This is an important street to me. When I was eighteen, it was a street of freedom. A street where I felt strong. A street where I could sense change coming and what I was capable of. Back then, at such a tender age, I was in an abusive relationship. It wasn’t good. It lasted over two years. I can’t believe I stayed. No-one who’s got out ever can. But one evening I found the courage to leave. To escape. I drove to my mum’s. To safety. To love.
I was messed up.
The next day she took me shopping up this very street. In Sherborne, Dorset. I was so happy. And relieved. I felt protected and loved. But I also felt guilty. That he’d be worried where I was. That I was being horrible to him by ignoring him.
I shed a tear for my younger self. So much to deal with at such a young age. Only just beginning to mature and understand even slightly who the hell I was.
Mum bought me clothes. We had fun. I relaxed. I felt free. It was a wonderful day.
I can’t say it was plain sailing afterwards but for that one day, out with my mum, it was the best day ever. I had a taster of how beautiful life could be. It wasn’t much really. Just a walk up the street, buying a pair of trousers, enjoying being looked after by my mum. But compared to my usual life it was bliss.
Eventually I chose to love myself. And left.
After a few failed attempts at trying to psychologically remove myself from such a sticky situation. This was my final text when he asked me to come back (which I still know from memory twenty years later).
‘No thanks. I’m happier now than what I’ve ever been and I thank from the bottom of my heart whatever gave me the strength to leave you. Have a nice life’
Bless my innocent words. Bless my innocent heart. Oh how I soared after that.