Friday, 30 July 2021
THANK YOU AND GOODBYE - A LAST EXTRACT
FOR LEGAL AND FINANCIAL REASONS IT HAS NOT BEEN POSSIBLE TO PUBLISH THIS MEMOIR IN FULL. HOWEVER, MANY EXTRACTS AND NOTES CAN BE READ IN THE UPDATES I HAVE POSTED HERE OVER THE LAST TWO YEARS, AND FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE BEEN FOLLOWING THEM, PLEASE SEE BELOW FOR HOW THE STORY ENDS.
IT IS PROBABLE THAT 'YOUR LIFE AS I KNEW IT' WILL NEVER SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY SO PLEASE TAKE THIS LAST OPPORTUNITY TO VISIT ALL THE OTHER UPDATES, IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY. THANK YOU TO UNBOUND FOR GIVING HUW A PLATFORM DENIED TO HIM BY MAINSTREAM PUBLISHERS - IT HAS MEANT THE WORLD TO US. THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU WHO HAVE PLEDGED AND TO EVERYONE WHO HAS SUPPORTED US IN DIFFERENT WAYS. UNBOUND WILL BE IN TOUCH REGARDING REFUNDS AND I CAN BE CONTACTED PERSONALLY AT firstname.lastname@example.org
'Your Life as I Knew it' - An Ending and a Beginning
I'm so relieved,' Mum says. 'I'm so sorry you didn't go swimming, Huw, but we couldn't get you out of the house any other way.'
'We tried,' she says to the new people. 'I showed him pictures of what it would be like here, but yesterday, when we were going to bring him, he just dug his heels in. Two of us couldn't get him off the sofa.'
Mum is smiling and she is crying, but not as much as last night, when Kirsty MacColl was singing 'Thank you for the Days,' on Huw's CD player, and she sat on Huw's bed and sobbed.
'Well, Huw,' says the nice lady. 'This is your new school, where you are going to live all the time, and we aren't going to do anything unless you are happy. We want Huw to be happy. We are going to take things very slowly.'
Very slowly. That suits Huw. He is not leaving this place. He's not going through any more doors – ever. He likes swimming, but this place is OK. He knows he's safe here.
I left Huw in a room without shelves, without books, without anything apart from plastic covered sofas and a coffee table. We'd had coffee and I'd tried to hug him. It was the visiting room. The living room had a huge TV in it and the seating was squashier, more comfortable –Huw’s new carer took him back there, once I'd gone. It was tea time and as I drove away, I thought maybe Huw would be eating at the large oak dining table, which I knew even he couldn't pick up and turn over. He had four new flatmates - all young men his age - fifteen, or nearly so, in his case. Huw would have a social life again, new interests, an ordered home without random objects to drive him mad with building obsessions - locks on other people's doors so he wouldn't get at their stuff, but above all he would have highly trained carers who didn't believe in 'hold down' methods.
As I drove, the tears were flowing – 'Cry me a River' the song says – 'I'll cry you the sea' I was thinking, looking out over the Straits that bordered that part of the road. I wondered if I should pull over into a lay-by and give into it, but I kept going. I had to finish the task in hand – confirm to the social and educational services that I'd done it – I'd delivered Huw into their hands – or rather Will had delivered him and I had followed.
Later I would write a letter to Huw, although I knew he would probably never understand it:
I want you to know that I never thought this would happen. I never thought I'd have to do what I have done.
I know it's for the best and that you'll be happier. I also did it for me – because you were destroying me. You didn't know what you were doing and I have nothing to forgive you for – but please forgive me.
You don't know that you aren't coming back to live here any more. This isn't a weekly boarding school you're in – it isn't like the other one – thank goodness. I don't know what went wrong there but they played a part in how things fell apart, so I'll be looking into that, don't you worry.
And when I've done that, I will start to try to work out how and why all this happened. No one, nothing, has prepared me for this. I thought I would always be able to look after you and I am so sorry that I couldn't do it any more – that I can't do it.
I know you will be happy at the new school, but I'm glad you won an extra night at home. I didn't want to let you go either. I wished that day could be tomorrow, too.
I love you and have always loved you - don't ever think otherwise,
From your devoted, heartbroken
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