Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Life At Thirty



It probably goes without saying that I haven't been the best blogger over the past couple of years but I'm finally back with a vengeance. Even though I was constantly taking & editing photos of products and coming up with new ideas, the posts just never seemed to materialise. I sometimes struggled to put up one blog post a month! There's currently over 140 draft posts on here with fully edited pictures waiting for me to write some interesting copy. Blogging is still one of my main passions in life but I could never find the time or energy to invest in it & that's mainly because so many awful things were going on behind the scenes at home.

I took these photos last August on my 30th birthday because if you don't take some photos with gold number balloons, did you even really have a birthday? The original plan was to put up an outfit post of me in this fab dress from Joanie Clothing & write about what a great time I had in Manchester, eating at Home Sweet Home & going on a shopping spree in Affleck's Palace. Yet again, I couldn't get the words out & my efforts were going to waste. This time it was more than just 'blogger's block', I was completely broken as a person. How could I possibly have written about frivolous stuff like makeup & clothes when my world had fallen apart?



You might remember when I wrote about my 29th birthday back in 2017. A few weeks before, our holiday to Spain had to be cancelled because Chloe had caught chicken pox at school & wasn't able to fly, then Andy crashed his car into someone on a moped. There's been plenty of horrible incidents over the years but that was when I truly felt like he had changed for the worse. Looking back, I don't think I really loved him at that point & his love for me was definitely fading too. But when you've been together for so long it's hard to admit that you need to split up, especially when there are children involved. My relationship with Andy has never been healthy or stable. Even when we first met, he would dump me because I took too long to text back & then beg me to get back with him. I, being a young idiot in love, always did. However I was not at all prepared for what life had in store for me in 2018.

Andy lost his job the day after Chloe's 8th birthday & as he's always had a gambling addiction, he decided not to get another job & to just make money from football betting. As you can imagine, the World Cup sent him over the edge. He spent every minute of every day looking at betting odds, placing bets & chewing his way through countless biros. When England lost, he lost out on £4000. He was obviously stressed to the max & when I suggested that maybe he would be less stressed if he just got a new job, he decided to break up with me & chuck me out. As we've been living in his dad's house for the past 8 years, I couldn't ask him to leave instead. I had to beg to stay because I couldn't afford to move out & it wouldn't be fair on Chloe. The only way he would let me stay was if I started paying 2/3rds of all the bills. He wouldn't pay his third of the food bills though, I had to write down every single bloody thing he ate & keep a tally of how much he owed for that. My mental health was incredibly low. I was spending all my time either buying food, making food or cleaning the kitchen. I was effectively his slave. The only time I felt happy was when I was at the gym but then I would come home & binge eat, undoing all of my hard work. Things got even worse when his dad decided to double our rent & I was the one stuck paying 2/3rds of it.

Even through our many ups & downs, we've always been best friends & it's really hard to lose a friend as well as your relationship. We were engaged & just a few months before we broke up we were discussing getting married & having another child. It just goes to show that you never know what someone else is thinking & whether they really love you or not. I've definitely wasted the last ten years of my life, my entire twenties & that makes me really sad. I've had to put up with gaslighting, stealthing and blackmail as well as constant emotional & financial abuse. To say that he ruined my life would be an understatement. I thought that 2019 would be a fresh new start. Despite everything, we were still on friendly terms & all three of us stayed up to watch the fireworks together on New Year's Eve. I had planned to get my hair done for the first time since Summer 2017, get my passport & driving licence renewed, start blogging again properly, look for a new job & then get a new flat. But on January 5th, I got told that I had to move out immediately. I was completely shell shocked & my anxiety went into overdrive. I couldn't eat or sleep or stop shaking. Andy had been doing temp bar work & told me that he had a shift the next night when in reality he met up with an old friend from Uni that he'd reconnected with on Tinder. I know he wasn't my fiance anymore but it still fucking hurts to see someone you loved with all of your heart going on nights out with potential new girlfriends.

I would give anything to be able to move back to London or Leeds as there's literally nothing for me here apart from Chloe's school. But she obviously comes first so I found a flat just around the corner from our old house, paid the extortionate agency fees & we've now moved in. I'm poorer than I've ever been in my life so please understand the sudden influx of sponsored posts. It's not great but I'm beginning to like it more with each passing day. I can hear cars driving past 24/7, some of the walls are a bit mouldy & I have no furniture but at least we're free.



2019 is the year that I start putting myself first. Due to my slave status I never got to go on any nights out as I always had to put Chloe to bed but last year I started going to drag shows. When Andy & I had our first major breakup back in 2012, RuPaul's Drag Race (& lots of therapy!) basically got me through it. I've wanted to see some of my favourite queens live ever since but I just never got the opportunity. Jinkx Monsoon has been my absolute favourite drag artist since season five first began & I finally got to see them at The Comedy Store in Manchester! It was such a fantastic night & I hope I get to see them again soon. Jinkx is even more lovely & charismatic in person. I also got the chance to go to the Dragula UK tour & it was one of the best nights out I've ever had. I loved seeing Biqtch Puddin & Vander Von Odd perform but Abhora, Meatball & James Majesty were all brilliant too. I even got to meet the Boulet Brothers at the end which was a dream come true even though my iPhone completely messed the photos. Thanks to Strongbow Dark Fruits for giving me the confidence to line up for the meet & greet! This year I plan on attending more drag shows & music gigs & video game/anime conventions because those are the things that bring me the most amount of joy in life. I'm a massive nerd & now I feel like I can finally embrace this without being judged. These things also help me to be more creative in my own work & heaven knows I've been lacking on that front! I don't really care about getting into a new relationship right now but if I do find someone on Tinder, he would have to love all of those things too because I don't have time for any negativity about the things that I truly enjoy.

My life at thirty years old is nothing like I expected it to be. I thought Andy & I would've gotten married in Vegas, I'd have an amazing graphic design career & we'd own a cute apartment together but instead I'm starting from scratch as a single mum. Thankfully I think I'm finally starting to get over all the pain & stress that the last few years have caused me. At long last I'm ready to focus on myself & I plan on making my thirties a whole lot better than my terrible twenties. After all, life begins at thirty!


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3 comments:

  1. Aww happy birthday! :D

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  2. Caroline! You are the strongest lady. Before I began reading this post I was actually just fondly looking at your Chloe widget and feeling absolutely gobsmacked that it's been 8 years! I'm so sorry to hear what a rough ride you've had. But also SO incredibly proud of you for going with your gut; things are only going to go up from here! I'm just an email or DM away should you ever fancy a chat (:

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  3. Bless you Caroline, I really hope 2019 is your year! Been following you for a long time now and reading through that, what I take away from it is how very strong you are and how much you love and live for Chloe. Wishing you all the success you need and hope things look up for you very soon xx

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