No Regrets

No Regrets

“A man can fail many times, but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.”– John Burroughs

You see, she has been around for so long now, that you’ve taken her for granted. You thought, no matter what you said or did, no matter how you hurt her, or put her down. No matter how many promises you made that you didn’t keep. No matter how many times you lied, she would be there forever…because she has always been there.

You allowed yourself to treat her so poorly. You allowed yourself to lose her.

How could you not see that she was worth it? How could you not even see that she was the kind of girl that deserved the world, simply because she would turn her world upside down in a heartbeat for you?

She tolerated you for much longer than anyone else would, but she was always different… that is why she stayed by your dumb ass for so long. She always managed to find hope where nobody else in the world would even think of looking. She was the one that managed to find hope in you when everyone else thought there was not a single ounce left. She stayed even when you left, and she tried to fight for you.

Don’t think for a second that she wanted to leave. She never ever wanted to leave your side. She didn’t want to do it, even when you made her feel like an absolute wreck. Even when you agreed it was best she left, she stayed. And she tried. And she fought. She fought for you because you were her everything. It was always you.

God knows how hard she fought for you, even when she wasn’t strong enough to fight for herself. She fought until she realised that there was nothing else left to fight for and that even if she won that final battle… she would still leave the ring empty-handed. She would have never got you in the end, would she?

You need to understand that she didn’t leave you. You pushed her away.

No matter how different she was, no matter how strong she may have been… she got tired. And in the end, all the strength she had left she put it in to leaving you. You pushed her away and she left even though she didn’t want to.

You really have no idea what you have done.

You have no idea just how much of a massive mistake you’ve made in life. And the worst news of all, is that there is absolutely nothing you can do to undo this. Because once you take a girl like her for granted and you push her to the point that the only choice she has is to leave you, there is no going back.

But trust me when I say that one day, you will wake up, and it will hit you like a bus!

One day, once you’re done with all those airhead wannabe girls that you’ll date… after finishing living a meaningless life… after wandering for a long time and then finally having the courage to get serious about your life, it will hit you.

One day, you will wake up and you will want her back.

Life will finally make you realise just what you had… an amazing girl who always tried to be perfect just for you. A girl who wanted nothing more than to be there for you, and loving you was the only way she knew how do that. An incredible girl who valued and loved your flaws, just as much as she did your weaknesses. A girl you should have fought for, but let go of.

One day you may get out of bed and make a plan of how to win her back. That day you may just make some sense of your empty life and that day you may just have something to look forward to.

But by the time you finally understand that she is more than worthy… there will be someone else next to her. Someone who has spoiled her with his admiration and affection. She will wake up that day next to someone who doesn’t take her for granted… someone who fought for her and not with her. Someone who didn’t turn his back when things got tough and she was no longer strong enough to fight by herself.

You should have known that girls like her don’t end up single for long. You should have realised that there are guys out there that are just waiting for someone as wonderful as she is. It would be extremely unwise and somewhat stupid, to think for even a second that she would be waiting for someone who never really appreciated her.

And when that reality finally hits you, don’t even try to approach her. Don’t waste your breath telling her that she is the best thing that ever happened to you and that you were stupid to let her slip through your fingers. Don’t tell her that you now finally appreciate just how special she really is…  because someone else already has. And he has shown her just how much she means to him.

You will search for her inside of everyone else you will ever be with, because that is what happens when you have been with someone like her. And you will never find anyone that could love you the way she did. You can kid yourself that you will. You can play happy families with someone else… but deep down you know that nothing will compare to the way she cared for you, wanted you, loved you. It never could because it isn’t with her. You watched her become a ghost before your very eyes, and you will wish you had given her one last kiss. You will wish that you had appreciated her every second of every single day you spent together, because now you will know that you won’t ever get that chance again.

And you can hate the man that loves her now… the man that appreciates her and always puts her first. You can hate him as much as you want. It doesn’t change the fact that the only person to blame in all of this, is you!

You never appreciated her when you had the chance and now she has moved on. She doesn’t owe you anything and she will be dammed if she ever leaves the man that finally showed her just how special she really is!

Belle x

© Belle’s Notepad (Laura Denton) 2017

Photograph courtesy of ©DCB Photography & Design (Danny Clayton Bowell) 2017

And suddenly… we were strangers again.

And suddenly… we were strangers again.

“And in the end, letting go was a lot like finding love. I had to learn to say goodbye to the one who gave me the courage to say hello.”– R.M Drake

Believe me, I am not saying goodbye to my life, if that is what worries you. No, I’m certainly not doing that. Truth is, I am saying goodbye to someone who I saw as my life, once upon a time. This is me, saying goodbye, to you!

So, I guess this is it right?  After all this time we have spent not talking. After all the days we spent snuggled in each others arms. After bearing our souls, staying up until four in the morning, sharing our secrets and insecurities. After everything we have endured together… we only get to say goodbye to each other. There is no longer a ‘forever’ for the two of us, at least not together anyway.

But we tried, didn’t we? We tried so hard, so many of the same conversations happening time and time again… a never-ending cycle that we both eventually got tired of. I know you got tired. I’m sorry you didn’t have the strength to be strong for the both of us when I couldn’t find that strength in me. What a shitty thing we had to do… having to say goodbye to someone whom we pictured our entire futures with.

Because you know, I pictured mine with you. Even after we split up, I couldn’t imagine it with anyone else… for a while anyway. I strongly believed that after you, I really would just end up being a ‘crazy cat-lady’ until the end of time. At least that was what I had promised myself I should be. You got me a drinks coaster that had those words printed on it, remember? What a fun bag of goodies that was.

I thought I was one heartbreak away from having that life, and I truly thought that you were my ultimate heartbreaker. You hurt me more than you could have ever imagined.

I struggled for so long to say goodbye to you, because I still loved you, completely and unbearably. You know I am an annoyingly clingy person anyway, so I guess that is why I held on to you for so long. It was just so damn hard to say goodbye to the one person I thought knew me better than anyone else. And, if truth be told, I didn’t want to say goodbye to you. Because for so long, you were all I had ever wanted. All I had ever dreamed of. But, you eventually wake up from a dream though, don’t you?

The sh*tty thing was, you became the biggest stranger to me after a while. I can remember how you once told me that we could work anything out. I remember just how uncontrollably and silently I sobbed on holiday in the bathroom… you told me that you would never give up on me. On us! I looked in to your eyes that night and I honestly believed you.

And I don’t know how or why that ever changed. Because you would never give me any real solid answer. You just left, without a care in the world. Every word you had ever said, nothing but a distant memory. Nothing but a lie. What did you think you would achieve by telling me all the things you thought I wanted to hear? With or without those promises… I still loved you more than you could have ever imagined.

Why didn’t we ever have that conversation like you promised? My guess is that you just didn’t, at any point, love me enough to give me the opportunity to get the closure I needed. And I will never know if I was right about that or not!

So often I thought about picking up the phone and calling you to ask you to go for a drink… just so I could look in to your eyes one last time, and actually believe you when you said it was over. But there was no real point, was there? Because lets face it, you couldn’t have meant a single word you ever said, could you? If you had, you would never have so easily walked away when I needed you the most, right?

This is not about be bashing you, or making you out to be some kind of monster. You could never be that. You were kind. You were loving. You were loyal and devoted. You looked at me in a way that I did not recognise and you made me feel like there was nobody else in the world that could compare to me. You made me feel like I was made for loving you.

You held me tighter than anyone had ever held me before and you sat with me when I felt like my entire world was falling apart and you helped me to try to rebuild it. You made me realise that I didn’t need to be strong anymore, and that it was okay not to be okay. You made me feel safe again. You were all I thought I had ever wanted. And you made me believe that I had found my very own “happily ever after”.

But then you broke my heart. What happened?

I think you were right you know… fairy tales just don’t exist in real life, at least not like they do in the Disney films anyway. So I’ve decided to free myself from this, once and for all. Because it killed me when I finally realised it was over, you know. I cried myself to sleep for weeks, simply because I missed being able to talk to you, hold your hand and listen out for your stupid moans and groans. I missed your terrible jokes and how you would say “Good Morning” even at seven o’clock at night. I missed your cheesy little notes and the way you would tuck your finger into my underwear as we slept, just so you could check I was still next to you.

I was angry that I didn’t get to wake up next to you any longer. Angry that I was no longer able to cook for you, do your washing, or kiss when you would get home after a long day at work (and an even longer walk home.) I was angry that there would never be an ‘Eric’ or that we would never get to share our last names. I don’t get to cry in your arms after a bad dream nor do I get to hear your shocking singing in the shower. Because we don’t get to be just ‘the two of us’ any longer. There is just you and I, but there is no us anymore. I still don’t understand how I got to meet you, fall in love with you, plan my future with you and then have to let you go. And I never will understand why that happens to people!

But there was no other option, was there? And whilst it hurt more than anything to let go of you, I realised that you are still a kid at heart and I am an old soul. We were so different and our views on what was important changed. I thought our differences would form a unique relationship and I was right. The sh*t part is, it didn’t last.

I was never afraid of goodbyes, you know that. I only ever saw goodbye as a temporary thing because I always did my best to meet again the people I cared so dearly for. But I don’t get to do that this time. Because this one; this goodbye, is one I will hate for the rest of my life. Because this goodbye is not temporary. This goodbye is forever.

Please don’t ever think that I regret you. I don’t. I never could. You were exactly who I needed, when I needed it most. And for that, I will forever be grateful. You touched my soul and you held it tight and for that, I loved you dearly. You made me realise that it was okay to love again.

And that is exactly what I have done. And for now, it feels pretty amazing. I just hope that one day you do too. Because no one deserves to be a third wheel at the wrestling for the rest of their life!

Belle x

© 2017 Belle’s Notepad (Laura Denton)

Goodness Grief

Goodness Grief

“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.” – C.S Lewis

Until you have lost someone so very dear to you, it is hard to understand the grief that one begets. But I for one know the sadness you are going through because I have unfortunately worn those very same shoes. Shoes I wish I could take back and get a refund for!

You look around you and you see a big hole; your home feels empty and your heart is no longer whole. But as the days go by, the tears slowly begin to fade and sadness turns into bittersweet, smiling memories.

It’s a funny old thing grief. You can think about the loss of a loved one and only begin to imagine just how heartbreaking it really feels… because when it actually happens to you, you realise that there is no other feeling like it in the world and nothing can prepare for just how long that feeling lasts. Because the heartbreaking reality is that you will grieve forever. You won’t ever “get over” the loss of a loved one, you simply just learn to somehow live with it. And whilst you will eventually heal and rebuild your life around the terrible loss you have suffered and one day feel whole again, you will never, ever, be the same. And why should you be?

When someone you love dies, you feel like your entire world has fallen to pieces, and yet everyone an everything around you just carries on with life. Nothing really seems to change, except the fact that one special person, just isn’t there any longer. The birds still sing, the days still roll in to night. The clocks continue to tick and people carry on with their lives. And yet, you feel as if you have become frozen in time, almost as if you are watching life as if it were a movie. But you some how learn to adapt. You see, when you are grieving for someone, it is almost like you are leading to two completely different lives. One part of you “pretends” that everything is okay. You somehow still get up in the morning and go about your life.  But the other part is where your heart screams silently in complete agony.

And that is the part that can leave you feeling utterly lost and completely alone. And that is the one of the hardest parts about grieving. Because everybody is different and everyone deals with grief in their own way, it often feel like grief is a walk alone. Sure others can be there. They can listen and share your pain. But inevitably, you will walk alone on your own path and at your own pace.

And the point will eventually come where you experience complete denial. And whilst it is a confusing and numb period of your life, it is completely normal to experience this and it is widely consider the first of the five stages of grief.

When my Mother died, my instant reaction was to be strong. She had made me promise her the morning she died, that I would remain strong and be there for the people that needed me. But to me, that was the moment denial set in. You see, we were completely inseparable and she really was my very best friend. I worked with her, saw her every single day and even when I got home from work at the end of the day, the first person I called was my Mum. We spent most of our free time together, so it was extremely difficult to believe that I would never see her smile at me again, or hear her voice at the end of the phone. And whilst I knew she was gone, I just expected her to walk back in as if nothing had happened… because that was my Mum. Four long and hard years she fought and fought and fought. And she always said she wouldn’t let the cancer beat her. I genuinely thought that she would live forever, because she was my Mum!

I planned her funeral. I wrote her a poem. I went and visited her at the chapel of rest as much as I could. Because in my mind, if she was still around and I could see her, then somehow I thought there was a chance that she would open her eyes and tell us it was just one of her practical jokes. Of course it wasn’t. She was gone and there was nothing I could do about it. I didn’t shed a tear at her funeral, because I thought if I fell apart, everyone else would and I needed to be strong for them!

I busied myself for months and put her to the back of my mind, because for me that was easier than accepting that she had gone. I didn’t visit my Dad for months on end… not because I didn’t want to, because I couldn’t. Because going back to the place where she had died and seeing it without her sat there, would mean that it was real and I didn’t want it to be. And this continued for some six months, until the day of my Brothers 25th Birthday.

He was such a Mummy’s boy and they were so alike both in looks and personality. So seeing him blow out his candles on his birthday without her there absolutely broke me. And it made me angry. Angrier than I had ever been in my life. And that was the moment stage two set in.

I hated her. I hated her so god damn much. She had promised me that she would always be there for us. She said she would always fight, and whilst she had fought for so long, she eventually gave up on us… she gave up on me! She had been so selfish to give up fighting and she had left us behind without her and every inch of my being despised her for it. I turned her picture over because every time I looked at her, I remembered that she had given up on me. It was only after speaking to my Dad about it, that he made me realise that she hadn’t given up on us, on me, at all. The truth of the matter is, she fought so hard, for so long… she didn’t have a choice. Because if she did, she would have still been here now. Her body had given up on her and that wasn’t her choice. She loved us all more than we could have ever imagined, she didn’t leave us out of choice.

And as the next few weeks passed, I began bargaining in my mind. I kept thinking that I would trade so many people, just to have her back for one day. One hour. Even just 30 more seconds, just so I could tell her I loved her. Just so I knew that she knew, just how much she really meant to me. And that was stage three; bargaining.

Stage four began just after our first Christmas without her. Mum had died 16 days after Christmas and the anniversary of her Death hit me like a tonne of bricks and depression set in. Getting out of bed knowing I would not see her when I got to work, killed me every morning. Not being able to hear her voice or see her everyday had began to take it’s toll and I was deeply unhappy. Nothing in my life seemed to matter any more. I had lost who I was because I still had not accepted her death. I wanted to die. I wanted to close my eyes and never open them again, because that was better than facing the reality of another year without her. But everyday I put on a front and pretended like everything was okay, because admitting I was suffering from depression, was in my mind, me letting her down. I thought that I had to be strong because she wasn’t here to do that for me!

It was only the impeding breakdown of my relationship that allowed me to see that I had a problem and it forced me to get the help that I needed. And as much as I hate him for being a coward and walking away at the toughest point of my life, I am also incredibly grateful that losing him, enabled me to find myself and get the help that I so desperately needed.

And that was where the long road of acceptance began; Stage five. The hardest stage of all! And for me, in a bizarre way, the most beautiful stage of all. Because during the 8 weeks of counselling that I received, together with the help of my incredible Dad, I accepted my Mum’s death and everything else that had happened and I finally appreciated just how incredible life could be again. I began to appreciate the bird’s song once again. And I was able to look at her photo once again, this time not feeling anger and despair, but absolute adoration and unbreakable love!

Finally, I could once again listen to her favourite song’s, without bursting in to tears. Now I was able to sing them at the top of my voice and smile, all the while imagining her tapping her feet and singing along with me. And whilst I knew I would never again see her face in a crowded room, I realised it was okay to still look for it.

Because I had now realised that it was all okay.

Okay to miss her. Okay to once again say her name out loud. It was okay to cry and to laugh. It was okay to function and okay to smile every time I think of her. It was okay to be angry and okay to be a mess some days. It is okay to remember her. It was okay to be thankful and okay to have hope for the future. It was okay for me to accept my Dad’s new partner and it was okay for me to like her and want to spend time with her. It’s okay to live after someone dies. And it is okay to always love them.

The hardest part of losing someone you love, is not having to say goodbye, but rather learning just how to live your life without them. And whilst grief never ends, it does change. It is a passage in your story, not a chapter to stay stuck in. Grief is never a sign of weakness, it is simply the price of love! Grief has no rules, no boundaries and no limit and in reality, it will last as long as love does… Forever!

And if missing my Mum everyday for the rest of  my life means that I loved her, then I am more than okay with that!

Belle x

© 2017 Belle’s Notepad (Laura Denton)

10 Secrets to a Successful Relationship… by someone who is unlucky in love!

10 Secrets to a Successful Relationship… by someone who is unlucky in love!

It appears that every one of my single friends I talk to, have the same feeling: Dating has become so damn hard!

No one seems to have the determination or staying power to make a relationship work and it seems to be a challenge every step of the way. Dating apps have made it so easy to meet far more people than has ever been possible before… meaning it is easier to find your next conquest should things in your current relationship be taking a turn for the worse.

Back when I was single, I often found myself looking at my friends I knew were in relationships and thinking to myself how, if it were me in that relationship, differently I would do things. How I would act differently, or treat them differently. I would ensure I avoided the mistakes they were making and that everything would be perfect… After all, when your pals are venting about their relationship issues, it can be easy from the outside to look in and see what you would do so differently.

But when it comes down to it, the reality of the situation is that when you are in a fully fledged, committed relationship with someone… Everything Changes!

And whilst early on it may appear to be easy enough, soon enough you will be more like those aforementioned couples than you would ever care to admit. You see, the truth is, there is a lot of things about relationships that no one ever really talks about and you end up not knowing until you’re right in the middle of one… So to make it easier, here are 10 things that this time around, I am going to try and remember and work on putting them in to practice.

  1. Opening up can be difficult.Everyone has a past. We all have our own demons and issues from past relationships that may still play on our minds. So, even if you go into a new relationship planning to be open and honest about your thoughts and feelings, you may find that there are some things that you may not have talked about with anyone and you may not feel too enthused about sharing them with your significant other. That being said, it is always worth opening up, but it rarely is easy. Take your time and stop judging them on the actions from the people from your past relationships… We are all different!
  2. Your partner is not a mind reader. And neither are you. And whilst I realise this may seem like a pretty obvious point, you will be hugely surprised at how many times you think your partner has understood you (or vice-versa) but actually hasn’t. It really does not even matter if they know you better than anyone else, they won’t always know your intentions or reasoning behind your actions. So, even when you know there is no issue, you have to be clear and concise in how you communicate.
  3. You have to be a little sensitive to how they feel and bear their insecurities in mind. Because even the most confident and strong-willed people have their insecurities. They may not be so obvious at first, but it will come up at some point in your relationship. You should be sensitive to what ever it is that upsets them… even if you don’t feel the same way. Changing the way someone thinks about something is a hard task, so be mindful that these issues won’t change overnight. Or ever for that matter.
  4. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut. And it can cause a lot of issues in your relationship, sometimes even being a main contributor to your relationship breaking down. Make sure that you still make time to do things separately because whilst it’s absolutely fine to spend a lot of time staying in together, you’ll be a lot happier if you take an active interest in the outside world both together and apart. Similarly, you should actively make time for each other and get your priorities in order. If you’re telling your other half that they are your number one… show them! Because actions speak louder than words and putting them second all the time will only lead to them feeling let down, inadequate and insecure!
  5. You may struggle to find time for each other. And whilst it is important to make time for your significant other… sometimes it just isn’t that easy. Fitting in seeing your other half around work, family and other social events, can be a difficult task in itself. Things can become even harder when you want to spend a little time in your week to yourself as well. And despite the fact that you are in a fun, positive and loving relationship… sometimes you will have to work it around your schedule. Just remember that your relationship is not a job, so making some time for your partner shouldn’t be one either!
  6. Arguments are absolutely necessary. And whilst none of us really like arguing, some people try to shy away from them as much as possible. In reality, this just isn’t healthy, because bottling up these feelings can make you bitter and feeling like you can’t talk to your significant other. However frustrating the argument may be, sometimes these feelings need to be aired for you both to improve as a couple and as individuals. If you have something that it bugging you, air your opinions and talk them through with your partner.
  7. Your moods won’t always match exactly. And if you’ve had a bad day at work, it can be amazing to have someone at home to cheer you up. But, you should not depend on your other half always being in a good mood when you need them to… life just doesn’t work that way. They have their own lives and that can affect their mentality just like yours does you. Take time for each other and pick each other up when possible. Just remember, it is not a competition as to who’s had a worse day than the other!
  8. Manage your thoughts and emotions. Because no one has more power over your mental state of mind than your partner. This means that even the most innocuous statement can sometimes lead you to have unfounded thoughts of jealousy or frustration. Therefore, clearing your mind and reading the situation properly will require open-mindedness and patience and if you fail to be able to do this, the situation can end up worsening and you tend to say things you may end up regretting! Think before you speak, because words can hurt!
  9. Forgiveness is absolutely crucial. And I don’t mean when it comes to things like infidelity… But not matter how good you may think you are at being perfect in a relationship… you’re going to make a few mistakes at some point along the way. Mistakes can often hurt your partners feelings, but there is absolutely no use in holding a grudge, bringing it up every ten minuets or trying to forget or ignore something that has happened. Don’t just forgive them in words… you have to forgive them in your head too. Because if you don’t, you’ll still be thinking about it further on down the line and that is ridiculously unhealthy.
  10. Unfortunately, you can’t always be right! And I don’t mean this in the obvious way that everyone is wrong at some point. What I mean is, even if you are certain that you are right, sometimes it is worth letting go of ‘winning’ an argument, in favour of something that is just much more important: Being happy! Of course, it massively depends on the situation and if you feel passionately about something, fight to get your point across , however if there is no real consequence to giving up on the competition of who is right… then it may just be worth moving on, rather than fighting for the sake of protecting your ego! After all, it may not even be worth the amount of effort required to fight your point!

And whilst I am absolutely not an expert on relationships and this list is by no means all-encompassing… hopefully it at least reminded you of something you’ve neglected in your relationship, or something you can make use of next time the opportunity comes around!

Belle x

© 2017 Belle’s Notepad (Laura Denton)

A tail of lies, heartbreak and a love like no other. (pt 2)

A tail of lies, heartbreak and a love like no other. (pt 2)

“There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit, no barriers to our progress except those we ourselves erect.” – Ronald Reagan

And now everything has changed, I am more ‘me’ than I have ever been before.

Because, after everything that had happened with my ex husband, I thought my deepest insecurities has been confirmed: I thought I was completely unlovable. All of my previous fears of loss and rejection had now become the most unbearable of realities.

But in reality, that heartbreak was nothing compared to the one I experienced some two months ago. You see, 12 months ago, I met a man that completely swept me off my feet. And he gave me butterflies so bloody much, I should have considered opening a zoo!

He still makes me feel this way to this day. And in all honesty, I doubt I will ever feel this way about anyone else.

The problem was, walls I had built as a means of protection, ended up hurting me in a way I could have never imagined. He spent so long trying to reassure me that he wasn’t like the rest of them, that I lost sight of the reasons I had fallen in love with him in the first place. I second guessed every single word he said and I eventually pushed him away.

I believed that one day, he would do the same things to me that my ex husband had done. I thought all men were the same. Except, I actually did think he was different. He absolutely was not like my ex, or anyone before or after him.  But I only had an 8 year relationship and a few mixed up months to go on. This, mixed with my anxiety and PTSD, meant that I always tried to keep him at a distance. The walls I had put up to keep me safe needed to come down in order for it to work and as quickly as he was chipping away at the bricks, I was putting them back up.  I had not dealt with the heartbreak and pain that I had been through before meeting him and unfortunately, being stubborn means that I find it difficult to admit when I am wrong, so much so that I rarely do it. So when something would upset me or annoy me, my immediate reaction was to run.

I would tell him it was over, never actually wanting it to be. I never meant a single word I said when I would say it, but I would say it anyway because I thought it would be easier for him to walk away early on and that in turn would save me the heartbreak in the future. And every single time, he would tell me I was being silly, that he loved me and that it would be fine. Except that last time.

This time, something was different. This time, he agreed and told me he thought it was for the best.

I felt as though my world had ended all over again. It felt as if all the love I’d known had been extinguished in a single second. And I was absolutely heartbroken. And in spite of his willingness to let me go, I held on to him in the hope that this despairing situation would somehow turn around. If only I could win his heart back, we could have everything we had really wanted…

I think what hurt the most, was that he was so unwilling to talk to me about it. That he had promised he would always be there. That he would always fight for ‘us’ when I was unable to do that. I was so angry at myself for believing every single word he had said and that once again, I had let a man break my heart. And this time it hurt so much because I actually loved him so much.The man I once adored. The man I once wanted to grow old and grey with. The man I had trusted, had made me feel like I had never meant a single thing to him. That I was just someone to fill some time. That every bloody thing he said to me was nothing more than a twisted lie!

It’s kind of messed up isn’t it? How all of a sudden, someone just decides that they don’t want to talk to you or see you again. No real reason. No explanation. No words really said… They just leave you hanging like you never meant anything to them and what hurts so much more, is how they make it look so easy when your heart is breaking into a million pieces.

And it is hard. It is really really hard, leaving a relationship without any real closure. Without any real reason why it had to come to an end in the first place. It makes moving on extremely difficult. I don’t think you can ever forget someone that once was the reason you smiled everyday.

For months, I have completely blamed my self for the break down of our relationship. I thought it was all down to me. My insecurities. My inability to move on from what had happened in the past. But half of this is on him. Because it takes two people to make a relationship work. When I needed him the most, he turned his back and walked away. He chose to lie to me about how he really felt about me. He chose to not fight for us like he had promised. He chose to leave the woman he ‘loved’ when she was suffering with mental health problems without a second thought about it, because it didn’t suit him.

And that is not down to me. That’s down to him being lazy and being a complete coward. And I was stupid enough to think he was better than that. He was not the man I fell in love with. He was not the man he made me think he was. And do you know something… I have absolutely no regrets about ending it that morning, because at least now I can see him for who he really is. At least now I can see that I deserve someone better than that. Because despite the battle I had going on in my head, I fought for us, for him, for two and a half months. I tried and tried to get him to see that this was the wrong decision for both of us.

And I meant so little to him that he wouldn’t even allow us to have a conversation, like he had promised. And whilst now I realise I should have characterised him by his actions, not been fooled by his words, I am glad I allowed him to fool me. I am glad I fell in love with him. And I am glad he walked away. Because I can now move on knowing I don’t need him in my life, despite him wanting to keep me in his by being his ‘friend’. I am an all or nothing kind of a girl… and you don’t get the have me halfheartedly! I just don’t work like that!

I am more than grateful for the lessons I have learnt from this relationship. I do not regret loving him for a second. And I am absolute at fault in parts. I realise that I did not give him the respect and love that he deserved at times. I am aware that I didn’t try as hard as he would have liked with spending time with him and his friends and family. But, he let me down by not realising that I had no control over my anxieties and that all I needed was for him to support me through my recovery. He let me down by walking away.

If you have ever suffered from anxiety, you will know that you have zero control over the way it makes you feel. You have no control over the deep fears in the pit of your stomach and the actions that these fears make you take.

If I had control over my anxieties, we would probably still be together. But in turn, he should have seen how much I needed his help and he should have got off his lazy ass and supported me, not walked away!

Thankfully, I have now learnt how to deal with them in a way which does not let them consume my life anymore. It has taken months of hard work and determination and believe me, my recovery is far from over, but the hard work I have done so far has resulted in me being ready to show him just how incredible this could have been. To show him just how far I have come and prove to him that I could still be the girl he fell in love with, but better….

But now I realise, that because he found it so easy to walk away when I was at my worst… that now he absolutely does not deserve to have me at my best.

We end up in toxic relationships because we don’t stand up for ourselves when red flags occur. We let them slide, simply because we fear losing a companion. But how long do you let disrespect and neglect go? At some point, you need to develop healthy barriers for how you are going to allow yourself to be treated.

And regardless of how much it hurts right now, I know it will pass. Every day gets a little brighter and a little easier.

I know now that if your heart hurts after letting go of something or someone, that is an acceptable way to feel. It just shows that your feelings were 100% genuine.

No one likes things coming to an end. No one enjoys the pain it brings. But sometimes, we have to put things that were once amazing to an end after they end up turning toxic for our wellbeing.

You have to understand that not every new beginning is meant to last forever and not every person that walks into your life, if meant to stay.

I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that one day, probably sooner rather than later, he will realise just how much of a mistake he has made. He will realise that he should have fought a little harder and held on a little tighter. And when he does, he has my number to discuss it if he decides to get off his lazy ass and do something.

I did try to be his friend like he had wanted and I couldn’t, no matter how much I would have liked to have kept him in my life.

I had to say goodbye.

I had to let go.

I have finally realised that the man I once loved, had become a stranger to me.

And I guess that is what saying goodbye is always like – It is like jumping off the edge of a cliff. The worst part is making the choice to do it because once you are in the air, there is nothing to do but let go.

And there is a huge difference between goodbye and letting go.

Goodbye means “I’ll see you again when I’m ready to hold your hand and when you are ready to hold mine”.

But letting go means “I’ll miss your hand and now I realise it is no longer mine to hold and now I will never get to hold it again.”

But sometimes, you just have to let go, regardless of how much it hurts you. Regardless of how much it keeps you awake at night,

And one day, you will meet someone new; and ultimately they are going to find out how you chew, how you sip. How you dance and sing. How your face looks underneath makeup or how wild your hair looks in the morning. How you love strawberries and chocolate or a chicken and crisp sandwich. How hyper you can get after having too much coffee.

How certain songs and movies make you happy or how cranky you can get when you’re tired. They will still think you are beautiful regardless of all of that.

They are going to know almost everything about you, the good and the bad,

And do you know what?

They are still going to love you regardless!

I know he is still the man I fell in love with deep down. I don’t know where or why he lost the part of him self that he gave to me: the self he had let me see and love anyway. And in all honesty, I think he does still love me.

Everyone saw the way he looked at me. I looked into those eyes and saw complete love and adoration and I know that doesn’t disappear, even after a few months.

So who knows, one day I may just get the conversation that he promised me. And if I don’t, that is fine too… because losing him meant that I was able to find myself. And for me, that makes losing him worth every second!

Belle x

© 2017 Belle’s Notepad (Laura Denton)

A tail of lies, heartbreak and a love like no other. (pt 1)

A tail of lies, heartbreak and a love like no other. (pt 1)

” The reason it hurts so much to separate is because our souls are connected.”- The Notebook

For me, falling in love with someone that is your perfect fit, is probably one of the most magical feelings in the world.

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to find yourself falling in love ( or more simply, lust) with the wrong person, before finding your perfect fit. But when you finally meet the “one” for you, you will realise it was absolutely worth the wait… after all, you have to kiss a few frogs before finding your “Prince Charming”.

Forget everything you thought you knew about relationships and love, because all of that will suddenly be turned on it’s head.

I got married when I was just 24 years old and in all honesty, I genuinely thought that I had found the man of my dreams. I thought I knew all I needed to know about being in love, but this past year has taught me that I actually had no idea what it truly felt like.

For me, falling in love literally feels like a butterfly farm in the pit of my stomach. In fact, there is so much going on, it is almost a fully fledged zoo! And I have only ever felt that feeling because of one person.

I am sure that because of him, every day the sun seemed to shine a little brighter and the birds sung a little louder. I was so in love that I could have literally high-five’d complete strangers just walking down the street going about there daily business. I have those butterflies right now and that is because I am simply remembering the way he used to make me feel…

The early stages of a relationship can be utterly confusing. You tend to puzzle over your own feelings and deliberate on what the person you are dating really thinks of you and even your own emotions may be difficult to decipher. Trying to categorise your feelings as falling in love or as just a passing attraction can be tricky, however I truly believe that if it is ‘true love’ you somehow just ‘know’.

At this stage, it is really easy to get wrapped up in a fairy tale and act in a way that makes you some one you are not. It is really easy to say the things you think your other half wants to hear. And whilst this may feel like the right thing to do at the time, it may just come round and bite you on the backside later on down the line.

I know this, because devastatingly, this has recently happened to me. You see, for the past 12 months, I have been in love with a man that unfortunately did just that… he lied to me and told me all the things he thought I wanted to hear. And because of his words and actions, I was so sure that we both wanted the same things out of our lives together. And now I question if there was ever any truth in anything he ever said to me. But now I know that I am equally to blame…

You see, loving someone completely with every inch of your being for so long, and building your entire life around them, makes it very difficult to move on when it doesn’t work out. It also makes it extremely difficult to love and trust anyone again and so as a means of protecting yourself, you find your self building your walls up faster than anyone can knock them down!

So let me explain to you exactly why I built those walls up…

When I was just 24 years old, I married a man that I thought was my best friend. Despite previously cheating on me, I trusted him 100% and honestly believed him when he said he wouldn’t do it again. I married him and believed every god damn lie he ever told me… all because I loved him. I trusted him more than anyone else in world, regardless of how badly he treated me.

Towards the end of 2015, I had watched his behaviour change massively and I recognised a pattern which I had seen 4 years previously. I knew 100% in my gut that he was cheating on me and I accused him hundreds of times. And every time, he talked his way out of it and convinced me it was all in my head, so much so that one day I almost checked myself into a mental health hospital because he had convinced me I was loosing the plot and ruining our relationship because everything I thought I was seeing or hearing was in actual fact, ‘all in my head’. At the same time, my Mom was battling terminal cancer and at his request, we were trying for a baby!

Around Christmas time, things seem to get a little better. I was pregnant and we all knew it would be my Mom’s last Christmas, so my focus shifted off his actions and on to that.

And then on the 27th December, my world fell apart when I began to bleed at his families Christmas Day Party. I lost the baby and had absolutely no support from him what so ever. I couldn’t talk to my Mom about it, because even though she was my best friend, she was dying and I was so scared that telling her would break her heart and we could lose her. I was all alone and my world was falling apart. And then, two weeks later on the Saturday morning, I found a message on his phone that confirmed all of my suspicions. He had been having an affair for 6 months with a much older woman he had met at the gym. I called my friend, packed my bags and went to stay with her some 70 miles away. I had never left him before. He had told me for 8 years that I ‘needed him’ and he had made me believe that I did. So, I had always stayed put after an argument and waited for him to come home and sort it out. But I was absolutely devastated and I just had to get away.

The following morning at 3:30 am, my phone begin to rang. It was my Dad. Panic immediately set in… he only ever called me when something was wrong. He said that my husband and I had to get to my parents house immediately because my Mom needed to go to hospital because she was in severe pain. I told him that I had gone away for a ‘girls weekend’ and that I would get back as soon as I could. I called my husband and told him to go to my parents house and to the hospital with them… I could not let them know something has happened because my Mom and my husband were like best friends and I knew it would absolutely break their hearts. I had not stayed at my friends house for 4 years, in the fear that doing so would mean I would not be close to my Mom in case anything happened.

That journey was the longest of my life. I am not a religious person, but i prayed every second of that journey home that I would make it back to my Mom in time.

I did. The hospital sent her home. I arrived home and spoke to my husband. He told me he was going to the ‘gym’ and that we would talk when he got home. I went to my parents house and sat with my Mom for 3 hours. She was the most awake we had seen her in weeks. She knew something was wrong and she knew that I has lost the baby. I can’t explain how she knew, mother’s intuition I suppose. But even in her last few hours, she comforted me and told me everything would work out in the end. She asked for my husband and I tried to call him time after time, but he did not pick up.

At 10:22 am, on Sunday 10th January 2016, my Mom told me how much she loved me and my brother. She said “You two are my entire world and I will love you forever.”           I held her so tightly and told her that we loved her too and to stop being silly. I guess forever could not spare a minuet more.

And in that moment, my life as I knew it was over.

She took her last breath cuddled in my arms with her best friend beside us and then, she was gone.

The next few weeks passed in a blur. I threw myself into arranging her funeral and making sure that everything was perfect for her final goodbye. I stayed with my husband, I just could not break the hearts of my family even more than they were already broken. He had promised the affair was over, but I knew it wasn’t. It was just the wrong time for me to walk away.

But on March 6th, Mother’s day, my first Mother’s Day without my incredible Mom… I woke up and realised enough was enough. I had finally realised that I deserved more and found the courage I needed, to be able to finally walk away from him.

And it was the best decision I have ever made. Admittedly, it was the hardest decision of my life. But if I has stayed, I would have never experienced the real feeling of true love…

© 2017 Belle’s Notepad (Laura Denton)

Someday today

Someday today

“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.” – Brené Brown

Choice; It’s a funny old thing.

Everyday, we make hundreds of choices without even realising that we are doing it. The choice between toast or cereal for breakfast, a choice between a mug of coffee or strong cup of tea.

A choice between getting out of bed in a morning no matter how terrifying the thought, or pulling the covers back over your head, feeling safe and forgetting the world.
The problem is, the world is still there on the other side of that duvet no matter how much you pretend it isn’t.

Choices have consequences.

One of my best friend once did this. She hid herself from the world because of her anxieties and lost everything she was about.

One day, she made a choice to throw back the covers.
She made the choice to get up and face the world and chase the dreams that she had someday wished to fulfill.
She realised that she deserved more than the darkness that had consumed her being for so long.

The consequence of her actions that one morning means that now, she has made a business for herself, she works extremely hard and provides an amazing life for her and her son. She made the choice to face her demons head on and as a result, lives a happier and more fulfilled life. She decided that her “someday”, would be “today”.

It’s like a choice between following your head, or following your heart.

So flippant are we with making these choices, that sometimes we so easily forget the consequences that follow such choices and we lose sight of the person who is making those choices.
We lose sight that these actions may also affect those around us. The ones that truly mean the most to us.

As children, choices are made for us by our parents. They are made with us in mind.
The schools we attend, the places we visit on holiday, the clothes we wear. Every little thing, is chosen for us.
But as we enter adulthood, those choices become our own responsibility. And these choices, have consequences!

Just over eight years ago, I made a choice to enter into a relationship with a man that I had chosen to be with. I chose to live with him and build a home and life with him. He was my absolute world and every choice I made, I made with him in mind.

The problem was that the majority of choices he made, he made with himself in mind. He didn’t think about how those choices would ever affect me.

Within those eight years, he choose to cheat on me, at least twice. And both times, I chose to forgive and forget and stay by his side, honouring the vows I had made to him. But the consequence of doing so, made me lose sight of who I was. I lost sight of what I truly wanted and what I truly deserved.

I loved him. I loved him so much that sometimes, I couldn’t breath. He consumed my entire being and that was why I allowed him to treat me the way he did. I don’t know what he got out of destroying me time after time. But I hope that he never puts anyone else through that. And if he does, I hope they find the strength to make the choice to walk away.

I waited for him. I gave him chance after chance after chance and I left him with every god damn thing I had. And he took it all without a care in the world. I tried to hang on because I thought he was worth it.

And one day, I just stopped waiting. I gave him the world and I kept fighting long after I should have walked away. But it was me and me alone, that made the choice to stay!

I don’t want to hear that he now misses me. I’m bloody glad that he does! Because I allowed him to control my choices for too long. And leaving him, was the best choice I have ever made.

How many scars do we have to justify, just because we love the person holding the knife?

The past year has taught me a lot about making choices for myself. You see, almost twelve months ago, I met a man that I thought was literally everything I had ever dreamt of.

He came into my life when I least expected it and turned my entire world upside down. Compassionate, intelligent and devoted. He really was my very own “Prince Charming”. The problem was, that I couldn’t see in myself, what he saw when he looked at me.

You see, when someone cheats on you, it messes you up. You think about every single thing someone says to you twice. Even three bloody times, just trying to figure out if they really mean what they say.
You have this constant anxiety that they are hiding something or that they are just going to randomly leave and you over think when they short text you or take a while to reply.

It’s not something that you can control. It’s just the behaviour that you have learnt as a result of being cheated on. It’s extremely hard to believe someone when they say you are the only one for them, when the last person that said it is now in someone else’s bed.

If you are dating someone that has been cheated on, please be patient. Understand that it’s not you, it’s the piece of shit that came before you and we are sorry that you have to deal with the “mess” that they caused. We are trying to learn how to trust again and choosing to let someone new in after so much heartbreak, is a very difficult choice to make.

I made the choice to let someone else in.

He broke my heart.

But in a strange way, I am glad that he did!

For over twelve months, I have been suffering from anxiety and PTSD. I put on a front that everything was ok and that I was strong because the alternative was admitting that I had a problem and in my eyes, that wasn’t a sign of being strong.

I was embarrassed to say that I was suffering with a mental health problem because to me, that was a sign of weakness. Everyone around me could see that there was a problem however, I was not ready to admit it myself and I was not ready to make the choice to get some help.

Seeing him become distant and uninterested made me realise that he wasn’t the problem, I was.

It was my choice to take on all of the stress and grief from my family and friends after the death of my Mother. It was my choice to try and be strong for everyone else. My strength carried them all through the toughest time, but as a result, I got lost along the way.

That was my choice, not theirs.

But it was his choice weather or not he held my hand and helped me through it, or walked away.

Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to be the man I needed him to be and he walked away. And I don’t blame him.

It must have taken a lot of strength for him to walk away from the woman he loved. He had kept me safe in a bubble for almost twelve months and whilst that bubble was still there, I was never going to admit that I needed help. So I am beyond grateful to him for showing me that I needed that help and for setting me free and allowing me to do it by myself.

I didn’t make a mistake by loving him, or my ex husband. Or anyone else for that matter.

You should never ever regret loving someone. Because you didn’t actually make a mistake by giving them a chance. That’s a true display of strength, not shame.
You didn’t make a mistake by trusting them, believing them or being there for them.

And do you know why?

Because your actions reflect you.
You would do this for anyone that comes your way. It just happened that those were not appreciative of your pure intentions. You didn’t make a mistake.
The mistake was their choice to make by not appreciating and respecting your beautiful heart.

And I hope that someday he can appreciate how far I have come and see that by him making the choice not to fight for it, he enabled me to able to do this all by myself, for myself!

I know that someday he will realise that I am once again, the girl he fell madly in love with. Someday, he may just understand how much he truly meant to me and I really do hope that he understands how grateful I am to have had him in my life, even though I was unable to show it at times.

Because you see, for him I may just have been a chapter, but for me, he was the entire book!

I’ve finished that book now.
Now it’s time to write a new one!

So when it comes down to it, have that extra piece of chocolate if you really want it and finish that bottle of wine.
Make the choices that will make you happy but bare the consequences in mind. Start living for today and be true and authentic to yourself.

If you’re having a hard time of things, be honest with yourself and take that leap of faith and ask for help. Walk away from that toxic friendship or relationship. Because whatever you’re feeling, it will eventually pass. You won’t feel sad forever and at some point, you honestly will feel happy again!

You won’t feel anxious or worried forever and in time, you will feel calm again. You don’t have to fight your feelings or feel guilty for having them. You just have to accept them and be kind to yourself whilst you ride this out.

Resisting your emotions and shaming yourself will only cause you more pain and you absolutely do not deserve that. You deserve your own love, acceptance and compassion!

And if there is something that you feel strongly about, speak up. If there is something that you really want to do but haven’t had the courage to do so… then now is the time to stop dragging your heels, get up and turn that “someday” in to “today”!

Belle x

© 2017 Belle’s Notepad (Laura Denton)