Tuesday 23rd December 2008
The work’s Xmas do was a pretty sedate affair – we went to this posh restaurant, where we thought there was dancing upstairs, but there wasn’t. So we ate this fantastic meal, and I ended up drunkenly singing ‘Halleluha’ in the style of Leonard Cohen in an attempt to explain why his version is better than Alexandra’s or Jeff’s. Then we went upstairs and sat around looking at the postage-stamp (I kid ye not) ‘dancefloor’ before a man put his chair on it to talk to his mates. The college boss then tried to get everyone drunk by buying another round, and I decided to go home cause I felt a bit sick.
When I got home, Steve was convinced I’d shagged someone else. Despite me being back before midnight, with barely a hair out of place (Leonard Cohen not being known for his funky dance moves). He insisted on sniffing my lady garden for any scent of adultery. It is an undignified way to end an evening.
So off I huffed to bed, only to have to come back down when I heard him crying – I mean really wailing. He had my phone in his hand, and shouted ‘what’s this?’ when I walked in. It was a text that read:
‘felt really gud cin u 2day it woz just a shame it woz only half an hour. C u soon sexy xxx’
I showed him the date it had been sent: 3rd January 2007. ‘It’s a text from you, you twat.’
He’d changed his phone since then, as have I, but surely he recognised his own old phone number? He can be an idiot sometimes.
Sunday 23rd December 2018
Thanks to Jeremy Kyle, I’ve discovered that this sort of behaviour is common amongst abusers – smelling your bits, or your underwear. It’s all part of wearing you down; of altering what you accept as your ‘normal’. After all, if someone started this crap on the fifth or sixth date, you’d run a mile.
This is something that is good to remember – that behaviour you would find intolerable at the start of a relationship never becomes acceptable, and if you are accepting it, then somehow your reality has shifted, and that means there’s been gaslighting going on.
And as we also know from Jeremy Kyle – someone who is always accusing you of cheating on them for no reason, is very likely to be cheating themselves, and projecting. The constant accusations have the effect of making you responsible for convincing them. It also puts you on eggshells – makes you constantly aware of your timing, and of needing to tell them where you are, or what you are doing if you are late, or if your plans change – just in case they find out later and don’t accept your innocent explanation.
Eventually it becomes easier to just not go out.
By this point, two years in, I’d already stopped going out every week with my friends. I couldn’t afford it anyway because of Steve’s subtle draining of my money. I never stopped going out for special occasions, but I would become gradually more anxious about the results of doing so.
Going out always left a price to pay, and being sniffed turned out to be one of the cheaper ones.