This past week, I have been surprised and amazed by comments on social media and in emails, from those looking forward to I DID TELL I DID being re published. It is the same story of course but with additions, bringing the reader up to date and giving the reason for the books on and off period. My story, my truth.
Having to work on my autobiography, has again taken me back to places I would have rather not revisited, places I went to, whilst writing the first time, in order to tell my story. Having to do so again, because of recent damage done by others, was very hard.
We never forget the horrors of our childhoods as abuse victims but ‘manage’ them.
I was weakened by betrayal and hurt as a child and again of late. This time, accepting the truth of how people can so easily lie and hurt you, took me to a bad place and I almost gave up. I have long ago,acknowledged the reasons my abuser and the woman they called my mother, could hurt me so easily when I was small, but having to accept this as an adult, from my own daughter was nigh on impossible. I understood why the youngest member of our dysfunctional family could hurt me. None of that is a surprise. But Melissa?
Writing the additional stuff I then became angry. I don’t do that very well. Angry. Don’t like it, try not to go there. But angry is now here and is helping me fight on.
As a child, I was powerless to fight. Powerless to stop my abuser or stand up to anyone who hurt or humiliated me. In 2013, because of my honesty and trying to stand up for a vulnerable child, I lost a huge part of my family. My peace was rocked and again I felt helpless.
Since October 2015 I have not been able to get past the hurt and betrayal. On Mother’s Day as you all know, Melissa, aided by Anne, sunk as low as anyone can sink and every bit of power was removed from me or so I believed. When between them, my ‘sister’ and my ‘daughter’ brought about the demise of my book, I felt broken. At that point, being as isolated from ‘family’ as I was as a little girl, the helplessness came into play.
I began to think back, I had not given up at any stage of my life. As a child, although it was at times unbearable, I didn’t give up. As a young woman, mother and wife, albeit aided by medication, I did not give up. I couldn’t allow ‘them’ to make that happen now. I knew I had to stand up for justice in this instance. I was determined to bring I DID TELL I DID back to help others. I never really fought as a child, I couldn’t, but I also never really gave up and giving in to these people was not an option.
After reading everything this week, I have become a little stronger. It has encouraged me and given me renewed strength. Daniel, Lucy and Jack have been there for me, and so have my many readers and friends.Seeing my new cover, one I have had more input to, has made me hopeful once again.
If any of this happened when I first brought the book out in 2009, I may have understood. I would still have fought for it, but might have understood. 7 years ago, at its launch CSA was not talked about, not really heard of. Readers wrote in horror, in disbelief that such things happened and sent lovely encouraging messages.
As I have said before, I didn’t write my story for fame, for sympathy or to hurt anyone. I wrote to tell the truth. My truth. But the biggest thing of all I wrote for acknowledgement and to be believed. That I think, is the one thing victims want more than anything.
Now just a few years on, sadly the whole world knows these things happen. Not just by ‘celebrities’, but by family members, relatives and people who were trusted. CSA is the worst of crimes, committed against the most vulnerable in society. But we, the victims and the survivors are strong and resilient.
More are coming forward, bravely telling their stories and I admire them all. But it all takes its toll on victims. Some, after many years, are still fighting for justice. Some who have evidence of the offences committed against them, proof of the abuse and what legacy it left. But they are still fighting.
As child victims of sexual abuse, we struggle as children. Some tell and are not believed as I wasn’t. Some never tell because of the fear instilled in them by their abusers. This should not happen as adults when they come forward, telling it as it was, no-matter how unpleasant it may be to hear. No matter who the alleged offender is. It’s time we all stood together. That victims are not belittled on social media, in the press, by people who have no understanding of the legacy of this wicked crime.
Politicians and lawyers, talking about lowering the age of consent! What is that all about! Giving pedophiles permission, making it ‘okay’ to abuse a child. Saying they are not sure if sexual activity on a child does any harm!!! That the ‘legacy’ of abuse is not proven.Let me tell meet with these people. Let them read my story and then tell me it is okay! That it does no harm! 25 years being dependent on prescribed medication to cope with the abuse and then the legacy. So that’s not harm? That is not damage? That it is okay! Is that right? No, never.
When someone ‘tells’. They should be listened to, heard, believed and kept safe. The offences should be investigated and the perpetrator questioned. If found guilty, no matter how high up in society they are, how well-heeled or well-known they are;they should be charged, sentenced and named and shamed. I don’t believe in naming anyone until the charges are proved. But if they are,then shout it from the rooftops!
CSA has always happened.
CSA will always happen.
But if we make it easier for children to come forward. If we teach them body awareness and give them the trust to be believed. Then at least we will have a fighting chance.
As Sindy Theresa Murphy said on Facebook today and I am 100% with her.
Whoever you are out there. Whatever evil you have committed.
You will be found out.
Children grow up. We don’t remain powerless and scared. We often grow into strong capable loving people and fight for others who have been harmed. We will come forward. You will be found and you will pay. But lets’ make it easier for those hurting and being hurt now, no matter what the crime, make it easier and less of a fight for justice to prevail.
My book was written to hopefully inspire others to come forward, to make them feel less alone. Also to enlighten those in society who had no idea of the damage and fear child victims endure.
No one can stop I DID TELL I DID from reaching the shelves now. No one! They have tried and they have failed. I am not going to allow bullying and cowardly back door stuff to make me feel that way again.
It is almost time guys.
Thank you for reading xx