As the aeroplane touched down onto British soil. I knew my other life had begun..
The children were not at the airport, but I saw them when I arrived home, strange I didn’t think I had missed them at all, until I saw them, that was because I knew they were in good hands. Naturally, I was excited to tell them about their family back in Jamaica and as they eagerly waited for my stories, I sat them down and we spoke and looked at the pictures, of the family I had left behind.
My children loved the gifts that my eldest sister had bought for them; even more because it had come all the way from Jamaica. They enjoyed listening to the stories as much as I did telling them. I was surprised at how much I remembered about Jamaica, all the conversations that took place and the sights I had seen and of course I excitedly tried to transfer this to my children’s memory too.
In the first few days of arriving back to the UK, my emotions were running high and I felt as if I had a tunnel vision as everything seemed surreal. It was almost as if I was the only one that was real as I watched people going on their daily business. At home I was able to perform my mother and wife duties although sadly each time, I tried to perform the latter I was always taken back to all the previous sexual encounters. Yes! I was damaged mentally and emotionally, but I did what I had to do to keep the peace. Each time I would lay there and imagine I was somewhere else, I would try to decentralized my mind. Although I was fully aware of every thrust, and each time I would turn my face to stop the droplets of sweat that would hit my face from Ds hard work. But that was the only life I knew.
I needed D, as I needed the stability of my family, plus with ring on my finger I had a status. I knew I need to stop the irrational thinking especially as mum was still in the background, and I could tell by the pile of unopened solicitors letters waiting for my return.
I was bombarded with daily thoughts of the whole family, in particular my sister and brother, the difference this time these thoughts came with an abnormal obsession to go back to Jamaica.
After being back in the UK a few weeks, I contacted my cousin, and we discussed going back to Jamaica the following year. I discussed this with my best friend too and she was behind me all the way. She said she would help to look after the children, I knew that this time I would. go alone, well that was what I was hoping.
My cousin and I put our plans into action.
We decided we would spend two months in Jamaica, Here I was, this happy schoolgirl ready to embark on a journey alone, no husband, no kids. Woud I be able to pull this off? Would D even let me? My cousin and I formulated a plan, we would both blame the other at the last moment. We would suggest that her mum wanted me to come and spend more time with my father, and she would say I wanted her to come. Whilst I would say the opposite. I was excited and had something to look forward to. I wouldn’t tell D anything until the flights were booked, we already had somewhere to stay which was by her mothers, whom I mentioned previously had emigrated to Jamaica.
Yes, I was going Jamaica alone. For the first time. Yes, I was going alone, the thought filled me with much glee and I smiled to myself.
After few months in the UK, despite looking forward to my trip abroad, I noticed I started getting those dreams again. I always woke up scared and would glance around my room. It was as if there was a presence. But I knew it was my mind. However, one other thing I had noticed was that during those times I was thinking about God and the promise I had made to God whilst in prison to read my bible; b they were fleeting thoughts of God; but I was aware that each time I recalled this incident it was as if my conscience was bothering me. I would feel guilty without knowing why and as always I would repeat the Lord’s Prayer for safety. There was nothing significant yet, just a prominent awareness of God. I didn’t like it….
Or…these dreams…or were they nightmares?
I had noticed that the dreams?? although quite repetitive the focus had shifted slightly, instead of crying over my mothers coffin by the graveside, I was now in a church at her funeral which was filled with people, and as I walked towards them they were giving me cold looks. In this dream I struggled to breathe as I desperately tried to tell the audience that I was innocent. In the dream they would look at me with disgust. Fingers pointing and nodding their heads at me, in the dream there were only a few faces I recognized, and the ending of my dream always remained the same.
I would still shout at them, everyone…
“I am not crying because she’s dead, I’m crying because she never loved me” waking up at this point, sometimes I would just look out the window, terrified. I would always imagine, that she, my mum, would die and come back for me… And this would always bring back anxiety and panic. I would often tell my best friend these dreams and she would say.
“yes, I would worry about you if your mum died”, no one else knew about these dreams.
These dreams weren’t regular but when they came I was terrified, as a result I started having an obsession with dying. My dream problems and the thoughts of dying seem to have started once I returned from Jamaica. This concerned me, and this was the first time I felt that I was here for a purpose… It was almost as if someone was whispering to me…but the presence was very vivid. At times I would wander if I was going mad but somehow the voice telling me to be strong remained.
Yes, strange things were happening to me on my arrival from Jamaica.
Over the years I had become very good at living a double life, and as mentioned before, no one knew the trauma I had faced so far in the UK, this was because I was able to imagine I was someone else. During various struggles in my life so far, I had mastered the art of shutting people out. I would play a little game by myself, when I would try to imagine I was somewhere else or that any pain I was going through was not happening to me. I also continued to find ways of coping with the abuse from D, the constant jealousy was another level. This was causing severe problems in our marriage, there was no reason for the jealousy, as I really didn’t even have the time to worry about men. In fact the only men I knew was my neighbour and my friends partners. The milkman the postman and half the time I didn’t even notice them.
After each accusation and the odd slaps, I would just sit in a corner covered up my head with a blanket and just cry, each time I would cry and Disect the problem in my mind, until usually two weeks later, I was ready again for the next problem. Yes, this was my way of coping with life’s problems. My ritual.. I didn’t need to talk about it. Yes, this was my coping mechanism, little did I know that this method would help me cope with many situations in my life. I had learn to be many characters….until I almost lost me…
But change was coming….. Wasnt it?