Necklace

img_8575This is my abuser’s necklace. I found it while clearing out my old room at my parents’ house. It was with a lot of beading and jewellery making stuff that I was sorting out, and it was there not because I made it (I could never make something this complicated) but because it was broken and I had offered to mend it. My abuser, R, really liked this necklace and wore it all the time. And I did mend it, which you can see at the front where the spike bead is missing. I couldn’t replace the bead but I reconnected the broken parts and sealed it all with clear nail polish so the whole thing wouldn’t unravel.

 

I don’t know why I never gave it back but I can guess. R frequently decided he was sick of the sight of me and would be as deliberately nasty as possible to drive me away. Being away from him wasn’t the relief you might think because by this point I basically had no personality of my own. I had learned to suppress it long ago out of necessity, because my only function was to be what R wanted me to be. I felt I could not function when I wasn’t with him.

 

Probably one of these periods of exile had happened during the mending process and then we both forgot. Very likely it was also towards the end of everything, when we were on the brink of separating. I often talk about us as if we were in a relationship, because we honestly might as well have been. That’s what it felt like.

 

 

I also found the beads from another necklace, this time one I did make for R. It was a couple of years into our friendship so I was about 14, and I had gotten the beads on a visit to the city my auntie lived in, at the other end of the country from where me and R lived. When I was away from him I was nonetheless always thinking of him, which is clear as apparently my foremost thought upon visiting a bead shop, one of my favourite things to do, was to buy special beads to make R a necklace. They were letter beads that I had chosen to spell out a phrase associated with his favourite band at the time. He liked that necklace too, and when it broke (my homemade necklaces usually did eventually) I had been supposed to be mending this one as well. I don’t know why I did not. Probably another falling out between us was involved, and then R wasn’t so into that band any more and it seemed pointless to bring it up when he had clearly forgotten about the necklace.

 

I was very into symbols when I was young teen. There was a 3rd and final necklace that I reminded myself of while sorting my things. I had made R and me similar necklaces out of rainbow seed beads, with larger pretty beads along the string every now and then. When, inevitably, R’s one broke at the crimps holding the beads on (I could never get those to hold firm) I took the necklace to mend it and then R decided for a while he was sick of me and that we weren’t friends any more. I should say that every time this happened, to young teen me it simultaneously felt both permanent and temporary. I don’t think young teens can really think far ahead enough to think of true permanence, like into adulthood or even older teenage years and where they will be then, but at the time I really felt R would hate me forever. At the same time, part of me knew R would one day decide he wanted me back, just turn up and act like nothing had happened at all, and be happy and cheerful and I would not want to bring the mood down by saying anything like ‘why did you treat me so badly before?’ and risk him hating me all over again. I never tried to contact him during these exile periods, never asked him what the hell was going on or what I had done. I knew that nothing was going on, that I hadn’t done anything, it was just his whims. I knew to wait it out, just to get through the day to day and wait till he wanted me back, but I would also be angry he was treating me like this. I would vent my anger towards him in my diaries (I kept a day to day diary from age 13 to something like 16), and one time I looked at the broken, rainbow necklace and decided that instead of mending it and giving it back to R, I would make the beads into a necklace that I would wear. I thought that maybe, once he inevitably took me back with no explanation for his behaviour, I could wear the necklace when we were together and draw strength from that little act of defiance, and maybe stand up for myself a bit more. I did this, and on the new necklace I put a key pendant (actually an old key from the padlock of a secret diary my sister had when she was younger), with my initial scratched on it. You see, R always called me by a nickname, which began with a different letter. I liked the nickname, we had made it up together, and yet it wasn’t long before R began to use my name as a way to communicate how he felt about my behaviour and actions. If he wanted to communicate a distance between us, or a coldness he was feeling towards me, he would start using my real name instead of the nickname. It was like the nickname was the version of me he liked and approved of, and any time I strayed away from that I would become my real name. So by putting my non-nickname initial on the key pendant, it was like I was saying to myself ‘the version of you outside of R’s influence still exists, she is real and has value’. I hoped that when I wore it, the physical reminder of my resolve would help me keep my sense of self when around R. It didn’t work, but it at least the necklace gave me some sort of strength when I made it. And the symbolism worked for me when seeing it in the future because it helped me remember this stuff about how the situation was then, and think about how great it is that I’m my own person now, after many hard years of learning how. Oh yeah, and R never asked for the necklace I had made him back, so he never knew. I guess he forgot it had existed. Don’t worry, I stopped making him jewellery at some point before I left secondary school. (Instead I spent hours making him plush toys of his favourite geeky things because I was still a long way off learning not to expend so much energy and care for someone who will never reciprocate the care you take, and far from becoming happier like you wanted becomes more demanding with every request.)

 

The black and red spiked necklace is more recent than the other two. R might have worn this when we were in our late teens, maybe even early 20s. I can remember him wearing it. It’s designed to be a tight choker so holding it I can’t help but think about it having touched his skin once. It creeps me out. I wanted to show it and write about it before I did this, but my plan is to throw it out, with no ceremony whatsoever.

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Housekeeping

I’ve done a bit of cleaning up of posts on this blog, as a lot of things in my life have changed that make them no longer relevant. The ones about my horrible old job where I was bullied into a breakdown are thankfully no longer relevant because I escaped that job into a Christmas temp job and while I was at that job I got my current, full time position. I’ve been there almost 3 years and I’m very happy there. I never meant to write so much about that job, as I intended this blog to be for my telling my story as an abuse victim, but things at the job were so bad it kind of took over my whole life. Maybe now I can get back on track.

 

The posts aren’t deleted, just reverted to drafts. If there’s a post that I wrote that was useful to you and you can’t find it any more, let me know and I’ll republish it. I’m not saying that to be conceited, I know this blog barely gets any traffic but I know I have had posts I really liked to revisit on blogs that disappeared one day due to being deleted or a paid domain expiring and the owners of those blogs probably never knew I was visiting and reading. So just in case!

I saw my friend!

EDIT- Please ignore the things I said below about friend’s partner not being abusive. A few months ago I interacted with him for the first time in ages, he came with me and friend to go for coffee. He is definetly abusive. I was right to suspect but had been lulled by such a long time of not interacting with him. 😦 I am supporting my friend as best I can, but I am also in a very bad place and have very little to give. The situation is shitty all round. Please think of us.

 

 

 

 

CW- drug mention, slight mention of disordered eating (though not through eating disorder it still might trigger).

 

 

Yesterday I went to see an old friend from uni. I was really nervous about it but it turned out to be the best day ever. It’s weird when you spend so much time feeling weird nothingness and periods of down-ness (only way to say it really), suddenly a happy thing happening makes you go SUPER happy and filled with energy and love.

 

I love my friend so much. We went to an amazing Italian sandwich bar and they bought me a panini and coffee and a brownie, and when I thanked them profusely they said ‘it’s because you’re one of my best friends dude, if we were just sort of friends then we’d split the bill’. XD And my worries of us not being best friends any more just disappeared.

 

And I met my friends new dog (well its their partner’s dog too, also the dog is not that new as in she’s actually an elderly rescue dog) and she was the cutest lil puppers ever! I had so many anxieties going into this and one was what if the dog is jumpy and yappy (small dog worries) or just smells bad…but no, no smell, plus best behaved dog other than a tiny bit of pulling on the lead. No barking, no jumping up. Loves being petted by new people. (me 🙂 ) Yes I petted that dog for a good long time and talked to her and called her silly pet names. Hey I have to get it out of my system as my last gerbils has recently died and I have no furry person to talk to at home. I love animals.

 

I think they got the dog for my friend’s partner who has a lot of mental health problems. (as does my friend, and me.) Partner has, in the past, been my friend, but then we drifted apart when we stopped being at the same uni, plus I was concerned with how he was treating my friend. He lives in the flat my friend owns, and he is a foreign national with no family in this country and his family in his own country is pretty fucked up from what I know. So basically he depends on my friend for a lot, which made me worry at the time because I was scared he would become abusive, or my friend would not want to ever break up with him due to the bad situation it would leave him in. My friend would seem down, say they had become his carer more than his partner, say that he forbad them to knit because his hearing sensitivies made the sound of the clicking needles unbearable (my friend loves to knit and there’s so many workarounds that don’t involve A Ban), and things like that. I was…worried about their situation, to say the least.

 

But looking at things now, I can see that they are both managing. Partner is apparently self-medicating with weed and mushrooms, but my friend told me they make him calm and able to sleep. They did not seem concerned at all, and my friend has always been a big believer in doing what you have to do to get by. Whether its weed or drinking or eating cake. It’s a calming thought, weirdly. I work in a health sector and the messages about healthy living, sugar tax and exercising and stuff, are starting to give me a low level of anxiety about my body. I know I don’t exercise enough and don’t get enough fruit and veg, but those things are all stressful in their own ways and there are too many constraints right now. (No time or energy for exercise, and with fruit and veg there’s only a few kinds I can have before I run into ones that need to be washed, cored, chopped and/or cooked, and all of those things are a big barrier for me right now. It would involve too much hand-washing and cleaning, and to be honest it’s stressful just thinking about it. These days I eat tinned fruit, frozen peas, tinned tomatoes, and fruit like bananas and satsumas that have a solid skin, as well as sometimes fresh apples, grapes and tomatoes. Those are all ok, anything else is too much.) Sometimes I’m fed up with the messages seeping in, when going through days without sinking into self loathing sometimes feels too hard even without these extra worries.

 

My friend said that sometimes partner will do things like taking mushrooms and then petting the dog for hours on end. I think if my boyfriend did things like that I wouldn’t like it, I wouldn’t like him to take things that made him different from himself. I asked my friend though and they seem happy with the situation. Like things seem calmer, quieter and more settled in their place, and they each have their own space to call their own which they definetly need. I feel like my worries are, for now, set to rest. My friend is not some indestructable powerhouse but they are very strong in some ways. And their relationship may seem one sided in some ways but I never got the sense that my friend is unhappy or needing more support from their partner. It’s worth remembering that not all relationships can be an exactly equal give and take, and in practise that is probaby quite unusual as everyone has different degrees of need. The trick is making it work in a way that suits the people in the relationship, and if you can do that then no one else matters.

 

Another thing I appreciate about my friend was their acceptance of my germ problems. I’d say something like ‘I can’t touch food with my hands’ and they’d just nod and say ‘that’s fine.’ No interrogation or trying to logic around it like some people do. I think I have changed too since we last hung out any serious amount. My germ problems have got to a worse level, unfortunately, and my overally mood is lower, but I am also calmer, less stressed and less snappy. I used to be quite impatient with my friend sometimes. I tried to bring up my snappy behaviour during some time we spent together (a uni residential in another country) but my friend didn’t even remember it. As is so often the way. ^^ I apologised anyway though.

 

We walked, they showed me the sights, and then we went back to the flat and played a few video games, just some nice calm ones. And then they saw me off with a huge hug and a promise to see each other again soon. I miss them so much now. It’s weird because I was dreading the trip because social situations with anyone except my boyfriend are so hard for me. Now it seems like I have two people who can be on the ‘not hard’ list and that is honestly so wonderful. I nearly fell asleep at work today I was so tired but I felt so full of love still. I don’t know how to describe the feeling of spending a good day with a friend, or something else that happened to me back at new years where I met a girl and we nerded out about Death Note for about an hour. Sometimes I don’t know the difference between romantic love and friendship love, to me they are both equally powerful, and with a similar need to touch and hold somebody close. I don’t know. Maybe it’s that it reminds me that I exist outside of my boring job, that it doesn’t define me, that I’m still that excited and joyful person I used to get to be more often. I feel happy just writing this. These powerful positive emotions are strange because they come alongside the usual negativity I feel all the time, so they interact in a feeling of dizzy happiness along with a fear that I will ruin it. But for now I’m trying to just enjoy the feeling, and write it down so I can remember it forever.

Things that make it harder to talk about my experience as an abuse victim

I am a survivor of emotional and sexual abuse. That is what this blog was made to be about, if I’m honest. But I need to put some content warnings here.

Homophobia against lesbians

Homophobia in Christianity

Antiblack racism

General ableism warning

Mentions of sexual and emotional abuse.

(more…)

Hello!

Hi, I’m Moss. I’ve started this blog because I need a space to write about my life anonymously. If you know me in person and discover this blog, please don’t link it to my real name. Names of everyone I write about will be changed.