Saturday, 28 January 2012

How I met Barry

This is what I wrote on facebook about how I met Barry and why I am with him.
And still with him even though he gave me HIV

There is a lot more too it than this in fact . I would have to write a book to include all that happened for me and for him, but this is it in short - very short!!

I do not fool myself that anyone, other than me, will care or anyone wll read this except for me but I want to record it as part of our journey together.
As this was why I started this blog, as our own personal journey from diagnosis with HIV

Also/in addition!!
I so hope my lovely daughter will one day see this and know for certain that whatever a 'pigs ear' I made of bringing her up and however bad it was for her............unlike my own experience, she was born totally out of love , and we love her, she is part of out love  and always will be.

Love you so much Caja!!!!!!

I met my now husband in 1980 through a friend -  Mary Beaman.... love you Mary sorry we have drawn apart ............  while living in south London. She lived in the flat under mine in fact.

Barry became one of my best friends.

At the time I was a feminist and at times promiscuous but mostly with women, and while I had sex with some men, my only serious relationships were with women as men had abused me, let me down and so many other things I truly felt I would never have a serious relationship with a man again, although I still fancied them sexually.

But I did have a sexual  on and off relationship with a folk musician at the time called Pete and before that someone called Richard  ( who I had been seeing on and off since I was 16 years old!!!) 

Neither abused me but also neither respected me in my view or saw me as any real prospect for any real relationship or saw me really as anything but an easy available - to them, an easy lay!!

Little did they seem to realise that  in terms of men, they were the only ones I was available to and the only men I had anything to do with sexually and for many years)

And really I would then not consider to enter Barry, my lovely friend Barry into my world as it was then.
As he was such an innocent, compared to me he so was!! He would say he was not, but honestly he was! He knew how to drink and smoke a bit of dope but in terms of sexual relationships he had only ever had 4 and all of those were long term. I loved my innocent friend Barry.

We all, or mostly , think of men as those who  have the upper hand, and it is men who abuse women?
Yes I think by and large this is so

 But by then I had had enough of being abused, taken for a ride, treated like a piece of dog dirt

~So by then I took what I wanted , and when I wanted.
If anyone was abused then it was Barry by me !!


Barry and I were therefore friends for over 4 years and I never considered having sex with him as basically our friendship was too precious and so rare that  I felt that to do so would change the equality of it and ruin our friendship.
He didn't try and in fact was unlike me, he was  someone who did not ever have random sex, not with anyone.

He had only ever had sex with 4 people in his life - he was over 30 by then- and i knew he would not have sex with me unless we were in a long term relationship and I did not want to alter our friendship as I did not think I ever wanted a long term relationship

And he seemed to want me as a friend only.

Then in 1984 he decided he was bored with living in London and the shallowness of his life in London when he was home from sea, basically drinking partying, smoking a lot of dope,  and having fun, or rather trying to have fun. But in fact it was not fun, he felt empty and wanted a different life.............................

 So he decided to move deep in the country as far away from London as possible and bought a small cottage in Cornwall.

While he was preparing to move I realised I could not live without my now best friend and I loved him.
But I was too scared to act on this and did not want to change or influence his plans as I did not think it fair to do so. And did not know if i could have a proper relationship with a man, and knew this was all he would ever want.
So I remained his friend, supported him to move to Cornwall, 250 miles away..
I also had a VERY senior and well paid job as a senior youth worker, I was in my 30s at the top of my career, owned a lovely flat in Wimbledon London had lots of friends and a good life and knew that in backward rural Cornwall I would never get a job at this level again.
But I missed him so much, he missed me, I visited him in Cornwall every holiday and he visited me for 2 weeks when home from sea.
 One day when staying with him in Cornwall we had sex and I realised I really loved this man. I knw it before, it was not the sex, but this somehow made it clear!!
It turned out he did not want to pressurise me so until 1986 we conducted a long distance relationship.
Seeing each other only every 10 weeks or so when he was not at sea this was a time when there was no Internet, phone calls were so very expensive etc and he was at sea with no way of contacting him for months at a time.
It was a totally different world than the one we all live in now!!

I continued to have on off relationships with others, but I was very unhappy and missed him.

In the end I suddenly had enough. In the space of a week I suddenly decided to throw my life as it was then to the winds
I decided to sell my flat, leave my job and just risk everything and move down to his cottage in Cornwall just to be with him.

Which I did.

In the space of  3 months I sold my flat left my job  - I had been there 7 years and had a job at West 14 Girls House, Based at :  73 Talgarth Road, London, W14,+London,+W14&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x48760f9591289595:0x40ffcb921cf5ed10,73+Talgarth+Rd,+London+W14+9DJ&gl=uk&ei=3yElT9TSMqHU0QW_s-TOCg&sa=X&oi=geocode_result&ct=title&resnum=1&ved=0CCIQ8gEwAA

Such a shame as I can see on Google that it is no longer any kind of youth house or charity, as it is now a privately owned house.

 Yet I gave it my best shot and my most productive working years and I so hoped that it would continue after I left. But I know it folded very shortly after I left.

Maybe now they know how much work I put into it??
I agree I may not have  been a great employee!!!!

But I did my very best and they did not sack me and I truly
loved the girls and young women I worked if my management did not sack me that was their problem and I thought in fact I was very good value for their money??

But they would have found it hard to get rid of me????
 However in 1986 I gave up this secure job and a job I loved......because I wanted to be with Barry

  - So I sold my flat and I then bought an old Luton van, packed absolutely everything I owned into it and my 2 cats and drove  250 miles to Cornwall

I was risking everything as he would not commit - It turned out because he knew I would not be able to work at the level I had in Cornwall and he was a friend as well as a lover and did not want to destroy or be responsible for altering my life.
 But I did not know this so drove with everything I owned to his cottage in Cornwall not knowing if he would not want me there
 Luckily, for me,  he did, with all his heart.
He is just not a risk taker and would also not do anything to risk my life either.

The rest is history. I was right I never did get a job at the level I was at in London in Cornwall. I did work for 14 years as a youth worker here but it was a very sexist work environment and women did not stand a chance at a senior job. Things changed in the end,  but far too late for me, as by then I was burnt out and ill.

But we sold Barry's cottage bought a rambling derelict smallholding together with  the money from the sale of my flat money and his money from the sale of his small cottage in Ashton.

We have been renovating it now since 1986 - a lifetimes work .....for what I now  sometimes wonder ???? It is our home and a lovley view but wonder sometimes if it has been worth the effort of over 20 years of renovation, just to live in a smallholding?
We had a daughter in 1989 - after many attempts and miscarriages ........maybe I should not have tried but we so wanted our daughter , a child of our own that was begot from us both - it was hell the fact I miscarried several times and Caja's birth.....well several times and I so nearly died .........we are both so very lucky to be here now
......but I am so very grateful I had her.S he is amazing.  I just hope one day she reads this and will feel the same too??

We also had foster child before Caja one after wards and it is now 2011 and we are still together and always will be

This is why when people question that because he was unfaithful just once during a stupid drunk moment when working away at sea for 6 months, lonely and probably because he was 50 and had never sown any wild oat sexually so had his only moment of madness in his life, and and people question it was more than once and he was a serial adulterer, I know this is not possible!!

I know him so well and know that sadly that brief encounter with that woman in Brazil was the only risk he has ever taken in his life and how much he regretted it even before it was finished .

And I am so sad for him that unlike many he could not even get away with just one fling!!

 As he got HIV from just one time and gave it to me and lives with guilt every day despite the fact I have long forgiven him and I do not want my lovely husband to feel guilt.

 And we are in this together to death do us part , just as we always were and HIV alters nothing in terms of our relationship.

Post a Comment