Steve was the love of my life. Really. When I met him, I was a bit wary, because he was 14 years younger than me, and we weren't very much alike, but then in other ways we sort of were. Oh, and he was living with his girlfriend. Now he SAID he was only living with her because he had nowhere else to go. But now that I know better, I'm wondering if he would ever have left her if she hadn't thrown him out when she found out about me. And I'm wondering if he tried to get her to take him back - because every story he ever told about me was a lie, so why would what he said about anyone else be true?
But back to when we met - and I had no clue that he was a psychopath/sociopath/narcissist/had antisocial personality disorder/was your common or garden complete and utter cunt (delete as appropriate - I'm not a psychiatrist). It was the 29th December 2006. By 31st December I knew I was falling in love with him. He seemed so perfect - and my friends all thought so too - really sociable, funny, entertaining, happy.
Within two weeks I was in love, and I thought he was too. I still do love that person. That person never existed.
Oh, for a while it was all perfect. Then in February 2007 things changed. His Mum died, and he began drinking and using drugs again. He'd phone at weird times of night, lost somewhere between here and Albrighton. Or he'd phone from outside a pub, incoherent, with no way to get home, so I'd go and find him and take him home. One time he was supposed to be babysitting for his sister (he was living with her by then) and he wasn't answering his phone so she phoned me. Of course, I went to the rescue. I found him passed out on the floor behind the front door. When I got in (luckily I knew where the spare key was kept), and roused him, he was vile, kept trying to punch me, but again, I thought it was all due to his mum dying. Even though he said, 'I really don't care that she's dead. I feel nothing.' Sociopaths always tell you what they are, but mostly we don't hear them until it is too late.
And as time went on, he didn't get better, he got worse. I'll save the details of the various beatings for another post or series of posts, because I find it quite triggering, so for purposes of this post, it's only necessary to say that what began as verbal abuse and maybe pushing, pulling and intimidatory door-punches gradually became hair-pulling, slapping and shaking. Usually out of jealousy - and by jealousy I mean really STUPID jealousy. The night we first split up, he attacked me because I'd talked to some people who were outside smoking when he went for a smoke. He was right next to me. They were a mixed group of men and women. He joined in the conversation. I didn't know him well enough then or I would have sensed the warning signs.
We were away for the weekend, and when we got back to the hotel, he just laid into me. Pushed me against the wall, took hold of my head and kept banging it against the wall as he yelled at me. Then he grabbed my arm and threw me to the ground, face down, but he was still pulling my arm up behind me. I was terrified, I could feel my shoulder was going to dislocate or something, because he had his body fixing my legs. Then with my other hand I was able to grab my stilletto boot. I started hitting him with the heel until he let my other arm go, then I rolled over, and anger took hold of me. I didn't stop. I kept on hitting him, as hard as I could, backing him out of the room, then I slammed it shut on him and locked it. I couldn't believe the state I was in. I didn't know where he went and I didn't care.
He came back in the early hours of the morning, and I let him back in, because I'd need to drive us home anyway. He slept a little bit, and when he woke up in the morning he had no idea why he was covered in little round bruises. But I finished it. Went to Sue's house and told her what had happened, and she said she thought it was for the best. Showed her my arm.
He kept ringing, wanting to talk to me, but I wouldn't take the calls. So he started calling Sue, I think he even went around her house, crying and saying how much he loved me. She believed him, she said she thought he really meant it, and that maybe he was worth another chance. So I gave him one. On condition he stopped drinking. Which he did, for a while.
Then slowly it was back on ordinary lager, then back on Special Brew, then back on heroin. By this time he was working away, and cheating on me. I found out, and dumped him. Yet even though he was living in the Lake District, he began a concerted effort to get me back. He'd come down here at weekends, find me in pubs, be talking to me wanting to get back together - seconds before his girlfriend phoned him.
Not for the last time, I became the 'other woman' - because I fell for the lies again. this time my friends didn't, and they all thought I was mad. He eventually dumped the girlfriend, came back to live here, we got back together properly, and all was well for another 18 months. Well - he still hit me, but it had become the norm. I no longer told friends about it, it wasn't worth it. I blogged about it. There were some hideous times, but I'll do those another day.
Then he cheated again. For me, this was really the end, and all the years that followed were just me crapply extricating myself. The whole 'Deb' thing was insane, I'll separately blog it too, because it is insane FUNNY. Ditto 'Sophie'. And through both we still got back together, time and again. And the violence was always escalating, and it was always over one of two things - he would be jealous for no reason, or I would want to finish it. A good beating would leave me mentally unable to end it.
December 2010 I finally prosecuted him (another separate story). This was when the stalking started big time. Whenever we had split in the past, he would come to the house at night and try to talk to me. He'd throw stones at my windows, bang on doors and windows, generally be a nuisance until I spoke to him. Now that I wouldn't, he escalated things. He would come into the house when I was at work using the spare key I'd given him. He would move things. He used the phone. He stole my pants.
So I changed the locks AGAIN (I am one of the few people I know who has a locksmith's number in their phone!). February 2011 I gained a two year restraining order (yes, it shits me up that it is running out soon). It made no difference, but it did mean I could phone the Police.
So at one point he decided to wear masks when spying on me. I tell you, it is terrifying to look up and see Batman staring in at you. He wouldn't try to speak to me, he would just move around my garden furniture in the night. Or leave cans of Special Brew in the middle of my drive. He'd left a pile of bricks by the side of the house - I cannot count the amount of times that pile has moved.
On the day of the Royal Wedding, I was having a little party here. My ex-husband and his family came, and left their car on my drive cos they both wanted to drink. When everyone had gone, about 7.30, I got a text saying, 'Uve gotta b kidin me knob at urs.' Then 'cal me'