I chose Basil (who is in his lovely diecast Corgi car) because …
… he reminds me of what I have been through and how I have put this experience to good use on my (car) journey!
I first had Basil when I was 6. My dad gave him to me, he was a ‘ducker and diver’ and one of his things was being a car dealer. He also had serious mental illness and could be violent and abusive. My mother could do little about it, as she, my brother and me all suffered at his hands. As a result of abuse and lack of care I was moved between family and friends, and then into children’s homes. The only thing I had to take with me was my Basil car, which was so important to me as it was like a talisman – if Basil was with me things couldn’t get too bad.
When I was 12 a boy in the home I was in stamped on Basil and smashed him to pieces. I remember at the time feeling like he had killed Basil! I went on to become a social worker due to my experiences as I felt I might have something to offer – an understanding of what others might be going through.
When I had my own son I looked online and found a new Basil car – it seemed important as I now had my own family. I have no contact with any of my birth family but Basil remains an important object in reminding me what I have been through and how I was able to repair and heal through being a social worker and a mum.
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Thank you for sharing your moving and inspirational story here Rachel. This is such a reminder of what a wonderful project ’40 objects’ really is. My heart sank as I read about Basil’s fate. But I’m so happy to see you got through your experience and became a social worker and a mum. I appreciate you sharing that you’d been moved from your family into children’s homes. I can only imagine how the people with whom you’ve worked have benefitted from your empathy and understanding.
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