Tips to keep the family fit and active.
Putting past scars behind me & making a difference in 2012!
Posted on 7:40pm Wednesday 4th Jan 2012
Occasionally I will post something slightly personal on my blog if I feel it can help and send a message, but I've never once over stepped the line (or least nobody has ever told me on any of these blogs). I may however be about too for some of you though. It has occurred to me that perhaps some people will feel this maybe not the place to share my story and if that's the case for you then I apologise, but I feel it's worth the risk as I actually feel this is the perfect place as we are all mums and it's something whilst we don't want to think about we need too.
My story is something that happened over 15 years ago but still hurts now. It's not something I cry about any more but will always leave a scar and in sharing this post I hope to send a message to parents to always talk to your children and never avoid a conversation that may well be something they need to discuss - even if it's uncomfortable for you and dam right embarrassing for them! It is VERY important!
I'm sharing my story now because I've always wanted too for closure and in the hope my story can hopefully prevent it happening to at least one other. I want to start 2012 with demons behind me, however I must admit I needed some encouragement. I'd like to thank the lovely Emma-Louise from class who inspired me to share my story as I recently discovered she had shared a similar story and I so admired her for doing so and this prompted me to take action. So here is it.
As a child it was a very common joke made by my family to mock my very bad temper. I'd shout, kick, scream till it hurt, cry, run away from home and throw things. I was so jealous of my sisters being blonde and blue eyed as I was bigger although still a rake that didn't seem important - I was bigger and a brunette with green eyes. I was once called the ugly sister by a boy at school and this hurt for long time. My parents split up when I was very young and I don't remember this. My older sister was therefore closer to my dad as I guess they bonded when family life was much brighter and this I understand now. I was the attention seeking nightmare child. My younger sister was very close to my mum where I wasn't so I'd seek comfort in my mums next partner.
He was loved by everyone and he made me feel I was his favourite and this was something I desperately craved. I believed back then that my dads favourite was my older sister and my mums favourite was my younger sister so I really wanted to feel loved. I was always very affectionate towards my mums partner with cuddles and kisses and felt like someone's proper little girl. One evening he over stepped the mark but at the time I didn't know this. I didn't stop him and I didn't know I should of as he was one of my guardians and looked after me. It hurt but he said I should like it. Even though he said this and I believed him it felt wrong and I was very upset.
My older sister must of noticed a change in me because one day I was crying on my bed and she came up to me and just out right asked me if something had happened. I just shook my head to reply yes but we've never even to this day actually spoke about it. I knew something had happened to her because there was no way of her knowing – everyone loved him and he would definitely be the last person anyone would ever expect.
I blanked a lot of stuff out but I remember being at the police station sitting on my dads lap and my mum had thrown her partner out. My dad had to take time of work which is something he'd never done or would do so I knew things were serious.
Then a social worker and police women came to my house to see me. They came in the living room to talk and one sat on the main sofa where the incident took place and the other on the second sofa. I sat hugging my legs crying by the radiator as they asked me questions. I never said a word, I couldn't speak about it - all I could do was cry. I didn't understand what I'd done wrong and as I couldn't talk about it they suggested I draw a picture of what happened. This make me feel angry! How on earth do you draw what happened?! They then tried suggesting things that could of happened to me and using different terms to describe body parts (the sort of words you'd snigger at and think was cool at school – I guess to try and get on my level) to see if I'd say yes or no. I remember just finding them a bit weird using these terms and I certainly didn't want to talk. After a while they left and I never told them anything and this I'll always regret.
Things never went any further and my sister was branded a jealous liar who was attention seeking. My Nana and my uncle believed us though but my mum never asked me and moved her partner back in. He continued to live with us years after this and even when they did eventually separate he only moved around the corner and I believed he'd done nothing wrong as nothing further happened so I'd go and visit him and he'd help with my homework. This made my Nana furious and I never understood back then why. Luckily no further incidents happened just a few inappropriate comments.
At school and the majority of my life I was sad deep down and didn't have any believe in my self and was very timid. One boy at school sarcastically nicknamed me 'little miss talk a lot' as even if spoken too I'd barely respond worrying I'd say something stupid. I wasn't particularly bullied minus the odd time which I think most kids have unfortunately experienced or sometimes a bad experience when you fall out with a friend. I did have a few friends but for some reason I felt incredibly lonely. I'd write poems about happiness and how it was just make belief and didn't truly exist and I generally believed that. Luckily I'm now very happy and love my life.
In school I suffered a lot with headaches and depression and was sent for all sorts of tests and what I think what was counselling. My mums partner would come too and they'd do most of the talking and tell them I was being bullied and I'd agree. Then I even told them I was being bullied as I guess I craved the attention and would cry about going to school, although those tears were actually real – I hated school but not because I was picked on but because I was shy and felt intimidated. School was a nightmare – you were either popular or you weren't and if you weren't you'd fade into the background.
When I was about 13 years old my younger sister (16 months younger) was practically force by our mum to let me play with her friends outside of school as I didn't really have any. This led to me having my first kiss and boyfriend. At a very young age I lost my virginity. I didn't really want to but felt peered pressured into it as my boyfriend said to me I should want to and implied that I was a freak if I didn't want too. He would also say that his last girlfriend always did. I didn't want to be uncool or dumped so I agreed.
Over my teenage years this led to me on many occasions feeling like I had no right to say no and getting myself in many sticky situations and abusing myself I guess. Then I was branded the usual names from girls. Then came the people who'd make up stories about me and put me down and this hurt more than I think anyone can ever know. I made many mistakes on that path and I feel the way I felt inside that I truly paid for them.
From the time of the first incident to about 10 years after I followed a journey of self destruction from anything from secretly starving myself to running away from home in the hope someone would care right through to taking a over dose leading to me being in hospital.
Eventually I seen a councillor who helped me in a good way but also a dangerous way! She made me realise that actually I have a right to my own body and actually none of these things should of happened which was good but the bad news was I was enriched with rage towards my mums now ex, men, the ones that had called me names or made up stories and even more so with my mum for not protecting me or for ever even asking me. Deep down now I think she knew but was afraid to ask incase she didn't like the answer so would rather live in denial.
To cut a long story short I then went to the police myself and dragged my mum with me. She never apologised to this day and something that happened so long ago still affects our relationship today.
So once at the station I made a statement and this was followed by more interviews and they also asked my sister to do another statement. They looked at the previous file and I found out I was 10 years old when it was first reported. I don't remember how old I was when it happened I guess you don't remember dates when your a child but to be honest there is a lot I don't remember from my childhood, I've been told it's common to block out things that hurt although how true this is I don't know.
Due to lack of evidence the case was dropped and never made to court, this is common - cases are dropped all the time and never even get to court. Sadly people walk free everyday and sometimes people never even report an incident because they don't realise they have been abused or worry it won't go any further and don't wish the humiliation, heartache and even worse risk of nobody believing them.
If I had of spoke up back then he'd of probably gone to prison and perhaps I wouldn't of made the mistakes I did and possibly been closer to the family.
Please listen to my message and talk to your children about sex. In school we talked about safe sex but never about having a right to your own body. OK so you may think this is obvious but to a child or even an adult that's being sexually abused this comes with working on your emotions too and getting into your head and confusing you. School may have changed since I went but if it hasn't then what happens is the loud class members make jokes when the teachers brave the subject and the whole class sniggers and nobody opens up and asks questions. Someone should be doing a one to one with kids but it's probably not feasible to do this so it's down to you as a parent. You cannot avoid SEX! It's everywhere and as soon as you are open to talk about this with your child the safer they are. Your children will one day as much as we don't want to think about it will be sexually active. Avoiding it won't make it go away but may lead to someone else without you knowing make the first impressions on how sex should be and when. Please please talk to your children – keep them safe and always think before you say a innocent comment that a child could take the wrong way without you realising and lead to a lack in confidence. Just because they laugh it off doesn't mean it hasn't gone to the heart. Bad times and memories can be with someone a life time, it took me a long time to accept what happened and it ruined a good ten years of my life.
My second message is make sure your child knows they are beautiful and loved. Don't assume they know and that they are fine and don't just think it's just there age or that they are just the child that's more hard work than the other. This could be the case but be 100% sure. A child with low self esteem could easily be influenced by someone who makes them feel good and then often they carry this in adulthood.
Thirdly be a role model. You simply can't expect that child of yours to grow up to be confident if they grown up watching you complain about your weight, size, that boob job or nip and tuck you want. Think about if how can you ask them to accept what they've got it you go and have cosmetic surgery? Or you always yo yo diet instead of making a commitment to just be healthy and thus show them your unhappy with how you look. I made a promise when I had my daughter that I would be healthy and strive to be more confident and I did. I'd of never in a million years of dreamt of standing in front of people instructing a class but I did. Admittedly I still have work to do with confidence and so in 2012 I've going to make a constant effort to step it up.
One final note – don't use the phrase attention seeking lightly! Happy people don't attention seek so before you judge someone for one of their status's on facebook or for doing something perhaps silly remember happy people don't attention seek so do you know their story?
I've shared with you something painful but now it's in the past and I look forward to 2012 where I'm going to strive to be more confident everyday and say goodbye to pain.
BE HAPPY IN 2012 AND MAKE THIS THE YEAR TO SAY GOODBYE TO BAD TIMES HELLO TO A BRIGHT AND CONTENDED FUTURE!
Love Kirsty x