I did a bad thing

You joined my internet dating story in the middle. There was someone before The Pirate. (“Did he have a precursor? He did, indeed he did. In point of fact, there might have been no Pirate at all had I not totally fucked over, one spring, a certain boy-child. In a completely landlocked county.”)

Yeah. Before The Pirate, there was… I didn’t have a name for him. So let’s call him the Boy-Child. It’s very apt. He was the first person I clicked with on Match.com and the first person I slept with after my husband left – that was my first mistake. Not giving myself time to recover my sense of self. I was trying to find myself in someone else. All bad.

So we chatted on the phone loads. He was lovely. Very funny, very intelligent. Very, VERY left-wing and politically active with a huge social conscience, which I found refreshing after my football-and-lager mad husband. A massive geek, but I had no issue with that. By the time we met, I had already half fallen for him. God. All bad.

We met. He was physically so far removed from my type that I found him attractive. (Do you see what I was doing? Do you see? *Such* a cliche…) It’s not that he was ugly. He wasn’t. But he was so very uncomfortable in his own skin. He wore it like a badly fitting suit. He hunched his shoulders, his smile was awkward, he carried his arms in a most peculiar manner that I’m not sure I could describe. He’d been badly bullied as a child, and it showed. I nobly and arrogantly decided I would help restore his self-confidence. (I actually made things a million times worse. Yay me.)

We went from first date to relationship in about 3 seconds. Second mistake. Getting swept away in the romance of romance. He made me feel beautiful; told me I was beautiful all the time. He decided very quickly that we would move in together in a couple of months, get married and have children, and I got swept along too. Third and biggest mistake – letting him fall in love with me, actively encouraging it, in fact, because I was so very lonely and lost and wanted someone to make me feel better. I am a loathsome human being. It’s about the worst thing I’ve ever done.

I saw him for 4 months, and over that period, I slowly began to piece myself together again out of the rubble of my marriage. The Boy-Child helped me, with his love. Oh, I did a bad thing… Because when I eventually woke up, I found myself in a really rather heavy relationship with someone who, to be brutally honest, really fucking irritated me.

He was the most absent-minded person I have ever met. He used to leave things all over my house – important things – and lose them. Which wouldn’t be so bad if he didn’t try and blame me and my son for the losses.

“Did The Boy take my work pass?”


“How do you know?”

“Because I know him. If he had it, he’d tell me. You shouldn’t leave things lying around that you don’t want him to touch, though.”

“Goddamnit! He needs to learn not to touch my stuff!”

“Excuse me, fucker – my boy DIDN’T touch your stuff!”

I bought him a bowl to put by my front door. Called the Twat Bowl. When he entered the house, he emptied his pockets into it. I would accept responsibility for things going missing from the Twat Bowl. Everywhere else, he was on his own.

“Do we have to call it the Twat Bowl?”

“Yes – we wouldn’t need it if you weren’t such a twat…”

He was brilliant with my boy, but critical of my parenting. This REALLY pissed me off. He had no children, there were no young children in his family – what the fuck? I could just about tolerate it when he expressed an opinion, but not criticisms. We went to see a kid’s show at the theatre. The Boy got restless in his chair and sat on the steps in the aisle next to me – like a good dozen other children.

(hissed) “What-do-you-think-you’re-doing?”


“The Boy – he’s running riot!”

“No – he’s sitting on the step, clapping with the other children.”

“He needs to be in his seat.”

“He needs to enjoy the show I paid £11 for him to see, and he is now he’s moved – he’s OK there, I can see him.”

“I don’t think it’s acceptable behaviour…”

“He’s only 2, it’s a long time for him to sit still, he isn’t disturbing anyone – it’s fine…”

“I’d like him back in his seat, please.”

Fuck off. Just fuck off.

He was incredibly judgemental. In the supermarket: “Did you just put Grazia magazine in your trolley? Take it out! Come on D – you’re an intelligent lady. Justify to me why you read that shit…”

1. I don’t have to justify myself to anyone.
2. If we’re feeling all justify-y though, justify to me how you can criticise me for reading Grazia when you read comics and  categorize real human beings by personality types based on some weirdass geeky superhero scale?
3. Fuck off. Just fuck off.

I was tinkering with the idea of getting a kitten – I looked at rescue centres, then found breeders of Cornish Rexes in my area.

“There is no way you’re getting a pedigree kitten. It’s immoral.”

“I’m sorry – I’ll get whatever kind of kitten I like…”

“I disapprove D, I really do…”

I tried to talk to him about how his judgmental attitude made me feel. Told him that my principles were sadly more fluid than his – for example, I don’t believe in private education, but I would definitely send my son to a private school if I felt there was no other option. Where The Boy is concerned, the greater good goes out of the window.

Boy-Child could see my point, but didn’t stop the judging, and told me he couldn’t send any child of ours to a private school. I should have been pleased that he saw The Boy as ‘his’, but it just made me bristle.

He was a very, very immature 28. He lived like a student in a tiny bedsit, and had done that weird thing of printing the *whole of the internet* out and papering his walls with it, totally missing the point of digital content. It was like walking into something out of Seven – deadly sin: immaturity. Cartoons, ‘funny’ signs, satirical articles… All over the walls. He asked where he’d put it when he moved in with me. I looked around my house, full of MY things, with carefully chosen, original art on the wall. This wasn’t going to work.

He took the piss out of me for owning such bourgeois items as a garlic press, and a wok.

He was amazing in bed – but every time we had sex, I got a UTI. Tests at the doctors confirmed they were caused by fecal matter. Oh good god. We started showering before and after sex. Didn’t stop the UTIs. Did he spunk shit?! So, so bad. In contrast, I had some of the filthiest sex of my life with The Pirate, with no thought for prissy showering, often 4 or 5 times on the bounce and including anal, without a single UTI. Me and the Boy-Child, we just weren’t compatible.

I could go on, but things came to a head when I lost my temper. I was dishing up and stressed, he kept telling me to calm down in a really patronising, hushed tone, which made me want to kill him, and then I burned my arm on the oven tray, so deeply I am now scarred.

“For FUCK’S sake!”

“Calm down, D…”

“Tell me to calm down one more time and I will gouge your eye out with this spoon…”

And he believed me. He refused to speak to me all day and all night, and when I did manage to break the silence, he told me he was disappointed in my behaviour and scared of me.

He really believed I’d gouge his eye out.

The sulking dragged on for days. He told me I was a danger to myself and others. I told him, somewhat predictably, to fuck off – there’s only so many times I’ll apologise for something, especially when I don’t consider that something to be that bad. And from then, it was just plucking up the courage to end it.

And I did. Initially over the phone, but then I drove over to his to talk. See, Pirate? This is how you end it with someone. It’s fucking horrible but it has to be done.

And oh, it was horrible. He couldn’t look me in the eye. I did a bad thing.

And it gave me the confidence to dally with a Pirate. So you could say that my deeds didn’t go unpunished.

I am deeply embarrassed about my behaviour. I have erased him from my history – all photos, all emails, everything he ever gave me has gone. I don’t want to be reminded of the bad thing I did. And I’d rather die than speak to him – I would actually combust with self-loathing.

And I suspect that this is how The Pirate feels about me. I was his pity-fuck, his confidence-boost. Awesome.





4 Comments on “I did a bad thing”

  1. I sincerely don’t mean to be harsh or cold to the Boy-Child, but I would suggest to you that people take their experiences and either become better or worse for them. He, it would seem, took his early experiences and integrated them into a personality that is judgmental, bitter, condescending and controlling.

    He has a very promising future as some unlucky woman’s EX-husband.

    And you needn’t beat yourself over it anymore. You were needy. You were in a bad place. These stories are the reasons that most of us wisely do not date people who are pinballing out of a marriage or other relationship. When you sign up to be the Rebound Person, that’s usually what you are.

    So, my advice? Quit whipping yourself and chalk it up to experience. And go out and do something positive with it. 🙂

  2. Definitely quit whipping yourself! That guy sounds like a COMPLETE tool and I may well have attempted to gauge his eye out with that spoon if he’d have said those things about MY kid…. God knows what I’d have been driven to listening to the rest of that irritating judgemental horse shit.

    So you let him, even encouraged him to fall in love with you. So what. You didn’t realize you were doing it for the wrong reasons at the time. You didn’t purposely hurt him. AND he should have been aware enough to see what a vulnerable state you were in.

    You can not swallow all the blame. There were two people in that situation.

  3. Thank you both. Your words did make me feel marginally better about affairs. My behaviour doesn’t negate the fact that we were not compatible at all, personality-wise. And he admitted he had problems with being seen as judgmental and condescending (BECAUSE YOU ARE, BOY-CHILD! TIS THE TRUTH!) I saw him with his parents once, and could see where it all began – they treated him like the Messiah, nothing he said was wrong (even when it was) and they hung off his every word. Note to self: quit worshipping The Boy. He’ll turn into a Boy-Child… But still. I used him. Not cool…

  4. Lady E says:

    I guess we all have stories like that, presumably he knew you were in a head-fuck and that perhaps this was not the best time for you to get all serious and committed so soon after your husband leaving…
    I agree with TPG and Cadence, he has to take responsibility for himself, your role was not to protect him, and you had not committed to him, so in that respect, you didn’t mislead him.
    Ps. Although I’ll fully admit that it is full of shite, I enjoy reading Grazia too 🙂

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