Anyway, on return to Hampshire I was greeted by bad news, I went straight to see my friends in L. when I got back, and JM had said they would be ok while I was away, but when I went to see Anne and her husband, Anne told me she had cancer. The cancer she died of in January this year after just over 5 years fight with it. 5 years of prayers and worries.
(This was written in 2011).
It was December, I had been offered another tied cottage
job, at ******, I moved there, it has similarities to the previous job,
and differences, the handyman was honest and not an alcoholic, and the
place was in much better repair than the last one, the head gardener was
full of himself and was not a quiet old fashioned type like Ted, but this
head gardener got cancer and died very rapidly while I was there.
The cottage was an old
well house and you could feel the well underneath, and the cold, and the
house felt haunted and unhappy, the lady was massively demanding again,
and had health problems, her husband was away in London a lot, there
was a small flock of rare breed sheep, two dogs and a vicious old cat,
my job was gardening, including the vegetables, assisting with the sheep
and pets, and caretaking during their frequent trips to their farmhouse
in Wales , it was even more difficult to get things right for this
lady, and my self esteem was lower than ever, but at least the well
house and its garden were smaller And more compact and therefore easier
to maintain, though there was a problem with the boiler that cost me a
bit. In this new job I also avoided letting JM be involved, and did not
even tell her my address.
(Hence the emails that you see between me and JM in Jersey stating that she feels privilaged to have my address!)
Christmas 2005: I was alone, previous
Christmases had been with the names redacted, and JM and family, I
think there was a Christmas with the Hypochondriac couple, but this
Christmas everyone was away, with someone else, had family with them,
and so I was alone, I felt so sad, but the saddest thing was that my
friends seemed to have forgotten to even ask where I was for Christmas.
No-one cared, I felt utterly and completely alone in the world. Then my
brother rang and invited me, I did not know if I would really be able to
make the journey from Hampshire to North Norfolk and back with snow
It would be a long drive for me. I was going to go on
Christmas day itself if I did go because I was on caretaking duties
until then, on Christmas eve night I did not want to go to L.
church and see FM and feel upset, even though SL. was hoping I
would, so I went to S. church instead, JM’s curate was doing the
service, JM had made best efforts to get between me and her curate and
cause problems, but I wasn’t interested in that, I just enjoyed the
service and felt sad at the same time.
Afterwards E and P.M spoke to me, they had their family with them for Christmas but
kindly told me I was welcome to ‘pop in’ over Christmas, that cheered me
no end, but being autistic and more concerned about boundaries I was
not sure when or how to ‘pop in’ and I didn’t in the end.
Then I went
back in church, JM’s curate asked if I was alright, I was extremely wary
of talking to him, but I asked him to pray for me, he asked if I was ok
and if I had somewhere to be for Christmas – and this is what made such
a difference! Most of my friends hadn’t asked where I was for Christmas
and here was this guy I didn’t get on with asking me where I was for
Christmas! I told him I thought I had somewhere to go, he said I was in
his prayers, and he gave me a hug!
There we were in the churchyard at
1am on Christmas morning and this man who I usually ran away from was
hugging me and praying for me! In his hug and concern I felt that Jesus
was hugging me and showing His concern and forgiveness also, and I was
repentant of being unfriendly to the curate, and I looked at my life and
wondered how I could be a better Christian, I went home thanking God
and feeling better, but I was crying, and my cat cuddled into my arms
and purred and kissed the tears off my cheeks.
The Christmas was
one of violent rows between my brother and his wife, at one point she
picked up the cordless phone and threw it, smashing it and making me
hurtle out the back door.
I came back on Boxing Day or the day
after and I was ill, it was snowing on the way back, and the traffic on
the M25 was terrible, it took many hours to get home.
Christmas I wanted to get stuck into this Christianity thing, the
Christianity thing that caused my least favourite curate to hug me and
pray for me, JM got silly about this, having not heard what had happened
properly, and decided that I had gone from hating her curate to
fancying him, I certainly didn’t I still had the strange flashbacks when
I saw him, but I asked him if he had time to talk to me, I wanted to
know how to be a Christian despite all my problems, I wanted to be able
to call myself a Christian, which I didn’t because of my lack of love
and trust and my behaviour.
The curate didn’t sit down and talk to me,
not surprising, JM was giving her opinion of me to anyone caused them to
not want to sit down and talk to me. But AD, one of the new
input into the church, and the new Reader, was charmingly delighted
to sit down with his wife and talk to me about Christianity and their
journey in faith, I was delighted, they are so lovely, and even when I
saw AD. more recently he greeted me with a joyful and friendly
handshake, though that was a few months ago, so the diocese’s message of
condemnation may well have reached him now.
AD and his wife became
people who I would sit with in church, people I could talk to, it did
not become a friendship where I went round to their house, apart from
the fact that I went to mission support group at their house, Jane
Fisher would be round there with her gun if I did that now – the diocese
have a policy banning abuse victims from clergy homes and excluding them, either of my
abusers would be welcome to mission support group, but I would no longer
Anyway, AD asked me if I would like to be
Mission Contact for our Missionary in South America, I was delighted and
Honoured, I never got very far with that due to going away to college.
Anyway, the hypochondriac couple were also very big in the mission
support group, but when my relationship with them broke down, that
didn’t affect us in the group, I do not know if they talked to the
D's about me, but if they did it did no harm, church position holders tend to talk about their differences with people, because unlike the Catholics they are not taught it is harmful and sinful, it was when they
talked to JM or their daughter in law behind my back that harm was done because they were given incorrect advice.
Basically if a friendship has problems, it can either be resolved through talking, or ended, gabbing behind someone's back solves nothing and wounds the person involved.
JM admitted that they had talked to her, and I told her for the
hundredth time that she was breaching confidentiality and causing me
problems, she was my ex-counsellor and she not only talked about me
behind my back and without my permission, but she shared details with FM
and her mother, which as a professional she should not do and which
caused them to stick their oar in too and humiliated me.
my baptism, I wasn’t happy about FM and the F's being my ‘sponsors’
for the original baptism, none of them were ‘upholding me’ and FM had
abused me. I decided to invite everyone who was really there for me at
Christmas apart from the curate, ie no-one, I baptised myself from the
water of the sea, and then in extreme co-incidence my brother rang, we
talked and he asked if I knew that my sister lived just up the road
from where I told him I was, I said no I hadn’t heard from her since she
divorced and the flat was sold, I only knew she was managing fast food
shops and killing herself with work.
My sister had returned to her
gardening/labouring career and had bought a new flat, in this old area
where we had lived as children and always loved, My brother phoned her
and asked if I could go and see her, she was waiting outside, drinking
coffee and smoking a cigarette, she was a smoker, her situation was bad,
she kept being rushed to hospital with heart problems and her
neighbours were hounding her and she had been assaulted while living
there, she was depressed.
But she made me welcome, heard about my
baptism and said a prayer for me and gave me a cross and a little card
thing with a saying about the cross on it, she said she was my Godmother
now, and we laughed, but I didn’t think she would stay in my life, so I
never told my friends I had a sister, I ended up calling her my ‘fairly
odd mother’ after the cartoon ‘the fairly oddparents’, and I told
people she was my Godmother or ‘my fairly oddmother’, rather than give
them the idea I had real family around me if she wasn’t going to stay
around, I feel bad about this now, guilty, I should have been honest but
I guessed that she was going to move on and lose touch, I really didn’t
have faith in a member of my family.
But we had fun, we drove along the
motorway listening to songs we liked on top volume, we went to the chip
shop and asked for a large sausage and giggled ourselves silly, but I
worried about her and her heart problems that kept landing her in the
hospital, and her scary neighbours, I worried.
She was trying to
sell her flat and move closer to her work, but having no success, and
she was depressed, then suddenly it all changed, she met someone at
work, she moved in with him, she married him, she had a baby, I was
happy for her, it all happened quickly, and it meant I saw less of her,
but what mattered to me was that she was happy and her life had come
right, so I lost the usual time I had with her, and in the end I did
lose her, we had differences, she had a temper worse than mine at times,
and with the fall outs of the family around Dad’s death, and what happened to me in Jersey, which none of my family understoodI did lose
I continued delivery driving, and also started getting tax
credits, my hours were 12 per week plus caretaking in return for the
house and £66 per week, so I should have been better off, only I
couldn’t manage money or my spiralling debts, which were made worse by
bank charge upon bank charge for not having enough in my account to pay
bills, I would be charged and then they would charge again if that
charge bounced and would not wait to present the next one, I was so
hopeless at communication and could not afford the 0845 numbers to
people who would not help anyway, so it got worse and worse.