I was a child once, a baby first of course, then a kid, then a teenager, and now, thankfully, an adult. As a baby, I now know I was a contrary little thing, refusing to drink the milk my mother had ready for me. I demanded formula milk, not breast milk. I’ve recently said sorry to Mum about it, even though I have no idea why I did such a silly thing.
My dad used to tease me when I was a pre-teen and call me ‘Mary, Mary, quite contrary!’ He thought it hilarious, I thought it cruel and sometimes he made me cry with anger about it. I think now he just liked the joke too much to let it go, and my over the top reaction just made it funnier. The fact that my middle name is in fact Mary probably made it perfect for Dad to make that joke, and thinking about my contrary behaviour as a baby, well, maybe I deserved the taunt.
As a woman who is now a mother and a mum who was proud to be a breast feeding mum, I find it strange that as a baby I refused to do the natural thing. I’ve bred pure-bred dogs for twenty years too, and I know breast is definitely best for babies. Bottle feeding is OK in emergency situations, but doing it naturally is easiest, safest and definitely the best way to feed a baby creature.
I don’t think I was particularly contrary as a teenager, but I know I certainly took some risks. I did stupid things and took unnecessary risks. The risks I took weren’t physically risky in ways that could have led to broken bones. I took the kinds of risks I’ve since learned sexually abused children sometimes take.
I would allow men and boys do things to me a girl of such a young age shouldn’t let them do, and I felt like I didn’t deserve any better. Now I realise the folly of my actions, but all those years ago I thought that was a way to find love. Silly, silly me.
Love had nothing to do with what used to happen to me back when I was a teenager and young adult. Lust, on the part of the male participant was certainly present, but there was no love at all. I’ve learned so much since moving on from those sordid and sad years. I now have a husband who I love and who loves me. I’ve also thought long and hard about my young and sorry years way back then.
I have found hope and forgiveness in my forties. The teen boys who misused me didn’t realise the damage they did, and I didn’t realise the damage being done to me either. My creative writing in the past ten or so years has helped me find peace and I can forgive myself and others for the misdeeds of my youth.
The man who sexually abused me as a 7 year old is dead, never realising perhaps the enormity of his actions. Alcohol was his reason perhaps, but I was never in a position to tell on him back then, so he never was going to face the courts. I’ve written about him, and recently spoken briefly to my mother about this. There’s not much more to be gained from doing much more about this, apart from acknowledge it and move on.
I was damaged, and now I am healed. Writing the poems and putting together my poetry collection have been a huge part of my healing. I hope now others may find some kind of healing in reading about this story on this blog, and perhaps getting a copy of my collection and reading the poems. My story is there, victim to survivor, and then one who wishes to assist others.
I invite others to contact me on this site, I am happy to talk with others here.