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Her name was Mary. She held my hand and taught me how to breathe again. I suffered a mild cardiac arrest after coming across a chilling and crippling truth. When my vision came back I saw past the blonde halo of what I thought must have been an angel into the scared and desperate eyes of a stranger I had shared many years of my life with. It was a movie I didn’t even know I had a role in. Sometimes the shock of truth is so violent the army of coping mechanisms that you layered around your heart jump ship. They didn’t get the script either, derailed and gone. Something remained. Lifting a shaky finger and pointing at his face I summoned up every breath in my lungs and spat out ”You..are NOT…going to get me…..you are NOT going to get me.” Within 14 hours I was rushed to the emergency ward. He got me after all.

I met him at work at the coffee machine. My corporate smarmy sleaze detector was already on….nope…nothing. He bounced around a lot, smiled, joked. He had red-brown hair and freckles. No alarms registering. He didn’t seem to even note my gender…just that I was human and new to the company. He said nothing I expected him to say. I asked him out the next week. He played the guitar. He was very good at it and passionate. He had warm creative friends. His family were uncomfortable with me, as parents always are with me, yet still tried to make me feel welcome. He showed no traits of being disloyal. I subconsciously tested him. He had a trusting heart and he adored me. Within 6 months we had bought a house and moved in together. Work, home, relationship, pets, sorted. And then, I gave my power away.

I trusted he was going to give me everything I lacked. I didn’t know at the time but I believed I was a victim, which means someone would come and save me. It didn’t work that way. What I attracted instead was an offender. I spent a couple of years building my strength to flee. He spent the same time building his strength to attack.

Control was the ultimate goal. My weapon was  indifference. I was an actress. Over the years I learned to mimic every persona I came across. I had a grasp of every expression required to play any part. But none of it anchored emotionally. I was the chameleon with a calcified heart, until my heart stopped one day to reboot. I had discovered his dark secret and stared the truth in the face. The shock was too much. It didn’t kill me, but I could see I was still in the line of fire. When you discover someone’s shadow and deep secrets, and they are not ready to bring them to the surface to heal them, you adopt the role of enemy by default. I walked out of hospital the next day and ran, and kept on running for 4 years.

4 years later he suffered a cardiac arrest and died.


Bastille – Laura Palmer


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