This is week I made the story of my childhood and what happened more public than I have ever done before.
It is a sign of progress for me that I can do this. I have never been able to speak the unspeakable before.
I spent days shaking but it was important to me to do this.
Because when you read my book and see the transformation I have been through, if you know where I’ve come from it has even more power.
I published my book to reach as many people as I could so that they could see there is hope. There is a way of escaping your past that doesn’t involve pain, addictions and self destructions.
I decided to reach even more people, to connect with as many as possible, it was important to share what happened to me. And so I did.
I spent days shaking.
It wasn’t the nature of what I was sharing that was causing the fear. Sexual abuse is often associated with guilt and shame. Thanks to Cog Hyp that’s not true for me any more.
I have forgiven myself. I have taken the power back. And things feel good these days.
That’s why I could “come out” and share my story.
But I had to ask, if it wasn’t the fact that people would know what I went through that was causing the fear, what was it?
And I realised…it is about being believed.
I told a couple of people what was happening. Nothing changed. I still had to go through life in the same house as my abuser until I was old enough to leave home and go to University.
And as for the rest, well it just seems hard even for me to process how bad my childhood really was. Neglect, physical beatings all part of the normal landscape of my childhood.
And if people didn’t believe me, how can I believe myself?
I am expecting to be called out for making it all up. And when I think of that, I become the powerless child again – assuming that those significant adults would be believed over me.
Yesterday the little one and I popped out for a coffee and a hot chocolate in the M&S food hall.
As we were heading home we barely had room to get into the car so we got in and sorted seat belts after. She was trying to do her own and struggling so I offered to help. She let me. But then as we set off she started having a paddy about wanting to strap herself in.
We were moving. It was too late. I told her it wasn’t going to happen and to get over it!
Then as we are driving along the road her seatbelt flies off. I reach over and fasten it again and have right go at her. I tell her when we get home that one of her toys will go in the bin because that was not acceptable behaviour.
She starts sobbing and saying that it came off on it’s own.
I explain (relatively calmly) how it looks to me. She had a tantrum about wanting to fasten her own belt and then it comes unfastened.
She goes quiet when I explain then sobs again claiming that it came off itself.
Meanwhile there is a totally different turmoil going on with me that she has no idea of. Because it’s created a complex equivalence in my head.
My daughter is sat next to me in the car begging me to believe her and to do something.
This is the a replay of the scenario when I told my mother of the abuse from my stepfather.
Obviously a seatbelt is not significant. The abuse was.
I’m driving along in my car with my daughter begging me to believe her that it came undone on it’s own. I know she did it.
So I propose a solution to her.
I propose that it was an accident and that she has learnt her lesson. That from that point we will forgive and forget.
“Do you forgive me mummy”
“Of course I forgive you. I will always forgive you, no matter what. And I will always love you”
“Will you tell daddy?”
“Of course I will, I tell daddy everything because we’re best friends. Like you and I share everything because we’re best friends aren’t we”
“Yes mummy. I’ll tell daddy”
And then she was happy. When we got home she ran in and told the hubby that she’d unfastened her seatbelt (cheeky monkey!!) but mummy had forgiven her.
So I am struggling a lot right now. And it’s all around belief. Being believed. Believing myself.
I will continue to push – continue to share my story because more than anything I want to use it to help others.
I’m sure one day I will work my way through this particular issue in the same was as I have all the others.