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11.2.12

The Phone Call Which Changed My Life.

It was late 1999 or early 2000.
I was sat on my bed.
The phone rang.
It was my friend.
We were planning meeting up either that night or the next day after school. She had to get off the phone to check something but said she's ring me back.
Within a short amount of time the phone rang again.
I answered.
It was her. Putting on a silly voice....
I laughed and asked what she was doing then realised...
Oh...
No it wasn't her...

I had no idea who this person was but they were imitating the voice from the Scream movies.
I spoke to them for a while. I can't remember what was said as I've blocked it out but I know I hung up on them.
I immediately went and told my parents.
The phone rang again.
My parents answered.
My mum spent most of the time talking to them.
"I'm in your garden and I'm going to kill Jordan"
A female voice in the background corrected the apparent murderer stood in the bottom of our garden.
"Its George. The rabbit is called George"
The phonecall continued and they said some pretty disgusting things to my mum.
"I bet you haven't had sex for years. You're so old that your f*n*y must have dried up" (please excuse me for that)
My mum just laughed at all the abuse.
She was my hero.
Every now and then she would hang up but they would ring again.
In the end the abuse just got boring and my mum pulled the phone line out.
I'm pretty sure I experienced one of my first panic attacks that night.
The next day I was kept off school and we went down the police station. I sat, shaking, telling the police officer everything I had heard.
The officer explained that she'd do the best she could to trace the calls and get some answers and speak to whoever made the calls etc.

Except we had an idea of who made the calls.
During one of the phonecalls my mum heard a conversation
"C, are you staying round T's tonight?"
I went to middle school with C and T. Infact I was currently in the same high school as C and didn't expect it from her as I thought we were friends and had moved away from the bullying crap I received in middle school.

The police were fantastic and traced the calls. They named 4 girls, 3 of which I knew (1 of which I still went to school with), and told us that they had been babysitting and used this persons phone.

These girls had a real jealously problem. My parents were still together (at the time) and we had just moved to a really nice house.
One of the girls used to jokingly tease my brother and me and called us rich.
All we'd done was move from a 3 bedroom (plus huge attic) terraced in a sort-of built up area to a 4 bedroom detached house in a quiet close.

My school were aware of what had happened and were also very supportive.
I remember going back into school and feeling like EVERYONE knew what had happened.
Like EVERYONE was watching me.

This was over 10 years ago, but as an effect I hate, HATE, answering the phone.
I will never answer a "withheld call" or "number not available" call unless if I know exactly who it will be (expecting a call from the doctors or similar)
This made it incredibly hard when I worked as I was expected to answer the phone.
My phobia seemed silly to my bosses and they didn't understand.
They didn't understand that whenever a phone started ringing that my heart would start thumping, fast, fast, fast. I'd start shaking, my palms would go sweaty, my throat would dry up, my head would go dizzy and I couldn't breathe.
I just wanted to hide.

Day to day life is also affected by these girls.
I'm too scared to take the boys to the park in case they are there.
I hate going into town by myself in case they are there.
I'm 26. Have 2 children. And still what these girls did controls my life.
Not only am I scared that these girls will do or say something to me. But that they would say something to or about my children.
Or get their children to hurt my boys.

I only talk on the phone to my husband, mum, dad, aunty and nans (and doctors etc as I have no choice).
Anyone else has to just deal with texting or "Facebooking" me)

I'm angry that these girls were able to do this.
I can't see myself ever getting over this.
Ever having the confidence to pick up the phone to a withheld number or number I don't recognise.

I wish I could take my boys to the park, or beach in the summer, without feeling worried or needing a chaperone.

The bullies won.
And they'll always win.