I haven’t been on Social Media very much lately, I have a personal battle to fight alongside Daniel. He has been diagnosed with cancer and we have been and are currently exploring his options. So my time is otherwise taken up with research etc. If I have missed anything from my readers and friends, birthdays et. I am sorry but know you will understand. But my husband being the man he is, has insisted I try and do ‘normal’ so here I am writing my weekly blog.
There has been a lot in the news once again about CSA survivors. Some of it good, good that people are now having the courage to come forward. Some of it bad, because of the fear the CSA enquiry that has been so appallingly flawed and let down, is going to be scrapped. I am not going to write about that because my knowledge in-depth of the last statement is limited as I have been otherwise engaged so to speak. However, I re iterate my disgust at the way survivors have been and are being treated by some who should know better. Insulted, belittled and laughed at by ‘people’ such as Barbara Hewson, is in my mind unforgivable and disgusting and dare I say, criminal.
Telling someone, that a grown up is hurting you, that they are doing things to you that scare, hurt or confuse you, as a child, should always be listened to. Heard, believed and acted upon, keeping the child away from the abuser and safe. Not many children, if any, would tell an adult of things that happen especially abuse, if it is isn’t true. Listen to the language used. Listen to whether a small child would know such things as they are telling. The language is very important. In my work, sometimes working with adult victims of CSA, I always listen to the words used. Not the words they would use today, using the proper names for body parts etc, listen to how they describe things, feelings etc and you will see that it is the truth. How else would they know?
When I wrote my own story I DID TELL I DID , because my memories are entrenched in my mind, trauma does that to you, I wrote as I remembered. As a little girl using the words I have in my memory, remembering it exactly as it was. How did I do this? Traumatic events, cement those events on your mind. Lock them into your sub conscious and sometimes, in your conscious. That is how we remember things so clearly, trauma does that. Some say true stories are harder to write than fiction. I don’t think they are. For me the hardest thing was revisiting places and events in my mind that I had struggled to keep out of my mind. The memories are clear. The events are crystal clear. Whilst writing, the pain, the fear and terror and the humiliation, helplessness all came flooding back as clear as they had been when it happened. I didn’t have to research or make stories fit as you do when writing fiction, I just called on my memories and tried to keep myself grounded enough in today, to write about my horrific yesterdays. I told all in my story, well not all, but enough. All would have been too much for some to read.
People in the enquiry and on social media, question why adults are only now telling. Trauma silences us. Fear does the same. Threats made by the abuser stop us telling. But in my case, I did tell. I told the one person who should have stopped it, should have kept me safe. The woman they called my mother. I wasn’t believed, or rather, she didn’t want to believe, for her own selfish reasons. I was betrayed in the worst way ever. To keep her affair with my abuser , she let me down big time. If my own ‘mother’ didn’t believe me, why would I tell anyone else. It was only after the truth came out later in my life, after my abuser was dead and I was safe in my marriage and family, that I had the courage to tell all in my book.
Whilst training to be a counsellor, a fellow student ‘guessed’ what was in my boxes but I didn’t falter. I was too scared to tell at that point. I privately dealt with some of it, in personal therapy which was a condition of the course, but didn’t open many of my boxes, at that point. Than came later.
So children telling. Today I like to think that the public are much more aware. That they believe that there are monsters out there, not those in comic strips or films, dressed in black with horrible faces etc. Monsters who look and behave to others, like ‘normal’ human beings. Some who are trusted members of families, churches, medical staff etc. Sexual abusers do not wear a uniform, they could be anywhere, anyone. We must all be aware without frightening our children and always listen, believe, act and keep the child safe. Always encourage them to tell you if someone is hurting them, doing things they find uncomfortable. Always give them the listening ear and safe arms to come to. Teach them body safety, respect for their own body and always the ability to say No.
Whatever happens re the CSA enquiry, I hope anyone who has been hurt in this way, as a child by an adult, will tell. It is never your fault. The adult is always the one responsible, they hold all the guilt and they should be stopped. If it happened yesterday or years ago, please come forward, tell your story. There is no question as to the rights or wrongs of telling it as it was, even if it sits uncomfortably to some, no question. Find the right ear, gather support around you and go for it. Tell every time. Please.
I know hearing of some who have suffered abuse, bad language, some who have been belittled and bullied by so-called authority figures or barristers of law,is hard to read but hopefully, soon, the Ms H’s of this world will be either thrown out or do the right thing and resign. Telling of your abuse does not always bring that kind of treatment. I don’t want others to carry the kind of burden I carried, for all of my life until I told. It is unbearable and unhealthy. Please tell and Thankyou for reading. x