I had been working in an office for 24 years. I was bullied from 2010 to 2016.
It was really subtle, just little things. I was getting treated differently from everyone else. By the time I got to May 2016, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Before then, I was crying every single day leaving work. My girls at that time were eight and twelve. I didn’t want them to see that I was crying all the time. When I was leaving work, my eyes were all puffy and red from crying.
In my mind all the time, I had this downward spiral of negative thoughts. I wasn’t sleeping.
On the 3rd of May 2016, I drove to the chapel. There was nobody there. It was just open for prayer. I was looking at the tabernacle, and I was like, “God, I cannot cope one more day with my life. I’ve got two beautiful girls. I can’t leave them. I know they’d never cope if I killed myself. I know all these miracles 2000 years ago, but I need to know about miracles now.”
I went to the parish house door. Father Andrew went, “Mhairi, are you okay?”
I told him I wanted to kill myself, all because of work. He said, “You cannot go back to that job.”
I went, “I’ve been there 24 years. I like the people. I like the actual work. I’ll never get another job with those good hours.” I knew what was happening to me was wrong, but I couldn’t fix it, and I just wanted to fix it.
He prayed with me and prayed over me. He said, “Please don’t go back to that job,” so after that day, I went off sick.
I just kept going to church because I felt safe there. I’d go to the Vigil Mass. I’d go to the novena.
After a few weeks, I felt like I needed to give something back to the church so I joined the Legion of Mary. Every Monday was the meeting with the Rosary then we talked about business. Then two hours, either on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, we would visit old people in nursing homes with dementia.
Then I started looking up things on the internet about miracles, and I came across Medjugorje. I don’t know how I’d never heard about it before because my mom and dad were devout Catholics, but it was never mentioned.
I said to one of the ladies in the Legion of Mary, “Have you ever heard of Medjugorje?”
And she was like, “I’ve been. There’s a woman that runs the Legion of Mary in Edinburgh. She goes every year. I’ll give her your email address.”
I emailed her and it happened so quickly and so easily. She just said, “Oh yeah. We’re going on the 3rd of May next year, 2017. Do you want to come?”
I was like, “Yeah I want to come.” Before I knew it, the flights were booked, and I was going with them. I had never met these people before.
It was exactly a year from the day that I had my worst breakdown and I spoke to Father Andrew. I was in Medjugorje.
After two or three days, I was like, “This is real. This is absolutely real. This is definitely happening.”
The group I came with, there were a lot of old ladies. My mum had died in 2002. When I met all these ladies, they were my mum’s age, and I felt protected by them. Because I had such trauma with being bullied, I didn’t trust anybody. My husband and my girls were the only safe place I had. Everything outside my home, I felt I couldn’t trust people.
These women reminded me so much of my mum, the old fashioned Catholic mum. I just felt like they were protecting me. I could see my mum in them, their personalities.
I came for four days. By the third day, I had the peace and felt great and I slept the whole night. I hadn’t slept the whole night for years. I had never been anywhere that I would not miss my girls, but I wasn’t missing them. I was loving being here.
It’s hard to explain, but I knew it was all true. I felt safe. I felt at home. It was like a second home.
After meeting people who treated me badly, I was so rock bottom. Everybody frightened me. I thought, “What are they going to do to me?” Not in a physical way but in an emotional way. I was so broken, like the most broken you could ever be.
I didn’t trust people until those Catholic ladies started to protect me.
When my daughter was born, I just loved her so much right away. She just looked at me and there could have been lightning, between her and me, the love was just amazing instantly. I couldn’t believe I was getting to keep her.
It was along those lines, the feeling here. You feel safe, protected, loved. I just knew it was all perfect and right. Ever since that first trip, I have never felt suicidal, depressed, or extreme anxiety. I’ve never hit that rock bottom ever again.
I trust people again. I went six years being frightened all the time of people hurting me emotionally. I lived in fear all the time. All of that went totally away.
Come. You have to come. I’m at the stage now that I would actually pay people to come. That sounds silly, but I would love so many of my friends to come. I know once they’re actually here, they’ll get it, they’ll get the feeling, the peace.
You know when you’re a child and you have an innocent feeling? The world hasn’t corrupted you yet. You get that feeling here.
I just love it.
This is definitely the safest place in the world for comfort, the safest place emotionally, and for your heart to be protected.