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Devastated at lack of support and feel I am being punished for domestic abuse

(90 Posts)
alltoomuchrightnow Sat 20-Jul-13 18:22:58

It's like an extra 'punishment', really.
Left abusive alcoholic DP back in Feb. Posted on here for support - I was lololizzy then (and i apologise for inbox messages I didn't get back to..i had such trouble with passwords etc that I couldn't reply)
To cut a long story short..it was hell being back at my parents, and i went back to him in April to take the stress off them and because I had no money (basically they are v insular and like it being just the two of them and can't cope with any sort of strain or stress..even though to respect their wishes, i had to never mention what had happened to me). I had tried applying for housing but they (housing benefits) were so rude and unhelpful, basically only cared if i had kids or not (i don't). I was too depressed to fight for anything. I didnt really go back to him for him, as i didn't miss and love him, but more to use him as a roof over my head...(we still split the bills etc)- i didnt feel bad about the rest as he's been so horribly abusive the last yr and caused me job loss and to have a breakdown etc) and move on when i was stronger and had money behind me (unlike when i left). Since then things have been ok and we got on well, living like flatmates more than partners, which suited me fine . He convinced me he'd given up the booze. Not so as i've just found out. He did go without several weeks but has also been secret drinking and the last two weeks have been bad and he drinks openly. Basically all this time he's lulled me into false security..as i was warned would happen. He is now trying giving up again but i don't trust him and his anger is bad drinking or not.
I'm back to square one and will probably have to go to parents for time being and go through it all again and push harder this time for help.
But i'm crushed by the lack of support . My parents have made it clear that i should stay with him 'until he flips again' and play it by ear (even though they know i called the police last week!) (he is not physical by the way...it's all bad verbal abuse, ferocious temper threats and blackmail, and financial. In the past it was his suicide threats, but hasn't been lately). My mother actually said 'it is too hot to think about or talk about any of this..go back and wait for him to erupt again' (how would she like to live treading on eggshells and having her every move scrutinised and criticised?!)
My parents tell me often, that it is my fault as he was my choice..they never liked him. My fault for joining Facebook and adding him on (that's how we met, we had mutual friends on it) My fault for driving down to meet him in the first place. and so on. Very much, you made your bed, you can lie in it.
This week i tried going back to theirs for a few days with a view to moving back in again temp. The trouble is, my dad although elderly, is a bully like my ex. And i have bad memories of being back in my childhood home as he was very violent when i was a child, by that i mean proper beating me up, knocking me out etc. I have spent years trying to forgive as his father was same with him and so on.. Yesterday he spent the whole day shouting at me because I had purchased a book for £7 in a sale . It is my first treat in ages. He yelled so all the neighbours could hear and then blamed it on me causing him to shout by spending money i shouldn't. I see his point that it's a lot when i lost my job (because of all this) and i'm on ESA (also because of all this) and i have a car to run (which i do really need) but i still feel it's punishing me..that he would begrudge me a book that would give me a few hours of relaxation i so desperately need. I also tried to explain about my depression, anxiety and severe insomnia. It fell on deaf ears...thinks i should pull myself together and get a job. How can i get a job when a/ i can't sleep and have terrible anxiety b / i have no confidence left, despite the fact i've always worked c/ am of no fixed address now and flitting between partner's flat and their house...depending on circumstances ('D''s drinking and rants depend on all this..no way to live , i know...)
Please don't suggest friends... no one has spare room..i've tried everyone. I have no money..if i had some savings i'd go away and try and start a new life. Please be gentle as i fear i'll be flamed for this.. i don't think i could face hostel or refuge. All my friends that have been in them, tell me not to do it and that they wouldn't do it again. Also because i can't have children, it is too painful for me to be around mothers with small kids. (and that is another issue..but one thing at a time).
Both my parents pretty much turned on me yesterday and sent me packing saying to only come back if i can live by their rules and only when DP gets really severe again. They care but in a cruel to be kind, tough love way i guess. I suppose i don't blame them for not wanting an adult child on their doorstep and i am reminded constantly of the failure i have become.
What has cut me to the core..is today. The last straw. My best friend has cut me out for months (when i needed her the most) and i didnt know why. Today she finally messaged me saying it was disgusting that i went back to him and i didnt take her advice so she was bloody well never giving it again (i never actually asked for it! only for support!) She said i knew what he was like and yet i went back. No..he was getting help and i sincerely believed he was off the drink. Things were fine for months. And i had no where else to go. This is just the last straw for me. I can't stop crying and i don't see much point in fighting for anything.
For 23 yrs, her life has been one big drama full of scandals and so on. I have always , always stood by her..whether i agreed or not. We have been thru everything together She also once returned to an abusive partner , she seems to forget this, so i can't believe she would judge like this. I supported her unconditionally. So i now have lost best friend, and parents are not supportive because they simply can't understand what i'm going thru and say i brought much of it on myself merely by being with him. Also last week another friend read me the riot act because i had 'ignored advice' and gone back to DP. These friends are both loaded. Do they really think if i had money and a place to go, I would've returned!?
Sorry this is so long. I can't believe i'm going thru this again.
But with less support this time because people judge me for going back.
Life isn't that simple nor so black and white. I am so lost, i just want to run far away (but can't afford to!) I am more upset about parents and best friend than DP..as i don't love him. I feel utterly alone.
If i can't reply to this straightaway it means i don't have privacy to read/ answer but i really need friends and hand holding as this is now worse than when i left in Feb...people didnt judge then. I guess they think i've cried wolf and have given up on me. I just didnt realise how hard it would be...in the practical ways.

springytoto Thu 25-Jul-13 14:35:13

I kept a diary during a very bad time. I'll see if I can link it - hang on...

Basically, you put in tasks each day. It gives you a sense of achievement. On bad days I have been known to write in 'go upstairs' 'clean teeth'. Only I know how momentous those tasks were.

some days I couldn't do a thing - like you say, staring into space. I decided to delete those days from the diary. The counsellor I was seeing at the time - CBT NHS (not half bad, believe it or not) - was genuinely upset that I didn't have compassion for myself for the days I could do nothing. That was a wake-up call. I am more forgiving now (and in my head still tick off tasks - tiny tasks, like 'wrote cheque, put in envelope, posted' [even though I don't necessarily get all those done in one day!]).

Sounds like you have a bolt-hole there. If you have stepped away from him in your head and heart, then perhaps you won't be putting yourself in the position of trying to work things out = handing yourself over for more abuse.

Your parents sound horrific btw. Opening your post ffs?? You don't need to justify any more after that re twitching curtains. The opening post thing is bad enough. Appalling.

Here's the sheet I used.

alltoomuchrightnow Thu 25-Jul-13 14:07:37

yes that's what i'm doing in theory, Springy. He's not drinking so there's no nastiness. (there wasn't violence when he was drinking, but the verbal abuse and threats was possibly worse than anything physical). I do have the bedroom here, that's part of it. At least have that for my own peace and space..it's a tiny flat but he has always slept in the lounge. I have room at parents but no privacy. All my mail gets opened and i am questioned and criticised the whole time i am there. I cannot breathe. Plus the bad memories from the past and being treated like a 12 yr old again (only difference, not being hit). Here, there is much on my doorstep.. i can just walk out and do stuff without money..great location. At my parents, i cannot. Grotty town and have to drive everywhere. Curtain twitching neighbours. Parents always worrying about curtain twitching neighbours. Am anonymous here, don't have to answer to anyone. Feel freer. Of course it's not ideal..i can't forget he put me through hell. But i can be more myself and do own thing without every move being watched..i can go out on walks etc.. without needing the car. Home town is not a 'small town' but compared to here it has that feel to it. I don't want to be with ex..it's merely practical arrangement, we are like flatmates. Friend knew this and agreed with me..so i don't know why she changed tune a few months later. I am making best of a bad situation. Am i using 'd' p? or rather, more ex dp as he is now.. yes... i dont feel guilty, he's put me through enough.. and he has some good points about me being here..share bills etc.
And yes..it is hard to make jump for good. I need money behind me. Some days i can't cope with anything practical. It's been hard enough just trying to get benefits. I have to fight for that every month (esa). Some days i'm more motivated and others i just end up looking into space and not able to cope with a thing..hard to explain.. mental and physical exhaustion? brain fog?
Thankyou Springy for not judging and that at last someone else realises that sometimes..you just have to do, what you have to do. and its about survival.. I know i'm not perm here and never intended to be.No one knows what i can cope with, except me. I know i couldnt handle a refuge , allmy friends who have done that, say don't do it! or being on own in a B&B in total isolation as i'd get sent to another town. Here i have broadband and my own room and can get out. I'd feel lost if i was moved to a new town. Facebook and mumsnet etc is my lifeline. I woldnt have that elsewhere. I wish people would realise the entire picture before judging. If i was in a town where i knew NO ONE and didn't have internet..i'd lose the will.. i really would. No one knows me like i do.
Also i really love this town. I adopted it as my home 3.5 yrs ago and i adore it. I'm homesick when i'm back at parents. Its not about bricks and mortar but about the place ... home town is full of a lifetime of bad memories and this place makes me happy despite how DP has been the past yr.

springytoto Thu 25-Jul-13 01:48:23

Your DV worker will not berate you for going back to him. If she's worth her salt (and she probably is) she will know the statistics - that almost all women go back to abusers at least once before they make the final break. As far as she's concerned, you and she will pick up where you left off. She wants you safe and well and will be encouraging you, not telling you off.

i went back to my abuser partly because I hoped it would all work out after all, but predominantly for practical reasons. It takes a while to line everything up, ready to make the jump for good - in the meantime, what are you supposed to do? You can't live on theory. I was a total wreck, a basket case. I had small kids to look after and I couldn't look after myself. It was either they went into care or I gave it another go with their dad (my family were Use.Less.). I went back for a year and used that time to get well (though I knew within a month that the relationship wasn't going to work). I was quite methodical about it - I had to be, I was battling to survive.

I'm LOVING your last post! That's the ticket! smile smile

You say you can do what you like - could you use your ex's place (as long as he isn't violent) to hunker down, get well, get a strategy, get support in place; ready for when you are strong enough to step away for good. YOu don't have to tell him you're doing that, of course. You have to look after yourself here.

alltoomuchrightnow Wed 24-Jul-13 23:30:28

thanks. I actually hadn't seen friend for years due to his emigrating but he was there as part of the best years of my life and it's terribly sad.....we had got back in touch a few years ago.. finding out circumstances of death put me down in the depths for a couple of weeks.. and how it affects some of my closest friends, who were closer to him..

Sorry for your loss alltoomuch. sad

I know it is much worse for his family and friends but you have lost somebody too at a time when you have enough to deal with. You are allowed to feel bad.

alltoomuchrightnow Wed 24-Jul-13 19:16:54

I am still waiting to speak to the domestic violence advisor i saw in February. We keep missing each other's calls. I need to fill her in and update her as it's been so long. Do you think she'll completely judge me? (ie going back to him because of circumstances, in April). Yes i know what i said above, but she is really lovely and one person i don't want judging me! especially as i didn't take her advice back then.

alltoomuchrightnow Wed 24-Jul-13 19:07:52

yes the timing is awful - it was tragic news, completely out of the blue.(obviously the most awful for his family of course..not for me.. not compared to them anyway...,I didn't mean that to sound as it looks! but yes for me personally....on the back of everything else, a real shock and then such sadness...) It will be good to see old faces though at the meet up.
When i look back on my childhood..i'm looking through rose tinted specs..a lot of it WAS great but then i have to remind myself...my father's violence. If it hadn't become the norm , perhaps i'd feel differently. It did take me a long time (as a child) to learn and then come to terms with (if i ever fully did) the fact that my friends weren't disciplined in the same way as me. I do remember the great stuff - holidays, grandparents etc.. when the nasty stuff comes up i always try to shut it down again. Even now i can't bear thinking about it in too much detail.
I just can't be bothered with friend.. i have to make decisions for the rest of my life..i've got a life to rebuild and put back on track . Whatever that new track will be! I'm starting to feel more positive.......that...if i don't have her , or at least don't care any more what she thinks, the freedom will be enormous. Why do i endlessly justify myself to her! I'm a grown woman. She's younger than me and far more immature, for all her financial investments etc. i don't have to please her or my parents. I have a choice. I'm 42 for **'s sake! I know i've always been a peacemaker and people pleaser. I don't have to! What law is it that says i have to live as others want me to?! if i did, they'd soon change their minds! I would never, ever be able to win. Sounds selfish but i should aim at pleasing myself. How do i develop a really hard skin and stop hearing those critical voices in my head? Distance i suppose..take a leaf out of her book in that way! But this is a complete revelation..i was my own prisoner because i believed i had to justify myself to others! It has taken me so long to realise this!!!!!!!!!!! I want to be selfish for the first time ever and answer to no one.

springytoto Wed 24-Jul-13 17:41:03

then keep her sweet-ish until the meet is over. Pretend you're in a play, fake it (ie do the bare minimum - your narc friend won't even notice the nuance and will take it all on face value). Then, once the meet is over with, let her have it... or not. It's your choice whether you have her in your life or not. You don't have to send a postcard, do a lot of explaining, persuading etc. she shat on you when you were at your very lowest. I know what I'd be deciding and I really don't think some people are worth the breath.

but, yes, grief. It hurts to lose an old friend - but your life is full of grief: for the childhood you didn't have; the loving, supportive parents you didn't have; the loving husband you didn't have. Grieving her will be part of the whole thing - ie you weren't loved when you should have been and deserved to be. Not only that, they kicked you about, sneered at you, screamed at you, blamed you. etc. When it was them who didn't come up with the goods in the first place - and they have made it your fault that you have raised an objection to very poor treatment. But it was also you who accepted all that shit from them - because you were schooled in it from the earliest re 'You are shit and worth nothing so don't think you are'. That's a lie, for a start.

I'm so sorry to hear about the friend you have lost. That must hurt.

alltoomuchrightnow Wed 24-Jul-13 12:14:09

trouble i have is this.... sadly, an old (as in goes way back...tragically, not old in years at all) and dear friend died a few weeks ago. So, 'friend' and I are both meant to be going to a meet up for old friends, in honour of the deceased. I don't want bad atmosphere. It's not about us/ her. It's about friend who has passed. I hope she gives up on ringing.

Springytoto - I get what are saying. I just think if this woman goes through with the phonecall, it has to be about damage limitation. I don't think she will be put off by the phone being put down and she shouldn't allowed to do all the talking because of the things she will say. I think Alltoomuch has to get angry and attack or this could drag on and on. No denying it is bloody hard though. Been there with narcissists. They are hard to deal with because they don't behave as any normal person would and it can be hard to know what how things are going.

springytoto Wed 24-Jul-13 10:32:24

completely agree Bertha

- though that's all very well when you're not up to your neck in a shit storm and reeling from abuse and betrayal tbh. Not so easy to pull off when you're howling in pain confused

this is the beginning of the rest of your life alltoomuch - a healthier life, with healthier relationships, healthier relationship choices. ime I 'had' to be hit for 6 to get it that my life was totally on the wrong tracks. I had no idea my family were narcs and, as a consequence, I was choosing narcs in every area of my life.

(somewhere on your travels you might like to take a look at CoDA - full of people like you and I who learned to pacify narcs - in order to get a few crumbs from their table - and it became a way of life. Ime it is very common in this group for 'friends' and 'loved ones' to abandon us in our hour of need. And lay the boot in on top - how dare we have needs when the entire relationship has focused on their needs? HOw dare we upset the order of the universe?)

I agree you will be unable to 'discuss' your relationship with your friend. My concern is how you get rid of her and stop her trying.

I suspect that letting her talk will give her the chance to rip you apart. I don't think she will take kindly to having the phone put down on her either which is probably the best way to avoid all contact, but I suspect that she will just keep ringing until she has has her say. I really think that you might have to give her a taste of her own medicine and really lay into her and with luck she will be outraged and cut you out, swearing never to speak to you again. She will be doing you a favour. Basically you need to give her something to hold a grudge about. That should be easy to do if you just stand up to her just this once. Don't engage, just tell her how useless she is as a friend, some home truths. She may not acknowledge them but somewhere in her twisted head she will recognise some of it and no narcissist can bear to believe they have failed at anything and she will go. Don't let her attack back though. Put the phone down on a table and walk away if needs be and let her rant. Don't take any of what she says as a reflection on you. Any poison she spews will come from her.

Having said all that, she hasn't phoned you yet. She might already have moved on.

That just my view.

springytoto Wed 24-Jul-13 05:21:55

YOur friend will rip you apart btw. Don't talk to her about the 'problems in your relationship' (my eye!). She will use it to rip you apart. There isn't much of you left to rip apart tbf.

(she probably does love you - in her way. Some people are incapable of loving properly. btw, she won't get her licence if she has unresolved stuff going on that even a GP recognises.)

springytoto Wed 24-Jul-13 05:12:10

You are going through hell. YOu have replicated your relationship with your father/parents in your partner and, very particularly, your 'friend'. Some friend!

yy 23 years is a long time and it will take some getting over. I have been almost exactly where you are now: left an abusive relationship, fled to my parents, made to feel 'unwelcome' [understatement] at my parents, berated by my parents, family turned against me, lost my mind, friends vanished...

It is a dark night of the soul. But you will get through it. Hold on, you will get through it. It may not seem like it now, but you will.

re the sleeping: ADs did it for me. I was calling american prayer lines in the middle of the night; I was in a rabid, desperate place (didn't sleep at all). I would have taken anything to just SLEEP. The AD I was put on (they're different now) made me put on 3st but I slept and I didn't care (what woman doesn't care when she puts on 3st? Just goes to show how desperate I was). You say you've been on ADs for years - are you now? What dose? I was put on the full dose and I slept. It was bliss, bliss, bliss. The beginning of getting my life together (the very beginning, mind...).

It hasn't happened overnight but that terrible, terrible time was a turning point for me. I couldn't believe the pain I was in. It was mind-boggling pain. I lost everything; and everyone I held dear turned on me like a pack of wolves. Nightmarish. turns out they didn't hold me dear because they were incapable of holding anyone dear; though I didn't know or recognise that because I had been brought up by wolves narcissists. I was surrounded by narcissists, stacked high, to the roof.

You will get through this. You will. You sound great to me. Your friend sounds like pure shit - God help anyone who is subjected to her when they are at their most vulnerable. There are plenty of 'her' about, sadly. During my travels I have met a few 'counsellors' who, at root, despise weakness - or what they consider to be weakness, but is in fact strength. These 'counsellors' have not addressed their own shit, their own weakness.

Take the housing advice given on here. Step forward, one step at a time. Effective help and support may not come through immediately but hold on, it will.

Keep posting xxxxxxxx

Zazzles007 Wed 24-Jul-13 02:48:40

Alltoomuch, I've just read all of your thread, and I feel that this friend is a narcissist as well. Do not engage with her. Ignore the messages about contact, and do things which make you feel better emotionally and physically. A walk in the park? Reading a good book? A lovely luxurious and long bath?

A narcissist needs to lay into someone every so often because they are feeling so bad, and the only way for them to feel better is to make someone else feel like crap. Google 'narcissistic rage'. She cannot be supportive and caring to you in your time of need, and I would distance myself from her if I were you. Because of my upbringing, I have had to deal with a number of narcissists all my life. The only thing you can do which is will be positive for you in this situation is not to be in contact with her. She will lay into you as her whipping boy and leave you devastated. I was brought up by a mother like this. sad

alltoomuchrightnow Tue 23-Jul-13 22:39:03

The friend messaged just now and asking to speak on Thursday now, not tonight, to discuss our issues with each other . I don't have issues i want to discuss! It might sound doormat ish..but then again i don't want to talk at all. I have my whole life to sort out! Hearing her laying into me is not going to help. She can be pretty harsh and nasty. This is the person who didn't speak to one family for 8 years because the small child of the family threw a sweet at her in jest and she didn't forgive the parents because 'they should've smacked the child'.

CottonWoolCandy Tue 23-Jul-13 22:09:06

I'm sorry you're having a hard time and that your family and friends are adding to your stress.
From a practical point of view:
* take a copy of your housing benefit form to the local CAB and get them to help you fill it in.
* speak to your local housing associations as well as your local council about accommodation (tell them you are fleeing an abusive relationship and are homeless)
* go to the library and look for adverts in the local newspaper for private lets, depending on where you are in the country some private landlords will let you move in without a deposit.
Don't engage with your friend . You have to put yourself first just now and that means protecting yourself from her negative influence.

alltoomuchrightnow Tue 23-Jul-13 21:53:39

I spoke to my counseller about everything this afternoon, which helped,. to be in a safe, non judgmental place.
I will probably have to accept that friend will never change and that she really only wanted to be there for the fun times.. she would run and hide if anyone was having problems... but they couldn't if other way round.,
To lose her would be a relief in many ways but still terribly hard. She has been such a huge part of my life..even when she was abroad for 11 yrs. But thinking about it.her being abroad meant she didnt have to deal with others (in this country) having problems. she would only see them for the fun times..ie when they visited her.,
Hmmm.
I think this pretty much sums her up.... a typical car journey with her. This could be as true today, as was over 20 yrs ago. (she hasn't exactly grown up, despite being financially sound, owning several properties etc) If she spies something interesting out of window..she will always comment on it. If i haven't seen it (although i am v observant..but say i'm looking out of other window, or head down, or in world of own..whatever) and i tell her i havent, she will always get frustrated and then angry ie 'how could you miss that? what is WRONG with you? We're both in the same bloody car and you didn't see that! How could you not see that. For fuck's sake' and it will actually wind her up for ages. It proves how... she can only see the world through her eyes.. egocentric

alltoomuchrightnow Tue 23-Jul-13 21:46:12

Gosh yes all that on narcissists..spot on. The hugely impulsive behaviour. Crazy financial decisions (she is lucky that most of the time, it worked out ok for her) Risky sex. Manipulation etc

alltoomuchrightnow Tue 23-Jul-13 21:44:11

She's extremely charming and works in HR where she charms everyone there. She's always been the life and soul, and the ultimate bubbly charmer.
Yes , that is right, BigBoobied. She would be great in keeping a cool head, but would not handle well, anything emotional. She would lose patience rapidly and lack the right words and empathy.
She has never received counselling even though she has been told many time that she should. She deals with things alone otherwise it's a weakness. She took anti depressants for a short while this year but begged me not to tell her DP as he'd judge her and she was ashamed of it. I asked, what did she think of me..i've been on them on and off for 15 yrs . I have thyroid and pituitary problems..i'll maybe always need them. I told her it is no taboo! She didn't get it.
She has been doing CBT course but not one to one...in a group. That was to help her personally..nothing to do with her counselling. She had been through a hard time from cutting out her father. (and then he her).
I should pity her really as she has gone through life burning bridges. She had great friends and family. She will never let up on a grudge, never say sorry and never forgave the most minor incident. Her memory is so good for grudges, i swear she must keep a record book!! She can remember the most trivial details dating back to childhood.
If i lose her for good.. at least that is one less thing to worry about (trying to please her; worrying about her judging my every move etc) but it will still be painful. I'm sad and angry at her hypocrisy and bloodyminded ness.

- Definition of a narcissist

From the little you have said, it sounds like she could be a narcissist which pretty much means that no matter what you say and what you do, she won't hear you. She cannot feel empathy but worse, she won't get why she should even try, nor will she recognises what she is lacking.

She is actually a very, very bad person to be a counsellor and if she isn't receiving counselling and nobody has picked this up (it is hard because narcissists can be very charming when they are getting what they want) she could do some very bad damage.

I am guessing she is employed to help bereaved families repatriate after a death abroad, maybe on holidays for the little you have said? You don't have to answer that but that sort of role might need her practical skills but heaven help the bereaved people if she starts trying to offer emotional help.

As far as your parents go, could you appeal to their selfishness - say you will be very happy to get out of their hair if they can lend you some money to find a room of your own elsewhere?

alltoomuchrightnow Tue 23-Jul-13 14:17:55

narcissistic

alltoomuchrightnow Tue 23-Jul-13 14:17:45

what i wrote above..is that what 'narc' is??

alltoomuchrightnow Tue 23-Jul-13 14:16:55

i was just her friend for 'fun times'.. she cant deal with anyone elses problems her own take over everything. We had some great travels etc i suppose that counts for something but i thought i could count on her when the chips were down... i would fly out to her when she was in trouble.. i would always come running :-(

alltoomuchrightnow Tue 23-Jul-13 14:14:48

It is to be a bereavement counseller, she says because of her mother dying 20 yrs ago. But it's only recently she has been told she never grieved properly , by her doc (she never saw a counseller etc) however it is an unusual kind of counseller (can't go into details) but would require her flying out to deal with people bereaved suddenly...she would be good at the practicalities..but that's about it. All i know its an evening course in counselling at a college and the her job will be able to take her on in this extra role..like another string to her bow,as it were.. she is paying for the course herself but then would have two roles within her workplace.
Dreading her ringing the landline at my parents as a/ they will always pick up b / i have no privacy.

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