After the disastrous meeting with Rich and the counsellor I knew that I could no longer be vulnerable or allow myself to feel vulnerable. It was clear that Rich thought that I only wanted him for his money, well he could shove his money up his arse I would get my own.
I knew that I had to find my identity now, because, in all honesty, it had been lost for so long. I had worked part-time because Rich wanted me to, I had put on so much weight because I thought that I was safe in the love Rich had for me, after all he had got fat too! I had gone along with Rich and believed that he wanted to take care of me when in fact he saw it as a millstone around his neck, and blamed me for it.
I had, quite simply, lost myself and I made a promise to myself that I would never do that again.
By now I had lost so much weight, and even though Rich had come back I still could not eat much, I only had to think of something and the food turned to cardboard in my mouth; I would, literally, have to spit it out. So I continued to lose weight and made a point of getting on that stepper every fucking day, sometimes twice a day. It wasn’t only about losing weight I was toning up every time I got on it and I knew that I was starting to look good. The more I looked good, the more insecure Rich got. If he thought he would not keep me when I was fat, he was never going to think he could keep me now!
It was also so important to me that I had my own income, that I was self-sufficient and no longer reliant on Rich. I could never allow myself to be in that dependent position again, I could never lose myself in someone else again. Work had already offered me extra hours and I continued to increase my hours where I could. It was difficult because every day, every moment was so hard, all that was in my head was what Rich had done to me, the way he had been with me. But in some ways I used that as a driving force, I was never, ever, going to feel beholden to Rich for money again. I knew that the more I earnt the less of a hold Rich would feel he had in keeping me, so I kept going to work!
We kept our separate bank accounts, and Rich would give me money every month for the bills because they had all been set up from my account. He wanted to pay for all the shopping but I was not prepared to give him anything that he could ever throw in my face again so I insisted that we went half.
But what was the point of it all? I wasn’t happy in this type of a relationship, I wanted a relationship like the one I had before with Rich. Where we shared everything, where we supported each other, and we hadn’t got that now.
No matter how hard I tried I could not see things getting any better for Rich and I; still felt the same as I had felt that day in the pub when I had a conversation with my reflection; and the thought of always feeling like this, for the rest of my life, was starting to drive me insane. Again I thought “I don’t know if I can do this.”
Are we really happy here
With this lonely game we play
Looking for words to say
Searching but not finding
We’re lost in a masquerade
Both afraid to say we’re just too far away
From being close together from the start
We tried to talk it over but the words got in the way
We’re lost inside this lonely game we play
‘This Masquerade’ Performed by George Benson Written by Leon Russell