24 April 2013

Your lovin' give me a thrill, but your lovin' don't pay my bill.

So...this sort of follows on a bit from John's post last night. And also from some of the recent comments, which I've found...helpful in understanding myself a bit better, I guess.

I'm sure this won't be comfortable reading for anyone, but, well, I don't want to upset any of you either, so don't worry, I won't be offended if you choose not to read.

Basically, this is an example of one of the 'controlling behaviours' Bryan used. And how that felt then, and now. And you know, if this helps anyone else have it not happen to them, then all the better.



In our relationship, I was the one who brought home a steady wage. Every month, pretty much, whatever happened. Bryan was either loaded or broke, depending how much work he'd done, or if he'd sold anything recently. And when he was loaded, he'd spend it - and be generous. And that made people like him. And I won't lie, I liked it. I liked big nights out with mates. I liked getting presents. Who doesn't?

And then, when he was broke, I'd pay for things, food, bills, and him. He'd have literally no cash, having blown it all, so he'd ask for a tenner here, twenty there. And then when I didn't have any cash, and was heading out to work, he'd ask if he could go to the hole in the wall with my card. Which, you know, was fine. Except after a while he'd have my card more than I would. And then when I asked for it back there'd be some excuse, but he'd be the one giving me cash in hand, saying he just needed to use the card to put petrol in the car, or, well, whatever. All plausible, you know? Until I'm not only having to ask him for my own money, but I'm having to justify why I need it. Money I'm earning. And if he doesn't deem it important enough - going out with my friends, or sorting something out on my bike, then I don't get it, because you know, we're broke. But what do you do? Well...in the end I took the card back, because he was fast asleep and I needed fuel for the bike.

And he'd changed my ..effing PIN number. So I didn't even have access to my own account.

So then, the inevitable argument, and he says he did it because he found my number really hard to remember and he was scared the card would get taken off him if he kept getting wrong, and the line that always came out. "Don't you trust me? Don't you love me?" And what do you say? What do you say to that? It's turning everything around and making it my fault suddenly. Like I'm the one doing something wrong, I'm the one who's not trusting and not loving. And by that time you can't go to the pub with a mate and talk about it and realise it's really not okay, because you've got no money and anyway, all your mates have given up on you because you never go out.

You look back and you can't believe what an idiot you've been. But by that point, it's already been well and truly drilled into you that you are an idiot, and useless, and stupid, so the last thing you want to do is go and ask someone for help and tell them what situation you've managed to get yourself into.

Of course, when you can take a step back and see it all once you're outside it, you can eventually see it wasn't you, it was them, and it wasn't your fault, it was theirs. But that takes time and space and support if you need it. And one thing an abuser will never give you is time and space to sort yourself out.

There you go. Never told anyone that before.

83 comments:

John H. D. Watson said...

That is really...insidious.

pandabob said...

I've sat staring at this and rereading it for what feels like ages trying to work out what to write in the little white box at the bottom.

I've not come up with anything I can form into a proper sentence other than I'm so very glad you're out of there, you deserve so much better than him.

You are a very brave and inspiring man Greg :-)

REReader said...

It takes a special kind of strength and understanding to take such a clear-eyed look at one's own past. Thank you for sharing it. (No irony or sarcasm intended).

Anonymous said...

Now I want to kick him too.

Yeah, that's harsh. I've seen similar behavior -- someone who never sticks to the budget and always overspends, knowing that it can mean losing the mortgage, and yet somehow it's always the responsible person's fault that the money got spent.

But changing someone's PIN without telling them? Yow... I'm glad you left him, and I hope he never manages to sink his claws into anyone else that deep.

rsf

Anonymous said...

It seems superfluous to say that I'm sorry that happened to you, it shouldn't happen to anyone, obviously. But you came out of it still able to love and to trust and if you're sometimes a bit ... guarded then why wouldn't you be? As you said manipulative bastards are manipulative bastards, they are good at doing these things and it's all subtle at least when it starts. You got out and got out with an amazing amount of 'self' left. Well done.

Greg Lestrade said...

Danger - yeah, it was.

Anon - It's definitely made me more guarded. And, well, it's a balancing act. And partly why I don't really ever want to give up my flat. It's a sickening feeling, knowing if you walk out the door then literally all you'll have is the clothes you stand up in (and in my case, a bike with no petrol.)

RSF - I can assure you kicking him wouldn't have done any good.

Murray said...

He sounds like a right bastard. Sorry you went through that, mate.

Greg Lestrade said...

Cheers. He was. Still is.

Although Jo informs me he is now single again, so whoever the guy I saw him with was, he's escaped. Which made me probably happier than I should have been given I was trying to ignore it.

Kestrel337 said...

Nothing wrong with being glad someone else isn't a victim. Ignoring him isn't the same as hoping he hasn't found another victim.

I'm sorry you had to go through that. Thank you for having the courage to share your story, so that others might better understand the cycles and patterns. I'm glad you've found the strength to let love in, and out.

Greg Lestrade said...

In far lighter hearted news - I just sent Mycroft a text saying "Did you see humanity just scrawled a giant cock on another planet?"

He sent me back a photograph of him scowling! :)

REReader said...

It's certainly a distinctive way of writing "Kilroy was here"...

pandabob said...

You've just gotta love Mycroft, he always knows how to make you laugh :-)

I hope in between all the thinking you've had a lovely couple of days together and the break has been good for you both :-)

Greg Lestrade said...

He does :)

I've had a great two days. Today was fantastic.

Nothing like getting out on the open road with a great bike under you and a great bloke plastered to your back ;)

Although I admit it was too cold for swimming. Could have cut glass with my nipples. And all the bits of me usually very interested in huddling up with John had disappeared back into my own body for fear of frostbite ;)

pandabob said...

brilliant :-D I'm so glad you've had a great time, I also can't believe that you actually went swimming you two are a little nuts ;-)

John H. D. Watson said...

too cold for swimming

It really was. I don't regret trying though.

Greg Lestrade said...

As just mentioned, truly tiny nuts! ;)

John repeatedly told me I was mad, but I reckon it's madder to follow a mad bloke into the sea?

It was a very brief swim!

John H. D. Watson said...

Just wanted to make sure you didn't freeze into an ice sculpture and float away...

Greg Lestrade said...

Mmm, of course.

Going to come to bed and make sure I don't float away there either?

John H. D. Watson said...

I would love to. You may be warming up my feet tonight instead of the other way around.

Greg Lestrade said...

No problem. I'm hot (no comments, ta!)

John H. D. Watson said...

You certainly are!

(I don't know what made you think it was even possible for me not to comment on that... ;)

Greg Lestrade said...

Hmm. You were allowed.

Hope you're all having a good start to the day. Pretty warm here in London again.

Greg Lestrade said...

What do a few days of warm weather mean to you, dear readers? I hope it's not the same as it means to me...

REReader said...

Well--spring, I guess? (Otherwise known as stupid-tree-pollen-everywhere-making-me-miserable-season.)

What does it mean to you, other than rides-to-a-beach-with-fiancé season?

Greg Lestrade said...

It means that as everything warms up and people throw open windows for fresh air dormant corpses start smelling and being reported.

John H. D. Watson said...

Ah, the romance of spring...

REReader said...

... Yeah, that beats pollen.

Hope your day gets less unpleasant.

lindentreeisle said...

Do you mean in a metaphorical sense, or are you asking us what "warm weather" tends to mean in our locality in the literal sense?

Our weather has been seriously weird lately. It got almost to 90 a couple times last week- I had to put the ac on and everything- and then a day later it was back down at 40. This week has been very spring-ish, with temperatures in the 50s and 60s. But those are only "warm" compared to winter temps- our summer highs are frequently over 100 degrees f. and don't really drop out of the 80s permanently until late September.

Personally I love these temps- spring is my second favorite season, after fall. I don't like extreme heat or cold, I prefer the transitional periods. :) Warmer weather means feeling lighter because I don't have to shlep around in a heavy coat and I can break out my lighter clothes. It means opening up my windows finally and getting fresh air (and a lot more city noise) into my apartment. It means bright sun rather than overcast skies giving only vague, filtered light. Also means my time hanging around waiting for buses is a lot more pleasant. ;)

pandabob said...

Sounds delightful Greg!!

We have pouring rain so not really a problem up here ;-)

lindentreeisle said...

Oh, and in the law enforcement sense, it means more people are out on the street doing violence to each other.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/bs-md-ci-shootings-and-heat-20130411,0,2675263.story

Greg Lestrade said...

You and Sherlock doing something nice, J? Have you told him about his little reward for excellent behaviour and general helpfulness recently?

John H. D. Watson said...

Thought I'd let you tell him since it was your idea...although as soon as he sees this, I'm sure he'll be on here badgering you about it. :)

We're at the park. It's so...warm. And...not like winter. Amazing! There might be ice cream later, since I hear tis the season. Want to join us?

Greg Lestrade said...

I'm up to my eyeballs in a liquifying corpse, sorry. I would love to.

John H. D. Watson said...

Sherlock just said that sounds like more fun than ice cream... I am sure that's the first time anyone in the history of the world has ever said that.

Greg Lestrade said...

It really isn't.

John H. D. Watson said...

I believe you.

Greg Lestrade said...

But I doubt Sherlock does.

The park must be lovely.

Want me to go by the allotment and do some watering on the way home?

John H. D. Watson said...

Only if you want to - otherwise we can go by on the way home...assuming Sherlock ever runs out of energy.

Are you out of the liquified corpse yet?

Greg Lestrade said...

Quite like to have a quiet 5 minutes, yeah.

Out of corpse. Fairly sure it's natural causes, but can't risk assuming that, obviously.

John H. D. Watson said...

All right, love.

Glad you're out of it. Was it very bad? (As opposed to...good liquified corpses? Maybe you should disregard that question.)

Greg Lestrade said...

The smell was.

Just sad, mainly, that someone isn't missed.

John H. D. Watson said...

Yeah. That's always sad. I used to worry about that a bit.

Greg Lestrade said...

Well now you just have to worry what experiments would be carried out on your corpse...

John H. D. Watson said...

At least it'll be my fresh and unliquified corpse...

Greg Lestrade said...

Sometimes I fear we'll be so fresh we'll still be alive...

John H. D. Watson said...

At least we'll advance science?

Greg Lestrade said...

Finally found the missing link? ;)

Sherlock said...

No! I would study your brains and find out why you are like you. What is my surpriseeeee?? I have been waiting HOURS and also I want carrots for dinner.

REReader said...

You have been VERY patient, Sherlock (at least, on here you have!)--I'm very curious, too!

(You can learn even more about how brains work using Functional MRIs than by opening them up, because you can see what they look like when they are being used. It's fascinating research, really.)

Greg Lestrade said...

Sorry, sorry.

How do you feel about butterflies and moths?

Sherlock said...

I think they're very interesting.

Greg Lestrade said...

Well there's a place we can buy a box with some eggs or caterpillars in, and you can feed them and take care of them until they're butterflies or moths. And then, when they're grown and ready, we can release them at the allotment. How does that sound?

Sherlock said...

YESSSSS CAN WE BUY THEM RIGHT NOW???? WHAT KINDS ARE THERE??

Greg Lestrade said...

We can order them, some would come now. Some you'd need to wait for. It depends what sort you wanted. I'll show you the website.

You can have any you like that will survive once we release them. So nothing too exotic

Sherlock said...

THANK YOU!

Greg Lestrade said...

Thank you for being so well behaved and helpful recently.

Greg Lestrade said...

(for anyone else wanted to stare as hard at a screen as Sherlock is right now, here's the website: http://www.wwb.co.uk/current-eggs-and-larvae

But he's got pen and paper, making notes, so don't expect to better him on butterfly knowledge after this!

pandabob said...

what an AMAZING present for you Sherlock, have fun choosing what you want :-D

REReader said...

That's a wonderful treat, L! My mom does something similar with her first grade class, but as it's for ordinary six-year-olds, they don't get to choose what kind or anything like that. (But they love it!) This sounds a lot more interesting.

Greg Lestrade said...

Yeah, we thought it'd be fun and educational.

pandabob said...

have you burnt all the letters off the screen by reading them so hard Sherlock? and more importantly have you decided what you want?

I hope you're all having a good evening :-)

Sherlock said...

I need to go to the library and the allotment after school tomorrow please John

John H. D. Watson said...

I'll assume that's for butterfly research...

Greg Lestrade said...

He said he wants a tree and plant book so he can see what's around the allotment so 'no one else gets his butterflies because they've got better trees'.

Love you.

John H. D. Watson said...

Ah, of course. Can't have people poaching his butterflies.

I love you too. Come over here so I can hug you?

Greg Lestrade said...

I did shower at the yard. I may still smell slightly of death.

John H. D. Watson said...

You don't. Just soap.

Greg Lestrade said...

Mmm. Met issue soap. Guaranteed to remove half your skin, some of your hair and the whites of your eyes. Or at least fingerprint ink, puke and blood, anyway.

John H. D. Watson said...

And liquifying corpse smell, apparently.

Did Sherlock quiz you about it at bedtime?

Greg Lestrade said...

A bit, regarding luiqidy-ness. A bit regarding smell. Some about why nobody knew they were dead. Then about whether they'd been eaten by a cat. And what was in their fridge. And what would happen to the flat now - how would they make it not smell like bodies.

And then lots about butterflies - a subject I don't know much about. And whether if the chicks at school haven't hatched tomorrow, if we can break in at the weekend.

Normal bedtime stuff.

REReader said...

Sherlock's mind works in fascinating ways... :)


(Could they not use blurry captchas until after I have my cataract surgery? GAH, 4 tries it's taken me so far!)

John H. D. Watson said...

What was in their fridge? Now I'm curious too.

Greg Lestrade said...

Most of it's bagged and tagged for the lab, should they need it.

But there was half a cooked...thing, in a pot. Stew or cottage pie - just a big mound of fur now. Some butter, eggs which thankfully hadn't exploded, milk that was completely separated and bloated and horrible, a pack of green meat, ketchup, HP sauce, salad cream and some lettuce/cucumber that had turned to liquid. Can't remember anything else.

John H. D. Watson said...

Liquified cucumbers...not as bad as corpses, but close.

Greg Lestrade said...

fridges are specially designed to smell as bad as possible when opened.

There were some luiqid-y potatoes in a cupboard that smelled like dead fish too, which wasn't great.

Anyway, should probably sleep, instead of describe the poor woman's house to you all.

(She wasn't eaten by cats though, just in case you were worried.)

John H. D. Watson said...

I am glad she wasn't eaten by cats. I'll be there in a minute, just want to finish this blog post.

Greg Lestrade said...

'kay. Sorry, I'm shattered.

John H. D. Watson said...

I know, go on. I won't be long.

Nicky said...

I just wish I'd known, Orio. I've always felt like I should have guessed.

I'm so glad you got away from him, and found John.

pandabob said...

You weren't supposed to know Nicky, that's how it works sadly and Greg would probably have been angry had you said anything before he was ready because he would have failed at hiding it. (makes no sense I know but it can be true)

You did pretty much the perfect thing because you believed him when he told you :-)


Have a good day guys :-)

Greg Lestrade said...

AnonyBob's right. I hid it well. And she's also right that you did really more than I ever hoped for by believing me and forgiving me for ignoring you for so long when I was trying to hide it all.

The only person who should be blamed for anything is him.

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe you folks gave me the opening for this, but speaking of both fMRI studies and dead fish:

http://boingboing.net/2012/10/02/what-a-dead-fish-can-teach-you.html

The study is important because it shows that while fMRI is a powerful tool, it's also easy to be wrong with fMRI unless the experimental design is very, very good, and the pretty pictures it generates are cool but can be highly misleading.

I just love that they did an fMRI study on a dead salmon FOR SCIENCE.

Back to serious matters. L, I have a friend who has gone through some of the same things you went through, and it helps him to talk to me, and it helps us all that you are able to talk about it. Thank you. It would be fine if you couldn't talk about it. But it's very helpful that you can. I'm sorry it happened in the first place, though.

AftSO

Greg Lestrade said...

AftSO - I'm really glad it helps. Thanks for saying so.

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