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.