1 in 20 children have been sexually abused and I am one of those children. Growing up it was something I could never imagine speaking about to anyone let alone writing a blog open for everyone to read.
Over the next few weeks, I will be discussing everything I know about child abuse. What happened, how it made me feel, how it impacted my childhood, how it impacts my life now, the strain it had on my sex life, the court case, the parole hearings. The fact that actually by the time everyone found out I had already gotten to grips with it all and everyones tears actually annoyed me.
It all started when I was in primary school, I was in key stage 2 but I can not really remember the exact age as to be honest it is a bit of a blur. The person was a very close family friend, his step daughter was like my cousin and best mate so we wer around each other a lot. I stayed over their house a lot in the summer holidays, on the weekends, we went on family holidays together, celebrated birthdays together, you get the point we hung out a lot as families.
The man was very charming, in the sense he made everyone laugh. He was also very controlling within his relationship and in terms of his step children. He was very calculated and could be very violent at times to people in the public and to family members. He could be quite frightening and had a very large character. Saying that people warmed to him, children loved his playful side and adults did too regardless of the bad points to his personality.
Now looking back at those times, he had been grooming me for ages. Of course, I just thought he was being a cool fun step dad, letting me and my mate do things we weren’t meant to be doing (i e smoking and watching scary movies). Of course smoking was on his terms. Sometimes he let us smoke every day but then randomly he wouldn’t let us. Or he would let me and not let his step daughter or visa versa. He loved the control.
When it actually begun, the sexual acts I was very confused. I did not really get what was happening. My parents didn’t explain to me about people like him. Not that if they did things could have been different because you never know. We had talks about paedophiles in school and that it could happen to anyone and usually it is people you know that will do it but for some reason I didn’t put two and two together. I think it when it was happening I just blanked out and pushed it to the back of my head.
I have made it so clear to Milo, that no one should touch his private body parts and if they do then he needs to tell us. Not even family.
This went on for years, literally. Until eventually, I got into secondary school and I really started to understand actually that it was not right. I got new friends from starting school and very rarely went around to stay at my best friends house anymore. It was not a reflection on her or our relationship (even though it did suffer), it was a hate for him that I had grown.
I started to feel really angry, I started to feel exploited, I started to smoke a lot and not just cigarettes. I started to self harm. I was being a little shit at school. I hated adults telling me what to do including my teachers. I was a pupil you wouldn’t want in your classroom. It was such a hard tough time. I always felt like I had a secret from my parents which I hated because I was close to them.
Yet, I was nice at home. I was good for my parents. There was so many times I wanted to tell my parents about him and what happened and the fact it was still happening to her. But I wondered if they would believe me? How it could impact our families life? Would it make my mum drink more? Was there any point because it wasn’t happening anymore even though it was still happening to my best mate? What would be the point in telling them? Would I be seen as damaged goods (hate that term)? The list goes on.
I really had low self worth. I didn’t like myself even though it seemed as though I did. I was quite confident but I think it was all an act. I had some really close friends and even though it is sad, it comforted me that the same kind of things had happened to one my best friends at the time. She didn’t know about him because I still hadn’t told anyone. I couldn’t bear telling anyone. My best friend and I never spoke about it. It was an unwritten rule, not to mention it.
It was all inside and it felt like I wanted to explode like a coca cola bottle. It was a lot to handle. I wanted and yearned for a normal up bringing. I didn’t want to speak about it because everyone thought I was a happy girl with a good life .
I started to date Miles in 2007 (16 years old) and I didn’t tell him. But in 2008 everything changed one night. My best friend exploded after a family meal and confined in my Mum about what her step dad had been doing to her, she kept me out of it, thankfully I thought at the time.
Next week, I will be speaking about what happened after this. I decided to break this topic down into different blogs because there is so much to speak about and I may begin to ramble. I decided to speak about this topic now as I felt ready to. It has been such a hard thing to write about so far and I know it is such a taboo subject even though it happens to so many people.
I will see you next Monday, if you have any questions please dm me.
Love Lauren x