Satisfaction is a cuddle, not sex: Susan de Muth in bed with Mandy Smith

Mandy Smith, 23, is a model and television presenter. Divorced from Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones, she now lives in London with her new husband, Pat van den Hauwe.

THE FIRST night I spent at Bill Wyman's country home, when I was 13, he told me the story of the house ghost. A young girl had married the much older lord of the manor who destroyed her, body and soul. She finally starved herself to death there.

I'm about 90 per cent recovered from the allergies and depression that sent my weight plummeting to 5 1/2 stone at the end of my marriage to Bill. I'm stronger both mentally and physically, but I'm still not free of the past. It does come back to haunt me, especially at night.

I sometimes dream about Bill, that we're together or at a party with Mick Jagger and Ronnie Wood and I'm back in that time. I wake up with a rush of panic and nausea before I realise, praise the Lord, that I'm out of it. Then I start to feel angry because of him. He was 47 when we met - surely old enough to know right from wrong and not to take advantage of a teenager's naive love.

What makes me most angry is that, because I felt abused and demeaned by Bill, I am still edgy about sex. He used it to manipulate me and he also used it as a weapon. When I was really ill the last thing I wanted was to make love. Memories like that still come back to me when I'm in bed with Pat.

I've only ever slept with four men in my life, but my opinion is that men are a lot more sexual than women. I like cuddling and kissing, but I freeze, even with Pat, when physical affection is misinterpreted as an overture. I think, 'If you love me why are you just sexual towards me?' and I don't like it.

I can enjoy making love, but I still feel the confusion - that this is wrong but right - that I did when I was under-age with Bill. I wear my bra and knickers in bed, which I suppose is a kind of security thing.

For a long time after my illness I really hated going to bed because it reminded me of the months I spent too weak to get up, weighed down with sickness and depression.

I've always been scared of the dark and when I was really bad my mum used to sleep in the bed with me. It didn't make any difference to the frightening symptoms I developed, though: I could hear talking and voices repeating themselves. When I closed my eyes I felt I was going so deep and distant that I would die.

I started to pray a lot during those months in bed. I had nothing to guide me except God and I clung on to my faith. I used to pray about which foods I could eat without getting an allergy and the answers would come in dreams.

I believe He took me to the depths of despair and broke me down to build me up better than I was before. I still have my Bible and prayer books by my bed and pray all the time.

Since marrying Pat last year I have developed a sense of luxury about going to bed and often have a little lie-down in the afternoons. My two Yorkshire terriers come with me and we all snuggle up with my fluffy toys.

For the first time in my life I've got curtains in my bedroom - though they are thin enough to let light through from the street lamps - and can sleep with the light off at night. I have no problems drifting off into a peaceful sleep with Pat's arms around me - unless we've had an argument.

Our relationship hasn't been easy - we've both been married before - and my problems with sex do cause distances between us. We try to work things out and spend most evenings together at home - though if I do go out I like to party all night]

A little difficult patch has just ended - which Pat heralded by leaving me a massive love message pinned to the bedroom mirror so it was the first thing I saw when I woke up.

Because I know it could all be taken away at any moment, I enjoy every minute of my new life while it lasts. I'm blessed with the love of my husband, my mother and my sister and with a great deal of happiness. I'm leaving the nightmares behind me and Pat says that recently I've started to wake him up - by laughing in my sleep.

Mandy Smith's book 'It's All Over Now' is available in paperback from 11 July, Blake pounds 4.99.

(Photograph omitted)

Suggested Topics
Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Life and Style
tech

Apple has been hit by complaints about the 1.1GB download

Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC
tv

Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason

Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff
tv

News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Arts and Entertainment
tv

News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife
film

Matt Smith is set to join cast of the Jane Austen classic - with a twist

Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmWhat makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me
tv

Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama

Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
Life and Style
i100

Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Business Analyst – 2 year fixed term contract – Kent – Circa £55k

    £45000 - £55000 Per Annum 31 days holiday, pension, healthcare, annual bonus: ...

    SEN Learning Support Assistant

    Negotiable: Randstad Education Birmingham: SEN TA's apply now! West Midlands

    Network Infrastructure Technical Lead - up to £45k DOE - Surrey

    £35000 - £45000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

    Year 2 Teacher

    £110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Ye...

    Day In a Page

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week