It was never easy. The triggers are there. The door to the past is never completely closed as much as we’d like it to be.
The public ridicule is real; I expect it any time I go out. I’m sure its deserving.
That’s the thing of course; I never thought at the time that all these years later the fear would still be there, so I happily stay in my protected world.
It’s easy to avoid people, you go out only when you want to, like the early morning, you never browse in the shops, you know what you want, you get it and go home.
Conversation becomes difficult, you become aware of being the boring person in the room so chat grows more and more strained and you understand when people move away and look for someone more stimulating.
My second attempt at a relationship was a disaster. It started off so well, as they do, all love and sparkly eyes.
But she said she saw my ‘potential’. Wanted to make me a better me.
We can all be better, but we don’t have to sell our souls to achieve it. That was her aim. Change me into a version she approved of. Therefore everything the old me, the real me, stood for was challenged. It struck fear into me. My identity was challenged, I began to believe the bullshit, and I spent hours questioning why I did certain things. She spent hours in public places doing the same.
I became paralysed.
I felt my sense of self shrinking into a place I hated more than anything she was doing. I began to wonder why it was I was so hated as towards the end she rejected everything about me. I wasn’t complying.
The long-term effects are there as I said at the start. Avoid people, stay away from crowds especially social functions. I know I don’t belong.
There are some things I cannot talk about even today.
I have been fortunate in that I have moved from darkness into a light where the blue sky warms me and gives me purpose.