Friday, 13 June 2014

Lodgings St. Saviour with the churchwarden and his wife, November 2007-spring 2008 part 1.

Here is a song that reminds me of Jersey, but especially living and working in St.Saviour. The video is scary, but I actually first heard this song being played on a bus in Jersey, when the buses had radios, and what a song for a bus to play! I never forget
We had the Elton John CD at work, and this was one of the songs I used to listen to a lot, as well as which reminded me of the increasingly deteriorating and faulty relationship I had with the churchwarden and his wife and my longing to go back to the work I was trained for and be free, that work wasn't really available in Jersey any more, as what agriculture was left was done by immigrant slave labour and the horticulture industry was closing down. I longed for the green fields of Hampshire and to be independent again, you may hear that in the song, how I was rebelling and I began to feel how lost Jersey was, and I dreamed of Hampshire every night.

  • Writing about this fills me with terrible sadness. Hindsight is always useful but I wish I had known enough to prevent this. I was going to go to the grape harvest in France when I finished my summer job in Jersey, and I should have, but I had established a connection with Jersey, familiarity, and the churchwarden said he was my Dad, that his wife was my mum, and that I needed to settle and have a home and family, and in my heart that was what I had always wanted, and he said they were my God-sent parents, so, after always praying to belong, I believed I had finally found my home and family that I had prayed for.
  • I do remain indebted to that couple for their generosity, and it is a burden I carry, but the wrong goings on there were real and they made me ill.

  • It is breaking my heart to try and write this.
  • So, I went to live with the churchwarden and his wife, I slept in one of the spare rooms that used to be one of their son's bedrooms, I always thought it must have been unfair on their sons as one had a tiny room and the other had a decent sized room, I slept in the small room.
  • The churchwarden was very happy I was there and would spend ages cuddling me each day, he got me to call him Daddy, and to call his wife Mummy, although she did not really like this.
  • Early on they had a row in the middle of the night that I overheard, and she was saying how I was still thinking of moving on and she wanted me to go, it was shocking and it shattered my self-esteem, and I broke up the row by letting them know I could hear it, the churchwarden came and sat on the stairs in his pyjamas and put me on his lap and cuddled me, trying to comfort me, while his wife stayed in their room and went back to sleep, but it hurt deep, because I knew she didn't want me, but he was dominant and was keeping me there, and I stayed because he said God had sent me to them, to be their daughter, and such was my faith, I went along with it. It did great spiritual damage to me, that got greater as time went by.

I don't have any St. Saviour pictures but I worked on the border of St. Saviour and Grouville, right by Hogue Bie, while I was living in St. Saviour.

  • The churchwarden and his wife did a lot for me, and I have never forgotten that, but the other things they did destroyed me spiritually and emotionally, and I have not recovered, the chain of events from the churchwarden 'adopting me' has been horrific and life shattering.
  • We looked for lodgings, mainly the churchwarden's wife looked, in the paper, but in the paper were only expensive, qualified or grotty lodgings, and to her credit she wanted me to have a decent home.
  • I still had trouble using a phone, and there was nothing emailable. Until spring of 2008 when I found Jersey Insight and found myself a room, but that comes later after much frustrated searching.
  • I was looking for work and was interviewed for a very hopeful horticultural placement, but the choice of jobs was between management and trainee position, they were hoping I would go for management but I told them I didn't feel confident enough, I asked for the trainee position just to try and get work, but they felt I was too qualified, so that was sad, I was being realistic with the management job, it involved supervising the migrant workers in the greenhouses, and I am not assertive enough to manage people. I do not have people skills.

  • So, I applied for another job, working with cattle, now this job was a culture shock! I got the job but not for long, but I don't mind that. Jersey employment is hit and miss, especially for non-quals, if you are non quals in work or housing, it is luck and chance how well or badly you are treated.
  • Anyway, so I got this job milking cows, unfortunately, with my learning difficulties, the system was not one I had been taught at agricultural college, and I was slow to pick it up, it can take me longer to learn some things, but the guy decided after 4 days I was not going to make it, which was a bit impatient, but remembering the poor welfare standards, I am not too bothered, the welfare of the cattle there would have had that farm closed down if it was in the UK
  • The guy who ran the place was obsessing all the time over why the milk yields were up and down, and while I was there, someone suggested it was because the water trough had months of rotting food at the bottom. If that happened in the UK, the farm would be in real trouble, but in Jersey, just as other things are in the 1950s still, no such welfare standards appeared to exist.
  • So, I was made redundant after 4 days, but with an excellent payout, the farm's future was in doubt anyway, so it was no bad thing, the farm people were not friendly or happy, they were withdrawn and suspicious and tight, but I still didn't really know Jersey back then, so I didn't understand.

  • It was not the loss of a job I had hardly had that upset me, it was the churchwarden.
  • The first thing he did when he heard I had lost my new job was very strange. He came home from work and he sat on the sofa, and he told me to lie down and put my head on his knees.
  • I did, and he told me to go to sleep. I did.

  • Now that was odd, as were many things he did, some missed out of this chapter so far, but it wasn't bad, he asked if I felt better when I woke, and I did, so I told him so.
  • But this was not natural. Philip LeClaire taught me that even when these things seemed nice, they were not natural or normal behaviour.
  • Anyway, it was what the churchwarden did next that caused me massive distress, and I was slated for responding in distress. He, without my permission, phoned the farm and asked why I had been let go, and Jersey being Jersey, neither side bothered with confidentiality, and the extra bind of me being seen as 'handicapped' which Jersey is still in the dark ages about, meant my privacy and feelings were irrelevant, anyway, the farm told him what I told him, and he told the vicar and the church and everyone, and I was embarrassed and shamed, and this is when the ME illness hit me again for the first time in a few years.
  • I was angry with the churchwarden, and I was angry with the vicar and his wife, but no I didn't rage and threaten, but because I was from England, where such behaviour as theirs is illegal and inappropriate, I told them off, and the churchwarden lectured me piously about how my attitude was 'not from God' one of his click phrases, well I don't know what he considered his attitude to be from!

  • What astounds me is that no safeguarding in the church of england, and none of the Diocese of Winchester's six year charade, records or understands the situation in which a vulnerable person is overriden by more powerful church figures in this way, and it has happened to me repeatedly and is a significant part of what has happened!!!

  • Anyway, it was not long before I was offered a job as a vegetable gardener, despite it now being winter and the clay soil of the vegetable gardens was wet and compacted. This job was part time but well paid, but the boss was a nightmare.
  • It was now approaching Christmas, which is described in this post

I am going to stop because I find this distressing.

Saying goodnight with the realisation that the church of England have marred my whole adulthood and may well kill me as well if not marring the remainder of my life, and here is another Elton John song from that time in my life, that reminds me of the churchwarden's wife and how, unlike my friendship with the Lihous, there were doubts from the beginning, and reminded yet again, that that whole episode must have been awful for her, although she did make it worse by her unkindness and belittling of me. That man should never have been able to take me home.

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