Updated: Feb 10
You Are a Survivor, Therefore You are Stronger Than You will ever know. The key is knowing where your strength comes from and learning how to tap into that strength when you need it. Everyone is different and everyone has their own special source of strength! We all have our own demons to battle, our own struggles to pull through & our own mountains to climb! Never undermine your worth by Comparing yourself to others, it is because you are different that you are special!!
A Child Abuse Survivor ~ El's Story
From the day I was born until 2 months before my 14th birthday I had spent my life with my mother and my younger brother and sister. I could not remember my Biological Father even though I was 5 the last time I had seen him, I had been raised to believe that the father on my birth certificate was my Dad, in many ways he always was despite only ever knowing him through a photo! Anyway; At the age of 13 I was going through a rebellious stage and like most teenage girls I did not get along with my mother, I had always accepted that she did the best she could, she wasn't rich but from what memories I have I had felt we were loved. It was all I knew of family. As a young teen, I hated that my mother was very protective & only reluctantly accepted the responsibilities that came with being the oldest child. I had always blamed any conflicts between us on my own behavior. Well about 5 months before my 14th birthday my mother informed me and my brother that our biological father had been in contact, she had been convinced by him that he was a changed man, she did not feel it was right to let her personal feelings and experiences interfere with our chance to know him. She had also just gone through an ordeal first escaping then fighting a custody battle with our youngest sister's father. Rather than denying us the right to know our biological father she asked us if we were interested in seeing him, obviously as curious children, we said yes. So he traveled up from England to see us quite a few times for the next 3 months. He came across as the ideal father, he acted kind and loving, and very clever at making sure everyone believed that. I remember in the October holiday that my brother had gone to Our Bio F's home in England for a week because he was ill and our biological father had offered to look after him so our mother could continue going to uni. I recall a discussion with my mother about the idea of me going down to his for a week during the Christmas holiday, I had informed my mother that I was nervous about the idea and didn't want to go, she was supportive and said that we would speak to my Bio F together. Not long after that conversation, 2 months before I turned 14, my mother and my Bio F had an argument, my mother told him to leave and never come back. I to this day still do not remember the thought process that led from that conversation to leaving with him, somehow because of the rebellious stage I was going through and probably due to my Bio F's subtle Manipulation I at the time was convinced that my mother was being spiteful, so I told my mother that if he left I would, though she thought nothing of it at the time as we had had many a disagreement. I know that night was a violent one. I vaguely remember the bio F breaking into my mother's bedroom where me and my mother were talking, ironically about my deep instinct NOT to spend a week with him. He had forced his way in, I have a vague recollection of my mother being launched into her hifi. I do not understand how I was convinced to leave despite what I witnessed.
I know that dispute my rebelling against my mother I was the type of child that would break my heart crying if I saw my mother cry. But the next morning my Bio F got ready to leave, and I pretended to get ready for school, he had arranged to meet me at the bus stop and then we were to go into town and get the coach to England where he lived. This happened as planned.
I wasn't to know what the next 4 years had in store for me. Well the Bio F started fighting through the court to get custody of me, and the first couple month seemed okay except for the excusable discipline and him repetitively telling me how bad a mother my mother was and that she just wanted to control me and use me for a slave. He always used the truth as the basis of his argument and bending it to suit his purpose. It was not hard for the Bio F to brainwash me into believing he was right and by the time the court case came I was all revved up with the "I hate my Mum as far as I'm concerned she's dead" brainwashing that the Bio F won the court case. Though I do remember whilst at the court receiving a note from my mother asking to see me, I desperately wanted to say yes but I recall looking at him and telling the solicitor stubbornly No. This was when life went downhill, first came the physical abuse. At first in the form of more violent excusable discipline. Then about 4 months later came the Sexual abuse which was described as 'our special relationship', by which time the Bio F had enforced his authority on me and had brainwashed me to believe that the only family I had was him and that everything he did, he did out of love.
I was too afraid to stop it and too afraid that if I told anyone they would not believe me and I'd end up back with him anyway and he would be worse with me.
I desperately wanted to believe he loved me and his words were true. He also had this way of making you believe his words, he could tell you the sky was green and you would believe it, worse still he had a way of making you want and like the same things he did. Our Bio F later tried and fortunately failed to get custody of my Brother. He had sordid plans for him and my Brother to father my children when I was old enough. I am relieved that my Brother had quite an aggressive anger towards our Bio F for 'taking me away' and had told the judge that if they made him live with our Bio F he would continuously run away. I survived by pretending it was not happening!
I went to school and sought out deep connections with friends, and concentrated on my life at school with my friends, I got by the last of my school years by hanging with my friends, to them I was this very bubbly happy girl who loved a laugh and a joke.
I then went to college, some of my friends from school went with me. I also made new friends a miss-hap group of friends now fondly known as the qblock. I looked forward to going to college and hung with my friends. When it was the holidays I tried to be with my friends as much as I could.
The times that I wasn't, I tried to stay in my room away from him, my only other survival was to write in my diary or to write poetry, but never did I write about the things the Bio F was doing.
I always wrote about my friends, and I wrote poetry about my teen crushes.
Mostly it was the normal life that I had with my friends that kept me alive through those 4 years of abuse every day of those 4 years.
People think this is an over-exaggeration. It wasn't he got what he wanted from me when he wanted and heaven help me if I didn't do things right! The consequences were things like heavy ceramics launched at me for not doing his food the way he wanted. In a drunken rage, he launched me into a cabinet with glass doors, resulting in a hospital trip lots of lies, 11 stitches and a permanent scar! On one occasion I went to school with two of the blackest eyes you have seen due to being punch full force on the bridge of my nose. Another incident was being punched full force in the mouth, my front teeth knocked 90 degrees into the roof of my mouth, my braces and spending hours holding them in place while he held my head under freezing cold water forgetting I needed to breathe, is what saved the teeth! I remember vaguely the first time he manipulated his way into my bed at 14 and a handful of the worst incidents. That's not to mention the punishments that came in the shape of belts, wooden spoons and shoehorns repeatedly thrashed over my bare skin.
The sexual abuse was regular, sometimes daily other time a few times a week. The Emotional and psychological onslaught was daily, every moment of my life there was lived with hypervigilance. I was allowed only controlled written contact through letters with my Nanna (maternal) who lived in Kent, He monitored what I wrote and read the letters as they came through the door, ensuring my isolation from the adult world. In the period between 17 1/2 and 18, I ran away several times but I never told anyone why I ran away. Each time I ended up back because I thought I had no place to go. The town you live in seems huge and scary at that age never mind the country.
The trigger that finally made me realize I could escape and be strong was when I was in my 1st physical relationship with a guy, I hit a point where I realized that betraying someone I love (or thought I loved at the time) was worse, so about 4 weeks before my 18th birthday I ran away and I told my friends and bf about the violence that the Bio F had done to me over the years, having a visual example of the scar on my arm that had required 11 huge stitches demonstrated my truth without a lot of words. I ended up staying with my friends until they had helped me find a bedsit, which I shared with my boyfriend (who like my friends was only aware of the physical abuse). About a week before my 18th birthday I had been in contact with my Nanna, because my Bio F had come to my work with letters and a birthday present delivered from my Nanna, but had used it to squirm his way back into my life. When I wasn't there when he arrived & I took none of his manipulating bullshit through the phone, he later phoned my work to tell me he had found out my brother had run away and would I like to meet up to discuss it! I didn't fall for it, freedom opened my eyes wide to how wrong he was. I used the letters from my Nanna to get her number and phone her asking about my brother. It wasn't true, he lied to get his claws in. Worried my Nanna passed on my work phone number to my mother (who I had no contact with for 4 years) and she phoned my work to speak to me. I was very scared at first because of the 4 years of brainwashing the Bio F had done, I didn't know who to trust or who to turn to. But I spoke to her and my younger brother and sister, and for the next week, I was on the phone every night! My brother and sister wanted me to come up and visit so my mother arranged coach tickets for me and my boyfriend to come up for a long weekend. The weekend turned into a very long weekend as I never went back, I sat down with my mother the second night and told her all about the Physical abuse, after I had finished she was hugging me and said "it's all over now, just so long as what I thought might happen never happened..." as soon as she said that I burst into tears and She knew it happened. For the next couple of months, I didn't speak much of it while I was living with my mother as I became very ill. Doctors said it was the flu then they said it was an ear infection, and so on, my mother & doctors came to the conclusion it was a release of 4 years pent up stress and pressure wreaking havoc on my immune system. When I got better my mum said “whatever you wish to do I will back you up”, I decided to tell the police so he could never hurt anyone like that again
I wanted to protect the rest of my family including the cousins I've never met, as I recalled the sickly affection and fond way he told me story's of them and desired contact with them.
The police were informed. It was hard but the specialist police officers who took my statement were very calm and relaxed with me and made sure I took my time, so with my mother's support I relayed all of the 4 years that I could recall to the police. When I was 18 and a half I was foolish and needed to be loved and ended up marrying my boyfriend... It didn't last as his attitude had already slowly started changing towards me because of what the Bio F had done to me. His disgust in me solidified by having to make a statement to the police about a Sordid incident that had occurred when my Bio F tried to control and be involved in our relationship when he found out I had been dating him. A few months before my 19th birthday I went to court to be a witness for the prosecution, the prosecution insisted that the judge allowed a screen to be put up so I would not be able to see the Bio F whilst I was giving my evidence. For 3 days I was in court recalling as much of the 4 years as I could and arguing stubbornly with the defense when they produced my diary as evidence and insisted on knowing that if what I was telling was the truth why I had not written it... After I had finished in court it took all of my strength from me, my mother and my husband (at the time) ended up carrying me back to the hotel.
The conviction came through 2 months before my 19th birthday, the Bio F was charged with all 7 accounts of rape, child abuse & incest and was sentenced for 11 years. Things failed to get easier for a while. Just after my 19th birthday, I separated from my ex-husband, he left me feeling like I'd deserved everything I got. I hadn't realized the emotional abuse I had suffered until we separated.
I was low at this point. I didn't understand the point of life. I questioned existence. Unexpectedly a few weeks later I met my Husband. We were introduced by mutual acquaintances that feared I may self-harm and wanted him to show me where those thoughts lead (that lesson had a huge unexpected impact). We fell in love. He is my Soulmate. We had both been through hell & back for different reasons, but we understood each other's pain & became each other's rocks!
I knew when I met him, that he was in a worse place than I was with his past and recent tragedies. I fell in love with him. If you ask me, it was meant to be. Many were against us and deemed our relationship foolish and doomed. I knew then that if I wanted a relationship with the man I loved so immensely that I had to be strong for him!
And so began my path to healing...
We have been together ever since and he has loved me in all the ways I ever needed. He is so protective of me. I felt safe. It was his love and loving him that got me out of the downward spiral of depression that I was in when I first met him. He has been my rock and I have been his rock, he understands my past in the fullest depth and supports my fight for happiness. He has blessed me with our 4 beautiful children. He is by far from perfect, our relationship was by far smooth. But we worked damn hard together to carve a path through life. Taking turns to pick each other up along the way. Our love was perfect. It strengthened us. We faced every mountain launched at us, together! I strive to have a happy life and make my children's life happy and safe. I am determined that my children have a Mummy and a Daddy that loves them and loves each other. Even though life has thrown us some very tough challenges, some life & death non-related obstacles, but every fight we have battled to be together has made our relationship stronger! At the beginning of 2003, I was watching the news about the Iraq war and discovered my older sister commenting on it. I had known of her from the Bio F: He had 2 daughters before me to a previous marriage but had split up when they were younger. Something in me was curious about her. I got in touch. From that point on we emailed each other and talked on the phone. It turned out she had taken an interest in my court case in 1998 and had a friend watch it. She never spoke of her own experience but told me at 18 she'd been curious to know the Bio F when he contacted her and had spent about 6 months with him until a situation occurred which allowed her to escape. She never went into detail but said it was very similar to what I'd gone through! With-in that year or so, I had started creating an Abuse Survivor Group using MSN groups. I discovered that being there as an understanding ear for others with similar experiences helped me along on my path to healing and give purpose to these events. I had third-person experience with helping my husband through self-harming and PTSD.
I struggled at times until I found I could talk about my experiences with fellow survivors and also help them through their healing journey.
I found a strength in learning that in order to convince survivors that it wasn't their fault, I had to believe it about myself. In talking them through their thoughts I discovered and learned to analyze my own thoughts & feelings.
I traveled further down my path of healing!
We lost the support group when they closed MSN groups down, but the years running it helped my own healing in quite a phenomenal way. I later found Bebo and Facebook and kept sharing my story by creating a page @aTeenAngelsCry later renamed to @FortitudeProjec
All this inspired by a Song by Martina Mcbride Called Concrete Angel
It is a Hauntingly beautiful Tragic song! In the early months of 2006, we had heard that the Bio F had managed to get Parole, this prompted my older sister to go to the police about what had happened to her. On the 4th of September 2006, I had to return to Court for a second time as a character witness in my elder sister's trial against the Bio F. I also had to stand and give evidence that we had never talked to each other about our experiences. That Day in court changed allot for me. As a Survivor, it turned everything around. I stood in court in control of my own life. Whereas at 18 I was still frail and frightened. In 2006 I was a woman, a mother of 3. I'd become strong. Standing in the courtroom proved to me and the Bio F that he had no control over my life anymore. That the control had been taken back!
Most of my friends and family saw the change in me when I got back, I felt the change, the strength!
Further traveling down the path of healing.
On 12th September 2006, the Bio F was found guilty, all 12 jurors found him guilty of 5 accounts and 11 out of the 12 found him guilty of the 6th account! The judge said in court that he was a dangerous man and showed no remorse for his crimes! On 13th September 2006, he was sentenced to 8 years and given a discretionary life sentence! I became an open book. I've always talked, so talking about my past although the memories are hard, I welcome the chance to talk. Each chance I'm given to talk, to use my past to give me strength and help others or to show others that I can understand, the easier it is for me to live with it. I went from a scared wee girl too afraid to talk to an open booked woman that everyone wishes would just shut up even for a few minutes! LOL
Find the strength within you and you will survive anything life throws at you, turn your negative emotions into something good.
I was determined to have a happy life, the Bio F may have ruined my past, but he has no control over my present nor my future. That is mine to control. I will make my future a happy one because if I don't that's a life he has managed to destroy. It was not confidence in myself that got me this far. It was confidence in those around me that I love and that care for me, my husband, my children, my family and my friends (the best friends a girl could ever wish for)
Over the years my relationship with my mother has required a lot of futile working on! We had many issues to work through.
I thought those issues were: my independence, my stubbornness, my one-woman crusade, my insecurities and mistrust, my mothers emotions & her perceptions of reality, her need to control every situation she is in, her fears of losing me again, her desire to protect me from any more hurt, her fear of me not being able to cope and both our pasts. The biggest issue I believed was her intensity in preparing for the worst-case scenario – her daughter being institutionalized!
Regardless of my resistance to being mothered, there were a few crucial lessons she taught me that I held to.
I held to so tightly as evidence, that despite the emotional turmoil that was our relationship, that deep down she was the mother I longed for.
Some of those crucial lessons are; Never bottle up your emotions they'll eventually burst out of control, always talk about your problems, never let negative emotions take control, use the negative emotions to fuel something positive, there are some things you'll never fully recover from but you can learn to live with them, fear is healthy but should not be life-consuming, honesty is always best because the truth always finds a way to come out!
At that moment in life, my only regret was that My Mother could not see beyond the image she has in her mind of me which is tainted by the past and her perceptions. Tainted by the half-truths of believing her own worst-case scenario and other undesirables who fed those imagined scenarios (ex-husbands, two-faced friends etc.) What existed of our mother-daughter relationship spiraled out of control. For many years I lived with her doom and gloom predictions. She was sitting at the edge of her seat honestly believing I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown! Mistaking my strong-willed stubbornness as episodes of insanity!
She doesn't trust anything I say because she constantly believes my thoughts, my feelings, and my opinions are all a part of "the verge of a nervous breakdown" or tainted by my past. I have written letters where she accuses my words of being poison from my Bio F. Only once did she ever listen to me as a normal woman and that was after the 2006 court case.
After being proven wrong, because she had warned everyone I may come back and need to be sectioned, which had not done much for my husband's mental stability! She couldn't be any more wrong about me! Then for a few months, she said sorry, she apologized for letting her fear blind her to the strong woman I had become.
This apology only occurred because it was my stepDad who had heard me out and picked me up against my mother's wishes and took me to her house after she had said she didn't want to see me. With my Stepdads support, I spoke to her and he made sure she listened.
For a little while, I was so happy! I felt I finally had my mum as an adult needs her mum, but unfortunately, time went on, more changes occurred, with each battle and mountain I had to get over I became more stubborn, less tolerant of situations that caused stress and hurt. I became more true to myself and learned that the only way to do that was to stop being nice just to please everyone and keep the peace! I started voicing my opinions more, disagreeing with advice rather than nodding and accepting when I didn't agree! Due to these differences in opinion, rather than see me for the independent woman with her own life opinions and views. My mother reverted back to her original belief that I was not dealing with and could not cope with my past, so much so that she believes my "depression" has made me vindictive, manipulating and my word & my memory are unreliable! Sometimes a relationship can do more harm than good and I wished it was different I really did because she is my only parent and my kids only grandparent, but hoping has messed with my head way too much. During those years I wish I had a magic wand to fix it all, but we have just got to make do with the hand that was dealt! Thanks to too many counseling sessions, psychology sessions, and cpn sessions, I learned to come to terms with the fact that how my mother sees me is far more to do with her as a person, her feelings, her thoughts, and her memories, than anything that I have done. I can't change any of that for her, for a while I could only hope that one day she would see the true me!
Throughout all this, My mother's thoughts became the constant negative voice in my head. I doubted everything about myself because of her words. Asking myself, is she right, am I really just pretending to be on the path to healing. That thought/voice instigated by my mother's fears that one day she will get the call that says I've been institutionalized because she can not fathom how I can be as okay as I portray I am and it is not fake. That voice has had me questioning my every thought all these years, always worried I might be wrong and she right, we didn't have much of a relationship because of it, but strangely enough, her golden nuggets of advice had been fundamental to how I have survived. At the beginning of 2016, I was dismissed from another CPN that I self-referred myself to yet again. I had tackled yet another difficult challenge in my life. In the assessment, the CPN had nothing but praise for my strength and ability to have coping mechanisms in place (Reading, Swimming, Walking, Talking, writing & Photography) It feels awkward hearing praise for choosing to live because your husband and children need you, to me it's natural, I love them I have to be strong, I have no choice! But that 90 min assessment gave a temporary reassurance that I was not that close to my mother's doom and gloom prediction/fear. Reassurance that my thoughts & feelings are normal reactions. Reassurance that I'm right about coming to terms with the fact that my past will always be a fundamental part of who I am, how I think & how I feel, I will always deal with triggers and memories. Yet acknowledge I have the ability to analyze acknowledge, understand and accept that, to know how to cope with the triggers and thoughts, to live with them, deal with them as part of daily life. My afterthought of that CPN assessment was... 'I wish my mother had been in there with me and heard all that!'
I Still held onto hope.
Until a truth came out and a line was crossed and they became my ex-family, it is the only way to describe my state of mind post-August 2016
There is more to this story, but it is not all my story to tell and is still very recent & raw.
Narcissists live among us smiling, loving, caring functional members of society. But its a mask! Even I, a Survivor who knew the signs, was fooled! I became a survivor, learned to try and help others. Attempted to salvage relationships with my mother and siblings. I had a family and battled supporting my hubby with his mental health struggles... I Found a love of Photography and prepared to start College...
Only to have a cold hard slap of reality...
My eyes peeled wide open about the truths of a Narc who took advantage of our sincerity...
The thing I was scared of most came too close to reality!
All those instincts about this Narcissist were correct... I thought my concerns about him were because of my past... The narc played me... And got to my kids...
After a year of attempting to protect her family from the inevitable fracturing, My daughter disclosed.
My family here is now just his family, his enablers!
But do you know what, you cannot lose something you never had!
I was once told by my mother that I need them, that they are all I have got! WRONG!
We are free now. Life has been turned upside down... But I still have my Hubby and Kids!
We will survive & Thrive!
The truth will come out... Karma will be our Justice!
I've learned so much since 2016, I read books and psychology reports as well as listened to and investigated all the truths of the Narcs past he hid and twisted to make himself the victim. In three years the truths about a total of ten victims of varying types have been uncovered. That is just what we know!
My daughter's disclosure started a snowball effect, skeletons literally sprawled out of the closet, one after another.
This one incident was only the beginnings of what was uncovered, there are multiple levels of manipulation and psychological damage never mind multiple levels of physical abuse, multiple incidents, with multiple victims, to an extent where officials have finally got 4 official Crown witnesses against HIM.
His time will come! Our eyes are wide open. We fight the long fight!
Now We are in Therapy to learn to deal with people who should be in Therapy!
I'm afraid! For those, The Narc will hurt in the future, for those who may already be hurting and no one knows!
But we know the Truth... We want Awareness for all Abuse Including The Psychological warfare these Narcissists, Sociopaths and Psychopaths wreak on their victims.
I do empathize with those that have struggled and are not doing great, we are all at different stages in our journey, I don't believe they are lacking in strength because they struggle. I believe they are stronger than me because of their struggles and feelings of hopelessness but they keep fighting. Being alive, taking each day as it comes is 'fighting' even when its not realized. I was just lucky to have a set of circumstances that allowed me to find my strength and use it.
Never undermine your worth by Comparing yourself to others, it is because you are different that you are special!! xxx
I recently encountered an Idea that I had given little thought to because it wasn't for me... Forgiveness, the concept of forgiving my Abuser feels alien to me! I feel Forgiving is wrong, it states you resolve them from the punishment of their wrongdoing but also says you no longer feel resentment and anger... I can't remember the last time I felt anger or resentment. But forgiveness is not right... Yet forgiveness is discussed consistently as the path to our healing! I'm healing without the need to forgive! But with my recent rediscovery of this concept I grew disturbed with the thought that I didn't believe in forgiveness for my situation, did that mean I still resented or felt anger?
There is that self-doubt creeping in! After talking it through with a fellow survivor and researching it, I discovered:
Forgiveness is a misconception!
Healing doesn't require forgiveness only acceptance of the facts!! Another Survivor said to me
“Sometimes the only person you need to forgive is yourself & that is good enough.”
Forgiving your abuser is A CHOICE, it's not right for everyone, but in some people, it was the key to their healing.
Don't get hung up on it, if it's not for you!! xxx I have a husband that I'm extremely proud of, he's one in a million, he is my perfect! He is my soul mate, my hero, and father to our children.
Babes, you are my world and I love and treasure every precious second I'm gifted with you, words can not describe the love, admiration, and feelings for you, you are my rock! Thank you, Babes, xxx
"Family isn't always blood. It's the people in your life who want you in theirs. The ones who accept you for who you are. The ones who would do anything to see you smile, and who love you no matter what."
I have some really lovely extended family who I treasure so much, who gave me the chance and made their own opinions of me. Who I will be forever grateful for!
It's taken me many years & tears, but I've got a small handful of friends I trust with my life, who have been there, listened to me ranting and raving, always been honest with me and who I value very highly! Throughout my life I've had some really special friends that have meant the world to me, who I have my life to thank for, I wouldn't have made it this far without them! They have played different roles in my life throughout different periods of my life and their friendship has often been my rock in desperate or scary times!
Some I still talk to, some not so much, some not at all for one reason or another- but every one of you holds a very dear place in my heart for simply being this "crazy bitch's" friend, our memories are treasured and precious! Thank you, you know who you are, each of you from 1994-present day. You are amazing I love you xxx Who said you can't choose your family! So you see,
You can be happy, don't get me wrong it's a very bumpy roller-coaster ride, but all you need to do is find that strength that is within you and use it!
The legal justice system can work in our favor, not all the time I know but Bio F was jailed for 11 years, not long enough. Yes, he got out earlier, though he did get even longer after the second trial, if more of us fought back against our abusers it would make a statement, that they cant get away with this, that we will not be intimidated by them.
Don't get me wrong it's hard and I had support, but it is the way forward I believe.
There is a time for everything!
We stand together!
Today I stand as an advocate of Photographic Therapy & an activist against abuse, inequality, and Austerity!
My weapons of choice are The Truth, Knowledge, Photography and the Sharing of all three!
Some shared thoughts; Twitter, Facebook & Instagram @FortitudeProjec
Page Blog 27 November 2018
I have been processing another jigsaw piece of my past that was handed to me amongst the discovery that my abuser, the biological father finally died a month ago. I celebrated the knowledge he would no longer hurt anyone else, but only briefly before putting the warrior armor back on and continue the fight against his prodigy determined to darken the world hurting everyone in his path. Like his predecessor, he will face his destruction and we will stand up, stand strong, speak up, speak loud, for all those who have been hurt, we will defend the truth. The Jigsaw piece! I never intended to hide it merely wrap my head around this hidden truth. Now I set yet another truth free! My mother hid this knowledge from me. She knew that the abuse I suffered between the age of 13 to 17 was not the first time I suffered at the hands of my abuser! As a toddler he abused and interfered with me when left alone with me, my grandfather was the first to alert the family to the signs, how I shied from my abuser as only a petrified child does. This sadly does not shock me. The memories I have already learned to live with, the knowledge I've gained over the years of the mass of destruction. I came to terms long ago that I had never and would never uncover all the truths of my past. The thing that affects me most is the solid realization that I've been abandoned. Abandoned by my other parent, she chose not to face her mistakes, to stick her head in the sand and to continue to be an enabler than to protect or stand by her daughter and granddaughter. When she gave us the chance to meet our real Dad she hid the truth of what he did to her and me. We had already stood by her after escaping our stepdad, there really was no excuse that we wouldn't believe. She let us chose to meet him. Then when things went wrong, when I went against my first instincts that said I should fear going to his home, somehow I made the decision at 13 to run away and live with him. I regretted it. Survived escaped on my own. When I found my way back to her, she did her motherly duty supporting me going to court against him. But she then spent 18 of my adult years spitefully blaming me for leaving!
Page blog from 14th of December
25 years ago today! TWENTY-FIVE YEARS! A lifetime ago. A whole different world! Twenty-five years ago today I moved in with my abuser, my biological father at 13 years old It is the first year that the weight of this day does not lay heavily on my shoulders! I held myself responsible for not listening to my original gut instinct all those years ago as did my mother for "leaving her" But that new jigsaw price allowed me to realize, decisions had been made in my life out with my control that led to that moment, decisions that as a mother I can put a hand on my heart and say 'I would never have made' THIS YEAR I PASS THE WEIGHT OF THAT DAY 25 YRS AGO BACK ON HER SHOULDERS! Where they should have been all these years, no loving remorseful mother would have allowed her daughter to bear the weight of her mistakes so willingly and insistently! #Fortitude #FortitudeProject #abusesurvivor #childhoodtrauma #childsexualabuse
Page Blog from 13th Feb 2019
21 years ago today! I made my Dash from the biological father, my abuser! I didn't know it was an escape! A weekend in Scotland to get reacquainted with my estranged mother and siblings after escaping 4 years of emotional physical and sexual abuse. It was the first time I allowed myself to admit the sexual abuse only because the mother knew the right questions to ask. For a short time, I was happy I had a family finally
But life's never that simple and sometimes the poison and corruption run deep preying on your most innocent desires to be loved by family, to have a normal parent and siblings. Over the next 18 year's that cost my kids and my friends greatly, just because they trusted me and I was blindsided. It almost cost my sanity. It put the children of the family in harm's way. Sometimes corruption runs down the family line. But we finally broke the cycle. The truth is out slowly uncovering the depths of this corruption. This week I finally received some of the requested paperwork from my court case back in 98 that will help validate the Memoir I've been writing, because people need to understand how it could happen to anyone and how difficult they make it, to break free. Psychological abuse of all types is the most crippling and debilitating, turning adults as vulnerable as abused children. No one understands its severity unless it's spoken about! I'm SPEAKING! I won't BE SILENCED! IM NOT AFRAID TO BE SEEN! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I will find the light even if I have to make it myself!
The weight of meaningless goodwill gestures drowning with a hefty price #notallthatglittersisgold My story may be hard to hear, but that doesn't mean I should not tell it! #Iwillnotbesilenced #iwillnotbesilencedforyourcomfort #Abandonment WAY out the #comfortzone now! #CONTEXTUAL #PHOTOGRAPHY #selfexpression #PhotographicTherapy #FortitudeProject @fortitudeprojec @elamethystphotography #selfportrait #childhoodtrauma #contextualphotography #artisticexpression #mentalhealth #iamnotafraidtobeseen #seeme #selfcare
... ➡Footnote; (at the top because I like being different); ✴ If @pink can share her life through music then I will not hide in shame as I #doggedly 😉 (love that word) share the "harrowing" story that is my life through my #Photography and my upcoming #Memoir I want to do with my Photography what #p!nk does with her music! ✴ #healing Abandonment; A #FortitudeProject #Photoessay A story told #healing #revealed #honest #protection #betterplace #selfportrait #selfexpression #abandonment #determinedphotographer #Iwillnotbesilenced #iwillnotbesilencedforyourcomfort #selfportrait #childhoodtrauma #toxicrelationships #contextualphotography #artisticexpression #mentalhealth #iamnotafraidtobeseen #seeme #selfcare #AbuseSurvivor #therapeuticphotography #thepipas2019 Another Footnote⬇⬇⬇ ✴Abandonment; A #FortitudeProject #Photoessay It has been a massive healing journey for me, finally voicing aloud not just online the toxicity of my relationship with my mother, her lies and secrets, her blame and belittling disguised as parenting. My desperate belief in her empty words. My acceptance that the connection to abandonment existed long before the abuse I actually remember as a teen by my biological father's hands! A trauma that I started healing from long ago. Now finally I've come to terms with this sense of abandonment that it's because my mother isn't what I thought she was, many realized before I was able to accept it, I can not fathom being like that to my own children and she calls me the enemy because I believed my daughter over her son's narcissistic lies and cover-up of the truth. I deserved more than the mother she was to me Its hard for me to be courageous enough to say that but I've finally accepted it to be true. I deserved to be loved! This is me My abandoned childhood and teen years do not define the person I am but it does give me a stubborn strength✴ (See @fortitudeprojec website) #Repost @elamethystphotography (with @report.for.insta)
Sometimes the progress of fighting for the truth seems shadowed by the illusion of the lies and deceipt covering up corruption in humanity. It is the innocent in the path of corruption that keeps us standing firm.
#coercivecontrol #reallife #domesticabuse #thisstuffisreal #harshreality #narcissistsskeletons #narcissistrevealed
#Isolation is #isolation And its #coercivecontrolTelling you that you can not talk to someone is control "They are my family I get to say if you talk to them" "They don't like me so you can't be friends" "If they won't see me they can't see you" Yet you must entertain their irritating friends and controlling family members. In a relationship, you are allowed your opinion of people and you have the right to choose who is in your own life and your own home but you can not control your partner's life OUT WITH the relationship! #oneruleforyouanotherruleforthem #narcissism #sociopath
People don't realize how common Child abuse is! In our family of Six, half of us are Child Abuse Survivors! Living with #trauma is #complex It is #misunderstood If a survivor ever gets to a place where they are ok talking about their past trauma they then face the turmoil of society's reactions, their inability to comprehend, their judgment for talking after baring their judgment for not talking! Worse of all is the silence, the knowledge that what you've just said has killed the conversation and no one knows how to respond! It's our life we lived it, it's part of us we may mention it just as anyone may mention the loss of a family member! It's not for pity, not for shock factor, not to upset, not to kill a conversation. It's because it's part of our past, you talk about your past, why should we feel we need to be silent! If we speak about it be respectful, don't pretend we said nothing don't stop speaking, just understand that it's our past if we are talking then we are ok talking! Society needs to understand!
Video of the poetry here; https://www.fortitudeproject.co.uk/about
www.fortitudeproject.co.uk www.facebook.com/FortitudeProjec www.facebook.com/amethystel1980 Twitter & Instagram @AmethystEl1980
Disclaimer; this is my story, my feelings and my thoughts on events that occurred in my life, told with honesty & integrity in the hope that someone might read it and feel a little less alone! None of it is meant to upset, insult or target anyone, do not compare your life to mine, we each have our own lives and no one persons is better or worse; there is a very true saying "til you've walked a mile in my shoes" which includes you too, no one knows how your life is but you, life is not measured in who has the biggest issues, but how you handle your life, how you respond to hurdles and mistakes! so always be proud of how far you have come x