People always have varying reactions when I tell them the big events in my life from 14 onwards. I never really thought much of it, it happened to me therefore it never occurred to me how shocking (and even now thats not a word I’d use to describe it) it can seem to someone who had a ‘regular’ experience during those years.
I don’t even really know how to write it all down, but I’ll give it a go..
I was a troubled teen. I was bullied by various people. I attended 8 schools since reception year. 4 primary and 4 secondary. I was never expelled, the changes all stemmed from my parents divorce, my mum moved away from my dad so I moved to a new town, then around a year later my mum bought a house with my stepdad, so we moved again. By secondary school, the relationship with my mum was deteriorating. I decided to move with my dad after one year of secondary school so another change in schools. Then after less than a year there, I decided to come back. That was followed by two more school changes. Anyway, I digress. By 14 I was in my final school. I had met my friend Fay just before starting here and she is still my best friend now.
At this school I was bullied by a few people and beaten up twice. I also met my first ‘boyfriend’ Joe and thought I had felt true love 😂.
The bullying added to my anxiety (though at the time I had no idea what anxiety was) my outlet, as an angsty teen, was to self harm. I would shred my arms to pieces with scissors, glass, nail clippers, whatever I could find. My mum was so beside herself she even contacted my dad (they do NOT get on) and they agreed to sit and talk with me. Nothing seemed to help. I was referred to councillors and social services were involved. I was disruptive and badly behaved at school and terrible at home. My mum and me argued all the time. Several times I’d gone to school with huge bruises, or I’d run away and leave her searching for hours for me. The police were called a few times, by me and by her. She took me to hospital at her wits end when I was 14 and made them admit me overnight. Following this, I was assessed by a team of psychiatrists to determine whether I was suffering mental illness or just being a little shit (I assume) they deemed me sane. Thankfully. I forget the length of time between the events but in the following 18 months I lived with a friend for a few months after I ran away from home, then once I had returned back, I must have been 15 by this point, my mum, again, at the end of her tether took me to social services. She was putting me into care. I was horrified at the suggestion and promptly swallowed 2 packets of paracetamol. Once at social services, she got out the car and I locked myself in it. For a few hours several social workers and my mum tried to get me out, my stubbornness and just plain twattyness made sure I remained firmly in the car with the keys. I got out when they all went inside and saw my mum sat in a chair, head in hands, she was completely broken and it was my fault. I decided I would agree to be taken to a foster care placement and allowed her a break from me. This takes me up to nearly 16.
I turned 16 in March 2004.
In April 2004 me and my mum had the argument that changed everything. She took my door off its hinges so I “couldn’t slam doors anymore”. I decided to have a bath and just go to bed. I had a bath and went to get myself a drink, the door caught on my way in the kitchen and mum came storming in, pointing her finger in my face accusing me of slamming the door. I hadn’t. This ended in a fight, we were both on the kitchen floor punching each other. She shouted got my stepdad and he threw me off her, down the hallway. He pinned me down with his knee in my neck and told me to pack my things. I threw up all over the floor. So I had to pack, ok fine, I knew the drill, she’d take me to my dads house. I’d stay there til the dust settled. Then I’d come back and promise this would all end…. Except it wouldn’t go like that this time. She refused to give me my shoes. I knew why. She knew I’d run.
I was so determined not to go to my dad’s that I ran anyway. In the middle of a storm in the rain, like some kind of perfectly executed movie scene, I ran away from my mums. She knew where I’d go considering I had no footwear. To Fays. Fay lived the next road away. By the time I reached the end of mums road, she had caught up with me in her car. As I crossed the road she sped up. I expect she didn’t intend to try and kill me, but in a moment of rage she just wanted to stop me. I beat the car anyway, but turning into Fays road she mounted the curb to block my way. I ran into Fays house as my mum pulled up outside, regained her composure and delicately says “come on poppet, let’s just go to your dad’s and talk about this. Get in the car” erm NO. I squeezed my feet into a pair of Fays tiny trainers and left once my mum had gone. I knew she would call the police, again.
I ran to the lady I babysat for. Begged her to let me in and help me. After about 45 minutes there was a knock at the door. Somehow the police had found me. I would later find out that they showed up at Fays and she denied knowing where I was. But her mum had overheard me say where I was going and told Fay she would be in trouble for withholding information. She reluctantly showed them where I was and asked that she could stay, they told her she couldn’t. They arrested me for ABH (actual bodily harm) and told me they wouldn’t handcuff me if I promised not to run. So off I went in the back of a police car to the cells. I was terrified. They checked me in and there I stayed for 24 hours. My dad was my appropriate adult as I was only just 16. He wasn’t angry at all, I’m grateful for that. When I was released after being bailed (lol) I went to Fays. I couldn’t go home. I lived with Fay for a few weeks, but soon her dad was released from hospital following an accident and I just couldn’t stay. My only option (given that I was just about to start my GCSE’s) was to go to the council and tell them I was homeless. 16 years and 2 months old.
May 2004 I moved into a B&B. I would be living here for most of my exams. I had to collect my benefits and make myself scarce between 10 and 5. I had an interview for a hostel. They housed young people who were homeless. That was me now. I was accepted after a turbulent interview and moved in around July 2004.
I lived in a house with 6 rooms. Me and five other girls. During my time there I saw 22 different girls move in and out. I lived there for two years. I’m still friends with one or two of the girls I met there. Once I was settled, I did the normal things that 16 year olds do. Got drunk on cheap cider and wine, dressed up and tried to get into over 18 clubs. I had a couple of jobs but they never lasted, I was cripplingly shy and it meant employers had little time for someone my age that needed so much time and effort.
I was still a virgin when I moved into the hostel. Spoke with my link worker about how I was glad I hadn’t just given it away, but how I couldn’t imagine ever feeling ready or comfortable trying. I went out with a friend from the hostel and her friend who was visiting. We drank Lambrini and walked through town for a while, got a kebab and then decided to go home. 2 men started speaking to us, proper men, we were only 16 so looking back it was very weird. There was 3 of us and 2 of them, they were working in town but were from Chester. They had an accent. They invited us back to their room, which happened to be the same room in the same B&B that I had lived in for a few months beforehand. Back we went and one of the guys fell asleep. My friend and her friend nipped to the toilet so I was left in the room with this guy. Shy, awkward me. I remember he had a tattoo of Count Duckula on his calf. I remember that his name was Gaz or Daz or something like that. I remember his heavy breathing and how he kept repeating “you’re definitely 16 yeah?”. I remember wishing my friends would walk back in the room. I remember wondering if everyone felt this much pain. And I remember a lot of blood. I picked up my bag and nearly forgot my shoes but I needed to leave. I felt a bit numb and my friends knew something was wrong. I got home about 1am and ran a hot bath. I threw my clothes in the washing machine because they were covered in blood and I got in the bath. My friends had worked out what happened and had gone back with a hammer she had in her room. They never got in so no murders were committed. About 4 people in my whole life know that story. So it’s weird to me that I’ve written it down. I consider a different boy as my ‘first’ and struggle to associate ‘that word’ to myself. I think a lot of people switch off and roll their eyes at the mention of the word and I’ve always been so embarrassed and ashamed of that night. It does not define me.
I lived in the hostel until August 2006. When I was offered my first flat. A one bedroom new build in a really lovely part of town. I was thrilled! I didn’t have any furniture and built my palace through second hand donations and what little money I had. I started a college course in the September and had my first experience of being the ‘older’ one. At 18 I was the oldest in my class. I met a girl called Kirsty, she was very funny and very easy to get along with. She was a lesbian. It never even crossed my mind that I should find this out of the ordinary. She became my girlfriend and I never once questioned that. I came out to my friends and family. No one was surprised (Fay was momentarily because she thought I was going to confess to sleeping with one of her exes 😂). Mum and me were on much better terms. I’d been out of her house for over 2 years. We still argued so all in small doses. My relationship with Kirsty was short lived. We ended on my 19th birthday. After this I had a series of short term flings and girlfriends while I enjoyed my fairly new found freedom in my flat. I got a part time job in an off licence. Made some friends who were older, married with children. They found me hilarious and enjoyed the novelty of a having young girl around with no responsibilities. I encouraged them to be immature and we laughed a lot.
My sister found out she was pregnant. At this point she was living in the hostel I had moved out of, in my old room (it’s not a big town). I was very excited at the idea of a new nephew. My sister and me are so close.
I discovered MySpace and met a couple of girls from there. One in Sheffield and one in Slough, at different times obviously. I was obviously very carefree and not responsible when travelling to meet them (I had video chatted with both so knew they weren’t fat old men). The girl from Slough ended up living with me. A few months in I realised she wasn’t good for me, took all my money and treated me like crap. I went on a wine tasting course with work and got absolutely shitfaced. When I got back I asked my friend if he would take the girl from Slough back to where she came from. He obliged and I was rid of her. Hurrah! That night my sister told me she had woken up in a wet bed, she was 5 months pregnant and it wasn’t wee. I’ve never sobered up so quickly and we went to hospital. The baby had broken her back waters and she was told to take it easy, after being assessed for a few hours.
In February 2008, my second nephew was born. He was a fat little thing and I loved him instantly. 8lb 11oz and my poor sister was a broken woman. She was living in a new town by this point and I just wanted her near to me.
I had a few more short term girlfriends before going on a night out and bumping into a girl I had met before in a pub I used to go to a lot. She had bright pink hair and I knew I fancied her. She came home with me that night but two days later she was going to work in the South of France for a few months. I was gutted! We decided to stay in touch and we would see how things stand when she gets back. I flew out to France to visit her for a week and I knew I wanted to be with her. I started a new job in a betting shop in September that year. The pink haired one came back for a week or two before going to work in Scotland for a few more months. We got together regardless and I was excited for her to come back. We spent Christmas with her family, although they weren’t the most accepting of our lifestyle, and we were exciting for the new year.
March 2009 was my 21st birthday. I had booked a stretched hummer to take me and a load of friends to Brighton for the night. The night before my birthday, I found texts on her phone between her and a girl she works with. I was crushed. She promised it was nothing serious and I decided we should stay together. Shortly after this, she ended things with me saying she didn’t feel the same. I found out she cheated on me with three girls. She then pursued the colleague and I was heartbroken. For the next 5 or 6 months I pined for her, sleeping with her whenever the opportunity arose and confusing myself along the way. I cut ties with her successfully for a few weeks and then we ended up chatting again. Things weren’t great with her and the colleague. We ended up going to Cyprus for a week. A few months after we got back, in September 2009, she decided she wanted us to be together again, I was elated! But by February 2010 my feelings had changed and I decided we should end it. We had booked a holiday to Cuba for September 2010 so that was a fun added complication to our situation.
After things finally ended with The Pink One, I started to wonder if girls were all I should be focusing on. One of my best friends was in the army in Germany and every time he came home, we would order takeaway and watch boxsets on tv. It was a completely platonic relationship and lines had never been crossed. I confided in him about my feelings.. should I explore men? He was keen to find out more and we joked that I should experiment with him. Inevitably that is what happened. Turns out I liked men too, who knew! This arrangement went well for a while. We decided it should stop before feelings crept in. We are still best friends now, I’m also very very good friends with his wife.
September 2010 came and I had to go on holiday with The Pink One. Since neither of us would give up our ticket, we had to endure a 2 week all inclusive holiday to the Caribbean. What a shame 😂. We argued quite a bit though, and when we got back to England, I told her to delete my number. I fell back into life at work, dating a few people here and there. Fay had been staying with me quite a lot. She had her own sofa bed in my living room and I loved having her around. She had got a new boyfriend who had a bit of a reputation. I decided to let him prove himself but, of course, he lived up to his reputation and was a bit of a dick. Soon after they ended, Fay found out she was pregnant.
We were always quite proud that we were late bloomers in pregnancy. Mine mostly because I had been with girls. But now here was my best friend, pregnant. We did the sensible thing and planned how we would raise this child together.
I gave up smoking in January 2011. I was trying to be healthier and had started running. I gave up smoking to make that easier. It’s something I’m incredibly proud of. By this point I’d decided I wanted to join the army. I was passionate about it. Running every day. I even signed up to do bootcamp, it was a residential bootcamp for 7 days about 5 hours away by train. Yet another big step but I wanted to do it for me. So I did. Then I did it again 2 months later. I got myself a PT and smashed the fitness. Around this time, I reconnected with a guy who was a few years older than me at school. He had cheekily suggested meeting up a few times for a no strings arrangement. Eventually I decided to take him up on his offer. I’d had a bit to drink and he picked me up. We went to a hotel and as we were checking in, I got a text from Fay that she’d gone in to labour. I was a 30 min drive away and the guy wasn’t guna drive me back now. So I just kept texting her to make sure all was well. I enjoyed my night and made him drive me home at 8am. I’m sure he was furious. Fay had given birth to a boy. I was thrilled. I couldn’t wait to meet him. He looked like a Cabbage Patch Kid, in a beautiful way.
The no strings arrangement carried on for the next 20 months or there abouts. A couple of times, we both suggested we should try and be something more. But it was hard to get used to that. The relationship we had was so simple, a text “fancy a cuppa tonight?” a reply “yeah sure, see you later”, he’d come round, we’d have a chat, a cuppa, have sex, another cuppa and then he’d leave. I’d known him since I was about 13 or 14 so it was easy to get on well.
January 2013 comes around and I have a new niece and nephew, one on 6th Jan and one on 7th. From 2 separate siblings. It was a wonderful start to the year. I had been chatting to a follower from Twitter, Andy. Messaging all day every day. We decided to meet up. He came to Kent. We spent the weekend doing chavvy things like going to wetherspoons and to the bingo. I enjoyed his company immensely. When he left, I was sad and we arranged for me to visit him in Southampton. Which I did the day after my birthday in March. We decided to get together that weekend. I was due to travel home again after 3 days but it was snowing. I thought it would be fine and risked getting on the train, however my connecting train was cancelled and I was stranded an hour from home. That night I had my first and only panic attack. I was outside without proper layers for so long I got chilblains on my face and had to stay in a hotel til I could travel the next day. Eventually I got home though and survived the ordeal.
Me and Andy long distanced for seven and a half months. Travelling to visit each other whenever we could, by November 2013 I had secured a transfer with work and decided to move down to be with him. In hindsight this was a mistake. But better to live a life of ‘oh wells’ than a life of ‘what ifs’ as they say.
I was a bit of an arsehole when I moved here. My anxiety was out of control and I had nothing familiar to bounce off. I took it out on Andy. He was stubborn and difficult to get on with when he was drunk, and he enjoyed drinking. I loved him but if we’re honest it was probably a friend love. Our sex life was poor. Almost non existent. And I have a high sex drive. We plodded along for a year and a half. Had some amazing times with him but also some terrible ones. In May 2015 I went on a Hen Do in Derby. I was away for a whole weekend and when I got home, I found lipstick on glasses and 2 sets of bedsheets freshly washed. All pictures of me or us had been removed and he denied everything. He finished with me a day later. I was heartbroken but be still denied cheating. Then I got a new follower on twitter. How I love when someone is having a stalk and accidentally follows you. A girl who’s media was full of pictures of them. Pictures of her in my bed, her with my cats. And a whole load of tweets slagging me off. I didn’t even know this girl! So that was that. Except I did the same thing.. pining after him for months and still sleeping with him. By October I could feel my mind starting to change. By December I knew I didn’t want him back. We still celebrated Christmas together and visited family together but I could never be with him again. It had taken him that long to realise he wanted me back. Sorry mate.
The last 16 months have been fairly uneventful. I discovered tinder and could probably go on for hours about dates and messages, but I won’t. I’ll save that for another post ☺.