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Saying goodbye to old ghosts...

  • By girly-d
  • On 28/11/2020


I'm back in St Ives, my absolute favourite place in all of Cornwall.

It's my 'go-to' place, my healing place - the place that I ran to when something bad happened, something so terrible, all of those years ago, that I couldn't bear to live in my own skin, let alone my own flat.

I blamed myself back then. Lots of 'could've, should've, would've' type conversations with my head, based on if only I could have known the outcome of that night. But the fact is, that I didn't know, and so I didn't do any of the things that I wish I'd done now.

Instead, I bought myself a train ticket and ran away here.

I rented a cottage. A temporary thing, so remote and out of the way that I'd lose my bearings, end up in tears and have to rely on a taxi to get me back there - on the rare occasions that I ventured out at all. Most of the time I simply cowered indoors, trying to put my broken head and body back together again, scrubbing my skin raw, and hiding away in oversize pyjamas.

The cottage was my sanctuary.  A place where I could drink, think, hide-away from the world and start to come to terms with things, and I promised myself that if I ever got through this, that one day I would live here. 

Then, many years later, when I'd started to make a success of my life, I was invited back here to collect an award that I'd won. I stood outside the entrance of the castle in a stunning, floor length  gown and I smiled for the cameras looking every inch the princess that people expected me to be that night...only inside, I was harbouring a secret this time around too.

A few months before, life had thrown me a series of really shit curveballs, and although initially I tried to keep juggling them all, I couldn't keep up with the fall-out, and so, as  my life began to fall apart for a second time, behind the scenes I was starting to struggle with the beginning of quite a sizeable alcohol addiction.

Long story short, clip-in hair extensions and a winning smile ensured that I was able to sparkle on the night, no-one guessed my secret, and the following day I returned both back to reality and also to the more pressing matter of trying not to make too much of a mess of my life...

That was four years ago now, and today I am back once more in this beautiful town, the place that lifted me up, protected me and helped me to heal myself again.

I’m drinking latte on the seafront, in one of the million teeny coffee shops dottted along the pavement. The sun is shining and the streets are filled with smiling feels like a good day to be alive.

A woman starts to sing across the way. She has the most beautiful voice, and as I sit sipping my latte and listening to her singing 'Pie Jesu', I get goosebumps.

It's a beautiful song, and a beautiful moment for me to be putting the ghost of that girl and the vile things that happened to her well and truly to rest....which is the real reason that I came back here today.

I'm wearing a beautiful dress and my favourite sandals, and my over-sized sunnies mean that no-one can see that I’ve got tears in my eyes.

It’s just like the old days...except that it's not.

Because for the first time in years, I've come back to this place totally shame and secret free, and you have absolutely no idea just how liberating that feels.

So bye, bye ghosts of the past.

Thank you for the lessons that you taught me, but you can have this whacking great big cross of mine back now if it's all the same to you. I've been carrying it around for far too many years now and it's kind of out stayed its welcome, so I'll just leave it here where I'm sat, outside this coffee shop when I leave if that's ok.

Because I've got places to go and people to see, and a new, shame-free life that needs living, and I've promised myself that the journey I’m going on from this point forwards, is strictly hand-luggage only until I get to where I'm going...absolutely and categorically, for once in my life, no excess baggage required.





  • Emma
    • 1. Emma On 20/05/2019
    I am so moved right now. So happy. Beautiful tribute to yourself.

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