Thirty years of silence, thirty years of living with something that was not my fault.
But all the same I blamed myself and everyone else indirectly. For those of you who are reading this, I feel it is important for you to know and understand that no matter how bad you feel it won’t get better on its own and you are not the only one who will suffer, so will all the people you care about and love. I know, because I have been there and so have they.
I always thought that no matter what happens I will never tell or say anything, just the shame the embarrassment what would people think of me, so dirty, disgusting and soulless. Well the day came where I couldn’t cope with it anymore, after 13 years in the army, numerous tours of Northern Ireland, the Gulf etc, and then years as a police officer. Just get up and dust yourself down wouldn’t work anymore.
Every day things become a nightmare and a reminder of what my nightmare was and when my mother died I realised that I had no childhood memories. I could not remember anything other than the bad things that happened to me. I had spent so long blocking out the past there was nothing to remember only the same video that played in my mind all my life since that day. Just the reminder of what he did to me.
That is when life started going all wrong, I could no longer be a father to my kids nor a husband to my wife and I could feel a door closing on me. I walked out after 15 years of marriage – I just got up one day and decided to leave.
Two years we were separated and I went to counselling because I could not cope without the family that I had left behind. But I could not tell them about my abuse, I became what I can only describe as suicidal. I wrote the letters and I had a lovely bottle of Regimental whisky which I had since 1992. The plan was an overdose, I would phone work sick and spend days in front of the television doing nothing, just staring into space.
The days I did go to work were terrible at times but there were days when my friends saw me through the day just by being them. In hindsight I would say I am very proud to work with them for keeping me going at the times I didn’t care what happened to me.
In December 2001 I came forward as a survivor/victim.
The circumstances being a number of things at that time that I was dealing with in relation to my employment and a number of issues relating to paedophilia. I cannot tell you or be able to put into words how I felt having told someone. I had finally told someone, then my wife, then my supervisor – not all at the same time but people that needed to know. But it was not as easy as that when I first came forward.
I started to lose my mind I am convinced of that. I didn’t know myself any more and everyone I saw or met, I was convinced they were paedophiles. I then relived on a daily basis for weeks my nightmare, which had never left me. I was in total torment and at times life was at a standstill, I went to counselling within my occupation but they were not able to give me the specialist counselling that I needed. They were someone to listen, they would give me three hours at a time and I went every week until April 2002.
It was then I found Survivors UK. How can I describe Survivors UK without being biased? For starters I don’t think I could. But let’s say if you could now remember things that you couldn’t remember before and it was the things you specifically wanted to remember. If you wanted to understand what happened to you, and knew that it was not your fault.
If you needed a shoulder to cry on, someone to hold your hand, or someone to give you reassurance, someone to put their arm around you. But most of all someone to understand where you have been and know what you feel. Someone to knock down all the barriers that you put up over the years to find comfort, or to hide the fact you had been abused.
Survivors UK will knock down the barriers and then help you rebuild them. Sounds like an advert doesn’t it? But it is no advert. It is fact and true, because as I say, I have been there. So if you are thinking about coming forward then make that call, change your life, give yourself what you deserve, FREEDOM.
I won’t pretend that after having counselling that it will all go away because it won’t, even now I still have days that I feel a bit depressed, but generally better days than I have ever had. Christmas is Christmas again and a little boy inside smiled for the first Christmas that he could ever remember.
I did not sit and write this for my benefit nor for the benefit of Survivors UK, but only for those who read this who have come to Survivors UK looking for some encouragement.
I am now home with my family again, I can feel a love and passion I have never before felt in my life.
Thank you Survivors UK.