– so how was the past week?

– better I think. I had a dip after the session, but it wasn’t as deep and it wasn’t as long. But last week’s session was different. We went longer on the light bar, and moving beyond the event, it made a difference. When I left the session I didn’t feel as down. I’d gone beyond the event. Relived it again. But it wasn’t as visceral. It wasn’t in my head during the week. Maybe because I avoided stuff. Last week I’d read that article and was preoccupied. But this. I avoided stuff.  Usually it’s like a moth to the flame. I can sense it. Media stories. My counsellor had said that we’re drawn to them, that we can tell. She said a lot of the people she spoke with couldn’t avoid them. But last week.

– Anyway, last week was different. You left me with her. So she was in my head a lot. I’ve not see her for years, twenty years near enough.

– She saved me, you know. I was in a bad way. I wasn’t eating. I wanted to leave. If she’d not been there I don’t know what would have happened. I’d self harmed before. When I was younger. To feel. I wanted to feel. That numbness that overcomes you. That numbness. That void. And there was nothing. I felt nothing. I could feel nothing so I. To feel. To feel anything. If she’d not been there I wonder

– We’d met. I’d known her from school. Not well. She was in the year above, and I’d see her in a classroom a few times when we saw the teacher. But we didn’t really speak. Not until sports day. We spent a day then avoiding it. In a small room. I can’t remember exactly where, but somewhere no one would disturb. We spoke. It was odd. We’d not spoke to her before but I told her about my grandfather dying, about Lockerbie. It felt normal. And she didn’t judge, didn’t intervene. I felt. I was safe. I felt safe.  And I didn’t see her for ages. Fifteen months, sixteen months. And then I met her. Bumped into her opposite the law school. Literally. I was crossing the road and. So we spoke. And she asked me round.

– I saw her every week. She knew I wasn’t eating. Knew I was trying to assert control over some part of my life. But she cooked for me. Looked after me. We’d talk. And she made sure I’d eat. And we shared things we’d written.

– Talking mattered. I felt safe. Safety matters. I felt safe with her. And I planned to. I planned to tell, to say why, to tell her what had happened. And I did, eventually. But when I was going to tell her she told me. She trusted me more than anyone had ever trusted me. And I. I didn’t know what to do. I loved her and I wanted to. But I couldn’t tell her I loved her. I couldn’t hold her. I didn’t want to, to intrude. I. I didn’t know what to

– I don’t know details. I didn’t ask. I couldn’t ask. But I sat there. I just sat there.

– She loved poetry. She loved Ted Hughes. At one point, years after, I was in a second hand shop and found a book I’d not seen before. Cave birds. With drawings. I. It was just to tell her. To let her know I was.

– Anyway, months later, I told her. I told her that something had happened. And she. She understood. And she

– Afterwards as I walked from her flat I felt like I was walking in a spotlight. I felt everyone was turning and staring. That everyone knew. That everyone looked at me and knew. The old ladies coming out of the bingo, queueing for the bus. I felt the eyes of each of them on me. I

– I trusted her.

– I felt safe. I felt

– And in telling her I was exposed. It was telling her how much I trusted her. It was telling her she’d

– She changed my life. Her friendship genuinely changed my life. Without her I’d either have left University or I’d have.

– There are life changing moments. Some people talk about religion. That instant they find God. I’m not religious. But I’m aware, conscious that the language I use about her has connotations. Saved. Salvation. But she did. She saved me. If I’d left law I wouldn’t have met my wife. I wouldn’t have ended up in the job I’m in. My life would have been so different. She looked after me. She trusted me. She saved me. And she had no need to.

– But don’t you think she might have been helped by you too?

– She did this for so long. Don’t you think that you were helping her?

– I

– I don’t feel. I mean why would she think that? I’m. How could I help her?

– Why did she do it?

– Because she was unnecessarily kind. Altruistic. She tolerated me, put up with me.

– You don’t see that she might have been getting something from this?

– When I did the counselling we talked a lot about negativity. That I. I feel worth nothing. I am nothing. I can’t understand why people would want to be with me. And when I am close to people, when I was close to her, I. I cut people off. I push them away. I’ve never thanked her. We lost touch twenty years ago. I want to speak to her, to tell her she saved me. That I. That I started counselling. That I’m doing this.

– But she’s not the only one. Friends from University, from school, even from early jobs. I’ve cut them off. Not made an effort. Now I know that getting married, having children, it changes things. You lose contact. Things become strained. Your focus changes. But I made no effort. I cut myself off. I couldn’t afford to be exposed, to let myself be known. I.

– I can see myself doing it again now. Not replying to people. Avoiding phone calls. When people arrange things not responding. Vanishing.

– You know the Homer Simpson gif, gif. One of them. I’m not sure how you pronounce it. By the hedge and he slopes back in. I do that. Vanish. Hide.

– Seeing yourself doing it means you can do something about it.

– no?

– perhaps. I

– This week I contacted someone I’d not seen for years. An old colleague. A friend. We got on. She’d contacted me, god, two years, more, ago. We’d not seen each other for nearly ten years, maybe more. She said she’d been thinking about me and we should meet. I replied and did nothing about it. I contacted her this week. Told her I was doing this, that I’d been ill, and that I felt guilty for having no contact.

– so?

– so?

– people don’t contact others after ten years unless they think the other person is worth something.

– Sorry for rambling. I.

– This week has been different. I feel.

– Remember when you asked me how you would know it was working and I said that you would know.

– do you understand now?

– ha! Yes.

– Ready to begin?





About loveandgarbage

I watch the telly and read when not doing law stuff and plugging my decade and a half old unwatched Edinburgh fringe show.
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2 Responses to Salvation

  1. Pingback: Some personal posts | Love and Garbage – some commonplace musings

  2. Chris says:

    This post brought tears to my eyes.

    Your value and worth are evident to me, and, I am certain to many, many more. Even without the benefit of ever meeting you.

    Much love.


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