There have been many things which stopped me from telling my truth, and while it’s THE truth, it is also MY truth. Something I’m coming to learn about and believe, is the many different truths there are, one persons truth may be completely different to another, but nevertheless they are the truth to them. There are, however, truths which are THE truth and cannot have two separate truths belonging to it, things which either are or are not; did or did not; there are no grey areas. Truth is what I want to talk about, for myself and the feeling of not being able to tell my truth, for being silenced and held back. I want to tell my truth because it should NOT have been locked in a chest the way it was, buried, and the act of opening that chest and revealing what lie inside could have possibly caused me unseen and unwarranted repercussions that should not even BE something one would have to consider. Unfortunately however, they do, and I am not the only one this has happened, and continues to happen to. These are my thoughts on truths.
‘Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God?’
*Trigger Warning, CSA, Suicide, Physical Injury / Disability, Cancer *
Child Sexual Abuse has long been a taboo topic, people are more than happy to turn their heads to what is going on rather than to accept how common and often this happens. I was unfortunately a victim of CSA for many years who fell prey to someone in the family and this I never talked about for fear of losing someone I loved very much.
Fast forward many years and I became a very angry teenager because of the fact that my abuser was respected and celebrated in a way he should not have been, ever in my opinion. He did not deserve other peoples praise and commendation, I felt like I was the only person who really knew the truth of who he was and he got to walk around with peoples congratulations and people patting his back while behind closed doors he did all kinds of things that should never have happened, and had people known what was going on, I believe he never ever would have had those appraising thoughts or grateful looks I saw from so many people.
When you’re abused sexually as a child, so many things happen, too many to mention and too varying for each different person involved, but when you manage to get away from your attacker where you no longer have to endure what you do, something happens, well it did for me. The fear was gone. The fear of what would happen to me if I ever told anyone, thoughts of what he would do to me. The fear of losing someone I loved was gone because I was gone anyway so I didn’t have to worry about that anymore! I didn’t and wouldn’t have to deal with the aftermath and repercussions of telling the truth of what had been happening to me for many years, so I did, I told someone with enough safe distance for me to be protected. Soon after, all hell broke loose and despite my attempts to defend myself, the truth was once again buried with my futile attempts at pressing charges along with most of those around me calling me a liar. What could I do? The answer was nothing. At 15, I couldn’t do anything more, but accept what had happened to the best of my ability and carry on living to the best of my ability.
Carrying On Living.
I carried on for many years, up and down and all over the place, and 15 years later I found the courage and the strength to speak up in a way I never anticipated doing in the hopes of trying to give others strength and courage to not allow what happened to them completely destroy their lives like I know it has done to many people. Another intention was also to raise education and awareness on this topic, to help protect more children. I wanted to encourage people to take their power back, like I had to some degree. I wasn’t happy about my situation and the fact I had received no justice for what happened to me, but I just held out hope one day I would.
Head First Into The Storm.
Through my own determination of trying to heal my pain and learning to love myself, I found a confidence within me to state what I would and wouldn’t accept as being ‘ok’ with me, found the resolve to state what I knew I was worth and the power to accept nothing less than what I knew I deserved. Through this, I had to confront one particular person who had been constant throughout my life and caused me a great deal of pain, who too, never believed me and called me a liar, my mum. Doing this helped me move past one of the biggest hurdles in my life and gave me further strength moving forwards. I had a renewed sense of purpose and determination after that conversation, and again, asking for what I wanted, needed, deserved and was worth with confidence then led to what some would call a very interesting turn of events.
Upon receiving an offer of support with the words ‘do you want me to do anything about it’ from my mum, I said yes and requested a very small yet mighty thing to be done for me. I requested for my mum to make a phone call to the man who abused me when I was a child and tell him she knew (and believed) what he did to me. That was it. That’s all I asked for. For my mum had shown or told me she cared, she believed me and she was sorry for what had happened, this was the ultimate act in my eyes to show support for me. She was aware of the public attempts to raise awareness on this topic I had recently made and had praised me for it. It was nice to have this type of support I’d never received before, foreign is the type of word suitable for this type of thing.
The Phone Calls.
One morning, towards the end of end of last year, I received a phone call from my mum, in tears. I knew instantly before she said anything after ‘hello’ that she had just made the phone call I had requested she make, but I wasn’t anticipating what happened next. 2 phone calls were made within the space of half an hour, one from her to me, the 2nd from me to her after she had hung up on me the first time. The phone calls pretty much consisted of her telling me I made her do my dirty work, that she was upset because of how upset it had made the man who abused me when she called and said what she said (I later found out she said much more than what I’d actually asked her to say, some of which was very skewed truth). I was a tad shocked with my mouth open wide and had stated very clearly she needed to choose, them or me in her life because her actions defending him, crying for him and her anger portrayed towards me for what I ‘made her do’ was not ok with me, and I wouldn’t allow her in my life if she thought it was ok to have him in her life after what he did to me. (Strength and resolve I’d found in knowing my worth and not settling for anything less).
It was upsetting, i’m not going to lie, I’d worked hard to try and build what had always been a shattered relationship between the two of us, but i’d done all I could, I couldn’t keep trying, I was done, and that was ok with me, a relief to be completely honest. I knew 100% where I stood, not where I’d always hoped, but I finally knew and I didn’t have to hope or guess any longer, I was ok with that, relieved, like I said. The end of one chapter and I was ready for the next one, ready to completely embrace the next stage of my life.
I didn’t expect what then followed.
The next morning, I received a phone call to tell me that the man who had abused me, that morning had made an irreversible decision to end his life.
For what reason he did that, I cannot say. It could be one of several reasons, some of which I heard were ‘he was in a wheelchair and did not want to be a burden anymore’, ‘it was cancer and it was quick’. What the truth is of the reason he did what he did, I will never know, I am merely stating facts of events that happened.
The reasons and things people have told me behind why he did what he did have intrigued me, for many reasons and those of which I find very interesting. Who knows the truth of why he did what he did? I guess nobody ever will know exactly what was going through his mind at the time, the past has a way of catching up with you sometimes. But I know my truth, and that truth is something that DID happen and not something of a grey area where there are two sides. There is not his truth and my truth, it is THE truth and I cannot and I will no longer keep that buried. I deserve to have that chest opened and never have to be closed or locked ever again. I deserve to not have to be concerned about the possible repercussions of my telling my truth.
This is THE truth of what happened, I have spoken my truth, which is THE truth. What I have written ARE facts and I will fight for my truth with every breath I have.
I have not written this to attract discussion or to be validated. What’s done is done, facts are stated but I did need to do this for me and being able to release negative feelings towards injustice and towards my own healing.
This piece is deeply personal and was not written to upset anybody. Some of the what is written is of a sensitive nature and may cause emotional responses.