Friday, 1 February 2013

Past bite

I have been pushed into a hurricane of emotional carnage today because people are so thoughtless.

A friend of a friend added me on facebook today.

Let me set the background. My privacy settings are on lockdown as I don't like people looking me up like for example:  'Jane Smith used to go to playschool with you in 1979 and wants to add you as a freind' or 'Bob Builder liked the look of your legs when you were 14 so thought he would add you'.

In my opinion most of those adds are just nosiness or fakery to see how bad (hopefully) you are doing in life and how fat you got. I prefer to add people I know, see, trust and love. I share things with them that are the real me and I am happy to do so, even though I know a lot of people would not even do that.

It has irked me somewhat that you cannot stop friends of friends adding you, even if your name is unsearchable, but I have always been pretty sure that none of my friends friends are a particular issue - lets face, I know them not their friends! I just thought it would be quite nice if you could customise your settings to only have direct contact with people of your choosing... but that's not social networking is it... there has to be a catch somewhere.

So I happily share my life and times with my friends - not many - and a couple of colleagues and life goes by.

Until today. The world is a small place after all.

A friend of a friend clicked the little plus button and put my world into a horrible horrible place.

There was his face (aged badly I was quick to note!) and the faces of 3 children.

No message, no intro, no sorry I was a bastard, no nothing.

It's made me feel so shit it's unreal. I haven't got out of bed until now (2pm) and I should have gone and got my son, who's working with DH in the shop today, but I haven't been able to.

I am hovering under the surface of a vast pile of misery that I can't even spill out onto my dearest love in the world because no one, not one person, can understand how I feel. Except perhaps him - he wouldn't understand, but he would certainly know why I feel so bad.

Here's the dirt, not all, but an overview as its too gruesome to get everything out:

I was 16 when I met 'him'. He was an ugly spotty 16 year old. But he was different. I could have had any boy in our group but he had this suave way of carrying himself. A smooth talker, a liar and a massager of massive truths building a little castle for himself. He was an accomplished thief even by this time, and devastatingly persuasive. Dressed like a preppy rich kid, he interested me. In a little over 18 months he managed to break me in a way no one ever will again.

I watch these dramas on TV about housebeaten wives; simpering and tragically humble and weepy. That's not what it's like. I was powerful too, but not in the right way. I could answer back for myself, and did! I fought back, had the opportunity to walk away countless times and had the full support of my family - they begged me to dump him! But I couldn't. It's like a role. It's not you. It's an avalanche that has to reach the bottom. It's not what you want but you have no idea on earth how to stop it until someone comes along with the key to your personal dungeon.

Because no one knows where the lock is, not even you, let alone the key! You are powerless until that lock is found by that key, or you die.

I had been beaten, my leg smashed with a crowbar, stabbed with scissors, my emotions played like a harp, been on the receiving end of endless mind games, left in dangerous situations, humiliated in front of my friends, degraded in ways I won't share and so worn down that I was a valueless, snapped little girl.

He had cleared and weeded out my real friends and replaced them with his own - 'our friends' - so I was alone with a whole host of people around me; none knew me, or I them. they were party people who we hung around all the time, but were not really personal friends. After time, I knew absolutely that there was no one who would want me. There was no one who would ever think I was intelligent, or pretty, or useful, or fun ever again. I'd got above myself and he made sure that he told me how wrong I was. I was dumb, stupid, ugly, wore the wrong clothes, had the wrong type of blonde hair, was getting fat, didn't have enough money for him and couldn't get any more credit cards for him to use for me to pay off and I had stopped funding his drug habit and wouldn't be a stooge when he was nicking stuff.

But the worst crime he ever inflicted on me was getting me pregnant and laughing at me because my life was over.

That is a scar that has never, and never will be healed. I terminated the baby. I killed it. I can't think of it any other way even now, when I know from losing my subsequent 6 craved for babies to early miscarriage and still birth through Lupus that the little mite probably was doomed to begin with.

He told me to get rid of it, if I didn't I could forget him being around. He told me to go home and tell my parents and he would tell his. I thought that this was a good idea as then we were both facing it together, but he never told his parents. He left me to do it on my own. My Mum told his parents in the end as she said that he should pay for half the operation. She wanted it done quickly and privately off my medical records.

He didn't really need to be so horrible and aggressive about me terminating our baby because somewhere deep in me I knew that if I had that baby, even gave it away, that he and I would be tied to each other forever, and I couldn't let that happen to an innocent life. Mine was already a nightmare and I wasn't about to give him any one else to hurt.

All through the relationship - which is what it was, even God and Satan have a relationship - he would say the right things, smooth me over and make me fit for public, be kind in ways that were so numbing - flowers, jackets, dresses, shoes, rings, earrings, toys, champagne, love letters EVERY DAY, mix tapes, romantic dinners and get aways. He managed all this and was only 19 when we broke up!

It's practically impossible to believe it even happened to me!

One day, he made a mistake though. He'd done a good job on me and I was pretty resigned to the fact that I had made my bed - and it was flea infested - but was prepared to lie down in it, when we had a huge row.

It was the summer when Oasis and Blur were battling for #1.

Showing us for the stupid kids that we were, I wanted Country House by Blur to win as I thought it was just the best song ever created. He wanted Oasis. I can't remember the title of that song, but he wanted it to get the #1 spot. We were half drunk on tequilla sitting in a field in next to our tent on the sussex coast, smoking and sunning ourselves. The atmosphere was relaxed, the radio was blaring. My brother and his mate were down the beach and we had the place to ourselves. On moments like that - of which there were many - I felt lovely and happy and at peace. A friend of mine was supposed to be coming over that afternoon to chill with us and it was all good.

Blur won the #1 spot.

He went MAD at me. It was of course my fault - disgracing him by dancing around half naked (bikini) in a field and he belted me across the ear. My ear sang like a gun had gone off, I am guessing he nearly broke my ear drum, and the blistering pain bubbled up so much I couldn't speak.

He was on top of me, spitting in my face that I was a f'ing slag acting like that and that his ex girlfriend would never go on like that. She was so much better than me. Why was he still here. He was going off to get a proper shag. I could sit here and baby sit the kids (my bro and his mate) and think about how I hurt him every day and how if I wanted to be with him I needed to grow up.

He kicked me in the back and left. He had borrowed his mates car to get to the camp site, did not have a driving licence or insurance (obviously) and was intoxicated.

I was left in agony in a field without transport, money (in the car!), and therefore access to food or a payphone.

I opened up and cried myself to sleep in the tent waiting for my brother to come back. I had forgotten that my friend from work was supposed to be coming over.

At about 4ish I heard a car and was instantly getting myself together ready to apologise and win him over and when I came out it was my friend from work. He had brought some home made pizza and some chicken to BBQ, beer, wine and fags!

He saw my dishevelled state and was an instant balm. I told him most of what happened, leaving out the punches, slaps and spitting and that he might be back soon, but I didn't think so.

I didn't believe he was going back to his ex girlfriend's - they had broken up 2 years before and it was a schoolkid thing. It was just something he said to make me jealous, which in fact it never did because I didn't think this girl existed anyway - none of his Friend's remembered him having a girl before me... so....

I actually thought, and was correct, that he went to his mates who he'd borrowed the car from, got high and then passed out for a couple of days.

So. Me, my friend from work and 2 hungry teenage boys spent the night in the tent. My bro and his mate went to bed and my friend and I chatted for ages and ages. The following morning we went to the beach, my friend phoned in sick so I wasn't alone and we had a blast. We went driving and doing handbrake donuts on top of a hill, we picked up a hitchhiker at 3am who was an archaeologist excavating a prehistoric human find and had a fascinating woodland picnic with him in the moonlight showing us around the site.

That night my friend told me that he was deeply worried for my safety and asked why I would stay with someone like that.

I said it was because no one else would want me. He said, he did.

He found the lock. He had the key. It unlocked my hope.

The following morning we went to the phone box, he rang his girlfriend and told her it was over. It had been on and off for a while while they were at Uni, and he hadn't seen her for about a month but he said it was only fair to tell her immediately. He didn't want me thinking he had kept something from me.

Then I dialled 'His' number and I left a message with his Mum, because he refused to talk to me, that he and I were through. She was very very upset.

The next few days were an absolute whirlwind. I was showered by the creep with flowers and mix tapes of unending love, then spiteful late night phone calls calling me every name under the sun, then begging messages (my mum bought an answer phone because of it) pleading to take him back.

I was still just barely clinging on to my college course, so had to bump into all 'our friends' and try and avoid him. I stayed late in class as he was outside waiting for it to end - stuff like that.

In the end I bagged every bit of stuff that he had ever given to me - even flowers that I had dried that he'd given me - in dustbin liners and Mum and I drove them round to his house. There was no one home, so I found the key to the garage in the usual place, unlocked it and dumped it all inside. I then popped a note through his door telling him he was welcome to it all and I never wanted to see him ever again.

I quit my college- it was hardly worth the sham of attending any more. He had put paid to my education so well that I needed to start over any how.

Over my 2 years at college, I had done 8 A level courses.
I started the first year doing Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Maths. Yes I really did. I quit at the end of the year as I had missed so much work because of 'Him' and his dramas that I decided to start over.
The next year I did History, Film Studies, History or Art and Art. I dropped this a week into my second year when I dropped the bags off at his house.

Nowadays that would count for 4 full A levels, but then it was worth nothing. He ruined my 2 year window of opportunity. I did later complete courses and things, but all whilst juggling a house, new husband and a little baby.

After the bag dumping we came home in my Mini listening to the Foo Fighters.

Big Me is the song of the break up. You would think it would be Country House, but I can still listen and enjoy that song. Big Me is the one that cracks me, that opens those jaws again and everything I lost in that 2 years.

He took my friends
He took my innocence
He took my trust of men
He took my education
He took my first baby

All of those things he took from me. And more.

I can't begin to list all the horrible things. All the little snippets like news paper clippings running through my mind. They are far to vast to catalogue.

Then today the supposedly innocuous website Facebook, has brought so many bitter questions up that have probably brewed there for years, but just hadn't fully formed in my mind.

I've told you what happened, but the emotional pain is not raw because of that. The past affects me sometimes when particular dates roll by. November 30th 1994 in my diary reads:

Went in for my little operation. Unfortunately had to be alone. Mum and 'Him' in waiting room - I was so frightened. 'Him' bought (stole) me 5 CD's. Bjork, Lemonheads, Pearl Jam and 2 others. He had to work this evening so coming over tomorrow. I love him
He did sit in the waiting room, I guess I can give him that, but he didn't even bother to take the evening off to comfort his girlfriend on the murder of their child.

It was the worst experience of my entire life. I was spared the NHS as my mother paid for a private 'purging'. However a ward in Brighton, full of tired hard prostitutes on their 5th or 6th ridding, talking about their punters across your bed holds a deadly sickening and kidney splitting shame.

When I looked at his profile picture, little girl of about 7 sitting on his knee with a boy of about 4 and one of  about 2 playing at his heels a vivid blast of coming-around in the recovery room staring at a prostitute's tattooed arse flashed into my mind. Sickness, anger, hate and deep sadness.

Did he think of me when he was trying to get his wife with child? Did he think of the one he killed when his wife told him she was pregnant? Did he wonder if it would live throughout the pregnancy? Did he feel like he didn't deserve to be given a child after what he did? Does his wife know that he killed one of her kids brothers or sisters? Do other people who've gone through this think about this shit?

No, I doubt it. He's got 3 beautiful children. He's married to his ex girlfriend - the one I thought was imaginary.

Gravida 8 Para 1. That's my story. I have 8 children, of which 7 are dead.

I feel like he added me on facebook to torture me. Rational me would be like "Nah, he's just nosey and wondering if you got fat like everyone else" But I feel like he's done it to show me what he's got. Fuck! It's 18 years ago. Why should I care? Why is this so bloody and raw?

I bet he doesn't even remember the date. Over the years I have gradually forgotten the date, but for some reason I wake up feeling low and tearful and my husband, god bless him, will say "Yeah, it's your sad day". I had found peace, to a certain degree, in knowing that Lupus took all my babies, and it would have been the same for that little one had it gone on a week or two more... but all the same. I still had to go through the trauma of his abuse and threats to leave me if I didn't sort it. Telling my parents and ruining their image and dreams of me that will forever be etched on their minds. Going to that awful place where the doctor that signs you off afterwards gives you a brown package and says

"Pee in this in 2 weeks and send it in for testing"
and you say "What?!?!? After all that I could still be pregnant"
and he said "It happens. Goodbye, I hope to never see you again in my entire life".  


That speech is etched on my mind. I can see his office, feel and smell his minty breath on my face and hear the heating fan in the background. See the rubber plant and the books. I can see myself walking out of there numb. Shock.

I want to accept it. I want to click "yes, I'll be your friend" and devour his pictures and see what his life is like now because there is no way it can be as good as mine is now. I want to shove it to him so he can see what he abused and threw away like rubbish, how well I have done despite his efforts.


I clicked block instead.

Even though you think no ones connected, we all are in little tiny threads of ways. I know which friend he knows, A distant old friend from school. It would seem they work together at a Food Superstore. I got rid of them too, just in case. They won't notice I have dropped off their feed as they are one of the many with too many threads - an impossible 1000+ friends.

It just shows me how little we look at things, I hadn't checked their profile for years probably, and he's now working on the fish counter and delicatessen of the same food store as 'Him'. If I had checked, it might have rung an alarm bell or two as that's where he worked as a teenager. That's where he is still working. That actually made me quite happy :)

The big dreamer is still having to dream, but it was always within me to realise mine.

I might have to entirely re-think being on facebook. But then again, it would be such a shame if he's ruined that too.

What a dilemma.