YouTube Diary: Woman Reunites With Boyfriend After Break-Up Videos

U.K. woman's break-up videos attract thousands of views, lead to reunion.

September 06, 2010, 3:41 PM

Sept. 7, 2010— -- For most of her adult life, Kelly Summers survived tragedy by hiding it.

Accustomed to performance, the 53-year-old singer from Nottinghamshire, England, said she would put on her make-up, give the world her strongest face and take cover under her stage persona, "Sunny Daye."

But when her boyfriend broke up with her this summer, uncorking a stream of untended emotion, she decided it was time to do the opposite.

Instead of burying her pain, she broadcasted it online, revealing every raw moment in a series of videos on YouTube.

Six weeks later, the string of video clips hasn't just attracted more than 30,000 views or given Summers a new outlook on life, it's done what she never expected: It's helped her reunite with the love of her life.

"I'd always hidden me. I got to the point where I was just screaming. I was just so sick of not being heard, not being myself," she said. "Everything toppled down on top of me. I just realized that I wasn't going to survive unless I did something drastic and radical."

When her romance blossomed with Keith Tallis, a 55-year-old British singer, in February, Summers said it brought her happiness she hadn't experienced in decades.

In 2000, she had an accident that injured her right arm so severely she said she could no longer write properly. In 2005, her 23-year-old son Blake died unexpectedly after a seizure. Summers said he was the fourth of her five children to die.

"[Tallis] set me free from grieving every day for my children and for my past life that was ruined with my accident," she said. "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."

The pair happily dated long distance for a couple of months but, when Summers paid Tallis a surprise visit in April, she learned the devastating truth: He was living with a long-term partner and her young child.

Summers confronted Tallis and ended the relationship but, in July, he traveled to see her and said he was a single man.

'Froglet Diaries' Record Summers' Sorrow, Journey

The two reconciled and Summers thought they were on solid ground again. But 10 days later, Tallis took off and returned to his partner.

"It was so unexpected. He lifted me up so high. I hadn't been so happy for such a long time," she said. "I just crashed so hard, so suddenly, I couldn't cope and everything came back."

Awash in grief that had accumulated over the years and unable to write in a paper diary, she decided to record her sorrow -- and her steps forward -- in a video blog online.

She turned to YouTube and launched the "Froglet Diaries," named for the affectionate moniker Tallis had given her.

"I just wanted to show, OK, I might be in this place now, but just watch where I'm going," she said. "I wanted to make a log of the journey, really, and I didn't want to be a false person. I wanted to be real and show it as it was."

The first few videos show a deeply distraught Summers, with her hair in disarray and her face streaked with make-up-tinted tears. But the later videos reveal a renewed woman, more at peace with herself and the circumstances that have shaped her life.

"I feel as though this whole thing has made me stronger as a person, emotionally," she said. "You have to stop hiding and stop protecting yourself from the pain of living."

And she said that her dozens of videos now on YouTube have been an inspiration to others too.

"You open up yourself to extreme criticism as well as praise when you realize that people are actually watching this. Some people are rooting for you, some people question your motives," she said. "But what's been absolutely fantastic out of this is that it's helped people going through similar experiences. ... People seem to identify with this."

But though many viewers might identify with Summers, none have been as significantly moved as the "Frog Prince" himself: Keith Tallis.

After a friend mentioned the online diary to him, Tallis said he went home and took a look.

"It was quite distressing. I didn't realize the devastation. You walk away from something and you think purely about yourself," he said. "When I looked at it I thought, 'oh God how awful.' ... It was a horrible feeling that someone could be in such a state and I didn't know about it."

Despite Return of 'Prince,' Online Diary Will Continue

For weeks, he said, he was in turmoil, trying to work through feelings of guilt and responsibility.

But when he saw the video Summers posted on his birthday, he had a moment of resolve.

"It just hit me how much I loved her and I realized this is where I belong," he said.

He called Summers to reconcile and ended his relationship with his partner for good.

But though she now has her "Frog Prince," Summers said she intends to continue the diary.

"I know that a lot of people are depending on me to show them how I'm doing, how we're doing, how they can do. It's not that I think that I'm anything special, I don't think I'm anything special," she said. "I do realize the power of what I've gone through and how I'm dealing with it has the ability to help other people by example.

"If I can get through this, they can get through it," she said. "If I can be real, they can be real. They don't have to hide away."

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