I hate those. Even though it wasn't 4 a.m. when I got the call, it was 4 a.m. where the person was calling from.
On Friday morning, I got a message from my assistant after coming back from a meeting. Your sister just called. My sister? Looking at my watch and calculating that it was 4 a.m. in Tenerife. I sighed and dialled her number. I knew what it was about. I'd had the following emails and texts over the past 10 days:
email on 16 April - All is ok here at the moment, went sailing yesterday and had to do a capsize!! All good fun though and better than spending the day in the friggin pub!! Me n kirk are on day 4 of no drinking!!!! Well the odd beer but literally the odd one so no drunkeness and what a difference it feels. Soooooooooooo much better and I so prefer it this way!!!!! Mind is sharper, not so tired and much more fun being sober!!!! Rxxxxx
email on 16 April (8 hours later) - all was well with kirk up until an hour ago. I am starting to get serious warning bells with him. he totally misinterprets situations sometimes and can NEVER admit when hes wrong, i dunno fion, when its good its amazing but when its bad its REALLY bad, no inbetween and really no reasoning with him. very stubborn and macho and am beginning to see that but still think we can break through that. i dunno........ anyways........take care love rhonxxxxxxxxxxx
text on 17 April - he has left me for good this time fion...over something so stupid. feeling really down. Rhon xxxxx
email on 23 April - hi fion..........thanks for phoning and listening to me yesterday. I really dont want to worry you so please dont. I've got through it before so i will again, its just painful at the moment and i am struggling a bit. life has been really chaotic with kirk for a while and have been feeling out of control. You are such a good friend to me fion and i love you for being there for me, again.Rxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
text on 23 April - hey fion, all is well. Had good chat n sorted alot so we r back on! Will send u email when in the office next. Hope u r ok? Lotsa love Rxxx
email on 24 April - hey fion.............got half a day in the orifice today. All is well here, had a good chat with kirk and sorted alot out! Big thing is is that we have stopped drinking (well more or less) no vino, just the odd beer (a couple here and there) even drinking tea at night!!! Am feeling so much better for it too, much clearer and awake and loads more energy!!! Just eating like a maniac instead!!Heard from mum?? I haven't, need to make the call though, i just don't look forward to hearing the same old crap.All the babes are good and getting loads of big walks, da loo had a swim at yellow mountain the other day but didn't have the camera with me, will start taking it out more. lotsa love rhonxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Then, the phone call yesterday, at 4 a.m. The guy in that picture had just chucked her out of his place, where she'd been spending the night. At 4 a.m. he told her to go home, to drive home. So, she was calling me right after that. She needed to talk about it. Wanted to hear me say everything would be alright? Maybe. But it's not what she got. I was angry. Angry mostly because she's let this man manipulate and control her. Angry that she'd let it happen. Angry because in part, I saw too much of my old self in her actions.
We talked. For over an hour. Well mostly I talked and she listened. She gave me examples of his behaviour. I explained the manipulation in them. I explained that the reason he didn't want her to have any friends, the reason he'd been instrumental in their alienation from her, was so she would have nowhere to turn. I explained the reason he controlled the pace of their drinking was so he could be in charge of her moods, her sobriety. I explained the reason he found her wrong in everything she does, is that he wants her to doubt herself. I explained the reason he gets angry if she has to work late, is that he can't exercise his control over her when she's working and being productive on her own merit. I explained the reason he told her that her independence is a bad thing, is that he doesn't want her to able to walk away.
I explained so many things to her because I have actually lived them. I have been with a man like that. They are so dangerous. They are so damaging. I hope she can stay strong and keep away this time. But I also know that if he beckons to her, she'll go back to him for more. And she knows there will be more of the same. She thinks she can change him. I tried to explain he doesn't want to change, he thinks he's right. He just wants another victim.
I finally told her to please go and get some rest because she was diving in the morning, well in just over three hours from the time I told her to go and lie down. She is a divemaster and leads qualified divers on dive tours, as well as taking newbies on fun shallow dives. That day she was scheduled to do a deep dive, which is nothing to mess around with either for yourself or for the others. We agreed on me giving her a wake-up call in a couple of hours so she could at least rest her eyes.
email on 27 April - hi fion.......managed 2 dives, 35m and 25m!! on one hours sleep.....neil's letting us go early but don't want to go and bump into kirk clearing his gear out. I'm devastated fion and really hurt. Mia is coming round tomorrow night so thats good, i just feel that no one ever sticks sround with me and that i'm always dumped. i dont want to be on my own forever fion and it feels like i will. anyway, thanks for being there fion, i love you lots Rxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
I love my sister. I know sometimes it doesn't look that way from what I write about her. But I do love her. I want her to be happy and to have a good life. I want her to find love and a man who is good for her. She hasn't found that man yet. Along the way, she has had some really awful men in her life.
There are some, not that one there, but others who gave her scars. Visible, physical scars, not just the ones on her heart. That guy was another control freak. She's fragile, which is probably what they all see in her. I want to help her to avoid being hurt again. But I can't do it for her, I can only try to share my experiences, my hopes for her. I can only try to guide her and help her. I have finally found the love I never thought I would. I want the same for her. I want to see her smiling again, for the right reasons. It's time.