It was January 2020, I had endured a tough year with the loss of my Dad to prostate cancer at 76 and my Gran to dementia related poor health some 6 months before.
My mum had been attending dance classes to keep her active and knew the teacher very well from old. She had suggested that she give the dance teacher my phone number to pass onto her daughter, who had returned from New Zealand where she had lived with her now estranged husband and their daughter. She was single, I was single and I remembered her from school almost thirty years ago! Her husband had cheated on her on numerous occasions and I was hoping she would call me. She was an old school crush.
So, I was working a late shift at my pharmaceutical factory and on a break when I received a text message from, I’ll call her Miss P. We quickly arranged a date for a Tuesday evening and messaged up to the day.
I’ll bypass over the details of the date but as always I was the gentleman, I gave the lady flowers, picked up the bill for the dinner and generally we got on really well as if 30 years hadn’t passed between us since our school days.
It was an intense first 6 months with Miss P, with her telling me she loved me first. I was on cloud nine!
We agreed to date and I genuinely believed that this was it, that I’d truly found what I was looking for after my marriage collapsed some 18 years before. It was an intense first 6 months with Miss P, with her telling me she loved me first. I was on cloud nine!
I have always been a hopeless romantic and a very generous, loving soul in relationships and why would I behave any differently in this case?! Miss P had stated to me time and time again that she wanted to marry me and eventually move in with her daughter to my new house that would adequately house them, together with me and my 19 year old son who lives with me anyway. We enjoyed weekends away and socialised with her good friends in the lead up to Christmas as well as we were able throughout the Covid 19 pandemic restrictions. For me everything was going really well and I was the happiest I’d been in a number of years.
Christmas Day came and I had lavished gifts on her and we opened our presents in the morning before I left to return to my family for the day and she was left to get ready to visit her friends with her parents at a nearby town, it was tradition for her most years to see her ‘second family. She had opened her gifts from me and simply said “thankyou for loving me”. I found this rather strange, as if it was the beginning of the end for her of our relationship.
her daughter muttered the words, “ you know my mum is a gold digger don’t you?”
Weeks before I’d offered to take her daughter shopping and give her some much needed space as she said she hadn’t been feeling too great lately. On our return from treating her mum with goodies to hopefully make her feel better, her daughter muttered the words, “ you know my mum is a gold digger don’t you?” This got my mind racing and I began to try and piece together certain words and actions that had happened of late that just didn’t make sense.
A melee of red flags had appeared, some that I refused to accept and simply ignored from months, weeks before simply because I was so in love with this woman. She had made excuse after excuse as to why she couldn’t join me with my family over the Christmas period. I was enduring a prolapsed disc in my lower back and had been signed off work because of it, dosed up on Tramadol painkillers, I wasn’t myself and her behaviour made me even more paranoid towards our situation than ever before.
‘I cannot be in a relationship with you anymore’, ‘you’re not right for me’!
The new year arrived and then the bombshell……….I received a text message, yes a text message from Miss P stating that ‘I cannot be in a relationship with you anymore’, ‘you’re not right for me’!
to this day I have been given no answers as to why she ended our relationship
As you can imagine, I was distraught and immediately wanted to know the reasons why, I messaged her back but to this day I have been given no answers as to why she ended our relationship. Then over the following few days she blocked me on Whatsapp and cut all forms of communication with me. I was left in limbo!
I proceeded to write two letters and mail them to her address which consequently was literally a stone’s throw away from my house, around the corner and a short walk over a children’s playing field, too close for comfort?
In the space of a few days from January 4th 2021, my world had collapsed and I started to question my own self worth, what had I done wrong? My self esteem and confidence simply nosedived and my mind and it’s thoughts began to spiral out of control quickly. I was on self -destruct mode and began drinking, that’s so not me!
I signed up with a local psycho-therapist for much needed help to try and make sense of all this, knowing he had a job on his hands with me, a guy that had fallen so deeply in love and had been let down, disappointed, dumped without any answers as to why, I felt so cheated.
With the weeks and months that followed, I began piecing my life back together again, I took up more interests in my life, I took myself camping to Cornwall for most of my weekends, where I savoured the simple things in life, the coastlines,the outdoors, nature, cooking food on my stoves and campfires, connecting with the locals over Euro 2020 and many beers! I reconnected with good friends who understood my dilemma as they’d experienced much the same themselves years earlier. I branched out with my local theatre company like I’d always done for 30+ years of my life, it was a passion of mine and I wanted to unearth that all again. I talked with family, friends, my therapist to try and find some answers as to why! This process eventually drained us, certainly my mum, everyone tried to make me see sense in it all and no one more so than my mum, “ you have to accept that there are some very cruel people in this world Frazer, they don’t care who they hurt, as long as they are ok” said Mum.
I began gathering together self help literature, books on narcissists, gas lighters, books on enlightenment and self awareness. I was in such a good place back in January 2020 considering I was still grieving for my Dad and Gran, Miss P had come along and I was sure she was the cherry on the top of the cake, how wrong I was.
I quickly learned she was a covert narcissist, all her behaviours just rang true and mirrored what I was reading and digesting in these books and articles. I can truly say I have never been hurt so badly by anyone else in my life in a relationship, I didn’t feel as destroyed when my marriage ended, or hold as much anger, grief and a sense of betrayal as I did when it all finished with Miss P.
Perhaps… the stories she had told me of her past where actually her doing and all that she confided in me were all lies, I’ll never know.
I would spend the next few months, close to a whole year reading your book, as well as many others, having therapy sessions all, in some way, to finally understand and overcome what had happened to me. I believe the moral to all this is you never truly know someone until you’ve spent time assessing where and what you both want in life and working towards achieving that together. Even my son believed that Miss P treated our relationship as a rebound situation and regardless of how badly she was treated by her estranged husband, was never truly over or had moved on from that. Perhaps my son was right. Or the stories she had told me of her past where actually her doing and all that she confided in me were all lies, I’ll never know. I do know one thing, our relationship was built on me believing her false promises and lies. She had no intention of developing a life with me, merely grabbing as much from my generosity and good nature to benefit just her.
A month or so ago, I finally realised that I must grab life by the horns and just simply LIVE IT! Savour and embrace all that comes my way both good and bad and let go of any anger and resentment I might feel towards people’s bad behaviour and treatment of others. You cannot change people and like my dear Grandad used to say to me, “There is no point sweating over things in life that are out of your control”, I now live by his words.
Karma is a wonderful thing and I now stand by my belief that ‘you truly reap what you sow’. People such as Miss P could potentially live a very sad, lonely and unfulfilled life, only time will tell. But you can’t fix people, or change others, only they themselves can improve themselves for the greater good.
I never wish bad on people, it’s not in my make up, I’m too nice for that. I just let fate determine other’s paths and hope that one day they’ll see and understand their own truth, whether good or bad.
I wanted to tell my story because I believe a lot of guys experiences are not heard or recognised, invariably we are the silent party when women’s lives, their hardships or relationship woes are well documented, but I wanted it to be known that some of us guys have endured similar if not worse, but I’m happy to say I have come out the other side fighting and will continue to do so.
Thanks for reading and hopefully understanding. Be kind always xx