Those who are on Facebook will be familiar with the fact that it throws up memories from the past. In the past week it has thrown up a memory from last February, which reminded me of what a bad place I found myself in, both emotionally and psychologically. If you are following my ‘Secrets’ page, you will, by now know something of the why of this and how it played out over the course of 2020.
This time last year I was, to be honest, in a state of unfathomable despair. My past had come back to haunt me, and take over my mind in a way I could never have anticipated, and over which I had absolutely no control.
The memory that came up on Facebook this week were a post where I had quoted words from the Script’s 2019 song, “Run Through Walls”
“I’ve got friends that will run through walls
I’ve got friends that will fly once called
When I’ve nowhere left to go
And I need my heroes
I’ve got friends that will run through walls”
It was when I was at my very lowest, in February 2020, that these words resonated deeply with me as I realised I was fortunate to have some close and dear friends who would do anything for me. I had friends who would be there for me – physically(before we went into lockdown and Covid-19 took over our lives) at the end of the phone and by text message. When I look back, I know that the fact that they were there, and that I felt loved and cared for, was so very important to the recovery I made over the months that followed.
There were, of course, those who, when I told them I was dealing with issues of my childhood, which included sexual assault and abuse, which had come back to haunt me, told me that it was all in the past and I just needed to forget it and move on. I know these were equally caring and well meaning people, but they didn’t understand that sometimes, we can’t just do that. It’s not possible.
Sometimes, in order to move forward, we have to deal with the past, with what went before; we have to slay the demons of our past in order to have that bright future we crave.
For over forty years, I had buried the incidents of my past, I had locked them away in a box and sat on the lid, but I realise now that in doing this, they were forever holding me back. However I might have tried to deny it, my past was always there, threatening to reveal itself and to take over, until such time that I had no choice but to deal with it.
The thing with our past, whatever that past might be, is that it forms us, it develops our character, it makes us the person we become. In in my case, the incidents I experienced have made me stoically resilient, a fact I only came to realise during last years months of supportive counselling.
But although our past circumstances might form us and build our character, they don’t necessarily need to define us. Ultimately, it is what we do with the fact of the events we experienced in our past that matter.
After months of unpicking the not insignificant traumas of my childhood and teenage years, I can honestly say that I am now so much the stronger. I had no choice but to develop resilience as I grew up; I had to be strong to survive, to thrive, to ensure I came out of school with qualifications, which would enable my access to a university place and a successful career against the odds.
Now, I continue to use those elements of my character to move purposely forward and steer my way in life with renewed strength of character.
I am incredibly grateful for the fact that, although it was excruciatingly painful year both for me and for my family, I have finally dealt with the painful issues I had buried for far, far too long.
And now I write on here each week, in the hope that my meanderings of mind and musings of spirit might just help somebody else out there.
The thought that even just one person might gain some small benefit from reading my blogs and the secret truth of my past makes all I went through last year in slaying those demons, worth it.