The Writer

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Andrew Ravensdale was born in Cornwall in 1948. He lives in London.

Ravensdale was sexually abused in childhood. HeĀ had no conscious memories of abuseĀ until middle life, when he had a series of brief psychotic episodes. While psychotic he experienced involuntary memories of traumatic childhood events. It felt like being re-traumatised.

In his 50s he was finally diagnosed with complex post-traumatic stress disorder. He believes that when he was younger he suffered from borderline personality disorder, which was not recognised.

For several years before retiring Andrew Ravensdale worked as a community mental health advocate for a local charity. He dealt mainly with welfare rights and complaints against the NHS. His sister says he was paid to make trouble and was very good at it. He accepts that, rather proudly, as an accurate description.

Ravensdale rents a room in a friend’s council flat. He relies on the state pension and claims housing benefit. Technically he is poor. He feels rich.