My Battle with Childhood Sexual Abuse
My first memory of emotional abuse was when I was three years old. Mum left me with the next door neighbour who was the local flasher. He didn’t think anything of showing himself to me, it confused me. Mum knew he used to ‘play with himself’ in the shed at the bottom of his garden in full view. In case you’re wondering, my long term memory is very clear, like things happened yesterday.
Around the same time, I caught mum kissing her best friend’s husband in our kitchen. She shoved me into the other room, slammed the door and told me to leave them alone and go play. I was so confused, why was she being so nasty, why was she kissing Colin? The affairs were always going on, way before the sexual abuse, she would take me with her to meet her ‘boyfriends.’ She was caught out by a wife one time, I hid in the well in front of the car seat while all the shouting was going on.
Her very best friend’s husband played guitar in a band, she slept with him too, and one of his friends, she made me wait in a walk in pantry while she did the deed, I heard everything.
Much later in my life when I was eight years old, mum went to a psychologist for smoking. They became friends and later lovers. My dad had a good job and worked in Milan a lot for Pirelli tires. When he was away, my abuser used to come to our house. He was a hypnotist. Just to put you in the picture, he was arrested and taken to court in the 60’s for child abuse but instead of going to jail, he promised he would get help and was told never to work with children or in the medical profession. He changed his name.
The first time I remember him coming to my room was when he hypnotised my mum and made her sing in the bathroom where he could hear her. He walked into my room and also ‘put me under.’ He used to bring me round just as he was finishing whatever he fancied at the time. I remember waking up with my arms around his waist and my face close to his groin.
From then on I was so scared every time he came to the house. If I needed the bathroom I would sit and pee on my floor rather than go anywhere near him. I felt and still feel so ashamed about that. Things come back to me all the time.
He used to take kids on camping holidays, mixed boys and girls of all ages in the same tent. The first time I went Iwas expected to sleep with all these loud, swearing teenagers who I’d never even met. I cried, I was eight years old. Mum was furious but let me sleep in the van with her and my abuser in the end. My dad didn’t know about the affair, I had to keep it a secret from him. My dad wears glasses, I remember wanting to cry every time I saw a man wearing glasses, couldn’t understand why until I was much older.
The morning after that incident when I wouldn’t go in the tent, mum had to go home. My abuser took this opportunity to put his hands all over me. I remember the whole scene, the colour of the van — yellow inside, the condensation on the sides, the smell. I was clammy, I tried to push his hands off, he persisted, something told me it was wrong. He made me feel guilty because I didn’t want him to touch me. He said it was just a cuddle because my dad didn’t love me. I was wearing a light nightie or summer dress, can’t remember which, I climbed into the front of the van, out the doors and ran up a hill. I hid until I saw my mum’s car later on. She remembers me running towards her in the thin dress. I’d shivered for hours hiding, well it seemed like hours. I tried to make sense of it all. I started wetting myself again, I was so embarrassed.