Today is my first anniversary on this site (looked here a few days before, but New Year was my significant moment) -what a year it's been.

*Found the BEST GROUP OF BROTHERS anywhere - yes you!
*Found that I have some of the best and most supportive friends that I could ever wish for. One of my friends in particular deserves a knighthood for services to humanity - has stood by me when I have changed mood more times than a clock ticks. Has allowed me to openly sob all over him in a public place (York *I frightened the death out of a Canadian tourist that had joined us for drinks). My 2 other best friends that know have listened to me and supported me with humour / invitations / telephone calls etc.
*Have been supported at work by people that are allegedly 'ice'.
*Have recognised that I am 'worthy'.
*Traced an old friends grave (killed in an accident at 16 when I was 15).
*Faced up to the fact that I have not grieved for anyone that has died since I was abused & have now allowed myself to do so.
*Broke the vow that I made at 12 that I would never cry for, or over anyone again.
*Added a small tattoo to my collection, that is a Chinese Symbol meaning 'Promise or Vow' - I promise/vow to myself that I will never let myself get so low again - I touch it when I need to and recite that sentence.
*I have reclaimed the sites where I was abused throughout the seasons of the year.
*I made a 15 page statement of complaint against 'my abuser' to the police & also lost some of my dislike of 'people in authority' in the process (the policeman I spoke to is a really excellent human being - also recommended for honours).
*Finally told my sister - my biggest dread.
*My 3 best friends have now made statements to the police clarifying how I have been since I first opened 'Pandora's Box' to them. The 3rd statement was actually made today just after my friends Grandfather (a Dunkirk Veteran) had died - that's a real friend, he could have told them to come back later.
*Have now accepted that I am loved by many people.

I could go on - but what a difference from standing on a high bridge, looking down into the river & wanting to jump. All that stopped me was that the water was slow moving, so wouldn't carry me away & that I knew that when I hit the water I would start swimming. I have been swimming ever since (sometimes get tangled in the weeds, but I get away from them)... it's the river of life & I intend to swim there for as long as I can.

2005?

What an opportunity!

Best wishes / love / peace / happiness / achievement of your dreams / health / wealth and respect to everyone - from Rik in the greatest appreciation I can possibly give to everyone.

*A toast to you all - I'm having a 'glass' of The High Tree Cabernet Sauvignon, 2002 Vintage (McLaren Vale / Australia) - it's as warming to my heart as each of you are....sweet dreams!

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*Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up.
*I was seeking a way of expressing my anger - I found hope!
*There are many battles before the war is won! It can be won!