“I stumbled as I tried to get the words out. ‘He kissed me Mum, and it hurt. He hurt me. I don’t like him kissing me. It’s horrible. And he touched me there’ I pointed between my legs. ‘In my panties. And he made me touch him and I don’t want to do it anymore’. I was crying and stuttering and I think still shaking from what had happened.”
This was me, telling my mother that Bill, my abuser had hurt me. At first I thought she had believed me and would help but no, she called me names, slapped me and said I was a horrid ungrateful child who didn’t deserve anyone’s love.
I think I was about 7 years old and he was the only person who had said he loved me, showed me affection but things changed and I was scared and confused. This was the first and last time I told anyone until I was a mature adult and had no choice.
It was many years later when I was ‘forced’ into admitting my horrible past, and this time, telling was accepted and I consequently wrote I DID TELL I DID.
My children, my daughters Melissa and Lucy, had grown up knowing most of what had happened, not the abuse but losing Jack to adoption and my being dependent on anti -depressants. I had always kept Jack’s photograph on my mantel piece and talked about him to them. Melissa had witnessed first -hand the day he was taken from me and Lucy had often asked me if my sadness was because of losing him. Life was not easy, what with the withdrawal of medication or the being medicated and living in a fog that was Benzodiazopine induced. But no matter what was happening, how I was feeling, I looked after and cared for my daughters and gave them as much as I could give in every way. Yes I was over protective and when they grew up, this sometimes got in the way of them forming friendships, but all done out of love.
After telling my mother of the abuse, as a child, the others in the family would always side with her, especially Anne the youngest. I tried hard to be a part of their families as we all grew up, succeeding with Rosie and becoming a God mother to her first daughter. Ellen lived quite a way away so I didn’t see very much of her but we always stayed in touch. Tom and I were and still are very close but when I DID TELL was released, he said how guilty he felt that he hadn’t protected me. And then there was Anne. Like mother like daughter. She was selfish, hard, unkind and jealous of me for some reason. I didn’t see much of her when I first left home, until she had a baby at 15 and I helped her and supported her. Then she came to stay with me and my first husband a few times, when she had fallen out with my ‘mother’. But apart from a about a year, when her boy was small, she had no part in my life and knew nothing that was happening in it.
I grew up very lonely, as a young woman, I was still lonely and it was only after I told in my autobiography, that I was to be learn, that the boy I had loved at 17, Steve, he and his brothers would have loved to have had me in their lives. After all those years, I needn’t have been alone. This is a positive that has come out of my writing, I now have a whole family who are proud to have me as part of their family. Always would have been but I was told they hated me so stayed away. This is all told in my books.
The other negative was the horror that was Jade Louise Wood. But I am not going to talk about that except to say, she was the first negative that came out of my writing my life story. She read my book and followed me on Facebook and Twitter, saw I had been abused, saw that at that time in 2012, I was sad and vulnerable and went in for the kill. That is now almost over.
I encourage others to tell their story, to come forward if they are being abused and get help to have it stop. I couldn’t do that, but I try and help others to do so.
Most of the ‘after I told’ is positive. My daughters were proud of my telling it as it was. Proud of me writing it down in the form of my book. Melissa and I often talked about it and always spoke about the time Jack was taken. She was loving, supportive and understanding. Then the blight set in in the guise of her Aunt Anne. This horrid woman seems to know more about me than I do! She has made things up, told lies and in some way, turned my daughter against me. This has broken my heart. Now, after she knows and has known the truth for more than 40 years, Melissa has decided that Anne knew better. She is saying; although I cannot believe this to be true, that she believes the lies that she is being fed. This makes me sad.
I think one mistake in my writing was that I told nothing about the lives of my siblings. This was intentional, this was my story, my perception, my truth. To have talked about them would have been wrong. I left out so much that perhaps telling the story of my brother and sisters, the part they did or didn’t play in my life would have helped me now. Maybe I should write ‘My Dysfunctional Family’ and tell all.
In the main, telling my story, wart’s n all has done so much good. For readers, for victims and for me. I have gained a new family but lost my own daughter in the same way the truth was taken from me, all my life.
Would I tell all over again? Of course I would. I needed to and people needed to know. I would encourage others to tell, if only to free themselves from their pasts, to bring the offenders to justice. I couldn’t do that. Would I have done? Yes. I believe that anyone who harms a child should be punished and prevented from ever doing so again.
I read today on Twitter the revelations around child abuse are ‘overblown’. We need to keep talking. We need to keep telling. We need the world to know that Child Sexual Abuse is going on. Has always gone on .And will continue to go on unless we scare, would be abusers, into knowing that one-day they will be caught!
After I told I found a family who loved me. I wrote my story and helped others. I became a survivor. Yes a few negatives but the truth needs to be outed and that is what I have done and will continue to do for as long as I can.
Those who choose not to be part of my life, although it is sad and hurts like hell, it is their loss, not mine. Sometimes I feel like I am 7 again, when lies and wicked things are said about me. Sometimes I hurt so much it is a physical pain when I hear of things Melissa and Anne are saying. But I know the truth and so I remind myself of that and the feelings pass.
Thank you for reading. x