Thursday, November 15, 2012


t is not surprising that I am emotionally all over the place and I know that there are many other survivors who will be feeling exactly the same way and for exactly the same reasons.


it is all over the news every day and has been for a few weeks now. For those of you who do not live in Britain you will not know what this is about. Jimmy Savile was a highly entertaining philanthro

pist. He raised millions of pounds for children. For their hospitals for their treatments for their holidays. He was considered a saint.

We now know that he was a paedophile. We now know that he abused hundreds. We also now know that those people whose job it was to protect those that he abused failed in their job. We now also know that plenty of people knew that he was a paedophile and that he was abusing but they were too afraid to say anything in case they lost their job or were made to look foolish if they were wrong. I have always said that child abuse happens because we the general public and allow it to. In this case of Jimmy Savile it could not be more clear how the public not only did nothing to stop him that actively helped him.

Anybody who is a survivor of childhood abuse will be in emotional turmoil over this particular case because it covers just about every area of our lives that were destroyed. First of all our trust, the ability to trust, was destroyed by the abuser but also by those who refuse to believe us or who blamed us all who diagnosed us as mentally ill and therefore nothing we said was of any value. If we still refused to shut up we were forcibly drugged and kept in a stupor for months on end and when these drugs affected our behaviour in a negative way, with extreme agitation and violence even towards oneself or towards one's others, we were then deemed to be suffering from a highly unpredictable personality disorder.

I know as only survivor can possibly know how this news story has ripped open our wounds yet again. I can only hope that those survivors that are reading this are in the same fortunate position that I am: I live a very good life and I have a husband who loves me dearly and who not only puts up with the swings and roundabouts of living with a survivor but he has actually learned what being a survivor means and how it affects our behaviour. Of course because I love him and he is the closest person to me he is often the one that I lash out at. He understands when I zone out. By this I mean he understands that I am not ignoring him but that my mind has shut down because something rather has triggered off a memory. And this man slept on a settee for nearly a year because my night terrors were so bad that he would be battered and bruised. This of course would make me feel terribly ashamed but also frightened because I would have absolutely no recollection at all of having had a night terror. I rarely have them now.

To my survivor friends please believe me when I say that this will pass. Not only will this new story wane but we will be less affected by it as each day goes by. We will process it. We will once again go back to where we were. This emotional turmoil will not stay with us. It will settle down again.

To all of you non-survivors I have absolutely no idea if any of this makes any sense at all to you. I hope that it does and I hope that it helps you better understand those people in your life who are survivors. Hopefully you will understand that when you are the brunt of the survivors pain that it is not you that is the real aim. Even if you do not experience such reactions. You may find that your survivor friends withdraw from you. Or they seem to be moody for no apparent reason. They become ultrasensitive. They can react emotionally over the slightest thing. They can be offended easily. They can cry easily. Suddenly daily tasks will become as if they were mountains to be climbed. Whatever you experience from your survivor friends just bearing mind that it is not about you it is about the people who abused them and in situations like this the emotions all come flooding back and abuse that may have taken place 50 years ago is as fresh as if it were yesterday because to us that is when it was: yesterday, today, now,. You see we suddenly find we are living it again. And again.

Just know that this too will pass but also no that it will never be the end but that there is still hope because a good life can be lived despite the horror of our pasts. The memories, the flashbacks, the emotional outbursts, the terror, all of it becomes much less powerful and much less frequent.

I am living proof to you that you can survive to live a good life even though one has to carry the past with you. Some people who consider themselves super spiritual believe that you can put the pass down and leave it. This is a lie. What actually happens with recovery and the right help and support is that we are able to carry the load in such a way that it does not wear us down. Our past will always be with us. It is what made us who we are today. There will always be triggers. The only way to stop the past from intruding upon today is by making sure that we do not have any today's. And that my friend is not an option. That would mean that the abuser or abusers have one. trust me when I tell you that one can live a truly wonderful authentic life even with this terrible evil that was inflicted upon us.

If only I could show you film of what I used to be like. I used to starve myself. I used to cut myself. I regularly overdosed. I was too afraid to go out. My body dysmorphic was so extreme that I could not have any mirrors in my house and if I caught sight of myself in the mirror all reflection in a window all I saw was something like the hunchback of Notre Dame, something dark and evil. Today I am able to have mirrors in my house. Today I able to stand in front of my mirror and feel pleased with what I see there are days I choose not to look in the mirror. I had extremely violent mood swings where I would have long periods of mania followed by long periods of depression. This made relationships extremely difficult to maintain. I was always in and out of hospital. I have been in locked wards. I have been taken to hospital in handcuffs. And I have been held down and injected with large doses of largactil, the liquid cosh. back then I could not imagine the life I have today I fully expected that my life would be lived in mental hospitals until the day I was successful in killing myself.

Today I live a normal life. I have a wonderful husband and I have my dogs. Yes I live with brain damage and with body damage, Such that I need large doses of painkiller and epilepsy medication but I need take nothing at all to control my moods because today I am in charge. Today I know what I want you to know: it was never me it was always them. In other words I was treated the way that I was treated because of the way my abusers were. I was not abused because of who I was. I was abused because of who they were. Once you truly understand and believe that fact you will be free to be who you are and to have a good life. My prayer for you, my wish for you, my good thoughts to you, are that you come to the same understanding that I did. I no longer live in a world that was black-and-white with shades of grey. I now live in full glorious technicolour. you can too. There is nothing special about me. If I can get to this point then so can you.          

1 comment:

Anita said...

I wish you continuing peace and love Colin. You are brave and you have understood that it was never about you. That is such a hard thing to do - to love yourself when you have been taught constantly that you are unworthy. I admire you greatly.