Once upon a time – Part 5
This young man wanted to help Michelle, and could perceive that there were problems that were happening; for the first few times she met with him he could see that she was anxious about going home, but she always put on a brave face. Her father, watching from an upstairs window, saw her get out of the young man’s car one evening, and she could see the reaction on his face. He was not pleased.
Her father did not like this man, and he started to make things difficult. He asked Michelle many questions, to which she tried to answer. He had made up stories and told lies about other boyfriends she had in the past, so that she would not trust them. With this man, he knew he had to tread carefully. Her father knew she was about to leave that day to go out with him, and he told her to never put all her eggs in one basket, and that if I was going to his house, to pick up ‘insurance,’ something of value, yet something they wouldn’t notice missing.
She tried to remember her father’s words, and as she was around his house that day, she picked up a photo and a piece of paper with his payroll number on it, and put them in her bag, as she knew this would keep her father happy. This man owned half the house that he and his then girlfriend had bought together. He was still living there, but they had separated. The former girlfriend, visiting, noticed a photo had gone, and was suspicious and so phoned to ask him where it could be. Michelle had obviously not done this before and did not know why her father asked her to do it. She was not good at it, and felt uncomfortable taking it.
The young man asked if Michelle knew anything about the photo, and she opened up to him and told him honestly that she had taken it, and the payroll piece of paper, but had just borrowed them. She was never going to keep them. He thanked her for being honest, but then his ex-girlfriend started calling Michelle a thief and other names, and causing trouble. This made things a bit awkward for this man, but he cared a lot about Michelle nonetheless, and could see she was in a bad, manipulating environment. He was a very quiet, shy type, though he knew martial arts, and said he would protect her.
Another evening, she was about to be dropped off by him, and her father had the door wide open, and he was drunk, and shouting abusively, saying how he would kill her new boyfriend. Her brothers were trying to calm him down. He was shouting very loudly. Michelle hid in the garden, as she was afraid to go in, and the young man told her to get back in his car. He drove her back to his parent’s house, and Michelle and he stayed the night at their house, which is where he was now living. Because of her previously dating the older brother, he and Michelle had to sneak in there in the dark, so his brother wouldn’t see. Next morning, the man and Michelle decided to go back to Michelle’s house, and see how the land lay. It was not good. Michelle was locked out. The gate was bolted and locked shut. She knocked on the door several times, and windows, and her father was in the kitchen just completely ignoring her as if she was not there. He would not even look at her.
She decided to go to the only person in her family who he would submit to: her mother’s mum, Michelle’s grandma. She took a visit to her grandma, and explained the situation, and let them meet her new man. They were pleased to meet him, and her grandma got ready and came out, and they took a drive to Michelle’s house. Grandma now knocked on the door, and immediately Michelle’s father reacted to her voice. She reasoned with him but firmly told her father that he is to let his daughter in, as that is where she lives, and to let her at least get her stuff. Her father got a big black sack, opened the door and shoved just about the whole of Michelle’s wardrobe and things in her drawers in it. There were odd shoes missing as he really did not care, but he gave it to my grandma, without saying anything, but begrudgingly giving her what Michelle needed, otherwise he knew there would be trouble.
Her grandma got in touch with her aunt and uncle who had a two-bedroomed flat in the city, and were able to have Michelle stay with them. This was her mother’s sister. She was more than happy to have her there, and was so pleased that Michelle was now coming to live with her, and said she could stay as long as she wanted. Her aunt gave her the bedroom, with a big double bed in it, and she said that room was hers, and that she could have her new man live there too if he wanted. However, because of all that had been going on. Michelle then had a chat with her new man, and told him to go think on things and ask himself if he really did wish to be with her, or if he was just trying to help her. She wanted him to have time to see what was what. By the end of the day, he had already decided that he wanted to be with her.
Michelle was happy to be living at her aunt’s place, and her aunt was very much like her mother, and would spend a lot of time down the local pub, drinking, and would know the landlord, and nobody messed with her. Michelle was her bridesmaid when her uncle and aunt got married. They had left each other many times and got back together again. The uncle had beaten her aunt up in the past, and then the grandma, who knows certain people in certain circles, all she had to do was let them know, and these people would hunt the uncle down and beat the shit out of him. Their relationship was very complicated to say the least. Very love/hate. But for now they were both on good terms with one another. Michelle told them of the troubles she had been living with at home, and they believed her, and reassured her that her father would never set foot in that place. They told her she would be safe there. Her father did not know the address either, and therefore Michelle and her new man felt safe there.
One evening Michelle and her new man were coming back to her aunt’s flat, and her uncle came out and said please would we get a b&b or something for the night, as her aunt and him had some things to sort out. They of course let them have some time together alone, and slept in the car that night. At the time Michelle had only just got all her benefits sorted out with the new address, and so only had little money to live on. Her new man had a job, and was trying to pay his half on the house, but had to give his half up, over to his ex girlfriend, and this left him with much less money, so now the house was hers. Michelle and her new man got very close, and there was some sexual intimacy even, however he could tell there were issues.
One evening, Michelle had had a lot to drink, and he had to put her to bed, and he was laughing, as he was trying to undress Michelle for bed, and Michelle was very drunk, and after he undressed her, he gave her oral sex, and then he went to have intercourse with her, she could feel him just inside her, but asked her first, if that is what she wanted, or whether she would prefer him to stop. He was all ready to go, but Michelle said to stop. So he did. He was not about to take advantage of her, nor do something without her consent. He was a good man. And he cared a lot for Michelle.
He kept noticing little things about Michelle as they spent more time together, where Michelle would put her hand up as if to protect her head, if he suddenly moved his hand/arm. He noticed this, but she did not even notice she was doing these sorts of things. He asked if her father had ever hit her, to which she replied no, as the memories had not come back yet, and were still blocked. One evening, she happened to be dancing on the dance floor, and her new man was watching admiring her at the bar, and another guy came behind her, and started grinding up behind her, so he came to intervene and told him to get off her. He stared the guy down, and asked if she wished him to be sorted out. To which she said no, don’t worry, just leave it be. He was protective of her like that.
Meanwhile her father, unbeknownst to her, was borrowing a vehicle that she would not recognise and trying to find out where she was living. He found out her new man’s mobile number, and one evening sent him an anonymous text saying: “Just one match…Boom!” This got her new man seething. One evening he had to check on his car, to make sure it was safe. Her father put on a wig to disguise himself, and eventually found the area where Michelle was living, but didn’t know the flat block and so hung around the area, stalking, and waited until we came walking by, not recognising him, and walked straight past him into the flat block.
Michelle and her new man were trying to find a place of their own. They looked at lots, but many were just not suitable, or were too expensive. Her aunt and uncle were having some difficulties, and also Michelle’s mental health and the stress from her father was getting to her, and she was having to have more appointments, and sort out other work pay, from the recent jobs she had had. They had paid her too much sick pay, therefore she had to write them a letter, and offer to pay £10 a month (as that is all she could afford) until it was paid back. She managed to use her aunt’s old typewriter to do this, and got the address, and put it ready on the side in the living room, to post. Michelle had also given her aunt £40 because the aunt had spent the rent money on cigarettes and drink. But Michelle was happy to do that.
One evening while Michelle and her man were watching tv in their room at her aunt’s place, and they heard a knock at the door, and someone come in. It sounded all friendly, so they didn’t think much of it, but then she recognised the new voice. The same way her father was able to charm her mother in the past, he was able to do the same with her aunt. Unbeknownst to Michelle, they had all gone behind Michelle’s back, and met up while Michelle and her new man were sleeping in the car that evening. They all met and talked about the situation, to which my aunt said it had been difficult at times dealing with Michelle’s mental health issues, and of course her father knowing this, played his cards right, and told her aunt and uncle all the trouble that he had had, in trying to sort her out, and how difficult it had been for him, and how he was just trying to take care of her – making her out to be someone ungrateful, and someone with an attitude, and whatever else he could come up with. Basically he painted her black, and therefore they all planned behind Michelle’s back to get her to move out from her aunt’s place.
So back to when her father entered her aunt’s home, and she recognised the voice…
She immediately was in fight-or-flight mode, and shocked that they had let him into the home, exactly what they had promised not to do. Now there they all were laughing and having a drink in the living room. Her father saw the letter addressed to her old work, and managed to take this without anyone noticing, while he was there. (Michelle finds this out later). Michelle came out of the room, angry and upset, and cannot believe what is happening. They said she would be safe here, and so this rocks her and she is bewildered, and extremely upset, and wants to die. She gets a knife from the cupboard, and is now suicidal, as she has had enough. The only people she trusted have now let her down, and her father managed to get to them, too.
They all totally ignore that she am suicidal, and crying on the kitchen floor, and her new man is not sure what is going on or what to do, so he holds back on doing anything. Her father and her aunt and uncle all walk out laughing, and then leave Michelle in a very bad state… they all abandon her, and do not say when they will be back or where they are going. Her new man comes to try to help, but she is so distraught, and cannot now trust anyone, that she is angry at him, and tells him to leave. He leaves. She now is just left in the flat alone.
She wants to give up, and just push the knife into her stomach, but she just sobs and sobs, and then falls asleep from exhaustion.
The next day, she wakes up, and nobody is there. Everyone is gone still. So she then tidies the whole flat up, and cleans, and makes it all nice for when her aunt gets back, but there is no phone working, and Michelle had no mobile phone at the time. She waits and waits, but nobody returns, and then another evening goes by, and then the next day. There is no food at all left in the cupboards, and she gave her last £40 to her aunt. She has no money. Everyone has left and abandoned her. She cannot get in contact with anyone. She doesn’t know where anyone is. She is hungry. She then walks in the sun over a mile or so away, to her boyfriend’s place, as she is desperate. She was told never to come there, because of the situation with the older brother. But she had no choice. She didn’t know where to turn.
She knocks on the door to her man’s house, and his mother comes to the door. She was always nice to Michelle, and just asked: “Which one?” Michelle told her she needed to speak to her man. She fetched him, but in the background was his older brother, and so he came outside and said you shouldn’t have come here. But she said how she was desperate and didn’t know what else to do. But because she felt like she let him down too, she just said: “don’t worry, I’ll leave.” So she left and began walking, with tears rolling down her face, not knowing where she was going, the pain was overwhelming, and she had nobody whom she could trust or go to.
She felt completely and utterly helpless, and lost. She was dizzy now from not having anything to eat for a day, and was exhausted from walking, and was having delusions of killing herself, and just started veering into the road into the path of an oncoming bus that had just turned around a roundabout, and was coming down that street, and she just stood in the road, waiting for it to run her over, but the bus slammed on its brakes.
Michelle went into a dissociative type state, and sat in the road, shouting out: “I wanna die, I wanna die;” so then somebody called the police, and they came, and they got her over onto the path, and tried to ask her questions, but she was not responding, because she had switched off. They found ID on her and took her into their car, and then took her to the nearest mental hospital. She was then sectioned, and unbeknown to her, her new man had come after her in his car, and saw the police car leave with her and just followed it to the hospital. He then came in there with her, and sat through everything. Seeing her doctor and psychiatrist, she cried and sobbed, and didn’t want to be there, but she was a danger to herself, and therefore was sectioned. They gave her a bed, and something to eat and drink, and some meds to help calm her down. Her man said he would see her the next day. She did not care any longer, as she had literally lost everything. Now even her sanity.
He came though, every single day she was there, after work, even though he was tired, he came to be with her. He helped her through and got some things she desperately needed. He got her a mobile phone so she could contact him. He took her out when she was allowed leave.
After about a week of being there, her meds got changed, and she had some assessments, and they had notes not to let the father into the place. She got a big bedsheet dropped of with all her stuff in it with a message, not from her aunt, but from the aunt’s friend who she didn’t know in Scotland, saying how this was all her stuff. Nobody cared where she was or what had happened. Nobody came to see her, except her boyfriend.
Apparently that evening, when everyone left the apartment and her on the floor, her father just went home, and her aunt and uncle just went to Scotland to go stay with a friend. They just assumed Michelle would eventually leave if they didn’t come back, and it worked. There was no apology, no explanation, nothing. Michelle also noticed some of her stuff was missing. But by then, she had gone beyond caring.
She managed to stabilise while at hospital, but was now homeless. A social worker got her a place at a women’s youth hostel. She was given a room there after coming out of mental hospital. No visitors were allowed in, including her boyfriend; they had to ring at the door, and then the girls in there get told who is there.
She went with her man to her father’s place one day while he was at work, and she managed to climb onto the low roof, and in through the tiny bathroom window to get into her house, where she was able to pick up the rest of her stuff, and bits and bobs she needed. Plus while she was there, she had a look around, and saw a phone bill – and also in a kitchen cupboard, her letter, which she’d typed at her aunt’s and never got to send. Her father had made a copy of it, and then changed the repayment from £10 to £100 a month. She has no idea if he sent it or not, but she knows at least where her letter got to.
She brought her stuff back to the hostel, and then a few days later suddenly the police came to arrest her for breaking and entering. She was then handcuffed and told the appropriate rules they read, but she said how she had been in contact with her father since, and that they were fine.
The policewoman asked her to get him on the phone there and then, and ask him if he still wanted to press charges, and so she did, and he didn’t wish to press charges. The policewoman left. Michelle was angry that her father still got her arrested. Later she went and spoke to a woman who was within the police force, and told her what had happened at home, and she said if Michelle wished to take it further, then she was willing to get the case started. However Michelle refrained, because then her father and her were on speaking terms again.
Her father bought the kittens in the back of the car to see her, as the mother cat at home had had kittens. But this was bait to try to get her home again. Michelle was waiting on getting a place with her boyfriend, but nothing seemed to be working out. He was not even sure how he felt about her at the time, and that’s not surprising as she was very difficult to deal with and much more unstable. So she decided that going home would probably be the best option. She had to go back to go forward. So after about a month staying at this woman’s youth hostel, she went back to her fathers house.
Her father though had given her bedroom over to one of her other brothers, and said she would have to sleep downstairs on the sofa. She had nowhere to put her clothes and stuff. Her room upstairs was now her brothers room, and he was also now allowed to give his sister verbal abuse when she came back. This was my punishment for being away, and what had happened. While her brothers and father went to work, she was to clean and tidy the whole house, and do the laundry, and then cook and prepare meals for them all when they come home from work. Michelle continued to get remarks and verbal abuse off of her older brother, which her father allowed, and said it was perfectly fair.
Michelle cried and cried over the breakup with her boyfriend as she really did love him, and perhaps moreso than he did her, and she was no longer seeing him and broke up with him. He wrote a letter to her, and phoned her on the house phone a few times while her father and brothers were at work. He missed her, but it was like he also missed the relationship before her. Michelle was not sure what she wanted and everything was a mess, so thought it better to break up with him. Her phone would keep ringing constantly, to which she would ignore, and then he would come round looking for places she would be. He came into Michelle’s local pub, and saw her father and Michelle having a drink and a chat, and he saw us, and walked off. He was not happy that my father got to me again, and got me home. But Michelle felt it was unfair to keep with him, and be a burden on him financially and otherwise. He kept coming over and would keep ringing though for a while, until Michelle cut ties.
Eventually, Michelle got her room back upstairs… but now it was time for her father to perhaps get remarried again he thought. How did all this happen?
To be continued…