Warning: Some of these blog posts will contain real life content that may shock or confront some readers, or trigger PTSD.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

The Beginning - Part 1

I was an unexpected blessing.  My parents were Aussies living and working in New Zealand. It was 1974 when I was conceived and so they quickly came back to their home town in Australia, to get married.  My mother was 18 or 19, I think Dad was  20 or 21.  

I don't ever remember my parents being together.  They divorced when I was a baby.

After sharing a flat with my Aunt for a short time, my mother rented a house in a small rural suburb about 20 minutes drive from the main township. (A long way in those days!)   The owner of the house was a divorcee, and lived in the house next door, with his mother, his son and his daughter.  It wasn't long before they were married and I had a new family... and soon I had a new sister on the way...

My father moved to a new town (about an hour away), for a fresh start and a new job.  He met a young woman at square dancing (part of me wants to say LOL) and he was soon remarried too... with a son on the way...

I have vague memories of my fathers wedding.  I was a flower girl.  I remember getting my hair curled at the hair dressers. The hair dresser used a large clunky heated curling wand - the type that had spokes all over it.  I remember the hairdresser telling me to let her know if the curler got too hot or too close to my scalp, but kind of being too afraid to say it was too hot.  I wanted to be brave. I had a purple flowery dress.  I felt like a princess.

By the time I was in Grade 1, in 1981, my life felt normal.  I didn't know any different.  Dad got to visit me every second weekend (when he actually turned up) and we would go to my grandparents house...

Then, something happened....

One morning, I jumped into bed with my mother and my stepfather.  I don't remember if there were other kids in the bed.  

As I was kicking about a bit, under the covers, I felt something soft with my feet.  It felt weird. I didn't know what it was so I tried to touch it with my foot again. I began gently prodding this soft thing with my foot. Suddenly my stepfather grabbed my hand. He pulled my hand down, and placed it onto his private part.

I am not exactly sure what happened then.  I don't think Mum was in the bed at that stage.  She may have gotten up to start getting breakfast ready.

I think my stepfather said something about not telling Mum.  

It was the start... of something... sordid.... that went on... for a while...  

I was five, or six years old.

When I think about this now, I can't understand, how he was able to justify what was going on.  

But this kind of scenario... when no one else was around, was about to become a common occurrence.   

This was the beginning of my journey as a survivor...

Copyright © 2011 http://strifesurvivor.blogspot.com


  1. Well written. And congratulations on being so brave. Hope this is a help to you and others.

  2. I agree with RD, this was well-written. I'm glad that you consider yourself a survivor and by sharing this story, you may help someone out there come to grips with their own ordeal. This sort of thing has happened to so many people and often it is not something we talk about. I admire your courage.

  3. Thanks Shelly. Publicly talking about this isn't something I have ever done before. I have been feeling a bit nervous about it since I published my first post. But I think if I can help even just one person by sharing my story, then what I have decided to do is worthwhile.

  4. Sharing your story is such a huge, brave thing. Thank you for speaking out.

  5. Natasha Fortune-Price31 October 2011 at 02:20

    Oh gosh, well done you for being brave enough to speak out, it's hard... Well done for making yourself a survivor rather than a victim, so courageous x

  6. That was a very brave post. I have sat in silence for a while after reading it. Did your step 'person' (for some reason I don't like using the word father given what he did - I hope you don't mind this) abuse your step brother and sister as well? The fact that you now have children of your own speaks volumes!!!! Thank you for sharing - I was very moved.

  7. Wow this is a powerful post, I got half way through and had to stop for a moment then carry on reading. I've got personal experience of this and I applaud your honesty and your ability to share this experience is inspiring.
    Sadly I am sure many other will be able to relate to this but it's great that you have brought the issue 'out'.
    Thank you!

  8. Thank you. I feel it is important to identify myself as a survivor.  Although I am still in the process of healing, being able to say to myself, I experienced this terrible thing, but it doesn't define who I am.  I survived what happened to me, and it won't defeat me and all the amazing things I am meant to accomplish in this world.  Although some days are harder than others, (I don't always feel strong) being able to have that mindset makes me stronger.  Speaking out - by verbalising (or writing) - what happened to me - although bringing everything to the fore again - which is hard -  is really helping me to reinforce what I have been through, and how far I have come.  I hope that it will also help to encourage others. 

  9. Thank you Annie. I appreciate your comments and support so much.  I hope that I will be able to help others.  

  10. I think the more people share, the more others gain the strength to share too. And that can only be a good thing. Well done for this

  11. Misha - TheBlingBuoy1 November 2011 at 10:08

    You are an incredible person and will empower so many people by saying you are a surviver, not a victim.  My heart broke reading this post but it's a story that needs to be told.  I applaud you.

  12. Oh gosh that's horrid and not an unfamiliar story - the child tells all and noone listens or believes their story and to cover up tracks is rejected by the family. Totally sucks. 

  13. Thank you for sharing your story with us at the Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse.