Fast forward to November 2013, I was very depressed. I had split with my partner and moved back in with my parents. I had been through unsuccessful brain surgery, in an attempt to cure my epilepsy. Unemployed, with nothing happening, I felt absolutely no purpose in life.

Then one day, I came across Brake when browsing online. I called Brake to tell my story and ask how I could help promote safe roads. I received a very grateful and supportive response and was asked to take part in a day of media spotlight for Road Safety Week. Although I was unaware of what this would involve, I said yes.

Throughout the day, I did non-stop press, tv and radio interviews. I had never been on tv before, or discussed my story with anyone other than lawyers and psychologists. The thought of it made me very nervous but decided I had to try, because of the importance of road safety.

It was the most unforgettable, lifechanging day. I’ll never forget the admiration I received from people, for what felt like the first time in my life. After a youth full of court proceedings and constant criticism, the compliments and recognition meant the world to me. One of my happiest moments was reading an article where I was referred to as ‘a woman’ – it was the first time I had felt seen as an adult and the memory still makes me cry happy tears.

From that day, I began my overdue teenage era, finally gaining the freedom to explore and find my identity. I discovered how much I love to volunteer and campaign for matters close to me. From this I found many new friendships, confidence, laughter and a purpose in life.

Speaking about my trauma can be hard. Although it happened over 25 years ago, it is still my life, all the problems I’m left with and the effect it has on my future. However, raising awareness gives me a true sense of purpose. I feel such value and reward when I receive a social media message from a stranger telling me they were touched by my latest interview. Since helping Brake, I have signed up with more charities to share my other traumas and raise awareness. I enjoy speaking for myself so much and hope that by sharing my stories I can help others.

I couldn’t be more grateful to Brake for giving me the opportunity to promote road safety awareness. From this, I have found my voice and a strong sense of purpose. When I am campaigning and reaching out to others, I know why I am alive.

CAUTHERY Imogen Filming

Imogen Cauthery

Volunteer, Brake