Well last night I tried to settle to sleep, and by 1am or later, I was awake and pondering getting up again, I was hot and tense and everything was running through my head.
I fell asleep.
I woke feeling awfully comfy but too hot when my alarms went off, I went to the loo and dozed off again and was woken by my mediator tapping on the door, but by the time I had pulled some clothes on, he had gone. His room was just down the corridor, so I went and tapped on his door, but he wasn't there, so I went down to the canteen and he was sitting there sending emails.
We had a leisurely and tasty breakfast and a good natter. Hey, hey, eating as much as you like at the expense of the church of england is fun, I must do it more often! :)
Then we had loads of time, so he went to get his ticket for later and I went to have a shower and try and sort my new extra luggage out so I could carry it all.
The cleaners in the hotel were absolutely lovely, very kind and friendly, I like that, people who are not simply polite but friendly and happy.
I had a good shower and went to meet my mediator in the foyer.
We walked up to where we had to go, it was a longer walk than we thought, but funnily enough, the people who were to interview us also lost their way and so we all arrived late and started late.
Well I was terrified going in, and I dragged my feet, but the people were so nice.
So we settled down and, well, it was good, but it is just a start, there are going to be repeats of this, as well as me continuing to write statements and produce evidence.
But, the whole thing appeared to go very well and was not too distressing.
One of the first things the people said was that they had no doubt that the abuse happened. That is positive. But the main investigation is about how terribly the whole thing was handled, to leave me destroyed and on the streets.
I cannot describe the whole session but I managed to speak, and I managed to tell them things, this matter is a huge and complex one, and they made it clear that not only are they aware of that but that they intend to untangle it no matter what, and that is will be a huge and tough task but they intend to do it.
They were extremely kind to me and though I felt like I told them very little, they said that I had done a lot, considering, and they wanted to be careful not to push things in case I became overwhelmed, and they intend to meet with me and my mediator again and continue to work with us by email and directly. They made it clear that they believed that some serious wrong had been done. They also said that they believed I was truthful and that I am definitely not mentally ill. Yay.
I told them that I had asked my psychologist for a report, and they want a copy of that, so that is good.
I think all in all we only worked for about three and a half hours, and we had a good lunch while we were at it.
They are to meet with the other side next week, but they have made it clear that they will not be bullied and that they will get the truth of the matter.
They also said that they had intended to meet with me by hook or by crook, which is good, because I had not known that.
I didn't become really distressed.
At the end of the time, my mediator was to stay on and discuss things further with one of the panel, so the food left over from lunch was packed into a generous doggy bag for me, and off I trotted, free and alone, to catch a tube.
This matter will go on and on for some time, and it is going to be tough, it is going to keep hurting me, and there will be bad times, so I will have to try to keep an even keel.
I am very grateful to my mediator, he is doing a marvellous job.
I caught the tube, there were delays on the underground but thankfully I managed to cross London and get to the mainline station before rush hour really kicked in.
I got a ticket and got the train.
I had a very pleasant and peaceful journey, no-one sat with me and I had food, drink, a book, my music and a lovely long distance train journey, so peaceful, so smooth.
I arrived and I found that the air here was very warm and still and kind of smoggy, almost.
I walked up and rang on the doorbell of the old chap's place, he opened the door and looked satisfyingly surprised.
'would you like your usual place?' he asked.
And so I am installed in 'my usual place' for two nights initially.
It is the same as it always was, and I am happy with that.
It is a relief to unpack my backpack and my heavy bags of food and clothes and toiletries that I have been given.
And then I put the kettle on, and made tea.
I rested and checked my emails and everything.
Then I went out and walked up the hill and to town.
I walked up to where soup kitchen should be, nothing there.
I walked round the corner and there was what looked like soup kitchen.
I walked through the homeless people and looked to see who was there.
at first no-one noticed me and I was like a ghost.
I walked up on the steps and looked around and the blur of people turned into individuals and I looked for my lot.
M. was sitting with some others, looking sleepy but alive and in one piece, Andy and one of the ex-hostel boys was there, Jason, and other various familiar faces, good, after the sadness of last night's soupie it is good to see that some of my people are here and ok.
I stay where I am because I am waiting for M. to see me and jump out of his skin.
He obliges, rubbing his eyes and looking amazed.
He comes over and he is falling over his words and trying to tell me everything.
One of the others, another familiar face, also comes over, he is a tough guy, if you have his respect you are someone, and he greets me, which is cool, I am someone now. He and M. chat to me and I sit with a group who gather, most of them have hot pasta from what I think is the soup run, but this soup run isn't the old soup run, there is no tea, no sandwiches.
I am looking for a few of the others, Ken, Bruce, Leo, Teresa, and most of all, V. But there is no sign of them.
I walk up to see if V. is with the gangs on the steps, but there is no sign of him.I walk back down and I see that the real soup run has arrived at the normal place, the other soup run is one of a few new charity things.
I walk down to soup run, the staff recognize me immediately. I stand away beside the wall because I am not really hungry or in need, but they come over to me, bringing me food and hot drinks, asking how I have been and where I have been.
Bruce arrives, he is gabbling and grabbing food and shoving it in his mouth, still gabbling, a desperate and hungry man.
I stand with him and try to hear what he says, he says my name coherently and I understand enough of what he says to gather that his is just out of prison again and is sleeping in a greenhouse, he is not happy with the greenhouse as it is dirty and he has OCD. He asks about me, what I am doing and where I have been, and I tell him, and so we chat. Bruce has been dealt a terrible hand in life and I feel tremendously sorry for him, he is seriously mentally ill and gets into a lot of trouble but it seems that no one can do anything for him, so he is in and out of prison and never seems to get the care he needs, he always goes from prison or cells to the streets, and he has OCD so he hates sleeping rough.
There was no sign of V. or Ken, or any of the girls I know, there are some new girls.
Then a fight breaks out, an addict accuses a hostel boy of threatening a girl and he punches him in the head, a big fight starts and the soup run staff say they will call the police, I move off, M. comes to where I move to.
He and I stay out the way and chat, he tells me no-one knows how lonely he has been while I have been away, I tell him I know, and that is why I am here, I tell him he and the others have been in my thoughts a lot and that is why I am back. He likes that.
And I do indeed feel the loneliness that he feels, I have missed them, especially V. my dear and honourable street brother.
I tell M. That I will be there at soup run tomorrow, he is delighted that I am staying around, he hugs me and he kisses his hand and presses his hand to mine and then we part company and I head back alone.
Here I am, back in my old hideout, I have loads of food, toiletries and tea! I am very happy.
and tomorrow, guess where I will be going? I will go to tea hour. I will drink tea strong enough to stand a spoon up in and I will have a bacon roll, and I will listen to all the gossip and see who is around.
It is lovely to be here, I owe a deep debt of gratitude to this town, they saved me, they rebuilt a shattered human being into someone who could cope with life again, and I am grateful. This is one of my homes and oh, peeps, this is lovely.
Glory to God! Hallelujah!