Today I’m heading off on the first leg of my long awaited and planned for trip to Scotland. I’m travelling to London to stay overnight before going on to Inverness on Saturday. Saturday will be a very long day – over eight hours travelling from London to Inverness. I am actually looking forward to that very long journey because I’m going to be in first class with free wi-fi and I’ve loaded four feature length films on to my laptop to keep me occupied!!
I can’t quite take in that I am going today and that I am going to be travel in the comfort and luxury of first class train travel all the way as it is such a long journey.
I’ve wanted to do this trip ever since I saw it first advertised by Travelsphere nearly four years ago but I couldn’t do it because my priority was always ensuring I could afford to go away at Christmas to have a Christmas and it took me all year to save up.
When I got my compensation earlier this year I knew I could do it. This trip was the first thing I booked after hearing the news of the compensation award. I remember getting up at 5.30am the morning after getting my award letter and booking the holiday online.
Wanting to do this trip for so long and being unable to for such a long time makes it all the more special that I’m about to go on it and also adds to the unreal feel of it.
I’ve been so used throughout my life to having no options and not being able to do anything and not having any money that it’s really strange now to have option.
It’s still quite hard to get my head round the fact that I got the compensation and why I got it. It’s also still tough to get my head round that I can use that money to do nice things. The most wonderful thing is that it has given me options for the first time in my life.
My therapist said to me yesterday to consider all I’ve gone through in my life, and during the last couple of years in particular, in order to get that compensation and to see that I deserve it and I deserve the luxury of travelling in first class. It’s hard for me to see that but there is a part of my which does believe her a little bit. And that little bit is enough for me at this moment in time.
It’s going to be one heck of a treat I know that. The itinerary just drips great things. The Jacobite steam train from Inverness to Mallaig - the west highland line from Fort William to Kyle of Lochalsh - the Strathspey steam railway – Glenfinnan viaduct – Bonnie Prince Charlie’s monument – Eilean Donnan Castle – views of Skye - Cairngorm Funicular railway – lunch at Ptarmigan Restaurant at top of Cairngorm – Culloden – Loch Ness – and whatever else turns up along the way. Not forgetting catching up with my friend in Inverness on my last day there. I’ve not seen her for about 13 years and am looking forward to that.
I’m just hoping my health and energy levels help get me through, although I’m sure a lot of adrenalin will be in my system getting me through too!!!
Most of all it’s going to be lovely to be back in a part of the world is very special to me and which holds a lot of not too bad childhood memories to me. I’m going to be touching on many childhood memories during the next week. It’s going to be interesting to see how that affects me and how I process what comes up because as I reminded myself when talking to my therapist yesterday – I am doing all this from a ‘feeling’ place now rather than a numb place.
All the same it’s going to be an exciting adventure. Most of all I’m creating happy memories for myself now and of course will come back with tons of photos!!!
My therapist said to me yesterday - "you have created this opportunity for yourself by the decisions and choices you've made during the last couple of years. If you hadn't picked up the phone to the police in March 2010 then there would have been no possibility of criminal injuries compensation even though all charges against your abusers were dropped, and anyone sitting in that first class carriage who was told what you’ve been through would agree that you deserve it"
I do see her point!!