Well. Where to start. Oh, that’s right, I kinda have already. More back story? Yeah, That’ll do.
I grew up on a dairy farm, near a small town, happy, healthy, a bit sporty, reasonably bright. Not a care in the world. Well, I did my job as a teenager, and had the angst, normal teenage stuff, got down about things that didn’t matter, listened to lots of emotionally driven music, but didn’t act out too badly. We partied like it was 1999! (And it was only the 80s!) I had great friends, and a great life. Just waiting to finish school, get out of the hell hole that was my own small town, and live! Back then, in small towns in my country, not that many kids stayed until the end of high school, by the end of my final year, there were only about 27 of us, at a school of around a thousand students. Made us close. We had a blast! Most of my best mates were male. My BFF and I hung with the “cool kids” but we never got into all the sex, drugs and rock and roll they did, we were there, passing on the joints, drinking the booze, listening to the music, having the sleepouts under the stars, having a laugh, but abstaining from all the sex and drugs. Our mates who were into it all never minded, we were just some of the guys, there was no judgement either way.
At the end of that year, when I was planning to be the only one from my year to head to a university at the other end of the country to study law and commerce, my parents sat me down, and told me they were divorcing. BAM! Didn’t see that one coming. My traditional parents, who looked to be still in love after 19 years married, were divorcing. Okay. Whatever. They asked me if I knew why. Oh, yeah, I was just turned 17 (I was bumped ahead a year in school) and I, like every other 17 year old knew quite a lot, right, I mean, of course I knew more than these old crusties! Money. Of course. What? No? No, Dad is gay. Okay. Whatever. Sorry about that Mum. Are you guys okay? Yeah? Okay then. Cue Dad leaving, and never looking back. Mum grieving pretty hard for around a year. She used to say it was like memory loss, going through the motions numbly, although I was away at uni, I saw her coping incredibly well. After all, she sold the farm, bought a gorgeous house in town, got her first job since she’d been married, learned how to pay bills, invest money, sorted my two younger brothers out. What a star. The only thing was, I asked questions. I said to Mum, “well, you used condoms, huh, when you found out about Dad, right?” It was 1985, of course she did. NOT. Then I panicked every time she rang me at uni. She rang often, at least once a week, or I would call her. We got really close in the aftermath of divorce. She was such a good egg. Every time she rang, I thought she was calling to tell me she was HIV positive. I know she got tested, but I kept thinking she had been re-tested and was going to have it. For sure. I was bloody sure I was never going to have unprotected sex with anyone. Maybe ever. I didn’t want to have sex if it meant you could get sick, or die. Hell, AIDS was the tip of the iceberg, sex had so many filthy diseases associated with it, right? So, I didn’t. I had a high school boyfriend at the end of that last year , who I loved very dearly. One of the guys, one of those great mates, who grew into the man I loved. We had an on/off thing for the next few years, he was in a different part of the country, and we were “off” when at uni, but wrote almost daily, and we’d always spark up when the holidays came around. I thought we were pretty cool about it all. I loved him, he told me he loved me. I decided he would be the guy I would first have sex with. Okay. All good. Except, I never could. We would get so close, but I could never “fit” him in. This went on for far too long! I eventually stopped it with him, or he eventually stopped it with me? Not really sure, we remained great mates, and very loving ones, but stopped with all the shenanigans of trying to “do sexing” (cue Stewie Griffin.) Sooooo, I guess I got the idea that maybe there was something wrong with me. I mean, I LOVED this guy, I was 19, it was time, and I WANTED to have sex/make love with him, he was very gentle, very HOT, very romantic, VERY patient! So WTF? Be normal Paula! Have sex. You want to. So why isn’t this happening???
In my third year of law school, I struggled. I struggled to see what I was doing, I was HATING uni. I hated the legal “ethics” we were exploring, and I decided I didn’t want to be a lawyer. So, I dropped out, just after halfway through the year, and moved “home” – to Mum’s new house. She had a job interview for me the next day. I took it. It was on a thoroughbred stud farm, and racing stables. WTF? Only the scuzzy people with no brains at my school did that! But, I LOVED it! I grew up with ponies, eventing and show jumping, and loved milking and helping Dad out on our farm, so this was liberating, I loved the horses, I loved foaling, I loved riding trackwork, I loved the long hours, I loved it all, I didn’t have to be that corporate arsehole after all, WOOHOO! I had a ball. Then I decided to go to vet school. I had always wanted to be a vet, but got pushed into law and commerce by the school guidance counsellor/careers advisor (the greed is good 80s) as I topped my year in English, Accounting and Economics, no more Sciences for you my dear (and I adored Chemistry!) So, the following year, I headed down the country to vet school. Yeehaa! Of course, I partied way too hard, and had far too much fun to get in. Oh, and towards the end of the year, one of my male friend’s flatmates, a guy I knew and liked, a very overweight guy with a great sense of humour, violently raped me. I got help. I got stitched up, inside and out because I was ripped to shreds, swabbed, tested, comforted, asked if I needed help with the police. I was so dazed, and confused. I thought, “hang on, I know this guy, he’s a good guy, WTF? Maybe he made a mistake……I don’t want to ruin his life, I’m okay. I’m not gonna report him.” I thought I processed it all in a really healthy way. I knew it wasn’t my fault, I was alive, I was okay (no diseases, a morning after pill) and I didn’t feel emotionally screwed up. Notch that one up to experience. BAD experience, but that is how life goes, right? I never thought about it again too much really. I knew it was bad, but I was okay. I was one tough cookie, right?
Fast forward about six months. I was back in my hometown, back working on the stud farm for the summer. I was flatting with two great Swedish girls I worked with. We were having a fab time. One day at the annual pre-Christmas local raceday, I ran into Roger, I knew him vaguely, a guy that used to go out with a girl I went to school with. I’d met him briefly a few times, nice guy. Skinny. Tall. A foot taller than me. Quite good looking, but I hadn’t ever really noticed before. A local farmer who had recently returned from overseas. We got talking, and laughing, he was FUNNY, and KIND, and FUNNY (and sexy!) and we ended up spending most of the afternoon and evening together. He offered to drive us (including my flatmates) into town after the races and we all had dinner, and drinks. He drove us home afterwards. Nice guy. No drama. The next day, I came home from work, and he pulled into my driveway, he had my handbag, I’d left it in his ute! Oh, God, what an idiot! He asked me out for a drink. WHAT? I thought he had a thing for the Swedes. OOOOOO-kay, got that wrong, so off we went. And that was that. I fell for him immediately. He used to be on my doorstep every evening I arrived home, a hand-picked bunch of flowers from his garden, or a bag of groceries to cook me dinner in his arms, or would phone me within minutes of arriving back, asking me if he was being a bit full-on, he didn’t know what was happening, he had NEVER been so forward with a girl, and he’d never felt this in love before. I fell into bed with him within the week, WELL within the week! He was amazing. He didn’t even try to make love to me the first time we slept together, he tells me he sensed I was a little … he wan’t sure, vulnerable? So he held me, and kissed and stroked my body gently all night. When we did make love, later, he was gentle, urgent, and incredible!!! We were fused. I decided not to go back to uni, and moved in with him five weeks(!!!) after first meeting him.
Now, I knew about his ex, my old friend. I knew she had cheated on him. We talked. I made sure he was over her. He told me the whole sordid story. She lived in another city, they only saw each other every second weekend. He caught her fucking four other guys, well, her flatmate told him about one, after months of suspicion, late night driving up to her house to try to catch her out, and subsequently he heard there were at least four. He tried to make it work with her, she was sorry, she was lonely, yaddah, yaddah, yaddah. His family always hated her, his best mate hated her. I was never a fan, she was in the periphery of a social group I knew at school, very upwardly mobile, I am sure she saw young farm owner, cha-ching$!#! He promised me it had been over for a fair while, he couldn’t stay with her, he tried, but he sacked her and had moved on. She had tried to stay in his life, hanging on by her claws, but he had cut her off. We were delirious on a love high!
To be continued…..(sorry if you are asleep by now!)