How It All Began

I don't know if you've ever wondered what made me decide to put down these adventures in writing. Well, it all started right there in the hospital. I quickly struck up a friendship with one of the male nurses on my ward and he often came to see me when he had a few spare minutes. He wanted to improve his English and I was glad to have the opportunity to speak my mother tongue once again. Strangely enough, I never really spoke English with either Annie or Jean. I guess it never crossed our minds. Damien had lost both his parents in a car accdient when he was just thirteen years old. He was the only survivor of the accident. For a long time he'd been ridden with doubts as to the justice of his surviving when his parents were both dead and had spent most of his teenage years in and out of therapy. It wasn't until a therapist got him writing that he'd begun to see his way through the thicket built into his mind. His experiences with therapy was what made him want to become a nurse and help people in a similar situation to his own.

To me he was a godsend. Every day he would come by and we'd chat together for a few minutes. After a week or so he showed me some of his writings and explained how therapeutic it had been to him. He couldn't promise any miracles. All he said was that it had helped him and it might help me. When he saw that I was interested he brought me a copy of a small pamphlet his therapist had given him at the time. All it contained was some advice on how to get started, with several practical tips on what to write, how to keep the ideas flowing, how to continue exploring my inner self etc. To be honest some of what I read made little sense to me. But it got me thinking and with Damien's help I started to turn these thoughts into writing.

Most of what I wrote at the time was far too personal to open up to you in this book. Some of the things that came out frighten me even now. But I guess I needed to face up to them. And I did have one outlet. I began writing long and frequent letters to Morgana, trying to explain the things I was working through. I had in the meantime discovered that she was not allowed to come and see me, and in fact I wasn't allowed to have any contact with her but Damien was wise enough to realise how I needed a third person to relate to and he smuggled out my letters for me.

In the end I spent nearly six weeks in that hospital and in a sense it did me a lot of good. The regime was so appalling that I was determined never to let anything similar happen to me again. Maybe I'm being a bit harsh on the staff. I'm sure they tried their best to help me, but maybe they let their system get in the way of their humanity. Whatever, I resolved there and then that there was no way I would be going back to that place. Although I was glad to meet up with Damien now and again. And it was at his instigation that I decided to throw myself into this project to let the world know what an insignificant Irishman was doing in France.


I read a quote somewhere that said," you will never truly know a woman until you receive a letter from her."
Writing, for many, is therapy. I like writing and if I hate it, I can just throw it away and start again. Life isn't like that. Only in writing do you have the choices of how the actions will play out. In life you only get one chance, and you are a darn lucky individual if you get a second chance.
keep writing! Happy 3WW!

19 June 2008 at 04:17  

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