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  • "It's oh, so quiet"... a piece about obsession

     

     
                            
    We’ve all been a little bit obsessed with something at least once in
    our lives I’m sure...A favourite toy at Christmas, or a new puppy or a kitten maybe.
    Because it’s what you do when you love something – you show it some affection.
    Only some people don’t know when to stop.


    The first time he called me it was almost 1-ooam. I didn’t know that it was a “he” then.

    I had no idea who it was, but I didn't recognise the number and so I let it ring.

    Only it rang and rang, and it was a video call, which I thought was
    really weird, because anyone who knows me knows that I hate anything
    that shows my face, and so I sent back a message saying that they had
    a wrong number...and that’s when it started to all go a bit horribly wrong.
    Because he sent back a text saying “Hi Denise”
    And officially became “a bit of a stalker”...


    You see the phone calls didn’t stop. In fact they got worse. And I got
    video calls and text messages several times a day. Every. Single. Day.
    And I needed my number for work at the time, and so I thought that if
    I blocked him then that would be it, which in all fairness worked -
    for about a day...then he went just out and got another phone.
    And another one and another one.
    Until I was absolutely petrified every time my phone rang.


    Because this guy knew me. I mean he really knew me.
    He knew my name, he knew my number and he knew exactly what I looked like.
    And friends told me to tell the police…but what would I say? What
    proof did I have? A steady stream of unanswered calls from several
    different numbers? A series of non- verbal conversations?
    I didn’t even know this person…
    Except that I did.


    You see my friend had an idea -  she took the original number that
    he called me from, and she ran it through facebook.


    And there he was.


    In all his glory.


    With his trademark jogging bottoms and his goldie-looking chain, and
    his history of obsession with women he can’t have.


    You see I met him in a homeless hostel, when I had to live there briefly.
    He was in the room next door. Only I had to report him to staff
    because he didn’t like the word “No”


    And so I sent him a message with a screenshot of his face…and I told
    him about the cosy chat that I’d had with his probation officer…
    And this time, when I blocked him again, he didn’t call back…

     

     

     

  • Groundhog Day

     

     

     

    My days become Groundhog Day.

    I wake up, worry, drink and pass out. Wake up, worry, repeat… Everything else is a blur.

    I no longer have “good” days. Now that Bear is gone they range from “numb”, “repetitive” to “really, truly, awfully shit.”

    I’m struggling to function. Getting out of my head is all that I care about now, and it’s starting to take its toll on me.

    My hair is matted and is starting to break. I run my fingers through to comb it but then start to pull it out instead. It’s not intentional; I was trying to make it look better. Instead I make myself look a million times worse.

    I rarely eat.

    I don’t have an appetite, and the more that I drink, the less able I am to keep anything down anyway. My clothes fall off me. I go from size 8 to size zero in weeks, barely noticing … getting drunk is all that I care about.

    I check my reflection in the ladies. A hollow-eyed tramp stares back at me. For a second I think that there’s someone behind me, until finally I realise … the hollow-eyed tramp is me.

    I head back into the bar and drink until I’m asked to leave. I should be embarrassed by this but I’m not. It happens a lot. I’m used to it now. I fall down the stairs as I try to leave. I don’t remember where I sleep.

    The days turn to weeks and the weeks turn to months.

    I collect bruises and breaks like old ladies collect china. My head is full of white noise and a million shitty encounters.

    “Friends” start to avoid me. I see one cross the street – pretend to be engrossed in some tatty old window display, blatantly willing me not to see her. It’s fine. She was never truly my friend anyway, but that’s another story…

    I resist the urge to go over and tap her on the shoulder, just to see the look on her face. But I’m starting to withdraw. I don’t have those 30 seconds to spare. The off-licence beckons. She gets a reprieve.

    I wonder what they think of me. The guys behind the counter, as I hand over some small change and head back out with my booty. The thought lingers for a second, but then I crack open a can and forget what I was thinking about.

    I start to fall down a lot damaging my ribs, my face, my coccyx and my knee. I tell myself that I really need to steer clear of stairs. But then I fall off a kerb and hit my face on the pavement. I can’t steer clear of pavements, too. How would I get to the pub?

    I tell myself to be more careful and nurse a black eye for weeks.

    I go to my doctor and ask him for help. He tells me that he’s unsure as to what to do. That he took an oath to “do no harm” and that addiction is not a field that he’s familiar with. He doesn’t want to make things worse, he says. What he is telling me basically, is that he is not the guy to help me today.

    I thank him for his time, Google the medications that I think I might need, go back to the doctors and get a prescription. Then I pick up my meds, attempt to guess the quantities and I try to do a home detox.

    The tablets calm me. I think that this might work. But then I crack open a can and drink that as well swiftly followed by another, then another, until all of my cans are gone.

    I morph into a zombie.

    This is not going to work.

    My life is a car-crash. I’m now running solely on alcohol and prescription drugs.

    The man that I am involved with is vile.

    He’s an alcoholic, too. One who doesn’t like women very much, as I quickly find out to my cost.

    Our “relationship” involves him shouting, me crying, constant gas-lighting, total head-fuckery, and more than a smattering of cruelty and violence.

    I hate him.

    But I have nowhere else to go by now. My head is full of alphabet-spaghetti and I am totally reliant on him.

    The penny starts to drop as he attempts to drag me up the stairs by my neck. As I manage to break free and make my escape, the thought crosses my mind that I really can’t keep living like this.

    If the alcohol doesn’t kill me, then maybe this guy will. I think that he’d enjoy it.

    The thought terrifies me.

    It’s the wake-up call I need.

    I pluck up some courage, walk shakily into a meeting and I beg the staff there to help me.

    They take one look at my broken, emaciated frame and start the paperwork immediately.

    They are throwing me a life-line.

    I’m going into detox …

     

     

                                                                                                                                              

                                                                                    

                                                                                        

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