Friday, 19 May 2017

Healing


It has been four weeks since my whole world imploded and my family unit fell apart. My partner left and I was alone with my babies. Life has been challenging, learning how to be everything to my two beautiful girls. Making sure that even though I was coming apart at the seams, they needed to feel safe and secure. I have cried more than I care to think about. I have been so angry. I have been so sad. I have felt so lost and alone. But this blog is not going to be about that. This is about healing and forgiveness. 

I was not eating, I was not sleeping, I was getting sick, physically from the high stress levels. But a very good friend and family member sent me something very profound. A series all about starting over (http://startingoverseries.org/). My goodness it was tough to listen to! The first step in healing and making sure you don't take those same paths again is learning to own your part. Stop blaming. Yes it was bad and he did wrong, but I can't change him, I can only change me. So I looked at myself long and hard, I cried about the bad choices I had made. I dug deep and I was still angry. I had owned my share, but I was still angry and hurt. 

The second part, was rethinking, changing my mindset. That was a tough one too. I was like a hamster on a wheel, just over and over thinking about why did he do it? How could he move on so quick? How could he walk away? I had to change my mindset. And so I set about changing the way I thought. Stopped focusing on the negative, and started looking to the bible for guidance, looking to God for wisdom. Stopped putting my trust and faith in men and instead lifting my eyes up to our Heavenly Father. Now I know a lot of my friends are not Christians and so this may be foreign to you, but my goodness did I hear back from God in a big way! He told me to let go, let go of the hurt, and forgive. How can I forgive I asked God, did you not see what happened? But regardless of how hard it was to forgive, that is exactly what I did. I sent the following message to my ex (For obvious reasons I will block out the name) 

"I'm letting you go (name). I will stop harassing you with my messages, I won't hound you for answers any more. I just can't carry on like this. Always thinking about you. So I release you from me and everything that entails. You are finally free to live how you choose, with whomever you choose. I genuinely wish you nothing but good. I cannot carry on hating you and loving you. I'm making myself sick and thoughts of you consume me. I can't carry on like this. You are free (Name)."

I felt an instant calm come over me after I hit send on that message. As hard as it was to write and as hard as it was to send, I felt the change in my mindset starting. I slept properly for the first time in weeks (as well as a mother of a 7 month old can!) What I found was the anger and hurt was only damaging me, he didn't see it or feel it. I was torturing myself. It was not healthy and it finally stopped that night. No more anger, no more resentment, just peace. 

Finally on the last of the series which is all about restarting. I'm not quite ready to delve into that one just yet as I am still working on rethinking and rewiring my brain to think positively and be positive. Forgiveness is not an overnight thing and if anyone tells you it's that easy, then they must show me how. It's a daily thing to wake up and think of forgiveness rather than hatred or anger. But well worth it! So slowly but surely healing is coming and the pain subsides. 

It was actually my friend and family member who suggested I do this follow up blog and I decided I would. If there was anyone else going through what I am going though, then maybe they might benefit from this story of healing. Time is the most important part of this journey. So I am hitting pause while I heal. No big life decisions, no dates, just time. I am taking a year out to regroup and heal. Take time to fall in love with Jesus again and build that relationship up. The most important relationship of all! 

Now onto restarting....I'm excited to see where this new journey will take me and my little family of girls! 

Monday, 8 May 2017

A Cautionary Tale of Love Lost

Trust your instincts! 


What do you do when your whole world comes crashing down around you? It's amazing the pain one human heart can endure and keep going. Everyone goes through it, we are all walking through our own struggles and challenges. Mine feels like Mount Everest at the moment and I'm just hitting the really cold, low oxygen point questioning why the heck I ever chose this mountain to climb?! 

One week ago, my partner left me, my five year old daughter and our 6 month old baby girl. That Saturday the dream of a life together, the family unit, was smashed to pieces. Millions and billions of little pieces never to be put back together in the same way again. I know that this is probably going to be one of the hardest blogs I have ever done because it is so personal and so raw right now. But that old saying of a burden shared is a burden halved made my mind up that I would write this. 

Where to start....the beginning is always a good place... Two years ago, after going through a rough divorce, I met a man, I thought I could never love again, I thought I was done with men, but this man turned all of that around. He showed me joy and happiness, he brought my heart back to life. I fell madly in love with him. I wanted to shout his name from the rooftops. I wanted him to meet my family, my friends, I wanted him in every aspect of my life, but he did not. He made excuses why I never met his friends, he made excuses why I never met his family. I thought it was odd, but believed him none the less. He told me he loved me, and I believed him, I believed when he said I was his whole world and he wanted a life with me. But he never posted anything publicly to me or about me on any social media, but I shared openly how much I loved this man to whoever would listen. Again, I believed him when he said he's not really a social media person and he doesn't really do the posting things. At times I felt like he was ashamed of me, but I ignored those feelings because I believed him when he told me he loved me to the moon and back. 

About 9 months into the relationship I finally met his parents, I don't think they hardly knew I existed. I didn't feature much on their radar. I met his brother before his parents, but that was the strangest thing. I was at his flat visiting him and his brother arrived, I was not introduced, I stood in the room like an invisible ghost, until I couldn't handle it any longer and walked outside. Again, these were all warnings that I chose to ignore because I loved this man and he professed to love me. 

Early on in 2016, we found out we were expecting, bearing in mind I still have only met one of his friends by this point and he has met my whole family, extended family, friends. Anyone, everyone. I was still blissfully believing his lies about loving me and wanting a life together. He finally conceded it was time to give up his flat and move in as he was now going to be a dad. That again should have been a warning sign, he hung on and hung on to that flat, I guess hoping the relationship would end before he rented it out, because then he would have a place to go. Two weeks before I went into labour he finally rented his flat and actually moved in. I know you must be reading this thinking you silly woman, it is so clear...he didn't actually want to be in that relationship. Why did you let it go on so long? But the bottom line was I loved him and when you have those scales on your eyes, you cannot see the truth when it is staring you right in the face! He could tell me he loved me and his actions showed otherwise, but I believed his words over his actions every time. Again...I know you're thinking, you must be really dumb?! And again, I would think the same reading this, but the heart hears what it wants and sees what it wants to see. 

Finally after a horrific labour and a lot of haemorrhaging we were finally allowed to take our beautiful girl home. Two weeks in and he leaves us. My beautiful little two week old, my then four year old and myself. That was horrific, what had I done to myself. I was still bleeding, torn and broken (literally) and he was nowhere. I struggled through that week with strength I do not know how I found. Packing lunch boxes, feeding and taking care of both my girls, getting my oldest off to school and back home everyday. One week passed and he came back. I told him he only gets to do that to me once. So he moved back in. It was rocky to say the least. He was either sleeping, working or sick and when he wasn't those things he was off riding his bike, visiting his family, friends etc. And I carried on, I had learned how to cope on my own. I just hoped he would eventually get on board and be part of the family. I hoped with everything I was wrong about him. But my instincts about him where starting to make sense. I still brushed them to one side, thinking we now have a daughter together, I have to make it work. I still had the dream of growing old with this man, staying by his side in-spite of my instincts or the glaringly obvious signs everyone else was picking up on. I was desperate for my family and friends to love him like I did. But slowly they stopped visiting so much because they didn't want to be part of the lie I had bought into. 

One week before it all fell apart, a relative stranger (mum who I met recently) came up to me and said, "are you and your man still together? I've been really worried about you, I can't remember if you told me he had left or not" I said no, everything is fine, so she said, "oh I must have dreamed it, but it was so vivid I could have sworn it was true!"
So even strangers could see through a lie I could not! 

It all came to a head last Saturday the 29th. We had gone down to Peppa pig world to celebrate my eldest turning five. She picked Peppa pig world over having a party. On the morning of the 29th on our way to Peppa pig world, we were talking in the car and he was saying he had ideas about proposing and was I open to the idea of marriage. I was surprised as we were having a particularly rough patch, but equally happy to hear where his mind was headed. We talked about where we might like to get married. It was a lovely start to the day. As the day went on, he became more and more off with me. We sat down to coffee while I breastfed and he couldn't even look at me. I asked him what was wrong but he just said he was hungry that was all. By the time we got back to the hotel room he was properly off, I didn't know what the problem was but I was exhausted from all the driving and the days activities so climbed into bed with my baby and fell asleep. 45mins later I woke up...I changed my daughters nappy and went to the toilet. It was then I heard him say to our daughter "don't worry, if mommy kicks daddy out on the street we will go live with nanny and grandad" I leapt off the toilet and told him to repeat what he had just said, and he did. He then said, and I quote, "I can't be done for kidnapping my own daughter, check my facts if you don't believe me, call the police" I said "I will" and he said, "101 is the number you need". While I was on the phone with the police, they confirmed he could indeed take her and not be done for kidnapping even though she was a breastfed baby and depended on me for milk. He could however be done for child endangerment because it would impact her health by taking her mother away. I panicked. Regardless of what I felt for him, the idea that my baby could be taken was more than I could handle. I handed the phone to him to talk to them himself and left the room with my baby to get down to the lobby where my eldest daughter had just arrived with her dad back from Peppa pig world. The events that followed were a blur. Police arriving, stuff packed, off to a new hotel with my babies. What happened?! I couldn't wrap my head around how or what drove him to say that. I was still clouded by the love I had for him and lacked the clarity to see the truth. 

Exactly one week later he came to the house to feed our daughter, I had spent the week grieving the loss of a dream, my heart was so broken but I still loved him. Every item I packed of his I cried over. His scent was still on the pillow and in the bedroom. I stripped everything. I cried, and I cried. I was broken. Why had it ended. What happened that day that made him go down that path and say those things. I had so many questions. I didn't understand how it had ended so quickly and so severely. Now he was there, feeding our daughter, I missed him so badly in that moment. But at that moment his phone was pinging with messages from other girls. He had already moved on!!! One week and he had already moved on. I was devastated, I felt worthless, I was nothing. There I was grieving him, the loss of what we had and the whole week he had just spent chasing skirt!

That night I sent him all manner of nasty messages, calling him all kinds of names. The pain of those scales on my eyes being ripped off was almost unbearable! There was the truth laid bare. I had never meant all that much to him. He was just passing the time with me, waiting for something better to come along. I couldn't force him to feel what I felt. He couldn't understand my anger because he had never loved me the way I had loved him. The truth that I had avoided admitting the whole two years was that he did not love, not the way I did him. He tolerated me, we had a few laughs, but I was never it for him. That's how he could just move on so quick, he tried to make it work in spite of the lack of feeling. But the truth is, you just cannot fake love. And I no longer have those scales on my eyes. I see now more clearly than ever. 

This is a tale of caution. It does not matter how much you love that person, if you are not a priority, if they are not in love with you. Regardless of what they say, if you know, you're just avoiding the truth. Do me a favour and don't let it go as long as I did. It is 10 times harder the longer it goes on. Rip those scales off. And remember, actions always speak louder than words. Look at what he does and not what he says! 

To date, I have still only ever met one of his friends! 

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Sykes Cottages Exposed!

It's that time of year, we're all thinking about April school holidays and planning where we will go and who we will stay with. 

I on the other hand am a bit of a planner. I booked our family holiday back in November 2016 with Sykes cottages. I know how booked up everything gets the closer you get to the dates. So being a planner I wanted to have our family holiday booked well in advance so we wouldn't lose out on a place. The only catch was that my partner works for the NHS and they do not sign off holiday until closer to the time. So what does a planner do? You take out holiday insurance of course. That way you are covered. Or so you think....! 

So the worst happened and my partner was denied his leave. I don't hold anything against the NHS. Regardless of family time, people still need medical care all year round. As he worked over Christmas we were hoping he would be granted these holidays. But unfortunately not. As disappointed as I was about no longer having the holiday we had planned I was not worried about having put over two hundred pounds down in deposit as I had taken out travel insurance. 

I am so disgusted with Sykes Cottages. With their insurers - Ryandirect group and the underwriters UK General. 

The insurance I took out refused to refund the deposit. I picked up the phone thinking it won't take too long to sort it all out. Little did I know what was in store for me! My first call was to Sykes cottages to explain that I had to cancel, as I had paid the travel insurance directly to Sykes cottages, it would be logical that I speak to them about cancelling our holiday. Gina at Sykes Cottages informed me that I need to speak directly to the insurance company that provides the cover. So she tells me I need to call UK General. So I call UK General who say they are just the underwriters and do not hold customer details. At this point I start to get that sinking feeling that this is going to be a bit like hunting a unicorn. You dream they exist but you know in reality they don't exist. I then call Sykes cottages back and speak to Hayden who tells me to go back to UK General. I explain what they have said and he insisted his colleague was correct and I quote "we have never had any trouble like this before" in other words I'm a stupid customer who needs to explain more clearly to UK General. So I call UK General back only to be told the same thing again. That they do not hold customer details that they are only the underwriters. So I then call Sykes cottages AGAIN and speak to Gina again. She exasperated by my continued phone calls says she will call UK General herself. When she comes back on the phone she tells me I've been dialling the wrong number....I said to her, because she seemed to have forgotten that she was actually the one who gave me the number, "but you gave me that number" Instead of apologising for sending me on the run around she simply says she was not aware it had changed and proceeded to give me another number. 

Well... You guessed it...that number didn't work! I am fast losing patience with this joke of a company. So I call Sykes cottages again and this time speak to Hayden again, I explain that the number I was given does not work. Instead of apologising he makes me read out the number, and then says I have been dialling the wrong number. The second wrong number that THEY gave me. Hayden then gives me yet another number and this finally goes through to a company called Ryandirect group who talk on the phone to me for 10 minutes. You know the drill, every detail explained, all forms filled in, only to be told by Alex Flanagen at Ryandirect group that the fact that we can no longer make the holiday is not a good enough reason. That my partner not being allowed leave working at the NHS is not a good enough reason. They are not honouring their part of the agreement. I have never claimed on travel insurance! Never!! And the first time I do for a very valid reason, it is declined. I am disgusted. So when my partner is busy saving lives at Papworth hospital so you can all be happy, we put in a valid claim and you disgusting snakes have declined to honour your promise to cover if we cannot make the holiday. 

They are just gamblers. The insurance companies gamble that you won't ever claim, but they fix the game so that if you ever do they have fixed it in their favour so you will never win. At some point they need to be held accountable. I will be researching further into this Ryandirect group and will post here my findings. 

As for Sykes cottages. Well they were quite happy to take over two hundred pounds off me for nothing. I could understand if I wanted to cancel a day before the holiday was booked or even a week or even a month. But I am cancelling this holiday nearly three months before the actual holiday is going to take place! I can guarantee one thing, I will never be using Sykes cottages again and I can also guarantee that I will be recommending that no one else use them as they are a bunch of crooks!