I felt intrepid on Friday, embarking on the journey to London with my train-phobic dog. As I expected, she was completely terrified of the trains and then the traffic and buses in town. Ironically, we saw a little brave mouse at the bus stop outside Waterloo, scuttling around our feet as bold as brass. It even let me take its photo.
The dog recovered quickly from her trauma, as soon as we had arrived and were sat in front of a toasty fire. And it was worth the effort, because it was so wonderful to see my sister.
Since I shared the secret with her about the sexual abuse my brother subjected me to, we have grown closer. It is so lovely to be close to her again, like I haven’t since we were tiny. For the first time in our lives, she really sees me and I let her in.
It is testament to how strong her love for me is, and her unfaltering integrity that she never hesitated to believe me and support me. She didn’t want proof or ask if I was exaggerating. She’s just there for me. After all the years this secret sat between us, I could imagine she might be angry with me, or generally at being the only one in the family who didn’t know. But she’s kept that in check and she has carried on listening to and encouraging me.
Seeing her was good for me. Lately I find it really hard to connect with any good memories from childhood. She enables me to do just that. We laughed together about the antics we got up to, we talked about the childish excitement we used to feel at Christmas and joked warmly about our peculiar family. It felt great.
The dog and I were happily shattered when we got home. She seems to have just about forgiven me. And even if it was a test of both of our patience, I’m sure we provided much needed entertainment for a lot of bored commuters.