wasn’t with them. This boy – Jon, as I later found out – was like a shining beam of light, he had shown me with that single smile that other men did notice me, I did exist and I wasn’t repulsive.
My friend’s found out Jon’s name and arranged for him to be at our regular pub the same time as us later that week. I was terrified going for that drink – Charlie was going to hit the roof when he found out I’d been out after college. As I walked in the door I was terrified, then Jon saw me, smiled and came over to say hello. He gave me a huge hug and said he’d get me a drink. Later than night I saw a guy I used to go to school with, Mark. I spent the night going between my friends, Jon’s friends and Mark’s friends. I had an amazing time. At the end of the night, both Jon and Mark asked if they could take me out. I honestly could have passed out – two men wanted to see me, TWO! Charlie was wrong, I wasn’t going to spend my whole life alone and I wasn’t hideous to look at.
When I got home that night I had several text messages and missed calls from Charlie. I ignored them all and put my phone on silent. The next day he sent me a message asking why I wasn’t replying to him. I text him back saying it wasn’t working, I didn’t want to be with him anymore and I was sorry, but it was over. He continued texting me numerous times a day, every day for weeks afterwards, but I didn’t want to speak to him – he had been awful to me while we were together and I didn’t need him to be a part of my life.
A few weeks later, I was online going through my emails when I noticed a message I hadn’t clicked on yet was showing as ‘read’. Each of my emails was being ‘read’ and then ‘marked unread’ while I sat there looking at the screen. I told my mum what was happening and that there was only one person it could possibly be – Charlie.
Mum and I set up an elaborate plan, with mum emailing me every day as ‘Deano’. The back-story was that I had met ‘Deano’ at college and we had started seeing each other. ‘Deano’ would talk about meeting up and told me about going out with his friends and doing drugs. We watched as these emails were read, and within a few days my mum had an email from Charlie saying he knew it was no longer his business as he wasn’t my boyfriend anymore, but he thought she ought to know I was getting in with the wrong sort of people, and possibly getting into drugs. Gotcha! He’d landed himself in it and we now had definitive proof it was him hacking into my emails.
I was furious. I phoned him to confront him and, of course, he denied it. When I told him ‘Deano’ didn’t exist and was created by myself and Mum to catch the hacker, he went completely silent on the end of the phone. I told him that if I ever heard from him again I would call the police.
I know I have been very unlucky, having this as my first experience of a relationship, and I know all men aren’t like this, but as much as I may have grown up and moved on, the scars of my time with him are still there.
I know I’m a nice person and I know I’m not completely hideous, but I don’t feel pretty, and I don’t think I will ever feel good enough for anyone. A few years ago I had plastic surgery in the hope it would make me feel better about myself. In a way it did and it has helped a bit, but I still feel massively inferior to most women out there. My friends are all beautiful and I know I’m the plain one in the group; when we have group photos I feel I stand out like a sore-thumb, I just don’t belong there. I watch television and it seems like everybody is better than me. I walk down the street and I see beautiful girls with amazing hair, stunning smiles, and perfect figures. There is so much pressure in the world for women and men to look a certain way and, quite often, it is unachievable to the normal person, working 9-5 and having a social life at the same time.
I know I’m not the only person that feels like this, everybody has doubts about themselves, and I don’t know if that will ever change. I’d love to have a man be proud of me and to want to show me off – I’d love for him to look at me and think I’m beautiful just the way I am. But, I don’t know if it’s realistic to think that is ever going to happen – isn’t all of that romance just in films?
If I would ask for anyone reading this to take one thing away, it would be this: Be aware of what you say to the person you love – male or female. Don’t put them down or say harsh words to hurt them in an argument, instead, tell them you love their eyes/their legs/their hair, tell them they look nice when they dress up for a night out, and make them feel special.
They say sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you. I can tell you first hand, that just isn’t true.
LilliesandLove xx

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