I haven’t blogged for a while now, have had a few problems to work with. Since the evil that is Jade Louise Wood, I have been made quite poorly as some of you will know. I try not to let it get to me but sadly these past few weeks it has all caught up with me and my life. I had worked for many years on my childhood horrors, mostly during my extensive training for my Masters in Counselling, where we have to look at our own demons and process them. Whilst I did this and managed to gain my qualifications, they were never really ‘gone’. Any of you reading this, if you suffered abuse as a child, you will understand that the memories never really go. They are safely tucked away, in the part of the mind that enables you to function as a human being, on a day to day basis. You will have become a survivor but the ‘victim’ is still there, somewhere, hopefully hidden from view, even your own.
When I wrote my life story I DID TELL I DID I wrote most of it in the middle of the night, when everyone else was asleep. I would creep down to my study and write. I couldn’t let any of my family see me whilst I revisited the nasties. I hadn’t at that time told about the things that happened to me, only briefly to my husband but no details. I wrote my story to hopefully let others who had suffered like me, know that they were not alone. Also to tell them that there is life after sexual abuse, a good life. I didn’t put everything that happened to me; in the book. Mine was one of the very first books of this kind, one of the first told by someone who had experienced years and years of horror at the hands of an abuser. I didn’t think I would be believed if I told everything back then. Writing it helped me a bit, well quite a lot really. I was able to go back to those evil times and pour it all out on paper, kind of cathartic.
After I DID TELL was released, I received hundreds of messages, hundreds of emails etc from people saying how much the book had helped them. Job done .
During the 6 months of hell back in 2012, at first I was okay, wanting so much to help this young girl but then gradually, with the fear Jade Wood presented, came my own fear. My own memories became more vivid and the nightmares and flashbacks were again in my life. Briefly at first. I tried hard to push them out of my mind while I concentrated 24/7 on helping her. But with every depraved disclosure she told, in sexually explicit words, the harder it became to switch my own ‘stuff’ off. Since she went to court and was found guilty and subsequently charged, at first I felt a little better. But then she broke her Restraining order by sending a FB friend request, since that I have felt scared again. I have tried to carry on as usual but have been unable to work. Trying to pretend is something I had stopped doing. All my childhood and most of my adult life, I have had to pretend but after the book, I didn’t have to. But these past couple of years I have pretended in a different way. I have tried hard to tell my family and friends and the whole world that I was okay. Most of the time now, I am but it has all taken it’s toll. Sometimes, in the middle of the night, a flashback of a picture or photo that she sent me, will come into my head and this triggers acts of violation that I suffered and never wanted to revisit again.
I have told you all this a few months ago but I have a different reason today for writing this.
Coming forward and telling what happened is not easy. The time after, having to go over and over every detail of these nasty incidents is like going through the abuse again. Every victim in the high profile cases will know this. They will tell, then tell again and then retell over and over. I hope any one reading this, who is such a person, or who knows someone going through this ‘process’, I hope that they make sure they have the right support around them. It doesn’t matter how old you were when it happened or when you tell. During the disclosures you will become that frightened child again. Your startle reflex will be in evidence, your fear and nightmares may flare up again. So make sure you have either a very close confidante, a good doctor or a very good therapist to help you through. It won’t take much during this time to trigger events you thought had been safely put away. Believe me.
I admire every single person who has had the courage to come forward and expose themselves in this way, in order to get justice. One of the things I hope will come out of all the publicity, good and bad, is that although we will never rid the world of pedophiles, it might make some opportunist sex abusers, think twice. They may not feel as safe with their dirty little secrets because, at some stage, in the future perhaps, their victim may tell of it.
In a previous blog I wrote about PTSD. At last it has been recognized as a legacy of sexual abuse. We all know, sadly, of PTSD affecting our troops. I know from work I have done in t he Emergency services, how staff can suffer in this way. But I had never recognized or acknowledged how this illness can affect adults who were traumatized as children. It all makes so much sense, the nightmares, the terrors, the heightened startle reflex, being extra vigilant, having poor concentration etc etc. I had all of these, for years but was able to control them, avoid the panic attacks that were frequent, until the triggers were pulled by Jade Wood. As victims we may all suffer from various distress and hopefully, with time and help we can all become survivors.
To every victim of sexual abuse, my only words are; stay strong, believe in yourself and keep telling. Whatever happens now, during the disclosure, nothing will ever be as bad as it was back then. When the flashbacks come, ground yourself, tell yourself they are in the past, not really happening ,a trick of your mind, THEY ARE NOT REAL NOW. Write them down, write the nightmares down, this makes them what they are in reality. Just thoughts. Horrid thoughts no doubt, but just thoughts.Then burn them, tear them up, bin or shred them. Feels good.
So, if you have suffered abuse and feel strong enough to tell, go for it but make sure you have love and support from people you know will believe what you tell them. The most positive thing about my story is the thousands of letters etc I have here in my study, from readers. Some of whom have become friends. The only negative to come out of my story being told, is Jade Wood . People like her need to be prosecuted not only for what she did to me but for belittling genuine victims of abuse, wither lies.
As I have said, for a long while now, her actions triggered my horrors and I am still suffering but I will, once again survive.
When we tell, we leave ourselves open to others opinion and in a very few cases, their own kind of abuse. I hope this doesn’t happen very often. As I said I am full of admiration for every sexually abused child who , as an adult, has found the courage, and believe me it is courageous, to stand up to their abusers, whoever they are. Famous, rich, in high ranking high profile jobs. Every person who has harmed a child in this evil way, has one thing if common, they are the scum of the earth.
Yes they may be punished, they may even be sent to prison but nothing can give back the years they stole from their victims. So to every survivor I send my admiration, my heartfelt sympathy for the years lost but most of all my love.