After my last post, it has got me thinking about the journey I went on which turned me into the great invisible force for the first time. I grew up with a very emotionally insecure mother who seemed to require my positivity to determine her mood for the day. If I was having a bad day, and she could do nothing about it, you could actively see her start to wither as the day went on. This was the beginning of my training into always being the person who has to please everyone. My mum and sister never bonded, due to particularly devastating post natal depression, and so by the point that I came along there was always going to be the great unknown as to how she would cope with me. As it happened, her hormone levels turned out to be of the good variety which meant that I was always going to be the child that “fixed the bad situation”. My sister was a Daddy’s girl anyway, so it wasn’t any great hardship that I would inevitably become a Mummy’s girl. It was by the time that I grew up to become “Daddy’s little boy”, at the same time, that things really got messy.
My sister was always quite a girly girl and, as she was 6.5 years older, was always very maternal towards me. It was like I had 2 Mums and a Dad, who all adored this “little bundle of joy”. I never questioned, for a second, whether I was loved; in fact, i took it quite for granted. That’s a very fortunate situation for any child to be in. The problem with being this loved by people who are emotionally insecure themselves is that it ends up putting a lot of pressure on the person who is adored so greatly. To induce love in someone is a form of power and, as the cliché rightly states, with such power comes great responsibility. As a child, this was ok because there is very little expectation put on you, you’re allowed to be who or what you want to be. It was by the time that the empathy and guilt chips had been fully fitted that everything starts to become more difficult.
When you are the beloved one, then the expectation is there for you only to ever do things that people would love you for. This isn’t really possible in anyone’s world so the chances of disappointing are astronomical. In a way, it teaches you to be a little devious and to manipulate situations as much as possible so as to not have to deal with ‘the face ‘! Where other people have pressure put on them at school, I never did really. My sister was the academic child and, no matter how intelligent i was ever likely to be, that meant my abilities were never really nourished in that respect. It was ok, I was the loveable one who really loves children, I’d just be able to marry someone who would look after me and let me have lots of babies. Given, I genuinely did grow up with that ideal life situation ingrained into me but physically was something that was just never going to be possible. That’s a completely different story though.
So, I grew up with this ideal life plan where being a mummy never really involved having to put any kind of effort in at school. So I just didn’t! In retrospect, this is a ridiculously stupid way to bring up any child! I’ll make up for it, i’m sure, now that I’m aware of what I’m capable of but really wish i had been able to have my opportunities encouraged then. The thing about growing up with the ‘mummy plan’ is that it requires you to have a partner, this was my priority in school!
I have always been the ‘fat kid’ out of my peer group and with that comes the socially accepted opinions that nobody would ever want to have anything to do with me in a sexual capacity. Without the sex there would be no babies so not having a boy of my own was just a daunting scenario. All lining up for me not to feel the need to be choosy! Don’t get me wrong, I was never bullied for my weight to any great degree as I always had a sweet personality, pretty face and a quick mind for a comeback.
When I was 14 I was your average teenager: hanging around up town with my friends through the summer, chatting to pen pals (all boys), the natural curiosity of romance/love/physical exploration and probably less naive than most of my peers. We would frequent one music shop in particular, and through doing that, noticed that the security guard kept looking at us. Given, the fact that we were in and out of there several times in a day could arouse suspicion, we did however think there was one of us in particular he was watching. Obviously this became a game and we swapped different friends in twos to see who it was that he was paying particular attention to. As it turned out it was me. As the summer progressed he got to the point where he came and spoke to me away from the store and asked for my number. I never asked how old he was, he never asked how old I was. Anyway, long story short, we had our first date a couple of weeks later where I discovered he happened to be weeks away from his 23rd birthday and i was weeks away from my 15th. In retrospect, this was hugely inappropriate! On all levels! I wasn’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth though. I felt I had to take those opportunities because, in my mind, there wasn’t likely to be any others.
Anyway, we lasted a few weeks and he even insisted on buying me a ring (in a non engagement capacity) for my birthday. He was also a virgin and so we explored a few things but never got to the point of full sex. We were even each other’s first kiss. Imagine that, a 23 year old who had never even found anyone to kiss him! Every single possible indicator was there that I was the most vulnerable person around and with the control that my mother had over me made me seem like i could be moulded into anything. I got a bit freaked out by his feelings so quickly and eventually ended up losing my virginity, on my 15th birthday, to one of my pen pals who had come up for my birthday party. It’s amazing what a sniff of martini will do to you on your birthday. He found out about this and we broke up, I was relieved.
I had a couple of relatively serious boyfriends after that, one who happened to be abusive and left me with quite hardcore baggage. There were a few other guys and, in reality, i was never really single in any kind of capacity until i was 17 where I had a year long dry spell. Within this dry spell my confidence level nosedived and I was back to feeling like I was that fat kid who nobody would ever want to have sex with. Enters in first boyfriend again, through circumstance. We were both older, a little bit wiser, but fundamentally the same people we were when we were younger. I was at the place where I wanted to have my family (my plan was to have my first baby by 19!) and so when he asked me if he could buy me a ring I happily accepted. We were engaged within 3 months of getting together, had bought a house within 6 months and had a cat by 9 months. When you’re 18 then this is a really huge amount of stuff to try and process.
I always believed it was when we got the house that the control began but there were always little signs before then of making me feel like i was a little bit of an annoyance to him. He had already begun the sexual insecurities within me. He didn’t like the smell of my lady garden (oh the struggle to find an appropriate terminology without sounding like a biology book!) and would only put his face near it if there was some kind of food there to mask the taste or smell. This is something I still have occasional paranoid episodes about but have been informed that, as people go, mine is actually a very nice smelling one as I keep it so clean. If he was too hot, i was not allowed to touch him at all because he hated sweating. He was very much into (possibly slightly inappropriate) public displays of affection but only really ever if they were on his terms! These things are all warning bells but, in my mind, beggars can’t be choosers!
When the house was there the control became more obvious. I didn’t move in because there was a lot of work to be done, I couldn’t drive (he could) and worked in a place that I needed a good bus route. Our house was in a small village outside of the main town and had a very irregular bus service. I still paid for my half of all of the bills, in fact, probably more than my half. As it worked, he would get my entire wage except for enough money for me to have to buy the 2 types of bus pass that i had to buy for the month to go between the 2 houses. I would spend weekends at the house and during the week with my parents. This seemed to be a win, win for everyone I had to please in my life. Probably quite draining for me though, now i come to think about it. The work that needed to be done in the house, just never got done because he wouldn’t trust people to pay to do the work. I’d babysit, save all of my money up, to get things done in the house and he just wouldn’t get the work done. Instead, he’d just find other ‘uses’ for the money.
Even with me giving over all of my money he would still run up credit card bills. This happened the entire time of our relationship and I would bail him out by getting loans in my name and cutting up his credit cards. He’d just get new credit cards and not tell me! I was the sensible one, obviously, so would be the one who was able to make sure we always had a safety net. it became my role, really. He’d mess up and I’d bail him out. It was just what happened! I didn’t know any different.
by this point the groundwork was set, there was very little left for him to have to do to control me. I just desperately wanted to please and failed at every turn. There are many more areas after this but I feel this was the journey that lead to the first vision of my great invisible force. Something that should be avoided by everyone at all costs. If you read this and relate to any of it please do me a favour. Please just take a step back, think about yourself and get out if you can. Life is so much better when you do and getting out when it’s early days then the less damage that can be done!