A little insight to how my brain works sometimes 2.2

A little insight to how my brain works sometimes 2.2

Hello flower,

So, I wasn’t sure if I would ever post this part. This part of my life seems so surreal that when I tell this story I feel like I’m being so melodramatic and over the top. I can’t quite believe that I got through it all to be honest. And for all of my brain farts, I am relatively unscathed. I just want to share to show anyone who is out there that these events happen, and it’s not until now, many years later that I realise how unacceptable and dangerous it was. I am lucky. Many others are not. I am not posting this for attention or pity, but rather to help others that may be in a similar situation. You are not alone, and if you need to contact me and I’ll do my best to help and give advice.

So in my last post here, I explained how I lost myself due to manipulative people. That one was an ex. So, a little complicated. At the same time that all of that was happening, this happened too. I firmly believe that if either of these moments in my life happened apart, they would not have panned out the same. The ex would have been told to bugger off, and this situation would never have gotten as far as it did. Who knows, maybe it would have. I digress anyway, dear reader. This is the second and possibly last part of this particular episode of my life. Enjoy.

You know when there is a moment, that looking back you think, why? The present me is screaming at a glass wall as I look back on this moment. I sometimes think, what if? If I had never done this or that, would this situation still have happened? My answer is, probably.

The moment for this story is when I had bumped into one of the regulars from the pub where I worked in at the time. I had just exchanged keys for a new property in Derby, and I was heading back to Birmingham where I was staying at the time. I had a case with me, and it was summer.

As I was walking back to the train station, this guy had popped up. He was in his early fifties, and we will call him P for the purposes of this story. I had spoken to him a couple of times as part of a group, and he was okay. We had a quick chat, and he said that all of the regulars were arranging a night out to welcome all of the staff back from summer holiday (most of the staff were students you see) He asked for my number, and in my naivety, I handed it over. Perhaps my trust was misplaced, perhaps I was a little stupid. But I was young, and I thought nothing of it.

Over the next month, I was in Birmingham. I couldn’t wait to get back to Derby, and I heard nothing at all from P. I actually forgot he even had my number.

So I moved into my new house, and had a quick text welcoming me back. It was one of those ones that is written to several people. Whether it was or not, I don’t know. Looking back it was probably crafted to be this way. So I wouldn’t get freaked out. I replied back saying thank you. And that was it.

The next 6-8 months passed relatively normally. I worked, and sometimes P would be there, sometimes not. But he never made a special effort to be there when I was, or to come in more often or anything like that. We got on okay, but then I did with all of the people who used to come in. I was good at my job, and part of that was making people feel welcomed. After the shifts finished on Friday and Saturday nights, a group of us would sometimes go out. Staff, my manager and some of the regulars.

More often than not, I would go home and go to bed. Not only was I tired, but A (from part 2.1) always used to tell me that drunk me was irritating. So I stopped going out and having fun. On those occasions at first, P would be saying “Sorry you didn’t come out” or “the night would’ve been fun if you was there”. I wasn’t ever sure how to react to this, so when I did reply it was always with a polite generic reply.

Then, things got weird. And quick. I can’t even pinpoint the moment that it all happened. But all of a sudden instead of those nice messages, I would get abuse. Now it was “Bet you’re getting shafted by A right now, you know you want my big, fat c**k instead” things like that. Can I add, I had never been flirty, over-friendly or treated P any differently than I did with any of the other regulars that came in. If anything, because of the tone of the text messages before, I was more stand-offish. I was fully aware that I did not want P, or even A to get the wrong idea about the messages. When the first one came through, I was shocked. I ignored it, and nothing was said. It was even a while before it happened again, and on a night where A was still awake. He asked what it was, and I reluctantly showed him. I felt it was my fault, and I distinctly remember him yelling, me crying and getting a new phone number the next day.

I went through 10 or so numbers over the course of a year. P was sneaky and always seemed to manage to get my number again within weeks. There were many ways he got it. He would corner new staff and say that I had said it was okay for him to have my number. He went on my phone and got it. He even came behind the bar itself and got it from the list of staff telephone numbers. I kept changing it, he kept getting it so in the end I gave up even having a phone. (This is why I will get very annoyed if my number is given out to anyone)

When P realised he couldn’t text me anymore, he resorted to other methods of contacting me. He would leave letters behind the bar so that when I started work it would be given to me. One paragraph would be singing my praises, and in the next dragging me back down to the gutter. Now I look back, I can see that this is incredibly manipulative, but I ignored it as best as I could. He would leave gifts, unsolicited of course, then say I owed him the month for them. I would give them away, and he would find out and get mad. Then he would be fawning all over me again. 

This went on for around 8 months. 

There was a turning point where I realised enough was enough. I was walking through town at night to see a friend. P had followed me out of work, silently followed all the way through town and cornered me outside what was Marks and Spencer’s at the time. He wanted to give me a lift home. I declined. He wanted to take me out for dinner. I declined. He left it at that, or so I thought. 

A few weeks later, I was home alone in the evening. A had gone out with friends, and I was enjoyed some much needed alone time. There was a knock on the door, and I looked out the bedroom window as I wasn’t expecting any visitors. P was there. I had no idea how he had found out where I lived although it later turned out he had followed me in his car when I saw him in town. Obviously I was terrified. Especially given the sexual nature of the messages he had sent me. I had no phone at this point so spent the night hiding upstairs under the covers. 

From this point on I feared what P would do. I was afraid to answer the door, go out on my own even during the day. I didn’t want to leave the house and especially not go to work. I was at my wits end. So I spoke to my boss. 

We had a meeting. I was blamed, suggestions that I had encouraged P in some way were thrown at me. And a small part of me thought there must have been something I had done to deserve this. Looking back this is victim blaming and unacceptable but there wasn’t really a word for it. Nobody had pointed out that the whole idea of victim blaming is bullshit. I was given a rape alarm, and told that he would speak to P but he wouldn’t be barred. I would still have to serve him otherwise I would lose my job. I started looking for another job. 

P would still come into the pub to have a drink. Sometimes he would call the pub, then turn up after I had answered. He always seemed to come in when I was alone behind the bar, knowing I would have to serve him. He always had a twisted smirk on his face when he caught me in this situation, like he got some kind of satisfaction out of the fact I was uncomfortable.

I got a new job. They called me at work and I cried when I found out. I told everyone I was working in a different city because even though I had moved into retail now, I was worried that P would turn up and cause trouble for me. So I lied. Which I hated doing but I was trying to protect myself. 

On one of my last nights, I caught P taking photos of me. When we were putting glasses away we had to do a lot of bending over because the tray would be placed close to the floor. It was a busy Saturday night, and I saw that the light on his phone was on at it was pointed directly at me. I know this meant he was either videoing or taking photos because I used to have the same phone. The only time the light would be on was when this was happening. (This proves how long ago it was because a flash for your camera wasn’t even a thing!) 

This made me lose my temper. I’m not ashamed of this or the language I used. None of the other customers in the pub even knew the extent of what had been happening. I had been told not to discuss it, although looking back I should’ve mentioned it to some of them when it first started. Mainly because after i left, a few of them told me P had done this before to several other young girls. 

I stormed up to P and told him in no uncertain terms that if I found out there was pictures of me on his phone I would beat the crap out of him and go to the police. Everyone was shocked at this outburst, as I say, no one really knew the full extent of what had been happening. 

A few of the girls later told me they saw P deleting pictures of me from his phone. 

I left a few days later. I still see P sometimes in town. I used to shout and yell at him, probably not my best moments but now I hold my head up high. I did nothing wrong and no one can make me feel as if I did. 

There’s not really much else to say about this situation. This is part of the reason why I find it so hard to trust people, and why I am more introverted. I don’t like walking alone, and don’t answer the door unless I am expecting guests. 

My advice is, if anything makes you uncomfortable, is to say something. Got to the police, speak to stalker helplines and charities. You are not alone. This is way more common than you think, and I hope that by being upfront and sharing my story you can see the small signs that something is not right with a situation before it escalates.

This was quite therapeutic to write about. I’ve been coming back to it over and over the last few weeks. I’ll be back to sharing more recipes and other more fun things next week. 

Until next time lovelies,

4 Comments

  1. I said last time you were very brave for speaking out and putting your experience out there, and I would say that again and again now until my throat goes sore. Nothing could ever justify what you went through, and I hate that anyone has to go through that, whether I know them or not.

    I applaud you for being open and putting it out there, hopefully it will reach someone who sees themselves in this and realises they need to get help.

    You deserve credit for everything you do, I am glad that I know you no matter how little it is! 🙂

    1. Andy, thank you so much for your wonderful message. It’s actually made me shed a tear. I don’t think anyone should have to have that situation, but I know that without it, I wouldn’t be who I am today.
      Time is a strange beast, at the time it didn’t seem bad, it was just life. But now I know it was awful. I don’t know how I managed to stay (relatively) sane.
      I hope it gets to the right place too, every person needs to know it’s not acceptable and there is help and advice out there.

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