This week’s been one long roller-coaster. A week ago I was having a quiet weekend as I was totally exhausted and trying to prepare myself for what was ahead.
I knew that during the coming week my Criminal Injuries compensation would go into my bank account. Part of me still couldn’t believe it was really going to happen and part of me couldn’t wait for it to go in and to pay off all my debts. It was a strange combination of feelings.
On Monday I went to my counselling session which was very powerful and helpful. However while I was there I was informed that my massage therapist Juliette, is not coming back. Quiet Mind are very unhappy with the situation because they had to visit her at home when they couldn’t get hold of her on the phone and Juliette airily said “oh I’ve got a new job, I’m not coming back.” She hadn’t bothered to tell Quiet Mind or anyone else. The powers that be at Quiet Mind are extremely angry and feel very let down. She had 6 clients who now need to be found a new massage therapist but there is no-one who can take up that slack. So it’s not a good situation.
That broadsided me. I’d had a horrible feeling inside that she wasn’t coming back and had been putting it down to my abandonment issues but with that news I realised that it had actually been my gut telling me - my gut knew. There is no-one to replace her and I don’t know what I’m going to do. I cannot believe she has done this. It’s not a good stunt to pull especially when your clients are sexual abuse survivors. It is not what you expect someone with over 20 years experience to working with sexual abuse survivors! It’s very shocking indeed. I trusted her. We trusted her - me and my child parts. And now we’ve been dumped all over and it hurts and is incredibly wobbly!
Whatever I do I’m going to have to start over with someone knew after making all that progress with Juliette. It’s really hard.
Why is it that when I get something that really works and is really good for me in life I’m not allowed to have it and it gets taken away from me. This has happened so often in my life, it is a frequent pattern of events. It’s happened so many times that I’m totally fed up with it.
At least now I have the compensation I can actually afford to pay someone privately for massage. So now I’ve got to investigate that option.
Now that I’ve got used to having massage and to being touched for an hour once a fortnight I cannot go back to a life without touch. The massage was so important for me on many levels.
I wrote a letter to a very old school friend who lives near Whitehaven. I am going to Keswick in May for the mountain festival. After four nights in Keswick for the festival I will travel through to Whitehaven and will be staying in a hotel two miles outside of Whitehaven for a couple of nights before coming home. I’m staying there at that hotel for my own safety and also so I cannot be accused of being anyway near my parents’ house which is probably about three miles from where I’m staying. Way to far a distance for me to walk and I don’t think any buses go anywhere near there either. I’m also staying at that hotel because I’ve stayed at other Premier Inn’s before and know they are high quality hotels and the breakfasts are amazing.
I’ve arranged to have dinner with a special friend there on the Monday night and then dinner with other friends on the Tuesday night.
Thinking about the Monday night I decided to write to an old school friend of mine who is also a mutual friend of the person I’m having dinner with. We’ve kept in touch over the years exchanging Christmas letters and occasional letters at other times of the year but haven’t seen each other for around 28 years. I wrote suggesting she joins us for dinner as I would really like to use this opportunity to see her again after all these years and pick up that friendship again.
I was really surprised with myself but I realise there is a new ‘me’ emerging who isn’t afraid to take risks now and isn’t prepared to just live with regrets, but rather wants to do what she can about them. Come to think of it, I’ve taken a lot of risks to get to where I am in my healing journey.
Tuesday came and my compensation was in my bank account late afternoon. It felt so good to see £22,000.00 sitting there. It would have been easy to be overwhelmed to have such a large amount of money and to go crazy with it. But I had prepared a list of exactly what I was going to pay each creditor and also what I was going to be buying on top – new TV being my priority as well as paying for a holiday, replacing my broken filing cabinets and buying a new safe. I knew exactly what I was going to spend right down to the penny.
I went out to swim and aqua fit in the evening which was relaxing and fun. As I was waiting for my bus home from aqua fit I switched my mobile on and there was an email from the friend I wrote to. She was absolutely thrilled to get my letter and delighted with the idea of dinner and really excited about it and looking forward to it.
Her response to me blew me away. I was not expected such an overwhelmingly positive response.
I thought to myself that how I see myself and my life is not how others see me and my life. I’m also realising that there are people in my life who are safe, who are totally safe and who are really rooting for me and supportive of me. I’m slowly realising that I’m not so alone in the world as I thought I was and always have felt. In some ways I am totally alone in the world having no family or relatives. But I’m not totally alone, when I think of those people in my life who are supportive, positive and encouraging towards me.
I couldn’t sleep overnight, the money and the massage issues were playing on my mind. Plus the excitement of knowing how much money was in my account and the drive inside to get going with paying off my debts was causing so much adrenalin to go round my system that sleep was impossible. I rested as well as I could, telling myself “there’d only be one night like this in my life” and eventually managed to doze a bit in the end.
I spent most of Wednesday online and on the phone paying various debts. It was an incredible day. There won’t ever be a day like that in my life ever again. To spend £15,000.00 in one day is not likely to ever happen again. I felt really good to be paying off my debts. Some of the debts were hangovers from university and other debts had been accrued by just living for years on benefits and needing credit to replace things that break down, put clothes on my back etc. In paying off my debts I cut my monthly outgoings by £650-£700 which is going to make a huge difference to me. In the middle of everything I started having payments declined and had to phone my bank to find out what was happening. They had frozen my account and bank card given the unusual activity taking place. I explained the situation to them and they released my account and bank card and allowed all the payments through which they had previously declined.
I hadn’t expected that to happen. I just expected that if the money was in your account the payments would automatically go through. I didn’t mind the bank doing that, I’d rather they check things out rather than just allow unusual activity to take place on the account.
By the end of Wednesday afternoon I was mentally and emotionally exhausted although strangely exhilarated too! Thursday was a relatively gentle day after all that activity. My appointment with my sexual abuse therapist was intense and really good. I had some quality time with my tree in gorgeous weather which helped calm me down and ground me.
Good job too because I came home to a letter from Cumbria Police. It was a very shocking letter carrying on the lies and excuses and closing ranks. I was appalled but to be honest I didn’t have the emotional or mental energy to even look at it properly never mind process it. I distracted my mind watching and playing snooker that evening. It played on my mind all night and my sleep was massively disrupted.
I dragged myself out of bed feeling awful on Friday morning. I had my usual swim Friday lunchtime which was quite relaxing, although it didn’t relax me totally. After lunch I had some great tree time before going on to my appointment with my Rethink worker. I was feeling very black as I was walking around and feeling like I was falling into a deep dark pit. It was a very horrible feeling. I think shock from the letter was settling in.
By the time I got to Rethink I was very black and suicidal. It was a good job I had that appointment. It helped me a lot and I came out of it feeling I could go home and face the weekend and leave the letter till Monday when I’ll be seeing my CPN and my counsellor and will have support.
So I have had a very quiet weekend, catching up with paperwork, resting and watching sport on TV, having some ‘me’ time. It is refreshing and strengthening me.
It has been an incredible week. A huge roller-coaster of massive extremes.
I’m looking forward to moving into the future no longer saddled with huge debts. That’s really transformed my life.
As I said to my sexual abuse therapist “yes the money has transformed things for me, but the money is nothing compared to what that award says, it’s the vindication and the validation that the compensation brings with it, money can’t buy that, and that is wonderful and makes me feel amazing.”