Falling Upwards

By Theresa Davis

A moving memoir about family, addiction, transitioning and living authentically.

Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Back where it all began

It was 3 years ago today 21st April 2018 when I started my journey to reconnect with my family and my past. I had just started to write the untitled memoir which became Falling Upwards. 

This seemingly ordinary flight was a gateway and formed a pivotal aspect of examining my childhood as I was on the journey back to my childhood home.

I’m snapped back into the present again by the announcement that they are about to start boarding, and I proceed to passport control. In the new airport at La Palma, it’s come a long way from the makeshift wooden trolly that they used to wheel out for UK flights back when I first came to La Palma on holiday some 15 years ago. Usually, I download a couple of movies to my iPad to watch on the four-hour flight to the UK, I have done it so often that it’s a well-practised routine.

On this trip, I have decided to download and watch The Danish Girl as one of the films, of course loosely based on the life of Lilly Elbe who was one of the early pioneers of medical transition in the 1920/30s. Pretty early on in the film, there is a scene where the character gets to pretend that they are wearing ballet shoes, tights and holding a dress to model for their wife as the dancer whose portrait she is painting hasn’t shown up for the sitting. The ballet shoes took me back to a time where I wore shoes just like those.

As the above snippet from the 1st chapter shows I hadn't even got back to the UK before the recollections started, in this case, triggered by my choice of inflight entertainment.

This continued the following day during my drive up to the village I had grown up in, passing familiar landmarks brought all those memories long buried in the past back into sharp focus again. Following my transition, I had turned my back on a lot of the past trauma and concentrated on living the best life I could. So now I was in a position where I had to face them.

You can find more about this journey and my difficult early years in Falling Upwards, I can't wait to get it into your hands so please, I really need your shares on social media and beyond to get us funded. 

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