Tuesday, 15 May 2012

A tale of two (or three)

The Man Who Can’t Get Married Pictures, Images and Photos

Nicki was my hero(ine).  She would always joke about her three 'boyfriends.’  One in the south, one in east London and one in north London. I'd look askance at her – shake my head and carry on what I was doing.  I’d crow about her dating prowess to anyone and everyone that we would meet – which would cause her to blush and say “they don’t know me – I don’t want them to make assumptions about what I’m doing”.  I’d smile - a little confused by her reticence and quietly wonder what in fact she was or wasn’t doing.  How the heck this multi dating thing work?  For me, it didn’t actually ever matter as (at the time) I was in a relationship and had left that dating malarkey behind.

So that was then…and having recently entered this dating arena (yes – arena) again I have experienced being one of the entourage of girlfriends or boyfriends first hand.  

It was having a well- deserved and much needed day off when I met the Mild Mannered Accountant (he’s not actually an accountant but he should be and…just go with it ok?).  Where was I, oh yes, it was a lovely Sunday evening – I was out with some of my girlfriends, making merry and generally relaxing when he slid on over.  The mild mannered accountant didn’t conform to my usual type but he did do one thing extremely well: he made me laugh.  And laugh raucously.  Having recently felt the absence of laughter in my laugh when after the third time of hinting that I should take his telephone number – when he slipped his business card into my bag I didn’t object.  So after a couple of days of consideration I called and a date was arranged. Things kicked along for a couple of weeks well enough – we ate food, talked and laughed.  Laughed lots.  Things were going well.  My little bubble of potential happiness was about to burst.

So I was out last week with some friends…and friends of friends when I get talking to one of the girls who I haven’t connected with a while.  She starts talking about the new man in his life…the more I listen the more he sounds…familiar.  Where does he live….in my part of London she replies.  What’s his profession…’accountant’ she replies.  I pause.  What’s his name…she’s concerned now…’Mr Mild mannered “she replies.

Oh.

So it turns out, that like my friend Nicki who I love and adore – Mr Mild Mannered accountant also has three ‘girlfriends’…one is the south, one in the east and one in North London.  I rant about it to Nicki later – talking about the unfairness of it all.  “Did you have the conversation…you know the – what are we doing conversation”…she asks?  “No, It wasn’t that serious and I wasn’t exchanging bodily fluids with him” I reply. “Well then.” Nicki says.  And those two words sum it all up.  I finally get round to asking her what she has been doing with not one but three ‘boyfriends’ and she informs me she has been keeping her options open, learning what she does and doesn’t want and honing her decisions…that that’s just what people do these days.  She doesn’t sleep around and she doesn’t sleep with them and everyone is very clear where they stand.   I listen intently and absorb what she has to say.

There’s no big insight to this – no great conclusion.  Maybe I’m a little shell shocked.  Maybe a little annoyed that this guy actually had the balls to date (to varying degrees) three women at the same time.  Maybe I am secretly annoyed that I wasn’t doing it myself. Maybe.

Keep Going!
#THR

Your Thoughts?

Friday, 4 May 2012

A tale of Y and Z

Procrastination Pictures, Images and Photos

This post should have been written nearly a week ago....

I had all the best of intentions,  I pondered briefly the topics I would write on to complete my A to Z challenge.  I looked like I was on track...and then IT hit me. 

Procrastination, grabbed me , gluing my fingers to my sides and leaving my netbook lonely and abandoned.  I became it's prisoner.   Sure I've had a busy week - I have acquired a new client for my business and as with all new relationships I've been wanting to put all my effort in.  I've also been on a couple of pre - dates (or interviews as I like to call them - more on those next week) but...they're no real excuse for the procrastination. 

Procrastination became my close companion. I didn't finish as I had meant to start - didn't provide the commitment to something that I had intended to. I know where I went wrong. I know what I need to do and not do: Commit. Believe. Succeed.   And yet I didn't.

That was then.

Procrastination and I are separating for a while. I'm going to do better and be better.... Why? Because - difficult or not. Later than intended or not... I love to finish what I started.

Keep Going! 

#THR

Friday, 27 April 2012

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Wants


 
I'll tell you what I want...what I really, really want :
 
1. A house in the suburbs
2. Improved relationships with friends and families
3. To not only use my skills but also to excite my passions in everything I am doing
4. To have and to be that earth moving, jaw dropping, stomach churning love...
 
Three out of four ain't bad.
 
Does what I want collide with what I need? I think so :)
 
Keep Going!
 
THR 
 
What do you want or yourself? 

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

There isn't a type (Repost)

One of my earliest posts...Violence/ Domestic Violence is completely uncceptable. Please read, share and take some action.
alone Pictures, Images and Photos
Image by Tabo89
I’m a survivor.

Not of a train crash, an earthquake or a disease. 

I’m a survivor of an Abusive relationship. I don't write this just for the sake of sharing - I write this because of the perception that abuse only happens to a certain type of woman and that abuse only takes one particular form. This can happen to anyone and may be happening to someone you know. Some type of abuse is experienced by 1 in 4 women (Yougov research, July 2008.) Look around your circle...1 in 4? Regardless of your socio-economic group, race or age - you know someone.

I met and started dating ’C’ when I was 16 and a half - he was 3 years older than me, a musician and physically beautiful. For the most part he was charming so... I overlooked the petty jealousy, the requests that I spent most of my spare time with him and the demands that I ‘prove’ myself - all things that caused some of the people close to me to dislike to him. Things went along - lots of breaks and make ups but when we eventually parted things were reasonably amicable.

I finished secondary school. Started an Economics degree at a top London University and basically got on with my life.

C reappeared about a month into the second year of my degree and suggested we meet up. There was still that old chemistry between us so I thought "Why not?". I was in a house share off campus which afforded us far more freedom than we'd ever had and within a few weeks he had more or less moved out of his parents place into mine.

It became apparent that C had developed a habit of regularly getting drunk or high (it helped his creativity apparently). Oh, and he’d fathered a son who he was in the middle of a bitter custody battle over. When he was drunk or high we rowed. A lot. The arguments became more frequent and ferocious – sometimes ending with C physically preventing me from leaving the room and yelling till I just gave in. It worried me but I excused his behaviour blaming it on the stress of his situation and the drink or drugs. Until he did it once whiles he was completely sober. On that occasion, over some perceived disrespect, he dragged me into a side alley and proceed to shout at me for what felt like hours. I'm 5ft 5(ish) and around 120lbs so I was not going anywhere. I remember looking around for someone to help me and when a man who was about his size cut through the alley I thought "Thank goodness".. But when C turned and looked directly at him with a “What the f*** are you looking at?” the man averted his eyes and kept walking.

The end of our relationship came a couple of weeks later. I hadn't seen much of C, but we’d spoken and he’d apologised profusely. I was shaken but still slightly in the frame of mind where I’d excuse him, so when a University friend said they were having a party - I invited C along. The moment he arrived, younger brother and best friend in tow, I sensed that something was wrong. His brother and friend, after giving me the normal greeting, disappeared off into the crowds but he just stood – stony faced and bodyguard like - a few feet from me. A couple of the guys who I went to Uni with stopped to say hello to both of us. He blanked them. Muttering "The next n***** that talks to you is going to get stabbed."

What?

He repeated what he’d said adding that he had a knife with him.

Thinking more about the safety of the other guests than myself - when he insisted that we head outside to talk I left with him. Hindsight is a wonderful thing... I spent the next 4 hours with a knife at times being held to my throat with ‘C’ alternating between saying that he was going to kill me or was going to kill himself because he "couldn’t live” without me. 

We broke up over the phone. Or rather I broke up with him over the phone – it had taken an extreme event for me to see the situation for what it was and to realise that I was no longer safe with him. A couple of days later I packed up to move to another city.

So what do you need to look out for?

Remember that 1in 4 figure I quoted? Look around your circle of friends and acquaintances again.  Refuge, one of the UK Charities against domestic violence state the warning signs to look out for are any combination of the following:

• Is he jealous and possessive
• Does he cut her off from family and friends and try to isolate her?
• Is he charming one minute and abusive the next, does he have sudden changes of mood – like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde?
• Does he control her life –for example money, who she should see, what she should wear?
• Does he monitor her movements?
• Does he blame her for the abuse?
• Does he humiliate or insult her in front of others?
• Does he verbally abuse her?
• Does he constantly criticise her?
• Does he use anger and intimidation to frighten her and to make her comply with his demands?
• Does he tell her she’s useless and couldn’t cope without him?
• Has he threatened to hurt her or people close to her if she leaves?
• Does she change her behaviour to avoid making him angry and triggering an attack?
• Does he force her to have sex when she doesn’t want to?
Source: www.refuge.co.uk

If you are in this or a similar situation – hear me when I say that ANY sort of abuse be it emotional, verbal or domestic violence is not OK. I’ve had people come out with the ‘at least he never hit you’ BS - please understand, he doesn’t have to have hit you for a relationship to be abusive and unhealthy. He does not behave the way he does because he ‘loves’ you. His behaviour has nothing to do with love and everything to do with control. I need you to recognise this as I want you to be secure – both physically and mentally. It’s going to take time – but confide in a trusted friend, a charity like Refuge or the police and start looking at an exit plan.

Maybe this doesn’t affect you directly or maybe this has started you thinking about someone you know. On some level you sense that something is just not right. You think of that woman and you see someone who has convinced herself that maybe she did something wrong or that maybe she is stuck in this situation (because of money because of children). Be patient with her – it’s going to take time to deal with what is often an overwhelming range of emotions. Again, the police and charities such as Refuge are your key starting points for advice.

I justified a lot. I hid a lot. But on some level I knew that what was happening was wrong. There was so much shame associated with even being in that situation that I just turned the blame inward - because I was smarter than this and should never have got into this situation. It took me a really long time to move on from blaming myself or seeing evil in every male out there and to move to renewed trust in my instincts, my values and myself. And I can only wish the same for other women out there.

“This is my wish for you: Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that you can believe, confidence for when you doubt, courage to know yourself, patience to accept the truth, Love to complete your life.”
Unknown

Keep going.

#THR