Saturday, 21 April 2012

The Man In Black

This is a true story that happened to me way back in  1966.
I had recently married my first husband "F" at the time we had only been married about 6 months at the time of the incident and we were living in a rented accommodation in Colberg Place, Stamford Hill, London N16.
The house was one of those old 3 storey type houses with a basement.
Our flat was in the attic. As we climbed 2 flights of stairs up to the landing where our neighbours lived, then we climbed another 5 steps, then 3 steps and we came to the bedroom on the right and the kitchen sink to the left, all it had was a rickety kitchen sink on wobbly legs. We climbed another 4 steps to the top floor landing, The cooker was to the left and kitchen cupboards on the right and there was door directly in front opposite the stairs was the lounge. The lounge was a chalet type room with slanting front wall either side of the window.

Everything was ok and going well within our marriage at that time after all we were newly weds.
"F" was working at Johnny Walkers ( whisky) in London at the time. I stayed home keeping house and tried to get a job at Stamford Hill Odeon cinema close by as i had previously worked for the Odeon company before, but there was none going at the time. I put my name down for various part-time jobs, but nothing came of them.
It wasn't long into our marriage that i found myself pregnant.
Thursdays i went on my own to the cinema which i done every Thursday afternoon.
I got up every morning with "F" to see him off to work each day, then i got on with a few chores around the flat, then i went shopping and always had "F" dinner ready for when he got home from work.

In my bedroom, the dressing table was next to the bed on the left side and the wardrobe was on the right side of the bed, both had mirrors

One morning "F" got up to get ready for work and i had a lay in as i was feeling queasy and unwell. I could hear the kettle boiling and i as i opened my eyes i glanced in the dressing table mirror and saw a man swaying dressed in black clothing behind me, i looked behind me, all i could see was the wardrobe, i turned back to face my dressing table mirror and the man was still there swaying, i blinked a few times, covered my eyes, cold with fear i looked again, he was still there swaying and i looked behind me again nothing. I was feeling so scared and shaky at the time and i screamed for "F" he came running into the bedroom. I told him what had happened and what i could see in the mirror even with "F" there with me. I was shaking so bad and was so scared. "F" said don't be so stupid theres nothing there, he was quite annoyed really but i was adamant that he stayed home for the day.
I eventually got "F" to stay home for the day and take me to my mums in Dagenham and that's where i stayed. I didn't return to the flat at all. "F" had all our furniture put into storage and we lived in my old bedroom at my mums prefab.

I had become friends with a lady in the flat below us named Mitzy. She was a Jewish mature lady. We got on so well and had lots of laughs and we often went shopping to Ridley Market in Stoke Newington Saturdays and sometimes i went with her to visit her daughter whose name i can't remember in Hackney a couple of times during the week. Mitzy used to call up to me to come down for a cup of tea each morning. 
The morning i left the flat, i went to tell Mitzy what had happend and i wouldn't be back.
Mitzy then told me about the people who lived in the flat before us. The mother heard her little girl talking to someone in the bedroom. The little girl said she was talking to the man in the corner, he was dressed in black exactly the same place, but no-one else could see him...
This had happened a couple of times before they moved out.
Mitzy had told me the man was a tailor who lived in the house and had hung himself in the attic.

I know this all sounds so far fetched, but this did happen to me

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Life Goes On...

Now where do i begin to tell this story.
It was 1965 and i was working as an Usherette at the Gaumont cinema, Chadwell Heath and this is where i met my first husband "F". 

"F" and I were married 01/03/1966. Thinking back, i don't think we loved each other at all. I think we were just good friends who decided to get married with no true feelings of love. "F" might have had strong feelings for me, but i don't think i did for him. Sometimes, i try to remember this past marriage and everything seems so vague except for  tragic moments in this this so called marriage.

I had 2 children with "F" the first one was a girl who i was going to name Dawn, but she was born still-birth 22/04/1967.
I blamed the consultant for her death as i signed a form for a Cesarean operation, but the consultant changed his mind while i was under anaesthetic. All i got from the Dr was, I'm sorry but your baby was still born. He had used forceps to deliver her and the forceps had broken a membrane in her head.
If i had the Cesarean operation i believe my baby would have lived and i do believe i should have sued at the time as i was left in labour for 4 days prior to the birth and i was full of nerves like any other new mum to be.  I was aggressive towards the nursing staff as i was in so much pain and "F" especially, because i thought he should have done something like talk to the Dr to make things right, but he said the Dr knows what hes doing which made me more aggressive  and verbal ( was under the influence drugs of some sort at the time too)
I was put in a side ward near other mums and their babies. The mothers were talking about their babies ect..and tried to involve me, but i was too upset given my situation, i felt so confused and bewildered trying to make sense of what had happened. This was supposed to be a happy time for me and i should be nursing my baby like the other mothers.

This event changed my whole outlook on life and everyone around me. I seemed to go within myself and my thoughts and feelings were all over the place and i was tearful all the time.

I had a breakdown and ended up in hospital for a week or 2 of my own accord, i wasn't taken in. I was there just for some rest.

"F" and I was encouraged by our GP to have another baby, which we did a baby boy who i named Gary weighed in at 11.1 born by Cesarean operation. He was a bonny beautiful little boy.

Everything seemed to be ok. "F" got a job on the railways and i helped testing him with his exams and he past ok and we got free travel and everything seemed to be ok with us as i thought and i was trying so hard to try and make this marriage work.

One day, i thought i would go and meet "F" from work. When i got there, i was told he had a weeks holiday and won't be back unto the following week. I thought that's strange and my feeling changed to anger within. "F" had gone to work as normal that morning.

When "F" came home normal time and i asked where he had been, he said he had been to work. I said he was lying, because i took Gary to meet him from work. "F" didn't know what to say and we ended up rowing.
Then another day, this girl Maureen phoned for "F", he wasn't at home at the time. My feelings of anger were taking me over again. When he came home i had it out with him again. Of course he lied his way out and i knew it. Anyway, she phoned again another day and we rowed again and i told him to leave the house, he said no hes not leaving and he told me to leave and we had the most awful row.

One day i was seriously ill with Asthma Attacks and chest infection.  and i took to my bed. "F" wouldn't call the Ambulance for me when i asked him to as i needed to go to hospital. I sometimes wonder if he was after my life insurance at the time as i had increased it.
My friend "M" had sent her brother round to see if i was ok as she hadn't heard or seen me for a few days. Her brother is "?" my currant husband ( another story here).
Anyway, "F" said "?" couldn't see me, but "?" took no notice and pushed his way in and came upstairs to see me. He turned around and went out the door and there was a lot of fighting going on, then "F" left the house. ( I turned my life insurance in after this event)
"?" called the Ambulance and i was taken to hospital and into intensive care where i stayed for 2 weeks.
When i got home from hospital "?" stayed and cared for me.
"F" still wouldn't divorce me at the time.
"?" and I were just good friends to start off with, then i succumbed to "?" and we had an affair and i got pregnant with my daughter "SH".
I told "F" he can pay maintenance for my baby and he said no he ain't, so that's how i got my divorce..I have no shame..ha ha! Mind you it was all serious at the time though.
"F" and I was divorced December 1972. and he married Maureen the one who kept ringing up.

"SH" was born January 1973 and "?" and I married 1st March 1973.

My Gary and I were having problems, so he went to live with my mum. Time passed, Gary and I became estranged from each other. "F" was going round to see Gary more often than i did...

To cut a long awkward story short. After mum had died 1973, i signed Gary over to "F" because thats where Gary said he wanted to be. I havn't seen Gary from that day to this. Gary was 5 yrs old when i last see him 1973. I do think of him daily wondering what he looks like (he was the image of "F" as a child) and how he got on in life and what hes doing now. I like to think he has done well for himself.

I have been asked several times do i want to see Gary. At one time i did and i longed to see him, but i have no right and thought if he wanted to see me when he gets older, then he would find me, but then again why would he want to see me? i gave him up when he was 5 yrs old. I still think of him quite a lot.

Another chapter in my life ends and another begins "?" and i were together 2 yrs before we married March 1973...Life goes on!