Trying to find ME
Trigger warning!! Let me say that again…Trigger warning. Today’s guest blogger is a very brave woman. I am not sure she knows how brave she is for telling her story so I am hoping those reading this will leave a comment after to let her know.
Coming out to people about childhood abuse as an adult is very painful. Even more so when it is your own mother you are telling it too.
The lady whose blog this is says she is not ready to share her identity yet. But she is wrong. We already know who she is…. she is hope. She is strength. She is another voice saying “No more”
Trying to find ME.
For the longest time I have a wanted to write a blog, or even a book about my life, but I think I will stick to a blog for now. Even to write this blog currently I feel nervous and anxious but here goes…
I sit here today thinking back about my life all the ups and downs I have faced and how I managed to get to where I am, sometimes I wonder how I did it.
So after 30 long years I finally came out to my mother that I was abused as a child. We were sitting on the end of my mums’ bed I think, just having our usual convos and the next thing out it spills. I think in all honesty I shocked myself, so many years I denied it and kept telling myself it was not true and it never happened, actually started to believe it.
From my outburst my poor mum burst into tears, I felt so bad for saying anything as I did not want her to feel like she failed me.
But I guess I have to take you back to where it all started so you can get the full picture.
Firstly the mum I refer to is actually my Aunty, but for me that is my mum. I will refer to my biological mum as birth mum, just so there is a clear distinction.
OK let me begin…
Most of my childhood seems like a jigsaw puzzle, parts are missing from the box and the puzzle remains incomplete, this is in fact because I do not recall most of it. I often rely on my mum to tell me, in hope that maybe it will trigger some memories, but often it does not, I am often left feeling frustrated and confused (later found out this is down to the trauma I suffered, which meant I blocked out a lot things in order to help me survive).
The parts I can remember are that I spent most of my early years in America, mainly with my Dad who I shall refer to as ‘The B**tard’, not much time spent with my birth Mum, from what I can remember.
Well as for ‘The B**tard’ I have been told I was the apple of his eye, like really! If that was the case I wouldn’t be referring to him as The B**tard.
So the relationship between my parents broke down and this was down to the fact that my birth mum started to get involved with the wrong people, which lead to her drug taking. Now, I always thought with ‘The B**tard’ seeing this unfold before his eyes, why he knowingly allowed my birth mum to take me back to England.
I am like why didn’t you stop her? Could you not of said no? Might your words have kept me safe? All these questions left unanswered.
From the point of arriving back in England I attended nursey for a while, not sure how long I stayed there for, again very little memory. The one thing that always stuck out for me was the fact I seemed to develop a love for Heinz salad cream, yes I know very strange, but I remember always having it squirted over my nursery lunch.
I did wonder if the reason I enjoyed the food so much, was because at times I may have gone hungry, down to my mums’ addiction.
Fast forward to primary school, now luckily for me I was placed in a primary school quite close to my Auntie’s house (mum) and I guess my birth mum must have had some brain cells left to think of this, as many times I was left at school whilst all the other kids were picked up by parents or childminders.
I didn’t understand entirely what was going on, but I knew it was not right. When she did remember to pick me up it was often late and she would come in her night dress with a long leather jacket on. Back then you didn’t see many people coming out in their night clothes like you do now, trend setter maybe, but I think not. Just thinking about it brings the embarrassment flooding back.
When my birth mum would forget to pick me up, the school would ring my mum, probably because they knew they would get an answer and I would be collected. I would spend days on end with my mum, with no contact from my birth mum at all. I mean anything could have happened to me, but I guess in her head, what was more important was how she was getting her next fix.
Eventually I ended up going to live with my mum full time, since my mum got banged up for 5 years, this was down to drug trafficking, which I later found out she had planted them on me and through our luggage. I actually recall that day, coming through Gatwick airport, where these men escorting us through, again the embarrassment and shame. I knew something was not right, but did not know what it was. I think the fact that my birth mum got caught actually saved me, whilst living with my mum I got 5 years of love, stability, boundaries, clean clothes and healthy food.
I did visit my birth mum in prison on occasions, but the trauma of going to see her and her not being able to come home , was just too much for a 6 year old to handle. I did eventually ask not to go.
My birth mum eventually came out, and I was given the choice to go back and live with her. Now as much as I loved staying with my mum, I still missed my birth mum, I still longed for her affection and attention, and deep down I guess I thought she would change. How wrong was I?!
I think I lasted 2 weeks, when I picked up the phone (my mum had taught me her mobile and ChildLine’s number) and I called ChildLine and told them that I had been locked in the house and could not get out. I still cannot believe there was a landline in the house .The lady on ChildLine contacted my mum, she came round broke in through the window, that was the day we packed up all my belongings and I left for good.
Now there is so much more I could go on and say about this, but to round this part up I ended up living with my mum permanently.
What I can recall from when the abuse started I must have been around 3 or 4 I think. It started at my nans house, where I would often go and hang out with her partner at the time (not my grandad). He had a room at the top of the house, a bit like a man cave I guess. I would often go and visit him there, because he had so much cool stuff, like lots of records (he was a DJ) and just other bit and bobs, that a 3 or 4 year old would find really interesting. Often the other grown-ups would be down stairs talking adult things, which I had no interest in.
Nobody ever batted an eye lid, at the fact I spent so much time up there, I guess because no one would ever assume what was taking place. He was always really nice to me and showed me attention and I think that was what I was craving if I’m honest, my birth mum showed me some but not much, so when I got it, I relished in it. I remember one day he picked me up and placed me on his lap, and that was when the touching began. I didn’t think much of it; I guess I thought it was normal. It then moved on to him rubbing his private parts on me and yet again I said nothing. He would take me into the other room, and lay on top of me whilst rubbing himself on me.
I don’t know how long this carried on for or how far it went but I don’t believe any penetration was involved. I do think this is something I would remember. I was touched in all the areas that a child should not be touched in by a grown arse older man. I don’t think he ever told me not to tell anyone, so don’t know why I never did. I think again it was about the attention. It went on for a while I reckon, until him and my Nan parted ways, and after that I never saw him nor did I speak of it again till my 30’s. My Nan again had met someone, who again took upon them self to touch me in the wrong places, but this time was done openly. It only happened the once when I was staying with my Nan and we had gone round to her partners house, think there was a game of cards or something going on, and we ended up staying over.
I remember siting around the table with them all and I think other people not quite sure and every time he got up he would try and be quite playful with me, and was trying to grab at my chest area and private parts. Now my Nan was sitting next to me and you would expect any grow up to say something, but no, not this grown up she just brushed it off like it was nothing.
Growing up I knew there was something not quite right with me but could never work it out, you assume there is something wrong with you. I struggled to hold down any relationships, because I didn’t trust men,(obviously) I had ‘The B*astard’ who I felt abandoned by and I have my Nans partners molester me, so no wondered I had trust issues. The downfall of my relationships were down to struggling to be intimate with people, I just felt uncomfortable with it and could not understand what was going on with me.
My mental health took a knock also, the anxiety and depression hit me hard, the only way I can describe it was as though I was a puppet and the strings attached either side of me were my depression and anxiety. I was pulled all over the place spiralling out of the control.
I got myself into huge debts in my adult life, buying clothes in aid to make me feel better about myself, because deep down I felt sh*t, no self- esteem or confidence. But if you saw me then you would never know, because I was great at creating so many different faces for each occasion.
There is so much more to my story, some of which I can remember and some that I can’t. I wanted to have the courage and confidence to share parts of my story with others. It may seem like it is all over the place, but that is how it is in my head.
I may one day write the second part to this which would talk about my sibling and the relationship I now hold with my Nan, but for now I just wanted it to be about me.
I have now started counselling for CSE, which is helping me to bring up my feelings of the past and allow me to find out who I really am. I do know have an amazing partner who knows my story and supports me in every way. Every day is still a struggle for me and I still have good and bad days, but I just take it one step at a time day by day. I have made it this far and will continue this journey I am on.
I want to thank Kendra for allowing me to share my story and giving me the push to do so with her amazing platform, so thank you Kendra.
-Anonymous (not ready to share my identity yet)
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