Let me give you examples of what you ordinary and settled people might thing is just my whingeing about Jill and George’s conversation:
Every single conversation contained references to the Channel Islands, George’s heritage of being a Guernsey man, everyone had to be told of this and Island life and the journeys to and from the islands and the holidays that Jill and George and their family had there all the time, everyone needed to know about the White House hotel on herm and how the family spent their luxury days there, everyone needed the details, and then it was the grandchildren. Their piano lessons, dance lessons, how they were going to have parts in a film, how they went to private school, how they had luxuries beyond my imagining, while there I was struggling and struggling to make ends meet, while I had never done a dance step in my life and I would have given my right arm to have piano lessons, and then we had to hear about the grades they got in their music exams, the skiing in Switzerland, the…
In return for living with them, Jill wanted me to garden for them, and I was more than willing to do this, but I was very unselfconfident in their garden, and didn’t want to take it over and was it was such a pretty, neat garden, just like the house, that I was unsure of myself and Jill got cross with me for what she considered me not doing enough, she was like this with George on cross days, telling him he shouldn’t be at the computer all the time and he should do some manual work around the place, but I was dreadfully ashamed, I was mortified, and I insisted on taking over the watering from George after that, so that I was ‘paying my rent’, I couldn’t find anywhere else to live, and accepted Jill’s offer of me staying there until October.
Though I did spend a week or so house sitting and cat sitting for Marion and Peter, a church couple who were highly involved in the church and who I liked. Jill wanted me around but grumbled that it meant she didn’t have enough time to herself, in the same way when she invited me for the Christmas holidays I again felt guilty because she told me that ‘she could have a had a grandson to stay if I had not been there’, this is the problem with our relationship, it was all backwards because I only did as they asked or said, within my ability, but I got guilt tripped for it frequently.
Jill had learned to hug me by taking my hands in hers, just as Ted did in the days before he hugged me, and then she progressed to carefully hugging me, but I would tense up, she persevered and got me to relax into a hug sometimes, she used to tell me as she hugged me ‘just let go’ meaning ‘relax’, but it confused my autistic brain a lot.
George didn’t hug me until when I was at college. I was anxious with George because sometimes I wasn’t sure if what he said was literal or a joke sometimes, and sometimes he was mock scary. But he waited to be able to hug me, he waited until I could let him, and he behaved impeccably, for which I respect him.
I remember at Christmas how I wandered downstairs in my dressing gown on Christmas morning and George appeared and wanted a Christmas hug, I blushed and said ‘I’m not dressed’, he said ‘never mind that’, he wanted a Christmas hug because it was Christmas, not because he wanted to be naughty, the only time he ever even said anything naughty was about another lady in the village and he was joking and Jill slapped him, he even told the pigeons in the garden to stop mating while we were having supper, (he told them it was a family meal).
He was impeccably well behaved and devoted to Jill, but the horrifying thing was that my relationship with George and Jill was used against me in Jersey lumped together with my statements of FM and the churchwarden abusing me as if I had accused George and Jill of abuse, which I didn’t, and once my relationship with them was over for the final time it was forgiven and forgotten, without the conclusion they were asked for.
One of the other things in my sad and chaotic relationship was that Jill knew I had had a difficult past, and if I had a flashback occasionally, she started to make me sit down and talk about my past, even though I could not verbalise it, she would keep this up and I would sit in silence, but I got autistically used to being sat down and sitting there struggling, and then without telling me she changed her mind, and later I got told off when there was a rare confrontation about the problems we were having, the thing was that they would not communicate about changes or boundaries, even if I specifically asked them to sit and talk it through, until almost the end of the relationship, I never meant to upset Jill, I went along with her attempts to get me to talk, and when they decided it was a bad idea, they should have told me.
I wish with all my heart that I knew the sad thing I know now, I have attachment disorder and could not and cannot cope with intense closeness and help.
Another problem we had was that they let me watch my Buffy videos at their house, they encouraged me to unwind with my videos, and then after months of this and watching my videos when I came back for the weekends, Jill said I was not to watch my videos, she said they were bad, evil even, I asked why my videos were suddenly evil, I told her they were not, they were about fighting evil and fighting personal demons and bouncing back and having a sense of humour even when things are grim beyond anything, I explained that the videos had helped me to recover from some of my really bad fears and phobias, but she was adamant, and I asked why her and George watching Andrew Lloyd Webber ogling young girls in ‘who wants to be a trollop called Maria?’ was not evil? That show reminded me of a slave market, and what is good about an old man checking out a host of young girls and pretending it is an audition? And on television? She and George watched all kinds of odd things, she and George were never in the room when I was watching my videos and she had encouraged me to watch them, then after months and months she banned them, but would not talk through other problems we had.
They used to go on about their young grandchildren watching a crass show called ‘Saturday Night takeaway’ and yet they called my videos evil after so long of encouraging me to watch them.
My counsellor said that sometimes people with problems would try and ‘cure’ other people and be disappointed when the cure wasn’t magical and overnight, I wasn’t curable, and the emotionally distressed and difficult to communicate relationship with George and Jill plus the nasty antidepressants was not a miracle cure, but I have been told by the Dean of Jersey that I am wicked for all of this, that I am to blame, and that I am the problem.
Why am I condemned for a forgiven and finished relationship, and why was the Dean given leeway to call me wicked for this? And where does it say in Jesus’ teaching that this is how to treat someone? I have never stopped feeling sorrowful for this disaster, but I did not deliberately or maliciously cause any of this.
At church I got to really enjoy Jill and George’s church and liked the church so much that I became more part of that church than L. church especially as the paedophile case going on at L. had scarred and traumatised me.
Cafe church at Jill and George’s church was an amazing mix of worship and bacon butties with orange juice and tea, they also did a teatime church with cake, and despite my lack of speech and occasional panics, I was made so welcome and loved the worship, but what made it more difficult was Jill and George confiding their concerns about me in the Vicar and curate, this upset me and my view of them somewhat. I called St. Mary’s Overton ‘The Beautiful Church’.
Anyway, time came for me to go away to college, Jill and George were away in Jersey, they had expected me to be there when they got back, and Jill said she had expected me to go in October and not suddenly when they were away, Jill was upset about this.
Which is paradoxical considering the accusations!
But my mind was on college, yes I would love to stay, but what future would I have in the village? I would need more work in order to stay, and I was not completely well enough to work, so college was a better option, and I had wanted so much to go back and complete agricultural college, so I went to college.
When Jill and George returned and I was beginning college. They asked me to come back to them for the weekend, and they phoned me every night, or Jill did, I asked why George did not phone, Jill told me he was not very talkative on the phone, but she urged him to make the effort anyway, but it was Jill’s idea or need to phone me every night, not mine, it meant that I waited every night for the phone to ring, and remained emotionally in the village for the time I was in college, especially as Jill was getting me to go back to them for weekends.
College was a challenge, there I was surrounded by noisy lively students, there I was with no money coming in, and waiting for the benefits office to stop messing about and start paying benefits, I could get no money from any LEA, my credit rating and situation meant no student loan or maintenance grant, the college hardship fund were prepared to help to a certain extent, but they had restrictions on what they could help with, they gave me a meal card to keep me fed at the canteen for a little while, and they let me stay in a college hostel for a few weeks while I tried to get money and lodgings.
Lodgings came up in Weymouth, but no money was coming through to pay the rent, despite Jill and George’s friend Paul taking over my finances – he got me to sign a letter saying he was in charge of my finances – nothing was happening about benefits, and I found out both that Paul had been doing nothing that he promised regarding my benefits and that there was an error in my benefits being paid, so as this was happening I became in serious financial difficulties due to money being demanded by all the organizations I owed money to, and they added charge upon charge every time I could not pay, and this added up, especially with the bank also charging me for having no money in my account and then charging when I could not pay the charges, hundreds into thousands that I owed were because I could not deal with the overdue charges and could not communicate with the companies, Paul was letting this happen and doing nothing that he promised. Paul did not seem to realise or care about the urgency of the situation and was doing nothing as I was hounded by creditors, I emailed him repeatedly telling him that I liked and respected him as a mentor but that I was in trouble and he had promised to help and I was relying on him, he still very little got done.
Eventually, benefit money came through, I was entitled to £57 per week, and the bank charges were all in the range of £30-£40 so imagine trying to balance that and £50 rent and trying to eat, I was going hungry now and collapsing faint, I was ill so much.
I believed in Paul because of the resounding success of a member of L.church, when he stepped in and resolved my financial problems that came from the poor support at the Sheltered house and the mess ups with housing benefit there, he had resolved those problems for me with no emotion, no prompting and no fuss, he did it so efficiently that problems that bogged me down and affected my sleep were dealt with within weeks and never troubled me again, and I fully expected Paul to do the same, he volunteered his helped and signed responsibility of my finances to himself, I completely trusted him. Just as I trusted George and Jill, JM and my abusers, I trusted ‘adults’ to do the right thing and take responsibility for themselves and their volunteering in my life and their actions.
Jill and George paid off one of my smaller debts, and I owed them instead, and in the end I did pay them back.