A Survivor’s Experience
I have been thinking about how to describe my experience with The Truth Project for anyone wanting to gain an understanding of what it was like. I definitely can’t describe it as negative or re – traumatising and words like “good”, “positive” and “developmental” don’t seem appropriate. The only word that seems to fit (for me anyway) is “different”. The reason why I chose the word “different” is because although the Truth Project have a specific agenda regarding hearing experiences and retracting information, I did not feel this was their priority at all. With every interaction / communication I had with them I felt the priority was solely my well-being and what I needed, an experience I have never experienced before from any professional / organisation or anyone to be honest.
The process involved with contributing to The Truth Project is straight forward and clearly outlined on their website which they stick to like clockwork. Completing the enquiry form on the website activates contact and starts the process. First, date and location are agreed. If transport and accommodation is needed they sort it all out and confirmed via email and isn’t a hassle. The Truth Project’s support worker input is optional.
As outlined on the website, a support worker at the Truth Project contacted me 4 weeks before the date of the interview. We agreed telephone contact was to be weekly up to the interview. The type of support is dependent on your needs, for me she listened to my worries or rather my lack of worries about the interview. She understood my lack of emotion and didn’t make me feel odd or different. She went through practicalities about the interview. Her main priority was “was I ok”, “what plans do I have before and after the interview to keep me safe and look after myself”. I was constantly reminded I could say as little or as much as I wanted. I completely believe that even if I had turned up on the day and said I had changed my mind this would have been accepted without judgment.
On the day of the interview again everything went clockwork yet it was taken at my pace. At no point did I feel like I was “being interviewed” after the legalities were retold to me, it was over to me to say whatever I wanted. The only intervention from the interviewer was to ask if I wanted a break and just ask me once for clarification on something I said to make sure she had understood me properly. It finished when I wanted it to. I was supported before I left re: safeguarding etc.
The Truth Project’s support worker input after the interview allowed me time to reflect on the interview. Although they only offer two support calls after the interview this was appropriate for me and enabled a planned, agreed and comfortable ending (again something I have not experienced with other professional / services).