Yesterday was a difficult day; it was my interview with the police. I haven’t slept in almost 4 months with the anxiety of this trip. The most difficult part being telling my parents, and then the next most difficult was going into detail about the abuse with the police. People have been kind over the years, and I’ve not needed to give out the intimate details. People have been happy with the amount of information that I have been happy to share. Even a small amount of detail gave a big explanation in to some of my behavior or moods.
I was so nervous as I was waiting for them to arrive, my mouth was dry, I tried keeping busy in the morning. Nothing prepared me for the nerves as I sat waiting though.
The police were amazing! I can’t believe how quickly they have acted, how much information they have given me, the patience they have shown, and the support that the counselling charity were prepared to give me. I declined their offer, not because I don’t think that they can help, but I am so lucky to have the support network that I have, I don’t feel like I need to take up their valuable resources. There are people that would benefit far more; people who have been isolated and been unable to build close bonds with people, people without family to help them through. Maybe they will have the opportunity to heal now, which is a knock on effect of the people that are there for me. It is amazing how a good kind act can filter down.
It took about 2 hours, and once I had started to talk, I forgot that the cameras were there, it was like a counselling session to be honest. When I came home, my mum was waiting at the door for me. I could see the worry on her face, and was very relieved to be able to tell her that it went well, with a smile on my face that was genuine, and not hiding pain.
After the interview, I went to meet an old school friend. She was actually my best friend through school, we did everything together; we went to Brownies, Guides, Rangers and finally Venture Scouts together. We spent our summers walking the 2.5 miles to the sport center for ‘junior recreation’, and back home again, played games, talked boys, and swapped cloths. She is one of those friends that no matter how much time goes between visits, each one feels like we are catching up from yesterday. There is a familiar comfortable feeling that makes coming home feel like home. I told her my story, and she told me hers, and in the 2 years since I last saw her, a lot had happened!!! She’s had a tough time too, so it felt good to comfort each other.
By the time I got to bed, I was emotionally exhausted, but also quite elated. I recognized that I had done it! This had been my goal for the last 4 months. Prior to that, my goal was to survive, to pay my rent, to buy food, to get through each day in a turbulent controlling relationship, I had finally finished. I smiled to myself, and felt very proud…….. But:
The feeling of elation and joy didn’t last as long as I thought. I slept, albeit with the help of a tablet, but in the morning, I could have gone back off, and that is a first. I didn’t as I was worried that it would mess up my sleep for tonight, so I got up and then I floundered.
What was I going to do now?
I have the rest of my life in front of me. I can spend it anywhere I want. I can stay here, in my home country, or I can return to Spain in the safe knowledge that I can return home anytime I want too for a visit whenever I want, in a happy mood, or when I need support, without the fear that I have had up to now, or I can go somewhere totally new and become a writer. I rather like the idea of becoming a writer, but just because I enjoy it, doesn’t mean I could make a living out of it. This is a tough call!
Work is difficult. Not because I am a lazy cretin, but due to my health. You see, whilst dealing with this, I have also been managing bad health issues. I have recently been diagnosed with emphysema, which for those of you who don’t know is an incurable lung disease. Because of this, I have good and bad days. On a good day, I can sleep relatively well (ignoring the times I have anxiety and depression, as this is always tough for sleep, but is only in bouts, so doesn't last forever thankfully), wake up with a modicum of energy, get dressed, walk for about 10 mins, slowly, without getting to out of breath, could possibly make it to an office as long as they don’t have air conditioning, annoy people just a little with my coughing (it has been likened to sitting next to a yapping dog), make it home and collapse with tiredness. On a bad day, I can’t turn over in bed without getting out of breath, brushing my teeth leaves me breathless, dressing leaves me breathless and in need of a break, walking more than 50 foot is unthinkable, and I need to rest continually. A cold turns in to bronchitis or pneumonia, leaving more scars on my lungs; bed binds me for a couple of weeks, and takes longer still to get back on my feet. There are very few employers that would be able or willing to give someone quite the amount of flexibility that I require.
I get a small war pension for asthma, and I am currently waiting to see if I am entitled to get more help as my condition has worsened. If I do, then maybe I can be a writer after all – it would certainly fill my days.
I feel a little lost to be honest, but am so glad that I am lost at home with my family, rather than thousands of miles away and facing an uncertain future alone.