I continued to struggle with finances and so as well as the gardening and the part time school job which was only a few hours, as well as the freelance work which I didn’t charge much for after my earlier mistake, I got a delivery driver job for a takeaway in my old town, this job through its course brought me great joy and helped my communication skills, I also worked for Homebase in their Garden Centre, and I started a Kleeneze round. My boss at the big house nagged me about being slow and told me I needed to learn to cook and eat properly, and as she was correct, I got myself a slow cooker and cooked stews while I was out at work, someone gave me a bread maker and so bread and stew started to happen and I felt a bit better.
I wasn’t paid by the big house, I worked in return for the cottage, and if anything is a drag, working in order to keep a massive derelict cottage running is, especially if you have many problems and little help.
I broke up with G. during my time at this cottage, we had got on so well and he had been and stayed over at the cottage with me, in my spare room, he and I behaved ourselves when alone in the cottage, there was no lovemaking, we wrestled as we sometimes did, had pillow fights wearing pyjamas, and talked a lot, I do not know if G. would have been capable of making love, and I certainly didn’t try to find out, nor did he, JM really really hurt and infuriated me in her making me out to be a nymphomaniac, I didn’t even sleep with my own boyfriend in my own home!
I cannot come to terms with sex outside of marriage, I do not care that people call me old fashioned or a prude, who are they to judge when Jesus believed in marriage?
Anyway, G. was good company and dug my front garden, but he was actually scared of being away from home, he was a simple gentle soul, our relationship was about love and company, and that is all I would ever want, I am simply not able to have a sexual relationship, I feel ashamed of that compared to my brothers and sisters who overrode my parents’ teachings on immorality and I cannot, but that is how it is, a mixture of ethics and being too hurt or autistic to cope with the physical side of things.
Anyway, G. and my relationship ended when things got difficult after he lost his job, he started to hang around with a wild bunch of teenagers who were either playing truant or avoiding doing any sort of work, these teenagers were not too nice to me, and they managed to get my phone number from G. and because he had told them that I did air rifle pest control on the estate, they kept phoning me and screaming ‘bunny murderer’ and ‘murderer’ at me, and similar and just ringing and ringing and laughing at me , and I started getting pornography and porn catalogues sent to me through the post, I have no proof that this was them but it certainly was their style, I cannot imagine what got into G. to hang out with these tykes, he was a gentle innocent caring lad who looked after an old blind neighbour of his, they were thieves, troublemakers, vandals; G. could have made much better friends than them. But I guess he was vulnerable.
After my breakup with G. I remained single until my relationship with ***** in Jersey 5 years or so years late; decent single men who don’t prioritise sex are very scarce.
God never sent me the husband I prayed for and that my parents prayed for for me, instead I have been condemned by the church for being single and vulnerable, and I know now that I will never have a husband or raise children, I will never be anything but ruined and homeless. And my autism means the sensory disturbances that children cause me mean I could never be a mother.
It was heartbreaking to realise all this, when I was in Jersey, when the churchwarden and his church magnified my condition and made it out to be very bad, that was when I lost my dreams of marrying and having ab home.
Problems with extra work, the garden centre was tricky place to work because my customer skills were not good, my interaction with the general public remained poor, and the woman who I worked with in the garden centre was very quick tempered and irritable, the men would hide from her when she lost her temper, one good thing about homebase was that they had a lot of waste plants that were redeemable but not fit for sale to the general public, so my boss would let me have them cheap or free and I would take them home for the lady’s charity plant stall or for my cottage garden or for cuttings.
I do wonder if the sparky woman at homebase got wires crossed at one point and thought I was stealing the plants as it was the big boss who arranged for me to have the old plants, anyway I was there for some months but could not work with that sparky lady, her husband and daughter worked there too and they were nice, but it was a pressurised workplace and the management were messing me about with pay so I got into arrears on some bills, and I also had things stolen from me there so I was relieved to leave. My friend’s grandson worked for Homebase on nightshift, he also had things stolen, and my friend told me the iPod she got him was stolen there.
My delivery driving lasted for a few years and was generally wonderful, yes it was stressful and sometimes I had awkward customers and it was a bit of a drive to get there, but I have happy memories, and sometimes since I left they asked me to go back, I guess I was lucky and fell into a good team there and fell in love with them.
Often I would start my shift with almost no fuel in the car, but I would get tips or use money I collected to get petrol and so I was ok, I also got free or cheap food, and started putting on weight, there were a number of very heavy people working there, and some delightful Polish people who couldn’t pronounce my name so they called me *****, and I was going to deed poll my name to that, but it never happened.
It hadn’t at the time of writing this, a few names ago.
Among the Team I met a gentle Rottweiler of a man who had been converted to Catholicism when in prison for GBH, a bunch of lively sparky youngsters including twins who used each other’s names when answering the phone to customers, a clown who I used to trade jokes with, who said to me one day ‘Let’s go and make babies!’ ‘ok’, I replied,’ let me just deliver this Pizza to ******!’ He had a girlfriend or two so he was only joking. Working there was often a laugh riot, sometimes people got upset, had rows, but usually it was a stream of jokes and teasing and having fun, it did me good. It helped to develop my sense of humour.
And a lovely girl called Laura came to work with us. let me tell you a sad story about Laura: Laura was very gentle and friendly and non-threatening and we used to stand outside and chat, everyone had a laugh one day when I put a delivery box full of pizza on my car roof and nearly drove off with it there because I had been chatting and forgotten it!
I was thinking of leaving the job at one point because of the pressures on me, I decided not to leave, and Laura came and gave me a hug and said she was glad I was staying.
I had a special spot in the cul-de-sac where I tried to park when I was in the shop, one night the shift was quiet and those of us who worked during the day as well were given priority to be clocked off, so I was clocked off.
Laura came in and stayed on and was parked in my space in her little green car which was remarkably similar to mine, just after I had gone home a delivery driver from the neighbouring Takeaway came speeding out of their back yard, as he often did, but even faster this time, lost control and smashed into Laura’s car, Laura was seriously injured, brain damaged, when my bosses came rushing out at the sound of the crash, they thought it was me, me and Laura were not dissimilar and our cars were the same and trapped in the wreckage unconscious they thought she was me and were shouting out my name, I knew nothing of this until the next day, but that could have, should have been me in that car, Laura was in hospital for some time and had to be kept sedated because of the trauma, and I don’t think she made a full recovery, she never came back to work, I have not thought of this for years, but now I cry to remember it.
I made contact with my family again, went to meet up with some of them and my relatives for a special service in honour of my Grandma, we gave her a headstone at last and then had a party. My parents weren’t there so there were no rows.
There had been no money for a headstone when she died in 1995.