These photos are from exactly 11 years ago, I was unsettled and moving about lots, staying at friends houses and in holiday cottages, desperately trying to find somewhere to settle and call home. The problem was my mum had died in February 2009 and this was the catalyst for a severe psychological undoing. My world had always been a bit unstable but my mum (grandmother) had been the one source of stability I could rely on. I was overly attached to her due to childhood traumas but these events had been pushed from mind, until her death released them. I was in no way prepared for what my mind would visit upon me in the months and years that followed and during this time 11 years ago I was trying to hold on to my sanity, to my understanding of myself and my relationships, to my purpose in the world.
I was clinging to anything that made me feel good or in control and there is much of this period that embarrasses me. I was not a happy person but pretended to be, I think I look sad in the photos. Inside I felt so alone and it was a new sense of alone for me, my mums death had made me feel more alone than I’d ever felt and it scared me, it reminded me of when I lost her the first time. They say the things that scare you most have already happened and this was so true. I feared losing my mum because I’d lost her at five years old when I was kidnapped and taken to a new home, given a new name and told not to mention my old life by a woman who was alien to me, a woman I feared because my only experience of her was one of terror and pain. My mums death took me straight back to this experience where I was mute and invisible, I’ve felt that way often in life.
I’d been working as an escort or sex worker since June 2009 after quitting my newly acquired job as a trainee psychological therapist, I was struggling with letting go of my ex Tobias despite being split up for a few years. My mums death had made me cling to him as a friend and I wasn’t coping very well with him moving on in life and having new relationships and a direction that didn’t involve me. I was also struggling with changes to my key friendships, the two friends I was closest to were in now relationships, one with my younger sister and this caused me lots of confusion.
Having family invade my social circle was an upheaval I didn’t expect and I couldn’t cope with these two worlds colliding. I attempted to maintain the façade that I was happy to have my sister in my life, I was in many ways, I just didn’t want her in the life of my new family, my family of friends. This was my safe space and I suddenly felt as though I didn’t have one. I didn’t realise this at the time and got swept away in the idea of helping her by involving her in my world and life, something that with hindsight was a bit foolhardy. I should’ve said at the time that it made me uncomfortable but I didn’t, I accepted it and supported it but inside I felt pushed out and separate.
Like many times in my life I didn’t speak up and say no, I didn’t express the negative feelings and fears it brought up. I have often struggled to say I’m unhappy, I always try to make the best of things, even when it doesn’t seem best for me. Asking someone to consider my needs and feelings feels selfish and like an imposition to others freewill or choice. It taps in to my core beliefs that I don’t matter and that I’m unworthy.
I’m writing all this in preparation for the journal entries of 11 years ago because without this foreword it would be easy to think I was having a great time. I was good at pretending to be ok and good at giving myself distraction through various obsessions and fixations. Becoming a sex worker allowed me to be someone else, someone who wasn’t in pain, someone who was in the moment, someone who saw humour in everything and had no fear. I’ve struggled with boundaries all my life and in times of distress this often comes to the fore.
11 years ago I got involved with my ex Tobias’s flatmate, his closest friend at the time, he was against it but I didn’t see why which is funny really as I was having the issue over my sister and best friend. I was clinging to this because it made me feel good, and perhaps in some way I wanted to hurt Tobias, he’d moved on and appeared happy and subconsciously I may have been trying to provoke some reaction, if he reacted I would know he still cared. How silly and how very embarrassing, thankfully Tobias and I have managed to stay friends, and I’ve managed to repair things with my other close friend Joel who was seeing my sister.
People who matter will stay in your life, but it does take humility and reflection to preserve such relationships at times. I now hold no negativity over these things, I can see my reactions and interpretations were intensified due to my ever decreasing mental health and inability to express what I truly felt. Nobody did anything wrong, we were just people trying to make our way through this so called life, and I’m so grateful that we’ve all been able to keep contact, and I’m hopeful that we always will. Ok, here’s the journal entry for 11 years ago, and I did laugh lots whilst reading it, it was an odd existence that’s for sure, I hope it amuses you too.
Thursday 1st October 2009
Well, I’ve had a rough start to the day, I tossed and turned all night with sleep terrors, it was exhausting and I’m exhausted. Perhaps it’s the weed withdrawal, I’ve been four days without any now, I get so much more done when I don’t get stoned but I hate not being able to relax and sleep.
Work was funny the other day, a Psychiatrist called Steven, he works privately now and is writing a book, obviously very good at what he does and respected in his field. He lived at the most charming cottage in the country, close to the railway line. It was gorgeous, idyllic, so curious and quirky inside, the sort of place I’d love to live. He was quite a laugh and knew what he liked. He said he enjoyed our conversations and my playfulness, he said it was good to indulge in some naughty talk and role play and that I was an unexpected delight, he was impressed by my intelligence apparently. He had a certain request, he wanted to come all over my body whilst having his balls licked, how funny, it did make me smile. He had a very long and bendy willy, I’ve not seen one like that before, although I have to say since doing this job I’ve realised how different and peculiar willy’s can be! Tiny, huge, bendy, long, thin and thick, wonky, all sorts actually, how very funny, can’t believe I’m writing about willy’s!!!
I worked in Exeter the other night too with Kai the nice young chap with MS, it was fun and relaxing although he did have some issues with his injection thing this time round and if it doesn’t work it’s hard for him to get an erection, I felt for him, it must be so frustrating. I enjoy talking to him about his views on his condition and his sexual identity. He has attempted relationships but says that his disability is often a barrier and people view him as a sympathy case or don’t take seriously how he feels about being a man, he’s the same as any other man or person, we all have needs to express, to connect, to share intimacy and closeness, and to just let go sometimes. I’m pleased to help with this, and pleased that he feels comfortable in my company, he’s a good giggle and I enjoy our time together.
I spoke to Ruby on the phone, she’s having a great time in Wales. I told her that Hetty had not been well, and that both dogs were quite unsettled, Charlie was poorly and Hetty off her food, I’ve been taking them on nice long walks and have so enjoyed staying here to house sit. I should get Ruby some flowers and a nice bottle of wine to relax with when she gets home to say thank you for letting me stay here. It’s been good for me and I’m dreading going back to the basement again, it’s grotty and I’m sure it’s damp which is why I’ve had such a bad cough, it’s improved from staying here but hopefully I’ll only be in the basement for a few days and I can stay in the holiday cottage in Appledore for a month, can’t wait! I’ll be able to do incalls for work then too which will make things easier.
I popped to Barnstaple and bought some boots, then I went to the Boots the shop and to the bank, just kept myself as busy as possible. I worked with Saul at Roundswell this evening, was all fine, very speedy and chilled, he loves kissing, and I always think of him as the kissing man. I’m pleased to have a few days off now, I need some time for me, giving all this energy and affection out can be quite tiring, I need to replenish my reserves and recharge.
I had contact from Tobias last night, he asked me to resend a message, so I did and he replied to say sorry for the cash thing and just seemed a little softer. He is so very important to me and I don’t want us to be on bad terms. I know I don’t need him but I do want him in my life, he’s one of my closest friends, I’ll just give him some space and see how it goes I guess. I did hear from Al yesterday, I was all excited and squeaking and squealing down the phone, wearing a stupid smile for ages after the call. I was a little anxious about the whole phone thing, I hate phones as it’s so hard to gauge things when you talk but it was fine. I love hearing his voice, it’s so charming and so encapsulates who he is, I can see his smile as he talks. He’s checking his schedule as DJ society stuff to do and uni of course, he’s hoping to come and stay when I’m at the holiday cottage which will be lovely, can’t wait to show him Appledore, it’s such a special place.
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