Archive for Memory

I Hate Jokers

I’m not a big fan of practical jokes.  I like jokes.  Just not practical ones.  That’s why it’s so surprising that myself and Mr. Claire ever got together.  He is a giant child.  He jumps out at me from behind doors to scare me.  Leaves fake spiders lying around.  Gets all imaginative and constantly thinks of new ways to freak me out.  He also lies.  He tells me stories and I go, seriously?  And he laughs, saying, no, of course not!  Arsehole.

Thinking back to our first few months together, I really don’t know how I put up with him.  One day he rang me up in a really weak, pathetic voice and told me he had been knocked down by a car on his way to work and was in hospital.  I was completely freaked out and he waited until I was on my way out the door to visit him before he started laughing his bollox off.  Toerag.

On our first day…I must tell you that story sometime, it’s an odd one…we had been to the pictures and erm, got together before having something to eat together.  He was in work that night so we didn’t have long left together.  I was 19 at the time.  He puts on this really guilty looking face and stares at me.

 “Claire…”

 “What?”

“I have something to tell you…”

Uh-Oh.  “What’s wrong?”

“I’m sorry.  But.  I’m only 16.”

“Excuse me, what did you just say?”

“I’m only 16…”

“Are you taking the piss?”

He shakes his head mournfully.  I throw up in my mouth a little.

“What?   WHAT?!”

“I”m sorry…”

 I have tears in my eyes at this stage.

“Why didn’t you tell me you were only 16?!”

“Everybody lies about their age.  I thought you did too.  Are you sure you’re 19?  You look very young.”

I showed him my i.d.  I kept waiting for him to say it was a joke.  But he didn’t.  And all I could think of was, he can’t be 16, he has man hands!  I felt so sick.  I was crying.  He had this wierd look on his face and I didn’t know what to do.  16?  Gross!!  I can’t express just how horrified I was.  My younger brother was 16.  He had lots of 16 year old friends.  The thoughts of going out with someone that age was completely sickening.  He had to go so I walked him to his bus stop because I couldn’t let a kid wander around town alone, right?

We get to the bus stop and he starts laughing.  He falls around the place laughing.  There is such a look of unbridled glee on his face that I just stand there in silence waiting for him to finish.  “I’m not 16, you idiot!  Haha the look on your face!  That was classic!”

I tried to glare at him, tried to force myself to punch him in the face but the truth was I was so relieved that I hadn’t gone out with a 16 year old that I couldn’t be angry at him.  Although I did make him show me his i.d.  I never really believed that he was 19 until I saw his passport a year later.  Only then did I really feel secure about it 😉  For the record, he loves reminding me of that story, telling other people about that story and claiming that he is my toyboy.  He’s younger than me by five months and that story still makes me feel sick…He’s such an arsehole 🙂

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Sins Of Our Fathers – Part One

Nature vs. Nurture.   Nurture vs. Nature. 

I know most of what I write is basically…fluff.  But my interests do lie in other areas too.  I can enjoy cartoons AND reading about genetics whilst maintaining the same I.Q.  But don’t worry; this post is going to be a bit of fluff too, phew!  But as per usual, it’s a long one, run now, while you have a chance!  By the way, I wrote this yesterday as a draft because I thought we were going out but we don’t seem to be – I’ll just use this draft anyway.  The reason it’s called part one is because there are other things I want to get into that are related to this post but it was getting long so I thought I’d do it another day.  Plus, I don’t have the heart to talk about that stuff yet.  Call this a prelude to the real deal.  When I’m ready for that, we’ll talk 😉

 Becoming a mother has made a couple of things come to the fore.  How much of a part does genetics play in the adults our children become?  Personally, I think that both nature and nurture can play a part but in the long run, nurture is what counts.  At least that’s what I hope.  When we were children, one of the biggest threats my mother had was “you’re going to end up exactly like your father’s family.”  My mother loved my paternal grandfather (he died when I was 6months old but before that he looked after us when my father did not.  He had no illusions about the type of children he had raised.) but she wasn’t so keen on the rest of my father’s family and I can’t say I blame her…for a variety of reasons. The neighbours raised eleven children because my paternal grandmother couldn’t get up out of the bed every day.  My mother has no sympathy for this and can’t understand it but I can because if I allowed myself, I would have the exact same tendency to give up and hide under the covers.  I hadn’t seen that woman since I was around four or five yet when I had my own children I felt the urge to react exactly as she did every now and then.  Okay, to a lesser extent but maybe if I had eleven children, the postnatal depression that I went through would have been much more severe.  Is it genetics that made me feel like this or is just “one of those things?” 

As I said, my mother liked to threaten us with the idea of bad blood, how if we weren’t careful, we would become just like the people she despised.  She did her best to raise us so that we wouldn’t, I’m sure she did, but she made a fatal error by implanting it into our heads that no matter what we did, we would end up a certain way.  I have to admit, I was terrified that I would be a crap mother (just like the women before me…) but I felt like I couldn’t do the same things that they did.    I don’t have it in me to be those types of people.  Or do I? Sometimes I hear my mother’s voice when I speak and that scares the crap out of me.  I should have learned from her mistakes, right?  I know I’m not the best mother in the world.  I’m not good with the cleaning and at any given time, at least one of my children is covered in some sort of unidentified gunk but I love them.  I mean really, truly love them, unconditionally.   I don’t love them because they are good, or say cute things, or have blonde hair, or remind me of me, or can be easily persuaded.  Growing up, these were the things that earned love and these were the things that I didn’t have on my side.  When I was a kid, I had to deal with a lot of crap and a lot of fucked up people.  I have their genes so I’m always aware of how fucked up I could be too. 

Basically, my maternal grandmother is pretty much an alcoholic, a nervous wreck and a bit of a spoiled brat to be honest.  I love her but she’s not very good with responsibility and although she’s much better now, when I was a kid, she wasn’t very nice and I didn’t like her at all.  If she wanted to do something that you didn’t, she could get very mean.  She was the youngest child and the one allowed to mess up a lot.  Her mother raised my mother until they fell out, then she worked constantly, leaving my mother at home alone. 

Side Note: I often felt like I was the adult in that house of spoiled brats.  When I was a kid, it was me that my mother told she was having a miscarriage, it was me that was told we had no money to pay the bills so we weren’t going to have heat or light, it was me who had to come up with ideas to fix things, it was me who took care of my younger brother and the two baby cousins my mother was supposed to look after in the mornings, it was me who had to listen to her cry and freak out, it was me who had to take the brunt of everything and it was me who had to make sure that NOBODY found out what our life was like.  Not one person in my life (save my aunt) could take responsibility for themselves or their own actions.  I was a very young, naive little girl and I had a lot of responsibility that I shouldn’t have had.  I make sure my children get to play.  A lot.  Because I feel like I never had a childhood.  Maybe I had children for selfish reasons then…hmm…that made me think.  What gets me now is that everybody pretends that things aren’t as bad as they were.  Or they skim over them by saying it’s in the past.  Yeah it is, but things were worse than what I even make them out to be. 

Her sister looked after her and although I idolize my aunt, I recognize that she could be domineering and bossy at the best of times.  The both of them together were far too controlling on my mother who manages to be responsible and irresponsible at the same time.  She can look after everyone else except herself and her money (and her children to be honest).  She was an only child and she is also a spoiled brat.  She was not a good mother and although she too is better these days, back then, she was going through a certain amount of mental problems that made her incapable of looking after us in a healthy way.  I still can’t believe that she was allowed to look after two children alone but the past is in the past.  She didn’t start to drink until she reached her 30’s but I think she too will end up on the route to alcoholism.  Her husband is extremely unhealthy and as he is the one keeping her together, when he dies in the next couple of years, she will probably fall apart. 

My father’s family is full of problems.  My father himself is more than likely an alcoholic.  The last time I saw him, I was around 16 or so and he definitely had a drinking and drug problem then so I doubt much has changed to be honest.  My younger brother drinks way too much and takes drugs.  He won’t admit either of those but we both know it.  I think he has a death wish (I’ve met more than one person in my life with one) and like both my parents in their 20’s, he has attempted suicide at least once.  When I get a phone call in the middle of the night, my first thought is that something has happened to my brother.  But my point is that most of my close family don’t know when to stop when it comes to alcohol. 

So, I am fully aware that I am predisposed to a drinking problem and I am sure that in the past I have had way too many drinking sessions.  It is a social thing here.  People think it’s weird if somebody doesn’t drink.  I think I’ve met one or two people in my whole life that are teetotal.  Of course, I’ve been caught up in it too.  I drank a lot as a teenager but slowly lost the habit as I got older.  I don’t think I have a drinking problem though.  I had half a glass of wine last night with my dinner but before that I can’t remember the last time I had a drink.  At the moment, it isn’t something that I need to do to enjoy myself, I get up and dance even when I’m stone cold sober so it isn’t necessary for me to enjoy a night out.  In saying that, I fully plan on getting drunk on Christmas evening so maybe that’s a contradiction.  Anyway, the point is, I tend to hold back.  I know my limits.  I don’t like getting completely drunk and not knowing what I’m doing.  That is not my idea of a good time whereas I think with the others; they drink to forget about the bad times.  Whatever it is, I hope that I’m the one to break the cycle.  My partner’s family has some of the same problems so I admit; I fear that my little ones could follow the same path because it’s in their genes. 

I am different to the rest of my family (when I say family I’m talking about the maternal side) in a lot of ways.  My mother always made me different by saying I didn’t look like them, didn’t act like them, wouldn’t turn out like them.  I was often left out of everything, was often left behind, wasn’t included in treats, that sort of thing but looking at us all now, I seem to be the only one that’s happy so maybe nurture does have something to do with it, maybe if I had been included, I would be exactly the same as the rest of them.  I can’t complain about that one 😉 

I’m probably not being very clear or concise here (what a surprise) but I was left to myself a lot as a child.  The only thing my mother really instilled into me was good manners and the fact that we were a respectable family.  Not one person in her whole family touched heroin (which was the drug epidemic in their time) or got locked up or did anything “bad” yet her son, her golden boy, grew up to become a cokehead.  She can’t understand how the bad one (me) could grow up to become first a hard worker who never got fired from a job to secondly a dedicated mother when the good one (my bro) grew up so messed up in the head.  She thinks it should be the other way around.  If he had a different upbringing he might not be so messed up.  He’s so confused right now and he can’t seem to keep himself on the right track for long.  It’s like he’s pressed a self-destruct button and just can’t stop himself.  Instead of getting help, he hears, “I told you, you’d end up like your father!”  That ain’t going to work any better than it did when we were kids. 

I know that a lot of what I saw as a child has rubbed off on me.  I am a spoiled brat.  I know I am.  I don’t really know how to stop being one…and I probably am a bit mental myself, but never to my kids 🙂 My mother always says to me that I have the same expressions as one of my father’s sisters (I don’t remember ever seeing her) so obviously genetics has a part in things.  But I do believe that it’s how we raise our children that counts the most.  We can’t raise mini-me babies but we can do our best to make sure that we don’t pass on our crap for them to handle.  At least, that’s what I’m hoping and maybe by blogging about things, I won’t be carrying that shit around for my kids to pick up on…

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Confessions Of The Other Woman

I finished my 7 random facts meme instead of writing this post but I’m going to get rid of it now before I fall into another sleep that keeps me offline.  I’ve been really sick at the moment and haven’t been online much.  I’ve been reading blogs through my feeder mostly.  My first random fact was about this particular story.  By the way, certain things might be a bit uncomfortable reading, I haven’t written them yet but I’ve sort of promised myself not to hold back too much.  Fair warning!

 But anyway, not the point, the little I have been online, I’ve spent in a few places.  One is on Guilty Secret’s blog reading about her experiences with cocaine and I’ve also been on blogcatalog where I noticed a discussion about Being the Other Person.  I’ve replied to both in the negative – I can’t pat anyone on the back for doing coke or for helping somebody cheat.  But both of these pieces of writing reminded me of something in my past that I don’t talk about much.  There’s a lot in my past that I don’t talk about but this particular one is because I’m ashamed about something I did rather than something that was done to me.  There is a difference.

When I tell people this story, they don’t believe me because I’m “not that type of person” but apparently I am, or at least was.  Feel free to judge because I judge myself for it and rightly so.  It wasn’t nice and it wasn’t right and nothing I can say can make up for it.

 Once upon a time, I was 19 years old.  In some ways, I was street wise but in others I was pretty naive.  I didn’t think that people had ulterior motives for whatever they did.  I worked in a certain place that ran courses.  There was a high turnover of people but most of them stayed for up to six months at a time.  The job I had there, I got to know everyone’s name and most people knew me too.  I made friends with people, got close to people and learned a huge lesson from that.

I had a boyfriend, he lived far away from me and was about four years older than me.  He didn’t put much effort into spending time with me until it was too late so inevitably it ended messily.  He wouldn’t take no for an answer but I had already moved on.  Meanwhile a man started at my place of work, he was in his late 20’s at the time.  Very good looking man, charming with it but cocky, very cocky.  All of the girls and women in the building were mad after him, except me.

I did not like that man.  I made a snap judgement on him based on the few things I saw and disliked him intensely.  One day, he made some smarmy remarks to me and I told him out straight to give it over.  I even told him how much I disliked him.  I felt so bad because he looked like he’d been slapped in the face.  I’m always too honest about how I’m thinking but I really didn’t expect it to bother him of all people.  (And yes, I’m getting to my point)

From that day, he made it his mission to be nice to me.  For a couple of months he made excuses to be around me, he talked to me properly – without the sleaze or charm.  I started to like him, I thought that I had been wrong about him.  I was vulnerable and he was coercive in a non-obvious way.  We talked about our relationships.  I told him how badly things were going with my boyfriend and he told me how badly things were going with his girlfriend.  He advised me to end things and eventually I did. 

I found myself attracted to him, I admit that much but I was never a person to go after somebody who wasn’t available.  It took me a long time to even see him as a man if that makes sense.  A couple of people commented on him always being around me, it became a bit of a joke for a lot of people but I laughed it off, we were friends, can’t that be possible?

One day, I can’t remember what but I did something for him that helped him out in some way…he kissed me to say thanks and ran off.  I swear to God I didn’t expect that.  But it sort of opened up a can of worms.  I hung around near where he lived with a close friend of mine, I used to visit her and her baby a lot.  One time, shortly after that, he spotted me going home and gave me a lift.  He left me home and the tension was unreal.  I knew he had a girlfriend but I didn’t even think about that.  Once I went inside he texted me and asked me to go for a drive with him.  I said yes. 

We went on a long drive and ended up at the beach where we talked for about three hours.  He had a son that lived with him but the grandmother used to mind him at night.  We got on really well and I was really comfortable with him when he kissed me again, properly.  It was amazing, I love first kisses but I won’t go into that 🙂  Some people you just connect to in certain ways, everything they do is right and my mind went out the window.  I pulled away, told him to stop, he said sorry, rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat.  Eventually I gave up, gave in and that was that.

We used to go for drives a lot. At night, during my lunch break, weekends.  All we did was talk and have sex.  He was a lot more experienced than me…he took it easy with me, never tried to push anything onto me.  He was incredibly sweet for the most part.  He told me how he had cheated on his girlfriend lots of times, that she knew about it and that he didn’t want to be with her anymore.  I didn’t ask him why.  He told me how someone he had cheated with had told his girlfriend and he had tried to run her over with his car.  I actually thought he was joking.

He used to smoke hash a lot, because he had an accident that left him with pretty permanent back pain.  I didn’t approve of that of course but if it helped him with the pain, I couldn’t stop him.  He never forced me to sit there while he smoked hash, he always asked first but I started to feel bad for him having to be cold so I let it go in the end.  Sometimes he’d get moody, even a little bit scary and I realized he hadn’t been joking about running that girl over.  I wasn’t scared of what he’d do to me, but I knew that maybe sometimes he was capable of certain things.

I’m not telling this exactly right but I’ve never really said all the details before and I want to get them out.  Once his girlfriend rang him while he was with me and I made him take me home straight away.  Suddenly, she was a real person to me and the guilt cut through me.  But the next day, his words made me forget about her again.  A couple of times we spent the whole night together, I met his son, some of his family knew about me, his friends knew about me but it was still a secret.  I still don’t know why he took his son over to meet me. 

Anyway, I should say something here, when it came to sex, I wanted it a lot.  I enjoyed it immensely.  He couldn’t keep up with me.  I know I sound a bit nympho-tastic here but it wasn’t like that.  I realise now that although I enjoyed it, it wasn’t satisfying me, that’s why I wanted it so much.  But I loved the effect I had on him, I loved how he couldn’t resist even when he was late for something else.  I loved the power.  We used to do it as often as possible, even in my office once…And all the time, I didn’t think about the effect I was having on another person’s life.  So we spent nights together…I didn’t know it at the time but he was using coke like viagra.  We spent a certain night together and I was afraid of him all the way through it.  He was like an animal, the look in his eye freaked me out, he was so rough (and not in a good way!), I was bruised all over the next day.

It was only afterwards I copped on what the deal was with him…why he had been so aggressive…probably why he had tried to run that girl over.  His friend had been out with us and was selling coke while I was in the bathroom.  They never did it in front of me and they never offered me any.   He didn’t want that.  Make of that what you will.  But he had been taking drugs for so long that his mind was different.  It was really starting to affect him in the worst way.  I grew up in some of the worst parts of Dublin, went to school and even worked in them.  I’ve gotten used to the way people change when they’ve been taking any kind of drug long-term.  It’s just a sad fact at this stage.

He had a split personality, I ended up hated him while he was on anything.  I started to even dread him smoking a joint because I knew he would act differently afterwards.  He would switch from being a lovely, thoughtful, caring bloke to a monster that had no feelings whatsoever.  That was the cost of our nights out, realising that he didn’t care how he hurt people anymore.  He didn’t care what he was doing, I suppose that’s why cheating came so easily for him, he couldn’t feel guilt or remorse anymore.  I never wanted to go out with his friends again because of how he would be after it and I think he knew it himself in a way because he stopped.

So, I just want to point out that at this stage, I was crazy about this man, I wanted to turn a blind eye to the way he acted when he took drugs, I wanted to turn a blind eye to the girlfriend he had too.  He was the perfect boyfriend if you didn’t think about the aggressiveness when he took coke, the real girlfriend and the little psychotic episodes!  He was nice too though, he was the sweetest, nicest, funniest person around during the day.  Then I had a sort of pregnancy scare, I missed a pill, then my period didn’t arrive.  My friend made me tell him, just in case.   His first words to me were – “Nobody can know about this.”

The little bit of respect for him that I had was slowly dissolving.  I was a mess.  I couldn’t stay away from him and I couldn’t be with him because he was manipulating me a lot.  There are lots of other instances that I don’t want to get into.  So one day, we sat in the pub with my friends.  He kept telling people how beautiful I was, that I drove him crazy, all kinds of crap like that.  I had been slowly dealing with the fact that this man was not good for me and I had no future with him.  But he was so…I don’t know what the word is but I think I was addicted to him a little bit 🙂

Later that day he put his arm around me, kept whispering things to me.  He talked about love, he told me that the girlfriend was buying a house for her, him and his kid.  I told him he had better move then.  He asked me, “How can I move in with her when I’m in love with somebody else?”  That got to me.  I thought about his girlfriend, how she must really love him to be prepared to do that for him and his son.  I looked him straight in the eye and told him he wasn’t in love with anyone else.  It was just sex for him.  He got really offended but who knows if that was in any way “real”. 

We had a huge fight but I needed to do something more.  I needed to keep him away from me because I knew that was the only way it would end.  I couldn’t say no so he had to.  I didn’t want him using me as an excuse…I didn’t want him using me full stop.  So, and here’s another really horrible thing, I kissed another bloke in front of him.  That did it.

I didn’t want to but I felt like I had to.  I didn’t want to be the one fucking up that girl’s idea of a happy home.  And I didn’t want to be made to feel like it was all about love when it couldn’t have been.  Afterwards my friend told me that he said he hated me, wanted nothing to do with me, that how could I be with him and then kiss someone else?  So that’s my confession, although admitting it to the world of blogs doesn’t make it one iota better.  I willingly became the Other Woman.  I don’t know if he even felt anything for me, but I did for him.   But I am so glad I pulled away when I did.  I felt incredibly bad for the real girlfriend, I felt bad for her mostly because she was the one putting up with it all.  I heard that they broke up afterwards but I don’t know if that’s true.  I was a horrible person to even consider doing that to another woman but I learned my lesson from it.  I hate that kind of person!!

There are a couple of things that were good about it.  I learned that older men can easily manipulate idiots like me…I vowed that I would never go near a man that took drugs again and that I would never go near a man that already had a girlfriend or wife or whatever…and not much later, I found the love of my life.  I wouldn’t have even seen him if things hadn’t ended when they did so I’m thankful for that.  So even though things were bad for me for a while, I got off lightly and I’m the lucky one.  Doesn’t seem fair…

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