I wanted to call this post ‘The golden years’ but that wouldn’t be true. The golden ‘months’ is stretching the truth to its limits….
So from the first kiss I became his property. His appliance, to do with what he pleased. He didn’t tell me that of course otherwise I would’ve been off faster than a kid after an ice cream van. No, I wasn’t aware that I’d signed up to become his source of ‘fuel’ (search ‘glossary’ for explanation of fuel) his whipping boy, his puppet that does exactly as he wishes. No I had no idea. I thought I’d found a top bloke! Oh how he must have laughed! To start with I was very taken in by his charms. I’m ashamed to say I let him meet my son almost straight away. My son ADORED him. He fell for him quicker than I did. CG was L’s new best mate. In fact L’s love for him was instrumental in me falling for him. I thought I finally had my perfect little family unit. Something I’d longed for.
In many ways I think CG was so good with L in the beginning because it gave him the chance to relive the childhood, I believe, he missed out on. He certainly matched L in terms of emotional/mental age. (L was 6 at the time) and that’s not me being sarcastic or detrimental, that’s me being truthfull.
So, everything was rosy. Except it wasn’t. The control had already started unbeknown to me.
In hindsight I can see it all now. It’s subtle and he remains unaccountable as there’s no actual firm accusation I can make regarding the control. But it was definitely there. Coercive control. He had said to me how his ex wife never had his tea ready for him when he finished work even though she didn’t work. Therefore I made sure he had a meal on the table every night. Nothing major there though hey? Just making sure I looked after my man. He didn’t tell me I had to make sure I had a meal ready and waiting afterall. However, I remember my niece talking to me one day (within the first couple of months) and when I realised the time I got anxious and said I needed to leave to get started on the meal. She asked why and couldn’t it be 10 mins later than normal. I said no I wanted to make sure it was ready for when he got in. That was true but looking back the anxiety I felt was not normal!
Another example – I was driving one day and my phone started ringing. Obviously I didn’t pick as I was driving. I got a text straight after saying “don’t you ever pick up your phone?!” (It was what I call one of those WTF moments when I had no idea where the hell that’d come from) when I called him when I’d finished driving he didnt pick up! (Revenge?) I didnt bother calling again but I text to say I had been driving that’s why I didnt pick up. I got no reply from him and spent the day wondering what the hell has just happened and why was he giving me the silent treatment. Anxiety and confussion encompassing me all day. That evening when I called him out on it he said “I just got worried because my ex never used to pick up and that’s because she was having an affair” Did he tell me from that day forward I needed to make sure I picked up straight away? No. Did he tell me that no matter what else I was doing I needed to stop doing it and reply to his texts straight away? No. Did I do those things anyway? YES! From that day forward would I feel the twist of anxiety in my stomach every time my phone rang or beeped? YES! Did one missed call and a text ultimately lead to him controlling how I used and viewed my phone? YES! Did I rudely stop listening to whoever I was with or interrupt them if my phone went? YES! Did I do this knowing it was rude? YES! But I daren’t not. Absolute control. Subtle, unaccountable manipulation.
As I say though, I wasn’t aware of any of this at the time. I knew I was starting to feel anxious and ‘not myself’ but I never once equated it to this wonderful man who was showing L what it was like to have an amazing step dad in his life. This wonderful man that took me out and bought me clothes (That he chose, ahem) This wonderful man that cared so much about us…..