It is almost 10 years since I managed to break away from a relationship that ate away at my soul.
I met a good looking biker at an AA meeting and eventually we started seeing each other. After about two months he broke up with me because he didn’t know if he was ready for a long term relationship or not.
He’d talked it over wiith his sister before he broke the news to me as he’d mistaken my enthusiasm in bed as undying love. As if.
A couple of months later he decided he was ready to enter into what may become a serious relationship but he asked me to call him on particular nights to say hello. I didn’t have a phone at the time so I had to go to the phone box in a not particularly safe place to ring him. Sometimes I could hear him in the background telling which ever parent had answered the phone that he didn’t want to speak to me.
At this point alarm bells should have been ringing so damned loudly that they blocked out all other sound.
Then he decided he needed a break again. I gave him the time and space he needed and when he decided we were on again I was really quite happy even though I shouldn’t have been.
He came over once a week from work to spend the night and eat with me. Most times he’d complement me on my cooking but there were times when he’d tell me he’d come to expect better from me. I just used to tell him to cook himself if I was that bad and he’d pull his pet lip, put the puppy dog eyes on and I’d shut up.
He was bizarre in bed. I don’t mean that he wanted me to swing from the lights screaming “whip me until bleed” bizarre but he was incapable of doing anything else but the missionary position and everything was at his speed. I can see now that his selfishness was in every part of our relationship but not then.
We were in our mid 30s and he told me he’d always lived at home, he’d never cooked a meal from start to finish, he didn’t know how to use an iron and paid no contribution to his family for expenses etc. He was basically a baby.
Talking of which, I don’t know how he did, it but he made me a baby too. When we split up there was no fewer and a dozen teddy bears in my bedroom that he’d bought me on different occasions. It was almost as if I was a child he had sex with.
After two years his parents told me he had to stop having sex with me so he did and two years later we had an almighty row which ended in him throwing a flat leather shoe at me so that it hit me in the stomach and I was left with a huge bruise. I accepted that it was my fault.
I told him I wanted to be just friends and that meant no kissing or holding hands but he ignored me and I let him do it.
He gave up work after I became ill and there were demands on my time that were pathetic. He’d ring and tell me there was an injured animal (usually a fox or a bird) in their garden and ask me to go and free it. There was never anything there when I arrived.
He had a lot of fun controlling me.
The worst was that when I met him I was a dress size 14. I had the figure I wanted and really nice working clothes. In episodes of mania I ate sugary food and he’d bring me chocolate and, of course, I ate it. He was a feeder. A photo taken in 2007 horrified me. It’s one thing seeing the clothes labels marked with the size 22 labels but quite another to see the photos of what you actually look like.
There was no celebrations of my birthday unless you count a pack of fries and a diet coke at McDonalds. At Christmas I got the kind of gifts that he would like not what I’d like and I thought I deserved that behaviour.
New Years Even 2007. He rang me to say he was taking me out for a meal and that he’d pick me up so I could say hello to his mum. I didn’t want to say hello to his mum but I had to or else there’d be accusations of not caring so off we went.
I thought we were going for an evening meal but at 4.30 pm (yes, you read that right) we were sat in a Beefeater ordering burgers. When they arrived he shovelled his down so fast I thought he was going to choke and I had to leave what was left of mine on the plate. Of course I got a lecture about wasting his money!
So that was it. I got home and I realised that if I didn’t get out of that relationship then I’d be stuck with it for the rest of my life. I’d spent 13 years in a relationship that should have been over in two at the most and would have been better if it had never started in the first place.
I was lucky because we didn’t live together so it was much easier for me to break things up than it is for some people. I rang him to tell him that I needed some time out and he went along with it but told me not to get involved with other men.
I won’t say I walked away and I never looked back because I have. In the early days it’s easy to think that things weren’t that bad, the pull is still there and it tested me to my limits.
The one thing that saved me from going back was the one thing he said I could never do. I’d always dreamed of taking photos and he constantly told me that I’d be dreadful at it. In January 2008 I bought a camera and in February 2008 I sold my first photo. There have been many since then but that was the “fuck you” photo.
It was hard, nearly as hard as giving up drinking or smoking, but I did it. This is my story of my wasted time but I don’t regret what I didn’t do. Everything we do, every step we take, even if it is in the wrong direction, moulds us into the person that we are. I take great pleasure in being the person that he’d hate me to be.