First blog post

This is the post excerpt.

This week I received an advance copy of my book.

For many years now I have wanted to share my story.

The thought that I may be able to help others by sharing my own experiences has been an important factor in my own recovery and healing process. It has given my suffering meaning and with this I am able to rise each morning, count my blessings and, in the words of Henry David Thoreau, ‘live deliberately’.

Well…I try!

Unfortunately this week I have also been plagued with nightmares. It has been exhausting.

Last night I had some particularly disturbing nightmares about the abuse I suffered whilst living at Denver House. After waking for a third time I called for my dog. She knows this routine well now. She dived under the covers, turned herself around and then settled down next to me with her head resting on the opposite pillow.

Having her next to me and listening to her breathing (snoring) helped me to ground myself in the present and go back to sleep.

This time I had a wonderful dream that I would like to share with you.

I dreamt that I was cycling along a winding, cobbled road that climbed a steep hill. I was tired and it was dark. The bike I had was not suited to the road I was riding along which made the journey difficult but I would not allow myself to stop. I had a sense that I was almost where I needed to be although I had no idea where I was or where I was going.

I kept on cycling until I reached a flat surface on the hill. I stopped just as the sun began to rise. As it rose it spilled light over everything below it, revealing a beautiful town just on the other side of the hill. Beyond the town I could see the ocean glistening.

I like the way the light of the sun takes the place of the night’s darkness each morning.

I am grateful that I am enveloped by this light every day no matter how long the night before it.

The sunrise reminds me that light finds it’s way into all places in the same way that our inner light will shine through an open heart and wash over all of the darkness we have known.

Let us promise to keep rising and shining!



Everybody’s changing and I don’t feel the same…

… is a line from a song by Keane that resonated with me when I was 17. I heard it playing on the radio recently and remembered how difficult it had been for me to watch my childhood friends attend college and then later on, university, when I could not.

At 17, I was unable to continue studying as I was suffering from the effects of the abuse that was still ongoing at that point in my life. Although I didn’t understand that at the time. I blamed myself. I believed that I wasn’t good enough and that there was something inherently wrong with me which was the reason why I was unable to progress in the same way that my friends were able to.

I didn’t understand that I was contending not only with the effects of PTSD, but also with the challenge of living independently at a young age, with no emotional support and financially reliant upon the benefit I’d been encouraged to apply for by my leaving care worker.

Now, nearly 19 years later, I am weeks away from earning a first class degree in counselling that will allow me to offer professional support to others who’ve experienced adversity and abuse. This week also marked the 5 year anniversary of the publication of trafficked girl.

I feel incredibly thankful to have reached this point in my life and I hope this post brings hope to anyone reading who also resonates with Keane’s song, everybody’s changing.

You are not alone.

-Zoe Patterson

-Fighting Back

Sexual Abuse & Sexual Violence Awareness Week 2023


Did you know that if you have been raped or have suffered any kind of sexual assault or abuse, at any point in your life, you can submit an anonymous report to the police without them knowing any of your personal details via Blue Sky Centre.

This UK service can support those who decide they do not wish to make a formal report to the police but would like to provide anonymous information to them.

Anonymous reporting helps the police build up a picture about what is happening in their area without them knowing anything about you.

If you decide to report anonymously, Blue Sky Centre will write an anonymous account of what happened and submit it to the police. They can also direct you to local services in your area that offer the same service.

If at any point you decide you would like to formally report the abuse to the police, Blue Sky Centre can arrange this for you. There is also the option of having an informal chat with the police before formally reporting should you so wish.

Whatever your decision, Blue Sky Centre will respect your wishes and support you through every step of the reporting process, be that anonymously or formally.

To find out more please visit: https://blueskycentre.org


You are not alone.

It was not your fault.

Help and support is out there.


-Zoe Patterson – Fighting Back

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