WATCHING THE EFFECTS
VIVIEN BRIDGWATER IS TIMOTHY GILES’ FORMER PARTNER. SHE GIVES HER ACCOUNT OF THE IMPACT OF THE INJURY.
One day Giles came to visit me and told me that he had been assaulted the night before by four young men. At the time I didn’t realise how our lives would all change. We had separated some time before and I was the mother of three children, the youngest “our” daughter. After the first incident I gradually became a solo mother. Giles had left all of us.
I was consumed with the impact of childcare, the practicalities of a working mother, a burgeoning career, and the care of all three children. My eldest daughter became a teenage co-parent to her baby sister.
Our daughter created together has been on a different and long journey with her father. For her, much closer, much harder. For her it was skin-to skin, heart-to-heart. It is a journey and commitment for life. The years have passed. She is now a young, beautiful, compassionate, focused, smart, innovative, business woman, a tribute to both of us, our family, and shared community of support.
I am still careful what I say so not to cause offence or upset. I still don’t understand some things. I still worry. But what I do know after all these years, that despite the journey, the lifechanging events, despite memory loss, sadness and grief, pain, grumpiness, frustration, and long silences, Giles did not leave us. He did not leave his beloved daughter.
Giles comes to us with love and his soul fully present. I know he still feels alone but it is a journey that we are all still going through, together. We are stronger as wh nau and as individuals. The power of love holds all of us safely in kind and generous arms.