This past few weeks has been particularly hard for us. That is because during this month 19 years ago, some of our abuse was brought to light. We do love the xmas season and xmas in general now, but it has taken years to get to this point. The abuse came to light when we were 14. Basically what happened was our then art teacher realised something wasn’t right with us, she noticed we’d become really withdrawn in class, we never said much, too afraid to be found out I guess. But anyway, she noticed. And one day in that December 19 years ago, she sat us down and asked us were we ok. What was wrong. And we felt like falling through the floor. We didn’t want to tell her anything. We were so scared of anyone finding out the secrets we had to keep. But she gently kept talking to us, encouraging us to speak to her. And eventually we did. All we said was…
“Someone touched me”
Three simple little words. That said so little yet so much. Those 3 words let her in a little bit, let her know that no, we weren’t ok. In fact we were slowly dying inside. We needed help. She encouraged us to go straight from school and phone our mom. And we did. Our mom was not much help though, not really grasping the horror and extent of what we were trying to tell her. She asked us if she could speak to one of the care staff who was on duty. Once she did, and it was established that we had been abused in some form, the head nun in charge was told. She asked our mom to come to the school the next day.
So the next day our mom travelled the 200 miles to our school and was interigated by the head nun. She was told how she needed to get help for us, how psychologically damaged we were, that we had severe emotional and behavioural problems. Of course we didn’t, but well…the truth had just come out, a little, and the school needed to try to focus on me, so as not to make themselves look bad.
I’ll never forget our moms reaction though. I asked her on the way home…
“Do you believe me?”
And she said…
“I’m not sure” “I don’t know”
Six little words that devastated me. Six little words that had a profound effect on our subsequent relationship ever since that awful day.
I don’t think I’ve ever gotten over our moms rejection and not quite knowing whether she believed our story or not. It hurts. It hurt me to know that my own mother refused to hear me, to help me. It fucking hurt.
So 19 years on and I am struggling tonight. The memories of that time haunt me. They creep in and tear at me and leave me breathless.