Bath Half Marathon debut: Returning to where I overcame abuse

This morning I am travelling up from London down to Bath for Vitality Bath Half Marathon 2017. For once the race on this 5am start is secondary to a bigger journey than the 13.2 miles two laps course around my hometown’s best sites.

Returning to Bath

The primary adventure is because I haven’t been to Bath since the summer of 2013. It is nearly 4 years since I got psyched up on a train from Canterbury to confront my abusive mother and knock her way out of my life.

I absolutely love Bath so this hiatus wasn’t planned nor was it intentional. Friends ended up at unis all over the country and most like myself now reside in London. As such I have had little reason to visit.

I was never one to really look back and my life has very much been in Canterbury and now London ever since.

That said, this seems like an ample opportunity to look back at the somewhat impulsive event that took place 4 years ago (which nevertheless took a bit of instinctive planning).

The low down

As I have alluded to previously, the relationship I had with my birth mother was somewhat challenging. Labels aren’t especially helpful, nor is listing examples of her appalling behaviour to those close to her- and there was no one in more immediate proximity to her true nature than myself and my sister. I am just so grateful that God intervened in my life and revealed himself as my protector, while Jesus was the lamp unto my path who made me see from an early age what she was and lite the way towards my escape.

The final straw wasn’t my mother taking pleasure in telling me that my childhood cat had died and she buried him in the garden of the house she was weeks away from moving out of, (completely disregarding my explicit wish to have him cremated which I would pay for), nor was it the fact she flippantly texted me to say that she saw her ex-bf still in Bath who she knew very well was violent towards me. Only she can know the intentions behind her behaviour.

While somewhat hurtful these incidents only mattered in my ‘homeworld’. Growing up I kept my life outside of the home entirely separate.

What triggered me was her breach of this when she contacted the university to report me as a missing person having not attempted to contact me in weeks. My own university asked me to get in touch with her like I had some sort of obligation to a poor doting parent.

She had dared to encroach into my own world.

I was absolutely livid. I called her and for the first time challenged her behaviour. Her explanations were pathetic. I saw her for the weak person she truly is.

Sensing blood I found myself declaring that I will be coming down to Bath to collect possessions before she moves out.

The journey

I knew this would be the end. My time to confront her had finally come and to begin to fully realise my own strength. I instinctively drew up a mental agenda of what I would say from her. I reflected on what I may need from her. I considered what I may regret not obtaining later down the line.

This was grouped somewhat into 1) Her ongoing treatment of my sister who has not been so fortunate as myself 2) Specifically her texts about Owen 3) who my father is

On the train down I ran through this in my head seveal times. I had to get it right and I knew I would. My time had come.

She was cautious when I entered the house. I think she probably knew her time was up. I gathered my possessions before sitting her down for the biggest conversation of my life up to this point.

I found myself starting with a power statement along the lines of : Do you feel no shame that you are completely ruining my sister’s life? I took it from there.

I’m not sure how long this conversation took but I was entirely satisfied that I had truly left her as broken and destroyed as a sociopath can be (no labels, right?). I gathered my possessions and got access to photos and legal letters concerning my father which I was able to follow up on.

Highlights which weren’t planned were asking her ‘So how long do you think I have dispised you?” (her answer was 2 years!) and declaring her ‘a cesspit of moral filth’ (a bit Jeremy Kyle, a bit Jeremy Paxman).

Great expectations

I left the house achieving more than I ever anticipated. I had a conversation with my sister for the first time since more or less starting secondary school (despite living under the same roof the whole time). I spoke to her through her bedroom door not expecting her to open up but she did. I am really proud that she saw me strong and my mother weak. I really hoped (and still do) that this will inspire her in her own struggle with this troubling individual.

It was this moment in my life that I became free yet I never allowed myself to really process it’s significance. It is only now that I acknowledge the fact I got her out of my life.

Swagger in check

I am returning to Bath this morning an even stronger person. I have my own name, my own life, my independence and my dreams. I will swagger my way around Bath like I own the joint.

The race is secondary. I am most looking forward to wondering around the city after the race and enjoying the cafes and sites I was never able to afford or took for granted as a local growing up.

I am returning an empowered individual facing my past rather than running away from it (literally in many case).

Laters, haters!

I have managed to write this in 55 minutes on the train. I look forward to sharing race pics and Bath sites later on.

Onwards and upwards!

Laters haters x