Tag Archives: child abuse

My Story Part 2 ***TRIGGER WARNING***

In Part 1 I *briefly* covered the abuse from my step-mother, in this post I will cover the abuse from my step-brother. One again this post will contain graphic descriptions of abuse – in this case sexual abuse. Please be aware this is extremely triggering & do what you need to, to keep yourself safe 🙂

Right, well my step-mother had 3 children, 2 daughters & a son. Her youngest daughter lived with us & the other two kids who were older were abroad. T got sent back to the UK for mystery reasons never spoken of, although my father once admitted he thought T had sexually assaulted a girl & fled before he could be identified by police [I would be very interested to know if the girl was underage]. When T first came to live with us when I was about 5yrs old, he was very kind to me & spent time with me. I thought my new big brother was wonderful. He seemed to care about me, which frankly no one else did, & even promised he would stop me being bullied at school (the bullying was very severe & I was terrified going to school every day). I thought that he was so strong & thought he would protect me – in fact he did stand up for me a few times against my step-mother. He had a beat-up old car that was parked in the driveway that he was planning to fix up, & after school I used to be allowed to sit in the back seat & spend time with him. In hindsight it was odd that my usually oh-so strict, never let me do anything, step-mother seemed to be encouraging this affection :-/  I have literally *just* realised that she effectively pimped me out to him – I’ll explain further in a bit.

So anyway, I adore T & he’s physically affectionate with me, which is something else I’m starved of & crave. He starts to sit in the back seat of the car with me & tickles me – I am *very* ticklish. I scream with laughter, high on someone spending time with me. I get upset because he’s a heavy smoker & I know smoking kills, & I *beg* him time & again to give up smoking. In short I had grown to adore him & trust him.  Then it changed, oh boy did it change.  The tickling started to go lower, between my legs. I don’t need to go into more detail than that, but the fact was I wasn’t comfortable with this new “game” he was playing with me. There was something uncomfortable about it, something that made me think it might be wrong.  He told me this was a special game, just for us, & I wasn’t to tell anyone else, that it was to be our secret (Christ how cliched is that!). 

***MAJOR TRIGGER WARNING***  But at this stage I still trusted him & wanted to please him, plus let’s face it I was used to doing what I was told no matter what.  He started touching himself in front of me.  I remember wondering what the heck was going on because his face would go red & he’d make odd noises.  He told me to talk to his “willy”, telling me it was my friend & I had to play with it.  I didn’t like this but I didn’t want to hurt his feelings & I was very confused about it.  Then he started getting me to touch him.  I hated it & would start to cry. He would get cross with me & threaten not to be my friend anymore & he would tell my step-mother I was being naughty.  When he “played” tickling between my legs he started to hurt me, but if I said I didn’t want to play he would grab me & give me a painful chinese burn as punishment. My arms used to be covered in bruises from it – even back then he was a big & very strong guy, to the point he nearly broke my arm a few times.

The abuse progressed further & by this time I was deeply distressed & knew 100% that this was a bad “game”. Somehow I plucked up the courage to tell my step-mother. I told her “T. is playing games with me that I don’t like, they scare me” & without batting an eyelid she replied “Is he touching you down there?” [pointing] – she knew, she fucking knew what he was doing all along. She set me up to be his sex toy.  She pimped me out to her son.  It makes me sick & so so angry.  She told me she would speak to him, that I wasn’t in trouble, For a couple of weeks or so he left me alone, much to my relief.  But then my step-mother said I had to go & spend time with him after school because he was lonely.  I had no choice & at first I thought it might be ok, that we could be like before & play a different game.  But it was not to be. He started forcing me to give him oral sex.  When I protested, the mask completely slipped at last & he got angry with me. He told me I had to do what he wanted or else he’s tell my dad that I’m a bad, dirty girl. I didn’t understand what he meant by dirty but I knew it wasn’t good.  I worshipped my father & was terrified of anything happening that might make him love me less (how ironic) so I did what T. wanted. 

I was so *so* scared & disgusted & betrayed.  I was utterly miserable, between the continuing abuse from my step-mother & now T. as well.  Out of desperation I eventually went back to my step-mother, who screamed at me that I was a filthy little bitch & that I was “making” T. do these things.  There was no help there.  T. started coming into my bedroom at night & the abuse progressed.  He even ruined my favourite toys.  I felt I had nowhere to turn, so I just let him get on with it while I tried to float out of my body to the ceiling, where it wouldn’t hurt anymore.  I used to lie awake watching the crack of light under the door for movement. I would try to pretend I was sleeping but to no avail.  Often my step-mother & even my father would be in the kitchen next door.  I know now that they knew T. was in my room & what’s more they knew what he was doing.

When I was 9yrs old we moved. The abuse from my step-mother & T. continued,  She would repeatedly put me in his way, saying he was lonely, or he needed someone to play cards or draughts/checkers with (to this day I hate both).  She essentially set me up, pimped me out to her son.  I had no choice in the matter.  Then she & my father went on holiday, leaving me in the care of my step-sister & T.  She was meant to pick me up from school each day, but she had a new boyfriend so sent T. in her place.  My heart sank when I saw him in the car, I desperately wished I could just run away.  But I didn’t know where I would go, so I got in the car.  He didn’t take the usual route home, instead parking in a quiet leafy street & abusing me there in the back seat.  This happened every day, but one day he took a route out to the outskirts of the city.  He said I was grown up enough now, it was time to become a woman.  He raped me for the first time but not the last, brutally.  I wanted to die, I thought I was being ripped open from inside out.  It was excruatingly painful & I was bleeding.  When we got home I rushed to the bathroom, ran the hottest bath I could & scrubbed & scrubbed & scrubbed at myself with bleach, until I was red raw – but I couldn’t get the stench of him (he smelled strongly of strong rolling tobacco) off me.  I wanted to die & became suicidal, planning to throw myself into a local river, but I lost my nerve.  I had been self-harming for years already, punching & biting myself, kicking against concrete etc, but now my self-harm went up a notch. It was the only way I could express some of what I was feeling & I also did it to punish myself – I honestly believed this was all my own fault.

Around the same time I was gang-raped by 4 older boys from school.  They had been very friendly with me for a couple of weeks or so & even stood up for me against some of my bullies (I was badly bullied right the way through school until I was 14).  I thought they were my friends, so when they suggested going to the woods at the back of the school during the lunch break I willingly went, having no idea that their motives were far from good.  Once up there they attacked me & took it in turns.  I remember looking up at the patch of sky I could see & thinking this must just be what boys do to girls, or it must just be me, I make them do this.  They really hurt me but I didn’t know what to do.  When I came into school the next day they had spread it around that I had slept with them all consensually, that I was a slag & a slut.  All my bullies ganged up on me even more, screaming those insults at me, calling me disgusting.  Well how could I tell anyone now?  They would just say I asked for it.  [Sidenote: I sometimes wonder what became of those boys – was what they did to me a one-off or did they grow up as predators? If it was a one-off do they feel guilty, do they even think of it?]

A few days after this had happened my form teacher took me aside to ask if I was ok as she had noticed I had been distressed a lot. I started to cry & she took me into an empty classroom. I blurted out about T. & a bit about my step-mother. She was very kind & gave me a cuddle. At no time did she tell me that she would have to notify the Headteacher about what I had shared, that she could not keep this secret. I left her feeling a tiny bit less burdened & feeling hopeful that I now had an ally.  I had no idea of the hell that was in store for me.  Around two weeks later I came home from school & rang the doorbell (I was not allowed a key & was frequently left for some time waiting to be allowed in). My step-mother answered & as soon as I saw her face I started to try & back away, to no avail.  She grabbed me, pulled me in, grabbed my hair & pushed me down, kicking me as she did so.  She was screaming at me “how could you do this to my boy! You fucking bitch. You’ll pay for this! I’ll kill you!”  I had *no idea* what she was talking about at all because my form teacher hadn’t warned me that she’d had to go to the Head, who had reported what I’d confided to Social Services.  She washed my mouth out with soap as part of my punishment for daring to talk to an outsider about what went on at home.  I remember the taste & the texture & the gagging & wishing I was dead.  Eventually I understood that my teacher had betrayed my confidence (as I saw it then) & someone was coming to visit to question me. I don’t think I had ever seen my step-mother as hateful towards me as that, up to that point.  She was clearly shaken & over the next week or so there was a lot of whispering between her & T.  

Then came the dreaded day. I had been told – violently, but no where obvious – that if I breathed a word about T. or her I would be dead – & I had every reason to believe her. The other threat was that if I said anything then my dad would find out what a nasty, filthy, dirty little slut he had for a daughter & that he would be so disgusted & angry he would send me into care & I’d never see him again. The very thought broke my heart, I worshipped my dad [ironically] & would have done anything to avoid him being angry or upset with me. The thought I could be taken “to the home where the bad girls go” & never see him again absolutely terrified me.  Two social workers & two police officers turned up.  They went into the kitchen with my step-mother to talk.  The door was ajar & somehow I found the courage to tiptoe up to it & listen.  They were complimenting my step-mother on a lovely home & saying that they were sorry for any distress this was causing, that this was *obviously* a good family & sometimes kids are naughty making things up.  At this point they hadn’t even seen me, let alone spoken to me, but they had already decided that I was lying.  My step-mother was telling them that I was struggling at school, both academically & personally because of “minor” bullying.  I felt like someone had punched me in the gut.  These people were definitely not here to help me.  They went through to the living room & I got taken in.  Not only were there two *uniformed* police officers & two social workers, they also had my step-mother *in the room*.  Yes, really.  Staggering, isn’t it?  For a start I thought the police officers were there because I was in trouble, no one explained their presence.  And I didn’t understand what social workers were, to me they represented being in trouble.

I was absolutely terrified. I remember feeling dizzy & faint.  I wanted to run away & hide.  I wanted to make it all go away.  I didn’t want to go to prison or to the home for bad girls where I would never see my beloved dad again.  They started asking me questions & I didn’t understand them all.  I just kept shaking my head, my eyes going from the hateful look in my step-mother’s eyes to the intimidating police officers who remained standing.  No, I whispered, when they asked “Did he touch you in your private area?”  No, I whispered when they asked “Did he make you touch his willy?”  No, I whispered when the asked “Did he touch himself in front of you”, “Did he force you to do anything you didn’t want to do?”  Inside I was screaming YES YES YES YES YES PLEASE MAKE IT STOP!!!  Every question I answered they seemed satisfied with, they didn’t probe any further.  I watched my step-mother watching me.  Why was she in the room?  They didn’t ask any questions about her, about how she treated me, not that I could have said anything. 

They started asking me about school, was I happy there. This I was allowed to answer, “no, the other kids are mean to me”.  I told them about some of the name-calling & the pushing & the hitting & how sad it made me.  They nodded sympathetically.  They commented that I had been kept back a year.  Yes said my step-mother, she’s retarded & will probably have to go to a special school as she’s just hopelessly behind her peers [there will be a blog post about this at some point; I have strong views on the way we judge children so young & on such limited criteria].  I felt ashamed & embarrassed.  The social workers had finished their questions.  They said it was very naughty of me to make up such terrible stories to get attention.  They said what a lucky little girl I was to have such a loving well-off family, where I wanted for nothing & I should be grateful because lots of children would do anything to be in a family like mine – no they wouldn’t, I thought.  They said I was very lucky not to be in big trouble for lying.  I remember wishing I could project my thoughts to them “please make them stop hurting me, please make them love me”.  But they were done, it probably didn’t take more than half an hour.  There was no physical examination, which would have given them all the evidence they could have needed that I was being abused.  They left, & after being beaten about the head & kicked in my bad leg, I was sent to bed at about 4pm without any dinner & forbidden to get out of bed until I had to get ready for school the next day. I remember trying to sneak to the toilet later that night, having held on as long as possible, until it was painful, but I got caught on my way back to bed & punished.

I’ll stop for now as this is getting very long!  Thank you for reading.             


My Story: Part 1 ***TRIGGER WARNING***

It’s hard to know where to start with this, there is so much that it overwhelms me & it will probably overwhelm you. But I’m not keeping this blog to tip toe round the truth. So I’ll just lay it out as simply as possible. Please note that this will contain graphic references to abuse & violence, so please do what you need to keep yourself safe. Before I start I also want to make it clear that I am unable to be certain as to exactly what age I was when certain things happened or to the chronology. This is perfectly in line with how our memories of childhood work & in particular with the way the brain processes traumatic memory.

I was physically, sexually & emotionally abused from the age of 3 (& neglected from being a baby) to the year 2006 when I was 26. My abusers were my step-mother, my step-brother & worst of all, my father. 

My mother died when I was 2 (that’s another blog post) & my step-mother initially came on the scene as the live-in nanny, as my father worked long hours away from home. She started abusing me right from the outset. I didn’t understand why she hated me so much, what I was doing wrong. She hit me & verbally abused me. She emotionally abused me, making me believe I was bad & it was all my fault, that I was somehow rotten to the core. Even at such a young age these beliefs penetrated to the heart of me & I have carried them into adulthood. She liked to use food as a form of abuse – I was quite a sickly child & I had difficulties with eating. She would make me sit at the table until I finished everything in front of me, but she would deliberately give me food I couldn’t tolerate. She would force-feed me until I was sick & then make me eat the vomit. She would force me to eat raw meat or dog food, or to eat out of a dog bowl on the floor.  I have ended up with a lifetime of problems with food, from EDNOS to bulimia to overeating. 

She was an extremely violent woman & she took advantage of any chance to punish me, no matter how absurd it was, such as saying that I had been looking at her “the wrong way” or that I had “talked back” to her – as if I would dare!  As I got older the level of violence increased. She would beat me with a leather belt, with a riding whip & even with a metal ruler used for DIY. I was covered in red wheals (luckily most have healed).  She would lock me in a dark closet for hours at a time as a punishment, knowing I was terrified of the dark. She would starve me for up to two days at a time.  One time when I was around 7 I was doing the dishes & she said I’d not cleaned one of the knives properly. She very calmly then tipped a kettle of boiling water over my hands as punishment. I know you might be wondering whether I went to a doctor or the hospital with injuries & the answer is no, never. She had been a highly trained nurse so was able to tend to any injuries herself, kind of ironic I know.  She had a particular love of grabbing me by my hair & pulling me down to the ground by it, then dragging me along or hitting my head off whatever was handy. She drowned me several times to the point of unconsciousness & brought me back; I am now *terrified* of having my head under water, even the shower can make me panicky.  She controlled everything to the extreme, right down to whether I could go to the toilet or not.  I had to ask for permission, which was often refused, If she caught me trying to sneak to the toilet she would beat me for it. If I was even 1 minute “late” home from school I would be punished. At her worst she tried to kill me on several occasions, strangling me until I lost consciousness & throwing me hard down the stairs (so I could die like me “filthy bitch of a mother”). 

The violence was one thing, but I think the emotional & mental abuse was actually worse. She constantly told me that I was nothing but a piece of shit, that I was worthless, that I was unlovable. She poured poison all over me with her hatred.  She called me spawn of the devil; it might sound ludicrous but if you tell that daily to a young child then they’ll believe it.  She would tell me that I had ruined her life, that she had sacrificed everything to come & look after me.  Nothing I did or said was acceptable so I constantly tried to second guess her, to predict what *might* please her, but it was impossible. I believed her that I was rotten to the core, that it was all my fault, that I was a bad child – the truth is you couldn’t meet a more obedient, well behaved child, considering that I was living in terror.  She was extremely manipulative, giving me presents only to take them off me when I was “bad”, being loving & kind only to change in the flash of an eye.   I learnt never to trust a good moment, to always expect the worst.   

She didn’t allow me any of the normalities of childhood.  I wasn’t allowed friends over or to go over to theirs (not that I had any friends). I wasn’t allowed to join any of the groups for kids – one time when she & my father were away on holiday, I was looked after by my great-aunt, who thoughtfully let me join the Brownies, obviously thinking this would help my total lack of confidence. As soon as they came back from holiday my step-mother took me out of the Brownies, saying I didn’t “deserve” to be in it. I was gutted.  I wasn’t even allowed to go to birthday parties or school events.  This in part led to me being severely bullied because I was so different to the other kids.  I think this gives you a snapshot of what she was like. 

From the very beginning of her living with us I was told to call her mum. In fact I didn’t know she wasn’t my real mum until I was about 8yrs old.  She went from being the live-in nanny to becoming my father’s lover almost right away. She knew she was onto a good thing, she was a struggling single mother & he was a wealthy, handsome, charming man that could provide for her & her children.  And in her he fulfilled his needs as well.  I had no importance in any of this.  But the point is that she was in a powerful position from the start.  My father knew from the outset how she treated me, but didn’t care (more on that later) & allowed her free reign to “discipline” me in whatever way she saw fit, after all she was my “mum”. 

She abused me right up until I left “home” to go to University, & even after that she continued to emotionally abuse me until I finally got the strength to cut contact with her.  The hard truth is she was the only mother I had & I loved her, was bonded to her, in spite of everything. It broke my heart that she didn’t love me. I did everything I could think of to try & win her affections, but of course nothing worked. The rare times that she was loving I clung to like a drowning person to a life-raft.  I have struggled with feeling anger directed at myself instead of at her, where it belongs, but thankfully that has been changing.  There is so much more I could say about her, about things she did, but this post is quite long enough now!