This morning, I heard the postman put what sounded like two packages through the letterbox. They landed with two soft thumps on the doormat. I went to retrieve them and saw that there were two manilla jiffy bags, adddress side down on the mat. It crossed my mind that they might be books that I had ordered from the USA some weeks ago, but I knew as soon as I picked them up, before even looking at the addressee label, that they were not for me, and they contained things that I would rather not think about while I go about my day to day life.
They were both addressed to my torturer. Both packages had the familiar weight and “feel” of the many packages I picked up over the years as they arrived in a steady stream from online suppliers of “sexy lingerie” promising delivery in “discrete plain wrapping”.
I stood in the hallway with the two jiffy bags in my hand, re-reading the name on the address label and feeling increasingly sick.
He has been gone from my home for some time now. Why am I suddenly recieving these packages addressed to him again? A wave of paranoia swept over me as I speculated on possible intent. Obviously, it could have been a mistake on the part of the supplier of “sexy lingerie”, but I couldn’t help worrying about how perhaps he has done this to give him an excuse to show up at my home on the pretext of picking up his mail. I don’t have a forwarding address for him, and even if I did, why the hell should I take time out of my day to go to the post office so that he could receive his objects of perverted desire? Maybe he just wanted to show me he could still get to me? His sick idea of having the last laugh. Why was this happening? Why now?
So many of these things arrived over the years. Large boxes containing high heeled thigh length boots. Rolled packages, the hard strips inside a tell tale sign of a corset. Dresses. Stockings. Girdles. Shoes. Handbags. Teddies. Baby doll nightdresses. Catalogues. Sometimes they would arrive addressed to his “female” name. He loved shopping. “Treating [femme name]” it was referred to. One Valentines day he “treated” “her” to expensive perfume and a red bra and knickers set. I was taken for a meal while he wore them under his jeans and sweatshirt. He would tell me that he was buying things for “her” to dress in as a treat for *me*, then expect me to ravish him. Ignoring that I barely touched him at all. That I had screamed at him that he is “A FUCKING PERVERT – GET OUT OF MY HOUSE” more times than I can remember.
So, you see, I am wary of surprise packages.
I made a cup of tea. Cried some. Got angry. Cried again. Switched off the entry system to my flat in case he decided to “drop round”. Switched my phone off. Hunkered down. I was supposed to meet my daughter this afternoon, but I cancelled, choosing instead to go back to bed where I spent the day in dark depression.
I have days when I barely consider my life before. The years in numbness and disassociation. Walking around like a half-dead person with flat emotions, unable to feel joy or pain. Then something like this happens, and for a few hours I cry. I cry for my lost years. For the lost me and for the part of me that died.
I want to reach out to every woman who has ever been hurting inside with no one to tell that to. Who has tried to speak and been told that they are being ridiculous, or that they have to learn to “accept”, to “have compassion”. Who has kept secrets they didn’t want to carry inside them. Who has feared rejection by the “normal” world. Who has smiled when they feel dead inside. Who has buried their anger so deep that the thought of it escaping terrifies them. Who has ever lost themself.
You are not alone. I’m holding your hand, as those women who helped me find my sanity held mine. I love you, my sisters.
I will be putting the packages back in the post, marked “Not known at this address”. I did think of dropping them off at the pub he drinks in with a note attached saying “STOP GETTING YOUR PERVERT UNDIES SENT TO MY ADDRESS”, but I know that would backfire and get ugly. So I’ll settle with giving him the hassle of tracking down his frillys.