Interview with the non-Vampire

As part of a research project one of our team was interviewed about his experience in therapy........

So thank you very much for coming in to talk to me – I wondered if you could start by telling me a little about your therapy experience

Ok, well I had, the first time was a complete and utter disaster! Em, I was, as part of trying to join a support group, a peer support group. [Right yeah] I was contacted by this guy who said I need to meet you and when I met him he said ‘Well the peer group is closed right now, but I am a trained counsellor and I will give you some counselling for a period of time until the groups open,’ [Ok] That’s what he said to me, he then went on to get hard-ons (laughing) when I was describing my abuse and talking about himself. So that lasted about a month. So that was my first experience so it was a bit difficult to disentangle and didn’t get very far.

I then did join the support group, I started attending and I found it amazing, it was my first real thing, you know! All my adult life, that was 6 years ago, 7 years ago, all my adult life I had kind of confided in women, in personal relationships, I’m gay but I confided in women, and I always found, you know, I got sympathy etc. But this was the first time ever I was talking to men and it was just completely different and I was just so freaked out by how different it was, easy it was and how I could just speak for the first time because nobody gave me any sympathy, they didn’t give me any sympathy! They just understood, it was just facts. These are de, de, de, de, de and it was just the most amazing experience from that I got into counselling at this group for LGBT and the guy there was great. He just tried to take me through chronologically and review character by character and it helped me, you know, get a narrative if you like. Put my story, in kind of place, you know, because I had lots of, my memories and some are clear, some are really actual and some are like cartoons and scraps of like 10 seconds and stuff. So all kinds of different kinds of memories I’ve got, em so he kind of helped me tell the story. Give me some, give me something I could say that I was about this age and this was about this age and these were the people at that time, that
time, that time and this probably lead to that. Just the context, which was really really helpful and useful to me. It was the first time I had done that and it helped me to understand but I mean, it wasn’t, it didn’t help me when it was over at 6 months cos that’s all they did. That was the end of that.

He then wrote me a letter to the NHS saying I could do some psychotherapy [ok]  I was then. I started seeing this guy, who was, in the end brilliant, but at first I just thought he was cold and he saw me and I didn’t have anything in common with him. He was so middle class and a hippie and everything like that and I just couldn’t find any kind of connection. But he keep trying to, you know it’s hard looking back on it cos at the time I didn’t understand what he was trying to do but he was just trying to ground me in real moments [ok, right] SO if I was having a problem with this person on a bus or that person in the street, trying to get me there, trying to understand what the interaction is, that they were kind of, it was kind of psychodynamic but it was just trying to bring me into it. So in the end that was only 6 months as well and so by the end I kind of began to understand what he was doing and how he was doing it and then it was over [hmm]. So that was good but it was 6 months and that what the funding was in that, in the NHS at that time that’s all you could get.

So then I moved and I was straight away trying to plug in to services here. It took me a year and to get a psychotherapist. I had forgotten about this guy until I was thinking about it yesterday…. I started seeing this guy and he, straight away, talked to me about violence. I think he assumed something about me, I know I present probably differently to how I see myself (laughs[he is a large and muscular man, covered in tattoos, including a teardrop face tattoo]) and after about three or four sessions, he said I’m really surprised that you haven’t been more violent in your life and it just shut me down. I was just horrified by the idea….

Based entirely on his…

Yeah, yeah [wow!] Yeah, so it was really weird and then I spent the next couple of months trying to, trying to build trust or something and it just not happening, just not happening and in the end I said to him ‘Look, the problem with this is you made that huge big assumption about me,’ and I really reject the concept of the Vampire syndrome.

Do you know that vampire syndrome?


It’s the idea that the abused go on to abuse

Ah yeah, yeah. I haven’t heard it called that before

Yeah, quite a lot of people call it the vampire syndrome. You know once bitten you go on to bite.

And so I said to him ‘Look as far as I’m concerned what you said is vampire syndrome, you are assuming that I was a violent man because I was working class and because I present in a way and all this and, you know, that assumption just means that I can have no relationship with you and I’ve been trying and trying and trying and he got angry and said ‘ok you leave then,’ and so I managed to stay in the situation and say ‘No, you get me another therapist, ‘which he agreed to do and then I saw this really good woman. She was my first women. What I like about her is she was really practical, down to earth. At the time when I started seeing her my PTSD was huge, probably the worst it has ever been in my life. Well since I’ve been sober. 

I’ve been sober about 7 years, before that I used a lot of drugs, a lot of alcohol. So that was probably the worst of that since I’d been sober and so I think literally all she was trying to do was cope with that stuff. I was having a lot of public flashbacks, public anger and mainly that was shutting me down, it was causing me to isolate and stuff like that. I wouldn’t do harm to anyone, but I was having all those feelings [very intense] yeah and so I think initially for the first month she was just coping with that and she did really she brought me through the other side of it. Since then we have just been looking at how, constantly how my, you know, how I am in any situation. Psychodynamic, she plays with me and stuff like that and I am still very isolated. But my isolation is that I am exhausted all the time, related to a physical illness but hopefully in a few months I should be alright. So she built in plans for how to start new relationships. How to…she was really good, I really like her. She great and practical

So that has an impact?

Yeah, oh definitely!!! I mean I just felt like she understands me. You know she understands the reality of my life. She’s also working class, black woman. I just think it’s because you’ve got that understanding of day to day stuff, it’s much easier for her to be and see inside my head, you know? It’s that abstract

Q2 - Would you feel your gender impacted your experience in therapy and how?

Ehhh!! I suppose, a big part of how I define my gender is through my gayness, you know being gay. So at first when I saw the one who had the hard-ons sort of thing (laughing) he was gay, so that was em, openly gay you know. SO that…..that, you know, just completely weirded me out. SO I suppose I was on guard from then on. The next guy I saw, he was really, he was so chilled and so relaxed, he was so non-sexual and non-threatening in that way. It was, you know I think I just didn’t have an issue with it. I don’t know why…. 

I don’t know, it’s hard to, it’s a chicken and egg type thing. Because you assume that men aren’t emotional you don’t know how much you are allowed to do yourself, and you’re holding back and then they are holding back. There is a kind of a chicken and egg type thing. I’m not gonna go in, I don’t wanna melt in front of them straight away! [yeah] So I feel a bit reserved and hold back and I don’t want them to straight away, you know, the word trust for me is a difficult word. But knowledge, experience, are words that I much more prefer. SO I think that just test somebody out, to try and see what somebody is like [umm] initially and especially with a guy, you know. I think all my, all my life I am going to be wary of other men, sexually even though I am gay, you know. You kind of are constantly on guard about what someone’s motives are and stuff like that. 

I think that’s good because it brings the tension into the therapy if you are kind of conscious of it. But in another way it just means that there is that period of time before you can judge someone, before you can…

I mean, I wouldn’t even ever say I trusted anybody or even really say that I trust. But I would say that after a period of time, your knowledge and your experience of someone means that you don’t think that they are going to harm you. So it’s like, it’s not like, even at that point that I would say that I trust them. I would say that I have learnt that they are not there to do me harm [yeah, yeah] That is a much better way of me feeling about it, and thinking about it then ‘oh I trust that person.’

Yeah….what would that feel like? Saying I trust that person?

Em, it just, it just, it would just feel. I kind of walk around with the idea that people who trust are stupid really! It’s like, em it’s like (sorry I don’t know about you but) I’m an atheist, I’m an atheist and for me trust and faith are like the same thing. There is no basis in fact (laughs) What it is, why would you trust someone you don’t know and when you do know them, then you know them!!! So trust isn’t the issue then, you know em, you know what they are like. So I don’t even know what it means when you use, mean the word, you mean by the word trust

[yeah, yeah, I see what you mean]  

I think I am probably more conscious of it, or survivors are more conscious of it than other people, but I don’t know what anyone means but then I don’t think anyone does; trust, you know, they get to know someone don’t they?! Yeah, yeah, so knowledge really is the thing that makes the difference..? For me!!

Q5 - So let’s say you know someone and you feel you have this knowledge and then something comes in that wasn’t known to you. It’s as though you are building up a concept of who someone is but then what if something comes along that challenges that concept? What happens then

If it was a therapist? I mean I am usually strong enough to challenge! There are times when I am not, there are times when I have been extremely vulnerable and I wouldn’t have been in that position. And I would have felt really hurt and normally, if it was right now I would say ‘Right what do you mean by that?! What do you mean by that, sorry I didn’t, sorry that come out wrong, are you testing me, is this some game or something, I mean why, why?’ and I would have to work it through with them [yeah, yeah] and understand why they are trying to say. If it was someone just in my life that wasn’t very important I probably wouldn’t give a shit, really, I would just walk away, you know

So kind of going into protection rather than..?

Well I mean, you know, (10 second pause) just, just, if it’s not someone that is important then it’s not important, you know [Ok] But within a therapy relationship, definitely challenge. If something, I mean like the vampire syndrome with that guy, if somebody said something to me, you know. Or like with my recent therapist a while ago, said something to me about how I had fallen through the cracks, i.e. in services, and she gave a, talked about her own experience growing up that there were families that were dysfunctional. I said ‘well walk me through that, what did you do, personally, probably only a kid, what did your family do? What did anybody do about those dysfunctional families? So, it’s not cracks, it’s nothing, there’s nothing, you know? If you are on a council estate and all your family is mad and druggies and ‘alcies’ and unless you enter the criminal justice system on your back, there’s nothing!! It’s not cracks, it’s void, it’s emptiness….

It sounds systemic, there’s nothing there

Yeah!! There is nothing, at all! And, eh, so the idea of cracks to me, is problematic. So I challenged on that. I said look ‘That’s just really wrong to say cracks, it’s to say that there is something there, like a safety net and there isn’t,’ [yeah] So it’s suggesting to me that it is somehow accidental that there were not services provided to support me. I’m saying there wasn’t services

It’s like you are comparing different world views?

I think that was something that slipped through, I mean she come from a similar background to me, she drug herself up through it, got her social work degree and then did her therapy training, So I mean, it’s just, I suppose if you live in a world of this, I mean therapy, you develop a world view don’t you?! And she, every now and a again…. is why I am sure….and that’s the problem. 

So yeah, I will challenge and sometimes that’s more than I will do with others, but I mean, you know…

That’s very interesting that you will go there to challenge! It’s as if you value the relationship enough to challenge

Well I value the work I am trying to do, that’s really important to me. I see or I have understood increasingly the problems that I have had and I need a safe space for me in order to do that work. SO part of challenging someone on all of that, is part of me doing that work really!  (oh right, yeah]

So right, I do like her and in as far as I have ever trusted anyone I have trusted her, But you know, I still, I think it’s an important part for me to say ‘Look I don’t agree with you and here’s why I don’t agree with you…’ 

Yeah, that makes sense. Q3 If you think back on your previous relationships with therapist, how would you have described the relationships you had

Well the vampire syndrome one, I didn’t develop any sort of relationship with him. It just didn’t work, it got off on a bad foot, he said something that I objected to and it just never got anywhere, I kept trying and it just never got anywhere. SO I would say that we didn’t have a relationship. You know and if we saw each other now we would walk past each other without speaking.

As if you didn’t recognize each other?

Aw we would but I wouldn’t have anything to say to him. I just didn’t work at all. Em, the one before that, the one in the NHS. Lovely, I came to really like him in the end, but it was hard work because I didn’t understand what he was doing. It was my first proper experience of proper therapy and I didn’t understand what he was doing. So it was hard! Getting into the room being there was hard work, it was tense and I was like argh, argh, argh! 

So I had massive respect for him and I came to like him, a lot. I respected, once I understood what he was doing I came to really respect it. But I wouldn’t say we had a personal relationship, as I said from the first moment, you know, every time that he, I thought he was a dope smoking hippie, something that you wold see at a country fair, would vote liberal democrat and you know?! It’s like nothing to do with my life, so I was never going to be his best mate or anything like that, that’s how I felt from the start!

But through the work, I came to like him and I came to respect him. And I told him  at the end, I said ‘look when I first met you I thought, you know you were zebedi from magic round about (laughs) but now I really like ya, so thanks very much for this work. It’s been important to me,’ So that’s what I said to him

And do you think that if you’d been a bit clearer on what he was trying to do from the start, it might have helped or…?

Erm……. I just don’t know if I would have understood, I just … was…….. I had never done, I had never read what is psychotherapy or anything like I just knew I needed something I had been struggling to find something and you know I made some steps forward but it felt  small. And I had been to this weekend event and for the first time ever, it was in one of these workshops. 

You know it was like I said ‘jesus fuck, it was like a religious experience. Because up until that point my anger and everything was focusedon – the whole world needs to change and everything (laughs) Everything, only me, I’m okay (laughs harder) It sounds bad now but that’s exactly what I thought, exactly what I, but I there was absolutely no problem with me. I was the rightest you could ever be (laughs) but everyone else in the world and everything else in the world needed to rapidly transform everything about that. And at that weekend for the first time I was like fuck, I’ve gotta to do this for me. Sod everyone else, Sod the world, I have got to change I have got to find out why I am like this, why, what’s going on with me an how can I have a better life. Cos I stopped using drugs and alcohol and basically I hadn’t known what to do with my life, with myself, who I was, what was happening. All the time that I was wrecked, I didn’t care!! But since I’ve got sober and so this experience of this weekend was like the start, if you like of everything so even the therapy I was constantly, constantly throwing back to this moment that I had where I had made a decision but I didn’t know what that meant, I didn’t know how to do it, I didn’t know….

So I would guess with that guy, if he had explained everything to me at that point I wouldn’t have known, understood what he was talking about anyway. Whereas now I probably would understand it, or most of it anyway… at that point I just wouldn’t have understood

It sounds like you’re saying that your journey at that time was about not knowing and being uncertain about things and that was really echo-ed in the therapy and that as the therapy went on you got a greater understanding of yourself as you got a greater understanding of the process, is that right?

Yeah. I mean yeah, I mean the guy, the lgbt guy, he was just a sweetheart. I could have gone out for a drink with him, become friends, I really liked him. He wasn’t like someone that I would, you know….He was gay and I was gay but I wasn’t attracted to him or anything but he was a nice, you know, a nice guy and he really helped me, so you know

And he was the one with whom you did narrative work?

Yeah, yeah

When you spoke about that it sounded quite containing

Well it was a 6 month course and the first time I had had anything really and he described it as counselling rather than therapy. And at the end he said that my case was the most serious stuff he had ever had to deal with. So it had been difficult for him as well. Right? (Interesting] and he told me at the end and I was really pleased that he told me that actually. It helped, you know, it helped me understand his journey in that 6 months as well as mine which was important to me. Which yeah you know that’s part of, I think, how life guides the approach for therapy, is it, because you say you’ve got 6 months, or you are allocated a therapist and it’s at this time and this time…There’s no choice in it. You know if you are middle class and you’ve got a load of money and you can say I wanna get one and shop around and talk to your other friend who had been in therapy and you can pay for it basically, you’ve got a choice. You are in control a lot more of the situation. But if you haven’t got money if you are working class in that situation. You’re not, you know, it’s like take it or leave it situation, so….you know

So already from the get go there is a power dynamic thing?

There is a power dynamic there definitely. It’s like if you walk right and there is nothing else and also how can you walk in and start a relationship of trust with anyone when you haven’t made any of the decisions. Apart from looking for something. How can you walk in and say ‘sorry you are talking rubbish,’ or you know? I suppose you could pay money for a therapist but if you are seeking survivor specific treatment then it can be hard to find that, so I suppose the main options are places like the survivor orientated charities and then you face that issue

Well then you’ll get a 12 week course and it’s not even scratching the surface on a scratch on the surface. There isn’t any survivor counselling in London, 12 weeks is nothing. You would need 5 years!! You know?!! You should be locked up for the first 5 years, I think (laughs) I certainly think there needs to be… I mean I have been on a few weekends in the last 5 years and the intensity of those situations is very helpful for men

Really? [Yeah] Can I ask you a bit more about that?

Because there isn’t that escape and because what men do is brood and walk away, there is nowhere to walk away to. And you are kind of encouraged to come out, to explode, you know. The first time you see a bloke cry it’s like……… [it’s very real] yeah well it’s a miracle, it’s just a miracle. Each time, for each man, cry in front of them, a man!!! You might as well throw your legs up, I mean, that surrender, you know. 

That’s really interesting so it’s like constantly battling with these masculine gender norms and then this space, this intensely emotive
space really charges those

It’s like a pressure cooker, really, it’s like you know you don’t know where to go and it’s kill or be killed and that’s it. Because you know my experience a lot of survivors describe that they just walk away, they go and lock themselves away, they get, they do all the isolating things, being isolated in public, you do all those things but if you are not allowed to do that, you’ve really gotta face it (laughs).

That’s really interesting… Q4 So when you felt that you had grown to know instead of trust your therapist do you think you could describe
that experience?

I mean I think it became a bit less hard work, almost, it was like…..em……there was always an agenda previously it was like this is the issue we are going to discuss today and this is the one we had last week or the week before so we are going to address that. Whereas once I felt like more relaxed and comfortable and more like I knew where she was coming from. I felt more able to just let it go where it went rather than saying this is the problem of mine that we are gonna deal with today. I felt more comfortable with just seeing what happened. And I think some of it has just been a waste of time (laughs) We’ve spent an hour and we haven’t talked about anything. You know after a few weeks you think have we even talked about anything, anything important, you know. Sometimes, I mean I wouldn’t say that over one session that that was a waste of time, but you know? I wanted to be able to achieve whatever I can

And with the guy at the NHS when you were looking at what happened on the bus etc, did that feel like it could just go where you wanted
it to go or did that feel like….?

Em, that felt like there was always an agenda and not my agenda. I didn’t understand and that was really hard work, always felt agenda-ed - always felt like, you know. I couldn’t even understand why he wanted me to talk about that thing it was that difficult and I had to write down that he’s the one that knows what he is talking about and lets do this

It sounds like an incredibly difficult process

It was, it was incredibly difficult. It was almost like grinding your teeth difficult, almost as bad as that

What was it that kept you going with that

I felt that I needed to do something. You know what I mean, it had been a ridiculously long journey. I would probably say that in my 20s I had used the term to myself – I have been sexually abused – you know and then never ever went anywhere near it until my mid 40s. So you know 20 years of lots of drugs, lots of alcohol, living in other countries, shagging anyone, all of that stuff just to avoid it, and once I made the decision not to use drugs not to use alcohol those are the decisions that left me well what do you do?

This life – if I am not going to kill myself then how do I get up in the morning how do I walk out the front door, how do I, I couldn’t do anything I just didn’t what life was, I just didn’t understand it at all, so I knew that about myself. I knew, I needed to do something I didn’t know how to do it, I didn’t know what it was. And so that, I have always had that in my brain – I NEED THIS!!

And so whatever it was and no matter how difficult it was and whether or not it was specifically working right now, I need something. So let’s try  this and see if this works, you know

The word that really came to mind that was you had to put your faith into something but you mentioned that faith as stupidity, so how was this process…?

So yeah, kind of like faith, I mean I would say suck it and see. Actually try it! If that works then lets go down there until that stops working. A trial and error type rather than you know, you could say faith if you want but faith to me would mean that it’s definitely gonna work. And I’m never even knew if it was gonna work, if it was the right thing, anything like that. So I’d try this and see and then I’d try the next thing etc

So experimentation? [Yeah] When you had the horrible experience with the therapist who got hard-ons, after that experience to continue to engage must have been challenging and I really admire it.

Can I tell you something I never told anyone? [Sure] I didn’t care if he was getting hard-ons, I just thought he was a crap counsellor!!!(Laughs) I mean I made a complaint about it at the time and went through the process and it got nowhere and what I said, what I felt at the time was that yeah it was inappropriate, it was a betrayal, but if that was the worst thing that had ever happened to me then I wouldn’t have been sitting in the room in the first place! So that’s how I felt about it. I have been there, seen that, done that since, you know….(gestures at his side to imply since he was very young). So it wasn’t that, it was you know.. he kept talking about himself. Stuff like that At one point when I was winding it up, getting out of it he said ‘Oh you are just gonna walk out of here, just let me down,  like everyone else does,’ saying things like that and I’m thinking this therapy is for me, not for you. And so it was my first experience and I thought the guy is just an idiot as much as anything, as much as he… Retrospectively I am more angry about the hard-on then I was at the time, at the time I was just like oh fuck head

It sounded like his behaviour was almost like something that you had expected in a strange way, like normalized. Since you are saying that you had seen it so much before as if ‘yeah that’s what people do,’

Yeah!! Yeah ,I mean it was like that! I mean I gave him a disapproving look and carried on. I didn’t punch him or get up and run out screaming or anything like that, you know

And so, when you were then going to subsequent therapists I wondered if it came up again

I mean it didn’t really. I mean there were moments when I thought about him sexually but just to realize that there wasn’t anything sexual going on, just to realize that there wasn’t anything sexual but the next guy didn’t present anything sexual to me

More that I wondered if the fact that the abusive therapist wasn’t shocking link into a place where behaviours like that aren’t allowed to be shocking anymore

I mean in a way it’s somewhat matter of fact, you know, I mean I’ve seen that a thousand times before and it’s my first experience of counselling so I didn’t really know what to expect.

The second guy, because there was nothing like that it was fairer and easier. I didn’t compare or contrast I just did the work with the second guy and it was easier but I wasn’t thinking ‘oh this one hasn’t got a hard-on that’s okay,’ I just thought what a tosser the other one was, how sad really I just thought what a sad man and just pissed off that I thought I was going to get some counselling and I’m not, it’s not working out, this is nonsense. That means I have got to go and find someone else and what is there, I don’t know?! Not doing what I wanted to achieve and that was the biggest problem for me. And retrospectively now I’m now thinking ‘Fucking hell, how many other people has he?!’ and other people might have been much more damaged by an experience like that than, you know. So those kind of feelings about it retrospectively. But at the time I was just feeling ‘What a sad man’

Q4 - So I wondered if there were times with your therapy where there were things that fundamentally challenged your knowledge or trust and how did you deal with it?

I think sometimes that’s part of the process really. I mean sometimes, like the thing I told you about the flash of light and realizing that it’s about me and I’ve got to change. Sometimes you just realize like ‘Fucking hell I have just been so stupid,’ you know. Sometimes that’s part of it ‘Why did I used to think like that?’ Now I know that that’s wrong. Sometimes 

Em, I can’t remember any specific instances where they did something terrible because from the outset we were such different people; he could have said all kinds of crap and I would have thought alright he’s just a glasses wearing hippie, you know, and not given any kind of credence to it. I can’t think of anything really

So that’s really interesting – there was room for him to be a hippie and therefore different from you.

So what I remember you saying earlier was that challenging was very important if something comes up that could compromise the work

Yeah, I mean part of challenge but try to understand what they mean. My experience are different, I would say this why are you saying that and try and work through it really

It sounds like you want to assume the best of them?

I had like a, I don’t know if it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy of my own – do I believe this because I am crazy or is this true? And the fact that I don’t cope with it well makes me crazy kind of thing, you know what I am mean, it’s like a chicken and egg thing. It’s like - are some of my world beliefs just totally off-kilter because of the experience I had? Or is it Because of the experience I had I can’t interact with the world positively, so sometimes when people say something to me, especially in a situation like that then I just think well that’s not true as far as I’m concerned ‘it’s just not true,’ so tell me why you think it’s true, because I’m also, yeah maybe I’m wrong

Is there something there for you? This is what I am getting from what you are saying but I don’t want to assume – So when you say “I don’t know if I have ever trusted anyone.” Are you including yourself in that?

Sighs…yeah I mean, you know by that thing that I just described, then I mean yeah, I mean I do kind of I do question my, to a certain extent, I mean I don’t walk around all day saying ‘is this a bar of chocolate? I mean I’m not that crazy (both laughing) [I wouldn’t have thought that no] But I do walk around thinking ‘I just felt like that person treated me like shit, was that me or was that them actually, or was it them just doing something that’s nothing and I’m just so on edge and I’m tired that it feels like more than it is. SO yeah it is, I kind of question myself

So actually when you put it that way it sound like there was a stage, when you were using drugs etc, that you didn’t have any trust in the form of knowledge of yourself?

Nothing, nothing, all those are in a fucking flower bed, I was

Researcher So now you are increasingly building trust or knowledge of yourself

Yeah, if you wanna use those words, I would have said ‘building understanding of myself, you know

Researcher: Sorry I don’t want to put words in your mouth

No, no you know, I am happy to discuss the word trust. I am happy to discuss it it’s just not something I wear

My big problem, right is I don’t think anybody trusts. People just use this idea and it’s almost like a totum – I am a trusting person, which means I am a good person and I’m open to this experience and that one. But I don’t think that anybody does walk into a situation, totally disarmed and totally naked and say ‘Do your worst!’ Nobody does do that. So how different is what I am saying, if everybody goes into every situation fore-warned and forearmed based on their previous experience then they are not really trusting then are they? Or ARE they??

Or is that what trust is?

Well I mean if you look at the dictionary or listen to a Hollywood movie about what trust is, then it’s bollox right?!  if it’s something other, nearer to what I am describing then yeah I think that’s what most people do.

The problem with survivors, is not that we don’t trust really! It’s that we don’t ever have any relationships with anybody so you don’t even get to the stage of knowing someone and understanding someone because, because you have really big walls around you. It’s not the trust thing, it’s the not having relationships thing [ok] I would say…

But is that the chicken and egg? [yeah I mean it’s better to have relationships] Yeah but I wonder, if you are struggling with trust, can you build relationships and if you don’t build relationships can you trust

It’s certainly an egg, getting raped as a child is certainly an egg that got broken, so I mean it was never going to grow into a healthy chicken was it (laughs) that broken egg. So yeah I mean, survivors do have relationships, some are married and long term thing but what I am saying is that they are alone in that situation. You don’t show the real you and you don’t let your guard down and all those things

I have spoken to many people who have said that, especially after a sexual encounter, someone has turned around and said ‘Are you a survivor?’ (laughs) it’s almost like there’s a label no us….(laughs)

Is that it?

That’s all my questions, I can turn off the tape if you want….