Having written about the lesbian teacher abuse case this week and opening up about the abusive ‘relationship’ I had with a thirty two-year-old woman when I was just turning fourteen (for seven months), I feel as though I now have the ability to write a little more about it.
It is not meant to be a sad piece although the contents may be triggering to some. I hope that by giving a snapshot into the situation I lived in, it will help others open up and know they are not alone. My life now is wonderful, my relationship secure and happy, if you are going through something similar, know that you really can get over it and move on x
We Don’t cry out loud…
This is the second time I have been able to listen to this song, I can do it now knowing the past cannot hurt me.
I was fourteen-years old as the Elkie Brooks song ‘Don’t Cry Out Loud’ played on her CD player. Her daughter, my best friend was in the room but was unaware of what was breaking inside me as her mother looked me straight in the eye and mouthed the words along to the song :
‘But baby can’t be broken cause you see,
She had the finest teacher – that’s me,
We don’t cry out loud,
Keep it inside,
Learn how to hide your feelings’
And I did, I did hide my feelings. I hid them at home, although I knew my mum would stand by me I knew that my alcoholic step dad would hurt me with the information as much as the abuse itself did.
I hid it at school from my friends who were also friends with her daughter. But it was hiding it from my best friend, the one girl I told everything that was hardest. Silence seemed the brave and kindest option, so I painted on the smile.
Actually I painted on the ‘hard bitch’ face that I hid behind, pretending nothing could hurt me.
But it did hurt me.
Despite the guilt that kept me strong allowing me to believe I had control.
Despite the anger.
Despite the emotional blackmail.
Despite the misplaced loyalty.
Despite feeling flattered and even ‘special’ in a weird sick way.
It did hurt me.
Seven months I did keep it inside. Fearing the day it came out as much as I feared every time she touched me. How the hell was I going to do anything but keep it inside me? As she has so often said ‘It’d destroy her [my best friend] if she ever found out.’ I was gagged, bound and over a barrel.
As she abused me the final time under the dark October sky, I sat looking up at the stars and asked ‘God if you are there give me the strength to end this thing’.
But then it happened. I walked home from her house after it had happened again and I led on the train tracks that ran between our houses.
For the first time ever I contemplated suicide. I wanted it to be over, I wanted the pain to be gone.
I don’t know what pulled me off the track that day but I know how it felt as the engine of that train went past my head and I breathed as if for the first time. I vowed then and there to speak out.
That Wednesday, having been in hospital with a fractured collar bone and other injuries from my step father, I found myself an opportunity. Sat alone with my mother and a social worker.
The flood gates opened and it started…
It triggered a chain of events that I could not stop.
Guilt hit me, what have I done to her… It was my fault, it was my fault…
‘It was not your fault’ they all said,
But they didn’t know about the way I tempted her, how cute I was, how special…
OK so she knew I was sick nearly every time she touched me, OK so I had said no, OK so I had asked her to stop it but it was MY fault.
Hell, it took me about three years to stop the guilt.
Next came anger – that kept me warm on many a long sleepless night. Plots of revenge.
The plots were shattered at the age of 18 when sat outside her house with a knife. I walked away knowing she’d taken enough of my life.
Next came grief.
Then came letting go.
The long, hard process of recovery started the night I didn’t keep it inside any longer. It really was the best thing I did!
That night is what led to my being free now.
My ability to grieve and to move on. To form lasting relationships and even BEGIN to start having a loving relationship with myself.
If you are going through anything, if you are hiding a secret that is hurting you – Do cry out loud.