6 Years Ago: Trials of Truth

“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act”

George Orwell

Yesterday was a day of remembrance on so many levels, I joined the two minute silence at 11am, lighting candles for the fallen, including my Great Grandfather who was killed in World War Two. Remembrance day is also the anniversary of my brothers death so each year it acts as a ritual celebration for those loved and lost, one shared with the nation and one deeply personal, like for so many of us I’m sure.

November 11th has also taken on further significance for me as this was the date six years ago that I gave evidence at Exeter Crown Court where my former secondary school teacher was on trial for historic sexual abuse. It will always be the day that I needed to remember what I once tried to forget. I hoped the spirit of the day would serve me well in calling on memories that could paint a picture of the truth for the jury, one that would at least provide balance to his lies. I imagined the truth to be an entity that would illuminate the room when spoken, leaving the jury with no room for doubt or indecision.

Journal entries from this time..

Friday 7th November 2014

Day 15 of New Moon- Full Moon Phase on day’s 15-17!

I’m calling on the angels of the full moon, I call on their power at this challenging time, to give me a boost, to help me initiate the dramatic changes I need to make so I can move on and break free from destructive ways and habits. Please support me to find the will necessary for such changes. I speak to you with a sincere heart, and pray for your strength to help me face the trial, my abuser, to support me in sharing the truth for all to see. May I be open to intuitive messages, may I channel your wisdom. I search for the energy of sun and moon so I may reach all dark and light within me. I ask for your support and love and thank you for all you do. Blessed be x x x

Yesterday I stuck to my methadone and then went to see Ruby after a morning of rest. I was so drained after Wednesday’s events, the court visit, viewing the video evidence, it was all so draining having to revisit it all, I felt vacant and not inside my own body, just hovering around looking in, weird. Ruby and I went to Barnstaple Leisure Centre for a swim, spa and steam room, felt so nice to cleanse and purify, makes me think of how nice it is to pamper sometimes, and I can’t wait to feel fit and healthy again.

I must start to build a good exercise routine, one that will get me back to health gently, I know my body is weak and fragile. Having the mini spa experience with Ruby was a welcome treat and I couldn’t help thinking about getting clean, doing my detox after the trial and that stuff has been finished up. I can start over in life, I feel a new life calling. I hope I can start it feeling satisfied with the court outcome, he just has to be found guilty, surely. I’ve been praying for a receptive jury, I hope they’ll see the truth, he needs to face up to what he did.

Tuesday 11th November 2014

Off to court today….

Anniversary of Johns death too..

Anxious, tense, trying to focus and just stay calm.

Day 19 of New Moon – Waning Full Moon Phase day’s 18-21

As the moon begins to fade so to can bad habits, fears, physical issues. It’s a time to leave the past behind.

I call on the angels of this time to help me lay this part of the past to rest, to find justice and closure in some form. I ask for your protection and strength so I can face the fears of this day with an open heart and humble spirit, I ask to be a vessel for truth on this day, may I find the strength to express and endure. May I find the courage to stand and speak, to raise my eyes from the floor and trust in my own resolve. Blessed be x x x

“Opinion is a flitting thing, But Truth, outlasts the Sun – If then we cannot own them both – Possess the oldest one”

Emily Dickinson 1868

In the margins of my journal are other notes about client bookings, despite preparing for the trial I still needed to earn money to support my heroin habit as I wasn’t ready to let go of it yet, I needed it like air. Having a heroin habit gave me something, however misguided, to control. I was taught in childhood that I was powerless and had no choice, I’d experienced circumstances that had reinforced these beliefs over and over. The ritual of using each day was a moment of calm, just as the emotions would start to grumble I’d have my fix and they would be controlled once again.

The morning of the trial I sorted myself out, standing in front of the window, legs hip width apart with my pants down finding the hole in my groin that had become the lock and key to my emotional management. I walked Charlie, and got dressed in the court outfit Ruby had bought me, and picked up the chosen crystals I wanted to hold whilst being cross examined; tigers eye and rose quartz. I said goodbye to Marcel and Charlie in a heap of hugs and held back tears and made my way to Exeter alone. Marcel had offered to come with me but I’d just worry he would be drinking whilst waiting, and I’d rather him at home with Charlie. Part of me felt it was important I did it alone, it was for me to face.

I raised the money for my habit through sex working and had over the years developed a few regular clients and some I’d got to know on a more personal basis. I was grateful for their support during this time, but I still had to do some work and would find myself switching into my sex work persona for an hour or so and then switching back into witness prep role, addict role and dog mum role.

I’d been sensible enough to build and maintain a good relationship with my dealer, and unlike my partner who drank heavily and was not really a low profile type of guy, I was able to visit my dealer at home, and had over the years shared lots about our lives. He kindly sorted me enough heroin to manage through the trial period, he would always tick me if needed as I’d always paid my debts, and he knew I could come up with the cash if needed. I made sure this relationship was well managed as I knew without it my life would come to regular stand stills, as long as I had what I needed each day I could function, he knew that too, and would reward my custom with the odd eighth here and there.

Even though it was a so called deviant world, a community still existed, there was evidence of mutual aid and compassion being extended. Admittedly people had their own agenda’s, but that’s true of regular life, we’re all striking deals and negotiating terms in one way or another. I saw the dark and selfish side of this world and life but I witnessed and experienced the opposite too, people trying to help each other, people encouraging change and offering support and comfort.

I found support in an unlikely bunch of people at various extremes of life; scoundrels, thieves, professional clients, police. I have to say the police I worked with on my case were lovely, they knew I was an addict and it was never an issue, they were intrigued about it and commented that meeting me had given them some valuable insight, I liked that they approached it that way, it helped me to be open around them and it did in some way start a repair in my view of authority; they never abused the trust I gave them despite occasional paranoia on my behalf that they would.

I remember one of the policewomen saying ‘You’re not as I expected’ and thinking to myself ‘No, I’m not as I expected either’. I never wanted to be seen as a victim, what I didn’t realise for a long time is that I couldn’t truly be a survivor until I had the courage to admit and accept I was a victim first.

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