Falling Out of Love

On a beach in Tenerife last summer, with sand blowing in my eyes and something like joy burning in my heart, I realised that I was in love with someone who I knew could never love me back. In October, my heart was thoroughly broken when I was proven right and in November, those feelings had decreased to a painful roar. By December, they’d pretty much gone completely. Whilst realising I had those feelings in the first place was certainly terrifying, the most upsetting part was watching them fade. I want to talk about that now, when it doesn’t feel like the world is falling apart.

Falling out of love is just as it sounds: you fall. The strength of the sadness is shown by whether the eventual crash to the ground is painful or not; whether you’re left miserable for months afterwards or whether the very idea of feelings scares you now. It’s the slow creeping of dread when something happens that shakes your world enough for feelings to go. In short, it hurts but it’s not the sharp pain of heartbreak: it’s slow, draining and you’re left exhausted by the end of it. However, you’re left without those feelings and that can be a good thing.

I’ve “fallen out of love” three distinct times. The first was from a toxic “friendship” that was so beautiful to start off with but it turned into something I depended on in the most unhealthy ways. The second was peaceful but equally as painful; it was realising that there are some utterly right people at the wrong times. At the third, where I didn’t know what was right or wrong, I utterly shattered. I’ve been told that for months, I was blank and so unhappy; I only remember that time in the most distant of ways. However, for all the heartbreak, each separate instance taught me new things. For that reason, I’m glad that they happened: each consecutive one hurt me worse but I gained a whole lot of perspective from them.

The loss of friends and feelings showed me that processing things, for me, can be quite difficult. I realised, the third time, that I had been purposefully blocking myself from thinking or expressing what I wanted, so much so that all of it would be suppressed until it was tangibly ripped away from me. This is why things have been so horrible; I haven’t given myself time to understand how I reacted in the past, or how other people might have reacted to me. I didn’t blame anyone for it and whilst I don’t blame anyone now, I never truly spoke about things the way I needed to. This summer is about understanding both myself and others; I’ve got potentially years’ worth of events to untangle in my head.

After I came to that realisation last summer, I started to write it all down. In the notes on my phone is a specific set of thoughts, going from 22 August to 1 September, essentially documenting what I was feeling. I had no other way to let it out. When I read over them a few days ago, it brought me back to those days but I was also so shocked at how at times happy and at times confused I was. In the mayhem of losing feelings afterwards, the positive aspects of those feelings withered away so that all I could think about was the losing, rather than the love itself. That love was so beautiful and as I still have a lot of respect for the person in question, I almost felt guilty about reading back on what I’d written.

I think back to that windy August day on a Tenerife beach and feel an acute sense of sadness but also this aching nostalgia. When I wonder what could have been, I try to remember how it was to lose feelings so strong that surviving without them seemed impossible. Well – I survived – and I don’t want to have to go back to those desperate wishes to just stop feeling like this, to just please stop because I couldn’t breathe from the unhappiness. Remembering myself back then isn’t filled with regret: it’s just sorrow that the loss of such feelings affected me so deeply.

Now, I’m in a place where the loss of feelings hasn’t occurred in a long while. I still get moments where I think about situations and get a wild spike of remembered pain but it’s not a current pain. I want to have closure – even after all this time – and sometimes, it’s very difficult to let the past be the past when it’s informed so much of what I am now. Getting closure isn’t the same as “dragging up” old memories. It’s taking those old incidents and making something new from them.

Perhaps I’ll speak to the person about how I was feeling – to all of them, if I can. Perhaps I should have done that before writing and perhaps writing this will have unpleasant consequences. I can’t bring myself to mind. I’ve spent too long holding my own mouth closed that it’s time I spoke, a little, about how I felt when I couldn’t at the time.

I don’t want warped and ruined memories any more. I want to be able to look back on the times where I was in love or when I fell out of it without the accompanying fury about myself. When I think of “falling out of love”, I don’t want to think of the crash: I want to think of the happy and the bittersweet moments, without that becoming something to obsess over.

I can’t exactly pretend that I never felt anything in the first place. All I can do is understand that they happened and that that’s okay.

I wish I could have spoken about it on my blog a bit more. However, back then, I was afraid and unable to think clearly, the thoughts too fragmented. Maybe now, I’ll start to have that freedom without simply running.

Have you ever fallen out of love? How did that affect you?

From Elm πŸ™‚

In Which I Met a Girl

Hello,
I bring to you, my most likely exasperated readers, the first proper Elm-love-life-update in, probably, a year. It’s the start of one. It’s the feelings. It’s the freedom I haven’t had in ages because for once, the person I’ll be talking about won’t be reading this. I need to talk about it so I don’t forget that I’m capable of this kind of feeling, writing, again.

Today, I met a girl. I’ll call her Pearl for the purposes of this blog because I want to give her a name at least connected to nature. We started speaking about a week and a half ago, online; even saying that makes me feel like people are judging me because it was on a dating app. I signed up to it because I’ve been feeling really uncomfortable with some internalised, unpleasant thoughts about my sexuality because of what people have said to me before (a post on that to come!). However, I didn’t start speaking to her as a way to “prove” something to myself. I started speaking to her because she was interesting, funny; because the first conversation we had included reasons why certain types of boxes were great; because I dn’t have to tone myself down like I have to do with some other people.

Every single day since then, we’ve spoken, as if we’ve known each other for ages. When she told me she liked YA novels, I shrieked out loud. When I fangirled about Simon vs., Autoboyography and books in general, I messaged her. Most of our fangirling conversations include all capitals and I don’t feel like I’c being annoying. My insecurities aren’t gone when I speak to her but they aren’t all-consouming and don’t make me want to shut down.

It wasn’t until earlier this week that I talked about meeting. Usually, I’m more cautious than this: I wait for a while before meeting people from online and often get terrified beforehand. With her, I suggested it, convinced she’d say no. We’d exchanged numbers a few days before and in my typical fashion, I said it in the cringiest way possible (including the fact that I was cringing in my message). When I asked if she wanted to meet, instead of ignoring me, she replied with “OMG YESS” and I was so happy that this was going well that I laughed. I’m not used to this, as you can tell. Then, I was done with being too cautious. I didn’t even pretend to not be apprehensive: I was nervous but not scared. I wanted to meet her because my disability wasn’t a talking point for her, because my talk of my family and endless wailing about things I loved didn’t put her off. She didn’t dismiss me or make me feel small.

When I talked to Wren about it, the only one who knew about it properly before it happened apart from my dad (for safety, just in case), I spoke about it in the most carefree way. I got taken over by this feeling that seemed foreign only because I hadn’t experienced it for a long time. It was anticipation. I was doing something I wanted to do, casually and without a massive fanfair, but it was still important. Pearl and I spoke on the phone and our planning turned into a conversation diversion about friends, our inability to plan and then finally some concrete ideas about when, where and how.

This morning, still tired from going out to London yesterday, I did a bit of creative “lying” to my mum. As she wouldn’t be okay with me seeing anyone I met online, least of all a girl, I told her I was meeting Ivy who you can read about here. I’d been texting Pearl all this time, figuring out which bus she was arriving in on so that I went to the right place. In the car journey on the way there, I kept smiling widely, to the point where my mum got suspicious and asked, “Are you meeting your secret boyfriend?” I burst out laughing, couldn’t stop and then told her that was bullshit.

When Pearl eventually found me, after my mum left, we hugged and I probably acted painfully weirdly. It was so natural from the start of it; we both already knew we were shit at making decisions and so our first stop was Costa. We stayed in there for an hour and a half, talking constantly about instruments, books, relationships and only remembering to order something when we were asked by someone who was most likely getting irritated by our chatter and me occasionally raising my voice to more than a conversational murmur. By the time we got out, it was gone 12 and because the weather was lovely, we decided to go to the nearby park.

Walking along the path in the quiet with her, whilst the sun shone on the right side of my face, felt so open. It was then we spoke about our childhoods and how cringey we were, regailing each other with stories that made me laugh so loudly that I’m sure it reverberated around the place we were standing. I never usually go out anywhere with people like that, mainly because I only have 3 friends who live near me who I’d be comfortable just wandering around with. This felt different: it felt relaxed.

It continued like this for the whole day, through lunch and when she came to my house. We sat on beanbags as she showed me videos of her when she was younger and I cried with laughter; she saw my infamous ornament shelf in my room and far too soon, it was quarter to five and we’d lost track of time. I remember thinking that I didn’t want the day to end because I’d felt absolutely comfortable, not like I was pretending to be funny or happy or anything. It felt right and when we hugged goodbye and she said we had to see each other again because this day was nice, I echoed it back to her and told her I’d had a great day. We’d spent the time talking about our lives and there wasn’t a second of our conversations that I wish I hadn’t said.

It’s safe to say I “like” her, in a way. I’m trying to not rush headlong into these feelings, or the beginnings of them, because that’s got me nowhere before. However, what’s so wrong with having them? Why is it that I’m holding myself back? It’s a fear of judgement, which I didn’t feel today. The day wasn’t romantic; we didn’t kiss, we didn’t hold hands; I certainly didn’t act more strangely than I usually do.

I thought I wasn’t able to do this anymore. To breathe and live, like I was worth something more than the twisted version of myself that appears inside my thoughts. I didn’t even have to try. I don’t have “feelings” for her but I might be on my way there and I know it sounds ridiculous, after a week and a half, but I need to cut myself some slack. It’s okay to have non life-altering, non earth-shattering feelings. It’s okay to be happy with that. It’s okay that the consequences, however scary they might be, won’t upset me as much as the last few times.

I’m okay and I’ve had an amazing day. I miss her and I know she didn’t feel the depth of emotion I felt today but I’m really glad that she wanted to spend time with me, genuinely, because she thinks I’m not boring or dull or any of the adjectives I describe myself to be. She’s not on a pedestal for me: she’s a person who makes me smile in a way that I thought was lost.

To the majority of my friends, this is completely new as I didn’t mention this before, at all. However, I’ve come to realise I’m now incredibly uncomfortable when talking about anything to do with my “love life”. I feel terrible that I didn’t talk about it before but I don’t know how to anymore; I don’t trust like I used to and that makes me feel guilty. I can’t let this ruin my day, though.

I’m not too bothered if people judge me for how I met her because I can live my life and I want to make the most of this time. What’s so wrong about that?

From Elm πŸ™‚

Too Lonely for Poetry

There are things I know I like to do. One is to write creatively, another is to act, another is to have constant personality crises and shout about them on the Internet. Actually, I don’t really like doing that last one but it’s part of my writing and existence and is, occasionally, what keeps me functioning.

Sometimes, I combine all three of these things. I act on the Internet, pretending everything’s fine – or that I can adequately write poetically about my crises and feelings. Most times I can manage but what’s harder to admit is that sometimes it feels like a facade. I want to get rid of that paper lantern and show you what I’m like when I just don’t know. Too often, I find myself harnessing an articulation I don’t feel, to spin sentences out of silk that just isn’t there. See? I’m doing it right now.

When it comes to love or a step away from it, I have too many feelings to process and unpick. I don’t know how to handle any of them. It’s got to the point where it’s impossible for me to talk about them on this blog because I’m desperately scared of sounding immature and also because I’m irrationally paranoid people will find out who it is I talk about and ridicule me forever. In counselling, I attempt to get this out but it doesn’t always work, as I’m still yet to understand how I should approach this.

On one hand, I know what I want to do about my feelings. I know I’m fine with having them – but what are these feelings? How deep do they actually run? What worries me is that I’ll do my usual thing: run away because I convince myself that no one cares and then deprive my own heart of anything that remotely resembles a positive experience. Finally, I thought I was getting somewhere with showing myself I was able to deal with any potential fallout that might happen but, well, no.

Not that there’s a hope in hell of any of my feelings ever being returned, of course. It’s a given now; I’ve lost all hope of ever, genuinely, being what someone would look for. I know I shouldn’t base my worth on what people think but it feels ridiculous to me that anyone could “love” me’ least of all want to tell me that. I keep trying and trying and trying to be strong and secure in my own mind but it’s difficult when I can feel blocked from talking out of fear.

How can I get across the panic I feel at me fucking up again? I don’t know. The best I can do is to tell you I’m scared I’ll be the one to make things too serious, too weird, and then that I’ll show my paranoia and emotions to someone and they’ll just go. I have such a low opinion of myself; I have such deep-rooted and unprocessed issues and the most recent people I’ve had feelings for wouldn’t cope with that. Would they? I don’t know. I don’t like taking chances because when I do, it seems I take the wrong ones.

This was too rambling. This wasn’t detailed enough: I wish I could do an analysis of my own mind. If I’d talked about everything from day 1, not hidden my thoughts from myself, it might be easier. In this post, I’m barely a writer but I’m an actor – I’m still holding it together, surprisingly. My structure and grammar hasn’t gone totally out of the window. I’m still pretending, just that little bit, when I shouldn’t. Blogging is where I can be as honest as I’ll ever be and I can’t forget that.

Maybe I should let things be but I’ve let things be for so long that I’m restless. In a weird way, I want to be proactive. It hurts that I can’t express any feelings openly and one of the only people who could help me with that would never read this.

I feel adrift in a jumble of useless words that mean nothing. I feel powerless and hopeless, unable to express, enclosed and trapped. Fear clenches in my stomach; I constantly have this tightness in my throat because I’ve been here before and it didn’t end well.

The worst thing? I can’t even be honest with myself.

I know exactly how I feel right now. I know how frightening that is. I also know that there’s nothing I can do to stop it and that I need to wait it out until I figure out a way to reconcile myself with it.

Do you ever feel this lonely, too? Do you ever want to ask for help in figuring out your mind but you don’t even know where to start?

From Elm πŸ™‚

I Am Romantically Hopeless

I mentioned to a friend this morning that I’d never gone on a proper date with anyone and that if I ever do, I wouldn’t know what to do. When I reflected on this a few hours later, I couldn’t help laughing because I realised something: when it comes to “romance” of any sort, I am utterly and completely hopeless at it.

All of the ideas of romance, I’ve got from books or the occasional film, when I go out of my prehistoric habitat to watch one. Any experiences I’ve had have usually been me accidentally realising I have feelings for someone, getting confused (and not in the adorable way), attempting to ignore them and then situations happening which I never expected. My first kiss happened when one of my friends was about to leave and I got panicked about saying goodbye; I asked someone to be my girlfriend and managed to sound like a fool whilst doing it.
I don’t think I’ve ever expressly shown affection to anyone in public, as my relationships have either been long-distance, not a relationship or the opportunity never presented itself. I don’t know what it’s like to feel comfortable in public with someone who I have feelings for, in the sense where I can express those feelings openly (even with words). If you put me in that kind of situation, I’d probably… Wail and run away.

As I’ve said, I’ve never been on a date. How do you even go on a date? Do you just ask someone, or what? I’ve never had the experience of trying to pick clothes for myself to wear, firstly because I’m awful with fashion but secondly because it’s never seemed to matter before. It’s rare that I meet someone casually who I have feelings for: I’ve never been confident enough to suggest going out by myself with anyone.

It’s not like “romance” should be built up to this huge thing. Dates, traditional things like flowers and hearts and cuteness, aren’t the be all and end all of “love” because they’re materialistic and can just be put down to gestures. However, I’m rubbish with emotions too. I get them wrong, get awkward, don’t know how to handle them and end up wildly screeching in a room by myself instead of talking to people about them. Oops.

My approach to my internal feelings is even weirder than my approach to the people I have feelings for. Does that even make sense? What I do is I repress them hugely, realise I’ve been doing that and instead of being rational about it, I make intense jokes about the whole thing and go into “crisis mode”. Afterwards, of course, I realise that I was a moron. For that time, though, I attempt to convince myself that they would never “like me back”, cringe at the seemingly childish words, cringe at myself for even possessing a heart and then take to Twitter to scream about my feelings to try and distract myself. It invariably fails.

When I’m sure about my feelings, I do one of three things. Either I tell the person, I tell everyone but the person or I try and tell the person and then backpedal, screaming. The first one hasn’t happened for about 40000 years, the second happens far too often and the third happened quite recently (being in the last 6 months). Anything else has happened accidentally which means that when feelings do crop up, I’m at a loss. Imagine me holding my hands up in surrender with a terrified look on my face and you should be able to understand.

Why am I saying this? To put it simply, because I find it hilarious. It does bother me occasionally, in that I want to express myself and not have any nasty consequences (like, you know, destruction of friendships and my heart burning in a fiery pit). To cope with it, I laugh about it because I know it’s true that I’m awful with this kind of thing.

The worst thing is that I’m a huge romantic at heart but externally, I become awkward and don’t act like it. I used to get “crushes” far too easily but now, when they do appear, they’re like a demon and I’ve never been a demon-slayer. As soon as I realised I actually like the concept of romance and of people caring about me, I kind of imploded.

How are you with romance? If you don’t experience romantic feelings, do you like reading about them – or what do you think? Let me know!

From Elm πŸ™‚

What You’re Capable Of | A Letter to 17-Year-Old Me

Dear Elm,
I know what you’re thinking. “Oh God, if she’s writing a letter to me, something really must have happened – what happened??? What’d I do? Ahh shit, what am I like in a year – am I worse? AM I?” and words to that paranoid effect. I know us far better than you would give me credit for and no, that doesn’t make sense but we think in pretty much the same way so just go with it. The difference is that I know far more than you, you moronic child – and again no, that’s not self-hating, it’s just the truth.

Happy Valentine’s Day! I’m writing this today because for some reason, we take stock in these days – birthdays, when you started this blog and today because it’s associated with love. I never knew I was capable of being sentimental.

Speaking of, you have no idea what’s going to happen over the next year and just how confusing things will get. On that note, I want to tell you a few little things because you don’t know what you’re able to do when you feel panicky. So, let’s jump into a year of being an idiot – and just for the record, you stop talking about love on your blog and it’s time I started again.

In the next few days and weeks, you’re going to do something really stupid. Actually – the thing itself isn’t stupid, it’s just how you respond to it. You’re going to emotionally hurt someone close to you; you’re going to feel violently guilty but not take steps to do anything about that and in the future, that affects your relationships with people and they don’t trust you as much. You probably would know what I was talking about but it’s not a case of just “being honest” with this. You’re terrified, or you will be soon, and you don’t know how to cope with that. In short, you’re capable of running away, lying and refusing to deal with the consequences.

Let’s talk about lying for a minute. You’ve never properly, truly lied before but now is when you start: you lie about your feelings; you lie about how much that affects you; you act utterly blank and emotionless when that couldn’t be further from the truth. Looking back, I feel quite sorry for you because you lived – and still live – in a world of terror that makes you firmly believe that you deserve nothing and by doing that, you don’t let yourself live in the moment, have anything good – or hope. You lie for fear of people hating you and when you tell the truth, it either comes with negative consequences or causes irreversible panic and I wish you’d known that people care about you so much and just want to know if you’re okay. Though that doesn’t excuse anything you do, how you upset people, I – and the people involved – understand you a lot more now. Don’t throw away things just because of fear, okay?

Here’s the thing. You wouldn’t believe me when I say this but you block someone for no good reason and attempt to justify that to yourself and others by pushing the anger you feel – for the first time – onto someone else rather than yourself. You stop doing that totally when you unblock them and talk about it – and there’s another thing. Communication is amazing and you will learn to treasure the ones who are as open as they can be with you. In August, you’ll have many difficult conversations but you are capable of learning. I’m proud of you for that. Those conversations need to happen and you finally learn that the most beautiful people are the ones who don’t try to fix you – they just try to be there.

Last October, you were hurt so badly by circumstances beyond your control and this October, I’m sorry to say it happens again and you’re left wrecked from it. However, you’re able to pick yourself up a little: you rely on friends, have screaming breakdowns and move on- and can I just say, stop lying to yourself about that shit! I’d love to tell you it resolves itself, that you feel utterly fine about things in a year’s time but you don’t and that’s something you have to contend with – guilt, confusion and the persistent feeling that you’ll never be good enough. That’s bullshit and we know it but some people have a habit of making you question your own existence.

It’s not all negative. You are capable of beautiful things but I want you to discover them on your own. Trust me, if you could read this, you’d never believe me. Sometimes I don’t believe me either.

For instance, if I told you what you’ve been repressing for ages and how much you’ve been lying to yourself about someone, you’d call me a twat and break your computer. If I told you that you travel three hours on your own and meet some amazing people, that you become way more independent and that you realise feelings were okay to have, you’d glare at me in the weird way we do and ask if all of those internal theories of alternate universes were, in fact, true. They might be but I’m in your universe so deal with it.

You are capable of so many things. Having feelings again – but shhh, don’t tell anyone – and you discover so much about how your mind works. You finally go to counselling and process some emotions. You still lie but you’ve stopped lying to yourself so much and you’ve stopped twisting your own perception of reality.

I hope I can look back on this in a year’s time and that I could say I was brave. One thing I’ve learned from you is that running away and ignoring our feelings never works. They don’t just go away. Maybe tonight, I’ll make my 17-year-old self proud and tell people how I feel. Or maybe, said self wouldn’t be proud – just shocked and slightly apprehensive at how grim, wise and less self-hating I sound.

I’m still making progress. I’m not like you any more but in a way, I am – we love the same but express it differently. Just remember one thing – love isn’t scary. Neither is hope.

From Elm πŸ™‚

A Note to a You I Knew

Sometimes, I don’t know how to talk about things. I’m doing this in the only way I can – I’m opening up, in a way, bit by bit. I’m sorry this doesn’t make much sense: it’s me expressing my thoughts after months of not understanding how. A little unpolished, wild and confusing, it’s basically me.


There’s a certain freedom in talking in circles, using flowery language to get my point across and in spinning around a point but never stating it plainly. However, doing that too much makes me feel trapped. When it comes to you, I’ve spun around too many points and I’m dizzy and lost and here I go again, using metaphors. I’ll state it as plainly as I possibly can. 1. This ‘note’ is to someone I don’t know how to talk about; 2. If they read this, they’ll forever think me tragic and 3. I care far too much about that.

I wrote this ‘note’ in pieces, paragraph by paragraph coming at different times. That’s kind of what happened when I processed that things wouldn’t ever be the same, when I admitted that I fucked up a tiny bit and also when I realised that there was no closure to be had with this. I waited for closure, holding on and on and my heart broke so hard that I couldn’t even think about it. When I realised I wouldn’t get to talk, that I’d essentially taped my own mouth shut, that you’d given me the tape and other people had held it there, I kind of collapsed. I only have the energy to be so desperately unhappy about it that all I can do is laugh.

On a train once, I thought about you and my heart thumped because I couldn’t wait to see you and to just talk. It made me smile. The last time I said “I love you” to a friend, my mind screeched back to the time I said it to you. I remember the laughter and the drifting away and the loneliness when I said the words, “All I want is for him to be happy and if he is, I will be too.” and “You are a very lucky person, you know.” Oh, and “Your happiness comes first, remember?” I wish I had been lying when I said all that and god knows if you even know I said those words.

It’s ridiculous how much it hurts. I sit alone and wonder why the hell I approached things how I did; then I wonder how you could do what you did and I realise that you had no idea what you did, then. Is it because I didn’t tell you? Probably. Is it because you wanted your own happiness and I dragged you back from that with my sad hopes? I don’t blame you for that because I should have done the same. I didn’t tell you what I felt when I should have; I didn’t present my tears and terror in the way I wanted and I broke down on someone that wasn’t you. I broke down on someone who held me and understood’ instinctively, what I needed and understood that when I couldn’t speak, it wasn’t because I didn’t want to. It was because I didn’t know how.

I seem to mess things up a lot now. I talk to people too much, send messages when most likely, people you know are whispering and laughing about me and telling you you’re better off without that stupid bitch. Would they be right? Is my self-esteem so low that I’d consider myself an obsessive, clingy, awful person? I think about how I am when I act myself, like with you and the people I’m as close to as I was to you and I laugh because it’s so different to how I feel at this present moment.

“No wonder they don’t care about you any more because you have no sense of who you are,” I tell myself. Then I flinch because I don’t know if it’s just me being paranoid. I run after feelings, desperately searching for happiness and it usually ends with me shoving my own happiness to the back of my head because if I took the chance, I’d be selfish. It’s little wonder that I break down and push my identity so far away to try, and fail, to help others. It’s not healthy and the times I’m happy are the times I help others whilst also being secure in who I am. With no closure, no nothing, I haven’t been able to do that.

People have said that I get and got too involved, that I did something to try and prevent everything from turning out how it was. Yes, I got too involved and I shredded my heart like it was easy. What else could I do but try and when the trying failed, I forced myself to get rid of bitterness. I questioned why I hadn’t been open, why I hadn’t said anything and if I had, I would have been happier. But if I had done something to stop it, it wouldn’t just be me that was unhappy and if you know a single thing about me, you know that I try to put people’s happiness above my own as a form of coping. When I don’t know how to do that and I break because of it, I self-destruct.

I’ve tried to shut it out. I’ve tried to stop myself from wincing every single time I say the words “I love you”, even as a joke. I’ve tried so fucking hard to not care, to become unfeeling, to just accept that this is how it is and that I lost out. Sadly, I can’t. Not yet. I’ll get there, sometime, and that’s what I hold onto.

If you’d like me to be honest, I’ll say that I don’t know how to fix this and that in even speaking about you, I’m misjudging who you are. I don’t know what you think of me; I don’t know what I think of myself; I don’t know how to not break whenever I think about you and about how much you cared for me. I’ll have to face it one day but now? Sorting through all the memories, all the confused emotions and “why’s” and “Is it my fault?”s is too much. It doesn’t stop how I feel, though. You can shut a box but you can’t get rid of what’s inside the box if you can’t open it.

If you’re thinking, “This is disjointed,” you’d be right. I didn’t plan this. Every single thought I express right now is one I want to say to you, in huge detail, on and on until you get sick of me and tell me you hate me. If you think, “She’s got no answers,” you’d also be right because there are 1000 questions going round my head and only one answer. That answer is simple: “I don’t know.”

I’m still here, heart still beating, still feeling and living and breathing. I’m the same Elm, like you were the same you. I lie to protect myself sometimes and when people are unhappy, I rush to help others without considering that they might want to help me too. I can no longer think of a city without thinking of dances and heartbreak, gripping a hand so hard it hurt and sitting on the stairs, alone, because I didn’t know what to do.

You won’t read a word of this and if you do, I want you to remember that I’m not angry. In any of it, I was never angry. I was just hurt because I feel as if I have no identity and no way of expressing any of my feelings. I feel as if the ability to speak my mind has been taken away from me in this situation, which has made my ability to speak about anything difficult.

There’s no one to help me reconnect to you but you. I think I’ll just have to help myself.

Love from Elm πŸ™‚

Things I Miss About Love

I miss the little things. Interlacing fingers, or the memory of them; I miss waking up in the morning and smiling at the knowledge that feelings were okay and that if nothing came of it, at least I would be. Talking until late, laughing and seeing a name on my phone without being afraid that the name hates me. Simply put – I miss it feeling okay that I love someone.

I miss the leaping spark in my heart, catching with the wind and flittering until it grew stronger. The fire burned like it was meant to burn, red and orange flames coiling around my happiness. I miss the warmth, not shaking uncontrollably when I said the words “I love you” because the fire and little sparks felt like a friend. I don’t understand how to be friends with the fire any more.

I miss feeling whole, the solidity of a presence and the surety of feelings completing my heart in a way it hadn’t been in such a long time. Like sand on a beach, it’s sifting through my fingers; I miss wave upon wave of “this is real, the truth – this is how I feel!” crashing over me. I’m prone to fancies and running but that time, I didn’t chase after an empty hope in a heart-shaped box. I miss not feeling frayed, whether it’s because I was in love or because now I feel unhappy all the time I don’t know. I miss feeling like the connection from heart to love was a lasting thing, a silk-red ribbon braided up like it was meant to be twisted.

I miss feeling truly right within myself or right around someone else, suspended in a moment without panic. “The moment between breaths,” I call it, the quiet contentment that this was correct and that I was not misplaced and not an “other”. I miss laughing with the person whose feelings mirrored mine, twin smiles on different faces and, for one second, a shared happiness. Now, with the love gone it would have been bearable but with the heart broken, it feels so suffocatingly wrong.

I miss songs playing and associating them with happy memories, sweeps of violin and voice coupling in a dance. It seems as if songs hold a crushing weight, not delicate like the way you spoke to me or straightforward, like I’d like to be to you, if I can. It has a double meaning, marinated in lies and love and sadness for 3 weeks until the melodies set themselves on fire.

⠠⠊ miss my insecurities about my body not mattering for a while. I miss feeling as if I were confident in one way – although love could never wipe away my mind like love was a “healer” – but I miss remembering that at one time, my feelings were returned. I miss being enough for just one person, not feeling attention-seeking and being justified in my feelings.

I miss counting the days since a beautiful time happened – 4 weeks since I felt “I love you”, 9 weeks since my heart broke, 2 weeks since my hopes got lost and 1 week since I cried. I miss imagining counting the stars and it not hurting, as if something so infinite as a star would care.

I can’t wait until I no longer miss these things. When you feel like you’re breaking from missing someone, when they have no idea, it’s so hard to remember that one day, it won’t hurt so much. One day, I’ll stop missing feeling like I can think of things without something welling up inside me.

I’ll fall in love again and I’ll miss it again and it’ll be okay. I just have to get there. Can I do that?

I don’t know any more.

From Elm πŸ™‚

Why Telling the Truth is Good

When you’re in a difficult situation, where your brain convinces you to lie to someone because you think it’ll hurt less (it doesn’t) and because you’re scared of them thinking worse of you, telling the truth after that can be extremely tricky. It can hurt both yourself and others but there are a lot of positives to doing it and getting over your fear. On Wednesday, I told two of my best friends the entire truth about a situation that I had experienced three months ago or so and though I sobbed like a child in the nearly deserted common room, it was worth it and it needed to be done.

Upon explaining everything, both to them and another friend before, I came to rather, lise that I’ve been lying to the point where it’s damaged relationships. Telling the truth may be hard but it’s necessary for you to feel happy. If you’re struggling over telling someone something, I want to explain some of the positives to you.

It strengthens relationships
Admitting you lied to someone is really nervewracking and they may be annoyed at you for it. I’ve certainly experienced that but what I found, above all on Wednesday, was that people much prefer it when you tell them the truth. If you’re honest and tell them how much you fucked up, it shows them that you trust them. Trust may be broken at first because they may believe that you didn’t trust them enough to tell them the truth in the first place but when you admit that to them, it can add a level of understanding to your friendships. I won’t lie: it could go the other way but the gamble of honesty is worth it.

Things aren’t so complex
Not only does lying upset other people but it can leave your head in a mess as you try and remember who knows what; it’s a horrible state to be in because you can end up manipulating people. It is only natural, therefore, that you should remove those feelings as soon as possible. One of the easiest ways to do that is to tell as many people the truth as you can who you’ve lied to; it clears it up, lets people in on how you’re feeling and makes your head less cluttered. People have asked me why I’ve been feeling so awful but I haven’t been able to explain it properly until I told Wren and Red everything that went on. The simple act of explaining it caused my mind to relax a little from the painful twisting state it had been in; the first person I truly told[q~@]- who I’d lied to – started that relieving; my other friends carried it on.

You feel happier and less awful
Guilt is a central part to lying and it’s one of the worst consequences of doing something horrible. By owning up to it and telling someone, it doesn’t weigh as heavy: it’s still there, especially because of the disappointment that is (rightfully) displayed at how you lied, but at least some of it goes away. You also feel happier because for me, a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I didn’t have to hide or pretend and if I hadn’t told the truth, I would have fallen apart. I was already doing that and it took me explaining shit for me to understand just how bad it was.

You can show people you’re able to move forward
If you’ve got your own thoughts for company, wherein only you know how you’ve been feeling or what you’ve been doing, it means you can’t move on. If you’re good at sorting out your own feelings then it’s okay but if you’re like me, the thoughts spin round and round in your head with no resolution. It hurts and does me no good. On the contrary, sharing things with other people helped me to face up to it and understand what I’d done; it really allows you to move on from the situation by forcing the results of it to become apparent to you.

You can understand who your true friends are
Lying is only an okay thing when it will have no consequences for anyone. When it does and you then tell someone the truth, it’s natural and understandable that they’ll be upset with you. In fact, I’d want people to be angry with me for misjudging their personality enough to lie to them. It absolutely wasn’t fair of me to do that. However, when I told Wren and Red, they explained that they still loved me, always have and always would and that this wouldn’t change that. I figured out that the people who are my real friends, who – whether sensible or not – would stick by me are the ones that can see the reasons why I lied and let me make up for it, as well as move forward. Some things are unforgivable and I don’t blame people for being upset with me because I would be but I know that if such trust is lost by lying, perhaps it would be best that the person distanced themselves from me.

You aren’t superhuman. You’re going to make mistakes, lie and upset people. It’s alright to do that. However, as terrifying as it is, telling the truth can make things a lot easier. Not in all cases but in a lot of them, honesty can be the best solution.

If you’re hurting right now and don’t understand why someone did what they did, think about it from their perspective. That can apply to those who lied and those who are angry because you lied. There are always more than two sides to a story.

From Elm πŸ™‚

I Thought that My Love Life was Over

So far, school has been rather uneventful in the two days that I’ve been back, save for me internally freaking out about coursework and stressing at things that aren’t even important. However, there is a far more pressing problem besides the prospect of unmanageable work. That is, I appear to actually possess feelings.

How my mind works is that there are certain people which my brain tells me, “Okay, they’re nice; you could have feelings for them – but don’t; that’s a terrible idea!” A girl who joined my school this year, who I used to share my French class with, is one such person. I call her Laurel on this blog and you can read more about her here. I feel like a total creep for writing this and knowing my luck, she’ll end up finding it and I’ll be mortified for the rest of my days.

Yesterday, I spoke to her for the first time, properly in person, for about a month. Because of exams which meant that I was only in school to do them for two weeks and then I had two weeks off, I couldn’t have seen her for that length of time and before that, I hadn’t spoken to her in ages. Not being with Pine’s “group” a lot, I don’t often have the chance to meet her unless I go and sit with them at break. She’d been on my mind a lot lately. It wasn’t in a romantic sense really but I was more contemplating the decision that I’d made to drop French, as well as how much I missed those in my class even if I could see them outside of it.

I got into school, walked towards my first class of the day and genuinely didn’t realise it was her speaking to me, at first. Being greeted is a common thing but it was loud; I couldn’t hear much and I think I must have been tired. We were standing a little ways apart; I didn’t pay much attention to my surroundings. My friends Wren and Swan were being themselves, saying inside jokes to me whilst walking off and that was when I knew that Laurel stood in front of me and I was a total moron because I think that I smiled really strangely. Now I think about it, that was so awkward.

We didn’t talk about much. The subject was mainly exams and before I had known it was her (how the hell did I not know?!) she hugged me and I felt really happy because I felt like she really meant it. I was cringing so hard when I clocked that it was her that I tried to, erm, make up for it, or that was how my mind justified it. Upon her saying that she would fail, I utterly disagreed with her and I hugged her again, touching her hands once or twice to prove my point. As I never usually initiate such physical contact with those that aren’t my very close friends, it was almost a shock to my own internal systems to note that I was doing this with very little fear.

I’m confused. Over the last few months, I convinced myself that those fledgling feelings had been stamped out. I didn’t need complications like that, especially when I was attempting to viciously deny other, much stronger feelings that had emerged for a different person. Neither approach worked. Now, it looks as if I’m in the same predicament as before: uncertain as to what I want, who I think about and what I want to do with those feelings.

I usually know how I act around those who I have feelings for but then I refuse to acknowledge that. It might not be apparent to anyone else except me but I think differently, pay much closer attention to everything and am more likely to remember how I felt in that exact moment. As much as I’ve tried to stop this, I don’t think I can. Once my thoughts go down a trajectory of weird and inconvenient feelings, they don’t stop until I a) realise it’s pointless; b) something unpleasant happens or c) I move onto someone else. I’m hoping it’s option C, honestly.

My feelings, or what’s left of them, for Laurel can’t be overstated. Yes, I think she’s wonderful and I feel entirely too comfortable around her but there still remains the problem of the ‘other person’. I won’t use Laurel as some kind of rebound because that would upset me; I don’t know her well enough to know what it would do to her.

All in all, I know a few things:
β€’ I have small feelings for her
β€’ They won’t go anywhere because I have about as much luck or good decision-making as a single-celled organism
β€’ I’m hopelessly confused because feelings EW NO GO AWAY
β€’ There are ‘other people’ who I have similar reactions to which makes things needlessly complex
β€’ If you try and ignore a problem or put your fingers in your ears whilst screaming ‘la la laaaaa’, it doesn’t go away
β€’ HELP ME I don’t need this in my life!

Are you going through something similar right now? How do you feel? I kind of feel like running and hiding next time I’m near her because feelings are scary. I haven’t felt this way, so carefree with it, in at least a year.

From Elm πŸ™‚

I Am Not

Writing a post whilst upset and hurt is never a good idea but perhaps it can be as I need to let these emotions out. Excuse any confusing sentences or strong language.

I am not a slut if I do things that other people find “questionable”. My body is my own and if I feel comfortable doing something, I’ll do it: the consequences may be difficult to deal with but that’s okay. I don’t need people who don’t even know me questioning my decisions and thinking that I have no morals, just because I did something I wanted to do a while ago.

Conversely, I’m not a prude if I don’t want to talk about things. Sometimes I feel fine discussing everything, sometimes I don’t; with some people I’m okay with it and with others, I’m not. One day I may be perfectly fine talking about everything that happened and another I’ll feel unpleasant about it and just not want to. If someone asks me a question and I don’t want to answer, that’s alright because I still have boundaries.

I’m not oversensitive if I get upset because of a situation. I may portray that I’m not bothered by anything but that’s a complete fucking lie; I’m still human and still have feelings. I don’t know how I feel the majority of the time so if I stop talking, it’s usually because I just don’t want to talk; it’s nothing against the person, it’s just because I want to get out.

I am not disgusting for being a liar. I think that about myself every single day and so others thinking that of me just reaffirms it. There are many reasons why I might lie: I don’t know what other people know, I don’t know if I’m about to be made fun of, I don’t trust the person or I don’t want to talk or think about it. Lying is not a good thing but sometimes it’s necessary, except when you get caught out and want to scream because you’re panicking too much to breathe.

I am not pathetic for being paranoid that information is going to get out to everyone. It makes me feel ill because I’ve told different people different things and yes, that’s awful, but some things I really need to stay private because everyone will know what goes on in my life, including people who just could not understand and who have never spoken to me. I’m not in the slightest okay with that so I shut myself off to everything.

I’m not over-reacting if I feel dirty, disgusting or sick. Occasionally, I want to wash all of it away; I stood there shaking earlier because I didn’t want to face the reality of everything. I felt horrible, like things were crawling on my skin, like I was something to be despised and someone to be disgusted at. In my head, the thoughts were screaming and I couldn’t catch my breath but I just. Felt. Awful. Some people would say that’s blowing things out of proportion but when you feel that creeping dread, you know that you can’t shake it.

I am not a coward for wanting to run away from everything. Avoiding your problems won’t solve anything but I want to try sometimes. I’m tired of potentially getting judged and of feeling like that people believe I’m nothing but a slut. I’m tired of refusing to defend my actions and I’m exhausted at the possibility of conflict.

If people call me these things, I’ll tell them that I’ve already called myself them more times than they can count. People’s opinions and actions towards you should never influence your self-worth. No matter how many times people twist it, your thoughts are yours.

Thinking positively about yourself is so hard, I know, especially is you believe people are making assumptions about you. If you’ve been in a situation which makes you hate yourself, remember this: you can always learn and if people judge you on one thing you did, it’s them that can’t understand you. Only you truly know what you’re thinking and don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.

When things start to get too much, tell yourself this: I’m strong. I am not a terrible person.

I’m not what they say I am.

From Elm πŸ™‚