There’s been something on my mind for a while now, but to explain this I’ll rewind back a few years.
I’m originally from Norwich. My mum married my dad when she was pregnant with me, but I don’t really remember them being together, but I do remember having to leave my house one time because my dad was trying to take us away from my mum. I remember being scared and not knowing whom to trust. I remember him trying to pick me up from school one day (he wasn’t allowed), I remember him coming into our house during the night trying to stab my mum, instead slashing the back of the sofa with a knife and I remember spending weekends at my nan’s house (he lived there), but I don’t remember his face. I have no idea what he looks like I would totally walk past him in the street knowing nothing different. Why is it that when someone does something so bad, their children still love them? Because back then, I still loved him. At the weekends I would hardly see him, he would go out without my brother, or me, but I still loved him. We had holidays and days out to the beach with my nanny. But the times I hated over there were the times when my nanny would go out and my dad wasn’t around. I hated being alone with his brother. He sexually abused me as a child. I’m not sure on length of time because I’ve blocked most of that time out of my head. Thinking back it was totally normal back then for him to be in the same room as my brother and me during the night, but it wasn’t normal. Someone should have known that, my dad should have known that. Why wasn’t anyone stopping him from doing that to me?
I have never understood why my school never got involved too, why they didn’t notice changes in my behaviour or maybe I didn’t let on, I don’t know. Maybe safeguarding wasn’t as hot as it is now, but I definitely feel let down by the school system of the 90’s.
Fast forward a few more years he stopped coming over as often and I began to feel happy to go over there again. I spent less time going to my nanny’s house and more time seeing my cousins. I loved seeing them; we’re similar ages so we all got on so well. Thankfully, we are still in touch now. We eventually left Norwich, my mum always says it was for our safety to leave, I didn’t believe her back then, but thinking about it now, I’m so grateful to her. It wasn’t until we left that I told her about what he did to me. She was so upset and angry and actually I had only just come to the realisation what he actually did was his fault and not mine. He had always told me not to tell anyone, because if I did they would tell me off or wouldn’t believe me. So I was relived when my mum did believe me and did something about it. I had counselling and made the decision not to tell the police, I didn’t want to go to court or have anything to do with that system at the age of 12 I was still young and not comfortable talking about it. I heard nothing from my dad or my nanny from then. They just put me out of their minds completely. I felt betrayed and hurt that they didn’t believe me. The reason all this is coming back to me is because of a weekend I spent with my cousin. We had a conversation about my finally finding out who my half brother is and I had started talking to him via text (that’s another story).
And we got onto the subject of his brother abusing me. And it turns out that our granddad abused both David and his brother when they were younger. My cousins mum mentioned years later that she had seen something happen between them when they were children, she wouldn’t ever say what, but he was always a nasty man from what my cousin remembers. I am a year and half younger than him, so don’t really remember him before he died, I think I was 6/7?
So at the moment I’m dealing with me being a mother to two young children, trying to deal with my emotions on that, trying to be a caring wife, trying to not think about that part of my childhood, but it’s always something that will ‘pop up’ in my mind. Something like that just always stays with you, but it’s down to the individual what they do with that. You can let it eat you up inside or talk about it. I’ve found that not talking about it too much is fine with me. Only a few people know about those awful events and I wanted to keep it that way, until I realised that talking openly about it may just help someone who is going through it today.
*Side note – post was originally written on the 30th August 2017*