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Saturday, April 26, 2003

The story of Michelle

I was just browsing parts of my journal from around the time that Darlene left me, and when I met Michelle and started to get real happy and excited about having her in my life.

I've never talked in here about why things broke down between her and I. For over 2 years, I've kept that to myself. I've talked about it personally with friends that were close to me, but never mentioned it in here.

I learnt a lot from my experiences with Michelle... I guess you could say she really helped me grow up and discover my own strength. It's a shame that we often need to go through hardship and adversity to find out our strengths, but I guess there's no other way.

On this particular page [link removed] is an animation of her dancing, while wearing a purple wig. I commented that "it's a perfect example of how alive she is, and she's not afraid to show it."

I was wrong. It was an example of how much attention she needed.

For most of her adult life, she had been suffering from extreme mood swings and depressions. These were symptoms that were treated relatively successfully, but these symptoms were never looked into, to see what was behind them. It was because of her extreme mood swings and her obsessiveness about babies being the only thing that could bring her happiness, that made me leave her. The relationship was stifling me, and was 'scaring' me with how I felt like I always had to make sure I didn't say anything to upset her. I was doing everything to make her happy, and nothing to make myself happy.

I left her the same day that we were looking for another place to live, and one of the places still had a couple living there, and they had a small baby. Michelle took one look and went weirdly 'clucky', saying that she'd take the place if the baby came with it. The weird part was that she wasn't joking. There was no smile, and she waited for an answer. It was at that moment that I realised I couldn't go on any more in that relationship with her, and I left her that afternoon.

There followed three months of Hell on earth for me. The fact that I'd left her took away her power, and so she had to do whatever she could to regain her power - that was more important to her than anything. So she tried to get me to come back to her with trips together to counsellors - essentially for 'end of relationship' counselling, but she really wanted to get them to 'talk sense into me'. That didn't work, and instead they tried to talk sense into her, so we didn't go to any more counselling sessions. So she tried suicide threats, guilt trips, manipulation, and even death threats. She tried to kill me twice, and I was also physically attacked by her twice.

Her first attempt to kill me was when she tried to drive the car we were in over a cliff, and it was only the prompt use of the handbrake by me that prevented us from going over. That was then also the first time she attacked me.

I explained away the scratches on my face to my work colleagues that day as being done by a cat.

Her second attempt to kill me came a month or so later. She almost rammed her car into mine as I was about to leave my driveway, and then she jumped out of her car with a knife, and held it at her wrist. Her first words were, 'I should've driven my car into you and killed you!" Then she pleaded with me to come back to her, or she'd be forced to cut her wrists in front of me. I was trying to get her to calm down, and put the knife down. I felt like I was in a hostage negotiation situation, and she was her own hostage... it was the second-most bizarre experience of my life (THE most bizarre experience of my life is detailed below). Then a neighbour came out and made a stupid comment - "What's all the noise? Oh, is that a knife?"

When I told the neighbour to call the police, Michelle jumped back in her car and raced away. The police came and took her actions and her threat to kill me seriously, and on their advice I placed a 'threat to kill' charge against her. So then I spent half the afternoon helping them chase her down.

Her and I talked intermittently on the cellphone as I'm driving around the city with the police, trying to find her - them in their cars, me in mine. There were 3 police cars and me involved in this. Eventually I talked her into 'giving herself up'.

And that was when I had the single most bizarre experience of my entire life. Surreal is the best way to describe it.

I pulled up outside a church, after discussing with the police that she'd be there. The plan was that I'd get her to come out, and they'd arrest her. I almost burst into tears and only just managed to control my quivering bottom lip when the cop said, "...and we'll take her down." Stress was getting to me, and his comment made me feel like I was in some kind of tv show about cops and stuff.

So I'm outside the church in the car, and she's poking her head out the church door. I gesture for her to come out and she gestures for me to come in. Then someone is knocking on my door window and I turn around and there's "Bob", the gardener. I wind the window down slightly and he says, "Is that your partner?" I nod, not bothering to argue the point that she's my ex-partner. "She's very distressed," he says.

Then my cellphone rings, and I look down at the centre console and pick it up. It's Michelle's father, calling from England. "Alan, it's Michelle's father here. What's going on? I got a garbled message on my answering machine from Michelle, is she all right?"

As he's speaking, I'm looking at what's happening in front of the church. Because of Bob and the picking up of the cellphone, I missed whatever happened that led up to what I'm seeing at this point: Michelle face down on the grass with her arms twisted up behind her back, with 3 cops holding her down while another one is doing the handcuffing, and another 4 running across the grass to jump on her as well.

"Uuuhh... I can't speak to you right now," I said to her father. "I'll call you back." *click*

Then one of the cops comes over and says I can go now, and they'll call me later. So I drove off and drove around the city in a daze for a few hours. I dropped the charges that night, and they let her go.

The 'church incident' all happened in the space of a few seconds, and I doubt I'll ever experience anything as bizarre as that in the future.

I didn't see or hear from her again for a month, until a week before she was due to leave for England. She rang me and wanted to see me for a coffee one last time. She sounded normal, so I agreed. We had coffee, it was all normal. She was sorry, she was sad she was leaving, she had been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), a mental disorder that seemed to explain her behaviour, and she was now being specifically treated for it, and would I come over that night for another coffee at her place, one last time before she left? I thought about it and agreed.

That night we had a decent chat and said our goodbyes to each other through our conversation. Then when I went to leave, she asked me to stay the night, and when I said no, that was the second time she attacked me. She flipped out completely. So after a very interesting couple of seconds with her arms flailing wildly and me doing what seemed to be some kind of bizarre dance that ended up with me completely avoiding everything she threw at me (which amazed the hell outta me), I left. I never saw her again.

The three months of dealing with everything that happened after I left her was the most stressful time I've ever experienced. I had a nervous twitch in my eye that finally went away about 3-4 months after she had finally gone.

I don't regret getting involved with her and coming to New Zealand to be with her. Coming here was the best thing I could have done for the path of my life, and she helped me with that. She wasn't the reason for me to be here, but she certainly was the reason for me to come here. From my experiences with her, I learnt so much about myself, and I grew so much as well. Because of her, I've learnt more about myself, and about relationships, than I probably could have if I had stayed in Australia. I feel that I wasn't going anywhere in Australia, and she was the catalyst for my continued growth and development. I've become much stronger for what I went through with her.

The biggest strength I learned as a result, is simply that I don't NEED to be with a woman, and when I am with one, I don't need to do everything in my power to make her happy. Those were the two things that I felt I needed - to be with a woman, and to make her happy at the expense of my own happiness. I learnt that those negative qualities are far more destructive to myself and a relationship than anything else.

Wow.

I just realised something. April 25th is her birthday. It was two years ago this month that she returned to England. It was 3 years ago this weekend that I first met her. And it's now that I finally talk about the pain I went through just over 2 years ago.

Happy birthday Michelle. If you ever read this, I hope your life is, or becomes, happier than what you have experienced in your past.

Posted on 4/26/2003 09:37:00 PM Backlinks


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