Jill and George were coming to my house and meeting the couple I lived with, and I was actually getting on a lot better with the couple than with Jill and George and was now quite comfortable with them, but I loved Jill and George deeply but was not comfortable with them.
Funny point, the Diocese and Deanery villify me for George and Jill but I had now known them for some months and Jill used to phone me every night and get me to go home for weekends, and here they were coming to Dorset, why, if I was evil and abused and accused them?
Jill and George arrived and introduced themselvest to the couple, while I just flustered and was unsure of myself, we all went out to lunch at a local Harvester pub that I had been to with the couple a few times, my landlord kept going on about how I was only going to have roast potatoes for lunch because he knew that I would eat any amount of roast potatoes as he often cooked them for me, he was cook and housekeeper in the house, and his wife did the office work and computer things.
We arrived at the pub, and Jill made an effort to make sure I was seated in a way that made me feel safe, I was and still am scared of sitting too close to other people, I do not like sitting if anyone is standing near me, especially not if they are male, and I get very anxious if people move around me when I am sitting, to the point where I panic and try to get away.
As soon as we sat down, Jill and George started their usual boasting, the boasting that all and sundry have to hear every time they meet anyone new, and they started it here, despite my constant pleas for them not to make me listen to them doing this: Here goes, the boast about George being from Guernsey kicked it off, then it was the family and all the nice things they had and did, the private schools, the dance lessons, the music lessons, the grades, the holidays, the ministry, basically they went through the whole list, I sat there without £10 to my name and beginning to think that this miserable futile struggle while listening to everyone else and the good in their life was all I would ever know.
I was listening to this wealth and their well-to-do family and their privileges, despite having asked repeatedly for them to stop doing this to me, I did not enjoy my meal and I wanted to go home, landlady sat there quietly listening, landlord hardly said a word, George and Jill were on the stage, as usual, and we were their audience, landlady didn’t boast, didn’t tell of how she, with no wealth, adopted four severely damaged siblings in order to keep them together and gave them a full second chance at life and brought them up with a chance despite their injuries and disabilities, which is worthy of a boast.
What I remember significantly was not wanting to ride with Jill and George in their van, but I wanted to stick with the couple I lived with, but landlady said ‘you see us every day, you only see your friends every so often, go with them’.
When we got home, Jill and George wanted to take me out for a drive, so I went with them but the day was already ruined for me, I was pent up anger and distress as I always was as I struggled with life and listened to the boasting,. We went to Chesil beach and Portland, but I was not happy with them, I asked them again to stop hurting me by talking about their family, but as usual it did not register with them, Jill was clinging onto me and asking what was wrong and I continued to say ‘please don’t hurt me with your wealth while I am struggling’ they got offended, and it was time to go home, I got out of the van when we got back, and went indoors without them.
Hindsight is always useful but I should have assertively ended this friendship some time before, but I was dependent and scared and still did not know how to end a friendship. Nor did I know that their behaviour was truly unacceptable or cruel, I not only was being hurt even when I had asked them to stop, but I was carrying the burden of blame and shame.
This caused a big big problem, they did come after me, the couple let them in but I went to my room and hid in the duvet and cried, I felt so utterly and completely worthless, I would have given my right arm for even one music lesson, even one set of nice soft clothes like the photos of their family showed, I had nothing, nothing but debt and struggle and defeat and angry letters from creditors, I hadn’t been to school, let alone private school, I hadn’t had a single holiday as a child, I had nothing, had always had nothing, nothing but disgrace for not fitting in, I still did not understand myself and what was wrong with me.
Jill and George kindly spending time with me and refusing to curb their family boasts was as beneficial to me as rolling on broken glass.
Jill came upstairs to speak to me and I screamed at her to go home.
my landlady came up later, shocked, and having spoken to George and Jill, and tried to get me to calm down, it made it more difficult.