It’s been around two and a half years since my mental meltdown at the hands of the British Red Cross, that pitiful excuse for a humanitarian organisation. They never even acknowledged the mental trauma they inflicted on me, or even admitted it ever happened. For this, I shall never forgive them. Recovery has been slow, fitful and sometimes non-existent. If you can call it recovery at all.
Quite apart from the meltdown – call it breakdown if you like, it’s the same thing – the consequences were dire, are still dire. I still hide away like a hermit for most of the time, I hate crowds, I hate unpredictably and need stability with no surprises; I have barely played golf, the game I came to love when I finished full time work. It is hard for me to overstate the contempt I feel for the British Red Cross. I am worried they may have ruined my life forever.
Sometimes, I feel like naming names, but then I remember that the Red Cross is a giant worldwide corporation, with more money and power than God, not least because the latter, unlike the Red Cross, actually doesn’t exist. Messrs Sue, Grabbit and Runne would be on my case quicker than you could launch an appeal to supply blankets to vulnerable people in a remote part of the world. One day, though. One day.
If I ever have doubts about my version of what happened, I turn my thoughts to a recent visit to the local branch of Sainsbury’s when I came upon a senior British Red Cross manager who, when seeing me, rushed quietly down the next aisle and out of the store. She would not have behaved like this because of anything I might have done and said because I actually liked her. I don’t bully or abuse people. I am particularly careful how I speak to, and interact with, women.
“You really should forget about the Red Cross and move on,” said a wise and particularly well-loved friend. Oh, how I would love to. I don’t wish revenge on the bullies and abusers. I don’t even wish them ill. I just wanted the British Red Cross in general and the actual bullies and abusers to say sorry. But sorry is the hardest word for the British Red Cross. That is why I can’t move on.
These scars run deep. The scars have brought an almost total loss of confidence, in believe in anything I do. They may have ruined my life. And if I don’t get better soon, I’m going to see them, oh so politely, and ask them to apologise.
If they had given me cancer, we’d probably be on our way through the courts. As they ‘only’ caused me severe depression and anxiety, apparently that doesn’t matter. Well, I haven’t forgotten. I’ll always be polite when and if I see you again. But I won’t pretend you’re not there. I won’t back down.