‘Cassie, thank you so much for accepting my friend request. I got your book out of the library the other day intending to read it over the holidays. However, I started reading it today and could not put it down! I read it in 3 hours (all my housework and packing to go away forgotten) and I have never been so moved by anything in all my life. I cried my eyes out and I just feel compelled to contact you and tell you how amazing you are to have endured all that pain and suffering. I really don’t think I would have survived – it makes me want to do something to help people who are abused and to give you a massive hug! I hope you now realise through your family’s love how special you are and that should never have happened to you. Sending you lots of love Lisa xxxxx’
On October 29th 2009, my first book was published. Within 3 days it went to Number 7 and then straight to Number one. To say I was surprised would be an understatement! I think everyone was surprised even Harper Collins my publisher. I was warned, that coming out during the Christmas buying period, along with all the celebrity books, was a risk.But the fear proved unjustified.The celebrations began.I had beautiful old fashioned roses from the publisher, chocolates from my then agent and lots of cards from friends and family. The messages on my new page were and still are amazing and printed out to be kept, including the ones from Melissa, who, on my getting toNumber one,wrote on my page saying well done and telling me she loved me and how they were all so proud of me.
I always knew I had a story to tell, one worth writing even though it had been like re living my past, painful, harrowing and hard. I knew I wanted to do it and help inspire others to tell, not only what happened to them as children but how it affected their whole lives. So tell I did!
There were radio shows, which I was pleased to do, to spread the word, not only about my book but about CSA, something that was not talked about as much as it is today. There were magazine articles, without photos because of writing under a pseudonym. I was also invited to appear on ‘This Morning’, the television program but that was a no go as I had to keep my identity a secret for legal reasons. One of the clauses in my contract.
I had begun a Facebook page and joined Twitter just before the release of I DID TELL, on suggestion of my publisher. Facebook I found easy, as before very long I had hundreds of readers writing to me, in the tone of the above message. (I haven’t named this lady because I haven’t asked if I could include this.) People wrote saying how much my story had touched them, how they no longer felt that they were the only person suffering in this wicked way. Others who said the book was the best they had read and others just to say Thankyou and how they appreciated my honesty and courage.So the reasons behind my telling were being fulfilled.
Twitter came later, took a while to work it out back then.
My book has sold more than 100,000 copies and has sold in 4 countries, gaining me so many lovely’friends’.
This might all look as though I am boasting here, I am not. I feel very proud to have helped the readers who found solace in my story. Many of whom are still in touch with me through social media and by email.
I gained a whole family in my ‘brothers’ back in my home town. I had never known them over the many years between Steve and I ending our forbidden relationship. To have him and his brothers and their families in my life now, is a huge bonus, one I treasure.
Over the following 6 years, I made many friends of ‘Facebookers’ and we shared the happy and the sad. I mourned the death of two readers, Corina Hamer who I know if we had met, we would have got on so well. I still have her messages, private and public that we shared. We helped each other during our time as friends, cut short far too quickly by her early death. I was also trying to help a young girl who contacted me after reading my book and who stayed in touch until her own demons caught up with her; at a time I was away at a funeral and she couldn’t contact me. Sadly, she committed suicide that day. Something I will never forget and feel sad about even today.
The reason for today’s post is I suppose a comparison. I have talked about launching my first adult book and how it was for me. Today my 2nd edition of my story is once again, available to buy on Amazon and will soon be available at many other places as a paperback and as an e-book. Am I excited? Well yes of course but not for the same reasons. This edition should never have been necessary. Never have been written and that saddens me. If you read last weeks post, you will understand why. But it was necessary and is back where it belongs. A new image on the cover, the same story with updates of where I am now and a note to explain to readers how and why this 2nd edition came about.
I am still very unwell so will leave celebrations until a later date. Not celebrating a new book this time but I will sit with Daniel and my dogs, reflecting on our lives over the past years we have been together. Without his love and support and that of Lucy, I DID TELL I DID would never have seen the light of day. I have gained so much because of it and in spite of it, that it will never be a regret.
It has helped so many readers; is used in social work as is my second book NOBODY TOLD ME and has brought me so much and for that I am so thankful.
Victims of child sexual abuse have gone on to tell their stories after reading I DID TELL and I am proud that my story encouraged them to do that.
I was contacted by a man from his prison cell a few years ago. Apparently his social worker had given him my book to read. He was an offender, a child abuser and reading I DID TELL made him ashamed in a way the courts, the prison system etc. hadn’t. He asked me for forgiveness. He was on a program to help him, said he would do anything he could to stop child abuse. He knows he has to work at changing who he is and he felt that reading my story, will help that happen. Hearing it from a child, what it did to me, how it affected and still affects me , had a profound effect on him. Yes he was a pedophile but he was the first one I have ever had a sorry from .
So no celebration like 2009, no emails and cards of congratulations but pride that I was brave enough to get my book back where it should be. Strong enough with those around me, to fight the bullies and win the battle that they instigated and lost.
My book is special to me. It is the proudest thing I have done as an adult. Along with my Masters degree and my professional work. It is up there. I was never allowed to show pride as a child but I am showing it now. I was never listened to, heard or considered. I am now.
Well done me! Well done little Cassie! Thank you to everyone who encouraged me and still encourages me in every thing I do.
Thank you for reading. x