Not so funny, it starts dark but gets lighter xxx

Okay so deep breath, its going to get a bit dark now. You are warned, turn back now if you don’t think you are up to it.

Way back when I was 19 years old I’d been out drinking with a girl friend….that’s a friend who happens to be a friend, in London. We had got onto the last train back from London. We sat down in an open carriage where there were a few other people. We were laughing and messing about and not  taking too much notice of other people. Once we had sat down we noticed that there were two men sitting opposite each other on the other side of the carriage. One of them got up and was sick out of the train door window, my friend and I looked at each other, raised an eyebrow each and mouthed nice at each other and then laughed. We looked away and settled into our seats. My friend pulled her coat up over herself and went to sleep. Sick man then disappeared. I curled up on the seat and out of the corner of my eye noticed the remaining man move. He took something out of a briefcase. I turned and looked and saw he had taken a magazine that porn out of his briefcase. I kind of laughed to myself and looked away. I was staring out of the window into the darkness outside. But of course what I could see was the reflection of everything on the train. And I noticed was that this man, henceforth known as Dodgy Pervert, was looking at porn and then pointedly looking at me. To say I felt uncomfortable is an understatement. To say from that point is a period of time that I bank in events that generally make me feel quite shit… shit about myself and then really fucking angry as I take a true sense of myself back. So he’s looking at me and I turn my head further round to look out of the window so that I can’t see him. He simply made his movements more obvious. looking at the porn, looking at me. So I I physically turned away further, twisting round in my seat to try to ignore him. But he obviously wasn’t happy with that, because he then stood up and started to undo his trousers. At which point I became so angry! Anger shot through my body from my feet! I stood up and shouted my friends name. She woke up immediately to find me standing in front of her shouting ‘There’s a Fucking Pervert on the train’. You have never seen person move a quick at Dodgy Pervert! I want to say he was gone in a flash but!! That’s me using humour to deal with my anger, horror and discomfort!

Anyway these events were discussed, it turned out Dodgy Pervert lived next door to some friends of mine and had previously exposed himself out of windows to them. See Dodgy Pervert! My friends mum and my dad wanted me to report this to the police. But I didn’t want to and I still think that the police in middle 1980’s would not have done much with this….I would have just had to relive it all and I didn’t want to. Because people knew who Dodgy Pervert was male friends offered to beat him up. Not on my account I said. But you know what one of my pals, one closest pals we took him on. We saw him in Tonbridge High Street one day and without any prior discussion we both turned round and shouted at the tops of our voices ‘There’s a fucking pervert’ as we pointed at him. He legged it. Some time later we saw him again and we repeated this. The third and final time we saw him, was in the petrol station, his wife was sat in their car and we did the same thing again. I feel a degree of sympathy for his wife, she looked shocked and horrified.

We never saw him again. We have surmised that he most probably moved away. I do feel a certain amount of guilt about not reporting him, based on the knowledge that predatory rapists behavior often starts with incidences of exposure. But then I know I am not responsible for this mans or any other mans bad behavior.

Some time later I had just finished college, I went to Art college in central London community London each day, enough to put me off working in London on a daily basis. I was working part time in a temporary job in the High Street where I live. So anyway I was 20 years old and I was minding my own business walking down the road to get to the town, this first thing in the morning when man drove past me, he tooted and waved…. now when you are a young women this shit happens a lot… personally found it best just to ignore or at the very least to just ignore it with a nod. So I nodded and carried on walking. I walked a little further and eventually the pavement was crossed by a road, his car was in my way and he was sat waiting. I was walking towards him because that was where the pavement took me, he then said ‘Great shape baby, do you want to go for a ride?’ I stared at him, shook my head and ‘No thanks’ and walked around his car to carry on my way. . Man in car henceforth now becomes known as Dodgy Weirdo in Car. Because he couldn’t just take the rejection, he kerb crawled me calling me such things as a slut and a whore. Yep that was nice. Not. I ignored him. I would not look at him and I did not respond. The only reason this stopped was because the road changed and suddenly the pavement was a  long way from the road. I had to stop and sit down on a wall to get my breath back. I was so fucking angry. I carried on walking to work and when I got there I told the women that I was working with what had happened. One of them was really empathetic and wanted to know what she could do to help. The other said ‘You should count yourself lucky’ ‘it wont happen when you get older’ ‘Thank god for that!’ says me. Seriously some women!!! Any way my dad said to me you should have taken his number plate… I was too stressed to think such things I said.. My dad hugged me. Nowadays you could take a photo or film such things on your phone camera’s. Please remember that young ladies, because truthfully no one should have to put up with this kind shit.

So some of you are aware that I am currently recovering from a breakdown created by events and an environment outside of my home and home life. Some of you will be aware that finally being away from the trauma of all this has brought a lot of prior trauma back up for me which I am currently dealing with. Some of you know that I was assaulted sexually when I was 16 years old, some of you bore witness to that, some of you have heard me talk about the facts of that event and very recently one or two of you have finally heard me talking about the emotional and psychological impact that has had on me. Some of you have absolutely no idea that this ever happened. It doesn’t matter either way, what matters is that I deal with it, in the way that is best for me and that I get to live the rest of my life with it being dealt with.

So what does this lead me too… some idiot once said something to me regarding these events and what I happen to look like. Well you know what? What I look has nothing to do with people behaving like this, its their problem, they need to own it, because no matter what you look like, you are not asking people to behave badly towards you. End of.

I have real problems dealing with what I look like, these problems pre-date all of the above shit. People frequently struggle to understand how I relate to myself. I can tell you very clearly my talking about this struggle is not attention seeking behavior because I struggle with attention over what I look like. It’s about me trying to make sense of lots of conflicting emotions and thinking patterns. Several years ago a male and female friend of mine where talking about me and when I appeared they said we don’t think you understand how attractive you are. I felt so defensive and on edge that its difficult to describe properly. I knew that they had the best of intentions in saying that but I could not move with it. Things like that make me feel like I can not breath, I do actually hold my breath. Now that’s something practicing Mindfulness has started to resolve.     

So anyway I am dealing with this crap and I’m picking and choosing the people I care to disclose information to. Now that might seem strange as this is a blog and it can be accessed by many many people. But do you know what, many people go through exactly the same shit… we live in a deeply misogynist world and many women have to endure the most horrific things….many man are powerless to stop stop such events … they are so powerless themselves that they seek to regain a sense of power by inflicting bad stuff on people who have even less power themselves….there are many men who have terrible things inflicted upon them,,, to me this is not a gender issue, it’s a people issue. Some people do bad things. They do them for all kinds of reasons. Some of them are very damaged and they simply are unable to reflect, let along change their behavior. being angry with them changes little and probably causes you harm. Better to take responsibility for your own behavior and hope to facilitate change in that way. Be nice. It will make a difference to some people. Think that’s as much as any of can hope for.

On Friday evening this week I went out with work colleagues old and new to wish a kind and gentle colleague a fond farewell as he fully retires and I was offered a lift by a lovely work mate. A lady that I find to be beautiful on the inside and out. And you know what that matters to me. And on the way home we are talking about some of this junk as she says to me Debi, you have beautiful eyes, you are so striking looking, you are beautiful and you deserve to be happy. And you know? I smiled and said ‘thank you’ because I know that I am beautiful. On the inside and the out. That’s a massive shift in thinking and feeling.

So to finish I can’t promise that that old defensive dismissive behavior won’t resurface, it’s been with me for a long time but I changing. I don’t need rescuing, i can do that myself. What I want and need is good people around me. I am lucky I have been loved all my life. I’ve been taken care of by my family, some of whom might drive me round the bend at times but know this I love them all loads. I have good friends, I have people that take the time to care and thankfully I know it. And I love them loads and I hope that they know it. I have a gorgeous son who is turning into a delightful young man, not saying that’s not without its problems but you know. I have my silly delightful kitty cats…. I’m still mourning the loss of Mojo cat but I know somewhere she’s with Storm cat and they are once more boxing. I miss my dad but I’m so glad he was my dad. I’m so glad that I got to tell him that I had always felt loved all my life before he died. I’m glad I could say please take some rest now and that my mum was with him when he died. I think that was what he would have wanted. And I feel him around me all the time. And I take comfort from that. And you know what my dad always told me I was beautiful, and clever and kind and thoughtful and funny. And you know what I do that to my son and to the children of those I love. And I do this to those I love and or even those that I just care about at any level.

I’ve thought long and hard about writing these blogs. And I’ve discussed self disclosure with more than one person over the past week. I found I liked people describing themselves as an open book. You may find this difficult reading but my intent is to share and help myself whilst helping others. For me life is easier without too many secrets.

So I have plenty to be glad about. And the baseline is I’m in a better place for sharing this.

And again as they say Peace and Love xxx

 

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One thought on “Not so funny, it starts dark but gets lighter xxx

  1. i totally understand this blog, being one of those who has never thought of himself as particularly beautiful (inside or out), and went through an immense amount of bullying as a result…it reminds me of the first time i ever wore jeans to primary school, and i was told by a kid “the jeans are nice, you’re just not sexy enough for them”… it warms my heart, that the same kid is now short fat and bald… (I know that’s a shallow response, but continual bullying will do that to you…)

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