Simply because you have a secret which you expect people to kick the living daylights out of you if you tell, and you therefore don't tell anyone, doesn't mean you haven't always had that secret. It just means you had a lot of practice at hiding it. I can remember, for instance, waiting for everyone to be out, opening the wardrobe, taking extremely careful note of where the contents were, memorising that, removing the contents, putting them on, eventually taking them off again and putting them back in exactly the same place and position as they were in the first place. I can remember doing that in dead of night, very, very quietly. I can remember hiding things in drawers, under mattresses and so on. I got really, really good at it, and people didn't notice, because it was more than my life was worth. I got very good at looking blank in certain situations. Basically, I got really good at hiding things.
The rest of this blog is only going to make sense to a couple of people at most and they probably won't read it, but I might direct them this way if they persist in thinking this hasn't always been here. I'm sorry about this game playing but it's more a record of a game posted somewhere public than a game in itself. It was the one I used to play back in the day.
I am going to mention a few things now because the game's up and I'm not even bothering to hide them any more, and I doubt whether anyone from that time will be reading this, but just in case you are...
Do you remember that the lock was missing on the door to my bedroom the last time I lived in this area? Did you notice that there was a train ticket taped over it? Going further back, you wouldn't have noticed this because it was before you knew me: I always kept the key on the inside of my bedroom door in my Hall of Residence. That was my response to the event which led to it, when two people looked through my keyhole and saw what I was doing, and I acquired a certain nickname. Do you remember that nickname? Did you ever wonder how on Earth I had come about such an unexpected nickname? I know you overheard certain people talking to me about it and taking the mickey, and you heard what they said. They were only hints of course, but it's a pretty good piece of evidence dating back to 1985.
Another thing. I was known for a lot of things as a student, such as being "from the planet Zanussi" and having long hair, which was of course the one obvious thing I permitted myself to feel more comfortable with my gender. There were some other public things but you didn't seem to notice those. There was something else I was known for, wasn't there? Something quite unpleasant - not morally wrong of course, but quite distasteful. Did you ever wonder why that was a problem? Think about it. Why might that happen? Put two and two together there too and you have another piece of evidence dating back, again, to the mid-'eighties, and you were only too well aware of it at the time.
This next thing came up a couple of times and you were curious about it. The man who stopped me outside my place of work in summer 1992 knew something about me he "couldn't" have done. He delayed me a long time and I met you and Steve in town a lot later than expected. What do you think that piece of knowledge was? It came up in the men's group as well, didn't it? What do you think that was about? Why do you think I chickened (get it?) out of mentioning it? No, you don't get it.
Going back a bit further, I used to keep a diary. I was sufficiently paranoid not to write down exactly what was going on, but if you looked at it carefully, you might have noticed certain sentences were oddly phrased, and that those odd phrasings occurred at regular intervals. There were also certain symbols in it at less regular intervals. I also used them in letters and lecture notes:
If I ever lent you lecture notes, and for some of you who received letters from me, you will have seen these symbols here and there. Is this giving you a clue yet? It's not, is it?
Other people: do you remember knocking on my door that summer after the Greenpeace Festival and how it took me a long time to answer? Did you wonder why I came to the window in my pants. I hadn't just been doing what you probably thought I was doing. To be honest, on that occasion I don't really know why I didn't just go to Machynlleth as I had been about thirty seconds previously, but I didn't.
Do you remember coming round to the house I shared with David just before I got kidnapped? Do you recall the discussion about menstruation? Did you wonder why I had to keep going to the toilet?
Now I'm going to go further back, to my school days. Not many people I'm still in touch with will remember this, but anyone who is will definitely remember me doing this. They'll remember I kept referring to my "Problem" (capital P). I was doing this by the time I was thirteen, I know. One of my friends said I'd feel a lot better if I just told him, and he was genuinely sympathetic. However, he had already said he found homosexuality completely disgusting, so I wasn't about to do that and I never told him. Someone else got me to admit it was sexual, which was pretty obvious, but I doubt he really understood how it was sexual. People will remember this if they're still in touch with me who knew me then.
Well there you go. Now you basically know what the Problem was and you who have known me since we were at secondary school together will definitely remember me mentioning it quite a lot. Later on, I shut up - when I left home I kept very quiet about the whole thing because you know that supposedly radical, left-wing compassionate environment at university? It wasn't really that way at all, was it?
Nick will remember a lot of this. Gerard will also remember a bit. Jon, Andy and Vicky will remember some of the other incidents. The school stuff - well, you only have to ask. I'm still in touch with the relevant people.
But it's not new, it's not a fad, I just didn't trust anyone and I'm good at hiding stuff for my own safety, and that's why you didn't know. OK?