Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Today I walked in Ypres.

Today I walked beside the river in Ypres, where I took this photograph and I was inspired to write the following poem.

Today I walked in Ypres

Today I walked in Ypres
The sky was as blue as the best autumn day
Leaves shook and shivered
Many thousands had fallen
golden and precious
and yet
had rotted where they fell
detritus upon the muddy earth.
and we walked upon them
ankle deep
in Ypres

Sunday, 26 October 2008

The Aftermath ...

It has been a while since I posted. Apart from the fact that I have a head cold which is annoying me at the moment, I am actually doing fine.

I have settled into my bijou flat and can say goodbye to the refuge and hopefully the past experiences forever.

I have continued a friendship with one young woman who is still at the refuge and, for her, the nightmare continues.

Part of me is loath to mention the negative experiences we went through because I want women reading this, who might be in abusive relationships, to know there is a safe place for them to go where they will be looked after and supported.

On the whole this is true but one has to bear in mind the things these women have been through and which very often leaves them damaged in some way.

There has been a family at the refuge, a woman of 59 (an alchoholic) her daughter and grandson (12 years old) They are very damaged and as a result are a destructive force at the refuge. They have a very currupt and twisted view of life and spend all of their time causing trouble for the other residents. ( Apparently I was a spy employed by the refuge to 'grass' on everyone) My young friend, who is a person of some integrity, has been falsely accused of many things and in turn ostracised by the rest of the residents. She is basically a good and kind young woman who has coped amazingly with her three year old daughter under the circumstances. It hurts me very deeply to see her so unfairly treated.

She is a strong young woman, small and feisty, but she has found this really tough. It is such a shame because before this family arrived the women there were lovely, it felt like one big family, everyone mucking in and supporting each other and a lot of laughter and tears were shared.

I have spoken to the key workers on her behalf (she was scared to herself in case this made the situation worse) They were very understanding but said there was nothing they could do unless she made a formal complaint.

Even if she did and they were moved on, it would just become someone elses problem at another refuge.

I guess families like these are what prevent some women from entering a refuge. It is a shame, and in my experience unusual. Most women who enter refuges have already had a really awful time and they just want some peace and privacy. To have to deal with other abusive characters is the last thing they need in their vulnerable states of mind.

Hopefully, my friend and her adorable little girl will soon find a new, safe home and I will continue to support them if I can.