I have thought long and hard about whether or not I’m comfortable sharing these kinds of stories, I’ve decided to because I have a daughter and another on the way, silence doesn’t serve anyone and I think sharing stories, ESPECIALLY such as this one will raise awareness.
I feel that sharing a post such as this will not only bring to light the way a Paedophile grooms a victim, I’m hoping parents will read this and become super aware – that you know what – it’s not the homeless man or the crazy looking guy up the road (well or it could be) 9 times out of 10 it’s the people you MOST TRUST and would never in a million years think they’d be the ones to do it.
It’s the cousins, brothers, uncles, best friends. The people you KNOW and TRUST.
Today I am going to recount the story behind the very last time I was sexually abused as a child. This man planned his attack on me for 2 years leading up to the event and now as an adult looking back, I don’t know how what he had planned wasn’t obvious to every adult around me.
One of the most important things I need to bring to your attention is that the first 2 adults who did it – did it right in front of my Mum, it was hidden but she was in the same room.
With one she was on the lounge next to us – he covered us with a blanket – the next – she was sitting straight across the table, he pulled me on to his lap and first touched me under the table. BALLSY right?! But that confuses the child and that’s what they do.
Anton – the 2 year planner
Anton was one of my Dads friends who came to live with us when I was about 10. I HATED him. He was always nasty specifically to me. I can now see how he was creating a scenario where he’d be able to abuse me and have a back up argument in case I ever opened my mouth. He wanted everyone to know that I hated him so that once he’d abused me no one would believe me if I ever accused him of what he was planning to do and he could say I was ‘making it up’ because I hated him so much.
Here are a couple of obvious things he did to start off with:
- He favoured my sister; like BIG TIME. He’d buy her things and more specifically would buy her things that would upset me. For example, one of my birthdays he sent a massive parcel addressed to me, everything inside it was for my sister and he put something small in there that was my birthday present.
- I desperately wanted a pair of rollerblades, I’d skate at every opportunity, my sister liked to skate but wasn’t really as in to it as I was, he bought her the pair of rollerblades I wanted and then told her I wasn’t allowed to use them to cause conflict. I can remember being really confused and it not making any sense. His only objective was to create obvious conflict.
They are just 2 standout examples of many, but you can see the manipulation tactics.
My alarm bells first rang when I was 11 and he asked me if I’d had a period yet. I was so embarrassed and disgusted, I told my Mum about this and asked her why he’d even want to know. At that age, I didn’t yet know that’s how babies were made, I hadn’t yet pieced that part together…. he was sussing to see if he could rape me and get away with it, I was just 11 years of age.
My alarm bells rang because I’d been sexually abused by 4 others before this. The first a cousin who was caught and we were both belted, I was 3 he was a teenager…. why I was belted to this day is beyond me, because guess what happened…. I was too scared to tell the next time, I became a sitting duck.
The next was his brother, he was a teenager, I was 7… obviously I never told for fear or reprimand. 7, my daughters age right now – when you grow up with this kind of abuse, you always ask yourself whether maybe you did actually do something to cause it – I look at her and have my answer – she is so innocent and wouldn’t have a clue…. so so little.
The next, one of my Dads friends at age 8 over a number of months, this time eventually after being urged by a stranger that I opened up to, I told my Mum and Dad. My Dad abused me like it was my fault and poor Mum, I think she was in shock and didn’t quite know what to do. Dad went on to call me a slut and a whore, attack me when I wore a dress and I couldn’t even walk from our bathroom to my bedroom wrapped in a towel without him lashing out at me, I was just a little kid and too scared eventually to say anything to anyone about any abuse….. after all…. well wasn’t I the one who was causing it… according to my Dad?!
The one before Anton was an uncle… yeah, that was my childhood, super fucking rosy. The fact that I’d already been abused and he knew of the abuse was a massive plus for Anton.
I believe that’s why he targeted me, or maybe it was because he thought he could rape me because I was older. This I am thinking is more the case because of the age I was when he finally did it. He spent YEARS setting it up…. grooming me to be the perfect victim for his attack. Setting up a scenario where I wouldn’t be believed if I did tell, being awful towards me so what, when he did finally pay me attention I’d welcome it?!
One New Years Eve he offered to take me, my sister and my brother to the drive in so that my mum could go out. Waynes World and Coneheads was on… he sent my brother and sister to the bonnet of the car and told me to stay seated in the back, my stomach turned.
That’s when he finally struck. I still believe to this day he was planning to rape me, except, it began to rain. I thank god every time I think about it – the skies opened up on the hot summers night raining heavily forcing my sister and brother back in to the car and he couldn’t finish what he started.
I can write about all of this now, without a trigger and not even a tear…. it has no power or charge over me any more, but honestly, at one point of my life, I couldn’t have recounted these stories without plunging in to a deep depression and hitting the booze for weeks if not months.
It’s been a 23 year journey.
So for parents, I urge you to know the signs!
- Keep an eye out on men who seem to pay too much attention to your children
- Avoid allowing them to sit on a mans knee (this is how it started with 2 of them for me and again, my mum was right there)
- Inform and educate your children about safe touch vs harmful touch
- Just be aware! Don’t become complacent!
This is also a great article http://foreverymom.com/family-parenting/pediatrician-says-how-to-protect-your-child-from-sexual-abuse/ – although funnily enough we were never allowed to have sleepovers, I am assuming for this very reason…. however it wasn’t the strangers they had to be worried about – it was the people they trusted and allowed in to their home who did it right under their noses!
Forget stranger danger, it’s not the strangers you need to be worried about.
Here is another brilliant article with the steps outlined “8 Ways a Predator Might Groom a Child“. Worth reading.
Empower yourself to protect your kids!