****This post carries a trigger warning****
I keep hearing it. People always say it…
“leave it in the past. The past is just the past”
Is it though? I don’t think it is…My past defines who I am, what I am, the way I behave,
As a baby, I was in some way sexually abused. I think I will have been anything between 12 and 18 months old. It was my Aunts boyfriend, or one of them. My parents found out somehow, I don’t believe the man was arrested, but left Yorkshire. So that was that. I don’t remember any of this happening, fortunately. That however doesn’t stop it from changing me though.
I will be a very protective Mother. From the day my child is born til the day I die. I will do everything I can to let people know that I will be on the ball to keep my child safe. If you are not left alone with my child, that simply means, I DO NOT TRUST YOU!!
If I didn’t know I’d been abused as a baby I wouldn’t be as protective. I’d be a normal Mother. Who allowed my child to play and be free. Is that truly being a good Mother though? Letting your child be available to possible abuse??? I’m not so sure.
Past defines future 1 –
I will be a protective and better Mother who is conscious of possible risks to my child. Who will constantly fight against overprotective or necessary thoughts regarding my child.
My actual childhood itself was I suppose, normal. Working class kind of normal. A Father who drank too much and like to throw his weight around mostly aimed at my Mother. He was verbally and physically abusive towards my Mum. Also towards me and my siblings. To be honest though that is something I tend to just overlook. His beatings and etc. I shouldn’t though because they too shape me. The person I am.
I was a very shy child. I was disliked by mu brother and sister. They’d deny it, but I knew. Anyway, we had little money. I was reserved I guess. My childhood was pretty much spent trying to impress a Father enough not to beat me and to help my Mother forget her black eyes if only for a minute. Of course in my childs eyes. I didn’t succeed. Nothing was enough. I don’t blame my Mother for that. Not at all. She did all she could to protect us. She took beatings for us and cried many tears watching us receive a beating she’d been unable to stop. She was as good a Mother as he allowed her to be and I don’t doubt for a minute her love for us. It was evident every day. In everything she did for us. She was the Mother we were happy with. That we doted on!
So again my future is shaped. I have vowed that I will never take a beating from a man. Never. I will never stand for a man being an alcoholic in my home. I will never stand back and let my child feel unloved. Never!!
If i hadn’t gone through a hard childhood, would it matter to me if a man was a drinker? Would i be scared of a drunken person? Would it matter if my child saw me angry or fighting with their Father?? I like to think it would but I can’t be sure.
Past defines future 2 –
My upbringing defines me because it makes me worry about my partner drinking. I worry about any children I have seeing him drink. I therefore wont allow drinking excessively around my child. I am a parent who will care about my child being happy and safe. I will not stay in an abusive relationship, and will forever deter my child, family and friends from sticking at it with an abusive partner. Without my upbringing, maybe I’d be more willing to give everyone who I was unsure of a chance to change or to prove themselves.
Childhood at home wasn’t all bad. Me and my Sister shared a room. We played together with the toys we had. Shared the same friends. Bickered as you’d expect Sisters to. All in all though it was okay. I love my Sister, dearly, and would climb mountains for her. However it’s not all sweet and rosy. My Sister I can only suspect, experienced similar to what I did when I was a baby, at the hands of the same man. I cannot confirm it, but I know she saw it happening, whether she had the same thing happen to her, I don’t know.
She was sexual though. More so than I was when we were growing up. She had a curiosity. She encouraged experimentation. Now call it innocent children exploring limits and boundaries or whatever, but me and my Sister probably abused each other. In a minor and innocent childlike way. By no means do I suspect my Sister encouraged it purposely, after all, she was just a child too. She knew no better.
It wasn’t harmful or anything bad. Just exploration. Maybe all children do it. My Sisters being 3 years older than I am maybe understood what was happening. I however did not. No badness is felt about that though. I wonder though, does such behaviour at such a young age shape you sexuality??
Past defines future 3 –
What seemed innocent exploring as a child with my Sister, could possibly have shaped my bi-sexuality. I am sexually interested in men and women. There is a physical attraction to men and women within me. If I didn’t explore as a little child, would I be totally heterosexual?? Would I be totally against gay/lesbian people, and therefore would I have done less sexually as I entered my teen years?? Then, would I have felt less like I had to regret been a slut throughout my teen years. Which would decrease the self hate I may (or may not) feel? I don’t know the answer!!
Admittedly, my childhood could have been worse. With a Brother and Sister I looked up to, and a Mother who loved me. I had more than most of the kids I knew. I even had a Dad, although a pretty shitty one. I actually knew who my Dad was!! Even though hate and fear filled my body when I was anywhere near him! Eventually my Mother found courage to take us away from the badness! I don’t know what gave her the sudden courage. I was around 7/8 years old. We went to a hostel for homeless people. Initially it was like an adventure. My Siblings and me enjoyed it.
However as most things do, it turned bad. Life wasn’t fun or easy in hostels. Bear in mind that we’d been removed from everything we knew. We had no toys, clothes, home comforts? All we could call ours were the little figures we collected out of Kinder eggs. We’d line them up, proudly on the dresser in our room. They were ours. My Father couldn’t take them, or break them. Those cheap little figures we cherished. They were all ours!!! We learned to appreciate what our Mother got for us. Be it the hand me down clothes she got from god only knows where, or our treasured Kinder egg toys! We were happy with whatever she managed to provide.
We probably looked like unloved children. In rotten clothes. With nothing to call ours. It was far from that though. My Mother loved us. God she did. She was terrified of the outcome of her bravery! She left for her children, and I don’t think a child needs more love than that! It took time for me to see it, but there is no better way for a Mother to show her love. She struggled, we went with nothing and she got power. Built us back up to something. All for her children. Now that is love. My Aunt wanted to take us, to have us be her children, but despite her hardship, my Mother fought on. Her love for us, and I presume our love for her gave her the courage to keep going. She did amazing too.
She showed that material possessions are meaningless. If you are unhappy it is pointless having a nice home and a husband. She showed us that we have to do whatever we can to make ourselves happy. That the journey would be difficult but that it would pay off!! Eventually!
Past defines future 4 –
My past showed me that women cannot be walked over. It showed me material goods are not important and gave me courage to fight for what I believe in. To fight for the happiness I deserve! If I hadn’t seen my own Mother take on, and win such a big fight, would I have carried on fighting myself? Or would I have given in well before now?? My Mother gave me a future of strength, and of fight!!!
It wasn’t all Kinder egg toys and courage in the first hostel we stayed in though. It was all pleasant to begin with. The actual place itself was probably ideal for families. There was a small play area with climbing frame and slide. Which my Sister and I took great pleasure playing in. It wasn’t a closed place though. There was a single guy, a couple of women, of varying ages. Then the warden, and his son. They seemed nice enough people. The hostel wasn’t a forever home. So it seemed perfect I guess. My Mother believed we were safe there. However that couldn’t have been further from the truth.
In that hostel, I think it’s safe to say the very warden I mentioned above, changed my life for good. More than anything I’d experienced before. He was a sexual predator, who seemed to take nothing but pleasure from sexually abusing me. Not my Sister. Just me. The play area was his hunting ground and I became his prey. Easy prey! A broken, needy child. He probably showed me sexual things I’d never otherwise have even known existed. He showed me perversion, pain, deceit, guilt, and so many more bad feelings. In fact he didn’t show me them. He made me feel them. All of them.
The sexual abuse I endured at his and his friends hands is the reason for my mental health status. Is the reason I have a DID diagnosis. The reason for many years I harmed myself, and tried to end my life. He stole my innocence and what childhood I had left. It was all a big secret. One I kept for about 7/8 more years. One I still refuse to disclose to my Mother and family. Why? Shame!! There I admit it. I was abused and that is damn shameful. I hate my body, I hate my vagina, I hate my memories, but most of all!!! Most of all I have a sheer hatred deep in my veins for him. For his sick and twisted fantasies!
Am I going to let the same thing happen to any children I know??? Hell no!
Past defines future 5 –
People in authority probably can’t be trusted!!! Give and inch and they will take a mile. Show you are vulnerable, and have needs, guaranteed someone will take those needs and stir you a merry dance with them!!! I’ll be damned if I give myself up as easily again though. I am an adult. No longer just a little girl!!! I can’t stop or get rid of the DID, but I can do my best to control it. I can do my best, and work my hardest trying to stop my mental health controlling my life. If the sexual abuse hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t have to spend so much time sorting my head out. I probably wouldn’t be here. Writing a blog!!! I’d maybe never have met my SO. Never gone for an older man! Wow then wouldn’t my life be different. Have my so-called “daddy issues” encouraged my relationship choices?? Is the fact that the only major sexual experience I’ve had is with an older man shaping my desire to find love with an older man?? Would I be with someone my age if it weren’t for my past?? Who knows. I do know though that guys my age do my head in…. aggravating!
So, we did eventually leave Hostels. We got a little 3 bed house. It was a cute house, in a not very nice place. By this time my Brother and Sister were in secondary school (high school). Catching buses to a school 3 towns away. I was in maybe year 4 at primary school (junior school). I loved school!! Always said I’d be a teacher! Alas, I’d walk to my school each morning. Made myself a couple of friends. Something I’ve never been good at. I also though acquired myself some enemies. Who took a great pleasure it seems in making my life miserable. Boy I was bullied something silly. I was a little Sister though. I’d had worse than they could say to me from my siblings. So I always walked by them. Seemingly unfazed by their taunts. Of course I’d be miserable. I’d cry. I was just a little girl. With a head already full of confusion.
I think I just began to recluse. Ignore people. Hide within myself more. Maybe falling into the DID thing more and more. I learnt not to need or want friends. Not to like others my age. To only seek comfort or befriend people who were maturer than myself. I’ve always enjoyed company of someone older. Much better conversation. As a girl walking around the village I just became a stone wall. Invincible against taunts. They threw stones, all kinds of things, but my stone front was hard practised! Nothing could get through. Not to their knowledge anyway!
I hated it though. I’d learnt to hate myself. I figured I was bad, or else why would so much badness happen? I tried to search for answers. Am still looking for answers. Just why me? My defence mechanism totally expanded to becoming unable to trust anyone!!! Everyone was out to get me. My Family couldn’t protect me. I’d had it grained into me that I couldn’t tell my Mother if I was upset because she’d become upset again. The warden taught me that. So I trained myself ignorance. I trained myself to bottle it up!!! It looked like strength, but honestly, I’ve never felt so cowardice in my whole life.
Past defines future 6 –
My past stopped me being able to trust. It made me a difficult person to befriend. It had encouraged the thought that I am a bad person. If I didn’t have that belief how different could my life be? What would change if I didn’t believe everything was simply set up to see me fail? I could have been anything, anyone. Instead I had to be me. Live the life I was served, but what did I do to deserve it? Does anyone know the answer?? Strength though, was also defined here. It may not seem it but for a child to walk through such a life every day takes some clear strength. Takes bravery. A bravery I’d probably never have had without that past! A knowledge of people and danger that I’d never have had without my past. I am able to see that this world is not a bed of roses!!
My life continued for some years with bullying, struggling, school, family struggles as normal. My life was my life. It was never going to get better, or I assumed that anyway! I was set up to fail after all! I got through it though. Still looking for some happiness I think. Which is probably why I walked into more badness. All the previous sexual abuse resurfaced when I was 14/15 years old. Our neighbours had a garden party, and invited some new people on the street. It was all fun. All okay.
I drank a little too much, tell me what teenager wouldn’t when faced with an allowance of alcohol?? Fuelled by drink, hormones or whatever, I guess I flirted with the new neighbours son. He was about 25. I was 14. Now he seemed to take my “advances” as an invitation. A month or so later, he forced himself onto me, and raped me. Still to this day I am unable to remember clearly if he had sex with me or just did “foreplay” acts and oral acts. It is too difficult. Another thing added to the pile of ignorance. After that my family turned against me.
They thought the same about me as I thought about me. I was a slut. A slag. Simple. My Mother knew it was rape. We went through the police, but she was unable to look at me the same. She was unable to support me! My Dad (Who for some stupid reason she’d remarried the year before) was furious. Not with the guy as you’d expect. No no… With me. Oh my gosh. He beat me silly. I have never been so scared. I really did think he was going to kill me! How it felt to have my Dad kicking me round my bedroom, calling me a slut and a disappointment is truly unexplainable.
I went through police interviews, intimate examinations. All alone. Unsupported. My only help was what I gave myself. Through vicious self harm, and several attempts at my own life. All of which obviously failed. Some of which almost had me end up in foster care, unfortunately that never happened. I wasn’t saved like you see on TV. I did though get assigned a therapist. Luckily. She was my rock. She was everything I had as support. The only person that genuinely cared I was okay. Gosh I made her some work too!! I rang her, for everything. Needed her approval or opinion of everything I did. Needed to know she was satisfied with me. I guess in a way she was the closest thing to a parent I had at that time. I never admitted it, but it’s true. Without her in it, I felt that my life could not continue. I think she knew I felt that. I was too far in though for her to stop it! She did amazing though. She tried, really tried to keep me at arm’s length. She knew I was vulnerable. She knew I was needy. Knew I was looking for a parent figure. She never enforced my needs. Or encouraged me to see her as a provider of what I wanted. Never. That’s not what this is about though. She gave me support.
Past defines future 7 –
My past encouraged my need for outside support. Encouraged my ability to turn away from my family. It helped me see that they are not good people! It makes me feel that my Dad hated me, and didn’t care for me. It’s made me terrified of a mans raised hand. I flinch. My past has made me need therapy in order to go on. Does that mean I feel too weak to do it myself?? Would my life be different if I didn’t query a stranger’s attention? Would I be a better person?? Did it make me weak and easy?? how different would I be if I didn’t get assaulted or abused? Would I view life differently. Would I feel less worthless?? Would I have a child?? A family and be happy? Did my past even cause my infertility???
After the torment and angst cause by the assault, family dynamics were far from ideal. Anyone could see that. Luckily I had therapy but that didn’t stop the suicide attempts or self harm. It also unfortunately failed to stop my Dad going a few steps too far when he was drunk. More shame. Realising my Dad was a pervert. I was 15, laid in my bed. My little Brother sleeping beside me (he was a pampered baby and wouldn’t sleep alone).
My Dad came stumbling in from the pub. He stunk. Pure alcohol on his breath. He fell into my bedroom, and against my bed. Blame it on drink or whatever, but his hands and eyes explored places that a Father never should on his Daughter! He became aroused my touching me. His own flesh and blood. Got his kicks, then left. Like it was nothing. He underestimated me though. He gave my strength and bravery too little credit. When I saw my therapist I told her what had happened. Admittedly shortly after I followed it with a suicide attempt. I’d told her though. See my Dad forgot I had support. He didn’t realise I had someone I could trust and who cared about me!
My therapist obviously had to report what I’d said. Social services ended up involved. Be it due to flaws in the system or whatever though. I wasn’t saved or rescued. I was left there. In more danger because my Dad was furious. He carried on being inappropriate, because he knew I wouldn’t tell again! Why would I? They didn’t even help me. They made it worse. He tried stopping me seeing my therapist. Saying she was simply putting ideas into my head. He failed. I’d never stop seeing her. Certainly not for him. I took beatings for going but I didn’t care. He could do what he wanted, it didn’t matter any more. What worse could be done to me??
I lost all respect for my caregivers. Mother and Father, even siblings. The day my Mother chose her abusive Husbands happiness over mine was the day I decided nothing mattered. Not my feelings, not theirs. Nothing could have made it better or worse. I no longer considered my family any part of me! They didn’t deserve that privilege.
Past defines future 8 –
My past makes me see that even family are not safe. It made me turn my back on them and walk away. It tore me away from what I crave the most. Fortunately I am allowed to be connected to a family full of love and support. Which my family helped me to realise is a wonderful thing. If my past hadn’t been so bleak, would I appreciate my SO’s families love so much? Would I cherish it so much. My family helped me learn family values. How not to parent. My Dad made me sensitive to the kind of man I’d chose to Father my own children. He once again reminded me of danger. Anyone can be a danger. I will always believe that you should always have some mistrust in everyone! My past did that!
Your past has defined your future???
Yes. Yes it does. My past has made me strong. It has given me courage, and so much fight. I have learnt the true meaning of love and family. Which I will happily share with my own family when I eventually have one. My past alerts me to possible dangers in the world, it helps me keep my future safe. Yes I may got over the top now and again, I most definitely will, but that’s okay. I don’t mind that my past has caused me to be protective. By no means am I a perfect person. Not at all, but my past has made me a good person. Who can appreciate the greater good. Who is genuine! My past has made me a person who can get on with whatever life may throw at me, because now I’m an adult and I’m pretty sure I am safe! That I’m okay. I don’t face your worry of it becoming worse. I’ve been through the worst and know my future will never outdo my past. Not in badness anyway! It definitely will in goodness. It’s my bad past that allows that. Allows freedom to be happy and to be content.