One minute and twenty seconds. That’s all the time you gave me before slamming the phone down. I’d waited all those years to ask you just one question “Why?” I was feeling really strong that day, but it still took every ounce of courage to pick up that phone and dial your number.
Tuesday 4th July 2006 was supposed to be our day, a day for us to talk. Thinking about it now, you only came round to make sure I’d not told anyone, still trying to control me. You’d definitely not come to visit out of guilt. If only I’d realised that back then.
I’d not seen you both since the end of March that year, after I began having counselling, which had opened “Pandora’s Box” and brought back memories that I’d blocked out for so long.
So when you arrived on that Tuesday afternoon and he appeared behind you in the door way, I froze. May be you felt the need to bring him along as back up, in case I started asking awkward questions.
You both sat down and that’s when I started to panic. I had flash backs of those awful nights in your house, scenes that I couldn’t handle reliving.
I wanted to ask you both to leave but nothing came out of my mouth.
I was just frozen with those images in my head. I felt the fear all over again, I was physically shaking. I felt trapped and couldn’t bear hearing his voice or having his smell only a few feet away from me. I couldn’t even look at the both of you. The fear I felt was so strong that I had to send a text to a Adrian, asking him to come in straight away, luckily he was only working in the garden. All of a sudden there was another voice in the room. I had never been so glad to hear Adrian’s voice before. From that moment on I wasn’t trapped and alone with just you and that man, the pair of you trying to intimidate me.
All those times I wanted to say stop but was too scared. The times I just lay there with my face in the pillow, crying hoping it would be over. Breathing in his smell that was suffocating me. You were the adults, you knew it was wrong, yet still you carried on. Not just once, but over a long period of time, I should have spoken to someone back then, I stayed quiet through fear. The fear you put into me by telling me all sorts of things would happen to me if I told anyone what you were both doing.
That Tuesday in 2006 was the last time I ever saw you. I never did get any answers to all the questions I wanted to ask. Up until now I have always blamed him for what happened, and thought of you as a victim too. Now I know that you were as much to blame, if not more. You should have been there to protect me, the one person who should have been there for me, but you let me down in every possible way. You not only allowed him to do what he did, but you were there in the room each time it happened.
I’m not sure what sick pleasures you both got out of what you did, but I do know it wasn’t my fault. I wasn’t to blame, I was just a child. You robbed me of an innocent childhood, one That should have been filled with love, support and encouragement, a time that I will never get back.
I do believe there is a name for people like you but it certainly isn’t Mother. You stopped having the right to be called that the day you willingly made the decision to do what you did. Mothers should protect their children, no matter what. You failed as a mother. Thank god you didn’t have any more children so they didn’t have to suffer the same way as I did.
I’ve seen you both now for what you really are. You made me feel dirty, an object you could both pick up and play with when it suited you, then stick me back in my room when you’d finished. All alone and feeling scared.
I wanted to tell someone but couldn’t, so I kept quiet. After all, a child puts their trust in their mother and believes what they tell them, don’t they? No wonder I was a frightened little girl.
HE told me he’d never been asked to do anything like that before and he only wanted to show me the facts of life.
He was asked!!
He was insinuating that YOU had asked him to do it, wasn’t he? Did you? Even if you hadn’t, you still willingly went along with it.
I’ve felt angry with you for so long and tried to block out what happened, to forget what you put me through. I hid your dirty secret, until many years later.
I was a grown woman in 2007 by the time I reported it to the police and I had to relive every single, tiny detail, and explain everything you and my stepfather did to me. They believed me and were able to gather enough evidence to take it to court, which I’m so thankful for considering it was a historical case. Unanimously, a jury of 12 found you both guilty of all charges and you were given a prison sentence. That, I believe, is what they call justice.
Nine months. That’s all you served for the crime you’d committed against your own daughter. In that time I hope you finally faced up to what you did and stopped convincing yourself that you hadn’t done anything wrong.
Even though some of my family supported you through the court case, believing you were the innocent party and that I should have kept my mouth shut, I know that deep down in my heart I did the right thing and that you got the punishment you deserved.
I hope you feel guilty and ashamed of what you did. I hope it eats away at you every single day and every waking moment.
I hope you have to look away from every reminder of me because it makes YOU feel guilty, dirty and disgusted with yourself because of what you did to me and how you made me feel for so many years.
You’d betrayed me. You’d let me down. You made me feel as though I was the bad person.
I’m not scared or frightened of you anymore, I don’t feel the anger that I once felt towards you, in fact I don’t feel anything. I am not a child anymore, I’m not someone you can control. And I’m certainly not a victim. I’m a survivor.