Grab a coffee, tea or glass of something delicious and let's have a catch up. It's been since the 7th of January! It's almost spring and lockdown is easing, spring is coming and soon, summer and the wedding of one of my dearest friends. Love, life and hope are here in one glorious trilogy.
The last time I had blog lags like this was when I was preparing to take my stepfather, brother in law and sister to court in the case over my mother's family inheritance, which regular readers of this blog will know I won. There were lags as my brother in law who was acting for my stepfather, (and, frankly for himself and his wife given they had, to my mind seized the primary asset) was, during the build up to the trial, seizing upon everything I wrote on this blog for his ludicrous mostly made up 'witness statements.' Also, I was so deep in trauma over what my mother and sister, and to some extent, brother had participated in, that my mental health crashed. I'd recently come out of surgery for a breast lump and was reeling from a new diagnosis of ovarian cancer (all of which the family told me on this blog that 'I deserved,') that I could barely function in the day to day. Oh, and during this time, our landlady came back from Spain (I believe as she had tax issues given she was living in Spain and claiming child tax credits in the UK) and tried to illegally evict us when she was scuppered. It was an annus horribilis par excellence.
But that, dear reader was in 2018, and it is now 2021. What a difference three years makes! I've had the help I needed - surgery, chemo, anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs, therapy - and they all helped, of course, but I am also very much where I am today because of my God, my fight, my husband and children and my determination to get well and be well, and I am planning to write about all of the above.
So, what's happened? As some of you know, I finished chemo in April 2019 and went to court for the trial in May. In August we received the judgement and found out we had won with full costs. The judgement was never 'about' the money - my barrister received more of that than I did, but I was more than happy about that, she was worth it. Hermes hats off Helene! Costs were small anyway, these trials usually cost up to £120 000 and more, but ours were a fraction of that, given I acted as my own solicitor. Though money represents justice done, it was about overcoming the trauma of sexual abuse and regular assaults (until I was 18 and fought back) by my stepfather; the gaslighting, the scapegoating and the fact that my mother's family participated in making me very ill indeed, from the time I was a small child, to when I walked out of that courtroom into the glaring sunlight of that August day - in all the senses. No more Woodheads or Oosthuizens to contend with, or be tortured (really) by. Ever.
Since then, I haven't looked back. At all. The pain I felt growing up over how I was treated by my mother's family, and worse, the consistent and persistent betrayal of my mother, brother and sister - my blood! - was all left there inside that court room. And I haven't looked back since. The small award I received from my grandmother/uncle's money has been invested wisely and is growing ('small' given the assets were hastily disposed of by my former stepfather, sister and brother in law - some of it simply 'disappeared' and they refused to tell the judge where, when or why - and 'small', given what the judge had to dispense). I too, having overcome all of the above, have been growing. And none of this growth has been 'small' from what the award represented (standing up to and overcoming the past), to defeating the seemingly insurmountable odds to achieve it: and oh, what I had to walk through and overcome to get it. I walk tall because of it. I stood up to them, not only in taking back the inheritance that was stolen from me and my children but also regarding the past and the myriad ways I was robbed as a child. In the process I stared it all down for good.
I have spent the months since using prayer, scripture, meditation, writing, art, yoga, fasting, diet and fitness tweaking, to be at least as or more mentally, emotionally, physically and certainly spiritually fit than I've been since my 20s. So much so, I've been signed up by a modelling agency in my 50s. I've just finished my third book with many more to come, my paintings are selling and best of all, my gorgeous and very grown up son is thriving in life and art in London; my hilarious and creative children are thriving in home education and my relationship with my husband who makes me laugh like a drain and keeps me sane, will always be one of the greatest gifts of all. More soon, but just wanted to get across how much has been achieved and how much has changed, because we can all be overcomers and make the changes we need to, and more on that soon too.
Love Em x