The Ex Files

The Story Of Bella

I thought I’d write about how we got to being Paddy. How this started and what happened. So sit down and gather round as I tell you the tale of the woman who will now be known as Bella. It is a bit of a long one.

We first met as I was friends with her boyfriend. He later went on to tell me that she thought I was fit. Anyway fast forward a few months and we’d become good mates. General chatting and he’d also asked if I’d mind hanging out with her as we got on well.

I’d never recommend getting involved in a situation like this. He would moan to me about her, then she would moan to me about him. She’d do his head in and he’d apparently be a dick to her in front of his mates. Things like pushing her and being a bit physical or just being an all round ass. To clarify though never anything like abuse. So it was always awkward.

The Start Of Bella & Paddy

Anyway they split up and a week later we were in bed. I know what you’re all thinking, you’re wrong. It was never my plan to be in that situation and it was never my intention for this to become something more serious.

The start of it was rough. We’d fall out a fair bit and then she’d always text or get on the phone to him. This soon calmed down and we decided on becoming a bit more serious.

We had the chat “You my girlfriend?” “yep, you my boyfriend?” “yep” it literally was a rip off from the Scrubs scene in My Bed Banter and Beyond. And with that was the start of one of the most up and down times of my life to date.

Like anything the first 6/12 months were like the honeymoon period – full of fun good times and great sex, lots of great sex. We had the odd fall out mainly about her work and not being paid, this came up when we were looking at getting our own place. Nice holidays were had in the first couple of years, 5* all inclusive hotels and nice weekends away.

Then things changed. And not for the better. She started looking for a new job and was offered one at a well respected place. Like most jobs a probation period . Fine no problem we thought. Then just before she started things started happening. She started saying she didn’t feel well when it came to going out, she’d stay in. She wouldn’t want to go anywhere. I thought nothing of it, until she started work in her new job.

Troubling Times

Sick days came, and living at home with your mum and girlfriend adds pressure to you when they’re at home sick. Eventually she got the sack, just before the probation period ended. It was no surprise. She never mentioned anything about how she felt and never mentioned about having issues. The long 2 years were coming.

She rang me one day at work and admitted that she had anxiety. She was in tears on the phone. I told her we need to try and get things sorted to get her back to feeling some form of normal and being able to live the life she wanted and that we wanted. Again though when someone hasn’t left the house for months on end this adds a lot of stress and pressure. It also makes things tense between everyone in the house. This led to me and my mum falling out numerous times.

We couldn’t go anywhere together. Its like socially for 2 years I was single. The sex stopped, the fun stopped and the whole lifestyle was different. This wasn’t what I’d signed up to. I know this wasn’t what she signed up for either. Anxiety potentially turned to depression. It led to me feeling isolated and I felt an effect on my own well-being, as well as my mothers.

She wanted to try things on her own. Things like distraction techniques and the like. It started OK. We’d have the odd day out close by but it soon changed and that stopped. A friend recommended to me, on one of my many solo attendances to social events they know a good therapist that might work. I took the details and went back home at the end of it and talked to her about it.

I’d had to read up on these things. It was hard. For everyone. I’m not after a pity card here. But you learn a lot when you need to. Mental Illness became something I was passionate about. I still am now. I learnt and I tried to help in anyway I could. In the end I broached the subject of the therapist and explained things need to get better or we could both be in a bad place.

The Therapy & Harder Times

A boldly booked City Break became increasingly unlikely. When I told her I was still going and I’d go with a friend instead that didn’t go down well. But I need it. More than anything did I need it. And this may sound awful but I needed the time away from her, my god did I need it.

This seemed to be the kick up the ass that she needed. I came back and a few weeks later therapy started. We arrived and she wouldn’t get out of the car. Great! The therapist came out and told me to go wait inside and he’d have her inside in no time. Next thing I know they walk in and smiles and laughter.

Therapy helped. But this still wasn’t without its problems. Before each appointment we would fall out. She wouldn’t want to go and she’d want to stop. We would break up more times than I’ve ever known possible. We both hit new lows through it.

One last day brought a lot of it to a massive meltdown. She wouldn’t go. I said if she doesn’t then that was it, over, I couldn’t do it. I fell to the floor in tears. Real fucking tears. I told her it was all too much for me and I just couldn’t carry on living like this any more. I told her it didn’t feel like we were living only just surviving and if it carried on we could both end up in her situation. Bella turned to me and said she couldn’t do it. She hugged me. Apologised for everything she had put me through, as if it was her fault she ended up with this illness, and we packed all her clothes up for her to leave. Now I don’t know if this was a test to see if I meant it but when I finally threw the last bit of clothing in the bag she said she’d go.

Over time with the therapy Bella got better. Improvements were made and we were able to start doing things as a couple again. We didn’t need to worry as much when it came to leaving the house. Small steps but they were positive steps.

A work in progress, Bella moved back to her Mum’s and started to look at getting back in to work. As time moved on Bella got back in to work. The City Break we were due to go on was re-booked, things were looking up.

The Beginning Of The End

She looked like the old Bella. She had the glow back. Fun times were back, she attended social events and wanted to have nights out. The sex was back and was better than before. Nights out, weekends away and holidays booked. More work was coming in and we spoke again about getting somewhere. I told her to calm down as she’d not long been back in work and didn’t want to add any pressure to her.

It carried on for about 18 months. It became strained and it got hard work. Weekends were the time we would see each other and not much more between that. The relationship was strained. Looking back now it was obvious to see. At the time I chose to ignore it. The City Break we went on was the most awkward 4 day break I’ve ever had. We didn’t hold hands, we didn’t kiss, we didn’t do anything a couple should do.

We returned and things were awkward. I knew it, she knew it. A couple of weeks later she made the call to go on a break. I left it a week and we didn’t see each other at all in that time. We text a bit but nowhere near as much as we used to. That was that. I made the call and I told her this was no good and it needs to end. Neither of us made the effort to try and see each other in-between the the break and making the call to end it.

And Here’s Paddy

And that was that. Just over 5 years, the longest relationship I’ve had. One of the hardest relationships I’ve had. I’d once told Bella that if we ever split up I’d not want another serious relationship. It’s not because no one would ever top her but I was just drained from everything we’d been through. It sounds awful to say that to someone you’re with but she understood where I was coming from.

As it stands I don’t know if I’ll ever want that. I know right now I don’t and I don’t know if that will change. But I can tell you this, I’m happy. But I was also happy with Bella, I was in love with her more than anyone I had been before. It wasn’t meant to be, thats life sometimes.

As I write this Bella has been working for about 4 years now with no real signs of a relapse. She had little wobbles every now and again, but she was much better placed to deal with it.

I never like to wish harm or upset to anyone, even exe’s. We parted relatively friendly and I hope and wish her all the happiness she deserves.

And that readers is how we get to Paddy. Where I am today and how this character was born.

So if you love interacting with Paddy and seeing these sort of things Bella is the person to thank.

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