Next week marks the 1st anniversary of the trial which finally shone a light on my eldest brother Andrew's disgusting crimes! It has been an immense year of healing filled with lots of amazing wins- some big, some little.
On the 16th September 2023, one of those larger wins happened 🥳🎉🥳
To my mother, the Catholic Church was the most important thing in her life - followed by education. Not surprising therefore that I grew up hating school and fearing the church. So somehowI found myself tackling both of these things head on by attending a school reunion mass at Clifton Cathedral in Bristol.
My fears were groundless! I sat alongside an old school friend I have known since I was 4 and had only recently reconnected with after a separation of over 30 years. Very quickly the inappropriate and irreverent giggling began and continued for the rest of the afternoon. We were kids again but this time with the benefit of hindsight.
I realise now that although dissociation does an amazing job of keep trauma victims safe by locking those painful memories securely away inside a box, it also locks up those happy memories we may also have experienced during those traumatic years. Giggling in church with my friend yesterday was like popping on a pair of old slippers- comfortable, safe and familiar. Whilst it saddened me on the one hand that over the years I had been denied the nostalgic reflections of these past memories, on the other it gave me great hope and faith in the healing process that can occur with right support, love and friendship in your life.