Life, mental health, self love

Some sort of ‘love’ story…

So, we are still in Magaluf. The trip that changed my life completely, in many ways.

A few weeks after what happened in my last post, I was at work selling jelly shots as normal when I met a group of squaddies. They bought most of my tray so I stayed and had some banter with them. I went back and forth to their table a couple of times that night, they were good buyers and I thought one of them was quite cute, let’s call him “Squaddie” for obvious reasons. It turns out that he thought the same about me. We chatted and flirted for a little while that night and then I went off with an extra spring in my step but thought no more of it.

A few days later, I saw Squaddie again. He was alone at a table where I worked, waiting for me. He told me that he had been in every night since and had ditched his friends to find me as they were a little sick of hanging round the same bar every night. I told him that I couldn’t talk, I had to work, so he bought my whole tray of shots so I’d talk to him. He was treating me differently to the way most men would. I fast became his “little angel”.

After work that night, we went on a sort of date. He had waited in the bar for me while I sorted out my tray and cash, he was pacing when I got back, saying he thought I’d ditched him. We got a few drinks and went for splash in the sea, we talked and laughed. He told me that I was too good for the life I was living. It was all a bit much but it was all I wanted to hear. It had been a year since my mother had passed and so much had happened in that time with exes and friends that I just felt so alone.

I was crying out for love.

After Squaddie flew home to Newcastle the next day, he found me on Facebook and begged me to buy a new phone as mine had been stolen at the beach. I did and he would phone me daily, never talking to me for less than a couple of hours. I thought that this was a bit much but rationalised it as me not being used to men being nice to me. Besides, he was going to Afghanistan soon and wanted someone waiting for him. He asked me daily if I’d write to him, I agreed that I would.

Over the next few weeks until he went, he got more and more obsessive. He didn’t like me being a shot girl anymore- because people would treat me worse than I deserved. If I didn’t answer my phone- was I with someone else? That sort of thing.

We spoke about it a little and he said it was just nerves about going away and his friends had been teasing him about me. I didn’t really take that as a warning sign, I was just happy he cared enough to be jealous.

We weren’t in a relationship yet, but I knew we would be soon. I was over the moon as I felt like he might love me one day.

I was desperate to be loved.

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Life, mental health, self love

Chasing the summer dream

It didn’t take long to prepare to spend the summer in Magaluf. I planned it all out with one of my best friends (who was going to come with me), bought a one way ticket, gave notice at work and that was pretty much it.

I didn’t give any notice with the flat as I owed so much rent at that point that I doubt I would have been welcome there much longer. I did, however, offer my furniture back to D’s parents. They took me out for a goodbye/good luck dinner and told me that they didn’t want anything back and to sell what I could for a bit more financial security.

As the end of my notice period got closer, I got more and more excited to leave. My friend and I spent so much time talking about what we would do there and how fun it would be. She would be there first- on holiday – then I would join a couple of days before she was due to fly home. Solid plan. Or so we thought.

The day came to leave and all last minute plans were made. A friend of a friend (P) was doing the same so we had it all arranged to fly together. My brother in law (B) took us to Cardiff airport, my eldest sister took my keys to hand back to the council and that was it.

On the flight, we met someone who already worked out there so asked for (and accepted) loads of tips and advice. He shared a taxi from Palma with us when we got there and told us where to find him if we needed anything. I didn’t think we would need much, if anything, as I had my plans with my friend. When I got to her hotel things started to go wrong quite quickly.

There was no room for P, and my friend really didn’t look well. P and I found a room of our own in a hotel on the strip and set out to look for somewhere to live and a job the next day. Luckily enough, we had received tips on where to ask for a cheap room so getting a place to live wasn’t hard.

I managed to get a trial in a bar that night but it didn’t work out. All that time behind the bar at the rugby club didn’t help me- I am naturally a truly terrible barmaid!

I had a night out with my girls on my second night- right after moving in to the apartment and failing my first job trial. I decided that I’d look for a job the next day with my best friend when the rest of the girls had flown home.

It did not work out that way, not at all!

It turned out that my best friend had contracted swine flu and needed to go home. I was on my own!

I didn’t really know what to do in a different country with no real friends so I did what any 19 year old would do in Magaluf. I partied, I sunbathed, I worked (selling jelly shots) and partied some more. I made friends with my flat mates. There were 2 girls and a guy already living there when P and I first moved in. The guy started to try it on with me immediately but I put it down to him being a chancer with all the ladies and laughed it off.

I was having lots of fun blocking out all the pain I’d been feeling in Wales. Or I thought I was at least.

In reality, my self esteem was getting lower and lower and the risky situations I was getting myself into were unreal and this was my first job there (the quiet, family vibe, safe one). I was disrespecting myself and my body from the get go. I didn’t realise that I had a duty of care to myself.

I won’t berate my teenage self for this now as it’s not deserved. It’s easy to go off the rails when you feel so worthless and full of pain. And besides, even the stuff that comes next made me who I am so I can’t regret or want to change it.

I love who I am.