Hello, my lovelies. I’ve decided to tell my story in the hope I can reach those who are drowning in pain or for those who need some support or to hopefully educate others out there. I really hope my story helps someone out there. Ive wanted change for survivors for so long because of the way we are treated and the stigma we face and I want to help improve the prevention of childhood sexual abuse. I hope sharing my story can encourage others to speak out and help survivors to know they are not alone and It does get better. I will put in a trigger warning so please look after yourselves and remember your brave, and strong.x
Growing up I was your average girlie girl. I loved all things pink (I still do) and I could play for hours with my dolls and teddy bears. I was always described as a ray of sunshine and that I would light up any room I walked into. I appeared completely normal and happy but that’s the thing about child sexual abuse the perpetrators are so clever they not only groom their victim they groom the adults around them to believe that nothing is wrong. I truly believed what was happening to me was normal.
My abuser was my Grandad. He lived with us. He was so clever nobody ever even suspected that anything wrong was happening that I was unsafe, he not only groomed me he groomed everyone who lived in our home.
I was always my Grandad’s favourite. He used to buy me gifts and sweets all the time even after my brothers were born, I was still always favoured. I was Grandad’s special little girl. The abuse started when I was 4 years old. When my brothers were born, they needed a lot of looking after as baby’s do, he used that as an excuse to manipulate my Mom and Dad telling them he would help out by taking me out for the day. Sometimes we’d be out until it got dark. My Mom and Dad always believed he was genuinely helping and was just being a good Grandad, he truly manipulated my Mom and Dad and everyone around us that he would never do anything to hurt me. But he was. He abused me until I was 8 years old. (age for me is a bit blurry but I’m pretty sure I was around this age when he was asked to leave).
He wasn’t only abusing me he was behaving inappropriately to other girls on our street. If it hadn’t been for those girls speaking up about what he was doing I don’t think I’d be here today. Once those girls spoke up, he was then told he had to leave our home and stay away from myself and my family. Social services came to our house and sat at our kitchen table. The ladies had this big box of crayons and pieces of paper. They asked me to draw a muddle, a muddle is basically big scribbles on a page. The bigger the scribble or mess the more it indicated how confused or upset I was. They noticed straight away that something wasn’t right and that I needed to speak to someone, and they made it clear that my Grandad was not allowed to be near me or my brothers or family. My brothers were always safe and he never hurt them in any way. He’d often say to me “it’s you or them” and as a little girl who loved her brothers to death I’d always make sure they’d never get hurt.
After this I was then seen by the NSPCC two amazing women who were amazing at their job. I remember the one lady picking me up in her little mini. I spent a lot of time getting help with the NSPCC. They helped a great deal. They helped me understand that what had happened to me for years was not Ok. However I still didn’t have the words to explain and really say what had happened I didn’t have the vocabulary and I was so terrified of my Grandad I was brainwashed into thinking Id never be believed that It was my fault that my Mom and dad would hate me and i’d be in trouble if I told.
Even though he was warned he needed to stay away he would still drive past my school gates and try to hang around the pub near my school where whoever was picking me up would park. I was constantly in fear.
Eventually I did a police interview when I was 8/9. I’ve decided I will write a separate post on this.
The CPS decided that I was not going to court with the other girls due to the lack of evidence and my age. Sometimes now When I look back, I get so angry and upset with myself why didn’t I just tell them everything that had happened to me maybe then they would have had more evidence. However, he did go to court to face the other girls however he was found not guilty. Again, I will write another post more about the court process and my feelings towards the justice system etc.
We eventually moved to a new house. Being in the home was too traumatic and I didn’t feel safe in that city anymore. When we moved, I felt such relief to begin with however I couldn’t help these horrible emotions creeping up on me now and again and these nightmares that kept recurring.
As I was growing up life began to get tougher and tougher. I had all these horrible emotions and memories that I didn’t understand. My childhood was a huge jigsaw puzzle and so many of the pieces were missing. I tried so hard to erase the memories but it didn’t work. My emotions started spilling out into other places making me so sensitive amongst a million other things. However, no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t forget. I began to get flashbacks and bursts of all this mixed up emotions. This went on for so long. I started to hear voices. Again, I will write a separate post just on my mental health journey etc. I would hear his voice. It was drilled into me that I couldn’t tell that I wouldn’t be believed, that It was my fault. The words would never form in my mouth.
Eventually I spoke to one of my teachers. School knew I was vulnerable and that I was being picked on and they were aware of my past however they were just ridiculously unhelpful apart from a handful of amazing teachers who helped. Eventually the pieces of the jigsaw started to come together and I started to understand and that’s when my world came crashing down for the first time. I started to self-harm and I took my first overdose. I genuinely couldn’t see any other way. The things I loved so much I didn’t love anymore. I stopped being excited for rehearsals and for dance class my world became so dark. I lived in this whole for a while. There were times where I had these bursts of happiness and joy. I remember specifically being given the part of Jan in grease and for the first time I could remember I felt joy and I genuinely felt excitement and that I belonged somewhere. I was always really supported by the music and drama department in school.
There’s gaps were I don’t really remember much so theres abit of a gap here. When I was in year 11 I met my CYSVA the most amazing women I know without her I wouldn’t be here today. People would possibly think I was being dramatic when I say she saved my life but she truly did. She supported me through so much and I’d never be able to thank her enough.
My moods were erratic. I felt so overwhelmed like there was no point in living because I was never going to be able to escape what had happened to me so I took multiple overdoses. I will write a different post on my experience with mental health services with camhs and adult mental health services ect.
Eventually I decided I wanted to go to the police. The thought that he still thought I was going to be silent and that there could be a chance I could get justice and most of all I wanted to get it all out I couldn’t carry on.
During all this time I’d started college and it was definitely the best thing I’d ever done. I met some amazing friends and I had the most brilliant supportive tutors. After my first interview I started having dissociative episodes more often, sometimes they’d last for up to an hour. I will write a separate post about CPTSD and my dissociative disorder. My episodes became really distressing and got worse and worse to the point I was completely losing control. I was so lucky to have such supportive tutors and family and friends who really looked after me and supported me endlessly.
After my first interview it was like opening a can of worms. It was explained to me that this could happen that I could remember more and it would be distressing for me and that’s exactly what happend. More memories were resurfacing and I did multiple police interviews because I kept remembering more and more. I was struggling to cope I was self harming and for a while I struggled to with eating I wanted to just disappear. I waited 2 years for the CPS to make a decision on wether my case would go to court or not during that time we were treated poorly by certain individuals dealing with the case and it was just confusing and long I felt like my entire life was on hold for 2 years. They finally came to the back with the decision of No further action which shattered me, I knew it was a high chance this could happen but I just wanted closure and justice not just for me but my family and I’ll never get that. I was crushed for a while. ( I will write a post about dealing with a NFA decision and some other posts relating to the reporting process).
Eventually I started to get better. I started to take each day as it came. I knew my dissociative episodes were still at their peak but I started to feel more hopeful like I could do this. I began a new medication ect and I was so lucky to have such amazing friends and tutors who pushed me to do my best and not let all of this define me.
After some counselling and help from my CYSVA I started to heal. I was still having episodes however I started to heal and get better I was feeling better. I don’t regret reporting because I know I tried. I let him know I didn’t say silent. I wasn’t keeping his secret anymore. I wasn’t a victim. I’m a survivor of the sparkle that faded for years I was getting back.
I ended up doing really well in my three years of college and I’ve found happiness. I’ve found joy I’ve found that sparkle that I lost. I still have a way to go but I’m well on the road to were I want to be. It’s been a while where I haven’t had a dissociative episode that I can remember and I’m 6 months self harm free. They took too much of my life away and I’m not letting them take anymore because the best revenge is success. And in my eyes success to me is achieving my dreams and using my voice because they took that away for so long.
I’m sorry this post is a little bit all over the place. It’s much harder than I thought to write all of this the amount of times I’ve deleted paragraphs is silly. I know this might be a bit triggering for people so please feel free to message me and I’ll always do my best to help or even if you just fancy a chat. I want to sprinkle my sparkle wherever I can to help others heal and support as much as I can. I’ll be here rain or shine. Thank you so much for reading. Just keep swimming, it does get better.
Keep yourselves safe x
thank you for reading. X