David tells his story of long term recovery from a traumatic event in childhood.
“It was 1956, I was eight years old, we lived in a top floor tenement flat in Townhead Glasgow: It was dark, my brother and I were still out playing with our pals, the streets, and tenement closes and stairs were all dimly lit with gas lighting. I was running through my close, I stopped: there was a man standing in the shadow; I froze as he grabbed me taking me further into the dark; doing things I didn’t understand: I had never experienced fear-terror until that night. I finally managed to let out a scream so loud he let me go, I ran back into the front close, my brother Jim and some pals were there, all I can remember saying over and over again, “a man, a man.”
The next thing I remember was my dad coming into my bedroom and taking me into the hall, two policemen were there, they asked me some questions. That was the last time anyone spoke to me about it.
I was quite a bright child up until that night, I then struggled in class with poor concentration and continual flash backs, I hated going to bed the nightmares/terrors were horrific, I still get them. I’ve just undergone 3 years of therapy with a fantastic counsellor, if only I had this therapy when I was a child, my life could have been so much easier.
I’m 71 in June, how did I cope all those years? I was gifted with a great imagination; I could transport myself into places of joy and safety and write about it. The many times I hit rock bottom with depression and anxiety I managed to write in a way that helped to release the pain.
(Disassociation) is the bubble I’ve lived my life in:
The evil that was waiting that night, wasn’t waiting to get me, he was waiting on any child he could get; I am after all these years glad it was me and not my brother or anyone else; I was strong enough to get away from him, and strong enough to survive.”