WATCH­ING THE EF­FECTS

VIVIEN BRIDGWATER IS TIMOTHY GILES’ FORMER PART­NER. SHE GIVES HER AC­COUNT OF THE IM­PACT OF THE IN­JURY.

Weekend Herald - Canvas - - COVER STORY -

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.

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