I met Jon a long time ago, I’m not usually very honest or proud about the time when we got together. I was 15 and I lied about my age to him. He was 22 and I thought he was amazing. We started seeing each other about 2 months before my 16th birthday. Previous to Jon I hadn’t really had a proper boyfriend. He was totally different to anyone I had met before, he worked and had a flat and I liked spending time with him. I never expected it to last and as the weeks went by I felt more and more guilty about my lie.
In the end I confessed by text and never expected to hear from him again. After a couple more weeks he contacted me and arranged to meet up again and talk. He wasn’t very happy with what I had done but he had missed me and wanted to start again.
I started sixth form and a part-time job and remember being so excited for my nights off so I could see him. We weren’t very glamourous – we went to the local plub to play pool, we would get a pizza and spent a lot of time playing grand theft auto (until all levels complete!) from what I can remember.
Things weren’t great at home. I lived with my Grampi who had had a serious stroke and my Mum who was caring for him. Anytime out of that house was welcomed with open arms. My Mum had been pregnant with me at 17 and was convinced history was repeating itself. We had screaming matches day after day about whether I would go out.
I didn’t think I was doing very well at sixth form so when we finished up in the February I started looking for a full-time job. I signed up to be an apprentice in the finance department of the local council. The same place where Jon worked. This wasn’t deliberate but I didn’t protest much when they suggested it.
This is when things really got bad with my Mum, she was so dissapointed that I was turning my back on education. She had wanted me to go to university. I tried to explain I was only trying out work and I had plans to go back and do my a-levels in the Autumn but living in that house was a nightmare.
I ended up living with Jon. It lasted two weeks. This was in the days before everyone had internet and sky plus. All he wanted to was watch football and the flat was so small. I just didn’t feel very at home. I moved back home and started saving money. I decided against going back to sixth form and worked as hard as I could to secure myself a job.
In the August I decided to go to the council and tell them I was homeless. When they asked me if when they checked with my Mother if this was true I told them she would confirm. By October I was moving into my new flat. My friends, family and especially my Mum helped out a lot and I let her tell my family I was moving in with Jon. My flat was on top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere. Pretty soon I was lonely. I never thought I would miss the constant battles and the endless stream of people coming in and out of the house. Jon would still come over a couple of nights a week and we would go out most weekends. But the reality was I had walked away from all my friends and family and had isolated myself from my old life. I made Jon the center of my universe and in some way I blamed Jon for all this and not myself.
At my works Christmas meal I met a guy and in the January we started seeing each other. I think he felt sorry for me if I’m honest and he would bring food to my flat, not a takeaway or anything but actual tinned food. One night we were watching a film and Jon called me. I went into the kitchen to answer it and he told me that he had cheated on me and he was sorry. I was heartbroken and wanted to be angry but how could I be? I never saw that guy again and decided I would rather be alone than feel like that again. I didn’t have the same feelings for him and had just wanted the company.
I managed to get in touch with some friends from home and made a real effort to try and make a life for myself. Jon started coming around to my flat and we talked a lot. I still loved him and I wanted to be with him but was still so guilty about what I had done. His father had passed away and with his inheritance money him and his sister decided to take a trip to Australia to visit their older sister. He was gone about a month and he rang me everyday, we spoke easily for the first time in a long time and I realised how much I had missed him. I decided that when he got back I would ask him if he would move in. I decorated the second bedroom so that he could have his own space and counted down the days until he got back.
He moved in and it wasn’t long before I noticed he was drinking a lot. He drank everyday until he was drunk. I told him it wouldn’t work like this and he agreed to only drink Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. We both passed our driving tests and he bought himself a car. I had got myself a better job and at this point I really thought we were settled.
One night he had brought a friend back from the pub and they were really loud. I asked him to keep the noise down and then after a while I demanded that his friend got a taxi back home. I heard the door go and went back to bed. I woke up in the morning alone and wondered where Jon had gone. He then phoned me to say he was at the police station. He had tried to drive his friend home and had been arrested for drink driving. I was furious. He had to sell his car to pay the fine and I was very angry that alcohol had once again ruined something good.
We were back to hating each other. Because he didn’t have a car anymore he started drinking more and I had had enough. He used to go out on a Friday and I might not see him again until Sunday. One day Jon suggested we moved to Cardiff. I once again misplaced the blame onto his friends. I thought that if we moved away then we could start afresh and make a better life for ourselves.
We moved to Cardiff on the weekend of my 21st birthday. I loved our house and I loved Cardiff. We were back to being good again. He stopped drinking as much and we started spending time together again. A year later his step father passed away. Both his father and step father died fairly young, just as they were preparing to retire. Jon took this very hard and instead of taking it as a message to live your life to the full he just got depressed. I took redundancy from my old job and started a fantastic new job in Cardiff.
I used my redundancy money to buy myself a new laptop. One night Jon had been out drinking and in the early hours of the morning I heard voices downstairs. I called Jon and asked him to keep the noise down. When I got up in the morning I was devastated. My laptop had been taken and there was cocaine residue on the side. I called his Mum in floods of tears and told her what had happened. All along I had covered up what Jon had been doing and was like and I wanted him to feel ashamed. She was angry and said I could go and stay with her for a few weeks in Ireland if I wanted but I didn’t go.
That year was his Mum’s first Christmas alone so we decided to go over and spend it with her. Her step son and wife were also there and we all wanted to support her. Christmas eve Jon went into the kitchen while we were watching Strictly Come Dancing. While this was on he drank an entire bottle of Whiskey. When he came back in his was vile. He was shouting abuse at his Mum and then went to be sick all over her garden. I was upset but a small part of my was glad that someone else could see what I was dealing with.
In the morning I told Jon to go and apologise, he couldn’t remember what he had done wrong. He was gutted when I told him. The truth is when he hasn’t had a drink he is a very kind and reasonable person.
In the January he decided to go and see a doctor. Not about the alcohol problem but because he had started having panic attacks at work. He was in there ten minutes and the doctor prescribed him anti-depressants. I was angry. I knew that the panic attacks were related to the huge amounts he was drinking. I knew that he was paranoid about his hands shaking and about losing his job. I wrote in a diary how I was feeling and I promised myself that if I felt the same in a years time then I had to leave him. One of the side affects of the anti-depressants was that Jon was no longer interested in sex. I decided to keep quiet and focus on my own life. I was morbidly obese and decided to do something about it.
As this could be our last year together I tried to make it a good one. I arranged something to look forward to every month. We went to races, we went on our first holiday together to Cornwall, we went to Alton Towers, to concerts, another holiday in Wales. I tried so show him that life was good. We also got our puppy Daisy and I had hoped the responsibility would improve his behaviour and give him something to care about.
By the following January I still felt exactly the same as the year before, if not worse. I had lost over four stone in weight and given quitting smoking a good go. I had started spending more time with friends. Jon had mellowed somewhat. He couldn’t drink as much as he could before, most nights he was comotosed by 9pm. He had agreed to start sleeping in the spare room. The alcohol or the anti-depressants had started making him have terrible night sweats and I couldn’t bare his snoring anymore. I looked at moving out but getting the dog was a pretty ridiculous idea. I wanted to stay living in Cardiff and I couldn’t afford the kind of house I needed for the dog. Then I got my second redundancy letter.
I changed my focus to getting a permanent job. I went on interview after interview and I prayed that each one would be the one for me. Eventually I got the job I am starting tomorrow. The job I was in was extended and is not due to end until November so they decided to get two new temporary members of staff to finish the scheme off.
One of my new colleagues had bought the first series of the Soprano’s to watch and said about how brilliant it was. I asked to borrow it and finished the first series in two days. Seeing Tony Soprano and his problems reminded me of my own. I started looking for a house share that would allow a dog. This was hard work. I decided that if it was mean’t to happen then something would turn up.
I know it sounds ridiculous but something about Carmella Soprano connected with me. I didn’t like it. She was in a difficult relationship, her husband was on prozac but she carried on. She was putting up with a lot and for what? I didn’t have money coming out of my ears and I didn’t have a nice home to show for my trouble. It really hit home that I could easily be in this same situation in twenty years time.
Then came my night out with my work colleagues to celebrate me getting a new job. Everyone was saying how much they would miss me. They told me I was funny, kind and supportive and some told me how I had helped with their careers. I know it was mainly the drink talking but I really didn’t realise anyone thought this of me. I spend every night sat on my own not talking to anyone. I go to work to get away from the depression at home and I realised how much fun I had in work. I laughed every single day.
A couple of weeks ago I was doing some filling and Rhys was playing music in the office and he put on Carmella Soprano’s favourite song. He said something like ‘you should like this song too’. I asked him why and he said ‘it’s Carmella’s favourite song so you should like it too’. I don’t know how much he has picked up over the time we have worked together. I didn’t think I had said much about Jon at all to him. But I realised that if he had been paying attention he had probably worked it out. I nearly burst out crying because that is not how I want to be seen.
On the bank holiday Monday I thought about this again and thought to myself – why the hell should I move out?. I worked hard for this house and everything in it. Jon has contributed absolutely nothing. Why should I be the one to walk away. I put an add up offering my spare room for rent.
To start off with I had Jose a 50 year old man and then a Spanish couple interested. Then I had a 23 year old man. Not the people I ideally wanted to share my home with. On Sunday I asked Jon did he want to go out for tea. ‘No, fuck off’ he said. I went up to bed and checked my emails. I had a message from a 26 year old female who was looking for somewhere with her dog. My heart started racing, I realised that for the first time in 9 years I was doing something that could change everything.
About ten minutes later Jon did want to go out after all. I decided that this was the time to tell him. If it was in public at least he couldn’t kick off. We sat down and I couldn’t find the right words. I couldn’t find any words. I was shitting myself. In the end I said it. The first thing he said was ‘you can’t afford that house on your own’. This was dissappointing. I didn’t want a big scene or anything but that hurt. No ‘I love you, I can change’.
I told him I was trying to get a house mate to move in. He insinuated that I was having a boyfriend move in. He walked away and I sat on my own for a while. When I got back I went to my room and put on the next episode of the Soprano’s.
It was the episode where Carmella kicked Tony out.
Jon hasn’t been to work these last two days and last night he said he may as well jump off a bridge. I’ve tried to avoid him as much as I can, I don’t think he will jump off a bridge. He told me that he had checked my phone and he doesn’t believe I am having an affair. Today he is going to see his Brother who owns a property which he rents out. I have tried to clean the house up as best as I can and Sophie is coming around to view at 6pm.
I can’t believe I am actually doing this. I can’t believe I am not upset. I don’t know whats going to happen next but I hope that next January I will feel differently.