This is the hardest post I have ever had to write. I apologise if it's sporadic and raw. This is everything from the last two months. When I went away with Alex for a weekend on the 16th July and when we went away for the second time on the 13th August. How things became incredible. How things fell apart.
The writing in red is what I have written today - my input now - the writing in black is what I wrote on the date stated.
Written on 19th July 2010
The dream is not a dream.
I tasted it. I lived it.
The happiness of my childhood is not dead. It lives around me – in other children, in other families.
I walked hand-in-hand with Alex through the gardens of Chatsworth House, listening to the laughter of children, watching old couples sitting on the wall eating huge cones of soft white ice cream. Seeing families all around me. Joy, happiness, laughter, innocence, contentment, fulfilment.
I was right all along.
I knew it. I knew it!
I had known all along what happiness was. I am blessed with such appreciation of true happiness because it was deprived of me so early on. But I never forgot what happiness was – and I never stopped believing that I would find it again.
I was right all along; happiness is family; it’s sharing your life with someone else; it’s bringing someone else joy; it’s being alive and loved.
People are such wonderful creatures – full of curiosity, full of wonder, full of passion and emotion, capable of creating such genius – whether it be in art, science, technology – we are the inventor race.
When did this stop being the norm? How did so many intelligent people become so lost? How did they override their genetic programming so easily? How has the desire to love and give life and joy become so pointless for so many? The greatest minds of this country are lured into Investment Banks and finance for the rewards of hundreds of thousands of pounds a year. Great minds living to make money – not beauty, not art, not creation.
I won’t do it.
I won’t fall into the trap – the lure of riches.
I am intelligent – but it doesn’t mean that I have to be ‘successful’ and ‘rich’ and sad.
People may say I’m wasting my talents, earning half the amount I could or should with my academic background – but I don’t care.
I want to do a job that leaves me emotionally and creatively fulfilled. I want a career where I will be able to spend time with my children, where I will wake up with passion and enthusiasm; a job where I can inspire and make a difference.
I may be able to afford fewer holidays and fewer dresses, but I will be infinitely happier; or rather, I will be happy. For there is only one route and one type of happiness. You cannot be ‘happier’. You can only be happy or unhappy.
So yes, I let myself be lured by the seductiveness of ‘success’, the promise of the big city. But it’s as the book says – you have to define your meaning of life, otherwise you will be eternally depressed and unfulfilled. Now I do not mean to say that the City is unfulfilling – for I have met, and indeed work closely with, men and women who would be depressed if they lived any part of their life outside of it. For some, the dedication of their life and soul to greed and money is necessary for their happiness. Nothing could make them more depressed than not being rich.
“I couldn’t take a job for anything less than £60,000. I have a wife and two kids.” The average wage in Britain is a third of that. Cock.
This weekend (16th – 18th July 2010) Alex and I went to the Peak District.
As we sat at dinner on Saturday evening and listened to the adorable giggling of a small boy being humoured by his parents in the same charming manner that both our parents used when we were young, I was moved. I wanted it. And again, at Chatsworth House, seeing the joy on children’s faces as they toddled around the maze holding on to Daddy’s hand – just seeing families – sharing the fun and joy and pleasures of just that – being a family and sharing their time together.
I had that life once before.
I have never forgotten it. I never will.
And I am truly dismayed that I let myself lose sight of it.
This was the fattest I had been since we got together. Truly fat.
But it was such a relief to see him, to feel his warm body again, to breathe him in again.
We escaped so far away that weekend – not just in terms of distance – but spiritually as well. We left the mundane harshness of our boring reality and cleansed our minds and hearts. We just escaped to each other.
When we checked into our little room at the base of the Peak District, it was like we were home; free and at peace.
I don’t know how you put perfection into words, but that was it, right there, in that tiny spot in the middle of nowhere.
We made love countless times.
When we first arrived, it was so good to just have him close. I just took the time to run my fingers through his fine hair and trace the outline of his features with my fingertips, feeling the gentle touch of his soft lips on mine at long last. It made my blood warm to feel the toned muscle of his arms and the perfect arch of his back. I bought a pink babydoll lingerie set...
Things moved on to another level. I think, for the first time we were both comfortable in our relationship. We didn’t need anything else, just each other. I’ve never felt so close to anyone before; and I don’t think I ever will. We were both so comfortable, so much so that there was an unspoken commitment, an unspoken acknowledgement that this was right, this was perfect - this was what we wanted our future to look like. There were subtle hints in the slight changes of our body vibrations that we wanted to spend the rest of our future together.
I can’t write anymore about this weekend.
I can’t believe I was so happy. What happened; what happened? Why, why don’t I deserve happiness? Why can’t I keep it?
For I would rather never have tasted it.
It is NOT better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. Much rather, it is safer to never know, so you can never miss it.
I wish, wish I had never met him, I’d be so much less sad...
Written on 8th August 2010
Having an eating disorder ruins your life.
Or rather, having an eating disorder means that there is another voice in your head, another character, which keeps trying to ruin your life. The stronger voice and the bolder personality - always trying to destroy everything – from your body, to your relationships, to your career.
In these very early stages of my recovery, I am able to distinguish the evil voice from my true self. When it starts to tell me to stick my fingers down my throat or cut my ties with Alex, I know it’s not me, it’s not my voice. Sometimes I cover my ears and block it out. But it is still early stages. And everything is so hard.
I went to my cousin’s wedding this weekend. He married the girl he’s been with for the last 10 years – since they were about 18/19. I was jealous. They’re so perfect together – so happy. She’s plain, she’s simple, and he loves her, has always loved her, will always love her.
I have a lifetime of demons to defeat before I can walk down the aisle. I don’t know if I will make it. I don’t know that any man could wait that long for me at the end, knowing that what was walking to meet him was a rotting corpse of something once beautiful, once young and alive.
I have so many demons to defeat.
I can’t picture what my marriage will be like. I can’t picture being thin enough. I can’t picture being in a hundred photographs.
It’s like there are two sides of me:
- the sensible, healthy, grounded spirit that I was born with
and the diseased, tortured and destructive demon that grew stronger with every look in the mirror.
And every ounce of my energy goes into this battle between the two. When I neglect my true spirit, the demon simply grows stronger. So, like now, I eat, and I grow fat, and I binge and I throw up. And the voice tells me to leave Alex, the voice tells me to quit my job, the voice tells me I’m so ugly that I must hide away.
And it’s so loud.
I put my hands over my ears, but the voice is coming from inside.
I’m sick and I’m not even good at it.
I have nothing to show for all the times I have thrown up. I have no bones, only fat. I have no life, only fear.
Written on 10th August 2010
When I woke up in the morning I could smell the rain; a smell like Autumn, like childhood tears and hollow afternoons.
Is it better to be depressed or numb?
No, I am not stuck underneath my duvet eating bowl after bowl of cereal – but – it’s not happiness... and I’m not cured. I have started to go one, two days a week without vomiting – but it’s not gone. None of the evil in me has been removed. I am still all black inside.
But I am scared – I’m scared that I am bipolar - I’m scared I’m like the guy I wrote about in my last post – flitting from one dream to another – believing it to be the answer – finding out it’s another illusion. What is the answer? Where is home?
Or perhaps, less dramatically, it is simply because I am only 22 – and like many others my age, I simply haven’t found my place in the world yet. Surely, for every dynamic, successful graduate in the country, there are five who have achieved nothing of consequence.
I am wiser now. I have seen so many different sides of the world. I have seen urban poverty in Inner London, I have seen exceptional wealth in the Investment Banks that grace the skylines of the same city. I have seen the slow, rural life of the English countryside and the simple way of life for my relatives in Asia. I have seen friends devote their lives to power and money and I have watched friends dedicate themselves to military service for Queen and country.
I am lucky to have this job. But I don’t want it - and will not regret walking away.
Written on 29th August 2010
And so I lost him.
It was only a matter of time.
I let him see the darkness.
I lost him.
I don’t kid myself; I’m very honest – brutally honest as my writing shows. I wrote about the distance between us, the way he couldn’t see and understand the world in the way that I do, the way he made me still feel so empty sometimes... and the way he wasn’t always enough for me.
But I never gave up.
I never gave up on him. I never gave up the hope that he was my dream, my happy ending.
I fought to block out the voices. I fought to block out the fear. And so, in the end, I blocked him out too.
Let's go back to Friday 13th August: This time we went away to the Cotswolds – Malvern Valley in the West of England – exactly four weeks after we spent a blissful weekend in the Peak District.
He hurt me.
He was always hurting me – worse than any man – in physical terms. He never knew the pain he caused me, and he never meant to cause it - but it doesn't change the fact that he was killing me.
My eating disorder was so out of control – out of control for him and playing directly into his hands. I just wanted to be thin – for him. That was it.
Nothing else and no one else began to matter. The girl who once had so much pride in the way she looked in front of everyone and anyone, even strangers on the train or bus, began wearing no makeup to work, hair scraped back, glasses and a non-descript plain skirt and blouse. I let myself be ugly, because without him, it didn’t matter.
For the first time in my life, the glamorous one wasn’t glamorous anymore – unless she had Alex to feed off from – because nothing else was feeding her.
I lost my self-respect I suppose. And I’m ashamed to say it. It wasn’t about me, it was about him. When he wasn’t around it didn’t matter how I looked. But for when I was seeing him, I spent hundreds of pounds on new clothes, sexy underwear, posh perfume and hair products. I spent hundreds of pounds on train tickets and hotel rooms for our trips away – for I was earning money – and he wasn’t. And I starved and I ran and I binged and I threw up, all for him.
Of course he never asked me to do this... he didn't have to. I just wanted to keep him and did everything I could to make sure he didn't have a reason to stop wanting me.
In the week leading up to our weekend in the Cotswolds, my diet consisted of expensive fresh juice, the occasional Nakd bar and lots and lots of laxatives. Oh yes, my tummy was flat when I met him on Friday, but by Saturday I was constipated and in immeasurable pain. Not to mention, of course, that my stomach swelled up to it’s full size.
But it was ok... I was with him... HE LOVED ME.
Oh God. How stupid do I feel as tears roll down my cheeks now writing that.
On Saturday I could deal with it. We went walking across the Malvern hills. We went for dinner in a magnificent restaurant. We came home and had incredible sex. And then everything went wrong.
The dark clouds.
I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t go for a huge fried English breakfast. He went alone. He couldn’t forgive me.
I know it, but I couldn’t help it. I couldn’t lie and fake smile my way out of this. You understand, don’t you? You understand what I’m writing about, when you just can’t put on the smile anymore...
We had sex and filmed it. We had sex on a log by a stream in a field.
It was sad. I was sad.
I felt so fucking sad.
And so I lost him.
I lost him.
I lost him because that day I couldn’t hide how sad I was anymore. I talked openly as we sat by the riverside eating icecream and I explained how sometimes it felt like I was bordering on bipolar. I told him, essentially, everything I said in my last post – that mediocre inbetween- that glum contentment – how I needed to live my life chasing dreams and happiness, sometimes soaring and indestructible, other times making myself bleed. I asked him if he thought most people were happy. He said yes. He said happiness meant not being sad. No. I shook my head. He argued that happiness could equal contentment, that it was ok for people to just be ‘content’. Not happy in terms of living on top of the world – but content.
“Like my mum," he said, "she doesn’t like her job, but she has everything she could want... she’s content.”
I looked at him in disbelief, how could you call such a dull life happy? “Fucking mediocre inbetween,” I replied. “I don’t want that life. I don’t want mundane. I always want more, I want perfection, I want complete fulfilment, I want everything, I want to be soaring every day I wake up. Why strive for anything less?”
“Then do you think you’ll ever be truly happy?”
“No. I know I won’t. I will always want more, I will always want perfection.”
He drove me to the train station and stood waiting for my train, hand in hand, as protocol.
“Don’t you think it’s funny how society determines so much of what we do?” he said solemnly.
“What do you mean?”
“Like us for example – our relationship – I mean, we wouldn’t be in a relationship if it wasn’t for society.” He paused. I stared ahead, my throat tight. “I mean, for a man to have sex with just one woman... that’s... boring. It’s only because of society....
But I AM glad I’m in a relationship with you...”
I said nothing. What could I say. In that single moment I watched everything come crumbling down around me. He didn’t want to be with me.
I had always felt guilty – guilty that he wasn’t allowed to cheat on me – like I was stopping him from having fun – from going out and getting with random whores. And I was right. It was what he wanted.
I waved at him sadly as the train pulled away sombrely. I tried to choke back the tears burning at the back of my throat.
He mouthed, “I love you.”
I tried to sleep.
It was painful.
I couldn’t help but cry all the way.
The girl crying silently on the train. That’s me. On the 07:35 to London Bridge every morning and the 19:00 back home. And that day; that Sunday evening in August, on the train from Malvern to London Paddington - the girl crying silently on the train.
Was I crying because of what he said? Or was it just everything again. Nothing again. Empty again. Without him.
Five hours later when I made it home, I faced the full consequences of my self-inflicted stomach abuse. My insides collapsed. And tears, uncontrollable now, so sad. Everything was so sad, and I couldn’t stop crying.
I had to take the next day off work. Everything.
It was a friend’s birthday – a mutual friend of mine and Alex from the Club. I was going for Alex, to see Alex. Damn him. He was all I lived for and all I was dying for.
When I arrived in Central London he told me he was with another friend for drinks first and he’d see me later on in the evening.
That’s when I knew it was over.
I bought a little notebook and I sat in a cafe at London Victoria station for nearly two hours. And I wrote:
16/08/2010 – London Victoria train station
Again, crossroads – deadends.
Another mistake, another wrong turn; another win for the demon inside me.
Will I ever make it?
Hard. So hard to when I don’t know where I want to make it to...
What am I really, now, without Alex?
He has affected every decision I have made since we met.
Who is he? Who is he REALLY?
No one – he is no one to me. Just someone I think I am in love with and who thinks he is in love with me. Someone I dream of an improbable future with.
Because he is just a boy that I met and spent time with. And he will only break my heart.
Why do I spend my life always running?
Why is nothing ever enough?
Why can’t I hold on to anything good?
I went to the bar where the party was happening, but he still wasn’t there. I wasn’t going to see him. I cried all the way home. I cried myself to sleep... Again.
The following days were spent waiting for him to contact me and waiting for him to answer his phone. The next day I called repeatedly, over and over, intending to get it done, get it finished, get out. I wanted to spell it out for him that it was over. He didn’t love me anymore. He needed to set me free. He wouldn’t pick up the phone.
He texted me: “You came? That’s a shame. Well I’m in Yorkshire today and tomorrow so can’t really chat much but after that I can.” On Thursday I put my foot down: “If you just told me, it would make me less sad.”
I forced him to call me. Finally on Thursday afternoon he found the balls:
“I just don’t want to be in a relationship right now. Something’s changed. It just doesn’t feel like it used to. Sorry.”
I couldn’t speak. I knew it. I already knew he was going to say it so long ago.
“Are you still there?”
“Yes. Good. Thank you.”
I was inconsolable.
I left work in floods of tears.
I ripped open the flesh wounds I had been making on my arms since Monday.
I called a friend as I walked to London Bridge station. She comforted me.
And I called him again when I got on the train. “I want that video burned.” I tried to get him to speak sense to me. I tried to get him to explain. I knew the reasons, I KNEW THE FUCKING REASONS! Why wouldn’t he tell me. Why couldn’t he just say it. I want to sleep with other girls. I don’t love you. I never did and I never could. You’re too fat. You’re not pretty enough. YOU ARE NOT ENOUGH FOR ME.
Instead I got, “There’s nothing you could have done differently. I just don’t want to be in a relationship now. I thought I did, but I don’t.”
I lost my temper. I was the crying girl on the train; not so silent anymore.
“You should have known! I told you! I told you how frightened I was. I TOLD YOU I DIDN’T WANT THIS.”
“I know. I’m sorry. I thought it would work.”
“I should have listened to my instincts shouldn’t I. I should have listened to my fear. I should have never let this happen.”
I had been killing myself and torturing myself that I might be perfect enough - that he would never want to leave me. I made myself bleed for nothing. Everything I had done meant nothing. All the hundreds and hundreds of pounds I had spent amounted to worthlessness. I couldn't keep him.
At the train station I bought pills. I couldn’t stop crying. I wanted to reach out to all of you – feel some love and some strength.
I am sorry. This job left me no spare time to do anything. I had no time to write. I never meant to leave, and it killed me to be away.
It was Thursday 19th August - As you read that night: I bought pills. And the pain eased out of my body. And I went to sleep.
God, because he is so cruel, forced me to wake up again. And the temptation to try and beat him at his own game is still so strong. For what the hell am I living for? I’m barely eating. But what for? Who for? He's gone.
And it's as I told him, I’ll never be happy, I'll always want more.
Hillary Clinton meme
8 months ago