Neutiquam Erro - Chapter Six

Based on a true story, this work has been in progress for 10 years. Alongside the stories are the poems, songs and artwork that have accompanied the journey of a child.

Neutiquam Erro is Latin and translates in English to “I am not lost at all”.


I hold tightly..but it slips from my grasp…

Spiralling out of control…

Falling into an inky blackness..

I tried so hard to hold on…

Clawed at it to keep it close…

stretched beyond my own abilities just so I could hold it….

If only I had seen it slipping..

If only I had been more prepared..

If only I could have put a net in place to catch it as it fell

I will miss it…

Or will I? ………………..

I watch detatched as it floats away just out of my reach…….

Will I even know I have finally lost my sanity?



She was in her mid thirties now and learning to step out of the grey fog. Part of her process for finding healing included telling the police about her mother’s complicity in the secret.

Something she had refused to do as a child even though the social workers hinted they already knew.

Recalling everything moment by moment was hard, the solicitor and his wife seemed such lovely people. She was once again that dirty little girl; she didn’t want to make these nice people dirty with her story.

She had given all the details to the police and was trying to find the court records via phone from interstate. The ladies on the phone were very helpful but after repeated attempts she was finally told bluntly that this court case, with these particular names, had never taken place at that courthouse.

She was adamant. She knew it was the right court case, she knew it happened! Didn’t it?

The lady insisted it did not.

Her world completely tilted. The floor slipped sideways. If it never happened, then what did happen? What was real? Did any of it really happen? Her mind reeled. Were her children real? Was any of it real? She sat on the kitchen floor holding the phone. Was it real? Even the fact that she could touch it did nothing to reassure her of its validity as her mind began to lose it hold on reality… awareness accompanied by such a sense of nothingness that neither bothered nor pleased her… It just was.

By miracle a letter was on the counter from a young woman she had not spoken to in over 15 years. Her foster sister - If her letter was real, she was real, If she was real, the foster family was real, if they were real, then she really was in foster care. If she was in foster care, there was a court case… Step by step her mind went back over each thing she could connect to the very real letter in front of her.

Finally she could connect her children, her partner and even the dog… She was shaken, but she was back and very aware her mind had slipped a gear.

Speaking with a Psychologist later he explained it was a dissociative moment and can occur when the mind gets a sudden shock or trauma. It can last days, moments, weeks or years, and some people never come back.

She wondered if this young woman, her little foster sister, had any idea when she wrote that letter, that her efforts would bring her back from the edge of madness?

She did eventually find the court records; one of the middle names was a first name. Such a simple mistake and it almost cost her mind.


short_stories | literature

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