My Ex and I split up and for the next 6 months I was single and working away. I didn’t tell anyone on the contract that him and I were over I just kept it to myself. But one day I met a new man whilst I was over there and his name was Richie.
There’s not much to say about Richie other than the world isn’t the same now he’s gone. Honestly the man was flawless to me such a gentle soul. He made me laugh so much he made everyone feel good about themselves he had such a massive heart and once drunk even funnier. But the light in Richie had somehow depleted his bright shine was dulling day by day, he deserved so much more in life he deserved to be helped.
Richie was married with 3 young boys, when I met him he said his marriage was over. Now if this is true I’m not so sure now! since his breakup I’ve been called a few choice words, I believe I was the final reason he left his wife but I dont believe it wasn’t on the cards before. Richie worked for the Canadian embassy in Kabul he was one of the private security team out there and had been on the circuit for a few years previous to that he was a LSgt in the Irish guards and had deployed in a few hostile areas Iraq and Afghan. Richie was a gentle giant he loved the army and was proud to have been an infantry solider, he would talk for days about his friends and colleagues he would have a proud smile on his face when remembering the good times. His eyes were the most beautiful colour in the world and his sisters were exactly the same. Richie’s mother and father were divorced he protected his sister to the end. His family where important to him and the relationship he had with them was ruined ( his words ) by his wife and her family. The first day I met Richie was so bizarre I still think about it now.
I was apart of the CP for the ambassador of the European Union we were travelling to a location but there was a back log of vehicles and the ambo was going to be late. He was a tall man and his personal security was never his worry he had decided to walk to his meeting but this was the green zone and we had procedures for every eventuality I was shot gun. Basically I sat in the back of a vehicle and watched my arcs. My TL gave the order for my to go forward and patrol the ambo in. So little size 8 CJ grabbed her grab bag and M4 rifle and went forward to clear the route whilst the rest of the team secured the ambo. Whilst patrolling a barrier was left down by an ANA solider so I shouted to him to lift it up. The fucker ignored me so I shouted louder he soon moved and raised it allowing my ambo to walk through. As I was being me in the corner of my eye I noticed a massive guy, stood staring at me, at first I wondered what was his fucking problem. So I looked again but then noticed he was looking me up and down. I carried on patrolling secured the ambo into his location and got back into the B6 land cruiser.
That evening I saw a request on my LinkedIn the face was familiar. It was him! That guy from today. What did he want? So I sent him a message. He replied instantly, I’d asked him if I knew him and he asked whether I was the girl today outside the embassy shouting at the afghan guard. Yep that’s me and so we began talking.
I met Richie a few days later in HQ ISAF, it’s basically a massive camp with all nations in it we went for a brew and a chat. I was hooked by his kind nature he smoked like a trooper and his accent made me giggle he was from Birmingham and he said Bab a lot.
After a few days he rang me one night drunk. Now on my contract we weren’t allowed to drink but on his they could. He was saying goodbye to a friend who was leaving and then he decided to ring me. He said he had to tell me something serious and that I was to just listen. Fuck!!! What was it. I got quiet worried. He then went on to say that he really really liked me but didn’t want to scare me off. He said he felt so normal around me and he wanted to be with me? He had only know me a few days but he was so charming and kind, I wanted to get to know him too. He gave me nick names and showered me with gifts. At the end of my rotation I was going home to see my kids but not till later so I decided to stay in Dubai and spend some time with Richie. I arrived a day before him and thought I was being stupid but he turned up and we ended up staying in Dubai for 8 days. It was perfect me him and the beautiful city. I was falling for him big time. One night whilst we slept Richie hadn’t drunk as much as he normally did ( I thought this was a holiday thing ) but I was soon to realise he drank quite a bit. He woke up in the middle of the night in sweats it was pouring off him he made an excuse about it and fell back asleep. Richie was using steroids as well he was a big man 6 ft 4 and weighed around 136 kgs considering I weighed just 60 he was difficult to handle with a drink in him. But he was never abusive he just liked to drink. After Dubai he took me too meet his mother first I was slightly scared as for all I knew she could hate me or blame me for the marriage breaking up. But she was very happy that him and his ex were over. She had nothing good to say about her or her mother apparently the family weren’t very nice and the divide between his family and his wife was pretty fresh. Richie’s mum hated his ex and so did the rest of the family although his sister did not want to meet me as she thought I was the reason for the break up. But as far as I was aware I wasn’t. I did ask Richie if I was and he said no everytime. But a part of me thinks I was, Richie and I set out to start a life together We had got ourselves a little house in Birmingham and the keys were given to us on the 27th of November. All the time we were together his ex was giving him a lot of greif via text or email. But there was still the strange problem off Richie and his sleep I couldn’t help but come to the conclusion when he scared off from attending fireworks night with a few friends and I, he took sleeping pill after sleeping for 3 days. He would break out in sweats, scream at the top of his voice then it looked like he was coming down of drugs but the tell take signs were there Richard had PTSD.
Richie’s father is the kindest man I know. He talked me through Richie’s past one night and it all clicked into place Richie would tell me about Iraq and he had a entry and exit wound on his leg plus a large burn on his shoulder. Which to this day I don’t know how he got those injuries. There was talk he had done other work in countries not to be talked about so I will neve know, Richie talked about how he was a sniper in battalion but they made him go comms and he hated it that’s why he got out. Even as CP he was trying to get to go to Africa as a sniper. His days weren’t done as a lot of CP guys aren’t they are still looking for the buzz but the wars are over. I can’t relate to it as I’ve only been in a few situations and both were nothing compared to what our forces have been through in current times.
Richie was ill, on our second leave he took me to a log cabin for a few days it was just us and the out doors it was amazing but he slept a lot again as I did too. He had a thing about listening to war music he would get drunk and sit for hours. One night he was that drunk when I tried to get him up for bed he lashed out at me but snapped out of it quickly he thought I was attacking him. I shit myself as he’s a big man. He was so sorry but I kept getting more and more worried. On the 11th of November he got down on one knee and after only 5 and a bit months together he proposed, the ring had set him back a couple of K. I couldn’t believe it. I said yes. I was so happy but really worried for him also why would he jump into something so quick I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him but I also knew I wanted to get him help. One night I woke up to him packing a day sack.
What are you doing babe?
Nothing princess just go back to sleep.
Are you ok?
Yeah yeah yeah sleep baby girl he said
So I did.
When I woke he was gone no where to be seen. I went to see his mum who was in the room next to me. I told her what had happened she looked worried too. We rang him a thousands times still no answer, all his family and I texted him begging for him to explain what was going on but he ignored us all. I was so stressed out I couldn’t work out what was going on. I drove to his dad’s house to see if he could get him to talk but no one could in the end he answered his phone he was in such a state, he said he couldn’t do it anymore and needed to see his kids. His ex and kids lived a few hours away and he had walked to the train station and got on a train to meet his ex in a coffee shop. In his mind was I must see my children before I go back to afghan. I asked him wether him and I were still together and he couldn’t answer! I was mad with him but still to this day Richie and I had never had an argument. If this was his descion then I wasn’t going to stand in the way of a father with his kids so I told him to do what he had to do. I packed the car up and decided to drive to Wales to go see my best friend Fran. That was it my fairy tale romance was over. He had chosen to go back to his wife and I could not and would not be the person to stop 3 boys having their dad. I said good bye to his mum and set of to Wales. Bloody Birmingham in November is chocker the traffic was horrendous I wasn’t even 2 miles away when Richie’s dad called. Do you have Richie’s passport. Yeah I do there in the glove box. He said he needs it to fly back can you drive back with it. Yeah of course I said so I drove back to his mums. His mum said there was no point in me going to Wales now just stay the night and go tomorrow. So I did. His mum and I had a drink that night and she got me drunk on Lithuanian shots ( that stuff is lethal ) I ended up throwing up and she put me to bed. When I woke up in the morning his mum had gone. So with a hang over I went back to bed. At about 11 she rang me to see wether I was still there I said yes. And then Richie called.
I love you
Babe I love you too but what’s going on?
I’m coming back now mum has picked me up please don’t leave
Ok I won’t but we need to talk.
Ok baby I’m sorry I will be back soon.
Richie walked through the door looking a mess his eyes were red and he looked so upset. He said I looked a mess too “blame your mum she got me drunk”
What’s going on baby why did you leave.
Richie told me he had to see his kids he had to say good bye. I didn’t get what he meant as he would see them again next leave but I knew he loved his boys immensely.
There was a hidden agenda for his ex persisting him she wanted him back and I could understand her frustration her life had fell apart.
And then he started to cry
What’s wrong babe why are you crying
I’m sorry baby
So sorry I have done something bad.
I knew straight away, if my husband had left me for another woman and I had the chance to get him back I would of properly done exactly what she did that night.
He told me he had cheated on me.
I knew it anyway.
So I asked if you cheated why are you back here with me?
He said he instantly regretted it and when he woke up in the morning, got dressed and was getting in the car to come back his ex had slapped him ( I would off as well if I was her ) as in theroy he had used her.
He said he just wanted to come back to me. His head was all over but he knew who he wanted and could I forgive him.
My head was spinning he was due to fly back to afghan in a few days and him and I had been through far too much. This leave his PTSD, the log cabin, his ex and confusion. I asked him not to go back he needed to sort himself out first. But he wouldn’t he said he was fine!!! He wasn’t his illness was bad.
Richie returned back to afghan and I stayed in the Uk to see my kids I flew back a week later. Richie was still bad I knew he took sleeping tablets at night for the nightmares and would drink. But I thought I could save him what I didn’t realise was this rotation was his last.
When I got back to Afghan normal work presumed. Working for my company could be difficult at times as they were very strict to us. It appeared that all other contracts got away with murder but we were heavily policed. The company had its rules even to the extent that I had the whole contract banned from wearing shorts in the day. Culture differences and the fact my bosses where protecting us. But at the time I thought it was fickle as the delegates walked around in bikinis!!!!
Either way we were fed, watered and housed the food was horrendous Ali bongo a local afghan was our chef he was alright but his food was fucking terrible. The lads were brilliant, apart from the odd one or two. But that was due to dick measuring contests. I loved our CPS he was hard on me but I knew his heart was in the right place. He just wanted to protect us. I don’t think he approved of Richie but he didn’t get too involved.
The company allowed me to visit Richie at his embassy and one day I stayed there all day and night as I had no work on that day. His bar had a party on that night I went to his bar but refused alcohol as it just wasent worth losing your job over. At 23:45 I said good bye to Richie and got in my transport to come back we had had a lovely day chilling out watching films seeing his friends and going to the party we even had a picture taken together.
Everytime I went to sleep I would text him night night and I would chat in the morning. I fell asleep. The next day I was SAP commander so I had a busy day ahead I woke up to a text from him saying
“I’ve always loved you but I’m broken”
What did he mean so I tried to call him continually no answer, I went to the gym Inbetween missions still no answer! It wasn’t till 19:00 that night I started to panic none of his freinds would answer my calls even messaging them. I could see they were online but nothing. I went to see my friends Danni and Sarah to tell them I was worried. Richie’s best friends wife Kelly had sent me a message asking me if I was ok and I didn’t know what she was talking about I later found out that her husbands ex wife had told the world on Facebook that Richie had been hurt. Sarah said don’t worry we will sort this. I was in a right state there had been no Intel to say an Incident had happened in Kabul so why was he not answering his fucking phone!!!!!
So I got the number for his company and rang his in country manager. I told him who I was and asked what was going on. Instantly he said he would call me back. No tell me what is going on I was screaming crying in a state my friend Sarah took the phone off me. And then she rang Stef. 10 mins later Stef told Sarah to bring me to the office.
It was surreal I met one of the management on the stairs he had tears in his eyes and looked awful, My CPS was next I’ve never seen him look like that such a big strong man. All weak and nervous and then I saw thse in country manager he was an ex RSM of the RMP’s Scottish guy such a professional but he was shaking he looked nervous and I knew straight away.
CJ I’m so sorry to tell you this but Richie has taken his own life. He’s dead!!!!
My actions after that I’m unsure off I collapsed, I screamed, I cried, I threw up, and the rest is pretty blank Sarah was there I felt safe but I needed my 9 mm glock away from me our management asked me where it was and it was in my grab bag I had dropped on the floor. Please take it away from me. My M4 was locked in my locker back in my room with the rest of my ammunition, arrangements were made to take it all away. I couldn’t look at a pistol. He hugged me tight I needed a big man in my arms just for those few seconds I needed to feel like Richie was hugging me again. Nothing sexual had ever happened between Him and I, he was a family man and I looked up to him like a brother but I really needed his presence right then.
The rest of the night was a blur, Sarah and Danni were to watch me and to sleep in the room with me. But there was no way I was sleeping. I couldn’t do much but sit and think I called his parents and confirmed it was true. His bitch ex had rang them and not even given them the real story the horrible cow. Because she was down as next of kin his company could not tell me until she had been informed by the UK police. Richie the silly bugger hadn’t changed his next of kin details.
His poor kids I couldn’t help but think about them, how could he do that to his kids why???? Anything but that.
Danni was with me but I needed to get away from her so I waited for her to fall asleep and I did one out of my room. The rest of the contract including the gurka guards were briefed on what had happened and in my location ( careful not to give away the security of the compound ) was heavily guarded by Afghan and gurka static guards. My call sign was P5 and I knew I wouldn’t get far before one of them grassed me up to the ops room. Papa 5 papa 5 that’s all I could here on the radios as I walked through the delegation. Inside we had a beautiful garden that I decided to walk through and then sit near the best wifi hot spot so I could speak with family and friends back home. I told my mum and she then rang the rest of my family. My Facebook account was going wild with people sending their condolences. The word had got out pretty quickly and I found it sickening people were asking me what had happened so early.
I couldn’t answer them so I wrote a status and asked them to leave me alone for a bit whilst I came to terms with this traumatic experience.
A few minutes later one of the other operators Nado approached me and asked what I was doing outside and I should be in bed. I said I couldn’t think straight so he picked me up and took me to our cookhouse for a brew. He convinced me to lay down in a room below and gave me a tablet to ease my sleep. To this day I still call him rohypnol Nando as the bloody tablet knocked me out. I laid there with the teddy Richie had bought me on leave I called it Dave. That teddy never left my side for almost a year after it was my comfort blanket.
I only slept for a few hours and when I woke I realised quickly that it wasn’t all a dream and Richie was actually dead. That day I had to pack my kit as the company were flying me home ASAP. Richie’s bosses came to the delegation and it is there I learnt exactly what had happened that night.
When I left the Canadian embassy Richie ( the cctv told the story ) had gone straight back to his room, at 02:30 he had laid on his bed, took out his glock and shot him self behind the ear he was dead instantly. He was due to be out on mission that morning but hadn’t turned up, his bosses had gone looking for him but his room was looked. Neil one of the guys in his company got the spare key to his room and I can only imagine the sight he was greated by! Poor Neil.
His body was in that room for hours and no one knew why didn’t they hear the shot? What made him go from happy being with me that day to later suicide. I’ve heard rumours stories and accounts second hand from numerous people and his mum had met up with his ex to find out what part she had in all of this. Apparently she was barraging him with abusive emails and text messages. Richie lost a ball when he was younger due to illness I saw some of her text she would send claiming he wasn’t a man because of it. She was a nasty bitch. The first time him and I got it on he said do you noticed I only have one ball? To my reply ” well yeah I can count” he pissed himself laughing and says only you would come out with that. So what one ball two balls!
She had taken photos of Richie in the act of sex and was going to post them all over the Internet she was blackmailing him he wasn’t allowed to see his children either. With his current state of mind and the abuse from his ex I believe he took his own life due to stress and PTSD.
And that bitch will have to live with that for the rest of her life, she may not of pulled the trigger but she certainly had a lot to do with it!!!! And if her boys approach me in years to come I will tell them exactly that. There are many men who have taken their lives due to PTSD and when you investigate the stories there is normally a nasty ex misses behind their stress. Men aren’t angels and Richie should of had closure with his ex before we got into a relationship. But to be one of the reasons that they feel they can’t go on anymore, well fucking shame on you you can explain to your sons why they no longer have a father you horrible nasty cow!
For the next month I had to sort out my life and help with Richie’s funeral arrangements his poor parents and sister where devastated. His father such a lovely man was broken. His mum had become angry and his sister a shadow of her former self. I had moved into our house and decided to get on with sorting that out to try and keep myself busy. I was suffering bad my sleep was the worst effected I would wake up in cold sweats screaming out and night terrors were taking there hold on my body. I carried on training and I trained hard. I did a mile and a half route I had plotted out I ran as fast as I could I didn’t feel anything but anger I just felt I’m gonna get the best time ever, I stopped my stop watch at 08:02! I was 35 and had never got below 9 in my life. I wasn’t even out of breathe. I decided to see if my run times were effected as I ran each morning I could feel my fitness becoming stronger and better although j wasn’t sleeping I was still training my fucking heart out sometimes 3 times a day. I start off with a 6 to 8 mile run. Then a small breakfast followed by laxatives. Gym again to train weights more food more laxatives then gym again in the evening for cardio then more laxatives. Within a couple of weeks I was down to a size 6 waist and weighed around 8 1/2 stone. I was wasting away.
In my head he had killed himself because I was fat and ugly. I thought that if I lost weight and sorted my face out he would come back. Why I felt like that I’m not sure but I can’t remember most of the month. It was close to X mas and I refused to go home I stayed in my house in Birmingham and only went out to train or go see Richie’s dad. My mum begged me to come home. My relationship with Richie’s mum was failing, she had become more and more angry and I felt that she somehow blamed me for Richie’s death. She is a grieving mum and I knew I had to walk away from her. But I was stuck in that house until the lease was up in the June. I was a recluse I didn’t want to see anyone one morning I woke up to a knock st my door it was my sister and her boyfriend they had come to get me!!!!
My sister went on and on about my weight and how I had no food in the house she was mad her boyfriend was doing his usual cracking jokes and making me feel better. I liked him he was an absolute nutter but he was good to my sister, for the first time ever she had found a decent boyfriend. They made me pack a bag and drove me back up to Hull. Whilst I was there I was useless I hardly spoke and just cried a lot it was X mas and I was ruining it for everyone. I had so much to sort out I couldn’t think straight. I couldn’t even talk to my own children. The nightmares were getting worst and one night I had screamed that bad I scared my own niece she wouldn’t sleep in the same room as me. My nightmares were taking over my life. The same images in my head Richie’s body laid in the coffin with both the wounds stitched together his eye socket sunken and make up on his face from the undertakers that was not Richie!!!!
I never wanted to view his body but the family went and I felt I had too. That image is imprinted in my brain. I hear a shot I see him die I then see his body and the rest is history every night every fucking night. I’ve been close to a few bangs in afghan before and after his death and that still doesn’t bother me. Seeing my sisters covered in blood with her cheek hanging off after she was run over, seeing my dad and grandad bodies but still nothing. Richie’s suicide was taking an effect on my health and I couldn’t think straight. Things from my past were creeping up on me and I started to think why am I here? Should I just join him? Maybe it’s easier to just do that then deal with life!!!
I had to get X mas over first, once that was done I could bury him and start to piece my life back together. X mas Eve I spent with my sister and her boyfriend.
Before I went back to afghan I had to have medical tests organised via my company. This is usual practice when an operator had been through a very traumatic experience and the most check that my mental health was ok to return. It took ages to sort out and I was starting to worry that I wouldn’t be going back and I needed my job! I even kicked off one night and started shouting at the ceiling blaming Richie for ruining my life. It was the first time I had got angry with him. But there was still a big question in my head why????? Why do that? he could of got help he could of asked…. I needed answers but didn’t have the person to talk with to get them.
Before Richie died I was training to compete he was extremely supportive and loved the fact I was dedicated. But after his death I lost all desire. I lost weight, I lost muscle and I lost who I was. Grieving and alone my own mental health deteriorated I had then been diagnosed with the same mind terrifying disorder that had taken Richie life.
I was diagnosed with complex PTSD, with low self esteem, body dis morphia and my bulimia I felt like I was spuring out of control. What made matters worse… I met another man. This man was and to this day is a narcissist, he has his band of merry flying monkeys ( term used for persons who he uses to manipulate, corrupt and do his dirty work for him ) ready to deploy at anytime. I choose to not speak of him right now. Although soon I can and soon I will.