Escaping the Fear – My Story of Survival


SKU e-book Category

175 in stock


By Lynne Hanson

ISBN: 978-1-84991-851-0
Published: 2012
Pages: 120
Key Themes: Mental Health, Domestic Abuse, Depression, Self Harm, ECT, CBT, Survival, Anti-Depressants, Anti-Psychotics, Mental Illness, Mental Distress


This is a book of three parts. First, Lynne tells us her life story and of the abuse she suffered as a child, from her mother, and then from her ex-husband. This abuse resulted in her suffering mental distress and NOT mental illness. She describes how she was treated by authorities such as police and social services when she finally left her husband.

Lynne was treated extremely badly by those people and so the second part of this book examines her many issues and complaints. She highlights the many shortcomings of all the authorities and gives suggestions for improvements.

The final part tells of the organisations and methods that she found helpful to her. These include The Freedom Programme run by Women’s Aid and the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which she was able to access via the Job Centre.

About the Author

Lynne Hanson was born in the North West of England in 1954 but moved frequently in the UK and between the UK and Africa due to her fathers’ work as a film cameraman.

Life with her mother and later with her ex-husband resulted in many stays on psychiatric wards, being treated for depression with ECT and a cocktail of drugs.

After failing her A-Level examinations she studied the Mathematics and Science Foundation Courses and embarked on a Physics degree course whilst bringing up her young son.

Lynne also gained a teaching qualification in Mathematics and Physics (Post Graduate Certificate in Education, PGCE) and is a fully qualified teacher. Her next achievement was to gain a Masters Degree in Microwave Solid State Physics (some may think that she must have been slightly mad to tackle that subject!).

She then worked in the nuclear industry until the birth of her third child, after which she became ill again, following eleven years of domestic abuse from her ex-husband. She has worked hard to recover but is still tormented by the fact that she has not seen her two youngest children for over 7 years – through no fault of her own.

Lynne is now happily married to Ian and they live in Spain.

Book Extract

Early Education

My early education was very disrupted due to the frequent moves and I think I went to 13 different infant and junior schools before becoming settled at Pendleton High School for Girls in Salford. We arrived back in the UK just in time for me to sit the 11 plus exam, so that would be 1963 or 1964. I came ‘borderline’ in that exam and had to sit another set of exams which I passed.

I have never understood how or why Ron and Joan chose a house in Park Road, Salford; it was a large house just on the border of Eccles and very near Hope Hospital. It was big, old and very scary. Ron was working at Granada film studios as a film cameraman and drove into work so I’m sure we could have lived somewhere nicer. Because of the nature of Ron’s work I met some ‘interesting’ characters:- Charles Haughtrey stands out because he used to like visiting our house to play with our dolls house and tea set! Ron told me about the time he was filming at Margaret Rutherford’s house – he needed the bathroom and when he put the toilet seat up, written around the edge were the words – ‘Hurrah! There’s a man in the house!’ Ron would also tell us about how he would film rides at Blackpool whilst being strapped to the outside of the roller coaster and hang upside down from helicopters. I’m sure he preferred that, to being shot down whilst parachuting. He was a war hero and a very courageous man. I can never understand how such a man could be so afraid of my mother.

This is probably not unique but, I actually dreaded the school holidays. Joan had got used to having servants around and that meant that I became those servants – skirting boards were a major issue, being inspected daily! I dreaded being sent out to get the shopping as Joan would scrutinise the receipts, and count the change, if there was any discrepancy I was either sent back to sort it out or I would make it up out of the pocket money Ron gave me.

Every day was filled with fear:- what have I missed, what should I have done, was the ironing done to Joan’s standards, were the clothes put away correctly? Of course everything I did was wrong; “Your head will never save your legs!” was a frequent put down, if I didn’t carry enough crockery from the kitchen to the cupboard in the morning room; the ironing was neither “done nor left alone”. It was my job to wash up, look after John and my sisters, clean the house and I still had school work to get through.

When I got home from school I had to look after my siblings, set the table ready for tea and on no account was I to play with anyone. I did that one afternoon and was in serious trouble because I hadn’t set the table! After tea I had to wash the pots and then set the table in the morning room ready for breakfast next day. Of course I still had my homework to get through and by the time that was finished I was shattered.

Another task was to take the dog for a walk (when we had one); Joan must have liked large dogs and I can remember Brutus a Great Dane, and Hassan an Afghan Hound; I am not sure which was first though. The dogs in Ndola were Brumus (Collie) and Chummy (Boxer). Chummy ‘disappeared’ one day and I think he was taken by some other servants to feed their families.


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