Flashbacks of the past

by Charlotte Fantelli

Not all fun and games!

Up until now I have tried to keep my blog posts quite light - as I want to inspire you and let you all know that life with a mental illness does not have to mean a life of confinement and struggle.

Today I want to share with you a more harsh side. A side of myself that I sometimes hide behind the jokes and the stilettos. I want to share this to let you know that I do understand that sometimes things get too much!

The other night we watched a programme on TV, probably not the best programme for someone with a history like mine, but my shell is hard and my skin is thick, so I thought... It was a CSI thing, but as the story played out it was quite graphic in it's depiction of child abuse. 

All of a sudden I flipped inside!

Instead of being a 27-year-old wife, mother, business woman, I went back to being a 13-year old scared kid. Back to the blackness, the darkness, the fear.

I ran away.

My husband tried to hold me but I ran.

I threw my mobile phone at the wall and ran out the house. I got in the car and I drove - 

I drove fast, determined to keep driving 'til I ran out of road. Visions of the past kept coming into my head. This song played over and over...

Don't stop dancing - Creed

I saw visions and flashbacks and the shutters stared coming down - the ones that turn me from a human being into being numb.

'I'm not them!' My husband's word ringing in my head after I had pushed him away, as I had so often punished him for the mistakes others had made.


The state of numbness I used to feel was a blessing, safer than the raw emotions. I know now that it maybe those raw emotions that cause us pain, but it is also those raw emotions that keep us safe. As I felt myself slipping into the numb and dark place my foot got heavier and heavier on the pedal.

I had a choice right then, to slip into that dark place, or to come home.

I thought of you guys. I thought of all the people I have contact with who feel this way too.

I thought of my beautiful son and my wonderful husband who was sat at home worried sick. I thought of my business partner and the incredible opportunity I had laid out before me.

I thought of the letters I received from people telling me how Uncovered and Mental healthy have already changed their lives - one lady who'd been bulimic 29 years is now 7 weeks free because of Uncovered's eating disorder feature, another girl just 17 has gone for counselling after reading Uncovered, an agoraphobic girl now has a job... The list goes on.

How could I be so selfish, how could I allow the s**t from the past endanger me now? To come between me and all I have and want to achieve - it didn't then, and I sure as hell am not going to let it now.

Finding my way home

I ease off the throttle and turn the car towards home.

With my head hung, I walk into the lounge and say sorry to my husband - something I find hard to do!

'You promised never to go off like that when you got that way!' his love for me as apparent as his anger.

His anger soon melted as he held me and I knew - no matter how much the past comes to bite me on the arse, and I know it will time and again! - I am free, and I am not going to stop dancing for anyone, especially for those who did me wrong!

I came home!


Well - you've done it again - reduced me to tears. You special, special person - you better keep dancing - where would I (and so many others) be if you stopped?

Thank you xxx

Charlotte you have had some intensenly painful and deeply traumatic life experiences and I tonight thank God that you were able to think of Gabrielle, and your mum, and Simon, and all your contributors and readers, and to survive this unbelievable pain and blind panic and return safely home.

I have had flashbacks which have made me feel life can't go on but I have never experienced anything like as big a trauma as you have and it's truly OK to not be OK with it and to lose it occasionally.

But you are a fighter and I hope that with the support and love of everyone around you, you will beat these demons and I think your sexual fantasies feature in issue 4 of Uncovered demonstrates your determination to lead as normal a life as possible, whilst still being traumatised understandably by the past. I am so very proud of you and a little tearful.

I have not known you very long but really value your support and friendship and the thought of you not coming back from your drive has left me in a state of shock.

Please stay safe -- and keep dancing in the rain.


Thank you Ian for your kind words. Do not worry about me, as I emailed to you personally, I really am very happy.

I am in a place that I can fall down and know I have the strength to get back up, that is a powerful place to be. I have great support and am secure enough in myself to identify my brink just before I go over it! :-)

You too take care please,



You're an amazing person Charlotte. Unfortunately, these blips do happen and I guess that programme was a trigger for you. Kudos to you for getting through it :-) You're clearly a very resilient, strong lady! Carrie H.

Thanks for that Carry,

I hope by identifying the fact that I have troubles from time to time people will see that it's OK to have bad days. I know I worried a few people and I want to say I am fine, the point was not about me, but was about the fact that it is possible to hold down a job, a family a great life and still be scarred and flawed and scream from time to time.

Looking forward to your blog :-)


Love you, love your words Charlotte... you have a beautiful soul xxx Kayleigh xxx

Thank you Kayla, you are an inspiration to me. I am sure together there will be some big and wonderful things in the future. C x

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