I am writing this as a survivor of Child Sexual Abuse or as some would say, as a ‘Nutcase’, a Whinger or a ‘lunatic’. Most of you will know how I came to this conclusion from my earlier blog ‘Time-lapse Victim to Survivor and Barbara Hewson’.
Having been sexually abused all of my life,probably from birth, my childhood was stolen from me in the most unforgivable manner. For the first 7 years of my life, having no love at home, I had an ‘uncle’ who was kind and caring, sometimes generous and fun, traits I never saw directed to me anywhere in my life. I didn’t have the happy times with family, or very few but most of all I didn’t have the ‘safe’. We all deserve love but ‘safe’ would have been enough for me.
The woman they called my ‘mother’ showed her dislike to me at every opportunity and in everything she did. She treated my siblings with love, care and as family should be treated.Excluding me from family trips etc. I knew I was different, she didn’t have to say the words, I knew but as a child, I didn’t understand the why.
There was onetime, when I was outside of the room my mother kept as ‘best’, talking to an aunt. I heard her refer to me as an ‘mistake’. This caused me a lot of confusion. Surely people ‘got’ babies, because they wanted babies. How could a baby be a mistake?
At the age of 7, as a very frail little girl, I knew that the games played by my ‘uncle’ were changing. I didn’t like the things he did. I hated the kisses he kept pushing on my face. It just felt wrong.He started touching me in a way I felt was wrong and I didn’t like. He had become my abuser. Of course I had never heard this term, we didn’t back when I was a child. I was physically hurt, emotionally scared and so after being fooled into thinking the woman they called my ‘mother’ cared, I told her. She at first made me think she had believed me. I thought then it wouldn’t happen again.I thought I would now be safe. How wrong was I! She went downstairs, I heard raised voices and sat at the top of the stairs to make sure he had left the house. I saw her kiss him and say he was to stay away for a while and then after things had settled’ they could continue as before. I was again confused, shaken. How could she kiss the man who had hurt me. She came upstairs and shouted abuse at me saying I was a liar and told me what she thought of me. I was 7 years old. The abuse continued and escalated into regular rapes and only ended when I was 22 years old and married.
I lived a childhood without love and in fear and terror. I had nightmares and day-mares, was totally humiliated and destroyed. I had to create a safe place in my mind that I ‘went to’ whilst the abuse was happening, just to allow me to cope. At the age of 15, a teacher suggested I saw my GP as I was finding it hard to concentrate on my school work. He gave me tablets for the resulting headaches and the pain lessened, I felt more able to work and deal with my life as it was. I had no idea these were Benzodiazopines, highly addictive, why would I? Your doctor gives you medication that helps you cope, you take them, no questions asked. I had these for years on repeat prescription. 25 years later, having tried many times to stop these pills but having horrendous withdrawal, I managed to escape the dependency I had unwittingly began at 15.The withdrawal brought back the abuse, gave me panic attacks that were the nastiest I have ever felt. Brought back the night terrors, the fear and anxiety I had as a child. But I had to come off them, I wanted to and did.
What a lot of people don’t know is that Child Sexual Abuse, can leave unwanted legacies, things I have written about before on my blog. Symptoms of PTSD, the panic,the hyper-vigilance, the Intrusive thinking, Heightened startle reflex(jumping at every sound), not to mention the physical symptoms, rapid heartbeat, insomnia, poor concentration etc etc. etc. At any time in your life, with the power of Association, these symptoms return. You may think you are ‘over it’, that you have ‘dealt with it’, but these nasty symptoms of PTSD are the legacy from the child sexual abuse and may not be too far, away at times of stress and pain. The past years have shown me this big time. The wicked hoax played on me in 2012, resulting in my own abuse coming back to haunt me and leave me feeling unsafe in my own home. These past 3 years, having been bullied on social media, being told what I can and cannot post, by ‘family’. Having my autobiography taken off the market by lies told to my publisher, nothing to do with the book and losing my publishing contract. All put right now but leaving me feeling isolated and helpless as I did as an abused child.
Now, when I need to be stronger than ever in my personal life, my husband has Cancer, I am hoping and praying that the demons do not return and steal me away from this important role. I am hoping the legacies of CSA will not be stronger than me.
So, the reason for this blog. I am a survivor of CSA. In my later years, I gained a Masters in Counselling and have worked with many survivors and victims becoming survivors in this role, amongst a diverse section of my client population. I am no longer a victim but the frightened little girl who was me, is still there. Disguised most of the time, but still there. Reading of others who have been brave enough to talk, to tell their stories of abuse that has ruined their lives; being insulted, belittled and sworn at on social media, by people in ‘authority’, in the ‘Law sector’, somewhere where justice and non judgement should be present, I am appalled and angry. Not being believed resonates with me. As with my telling the woman who they called my mother, I don’t think she didn’t believe, I believe it didn’t suit her to do so. Maybe the people throwing out these nasty comments have a problem with wanting to believe, more than not believing. Well believe! It happens, It happened to us!
To tell our stories, to revisit the horrors of our messed up childhoods, take courage, strength and a new kind of Integrity. Calling us ‘liars, whingers, lunatics and nutcases’, might make you feel good but it doesn’t change the truth. Our truth. I can’t take my abuser to court, I can’t face him as he died a long time ago. I would like to say I would have done,if possible, but sometimes am not so sure. It is the hardest thing to do, to tell. I know. Do we need this horrible attempt at slurring our names? Do we need these insults, sworn at us by cowards and bullies? Do we need publicity that is damaging to our cause? No we don’t and I will defend the right to be treated with respect by those who seem intent to make it ‘their life’s work’ to belittle and humiliate us. We have already been bullied and humiliated when abused, sadly much more affectively than you are doing .We have all been there, done that are sadly still wearing the T’shirts!
It never really goes away. At the time of worry, stress and anxiety, it rushes back like a great storm and prevents us from using the survival tools we have put in place. But we must. We mustn’t let feeble -minded people who have a lack of vocabulary, get the better of us.
So, if you don’t ‘believe’ us. If you feel so threatened and inferior to the brave victims striving to become survivors, that you can’t listen and acknowledge how CSA has stolen our childhood and affected our whole lives. If you can’t talk about us without swearing, name calling,insulting us…. please stay silent. We don’t need or want your cowardly bullying from behind a screen.
To every survivor and victim already bullied as children, now having the same on Social Media by those who sadly can’t or won’t accept our suffering, stay strong. Those who matter believe and know how it is to ‘whinge’.
Every ‘bad’ that has happened in my life, is directly or indirectly because of the sexual abuse. Failed relationships, inability to have proper sexual relationship,becoming dependent on medication to cope. Nightmares, panic attacks etc.All the nasties of the past 3 years because of my need for honesty, is all indirectly linked to my childhood in one way or another.
So I feel I am entitled to ‘whinge’ as everyone else who has suffered this way is entitled.
Keep telling, keep talking and stay strong fellow ‘whingers’..
Thankyou for reading and please comment if you feel the need. x
Author of I DID TELL I DID
and NOBODY TOLD ME.