Guilty Plea

I had a wonderful few days revealing in my freedom from fear and I felt like the me I was supposed to be not the one that M wanted to make me into.

Then I got a call that astounded me, M wasn’t due in court until the end of the week but on Tuesday I got a call from my case officer to let me know M had asked to enter a guilty plea and was on route to the court right at that moment.

I almost dropped the phone, M had plead not guilty on every charge from 2012 to 2014 despite finger prints and hard evidence against him and now when it was my word against his he was pleading guilty?!

I realised this would mean I wouldn’t have to appear in court as a witness again and my heart soared. That was an ordeal I dearly wanted to avoid and here was M making that happen!

Finally it seemed to me that M was coming to his senses, he must be realizing the seriousness of the charge he was up against. I was sure his lawyer had told him by now that if he was convicted it would be his second charge of perverting the course of justice and that would mean a heavier sentence.

Happily I called my mum and told her the good news and she cheerfully said that this was it, it was finally ending and I allowed a small part of myself to believe that was true.

My happiness lasted barely 5 hours.

I got another call from my case officer later that day to let me know M had used the ploy of pleading guilty to get in front of a judge to ask for bail.

He had not pleaded guilty.

I was brought back down to reality with a bump, of course he hadn’t pleaded guilty. How could I be so stupid to believe he would? The one saving grace was that he had annoyed the judge and had been kept on remand and would be until his next court appearance on Friday.

Going home that night my feet felt heavy and I was annoyed. In reality I was in the same boat as I was this morning, but the cruel trick M had played today had made me think that this was going to be over. It wasn’t and I knew they were unlikely to keep M in prison until a trial so I steeled myself to enjoy the next 3 days the best I could.

C xo

©2016 C xo

relief

The next few weeks crawled by, I was surprisingly ok with ending things with W. After all it had been rocky for a while and I knew it was the right decision.

But surprisingly I think it was the M situation that made it easier, he was still AWOL and it was now early August. It had been 2 months and M had sucssefully evaded the police the whole time. My mind was consumed, I couldn’t shake the feeling he was planning something new.

I tried to be patient and calm but it wasn’t easy. Where was he????

Then in mid August I called for an update and was told M had been picked up 2 days earlier!

Relief flooded through me as I heard he was on remand due to skipping his bail and due in magistrates court next week for a review of the official charge.

I hung up the phone and jumped up twirling around with my hands in the air.

I felt safe and free for the first time since he had gone missing. A smile broke across my face and I decided I would go out.

As I gathered my things I called my mum and gave her the good news. She was relived too and told me that it would all be alright.

With that I skipped out the house feeling like my world had opened up again. It was sunny, I was safe and I felt safe.

Being safe and feeling safe were two different things to me. Logically I knew M didn’t know my new name, my address or my place of work, in that sense I was as safe as I can be barring a chance meeting or M being at the one places he knew for sure I went like my mums. I had safe guarded myself physically as much as I could.

But feeling safe didn’t always go with being physically safe. M had been able to get to me despite my safe guards, he had orchestrated the situation I was in now from just one false statement to the police months earlier.

Just him being out there unknown to the police sent terror seeping through me- technically I knew he couldn’t find me but the feeling that there was the possibility even a tiny one that he could was all he needed to have a terrible effect on my life.

Knowing M was locked in a room and being watched by a guard was the only thing that gave me complete confidence to get on with my life- to feel safe.

I had been ok after he was released from prison as I had convinced myself that prison would do what it was supposed to do and M would not want to ruin his life any further in order to stalk me.

When the police had called me in March I knew that wasn’t the case and the sad fact was that I now knew he wouldn’t stop. If there was a way to get to me he would use it.

But on today and for the next week I had the comfort that M was locked away and for now I would grab that and run with it because it was all I had.

C xo

©2016 C xo

The last goodbye

I got home exhausted and beyond sad. I didn’t feel like I was myself, everything that was happening was too much, too big and out of my control.

I went to sleep finally at about 1.30am but woke several times thinking I heard tapping at my door. I was so on edge I was hearing things, it felt like I was going mad.

I got up at 9.15am and showered, standing there I wondered what W would be like today. Would the pills be out of his system? Would he now understand that he had had strokes and that drinking was starting to claim parts of him he couldn’t take back?

I set out to drive to the hospital for visiting hours, half way there my phone rang and it was the hospital. What now???

‘C, I’m sorry to tell you but W is missing. He managed to get off the ward 35 mins ago and we can’t find him. The police are aware and will be in contact.’

I was astounded and had so many questions! Where has the security guards been? How was this able to happen 3 times in 48 hours?

W health was at severe risk of collapse and another stroke!

I pulled over the car and waited for the police to call. They took details of W’s address and habits and I was asked to contact his housemate and head to his home.

We all suspected he would try to get to his sisters wedding but his suit was at his flat, so he would need to go there first.

I made my way there and waited for the police. W’s housemate had texted to tell me W had arrived 10 minutes earlier with a bag of beer and he was drinking.

The police arrived and explained they had authority to arrest W and take him back to the hospital if he refused to come willingly as he was sectioned.

However they wanted me to go in first and try to persuade him, they would hold back in the hallway.

Nervously I lead the way and W’s flat mate let us in. I walked down the hall to W’s room my heart beating so loudly in the quiet.

I pushed open the door to find W laying on his bed with a can of beer in his hand and an empty one on the desk. It wasn’t even 11.30am yet.

‘W what are you doing here? You need to be at the hospital where they can help you get better!’

‘I’m going to my sisters wedding! It’s where I’m supposed to be, I can make it if I go soon.’

‘Your family want you to be safe and healthy W, which means being at the hospital. They know this and don’t mind you are not there with them today, I spoke to them myself yesterday.’

W wouldn’t listen to me and continued to drink, I tried again

‘Look W you have to come back to the hospital. You weren’t supposed to leave and you are mid treatment you are putting your health in danger being here and by drinking that!’

‘Just go C!’

At that movement the police came in, W looked up and anger flashed across his face, he turned to me.

‘For fuck’s sake C! What did you do?’

‘ I didn’t do this, you did.’ I wispered.

‘W, mate you need to come back to the hospital with us. Now we can do this the easy way where you walk out with us or the hard way where we carry you out. Now I know which one I would prefer. I think you do to, so come on now.’

W looked at me like I had sold him out and turned his back to me. He struggled to his feet and slowly made his way to the door. He was clearly not that sure on his feet.

‘W, do you want me to put a few things in a bag for you?’ I called after him.

He turned to look at me,

‘Just fuck off C!’

With that he left with the police and I was left on my own. Trying to hold back tears I stuffed a few things in his bag and hurried to follow in my car.

I felt numb, how has it come to this? Arriving at the hospital for the third day in a row I went to the ward.

I had to find out what happened, they were very apologetic and said they had not replaced the security when the night guards had left.

I said it wasn’t good enough, he had been sectioned for a reason! Annoyed I went to see W.

He refused to speak to me and simply told me to fuck off again. Hurt and angry I shoved the bag on his bed.

I asked if he wanted me to go and get anything else for him like a book or his laptop  as he was going to be here for another two nights under the section.

‘I don’t want anything from you. Leave me alone. This is all your fault!’

‘W, you collapsed, you took 28 sleeping tablets, you have had strokes! You needed help. I haven’t done anything but try to look after you!’

‘LEAVE ME THE FUCK ALONE YOU BITCH!’ W yelled.

Stunned I looked around me, everyone on the ward was staring at us.

‘Fine, goodbye W. This is it I’m not coming back. Good luck with your life!’

With that I turned to leave and tried hard to hold myself together.

I spoke to the nurse and informed them that W’s family would be arriving tomorrow and they would look after him. They needed to call his mum for any updates from now on and to remove my name and number from W’s contact sheet.

I held my head high as I walked out of the hospital, I was doing the right thing. W was knowingly on a path of self destruction and was intent on carrying on and I couldn’t help him.

He was on his own now and so was I.

All that was left to do was to call W’s mum and let her know what had happened and to say sorry but I can’t be here anymore.

That was a hard phone call, we got on well and she had welcomed me into the family with open arms but that simply wasn’t enough to stay.

She told me she understood and thanked me for looking out for her boy.

I got into my car and drove. I felt numb, I wasn’t sure I could deal with this all now . Maybe I had reached my emotional limit for dealing so I just drove.

C xo

©2016 C xo

 

Pushed to Breaking Point

I sat on the train and waited for my station and trudged up the road towards my house, it was 11.50pm by the time I reached it but instead of walking to the door I got into my car and started to drive.

I headed over to W’s flat to see if he had some how made his way home only to find he wasn’t there. I called the hospital and let them know.

I drove home and walked wearily up the stairs, there was nothing I could do for W now. The hospital said they would carry on searching and if he wasn’t found by the morning he would be reported missing to the police.

I got into bed and despite my worry and panic at the situation I fell asleep almost instantly, it was well past 1am.

I was woken at 4.15am by my phone ringing.

‘Hello?’

‘Hello, this is V calling from the hospital, we have found W and he is back on the ward safe and sound. He is fine, we just wanted to let you know.’

Relief flooded through me.

‘Where was he?’

‘We found him asleep in a flowerbed just on the outskirts of the hospital grounds, we are not sure but he may have had another fit.’

‘But he is ok?’

‘Yes, the consultant will be seeing him first thing in the morning. He is sleeping now’

‘Ok, can you let me know what they say please? I mean if he is being let go or staying.’

‘Yes of course. Good night.’

‘Thank you and good night.’

I called W’s mum as she had been alerted by the hospital also and was anxious for information and she thanked me for letting her know.

I put my phone on the side and laid back down, I was awake and exhausted and confused. What was going on with W?

I eventually fell asleep and woke up at 8.45am and set up my laptop so  could work from my bed. I thanked god I was working from home as I had desperately needed the extra couple hours of sleep.

I was getting on with my day and feeling awful due to the stress of this situation on top of what was happening with M, when my phone rang.

‘Hello is that C?’

‘Yes.’

‘Hello C this is K I’m a nurse from the hospital, can I ask are you with W?’

Confused  I said,

‘No I am at home, is W not with you at the hospital?’

‘He walked off the ward about an hour ago and we have not been able to locate him.’

FOR FUCKS SAKE!!!!!!!!! What the hell was going on?

W clearly was not well and they were letting him walk off the ward and after last night??????

I hung up the phone promising to go to his flat to see if he was there, whilst they called the police.

Once again I spoke to my manager, who told me to just go.

I got in my car and drove back the same way I went last night, the slow day time traffic making me anxious and annoyed. The police called me to ask a few question whilst I was driving.

W wasn’t there. I dithered, what do I do now?

Then my phone rang again it was the hospital W had come back and was on the ward and he was due an assessment in the next 2 hours.

I got back in the car and headed out East, 45 minutes later I walked onto the ward to find W on his bed wearing a Hawaiian shirt. Ok.

The nurse had explained that W had said he had just gone to the local shopping centre to get some clothes and a charger for his phone.

I tried to speak to W but he was out of it, I looked through the Primark bag and found some more clothes which were definitely not his usual style, an empty packet of 28 sleeping tablets and over £200 in cash.

I took the empty pill box to the doctors and they thanked me, they hadn’t realised he had taken the pills and so started a course of treatment accordingly.

Over the next few hours I watched over W as he tripped out on the tablets, he screamed at the wall and backed away yelling it was melting.

He grabbed me and pulled me close and told me I was an evil person who would burn in hell and that he was glad before cackling madly and shoving me backwards.

I tried to calm him down, and suddenly he shoved me out the way knocking me into the wall as he made for the ward exit, at that moment a consultant came back and W was put back into bed and on a drip.

It made him sleepy. I sat for another 3 hours as he dozed and mumbled, then he slowly started waking up and was talking fairly normally but was intent on getting to the train station to go up to Nottingham for his sisters wedding and seemed confused as to why he was there.

20 minutes later after I had stalled W from packing up his shopping and leaving the consultant came back and began an assessment of W’s mental state.

Once again I stayed silent as W lied to the doctor but this time he contradicted himself several times and was clearly very confessed. It was heart-breaking to watch.

The consultant finished the assessment and asked me to come to his office. I sat there and broke down explaining what W had said was a lie and how much he really had been drinking and abusing painkillers and sleeping tablets.

The consultant told me W was experiencing withdrawl to alcohol, which is why he had collapsed and fitted several times.

He had stopped drinking but due to the amount he was consuming previously his body was in toxic shock. This mixed with the tablets he had taken was a dangerous mix.

He told me that W had had several mini strokes in the last 4 months also due to the amount he was drinking. I was horrified.

He gently told me they were sectioning W for his own safety. I looked at him and wiped away my tears, I was so relieved, this meant they had to keep him on the ward and he couldn’t just wander off as he fancied.

Then he asked if I was ok, I looked at him surprised but so pathetically thankful. I was so stressed out, I was the only one here for W his whole family were in Nottingham getting ready for the wedding tomorrow.

‘I will be fine, thank you.’

‘We need to ask, has W been violent towards you before?’

‘N, No!’ I stuttered.

‘You can tell us, you are safe here.’

‘No, not at all, W’s actions today towards me physically are not normal at all. I  would say if it was not the case. But he has never consciously tried to hurt me.’

‘Ok then.’

I was asked to stay as long as they could let me, to try keep W calm for the evening. I agreed.

I went back and sat with W as the consultant explained what was happening to him, W immediately tried to leave but was stooped by two burly security guards.

He was put back on his bed, and for the next 2 hours I watched as W tried to sneak past them and escape. Several times he pushed me hard to get past me as I tried to soothe him and I was thrown into the wall and twice through the curtain separating W’s bed to the next.

The second time this happened my arm caught the edge of a cabinet and I sustained a large deep scratch all the way down my forearm.  Kindly the nurse looked at it and cleaned it up for me.

Finally it was time for me to go, W was in bed, but still very agitated and confused. I tried to say good night and promised I would return in the morning. I left him with the security guards watching over him.

I walked away and felt guilty for feeling relived to be away from him. It was 11pm so I headed for my car, calling W’s family to let them know what was happening on the way and they all thanked me for being there with him and told me they had already planned to come down on Sunday  first thing after the wedding.

I got in my car and started to drive home only to break down in tears 10 minutes later. I was crying so hard I had to pull over.

I felt like I was breaking, this was all just too much.

C xo

©2016 C xo

AWOL x 2

At first I thought I had been right to give W this second chance he was trying so hard, he wasn’t drinking. Well as far as I could tell and he was trying to understand more about what I was going through with M being on the loose.

Yes it had been another 3 weeks, and M was still AWOL. The police were apparently doing all they could to find him. I was having to call them for updates as they were not forth coming with sharing anything with me.

I was feeling very uneasy, but slowly getting used to feeling scared which wasn’t a state I wanted to be in. But there was nothing I could do but wait for the police to find M and then hopefully lock him up.

I let W try to make amends, he was more talkative and engaged with me than he had been for a while and he even invited me to join him on a work nights out and he stuck to his diet coke!

I was happy he seemed to be doing so well, and thought ok maybe this was the start of a new leaf for W and for us.

I was wrong. So very very very wrong.

It was a Thursday and I was walking to the nearest card shop to get a wedding card for W’s sister wedding that weekend. W and I were going to be driving up to Nottinghamshire to see his sister wed her girlfriend L and I was looking forward to it.

I thought W might struggle on such an occasion to not drink but he told me that with me by his side he would be just fine.

My phone rang and it was a withheld number, I sucked my breath in. This was likely to be the police, was this it? Had they caught him?

It was the police but it wasn’t about M, it was about W.

FOR FUCKS SAKE!

The officer asked me to confirm I was W girlfriend, I did. He then proceeded to tell me W had been found collapsed on the street fitting and that he was being taken to hospital. Could I come?

Fear spiked through me, and then anger- why would this be happening? Why was he on a street so far from work at 12.45pm on a Thursday?

My mind jumped to drink.

I hurried back to the office and explained the situation to my manager, the officer had advised that I wouldn’t be able to see him for about 3 hours so to come then, W was stable.  So I worked until 3pm and then was excused to go to the hospital.

It was a difficult journey all the way out East to nearly the end of the Hammersmith and City line. I arrived feeling exhausted and was shown to W’s bedside.

He was sat up seemingly ok reading a magazine. He looked up and smiled,

‘Hi Babe!’

Really????

‘What happened??’

He proceeded to explain that he had collapsed at work during a class and sent home in a taxi, he had then decided to go to the shop and then next thing he knew he was in an ambulance.

They had done an initial assessment and were waiting on the consultant. But he felt fine.

Ok so maybe I had been wrong to think drink, I felt bad.

The consultant came about an 2 hours 45 mins later, I sat and watched as she checked W out and asked questions and listened to W lie about his social and health habits of the last 6 months. He was saying he drank moderately and rarely took painkillers!

I kept my mouth shut and excused myself. I waited in the corridor for the consultant to exit, and explained quietly that W had not told her the truth of his diet, drinking and sleeping habits. She nodded and wrote some notes and said thank you.

I went back in ready to ask why he had lied but W quickly told me he was tired and that I must be too- he was right about that and I was exhausted. He  told me I should head home, he was being kept in overnight for observation and that he would be back home tomorrow.

I simply agreed and left, I was too tired to argue and to find out why W thought lying to a doctor was a good idea.

I had to go back to the office to grab my laptop so I could work from home the next day, so I made my way back into central London.

An hour and half later I was on a train headed home, my mind was hazy with tiredness and stress. I was finding it hard to keep my eyes open.

My phone buzzed it was the hospital, I answered and listened to the nurse explain to me that W had got out of bed and simply walked off the ward, they had searched for him and they didn’t know where he was.

Of course, why wouldn’t he do that?

C xo

©2016 C xo

 

Going backwards or forwards?

That day W texted me and called a lot, I was torn and sad and angry and upset. All in all not good.

I got on with work and tried to ignore my phone, I managed to hold out until 4pm and to my own annoyance and disgust my resolve broke and I replied. I kept it curt and said how hurt I was.

W replied begging for forgiveness and another chance. I said I would meet with him to talk but at the moment that is all.

He wanted to meet that evening so I said fine but I don’t want to go anywhere like a bar or restaurant. So I suggested meeting on the south side of the river, it was nice a neutral and far away from my work so if I cried hopefully no one I know would see me.

I got there first and as I sat waiting it occurred to me that I might be making the same mistakes again and again. I always give another chance and why?

Was it that I thought I could change them or did I not think I was  not worth more than this?

Lost in thought I didn’t see W approach, he had clearly made an effort and there was a worryingly large smile on his face. He went to hug me and I moved away, I wasn’t ready for that. We needed to talk.

He accepted my agenda and sat down looking albeit a little put out, I fiddled with the hem of my dress and struggled with what I wanted to say.

So I just blurted it all out in one go,

‘I can’t keep on going like this W, I don’t want to be with someone who is happy to throw away their health at the expense of their relationships. How can I be with you and look to a future of marriage and kids knowing you might not be there to support us?’

‘I know, and I’m sorry. I don’t want that either.’

W looked at me and I felt a flicker of hope, he was actually listening to me.

‘You have to stop drinking, that’s what I need.’

Silence followed and I wondered if he really couldn’t stop.

‘Ok, if that’s what you need I’ll stop.’

‘Its not just for me, its for you. You have to want to do this for yourself! You know how much its affected your health and if you don’t want this too then its not going to work!’

‘I know, I know and I do want that too, I do!’

W took my hand and this time I didn’t flinch away,

‘I do want this, I promise I do. Let’s go for a walk hey?’

In my head warning bells were ringing in the distance but ahead of them I saw what I wanted through I now realise very rose tinted glasses.

‘Ok’, I smiled for the first time that day.

We walked along the river and I was struck by how happy everyone was, the sun was shining and it was early summer, people were laughing and enjoying the evening. I wasn’t feeling the same, again warning bells.

I wanted to tell W I needed more than just this and that I was finding it hard to cope with everything but I didn’t want to push it. I felt nice to have his hand wrapped around mine. So for now I would leave it, baby steps!

As you are probably thinking, how stupid is she? Will she ever learn and wasn’t she just saying to herself stop giving these guys chance after chance?

You would be right to think that, my need for comfort at that moment overrode my sense of judgement and just 2 short weeks later I paid for that mistake.

C xo

©2016 C xo

 

 

The End of W?

The drive back down south was a quite one. We were all exhausted and the feeling of sadness was heavy with us.

My Mum offered for me to stay the night before heading back to London, but I had work in the morning so I needed to get back.

As I drove on the motorway a song came on – So Now you Know by The Horrors. It reminded me of listening to Blur and Oasis with J back in the 1990’s and I felt tears roll down my cheeks once again.

I listened to the song again and again.  It felt comforting in a way.

As I got closer to London I realised I didn’t want to be alone, I need comfort and so I called W.

No answer. So I texted him, ‘Can I come to yours tonight? I will be driving past there in about an hour.’

He texted back ‘Bit busy atm.’

I started at my phone and couldn’t believe it, he knew where I had been today. He knew how hard it must have been and he was a bit busy?? He hadn’t even said are you ok?

‘Doing what???’

‘With some friends from work, won’t be home til late.’

I threw my phone on the back seat and carried on driving, I was so angry. He was out with ‘friends from work’, he had only been in the job 2 1/2 months!

He thought going out with strangers for a drink was more importing than comforting the woman he professed to love???

I got home and went straight to bed, my whole body ached from grief and the days travel and the hurt from W’s choice.

That’s it, I decided. No more, I am not playing second fiddle to alcohol. I texted W,

‘Its over, enjoy your drink.’

I started at my phone and no reply came, and once again sadness for myself enveloped me and once again I felt guilty. At least I had my health, J didn’t have that anymore.

J had nothing anymore she was gone.

I fell asleep still dressed with my phone in my hand, hoping W would somehow right all his wrongs and I would have the comfort of his arms again.

My phone stayed silent all night, it wasn’t until the next day W texted and by then my resolve had hardened.

C xo

©2016 C xo