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

Saturday, 15 October 2011

The Beginning Part 2 - Shouldn't you be my protector?

For a few days I have been thinking about what exactly to write in my second post about the beginning of my journey.

The Beginning Part 1, talks about the start of that journey - the start of a sordid period in my life being sexually abused by my stepfather...  If you haven't read it yet, you can read it here.

I am not comfortable using the names of the people in my stories, and so - at least for the time being, whenever I need to mention a name, I am going to use the first letter of the person's first name.

What I am about to write, has been weighing on me heavily.  It is something I have only shared with one, or maybe two people in my life.  After much consideration, I have decided to share it, because maybe by sharing it will help to heal me, and maybe it will help someone else to talk about their experience, so that they can heal too.

After the initial incident in the bed, my stepfather started finding many opportunities to be able to touch me, and to make me touch him.  He talked to me a lot about what he was doing, and how people wouldn't understand, that I must never tell anyone. 

Often once a child is sexually abused, their eyes are opened to the world of sex, in a way that they never were before.  Often their behaviours and interactions with other children and adults can become overtly sexualised.  

This was true in  my case.

On access visits with my Father, we often used to spend a lot of time with at his parents house.  My stepmother hated these access visits, and wasn't too fond of me, so I tried to stay out of her way as much as possible.  Dad would often read the paper, and watch tv, and I often spent a lot of time with my Grandmother and Grandfather.  My Grandfather had a chicken coop, where he kept chickens and pigeons, and a large paddock that other people often kept horses in.

One afternoon, in the shed next to the chicken coop with my Grandfather, he lifted me up onto one of his workbenches.  Automatically, I spread my legs so that he could touch me.  He said to me that he shouldn't touch me there.  I said to him,  "But  J does it all the time."

What should have happened at that moment?   I have pondered this many times.

In a perfect world, my Grandfather would have been horrified, revolted even.  

He would have taken hold of me, bundled me up with love and carried me into the house to talk about this horrible revelation with my father and grandmother, and he would have made sure I was safe...

He would have made sure I was kept away from my Stepfather so that this terrible thing never happened to me again.  He would have called the police.  He would have confronted my stepfather.  

In a perfect world.  I have had plenty of time to think about this scenario.

But, it is not a perfect world, and my Grandfather was not a perfect man.  

He took my invitation at my word. 

He has been passed away for many years now, so I will not ever know what he was thinking. I can only imagine. I know that he was not thinking like a grandfather who wanted to love and protect his granddaughter.

Perhaps he was thinking this was a perfect opportunity to do something sordid and secret - a willing participant - served up to him on a platter.  After all, it was pretty safe, I was used to keeping this type of secret.  

He just had to coach me a little more than J did - he didn't want me telling anyone else - that would be much too dangerous... I had to promise I would never, ever, tell anyone, not even J.  And I had to be careful about how I acted around other grown up men.  I couldn't do this type of thing with them.

And so I kept his secret.... and for years, kept keeping the secret.   Even when the truth eventually came out about J , I kept his secret. 

But I won't be defeated by the strife I have faced in my life.

Today I am telling the world. 

The world knows my secret.  

And I am a survivor. 

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


  1. I wonder if things are different nowadays? Do children speak out more? Do responsible adults take notice and report their suspicions? I hope so, for the sake of the children.
    Thank you, SS for your post. Keep surviving!! :)

  2. Thanks for your courage... I was abused by my stepfather... mentally and sexually. I have only ever told maybe 4 people in my life. Reading your story has helped me understand what happen to me was more common than I imagine. All those years of feeling so alone, dirty and constanty wondering why it was happening. What did i do to deserve this. I`m now a strong woman, who is maybe a little to protective of myself and children.. But I am a survivor. Thankyou for helping me get through this.

  3. Thank you Sheryl. I don't know if things are any different these days in regards to children speaking out - but there is a great organisation called bravehearts in Australia that is beginning to educate children - giving them an understanding of their rights to protect their own body. http://www.bravehearts.org.au/education.ews So hopefully this is making a difference to children to speak out instead of suffering in silence.

    But I do think the community in general is more aware that regardless of 'what a great bloke' the person is in the outside world, these things can and do happen behind closed doors.

    (Of course women can be abusers too - just using the word 'bloke' to illustrate a point).

  4. @Anonymous - thank you for reading and I am so glad that my story is helping you. You are a survivor and you are stronger than you think. And its ok i think to be a bit too protective of your children. I am too - and its something that I struggle with a lot - because I don't want them to be hurt like I was by anyone, but I want them to grow up with a healthy perspective about their bodies and what sex is all about. When you have such a traumatic background it is hard to know if you have the balance right. Stay strong xx

  5. Thanks so much for sharing my blog.  I haven't had a chance to read all of your posts yet ( I work full time and have 3 children so in my spare time I am sooo busy) but I am looking forward to reading.  xx

  6. Thank you. I have found that if you let it, bitterness can eat you up inside, so I try not to let it take hold.  That being said, I have my ups and downs, and some days are harder than others.

  7. I am appalled that you suffered at the hands of not one but two men you trusted. It seems all the worse that the very person who should have protected you, took advantage. You sound so very strong. You don't even sound bitter and hateful in your words. You really are a survivor!

  8. I'm sorry this has happened to you. You are so right - they should have been our protectors but it is not a perfect world and they are not perfect people. Yes, we need to talk about it, verbalise it to someone, somewhere. I will make a point to link my blog to yours. Thanks for sharing :)

  9. That's very true Sandy.  Thank you for reading and sharing.

  10. My very good friend said some amazing words to me when I started my blog. She said "Secrets lose their power when they are told." I hope those words comfort you as they did me. And the best part about it is it is true.

  11. Thank you for sharing your story and your journey to heal. I have told few about what happened to me, but I have gained courage from you

  12. Thank you.  I am glad that my story has given you courage.  You are stronger than you know. xx