7 years ago, I found the courage and strength to tell my story. One of the first Child Sexual Abuse stories told. With the support of my husband, my two daughters and two people who played significant parts in my life, I wrote I DID TELL I DID.
It was, until that time in my life, the hardest thing I had ever done. All authors of their own true stories know, that going back over their past is painful. To revisit the horrors, the memories, the abuse and fear was a journey I found almost at times, impossible. The only way I could do this was to get up in the night, go to my study and write whilst the family was asleep.
I had boxed things up so tightly, that at times, it felt too hard to force off the lids to face the horrors that were inside the aged boxes. During my Masters in Counselling training, we had to work on our own demons. I did enough to get me through but my lecturer used to refer to the bits I couldn’t access as ‘Cassie and her bloody boxes.’ Well there I was Gerry, opening each one with trepidation and fear.
I can’t have been very easy to live with at this time but Daniel, Melissa and Lucy gave me heaps of encouragement and were proud of my endeavor to share my story.
I DID TELL was not about money, not about fame, not about sympathy and not even really about me. It was for all us, all who have suffered Sexual abuse and kept silent. All of us victims, too afraid to tell and all of those who I wanted to help, tell their own story. Since writing my book, I have had hundreds of letters, emails, messages from readers telling me they were inspired, that they gained strength, that they didn’t feel so alone. Some have gone on to write their own books, tell their own stories and it makes me so proud of these people and a little proud of myself. This was the reason for sharing what had happened to me and it had worked. For the first time in a long time, I was proud to be me, proud of the little frightened child who was often still present in my everyday life. Now I felt stronger and more able to talk about my life. I had been proud to have had the strength to tell it as it was. Every word true, sincere and in a way cathartic.
My story was taken Harper Collins at its first reading. I met with them the following week and was signed up to be published. It was like a dream. They had faith in me and my book. I published, at their insistence, under a pseudonym for legal reasons. I knew there would be no trouble, I knew what I had written was true but agreed to Cassie Harte being born so to speak. I had told almost everybody who was in the book, the woman ‘they called my mother’ had known of the book before she died. My abusers sons, knew and encouraged me to name and shame, but I didn’t but I had their blessing. The anonymity had to be kept to protect me and others in the book. I DID TELL went straight to Number One in the charts, sold more than 100,000 copies and the rest is history.
Over the nest 7 years I made many friends on social media, told other family members more about my past and friends who hadn’t known. My life story was ,I know now, very typical of other abuse survivors. One of inability to sustain relationships. Inability to enjoy sex. Using ‘tools’ such as medication to cope and feeling inferior, inadequate and unloved. I was over protective and possessive especially of my children. Understanding that, helped me begin to try to love the little girl I who was Cassie and the woman I had become. All in all a positive.The story of the wrong tool, prescribed medication, is told in my second book NOBODY TOLD ME.
I live in a beautiful part of the world and have been given the title of a ‘honorary Welsh Woman’ by clients I have worked with. Daniel and I are still together and share a wonderful relationship. Lucy is now married and about to move back into her own little house, here with us.
But the nasty in all of this, crept back in a few years ago. Soon Little Cassie was back. Sad, scared, feeling lost and becoming isolated from ‘family’ she loved. .I am not going over this as I have told readers, in earlier blogs, how my book was taken off the market after 7 years and my publishing contract terminated. All of this was because of evil lies and trouble caused by my eldest daughter and my youngest sister, the latter, who, up until a couple of years ago, had nothing to do with any of us. This all left me feeling bereft.
If at the beginning, when I DID TELL first came out, even though the people who played a big part in my life, were either dead or had been told of its contents knew;here was always a chance of someone coming forward and saying it was lies. I can’t prove what happened to me but no one can prove that it didn’t. Those close to me say my life now makes sense to them. They can see now why I behaved in certain ways, why I kept making mistakes with partners etc. Why I was given anti anxiety, anti depressants while suffering horrific abuse at an abusers hands, that no one knew about. They now understand the effect the abuse has had and the medication.People now say they know the real me.
My book being taken down, was because of a personal matter that should have remained personal. The lies told to my publisher were out of spite, and I have been told, jealousy. Nothing to do with the content of either book but identifying me and others.
As a child I was alone in the abuse, unable to tell anyone. Now apart from Daniel and Lucy, I had become alone again. courtesy of ‘family’. The betrayal of my daughter and my book off the market, left me in a very dark place.
But now all of that has changed. I DID TELL I DID is coming back next month. No one will stop me telling my story for whatever reason they try. I will and have always told the truth, always will at whatever cost.
So although the story will be the same, there is an addition explaining the reason behind this second edition.
The cover is lovely, and once again I feel proud.
So to anyone out there who has suffered in any way. If you think your story can help others, if you feel the need to tell and cleanse yourself of any bad incidents or issues in your life, whether it be abuse or another nasty. Read my story, pick up your pen and go for it! Don’t let anyone steal this right from you!
Thanks for reading.x