‘Set yourself high standards, after all, people will only meet the standards you set, they won’t raise them for you’.
Ok so Mr Disaster, where do I begin with him. He was a big, tall and attractive guy who trained at the Gym that I worked in. After I had my complete meltdown due in part to extremely painful break up, I had started to rebuild myself. I got back into my training and had a sort of new lease of life. Mr Disaster was someone who had recently started training with a few other guys in the gym. He was nice looking and there was something about him that I liked. He wasn’t your typical young weightlifting male. He was humble and polite. A friend introduced me to the group of them as an evil and militant trainer and said that they should train with me and eventually that is what started happening. A group of 4 guys on a Friday night and normally my friend would join or another PT would get involved. It certainly caused a lot of attention having one young woman pushing all these guys. It became a regular thing and they started participating in my spin class too. Mr Disaster took my number and would text me when he wanted to be booked into the class or let me know if he couldn’t make it.
I remember speaking to my friend who worked in sales about him, she told me that at the time he had signed up he had been on the phone to his girlfriend so be aware of that. Instantly I pulled back my little excited feeling and took it that we would just be friends in case he was still with someone. We got talking in the gym one night just the two of us, we were talking for a good hour. We talked about lots of things, past relationships – no mention of a girlfriend – our careers and dreams – no mention of a girlfriend – family stuff – no mention of a girlfriend. I was subtle but left the door open for him to say if he had a girlfriend….no mention of a girlfriend – great, maybe there was a little spark here then. How exciting. He worked in sales in the city and was also building his own clothing brand. He worked hard at it too. I liked this guy, he was tall and a bit rough around the edges and he had banter. He would come up with a new nickname for me every other day and he would always have me laughing. We could also talk about serious stuff too, we would challenge each others opinions, we would argue and then be laughing two minutes later. He started to text me from morning until night. Without fail I would hear from him. I would even try to put my new self-esteem lioness attitude to the test and not reply to him if he hadn’t written anything exciting enough. It worked, sure enough he would text again a couple of hours later. This guy was definitely into me. He then started to call me, he would text and call me all day and we would just be laughing and arguing and debating and getting to know each other on the phone. Things were really looking up, someone decent had come along.
Eventually when we were training together one day he asked what I was doing on the friday – EEEEK he was finally asking me out!!!!!!! – I kept it cool and told him I might be teaching until later on but would be free after. He told me that his work mates were all going out and that he wanted me to come too. Ok, I have to go out with all his work mates, how terrifying. Breathe Rachel and just do it. Take an opportunity. This is a nice guy who is clearly interested, go and have a good time. I mean for crying out loud he wants to show you off in front of the people who he works with, who he makes you speak to on speaker phone while he is at work. This was a good sign, Ok frick! What do I wear? So I go shopping and I buy an outfit.
The guy does not stop ringing me to check that I am definitely going to come. Wow, going on a date, this is madness. So I choose an outfit and Friday finally comes. They are all going out at 6 but that is too early so I decide to get there a bit later, he does not stop ringing me and messaging me, goodness me I am coming just let me get ready. Somehow I have to be there at 6:30 on a Friday. Ok Ok Ok I am coming.
I get a lift to the station, uh oh, I didn’t think it would take this long to get there. I am going to be over an hour late. Oh god. Ok I better ring him and tell him. So I do ‘Mr Disaster I think they have moved the train station because apparently it is going to take me an hour to get there and I really thought it would be quicker I am so sorry’ he gets angry ‘what the f**k, no that isn’t cool, you think your time is more important than other people’s bla bla bla bla bla…’ oh god this is not good ‘no, I really don’t and I am so sorry I really didn’t mean it’. I get another ear bashing through the phone and I am starting to feel a bit upset, I mean, it’s a friday night who is out at 6:30 anyway? I genuinely didn’t mean to be more than 30 mins late…..after all I am a woman. So he is getting ruder and angrier and I am feeling annoyed ‘I can just go back home if you don’t want me to come now it’s no problem?’ He slightly changes his tune and tells me to hurry up and that he will meet me at the station. When I arrive I ring him, it is raining outside – FRICK I didn’t bring an umbrella, my hair is going to be a mess. He is on his way to me……bitching and moaning and shouting at me, telling me to start walking and meet him. At first I try to follow his directions but I am going the wrong way, which makes him shout at me even more. I finally find him, by this point I have threatened to go home again and actually feel really upset. This is not what I had planned at all.
So we eventually get into the bar, put our jackets in the cloak room and I sort my rain-soaked self out quickly in the ladies and go and meet his colleagues. They are all very nice and one of them makes a point to tell me how clear it is that Mr Disaster likes me. He isn’t making too much effort to talk to me though and I feel a bit left in the lurch with a load of people I don’t know. Eventually he comes over and it is just us talking, he makes no effort to hide that he is interested in me. He is asking me some questions about my ex who he had also briefly known from the gym. So I tell him and then ask him when his last relationship was. The next sentence actually paused time for me momentarily and I will never forget it: ‘See im kind of with someone and have been for 5 years’……IM SORRY WHAT THE HELL??? WHAT THE ACTUAL HELL???? WHAT? My brain starts going at 100 miles an hour, filled with confusion, hurt, anger, disbelief and that sort of car crash feeling. He finishes his sentence….’and the only reason I never told you was because you never asked’ OH…..OF COURSE….HOW ABSOLUTELY STUPID OF ME!!!!!! This is the first time something seemed to be going good for me in a long time and there is a part of me that wants to drop to the floor and just give up, but, there is a new part of me. A part that I have built with the help of my own determination and a few amazing other people. A part of me that knows that there is nothing wrong with me, nothing shameful about having feelings for this idiot, nothing I have done wrong. But he has, he has treated me badly and that doesn’t make me the idiot (easy to say but not so easy to feel).
I’m smiling but it isn’t a happy smile, ‘why am I here then?’ I ask. ‘Because I like you a lot and have feelings for you, I didn’t know what to do, trust me. I even asked the guys at work what I should do..’ OH YOU POOR THING, HOW YOU SURVIVE EACH DAY I JUST DONT KNOW. I briefly process a million thoughts of the past the present and the future as he talks about his dead-end relationship and how he moved from South London to North London with her and it caused a load of problems with his family and that they don’t really have sex anymore and all these things she doesn’t do and just for a moment, I feel sympathy. I know that feeling, being with my ex for 9 years it was exactly the same. Thankfully my brain pulls itself together and I smile, he looks at me and says ‘ your pissed with me aren’t you?’ I look back at him and say into his ear ‘Mr Disaster, I am not pissed, I have just met every type of coward there is now, I understand your situation I really do but please understand that I had the balls to get out of my bad situation and certainly didn’t lie or mislead anyone. Now I am going to go to the ladies and then I am going to go and get my jacket, I have tickets for both yours and mine, so you need to come with me to get yours, then I am going home. We went and got our jackets. He spent some time dragging me outside to try to talk and explain to me that normally he would just ‘have sex and go’ but with me it was different and he couldn’t lie to me and he really cares about me and wants us to be friends and BLA BLA BLA. I had to get out of here. I went to the ladies, wow I am a little too drunk for this. I stopped inside the cubicle and let myself break just for half a second, I took a deep breath and pulled myself together. This idiot did not deserve my tears, he certainly wasn’t going to get the satisfaction of seeing me cry for him. I didn’t look anywhere, just kept my head down and ran out of the bar. I am very good at running away when I need to and he didn’t see me.
I got as far away as I thought was safe and I broke down. I couldn’t hold the tears in anymore. I text Katie (my little sister) to say I was going to hers – I had keys to get in so whether she was up or not I was going. I then rang a friend to cry to her. The best person I could think of. She was great aswell and really made me feel together enough to get on the train. When I got out at the station I had lots of messages on my phone asking where I was, I ignored them and rang my friend back but he kept ringing so finally I answered. ‘WHAT?’ I shouted ‘Rachel where are you? Are you still in Central?’ I had one response: ‘WHY DON’T YOU ASK YOUR GIRLFRIEND WHERE SHE IS’ I practically screamed at him. I wouldn’t let him speak and hung up. I erased his number, his Facebook, his Instagram and his Twitter. I got rid of all the messages we had ever sent to each other. Done. I got to Katie’s, demanded she order me a pizza and opened a bottle of wine – a scientifically proven way of coping with pain. He of course messaged me a long sorry essay but unfortunately words meant nothing to me anymore, I’d heard too many of them.
That weekend I was on a course, not really a great time to have a hangover or heartbreak but nothing was going to stop me doing something good for me. I didn’t stop hearing from him. LEAVE ME ALONE, for goodness sake let me just get on with my life. On the Sunday I decided to speak to him and tell him how I felt. I explained that I had feelings for him and that what he had done was unfair, he said he had feelings for me too and that he was really sorry and just wanted us to be friends. I told him I didn’t need any more friends and that he needed to stay away from me so I could heal. He promised he would leave me alone. He didn’t, he would still message me, I would ignore him or ask him what he wanted and then tell him to stop contacting me again. I felt like such a lioness, I had been honest and not ashamed of my feelings but hadn’t stood for being mistreated. I was growing up, becoming a strong and confident woman! Eventually the messages cut right down and I didn’t hear from him. That was the end of Mr Disaster…………….or so I thought.
I think it is important to remember that you should never be ashamed of your feelings. Never be afraid to tell someone they have upset you for fear of being told you are over reacting or that you will look silly. Your feelings are there for a reason and they should be considered and respected. It is important to set yourself standards and be clear on your boundaries and do not compromise these for anyone. You have to love and respect yourself first and foremost, after all, you are fabulous.