It was not the words "I'm the other Mrs Jordan" that shook my world but "I have been told you are an agent." It was those eight words that finally bridged the gulf and reality became clear."Mary arranged a meeting with Michelle that day and they swapped details.
I had crossed the gulf and knew the truth. After the initial numbing shock, there was an overpowering emotion that can only be described as "relief". I was free. Free from fear of being followed or targeted by shadowy enemy agents - they were not real and no one was after me; free from social services threatening to take my children away from me, as now I could tell them the truth; free from my prison of silence and lies.Distressingly, with Will out on bail, Michelle was sucked back into the lies. Mary, on the other hand, took full advantage of her regained clarity, barring Will from her life save for the occasional conversations by telephone.
Mary was asked by a lawyer in the run up to Will's court appearance to discuss the reality that she had been living in for the previous six years. To her frustration she found herself unable to articulate or explain Will's CIA fiction, almost as if the language to do so wasn't there for her. The reality had been presented to Mary a piece at a time, such that when it came to explain to someone who had not travelled that same journey, it was impossible for that someone to understand.
Mary also found that the reality of certain events became unfixed. As she picked away at Will's lies she found memories that she couldn't rationalise, and it became more and more apparent that Will's manipulation of her went far beyond merely lying.
For example, I seemed to remember having talked to Michelle in the past and felt sure that I had firm proof of her as his "asset". I even remembered discussing with Will how I had talked to her directly. But when I tried to pin down the memory of talking to her and work out when it had happened I couldn't do it - the only clear memory was of him telling me I had spoken to her.She believed she had somehow had her memory manipulated, and in researching this possibility acquired training materials covering techniques that she could relate exactly to the ways Will had controlled her. There remain a variety of incidents that defy explanation, but as she explained to John Ronson in his Radio 4 programme, one doesn't have to know how a magician performs a trick to know it is a trick. She thinks of Will Jordan as providing a mirror to her, matching himself to whatever her desire was so that he could exploit her.
Mary also added more names to the list of Will's victims, and is certain that there are more women out there that Jordan preyed upon. Her story stands testament to the fact that one needn't be stupid in order to be duped, merely trusting and needful; like most people, really.
Readers who believe they may have been a victim of Will Jordan or someone like him can find help and support at the Love Fraud website. The Other Mrs Jordan is available in paperback.