Incest and the awful silence

Risking controversy, I’m going to be brutally honest and admit that I often wish I’d been abused by a celebrity. Or a teacher. Or at least a stranger. I’m not belittling anyone else’s experience. Really I’m not. It’s horrific to be sexually abused by anyone. Full stop. It isn’t easier or harder because you do…

Finally, the tiniest bit of justice

I’m guessing a lot of people won’t have heard of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). I certainly hadn’t until a few years ago, when I attempted to prosecute my brother for the abuse he subjected me to as a child. The police were unable to take the case to court, but they urged me…

Finding some small comforts

I posted yesterday about this huge sadness and pain I’ve been experiencing this week. It was really lovely to have so many suggestions from you guys when I asked for advice on how to manage it. The fact that people took the time to write their thoughts for me has helped in itself. Reading through…

Another painful birthday

How is it that a date can trigger so much distress? It’s just a day, like any other in the year. But today is a day that brings to mind so many things I would rather forget. I struggle to refer to my brother’s child as my nephew, just as I struggle to refer to…

Why am I trying to belong?

I knew I was going to find my dad’s birthday tricky. Any sort of anniversary tends to churn things up for me, not least the ones connected with my family. I didn’t want to have to talk to him, or give him any sort of special attention, because our relationship is not in a good…

The moment it all changed

Once, the edges of the world melted and merged And the corners scurried away, afraid to even attempt containing what sat between them. Where there had been substance, memories soaked up the space like saturated paper growing fibrous and faint. Even the ground couldn’t stand to watch, Because it knew its concrete heart would break…

The verdict

My wife’s uncle was convicted of child sexual abuse this week. He was tried on three counts and convicted on two of them. Yesterday he was sent to prison for 6 years. I didn’t know him well. He’s a reclusive alcoholic and I first met him when he was critically ill in intensive care. Everyone…

Can I wait?

Today I am the eye of the storm. A powerful whirlwind of debris and chaos circumvents me. And I am stood, motionless in the middle. I’m planted in this place of inert observation. It’s not possible to stop the force, and I hold myself back from stepping into it. With my feet planted firmly on…

‘Exploring each other’s bodies’

Those are the words our family doctor used to describe what my mum reported to her. My mum went to her for help because she’d just discovered her 16 year old son had been sexually abusing her 11 year old daughter. She and my dad asked me a lot of impossibly difficult questions before going…

The pain of wanting a different past

It happened almost overnight. I can’t recall the exact moment, but at some point when I was around fifteen I had a sudden realisation that the way my brother had used me to fulfil his sexual fantasies was wrong. It might sound absurd that I didn’t know this all along. Even though I was only…

I am sorry

I’m sorry I’m not truthful. I’m sorry I hide things and lie to protect my destructive behaviour. I’m sorry I am wasting my life. I’m sorry I feel no gratitude for the privileges I live with purely by chance. I’m sorry I can see time passing me by and I do nothing to use it….

Carrying impossibly heavy body memories

The past few days have been awful. Maybe it’s because the suicidal, black moods that were normal for me haven’t been so permanent lately. I’ve still felt like I was permanently struggling, but in a different way. Normal has been anxious, hopeless, fearful, insecure. It’s still been infused with deep self-hatred, but without the active thinking…