The following account is going to shock those of you that have been lulled into thinking that I have always been a mature and wholesome human being. Years after these events I like to think I am – but it came at a price, one that at the time was almost too much to bear.
This blog has given me a voice to speak about my life and quite often It will be necessary to write negative things. The thought of portraying everyone else’s darkness is implicitly unfair, especially to those who can’t defend themselves. The balance to that is to attempt to be honest about my own shortcomings and in this particular post, my utter humiliation. Added to that I know that there are women out there that have gone though the same journey, and perhaps though reading this blog they will realise that there is life after shaming. It is possible to acknowledge your stupidity and put your world to right. It takes enormous courage and conviction, but if I can do it, anyone can.
So bring on the scarlett letter………
Meeting the dodgy barman was just what my bruised ego thought it needed at that time. I began stopping in at his pub after work and having a few drinks – that in itself should have been enough warning that I was treading a bumpy path.
I had only begun drinking again fairly recently and didn’t handle alcohol well – I’d had a virulent encounter with glandular fever years before. Over and above that drinking while emotionally frazzled is never a good idea – at least not for me!
I was desperate for a little love and appreciation and his attention was intoxicating! Combine that with a few litres of alcohol and disaster was breathless waiting for me to take the next step!
The Dodgy Barman had told me that he was splitting from his girlfriend and moving out, he told me many things…….. and I chose to believe him. (How many idiots does it take to change a light bulb………?)
Anyway one night I went round there and he kept pouring one drink after another. I drank my way through what seemed like litres of Jack Daniels – I was smashed! Before I knew what was happening the pub was empty, we were alone and halfway through ‘the deed’. I don’t recall much about it – I was too plastered.
I do recall going with him to visit his sister and her family early the next morning. They still laugh about it today! Not being used to boozing anymore I was still on planet Zonk! I could barely sit up straight and was slurring away. Just to add more humiliation and shame to the load I was already carrying, once I got home I fell asleep at the kitchen table, while sitting up. My daughter and her friend had to help me into bed, where I duly passed out!
This was definitely one of the most humiliating and humbling experiences of my life. I have done many things I am ashamed of, but that night truly takes the cake.
There have been so many reactions to this story over the years. I can almost hear the womens’ rights groups clammering in the background. I have been told that I was taken advantage of, I have been told all sorts of things, and for the longest time that’s exactly how I felt – until a few years ago.
I allowed myself to look, really look at what had happened. When this occurred I wasn’t a teenager or a young woman who didn’t know better. I was a grown-ass 35 year old woman at the time. Did the Dodgy Barman get me pissed? Absolutely! But here’s the rub – there is ALWAYS a clear tipping point while drinking. There’s is always that moment when you realise you’ve had too much – always – no exceptions! And when you reach that point – you stop! I didn’t and I am therefore responsible for what I allowed to occur. God that sucks to admit! I am and was, completely responsible for getting mindlessly pissed and shagging a man I barely knew. Nobody forced me to drink, or in fact to be there in the first place.
I should have been at home where I belonged.
In the weeks that followed I struggled along bravely pretending that everything was OK. I had realised that despite that rather ridiculous night I had fallen hopelessly in love (need?) with this chap, and at the same time I also found out that he hadn’t.
My life was about to change in ways I couldn’t have begun to imagine and the shame of that night turned into absolute shock and horror as I discovered within a few weeks of that night that not only did The Dodgy Barman lie about his relationship with his girlfriend, not only did he NOT love me, but despite a rather underwhelming drunk shag, I was about to become a single mother all over again!