Thursday, 8 July 2010

An angel touched me and then my dog died.

Perusing the bookshelves of WH Smiths or Waterstones recently is like being bombarded with a shower of saccharine sorrow. There are rows of tragic true-life stories with titles like ‘Don’t tell Mummy.’ ‘The little prisoner.’ And ‘Ewww, Daddy. What’s THAT?’

I don’t mean to trivialise the true stories in question, or the therapeutic effect of writing these books, but what I do find distasteful is the way they are now being turned into a brand. They all look the same and someone; somewhere is making tearfuls of money from them. Abused children the world over won’t know who to talk to first, a social worker or a book agent. Sad, blonde-haired, cherubic children against white backgrounds with a wispy typeface stare out, imploring you to spend £7.99 of your money to share in their pain.

I don’t profess to have ever read one of these books, but as they seem to be quite popular at the moment I thought I would write a post in a similar vein.

What follows is a true story.

‘It was a cold Monday morning and it hit me. Bang. I had left my cup of tea to stew too long. It would now be ruined, cold and there was no going back. The cup would be stained, much like my soul and try as I might the tea could never be saved. The damage would be irreconcilable and I would never know the pleasure that simple cup of tea would offer. I sunk to my knees, with my head in my hands and wept. Wept like I’d never wept before, the truth dawning on me in waves of sadness as the tears flowed from my eyes like a torrent of rain on the coldest, wettest, bleakest day.

Slowly, unsteadily at first, I stood. My knees buckled a little, but I was determined to stand, and stand I did. This was just another hurdle in a life of sorrow and I would be strong. I would beat it. One day. I had to, there was simply no other option. The week before I had put on some toast and again forgotten about it, only realising when it was cold and brittle and I had gotten over that. I would get over this. Wouldn’t I?

What hurt more than the defiled cup of PG Tips was the fact my family knew about it. They had known all along and done nothing. Choosing to ignore the tragedy befalling my cup. They had seen the stewing tea and carried on with their lives as if nothing was wrong. All this had happened behind closed curtains. A house of horror in a sleepy suburban town, the neighbours blissfully unaware of what was going on under their noses. Had just one of them noticed anything suspicious, made a call to the authorities, it could all have turned out so very differently. But no, I was alone. Just me and that soiled cup of tea, staring at me, teasing me hurting me in every sinew of my body.

But then, all at once, I turned a corner. I heard a click and was suddenly bathed in a warm light and then it happened. I was touched by an angel; it sounds incredible I know, but I was touched by an angel. And then she spoke. “Get out of the way.” She said, and suddenly all became clear. Get out of the way of the negativity and hurt. Let the sunshine back into your life and stop worrying about the tea. I could wash the cup, perhaps even add a little bleach and leave it to soak. I could boil the kettle and make another cup of tea.

Hallelujah and rejoice I was saved.

Those days are behind me now, and although I will never forget the hurt, I will move on. I will be strong. I will survive. I will have another cup of tea.’


  1. Hmmm...... A bit cruel, but I agree with your comments about the genre of sad and tortured lives.

  2. Sorry, Above comment from me, not Rant!!!
    Hmmm...... A bit cruel, but I agree with your comments about the genre of sad and tortured lives.

  3. OMG you MUST get that into print, you may well save lives .... thank you for sharing your experience with us ... I'll shoot the cover.

    Hope your well.

    mr b

  4. Thank yo Mr B. I only hope by sharing my pain, I can let others know they are not alone.

  5. Thanks John. Nice to see you back, haven't heard from you for a while.