Thursday, 3 November 2011

A Missed Call

It is 4 a.m. on a Sunday morning.
I wake up worrying about a missed phone call from the UK (we now live in America, though our son is still missing in the UK).  I had missed the call yesterday, but it was not a number I recognized and they seemed to have left no message.  I wake in the wee hours of Sunday still wondering who it is.  It must be about Damien? 
At 6 a.m. I check my old messages again and this time find that I have a voicemail, left on Friday, from this person who “has information on what happened to Damien”….evidently my husband listened to it and forgot to tell me about this call, but that is another matter!
I call the person back, having now realized who it is, and by 7 a.m. I am in possession of ‘new information.’ Or is it information? It was a “someone said something to somebody but we don’t know who that somebody is and the someone who told somebody was afraid to come forward.”  That kind of thing.
It was the second this week….
We have had this same scenario many, many times over the years with “information”.  I publically, loudly announce that anyone can come to me with sightings, tips, etc., and I am eternally grateful to everyone who does. I am sure, way back when, in our ‘normal’ life, this ‘information’ would have thrown me into a complete emotional tizzy and scarred me for life. But now, each lead is just another possibility and I have no feelings at all - just another frown line and crease in my brow. 
I think that people have to turn off a ‘valve’ somewhere to avoid going into a complete melt-down. I have learnt to think methodically, analyze the facts, and place them in this compartment of my mind reserved for shattering information. It is a learned self-preservation mechanism. I am so pleased to hear that Missing People are working on a program with trained therapists to develop an understanding of this emotional dilemma, the definition of ambiguous loss, and all the trimmings that come with having a missing person situation in the family. 
So please don’t worry about upsetting people like us. Please don't stop coming forward. If you have any information, speak up. Yes, it is difficult to hear but it is a fact of life that families like mine live with, and we’d rather have to bear the haunting details than have none at all. We are hanging on desperately, hoping for the next piece of the puzzle. Anything, no matter how small it may seem to you, could end up meaning something big to us, and help end this life of not knowing.

By Valerie Nettles
Mother of missing Damien Nettles

1 comment:

  1. Valerie, thank you for this. The last part is really important and glad you wrote this.
    I really hope you find answers soon.


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