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Before I talk about my new guy, a little background:

At the start of this year, I was with a guy who blacked my eye the week before Christmas, who continually made snide comments about my children, who regularly believed the very worst interpretations of my actions, who shouted at me and belittled me virtually every time I had the audacity to disagree with him… I remember lying on his couch, so many afternoons in January and February (because I was too lonely and unhappy to lie in the bed with him at night, so I was trying to get sleep during the day, sometimes skipping lectures at uni to do so) and listening to this song on repeat:

All I wanted, was someone who made me feel that way–someone who would feel that way about me. It sounds macabre, but this was the only song that would settle me, late last year/early this year. It was the only adequate lullaby, for sadness like mine… and you can call that maudlin purple prose if you want, because it is maudlin purple prose–it’s also true.

Then–I swear to all the gods that ever were–in February, on Valentine’s Day no less, my stepdad killed himself. Fella-who-hates-my-kids came to the States to hold my hand and whatnot, and he *loved* my sister’s (neurotypical, or near enough) kids. It just drove the point home, in a way I could no longer ignore–kid-hater didn’t hate ALL kids, he just hated MINE.

Because they’re autistic. Like that’s *their* fault.

I had no idea what to do, or how to feel, to be honest with you. But I came home from the States feeling closer to filling my pockets full of stones and walking into the ocean than I have in years. I spent 2 weeks, again, listening to the Death Cab song on repeat, pining for my kids while I was at uni, and trying not to think about the asshole lying in bed in the other room.

Then–at some friends’ Stag and Hen Night–a miracle occurred.