8 Years Ago: Sex & Drugs in Westward Ho!

When I think back on my heroin days I often feel as though it was all the same, everyday spent anticipating, scoring and using on a loop. When I read my journals I see a more detailed picture, and I see my attempts at making it all mean something, trying to understand the world I was in, and the things I was doing. I’m so grateful to have my journals to refer to, without them so much of the detail would’ve been lost in my opiate infused existence, thanks to my journals I have an accurate record of my mind at that time, and the things I was doing to survive and feed my ever increasing habit.

June/July 2012

Catch up pages – work stuff – lots of new clients, all professionals, a financial advisor, Nurse, Proerty Developer, Accountant, Sales Manager, Retired Headteacher, Mr Role Play, IT Consultants, Doctors of various types including a medical doctor, oh and a Dentist. People facing divorce, people considering it, or some trying to avoid it. Getting lots of praise and attention, well, not me, Bethany is, she is very liked, but then that’s her job, to see what each person needs to feel good and valued, that’s what most want, acknowledgement as a man. Bethany is what they want, she’s charming, intelligent, graceful, funny, sweet, open, interested, they so want to be listened to and complimented, they often seek reassurance – ‘I feel so relaxed around you, I do hope you feel the same Beth?’ or ‘It’s great when you get that spark of chemistry don’t you think?’ or ‘Imagine is we met in another world, oh what could’ve been’. It’s as though the only thing in our way is our social positions, assuming I’d be interested, believeing in the fantasy relationship created just momentarily, and it’s a fail safe as I’m bound to reply as hoped, to not ruin the moment, it’s part of the job. Believeing in the fantasy just a little lifts their spirits and self-esteem.

Rehab is in process, Longreach in Plymouth for women only, it says I can do outdoor pursuits, they use motivational interviewing, and also various therapies, seems like a good programme. My worker is pushing forward with it which is great. I have to write a piece about why I want to go to rehab, what my aims are, what I’d like to do afterwards. It will all form part of the application so I have to be honest about my expectations and hopes, and my concerns too I guess. I want to learn more about myself, explore my real self, overcome the trauma issues I have relating to all the sexual abuse, and the memories and childhood stuff. Need to build my self-esteem and confidence, challenge myself to face up to things that scare me, my grief, all the regrets, guilt and shame I feel that’s holding me back. I need to develop strength and self-belief so I can live a life free of dependency in any form, drugs, people, work! I want to work out what I’d like to do with my life in terms of education and career, fulfil some dreams and make a realistic plan to develop my work and learning ideas. To develop healthy, mindful living skills and coping strategies. To just be happy in myself.

My mind is frazzeled, drained, weakened, fragile. Emotions are all over the place and my head just flits from subject to subject, thought to thought. So much happening recently, life has been at such a pace, it’s passing me by too quickly, I need to reflect and pause, I need to be still.

Thinking lots about writing and maybe one day I’ll use my journals to write a book about this time, it could help someone. I enjoyed reading Confessions of an English Opium Eater by D’Quincey.

Sat on the beach earlier, watching the waves and sunset, Charlie by the water, he kept running in to get sticks, he looked as though he was saving them, he was serious about it!! I laughed about it and he watched me giggling, it was nice.

My client earlier, called Keith, the role play man. I do think sometimes that escorts probably prevent some sexual offences as they allow a space for fantasy that the person may be tempted to access in less consenting ways. During this role play the chap said he was a paedophile and wanted me to behave like a schoolgirl, a common fantasy I know! It was all just role play but he did seem rather at home in the role, I wasn’t sure how to feel, part of it made me feel sick but I also could see it was just a laugh, it’s fine for people to fantasise about anything, it’s the acting out of it in the real world that’s the issue. I’d much rather clients saw me and indulged in such games than pursued these desires with real underage girls, I know that damage well.

The couple that I saw last year have contacted and have asked me to visit them again for another birthday celebration, I enjoyed their company, and I like that there’s no deceit involved, both partners are up for it, we have ground rules, it’s all quite funny. They both enjoy having a drink and a few lines of coke throughout the night, and this time they will be staying at a luxury lodge with hot tub and sauna. I said it’ll be nice to see them both, which it will. Couples appointments always fascinate me a bit, I like watching how they manage the situation, and the fact they can be open about what they like and what’s not acceptable as part of the fun, I admire them really for being honest enough with each other to entertain such ideas, so often I see men who don’t talk to their wives or partners about their intimate desires and end up seeing escorts instead, I wonder how these couples got together in the first place, there must’ve been a period of chemistry and playfulness, but that said, it’s easy to just fall in to roles, especially when children come along, perhaps its more difficult to be naughty with each other when you have deep emotional bonds that come from becoming parents together, I don’t know.

These journal entries make me smile, I was always busy thinking and evaluating, in many ways I think that’s what got me through it all. What I don’t write is that I’d injected a gram of heroin into my groin that morning, that I needed to do this to prevent myself getting unwell and going in to a rattle, that I needed the cash from these appointments to keep me supplied, and that without heroin I was a mess, my depression was always there under the surface and every now and then it would surface from underneath the intoxication. When I felt lost I made plans for the future or focused my attention on the present and all that could be gleamed from it. I notice in my journals how much simple pleasure Charlie and my walks gave me, and how in my journal I created my own little reality, I was both narrator and actor, and the world really was a stage, and all the men and women really were players.

“We must select the illusion which appeals to our temperament, and embrace it with passion, if we want to be happy.” Cyril Connolly (1945) The Unquiet Grave.

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