Where can I start? A week of rushing, chaos, noise, anxiety. Funny moments and pain. Exhilaration and desperation. Oh and so much therapy.
I’ve done therapy four times this week. Three sessions with J and one consultation with a psychologist to talk about starting EMDR. I’ll write more on that later, but it is an interesting and somewhat frightening prospect.
Work has been manic. I’ve had what felt like an avalanche of emails to scrabble through. There’s a new starter in my team and I’m probably spending 40% of my time teaching her stuff. And I lost a day of actual work time because I had to attend a seminar up in London.
Amusing story from the office this week. For overseas friends – you need to know we’ve had something akin to monsoon rains here in the UK. So on Thursday I decided the only option was to wear my Wellingtons to work. Unfortunately, I’d forgotten I was scheduled to spend the morning in a meeting with our firm’s Partners. For a brief moment, I was caught in a ridiculous dilemma, trying to figure out which was least inappropriate; muddy wellies, or bare feet? Anyway, that made me laugh.
Then there’s this bloody referendum, which has been bothering me for weeks. I don’t want to get too political here, but I was passionate about my country remaining part of the European community. I believe wholeheartedly in the redistribution of wealth, and the free movement of people. After all, I’m only here in the UK by accident of birth. Borders are a ludicrous political construct. We’re all citizens of the planet.
Discombobulated aren’t I?
[WITH OBJECT] humorous, chiefly North American
Disconcert or confuse (someone):
(as adjective discombobulated) he is looking a little pained and discombobulated.
Yep, discombobulation. Disbelief. Devastation. I can’t believe my country has voted to leave. It is yet more uncertainty to add to the vast swamp of anxious future-fear I’m standing at the edge of. Nobody has a clue what’s going to happen next.
That ties in smoothly with the police investigation, which has progressed somewhat. The evidence is being submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service next week. They’ll browse through the paperwork, and assess whether my suffering is weighty enough for a prosecution. If it’s a green light, they’ll charge my brother with ‘gross indecency with a girl under the age of 14’ as well as a possible incest charge. But then they could decide it isn’t worth spending public money on. None of us have a clue which way it will go. I have to try and let go of it for a while now. I’ve done my part. I gave the most agonisingly honest and detailed video statement. I gave it everything.
The enquiries the detective in charge is making brought up some new and deeply upsetting information for me on Monday. Through the notes in the social services files from the time of the abuse, I learned that I was unimportant. I was the tiny, ten-year-old victim and all the focus was on him, the perpetrator. Nobody interviewed me properly. Nobody thought to consider how I might feel if he were returned to our family home. They just did a couple of risk assessments and figured out somehow that he was unlikely to re-offend. So for the following four years I lived in fear at home. I never stopped waiting for him to creep into my room. And nobody gave a crap about that. Not my parents. Not social services. Not the police or the health service. Nobody.
Knowing this, it is almost impossible to feel anything but worthless. I wanted to end my life on Monday night. My only thought was that I am garbage and I don’t deserve anything. I don’t deserve hope. I don’t deserve a future. I was engulfed in these fetid feelings.
On top of that, my sister suddenly came crawling out of the woodwork on Tuesday after ignoring me for weeks. It was kind of her to let me know she’s angry with me; to remind me of how selfish I am for reporting my brother to the police. She thinks I don’t consider the impact on our family. That was a punch in the stomach I could’ve done without.
But despite all this, I have had some moments of light. Earlier in the week, my wife and I finally managed to be intimate for the first time in about six months. It was wonderful. And then a lovely friend came to stay with us. We sat in the garden this evening, chatting about everything, admiring a brilliant rainbow and laughing at the dog trying to catch flies.
If you’ve reached the end of this – well done for persevering. It has been quite the brain fart.
Photo: Surian Soosay, Creative Commons.