Tag Archives: survivor

Hear no evil

Hear no evil

Hear no evil

“Seriously, why can’t all you ‘survivors’ just shut the fuck up?  Why do you have to ruin people’s lives?  I mean, it all happened years ago, right?  So, why can’t you just get over it?  Why can’t you leave it be?  Why do you have to drag it all up, and destroy other people?”

“Steve!” Enid exclaimed.  “Don’t be so rude!”

“Oh, that’s okay, Enid.  Steve is entitled to his opinion.”

“But…”

“Enid, don’t be embarrassed.  There a lot of people out there who think and feel just like Steve.  So, Steve, do you really want to know why we ‘survivors’ speak out?  Or, are you just letting off steam?”

“Oh, I’d really like to know.  I am so sick of hearing about people having a good old whinge because they were abused as a child.  I wish you’d all go die in a hole together somewhere, you know?  You’re all a mob of sooks – wimps who can’t take a well-deserved thrashing, and now want everyone else to pay.”

“Really?  Steve, you have a daughter, right?”

“Yep.”

“And how old is she?”

“Four.”

“And you wouldn’t dream of having sex with her right?”

“Are you kidding?  She’s my daughter, for fuck’s sake!”

“True, but some people do have sex with their children, and even when the kids are younger than your daughter.  All you have to do is pick up any newspaper and you will see it is happening all the time.”

“I hadn’t really noticed.”

“Anyway, you knew my father quite well, didn’t you?”

“Yeah, that’s why I reckon you’re lying.  He wouldn’t have done any of the things you say he done.”

“Ah, but he did.  And his favourite age for young girls was six years old – not much older than your daughter.  Most of his friends have young daughters.  He would spend lots of time with their parents and, in the process, lots of time with the girl.  He would tell the parents he could mind their daughter if ever they needed time out…”

“Like he did for us?”

“Yep, just like that.  Over time, usually a few years, he would then start making the girl feel special – praise her for doing things that pleased him, giving her special treats, treating her like she was a little princess.  If they were a little older, he would play on their budding sensuality, flirt with them, tease them to make them blush, touch them ever so slightly here and there to get them used to being near him.  Talk dirty, occasionally.  I’m sure you’ve seen this happen?”

“Like he was doing with Jessie?”

“Exactly.  His favourite thing of all, was to take them away for a weekend or school holidays – camping or something similar – take them to somewhere they’d never been before.  All in the name of education, of course.”

“Didn’t he take Margaret to the city once?”

“Yes, he did.”

“That doesn’t mean he did anything.”

“True, but what if I am not lying, and he did?  How would you feel then?”

“Dunno.”

“From the way you have spoken before, Steve, it sounds like you hate me for speaking out?”

“Yeah, you killed him.”

“You are entitled to your opinion, but what if the things I am telling you are true?  How would you feel about me if I hadn’t spoken out?  If I hadn’t brought this to people’s attention, and he had continued grooming your daughter?  What if he had put his fingers in your daughter’s vagina because I hadn’t broken the silence and tried to stop him molesting other girls?  What if he progressed to raping her?  How would you feel about me then?  If I had known what he was like, but never said anything?”

“I’d be pretty pissed.”

“You would probably hate me even more than you do now.”

“But I don’t think he did what you said.”

“Go away and think about it.  Think about all the times you have seen him with your daughter, had her on his knee, tickled her under her shirt, showered with her.  Think of all the times you have seen him with other girls.  Really look at how he behaved.  The inappropriate double-entendres with prepubescent and teenage girls.  The eagerness to have young girls stay over.  The trips away with one or two girls at a time…”

“But his wife was always with him.”

“I was molested with my mother in the room.  I can guarantee it can happen in a split second and right in front of other people.  Where there is a will there’s a way, and he had perfected his methods.”

“That can’t be true.”

“Just think about it.”

“Maybe.”

“Steve, there are lots of other reasons we speak out, but the safety of those still in danger is often a major factor in the decision.  The reason it usually takes so long, apart from all the psychological damage that has to be worked through, is that most people who were abused as a child think they are the only victim.  If it’s only them, why bother?  But when others are at risk of experiencing what we’ve experienced, the matter becomes urgent.”

“I still don’t think it’s true.”

Accept the bad but enjoy the good

Enjoy the good

Enjoy the good

After pouring out a number of posts relating to the negative, I felt it was time to add a little balance, but this post didn’t turn out quite the way I expected.

For incest kids, life is not always 100% bad stuff – there is usually some good stuff mixed with the bad during the growing years, because families generally have good times and bad times.  This is what makes it so hard for us, because as children we do not have the mental capacity to distinguish between what is good and what is bad, everything just ‘is’.

I might need to explain that a little better.

When you are an incest kid, there are times when you are just a kid, like any other kid, playing games, being silly, sometimes even having fun.  Other times you are not a kid, because you are forced into a quasi-adult role by your abuser.  Still other times, you don’t know what you are.  Overall, however, as an incest kid, the abuse is a ‘normal’ part of your life.  Generally you have been groomed, ever so slowly, from the day you were born, and desensitised to things that ‘society’ believes you should be alarmed by.

I can remember the daughter of a friend of my father, telling me her daddy let her play with his penis.  I was about eleven at the time, and my thoughts were “doesn’t everybody’s?”

According to the rules of society, this girl’s ‘confession’ should have shocked me – it didn’t.  The reason it didn’t, is because such incidents were a normal part of my life.

It is societal norms, I believe, that also cause ‘us’ (incest kids) increased psychological stress as we get older.  Why didn’t you say anything?  Why didn’t you tell someone?  How can you still have anything to do with your father?  How can you love your family?

It continues when you do finally break the silence.  How could you do that to your father?  How could you do that to the family?  Why are you doing this to us?

The little jibes are seemingly endless, and they all plant seeds of doubt in our minds about the type of people we are.  They add to the confusion of trying to reconcile the monster parent with the human parent.

Personally, I have some wonderful memories of my childhood – my mum’s fresh-baked bread, going camping, spending holidays with my grandparents.  It becomes confusing, however, when the person that hurts you most is also one of the people who is supposed to nurture you the most, so when I try to think of the good things in my childhood, most of them are now tainted because I can see how my father was using them to manipulate me.

Life now is not just about the abuse and recovery – for a while it was, but these days I try to live, not just exist.

Sometimes the bad stuff impacts on, and even takes over, the good stuff.  I can be having a great afternoon with my partner and a group of friends when out of the blue I am knocked for six by a song that’s playing in the background, or someone might inadvertently say or do something that to others means nothing, but to me, it takes me right back ‘there’.

One of the most important things I have learnt, however, is to appreciate the good stuff when it is good, and allow the bad stuff to surface if it must, acknowledge that it is there, but let it just pass on.  I don’t have to ‘deal’ with it right then and there.  I don’t have to analyse it straight away.  I can just acknowledge its presence but return to it later when I am safe and stable.

Life is way too short to cling desperately to the bad stuff.  You have to embrace, value, and enjoy the good stuff along the way.

The ‘Survivor’ Label

"Survivor"

“Survivor”

I first encountered the term ‘survivor’ when I saw my first counsellor when I was twenty-one.

I hated it.

I didn’t feel like a survivor.

I felt depressed, suicidal, confused, hopeless, useless, disgusting and ashamed.  Survivors don’t feel those things, do they?

In the decades since that first encounter, I have come to accept that I did ‘survive’, but I still don’t like the label.

Labels confine people.  Labels promote stigma, prejudice, and judgement.   Labels pressure us to conform to the associated social norms.  Labels do not respect and value individuality and the uniqueness of experience.  Labels can lead to external control.

I am a person.  My experience of life is my own – just as your experience is yours.  Don’t place a label on me and judge me by it, and I will afford you the same respect.