Unexpected Smear Results And Treatment

Unexpected Smear Results And Treatment

One month after my 25th birthday I attended my first cervical screening. Although I was incredibly proud of myself, I knew the wait for my test results would be the ultimate test on my anxiety.
Days turned into weeks, and by the second week, I had convinced myself that no news was good news and tried not to think about it.

February 20th – 23 days after my smear I was babysitting my little sister when my boyfriend rang me. “A letter from the NHS has arrived it must be your smear results should I open them?” YES, I screamed ready for all the anxiety to melt away… Silence.
Silence is never good when it comes to my boyfriend. He told me that my results had come back with ” High Grade (Severe) Dyskaryosis” and I had an appointment at the colposcopy unit on the 28th. I had 1000 questions none of which my boyfriend could answer, so I panicked and hung up on him.
I rang my friend as well as some family members in a complete panic wanting to hear something comforting. As expected no one knew what on earth any of it meant so I went straight to Google.
Google is your worst enemy when it comes to anything health related! You’re either pregnant or have cancer, so DON’T Google anything.

I went home and found my boyfriend in a little bit of a mess. I clung to the letter, and the leaflets enclosed reading over them over and over. “It’s unlikely you have cancer” the leaflet read in bold. However, that means there is a possibility it could be cancer right? My boyfriend and I collapsed into a heap of tears, anxiety and sheer panic.
My boyfriend NEVER panics about anything so seeing him in such a state was heartbreaking, ” I’ll be fine babe” I said, to which he replied, ” I just don’t want to lose you, I love you so much”.
My heart truly ached, how am I going to deal with this? What’s going to happen to me? Am I dying? I’m so young, and there’s so much I still want to do.

The 8 day wait for my colposcopy appointment was agonising for everyone in my life. I couldn’t sleep, I spent my days panicking, reading horror stories on Google, and faking happiness.

February 28th Colposcopy day – After a sleepless night I woke up feeling numb, today’s the day I will find out if my time is up.
Now I know all of this sounds very dramatic, but I suffer GAD, so anxiety levels for me are generally high which causes me to think the worst all time.
2 pm rolled around, and I was sitting in the hospital with my Mum and boyfriend, a nurse came and got me and walked me into a sizeable sterile-looking room.
Another nurse greeted my boyfriend and me, and we sat down. I started to cry even before she spoke to me and she said the words “Severe Dyskaryosis just means you have abnormal cells OK”.

Actually no it wasn’t ok at all! I knew they wouldn’t be able to tell me 100% what was wrong until they had a proper look and took samples which meant another agonising wait for results.

The Colposcopy – In short terms a Colposcopy is much like a smear test, undress from the waist down, hop on the chair and have a speculum inserted. However, there are a few differences.
Firstly there is usually more than one nurse in the room. In fact, I had 3. Nurse 1 was the carrying out the colposcopy, nurse 2 was handing nurse 1 tools etc, and nurse 3 was there for emotional support.
Secondly, there is a funky looking microscope that takes a very close look at your cervix which you can watch on the screens if you wish.
Thirdly vinegar and dyes are applied to the cervix to highlight any abnormalities.

I must say looking at my cervix up close on screen was strange. If you’ve never seen one before it kind of looks like a pink doughnut with a small hole in the middle.

When the vinegar was applied, I did feel some very mild stinging, much like salt in a fresh cut. I was waiting for a ton of abnormal cells to appear, but it looked pretty much the same. Nurse 1 then added iodine to my cervix (this helps her seen exactly where the abnormal cells are), there it was a mustard yellow patch around the opening of my cervix. Although Nurse 1 was telling me how pink and healthy my cervix was, I knew the discoloured part was bad.
As my local colposcopy clinic is a “see and treat” clinic, so they were able to offer me treatment there and then.

LLETZ Procedure – After all my googling I knew exactly what to expect, and all I could think of is a huge needle entering my cervix!
The LLETZ procedure is a heated wire loop that is used to remove the portion of the cervix that is infected with abnormal cells, usually performed under local anaesthetic but can be done under general if you prefer.
So, I’m laying there legs in the air 3 nurses and my boyfriend staring into the depths of my vagina, and it hits me that I’m petrified of needles. I started to freak out a little, and with my squirming Nurse, 1 accidental stabbed my bum with the needle! (LOL)
I calmed down, and Nurse 1 injected me, yes it hurt (like period cramps) and yes I made some very questionable groaning noises but cut me some slack, there’s a needle inside my vagina! At this point I stopped watching the screens and closed my eyes, the anaesthetic kicked in very fast, and soon all I could feel was pressure down there. I briefly opened my eyes only to start seeing stars, so Nurse 3 gave me a fan and hooked me up to a monitor in case I fainted.
From that point, everything was a blur. My poor boyfriend thought watching the entire thing was a good idea which caused him to almost faint (HAHA). Nurse 1 then said “Right thats it we’re all done”, Nurse 2 helped me off the chair, and I got dressed. Nurse 3 then gave me an aftercare sheet, and I was told I could leave.
Honestly, I thought I was in there for at least an hour, but it had only been 15 minutes!

The Aftermath – There I was leaving the hospital with a portion of my cervix missing, and I couldn’t help but think “What if I never attended my smear test. What if I had left these cells untreated”.
I had some period of pain after the anaesthetic wore off. I had to wear a pad for 2 weeks as I had a lot of watery discharge, which is normal. One of the worst parts of the healing process was not being able to use a period cup or tampon for 4 weeks! I haven’t used the dreaded pads since I was 15, and they are just as uncomfortable as I remember.
But the absolute worst part of this was waiting for my results. These results will tell me 100% whether or not I have cancer. It was an agonising wait. I spent my days feeling numb and crying.

March 15th Results day– Between 1 pm – 3 pm I could find out the results of my LLETZ, I nervously rang at 1 pm shaking and fearing the worst. The line was engaged, and I didn’t get through till 1:45ish. The time it took her to pull up my file felt like an eternity, she then said: “We found CN3 cells, and we are confident that they were successfully removed with your treatment”. I burst into tears. I felt all the panic and anxiety melt away. Nurse 2 told me that I should expect a letter soon and that I should go out and have a party tonight, so I did exactly that!

March 22nd Confirmation letter – My letter arrived, and I felt extreme panic. What if they got it wrong? What if my letter says that I have cancer? When I opened it I was shocked to see that I had CN1, CN2 and CN3! That’s a lot of CN’s. The letter did confirm that they are very confident that it was all been removed. I have to go back in 6 months for a repeat smear to double check everything is still okay, but for now, I can breathe.

There are a few things I would suggest to do during a smear test/results/treatment:

  • Try to stay calm. (Easier said than done I know!)
  • Please stay away from Google. I know you have 1000 questions and want answers, but everyone’s story is different! Stick to reading things from the NHS website.
  • Remember cervical cancer is very rare.
  • Abnormal cells VERY treatable.
  • Just because you had abnormal cells does not mean you have or will ever cancer.
  • Do encourage friends and family to attend their cervical screening appointments.
  • NEVER ignore your cervical screening invitation.

Bea xo

My Smear Experience From Start To Finish

My Smear Experience From Start To Finish

Smears… Why are we so scared of them? Is it because there’s a stranger between our legs? Is it a feeling of embarrassment? Will it hurt? Will the nurse judge my vulva?
I tell you something the only thing scary about a smear is not getting one!

My 25th Birthday was on the horizon, and I knew I would be expecting a letter from my GP inviting me to my first smear. Fortunately, my Mother was always honest with me about “vagina” things so I never built up fear over the unknown.
Late October 2018 my smear invitation arrived, 2 months before my 25th birthday. I put it off until the new year as I didn’t want to panic about results over the Christmas period.

January 2019 – I booked my first smear on the 28th, now I started to get nervous! I was hoping I would get a nice nurse… what if I got a male? I did not tell the receptionist that I wanted a female to carry out my screening… I pushed all these worries to the back of my head, focussing on the fact that I’m so lucky to live in a country that gives these tests for free.

January 28th Smear day – I had, had minimal sleep as I was already panicking about my results (thanks anxiety). My boyfriend was lovely enough to keep me company during my appointment which put me at ease. When I entered the room the nurse double checked my information and talked me through the procedure, she then asked me to undress from the waist down.
This is where I would advise you to wear a dress or skirt as it’s a little easier to get your bits out without feeling too naked.
She showed me the plastic speculum (which wasn’t as big as I thought). I was asked to put my heels together and drop my knees. She gently inserted the speculum and opened it up, which I honestly didn’t hurt it just felt “full”. When the “brush” was inserted, it felt strange, kind of a dry feeling but not painful. She removed the speculum, and it was all over and done with! It took me longer to get dressed than it did for her to complete the procedure. I was told to expect my results in 2-4weeks.
I felt some very mild cramping after my appointment, but they only lasted around 30 minutes.

I left my appointment beaming I was so proud of myself, it was so much easier than I expected!

It is so important to go to these screenings. They are so useful at detecting even minor changes in your cervix which could potentially be life-saving! There is NO excuse for not attending your screenings. It takes 5 minutes, you do not need a freshly waxed vagina or a bleached bum hole all you need to do is bring your vagina! #CervicalScreeningSavesLives

My smear story is not over. Look out for my next post where I talk about anxiety, results and a trip to the hospital.

Bea xo

You can read more on smear tests here https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cervical-screening/

The Walking Dead Ride – Midfright Experience

The Walking Dead Ride – Midfright Experience

* THIS POST CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS *

Having been a fan of The Walking Dead since the season started back on 2011 I was super excited to find out that Thorpe Park now has a The Walking Dead Ride. The ride is actually a re-theme of X; No Way Out.

On the 23rd of April Thorpe Park released 1000 tickets for people to attend an event called “Midfright”. Thorpe Park gave people attending Midfright the very exclusive experience to ride The Walking Dead Ride at midnight. The only thing you had to do was to turn up dressed as a walker and be prepared to act like one for the duration of the event.

Whilst queuing to enter the park 4 there was an outbreak of walkers who interacted with the crowd whilst we waited for further instruction. Once the gates opened at 11pm we all made our way to the ride, there were tons of actors out ready to scare us (which I was not expecting).

You can certainly tell that The Walking Dead Ride was X; No Way Out but with a watchtower out front and the words “TP SAFE ZONE” painted onto the building. I do think the fact it still looks like X adds to effect that Thorpe Park has been taken over by walkers and is now an apocalyptic land.

The actors in the queue line made standing in a queue a fun and exciting experience rather than a boring long one. There was a particular walker who played a nice zombie who was scared of the nasty ones, he was by far my favourite as he provided some comic relief to the horror going on around us.

We were put into a group of 20 before entering the building into the pre-show area, after being asked “the questions” and being rudely interrupted by a herd of walkers we rushed out of the pre-show area and into the long dark corridors. The fear overtook and our entire group freaked out and we all ended up running through the corridors and up to the rides boarding platform so I didn’t get to take in the corridors new makeover.

Once we arrived at the boarding platform there was a bunch of theming around and a few easter eggs if you look closely. Once on the ride and after the safety checks were done we were off to escape the walkers.

The attention to detail during the ride was amazing, I’m going to need to ride it a few more time so I can really soak it all in there’s a lot to see! At the exit platform, a member of staff screamed at us to move through the iconic “DON’T OPEN DEAD INSIDE” doors to escape the walkers. As soon as the doors opened we were faced with walkers who were not holding back, there was something lurking in every dark corner and I was petrified.

We navigated our way through pitch black darkness and aggressive walkers until we finally made it out where we were greeted by our friendly walker who lead us to safety. You can then view you ride photos in the megastore and also grab a drink and a snack to calm your nerves!

Overall I was really impressed with Thorpe Parks effort with the re-theme, I have no idea why so many people keep slating it! The whole Midfright experience was amazing and I’m glad we made the 2hr journey to do it. I have always been too scared to attend fright nights at the park but after the major adrenaline rush I got from Midfright I will 100% be attending Fright Nights this year!

 

Thank you, Thorpe Park, for giving us this amazing experience! Meet you back at the safe zone in June…

Bea xo

Want to experiance The Walking Dead Ride yourself? Buy tickets to Thorpe Park here.

What Not To Say To Someone With Anxiety

What Not To Say To Someone With Anxiety.

With 1 in 4 adults in the UK being diagnosed with a mental illness you’ll likely know someone suffering from anxiety. Heres what not to say to someone with anxiety.

“Just get over it”

Firstly you can’t “just get over it” it’s not something that just disappears. You have to realise that people with anxiety live in an almost constant state of fear. It’s stressful enough without people thinking you’re just putting on a front.

“You were fine last week”

Not strictly true. You’re never “fine” somedays you can cope better than others. If anything this statement just draws attention to the fact that people have noticed a change in our behaviour which ultimately makes the anxiety worse.

“Why don’t you just take tablets for it”

Whilst there’s nothing wrong with taking medication to help cope with anxiety, some people fear the idea of mood-altering drugs. Also don’t just assume that someone hasn’t already tried that route. Taking medication for anxiety comes with a list of side effects which can make anxiety symptoms worse for months before it gets any better.

“You’re just being lazy”

No. Anxiety has many symptoms including headaches, tiredness, muscle and joint pain. Anxiety doesn’t only affect the brain but the entire body, if some days are particularly stressful the symptoms get more intense.

“Your panic attack was embarrassing”

*Sigh* Panic attacks are not a joke. The person having one is in a state of intense fear and likely thinks they’re about to die. IT IS TERRIFYING. If someone you know is having a panic attack do not make a big deal of it, take them somewhere quiet or just hold their hand and tell them its okay and it will pass. Don’t make them feel embarrassed, it will only make the panic attack worse.

“My Aunt’s Cousin’s Sister’s Mum has anxiety a lot worse than you do”

Don’t compare peoples anxieties, it’s not a competition between who has it worse. Some people are better at handling their anxiety than others.

“You’ll be fine”

When fearing 1000 things at once you’re never fine. What seems like something small to you may be a huge issue for someone else. We are not all the same and we do not feel the same about certain situations.

 

If you suffer from anxiety and would like to add something to this list please leave a comment below.

Bea xo

A Letter To My Ex-Best Friend

Dear Ex-Best Friend,

How are you? I’m doing great, I moved out of the hell hole and I have a wee flat near my Nans, I also got a pug! Finally! His name is Pugsley and he’s literally the best thing since Chris Brown – Loyal.

We haven’t spoken in a long time, for reasons I’m unsure of. Although it isn’t the first time we lost contact, it seems our friendship would only last a couple of years before it fizzled out for whatever reason but we would always find our way back to each other. This time seems different, I really feel like I have fully lost you this time.

I keep seeing our Facebook memories of when we used to go out with “Phil”, it was non-stop drama but it was a damn good time! These memories are the only thing I have left from our friendship. I don’t know where things went wrong and I’m starting to think I’ll never know. It sucks to lose a friend especially when you are as close as we once were.

Maybe we are just as stubborn as each other? I don’t want to be the person to give in and contact you and you probably feel the same. I’m sad that I missed out on your milestones like your 21st Birthday and your graduation, and I’m sad that you missed out on a few of mine.

So much has happened in the last few years you would not believe, it would take me a year just to update you!

I truly hope that you have found happiness and that your life is amazing! I have never for a moment wanted you to be unhappy and I always hated it when you were. I doubt you’ll ever see this but if you do just know that I do love you and I hope you have an amazing life.

Bea xo

P.s Here’s a picture of my dog. Just because… he’s cute and I know you’ll appreciate it.

Reasons Why I Love Being An Older Sister

A few years ago I met with my Mum in town, virtually straight away she said “so I think I’m pregnant” and then she proceeded to show me pictures of a few pregnancy tests she had taken… It wasn’t too much of a shock as I knew her and my Step Dad were trying to get pregnant, I was just so happy and excited.

Little did I know, that small human would change my life…

 

Being Able To Enjoy Mum Being Pregnant

I think if my Mum had my sister when I was young I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy her pregnancy as much as I did at 20 years old. I loved watching my Mums tummy grow, feeling my sister moving about and attending scans.

Not Having To Live With A New Born/Child

As much as I love my sister I am glad I’m not living at home anymore so I don’t have to deal with the crying and tantrums haha!

Watching Her Grow

Every time I see her she knows a new word or she’s grown out of her shoes it’s honestly amazing watching a tiny human grow up and get their own personality.

Having Someone Truly Excited To See/Speak To You

A feeling like no other! When I get random phone/video calls from my little sister it really brightens my whole day, I can’t understand half of what she says but it still means everything to me that she just wants to chat to me.

Cuddles

I’m not a massively affectionate person but when my sister cuddles me or gives me a snot covered kiss my ice cold heart has no choice but to melt! Sometimes I just want to squeeze her face off when she’s being super cute.

Becoming A Better Person

I was never a bad person… but I did do some questionable things. I always said I wanted to be a good role model for my sister so I gave up smoking, make good choices, try not to swear (at least around her) and learned to have a positive outlook on life. I generally try to surround my sister with a lot of positivity, I never want her to grow up with a negative outlook on life.

Having A Friend For Life

There may be a 20+ year age gap between us but that will never matter, I’ll always be her best friend and she’ll always be mine. I cannot wait to watch her reach her milestones and share so many amazing memories with her.

In some ways my sister saved me, she made me realise that life is perfect and wonderful. I feel truly honoured to have the title of Big Sister!

Bea xo

Mothers Day Gift Ideas

All Mums are different and most are certainly hard to buy for! Heres a few Mothers Day gift ideas to get you started.

For The Health Conscious

Tea – There’s nothing better than a cuppa and they’re super healthy I personally love buying people loose leaf teas as they taste the best and there’s less waste as they don’t require tea bags. Kusmi Tea is my personal favourite, with lots of flavours to chose from you’ll likely find something Mum loves.

Healthy Snacks – If she loves something sweet but doesn’t want the calories Nakd bars are a good choice, the blueberry muffin and cherry Bakewell ones are to die for and only £2.75 a pack!

For The One That Love A Pamper

Spa Day – Most Gyms/Health clubs offer spa sessions usually with a treatment thrown in for around £50+

At Home Pamper – Who says you need to go to a spa for a good old pamper session?! Superdrug sell a ton of gorgeous face masks for as little as 99p! LUSH bath bombs are also great to create a spa-like experience at home.

For The Thrill Seeker

Outdoor Pursuits – Activities such as abseiling, quad biking and wall climbing will defiantly give her a day to remember!

Theme parks – If your Mum is looking for a seriously adrenaline filled day out Theme Parks are the only answer! Personally this year I will be taking my Mum to Thorpe Park to check out their new Walking Dead Ride! Tip: Book in advance online to save some money!

For The Foodie

Homemade Hamper – Buy a box and fill it full of her favourite foods! Try to get a good selection of sweet and savoury so she’ll feel spoilt for choice.

For The Nature Lover

Nature Walks – Whether it’s in the woods or by the seaside there’s nothing better than just getting out for a walk and observing nature. Take a picnic if the weather is good and hunt for the perfect place to have lunch.

Plant Shopping – Take a trip to your local garden centre to buy Mum the perfect plant.

For The History Fan

Tour Of Your Home Town – If your Mum loves anything about history, read up on the history in your hometown and take her on a tour, stopping off for lunch or a picnic somewhere interesting.

For The Animal Lover

Visit Your Local Farm Or Zoo – Spend the day at the Zoo or Farm just admiring the animals or opt or a VIP experience where you can feed some animals and help the keepers.

Nature Trail – Take a bag of plain nuts or seeds along and feed the squirrels and birds. To make it extra fun and have a competition to see who can spot the most animals.

For The One Who Has Everything

Homemade Food – Food always tastes better when someone else cooks it for you whether you make her dinner or a batch of cookies she’ll love it either way!

Visit Her Favourite Restaurant – Definitely always a winner and there’s no washing up to be done!

Whatever you do for your Mum on Mothers Day she’ll be grateful, she’ll most likely just want to spend time with you so don’t worry too much!

Bea xo

Things I’ve Learned Since Moving Out

My Relationship With My Parents Is Better

My parents and I have always had a strained relationship, we are all very stubborn so when living together we didn’t mix very well. Seeing them now feels more like a treat than a chore making our time together more special.

Paying Bills Is More Important Than Buying Luxuries

As much as I would rather buy more clothes than paying my bills, being in debt is the worst! When I first moved out at 17 I always put my social life first and ended up getting myself into BAD debt. The stress of having debt took a serious toll on my health and I realised I would rather be sat indoors watching a movie debt free than out spending my rent money on a good time. It’s a good idea to figure out your budget before accidentally overspending.

Fake Friends

Some of my “Friends” where only hanging around because I had the freedom of my own home. They would come round and trash my flat, eat my food, expect to stay around all the time and generally disrespect my home. Once I decided enough was enough and I stopped letting them round as much they stopped talking to me.

Freedom

It’s the little things that I enjoy the most like, watching what I want on Tv, Eating what I want for dinner and staying up as late as I want without annoying other people.

Eating Well

When you’ve got the freedom to buy your own food, of course, you’re going to want to eat yummy things. After gaining 6st from constantly eating junk I decided I need to look after my health and eat better. Research recipes to try keeps things fun in the kitchen even if it’s only once or twice a week.

Nights In Become Perfect

There’s nothing I love more than curling up on the sofa, watching a movie and eating popcorn. I used to hate spending the nights at home but now it just feels so perfect.

Buying Furniture Is Expensive

One of the things I never thought about before moving out, I guess I had never looked at prices for beds, sofas etc. If you’re planning on moving out I would suggest you save up some extra money for furniture as its super expensive.

Don’t Paint Walls Bright Colours If Your “Style” Is Always Changing

I’m one of these people who love to switch things up and change them often. The biggest mistake I made was painting a wall a really dark colour and buying pink curtains. As much as I loved my pink curtains it was SO hard to find anything to match. All my walls and furniture are now white or grey, this makes it easier for me to change the colour of throw cushions, bedding and candles etc so I can make things look different each season.

Washing Clothes Properly

The first time I washed my clothes I stuck a bright red jumper in with a bunch of light colours on the hottest wash possible. 1. The cycle lasted 3 hours! 2. All of my clothes turned pink. Not my proudest moment, it’s worth taking time separating your washing into piles according to colours and making sure you wash at the correct temperature.

Writing Lists Before Going Shopping

When I go shopping I always think “I need 7 days worth of food” but I forget things like washing up liquid, cleaning spray and tin foil. Lists are your best friend! As soon as you run out of something write it on your shopping list so you don’t end up paying double the price for it at the corner shop.

Being An Adult 

I hate the word adult. I don’t want to be one… but I guess I am. As much as I hate being an adult I’m so grateful for everything I have now and I feel like I have earned the Adult title. It’s all part of growing up and entering the next stage of your life. It has its ups and down but it gets me excited for my future! I guess the only way is up!

What have you learned from moving out?

Bea xo

My Domestic Abuse Story *Trigger Warning*

This is not something I never thought I would be sharing with the world. However, I feel I may help people who are currently suffering or have suffered domestic abuse. This is my story, how I escaped, what happened after and how I am affected still.

Get comfortable cause this will be a long one.

When I was 14 I had a HUGE crush on a guy, let’s call him John. I did what most young people do when they have a crush, I followed him about with my friends, went bright red when seeing him and generally acted like a stereotypical school girl who has a crush.

Like most secrets at school, they never stay secret for very long, word got out that I fancied him, I tried to avoid him as much as possible and denied my feelings when questioned.

Fast forward a few weeks, my friend called me to say she had been chatting to John on MSN and he admitted he also fancied me! I screamed with joy and immediately got dressed to go tell my other friends. John had given his number to my friend to pass on to me so I could text him. With the support of my friends I wrote the all-important “Hey its Bekah” text, I remember feeling so nervous about the whole thing it felt like hours before he replied, even though it had only been a few minutes. After texting back an forth for a few hours he asked me to be his girlfriend. I felt like I had won the lotto! I said yes of course even though I had never had a face to face conversation with him before. We arranged to meet up the next day.

In the beginning, things where perfect, it wasn’t until a month later I noticed things beginning to go downhill. I was out loitering around the local shops like teenagers do with John and my friend Sophie(not her real name), I got a phone call from my parents to say I had to come home for dinner, so I left Sophie and John alone.

An hour later I returned to him sat with his head in his hands and her looking at me like a guilty dog, she told me she had to go and left me and John alone. When I approached him he walked away from me calling me a sl*t, obviously, I questioned him as to why I was a sl*t and he proceeded to tell me that Sophie told him everything about my past with guys. What past? Turns out Sophie decided to tell him that I had already slept with a guy and he was not my first boyfriend, which was all lies! I tried to explain to him that it was not true and at one point I remember us screaming at each other in an alleyway, that was the first time he hit me. One full whack slap across my face, at first I didn’t feel pain, I just stood there in shock holding my face. John pulled me in to hug me repeating “I’m sorry, I’ll never do that again” over and over. Lies.

After that day I never felt the same, it was like something inside of me broke. He became obsessive of me, He would leave for school early so he could walk me to school and walk me home, I was not allowed to walk to and from classes without him beside me. He would wait outside my classes and if he wasn’t there I had to wait for him. From the outside, my classmates always thought he was super cute walking me too and from classes like a gentleman but that wasn’t the case. When walking about together he would hold my hand in a way that he could push my thumb backwards when we walked past groups of boys in order to remind me not to look at them.

The slaps escalated into punching, kicking, spitting.. you name it. John even hit me at school, if I cried he would put his hand over my mouth so our classmates could not hear me. I lost all of my friends as he told them I secretly hated them and bitched about them behind their backs. I was isolated.

My home life wasn’t much better, my parents were always “occupied” so they were never home, making my home the perfect place for the abuse to happen. I remember he kicked my dog so hard he yelped, when I went over to my dog to see if he was okay he dragged me up by my hair, I grabbed a broom to protect myself but he got it off me and hit me multiple times across my back and legs whilst I held my dog to protect him. I very quickly learned the abuse would not last as long if I did not fight back, so a lot of the time I remained still and hoped he would stop soon.

By the time our 1st anniversary came along I was emotionless, I was just a shell covered in bruises. We went to Thorpe Park for our anniversary, the day was going well, no arguments, no hitting. He was planning out future and for a second I thought he was going to change for me. Maybe an hour later he forced me out of the line for vortex as he thought I was “checking out” a group of lads. Round side of the ride he tried to slap me, but as I moved back to avoid the blow he caught his nail on my nose, leaving quite a nasty cut that bled so much it was dripping down my face. People saw me crying, people witnessed what happened and done nothing I truly believed that I would never escape and no one would care.

After John worked out that his nails where a good weapon that he could easily hide he kept them long. Digging them into my hands, arms and legs with enough force to break my skin and make me bleed. My arms are still covered in scars to this day.

Friendless and broken I wished for days to end just so I could sleep. Sleep was the only escape I had from the hell I was living in.

There were a few times John was almost caught, my Mum came home just after he had head-butted and split my lip open, he told her some elaborate story about me having a fight at school before quickly leaving covered in my blood. Another time my Dad had heard me screaming from outside the house and came steaming in demanding to know what was going on. Both times we made up cover stories… The only reason I covered for him was because I was scared. In a way, John was my escape from my sh*tty home life and now I had no friends he was my only escape.

In the last few months of our relationship, John had thrown a shoe at me but it missed and went straight through my bedroom window, my parents forced his parents to pay for my window to be fixed. After the window incident, he was not welcome in our home anymore. Seen as we were forced to spend a lot of time at his house where his parents were always home, I thought the abuse wouldn’t be so bad. Yet again I was wrong, in one particular beating he spat into my face and I screamed “don’t f*cking spit in my face!!” he shoved his hand over my mouth and begged me to be quiet, his Dad called him to come downstairs.

I thought “this is it, someone knows, they’ll help me for sure” John returned and smirked at me… I knew what that smirk meant.

That wasn’t the last time Johns parents listened to their 15-year-old son beat his girlfriend and not do anything about it.

John had taken nude photos of me and also blackmailed me to send him nudes, he proceeded to show his friends all the pictures. He had always told me I was fat and ugly, my boobs where wonky and gross so when I found out people had seen my nudes I was so embarrassed. One of the guys he was showing my nudes to added me on MSN and told me how out of order he thinks John is etc (let’s call this guy Sam).

Sam was a nice guy, I had never had spoken to him directly before but he was really supportive in regards to John being an ass. Sam gave me his number so I could text him so I wrote it down and hid it in my underwear drawer as John regularly checked my phone to make sure I’m not talking to boys. I felt guilty but I texted Sam every night for a few weeks.

Sam and I decided to skip our afternoon classes and meet up to talk about Johns behaviour, We spent all day walking through woods whilst I let everything out about the abuse. Sam was shocked at the extent John went through to torture me and he encouraged me to end it.

So I did. With Sam’s support, I simply sent a text to John saying “its over, I never want to see you again”. This is the first time in a year and a half that I finally took control of my life and put an end to the abuse! At 3 pm Sam walked me home, as we were approaching my house we saw John standing outside… John came steaming over shouting “wtf is going on?!” I told Sam to go home as I did not want them to fight. I told John things where over and I wanted him to leave me alone. I warned him, my parents, where home and he left.

I had never felt so strong in my life! One text, that’s all it took I should have done this sooner!

The next day I woke up feeling like a new person, the old me was back! As I was never allowed to wear makeup I decided to go all out with liner and eyeshadow (which might I add looked dreadful) and I even put a bow in my hair (that looked equally as awful but bows where a thing back then don’t judge me.)

I left my house feeling confident to get my life back, I as walked onto the cycle track I saw him walking towards me. I turned around and started walk towards the back entrance of the school. John ran after me and asked me “where are you going dressed like a wh*re? To see Sam?” I ignored him, he then ripped the bow from my hair and threw it into the floor.

I picked my bow up looked him dead in the eye and said: “this is exactly why we are over”. I decided not to go to the school that day as I couldn’t handle seeing him. I spent all day indoors texting Sam (who was at school) he told me that word had got round that John and I were no longer together and Sam had told my cousin who attended the same school what John had done to me.

That day my cousin and his friends beat the living hell out of John when he was on his way home from school, I felt sorry for him? Why?! I convinced my Mum to let me have the rest of the week off school because I was “ill”.

For the rest of the week he walked past my house after school blaring Taking Back Sunday – Make damn Sure which was my favourite song at the time. I know he was only doing it to intimidate me, and after I realised it was him I ignored it.

Monday came and I was actually excited to go to school for once. When I got there I tried to build bridges with old friends, and in short, I was basically told to F off. Everyone was staring at me, whispering when I walked past, giving me dirty looks… anyone would think I was the one who had been beating him! I still had zero friends, expect Sam but we did not acknowledge each other at school. I was walking to health and social class and a couple of girls from my year were standing outside the door, they looked at me like I was dirt. I heard them saying “yeah apparently she lied about John beating her up and all the boys went and jumped him for no reason. The sl*g”

Who doesn’t love a bit of victim shaming on a Monday morning, and it wasn’t the last time I heard it from students or teachers.

Seeing John about was defiantly easier than I expected. In the classes we had together I could feel his eyes burning into me, watching my every move, especially around guys, a few times he would purposely barge into me in the hallways. Considering the extent of the abuse I went through when we were together the odd barge in the hallway was nothing.

I didn’t take long to make new friends, and life got easier for me. My home life was pretty awful still so I was always out to avoid it. Life at school was still awful, I had a lot of suppressed emotions and I took them out of people closest to me. When teachers shouted out me I got severely triggered and I acted out. I was that stereotypical “bad kid” who was super annoying, a lot of people thought I was an attention seeking cow bag. I started to bunk off school all the time to escape seeing him and feeling intimidated by teachers and students. I did not know how to handle my emotions anymore, I spent so long not feeling anything.

I opened up to a support officer about what John had done to me, she called his parents in to talk to them about it. As I was waiting for my friends I saw John and his parents leave the support officers room. John approached me smirking. “Do you think your funny? Even Mrs Smith(not her real name) said that you’re a bitch and you deserved it”. My heart sank. Even teachers won’t help me?! Isn’t that their job?

The last time I saw Mrs Smith she said: “Johns parents don’t believe he’s capable of doing the things you said, I’m not saying your lying but if you’re not you need to get over it, there’s not long left till you leave school anyways”.

That was the last time I went to school. I could not bear the thought of him strutting about telling people that teachers don’t believe me. The school never contacted my parents after that, no threatening letters about me not being at school, nothing. I never understood why? They were quick enough to call my parents when I had missed one lesson, but when I haven’t been seen in a week at school, with no explanation, they didn’t care?

Fast forward to now.

A lot has happened in 8 years, I got the counselling that I needed to help me overcome depression and to manage my emotions in a healthy way. I moved out into my first flat at 17, Had a couple of bad relationships, I moved into my second flat at 20 and my third at 22. I have a much better relationship with my parents now. My friends are supportive (shout out to Gibbs) I have a gorgeous fur baby who truly keeps me going. And most importantly I have finally found a man who treats me with respect and loves me no matter what. I still flinch if people raise their hand near me and I have anxiety problems that sometimes make my day to day life hard. But I wouldn’t change any of it for the world. I am the way I am because of the things I have experienced.

In the end, I realised that even though some people didn’t believe me, most people did and that’s all that matters to me.

If you notice any signs of Domestic abuse PLEASE get some help. There are people who will listen and help! I was far too young to understand that I could have taken things further and got the justice I deserved. PLEASE do not suffer in silence and never let anybody convince you no one will care because they do!

 Bea xo

If you would like to read more about the signs of abuse and how to get help visit: https://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/abuse/Pages/domestic-violence-help.aspx#Signs

How To Handle A Breakup

Heartbreak is truly one of the worst feelings whether you’ve broken up with your partner or a friend it’s never easy. Here a few tips I have on how to handle a breakup.

Give Yourself Time to Grieve

You’re essentially morning a loss of something that was once special, so give yourself time to be sad, angry and hurt. If that means you cry and scream into your pillow that’s fine, its the beginning of the process. Remember these feelings won’t last forever.

Don’t Contact Them

As hard as it is, reframe from texting and calling your ex as they are likely hurting too. (as hard as that is to imagine but you once where a big part of their life) Contacting them will likely increase the tension between you and make things worse in the long run. Instead, surround yourself with friends and family, tell them how you’re feeling it will help.

Remove Items That Remind You Of Him/Her

The last thing you want to see is photos of you and him/her scattered all over the place, take them down and get rid of them. If you’re not ready to throw them away right now, put them under your bed or in the bottom of your wardrobe so your not reminded of him/her every time you enter your room. This includes removing your ex from social media.

Avoid Diving Into Another Relationship

When your heart is broken you might be tempted to look for someone to fill that void. It’s very unfair to get into a relationship with someone whilst you’re still hung up over your ex, you’ll likely just end up putting yourself in a miserable situation.

Enjoy Being On Your Own

After losing someone you spent a lot of time with you’re bound to feel lonely. Try to enjoy your own company, pamper yourself, reorganise your room, watch that movie that he/she hated but you loved.

Think Of The Reasons Why You’re Better Off Without Them

There is a huge benefit to this. For example, if your ex-didn’t want you to go to a certain place or apply for a certain job you now have the freedom to do so. Try writing down reasons why you’re better off and referring back to them as and when you need to.

Love Yourself

Learning to love yourself is most likely the hardest thing to do. Remind yourself you’re beautiful, kind and caring. Love everything about yourself, you deserve to be happy and comfortable in your own skin as its the safest place to be!

What To Do If You’ve Been Struggling For A While

It happens, and it’s completely normal! Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to contact your doctor and let them know how you’re feeling, especially if it is affecting your day to day life. You could benefit from some therapy sessions to help manage your emotions.

 

I hope you found some of my tips on how to handle a breakup helpful.

If you have anything to add please feel free to leave it in the comments below.

Bea xo