Pandora’s Box (Part 10) The Appeal

Al’s journey for justice continues as he appeals an unduly lenient sentence given to his abuser.


The return journey to York following the sentencing hearing was a somber one, my girlfriend and I were extremely deflated. DC John had promised to contact me after the weekend to discuss what could be done. I don’t remember exactly but it was either the Monday or Tuesday when he called me. He explained that he thought the sentence was lenient and we could appeal to the Appeals Court at the High Court on the leniency. I was relieved that someone else thought it lenient. I told DC John that I wanted to pursue a lenient sentence appeal. He asked me to leave it with him to fill out the paperwork to send to the Crown Prosecution Service to start the process. A day or two later he called me back to say the CPS were not interested in pursuing it any further and that if I wanted to, then…

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Pandora’s Box (Part 9)

Al’s brave journey for justice continues. The trial concludes and the verdict is in.


Havinggiven evidence for the prosecutionI’d been told by DC John to stay away from the court to a) avoid Baulch and b) not give the court or jury any reason to believe his crimes hadn’t affected me. So instead of me going to hear the evidence of my friend my girlfriend went into court. I needed to know what happened because it was only a partial memory. For a long time I blamed myself for leading him to my playhouse and straight into Baulch’s vile clutches. As water always calms me, whilst my girlfriend sat with DC John listening to my friend’s testimony I wandered round the Sealife Centre to soothe and distract myself.

I subsequently didn’t learn anything past what my partial memory has let me remember. I don’t know if that’s because my girlfriend won’t tell me to protect me or things got watered down in…

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Pandora’s Box (Part 8)

Al continues his brave account of bringing his abuser to justice this time detailing his bruising experience of court. A must read.


So the moment had arrived, I had been led into the courtroom, it had been cleared of everyone except the judge, prossecution and defence barristers and DC John. I came in via a conveluted way and a side door. This is done to keep vulnerable witnesses from coming into direct contact of the defendant. As I walked through the corridors upto the point I sat down behind a curtain in the witness box I had the Sheryl Crow song, no one said it would be easy running through my head. Over and over the chorus rang through my ears and mind. In retrospect it was an apt thing to be hearing.

No one said it would be easy
But no one said it’d be this hard
No one said it would be easy
No one thought we’d come this far

I sat down in my seat, had a sip of…

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Loss and grief and closure

Loss and grief is more than loss and grief through death. It can be the loss of a therapist or a therapeutic relationship.

jl's blog

I’m inwardly wailing with grief at the moment and it hurts so much.  The losses just keep coming and not everyone understands that grief is not just about people dying – that it can just be about losing someone or something important in your life. To me it’s even worse when it’s not your choice.

Several years ago now when I was training in clinical hypnotherapy which by necessity also means learning psychotherapy we were doing a session about the grief cycle. I thought for a while and asked the tutor was it possible to be stuck in many grief cycles and the answer was yes. At that time I mentally counted 6 in my life – now I’ve given up counting. To get out of at least one of these I needed some sort  ‘closure’. Now closure is a word I hate – a buzzword. ‘Yeah well you need…

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Pandora’s Box (part 7)

Al continues his story of bringing his abuser to justice. Worth re-reading Pandora’s Box Parts 1 thru 6 beforehand.


Having spent the weekend doing as many nice things to reduce stress and keep me grounded, the moment of truth arrived, Tuesday 18th January. I’m not sure what I thought all those years before, when I walked into York Police Station to make my statement and start the process. That was all irrelevant now.

The day started really early, I woke up at about 5 o’clock that morning following a disturbed and uncomfortable night’s sleep. Fortunately my girlfriend was blissfully asleep. Not wanting to disturb her I got up, went to the sofa and watched some TV on my tablet. After almost an hour I was still feeling jittery so I picked up my swimming trunks, my robe and went down to the pool and swam, jacuzzi’d and steam roomed for an hour. By 07:20 I was showered, shaved and back in the room. I’m pretty sure that if I’d…

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Bye Bye A

I went to therapy today and E and I had a really good talk about my recent episode of self harm. It was the first episode in nearly 3 years. In fact, the first episode since I started therapy with her and she (and I) wanted to understand why.

It was quite an angry and aggressive episode with a lot of anger directed at E and her lack of response to an email from me. I felt abandoned and upset and angry at her. It was like when I was younger and my Mum used to abandon me alone with my abusive father. I would beg her not to leave me alone with him but she would do it anyway, knowing how emotionally and physically abusive he was.

I explained to E that the feelings were the same but the aggression and anger I felt towards her was very deep rooted inside of me. It came from deep within me. That when I hurt myself it wasn’t “me”, it was someone else. But it wasn’t my 13 year old (the usual angry one who wants to self harm). E thought perhaps there was another part inside needing attention. She could be right. If so, this part scares me.

At the end of my session with E, I stopped by to say hello to A. She is the backup for E and had helped me after the self harm episode. E came out of her office and asked me to step into A’s office with her. I knew this couldn’t be good. It wasn’t. A is leaving. Next week is her last week. They were waiting for a good time to tell me together and this was it.

I’m afraid the news that A is leaving is just really hitting me now and, yes, I am crying and feeling a deep sense of loss. All of my younger parts are distressed and so am I. I am trying to use my visualisation exercise but it is difficult when all 4 parts are distressed. They all feel the loss and so do I. A has been a great backup for E. I will miss that and I am not sure I will make that connection with another psychologist as a backup to E. And yes. I am now panicking about losing E too.

Ghosts From The Past

It’s the early hours of the morning and I’m awake again. I’ve been sleeping on the sofa for weeks now because sleeping in the bedroom became unbearable. I was being haunted at night by the ghost of my uncle so I moved to the sofa in the living room thinking I’d sleep better there.

It worked, for a while. But tonight I woke up to see a dark outline standing over me and I froze. The ghost of my uncle was haunting me again and I couldn’t move. I was frozen to the spot. It took a while for me to reach the tv remote and flick on the tv for some light to dispel the shadowy outline and another while before I could move off the sofa and switch on the lights.

I sit here now in the early hours, a grown woman, with the tv on and all the lights in the apartment on like a frightened child. I’ve been out onto the balcony of my apartment in the chilly night air chain smoking trying to convince myself to go back to sleep. But I know I won’t go back to sleep tonight. I’ll be awake until daylight comes and I’ll try and get a power nap sometime during the day. His ghost is with me tonight.