It’s such a tiny word in the English language, yet holds so much power and can do so much damage when it’s broken. That’s why I’m fairly broken because someone I was close to broke my trust a long time ago and I don’t think I ever truly got it back. I would love to be able to open up fully to someone again, but it scares the living daylights out of me due to previous scars that never completely heal. You can’t see them, no-one can because I won’t let you see them. I carry them with me, hidden away, but a gentle reminder that it happened and it changed the course of my life forever.
Many years ago I was married, it seems like a lifetime ago now. Still got the photographs somewhere but goodness knows why I kept them as have no interest in looking at them other than to see pictures of friends I knew back then, before the damage was done, before the sands shifted and I discovered people really could lie. I’d never really known liars before, deep down I believe that people are inherently good but back them into a corner and you never truly know which way they are going to go till it happens.
Anyway, back to my ex husband. We’d got married and did the next normal thing of buying a house. Perfectly normal, and yes it was a bit of a struggle but we knew it would be. As with anyone buying their first home we knew the first couple of years would be tight but you hang in there – or so I thought. I found it on those house sale sites yesterday, that was a mistake. We bought it for £73k and it’s now worth £260k, was in London commuter belt land so was bound to go up significantly in value but even I was surprised how much it had jumped up.
My name didn’t go on the mortgage, long story but it wasn’t practical at the time. It never occurred to me that he wouldn’t pay the mortgage, it never occurred to me that he would sneak back every lunchtime and hide post from the bank asking him to contact them to discuss the arrears. I knew nothing about it, as far as I knew everything was fine and our nice house with a lovely big garden was just that – ours. Fast forward a few years and we considered moving closer to my parents, well I look back now and realise it was actually his idea and know now that things were getting desperate with the bank. I remember one letter I saw and opened which read along the lines please contact us urgently to discuss the mortgage. I called them but because my name wasn’t on the mortgage they couldn’t legally talk to me, the girl was very nice and did her best by saying things like ‘it’s very serious, you need to get him to call us’ but legally couldn’t tell me any more than that, I was totally confused. Spoke to him, he said the direct debit dates had got muddled and was all sorted now, he was my husband, he was supposed to protect me and love me so why would he lie? I forgot the whole thing and agreed the bank were stupid and we carried on.
So we put the house up for sale, I moved in with my parents for a while waiting for the house to sell and started looking for properties near them. Then something very strange happened, the estate agent rang me and asked why I’d changed the locks as he couldn’t show someone round. Not a clue what he was on about. However this was the same day he was in court for the repossession order, he’d lost the case and the house had been repossessed by the bank. Rather than tell me he left a suicide note and drove off. The police were lovely trying to get a statement out of me, I was all over the place, couldn’t remember his height or anything and looking back they were so patient with me while I rambled on trying to answer their questions. As the police were talking to me he turned up, he’d taken loads of pills so we had to go to hospital for stomach pumps – I actually can’t remember those few hours other than after reading the note asking Dad to look in the loft in case he’d hung himself there and having to call his first wife to see if he’d gone back down South for a visit while trying to sound calm.
We divorced not long after that, understandably! But he still managed to rack up debt in my name, still bought a car using my address, still got bank loans using my address. Bailiffs are actually rather lovely when you’re not the one they want to speak to, had many cups of tea with them and chats about life the universe and got to know about their kids and stuff but I did meet far too many of them for one lifetime. And yes there’s a lot more, but that would require a novel and you’re eating your cornflakes so won’t bore you just yet!
So trust, if the one person in the world that is supposed to love you, put you first no matter what and be faithful to you can do that in total secrecy with no shame – what hope has a stranger got of ever getting me to trust them? Pretty much zero I’d say, and I hate that he’s left me with these scars, I hate that I can only show one side of me and I hate that it’s coloured my judgement but it has. All I would say is don’t lie to people, well not big ones anyway. And I’ll bounce back, eventually, maybe and I still hope that one day I can fully open up and trust someone again because I don’t like that it’s missing from me.