My history, where i came from

Written in 2003

At the time of writing this, I'm 26 years old, married and mom to a seven year old. My childhood wasn't the happiest of times. We were the classic dysfunctional family - no father, no money and an unstable mother - living in a far from ideal area. I suppose the area could have been worse, a lot of people lived there very happily.... but my experiences there have scarred me for life.

Why?My childhood memories are still clear in my mind, there are very few good memories though. My earliest memories are of bad things happening and these continued right through my childhood, until I finally broke free two months before my nineteenth birthday. By the time I was nine years old, I was firmly convinced that my only purpose in life was to make men happy.... so that's what I did. I passed from man to man, never stopping to question what happened - it was all I ever knew, it was my normality. The thought that it may not be right never entered my head - why would it?

You might be asking where my family were while all this was happening, that's a question I'd quite like an answer to, but I doubt any of them will ever be honest with me. It wasn't a close family, nothing like The Waltons... not even a hint of the Bundy's (Married With Children). No one lived near anyone else, very rarely got together for any type of family events - weddings and funerals was about it. Occasionally aunts and/or uncles would take the time to call in for a visit, but these events were so rare that I never really knew them. My grandfather died from leukaemia when I was seven, his widow would visit more often than any other family member - but her only interest was her daughter (my mother) and as long as she was OK nothing else mattered. She was the main person who could have influenced a better life for us, she must have seen how badly neglected we were, but nothing was ever done because she didn't want to upset my mother. I always had 'MUST NOT UPSET THE MOTHER' drummed into my head as that was all the family cared about. Were they truly unable to see the truth of how badly we were treated, or was it a bad case of denial? I think it's denial. They'll never break free of it now, to do that they would have to admit that they are partly to blame for it all.

The mother. Now there's a topic. To be honest, I'm not sure where to start. As far as she is concerned, she was always a good mother - well, she wasn't. My life would have been so much better if she had been born infertile. You know how there are some people who should simply never have children? My mother was one of them - she should have been neutered to prevent her reproducing, just like cats should be. Maybe you're thinking I shouldn't be so harsh... ? Let me tell you a few things my mother has said/done and you'll soon understand why I'm so bitter.

These are just some of the things she has said/done - the Internet is not big enough to list them all.

  • She sat in the same room, on multiple occasions, quietly drinking tea as her friend, Mocbul, sexually abused me - yes, she knew what he was doing, I'd told her often enough. What actions did she take to stop him? None. She actually went on to have sex with him as a favour to his wife!
  • She visited my violent ex for afternoon tea, despite knowing that he had tried to rape me (I fought back, he gave up and threw me against a wall where I stayed, too scared to move, for hours in the freezing cold).
  • I won a big compensation claim in September 1999. At the end of October that year, my interim award of £1000 arrived so I went shopping... I returned from my shopping trip to find the mother waiting outside my house, so I let her in. Naturally I wanted to try on the new clothes I'd bought, so told her I was going to go and get changed. She said, "What are you going to change into, something human?"
  • When I kicked and screamed and begged her not to send me to get rabbit food from Mick, she said my rabbit would starve if I didn't go. I was seven years old and had told her several times what Mick was doing to me.
  • After going to the police station to report Mick for abusing me, I went home to tell the mother. I said "I've just reported Mick for abusing me" - she said, "Oh you silly cow, what did you go and do that for!"
  • When I was thirteen, I went to my mother in tears, I asked her why all these things (the abuse) had happened to me. She said "It's your own fault for having too much sex appeal". I challenged her about this once. She laughed and said it had been a joke! Yeah right! I'm still laughing.

The "what are you going to change into, something human?" was the last insult she ever threw at me, it was also the spiteful comment that finally pushed me over the edge. I have had no contact with her since that day, and I have no desire for any contact in the future.

Mother said 'your own fault for having too much sex appeal'After winning the hearing, I called my elder brother, Tony, to share my good news, but he wasn't happy for me. He didn't like it when I told him the judges had ruled that the mother was an unfit parent. They looked at the evidence, and believe me, there was a lot of it, and made a qualified decision - I did not make the decision, but he blamed me all the same. All my life I'd let my so called family walk all over me, but no more - I was no longer prepared to be their doormat.

I decided to fight back this time, so I wrote a long email and asked friends to forward it to my elder brother, before changing my own email address - enough was enough, I wanted no further contact.

A few days after emailing my brother, I decided it was time to try and make the whole family face up to the truth of what I'd been through. So, I printed up several copies of the mail I'd sent Tony and posted one to each member of the family. My great aunt replied, but she was the only one who bothered. The rest of the family had a meeting and decided, as a collective led by my grandmother, that the best way to deal with the problem (me) was to ignore it - so that's what they did. It's no problem to me, in fact, I've gone from strength to strength since having no contact with them. They are the ones who are unable to deal with reality.

Because of what I've been through, people tend label me as a survivor, but I prefer not to see myself that way. The way I see it, I'm past being a survivor - the label of survivor puts life events before the person, like what happened is more important than the person it happened to. I'm not a survivor, I'm a person in my own right. I do more than just survive, I thrive.