About this post!
It’s the month of Love and whether you’re a lover or a hater of Valentines we can all appreciate when a love story turns out to be a bad romance. Bebe Amour shares how her Cheek of It! Experience helped her rise from the ashes of just such a relationship.
Thank you Bebe for bravely sharing your story and for having the courage to shine again! (Bebe wrote this blog the night before her Spotlight graduation in July 2016)
“A Bad Romance” – Bebe Amour
It was the late May Bank Holiday 2013, three years ago where I met the love of my life….or so I thought. Barry, a 41 year old Chef, somebody that on first meeting I didn’t really take too much notice of but then after watching a game of Rugby and a few pints later, we got to talking and a spark ignited.
I don’t need to go into the ins and outs of the day but as he dropped me home that night and after many kisses, we sat outside my house for ages just chatting and that was when he told me the news. Firstly he was married but working on a separation from his wife, supposedly still living together until their 12 year old son started secondary school in September. Secondly he was going away the following week to Sheffield to have surgery…..he had three brain tumours.
What followed from this were three months of amazing highs and amazing lows. I was showered in love with flowers delivered to my door and to my work, dinners, Champagne at the Ritz, a trip to see Phantom of the Opera, as well as nights in where we would just chat and watch movies for hours. I was head over heels and completely in love with this man….he was ‘The One.’
Text messages, old fashioned love letters, voice mails….he was a man that was so in to me, talking about a future with me….until he uttered the words he was told he only had perhaps a year to live?
Things Suddenly Changed
After just 3 months but what seemed like a life time things suddenly changed and an uneasy feeling in my stomach began to surface. He had planned a weekend away for us to Venice, I booked time off work, I renewed my passport but with three days to go suddenly he couldn’t fly because of an air bubble on the brain? However a week later he took a holiday to Egypt with his son.
It was after he returned that things took a dramatic turn and he suddenly became distant, excuses for not being able to meet, he could never meet on a Sunday, he was too ill on Sundays….family day?
There are so many instances and scenarios that I could tell you, in fact I could write a book on them. So why am I explaining just some of this now. The simple fact is that I want to tell my story but I also want to gain some closure on this chapter of my life.
I spent two years trying to turn everything around, to get it back to how it was when we first met. I would also like to point out that it would seem, this wasn’t a dying man anymore? I do believe he has a brain tumour but I think he got scared, clung to me and when things got better I wasn’t needed anymore. I don’t know, I don’t have the answers I have just always assumed he was telling the truth. The same with him moving house last year….he still lives with his wife, although separated? If you asked for his side of the story he would probably say that time in the beginning with me was amazing but then I became unstable, had issues and pretty much turned into a psycho….the thing is I did but it was all because of him!
In These Two Years
In these two years I became unconfident, despondent, hid myself away from the world, would change plans to see friends to see him instead only to be let down. This relationship cost me one friendship and almost the friendship of my best friends, my uni girls. I was a mess. I tried counselling, it didn’t work. Finally in February 2014 I moved to London, things started to improve but still life would often revolve around when I would see him.
Then last June 2015 I hit a massive low, I had just started a new job, the career break that I had been searching for for a long time but I was so scared I wouldn’t be able to do it and everything that had been going on for the past two years, at that point suddenly reached a climax…for a split moment I googled how to end my life with paracetamol and alcohol.
I didn’t attempt anything because thankfully it was that point I realised I needed serious help. I have never been able to disclose any of this to my family and probably never will but I have my friends and that is all I need. After phoning one of my best friends, she was amazing and said all the right things. I had always been anti anti-depressants but as she put it, what do you do when you have a headache, you take a tablet to make it better. So now I had to see it that my brain wasn’t well so I needed a tablet to make that better too.
“Above all though there is one such therapy that has completely transformed my life, ‘Burlesque’ and The Cheek of It!”Bebe Amour
It Was a Good Friend That Persuaded Me
I phoned the doctor and thankfully was given a good doctor to talk to, she prescribed my medication and put me on a wait list for counselling. Although the medication improved things I sadly was on the wait list for 6 months before I was seen and then in January this year, I started seeing a therapist. However in April I ended up complaining about her as in 4 months I had only seen her 4 times…she kept cancelling and rearranging appointments. Finally in May I met another therapist and this has been the insight and breakthrough I needed, finally someone that listened to me, offered me advice and told me about the practice of ‘Mindfullness.’ In just over a month I have read two books and started ‘Mindful Meditation.’ I advise anyone who has ever felt depressed, lonely, or anxious to read ‘Mindfulness’ by Gill Hasson. I have also just finished ‘Women who love too much,’ by Robin Norwood. Again an amazing book which I related too and a book that made me realise that I have the disease of ‘loving too much.’ Sounds ridiculous when you first say it but it’s true because loving too much is an addiction just like any other addiction such as alcohol or drugs.
It is my very good friend Niki (Doll I Am) that persuaded me to do this. I have to add I was with Niki the day I met Barry so she has been with me on this mind blowing (not all for good reasons) journey. She told me it would change my life, make me more confident and would help to absorb the crap in my life. Guess what….she was right!
My Burlesque Journey Started
My burlesque journey started in February this year and I cannot tell you how much it has changed me….by far the best therapy money can buy! Meeting like-minded individuals and being guided by the incredible Lady May, we created a performance which was exhilarating to perform and entertaining to watch. Taking to the stage was nerve wracking but the feeling exiting the stage….wow the adrenalin was the best drug I’ve ever had!!
There was never a doubt in mind that I would not continue the journey into Spotlight and thankfully I did and this is where my therapy kicked in…I could finally tell my story, allow myself to express those feelings of anger, utter sadness and disappointment and turn it into the ‘Fuck You,’ scenario, one that I think every woman has experienced at some point in their life!
When the lights go up tomorrow evening and my music starts I know I will be incredibly nervous, my legs will be like jelly but I need to rise above those feelings and tell everyone, this is who I am, look at me, I have survived.
It Was a Good Friend That Persuaded Me
I am incredibly lucky, I have a fantastic job which throughout this dark period actually saved me, kept me focused on my career goals and as a result earned my promotion which will kick in later this year. I have the most amazing friends in the world and a few of them will be with me tomorrow night in the audience, they have lived through this journey with me, I have exhausted them at times but I want to make them proud as I make myself proud that there is light at the end of the tunnel, the future is bright and I no longer want a man to have a hold over me – this is the end, the chapter has closed and many more will begin.
If you have reached the end of this, (what was meant to be a small description of my act!) I do want to point out that I definitely do and still believe in love. Although it didn’t work out the way I had wanted it to, I am glad to have felt the love and given the love that was so strong in this toxic relationship. As the saying goes, ‘it is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.’
Finally, there is only one thing left to say and that is Thank you. Thank you to Lady Cheek, Lady May and all the other gorgeous Cheekettes. I cannot compliment what you do enough, everyone really is amazing. May we all continue in our Burlesque journey in some shape or form, whether it be performing or supporting and for all of us out there that have suffered a ‘bad romance’ in one shape or form….we still have each other and that is what friends are for.