It’s 23 hours since my last post, if nothing else this time off work is allowing me to write a lot and I LOVE to write so I am really enjoying that but also I am attempting being creative in other ways.
Yesterday, as I’ve already said, I made 2 lasagnes, a fruit cake and some scones. The scones didn’t rise and so were more like rock cakes but hey, at least I had tried and I did have fun making them.
Today I got up with my husband and had a cup of tea with him before he went off to work. He does this cute thing where he puts on his pants, socks and trousers and then lies on the sofa, propped up by one of the cushions and covers his bare chest up with a blanket and watches tele whilst he eats his cereal and drinks his tea. As I watch him do that it really makes me think of the young boy in him and the young child he once was – I am sure he is just a bigger version now. He may as well be watching cartoons. My heart literally swells up with the love I feel for him and I sometimes get this weird feeling that I wish I had known him as “little him” as well as adult him. The good thing is that he isn’t shut off against his young self and he is often silly and mischievous – in fact he does this thing where he does a giant smile and makes his eyes really big and “naughty” and says “it isn’t me, it’s little [name]”. Bless him, he is such a good egg.
Anyway, so once he had left for work, I decided to get my gym clothes on and do some exercise. I debated for a while about whether to drive to the gym and do some cardio, or whether to do one of the YouTube videos I like. I couldn’t decide so (shamefully) Googled it. I am a serial Googler it is true… anyway, Google put forward a fight for both gym AND home workouts which wasn’t helpful at all but I decided as I hadn’t done any exercise for weeks, starting off at home might be a good idea and it saved me having to drive there and back.
I found a 30 minute full body dumbbell workout which I like, I like ones by “Bodyfit By Amy” so I found one that was for strength and conditioning rather than HIT and managed to get through it – though it was TOUGH! I was a hot, red, sweating mess by the end but felt good that I had finally got back to it. I have no doubt whatsoever that I won’t be able to walk properly tomorrow, the aches are definitely going to get me!!
After that, I did some yoga to cool down which was nice. It’s been such a long time since I did any yoga and I found some of the moves quite difficult which is a bit annoying as I used to go frequently. I found myself getting a bit impatient when the gaps between each movement were too long and so decided I wasn’t really feeling settled or calm enough right now so turned it off intending to go back to it when the time was better.
After that I decided to start cooking a beef stew in the slow cooker – you may notice a bit of theme with my cooking these past few days, all wintery, stodgy, comfort food dinners. I browned off the meat and then slung it all in the slow cooker – DONE!
Next I decided to make some more scones and try to get them to rise. I followed a different recipe this time, this one added 2 eggs into the mixture which was different from yesterday’s and I had Googled and learnt not to handle the dough too much as it can push the air out, which stops them rising. This batch went much better although my ability not to mess up the entire kitchen still needs improving!!
Once they were done, I went to shower, do my hair etc and then it was time to leave to drive to T’s for my extra session. It was really nice knowing I could see T again today. Older readers may remember that for an entire year I had two sessions a week, Tuesday evenings and Thursday afternoons, so going today was a reminder of that and it felt nice.
I decided to take T a couple of today’s scones. I wasn’t sure why, other than the fact that it is nice to share these homemade things with people who don’t mock you and who encourage you, and T would never mock me. Unlike someone…
I got to T’s and she opened the door in her usual smiling way and the first thing I noticed was that we were wearing very similar tops, I think they call them flannel shirts? You know the kinda stripey shirts with long sleeves? Mine today is red and blue and her’s was dark blue with light blue stripes. I found that quite amusing but didn’t say anything. I started straight away by saying “Ooh I have something for you” and pulled out the two scones I had made which were in a freezer bag. She said “Oohh how lovely! Scones!” and then I told her about yesterday’s scones and about the lasagne incident and then we spoke about baking for a bit. She told me that she had baked cheese scones in the break and then we spoke about the fact I was going to make my mother-in-law a cake for her birthday and which type of cake etc. It was nice. Nice, normal, motherly kind of chat I assume and it feels nice. I like that we have that common interest.
T remarked on the fact I had been busy making things and I said yes! A shepherd’s pie, 2 lasagnes, scones, a fruit cake, a stew, more scones… I said that I was aware that perhaps I was keeping myself a bit distracted because I had barely stopped but she said not to over think it too much and to just enjoy it because it is obviously what I need right now. I told T that I liked the fact that when I am cooking and baking, it is MY thing. My mother didn’t teach me how do cook or bake, I’ve just taught myself and so it feels nobody can claim it. T said that she understood that and also said that you can just “lose yourself” when you are baking. She said sometimes she can just bake all day long and I smiled at that image and enjoyed that thought. It plays right into my fantasy mother figure I guess doesn’t it? The stereotypical kind, loving mum wearing an apron cooking dinners and baking cakes…. LOL.
We spoke about various other things, my stepdaughter’s birthday and how upset she had got when her mother text her saying she had brought her the same thing as us… and her sadness and anger at how her mother keeps sending her and her brothers upstairs out-of-the-way when her new boyfriend is over. We discussed the similarities between the things my stepdaughter was dealing with that I also dealt with and I said how differently I could see it now that I was older and that she was my stepdaughter (and therefore someone I love dearly and feel protective over). I told T that I had empathised with her and said that the only good thing was now that her mother was so interested in her new bloke, she was letting us have the kids as much as we liked because it suited her – hence camping etc.
Somehow we got onto the subject of love and sex (I can’t remember how) and I said that I was listening to Lily Allen’s autobiography at the moment and this morning she was saying how growing up feeling invisible had meant that she became hugely co-dependent and that he fell in love with anyone that fancied her because she needed to be loved, approved of and looked after. I said that I felt the same applied to me and T nodded and said that yes, it would have. (Ah I’ve just remembered how this came about – I told T it is my mother’s birthday today, T asked how old she was and I said she was 51. She had said that there would be an envy in there that she was 51 and I was 30 and I said that I can still remember her 30th birthday and that she had a stripper which I watched and was disturbed by – T was shocked that I had seen that and said about how she is surprised it didn’t affect me more, sexually speaking)…
[TW: Below contains stories of sexual nature – some unpleasant and could be triggering so please take care if you could be triggered]
I told T that on that note, when I took the kids camping, we were in the entertainment hall in the evening when I saw my first serious boyfriend (read the boy I lost my virginity to). T was shocked and said what a small world etc and I told her that my reaction had surprised me. I told her that when I saw him, I went into panic, my heart started to beat really, really fast and I had to excuse myself to the bathroom to try to calm down. I remember sitting on the toilet thinking “Calm down! You are 30 now – married! Here with your stepchildren. You are a capable adult doing well for herself“.
I told her that as soon as I saw him I could almost smell him and that it made me feel sick. I said the smell was sweat and fags and my whole body kind of shook and shrugged as if to get the smell away from myself. T said I was probably too young for it all and I said I was 15 – she seemed shocked and asked if I had lost my virginity to him at 15 and I said yes. She said she wasn’t surprised given my upbringing.
I told T that the night I had slept with him for the first time, with anyone for the first time, we were at his aunt and uncle’s house and he had got me drunk on gin or rum ( I can’t remember which) and orange juice to the point where I had been physically sick in the toilet, and then his aunt and uncle went out and we did it on their front room floor. I told her I was watching tele over his shoulder and that the whole thing was nothing special at all.
T said what a shame it was that my first experience with sex was like that and I said I just didn’t get what the fuss was about. I told her that he had been 19 at the time and she said he could have been arrested and I told her that he used to swear me to secrecy for that reason!
I told T that looking back, I was very insecure, needy and hugely co-dependent and I was so desperate to be loved that I attached myself to any man who looked my way. I realise now that this is why I used to find myself dating boys I never had any previous interest in, or men I didn’t even particularly like or fancy (at first). It was like the second they looked my way and didn’t instantly disapprove – I needed to be with them. It makes me embarrassed to admit that now, but I can understand it and see that actually it is sad and just demonstrates how much love and nurturing I was missing which should have come from healthier sources – such as my mother.
I said to T that whilst I absolutely did consent to everything we did, it was all for the wrong reasons and looking back now makes me feel sick and wish it had never happened. Not just with him either.
I look back at my sexual experiences now as an adult and it makes me cringe (and feel sad) when I think of some of the sex I had. I gave myself and my body away so freely and yet I’ve never been a slag in the way that I’ve never thought a lot of myself, never found myself sexy, never been sexually confident etc… I just used to throw myself at someone who showed me interest and, as Lily Allen says in her book, “let them take what they wanted from me”. Sex was certainly not an act of love. Not at all.
I once went to a club with some friends and there was this guy there called Steve. He was not an attractive guy but he fancied me and so hey, as I’ve said, I was all his for the taking…. except I wasn’t really. I kind of wanted to like him but couldn’t quite do it. For example, if I was drunk enough I might snog him – I may exchange lots of text messages with him and happily hang out with him in a group but then when I was on my own with him, I just felt uncomfortable and a bit scared really. Not scared of him in that he would do something nasty, just that I didn’t want to have to do anything in the first place and being on my own with him made me feel that I did have to.
There were plenty of times when I would have everyone back to my flat because I lived alone – and then everyone would leave and Steve would lag behind and then not go and I would try to make it obvious I wanted him to go too but Steve clearly wanted to stay… god I hated those times. I really did. I wasn’t strong enough to just ask him to go! God forbid I would upset him – I would clearly rather have upset myself!
Another night we were all at a club and I found myself drunkenly kissing Steve and we shared a taxi home together – except he managed to persuade me to go to his house and so I got out of the taxi with him, went upstairs with him to his bedroom and we got into his bed, started kissing etc and then got naked and (sorry but TMI warning) as he went under the covers to .. do some things to me, I had a giant freak out and told him to stop – grabbed my clothes, cried and asked him to get me a taxi. I freaked out so bad. I scared him, I scared myself. I just couldn’t do it. It wasn’t right and I didn’t like him and it didn’t feel good. EUGH just stop!!!
Poor Steve was shocked and clearly felt rejected and confused. I had to get away as quickly as possible. I don’t remember quite what happened after that but he obviously told his friends as it got back to me quick enough that I was a “prick tease” and one of my friends phoned me up to ask what had happened and why I had run out of his house………..
Another incident that has jumped into my brain, and the last one before this becomes a huge long blog about my sexual experiences, is that I went to the pub one night on my way back from drinking in the City after work, it was late, about 11pm and I got chatting to two guys at the bar. One guy, his name was Glen, was a tall, broad black guy and we flirted with each other and drank until closing. Glen ended up back at my flat and in my bed and, again, sorry for TMI, as we started to have sex (or try at least), it hurt me so much because he was far too, ahem… big for me. He didn’t seem to care and just carried on forcing his way in and out despite me telling him to stop – he didn’t stop for a while and I tried to push him off but he was far too big and heavy and I was paralysed and stuck under him. Eventually he did get off me and he ran out of my flat but swore and shouted at me first. I was PETRIFIED. Absolutely petrified and I had some kind of panic attack where I didn’t feel safe in that flat on my own. He had left the downstairs main door open but I was too scared to go down there to close it in case … I don’t know why, in my head then, he might have been hiding and jumped out at me, hurt me somehow or got back into my flat.
I was left a mess in that flat. I was in shock, petrified, questioning if he had half raped me, scared to be alone, scared to sleep, wanting to be drunk. I couldn’t handle it. I was very lost. It wasn’t long after this incident that I finally told my mother about the sexual abuse I had encountered at the hands of her ex boyfriend. I have never pieced these two/three things together before now – but perhaps I finally had enough of feeling violated and physically invaded.
I’m really surprised that just came out – I wasn’t even planning to write any of that. It just flew out of me and onto the screen……….. wow. That actually feels quite important, particularly because I have had dreams which leave me petrified that I’ve forgotten something awful and horrific like a rape and most recently the dream I woke from Sunday left me shaken to my core about having repressed a physical body violation. It feels like perhaps I’ve just pieced some of that narrative together which I hadn’t previously really understood.
People DID take advantage of my body and it probably felt like a form of rape, an invasion, because I didn’t understand what I was doing or why. I was just laying there and letting these people do what they wanted to me and I just switched off and let them do it even though I didn’t want that at all. I guess it wasn’t really their fault – they thought I wanted to have sex with them but I had no sense of self, no idea of what I did and didn’t want, I lived purely to please other people and to try to get love and approval and acceptance to the extent that I allowed myself to be used and then was left feeling depleted, empty and scared afterwards. Not to mention ashamed.
I am going to leave that there for a while to digest it a bit.
And changing the subject again, there is something I really, really miss about seeing T twice a week, even though for the most part of the last nearly year that I’ve been going only once a week, I have been fine and found it enough, today was lovely. I enjoyed the feeling of knowing I was seeing here again this week, of not having to wait a whole week. I liked the fact that I could get up, do some exercise, bake and then see her and then come home for the remainder of the afternoon and have some time to myself to do this – write it up and make some links and piece things together. In the ideal world I would only work 4 days a week and I would have every Thursday off to do that. I wonder if there is even the slightest possibility of me doing that? I wonder if my work would even consider it? I wonder how much it would affect me financially and if it would be affordable -taking into account that I would lose 4 days’ salary each month AND then pay an extra 4 sessions on top. I wonder if there are other sacrifices I could make to make that possible?
Something to think about I suppose even if it is just a fantasy.