Wow...! What an astonishing few days... and what an astonishing change from where I've been eh? Regular readers will know that I have often turned to songs and music to help get me through some of the tougher times. One of my old favourites was Eddie Reader's "The Right Place" - in fact I'm pretty sure I mentioned it in a much earlier blog post. Well there have been many times that this song has been a mantra for positive growth, rather than an acknowledgement of the truth.
Hey, ain't that all changed around now - and how! Just last week I was interviewed by a lovely reporter called Amanda Cable. It was a telephone interview for the Daily Mail, and the very next day they sent photographer Ben Lister and make-up artist Alice Theobald to my home in France for a (very specifically styled) photo shoot. Incredibly, the piece was then posted in the paper on Monday morning - it all happened so quickly there was barely time to take a breath! I know that the Mail Online (love it or hate it) is one of the most popular sites on the worldwide web, so I was expecting some responses. But goodness me, nothing but NOTHING could have prepared me for what has been happening!
With 830 comments, 100 Tweets and 1,100 Likes so far, it has attracted an unprecedented response. I am told they were expecting around 50 comments... And I have been inundated with messages from people all over the world thanking me for telling my story and helping them to make sense of similar situations. Some of the messages have quite literally brought me to tears - for example this beautiful email here:
I read your article today. I'm only 17 and never knew such thing existed. my exboyfriend showed almost all the signs of a sociopath!!... thank you soo much for sharing your experience you really have made me soo happy knowing its not my fault! ... I have finally after two months been able to let go and move on! thank you soo soo much! I almost cried with happiness this morning knowing I'm not the only one! And now everything he did makes sense!
How amazing is that? Just by sharing my experiences, a young girl has found out early on how to spot the signs. She knows. And now she can look forward to enjoying her life without any fear of being trapped or duped again.
Her wonderful email is just one from the many I've been receiving. I can't begin to put in to words the feelings of joy and gratitude that well up inside me knowing that I am making a difference. And it just makes everything I have gone through worthwhile, because it gives me a reason. As I said to a friend a few days ago, I have shed many many tears over my lifetime. Now, with each new confirmation that I am doing something to help people in a positive way, it turns a tear from the past in to a pearl of the present. I am feeling, quite literally, showered with blessings. It's wonderful. And I am grateful.... for everything. Yes, everything.
Along with the great stuff, of course, I know there are a number of less than kind comments that have been left by people who have read (or skimmed) the article. I was warned to expect that. And I have deliberately not even bothered reading them. Why? Is it because I'm scared? Nope. It's because there's no longer any need for me to 'fight' or justify who I am or what I'm doing. I've overcome so much, and come through smiling - so reading a few misguided comments will do nothing to serve me. It's not worth the fight and I'm quite simply not going there. Because nothing and nobody can push me off-course now.
I am on a mission you see. A determined and focused mission to share all the tools and techniques I have learned over the years with as wide an audience as I possibly can... Not just the men and women like me who have been targeted. No, this is a set of tools that can be used in all walks of life. Corporate, consumer, young and old. I have a wonderful team of people working with me on this and the finishing touches are coming together even as I'm writing this post.
And at the same time the media circus is gathering momentum around me - so I am being given the opportunity to share my story in more ways that I could have imagined. Watch this space...
Both my parents used to regularly say "the world is your oyster" and you know what? I believed them then (which is partly how I survived) and I believe them now - and each time another tear turns in to a pearl, well, I give thanks for their wisdom and love. They may not have been with me very long, but they sure did prepare me well.
So now? Today? I know I am absolutely in the right place. I'm excited. I'm determined. I'm ready. And I'm fizzly.... oh boy am I fizzly.... BRING IT ON!!!