I couldn’t write about this on Sunday because I was in that much of a state, so I apologise for my short post. I was in a place where I didn’t ever think I would go back to and it terrified me if I am honest.
On Thursday evening I drove down to a hotel about 3.5 hours away. Myself and Tom had been invited on a shooting day, and it was cheaper to travel together, although we did have separate rooms. I think I need to do a little explaining about Tom. I will keep it as short as I can, but will probably go into a little more depth in a separate post at a later date.
Tom and I first met several years ago when I was looking for a gundog trainer, and he was recommended to me. At the time, I had just broken up with Jean, was living with Lyn (who later became my carer) and from memory, was still managing to work but only just. When I first met him, both Lyn and I knew there was ‘something’ about him – he’s not the typical ‘attractive’ man, but he had charisma. When I met him again, I felt the same, and even kidded with Lyn that I wouldn’t kick him out of bed.
Shortly after I began training with Tom, things at home spiralled out of control and I took the first of several large overdoses at that time in my life. I had made a post of facebook saying something along the lines of “Keep safe everyone, you will all have an angel looking after you”. Without me realising at the time, Tom had seen this, panicked and phoned Lyn to find out what was going on. He since has said that his stomach simply turned upside down – and it was then he knew he felt something for me already.
Shortly afterwards, I went into hospital and Tom continued to stay in contact through text message, and kept my spirits up. After I was released, he continued to train me and my dog, and it was almost like a respite for me. As time went by, he became more and more of a support to me. Tom is (not particularly happily) married, and living with his wife and one daughter, but has two other children from a previous marriage, who are my age. He is 50, so 25 years my senior. Sometimes, I saw him as a father figure. Other times, a friend. And other times, I am ashamed to say, the thought of him and me turned me on.
Anyway, as time went on Tom and I spent more time together, and became closer and closer. I wasn’t working at the time and was very ill, so he would visit Lyn’s house and see me. In time, Lyn became my carer, and Tom would help. He took me to places to go training with the dogs, and it really helped. Unfortunately, over time, our relationship became closer than it should have, I see that now. On the way to driving to these places, instead of sitting normally, I would either sit with my legs resting over his, or worse, with my head on his lap, and fall asleep. Sometimes, we would stop in a lay by on the way home and cuddle. Nothing else happened at this point – but the closeness was I suppose what I needed at the time.
Time continued to pass, and Tom invited me to travel to Holland with him, with the dogs, which involved sharing a bedroom. I insisted it was a twin room, but other than that, I agreed as I couldn’t see any wrong in it. During the time we were away, he came on to me. I told him it was wrong because he was married, and said no, which actually I am still amazed about doing, given how hard I find it most of the time to refuse people what they want.
After this, he continued to press me to take our relationship to the next level, and I continued to refuse. However, I cannot lay the blame on him for this entirely. At times I was weak, and admitted to him that although it was wrong, I wanted it too. I just couldn’t allow it to happen… it would change everything… he was married… he needs to think about his wife…
Soon I was spending a lot of nights at his house. At the time I was taking quite a cocktail of medication, and so after I had taken this at aroun 8.30pm I turned into a zombie and even had to be helped (and sometimes carried) to bed. I have no real memory of these nights but I am pretty sure nothing happened, despite being told I came on to him several times.
That is, until one night. I had taken half a packet of Tramadol (at the time I just took whatever meds I could get my hands on and that happened to be what was to hand at the time). From what I remember of that night, I was sitting on the floor, and he on the sofa. I came on to him, and we ended up having sex on his living room floor. His wife and daughter were staying away for the night. I remember thinking to myself, he must know I am not myself, that I am high on the drugs, so why is he carrying on? I don’t know whether or not we had sex again, but I woke up upstairs in his bed, with him wrapped around me. The realisation of what I had done made me feel dirty and scared. I said yes, of course I did, but I so desperately wish I had been able to say no.
After that occasion things did indeed change, but they were too hard to change completely. It happened once more, one night. I had gone to the shop and bought two bottles of vodka mixer, and drunk them on the quiet, while at Toms house. Tom came into the room to wish me goodnight as he did every night – and to say he loved me. I told him I loved him back, and I did really believe I felt that way at the time. We ended up sleeping together again, with his wife along the hall and his daughter in the room across from this one.
In the morning, I was disgusted with myself. How could I do this? That day I cut myself and needed stitches. I needed punishment for what I had done. His marriage may have been beyond repair before I came along, but by being such a slag I had just put the final nail in the coffin.
After that, I tried to back away from Tom, but it didn’t work that way. I moved from Lyn’s back to my parents but was still struggling, especially when they went away on holiday, which they do a lot. Tom was the only person I could really turn to, and it was normally at my lowest points that I phoned him. I cannot remember the times he came over, scooped me up and took me to hospital after a drinking binge or an overdose. When my parents went away I usually ended up unconscious on the floor, lights on, doors open, covered in my own sick. The times he held bandages to my arm to stop the bleeding because all I could do was lie there and look at him. The times he visited me in hospital because no-one else would.
I knew he was in love with me and I knew it was unhealthy, but at the time, I needed him as I had no-one else who could give me that support. Yes, I guess you could say I was using him but I did what I had to to get by.
As I became a little better, I pushed him away. I started to see how our relationship was inappropriate, especially when people started to comment on it, make a joke that we were together secretly, or like an old married couple, that we should get a room. We did most things to do with ‘dogs’ together – it was Shelley and Tom, Tom and Shelley.
We started to row. He told me he loved me and he couldn’t understand why I was pushing him away. I told him what we did was wrong and I couldn’t live with it. But, every time I got ill, I went crawling back to him, because I knew he would never turn me away. In one breath I was telling him our friendship was over, the next I was begging him not to leave me. (Sound familiar, to all the borderlines out there?!)
After time, we drifted apart and didn’t speak for a while. We still had the occasional chat, but certain subjects were off limits – me speaking to other men, me cutting, his marriage. It was impossible to have a pleasant conversation and we were both walking on eggshells. A lot of other things happened during this whole time which I won’t go into here otherwise I will be talking forever. When we did speak we mostly rowed – about him wanting more than I wanted to give him. He told me that his wife didn’t give him any affection, that I was the only one that did, and now he was losing me too.
More recently, we got back in contact when he had his cancer scare, which I wrote about here. The threat of loss helped me get over the silly issues we were facing and since then , for the most part, things have been ok. I made up a new rule that I wouldn’t go training with Tom on my own, which works as with someone else there, we cannot get into any awkward conversations, or situations. Of course, I knew he still loved me deeply, but wouldn’t allow him to show it.
So that brings us up to this weekend. In hindsight I didn’t realise that I would be breaking my ‘no alone time’ rule by having nearly 4 hours of driving either way. I don’t know why I didn’t realise that it was going to happen – it just didn’t even enter my head. On the way there, we talked briefly, but it wasn’t too bad. A couple of things were said that didn’t sit particularly well with me, but I put it to the back of my mind. We had a good day on friday, other people were there too, and Tom shared a room with another man who was going to the same event as us, and I had my own room. On Friday night, we all had a couple of wines. I’m not a big drinker, in fact I try to avoid alcohol because I have enough trouble keeping my thoughts straight without poisoning my brain and making it even harder. Anyway, because I was so desperate to ‘fit in’ and to be the girl who could take her drink, I drank several large glasses of wine with dinner. It didn’t affect me too much because I stopped before I had too much, but it did make me relax enough to have a heart to heart with one of the friends that was there. We were sat in her kitchen, whilst Tom was sat in the living room with her boyfriend, talking themselves.
I told her about what happened with Simon when he went to Iceland, and our relationship before we went, how long is lasted for, and what had happened since. Unfortunately, I later discovered that Tom had been listening in on the conversation and was far from happy. On the way home, we spent at least 2 hours discussing things that had happened. I was honest with him. I told him I felt he took advantage of me by having sex with me when I was vulnerable. He got angry and told me that I should think of all the times he had looked after me, put me to bed, picked me up from the floor, taken me to hospital, surely he would have taken advantage of me then if he was going to?? I didn’t have an answer for him as I truly didn’t know why. That’s just the way I felt and I was trying to be honest. He started to cry and then I really didn’t know what to do with myself. I felt a deep sense of guilt, I suddenly felt as though this was all my fault, all my doing.
And then he told me something which really hurt. Right at the beginning of our friendship, when he phoned Lyn to find out if I was okay after seeing my facebook status, she warned him to stay away. She told him that I would break his heart and that I couldn’t be changed. Maybe she was right, but either way it was like a knife in my stomach to hear that she had spoken about me in that way when I thought she loved me.
The conversation went on and on and I could feel myself dissociating. I know this is really wrong but at the beginning of the conversation I decided to record what we said on my phone. Not for me to show anyone, but for myself. When I have a stressful situation I end up dissociating and then I can never remember what is said, and it frustrates me so much that I feel upset but can never understand why I feel that way.
I must have fallen asleep because when I woke up, we were 5 mins from home. I got home, and from then on ignored his calls. I didn’t feel well at all and I didn’t know whether it was because of the conversation, or whether it was because I had forgotten to take my medication with me and was starting to get withdrawal symptoms. I was supposed to be going up to Kims but she cancelled because she wasn’t feeling too well, so I went home and curled up on the sofa, took my medication and tried to get some rest. The house was a mess – workmen have been in – and I had absolutely no energy to clean it.
At around 9 ish I started talking to Jen and explained to her what had happened. I felt so low, and so desperate to harm myself, but I am absolutely determined not to. I know how it makes the people around me feel and I would rather suffer with the urges than iflict that on them. Talking to Jen made me feel a little better and I went to bed feeling a little more optimistic and level about things.
I woke up in the morning, and went downstairs, and let Hogan out as usual, before going to the toilet. Suddenly I heard lots of barking so as soon as I had finished (LOL) threw on a dressing gown and ran outside. Hogan was back in the garden, but one of my neighbours I don’t know very well was standing outside of my front wall, his dog on a lead in one hand, looking really angry. He told me that Hogan had jumped over the front wall, and attacked his dog. I was so shocked – I know Hogan can have issues with other dogs but he has never done that before. I didn’t disbelieve him – I was just gutted that it had happened. I kept apologising, and offered to pay for a vet, but luckily there wasn’t a mark on the dog.
He left, and I went back to bed. I just couldn’t cope any more (that was when I wrote that short post, I just didn’t have the space in my head to write any more at the time). As I lay there in bed, I realised I couldn’t feel my hands or feet, then my arms or legs. I literally could not move, and then I started to panic. I didn’t know what on earth was happening and still now don’t understand. I tried to breathe deeply which I use when I can feel a panic attack coming and that seemed to help, and gradually the feeling returned. As I lay there, I truly wanted to die. I didn’t just want to harm myself, I wanted to end my life. I sent a message to Jen but she didn’ t respond, and initially nor did Kim until she rang me. It was good to hear her voice. She was busy, so couldn’t talk for long, but it meant the world to me that she gave me a moment of her time to help, and it gave me the strength to get out of bed and get downstairs.
I began to do some yoga, and the more I did, the better I felt and I began to come back to myself. I was able to think more clearly and logically about things. After this, I took a long shower, washed my hair, shaved my legs, and tidied the garden and house. It is amazing how different I felt. I still wasn’t ready to do anything important but decided to go to my neighbours house and take their dog some treats to apologise. When I got there, I was quite emotional and couldn’t stop crying as I truly felt gutted about what had happened. I think they took pity on me, and were very kind. They said that these things happen, and in fact, their dog had been reported before for biting someone out on a walk – so I really don’t know what happened while I was on the toilet but I don’t believe now it was all Hogan’s fault. I guess I will never know. I stayed at their house for a cup of tea and felt a lot better after clearing the air.
I spent most of the rest of the day still on the sofa, as I still wasn’t happy about going out anywhere. I spoke to Jen again, who as normal was so very kind and supportive to me. I love her so much and have no idea what I would do without her in my life. I do worry though that I am a burden on both Jen or Kim, and Kim hasn’t spoken to me, or replied to my text, since I spoke to her yesterday. I hope that I haven’t made her angry, or not want to be friends with me, because I rang her when she was busy. It’s just that I was desperate for help, and didn’t know what else to do. I can’t think about it without becoming more anxious and then it is a vicious circle.
So, I hope you got through all of that!!! Sorry it’s so long, verbal diarrhoea moment. I hope a lot of you can relate. xxxxxxxxx