Thursday, 18 April 2013

not a victim : going back

{although not explicit, this post may contain triggers for those individuals who have personal experience of abuse ~ please take care of yourself}

So I went back to Crawley, to the social worker who had driven me away from that house three years earlier.  She introduced me to Jane from the Child Protection Team, who was fantastic.  Thinking back, I can appreciate the way in which I was encouraged to take  control of what was going on ~ I choose where we sat, I choose when to take a break and have a drink, I choose when to go out for a walk to get some fresh air and have an ordinary conversation about films or books or anything else unconnected.  Jane's open questions gave me the chance to drift off on a tangent when I needed a few minutes breathing space from the pain and humilation of describing my father raping me.  A whole raft of simple  psychological tactics to empower the individuals making statements,  designed to allow them control over telling their story, in clear contrast with the lack of control they had at the time.

* * * * *

Of course I needed to disclose every explicit detail, and speaking those words aloud . . . telling someone about the things he'd done, the things he'd made me do . . .  Even worse, I had to explain things I'd done to get it over with more quickly.  How at the very beginning I had followed his instructions, not realising what was happening.  How I continued to co~operate even after I'd realised, because I was so scared of the anger in his voice and the sharp blade in his hand.  How many years had passed before I began fighting him, how I'd only started physically opposing him after I  realising how hard it would be for him to explain a knife wound into insignificance.  How just weeks later I'd stopped telling him 'no', because the more I struggled and fought against him, the brighter that gleam in his eye.  Even now, I can feel the heat of his jagged breathing on my face, see the white spittle gathering at the corner of his lips, smell the mixture of coffee and alcohol on his breath . . .

Finally, the statement was finished.
I was utterly exhausted.
I felt as though I hadn't slept in a year.
But it was done.

* * * * *

The next post in this not a victim series is twelve people


  1. It can't have been easy for you to blog about this, but thank-you for being brave enough to share your story. I hope that you continue to get all the support you need x

    1. Thank you Izzie ~ it's only by being open and honest about all forms of abuse that we can hope to overcome the stigma. There is such a taboo related to sexual abuse, and the stats on reporting / prosecuting / convicting are worryingly low.
      Thank you again for taking a moment to comment.


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