The Power of Association.

Everywhere we look or listen we are hearing about the Olympics. Nothing wrong in that, in itself but for me the association is huge. Back in 2012, the day before the Pageant on the Thames, the beginning of the London Olympic Games, I was contacted by a young woman ,who claimed to be the victim of horrific sexual abuse from her step father and many other men. Some of which she named.She said she was desperate and needed help. I won’t go over that horrible time in detail again, as I covered it many times during the early part of 2013 and onwards. I willjust say, for those who are new to muy blog,that I gave this young woman by whole attention, my time, my heart and put my life on hold for 6 horrific months, believing her to be a victim of nasty cruel abuse and depravity.

She sent me ‘disclosures’ that by association brought back memories of my own sexual abuse from childhood. There were so many similarities.She went into labour and had a baby boy, in her bedroom on her own,who later died. I was on the phone to her when she went into labour. She sent me photos of her baby son on a life support system from the hospital I was told she had been taken. Then photos of the grave covered in flowers. I wrote a poem for him to be read at his funeral. I had lost a baby boy, on my own in the bathroom of my home, he was born sleeping. All of this and many more such happenings, were in my book, I DID TELL I DID, which she had read.This was the reason she said she contacted me, believing I would  listen and believe her. Hundreds, or rather 7000 plus emails later, I was to find that none of what she had told me had been true. She fabricated the entire story and made it seem credible by faking many email addresses, so I thought I was writing to her mum, her aunt, her uncle and her best friend, to name a few, during this horrible period of time. I had no reason to think she was lying, making up these horrific stories, I didn’t think anyone capable of doing such an evil thing before this happened. 

During this awful, scary time, the panic attacks and nightmares I had suffered throughout my life but from which I had escaped years before, came flooding back. Day mares, terror attacks, memories of my own abuse and pictures in my head of the nasty depraved acts she explicitly told me had happened to her. My startle reflex was acute and I was scared all the time, what of? I am not sure but being thrown back into the life of ‘Little Cassie’ was enough to bring turmoil to my everyday. PTSD almost by proxy.

This episode in my life damaged me considerably and put me back years and I have had to work very hard to get back to where I am today. I focused on my writing and began another book about this horrible time as suggested by the Police sergeant dealing with her case. THE FACE BEHIND THE SCREEN. I threw myself into this and tried to work through, as I had years before, my memories and the ones she had given me.Not easy. The worst thing in all of this was that crying rape and sexual abuse should be a criminal offence. In my case, this woman went to court for Malicious communication but if the police had had their way, she would also have been charged with an offence not yet classed as a criminal act, claiming sexual abuse and rape. Apparently, she had done something like this a couple of times before but it had not gone as far as her ‘hoax’ on me.

Claiming to have been sexually abused, whether as a child or an adult, belittles genuine victims of these wicked acts. It makes people wary and doubtful when real victims tell their stories. I truly believe it should be an offence and if the alleged perpetrator of the crime is found to be innocent, the person who lied and instigated the case against them should be named, shamed and punished. 

I watched the pageant on the river,back in June 2012, with my laptop on my lap and that was virtually where it stayed for 6 months almost 24-7.That is what the Olympics stirred up for me and today, everything was coming back. Hence sharing it on here, on my blog. Very good therapy, writing it all down, something I get clients to do in therapy. Thanks for reading.

I had thought that nothing else could bring back my memories, put me in the state of fear and terror, after this back in 2012 but it has or rather did. Having my book taken off the market in such an unjust manner by lies told by my eldest daughter and my youngest sister, didn’t do that. Yes that hurt me but only because the loyalty I had expected from my publisher wasn’t there. Having been told the lies, they should not have entered into conversation with my ‘family’, but should have said that they couldn’t  comment and then asked me exactly what had happened. I have told them the truth since, but it was too late, Melissa had backed this up threatening legal action and we all knew what happened then.

The worst kind of association here, was my own daughter causing me such pain. I would have expected nothing less from my youngest sister Anne, she was so much like ‘the woman they called my mother’ and only ever wants to hurt me.But Melsissa was a different matter. I felt as I did as a little girl, betrayed and hurt by someone  I loved for all of her life.

But it wasn’t that which brought about my pain etc. That was a result of a vendetta against me that had been going on for 3 years, this was the worst they could do as part of that battle to hurt me.So having to make sure bullies didn’t win, I produced a 2nd edition and this was when I had to revisit the nasties of my childhood once again, this was when all the horror came back and kicked me in the butt. I must admit, I wasn’t ready for how this affected me, the nightmares and bad dreams, the feelings that I had when suffering abuse, came back big time and I found it hard to cope.

But. I reminded myself that I am a survivor and I pushed through determined that I DID TELL would again grace the shelves and it does. 

So association plays a huge part in the life of most survivors of CSA. A smell, a song, a sound, a place, anything can trigger the feelings of terror and fear. Maybe someone will act in a way that reminds you of an incident, reminds you of someone or somewhere linked to the memories you think are filed and boxed away safely. Sometimes it doesn’t take much

My thoughts are with every victim or survivor of CSA today. We look at the papers, watch the TV, go onto social media and there it is like a huge punch in the face. CSA rears its ugly head. I am not saying it shouldn’t. I do my own bit to make people understand the effects of childhood trauma, in my blogs etc and with my books.I am not saying it doesn’t deserve to be there for all to see. No, of course I’m not but we need to take care. Care of ourselves and each other, in a world where we hear about children being abused in this wicked way, everywhere we go and everywhere we look. Take care that it doesn’t trigger our old symptoms, that if it brings the ghosts from our past back into our present that we have a way of coping. A way of fighting back to the life we have today.

Look out for all of those who we know have suffered in this evil way and be there for them. I know I will.

I did sit for a while, late this morning and try to concentrate on the athletes in Rio but couldn’t stop my thoughts from wandering back to the last Olympics where I was sat,, where I would sit today, with my laptop on and scared that I wouldn’t be able to rescue this young woman or help her. When in reality, all of the energy and feeling and support I invested in those 6 months was wasted.This then starts a slippery slope back into the memories of what she told me and how it affected me.If I let it, that would then take me straight back to the age of 7.

So I am writing my blog,here, in my beautiful study, looking out over glorious countryside, to ground myself again.

PTSD can creep up on us or come fast and furiously slapping us down before  we realise. Please be aware and look after yourself and your child within.

Thank you for reading. x

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