Hope. A word that has been rattling round my head for days. I don’t know why. Then it came to me. Maybe, what I’m doing with this blog is part of it.

Maybe I’m in a place to give hope. It seems that as I’ve healed, hope has followed.

This morning I got a message from a friend who has walked with me on this journey. He was going to meet a priest who sat a prayed for healing of my soul and mind.

As I look back I can see how far I’ve come. I’m more confident and alive. The memory of that prayer time has reminded my of the power of prayer. This priest possesses the gift of healing. This doesn’t mean you’ll be healed instantly. Ok, sometimes it does. But in my case I had to wait.

Four years on I see that evening as a catalyst for healing. What it meant for me. Was to open up the poisoned wounds, poisoned by many years of lies. It was the start of the process. It validated me as person, it gave me my life back.

Most important, it gave me HOPE.

Now I hope survivors see this a a beacon of hope. A light in the dark.

Post form journal sometime in October 2010

I’m so cold and lonely, the house has no heating. I’m sitting in my room an in tears. Aghhhh, why me.

I’ve not slept properly since disclosing. I keep asking God why this happened. Michael has been brilliant again. He’s there for when I need him. I’m so angry with everyone.

I keep thinking, how do tell the family. What’s their reaction going to be.

I’m going in to London next week for a seminar. My counsellor has arranged it for me. I’m going to meet him there. It means I’ve got to drive at night. I’ve not done this for a fortnight. Scared.

How am I going to get through this, I really want to die.

This is what I wrote four short years ago. I’ve made so much progress in that time.

Creativity and depression

I’ve been wondering if there is a correlation between episodes of depression and the creative urge.

As I reflect on my bursts of creativity and coming out of a low period. Ever since I started this journey I’ve noticed I’m more creative after a “dip”.

I look at some writers and musicians who have suffered with depression, have come out with some really great work. Is it the therapy of getting the bad stuff out or is it like a clearing out of our pain.

When I write my poetry, it feels like a release. I don’t know if art or other creative things are the same.

I’ve also noticed that I’m more imaginative as well. It seem that my brain go in to overdrive after a depression episode. I know that drama and acting helps me escape from my depression.

Just a thought from a survivor.

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.