The Story so Far by Cassie Harte

The reason I first decided to write my autobiography, was after a television program I saw about how childhood trauma can affect the whole of a person’s life. For the early part of my own life, being sexually abused by an ‘uncle’ and cruelly treated by my own mother, I thought this was normal. That all children had these things done to them. When becoming close to my childhood best friend Claire, I realised that they didn’t. I took this as being my fault, that I must have done something terribly wrong for my Mum and Uncle to do these things to me, or rather the things he did and the lack of love or kindness from her. I was to blame. Claire’s mum loved her and no one was hurting her in the way my ‘uncle’ was hurting me. For most of my life I believed that. Until I ‘found myself’, back in the early ’80’s, after breaking free from antidepressants and realising that actually, they were the ones who were behaving badly, not me. None of what had happened to me as a child was my fault. You don’t know how wonderful that realisation was. It still took me years to actually fully believe, that when things went wrong, it wasn’t down to me. I remember one day, Lucy ,Daniel and I were watching the news, she was around 12 years of age and she turned and asked why there was a war and why the soldiers were fighting. Quick as a flash, without a thought Daniel said  ‘Oh it must be your Mum’s fault, you know how everything bad in the world is”. At first I was shocked then I could see the funny side, not the funny side of war obviously, there is nothing funny about that, but the fact that I always took and accepted the blame in any situation. That was how I felt.

When I trained to become a Psychotherapist to help victims of sexual abuse amongst other issues, I fully accepted that none of what had happened was down to me. After my training and gaining my Masters, I was then strong enough to visit the horrors of my childhood and write I DID TELL I DID. I wrote most of it at the dead of night when the family were all asleep. I couldn’t risk being interrupted, I knew how going back to the terrors and fears of my early days would be so hard and I had to be alone to face this, as I was when it happened, alone. My childhood had been full of fear, horror and loneliness. Scared every day of my life, right into my early 20’s, I didn’t know what not feeling afraid felt like.

My plan was to use this book to help other victims become survivors. I had made something of my life, I had become a respected Practitioner and a respected woman, wife and Mum. I wanted those who had suffered in the way I had suffered, to find inspiration in my story and gain faith, that they too can become survivors. It worked. Not as much as I had liked, I had wanted to write the book in my own name, name and shame but I wasn’t allowed to do so for legal reasons so used a pseudonym,. This prevented me from going around the country and helping sufferers of abuse but the book sold so well, became a Sunday Times bestseller and I soon received hundreds and hundreds of letters, emails, message etc from readers. It was amazing. My training in Counselling had made me a much stronger woman. I knew I must have been strong anyway to have survived the nasties of my younger life. At this time, I loved helping other victims break free from sexually abusive homes or relationships, write to those who needed comfort or help and help in anyway that I could, in the way help was never given to me. This was an amazing time and I ‘met’ many wonderful people through Social Media and email.

I had told my birth family of my book and was now in contact with my second family and this was a huge plus in my life.

After I DID TELL was published and selling well I embarked on the sequel NOBODY  TOLD ME . Many readers had asked about the 25 year dependency on prescribed medication and so I wrote my second part , a stand alone book for those who hadn’t read I DID TELL and a sequel for those who had. I was almost at the ending, my life was good and I was living on  smallholding in Wales with Daniel, Lucy and my horse, ponies , cats and dogs. Life was good.

2012 arrived and along with it the excitement of a wonderful year ahead. On a personal level I was working in private practice and loving it, I had almost finished my second book; Lucy had a good job and Daniel had retired early. It was the year of the Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond jubilee, so there was a buzz in the air.

Every thing changed in May of that year. My wonderful horse whom I had known since she was an hour old, at the age of 23 years sadly died. I was devastated. She had been my first horse, the girls had had ponies and horses all their lives but she was my first and I loved her to distraction. As a family, a family who had always had animals, losing a much loved pet was something we helped each other through. We shared our grief and cried together, remembered together and grieved together.

I wrote a post on Face book every day at this time and felt that I had to tell my Facebook ‘family’ why I might not be around for a while. I posted that I had lost my beloved horse and wrote how I felt on that awful day. Many many readers wrote lovely things to help and comfort me. The day after this was the day that would change my life. I had lost my ‘sunshine’ on 31st May 2012 and written the post on Facebook the following evening. The day after I was to receive the first email from Jade Louise Wood, that would mark out the next horrific six months of my life and leave me a changed and a lesser person.

I am not going to repeat the horrors of these terrifying months, if you are interested I have told this story earlier in my blog and on my website under the title of my next book THE FACE BEHIND THE SCREEN. All I will say is that everything in my life was put on hold after her emailing me. She was desperate, being sexually abused and raped and needed help. As always I put one hundred percent of me, into helping her. Why wouldn’t I? I had done this so many times before. But this time, because of the nature of her needs, nothing else got a look in. I wasn’t there for Daniel or Lucy. I couldn’t help them in their grief for my wonderful equine companion. I was there for me. I didn’t help them and I didn’t grieve, cry or anything much. I spent 24/7 either with the laptop with me, on the phone or text ,on Facebook and emailing her and those involved. I only closed down to try and sleep and that didn’t come easily. I would get nightmares of the things she told me, day mares and terror for her and for us. I began to think that sometimes in life, it comes full circle. I was back there, at the age of 7, scared of my own shadow and with a mind full of nasty depraved pictures and thoughts, given to me by this evil young woman.  Finally after trying hard to break away and letting her family take over, I received a video clip of her naked , crying and scared. I went to the police. You can read the rest of this earlier in this blog or wait for the book but the result was that she was taken to court and found guilty of Misuse of the Communications Act with the intent to cause anguish and hurt and accused of Harassment, a charge that we dropped because it would then make it easier to have her sentenced.

She went to court on 24th January and there you would think the story end. You would be wrong. She continued to malign my name, named me, wrote poems and messages to me, on her blog, thinking I would read them,. Sometimes I did and sometimes I was told what she had written. She had or rather has, a Restraining Order against her contacting me, but she sent me a Facebook friend request , she was re arrested and lied her way out of the crime. She is an excellent, if that is the right term, liar.

I decided that people like her should not be allowed to do this to others and took the advice of a Police officer and began writing the story of Jade Louise Wood as a new book THE FACE BEHIND THE SCREEN. To warn people not always to believe what they are told, not to trust that what people tell them is the truth. Trolling is not only Twitter it can come into your email box. I didn’t and don’t want anyone to suffer as I have. I made no secret of the book, I wrote to her as I had been instructed and she has signed to agree the book. I can name her as she was charged and found guilty and it was published in the press so it is of public knowledge. As the victim I was to remain anonymous. Did that happen? No. She named me in her blog twice, as if she hadn’t done me enough damage and reveled in the results.

I have always written a blog, well since I began to write by life story, to let readers know what I am doing and what the next book will be. The story should have ended by this time but it hasn’t for me. If you read last week’s blog you will see the remaining damage this woman has caused me. Some of my loyal readers found her on Twitter and began commenting on her blog in my defence. I was truly grateful for this although I did not ask them to so. When she named me I was angry, I almost wrote to her myself but didn’t want to begin dialogue with her but one or two readers told her what they thought of her. Having known me now for a few years, they knew I was telling the truth. My honesty and integrity are the utmost importance to me having grown up in deceit, dishonesty and a web of lies. I think now they have stopped her. There has been nothing for a few days and for that I am happy. Let’s hope that part of the story is over.

She did hurt others before me, the Ellie White in my story who was going to report what she did to her. Maybe she has and that is why the nasty has stopped. I don’t know. I don’t care. It stopped and I have my life back, for now.

So the FACE BEHIND THE SCREEN ending was done but now I am not sure if it is the end. So much had happened since I began to write this book. I may take out a civil action but I am not sure. I could sue for emotional damage but I am not sure. So as for the ending of the next book, I am not yet sure. Watch this space.

Thanks for reading this long blog and I hope the week ahead is good for all of you. Thank you so much for the support you have shown me and I intend to get myself together and get back to writing. I have not yet returned to my work, my Psychotherapy, as I said last week,not being in the right place to help others but I am getting there. Perhaps in this new peace, I will . Night Night all x

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