A Return, a Revelation, and a Renewed Commitment

Do you ever write a blog post or email, delete it, then write it again, and delete it ad nauseam? If you’re anything like me with this post, you get it. I’ve been writing and rewriting this ‘return to the blog’ post for the past two months, yet I’ve never shared a single version.

So, here goes…

At the start of 2023, I wrote a “return” post after recovering from a major burnout. I’m hitting refresh and sharing a new ‘return’ post! Why? Well, the first one was missing one key detail. I didn’t leave it out by choice. It was a requirement in Scots Law.

When I wrote that post, I naively convinced myself that I could get back to working on Running the Asset with zero distractions. I was so, so wrong.

A Wee Bit of Background Info

Hold up. You’re probably wondering what the hell Scots Law has to do with anything. Let’s jump back to October 2022 so I can get you caught up. So, there I was, coming out of my burnout and looking forward to working on the editing phase. 

Cue the plot twist!

While waiting in a car park, I overheard a couple arguing. I wasn’t the only one who’d heard them. There was one other person there, a woman parked beside them. An ally if we had to step in.

The situation quickly escalated to where I feared for the woman’s safety. I nodded to my ally that we should do something as I got closer… but she jumped in her car and drove off.

As much as I didn’t want to put myself in danger, there was no way I could walk away, not when the woman was begging the man to go. I approached and finally saw how terrified the woman was. The guy had been so intent on the woman that he didn’t even know I was there. Eventually, I got his attention and got him away from her car—he was trying all her doors and refusing to leave.

The Bit with Scots Law

I’ve skipped many details here; we (me and Jez, who arrived just as the guy was leaving in his car) stayed with her while she called the police. She told us how the guy had been stalking her online and in person after driving hundreds of miles up from England.

The next day, the police came to our house to interview us. The interview went well, and the polis said the case would likely go to court. I knew what was coming, a warning not to discuss the matter. In Scots Law, it is illegal to talk about an ongoing case; it’s called Contempt of Court and can land you in jail for a wee bit. I had no issue with that, but for some reason, something changed inside me when he told me that I wasn’t allowed to talk about it with anyone.

The First ‘Return’

I tried to ignore the odd feeling, that change, through the rest of October and November. By December, I’d convinced myself that the case was over, as I’d heard nothing for a couple of months. I was starting to feel a bit better in myself. Which led me to write that first ‘Return’ post in January.

Not two weeks after that post did I receive a text telling me that a court date had been set. It landed like a blow. That odd change amplified. I struggled to write my blog posts and interact with others. I ended up retreating into myself more and more.

But I fought through the reluctance to post and interact, mostly. I kept reminding myself that it was only two months until the court date.

On Shaky Ground

And then mid-February hit with a new text message. The court date had changed to May, and new citations were coming. That’s around the time I stopped posting altogether.

I was paralysed. It was as if I’d been physically gagged. The thing is, I couldn’t understand why I was reacting this way. I understood the need to not talk about the case. I wholeheartedly support it. But for some reason, it shut me down.

Then things went, well, shite. The citation didn’t arrive in February, so by March, I contacted the courts to get one sent out. “Sit and wait.” That was the standard response I got through March and April.

Fury, Relief, and Unrelenting Fear

By May, whatever the hell I was dealing with internally had me near breaking point. I had fully closed in on myself and felt like I was back in a not-so-nice time in my life. I managed to track down the number of the office dealing with the case. After telling the man on the other end of the line that I wouldn’t be at court without the citation, he huffed out a breath that was the audible version of a shrug and said, “he pled guilty yesterday.”

I was a bundle of conflicting emotions. Grateful that neither the woman nor I had to go to court. Fury over the severe lack of professionalism shown by the local court officers. And still, that dark pit that felt a lot like fear, that had shown up when I’d been instructed not to talk about the case.

I thought the fear would have left me when it was over. But it gripped me tight. It took me a couple of months of trying to write this post to realise that I wouldn’t get rid of it until I faced it.

Writing Solves Everything, Kinda

I journal most mornings; it’s where I figure out problems, solutions, and mess about with story problems. So, a couple of weeks ago, I set myself the task of uncovering whatever the fuck was messing me up.

It wasn’t the law. It wasn’t how the polis said it—he was actually very nice about it. When I dissected it all, the answer hit me so hard that I had to walk away from my journal. It was because he was someone in authority telling me what I couldn’t tell people.

I’d had that before. It was my entire childhood and early adulthood. I was never allowed to talk to family, friends, teachers, or social workers without my parent’s permission. And only then, after weeks of coaching on what I could say, what lies I had to tell. I learnt very quickly that not speaking at all was the safest route.

The Conclusion Bit

This is the part of the post where I’m supposed to tell you that I’m totally over it and that I’m all set for the next chapter. But I’m not. I’m still trying to find the voice I locked up again after all these years. I hope that I can find my way back faster by sharing this.  And I also hope that if you ever experience this kind of setback, you can try journaling to pinpoint the cause and find your way back.

I won’t promise to return to my old posting schedule, but I will be back. I’ve been working slowly on the edits for Running the Asset, and it’s turning into the kind of story I’d love to read.

Before I sign off, I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been asking after me. I really appreciate your thoughts, and knowing that you care was a bright light in the darkness. And finally, thanks to Jez for always being there for me 🥰.

Until next time, take care and stay amazing.

Author: Susan T. Braithwaite

Royal Navy veteran from Scotland. My journey into writing started with a screenwriting certificate program at UCLA Ext. Since then, I've worked as a freelance content writer, erotica author, proofreader, professional beta reader, and content editor. I'm now working hard on my dream writing career: romantic suspense author. When I'm not writing, I can be found drinking too much coffee, obsessing over yarn, and planning world domination with my husband, jezbraithwaite.blog, and our squirrel army.​

8 thoughts on “A Return, a Revelation, and a Renewed Commitment

  1. Judy says:

    Bless you for not leaving her alone, for not running away. Give yourself time to process and recover.

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Judy! I’m taking things slowly for now, but I will get there. 💖

  2. Chris Hall says:

    Blimey. That was dreadful; really horrible. I hope you’re healing now but gently does it.

    1. Thanks, Chris 🤗. I’m forcing myself to take it easy–playing Halo with Jez is top of my list for that 😊

      1. Chris Hall says:

        Halo – excellent!

  3. bushboy says:

    Terrible experience. Always here for you Susan 🤗

    1. Thank you, Brian. I really appreciate your kind words and that you always ask after me. You’re a star 💖

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