Troubador Full Circle

Released: 01/03/2013

eISBN: 9781780886688

Format: eBook

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Full Circle


My body shook with the first kick to my naked body. His boots were heavy. First he kicked at my legs. Then my thighs. I curled in a ball to try to protect myself, his kicks penetrated me, the bones in my back and ribs felt like they were crumbling. I knew I was going to die... Screams echoed around the room as I tried to reach up to the window so I could jump out.

 Full Circle continues the life story of Jane Hersey which began with Breath in the Dark. It tells the harrowing true tale of a socially isolated young woman, who is neglected, physically and emotionally abused and living in poverty and deprivation. ‘I was 16 years old when I left Manchester, struggling with emotional and related physical problems. Unable to hold down a job I found myself homeless. Coerced into a relationship I quickly became pregnant. Soon after my partner turned extremely violent. The emotional and physical abuse was relentless. After a life threatening beating I left in the middle of the night with my 18 month old baby. Refused help by the Homeless Families Department because I had lived out of Manchester for three years, I found myself homeless with a baby, at the mercy of unscrupulous people, forced into prostitution and sexually exploited. Eventually I found an attic flat for myself and my son in a dilapidated, vermin infested house. Three years later the Jewish Social Services got involved and offered me a decent flat on condition that I brought my son up in the Jewish faith, I agreed. I was 25 when I returned to the Jewish community. 

The first book in this autobiographical series was featured in The Jewish Telegraph, Ireland’s Big Issue and Jane appeared on a wide range of radio shows from Newstalk to the BBC. It’s been reviewed by the Madness and Literature Network (University of Nottingham) and included on the reading list for mental health nurses and recommended as a key text for clinicians, students, carers and parents.

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Jane Hersey

I was born in the Cheetham Hill area of Manchester in 1953. This area of Manchester was part of one of the largest Jewish communities outside London. I have lived on the Fylde Coast for the past 30 years. As well as writing I have many interests which include gardening, cooking, walking and classical music.

In 1980 I moved in with my husband to be. I thought my behaviour was normal, eventhough I was in a constant state of physical and mental breakdown. Frequently running away, attempting to find another family in case this one failed. My sexual and emotional feelings misplaced and confused, an 'obsessive' loop had developed because of all the years of isolation and lack of stimulation. Every new event and conversation had to be replayed in my mind to the point of mental exhaustion. My husband was deeply concerned. I was admitted to a psychiatric unit and my husband was told that I would never be able to lead an independent life. In 1984 I was reluctantly given a place in a psychotherapeutic community. Soon after I was told that I was intelligent and that I could use my intelligence to help myself. I asked them how they would 'cure' me. I was told that I had to live with my memories and personality, they couldn't be erased. In psychotherapy I learned about myself, about others and about the real world. In other words I started to develop as a human being with the psychological tools to tentatively navigate my way through life.

The aim of my writing is to try to raise awareness of the effects of deep and prolonged poverty and deprivation.

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