Having a German parent resulted in me having two Christmases each year when I was a child. The first began with me shivering with excitement rather than cold during a family walk after dark on Christmas Eve. We returned to the festive chimes of our Weihnachtspyramide and warming smell of Adventskranz candles, and our large … Continue reading Happy Christmas?
Recently I embarked on reading my diaries from start to finish. I began writing when I was twelve so my journey will take a year and a half reading at my current speed of one month a day. My motive is to reacquaint myself with memories that the trauma monster kicked out of my mind … Continue reading The Discomfort Of Compliments And Shame
He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to loveMartin Luther King Jr. We’ve all seen those short, inspirational quotes encouraging us to lead better lives. However well meaning they may be, the ones promoting forgiveness make me feel angry, hurt and belittled. You see, I'm unable to forgive … Continue reading Is Sexually Abusing A Child Forgivable?
It was a short and unremarkable tweet that drew my attention to just how many unanswered questions many victims of child sexual abuse carry. Flicking through my imaginary biography, paragraphs thick with guilt and shame have been cut out by those who betrayed me, naively thinking I wouldn’t notice. And whole pages are missing where … Continue reading Unanswered Questions
I was six, maybe seven years old. I was in my bedroom with my favourite dolls carefully arranged in the houses I’d made for them out of shoe boxes. Their furniture and belongings were made from cardboard, odd bits and bobs and plenty of imagination. But I wasn’t playing with them. Instead my grandfather was … Continue reading Why I Didn’t Tell
I've written this piece for the 'Survivors Of Abuse' campaign to raise awareness of grooming. I will never know what went on in my grandfather’s mind, but this is my interpretation of his thoughts from things he said and did. I apologise if you find this uncomfortable to read. There’s nothing really wrong with it. … Continue reading How To Normalise The Abnormal
Many victims of child sexual abuse find internal examinations particularly distressing and can freeze, have panic attacks or disassociate. But to me, whether performed by a man or woman, they are as stressful as popping into a local shop to buy sweets. Once I even fell asleep whilst lying half naked waiting for one, such … Continue reading Examinations………Internal Ones
The first things to go were objects that he'd touched. I couldn't hold any of them without washing my hands afterwards in a vain attempt to wash him away, his dirt, his crimes. Photographs followed. But I didn't just cut out his images leaving a hole as a reminder of my abhorrence of him, each … Continue reading Dirty DNA
Child molesters often hide in plain sight, disguised by normality. My grandfather was one of them. He was a family man, retired, living in a nice house with his wife. All seemingly normal. So why did he sexually abuse children? I am one of his victims. And I find most responses to this question, leave … Continue reading Excuses, excuses, excuses. Why did my grandfather sexually abuse children?