Saturday, 20 September 2008
So much to write about today. It's a fantastically beautiful Autumn day here but I feel washed out, sapped of energy, aching, have a need to be near a clean, private lavatory, and just want to get things out - so a second post for today! Well, considering I was awake at 'stupid o'clock' again, what do you expect?!
I'm going to write about my last few months in Oman now and it may take two posts as all sorts of things are returning to me. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin...(this was always the preamble on the radio in the 70s for a children's story-time show called 'Listen With Mother'!)
We were nearing the performance of the pantomime I was directing for the school and I was getting fairly stressed out with our prima donnas, the in-fighting, the inability to get the back-stage crew working and all the other odds and sods which accompany putting on a theatrical production. I went to see a doctor at a nearby surgery - you could pretty much use any doctor you wanted out there as long as you paid up - and I had heard that this doctor was a bit of a pushover. I asked her for tranquilizers and she prescribed me a type of Valium. Only a week's worth, but enough for me to just slow down a bit and get some sleep at night.
My cutting was very bad. I was slicing my body as though I was taking a cheese grater to myself. Indeed, it has taken five years for me to expose my limbs in the warm, summer months as they looked so shredded. If the 'White Mist' kicked in and I wasn't near a knife, I'd go for anything: Coke can ring-pulls; scissors; the lids off tin cans; razors and one night, I sat and held the lit end of my cigarette on the inside of my forearm - anything to cause external pain and distraction from the ongoing screaming in my head.
I was looking quite slim at this stage - bulimia was utterly ravaging me now and had more than dismissed the initial, sensible Weight Watchers diet I had embarked upon - and the scabs and scars covering my body prompted that memorable comment from the ex about me looking like 'A Road Traffic Accident'. I knew I looked pretty repulsive, but I'll never forgive him for compounding it like that when all he had to do was show some compassion.
We visited Dubai for the weekend: me, the ex and the girls; my 'best friend', 'the other woman', and her husband; their son, and her brother, C. There was a definite male-female split to the trip: 'the other woman', an ardent shopaholic, took me to Deira City Centre while the men took the children to the Wet 'n' Wild park. I'd had an anxiety attack alone in our room, binged and purged quite badly, and taken a ring-pull to my legs as no blades were available. I guess it had been a bit on the dirty side, as I had pulled it from a bin, and the cuts did end up rather infected. I had to trawl around the shops for hours with 'the other woman'. It was tedious. I might be one of the few women who isn't that interested in walking around shops - give me eBay any day!
Eventually, I begged 'the other woman' to return with me as I was starting to limp more and more; the cuts were still bleeding on my legs and blood stains were seeping through my trousers. I felt exhausted and when I passed comment about it to the ex, upon his return with the girls, I was treated to a somewhat sarcastic tirade about how shopping didn't appear to be anywhere near as much hard work as looking after two lively girls in a water park.
We had organised hotel baby-sitting for the night as we were all set to go out on the town. I wore my new clothes, did my hair nicely and, for a change, felt quite attractive. 'The other woman''s husband, AM, told me I looked 'stunning' which was a lovely compliment for me. He was a very kind man to me - he was my confidante throughout all of this as he had self-harmed many years previously. Where Anal let me down, AM stepped up to the challenge. And Anal didn't like it - and still, to this day, wrongly accuses me of having an affair with him...As an aside, the ex didn't pass any comment about my appearance. Which is hardly surprising considering what ensued in the following weeks.
We were to eat at a Thai restaurant. Five adults - no children. I was utterly dreading it. I didn't want to go through the ignominy of eating, having money spent on me which would ultimately be wasted, and then have to go searching out the toilets. I begged them to let me walk around the shops - it was Ramadhan and the shops were open until very late in the malls - and I would meet them when they had finished. They wouldn't let this happen, and so the inevitable did.
I hated it: I hated the way as soon as food hit my stomach, I fell on everything else like a greedy pig, devouring the fattiest, most calorific, tastiest foods: Aren't you eating that? Can I have it? Who wants this last one? Oh, I'll have it then. Shall we get pudding? Who's for Tricky Coffees?
And then it's the same old chestnut: Just need to pop to the loo. Shan't be long...
But you are a long time. You've got your head bent over a public loo, not knowing whose backside has been on it previously, hoping against hope that nobody comes in and hears the filthy noises. And if they do, then you have to break off, vomit and bile dripping from your nose, mouth and hands, hovering over the bowl as silently as you can muster. And then you resume when the hand-drier starts and you puke and puke until you feel like you're going to bring up your intestines. And then you use tissues to clean up so you don't emerge looking like The Creature From The Swamp. And then your bowels realise that some part of that meal hasn't been brought up, so they decide they'll get moving, too. Can you get cleaned up in time to take off your trousers without leaving vomit stains on them? Are you going to have an accident? Oh God! Hurry Up!!
It's like being in a 24/7 nightmare having an ED. It's a nightmare of shame, mortification, secrets and lies.
As soon as you're able, you can leave the sanctuary of the toilets. But not without applying a heap of make-up in the hope that the lipstick isn't going to enhance the redness of your eyes and nose. Hoping that the so-called 'waterproof' mascara which is now half-way down your cheeks can be wiped off without too much damage. And hoping that nobody is starting to talk about your lengthy absence.
We partied quite hard that night. AM and I broke away from the others - they wanted to return to their rooms, but we were having fun for a change. We went to Scarlet's Bar at the top of the Emirates Towers and the view was incredible. We drank cocktails, laughed uproariously at his ridiculous jokes and then the bar closed for the night.
We got in the lift and arrived at our floor. AM took me to my room, and we walked in. To find Anal and 'the other woman' in bed together...
OK. There was no hanky-panky going on - they were both fully clothed at that point - but they said they were cold and under the covers was the warmest place. I, personally, would have just turned down the A/C...What would you have done?
Sometimes, I can't see the wood for the trees. I can be fairly gullible and shrugged it off. Maybe I just didn't really care that much? I knew what a bastard he was by that stage and there was no love there. Perhaps, though, if I'd have thought a bit harder, I'd have been a bit more wary of my 'best friend' who I did love, very much.
I've left Ian downstairs for way too long now, and so I am going to see my wonderful husband and enjoy the rest of my Saturday - but this post needs to be followed up and there is a lot to come. There's a lot of anger going to follow, too, so I may end up swearing a bit! Apologies in advance.
Don't forget - if you do happen on this blog, please try to leave a comment. The more positive the better (not just for my own ego and fragile self-confidence, I hasten to add) as I am discovering that people really are getting something out of what I thought might be classed as self-indulgent vanity posting. I can assure you - this wasn't written for those reasons. If we can help others, and I can ultimately help myself with this, it won't be a waste of time.