Blogizing: Signs of Emotional Abuse “It will never happen to me”


Emotional Abuse is not something which is easy to recognise.  I was involved in an emotionally abusive relationship for five years in total, I was married to him and had two children with him.  I did not realise at the time that the relationship was abusive.  I thought we just had a ‘roller coaster’ of a relationship and there was so many ups and downs because we were passionate about the relationship an really loved each other.  That is what he told me anyway………

Many people think someone in an abusive relationship is in denial, but in actual fact most do not realise there is a problem.  They are not burying their head in the sand or covering up for them…..they just DO NOT relate themselves to being in an abusive relationship. Full Stop. 

Abuse is usually something which is thought to be physical….something which can be seen….marks on the body for example.  It is also important to remember that abuse of any type is not limited to a male abusing a female.  Abuse happens in same sex relationships and some females abuse males. We need to learn to pick up signs of emotional abuse, whether this is for yourself or someone else.  Emotional abuse is something which is more difficult to pin point as there are often no signs.  At first things are great and then one day something happens but because you are hoping that this person is ‘THE ONE’ you are looking at them with rose tinted spectacles!  You will justify their behaviour in your own mind with things like ‘they ve just had a bad day’ or ‘they are nice to me all the other times, they do not mean it.’ Every time you smooth over a situation and let your partner get away with the unacceptable behaviour the next time it is likely to be worse, it is a steady decline.  The power they feel makes them want more and more.  They will no doubt apologise, they may buy you gifts, take you somewhere nice to make up for their behaviour.  Some will cry telling you how bad they feel… (this means that they are sorry….does n’t it?) HELL NO!!! You could not be further from the truth.  They are simply manipulating you into feeling sorry for them, transferring the guilt on to you, and over time ‘chipping away’ at you, slowly unpicking your personality, stripping you of your charisma self-esteem and independence, simply so they can control you and you will be totally dependent upon them.  They will suck out your ambition, crush your spirit and stamp on your feelings.  They will rule you with an iron fist.

“This won’t happen to me” I hear you say……. THAT’S WHAT I SAID……But it happened to me.

I did not realise it, my family did not realise it (in fact he even managed to turn some of my family against me) and it was only thank you to a caring work colleague who one day took me to one side and said “This is emotional abuse, he is doing all he can to try and break you down….” That was the day when the penny dropped.  That was the beginning of the rest of my life. So what are some of the signs of EMOTIONAL abuse?

1. THEY WANT YOUR UNDIVIDED ATTENTION 24/7 This sounds great does nt it.  When you first get together it is normal to want to spend time together.  But if they drop all his friends and stop doing the normal things like their hobbies etc, your relationship may be going in the wrong direction.  If you feel you do not have much time for yourself, or your friends or family, and feel that you cannot do the things you normally would do as you do not want to upset your partner then your partner is probably trying to control you. This may seem dramatic….but think to 6 months or so down the line, when you are constantly attached to each others hip, and your friends or family no longer invite you to do things as they know your answer will be ‘no’. How will you feel when you realise that the only person you have is your partner?  Probably fine…..until something goes wrong and you feel lonely and stuck.  Is this really how a relationship should feel? “I had a little boy when I met my ex, I did n’t realise at the time, but my partner was extremely jealous of my little boy and tried to push him out.  He not only emotionally abused me but he emotionally abused my son too.  that is something I find difficult to deal with and it has taken a long time for me to forgive myself.  Luckily my son is growing up to be a good level headed young man, of whom I am very proud of.  It could have been a very different story.”

2. THEY ACT LIKE A DICTATOR AND MAKE ALL THE RULES IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP They do not want you to hang out with your mates, but it is fine for them to do what they want…..they will complain that they do not like your friends, saying they are a bad influence or are too slutty or they do not trust them.  They hate your best friend (probably because they are trying to indicate your partner is controlling….).  Does this sound familiar?  How about this: They do not like the clothes you wear, always choose what you are doing, what you are eating, what you are drinking…. “My ex hated my best friend.  He was very clever as he managed to turn things around so that I felt sorry for him and I ended up not seeing my best friend for over two years. I never fell out with her we just eventually lost touch.  She was frustrated because all she wanted for me was to be happy and to be with someone who treated me right.  I was so in love with him that I could not see the tree for the woods. Looking back he was always controlling, very clever and calculating and in the end I paid the price.  Luckily my best friend and I are now back in touch and things are as they always were.  We are always here for each other.  We may not see each other from one week to the next, but we share a bond which has always been present from the day we first met at nursery at the age of just three years old.  That bond will never be broken.  The day we reunited we picked up from where we left off. I was lucky but many people would have lost that friend for good.”

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3. THEY ISOLATE YOU FROM PEOPLE THAT YOU LOVE This related to the point above, but goes a little step further as it moves from telling you that they do not like your friends, family etc to then actually managing to stop you from seeing them.  You will stop going out with friends so that they stop accusing you of cheating.  You will stop seeing your parents to avoid you getting backlash from your partner because ‘you stayed too long’ or ‘you said something wrong.’  Your partner creates situations to try and force you to choose between them and your friends/family.  You should be able to talk to and spend time with people you like without having to justify yourself. “My ex used to insinuate that my parents had said something horrible about me to them, such as “they say you are out of control” or “well that’s not what they ve said.” but would never elaborate, leaving me to stew.  This allowed me the time to create whatever situation my brain wanted.  It left me feeling like I could no trust anyone.”

4. THEY ‘RE TAKING AWAY YOUR FREEDOM AND NEED TO KNOW YOUR EVERY MOVE A really bad sign of an emotionally abusive relationship is if your boyfriend demands that you tell him details like where you are going, what you are doing and who you are with. He gets mad whenever you do something without telling him. If you do not tell them, then they will do all they can to find out. They cannot deal with not knowing! “My ex went so far as to check my phone and social media accounts, he would log in as me and response to message as if it was me.  It was only when friends responded saying things like “What are you talking about?” that I would realise what they had done.  My ex once even text a work colleague pretending to be me, saying something along the lines of “Great night last night, can’t wait to see you again.”  The colleague asked me what was going on.  Although it was extremely embarrassing I am so glad that he did, as I was able to prove the message was not from me as it was from another number (and it made no sense anyway as I was not with them the night before) but I also have a very good indication of who it was…..”

5. THEY USE THE SILENT TREATMENT TO PUNISH YOU An emotionally abusive guy will refuse to answer text messages, phone calls and e-mails when he gets mad at you. He won’t tell you the reasons that he is mad at you either. Instead, he’ll just disappear off the face of the earth until he feels that you have been punished enough. “My ex ignored me for weeks on end.  We lived together and the atmosphere was unbearable.  It was only once he could see I was at breaking point that he would then offer ‘an olive branch’, a cuddle, a kiss….but never a sorry.  That was my job!”

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6. THEY PUT YOU DOWN AND HURT YOUR FEELINGS “He would call me ‘fat’, ‘ugly’, ‘manipulative’, ‘horrible’, ‘bad mum’ etc etc, anything he knew that was important to me, he would pick at. I now know that he put me down so that he had control over me.” An emotionally abusive guy will accuse you of making a big deal out of nothing when you tell him he’s being hurtful. (Like my ex who always used to say ‘oh as normal you are making a mountain out of a molehill’, or ‘you are such a drama queen, get a grip.’)  This type of person is so insecure of themselves that they need to lower your self-esteem to ensure that you always stay with them.

7. THEY ARE EXTREMELY JEALOUS….OF ANYONE IN PARTICULAR FRIENDS OF THE OPPOSITE SEX When you are out together, they constantly accuse you of looking at other people. They will accuse you of trying to make them jealous whenever you dress sexy. They do not let you wear sexy clothes like a little summer mini dress or (men) taking your top off to show your abs!  “My ex used to tell me that I looked better without make up and did not want me wearing shorts or short skirts telling me I looked like a slut.”

8. THEY HAVE NO LIMITS Some emotional abusers are drug/alcohol dependent and will often put their addictions before you.  This will bring out the worst in them and will often be when they are at their worst.

9. HE INSTILLS FEAR IN YOU Most healthy romantic relationships offer support and security.  “I never felt secure and I never felt supported.  This only made me try and get more affection from him by trying to please him more.” You should feel comfortable in being able to talk to your partner about anything without having to worry about what their reaction is going to be.  whatever I discussed with my ex, he would turn it back on me so that I was the person who was at fault.  “Why are you always playing victim!” Would be a favourite statement of his.  You and your partner should be able to accept each other for who you are.  If your partner instils fear by threatening or intimidating you to the point where you hesitate to do things without your partner’s approval, it is time to re-evaluate the relationship.  I would in fact suggest ‘getting out’.

10. HE LOWERS YOUR SELF-ESTEEM What do you think when you imagine your favourite partner.  Mine make me feel like I am the only woman in the world, they make me feel beautiful, they build you up, they hug you and make you feel loved.  If they begin to make you feel like nothing, you start to doubt who you are and what you are worth, or being to feel like you have nothing to offer and are worthless, then your partner is not having the effect on you that they should and it is time to re-consider.

11. HE TREATS YOUR LIKE PROPERTY You know that it is time to end an emotionally abusive relationship when you no longer feel like you have any input in it. Your partner only cares about self-preservation and uses you to benefit himself or herself. There is no “we” in your relationship, it is solely based on the interests of one person. And we all know that that is not how things should work out.

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12. ROLLER-COASTER RELATIONSHIP If there is never a constant in your relationship and you never know what to expect from it, it would be categorized as unhealthy. Although it is typical for couples to go through their ups and downs, cyclical highs and lows should not become a pattern. Once you get into a habit of severe fights followed by make ups, you will never gain stability. This erratic relationship can only result in lots of stress and heartbreaks. “From the start we used to argue and fall out, he would throw me out of the house, and then in a few hours we would make up.  He would justify it by telling me that his friend had said ‘It is the day when you stop fighting that you should worry, as that is when you feel you have nothing to fight for.’  Another favourite: ‘It is only because we love each other so much that we argue.’

13.  THEY USE GUILT TO GET WHAT THEY WANT “If I was ever due to go anywhere whether with friends or family, my ex would write me letters insinuating that he was going to harm himself then take off in his car.  He would go missing for hours.  He would nt answer my calls or texts and would often turn off his mobile, only returning after ensuring I had missed my prior arrangement or just beforehand telling me I could go, knowing full well I would not go as I was not ready and was too upset to do so. If it was ever brought up in a later argument he would tell me ‘well I told you to go!’

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You are worth so much more. 

Your life is valuable. 

It is a gift.  

It is your duty to grasp it with both hands. 

Enjoy it.

Do not allow anyone to take this gift away from you.

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Related Articles:

Blogizing: What is a Healthy Relationship?

Blogizing: Manipulation

Blogizing: Domestic Violence by a Female: It’s still abuse!

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Keep smiling even when everything is shit: Amongst the grey clouds are always rays of sunshine

Why do I always feel like I am at a crossroads? Why is my life constantly like a rollercoaster? All I want is an ‘easy’ life, a life where things can be constant and permanent just for a little while.  Just long enough for me to feel comfortable.  As soon as I start to feel like things are getting better something else goes wrong.  Is everyone else’s life like this or is it just mine?

I am not just feeling sorry for myself, I am not talking about minor things such as missing the bus or forgetting to put the bin out so I felt in a terrible mood for the rest of the day.  I mean, real terrible things happen.  I am beginning to think I am jinxed.

In the last two years here is a list of what has happened (though please be advised it is not limited to said list, as I also have the usual things like having to stop at every set of traffic lights, getting stuck behind a tractor when I am already late for work, forgetting my packed lunch in the fridge, noticing I am low on petrol and then realising I have also forgotten my purse at work etc so bear this in mind)  Anyhow…….list…here we go:

  • Not one but two of my aunt’s are seriously ill.  One collapsed with a serious throat action and is now permanently brain damaged, though has some independence at least.  My other aunt had a serious fall and is lucky to be alive, but has had numerous brain surgery and it is feared she will never have independence again. This second accident happened on my birthday.  Happy birthday me!!! (They will now never be the same)  This year I found my birthday extremely emotional, as I spent the morning at the cemetery talking to my grandma, and the rest of it thinking, it has been one year since my auntie’s accident and she is no better)
  • I have had two car accidents, both not my fault. Luckily no one was hurt, apart from my car.  It is the sheer inconvenience of it all….
  • My son was run over, and as a result broke both femurs, he is lucky to be alive, I am lucky he is still alive.  Quite possibly the most stressful thing which has happened in my life (and his).  This meant three months of intensive care getting him back on his feet.  He is on his way to recovery, albeit it has been a slow road.
  • My grandma died.  She was a very special person in my life.  I could go visit her, sit there all day and speak to her about anything.  I did not realise it at the time, but she was actually one of my favourite people.  She never annoyed me or upset me.  She was a great help with my children, she looked after me as a child, she was a constant permanent fixture, pretty much the only one, and now she has gone.
  • Related to above in incident of my grandma’s passing.  Quite possibly the second most upsetting day of my life (aside from my son being run over) was having to attend my grandma’s funeral.  In saying ‘having to attend’ I do not mean this as though I was forced, I would not have missed it for the world.  However it was extremely difficult saying good bye to someone I hoped would be there forever.   Love you grandma x
  • My children’s father appears to have taken up a sudden interest in pedophiles,  decides to post things about this subject on facebook and as a result put me in a situation where I have had to stop contact for the time being, until I am sure my children are safe, and in me doing so has made me feel like an absolute mega bitch. Then there is the added stress of having to deal with this family, who seem to be incapable of understanding why I am upset at his failure to safeguard my children.
  • My finances have seriously taken a turn for the worst.  I have done nothing differently, but with the increase of cost of living and decrease in help for working single parents it has all taken its toll and there is not much further I can go.
  • My health is suffering.  I am suffering from stress headaches, severe hayfever and now having to have treatment in the lady department to stop some naughty cells turning even naughtier.
  • And to top it off, I am still very, very single. Sigh……..

But as luck would have it, good things have happened in the last two years also, so at least rather than you getting a picture of just one steep drop on a very large roller coaster, you can now imagine a big dipper 😉

So yes it is very true, these last two years have been pretty trying, and would have been for any person.  But I am still smiling.  In the last year I have met some brilliant people, I have carved out a great social circle, I have gotten back in touch with some family members, I have reignited my love for art and creativity, I have rediscovered my freedom, my love for nature and walks in the woods, and my love for travel. I have discovered how lucky I am to have such great friends and family and a roof over my head, not to take things for granted and to be thankful for what I have.

“Amongst the dark clouds are always small rays of bright sunshine”i

 

This is Liverpool: Oh help us!

http://www.theladbible.com/articles/this-is-liverpool-reality-show-will-be-the-worst-thing-to-happen-to-everyone

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear……

A show based in Liverpool like the other reality shows such as Made in Chelsea and The Only Way Is Essex.  So although these programs are hardly enlightening, most (I said most) characters are painted in a reasonable light.  So why, when they release a reality show based in the North of England do they have to pick the roughest people who seem unable to string a sentence together without the use of multiple swear words, and more noticeably are unable to communicate with each other without being aggressive.  I live in the North of England next to another large city.  We are extremely friendly, individual in style (not carbon copy barbie dolls), and although some of us may swear it definitely is not the whole of the population (or who the producers portray the population as).

Sorry Liverpool but I do not see how this will do you any favours…..unless of course you are all like the show portrays you (though I highly doubt it).  If I was a Liverpudlian I would be feeling rather embarrassed as to how the show is painting you.

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Weekly Writing Challenge: Object – My Grandma’s Reindeer

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/24/writing-challenge-

I walked into the room, heart pounding and mouth dry.  The bright lights hurting my eyes as I walked down the corridor.  I turned right down another long hallway.  Each step becoming harder than the one before.  My legs felt like jelly.  My head was buzzing and I felt dizzy and sick.  Eventually I saw Ward 9, I turned right and pulled open the heavy wooden door.  I squirted on some antibacterial hand gel and rubbed it into my hands whilst walking towards the nurses desk.  I cleared my throat and asked her where she was.  I was directed down towards the end of the ward into the last room.  There she lay in the bed, looking so tiny.  Much smaller than usual.  Her curly grey hair still looking perfect.  She knew someone was there but she did nt know who it was as her eyes were severely affected by cataracts. I walked over to the bed, took her hand and said “Hello Grandma”.  “Hello love” she managed. She knew who I was.  My grandma and I had a close relationship.  I sat next to her and stroked her hair.  I tried to speak to her without letting her know how upset I was.  The nurse came in and I asked her how she had been over night.  “She has been quite stable” she said.  “She looks much better today” I said, trying to be optimistic.  The nurse smiled at me but said nothing, and then carried about her business.  I kissed my grandma on the cheek and said “I will see you later grandma, I will be back later, I promise.”  “OK” she croaked whilst managing a smile and nodding slowly.

I walked out of the ward with the intention of going to the canteen for a cup of coffee.  I was tired.  I had not had much sleep as I had been worried about my grandma.  I reached a chair in one of the corridors and decided to sit down. I began thinking of all the things we had done together.  The holidays we had been on. The time in Ibiza when she sat on a wall with white trousers on and when she stood up they were red, she was covered in ants!

As a child I often stayed with her on a weekend.  I loved going. I loved walking her dog, Snowy, up and down the cobbled back street. The same street my uncle, (only 9 years older than me, he was the youngest of her children), had taught me to ride a bike on an adult full sized BMX when aged only 8 years old.  I could not even touch the floor and had to balance the bike against the wall to climb on!  In school holidays I remember being looked after by my grandma with my siblings and cousins.  My Grandma’s cooking was the best, macaroni cheese and homemade chips was my favourite.

I used to sit on the sofa in her living room and watch TV, all snuggled up with her woolen Scottish tartan blanket. One time I was laid on the floor in front of the hot fire watching my favourite TV program after school, my grandma downstairs cooking tea.  All of a sudden a little white mouse ran across the front of me from behind her glass cabinet which stored all her trinkets and ornaments bought for her over the years by her children and grandchildren. I remember thinking it was cute, but I screamed anyway. I remember grandma telling me not to be scared and to think how scared the poor little mouse was seeing me on the floor, as I was a lot bigger than the mouse! That made me laugh.

Every Christmas day was spent at grandma’s with all my aunts, uncles and cousins.  One year all 11 grandchildren lined up and we sang “Grandma we love you”.

A more recent memory of 5 or 6 years before floated back, when grandma has made me a royal blue and bottle green tartan pinafore dress.  I remember being stood in her front room whilst trying on my new dress.  Her laughing at me when I said I had ‘boobies’ telling me they were like ‘fried eggs’.  I was only 12, and my grandma was a 40DD bra size.  I can see now why she found it so funny.

She was how grandmas are supposed to be.  She made and repaired things, clothes etc, she cooked and she cleaned, she treated us to presents and fed us lots of biscuits and cakes.  My grandma was from Scotland but she was far from the stereotype of being stingy with money,  she was the exact opposite, and in fact the most generous person I knew.

Just then my mobile rang. It was my uncle asking me to go back to the ward as the doctor wanted to speak with me. When I arrived, I was lead into a side room and I sat down on one of the chairs.  My uncle was there, he looked at me and instead of talking he began to cry.  I had never seen my uncle cry before.  It was hard to see, a 6 ft 4 inch stocky man, eyes red from the tears, looking heart broken.  I looked at the floor and said “has she gone?” “No, but she is not well”. Managed my uncle, at that point he broke down again.  “We have tried to give her another blood transfusion but nothing is working for her any more.  I am sorry but it is only a matter of time now.”  I stared at the doctor as the words fell out of his mouth, like lead to the floor.  Each word washing over me, but it did not really sink in. All I could think was ‘that’s it, she is going.’  I dropped to my knees and I cried, harder than I had ever cried before. Even when my mum and dad divorced, I do not remember crying so hard. heart ached, I felt like my world was falling apart around me.  My grandma was like a second mum to me.  In fact I told my grandma things I could not speak to my mum about.  My grandma had looked after my first child, which I had when I was only 17.  My grandma never judged me, she did nothing but support me.  She took me and my son on trips with her Pensioners Club to the seaside.  My son adored her, he used to help her do the gardening and loved hanging the washing out on the line with her, she made it fun. She even played football with him in the garden, despite her having a double hip replacement only a couple of years previously.  She was one person that my son would do absolutely anything for.

I stopped crying and wiped away the tears. “I want to see her.” I said as I walked out of the side room and into hers.  My grandma was laid in bed asleep.  “Hi grandma” I said.  “Hello dear” she managed quietly.  A tear ran down my cheek.  “Are you ok?” I said.  She nodded and smiled.  I sat next to her, perched on the bed and held her hand. “I love you grandma” I said.  “I love you too.” She replied.  I stroked her hair and kissed her forehead and said “I’ll see you again soon grandma.” She looked in my direction, but I know she would nt have been able to see my face because of her cataracts, but she stared in my direction, smiled at me and said “yes”.  The doctor had n’t said anything to her, but I knew she could tell that this was the last time we were to see each other, in this life time.  I hugged her tight and kissed her again on the cheek and with that I let go of her hand, I turned and began to walk away.  Tears streaming down my face I turned to look at her one last time. She had closed her eyes and looked peaceful with a smile on her face.  I smiled back and whispered “love you grandma, I will see you again.” At that moment I thought in my head ‘Please angels take good care of her, she is so precious.’

I turned and walked down the corridor.  As I reached the door I heard the nurses rushing, I turned around and saw them heading towards the end room. I knew that was it, she was gone.  I walked out of the hospital and sat in my car. I held between my palms the little reindeer broach my grandma had given to me, just before she had gone into hospital. That was 6 years ago.  I still speak to her on a daily basis and keep that reindeer close.  To anyone else that reindeer is nt worth anything else, it is nt made from gold or any other precious metal, but it was my grandmother’s. I had bought it for her one Christmas when I was 11 years old with my pocket money from the local market.  She had kept it all those years, until I was 27.  That meant so much to me.  I will always have a bond with my grandma and even though physically she is not here, I know she is around.

My final tribute to grandma was the song I chose for her funeral. “Grandma we love you” by St Winifred’s Choir. That seemed like the only choice for me.

“One day grandma I will see you again, that day will be when the angels are also looking after me. But until then I will keep close to me the only thing I have left, our little reindeer. And of course, our memories.”

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Gallery

Mood board of me: How I perceive myself

When you think about yourself as a person, how do you see yourself?  It is difficult to describe to other people as perception is objective.  The words you use can give another person a different understanding or ‘picture’ than what you really mean.  This is why I have decided to prepare a mood board of my favourite pictures, images and objects which I believe truly represent me as a person.  I found this extremely therapeutic and helped me to focus on me as a person just for a little while.  It is difficult to get lost in today’s hectic world.  It is important to spend a little bit of time each day on yourself!  I would love to hear your feed back.  Why don’t you try this for yourself?

gypsy dancersDSC02419believeKarlie in Balmain for The Last Magazine Spring/Summer 2014 Issuesku_bracelet_147-pbw_01mar13-120732-0010SavedPicture-201421810726.jpglife coachng wheel

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Eat, Pray, Love. Julia Roberts

Eat, Pray, Love. Julia Roberts8424710764_c83149e2f7_b

6928259247_9853cbfe35_b Have a go, you may even learn something about yourself 🙂

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You forgot to say your new job was ‘Back Stabber’

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/the-sound-of-silence/#more-69294

Have you ever been in a situation where you thought someone was a true friend, and would always be in your life, to then find that all along they have been stabbing you in the back?

“There was once a lady called Sarah,

who unfortunately now I can’t bear her,

she pretended to be my friend

but she has done something she cannot mend,

and now I no longer see her” Anon.

This particular person was a friend of mine.  She began to have marital problems.  Throughout all of the problems I stood by her side.  I helped her out when she had no money, I took her out to cheer her up.  I even treated her to a new dress when she had lost loads of weight and nothing fitted her.  It turns out in return all she could manage was to stab me in the back.  To bitch about me to another friend because I went out for a few drinks whilst my children went to visit their dad.  This is truly a crime, clearly.  I mean how unreasonable it is for me to go out for a bit of social time with friends when my children are not even around.  So hand cuff me now, for I have clearly committed the evilest of crimes.

Whilst initially I was upset, I have forgiven her.  I do not like to carry resentment as I believe it is a waste of my resources.  And, so is being friends with someone who is unable to be a friend back.  I never expected anything from you, I did not want you to buy my clothes, or repay me the money I have spent in taking you out.  But a thank you would have been nice, along with your loyalty.

Good luck friend, I believe, if this is the way you treat all your ‘friends’, you may very well need it.

This particular incident happened at Christmas and until now I have held my silence.  I do not want to argue with her, it serves no purpose, but I think by now she will surely notice my lack of presence.

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