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16 October 2014

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Nobody else did that

By Diana Storyteller
March 2004, south east Wales
A digital story from Capture Wales

Diana recalls painful memories from her childhood:

"It was soon after my dad left that I stopped believing in Father Christmas; in grown-ups; in myself. It all started... well, my friend was interested in me... asked about my day... and nobody else did that.
He listened to what I said. Nobody else did that.
He bought me sweets. Nobody else did that.
He was my friend. Nobody else was.

Later, there were other things and I had no words for them... and nobody to tell if I had. Did everybody do this? Or was I the only one?

He told me I shouldn't tell my mother and I didn't. I didn't tell anyone for thirty years. I thought they wouldn't like me if they knew. I thought it was my fault.

I buried my pain deep inside - so deep that most of the time I didn't know it was there. Life went on.

When I did speak out it was with an anger I had never known. Fury at a person who talked to me and made the pain surface. I swore at my God who had either been impotent or who hadn't cared. I looked at my pain and acknowledged it and despair filled me. For weeks I talked, I wrote, I photographed and expressed all that was inside me.

Later there was calm and peace. I no longer rant at God although I still cannot answer why.

I could believe in this grown-up; get to know myself; move on.

Now I can look back with some compassion on a man so lonely and disturbed that he had to choose a little girl to be his friend."


Please tell us a little about yourself.
I'm Diana. I'm a teacher and I'm 52 years old. I live in a market town in South Wales. I enjoy many things in my life now but for many years there was always a deep hurt well buried in the background.

What's your story about?
It is a story of survival and recovery from difficult events in childhood. I knew straight away that this was the story I would tell. I had already taken some photographs for a project when I was at University. It is my hope that it will encourage others who have faced similar trauma.

What did you find most rewarding about the workshop?
Creating my own story using modern media and watching other people's stories unfold.

Your comments

"An extremely heartfelt and moving portrayal of an emotionally difficult subject. The narrative was well structured, drawing you in to the close." Tully, London, England.

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