When I was 11-12 we had moved to yet another new ‘home’ far from all the other homes we had known, the same home that I accidentally boiled my beloved pet Budgie in a pot of water (R.I.P Kitty) (i’m so sorry).
Birdy (mum) liked to move. She liked fresh starts. This time though was to try and start fresh because Birdy’s current boyfriend whom we will call ‘Biker’ wanted to get us away from the ‘Villain’ as he had become threatening and violent (no surprises there). I always knew not to get used to ‘home’ though because soon enough home would be somewhere else soon and it was but I liked this ‘home’ because for the time it was my safe haven, I had not been this free since I was a 5 year old girl, nor had a slept a full night through since then, I was a actually a whole new girl.
This home was one free of abuse and I think for the most part I was happy. I enjoyed school (the reading parts especially), learning properly for the first time in years and apart from the kids there it was great. But I just didn’t know how to fit in, I was painfully shy and bullied frequently. One day at lunch time a group of boys threw a whole meat pie with sauce (what a waste, if only i had turned and opened my mouth right?) -at me and it hit me in the back of the head, I had pie and sauce everywhere and I was crying but no one came to help me wash the pie from my hair, they then called me ‘Pie girl’ and they would all laugh. I was bullied by a bunch of girls because even though I was only in year 7, silly me had not started to shave my legs like they had and every day I was laughed at for it. The kids were so cruel, I took it all and didn’t complain because in comparison it was better than what I had already endured.
I have so many memories of this home, of myself, of life then and I think it’s because it was my first home where I was not someone else’s toy against my wishes. Life was no longer clouded by darkness and fear..
Birdy came in the lounge room one day where I sat after school (probably eating my usual after school peanut butter on toast) and told me she had found my diary and she asked me something along the lines of:
“Is what you wrote in your diary about ‘Villain’ true?”
My heart raced, I was scared, I thought I was in trouble and I was not prepared for this now, life was good, let’s not ruin it now mum. Good one, mum.
“No, I was just making up stuff, it’s just stories, normal kid stuff”
I was so mad at myself for not coming clean right then and there especially since I had written it in hopes someone one day might read it and finally someone other than me would know and it would no longer be my burden to carry. I was so worried my Birdy would think I stole her then ex- boyfriend, I was worried I had let her down or that she might think I had done something to warrant such sexual advances. Stupid 12 year old thoughts. Stupid heaps cute little ole me.
I panicked, I was on the spot, why didn’t I tell her the truth, she had finally asked me and I said it wasn’t true. I had let myself down. That was the last and only time anyone had asked me.
After this I knew from that moment I could never say anything else because I had already told birdy that it wasn’t true. I was well and truly into puberty then, I had gotten my first crime scene period at 10 and the boobies followed soon after. I was beginning to feel things in my body, I knew things other girls my age shouldn’t yet know and I knew then that whatever Villain had been doing to me was something to do with that. I was so confused. So so confused. I felt so so dirty.
It scared me. What did this mean for me? What did this mean I was?
Birdy took my answer and believed me, she didn’t want to push an already secretive 12 year old further away, she had no reason to think I would lie to her, she tells me now that we were close when I was young so why would I lie to her? Birdy’s guilt over this is bigger than any of us will understand, how much pain she must feel for not protecting her only daughter, she had her own demons then, her own drinking and drug problems, her own childhood issues.
But you see, he was clever, pedophiles do anything to hide what they do so well that it can be mistaken for affection, for love, for good parenting but all those sneaky cuddles that other people see as cuddles, as love, know this; they are not always cuddles, they are quick grabs, sneaky rubs, uncomfortable fearful touches that you beg yourself to stop but can’t because you are the child, they are the adult and they know best. So how could anyone else have had any clue?
I have never forgiven myself since that day, imagine how different things might have been. Might he be in prison now? Might I have been a better equipped adult, would I have gotten counselling at a young age? Might I not have had depression and problems with anxiety or PTSD? I still remember that day she asked me and I should let it go but I am actually still angry at myself for it, but at the same time feel like it’s important. I will forever know the signs, I will forever be untrusting in the best way possible. I will always be so diligent about who my children spend time with, who they cuddle and who wants to cuddle them. I will always be on alert and take every word they say or write seriously and in this day and age what better could I do?
My world has been opened up, it is no longer dark and the more I recover now the more plans for my life I make, I never made plans before because I was merely surviving my days.
As hard as being an abused woman is most days, I am more powerful, more inspired, more in love with life as i have ever been.
Thanks, Villain. You great big dick face.