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

Saturday, 22 October 2011


Generally in life, when a person commits a crime, they leave an evidence trail of some kind, which leads to them being caught.  They've slipped up somehow, there's something that they didn't factor in when planning their crime.

But child molesters don't often fall into that 'general' crime category.   Firstly, they prey on children.  Secondly, as an adult (and usually as a family member or trusted family friend) they are in a position of power over that child.  Finally, they have the time and access to groom the child - developing a 'special relationship' with the child, often using a significant level of threats, worries and concerns to ensure that the child will not reveal their 'secret' to anyone.  

The evidence of their crime is locked away in hearts and minds of their victims.  They leave scars that aren't really visible to those who aren't looking. 

Scars that can take a lifetime to heal.

Initially, I was sexually abused by my stepfather.  From what I recall, I was about 5 or 6 years old when this started - and I gave an account of this in my first blog post.  If you haven't read it, you can read it here.  Later I was also sexually abused my paternal grandfather - you can read about this here.

My stepfather fell into a regular pattern of abuse.  He would find opportunities to be alone with me, so that he could touch me, and so that I could touch him and perform the usual kinds of acts. In the swimming pool, in the laundry, even in the lounge room - as long as no one else was around.

But he got a little bit too greedy. .. And became just a little too brazen... He slipped up...

We had recently adopted a little puppy.  He was a cute little guy. He bit us a lot, so we called him nipper.  Because he was still so little, we were keeping him in the laundry, which was located in the back of the house.

One morning, I woke up early and decided to go and play with nipper in the laundry.  My stepfather happened to be in there too - I think he was about to put his boots on so that he could go to work.  He said something to me like, "Oh, Ok, just quickly" and as he got me to touch him again, also said something  like, "We are going to have to be more careful, or Mum will find out".

When I think about this now (after my blood stops boiling), I can't help but shake my head in disbelief at his statement. I wouldn't have been any more than about seven years old.  But somehow I was imposing on him? He was giving into my sexual wants and needs?   He was doing me a favour?  Hmmm.... I don't think so!

A few seconds later, Mum walked through the door.  

I don't actually remember what happened then.  I don't know what kind of view she had of what was happening.  All I remember is seeing her in the doorway, and the feeling of fear - of knowing that she had seen us. 

The next thing I remember is being in the front yard.  I think I must have been scared.  Mum told me it was very important that I tell her the truth, and asked me if my stepfather had been 'rude' with me.

I remember the sound of my voice.   I remember my answer so clearly.  It shocks me.

"Yes.... but Mum...  Don't be mad... It's not his fault..."

That's all that I remember about that moment.  I don't know what happened next, (I think they had a huge argument), but I knew that it was bad, and I knew that it was my fault.

Then life went on.  Like nothing ever happened.  The world didn't end.  And he did stop touching me, for a while.
Mum didn't pack up and leave, but I am pretty sure that for a while, she watched me like a hawk.  One night, I came out of my bedroom and walked into the lounge room, in my nightgown (it was like a partially see-through night dress), with no underpants on.  My mother and stepfather were on the lounge watching tv.  Mum saw that I had no underpants on and yelled at me.  

"What are you doing with no undies on?! ...  Are you trying to show "J"?!  ...  Are you trying to be rude again?"  

She smacked me and sent me back to my room to get underpants on and to go to bed.  I learned that I was the bad one.  I was the cause of it all - it was my fault.

And so I began to exist the way many abused children do.

In sadness. 

In secrecy.  


I think about these events a lot. I don't think of it every day.  Not even every week.  But I do think of it a lot.  

Sometimes it can be the littlest thing, that brings it to the front of my mind.... like last year when we added a puppy to our family, reminding me of Nipper, which in turn makes me think of the events in the laundry.  Or a mundane activity like doing a load of washing, and thinking about the events in the laundry.  Or seeing a pair of blundstone workboots (or whatever brand they were).

And I sometimes I get mad. I get so mad that Mum didn't leave him.  I was so young.  You can't explain away sexual abuse as an accident... or a once off...   And I get mad that I thought it was my fault.

Sometimes I feel sad, and cry about the innocence I lost.  Cry that Mum didn't love me enough to protect me.  Was I worth so little that she would choose a man over the safety and well being of her child? 

I will never understand.  One day, when I am ready I will ask why.  But I am not ready today.

For now, I don't need to know.  The scars are still there, but I am starting to heal.  I am building my life.  I have a loving husband, and three beautiful children that I cherish with every fibre of my being. 

I am strong.

I am a survivor.

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


  1. I've been reading along, have no words just such sympathy for yourself as a child... Unbearable :(

    Much love.

  2. I'm 36 now and it was my grandfather. He lived with us, untll my parents moved us out when they found out. Until 2 years later when he needed their help to get the old family property ready for sale. There were conditions (strangely enougoh, I was ok with the move. I hd dismissed his behaviour as a greiving man, having just lost my grandmother). He was to sleep in another wing of the house and our bedrooms were right next to our parents.

    But I remember, so strongly (and it's been bothering me for the past 6 months, all of a sudden. 24 years after the fact?) one day coming out in my short little nightie and my knickers hitched up to be more of a high brief than a full granny style (does that make sense). I was an 11 year old girl trying to be fashionable. And my mother screamed at me (very unusual) and asked me if I was TRYING to get myself into 'trouble' again.

    I wanted so badly to ask her why she said that. If she could know the psychological impact she had on me and on my body. The way I hid behind weight and tent like clothes for the next 20 years.

    But at 43 she was gone. I was 27 and not quite ready to ask her. And now I can't.

    Ask.  Try to be ready to ask. You don't always have the time you want and those questions won't suddenly seem unimportant in the face of that loss. They'll niggle and burn even more as time goes on and your frustration builds. Because now I wil NEVER know.

  3. Hi.

    Your story is amazing. And you are so brave.

    I'm not professionally equipped to give any advice, other than through experience.

    I did ask. And I wish I didn't. Because, the answers brought no comfort. In fact, they just made me angrier.

    Sometimes, the reason why it continues is because our parents are too shit to make it stop. We lucked out in the lottery that is life.

    And so now, like you, I am happily married, have an 11 month old son, & focus on making my NEW family amazing.

    I hope this wasn't opinionated. Certainly don't want it to be at all :) I just wanted to speak from my own experience. Sometimes the answers to your questions serve as nothing more than to disrupt healing xx

    So sorry, I'm not going to put my name to this as I write a blog, & don't talk about any of this on there, because people I know personally read it, & I just decided it wouldn't be good.

    But my gosh, I respect you, & your bravery xx

  4. Hi C xx 
    I certainly don't think your comment was too opinionated.  When we have been through something traumatic like abuse we tend to have pretty strong opinions.  

    And I do agree - that discussing this with my mother may not be helpful, and may hurt more.  It is something that I will discuss with her one day - hopefully soon - when I am ready - and I don't think it will all be about getting answers, but hopefully my opportunity to say how I felt about everything.  But I have a lot to process before I am ready for that.  

    Thanks for your support though.  It was a really big step to share my story.  I love it when people comment because I guess I feel validated and hopefully will be helping others to know they are not alone and if they havent come forward maybe it will give them the courage to.

    But I decided to try to do it anonymously too... for the sake of some of my family members.  Even though it happens to so many people, a lot of people just don't want to hear it.

  5. Just caught up with the blog. My blood is boiling with anger for you, Survivor. I'm shaking my head in despair that this happened but I'm filled with admiration that you have survived and you've become a gorgeous, powerful woman. Keep doing what you're doing. ♥♥♥