Hello there. I’ve been distant for a while, apologies for that. I’m going to explain why. In fact I am going to explain part of why, because the whole of why is far too big to summarise in just one post.
I’ve made some major changes recently, and taken some huge steps. As said steps involve law enforcement, I needed to wait to confirm with them whether I should should share what’s going on with you guys or not. I was relieved to be told that it’s absolutely fine to talk about it all here. Because there are so few other places for me to do that.
I’m being cryptic I know. The headline news is that I have reported my brother to the police. I called them up about three weeks ago now, after finding out that he’s going to be a father, to lodge my allegations with them. We’re lucky enough to have a specialist ‘safeguarding’ team where I live, who are experts in prosecuting historic child abuse. So within a week I had met the Detective in charge of the investigation and they scheduled my interview.
The police are taking it all very seriously, and they have been 100% on my side so far. They have made it clear that they don’t doubt anything I’ve told them, and that the offences of indecent assault on a child, gross indecency with a child and inciting incest will be applied. They’re all from the legislation that existed when I was 11, as those are the laws that have to be applied. The relevant Sexual Offences Acts are from 1956 and 1960. It’s actually shocking to read what was and wasn’t illegal back then. Thank goodness times have moved on since then.
So this week I went to this odd police place to give my video statement. They’ve tried to set it out like a house, which feels really bizarre. It still had those industrial-type carpets, bright white walls and plastic wipe-clean sofas (I’m assuming that they anticipate victims having some kind of accident?!). Aside from that, there are cameras on the walls. That makes it feel very odd. I wrote a poem about it a few days ago.
It wasn’t as terrible as I had anticipated. My lovely therapist came to be my ‘supporter’ and it did make a difference to know she was there in the next room if I needed her. She reassured me with a few nourishing hugs, but ultimately, I had to go it alone.
I had expected a sort of Q&A style approach, but was quite thrown when the Detective interviewing me basically said, ‘the tapes are rolling – tell your story’. I’ve never recounted the abuse in a narrative way really, and having to produce this on the spot monologue from my disparate and dissociative memories was incredibly stressful. I kept getting so anxious I lost my train of thought completely and just stared at a socket in the corner of the room. The dry mouth thing made it even harder. I had to keep stopping to sip water in an effort to stop my lips sticking to my teeth.
But I did it. I told that camera everything. Start to finish and all the hideous detail in between. I survived it, but I’m really struggling with the fear of what comes next; the anxious anticipation of the fallout with my family and all their inevitable questions and pressures.
I guess all I can do is sit tight and wait. And keep talking to you all here, because it really does help. Apologies again for my absence – I really have missed interacting with the lovely folks I meet here.
Photo credit: Gunnar Bothner-By, Creative Commons.