A Life Worth Living. Chapter Nineteen.
Out Of Body Experience
Barry had many symptoms related to paranoid schizophrenia but I did not understand that and I could not cope with his often irrational behaviour. He was always questioning me about where I been, who I had looked at or spoke to. He never stopped with the incessant questions and he was driving me nuts. I was exhausted trying to keep him calm and quiet when he started questioning me with constant stupid questions. One night I barricaded myself in my daughters room, trying to get away from his questioning that was driving me seriously insane. As I laid there in bed with my hands over my ears trying to block out the sound of his voice, I had an out of body experience that absolutely freaked me out. I was laid on my back and everything went quiet. I felt myself pull up into sitting position, even though I was still laid down. From a sitting position I looked around the room and bent down to stroke a dog that was stood at the side of the bed. All the time this was going on, the part of me that was still laid on my back, watching what was happening, through other eyes, was silently screaming. I was terrified and thought that I was losing my sanity.
I was grateful when my husband allowed me to get a job at the restaurant where he worked. I soon learnt that the only reason I was allowed to work was so that he could keep his eyes on me all day, watching everything that I did. In the restaurant, Barry worked in the kitchen doing pot wash, and I worked as a waitress. I enjoyed the job. People seemed to like me and gave me big tips. I used to make customers laugh with my accent which reminded them of two popular comediennes, Charlie Williams and Marti Caine. I had seen them both on TV and they both had accents like mine. Returning customers would ask for me by name, and I was chuffed. My confidence grew a little as I worked in that environment but I was very ashamed of my working class accent. A negative belief or not being good enough because of my accent was traced back to my parents.
My working day was stressful because he was stalking me long before I knew the meaning of 'stalking'. Barry would watch me through a little gap in the kitchen door at work and every night he would grill me. ‘Who were you laughing at? Were you laughing at me? Why were you smiling at that man?’ Did you sleep with him? I could not and cannot believe I allowed someone to control my life as much as I let Barry control me, but I did.
I understand now that Barry did not want me thinking for myself. He kept me in a state of high alert and scared and stressed all the time, as a form of control. I was never allowed time out, just a little peace and quiet to think.
We all need time to think. We need time and space to relax and think so that we truly know what belief system we are controlled by.
I Made A Dangerous Mistake
It felt good to be trusted with the key to the restaurant and tills. My job was to open restaurant in the mornings, turn on the coffee machines and have the doors opened to catch the earliest of customers. I was proud of my responsibilities at work because they showed me that I could be trusted. It was important to me to feel that people could trust me because I felt I could be trusted. I found I had something positive about me and that felt good.
One morning, I was running late to get into work. My taxi was waiting outside and so was a taxi for my daughter, which would take her to the childminders. As he had been arrested on suspicion of child abuse, Social services warned me never to leave Barry alone with our baby. That morning I made a mistake. I did not think clearly as everything seemed to be going good, in the sense that I knew good, which was I had not been beaten for a week. ‘My taxi is here and I have to run, just put her shoes on and put her in the taxi’, I said to Barry. I kissed my daughter on her forehead and gave Barry a quick peck and went on my way. I just got to work on time and was pleased with myself which reflected in my banter with the customers and in my tips jar.
Lost My Child And My Reason For Living
Later that day, my Social worker walked in to the restaurant, unexpectedly. ‘Can I have a quiet word?’ she said, as she indicated with her head for me to follow. As soon as I sat down, she said, ‘We have taken your daughter to a place of safety. For her sake we need to keep her whereabouts a secret for now’. I just exploded. ‘Tell me where my bairn is!' I screamed at her. ‘I am going to kill you if you don’t tell me where she is!' The Social worker stood up to walk away from me and I lunged at her, screaming about what I was going to do to her if she did not tell me where my baby was. ‘I have nothing to lose by killing you,' I said, and I meant it. One of the waitresses, grabbed a hold of me and prevented me from doing serious damage to the social worker in front of me. Before the social worker left, she said, 'What kind of mother do you look like, behaving like this?’ She was right. I was no different than my own mother behaving the way that I did. I felt like my mother, I could feel my mother in me and I felt that it was her screaming and not me. Immediately, I was sorry for my outburst, I begged, ‘Please don’t take my baby!, I will do whatever you say but please don’t take my baby’. I felt like my heart had been ripped from my chest and I could not breathe. ‘Come to my office tomorrow when you have calmed down’, she said, as she walked away.
I was eventually told why they had taken my baby away. My husband had gone to the child minder that morning with our baby. He admitted slapping our daughter, leaving his hand mark across her face. He said he had panicked when he could not find her shoes that morning and she had started crying. He claimed he did not mean to hurt her but she would not shut up crying.
My Whole Life Was Controlled
My boss heard about what had happened and rather than sack me, like I feared he would, he took me to one side and told me he would not sack me, if I could hold it all together. He told me he would help me get my baby back, but I had to carry on working and keep it together mentally. At the time it seemed he was asking too much. I was grateful for his support but suspected his offer of support was for selfish reasons. He did not have any one else that wanted to do the opening up shop shift. He wrote me a glowing reference but Social services would not give me my baby back. I was told me that my daughter would be staying in a safe place for now, and no amount of pleading was going to change their mind.
I Could No Longer Cope
The next day I had to go to work because I had been trusted with the keys to the restaurant. I had to try and act normal and not show that I was hysterical on the inside. Everything about me wanted to give in, to go mental, rather than face the pain of losing my baby and the fear of not getting her back. I prayed for insanity so that I would not have to deal with the pain of losing her and letting her down. She was my reason for living and I had lost her. For six weeks I went to work and acted normal, although inside I felt desperately hysterical with fear and grief and was struggling to continue with my act of normality. At night, Barry would be begging. ‘Please don’t leave me because of this, will you? He went on and on. ‘Are you going to leave me? If I did not answer him he would get my attention, to make me answer. One night he tied fishing line tightly around his wrist, so tight that his hand was swelling and going blue. 'I would rather lose my left hand than lose you', he cried, as he held an hatchet in his right hand threatening to cut off his left hand if I left. If he was not doing something like trying to chop his hand off he would be threatening to commit suicide. One night I came in and found that he had repeatedly slammed his face off the coffee table. There was blood everywhere and his face was battered and split around his eyes and nose. He threatened to continue smashing his face if I left him. I felt and believed I had no choice but to stay with him. I believed he needed me to look after him. I sacrificed my life to him because I believed I had to.
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Links To Other Chapters
- A Life Worth Living. Chapter Twenty
I was twenty years old, medicated, drunk and trying to survive. My life was about survival because of my negative beliefs about myself and the world around me.
- A Life Worth Living. Chapter Eighteen.
My life of abuse fuelled by negative beliefs. Not loving myself meant I allowed myself to be beaten and constantly abused.
- A Life Worth Living; Chapter One
Born into a violent home, I was given last rites within hours of my birth. My first day of life was a battle to survive and there were more battles of survival to come. This is my journey of survival.