My journey to date

This all started one summer day back in 1985, the sort of day towards the end of the holidays. This day would change my life forever.

He did what he did to that young 13 year old boy. I can still visualise his face and his voice. Over the years of silence I’ve seen his face in my dreams. He had built a lie. To me the monster, to my parents the builder with a cheeky smile and attitude.

Even into my 20’s, he was there always smiling and winking. He knew what he had done and he knew the effect it was having on me.

I lived with this darkness for many years, with it bubbling up from time to time. Then four years ago. I was in a place to begin the process of healing. A process that has been painful in the extreme. Fighting the mental health system that labeled me and left me to rot for nine months. The surprise for me was that I found that I’m a mean cook. I’ve also got an interest in poetry.

I thought my whole world had fallen after realising that I would never become a priest. This as it turns out isn’t my vocation. It turns out that helping other survivors can be a worthy vocation. I have used my voice to comfort, to share my story and to help others find their voices. Breaking the silence and isolation is so important for survivors and for me. Shattering the chains of shame and pain is so important.

I feel I’ve got a second chance at living. I’ve got a good job, great friends and a fantastic hobby. I would have never thought of doing any of what I’m now doing. To have this chance is a gift, even though the pain. For I know that through the pain comes healing and growth.

There are still days when I regret a lot of things. But I can’t live by regrets, it is about making the best of what I’ve got. Someone once said to me “regrets are like a broken window, it’s never the same again”

So, four years ago this weekend I truly started this journey when I shared this with my family for the first time. Four years ago I traveled from Coventry to London, for seminar on shame. I’ve struggled over the years with shame but now I believe that my shame has been passed on to that person who did this to me.

The future is so beautiful for me now.

In deep

I’ve not posted for a few days due to still being unable shake off this illness. All I want to do at the moment is sleep. I’m feeling so low at the moment as well.

I’ve been thinking about what happened all those years ago. Thinking about whether I should try and forget it and push it back down. I feel that I’ve gone backwards in the last few weeks. It feels like I have to make a choice. A choice between facing more pain or hiding it again.

I feel I’m in a deep hole with no way out. I keep thinking that I’m going to fail and end up bitter and lonely. People I thought cared about me have just ignored me. So called “Christians”, people who preach Of God’s love but can’t show it to me.

The place I’m in is so deep I now don’t have the strength to climb out of the hole.

So, many dark thoughts rattling around my head.

Knowing me

I’ve been pondering how many members of my old community really knew me. You see in the last few years I’ve made friends in different circles.

There’s the work circle the guys who see me day in and day out (poor sods for putting up with me). They’re a good bunch. I really get on with them. And I’ve disclosed to some of them. They’ve been brilliant.

Then I have a small number of survivor friends they totally get me.

Then there’s the drama lot. I must say they’re totally wonderful. They’re so encouraging and supportive. They’ve accepted me as one of there own. Some know and others don’t. But it doesn’t even matter as I’ve had so much fun while being part of the group.

Back to the first paragraph, it’s never been the normal members of the community but the leadership, they never got me. It’s as though they struggled dealing with a grown man in so much pain as I was in.

One of my bug bears is I hate people talking about me in the third person, as if I’m not there. Or worse talking down to me. This really gets my goat up. I’d far rather people treated me like a normal person. The last time I saw any of them, one or two still couldn’t see the change in me and still talked down to me. It’s been a massive change, I’ve grown so much.

International blog

This evening I checked the stats for this blog and I’ve had more than 13,000 hits since I started it. But the real thing I saw was that people from more than 100 countries have visited my blog.

I never thought when I started it, that I’d have such an impact. I’m only started it to rant. A place to find my voice.

I have seen the progress I’ve made both good and bad. It heartens me to think there are some people who find it helpful to read.

There have been moments when I had wished I’d never started it. In my moments of desperation I wanted to stop.

In the last few years I’ve changed so much for the better. I was in such a bad place when I started it I thought it was not going to be a success. I have seen an abundance of creativity enter my life as well.

Would I change anything now? Simple answer is NO.

Feeling unwell

For the first time in almost four years I feel really ill. The last time I could not get out of my bed for four days. This time I’m not that bad but it shows how trauma affects our lives.

I realise that because I’ve made progress I can see the affect it’s having on me. I’m struggling to find peace in my mind tonight.

I hate feeling so vulnerable, but I suppose it goes with the territory. Feeling under the weather is something most people can just brush off. As a survivor I understand that my brain has been rewired due to the trauma I suffered all those years ago.

This time I know I’ll be ok, but I just hate being ill.

Is recovery possible?

That was the one question I had on my mind after the initial shock and pain. I ask someone in my support network, they said not right away. Now four years on, I can say a qualified yes.

I’ve moved forward at varying paces over the time, sometimes quite quickly and other times very slowly. But the important thing is that I have made progress.

I remember sitting in a talk just looking into space, I remember feeling like I was the only male survivor. I sat and wrote straight from my heart, tears and all.

Looking back I can see that even at my lowest ebb, I was making progress. Small steps, one at a time. To be honest I was existing and not living for twenty five years. I only started to live again though the pain of my past.

So is recovery possible, of course it is. It’s not easy, sometimes you feel like you’re going to die. For me those early of healing were so important. I needed to feel the pain so I can see the joys living once again.

So my word of wisdom are. You can recover and keep strong.

Messy mind

My mind is like a jumbled up mess. There are moments when I can’t see the wheat for the chaff. It’s like live in a daydream or rather a day mare. There are times I just want to crawl back in to bed.

I’m so glad I’ve got a job as it helps me to focus on reality. I remember four years ago, I moved to Coventry. I drove all the way on just three hours sleep. When I got there I was in such a bad place, I wanted to die.

I couldn’t stop crying, yes crying. It felt like I would never stop. I did but my time in Coventry was not the happiest. I felt so alone and with the work I was doing it made it worse. A typical day would be mass at the local church then back to the house to chop wood or in the garden. Then after lunch I had study time, alone. As you can see there’s a pattern. I felt so isolated, 100 miles from my family and counsellor.

Then my mind was a real mess. So, I have to be greatful for the progress I’ve made and the progress I’m going to make.

I have learned from my painful past to enjoy a better future. Hope conquers all!

Poll what should I pos