Before And After

Do you have a major marker in your life? An event that changed the course of your life in some respects? A signpost that indicates the way life was before and the way life has been since?

I know that I am not the only one who has been through a life-changing event. In June it will be four years since I was the victim of a serious crime. Before that night I had been through a period of intense stress in connection with my flatmate Jack.

restaurantI saw Jack several times that day. I saw him when I was heading out to enjoy an evening with friends. I could not forget him while I was with my friends. He had been in the elevator on his own when the doors opened on my floor. I did not want to be in the elevator on my own with him. I stepped back and let the doors close. I walked down the stairs instead. It was hard to receive hostile cold glares from him. There was a huge surge of pain and despair that I was hiding from everyone. I don’t think anyone realized how heart-broken I was.

One of the girls who lived near me wanted to drive me home, but I said I would like to walk as it was still light. And walk I did, but in the opposite direction of home. I walked towards the local park. On the opposite side of the park a fairground had popped up that weekend and there was a carnival atmosphere amongst the people I passed on the way to the park. It was a beautiful summer’s evening.  It had been one of the hottest days of the year. There were joggers and dog-walkers and teenagers sitting in the grass talking and laughing when I arrived and when I sat down on a bench.

I was so consumed with despair, I did not notice that daylight had fled completely and there was no longer anyone else in the park, until a stranger sat down on the bench besides me.

AmbulanceI woke up the next morning in an ambulance on the way to hospital. It was almost a year later when I returned to London, to work, to try to rebuild my life.

I don’t often think about that night. But it is always there. A major marker in my life. An event that changed the course of my life in some respects. A signpost indicating life before that night and life after that night.

I am sure that there are others who know what is like to have a “before and after” signpost in their life.

I might write about this again some time…but right now, I am too tired 🙂


Thursday photo prompt: Decisions #writephoto


34 thoughts on “Before And After

  1. I’ll be somewhere and see something or hear something and it will take me back to when I was a kid or some other time in my life, and I have to stop and ask myself, where has the time gone? I’m like the moon, I’ve had a lot of phases. Every phase is a different chapter in my life.

    I stand here at 40 and look back over a broad span of years that show so much change but actually such little time..

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    1. It was not great Sue! Really challenging situation that developed over a few years and intensified. It was so foolish of me to go to the park that night, but I was so heart-broken by that point, I was afraid to see my ex-neighbour. Silly me. But it is all in the past, and I have been onwards and upwards since. But it is a marker in my life because it had a major impact on me and changed aspects of my life.
      I often find that when people are asking me personal questions, it is hard for me to answer them without referring to what happened to me. Why I am living here? Why I am working here? Why I am not driving? There are so many times when I have to refer to that incident. People who don’t know me are gobsmacked. But I have become a bit matter of fact about it being a marker, that changed the course of my life.


  2. A restart for your life, that is some signpost. You know that phrase you’re never given more than you can handle? I think it’s crap. You have been through it, now out the other side. More strength to you!

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    1. I don’t enjoy hardship one bit. There is some truth in that you learn, you learn about yourself etc – but there are better ways to learn. I think I would go crazy if I thought about it too much. I just accept, it happened and it had an impact on my life. But I have to crack on with life. There is so much to enjoy, don’t want bad experiences to make me lose out on all the good stuff.


  3. A terrible experience for you. We had a home invasion about five years ago and I can still remember the click of the gun when the robber held his gun to my head and released the safety. Some things you never forget but you do learn to live with them.

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  4. Baby steps hun. That is the most you’ve shared about that awful night, to my knowledge any way. And the more of it you share, the less a burden and a nightmare it will be. The daylight exposes the boogeyman so to speak. I’m not saying you’ll ever forget or be totally at peace with it, because it was trauma. But I know from personal experience that in the sharing, you lighten your own burden. Take care today. 🙂


    1. I think I have mentioned in the past, I feel as if I have been more successful at dealing with what happened that night. It’s in a box with the lid sealed tight and it is up on the top shelf. I know it’s there, and occasionally refer to it. But I still find it hard to deal with the situation that developed in the two years prior to that night. And because I want to go back to living and working with the same colleagues and friends, I do feel I need some kind of answers or apology or reassurance that it won’t happen again.


  5. That you’re able to talk about what happened to you shows that you are getting over it and starting to let it go. As in, let that hurt fire go out and move on, don’t let it keep burning and dragging you down. The further away you get from it, the better you will feel. Time does heal. Be strong.

    Liked by 1 person

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