26 years had passed since I left Newbridge College and 16 years since I made my statement to the Gardai. . I had drifted from country to country, job to job, one partner to the next, and alcohol was a good friend to me. I was doing everything to excess and in dozens!
My life had settled down somewhat and there was a sense of continuity in my life. I had been with my partner Phil for 6 years and although he knew about my past and was very understanding, our life together was not without its difficulties.We found a way through difficult issues and times, which brought us closer together.
I had found a way, over the years to 'file away' lots of emotion and confusion when I needed to. It had it down to a fine art!
I was in the office at home, and the phone rang. Inspector Sean Lavin of Kildare Garda station introduced himself. He sounded hesitant. He informed me that he had uncovered a file regarding sexual abuse which occurred in 1977. I confirmed it was my statement, and then he dropped the bombshell,
DO YOU WANT TO PRESS CHARGES?
I asked him if I could take some time to consider it and get back to him.
Phil and I discussed the ramifications for me personally, for us as a couple, for my family, and if the changes it would bring would be of benefit to anyone. We talked and talked and the same word kept emerging.
I called him back and said I was willing to pursue it. So in 2003 the ball started rolling again. The floodgates of emotion opened wider and deeper than ever. I was finding it more difficult than ever to cope with triggers and flashbacks, anger, resentment, and confusion. Our lives were affected much more than imagined and it was then we decided that counselling was my best option.
Summer 2003 I started attending one to one person centered therapy sessions and initially I found it was making no difference. Over time we could both see some important changes but little did I realise the counselling would continue for at least 10 years.