When parents let you down

I haven’t made time for writing recently, and that’s a mistake. Writing helps me order my thoughts and feel less overwhelmed, and connecting with this community gives me a sense of companionship and support. A few weeks ago, I got very withdrawn, and WordPress is one of the things I withdrew from. I was isolating…

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…

Hoping to give up hope

Hopelessness is fearlessness. Because without hope there is nothing to lose, and the struggle eases. The exhaustion of striving abates. In the absence of hope, there’s a freedom, a letting go. Not wanting is desolate and liberating all at once. Wanting and hoping are intrinsically intertwined with defeat. They’re what drives us, yes, but they’re…

Family, Facebook and failed sobriety

I’ve been rubbish at finding the time and headspace to blog since we moved onto our boat. So much time is taken up with all the daily jobs that keep everything running. Either that, or we are dealing with a crisis or power failure. Or we don’t have any internet signal. This week, I really…

I’m suddenly feeling a lot less brave

It’s just over 2 weeks to go now until my wife and I vacate our house and move our lives onto the water, and it’s all beginning to feel very real. Fear is setting in. I want to go. I am excited about all the new challenges and adventures living on a boat will bring….

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…

My f***ing family

I got back from Germany to the news that my sister in law has breast cancer. That’s the woman who is married to my brother – the man who sexually abused me as a child. I don’t even know what I think or feel about this, other than that it’s a lot of things. I…

The truth hit me like a truck

A painful clarity emerged for me recently, and it’s been too hard to write about it. The strange thing is that some part of me has known this truth for a long time, but I’ve been fighting against it. I get so angry about all the denial in my family, but I realise now that…

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…

Art became rage

I got home from work at lunchtime in a shitty mood. I knew I had an empty afternoon ahead and I was fantasising about the destructive ways I could fill it. I sat for an hour or so thinking about the options and formulating dangerous plans. After a while sitting with the exhilerating thought of…

Everywhere in a week

I was only home for two days this week. On Monday night I returned from Frankfurt, and then on Thursday morning I left for a work trip to Paris. The German trip was a family thing, which was unsurprisingly exhausting. I was emotionally wrecked when I returned. Anticipating that I might feel this way, I’d…