FOUR years later and I was still unhappily married and 24 years old. I was determined to make the marriage work, but the flame inside me was growing smaller and smaller. Jim was killing it daily with his affairs, drinking and bullying.
I suddenly found myself among young fun people when I changed my job. A month in, I was invited to the office Christmas party. At the dinner I sat next to a talkative Australian colleague (let’s call him Oliver) who opened my eyes with his vivid stories of traveling and enjoying a fun filled life. Was an enjoyable life possible? I asked myself bewildered. It was as if someone had awoken and filled me with a lightning energy. I was instantly attracted to Oliver and the world he was teasingly painted in front of my eyes. I felt intoxicated and alive. I called Jim that I was having a good time and that I would be staying at the party longer. He was furious about it and threatened me to come home. Something broke inside me and I no longer cared. I wanted to have fun, I wanted to dance and I wanted to laugh after so many hurtful years. Jim sent me many disgusting abusive texts, which I will not repeat here, and annoyed I turned off my mobile.
I spoke to Oliver more and told him things about my husband that I couldn’t tell anyone before and he was horrified. When I told him how Jim tells me that I am used goods and nobody would want me, he laughed and said that he would. I felt relieved, happy and excited. We sat alone on the sofa and Oliver leaned forward for a kiss and I stopped him. My heart was breaking, I wanted that kiss so much, but I was not going to cheat on my husband.
I got to our house at 4 o’clock in the morning and started to be worried about Jim’s reactions. He was awake and our room looked like a war zone. The book that I was reading had pages torn out of it, my jewellery box was broken as it hit the wall and the modest contents from it were on the carpet. Jim was beside himself with fury. He threw me on the bed and his hands were pressing down on my neck. I still remember that I felt relieved and happy! His action was a ticket for me to say enough, I am out. As I didn’t struggle, Jim stopped and started to explain how everything that he did is because he loves me so much. There was nothing inside me that cared any longer. Within a couple of months I packed my suitcase and I left Jim.
I had an exciting fun affair with Oliver, but it didn’t last long. He was a player and wanted to play with other girls too. I was devastated and it took me quite a long time to get over Oliver. My story six called ‘Dating Games, part 1 – Seeing a Schoolmate‘ will describe what had followed.
Only years later I see how good it was that Oliver crossed my path. His stories opened my eyes faster and lighted a sleeping desire in me for a better life. He helped me to see what I already knew, that I could achieve it. This was imminent to happen, I was waiting for myself to shake me into action and Oliver got there first. Finally, I jumped at the opportunity to take charge of my happiness and I have never looked back.