Thursday, 27 February 2014

Lets go back 16 (Only a brief post today, I am not well) written in 2011 the same as the others

Then one day the girl from the sheltered house in L. turned up at work, the one who wore my clothes and did her hair and glasses to look like me, she was trying to get a job on the estate and was asking to come and work on my team, even though she had never had an atom of interest in gardening at the sheltered house, I found out in time to explain to my supervisor that I was not at all comfortable with this, and so this girl was put on other teams and not ours, she went on the other horticultural team and was unsuccessful, and didn’t do well on her trials in other teams, but she was onsite and I had to avoid areas of the site where she was, this caused upset, disruption to my work and distress, I did not want to see her cold empty eyes staring at me, to see her wearing my old clothes and with her hair and glasses like mine.

 I was freaking out, then at home I started getting silent phone calls as well, not necessarily her, I have no idea who, but I was now suffering anxiety badly and I was scared to come to work, then I heard that this girl was thinking of moving to where I was, but she failed in her placements on different teams on the estate, and so she left. But she  continued to cause me distress on my weekend visits to Winchester, including sticking behind me like glue in the North Walls Parade, no matter that I kept changing form back to front to middle of the parade, and even now in my return to Winchester as a homeless person this horrible girl still causes me distress by turning up at the Salvation Army outreach and I have to avoid the a lot of outreach because of her, she obviously has a home and everything, and here I am homeless and ashamed and scared of seeing her and unable to go to some of the outreach as a result.

I needed dentistry during this time, I knew nothing about NHS entitlement and so I ended up seeing a private dentist and they made a dreadful mess, I never had all my teeth, some of my molars never existed, but these dentists took two of my teeth out when they could have been repaired if I had known about NHS treatment and would thus have been able to afford repairs, the dentists made a terrible mess of taking the teeth anyway,breaking another tooth, and I needed stitches and meds and had dreadful pain and trouble, came out in a rash with sickness due to being given penicillin, and had a miserable time, now I have gaps in my gums where the teeth were, and the gaps get irritated and I have about three lower molars.

I was earning about £400 to 500 a month, it was not a lot, but my rent was low and the motorbike didn’t cost too much to run, so I survived, mainly I did not eat healthily though, as I didn’t know how to cook and my cooking facilities were limited, but I managed to get caught up in a few money draining scams which ‘seemed like a good idea at the time’, these caused me some stress and in one case JM did step in and help me out by speaking firmly to the people who were messing me about, I was hopeless with money and hopeless at realising that human beings did things with a motive and not through the kindness of their hearts, I did not have much money left over for myself, and with no savings or family money to back me up, I wasn’t saving for the future.

Anything and everything, the headlines, Aspergers, a punch.

The Headlines in the Daily Mail are about the Autistic Spectrum man who was punched and died after he remonstrated with a cyclist who was on the pavement.

The commenter in the Mail says 'This may sound a bit cruel, but it is possible that he remonstrated with the cyclist because of the Asperger's'.

Yes, as you may have realised, us Aspies have a bad habit of speaking out, oh yes, it can shock people, because we can be too blunt. I have tried very hard to learn not to be so blunt, but I am no good at being Highly Polite. I do not know how to handle conflicts and differences of opinions, but that is just me. I am in therapy, when I can afford it, to learn these things.
That is no reason at all for anyone to punch someone.

I mean, I would never punch Jane Fisher, even if I have strongly felt like it in the past, and she has wrecked my life. I actually wouldn't do anything if I met her, but she lives in the middle of a river, a long way from here, so I probably never will see her. Hooray!
Just in my nightmares and flashbacks.

Another thing that of course that newspapers and many people do not realise, is, the bike suddenly going past this Asperger man at speed may have shocked his system, causing him to remonstrate.
I have had such experiences, cyclists on the pavement, too fast and too close, it is like a dog jumping up at me, too close, too intrusive, too dangerous, it shocks the system, and it is possible this is what happened, hence his remonstrating, I usually remonstrate too.
I do not know if such things affect neurotypicals but they sure do affect me.

Bikes on the pavement are a menace. I am very sad to hear about this man losing his life when he had every right to object, and my prayers are with his family.

A house divided

Former archbishop Carey, on the front page of The Times, criticizing the Bishops' letter to The Daily Mirror.
I am uneducated but I did find it faintly amusing.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

lets go back 15

I briefly went to the local church in my new town, it had too much of charismatic lean for me, though some people were nice and welcoming, and  the Vicar,got me into a  routine of helping him with teas and coffees after the evening service.

I did not understand the charismatic element really, the funny prayers for healing, and the ladidadidancing, but that was ok, the Vicar's family had problems,his wife was a talented musician and singer, but suffered a very serious form of depression which impacted on the church, the Vicar had some health problems too and they kept laying hands on him for healing, some of the young Christians befriended me to a certain extent, but they were extreme charismatic and I was not comfortable about it, and ironically the Vicar's family were actually the former clergy family of L.before JM, but JM didn’t like the Vicar and didn’t like me going to his church, because he had caused her problems by coming back and interfering at L. and taking services behind her back and without her permission, she said she had had to go to the Bishop of Winchester about it and that was one time he did do something.
I guess that is an example of how the Church of England is a very small world and everyone knows everyone, nasty if you are branded and shunned.

So everyone in the L.Benefice knew and loved the old Vicar and his family and were always telling me to give them their regards. But I wasn’t so keen on the church, and so I continued to come back to the L. Benefice. One of the Vicar’s daughters was sleeping with one of our takeaway delivery drivers by the time I was a delivery driver in the same town, which says something about morals and taste, but I am not sure what.
Basically a 'Christian' upbringing in the Church of England doesn't work, because morals don't seem to be included in CofE teaching.

Moving to this town and away from Winchester, L.and JM filled me with shock and grief, a  choice it was, but a hard one, JM had been central to my life, and that is her doing, in the new place I felt lost and lonely, the town is not an easy town, and it was difficult to get back to L. because the bus service was and still is rubbish. I was isolated, getting to work was hard as well, I had a rubbish old bike that could barely make the journey, getting buses across town and out to work was hard, it was difficult, then one day A.said, 'why don’t you save up for a little motorbike, it would solve the problems and would be easier than a car to look after'.

To my surprise JM and some other church people agreed that this was the solution, and so I was going to find a motorbike, I was scared secretly, wouldn’t a bike be dangerous? The hypochondriac couple said that as long as the bike was more than 50cc then it would be quick enough to prevent any trouble.

With JM’s help and she took over as usual, I found a bike, it was a 100cc scooter type bike, JM kindly fixed a deposit for me as a Birthday present and helped with the conversation with the people selling me the bike, I ended up with finance for the bike, which was scary as I was still precarious financially, and also despite the fact I found the paperwork difficult and I nearly failed the CBT bike training because I was so scared and struggled so much with the instructions, but I passed, and as soon as I had passed I had to bike over to L. for my 21st Birthday Party at A&R’s house.

 I was stopped by the police on the way as there had been an accident, and I nearly wet myself,  it was a big party with my church friends and youth group there, we had a riot of a time, with a treasure hunt, a BBQ and a big cake, I had never known such wonder and wealth as people drowned me in presents and love and fuss, but me and JM were not getting on and I was finding some church politics and people difficult, so I cannot gloss over and say all was great, but it was a lovely party and I had realised that friends were still there despite me being in away, and now with the motorbike, the friends were more accessible.

The photos of that lovely party and A were recently lost with all my possessions when I left Jersey, as was the heirloom cross that had been passed down for generations in A’s family and which she gave to me. My grief is too great to think about, so I survive by switching my mind off at times like now as I remember.

Youth group continued to be an amazing help to me, a richness in my life, I learned some of the skills and games that I had missed out on in earlier life through them, I got to have special outings with them, such as ski-bobbing, ice skating (which became a passion for me), bowling, swimming, and sponsored events, one summer day we had a sponsored walk to Wolvsley Palace to meet with other youth groups in Hampshire, we were raising money for Uganda, as we marched with our banner, we attracted a police car with a couple of officers who were curious as to what we were doing, then we got to Wolvsley where there was a great big garden party and fete and service, we were running a maggot racing stall.

 I do not know how to explain, but as we were doing this, along came the great big Bishop of Winchester, Michael Scott-Joynt with the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. George Carey, one of them was sucking a lollipop! I dived under the table in utter terror! Then as I went to get something for Carol, I bumped into the Bishop’s wife who had been so nice to me previously, she was wearing a blue dress and was with the Archbishop’s wife, I said a shy hello to Lou Scott-Joynt, and she totally blanked me, I stopped and waited for a response, tried again, she ignored me and walked past me, I was confused and deflated, She had been so nice before.

 Later I told JM about this and she launched into a tirade about snobbery at Wolvsley and the Cathedral, she told me that R. had been snubbed and ignored on his interactions with the cathedral, she told me that Wolvsley were cold and that she went to Bishop Trevor (who she called Bishop Treasure) when she needed help, she often spoke of him and their friendship, which was obviously a mutual admiration, I liked Bishop Treasure too, I helped clear with some work preparing for the consecration of the new churchyard at L. and was thus at the ceremony for it, and Bishop Treasure made a point of coming over to greet me among everyone there as well as obviously being sweet on JM, I was bowled over and also scared so I ran away and hid.

I was confirmed at L. church after doing the Youth Alpha course with the youth group, the thing I found most difficult about preparing for confirmation was that the church treasurer? was confirmed with us, and he was always behind us in the pews with his then baby daughter in his arms who yelped and cried, the sounds young children make are agonizing for my too sensitive hearing, and so I was tense and stressed.

 The confirmation itself made me sad in a way, because the other young people all had family there, I had almost no-one, I had invited my housemates from the sheltered house, but sadly the only one who could get there was the paranoid schizophrenic who I did not want there, the church was packed with proud families, but I couldn’t tell my own family or invite them, my parents would have been furious that I was confirmed into the church of England (well, they were right on that), and the rest of my family were scattered and not in contact. I felt sad, but the youth leader proudly hugged me and made a fuss of me, and someone took photos of him hugging me and as usual JM made unhelpful remarks about that, but I was proud that the photos showed me in a pure white girly top and with a cross at my neck, and with a real hug from a real church friend. I also had photos of me with Bishop Lloyd-Rees who confirmed us, he was nice, and I named my confirmation present from A&R, a toy spaniel puppy, after the Bishop, well they had similar eyes.

 The photos are all lost in Jersey now. I had to be baptised in order to be confirmed, and JM baptised me the Sunday before the confirmation, in a rush and with me a bit unsure, the witnesses to the Baptism were sadly C and M.F and FM, and again I was not too happy about it, but we had afternoon tea afterwards, which I liked. But later on I redid my baptism, I will explain later. (I am Baptised Catholic now).

Let me tell you about work, I was taken on to a gardening team on an estate that specialised in enabling disabled people to work and to live independently, the team was a mixture of mainstream gardeners with special needs, trainees and people doing occupational therapy, I was a gardener, I loved the work, I liked some of the people on my team but found some of them hard to understand, and because of everyone’s disabilities there were tensions, our supervisor was a woman and our charge hand was the boss’s son, one of the gardeners, ***, who had epilepsy did not like the female boss and was against females working in the industry, but I helped him to come to terms with that, then there was a lad called ****, who was brain damaged by meningitis, he was nice but very repetitive and could get annoying by saying the same things over and over.
  then there was **** and ****, a pair of jokers, **** was very disabled and unpredictable and also disliked the supervisor, **** loved everyone, and fancied me and talked about going out with me if G. lost interest, they were great fun to work with as they larked about and joked and were happy, then there were the trainees, ***, who had Asbergers syndrome, and through whom I began to realise I was indeed on the spectrum, *** also was sexist at first but I kicked that out of him and he became a friend after upsetting me a lot, he also lived in a fantasy sci-fi world a lot of the time, as a lot of Aspies do and I remember asking him to label some Nemesia KLM plants for me and he labelled them ‘Nemesia Killing Large Mutants’ and I had hysterics.
 Then there was ***and ****, who both had to leave because they were not meeting the standard, and then there was G., when I met G. I mistakenly thought that he was going out with another girl, but in reality she was stalking him, trying to force a relationship on him and taking advantage of his gentle nature, so when G. showed an interest in me I  was surprised and more concerned for what I thought was his relationship with the other girl, G. would smile at me, sit with me and share his snacks with me, the joke in the mess room was that G. shook his tic tacs at me, and I agreed heartily that I went out with him for the food.

I was surprised when G. asked me out, and asked about his ‘girlfriend’, and he explained to me that she wasn’t his girlfriend and that she drove him mad. I was happy, I wasn’t deeply in love, but I liked G., he was gentle, he didn’t misbehave and he was honest, quite disabled, but that was irrelevant, he was safe.

I remember one day G. and I were standing outside the hostel where the trainees lived, and G. and I were cuddling, non-sexually, some of the other trainees shouted out graphic and rude instructions to G. as to what he should be doing with me, he grinned and said ‘ignore them, they are just idiots’, I respected him for that, he also said to me one day ‘All the other girls are just tarts, you aren’t’. I took that to mean that he liked the fact I didn’t dress up and wear makeup, I did have my ears pierced and wear little diamond earrings though, but because of the nature of my work and the eczema I get, I didn’t keep the piercings for long.
G. and *** and I ended up working really well together, we called ourselves ‘G-Force’, Gilbert, Gurgle and Gruff, *** was called Gilbert, I was the gurgle and G***** was Gruff, we were like children playing sometimes.

Lets go back 14 age 20+

With the help of A. and another kind Villager,  I did a summer of therapeutic work at local horticultural Nurseries, I was treated very well there and it helped me to socialise and gain plant knowledge, there were some nice people there. When the season ended and temporary staff like me finished work, I bought them all donuts to have at coffee time. JM arranged for FM to come and drop the donuts off at the nursery in his car as I used to bike out there.

The psychology course I was doing taught me about a condition called ‘reactive attachment disorder’ and I wondered sadly if this was what was wrong with me, and self-diagnosed this condition where relationships are almost impossible to form or maintain for an adult who was had a difficult childhood,  you see I felt detached even from my friends in L. and felt that they were the ones who got through to me by persistence and hard work, I looked at personality disorders and couldn’t fit any, and discussed that with JM who told me she though she had schitzoid or schitzotypal personality disorder, I don’t think I took that seriously, then I started learning about Autism and realised with shock that this sounded like me, really like me, but JM pooed this idea and told me that I could learn to control my behaviour and that it was more likely to be my background causing the problems. JM’s opinion always overrode my own and everyone else’s, her opinions were frequent and loud and concrete and to all and sundry.
(She did mention being schitzoid again when she did her sabbatical, when she went and stayed alone in a cottage and said she enjoyed being alone a lot).

(Just to say, as autism became more likely, I dropped the attachment disorder theory and no medical person ever mentioned it, nor did anyone else, although autism was often mentioned, it was last year that the idea of attachment theory was brought up again and I started to adjust accordingly and seek help).

One day I saw an advert in the paper for supported employment for people at a disadvantage in getting into work, with unusual courage I phoned the supported employment agency and they sent someone round to see me, it was surprisingly simple to sign up, and even more surprisingly I was almost immediately offered a job trial on an estate some miles away.

It was not easy to commute  and make the connection to get to work, so I started to look for a room closer to work, this was the first time of me looking for mainstream accommodation and I was astonishingly lucky, a bedsit was advertised for £50 per week, I quickly phoned, and the man said he would come and meet me, he sounded gruff, I wondered if I was safe going to meet him and going to his house, I really wasn’t sure what people normally did in these circumstances, and I was horrified at myself for preparing to leave L. and Winchester and my church friends and the community that I now did so much in and was so involved in, I tried to tell myself that this was an adventure, this was how to move forward, and this was what the young people of L. and Winchester had to do because they couldn’t afford to live in the area.

The man who met me was a giant of a man, fierce looking, he was an ex-submarine surgeon who had retired to become a carpenter, the house was hidden under piles of scaffold, pipes, tiles, wood and any handy DIY stuff you could imagine, Frank may have looked fierce but he was a very slow, gentle natured and caring man with a lot of health problems, he was one heck of a character and stopped and talked to all and sundry who passed his way. I quickly knew he was safe, the room was a cosy and inviting little place, he had converted the house in to a space for him, two bedsits to let out and a flat as well, and he lived in chaos in his little place and loved his neighbours, he was lonely for his wife who had died some time back, but he was completely trustworthy, as soon as I saw the cosy room with its armchair, tiny kitchenette and coffee table, I loved it, I knew I wanted it at all costs, Frank said ‘what do you think?’ I said slowly ‘yes, I like it, I’ll take it’, impulsive, making a decision for myself, I had been in the flat for three months, and so I had been in sheltered housing for six months with almost no benefit apart from that I had been able to live in L. and be close to my church friends.

 I lived at Frank’s for two years, with no incident apart from when an awful woman tried to move her entire family into the small bedsit and I could not get use of the bathroom or washing machine or washing line or anything as they were constantly using them and were very noisy, but they moved on before I did.

So the sorrowful move to be able to get to work and commit myself to my job occurred. The girl at the sheltered house took my old clothes that I wasn’t taking with me, without permission, including the big old farm coat, and she wore them. I had to rehome my rabbits and guinea pigs, which made me sad, it was a big move, but getting to work from L. was so difficult and I wanted to be out of the sheltered housing complex.

 I lived with Frank for two years in that room, I will continue to tell you about him later on. the area was a cheaper place to live than Winchester, less wealthy, ‘more down to earth’ as my L. pals put it, and many young people move that way or down to Southampton when they can’t afford Winchester prices.

It was peaceful there, on a quiet part of a reasonably quiet estate, we were at the end of a close, with grass and footpaths around us and a little distance from the town centre, our only real noise was the unmarried couple in the flat violently fighting frequently, they liked alcohol and it caused both of them to turn angry and violent, they got through a great deal of furniture, crockery, and doors, I hardly saw the girl, but the man was nice and respectful to me when he saw me. A while before I left, they split up, moved on, and the flat stayed empty, I couldn't afford to rent it instead of the bedsit though.

lets go back 13 grumble, gloom.

 I remember when our youth leader died died, I was going to meet JM for the usual dog walk before the peace and healing service, FM came to the door, causing me to cringe and expect a verbal battering, but he just said ‘JM has been called out because someone has collapsed, could you take the dog?’
(he always called her 'the dog', dogs never had names to him).

At the peace and healing service JM announced the youth leader's death from a heart attack, I was stunned, he was a big hearty happy man, who loved long distance walking with the other leader, and helping with youth group and prayer and praise, he always made a point of talking to me, even when I could find no words at all to answer him. He loved worshipping, he would raise his arms and worship with all of his heart, he was in his 40s with two children at school, his 11 year old son was part of our youth group, and at the funeral his son played the guitar in the worship band as well as at the prayer and praise service we dedicated to him. The memories make my heart sad. I remember someone trying to comfort ***** as she sobbed at the funeral, she stopped coming to Youth Group and prayer and praise, and I missed her. Lots of big characters died when I was part of the L. community.

There is the old church there in L. that was a good balanced church that I was part of, and there is the new poor version of it, which is charismatic and empty-hearted.

I remember the youth leader at my first L. Show Service, doing a drama based on ‘who wants to be a millionaire’, it was called ‘who wants to win eternal life’ and despite it being about how you cannot win eternal life, it is a gift from God, the name of the drama and the way it went caused complaints. Anyway, I remember that and think that he went to eternal life not long after that.
We sang ‘Father I place into Your Hands the things I cannot do’ at that service, and that hymn remains a favourite, I am listening to it now to help me write. I want that hymn at my funeral when the time comes.

The prayer and praise and all age worship at L. was lively and joyful but not the extreme charismatic worship that I cannot stand, there were no ‘miracles’ and ‘words’ and throwing ourselves on the floor and fainting, there was only worship and enthusiastic teaching and happiness. That element of L. church went when people died, were arrested and moved away, leaving the new set of people who came in and took it over, including the *****'s who left the church in town for some reason and took over L. church, bossing people including me about, patronizing me and making me feel small;

One day not long after they arrived, I was sitting with M and S, and ****** came and leaned over M and S as if they were not there and spoke to me as if I was a child, asking if I would like to have lunch with them...
I think it was Easter lunch, so that I wouldn’t be lonely, I was livid that they had come to my church and were patronizing me like this, and that was one of a few incidents of being patronized and bossed about by *******, I don’t know why they left the church in town and took over L. church and have tried to make it into their church and rip the pews out and have weird sounding festivals, but L. church is so full of ghosts and bad memories, and also shunning now, that I wouldn’t go back anyway.

 So if they want to turning it into a charismatic church and take the pews and all the history away and have ‘words from God’ and fainting and healing miracles then they are welcome to. I just don’t need to associate with people who make me feel small in front of my friends and who laughed because I had never been on holiday when I first met them.
I don't need the church of england, really they have been the bane of my life since I was a teenager and still are now, years after I renounced them.

In ***** and Jersey there was nothing like this stream of deaths in L. I remember coming back from Jersey one time to find that ****** who I used to have the occasional breakfast with, had died, I hadn’t even known she was ill, I knelt at her memorial stone and said to her ‘I bet you are in heaven, fixing a spot of tea and toast for God’. I can almost imagine that. She had a good heart, but ***** was sometimes rude about her and her way of doing things. And I remember ****** dying in Jersey, he had been nice to me but I was alienated from him by my abusers. And the churchwarden's neighbour's  suicide rocked me as well.
Why am I talking about death here?

A.  took me to the careers office at some point when I was 20, to see what my future might be, we both fell about laughing when the computer questionnaire suggested I had aptitude to be a steeplejack among other things!
But the benefits agency did a medical assessment and suggested that I could spend the foreseeable future just living in the sheltered house and doing very little, I was not content with that though. I wanted to progress. JM paid for me to do two correspondence courses, maths and psychology, but she didn’t seem to realise that I needed to book to do exams through an exam centre, and on my own back then I had absolutely no ability to arrange that, so I was stumped in getting the qualifications, and I gave up the coursework when I phoned one course tutor hesitantly with a question about the course, and was met with rudeness, I was demoralised and discouraged, and so I gave up. Weak I know. But the anti-depressants and then lack of them were also not helping.
I learned about autism from the psychology course, and that is when I started realising that I was autistic, even though it took years to get diagnosis.

My problems understanding people were so obvious that a hearing test was arranged for me when I was 20, the audiology department said that my hearing was remarkably sharp, and that the problem I was having appeared to be speech input disorder (dysphasia), I was relieved to finally know, to finally understand, and especially to go to JM and tell her that this was why her farmer friends had thought I was awkward and didn’t respond to their instruction! I was thrilled to know that there was a name for this barrier between me and the rest of the world!

JM did as she does and tried to play it all down as nothing, but I was overwhelmed to know for myself that I was not being awkward or stupid, and amazingly the dysphasia has faded over the years and 90% of the time I understand what is said, the times I have difficulty are on the phone, sometimes with people I don’t know, when people greet me, especially from a distance, and when more than one person is speaking, and when someone tries to speak to me in a crowd, or specifically if I am under any stress.

 But my hearing is remarkably sharp, I suffer autism related auditory sensitivity which can make life utter agony and I have realised one of the reasons I am called mad or people wonder what is wrong with me is because I have been known to clutch and shake my head and whimper at noises that hurt me, JM used to say I was acting out when I escaped church functions in distress because of the noise and the echo in the church room, JM hurt me a lot with her opinion. She said things like calling me an inverted snob because I felt so useless and ragged and stupid compared to my high-flying friends and youth group in L, when I was not meaning snobbishness at all, just belittling myself for not being able to be like them. Coming from utter poverty to probably the most wealthy and high-flying community you could find was very very hard, almost a cruel joke on God’s part, the young people of this community did not have to work for acceptance, understanding, possessions or anything, it was all provided in skipfuls, while I had a lifetime of struggle behind and before me. I was very maladjusted, and they helped me such a lot.

lets go back 12

JM continued to wind me up, I had met (pastoral couple) at the church in town, and they had moved to take over K. church, I liked the couple, the wife of the couple knew I was friends with JM and that I did gardening, so she phoned JM and invited us over to see about me doing some landscaping work, but when we went, JM took over the conversation and answered questions for me before I had a chance to answer and took over the conversation completely, we were there for ages and ages, with me silently sitting there while JM talked about everything under the sun.
(I know she was like that, and I loved her anyway, but it was infuriating)

 Every time I tried to talk I was interrupted and talked over, I was so tense and deflated and desperate to get away that I never made further contact with that couple, and felt quite upset, I had liked them at the church in town, but with JM speaking for and about me to them, I couldn’t be me and garden for them, and this is how it was with me and JM, she took over, and this was the opinion of a many people in her benefice, she takes over, but doesn’t have the time to follow up, she specialises in ‘taking pity on troubled families’, raging to the council about them, involving herself deeply, not always a bad thing, but there should be boundaries, especially in cases like mine where I was made into a replacement Sally and she tried to make me have Sally’s character and tried to be my voice, it goes too far, and she lets people down, she let me down in a very wide variety of broken promises and half-done things. I will tell you some more later otherwise I will mess up the continuity of this writing.

While I was in the sheltered house I started to try really really hard to improve myself and progress, I wrote to the tutors at college who I hadn’t got on with, I apologised for my side of that and tried hard to explain that some of my behaviour was in reaction to things, and that I hadn’t meant to upset anyone, I could not explain things like sitting in one place for hours staring at nothing, because I didn’t know why I was doing that, and early on I wasn’t even completely aware of it.

I also wrote to JM’s farm owner friends, though they were not that deserving of apology. The two tutors who I hadn’t got on with both left the college and emigrated to different countries within the few years after me leaving the college (not because of me), and when I went back, my other former tutors were nice and friendly.

My Emotional behavioural problems are always in reaction to things, inappropriate as they may be, I am never random, but things upset me or I behave in certain ways due to triggers, and at the beginning of this journey and indeed for most of it, I have been unaware of my behaviour being in reaction, or even being so extreme in other people’s eyes, only aware of my own distress, but I have been ashamed and I have been slated, I NEVER randomly pick a quarrel or run away in a panic with no reason, I am always doing it in reaction to something.

I decided with help, and references from friends, to return to the college to do evening classes in Horticulture, I was interviewed several times as they vetted me for suitability to return and do a course, I was accepted and they chose an advanced level of course for me, they now accepted I was ‘special needs’ and not ‘troublemaker’, and as I left the college to walk home after one interview, the eccentric counsellor passed me in his old car, and stopped and asked what I was doing, I told him and he offered me a lift to L, which I accepted, he did the same again next time he saw me, we were ok. We shook hands. He isn’t there now, he went to live in his girlfriend’s county with her, one of the reasons I found it hard to respect him was that he had two children with his girlfriend but was not married her, and according to one member of staff he had stolen that girlfriend off another member of staff. Which I thought was pretty awful, and wondered how he could be a 'counsellor', but he was just a tutor earning a bit of extra money from basic counselling of students.

There were an inordinate amount of deaths in the community during the time I was there and onwards through the years I have been in contact with L, painful deaths, untimely deaths, deaths of people I have known and shared food and conversations with, I haven’t seen anything like this stream of deaths anywhere else in my life: when I arrived in L, the churchwarden had just been killed in a plane crash on a Christian mission to Kosovo, then  a young man who JM had been training to be a reader, was killed in a motorbike accident, his granddad died a while later, the late churchwarden's  mother died of cancer, An old lady from the home died, another couple died, they were old, but they were characters, the lady used to drive through the village so slowly in a very old car, I was at their house once and she showed me round and said ‘This is Mr. ******’s bedroom, and this is my bedroom’, I thought this was rather old fashioned and sweet.

 Another couple died, our youth/prayer and praise leader had a heart attack and died in his forties, one of the hypochondriac couple’s neighbours died and I can’t remember which one so I won’t name them, one of A&R’s extended family died of cystic fybrosis, ****** *****’s Mother, Jean died, JP died of a horrible cancer, WW died and his wife G died more recently, JM’s dad died, **** *****died, ****** ****** died and I think one of the ******’ daughters commited suicide, but I am not sure, **** died, ***** ***** died, I think ***** and ***** died, ***'s friend **** who lived at C. died, the old couple up the lane from JM died, did *** ***** die? ***** ***** died; *****died, and did any of the *****'s die? yes,  ****’s Dad died, his name was **** and I did some gardening for him, for some reason I ended up doing welcoming duties at his funeral, then her husband, **** got an aggressive cancer and also died, ******* died and ****** ended up in an old people’s home, and there were two suicides, one of those was ***** ******, and  I said to JM ‘why are there so many deaths, and is God punishing us?’ she said something about apples falling off a tree or was it leaves?

Because of my background I was worried in case all the deaths were a curse, and I worried in the early days that it was my fault, I really worried, I thought I was cursed because of the women who lived next door when I was a child (who my parents said were witches who cursed us), I told JM and she said the best thing to break a curse was a blessing, and she blessed me.

More recently **** *****died? A. died, and CF died,  lots of people I knew and most of them not really old or infirm, some were young and bright and had so much to live for. So most of the people who I knew in L. are gone, it is a village of ghosts. I mean, lots of other people died and were buried in the benefice, but that is normal in a community, what was not so normal for me was all these church and community people who I knew, spoke to, was used to, died. The only thing it did for me though, was take away me terrible fear of death, which came from my parents and how they made death out to be such a terrible frightening thing.
But all the same.

In some ways I was even closer to the deaths and problems in the community because of being close to JM, she would talk and worry community problems, would take me to church services, would take me to the hospice and hospital to visit sick and dying people, she put me on her insurance to teach me to drive the car, but she let the insurance for me lapse without telling me at one point, and I was hurt and said she should have told me, I then paid for her to redo it because I so wanted to learn and I found learning with an instructor too difficult and intimidating, but I used to drive JM to the hospital or hospice in Southampton then, one time a deer leaped out over the bonnet, I was shaking for the rest of the day, it didn’t harm the car though.

But in some ways JM also excluded me from the community, telling people inaccurate things about me, not passing on cards or messages from people in the community to me via her about things, for example the youth leader left a letter with JM for me about a community event, JM didn’t pass it on, this kind of thing happened a lot, the most upsetting thing she promised and did not do was when I was doing my ‘duke of Edinburgh award’ a bit late in the day, JM she would find a way of including my work in the community and church as my volunteer part of the award, and so she took my award book from me and kept it and kept it, so nothing else got recorded or signed off in my book until it was getting too late and still she didn’t give the book back, one day when she was getting something from her desk drawer, I saw my book hidden under something, and later, in tears I fished it out, I couldn’t get an extension to do my award and I was getting too old for the age limit and I couldn’t arrange any other volunteer work, I felt so let down, that award could have made such a difference to me with my lack of background, it would have shown I had some worth.

Another problem I had was wanting to be in the choir, wanting to be like A. and *****and people, this was when David Brown had taken over from the legendary Muriel (who was very bad tempered)and become a paid Organist and choir master, JM said she had had to give him lunch to persuade him, and David and ***** Brown became part of the new, sad L. Church,  David was impatient trying to teach me choir, and my dysphasia which I could not explain to him, meant he could not teach me because I was too slow for him in singing the notes he chose and I was getting flustered and confused, so I asked JM to explain to him, and she didn’t and eventually I left a note to him saying why I could not do choir, and asked JM to give that to him on Friday rather than me trek over from where I was still living by then, but again she didn’t. So David did not know what was going on.
Now David crosses the Street when he sees me, because as with ***** and others, they only know JM’s side of things. (his wife became one of the clergy team there and I was maligned to her of course).

lets go back, 11

Once in the flat I realised that I was mistaken that I felt I had to see the doctor and take anti-depressants, I had been afraid through JM that if I didn’t then I would  be in trouble, but the anti-depressants were doing nothing for me, and I did  not want to see the doctor, I didn’t like him, so I stopped both, and the support worker told me that I may become weepy from stopping the drugs and that she would support me – which was a good attitude from her for once.

I had gained a pet rabbit while in the house, and now I gained another rabbit and two guinea pigs, the first rabbit was a big fierce buck which I name after FM, I thought it apt and my mum had had a rabbit with that name when she was a child, and the second rabbit was Blackberry – Berry for short, the Guinea pigs which were A&R’s Grandchildren’s and very old, were originally called Martha and squeak, but I renamed them  after JM’s parents because they chattered to each other all the time at the tops of their voices. I was going to get a hamster and name it after JM’s sister, but that would be going too far!

I got to know S.L. through the Guinea pigs, several times when I had been past her house with JM and the dog, S would be out there putting newspapers in the bin, I was wary because of their surname, my parents had crossed swords with the same surname, probably not related, but one day I went round and asked S if there was any chance she could save some newspapers for me for the piggies, this was a big step for me, but she invited me in for a cuppa, and we became friends, she had me helping with her charity jam sales in no time,(for the hospice etc), and tremendous amounts of other things, she was a good friend and has gone, as have the others, through the church destroyal of me.

 S. was a good friend, but her husband never really understood me, and though at one time I could sometimes stay over at S’s, M  was not too comfortable with me, and no wonder, I am just not someone who can be normal and understood, but it doesn’t mean I don’t feel ashamed, I didn’t really ever fall out with them, I overstepped one boundary of going there before church one day when M. wanted some peace, but I learned from it, and I think I puzzled them by staying in bed with a burst hot water bottle one night, fear of the dark or fear of getting more cold if I moved I think.

  I only ever loved and trusted them, until the church destroyed me, and though I stopped going to stay with them, I still stayed over with A&R until I knew A. was too ill, or stayed with R&S, now I have none of those friendships or stayovers, devastated by the church, unhealable wounds.
 I have memories of many years of S’s special therapy for me, ‘the teapot’, a large pot of tea all laid out on a tray and a big long conversation where we would put the universe to rights. I would give anything to go back in time and have a teapot with my friend.

I was struggling in the flat because I couldn’t deal with the paperwork and housing benefit, I got very little in benefits and the housing benefit didn’t cover the whole amount of the rent, which was pretty steep because of the care component, despite the fact I wasn’t really getting any care, the paperwork ended up in a stressful mess with the shortfall from housing benefit not being met by my small amount of money left over after food and toiletries. But it was my first flat, and I was proud, my friends from church came round and celebrated and brought me presents. I got the flat looking all nice.

I was brought a word processor, a pot plant, furniture, all sorts of things, and I was proud of the flat and the work I did to make it a home, but the flat was connected to the house and things were far from peaceful, Jo continued to be a pain, and her ‘friends’ were equally unhelpful, some of them thought they could walk through my flat to get to the house, with no apology, I remember being furious and throwing a woman out who was rudely insistent that she could walk in my patio doors and through my flat one night and tried to barge me out the way when I said no, if this sheltered house was supposed to help me progress from my bad start in life, it wasn’t achieving that.
Jo’s ‘friends’ would also come and park right in front of the flat despite loads of parking in front of the house, they would sit outside in their cars with the engines running and the headlights on full beam at night so I got no peace, they would park right up to the flat blocking the doorway, and generally ruining the peace, asking the support worker to do something achieved nothing.

JM came round one day when I had been bothered by these people continuously for some time and I was raging mad, she stayed but was not a great help and added to the problem because FM kicked up a huge fuss about JM staying to talk to me, JM is her own person, but FM loses his temper if she stays too long anywhere in the evening, and he loses his temper with people who she is with to help, when I was in college and JM would stay and talk to me, I bore the brunt of FM’s wrath, despite it being up to JM, not me, how long she stayed.

JM called herself my adoptive mum, but she didn’t officially want to be known as such, and over the years my reference to her as mammy or mum phased out voluntarily, though I still saw her as an adoptive mother, and on mother’s day I would get her a card or a present, and I would take her the posy from church, one day I was given the posy at L. church and I took the posy over to the rectory for JM, possibly with a note or a card as JM was at S. church.
FM raged and raged at me, and I ended up in floods of tears on the floor of S. church, with JM comforting me, I loved her, I was expressing that love, I was smashed down for it, JM was the one who had said she was the adoptive mum, she was the one who had involved me with her family, and in the end she was the one who was telling me she was a friend and telling her family I was ‘part of her work’, even though her ‘work with me’ included and was exclusively in the end, her interference behind my back, without my consent and ill informed, in my life. For my benefit? To date no benefit has come of her unauthorized interference, and harm certainly has.
(excuse that anger, these wounds are real and I usually shut them out).

Back to the story: The support worker wasn’t always better than the residents, she certainly wasn’t a role model, she had had a son when she was 16 and his father left her, her son had grown up wild, she told him that he could do as he liked as long as he told her, she took me out for a drive one day, she stopped to enquire about a car that was for sale, and afterwards she told me she had been more interested in the man who owned the car than the car, she had a swish little convertible car herself.

This kind of thing continued when she ‘rescued’ a girl who she said was in slavery because this disabled girl worked full time and went home and handed her wages over to her parents every week, when this girl arrived she was sickeningly thin, you could see every bone in her body, literally, and she wore a thin greasy pony tail, she cut her hair to look like mine, and got glasses, she seemed as if she was my age, but actually she was in her 40s and an albino, but guess what? She dyed her hair brown, I thought nothing of her changing her appearance when she arrived, she started wearing similar clothes to me, and also turning up where I went sometimes, though she never came to church as Jo did.

The support worker would take this girl and me out for drive, after a drive where we whistled at men and made rude jokes and the girl got a toy man that you pressed something and he dropped his trousers and similar rude things, I decided that I didn’t want to be part of this anymore, and I told them that I was gay, the support worker gave me a big sisterly hug and congratulated me and they went for the rude drives and sat in the office laughing together without me. The girl told me that the support worker was her mother, though they were similar ages, and this gruesomely reminded me of me and JM.

MF, the woman I had stayed with briefly when I left college, thanks to JM, seemed to think she could counsel me, but she was not a trained counsellor, I don’t know if she is now, but she wasn’t then, and her ‘couselling’ of me added to my problems, when she would invite me round I would go expecting to have a cup of tea with her and her husband, but I barely or didn’t  get to say hello to her husband, which was a pity as he was a cheerful jokey man, MF would take me to her workroom, sit me down and sit opposite me, she would then try to get me to talk, this was the usual disaster, talking in a formal setting back then was not within my capabilities, and not only that, MF did not know what she was doing and as well as having JM’s incorrect opinion of me, was causing me problems.

 This ‘counselling’ went on for a few years and among the upsets were MF trying to tell me that because I was a woman I should not be doing the heavy work I was doing, this really undermined and upset me, I was not very self-confident and the industry is a tough one but God blessed me with unnatural strength and also autism, which leaves me limited to working in the landbased industries, but this woman who was really dainty and ‘got the men to do the work and behave like men’ while being prissy and getting attention that way and was trying to force her own views of life on me, and this was adding to my disturbance and problems, I know she is or was a parish visitor, and maybe this is where she felt she had lease to treat what I wanted to be a friendship as a counselling relationship without explaining properly or entering into a counselling contract with me, anyway, because she told me that what I told her was confidential.

 I told her about FM abusing me, at a time when the memories of the abuse and JM rubbishing it, where troubling me, I do not know if it was that or whether it was ******becoming my counsellor or whether it was me telling A. that I was not comfortable with the MF's arrangement, but she stopped ‘counselling’ me, turned me away, and started counselling JM, and at some point I think she may have counselled the ‘Hypochondriac couple’, but I do remember being turned away when I went to see her, never any explanation, she also had an odd habit of always giving me fruit at the end of the ‘counselling’ and saying ‘vitamins in skins’. (Not my best vitamins as I cannot digest most fruit very well and usually bring most of it back up). But the relationship was based on what she thought was best.
(welcome to the Church of England).

Lets go back 10 (all of these were written in 2011)

I mentioned JM’s dog walking friends, while I was in L. I used to dog walk with JM twice a day, up until the time I started work, JM was a walking nuisance on the dog field because she wanted to give treats to every dog she met, causing many annoyed and embarrassed dog owners, especially when their dogs left them for JM and wouldn’t do as they were told, but she also collected a gaggle of people with problems, and these people made it difficult for me to walk with JM, the combination of feeding dogs and trying to walk with all sorts of people at stop start pace, made my legs and head ache and trying to be part of disturbed conversations and repetitive accounts of holidays was really hard for me, and I felt unwelcome, so I would walk part way with JM and leave her to sit and wait for her the other side of the recreation ground.

 One of the people she walked with was Rosemary Baker, a Methodist minister and psychiatrist, who I was scared of as she was a psychiatrist and my parents had taught me that psychiatrists were bad, as well as being scared that JM would set Rosemary on me as she had set the mental health people on me before.

Rosemary pretty much ignored me, I think she did so in return for my near silence and fear of her dogs that jumped around, my fear of dogs is limited to dogs that jump, as my brain is not quick enough for the jump, and I do not like being knocked down or impacted against by jumping dogs. The other Methodist minister was called Beth, and my instinct told me to dislike her even before JM maligned me to her.

I think Beth was on a ‘healing course’ which I went on with JM, I got angry about this course for several reasons, including one person (who is dead now) pretty much recounting how they had been putting tremendous inordinate pressure on a grieving widower to speak about their grief, and no one in the room told him that this was inappropriate, he said he was still at it as the grieving man refused to speak, the ‘grieving man’ had started going out with another woman as his wife was dying, and had married her not long after the funeral!

I was surprised that when I gave my friends and church people the good news about me going into the sheltered house they seemed glum and doubtful, they told me it had a bad name and had been a kind of halfway house, with antisocial behaviour, blaring music and crime emanating from it until recently, and they told me of the suicide of a resident there.

While I was still in the bed and breakfast I went to a play thing at the village hall, it was about Jesus’ crucifixion, this must have been near Easter time, A. was there and so was **** *****, who was also friendly and smiley like A. was, A. introduced me to Lou Scott-Joynt who was there, she was the Bishop’s wife, I was overawed by her ‘A Bishop’s wife!’, this was like meeting the queen! I was so very shy, Lou asked me questions, she was interested in the fact that I was starting to help with gardening and horticultural things, she told me that if I ever wanted cuttings from the gardens at Wolvsley then I would be welcome, I was amazed, I was sure that she would have the best quality plants there.

FM was at the play as well, he later told me that Lou had said that when I was with him and JM I was quiet and childlike and when I was speaking for myself I was more mature, I don’t know the meaning of this or why FM told me this. FM also told me that he and Lou Scott-Joynt belonged to an organization called ‘Clergy Spice’ which was for spouses of clergy in the district, so he and Lou Scott-Joynt were friends. FM’s outward appearance when in company was always gentle and well-mannered, but his temper indoors led to JM talking about how men like FM should be castrated.

Anyway, JM and I went to meet the support worker from the Sheltered house, JM was surprised that it was not the support worker that she knew, but the support worker we met told us that the other support worker was of on long term sick leave and so this support worker, who was from an agency, was covering for her. The support worker was 40 but trying to be younger, very made up and with dyed hair, I could hardly communicate with her, so I left JM to do the talking, I also managed to knock my hand on something and it suddenly swelled up massively as we were talking, there was a woman who lived in the home who tried to take charge of me immediately and was more patronizing than anyone had ever been to me, I began to worry a lot about living there, but I needed a home, and I would have my own room and there was a garden and a plentiful supply of food and tea, and I had nowhere else to go, so I moved into the sheltered house.

The other residents were the woman who had tried to take charge of me, she was a paranoid schizophrenic who had a massively high opinion of herself, a silent autistic man who sat at a table all day, ate at the table, slept there, did craft work there and rarely moved, looked up or spoke, and when he spoke he said the same things over and over, he was sweet and nice though, there was a sweet natured and very disturbed woman as well, she and the autistic man got on really well, a bit like a married couple with no physical side to it, there was another man who was autistic or brain damaged, he and the sweet natured woman hated each other and would fight violently, throwing kitchenware at each other, even in the early hours of the morning, he also didn’t get on with the paranoid schizophrenic, but she was scared of his temper and rarely stood up to him. So these were my housemates, all older than me, all retirement age, so how did the young, disturbed me fare among them?

I may as well name them, I doubt they will sue, the Schizophrenic, Jo,  made my life and everyone else’s miserable, which was bad because she called herself a Christian, I was vulnerable and she knew it, so she would rage at me or intervene in my life and cause me distress, among other things one day I went to put a load of washing on, she had left a few items of underwear and clothing in the bottom of the machine for days, I took them out as they wouldn’t go with my washing and she seemed to have forgotten them.
 I was going to put them back in once my load was done, but she went mad with rage that I had taken them out at all, she really went mad, and despite FM’s frequent rages I never got any better at reacting to shouting and I went completely panic stricken, which she picked up on and it encouraged her to keep this horrible behaviour up, she would attack me and then try to force me to sit down and pray with her, which was bizarre and caused trouble and distress, she also took to trying to prevent me helping out in the village.

 A church man came to help me cut the hedges of the sheltered house, and the paranoid Schizophrenic came out and kept trying to haul me back indoors and prevent me working, it was embarrassing, she also came to events and church services to try and prevent me getting involved, for example when it was my turn on coffee duty in church, she came into the kitchen, pushed me out the way and took my job, I was angry, baffled and helpless, I asked JM for help but she just laughed, so I was shadowed by this obstructive woman, and it took some of the joy out of taking part in community activities, she would sway into the room with her great big lamp eyes and I would wonder if I should just leave. I had to give up helping with coffee or taking part in some other things, and this woman was a Catholic, technically she should not have been taking part in Church of England communions and services. Thankfully her drugs meant she didn’t come to evening services, so I got a bit of peace.

Julie was the other woman in the house, disturbed and sweet natured with a an angry but malice free temper, she would tap on my door to say goodnight and check I was ok, I loved her, she was impulsive, uncontrollable and unpredictable, she shrieked at me that she had been raped by a gypsy and that if I was a gypsy she didn’t want to be drawn into my gypsy ways, her speech and conversations were very random and for some reason she loved Dennis, the deeply autistic man and hated Brendan the other autistic/brain damaged man, and chose to fight with Brendan in the early hours frequently so that the rest of us were woken, this shouting in the early hours distressed me a lot and made me tense.

One of the big problems with this sheltered house was that the agency support worker was not even full time and there was no supervision after she left in the early afternoon, and some of the residents were not capable, someone put the microwave on for two hours and it caught fire, and someone put washing up liquid in the kettle, so that when it boiled there was foam everywhere, it was like that there, chaos, and my confused brain grew no less confused, only more so. I am glad that someone from the council has recently confirmed after all these years that such a set up isn’t always ideal, they are aware of this sheltered house and it’s problems as we discussed it in recent council interviews I have had as I didn’t want to end up back there! that support worker now works there full time and not for the agency and JM’s friend who used to run it is long gone, JM completely blamed me for any frights I had at the sheltered house when the supervisor was off duty, and JM completely blamed me for everything, which didn’t help me.

Julie, Brendan and Dennis were all nice to me, apart from occasionally when their tempers were on edge anyway and they snapped at me, but it was a tense house, I certainly didn’t relax, Jo simply drove me mad with her behaviour. Brendan decided that he wanted to marry me and that we would have a boy and a girl and move to America and have a ride on lawnmower and smack the children if they were naughty, I coped with Brendon in almost the same way as I coped with FM, I kept the peace by letting him be sweet on me, but I kept telling him he was my brother, not my boyfriend, which he eventually accepted, Brendon did nothing sexual with me, he held my hand sometimes, and we watched the news together and shared meals, I was afraid of his temper but actually he barely lost his temper with me, he lost his temper nastily with Julie, Jo and the support worker, but Brendon is still around in Winchester and we still get on well and he is still looking for a wife, though he accepts that I am not interested in him in that way. He likes women’s bodies, openly, but he didn’t misbehave with me when I was young and confused and he fancied me, and I respect him for that. Brendon cannot write or read or comprehend a lot of things that people take for granted, he used to go round scrawling unreadable things on the pavement or house walls when he was angry and also drawing pornographic pictures, he is one hell of a character and I hope he lives forever.

Dennis never spoke or did much, one day he fell and broke his arm and it was a few days before anyone saw that his arm was swollen and took him to hospital, after that they had him fitted with an emergency alarm just in case, he was epileptic and so I had to learn to deal with fits, but Julie looked after him tenderly and it was she who discovered the broken arm. I do not know what became of Dennis, he was old and fragile and I suspect he is dead now.

Julie was a wonderful paradox, when I first used to see her on the bus before I moved into the sheltered house, I was curious about her, she looked like a beautiful fairytale witch, astounding green eyes and dark hair, physically deformed and yet beautiful, she was profoundly disturbed, her family were wealthy and she was quite well bred but she seemed happy in a sheltered house, she was nice but unpredictable and with quite a temper, especially where Brendan was concerned, but she was caring, she could shout and she could shriek about what had been done to her in the past, but she also used to check I was ok in a non-patronising way, and she made me welcome in the home, I liked her. I have only seen her once recently.

Jo used to drive us all mad by accusing us of things, including saying that we had been putting paper clips and talcum powder under her door and that we had been in her room and that we were opening her mail and following her, she had no feeling for anyone else in the home, and would have her radio on top volume, and would desperately invite all and sundry that she met home and call them friends in order to look good, she didn’t care about anyone else’s feelings, privacy or space, and if she saw me go out, she would follow me, she really tried hard to intervene in my activities and mess them up, my self confidence and boundaries were non-existent and I suffered, but JM just laughed and told me it was because Jo wanted to feel important.  I still see her, but she doesn’t seem to know who I am now thankfully.

After three months in the sheltered house the support worker decided I was too independent to be in the sheltered setting, so she arranged for me to move into the flat, what used to be the warden’s flat when they had an onsite warden, the flat was for more independent people or people who were preparing to move on to mainstream housing. I was finding the fighting and restrictions of the sheltered house too much for me. The support worker was tired of trying to get me to eat a full meal when I couldn’t, tired of trying to get Jo to stop pestering me, and I was not in need of constant monitoring and helping.

While I was at the sheltered house there was one incident of FM messing about with me, JM asked him to give me a lift home from S. as she had given me a lift there but had to stay on, FM gave me a lift home, he came to my room, he sat on the bed with me, he started flirting, I was not comfortable, I asked him if there were other girls like me that he did this with, he said no, looking back at the way he answered I think he may have thought I was jealous in case there were other girls, but he was flirting and messing about with me and I said no and told him to go, later I was sick with distress as I decided to tell JM the full account of what had been happening, I told her, she took it fairly calmly, and told me that FM’s daughter had also said he had abused her, but that she had followed them when FM went to see his daughter when she was an inpatient at the hospital, and nothing had happened, so she had assumed that Sally was lying, as she often did, one distinction JM made between me and Sally, then and frequently, was that I did not tell lies.

But later and ever after, JM told me that what happened with FM was ‘six of one and half a dozen of the other’ i.e. she believed me to have flirted with FM and tried to seduce him, I remained and remain outraged, FM is ugly, he is unattractive especially with his temper and his greasy hair is horrible, I have not even consented to or wanted sex with my own boyfriends/girlfriend and I have turned men down violently/rudely when they proposition me, there would be no motive whatsoever for me to want sex with FM, and he was impotent. FM’s presence at L. church over the years and due to his tempers when I went to the rectory made belonging to the church more difficult, I continued to go to the church in town sometimes to avoid seeing FM, but that church changed hands and most of the people I got to know there left, and I was disappointed that the new and obviously talented vicar wouldn’t even shake hands and say good morning to me.

 He is still there and that church hasn’t changed much, but I wouldn’t go there now, I can’t settle with overly Charismatic churches. JM used to grumble about that church anyway and say that things that very low churches did could be damaging, I didn’t know what she meant at the time.
(now I do, because of Jersey).

Anyway, after I told JM about FM and she confronted him and he denied it, there were more big rows at the rectory, and there was a number of days of FM and JM not speaking, which happened sometimes anyway, nothing to do with me, JM said that she got ***** ***** to speak to FM, and she spoke to someone called Cynthia or Sylvia, not sure which, but she said FM respected ***** as he was a master freemason and could cope with FM, this involvement of ****** meant that I was wary of him after that, though he was always nice to me, and so was his wife  who was always smiling and who apparently frightened a rough sleeper off by leaving a fruit cake for them in the church porch.

Freemasonry was a trouble for me, my upbringing had involved clashes with ‘freemasons’, and though (my former landlord in Winchester) was a Freemason, he didn’t flaunt it, FM did, and JM said that FM did these things like joining the freemasons in order to upset her, because JM had apparently had problems with a gang of freemasons in one of her old churches.

 I was scared of freemasonry and the possible harm it could do to me and especially what FM’s involvement in it could do to harm me, but I doubt that my fears were anything more than JM and my parents’ attitudes imprinting, the masons are really just a men’s club, who have very private element probably do support each other in problems and stick together, but so can church communities, I am no longer afraid of the freemasons. But I went through a very bad patch of not liking the masons because of FM and because of what JM said and because of what I heard that the masons do to punish people who spoke up about their private activities, JM herself seemed to come to like the masons later on when ****** ***** invited her to Masonic parties.
(surprising change in attitude from her).

 Later though, JM told me of her own immoralities, she told me of how she let herself be picked up from a railway station by a man and she had a one night stand with him, he took her home telling her his marriage was over, but she found out in the morning that that was not quite the case, he was a married man, I think she said he had children, and it turned out that his wife was there when she woke up, how embarrassing!

The other thing she told me was that one day her and FM’s car broke down in the woods, FM walked to find a house phone the AA, the AA man arrived back before FM, the AA man wanted JM to masturbate him, she said that she did in order to avoid making the situation any worse, she said he was ‘more interested in what he could get for himself than what he could do to her’, I was horrified by this story and I said to her ‘you should have told the police, you left other vulnerable women in danger from abuse’, JM shrugged that off, she hadn’t even told FM about it. JM shrugs abuse off, says abusers are just victims themselves, says that abuse victims are seductive and therefore attract abuse; thankfully (my counsellor) told me that that is no excuse as the abuser is the one in charge and can choose not to abuse!

JM made me feel terrible about the abuse and told me firstly that it was six of one and half a dozen of the other, then she also made out that I had tried to get at FM to get back at her, I was horrified, I did not want what FM had been doing, I certainly did not have the ability to try and use him against her! She kept on about one time when they came in and I had a hug with FM and not JM, JM and I were not getting on, and FM was hugging me a lot, I was not being spiteful to JM and the fact she thought back then that I could or would do anything of the kind is and was horrifying.

 Back to the sheltered house .unfortunately for me, the previous resident of the flat had committed suicide and his body had not been found for some days. I was scared of moving into the flat, because back then I was scared of death, of ghosts and of anything unnatural. JM came and blessed the flat and asked Kenny’s soul to leave in peace, but I remained terrified at night, Julie helped me by knocking on the door each night and asking if I was ok, but I was scared to put the light out. I was also horrified by the support worker telling me of how she found the body, the smell of it, and how it had gone squishy.

Let's go back 9

FM talked to me, he told me that he used to be in the Samaritans with Chad Varrah, whoever he was, and that there were women at the Samaritans then called Brendas who would listen on the phone if a dirty caller phoned to masturbate on the phone, he told me that he was circumcised and that he was impotent in that if he tried to penetrate a woman he lost his erection – later when I told JM of the abuse, she said he became impotent when she started refusing him sex because of his temper tantrums, FM also told me about how he had been seduced by a teenage girl when he was a boy, and too young, and he said he wanted to help me in case I ever had a boyfriend, I told him I had had a boyfriend, and he was really interested, he wanted to know more, but I would not talk about Mark, I couldn’t because I was too hurt by the way Mark had treated me.

FM’s advances continued, he still had a temper unless he was being sweet to me, so I tried to encourage the sweetness, especially as he threatened to throw me out on the streets one day in his temper, but the sweetness from him was mingled with inappropriate, and though JM tries to make what was happening out to be me being manipulative or getting back at her for the failings in her friendship with me, I was doing nothing of the kind, I was afraid of FM and being thrown on the street, I wanted to be an adoptive daughter, I was desperate not to return to my own family or be homeless, I wanted to stay with JM because despite our differences, I loved her, I was afraid of FM and went along with what he wanted, I had no idea about controlling boundaries and no assertiveness to deal with things, I was still developing and trying to grow away from my family and the beliefs that my parents had taught me, which were holding me back, I was also being affected by the anti-depressants, and the whole situation was out of my control.

FM would get me to sit in his chair and play computer games, I liked this, I played computer games on JM’s computer, and though my inability to concentrate properly prevented me from being any good at games, I was happy playing computer games, but not FM games, he would stand behind the chair with his hands on my shoulders, then his hands started to move, at first I tried to move away, but I was afraid of his anger, so I ignored his hands, he got us to take turns at sitting in the chair and stroking, then one day when I was playing computer games he came into the office with his trousers unzipped, he said my name, but I would not look at him, he went into the corner behind the door and fiddled about, as far as I know he didn’t have an orgasm, but he zipped up and said something about how he was leaking because he was old – I actually remain too autistic and inexperienced to know what he meant exactly, but it was something to do with his penis I think. He would blow on me when I sat there, which was strange, I blowed back one day and he didn’t seem to like that so much.

He liked to sit in his chair in the front room, he would get me to sit on the floor by him, but he took to touching himself while I was sitting there, at the time I didn’t make the connection between that touching and the possibility that he wanted oral sex at all, but one day he got me to come and sit in front of him and he started stroking himself through his trousers and I said ‘No, don’t do that’, he said ‘A gentleman can touch himself’, I shook my head and went away from him.

Later the same day I had been asleep and I went downstairs and out in the garden, then I made a cup of tea but JM was out and FM was asleep and I do not know where JM’s parents were, I went upstairs but FM was not in the bedroom, the door was open, he was up in the bathroom, he had a severe nosebleed. A few days later he had another one, it was so bad that he had to go to hospital, he came back once they had stopped his nosebleed, and JM said something about him having to go to hospital without even putting his teeth in, I had not realised until then he had false teeth, and JM told me that he had done it out of impatience, because he was tired of going to the dentist so he had his teeth pulled.

That morning that FM was taken to hospital, JM went with him, so I walked the dog, JM’s infuriating dog walking companions asked where she was, I was not sure I should tell them, so I said she was busy, JM heard about this and said ‘you are so very discreet aren’t you?’ But I was puzzled by that.
But as soon as FM came back from the hospital he hugged me straight away, I was surprised, and I thought he would be in an angry upset mood, but he wasn’t.

And so the sexual indiscretion continued. JM was out often, she was indeed very very busy, her mother was not happy about me being there and took her dad with her to stay at JM’s sister’s house, this happened frequently in protest to other things, not just me. So me and FM were alone a lot, I was too dopey to go out much, and FM would come to me when JM went out, he lay on the floor with me a lot, he would lie with his head at my feet, which was odd, he told me this was how he used to lie with one of his girlfriends, it was very strange, but I liked the attention, the non-sexual attention. He was a bit strange though, he said he could see up my nose when we were lying like that, he also used to blow at me, which was very odd, but when I blew back he got kind of cross.

We lay on the floor like that in the room where I was living, we also lay on the floor on the landing and he touched me between the legs and I giggled because it tickled, he asked if I was having orgasms but I told him I was not, because I was not, the touch was ticklish but did not make me have orgasms, I was too touch sensitive and most of his touch to my back, stomach and legs also made me giggle and fidget, the touch was borderline painful really, I did not know it was the touch sensitivity that goes with being autistic, touch will always be difficult for me and I think that is one reason I have few relationships.

He implied that he wanted oral sex, and told me he would reciprocate, I asked JM what reciprocate meant, I did not want to give oral sex nor did I want him to give me oral sex, the thought of such things disgusted me.
One day FM and I were upstairs, he got me to go to him in the bedroom, he had unzipped his trousers and was playing with himself, I wasn’t interested, I don’t like men’s genitals, but he wanted me to help him, and he was insistent,  he said something about not wanting to come in his pants or trousers, I went upstairs to the bathroom with him because he said something about not wanting to come in his trousers, he was standing over the washbasin stroking himself, he got me to put my hand under his testicles,  he said ‘you’ve done this before, haven’t you?’ he got me to stroke him and he had an orgasm, then he said something about cleaning up, I went and sat on the landing and read a book about Lincoln Cathedral that had something about JM in it, I think she had written an article about herself for the book when she was deacon at the cathedral.
The things I have described above are not necessarily in the order that they happened, I am not completely clear on the order that they happened, only that they did.

JM’s parents came back from JM’s sister’s house, they  were arguing very loudly late one night, because JM’s dad was deaf so his mum had to shout, she shouted a lot anyway, she was going on about me and FM, so it had obviously been noticed that something was wrong, but she was making me out to be to blame, with her usual concrete and condemning opinion she was calling me names, she called me scheming and artful and said I was using JM, even though I was simply constantly going along with JM’s ideas including her and FM’s idea to have me living there.

JM did not hear them, but later she came out to go to the toilet as she usually did during the night, I stopped her and told her that I had overheard her parents and that I couldn’t stay there because it wasn’t fair on her among other things, I didn’t tell her about what FM had been doing, she told me to sleep and we would sort it out in the morning, but I was devastated, in the morning I went to get my suitcases from the garage, JM and I had applied to put me in a sheltered house in the village, but I said that I wasn’t staying around until I got a place there, JM’s Mum was yelling and screaming and saying it was no wonder that my parents had rejected me – which was sorely not the case, yes I believed that my mother didn’t love me, but I was neither rejected nor thrown out by my family, my biggest fear in life was being forced to return to them as my sister had been and it had made her suicidal.
JM told her mother off, and told her she was vindictive, I didn’t know that word back then, half my words came out muddled as my speech increased, and JM had been trying to help me to speak properly.

JM’s dad just alternately agreed with JM or her mum, whoever was speaking to him, JM said he was self-centred and liked an easy life and plenty of food, so during the rows he just nodded away and agreed busily with whoever was speaking, which was actually funny in a way.

The storming rows went on all day, FM and JM’s mother mainly ripping into each other while I sat on the floor and shook, when JM’s mother got a chance she ripped into me as well, but both FM and JM stopped her, JM’s sister also joined in support of her mother, I was sick a lot. JM took me and the dog for a walk and FM insisted on coming with us.

FM would not let me be alone with JM, aside from a few minutes in which JM asked me if anything had happened and I told her I was not interested in FM and was not having an affair, she said something her mother and sister being afraid that I would cry rape, whatever that meant.

JM arranged for me to go and stay in a bed and breakfast in the village, I was very relieved, deeply so, the bed and breakfast belonged to a lovely friendly couple called *** and ****, who through that bed and breakfast stay became my friends and I also became their gardener and dog walker later on  and also became friend and gardener to ****’s mother as well  and was devastated when their  marriage came to a chaotic and heartbreaking ending, the details I never knew and would not let ****’s mother tell me, but they were so lovely and they seemed to have a happy settled home there with their three sons and various cats and dogs, their bed and breakfast was a sunny bright and extremely well equipped clean homey self contained unit above their garage, I loved it there.

FM came up to see me once at the bed and breakfast and didn’t do anything very naughty, he was sent by JM and said something about me keeping the bed warm for him because he arrived when I was in bed, JM came up once and tried to help me with an infected boil I had between my chin and neck. In the meantime I had to be careful not to go to the rectory because of JM’s family, so I had to meet JM away from the rectory for dog walks, and then the placement came up at the sheltered house in the village.

 One day I went to the rectory for something and JM’s sister’s batty old dog, Tilly, rushed out and bit me, making a hole in my new jeans and scratching my leg, and then one day just after that, JM’s mum was reading a planning permission notice in the lay-by and she said hello to me and asked me what the notice meant, and my relationship with her and JM’s sister remained up and down like this throughout, but I think they seemed relieved that the dog incident hadn’t been more serious and that I hadn’t complained, the dog was always snapping because it was old and in a bad way, but it had been JM’s sister’s husband’s dog and he was dead so she wanted to hold onto the dog.
JM's sister and Mum never understood me, although I also did some gardening for the sister at one point.

Lets go back, part 8

One Sunday after church a woman approached me and said ‘Hi’ with a big friendly smile, JM had taught me to look at people and I could see a big friendly grin on this woman’s face, lots of people said hi and hello to me but I knew few names and I struggled to respond at all, but I knew that smiles meant friendliness, and this woman with delight and friendliness in her voice said to me ‘would you like to come to us for lunch? We are eating in the garden.’

This woman and her husband took me home, I was so very very nervous that my nose was running, they chatted away, seeming to realise that I could not say much, the woman did most of the talking while her husband listened and agreed with her and so did I, I actually had no idea who I was having lunch with, only that they were delightful and so was their garden, after a nice lunch they took me round the garden, teaching me plant names, and then we did the crossword, my first telegraph crossword, and I was hopeless at it back then.

Later I described that couple to JM and asked who I had lunch with, she said ‘That is A and R.’.  JM then said that she when she arrived in L. she had never thought she would have the (interesting surname) in her congregation, she became helpless with laughter as she said this, and so I did too, even though to this day I am not sure what the joke is. I am crying as I write this, the memory of that beautiful day and the start of my friendship with A. and R.

JM had to dismiss A. as benefice administrator shortly after that, she felt bad about it but A. was too busy with too many areas of her life to get all the administration done, then JM employed R.P. as benefice administrator, and after a while R. P. had an affair with a a girl who worked at Old Alresford Place, the headquarters of the Diocese of Winchester! and went off with her, so he was no longer benefice administrator.

 R’s wife  was left behind and got a horrible cancer and died, but JM ‘forgave’ R. and hugged him still, it’s funny how everyone else can do as they please and be forgiven and hugged, and I am outcast, abused in the church and, condemned and ostracised by the church and the diocese, when I have tried to behave morally! Again, being vulnerable and abused and angry is classified as much much worse than sexual immorality by anyone in the employ of the diocese of Winchester!

When R. left there was competition for the Benefice administrator post, FM applied and was angry that JM didn’t support his application as he did a lot of paperwork for the benefice anyway and was on the deanery synod, diocesan synod, even the general synod if he wanted – think about that and think about me putting a complaint to the diocese about this man who was in these positions, who was  a freemason supported by freemasons in the church, who was a magistrate, who was a part of Lou Scott-Joynt’s club, I didn’t have a hope in hell of having my complaint dealt with properly in the end with FM and the abuser in Jersey both well backed up and the parties in Jersey and L. working together to condemn me!

But in the case of the Benefice administrator job, FM failed to get it and was angry and refused to help with paperwork for JM and sulked long and deep, another member of church got the job and I think it was because of shingles she had to stop? And two other women took over and shared the job. I remember shyly bowling into the benefice office with a parcel of goods I had put together for the nightshelter for Christmas, ironically enough I also spent some spare time helping with street collections for the Trinity Centre!
( I didn't know, all those years ago, that I was going to be forced to use those services myself because of the same Diocese of Winchester). (And be further harmed by the Diocese of Winchester through them. 13/08/2015)

Back to the story: Things at JM’s house were not good, it is really hard to actually write things like this in sequence and explain it as it happened because I am trying to describe everything to you at once, and I keep remembering things and adding them in.

FM, as I explained, had suddenly softened to me and hugged me and then let JM move me in, he was a very jealous man and protective of JM, just as her mother was, but to extremes, he was known to lose his temper with people who turned up for help on JM’s day off, and to shout at people who came to the door, for which JM slated him if she found out, he also fell out with men in church over church matters and FM being unreasonable, but he was sweet and gentlemanly with most of the ladies, talking to them in a soft well-bred voice, as if he had swallowed chalk.

FM became involved in my life, JM had told me while I was in the bed and breakfast that she wanted to be like an adoptive mother to me, so I sometimes called her ‘Mammy’ or even ‘Parental unit’ –which made her laugh, and FM asked if he was a parental unit too? And JM and I were surprised. FM hurt and hated his own daughter, to the point of alienating her and leaving her in a psychiatric unit a lot of the time, JM used to try to look after FM’s daughter, until she had to choose between the daughter and FM because FM was being alienated by JM’s care of the daughter, so JM abandoned the daughter, unfortunately for me I was the spitting image of FM’s daughter (Sally), and this may well have caused some of FM’s reactions to me and definitely caused some of JM’s reactions.

JM made many references to Sally and me; I will go into this in more detail later as I need to go back to explaining about FM.

FM started to call me to him as I went past his study to go to my room, he told me he was ‘starved’, I was puzzled, he told me he was ‘starved of affection’, and he reached out to hug me, he told me that if JM was my mum, then he was my dad, he sat at his computer and hugged me, he got me to play games on the computer, he took me to the top of the stairs and sat me on his lap, JM’s dad came up the stairs and said ‘No!’ and I think he told JM and she told him not to, I had not thought anything about it, just that JM was a good person who loved God and FM was a church person and loved JM and so he must be a good person. But FM was never my Dad, or adoptive dad, and I remained fearful of him.

But things progressed, my friendship with JM was deeply strained and FM was taking advantage of this to comfort and cuddle me, JM got me to go into her office and tell her about my brother abusing me, after that, FM who had been listening outside the door got me to go and sit by his chair and tell him as well, ‘Poor kid’ he said softly, sympathetically. He liked to get me to sit by his chair after that, but I gather that JM got me to tell her because she really didn’t understand me and was wondering if I was a psychopath, I don’t think it helped that I couldn’t verbalise the abuse any more than I could verbalise anything, Great.

FM told JM that he wanted to buy me a skirt, JM told him that she doubted I could cope with men’s reactions if I went around in a skirt, and I did not want a skirt either, FM used to look at me as I walked upstairs to my room when he was sitting in his office at the bottom of the stairs, and this embarrassed me, I was not going to walk up those stairs in a skirt!

FM started standing on the landing outside my door, this was not great, the room had a window that faced onto the landing window so if I did not shut the curtains then he would be able to see me as he stood there when I was changing, the curtains had gaps even when they were closed and also when I was in the bathroom there was a gap between the bathroom door and the wall and if you looked through this gap you would have been able to see someone having a wash at the washbasin, this part of the abuse is part where I cannot actually prove his motive or justify what I am saying, but I know that he would stand on the landing and that he did actually come into my room without knocking one day when I was changing, and that I was uncomfortable with this. He took me out on day trips during the abuse, telling JM that I needed days out and it would help me, I had only ever had a few days out, and that was when I was living in Winchester with my landlady and her husband, and I was starting to have days out with Youth Group as well.

one day trip with FM in the beginning was to Marwell Zoo, I was really excited as I had never been to a zoo, as we were walking FM said to me ‘I can never allow anything sexual to happen between us, for JM’s sake’ I was amazed, I thought he was really eccentric, I told him that he was married and of course nothing would happen, but he kept hugging me, and when we went into the tropical house where the little crocodile was he hugged me and kissed me on the lips, I was bemused, I told him I wanted to kidnap the crocodile and bring it home. We went to the gift shop and got a big toy spider that looked real, we took it home to frighten JM with because she was terrified of spiders, we put it on the phone unit while JM was wandering round the house talking on the cordless phone, and she nearly screamed out loud when she saw it, only she was still on the phone so she stopped herself from screaming.

The next day trip was to Basingstoke, to the Milestones Museum, which bored me back then, and I was scared of the crowds and being enclosed, then we went bowling afterwards, FM was good at bowling as he used to do lawn bowls, I was hit and miss, on the way back he pulled over into a car park in Micheldever woods and he wanted me to give him oral sex and said he would reciprocate, I did not want to, so I put my thumb in my mouth and ignored him, I was a bit frightened, but he just got cross, not mad angry, and drove us home, he said that when I put my thumb in I was like a child and he couldn’t make love to a child, later he said to me ‘am I being too sexy?’ I answered ‘yes’ though I thought he would go mad, but he didn’t, he just backed off a bit for a while.

Let's go back, part 7

JM was funny, I remember her saying she was going to paint her toenails for her day off, I was equally funny because I told her that my mum and dad had told me it was vain for people to point their nails or wear makeup or anything along those lines, because people should just keep themselves clean and not be vain. JM explained it was not vain, and so I continued to try clear nail varnish and lip gloss, but thankfully I was allergic to other makeup. JM paints her toenails but cannot paint her fingernails because she has ruined them with chewing.

Shaun, Shaun the Monk was JM’s friend, JM told me how FM used to get angry with her because she used to stay up till the early hours of the morning with Shaun, getting drunk, JM and Shaun loved each other, but they didn’t marry, JM said she felt she had to marry FM in order to not leave him alone when she moved away, I think that was her move from Lincoln to a rural parish.

While I was friends with JM, Shaun, who I met, was no longer a monk and married someone else, JM made no secret of being broken-hearted, and said she had hoped Shaun would wait for her, because she also made no secret to me that FM’s heart bypass work will not last forever and that she felt she had to marry him to look after him and she thought when she married him that she could tame his temper that broke up his first marriage and ‘make him better’ by force and love, as she tried to with me, she blamed FM’s terrible childhood for his temper. Anyway, JM was extremely critical of Shaun’s new wife, and I think FM was relieved Shaun had married, he knew about JM’s love for Shaun; JM said that FM had said something about Shaun not stepping into his shoes while he was still in them.

When FM and JM had really bad fall outs, JM would go to Bishop Trevor for help, she said Wolvsely were not very sympathetic. And one time things got so bad that FM went to the council to see the housing officer about being rehoused away from JM, but I don’t think he wanted to lose his comfortable life at the Rectory, and JM’s mother was saying ‘Good, go!’, so JM said nothing and FM changed his mind and stayed. This was not related to FM sexually interfering with me; this was a few years later on and was just one of many of their rows. I think it may have been the row after they did the marriage course at ********’s house.

Regarding the unwanted sexual advances I did continue to be troubled by that and told JM at one point that I had wondered about reporting it, though for her sake I didn’t, she immediately told me that no-one would believe me anyway, and that it would be my word against FM’s, I was not keen to report him and cause JM any sort of distress, but it did come out in my distress in conversations with S. when ******* ****** was arrested, and with conversations with the hypochondriacs and with M.F who was supposedly confidential. And finally in Jersey when I realised I had to let Jane Fisher know about it when JM was involving herself in the matter in Jersey to my detriment.

(The above was a detour, we haven't got that far)

After my Christmas in the bed and breakfast, I was at JM’s house in her study and FM came in and said to JM, ‘why don’t we have ****** to stay here in the little bedroom upstairs, we could get the money to pay for her from the housing department’, Apparently JM had told him how much it was costing the council to keep me in the mad shabby bed and breakfast, and he said about costs and how it would save the council money, JM said she had been wanting me to come and live with them, and she had been waiting for FM to come round to the idea.

She came and collected me and my mad jumble of possessions from the bed and breakfast, she was humming ‘here comes the sun’ as if it was all a great happy day, she said it was only temporary until I could get a permanent home from the council.
JM’s mother would sit at the breakfast table every morning with the newspaper and make adamant concrete and often, in my opinion, incorrect judgements on pretty much every article in the newspaper, then she would move on to doing the same about members of JM’s congregation, or the family, JM would join in, in a much milder way, and not always agreeing with her mother, but equally concrete and judgemental, and again it was her opinion, but her mother always had the last word, even if she had to shout it, which sometimes set FM off as well, JM’s dad sat there nodding, muttering quietly and graciously agreeing with everyone, he was very deaf.

The anti-depressants were making me sleepy and withdrawn, I kept putting myself to bed and JM kept coming in worried and bearing cups of tea, I did not really know that it was the anti-depressants, I just told her I didn’t feel like going out much, and she said that that was because I was in a home for the first time.

 Me and JM weren’t getting on well, I resented the way she was presenting me to people and talking about me, I resented the way she had taken me from college and taken over my life, and I just found her bustle and bossiness too much when my head was singing and dizzy from the anti-depressants and I felt sleepy, sluggish and sick all the time, JM with her opinions and FM with his unpredictability and me trying to keep FM nice by being obedient and smiling at him was too much for me, sometimes he would bark orders at me as if I was the dog, I was in my room and could hear JM talking to her counselling supervisor on the phone in the room below, she said she was climbing the walls about having me there when I was like a four year old and she was climbing the walls about something else not to do with me, I didn’t understand what she was talking about, I told JM I heard her saying that and it hurt me, she said why was I listening to her conversation, I told her she was talking at the top of her voice and I was only in  my room above her office. Anyway, she could not be my counsellor and have me living there could she?

It was a difficult time, and not just for me, people seem to think that I think everything is just about me, but despite being autistic, I hate to upset people or see them stressed, I do not mean to be the way I am, JM was stressed, not just about me, she lived in a permanent state of stress, she chewed her and bit her nails until they were a very serious mess, and she had been doing that for many years, it was not my doing, her nails and fingers were monstrously  misshapen and bumpy and bleeding and ragged from where she had chewed down to the quick, she had frequent headaches and sore throats and stomach problems from stress, and part of this seemed to be that she needed to do things ‘perfectly’, she had to personally do things rather than trusting the lay preachers or PCC members to do things, and when I asked her why she had to be perfect like this she said something about me being too astute and said it was because she worked for God and He was perfect so she had to try to be.

Even the confused autistic disturbed me knew that that didn’t sound right.  It got to a point where JM was very very short staffed because Tim left to go to Cornwall, and this was before all the new priests and readers came in, and JM was having a terrible time trying to keep the services running at all three churches, as it was only three then, and FM was kicking up a terrible fuss and saying thing about the diocese and how they should have been helping JM. Anyway this was all a bit later on. I remember turning up to dog walk for JM and being asked to come back later as ***** and some others were trying to lay hands on her and pray for her depression and stress.

After a while at JM’s house, she sent me to a place in Dorset called Pilsdon Manor, which was a ‘Christian Community’,  I was to go there on a three-day trial, unfortunately the people who ran the place were away over that three days and only came back on the day I left, and no one else seemed to know what to do with me, they gave me a soft boiled egg with toast for my breakfast but I had never had a soft boiled egg in an egg cup before and had no idea what to do with it and so made a mess of it, I ended up involving myself in shifting barrowloads of stones for a construction project, apart from that I was ghost, no one explained to me about going to chapel, no one explained anything really.

 The other woman who arrived at the same time as me was loud and overconfident, telling everyone about her divorce in great detail, and apart from a disturbed young man called Mark who had found a haven there and a lovely tree surgeon called Rupert, who had had a breakdown, I was alone and a ghost, lost, by the time the leaders of the community came back I was stressed and unhappy and worried about getting my period as I had no sanitary towels and there was no shop nearby, they asked me to stay longer to get to know me, I said no, because I couldn’t ask them for sanitary towels, that afternoon as I waited around invisible I walked away from the community and started walking, JM found me a few miles away and took me back to L. I had spent three anxious days wondering if I would remain an abandoned ghost in this place.

JM’s Mum openly resented me once I returned, she thought I was extra work for JM on top of her already too heavy workload, which is true, but JM and FM were the ones who had created this situation and arranged with the council to get money to keep me there – (though I have no doubt whatsoever that it was not money that motivated either of them, don’t misunderstand me, it was a commitment by them for different reasons, and I was vulnerable, I did not force myself on them, they decided, and in FM’s case it was for wrong reasons).

 JM’s mother really worried about her and cursed the diocese for overloading JM with work. But JM’s mum called me names, which was not nice, and JM told her off. I was helpless, it was JM who had insisted on taking over my life and JM and FM who had brought me home, I could not have gone to live at Pilsdon, apart from anything they were not  just a Christian community, they were a business who charged huge rents per week for each client, and they expected the client to pay a substantial share of that with the rest coming from housing benefit, I certainly had no money to pay them, and I couldn’t even imagine JM plucking this money from somewhere either.