(TW) I have no idea how to title this post

 |  Personal

Trigger warning: sexual abuse

I’ve started — and deleted — this post so many times over the past few years or so.

In fact, I’m writing it now, not knowing if I will get to the end before I change my mind and delete it all again.

I’m not really sure why I’m choosing now to go with it. Perhaps it’s because it’s nearly a year exactly since I asked Karl to leave and the taste of freedom is fresh in my mouth once more. Perhaps it’s because I finally feel like I have some control over my life, despite the crazy (and often hilarious) mishaps that I seem to go through on a regular basis. Perhaps it’s because of posts like Not guilty: A letter to my assaulter that shake my very core and remind me that I still have a long way to go in terms of building myself up again.

When I was 7 years old, I was told to lie down on my bedroom floor while my abuser rubbed himself up and down against me, dry-humping my body.

By the time I was 14, I had been touched, kissed, licked, tasted, rubbed, pushed, pulled, held, ordered and ultimately raped by that person more times than I can count. In fact, I can’t count, because I have blocked so many things out of my memory. Literally repressed things too overwhelming for me to contemplate. I have years of my childhood missing — taken from me — because my brain has decided that it’s easier to forget in chunks than it is to pick and choose.

I kept this inside me for years. Bottled up, eating away at me. Nightmares, every night for years and years, re-living pain and fear and embarrassment and shame and a whole host of other emotions too scary to name.

I was forced to share my story before I was ready, for reasons I can’t explain because it’s part of someone else’s story, and it was like being violated all over again. Sitting in front of a social worker, repeating to her every detail I could muster, salty tears pouring down my face and shame flushing me red. Realising as I went on that not only had she stopped taking notes, but that she clearly stopped listening (and believing) well before I’d even got started.

I remember hearing the words excusing his behaviour fall out of her mouth. Being asked if I ever said no. Hearing her tell me that he was probably abused too and that’s why he did it, and not knowing how to respond; staring at the cat earrings dangling from her stubby ears because it was easier than looking her in the eye. Being told I would be sent information on counselling for abuse survivors only for it to never arrive.

I finally came to terms with my mind — my private space — being violated by that social worker when I started talking to a counsellor, back in April of last year. Telling my story in my way, sharing things I was sure made me damaged goods. Spilling secrets from the very depths of my soul, things I never thought I’d be able to tell anyone. I started to came to terms with the effects it had on my body and how I see myself physically and sexually little over a month later, when I met someone who would do more for me in the space of a year than I even thought possible. But more about that another day.

Ironically, I guess, I was pushed into counselling by the very person who’d occupied every physical and mental space in my life since the original abuse stopped. His pushing led to the realisation that I’d never really got away from suffering and fear and ultimately led me to end my 12 year relationship.

I forgave my childhood abuser a long time ago. I’m not angry at him, I don’t carry a grudge. In fact perhaps hardest of all is knowing that I miss him: miss the person he was, the person he could be. I miss his smile, his humour, his deep loyalty to his family. I don’t know if I’ll ever get to tell him that because I don’t know where he is now, but I would stand inches from him, look him in the eye and repeat those words to his face.

I can only hope that one day I find the same strength to forgive the person who stood in the way of me doing so 12 years ago.

Jem Turner jem@jemjabella.co.uk +44(0)7521056376

21 comments so far

  1. Meggan said:

    Also reading and listening. And hating that social worker for saying all the wrong things to you when you were so vulnerable.

    Thank you for sharing your story. <3

    • Roro said:

      I do not know about England, but in the States if the social worker made this comment, she would have lost her job due to her breach of work ethics. What a lousy SW! Everyone who read your latest blog listened to you. You are a strong woman with a very sensible head on two shoulders.

  2. Laura said:

    I always read but I don’t often comment. I had to, for obvious reasons. I can’t believe a social worker would say those things to you (except maybe I can). I am so glad you have found the power and strength inside yourself to move on from such an awful, awful ordeal. Xx

  3. Amanda said:

    Lots of hugs for you. I have nothing to say, but to thank you for being such a strong person. Maybe thank isn’t the right word? I’m not sure any are.

  4. Kya said:

    It has taken me a while to try and comment and think of something to say. Like many of the commenters, I am here as well and I hear you.

    I don’t like to use the term ‘glad’, but I am glad that you have reached a point in time where you are able to ‘deal’ with this, and be able to address it, so that it is no longer that part of yourself that is hidden or secret. The fact that you also have found someone in your life that has been able to allow you to have positives is just so good, because you deserve happiness and the life you want to lead.

    It is also so horrible, that people do not believe others. It causes so much extra trauma and makes me so furious at some of these so called professionals.

    Thank you for sharing your ordeal. I am sure that there are others out there that understand and might consider help as well.

  5. Chantelle said:

    I’m sending more hugs your way. I admire you for sharing this–I also think it’s unbelievably helpful to others in similar situations when people willingly share personal stories like this–and I’m sorry you had to experience that.

  6. mumblies said:

    I so wish you had let me sooner so that i could help more but you know i believe in privacy. I am here for you no matter what <3

  7. Georgie said:

    I’m sorry to hear what you went through, Jem. I am glad you reached out for help. I admire that you could come out and share your story and I hope that it helped you heal. <3