When the initial findings from the former Tuam Mother and Baby Home came out on March 3rd 2017, there was an outpouring of testimony from survivors who'd clearly waited their entire lives to share their stories; perhaps for the first time.
Just imagine the pain of that- nigh on impossible for most of us.
On 'LiveLine'- a radio show on RTE 1 hosted by Joe Duffy, we heard one horrific story after another about the abuses suffered by residents from the former Mother and Baby Homes nationwide. Clearly, people have experienced trauma upon trauma upon trauma and for fear of not being heard or believed, have never spoken about the horrors heaped upon them. Imagine the added torture of living an entire life with such palpable pain which when finally conveyed, was communicated so directly to our HEARTS. Joe held 'space' so well during that fortnight but I wonder how many people have the continued support of a counsellor?
As yet, this support system is not widely available to former residents (promises have come from Simon Coveney and Katherine Zappone) but one wonders how the survivors feel once the news is out?
Are they glad to have finally unburdened themselves - or not?
Currently we have a system which puts the abused on trial, this has to STOP.
It's vitally important that we too are present with their testimonies. Sometimes they're so terribly difficult to listen to because the details are so awful or the teller is so distraught in the recounting of them, that'd it'd be so easy to turn away or turn off the radio/tv. If we were all to pay full attention to the survivors and fully ACCEPT their testimonies, there's no way the status quo could remain.