Ooh let’s go out for crisps!” you’d say, in the early days. In the too early days. In the days when I was trying to get some space from my abusive ex, the one that you’d excitedly started going out with. Did you ever wonder why I politely refused your initial attempts at being ‘friends’?
Crisps! Ha ha! So bouncy, so jokey, I’m just trying to be your friend! My gut told me otherwise. It’s all a front, isn’t it?
Just like him. Charm personified, until you live with the Sergeant Major, dictating, shouting, silent treatment, eroding your self-esteem. His monologues. I miss his monologues like I miss his dangerous driving.
I didn’t want to share a packet of crisps with you. I wanted to quietly, patiently, in my own good time, figure out how to navigate the demise of a marriage that was confusing and emotionally unstable, whilst holding down a job and doing my level best to bring up 2 kids in a town a didn’t want to live in.
I wanted to take a bit of time to learn how to live on my own again. Learning to live without my kids half the week and working out how not to spend the best part of 2 years wandering into their empty bedrooms and not burst into tears. I needed time to go through that and to learn how to just be in my new life.
Crisps with you was the last thing on my mind.
There you were, hanging off my neck, saying “Ooh aren’t you tall?” Giving me fake cuddles, failing to notice my then 4 year old daughter rolling her eyes at your behaviour. She has more soul in her little finger than you possess in your entirety.
I wish you’d go and grow up.
You know what my ex boyfriend said first time he met you? (you know, the ex-boyfriend who left me cos he literally couldn’t stand the pair of you anymore. What a luxury he had in that choice)….
He said “She’s like a girl at high school who thinks she’s prettier, funnier and smarter than everyone else and makes everyone else feel small. Isn’t she in her 40’s? And why does she constantly talk about her ex-husband?”
He made very many good points. He helped me on my way to seeing you for exactly what you are – a bully.
I’m glad I refused your crisps. I was learning to trust my intuition and it said with all its might to stay away from you, in the same way it told me to leave the man that you quickly, hurriedly, went and married.