It was year 2005, and I was Seventeen years old. It was just before the dawn of social media, and people had to leave the house to meet each other. I was at a college studying a course that only had girls, and I wasn’t at the legal drinking age, so it was hard to find a romantic. All my friends had boyfriends, and that was all they would talk about, so I felt left out. I had put the idea of having a boyfriend on a pedestal, and I was, quite frankly — completely desperate.
I had half-sisters a decade older than me, and they had started including me in the partying lifestyle. Also, it was a very working-class town, and they didn’t care about checking IDs on the door of clubs, especially if you were a girl. Girls as young as fourteen would go out drinking. I was on a night out when I met a man who asked for my number, let’s call him Muddy. I wasn’t that attracted to him. He was cute but shorter than me.
“He’s a nice lad. He’s not that short. Give him a chance,” is what my sisters told me. I’m sure all women have heard that verse before, “but he’s really nice, don’t be so shallow.” I felt awful, and my sisters manipulated me into giving him a chance, “being shallow” isn’t good, is it? So, I gave the “nice guy” a chance and hoped that I would develop more of an attraction to him.
A few weeks after meeting him, I passed my driving test and got my first car. I also fitted the image of the current beauty trend at the time: being blonde (out of a bottle) and tanned (out of another bottle). I was feeling proud of myself, and my self-esteem was high.
Then one late afternoon, he rang me.
“Fancy going out tonight? Please meet me at the station”.
There was something off about this phone call. Muddy sounded like he had a few to drink. However, my naive mind told me that it was too early in the day to drink, and I was letting fear get in the way. I had just finished reading “Feel the fear and do it anyway,” so I convinced myself I should go and meet him.
You might need a drink yourself to read what happens next.
I get there, and he is all over another woman. She sees me and says, “Im his Auntie, don’t worry.” Dont worry. Ok, but that’s very worrying. Muddy then tells me we should ride around in my car. Forcefully, he walks to my car and jumps in the passenger seat. He then turns towards me with hate in his eyes and shouts, “YOU’RE A SPOILT BRAT.”
I was in shock, which might be why this “date” continued. I went silent and wasn’t engaging in conversation with Muddy as we drove around random places.
He managed to do all the talking.
The next question he asked me was, “do you want sex?” That was a hell of no response from me.
The whole car journey consisted of him telling me how spoilt I was and asking me how much my car and petrol cost that my “dad paid for”. I hadn’t told him anything about myself. He angrily called me a liar when I told him I paid for it.
Muddy said he didn’t want a girlfriend “who already had everything, as he didn’t feel he had anything to offer.”
He also had a creepy obsession with my age and asked me how old I was every few seconds. He was also criticizing how quiet I was and said that I didn’t have enough confidence.
The next hurl of abuse was at woman drivers, and he stated that women shouldn’t be allowed to drive as they are not good at it.
It gets better.
I quickly realized that he had an obsession with one of my half-sisters. He wanted to know everything she had said about him. Maybe, this is why she was so eager to put a good word in about him. She maybe wanted to keep him around to boast her ego, very weird. I remember thinking, “is this my sister’s idea of a nice lad?”
As I pulled the car over and stopped on a sideway, he went to kiss me by putting his tongue inside my mouth. At that moment, I acted on my instincts and bit his tongue. He screamed. “I can’t believe that you bit me?” he gasped together with a victimized look on his face.
Finally, he got out, and the car, and I thought I had finally gotten rid of him. However, he held the passenger door open while peeing into the road. I somehow managed to grab the door, quickly shut it, and then lock it.
I drove off, leaving him on the outskirts of town.
The next time I saw him was the following evening in a pub. He, of course, lashed out and told me that “I was too shy for him.” I had, however, already ditched the guy.
Six months later, I had a dream about Muddy. In the dream, he sang a song to me called “I’m just a jealous guy” by John Lennon. Then a few years later, after bumping into him again (it’s a small town) while out at a concert, I turned on the music channel the next day, and Bryan Ferry was singing, “I’m just a Jealous guy.”
Young girls growing up are programmed to believe that other women are the enemy and are the jealous ones. Fairy tales fail to warn us about the potential of having an envious partner. Sometimes the prince is the bad guy, not the story’s hero.
Envy is something others tell us that we should take as a compliment. Having it projected at you is unsettling and terrifying and can even be a case of life and death. In 1967, Kenneth Halliwell murdered his lover Joe Orten out of evil after Joe Orton had become a successful playwright. This story is explained in the book, “The 48 laws of Power.”
This man named Muddy went on the get married and had children. He married someone with the same name as mine. She also has the same coloring and height as me. as if his mental health wasn’t questionable enough. Hopefully, this is just a coincidence. It freaked me out a bit.
Older men target teenagers not because of biology but because they are easier to manipulate. Muddy seeing that I could drive maybe made me seem less controllable. If I were to go back in time, I would tell my seventeen-year-old self the following.
“You were never hard to love, just hard to manipulate.”
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This post was previously published on medium.com.
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