I was looking for my box of fabrics last night, as I plan to try and make a case for my drum this week. I’m quite looking forwards to this – since completing my GCSE textile project (a shadow quilted aztecan themed tablecloth) aside from making a few cushion covers for others I haven’t really done anything like that, so it’ll be nice to use those skills. I knew I’d put the box in the one of the cubby hole cupboards, so went and moved some other things to get to it, and found a box which didn’t really have any real indication to it’s contents.. So I put it to one side, found the fabric, and went back to writing what I wrote yesterday.
This morning I looked in the box and found various things – a tub of postcards I’d collected from places I’d been to on my travels in the UK, another tub with some chip beads I’d bought with the intention of making bracelets and never got around to (and had decided recently I would pass on to someone who may have use for them… when I found them!) There were also a couple of books, and finally a yellow folder I thought I’d lost.
I’ve always been quite open about the fact that I had a difficult time when I moved away from Sheffield. Everything that happened was my fault, because I’d chosen the things I had, and had made the decisions I had, and quite frankly, I was getting everything I deserved as a result. I was alone and cut off from everyone else, where I could cause no more damage, and had a chance to prove that at the heart of everything, I might not be solely to blame for all the things I had experienced to that point. I didn’t know how to even be social, let alone go and make friends, and even if I did, I would have been too afraid for a long while. I had Jack, whom I’d known since Uni, and we’d been really good friends, his housemate, and then my lodger, Yves, and someone I knew from a long time since, Amy was also in Newcastle. Another friend Paul had decided to move up around the same time I did as well, so I at least had people I knew about, otherwise things may have turned out differently. It was when Yves had changed that I realised that I hadn’t escaped or made a new start… things were beginning to happen all over again, and I had to be the problem.
So, I went to see a Psychotherapist called Frances for a while. She was actually really good with me. I remember sitting and not being able to say anything because I felt if I did something really bad was going to happen. But she managed to get me to be able to talk, and we started to piece a picture of things together. She was the first person to really know what had happened, not just parts. She was also the first person to tell me that no matter whether I thought it was my fault, that what had happened was in fact long term systematic abuse, and that was wrong. I still don’t like using the term now, but it is correct. When I ran out of money for my sessions with Frances, she tried to get me a referral for a charity to be able to do some longer term work, but this wasn’t successful, so she recommended several books to work though.
The yellow folder contains the ‘homework’ I did with Frances as well as where I’d started working through the books. I had a look as I was taking out a couple of the random things which had ended up in there as well, and had to stop because it’s upset me. The thing that did it was a letter that I’d written as me aged 8 or 9. I’d clearly managed to get to the younger me’s head, because my handwriting matches me at that age, and the language is right. If I didn’t *know* where it had come from I would have said it was written by an 8/9 year old. But the thing that has gotten me is the acceptance in that letter that everything happening was ‘normal’ that this was it, there wasn’t anything wrong about it. That the things I believe now were already fully incorporated into me back then.
It’s going to be a huge climb, but I *will* do it. And what’s more, I’m going to restart the books.