Well I was living independently, I was working, and spent my spare time on church and community activities.
This was long after I had told JM and others about her husband abusing me, and although nothing had been done, I was still friends with JM, and went round there for tea sometimes if I was walking the dog with her or even walking the dog for her if she was too busy.
Anyway, over tea, I was trying to tell JM and her husband about the new group I had joined, but I couldn't get the name right.
The group were the Rotary Club 18-30s and they were called Rotaract, I kept calling them Rotorstac, which is a pet cage manufacturer which produces Hamster wheels and cages and things to keep hamsters amused.
Well this caused us a lot of hilarity, but I simply could not get the name right.
Rotaract was a big step for me, because it was all 'normal' young people, and to be honest I was not used to people my age, church and community was mainly older people, my friends were mainly older people, and people my age tended to be moving up the career ladder or sometimes starting families, my 'career' as a gardener used to get a response of 'oh, a gardener, how nice, out there with nature, I wish I could do that!'
Standard response from baffled young people, but I couldn't really do anything else, my social skills were and are so stunted that I cannot do many jobs because of the need for interaction and being with people.
Anyway, I was made very welcome at Roteract, and they did their best with me, my most significant time with them was the 'Breakfast for Peace' In Winchester.
We sat on the steps one Saturday Morning, stopping passers by to offer them croissants and donuts and talking to them about peace.
We had great fun eating Donuts, and I almost felt as if I belonged.
But it remains to this day that I am really out of place in my age group, I am solitary, no family, no career, I do not 'go out' at weekends, and I did not go to school and build a social network that way.
I relate better to older people, I am not sure why, but I remember certain Church of England people branding me as a user, and saying I befriend old people for their money.
I am not that clever, and have neither got money off old people nor would I want to, my conscience works overtime and I don't even like borrowing money, you can confirm that with any of my older friends, being poor and in need is not the same as being scheming. I ask for nothing.
But I remember the Breakfast for Peace, and the hilarity over calling Roteract 'Rotarstac'
I guess work and other commitments and sheer nervousness and possibly not being able to budget for the Roteract fees meant I didn't stay with them, but it was great fun while it lasted, they are great guys.