Trauma and me

My writing comes out of trauma


I was born in Cornwall in 1948. I live in London. I am a recluse.

I was sexually abused as a child. I was under five.

I remembered nothing until my late thirties and early forties. I had a series of brief psychotic episodes. While I was psychotic I had involuntary, intrusive memories of traumatic childhood events. It was like being re-traumatised.

In my 50s I was finally diagnosed with complex post-traumatic stress disorder. I believe that when I was younger I suffered from borderline personality disorder. It wasn’t recognised.

For several years before  I retired I worked as a community mental health advocate for a local charity. I dealt mainly with welfare rights and complaints against the NHS. My sister says I was paid to make trouble and was very good at it. I accept that, rather proudly, as an accurate description.

I rent a room in a friend’s council flat. I rely on the state pension and claim housing benefit. Statistically I am poor. I feel rich.

I spoke to the Truth Project on March 9, 2018. It was more intense and more satisfying than I had expected.

I was talking about things that happened in Corwall over sixty-five years ago. They are, as I said, remote in both space and time. They still have power.

l was asked for recommendations. What l was most emphatic about was that schools should never assume that any child is innately bad.

The next step is a referral to Operation Hydrant, the cold case team. I don’t know how long this will take.

I am being supported by an Independent Sexual Violence Adviser from Survivors UK.