Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Phone calls...

Trying times.

Too much rattling around in my head.

I am rarely alone in this house as my husband works from home. And so I am always putting on a face. He doesn't demand this from me - I do it because I have to. For me. And so, when left alone, all the walls come crumbling down around me and I behave as I wish I could at any time I choose.

And so, last night, when Ian and the girls went Christmas shopping, I found myself pondering those two missed calls from my parents' mobile phone number, and without thinking anything through clearly, impetuously called their house.

I was very polite at first. My mother became belligerent, aggressive, defensive and told me she hadn't called the house at all. I was able to dispute this, so a stream of lies issued forth. Then she squawked for my father who didn't have a clue what was going on. She made out that I would have picked the phone up, that I never went out...so I told her I had been in hospital that weekend.

'Because you are 'dying' of anorexia?' she sneered.

I declined to answer that question.

At the very end, I said to her: "The girls are f*cked up enough as it is. Stay out of their lives, for God's sake."

She started to screech abuse at me, so I put the phone down.

And then I sobbed my heart out. And later on, I took it out on my best, beloved husband, who adores me unconditionally; who tries to make it all right for me; but cannot ever hope to compete with that demonic woman.

Phone calls. Even more of them...

The ex called last night to speak to the girls. I explained they were out shopping. He paused and then thanked me for encouraging Beth to meet with TOW two weekends ago. I was agog and almost speechless. I just about uttered a 'You're welcome'. And as we hung up, again, I cried at how hard and bitter we have to take things before there is any civility. I honestly considered that a change had taken place after that. So I called him only 20 minutes ago and asked, Please can I have my keyboard back.

I had eight years of organ lessons and became quite a proficient player. If Ian and I visit a church, the first place I hit is the organ, hoping that it is unlocked. It never is. In the summer, I asked Beth, by phone, on our way back from an afternoon out, could I have my keyboard. Nobody but me plays. It has sat in the ex's spare room for four years, untouched, gathering dust. He came out, dismissed Beth, and told me, in front of Ian, that the keyboard was now his. This is despite me saving for it from my own freelancing, and despite me being the player. I turned on my heel and walked away. I will not beg. 

I thought, after his thanks last night, he would be a more benevolent character.

No. After my initial request, he ignored me, started talking to the girls whilst on the phone, then came back to me and said, What? What do you want? 

He had heard me, rightly enough.

So I repeated it, feeling smaller and smaller as I did so. I even told him how much I missed playing. He 'ummed' and 'aahed' and then, eventually said, I guess so...

I feel so ridiculously stupid now...

Another phone call today. To our priest, Father Farrell. I am not a Roman Catholic by choice, really - I converted two years ago out of selfishness to get the girls into a decent local school. Prior to that, I was an extremely poor Wesleyan Methodist (no drink, no fags, no sex, no nothing - yeah, right!). But Fr F has taken me into the bosom of his heart and never, ever given up on me. Every week, I had to attend one-on-one classes with him telling me about the Scriptures, the Popes, the tenets, the Mortal Sins. It went in one ear and out of the other to a certain extent, but I always respected Him, as a human being. He made me laugh out loud when he told me his views of Adam & Eve; Noah; the Old Testament as a whole...he may be in his late 60s or so, but he is one Cool Chap. And I love him so much.

I invited him for lunch on the 19th. He said to me, You sound marvellous, Alison. Really, really good. I walked out of the conservatory, where Ian sat working, and told him the truth.

And now I will tell you the truth. It's taken a while, hasn't it? 'Cause I am not reet good at the truth from time to time.

Why was I in hospital three weeks ago? 

Because I tried to take the overdose to end all overdoses.

I have no recollection of anything after Ian finding the empty blister packs where I had hidden them behind the curtain on our bedroom window ledge. He told me that my breathing almost stopped, that I was in so much rigid spasm he couldn't place me into the recovery position suggested by 999. I have also been informed that while under the influence, I was sent for a CT scan as nothing was functioning. The only time there was any recognition was when my eye flickered as Ian kissed my brow. Does that sound cheesey? He asked me the same question. It didn't sound it to me...

I was supposed to stay in for about five days. They put me onto all sorts of drips to which I had enormous allergic reactions, desperate for breath, crying out for help. It took 15 minutes for a nurse to bring me the oxygen I so badly needed. I had four canulas inserted into me - badly...I developed minor phlebitis and moving my wrists and arms was painful for about a week.

They hammered me. But then, why shouldn't they? A suicide case? Someone who doesn't give a turquoise toss about themselves? Why should those over-worked, under-staffed, filthy hospitals care? I don't blame them. I am just a drain on their resources.

I discharged myself. I fought for it, I'll admit. I had to lie through my back teeth to get out of there, stating that I regretted my actions; that I should never have done it; that I would never, ever think of it again.

Don't get me wrong. It's far from my thoughts at the moment. And to be honest, I have a slight, sneaking suspicion it is never, ever going to return due to a 'switch flick'...

I have digressed.

I told Father Jim about it.  He went silent, and then he told me one of the most plaintive things I have ever heard in the whole of my life: he told me he would be incapable of conducting my funeral because he loved me too much. He said he would be unable to speak for crying. 

He told me that he had few friends, but a certain number had touched his soul since arriving in Weaverham four years ago. And I am one of them. He told me that, from the moment he met me, he liked me; that I am a very good friend to him and that to lose me would hurt him immensely.

I don't tell you this to boast. I tell you this because I have never been told this before. It is alien to me. It chokes me because, instinctively, I think, deep down, I am a rotten, evil bastard. Why does a priest see good in me?? Am I that good an actress? Because I am black to the very core of my being. And only I know that.

I'm not trying, food-wise or laxative-wise at the moment. I haven't binged, but I haven't eaten. My stomach feels so full all of the time with all the liquids I keep swilling into it - I have suddenly become an ardent tea drinker after years of despising the stuff! Coffee is now anathaema! How strange...

OK. Another confession, and one which Ian may berate me for (sorry, darling). He bought me some raunchy stuff last night - nothing overly mucky, honestly: just sexy. I put the dress on tonight after showering and curling my hair. We have a large mirror in our bedroom by which I titivate myself when feeling up to it. I stared at myself in that mirror and realised that I looked like a plank of wood. No breasts; no bum; no belly. Just a piece of 6 x 4...How abhorrent.

What does he see in me?

What does anybody see in me?

As a PS, the ex didn't return the keyboard to me. What a suprise...


Karen ^..^ said...

Ok. Take a deep breath. You have let out a whole lot at once onto this post.

First of all, calling your mother. How do you feel about it now? Now that you've done it, confirmed that she is indeed a shit, will never change, do you still grieve? Or do you have a slight feeling of resignation about it all? Annie, you will do this from time to time. Just to know in your head that you tried. Just to know in your head that nothing's changed. It is a compulsion much like the binging and purging, and yes, I think even the ODing. The pattern goes pretty much the same way each time. Part of you cried out for your mother to know that you were hurt, you were in pain, and you were in the hospital. It is a natural instinct to want to go to our mothers when in pain. This is not wrong. Stop punishing yourself for your mother's faults.

I have no one to go to either, but thank God my sister called today, and I was able to cry on her shoulder. My friend Joanie also called. I have decided that in the interest of healing, I am taking my darling girls out for banana splits for dinner.

It beats the hell out of buying a pack of cigarettes and taking what has been done to me, out on me. Right? Why should I do harm to myself when harm has already been done to me?

I have that fucking gremlin too, sweetheart. That nasty shit green one who whispers in my ear, telling me that the people of this world who hate me are right, I am evil, I am pathetic, and I am one of the worst people on the planet. It's not easy, getting rid of that little bastard. But I CAN turn away from the things that are written about me, and not go to those sites anymore, and not interact anymore. Comment moderation is a valuable tool.

Gather around you those who know you, Annie. Those who love you know for a fact that you are not like that gremlin says. Not like your hateful mother says.
That is all, I'm not going to belabor the point anymore. Suffice it to say that your true heart shines through on this page. And what I see of the core of you is not black. It is suffering. It is hurt. It is desperate for the kindnesses that have been denied you your entire childhood.

You are good, sweetheart. You are raising two of the most amazing girls, and they are wonderful, in spite of the damage thier father has done to you and to them.

And SCREW him. Bottom line is this:

You got your keyboard back!!! Yay!! You can make beautiful heartlifting music now. In your own home. He no longer keeps that from you. Who cares how you got it back, whether you felt abased or not. Means to an end, muffin. You know THAT shitbag will never change. One thing that is good about that is that he is predictable and you know how to play him. You got it back and that is all that matters. Enjoy it, you deserve it.

Good for you for telling your bitch mother that she is a danger to your kids. Good for you for sobbing your heart out afterward. Sometimes it takes enormous strength to cry and cleanse ourselves of such utter toxicity.

Good for you for taking the high road and encouraging the girls to meet with Tow. That was an enormous step for you, and I suspect, the most difficult since your divorce. See? Nothing "rotten bastard" about you, Annie. Stop believing those negative stories these assholes have to tell about you. What do they mean to your life besides misery and pain? What do they have to contribute? Nothing. Nothing but misery. If they have your worst interests at heart, and you know that, then why is it so hard to beleive that they are lying through their fangs???
It is upsetting, I know. But immediately dismiss it as lies. You'll be glad you did. And when that damn evil gremlin starts chattering away at you, visualize backhanding him so hard that he flies out the window, and lands in the dirt, unconscious for a while.

Your Father Farrell sounds wonderful. I have a pastor like that. Rick. He is wonderful, and although I haven't seen him in years, he was one of the first to show me that I am, in fact, a good person, who lets assholes get the best of me all too often. Get a facebook account. He's on my friends list. So is Mars. We could have a weekly tea party!! It would be fun! Especially now that you drink TEA!!!

As for the truth you told. I know that was so hard for you, Annie. I know it was. Please know that you are within a protection of friends here. We all truly do care about each other here, and I for one, am glad of that. We do need people we can trust.

Screw the ones we can't.

Love to you and yours, doll.

Linda and her Twaddle said...

Well, I live all the way over here in Australia and have never met you. Despite that I have managed to form an opinion that you are a caring, witty, sensitive and extremely intelligent human being. Full of kindness to everyone even when they don't deserve it. Not full of kindness to yourself however - that is something you must struggle with so much.

So, I can imagine that when people meet you in the flesh and get to know you, the impact you have on their life would be so much more profound. Because over here, miles away, I think you are pretty amazing. You are fundamentally a good and genuine person so that will always shine through all your personal despair.

Your parents are twits. Stop ringing them. They will NEVER admit they are wrong! Your ex is a twit as well but I figure he may be trying a little bit. You best keep him in the loop.

Keli said...

You're far too hard on yourself. And you grossly underestimate your strength. You absolutely deserve to be loved. Most importantly, you deserve to be loved by yourself!
I am truly sorry you had to speak to your mother again. I strongly urge you block her out the best you can (I know this is nearly impossible, but you MUST remove her from your mind - keep your mind occupied with other, more pleasing thoughts, say of your beautiful children or your loving Ian. And no, his kiss on your brow does not sound cheesy). Cultivate indifference. Keep yourself busy. Your thoughts of her are defeating you, my dear friend, as are any thoughts of negative people you know. Surely they are smaller and more meager than those, such as your family and priest, who love you.
You need time, lots and lots of it, to heal. You've spent your lifetime getting to the place you are now. You must be patient and you will prevail. This all sounds clicheish, but you must believe that you will overcome and one day be so glad, so ecstatic, so joyous, that you did. You will wonder at what you've accomplished and perhaps find yourself in a place where you can help others. It all starts with helping yourself first. Focus on all the good things in your life.
Please, if I can do anything at all to help you, call on me! I understand and I know, know, know you can do it!
By the way, you ex totally sucks. I foresee much unhappiness in his future, all of which will result from his own doing.
I am rooting for you.

Rachel said...

I care about you, and I dont know you......................
chin up girl.......please live....
inch by inch life is a cinch...
yard by yard it kinda gets hard...
now, I can clearly see you are intelligent, so I am sure you will understand that little ditty.....
xo Rachel

Mars said...

the priest is good for you. he seems quite a genuine chap. and that's rare to find in clergy nowadays.

and you should really try to cut your mother out as much as possible. any dose of her is bad enough.

*hugs* you are an amazing person and i care about. take care.

Chunks of Reality said...

I cried when reading your post. I so completely understand you.

You are such a beautiful soul. I hope that you go to lunch with Father Farrell very soon. If I could, I would take you to lunch as well.


Ian T - Parsnip no longer... said...

What do I see in you?

Oh sweetheart, I see all the wonderful things you are. A witty intelligent, engaging, kind and warm woman who is suffering greatly for the abuse she has received over the years.

You make me smile deep inside and give me such joy. I know things are rough right now, but I do believe you will get through this.


Annie T AKA Agnes Mildew said...

Before I checked the comments this morning, I thought, if nobody has said anything, I'm going to pull that post as I recalled it with quite a lot of embarrassment and anguish. When I saw six comments, I was cringing, dreading what people had written.

And I was absolutely bowled over. The last thing I intended, when writing that piece out was to garner the lovely words of kindness and friendship from you all. The theme of all of those comments blew me away. Thank you each and every one of you who wrote such kind words - I really am very touched, and very, very surprised that I have so many excellent friends!

So, in response:

Karen: I am angry with myself for calling my mother. I always think it will be different, and it never is. I seem to have some memory deficit as there's never an improvement. And I am glad that you have been able to turn to your sister and friend. I know you need friends at the moment and I am sure you will rise above all this mess and come out stronger.

The keyboard didn't come back. Not really that much of a surprise...So, why am I still wondering what kicks he gets from this?

Many thanks for all the kind, supportive words, as ever. And love, in return to you and your family x

Linda: Well! Thank you! I do keep telling Ian I am witty. But he refuses to believe it. So I explain that it is (t)witty with a silent 't'...

As you can gather, the ex isn't trying. Yes, I thought he was, but I was wrong. Actually, just writing this all out is making me so bloody livid. I did snarl to Ian last night that I hope he trips over the damned keyboard and breaks his neck. That would be divine retribution, wouldn't it?

Keli: Thank you for your kind offer of help. Do you know any mercenaries? Who can do a number on my ex for about £125.78p? Not got much more than that to spare on him unfortunately!
Cultivating indifference is one of the hardest things I can learn. Believe it or not, I do try. I lie to myself incessantly at times, in the hope that one of these days, I'll actually believe those lies. Maybe they will sink in and the indifference will no longer be feigned, but real.

Rachel: Thank you - that's a lovely little verse and I did understand it. Taking it all each day at a time and not biting off more than I can chew. It's as a person told me once, it IS possible to eat a whole elephant - just not all in one go...

Mars: Fr F is amazing. A wonderful, kind man with a heart of gold. I am lucky to have him in our parish. And thank you for your love.

Chunks: I am sorry to have brought out the tears in you - I know you need smiles at the moment...Lunch with you would be wonderful - and all of you, for that matter. Maybe one day, when none of us are screwed up we'll celebrate in style!

Ian: Thank you. And thanks for admitting in public that you find me witty. I knew you'd have to succumb one of these days...

Seriously, though, thank you for the support you give to me. Particularly for allowing me the opportunities to talk at length about things. XX

Karen ^..^ said...

Who cares what kicks he gets? You already know he's a filthy degenerate. Stay on him, keep telling him you are waiting for that keyboard. Tell him you want it back. I doubt he will be getting kicks when you annoy the shit out of him about it. Don't do what he wants you to do... Don't back down. He is in possession of YOUR personal property, and that isn't right. Get it back. Small victory.

Next time you drop the girls off or pick them up, march right up to the house, smile sweetly at COW, I mean, TOW, and tell Asshole you are there to collect your keyboard. Be sweet. Don't get hysterical. If he refuses, tell him gently that he agreed to give it back. Tell him that the lessons he is teaching his girls at this very moment are that it is ok to hurt people, that it is ok to keep things that don't belong to you. Is that what he wants (Ok, we know he's still a filthy degenerate, but appeal to his desire to be the good guy in front of his kids)

It might work, it might not. But I wouldn't give up, because that is what he's hoping for, to have intimidated you. That's what bullies do. It's very empowering, getting what you want without a fight.

But it is your choice, and I don't know the day to day stuff, so I could be way off on this.

I just wouldn't give up because I think he gets more of a kick out of seeing you back away, than giving in to what he already AGREED TO. He's a pig.

Abi said...

I just found your blog, and I wanted to say I found your openness really touching. I suffered for a thankfully short while with anorexia... it's such a scary disease.

Your mum sounds so familiar, you really could have been talking about mine.

Your post moved me to tears. Keep your chin up.

Abi x

Annie T AKA Agnes Mildew said...

Karen: I completely understand what you are trying to get at, but no. With a Capital 'N'. I will not beg that bastard - he gets his kicks from that. I was probably being a bit of a muppet this morning with my musings!

I've asked for that keyboard three times in total now. I've also asked for birthday presents which were given to me and all my old videos to be returned. He is obviously reverting to the old legal adage, 'Possession is nine-tenths of the law' which he used to spout at me incessantly when he had gone off bloody poaching or trespassing.

If he can break into an old man's house as a teenager and pinch a load of silverware, he can certainly keep hold of my stuff, can't he?

Abi: Welcome to the blog and thank you for your comment. Thank God anorexia didn't get a hold of you. That really is a blessing.

Keep in touch - always gives me a little thrill to get comments from someone who is not that far from me geographically!!

Mars said...

i wonder if you have receipts or any paper that says the stuff is yours. then u can threaten legal action on him.

or perhaps appeal to TOW.

i like karen's ideas.

Anonymous said...


Blogger wouldn't let me in yesterday to comment on this post, but I have been thinking about you ever since. I can't really say anything other than I know where you have been, and I am very, very glad that you are still with us. You are worth far more than you know, and I say that with tears in my eyes.

I don't know you, but I just wanted you to know that I care.

Lola x

PS My word verification for this comment is "Revive"

Abi said...

Hi again, I just wanted to say thank you for your comment (on one of my posts I had written utterly crappily as well teehee!!) ... it meant a lot to me, and I didn't find it patronising at all!

Thanks again x

thewishfulwriter said...

People care whether you live or die. They do. I do.

Please take care of yourself. I know it's easier said than done, but we all are rooting for you.

Karen ^..^ said...

Ok. I never thought you should beg. I know it was important to you to get it back.

You know the situation better than I do.

Sorry to have overstepped.

Chunks of Reality said...

Because you are so very special, I have given you a little gift. Please visit http://chunksofreality.blogspot.com/2008/12/up-all-night.html to check it out! :)

Annie T said...

Mars: I purchased the keyboard in 2001 from Carrefour (sp?) in Dubai, so, no, I don't still have the receipts! Not that they would make any difference to him!

Lola: Thanks for your kind words, although it saddens me to read your most recent blog and realise that, yes, unfortunately, you DO know what I am talking about. Take care of yourself.

Heather: Thank you for coming by and for your kind words. They mean a great deal to me.

Karen: Did I come across as shirty in my response? I do apologise! It feels like it does become begging with him - nothing can be done with good grace and therefore, I get so p*ssed off with it all, that I just turn round and say, Ah, to hell with it all - shove the keyboard up your bum! But you didn't overstep any mark, my dear. Really x

Catherine: What a lovely gesture thank you so much. Now get to bed!!