That moment in your life when you have lost all hope in finding the partner you only fantasize about when suddenly as if out of nowhere they appear.
He appeared to me as a tall, dark, handsome and charismatic man who seemed to have his shit together. Full of fun and never stopped laughing. The first few dates were amazing and he seemed to be exactly what I had been waiting for my entire life.
You know that feeling when all of a sudden you go from single to a fully fledged relationship. It is like the world stops moving for a second and you are in some sort of dream world.
Within this dream world the first few weeks move super fast, faster than you could ever imagine, the dreams you long for are promised to you whole heartedly whilst the person stares into your eyes and say they would never hurt you and will give you everything you ever want from a relationship.
The speed of the relationship moves rapidly and things that don't usually happen until further down the line start to be spoken about early on. Your head is on cloud nine and you really believe you've hit the relationship jack pot at last! You justify it by being a little older and that thought "No point in waiting at our age, we both know what we want, let's just go for it" is voiced.
For me the man was suggesting living together and having children and told me he loved me by about date 3-4, I had longed for this for so long that I went with it and wasn't aware at that point of any "red flags"
The weeks turn into months, and you gradually realise that this momentous whirl wind romance wasn't actually all it cracked up to be. Only to be awoken several months later emotionally bruised and your self esteem at the lowest. Before I even knew such terminology existed I now realise I had been "Love Bombed".
When we had first started dating he always seemed to have a drink. Dates always involved having an alcoholic drink, whether it be for a meal or a bar, the cinema. It never crossed my mind that the drink might actually be a problem. As many people drink socially especially on dates.
At first he was funny when he had a drink but I started to notice that his behaviour, words and actions all started to change somewhat the further into the relationship I went.
He started to become very erratic after having a drink until one day he broke down into tears and spoke of his past and the trauma of loosing both parents only a couple of years ago. His mother of cancer and his father of a massive stroke.
He soon disclosed that he drank to numb the pain. At one very low point he actually admitted he had an issue with drink, something he rarely admitted. He said that he couldn't handle the grief and the emotions it caused within him. At this point my heart sank for him and I felt the urge to protect this man, who seemed to be so kind and loving to me but driven to drink by grief. Perhaps we could get through this together?
Over the following and very short lived months of this turbulent relationship, I soon began to learn that it was impossible to be in a relationship with a functioning alcoholic. For the only real relationship he wanted was with a pint of lager.
What I mean by functioning alcoholic, is that he drank about 10 cans of lager once he finished work. He might finish work at 3pm and he would sink his first pint in the local pub, usually without any one actually knowing that he was there. He would skip meals and make excuses not to drive so that he could drink. Inevitably being extremely drunk and pass out by 8pm. Weekends I dread to think how much he actually drank. What I am certain of is that he would on average drink 3 pints to every usual man's 1. One saving grace is that he did attempt to only stick to lager as he and I both witnessed on a couple of occasions how mixing lager with wine or spirits turned him into an even worse abusive drunk.
His behaviour altered a lot. If we were out he would cause nothing but drama and react loudly and inappropriately and be centre of attention. It was extremely embarrassing and I frequently had stares of sympathy and "control your man" by public on lookers. If he didn't get his way, he would kick off and make a scene like a child having a tantrum in a shop when told he couldn't have any sweets or the latest toy.
He would frequently throw and slam things about sulking, blowing hot and cold and walking off.
At one point he decided that he would reduce and stop his intake and I supported him with this, but at that point it was very early days and I don't think at that point I knew how badly not drinking would effect him. His abstinence did not last long.
I have many examples of nights out that were ruined because of his drunken behaviour. He would verbally abuse me and one of the most common things he would shout on repeat like listening to a broken record player were the words; "F*****g boring you are, you're F*****g boring. I don't love you, you're f*****g boring".
One evening, I had misplaced his bank card, which he had given to me to put in my handbag for safe keeping, as he would loose countless wallets. I was genuinely sorry and desperately trying to look in my handbag to find it but he was shouting abuse at me, making a scene and eventually launched my handbag and contents across the floor in the street and that is the shortened edited version.The next day he couldn't remember a thing and the bank card was in a zipped compartment of my handbag, but he had flustered me so much I obviously didn't see it. I rarely got an apology, it was like I should know and accept his drunken antics. "You know what I'm like when I'm drunk" was his usual mitigating statement.
We went to restaurants but if he had to wait, he would walk out mid way through, he would leave me and get out of a taxi on the way home just to get to another pub. He was vile. Yet once he woke up he could barely remember anything that had occurred.
I celebrated New Years Eve sat alone crying in our room before midnight because he had threatened to knock an old man out following falling over a sofa and knocking glasses everywhere in a lovely country Coltswold pub. He was passed out on top of the bed sheets horizontal, so I couldn't even get in. We had been asked to leave by the bar tender. That all too familiar look from people giving me sympathy of having to deal with an absolute dickhead.
If I wasn't available to him, like if I was at home doing something and he called and he was drunk he would blow hot and cold. He would demand I go up there, which was a 45 - 50 minute drive from my home) and say that I didn't love him if I didn't go. He would say I was boring and start to cry often. The times when I did go by the time I got up there he was even more drunk and then would pass out. He made me feel like a piece of shit. He would consistently end the relationship by text and then video call or text later on or the next day or 2 saying he loved me etc.
He never wanted sex with me and blamed it on the booze or just not in the mood. Our relationship was no longer intimate.
I was forever in limbo. Unsure if he was going to love me or not love me that day.
So the million dollar question most people ask is why didn't I leave? Well, when he was sober or had only had a couple of drinks, he was actually a very caring thoughtful kind man. Hard to believe I know, but that is why I stayed. I could see the demon inside him that was the grief he was suffering from loosing his parents. On occasion he would say he needed help and I offered my heart and soul to him. I would listen to the sadness in his voice. I put up with the emotional abuse because I cared.
It came to a head following a weekend away when yet again he had drank way too much. What was supposed to be a romantic weekend turned out to be a living nightmare. He had drank too much and we hadn't eaten. I suggested that we get something to eat but wasn't much availability as it was getting late in a little village. We eventually found a bar that sold pizza, yet again another bar. He said I was being moody (I wonder why putting up with his alcoholic antics and comments, which he forgets about) I sat and was eating the pizza I actually didn't really want and he went on to say yet again "You're boring, I don't love you anymore"
Now don't get me wrong I enjoy a drink from time to time and yes indeed can too get drunk but there is a time and place. I am also not a nasty drunk. This weekend was supposed to be about hiking, climbing mountains and enjoying the sea air". The night before our weekend, instead of getting the early night we had discussed because we wanted an early start, he decided we would go for a meal and a drink. But he could never just have one drink. By the time i had arrived with my weekend luggage he was drunk. Once out he kicked off being drunk and left me alone to walk home without even having a key to the house to get in.
So that night right or wrongley of me I'd had enough. Following the last nasty comment I decided to go back to the room. He followed me calling me boring and unloveable all the way through the hotel to our room. Once in the room I retaliated and shouted back, I had suppressed this hurt and anger from the first couple of weeks into our relationship. He started to record me on his phone which just fueled my fire. Eventually I could not take any more and I knocked his phone from his hand and slapped him twice. I do not condone any form of physical abuse but I also do not condone any form of verbal and emotional abuse either. I had been subjected to verbal and emotional abuse for long enough and by slapping him it was in fact the only time he shut up. Things got considerably worse that evening and he disappeared for hours eventually coming back to the room in the early hours paralytic, he had ht the spirits as well as the lager, someone had to escort him back to the room. Prior to that he had come up and banged around shouting that yet again I was boring because I wouldn't go back down to the bar for a drink.
From that moment on I was the bad guy. He spoke to me like I had knocked the living daylights out of him every night for years. I slapped him twice. Not exactly my finest moment but I literally couldn't take anymore. It was through pure verbal and emotional abuse that I eventually snapped.
Needless to say that our relationship didn't last too much longer after that. He went on to become even more abusive and mean. He constantly blew hot and cold and made me feel like the devil for slapping him. The words that came out of his mouth were pure hatred and putting me down and destroying my self esteem inch by inch but by some how blaming me for being the unhinged person? He made me feel like I was a bad person and was mean and nasty.
Finally when we broke up after weeks of nasty messages I spoke with both his sisters who were actually disgusted with what he had put me through. They bought me flowers and chocolates and offered me their shoulder for my tears. In fact the one sister said "I'd have given him more than a bloody slap". Of course they are his flesh and blood and I sadly cut ties with them both following the split to enable me to move forward.
One sister sat with me for hours telling me of their childhood and how his dad was an alcoholic, (the sisters had different dads) and how badly that he treated their mum. She told me of how the parents had died and the guilt they had all felt and how my ex used to be a spoilt child.
All of it made sense and listening to the untold story that I had never heard from my ex made me realise why I did stay and put up with his bad behaviour. He was a lost soul and deeply grieving for his parents. He had this demon inside him but the alcohol would always win. What I learnt is that you will always be second fiddle to alcohol and you can not reason with a very drunk alcoholic and I was never going to come first, not unless he sought professional help and made some changes. But I am unsure if he was ready to make those changes.
What I did realise though was that despite the hurt and trauma he had and was suffering didn't give him the right to treat me badly. I noticed that he would blame everyone for his actions. He would blame me, his sisters, his friends (although he only had 2 friends) he would even blame his deceased parents. One thing I know is that no matter how bad you suffer, it does not give you the right to make someone else suffer too. For example, one of my closest friends mothers had passed away with cancer, but she didn't go around getting pissed and verbally and emotionally abusing me.
Should I have slapped him? Definitely not. Should he have emotionally and verbally abused me? Definitely not. This whirl wind love bomb, promised me the world and more in such a short space of time. I believed him. Did he want it? Perhaps deep inside. Was he able to do it?...Never.
Since we split he moved on to the next girl and from what I hear is now living with the one night stand he had a week after our break up. Perhaps he has now made changes and isn't drinking to excess anymore or perhaps my heart has to go out to his next love bomb victim. Functioning alcoholics don't change over night and I certainly know that he wont. I feel sorry for this new girl, or perhaps they both drink to excess and have a volatile relationship?
I am glad that it never worked out with me and that I have well and truly moved on. God forbid if I ever find myself being love bombed again.
If a man wants to give me the world in such a short amount of time and deep inside he has issues. I am not the one to try and save him and give him the attention he wants and needs. For he needs to sort out his own loss and demons. He needs to rescue himself before promising me a thing. I am better off with out the heartache.