Being heartbroken is an overwhelming feeling of heartache, hopelessness and being lost.
Feeling like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel, feeling like the tunnel is collapsing on you, actually. Time is the only thing that will heal your heart. But you will cover that part of your heart with protection, knowing that you never want to feel that way again.
Anything can break your heart. Be it a person, an animal, an experience, a memory or a moment in time. Each heartbreak is different and each time it can change you. Heartbreak and pain can happen at any age, it just gets more severe as we get older, as we understand feelings and emotions better.
At the age of nineteen I experienced what it was like to truly be let down by a person that you expect to never, ever let you down. Not related by blood, but near enough. She was like my sister and best friend in one. I shall call her Sheila. She had earned my trust, I had full faith in her and so did many others I know. Basically, she broke my heart. Sheila stole quite a bit of money from me over the years, countless credit cards went missing, rings and jewellery of mine, my mums and her partners were gone and money from elderly family members. Sheila was my brothers girlfriend and my niece’s mother. She betrayed my trust and destroyed my self esteem for a while. At the time she confessed to it, in that moment, it felt like my world had been shattered. The one person that I trusted most, the person I was closest to, the person I’d told so much to and the person I thought would be true and loyal to me forever, had been stealing from me for almost three years. How do you forgive that?
It all began a few years ago now, when my brother met Sheila. They started off as friends, room mates at first. They grew closer and began seeing each other. After only a short time passed, a few months, Sheila announced to my brother that she was pregnant. He said he was shocked and taken aback by the news, especially as Sheila had experienced a couple of miscarriages and allegedly would find it very difficult to conceive.
Sheila and my brother were so excited about the news, after they had come to terms with the fact that they were going to be parents. That’s when my friendship with Sheila had began. I was so excited that I was going to become an Auntie. The three of us started to go out for lunch and would spend a lot of time together. At the six months scan they wanted to know the sex of the baby, so they found out that it was a girl. That made me even more excited about it!
Three more months passed, the whole pregnancy felt really quick, to be honest. The baby girl had been born, June 25, 2009. My brother and Sheila named her Caitlin. We went to visit her in hospital and were over-joyed with little, baby Caitlin. That’s where mine and Sheila’s friendship grew even closer.
For the first few weeks, they all stayed home a lot, as you do when having a newborn. I remember going around their flat quite often. Sheila and my brother were trying to get into a routine themselves and with Caitlin. After a short time passed, Sheila and Caitlin were forever round my house or I was round theirs. We would just hang out together, all the time. Looking back on it I have no idea what we used to do. However, we were very close and spent all day together. At least once a week I used to spend the night round their flat.
After a few months passed, I kept noticing that my bank cards kept going missing. I thought it was just me, being a disaster and not looking after my belongings. I was trying to be more careful and keep my things safer. However, bank cards kept disappearing and shortly after a few bits of jewellery went missing. It is so easy to sit here in hindsight and think that I was so stupid to not realise what was going on, but she was my best friend, the person that I trusted most in the entire world, the possibility didn’t even cross my mind.
In this time my nan had become very ill. She was diagnosed with cancer and after treatment and such they did tests to find out that it was now terminal and there was nothing else they could do for her. She lived in Spain at the time, my mum, auntie and brother flew over there to bring her back. My nan spent a week or so in hospital, then after she was discharged, she went to live with my auntie, whom is a nurse.
We all went to visit my nan an awful lot, daily.
There was an issue with some money that was in my house. So my auntie took the money and put it into a drawer that was in a cabinet beside my nan’s bed. After a couple of days, my auntie when to retrieve the money from the drawer, but it was gone. Sheila and my auntie were the only ones that knew where it was. We thought nothing more of it.
My nan had passed away, we were all grieving. Nothing went missing for weeks and I thought it was all good, whatever/whoever it was that kept stealing things, had stopped. The funeral had passed and everyone began to carry on with our lives.
I wanted to decorate my room. My brother offered to paint it for me, as long as I cleared everything out of it. Sheila helped me, we bagged and boxed a lot of stuff up and moved it into my living room. A couple of days later we went to sort my things out and bring them back into my bedroom. I noticed a necklace of mine was gone and two rings. One of them rings was a Cameo, that was my nan’s (my other nan), when she passed away, my sister and I sorted through her jewellery box and chose which bits we wanted. The other missing ring was one that my auntie bought me for my 18th birthday, silver with a diamond in the middle. I was so upset these things had gone. Of course, by now I had an inkling to where they’d have gone, but I think I was in denial so much that I didn’t let myself believe it. I thought if I just carried on, it would be fine in the end.
Sheila fell pregnant again, to this day, this is a raw subject that I don’t want to write about and I know of a few people that won’t want to read about it, so I won’t say too much. It was a boy, named Riley.
After a few months passed, it was coming up to Caitlin’s second birthday. The stealing had began again, more money from me went missing, jewellery from my mum and her partner, also money from them. We still had no proof, so didn’t want to place blame. My mum, myself and Sheila went shopping. Sheila said “I am just popping to my bank to draw some money out”, them words will stay with me forever, I can hear them clear as day. My mum and I continued to shop, whilst waiting for Sheila to return.
When we arrived home, my mum mentioned how I still hadn’t received my new bank book through the post. I did find it a bit strange, it had been a few weeks. My mum insisted on ringing up, so she did, only to find out that someone had been forging my signature and withdrawn around £1,500 out of my savings account, which was money left to me by my nan. I instantly knew it was Sheila. It was now time to face facts. My nineteen year old self needed to stop being so naive and trusting.
I’d arranged to pop round Sheila and my brothers flat that night. As we were sat on the wall outside, talking. I remember feeling completely heartbroken and absolutely certain that it was Sheila. I was angry at myself for not accepting it sooner. For burying my head in the sand. But most of all, angry at her. Upset. Helpless. Let down. I needed to go home, I didn’t want to be around her anymore. I shouted upstairs to my brother that I needed to speak with him. He came downstairs. I explained about the savings book. He already knew about the other things. He automatically said “yeah it’s Sheila.”
I went home and cried. The whole way home I was thinking what to do. I rang my friend and asked her to come round. I texted Sheila, confronting her. I thought she would only deny it. After an hour of waiting for a reply. She texted back, admitting it. It felt like someone had ripped my heart out. Finally having an actual confession from her, was more painful than I ever thought was possible.
The next day, my mum and I went to the bank. We saw the signatures Sheila had forged, they were uncanny, she must’ve practised. It was horrible. One of the cheques were dated from yesterday. Thats when I realised that Sheila had taken money out of my bank yesterday, when we were shopping with her. The cheek of it!! My brother made Sheila hand herself in to the police. She only admitted forging my signatures. She didn’t admit to the jewellery, my over draft and other money and bank cards that had gone missing. She still denied the other things. I still can’t believe someone as close as Sheila was to me, would betray my trust like that. Especially considering that I use a wheelchair and relied on her and trusted her to go to the cashpoint for me, help me with financial stuff and organise my benefits.
Sheila went to court and got charged with fraud, theft and something else, which I’ve forgotten! She didn’t go to prison, she got a lot of hours of community service, criminal record and has to pay my £1,500 back, which will take 6-7 years to pay back, with her paying £20 a month.
I didn’t have any contact with Sheila for a few weeks, after I told her what I thought of her, of course. I also didn’t have contact with my niece, which I found really hard. Sheila began to text me after about a month, saying how sorry she was and all that bullshit. Eventually, I really wanted to see my niece again, I went round to Sheila’s a couple of times so that I could see Caitlin.
Then one day, everything changed, for reasons that I won’t mention. My brother left Sheila and the kids.
Court happened, this time was very different. We all attended. The outcome was the right result.
Now caitlin lives with my brother. He has full custody. They are both very happy. Caitlin is now 4 and doing well. I’m happy, knowing that my friends and family, the people that I trust, are 100% trustworthy. It makes me feel better to know that i'm a better person than she will ever be, It brings me some sort of comfort knowing that. I don't hate Sheila, it's more pitty. Although, if she were on fire, i'm not sure that I'd pee on her ;)