31 crabs. (Chapter #)
First edit .
Around 17 years ago, a man, who Sarah was married to and, who was in his final year of clinical psychology, took it upon himself to diagnose her.
I know some of you are going to get what is going on here straight off the bat. But for those of you have not had the dubious pleasure of engaging first hand with personalities such as these I will explain a bit more about how this stuff works. And, even then, you might meet this man in person and, I have little doubt, you would probably disbelieve this account of totally true events entirely regardless.
Because that is how this works.
But back then, and until now, and in this moment that you’re taking the time to read this – here is an important part of Sarah’s story that may help you make some sense of your own.
Sarah and Jack had a young child. I guess between the age of 1 or 2 – although her timelines have always been roundabout then and about. But the child was still little and her father and Sarah were still young. Just going on 31 or 32 or roundabout then and a bit – which she did not think of as young then, but later realised is both that and often naive as well.
I won’t bother going into the situation too much. Any family who is in the throes of the early years of a first child will tell you how challenging an adjustment it is. Along with the inevitable joys, there is an impossible shortage of sleep and time for the previous twosome – and finances are usually tough. So for Sarah – both times of early motherhood were very stressful and utterly exhausting.
Sex? No thanks. Too tired. And also too resentful as the fathers (and this happened twice so she do come to understand, eventually, that it was of her won making. Her choice of boy men takers and her lack of ability to stand up for herslef or believe that she deserved better. While they went off to the office / university, she juggled kids, home and work. Supporting herself and half of the family as well.
What the fuck woman’s “liberation”?
Sarah was strong. Life had made her so. But year after year of inadequate sleep, almost no personal time for self care and heavy financial stress wears a person down.
Anyway. No sex. And some resentment.
A breeding ground for misdemeanours for a flighty partner who thrived on attention and validation. And so – Jack began to stay late the clinic to “finish off work”.
He told her not to bother coming to the end of the year Christmas party as well and, to be honest, she was so tired by that stage that she was only too relived not to have to get all dressed up and go out at all.
And then… very early in the middle of the night at around 12.30am, Sarah woke up itching down below. And really itching. Like shot upright in bed and hurtled in panties and none down a pretty steep flight of stairs to the guest bathroom – where there was adequate… light and where she, very considerately, would not wake the sleeping new father, to have a look see at what could be causing all the fuss.
She didn’t know why genital crabs were actually called crabs until then. But that was the moment that she found out. And no. They are not like sea monkeys. You can actually see them and they do actually look just like tiny crabs. They walk sideways and everything. Definitely not singing, “Oh I do like to be beside the sea side” because the sea side was nowhere near her pants and neither should any tiny crabs have been.
Long story short was that Sarah was far less considerate when she woke the wandering willy up. Lied like a pro. As they do. Slips off the tongue. Or perhaps he had already prepared his story because, for someone to be woken up with an exhausted and irate newly christened mother, still carrying some extra pounds and big enough to be scary, with the lights suddenly switched on – overhead spots now beaming down on to a groggy face and an answer to have been expelled as fluidly and quickly as that – would mean:
a) That they were telling the truth
b) That they were, in fact, a sociopath of some description and had planned the entire story in advance and still continued to wander with their willy all over town.
A decent friend finally gave her some closure many long years later and told me, directly, that everybody knew that he was fucking around.
More disgust with “polite society’s” cowardice and the
That, my friends, to me is one of the cruelest things one can do to a person mentally. To not validate their – THE – truth. And for 15 years? That is torture. That is heavy shit.
When that mutual acquaintance finally just said it out loud, as though it was common knowledge, Sarah didn’t even feel anger anymore. She just paused in shocked appreciation that someone had finally had the balls to say it like it was and nodded her head with relief that the truth finally been given air.
But back then her mysterious genital crab infestation was blamed on dealings with the street kids that the wandering willy had gone to help out on a couple of weekends. Do your own research if you are still confused or doubtful. Sarah did. Hoping she was wrong, perhaps. And that he was an honest and not a wandering willy. Early motherhood is terrifying enough without considering having to go it alone. My hat off and a deep bow to the women who have done this because of far worse wandering willies than Sarah’s. It is not very likely you will catch genital crabs from hugging someone.
And finally the truth. So he lied. Of course. He still is. To this day. Sixteen years and bit and a few later. Even though he, himself, must know that the story is implausible. He has stubbornly stuck to it for all of this time – calling crazy on Sarah.
Calling crazy is a common tactic and it works like a mutherfucking bomb. Especially on people who tend to take too much responsibility for other people’s stuff. Good people. Who care. And who don’t lie. To these people it seems unbelievable that someone could be doing it so openly and with such wide-eyed innocence. Makes one doubt the truth. Not so fun. And worse. When people like this, the good, honest folk who have been scammed, momentarily have a lapse of reason at the audacity of personalities like this and the level of bullshit that they can spout – they are pushed to the point of ranting like crazy people. The liars know it. It works like a
I say implausible, and not impossible, because then one of my
But back to the final year of clinical psychology and the sneaky as fuck cover up.
Sarah checked his phone. Sorry. She did. Her bad. But crabs. And she found messages. There were a bundle of them from an unknown number. No name saved on the phone. And the one that she remembered clearly, forver (because she asked him about this one in particular and she has a memory like an elephant – both a gift and a curse), said, “I am soooo happy to have you in my life.” Okay. Not so many ooooo’s. That’s me being bitchy. A work colleague apparently. They must be a tight team at the clinic? No. That’s how they shared. Wow! That’s some sharing of something clearly crabby going on at the orifice.
I’m itching to crack a joke but it would be tasteless without lemon butter and it’s winter so no lemons. Plus. Lemons would sting.
The wandering willy then took it upon himself to book Sarah an appointment with a psychiatrist. She later told me that she couldn’t remember for sure, but he probably got her to go dutch. He was fearful that she was paranoid and delusional. Poor man.
This actually happened.
So Sarah went and had a
Sarah stayed though.
She had a young child and she was a child of an acrimonious divorce and she did not want the same for her daughter. But his wanderings continued – here and there – and there were minor gaps and disappearances that, even though she tried hard to ignore them, built up over time and further distanced them.
He even left at one point. Sarah convinced him to return as he had done the same thing. The same timeline. With his first child. And he saw his stuff and he
So after a year or so of Mr &
But his insistence that she had imagined the wanderings and it was because she am bat shit crazy never parted ways with her. He reverted to this amateur diagnosis of it was all in her head (starting with BiPolar) every time they had a disagreement
The BiPolar “diagnosis” was later switched suddenly to “Borderline”, after he had been practicing for a while and clearly realised that he could not get away with this. Although in some messages he used a variety of diagnosis, all at once, depending on how pissed off he was. Sarah has those messages still. And it still pisses her off to read them if they are from that time years and a lifetime ago. The recent ones make her laugh, however. Perhaps because the memories of how difficult those past times were are still painful. While the present ones, armed with what she knows, are pretty funny.
Used frequently by professionals to come to some kind of understanding for themselves, mostly, to classify a group of
A vague blanket term, merely hinting, really, that a person is unhinged if used incorrectly.
Anyway. Sarah knew it was rubbish. And so she ignored for many years. Sarah and Jack ran in different circles and it never really affected her world. Not until their daughter was old enough for him to start influencing her – when he finally showed some real interest in being a father. Then he shared it with her. And it made its way into her family support system because of kids and childminding and family and connection with destructive, dishonest exes.
So when there was an altercation over an investment with a family member, this “diagnosis” was leapt upon gleefully.
But that is another chapter.
Sarah still largely ignored it.
Even as it progressed this far.
She had always been talked about for some reason. Perhaps because she have investigated other ways of existing in a world that prefers submission and rigidity. And because she had always stood up and fought for the things that she believe in and for the people that couldn’t fight for themselves. She once slapped a boy (she was not proud of this – it was childish – but she was young) because he was incredibly rude to her step sister at the time and her step sister did not have the strength or sefl confidence to fight back. This is kind of sad because Sarah found it easy to fight for others her whole entire life, but never, ever for herself. But that is how this works as well.
She learned from her beautiful grandmother to ignore it after she came home, crying, one day and her beautiufl granmother said, “Rather that they are talking about you than not even thinking of you at all.”
I’m not sure this is correct after the shit that has been said about Sarah over the years. But I do get the beautiful grandmother’s point. Interesting is better than boring. There is that for an adventurous spirit. And Sarah was always that.
It did hurt later on when Sarah’s second sterling choice of ex-husband (and yes – you will pick them repeatedly if you don’t sort your shit out – this is your stuff playing out as well) said that all of their mutual social circle was laughing at his schizophrenic (a new “diagnosis” now from a layperson, no less) ex-wife. This when she was desperate and reaching out for help. More
And then it did matter. A fuck ton.
But she saw him coming (experience with this personality type going on a lifetime). And she went to get a proper diagnosis first.
And the way that this part of things unfolded in Sarah’s life was all in one terrifying, exhilarating and fucking funny.