Fast forward a bit and Mark (name changed) started to drink in secret. I must have been so naive but looking back I can see where it started, but he was well into it by the time I really found out and confronted him about it.
Basically he said he's going to drink, if not at mine then somewhere else. So he drank, so did I, my kids were so disappointed.
He had strange moods, very up and down, manic, later diagnosed as manic depressive but at the time we didn't know this. So this generally nice and sweet person would suddenly switch and be violent and aggressive, he frightened me when he was like that.
Anyway, one day he disappeared, he'd only gone to see his mates but I panicked, like I did in those days, and drove round to find him. He was drinking with his mates. I joined in oblivious to the fact I still had to drive home.
His mates, at the hostel, said I could stay there till I was a bit more sober, but I was ok, I only staggered a bit.
We drove off down the road, turned right and the next thing I knew there was a massive noise and a tree was bent over my bonnet, steam rising from somewhere. I'd had a blackout. Mark dashed out .. shouting and trying to drag me out of the car. I insisted I could back it up and drive home still.
This was shown to be doubtful after the event when we saw the two front wheels staring at each other.
He dragged me out of the car and hit me, shouting what a fucking idiot I was. Two people walked past and must have phoned the police because the next thing I knew Mark had legged it and I'm speaking to the boys in blue.
Being drunk I wasn't too bothered by this, I thought I'll talk my way out easy. They had other ideas. I found myself in an office with the police going through my bag. I thought what a fucking cheek, and said so with the bravado of a bottle of vodka in me.
Now my bag is more of a suitcase with everything but the kitchen sink in it and boy oh boy did I leap out of the chair when they found my half bottle stashed at the bottom .. before they could move, I'd snatched it, opened it, and gulped down what was left, which annoyed them even more. That's when I found myself stuck in a vile dirty cell with fags but no lighter, how cruel is that?!
To be continued.