Since writing my post on ''Living with the past'' last month , I found myself going through all those memories I tried to block out once again and although I find it easier now , one message kept creeping back into my mind - ''What if there was something I missed''?.
I've repeated the same story over and over in my head about my childhood, the memories I feel were true seemed to be dismissed and argued with by family members .
On one side I have family sympathising with me and agreeing that it was all as I remember but on the other side it seems it is all hush hush and my memories have wandered a little from the truth.
I kind of get the feeling I was being protected and by that I mean I was left with only half of the story.
Maybe no one felt I needed to know the truth until like today I felt the need to question it again when I was in a better place in my life, a little more grown up and understandable maybe.
Never the less I felt there were things that happened to me as a child that I needed to be clarified now as an adult and if it turned out that those nightmares I still have are just my worry , then I feel reading those files may be my answer to the truth and settling my mind into believing there was more to it .
When I was just 19 years old , I fell pregnant with my first child and my Mum (my aunt who took me in at 6 years old) told me to try speaking to my biological Donor (who I had not seen for around 10 years ) and give her a second chance.
I visited her in Scotland and all seemed well , she seemed like she was interested finally and maybe even thought that because she screwed up with me , her fist born grandchild may be her answers to making up for all the mistakes she had made in the past . If it was not for my mum I would have not done so but I gave her a second chance and within only 6 months that horrible woman showed me her true colours when she turned up with the records from Social services , showed me one piece of a paragraph and asked me to change it so she could wipe her slate clean and not have the bad name on her record for a future employment availability she had in the pipeline.
As well as a few other things leading up to the birth of my daughter , I decided she blew her chance right there and those records were obviously effecting people now so why shouldn't I own them too?
After all they were mine and I wanted to know what was in them and that one paragraph was a little disturbing although one sentence seemed a little mixed up.
I found that one of the memories I had was written down but as a memory of my sisters not my own and it made me want to see what else was mixed up in there.
They cant of honestly had things that were so important mixed up ?
I queried to get them back when I was 20 years old but having my first child and actually going of the railings when my mum died for a little while that year made me realise I was not truly ready.
Writing my post last month made me realise now is the time.
I have to be honest , I am a little scared, maybe it is not as bad as I keep imagining , maybe all those terrible nightmares or flashbacks are just my wild imagination running away with me, but maybe my dreams were a gateway to the truth and those files I am hoping are going to give me answers.
I don't need answers , I need truth.
I am not looking to score points against those who have been involved but I know deep down some of those people have added to my upset of emotions and I feel they need justifying .
I rang so many places around Christmas time , trying to find out how I can retrieve my files and after being passed from pillar to post for two days I eventually got hold of someone who was able to help .
With a form to fill in and a small fee of £10 I was assured I was able to have those records .
I lingered once again.
I have no idea what is scaring me so much that I simply crumble at the last point of acceptance but I never filled the form and I never sent the cheque.
Today with the form and the cheque both filled in and in my hand ready to post I still fear I won't have the strength to put it in the post but I am hoping by writing this post it encourages me to complete the one thing I know I need to fulfill to settle and move on with my life once and for all.
Least I know I have to send it because there is always one of you lot out there telling me you have my back and wanting to know the outcome .
Here are some simple steps to how you can retrieve your personal records-
Please be aware this is my local council and this is the information I was given to apply for them although I am sure it is very similar to your own council .
Durham County Council
The form does not ask for much information so even if you know very little about your past like myself (hence the reasons I am after the details), you only need to know your name, address, D.O.B and then there is a small section for you to fill in which asks you write a brief description on any details you may feel they will have your details under such as any previous addresses or other names you may have gone by , dates of certain events or any other distinctive information that would lead to yourself.
No one else is aloud to access your records , not family nor friends unless you grant them your ''Agent'' or unless there is a professional or legal reason to do so and all of your information will be sent to you as legally intended.
There may be in some instances reasons for you not to have all of the details , these reasons are to prevent harm which may be caused or prevention of detection of crime.
Within just 40 days of them recieving your request, you should have your information in normal circumstances .
Records are kept for a minimum of twenty years from the last date of service but child protection have to by law be kept for much longer so sometimes it may take a little longer to access, I for instance was told three months at least as the file was rather large.
I do hope its sooner although mentally preparing myself for what may or may not be in those files may need some careful self counselling which I have learn to do over the years myself.
I have been informed that if needed there is someone available to go through your records if needed with you .
For me I am not sure I could go through another set of eyes peering inside of my life when they know nothing about it except what is written on paper, instead I want to read it in my own home , in my own time .
It's strange really, I feel I should share everything with you but when it comes to actually speaking to someone I quiver and hide.
I wonder if any of the many social services are still working?
Bares thinking about really , I 'm sure not one of them would be willing to go through the notes with me now .
It would however be nice to speak to one or two and thank the odd one or two who did step in when it mattered and be there for me when needed, like for instance the one who defended me that Christmas meeting in the Nursery or the voluntary workers who actually spent time with me because they saw me as a normal child not just a neglected and abused one .
So my next journey begins.
I wonder if I can even bring myself to open those files and opening up a whole lifetime of hurt once again, maybe it will help the healing process.
Will I forgive and forget or simply learn somethings are worth keeping hidden?
Either way the truth is what I am seeking.