How is everyone doing?

Discussion of the SES, particularly in the UK.
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Free Thinker
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How is everyone doing?

Postby Free Thinker » Wed Aug 16, 2006 3:24 am

Since it's been pretty quiet, I thought I'd just have a check-in thread.

I'm doing well. My relationship with my mother has vastly improved. We talk about many more issues than we did before, and I don't feel censored when I speak to her, which was a big deal before. While some old issues come up from time to time, she is much more vocal about how she feels, and is able to admit what is going on and identify it and discuss it with me, even if the conversations don't always end on a perfect note.

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Postby ET » Wed Aug 16, 2006 8:16 am

Nice idea, FT!

Since the stressful debacle with our private letters that were shown to our relatives, our family is kind of starting to move on. A good talk about everything with our SES relatives did help to clear the air a bit, although it wasn't perfect by any means.

It's very wierd to have everything more out in the open within the family after years of hiding the truth about how we were treated and how we felt about it.

Having had some contact with the "reconciliation" process started by the governors, all communication has ceased. To be honest, I can no longer be bothered to pursue it, as I think it is a monumental waste of my valuable time.

If all we are going to get out of this is a bit more honesty within the family, then I am happy to put up with that. Having said that, if there ever comes an opportunity to do more then I for one will definitely take it.

I hope to keep "checking in" on this board just to remind myself that there are so many of us who went through and are still going through the same experience, as I have found it immensely helpful.
Pupil at St James Girl's School from 1979-1989, from age 4-14. Parents ex-members of SES.

Rob Whiteman
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Postby Rob Whiteman » Wed Aug 16, 2006 2:30 pm

This Board has been a roller coaster ride for me. I found it 6 months or so after my father died. He was never prepared to discuss the schools. He just refused and moved the conversation to another topic - as you would expect this did not lead to a close relationship. We used to meet once a year to go to cricket matches at Lord's and speak occasionally on the phone.
Giving evidence to the Inquiry and reading the Boards was stressful, at a time when I was also suffering bullying and harassment at work. I was off with stress for 4 months last year and moved jobs in February. My experience of St Vedast gives me a very low acceptance of bullying, lower than what some regard as acceptable but not lower than what I regard as acceptable when you are employed by a Church. I used to work for the Scottish Episcopal Church and they seem to be happy for their staff to be bullied, certainly some of the central people are. Thankfully my new employers are far better.
You will not be surprised to hear that this all combined to put a strain on my whole life and must be seen as contributory to the fact that my wife, Martha Whiteman, walked out in May this year. This was totally unexpected for me and she refuses to discuss it at all, saying that she has already done so - not the case.
As with all these things no one event caused the rest but all added up. Suffce to say that the effect of St Vedast and the SES on my life both 30 years ago, in the last 2 years and in the intervening years in my realtionship with my father has been entirely negative. The only positive that I have got from it all is that it has united me more closely with my mother.
St Vedast 1975-6

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Postby bonsai » Wed Aug 16, 2006 3:12 pm

Thankyou for starting this thread FT. I was beginning to wonder why it was so quiet in here and where everyone had gone.

From my point of view I suspect I have got as far as I am going to get in resolving my own feelings and issues. Or at least as far as I am going to get for now. I broke my last connections with the SES this year, short of disowning my parents. I have had a number of tough but necessary conversations with my parents. These have crystalised my views on both what the SES and St James are, the realities of my experiences in these organisations and the consequences thereafter. For the most part I generally feel better.

I find it interesting that this whole process seems to involve, more than anything, reconciliation within families and I am glad to hear, that like me, this is happening for others too.

The fact that reconciliation does not seem to be actually happening with St James is desperately sad. It seems that once again the SES and St James are choosing their actions for the benefits of their own PR and to satisfy their own consciences with little regard for the people their past actions have affected and with little real thought for whom their future actions may affect.

For me the crunch point has come with the publication of the 1996 report by Marco Goldschmied. This is a report which states what many people knew was going on with the St James and the SES but dared not say. The fact that then this report was supressed and not acted upon together with the fact that Marco acknowledged that this would happen in the report itself is for me what reveals the true nature of the SES.

I don't know when this all ends but I feel that it is important that the pressure is maintained on these organisations such that they make the necessary changes to ensure that such travesties are never allowed to occur again.

I have been very surprised by the experience of contributing on this board. It has put a big strain on some of my relationships and it has forced me to examine things in myself both current and past that in many ways I'd have liked to shied away from.

It's good to read the progress that others are making and I still hold hope that the real healing can be achieved for all those who have been caught up in these organisations.

Regards to all

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