Going the Distance Does Not Work

19 May

Drew Barrymore‘s and Justin Long‘s characters Erin and Garrett respectively in Going the Distance may cutely enough display a couple griped against a long distance relationship but as with any RomCom give a ‘happily ever after ending’ rather than the truth.

The truth being that Going the Distance doesn’t actually work. Why do I say this? Am I so negative, so close-minded as to not consider maybe their tale be true? Well there might be some truth in that but my truth is that it doesn’t work. How do I know? Because my long distance relationship didn’t work out. I should have known from the beginning it was doomed.

We met online, my girlfriend and me, not through a dating website mind, but a website called Tumblr. Back then in March 2011 you would find, mainly girls, fangirling over TV Shows, movies, actresses and actors. I’d joined Tumblr in May 2010 with the user name ‘seekerbaby’ for the TV Show Legend of the Seeker which typically had been cancelled after two years at this point. The term seekerbaby came from the leading actress Bridget Regan were she tweeted and called seeker fans seeker babies.

Anyway so yes we were both on tumblr, fangirling about Legend of the Seeker and Bridget Regan (and her tweets) and somehow I jumped her on twitter and after a conversation on MSN we ‘agreed’ to be girlfriends. This was March 20, 2011. My 22nd birthday was on March 22nd (did you get that?!).

Things were blissful for the first two weeks and then we had our first fight in the middle of the night and at 5am we both agreed it’s because we had wanted to tell the other we loved them days before this time. Seems a little early if you ask me and I was aware of that at the time however I couldn’t help my feelings. Course you have to wonder how you can love someone without seeing or hearing them, just sending text messages but it was my first relationship and I was naive, so was she. Looking back this was pretty silly.

I didn’t tell anyone in my real life about her until after I had visited her twice during the summer. We had to wait five months for our first visit – which highly frustrated me – and maybe should have been the first sign of failure. I hated using my phone for texting as much as I did but once I upgraded my iPhone 3G to 4 that was a massive improvement. She got an iPhone 4 just for me and so when I got mine we could Facetime together.

Before that she made a voicepost on Tumblr and I remember how sexy her voice sounded. She’s German but speaks English fluently so her German accent doesn’t exist. At the time it sounded South African to me but others have told her she sounds Australian, British even, American and funnily enough, German. Ask me now and I don’t think you can tag it to anything, I might say German now in all honesty just because I think I can tell now that I’ve spoken to more Germans.

Our first visit latest three weeks, where the first two were her vacation from nurse training. We didn’t do much – the weather wasn’t that great. It was more a case of getting used to one another and learning things about each other. I probably shouldn’t admit to this but I have such a high sex drive I hope my next girlfriend can match then maybe there might be less sexual frustrations on my end – otherwise it’s a case of sorting myself out! (Oh dear I have gone too far! Just the truth though!).

The third week of the first trip she had to go to school were she is taught about nursing and nursing concepts over practical work in placements at hospitals and clinics. This was a tense week as I had to sit basically not being spoken to (because I don’t speak German) and it was tough for us both. Admittedly I didn’t help myself – I should have learnt some German so as to make things a little easier for myself but I had always done French at school. No one had expectations of me but I think it would have helped everyone. And I hated getting jealous and angry with her when I felt so lonely and abandoned – she never meant for me to feel like that, but I couldn’t keep those feelings away either.

The first time we had to say goodbye, when I had to return to England for university, was excruciatingly awful and painful. One of the worse experiences I’ve ever had. Weeping with tears and broken hearted it was just terrible. I should have learnt from this that I wasn’t strong enough for a long distance relationship. My sister said that if I had found my true love that nothing else mattered and I should leave uni and move to Germany. Pretty glad I didn’t go through with that now! What a mistake that would have been. Where would I be now? Stranded in a foreign country unable to speak the language. It would have been so scary!

Once back in England I spent two days bawling my eyes out which was horrendous and then I spent two weeks in the States with my dad which helped distract me. However I was back in England for one night before I travelled back to Germany for 10 days. (In those 7 weeks I spent 3 days in England!). She had school again, and I can’t remember if this time I stayed at home – I don’t think I did, I think I asked to which made her cry when I explained I felt lonely when I was right next to her. Geez how much attention do I need?! She had her 20th birthday and I think she came down with cold that day so there was a bit of tension between us because we weren’t talking.

We spent a lot of time watching things and sometimes I would get restless because I didn’t want to just sit watching stuff all the time, I wanted to watch her, enjoy her company ‘fully’ chat as much as possible. I think I’m a far more needy than she is although she always said we were as needy as each other. I think this was a problem because we didn’t see things the same or couldn’t agree so there was always tension between us. Or I always put tension between us.

Thinking about it, I was the one who always brought the problems to the table. Picking out this and that. I think genuinely sometimes there were true but perhaps others times I was just looking for trouble. I never seemed to want to let myself be 100% happy – I always needed problems and drama.

I think it went one step too far when I was beginning to get overly stressed with uni work and coursework and my maths module. The teaching wasn’t really working out. She was due to visit me and I stressed she wouldn’t have a good time and dump me. I picked her up from the airport and we were both really excited that first night but I didn’t sleep at all during those first three nights. The forth night I was shattered and ended up having a panic attack through exhaustion and anxiety. My housemates called for an ambulance and I was taken to A&E. I was sent home with Diazapham for ‘hysteria’ – which offended me some and I couldn’t bring myself to look at anyone. I felt humiliated and ashamed and just wanted to be left alone or locked up. I would have anxiety and panic attacks everyday until my housemates rang my mum to come from Sheffield to come pick me up and take me back with her. That was Thursday 22 March and it was my 23rd birthday. I didn’t get any presents and it certainly didn’t feel like my birthday. My girlfriend came with me to Sheffield.

I was admitted to Sheffield Hallamshire hospital for a week where they observed me over the weekend and then had an EEG and MRI scans (which came back negative). I had panic attacks whilst I was here but I think it’s because the stress and anxiety of being lonely and feeling abandoned were all too much. The frustration I would feel when nothing was going on and before I had company. Although saying that I had the company of my girlfriend for most of the day even out of visiting hours and this was starting to get to be too much. I needed space to breath but didn’t feel I could ask for it. She didn’t get along with my mum – who is quite a fusser but at this time she really wasn’t being that way. My girlfriend is spoiled a lot by her family in Germany so this probably didn’t help.

When my sister came from Worcester to stay in Sheffield I think she felt threatened and so this worsened her behaviour. Which didn’t help me. Essentially things were easily going quickly downhill. I was realising that things were going to end.

Once she left it took a few days and then the Sunday after the Thursday I was dismissed from hospital I ended it over text (how weak) without giving any reason. In all honesty I thought I was being taken away and locked away forever.

Panic attacks had crippled my brain and stolen some of my memory. They are the scariest thing I have ever experienced. You feel like you are dying and when I came out of it I was convinced it was 2053, that I was an old woman and everyone I knew had died. A lonely world indeed. It wasn’t until someone spoke to me that I could place who I was and where I was and my correct age. It took until I had proper company for me to be able to even smile and not feel so depressed.

I’ve come along way since then. Although I think I still have my depressed moments. I’m trying to get past that. A lot of it is feeling lonely and being single and not wanting to be. For the longest part of my life I’ve had the biggest trust issues which is why I didn’t have relationships. I’ve always felt unlovable and I’ve slipped back towards that although the past two days or so I feel against this. I’ve been a bit pervy on photos of Lesbians on Tumblr – oops! Some girls are just really fit! They have equally fit girlfriends though. Damn it. Well I need a style change and need to put more effort into my looks then I might pull a real looker and have some really hot sex. Yes I went there.

I don’t regret our relationship and I learnt a lot out of it. I just need to play around a bit until I find a nice girl that wants to be my girlfriend without controlling and manipulating me. Also, no long distance please!

The Chapter About Coming Out For The First Time

11 Jan

This post is a little delayed and there should have been another one preceding this but between desperately trying to crack on with my 3000 word essay and making sure I keep up to date with posting daily at daily pistachio I’ve run out of time everyday!

Nevertheless, let’s get cracking on this now.

I returned ‘home’ (a term I use loosely – an explanation will be made eventually) from spending Christmas and New Year’s at my sister’s last Thursday. Thankfully the house I share with four other girls was empty – I always need a bit of space after leaving my sister because of how much I end up missing her.

Friday however I bumped into my American housemate I see little of and know little about. She’s nice enough. And then another housemate, G*, who I’m very close with came back from London. I knew that if I really wanted to start making changes in my life, in the way I am as a person, I needed to tell her that day that I was now gay.

Up to this point the only people who knew where my sister and my brother-in-law. People that would love me whether I decided I was gay or straight, no matter how unsure or indecisive I was. (I.e. I could have ‘backed out’ of being gay if I really wanted to).

I chatted and caught up with G for a fair while talking about normal things you talk about when you haven’t seen each other for three weeks. We came to a natural close in our conversation and I needed to go for a brief food shop so I went to my room to grab my jacket and money. At this point I really thought that I should just tell her. I’d wanted to when we’d been in conversation before but guess what? I bottled out of it. I was afraid.

What if she thought less of me? What if she wondered just what the hell I was on about? How could I be gay? Three weeks ago I’d been straight and technically ‘involved’ with a guy in our friendship group!

Those thoughts and others about wondering if I really wanted to do this, come out as gay, make it really a part of me, taunted me for about ten minutes. I flitted between my room and the top of the stairs wondering just what to do. And then I decided. I was going to tell her.

I stomped down the stairs, went into her room we had a brief chat about my new purse (I forgot that I was desperately clutching it to my chest) and then I started it. I said ‘I have a confession…’ she immediately, in a non-serious and typical manner for her said ‘what did you do?’

I kissed a girl on Christmas Eve. I think I’m gay.”

And do you know what her reaction was? Absolutely nothing to worry about. She asked quite a few questions, most of which I didn’t have the answer to for myself yet, but she accepted it and that was that and I popped off to the shop to get my food.

The best thing about it all is that nothing about our friendship or our dynamic of living together has changed. I know for at least two days after telling her I worried that things would be different but there is literally nothing different from before.

That’s when you know you have a beautiful, honest friendship and G will always have my gratitude for that.

That same evening my male best friend, W, wanted to see me. Me and him get along extremely well. I had once convinced myself he was my perfect husband, and we do have history (that none of our friends know about) but we couldn’t get along better as friends and for that he means a lot to me.

When I settled into thinking I was gay I knew that W needed to be one of the first people I told. I know things about him none of our friends know and we just have a special comfortable friendship that I knew I could pour my honesty into and not regret it.

So I told him. Pretty much the same as I told G – “I kissed a girl. I think I’m gay… etc” and he took it so easily! He was actually relieved to hear I’d ended things with the ‘involved boy’ (who he lives with!) and it was an extremely straightforward conversation.

The second round time of actually saying to someone “I’m gay” was a lot easier than the first. Unfortunately I haven’t seen anyone else since because I’m dying to just get it out there now! There are some people I’m still fearful about regarding their possible reactions but again I’ll know who I really can count on once I’ve told them.

My advice to anyone that’s coming out to that first person is tell someone you’re close with. The beauty of mine and G’s friendship is that she spent some time in hospital for something that could have been extremely serious and I looked after her. I cut up her food and fed her fork to her. I tucked her into bed. I stayed by her side whilst she slept. We’re close from that because I’ve seen her at her most vulnerable and was right there ready to be there for her. Find someone who you can show your vulnerable side to. Chances are they’ll be just as easy to talk to as G was for me. My sister also played a massive part in me even being able to tell anyone else. We are as close as sisters get.

Don’t be afraid. Or more to the point, don’t bottle out of it. If I’d bottled out of telling G and W what I did, when I did how much worse would I have felt if I’d waited a few weeks, a month, to tell them even though I’d know for much longer? How much harder would it have been if I’d kept it a secret to myself? I probably would have talked myself out of being gay by that point! It’s OK to be afraid and scared, but that’s why you tell the people you trust the most first because they’ll put up with anything from you and still love you. Start sharing with people as soon as you can and have courage about it. You’ll feel bloody amazing just after the first time, let alone the second. Keep it going.

Always be aware of how you’re feeling through the process. If I had a list of all the different emotions I’ve been going through it literally wouldn’t ever end. Never condemn yourself for feeling a particular way at any particular time, just be aware of it and see if you can help yourself productively.

Remember you are never alone. If you genuinely don’t feel like you have someone to talk to there are plenty of people online ready and waiting to help and listen to you. I haven’t visited may gay websites yet but Diva does have a forum and if nothing else do a google search. Better than that, talk to me. I’m here and going through it all as well, just like you.

* to protect identities I’ll be using initials that only have meaning for me.

daily pistachio

2 Jan

Just to point out that my posts for ‘Post a Day‘ are at:

daily pistachio

More posts coming here soon. (I’m supposed to be writing a 3000 word essay on oil drilling in the Arctic…) ;-)

Prologue

30 Dec

Any story, or journey might I say, has a beginning, middle and end. Simple enough, it seems. But have you ever wondered where or how a story actually begins? Surely it’s not within the first few words, sentences or paragraphs that you are first introduced to? Surely it lies somewhere within the initial spark of an idea, an idea of a story to tell or a journey to undertake…

My story could begin in any matter of places. It could start with my first girl-on-girl kiss that was a dare in a dark but oddly large broom cupboard at Sixth Form. It could start a few years earlier when I could have sworn my best friend was trying to swoon me. Or it could start with the endlessness of my mother and sister telling me I was gay from a rather young age. Or better yet it could start from the drunken night where I kissed a girl completely of my own accord. Although I was hideously drunk and remember very little of the entire evening. Not the best beginning to a story, eh?

You know I’m not sure if there even is a beginning to this whole malarkey. Nevertheless my story posts shall be entitled some sort of ‘Chapter-ness’ but not with a number, and never, ever with the inclination of there being any kind of order to them.

What this shall be is my own exploration and journey into a world I never before, allowed myself the indulgence of delving into; the ‘world’ of being gay.

The name Gay Pride Blanket refers not to something ‘blanketing’ my gayness as it were, the complete opposite in fact. But you’ll learn that all out soon enough…

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