Thousands were riveted when Englishwoman Kelly Summers posted raw, warts-and-all video diaries on YouTube, describing her anguish over splitting from a man who had done her wrong. Little did she know that her ex was also watching her emotional journey online — and was so moved by it that he wound up begging her to take him back.
“From the videos, I knew I wanted to be with Kelly,” her once and current boyfriend, Keith Tallis, told the London Daily Mail. “I could see how much she loved me, and they made me realize how much I loved her, too.”
Summers, 53, from Nottinghamshire in Britain’s East Midlands, began posting her “Froglet Diaries” — from Tallis’ pet name for her — as she tried to pick up the pieces following their less than amicable split in July. The pair met in June 2009, and their friendship grew into a full-blown love affair by February.
Happiness after heartachesFinding a new love was thrilling for Summers, especially after a series of personal heartaches. A 2000 accident limited the use of her right hand. And, as a single mom, Summers had dealt with the deaths of four of her five children — including her learning-challenged son Blake’s death from a seizure in 2005 at age 23.
Keith Tallis “set me free from grieving every day for my children and for my past life that was ruined with my accident,” Summers told ABC News. “He came along and gave me something that made my heart whole again. And nobody had been able to do that ... It's something in him that put that back into me.”
But in April, just weeks into her new love affair, Summers dropped in unexpectedly on Tallis at his home in Birmingham, and got a rude surprise: It turned out he already had a long-term partner.
Tallis nonetheless continued to pursue a relationship with Summers: In July, he swore he had split with the other woman. However, any elation Summers felt was short-lived: Just 10 days after winning Tallis back, he returned to his previous girlfriend.
Reeling emotionally, Summers decided to confront her anguish head-on. Physically unable to write in a journal, she instead started her Froglet Diaries. The early videos were raw, emotional and unvarnished as Summers sobbed before the camera, hair wildly askew and makeup running down her face.
“As you can see, I look rough,” Summers admitted in an early entry. “I have bags under my eyes and I’ve been crying. I didn’t take my makeup off last night, as I couldn’t be bothered. I am depressed, I miss him so much.”
But Summers was determined to make an emotional comeback. She told YouTube viewers: “I am going to show you at my worst and my journey toward getting back on my feet.”
And she did: Through a self-help regimen and support from family members, Summers began to emerge from her emotional black cloud. As she did, some 11,000 people regularly followed her video diaries — 62 in all — buoying her with their support.
And one of the viewers was Tallis himself. He was informed by friends that his ex was posting emotional talks on YouTube, and he began watching. “I watched each video and I couldn’t believe the devastation I left behind,” Tallis, 55, told the Daily Mail.
“I'd never seen such raw emotion, and it made me realize how much I loved her.”
Tallis eventually told his previous girlfriend he was breaking up with her, and on Monday, he arrived at Summers’ doorstep, asking for forgiveness and a reconciliation.
And Summers has taken him back. But she said that winning Tallis’ heart again was a happy side benefit, not her true goal in revealing her heartache on YouTube.
“Even before we were reunited, I was feeling a lot happier and stronger,” she told the Daily Mail. “[The diaries] are proof that you can get over even the most devastating of breakups.
“That Keith and I are together is just icing on the cake.”