To those who ran a key along Jason's car yesterday, continuing your campaign of bullying and hatred, Prepare to account for your actions. To those who could have put a stop to it months ago, I really suggest you do so now, before I do the one thing I said I never would. Stop these cretins now, remove them from working with vulnerable people. This situation will escalate beyond all comprehension, if you don't. I MEAN THAT, and you well know it!
Jay This is one of the hardest blogs I will ever have to write, but also one of the most important. People come and go throughout your life, some times with swift regularity. Then there are people like Jay Greaves. He went and came back. We all need breaks in friendships now and again, but this is a special friendship, with a great guy, who I happen to care about deeply. He is everything I ever wanted in a friendship. Honest, up front, a battler and just happened to be with us, when we needed him most.
Jay lived through, what we did, under the most dreadful of circumstances. We went from being his stability, to him being ours. He saw us both age, beyond our years, literally overnight. He watched me collapse, gave me heart massage, sat with me, through rapid cycling, over a three hour period, listened to me cry, endure mania and shock, and still remained with us. I can truly say, without him, I may not even be here. Not only has our situation changed myself and Jason beyond all comprehension, but it has had a lasting effect on Jay. We suffered because we didn't have a choice, Jay suffered, because he wanted too, to be with us.
I would lay down my life for this boy, because he deserves, commands and will forever have my respect. At 25 years old, he saw pain, real pain and dealt with it, so we could get through it in one peace. That is honorable, decent and so heartfelt, it really can not be put into words. He has true integrity and will forever be in our hearts.
We have all decided to go our separate ways, when Jason and I leave for Spain. These last two months have been particularly traumatic for everyone here at Capri. The memories of what has happened are raw and have left gaping wounds. It would be unfair for Jay, to relive these times, by traveling with us. Like us, he deserves a fresh start. He needs to think of himself, without the knowledge of this tainted and disturbing past. We are having to make drastic choices, all of us. To be honest, the instability in our life, should only be dealt with by us.
I met Jay a few years ago, introduced by someone else, then immediately told to avoid him, so I didn't. I always find that judgements about others, from opinionated people, usually mean the opposite. Lies from those who really have no room to judge. The story of my life thus far! Life experience has taught Jay much at such a young age. I have always wondered why some of us learn and others like me, make the same mistakes. I guess it's to do with being able to work out people. They only have to smile at me, nick my wallet and stroke me like a dog, for me to fall hook line and sinker. Not the case with Jay!
Jay has taught me much about people, yes a twenty something year old, teaching an old man, but then I never really learned from previous mistakes. Gullible and a sucker, still learning and failing at the same rate! A bit bipolar if you ask me!
At all those traumatic events in my life and there are many, Jay has been there though thick and thin. Despite having his own life, he put everything on hold, for people he cared for. That is the mark of true character. To be honest so much has been said about our friendship, but people who are of no importance or relevance in my life, seem to always have to have their say. Not nice people, not true and honest individuals but, the lowest of the low.
Friendship is about strength, supporting and loyalty. It is about giving not taking. It is about loving someone, who quite frankly, has become a part of my family. I will always think of you Jay. When you are ready to come over, we will be there. Achieve everything you want to achieve. Keep the dignity and morals we lost years ago and thank you for your sufferance and pain, you went through with us. Thanks for being my best man, and cheers for all your support over the years. You will always be my gay son. You are a fantastic Manager. Go for higher things and achieve all I was prevented from doing!
I suppose today has signaled the end of life here in the UK. The end of traumatic times, illness and relapse. It happened so suddenly, I can hardly believe it myself! Last year my life was very different, what a difference a year makes eah, but it was all part of knowing, realisation and changing our life for the better. As hard as this year has been, here in the UK, it has taught me much about other people and me as a person. Not always good things, but stuff I had to realise for myself. It has also made me wake up to others! Not everyone is good and honest. There will be people who seek to harm others and as humans, we have to learn from that, harden up, do things we don't always like doing and become fully aware, to prevent future pain. I'm learning, quickly. Next time I will be on my toes, eyes wide open and able to deal with whatever comes my way!
More emotional farewells again to day. Recently, I have been a right emotional wreck, dealing with so many farewells. We are leaving so many wonderful people behind, for a new life, with no guarantees. As a couple we have also had much to deal with and accept, that leaving had become the only choice available to us. We have always gone from one country to the next, so for us, It has become part of the course. I am not enjoying it as much as I used too, but as one of my more vocal volunteers said today, I have aged so much, so quickly. They reminded me of how young I used to look, a bit of a fittie apparently. Looks do fade, over time and I do feel old beyond my years, but these are all reasons to move to Spain, rebuild our life, embrace new cultures and most importantly, live somewhere, where no one knows you, judges you and controls your very existence.
A lot of people think we are foolish to be doing what we are, but really what choice have we ever had. If you want to keep living, you have to move forward, not only mentally, but also physically. Of course we are both nervous, who wouldn't be, but life changing experiences, make for life changing decisions. We will both survive. We have family in Hrvatska and Australia, so we are not without hope. Jason's family are family in every sense of the word, and are welcoming, warm and have always been there. His Mother has been a rock of support, never once rejecting me as her 'New Son', offering unconditional love and all this, whilst living thousands of miles away. A Lady in every sense of the word. My family, good, generous and honest people, just like my husband!
If one looks back, at ones life here in the UK, what would I say is my biggest achievement? Brenda, a volunteer at Oxfam summed it up perfectly.
'We all know, you are a bit of a rebel, enjoy a drink and like a celebration, but you are one of the kindest, genuine, honest and loved people we have ever known. You have done more for the self esteem of vulnerable people, than anyone. So many success stories, because of your gentle coaching, motivation and nurturing. You should be very proud!'
The only opinions of me that matter, are from those, who I have worked with, over many years. Words are the most important memories, you can take with you. Funny how, now at the late stage, you forget all the bad things that were said in your life. They do not matter any more!
I had my leaving meeting today, with my HR adviser, who arrived at the shop at midday. This is a true, genuine and honest lady, who has put up with the best and worst of me. She understands the pain we went through, listens to me always and has never judged. I am happy that she was there conducting my final official role and know she accepted the words I expressed and replied with meaning and truth.
They are a good lot at Oxfam. As an organisation, they work tirelessly for a cause and purpose, that many of us go through life, not experiencing. Working with such people, has made me a much better person and gave me purpose at a time, when sometimes, I lacked hope. These ideals, are ones, we should all aspire too. Making the World a better place is important, if not for yourself, than for those you seek to empower.
I will always take good memories with me from Oxfam. Keep working hard, all of you, to make poverty history!
As I look round, this empty old house, stripped bare, I feel fortunate to have met the people I have, all of them, whoever they are. The tears and pain were worth these final few weeks, because the generosity of everyone, towards us both has been humbling. I am no saint, not the easiest to live with, a pain in the arse, opinionated, hated and loved in equal measure, but also grateful for the opportunities, experiences and people I have met. It was all worth it in the end!
From what I was told, I have been the longest serving Manager in the shop, since it opened many years ago and it is not only a wrench for me to leave, but also for my volunteers to loose me as their Manager. We have built up some good relationships, have formed bonds and have worked well as a team.
Today I said goodbye to my oldest volunteer, Mavis. She has been at the shop, since it opened. She is a marvelous soul, hard worker, Oxfam stalwart and a true Lady. When you tell a different generation, of your plans and dreams, you think that they would automatically feel you are doing the wrong thing. Older people have an ethos of stability and security, not throwing ones life in the air and moving abroad. However our circumstances are different.
Mavis was supportive, generous with her words and like me, had a tear in her eye. She passed on her address and I promised to drop her a letter as often as I could. I will miss people like Mavis. Her age, wisdom and knowledge, has got me through some rough times, and she has helped make lots of money for Oxfam. Her advice has always been invaluable and her outlook on life is very forward thinking, modern and progressive. I find her a local treasure. People like Mavis should be celebrated, their achievements rewarded and their time acknowledged. They are the biggest part of Oxfam and that should never be forgotten!
End of work meeting tomorrow. Our life here in the UK, really is coming to a close!
Peace and love always!
Just had a surprise email from a colleague. A surprise for me, because of who they are. I have to say it has made me chuckle somewhat, Anyway, I promised them I would not mention their name, so I wont. They asked why I wont name and shame people? Well there is a very simple explanation why. The time is not right and I haven't even considered it yet. The nature of who these people are, make them particularly disgusting and I am not sure if I want to mention them ever again. It will depend on just what happens before we leave. If situations are resolved quickly, so save Jason any more pain, that is where it will be left. Factors and circumstances will dictate what I do next. Believe me I am not protecting bad people, but I do not want to affect the good people, who may well be collateral damage!
Hope that answers your question!
Just over two years ago, Jason was befriended by someone, at a time when life was difficult for both of us. We were going through the roughest of patches and this person was there for him. He felt able to speak to them, trusted their advice and believed what he was being told. This was 'The Collector' at work, doing what they did best. Lying and manipulating, for their own ends!
For two years, Jason felt the need to entrust himself, his thoughts and his life to a person, who quite simply is bad. They are bad in every sense of the word, so bad in fact that others were shocked at our association with them, but have finally had the courage to say why and the truth isn't pretty. I have no need to publish that truth, because I am not that person.
With a complete dossier on someones life, anyone can take advantage of a persons good and trusting nature. Jason is one of the nicest and most honest people I have ever met, yet from manipulation and bullying, the collector turned him into a liar and a cheat, These were not Jason's traits, they were forced upon him, through believing in the authority of a parasite, because that is what they are, they leach off the life blood of other good people!
Never trust anyone who says 'Trust me, I'm your friend', look deep into their eyes and see the person they really are, see them as the evil they are, because if you don't it will be to your cost. I am happy that I have moved on, Jason has a long way to go, but he will get there and remember this, one day you will get your just deserts, maybe not from me, but someone will give you the shock of your life!
As I finally recover from a Bipolar Relapse, life for me will change. Dealing with the after effects will take a life time. Forever Enduring Cycles will document recovery and a new chapter in my life.
(Bare Naked Truth Blogger)