I cried a 1000 tears 3
…..the ads ask questions like..”Would you walk past…or What would you do?. ” Then show you pictures or clips of children in different abusive situations….bullshit..utter bullshit
ABUSE IS NOT SEEN……..I was abused for 15years….. It all came out when I was 21……and NO ONE saw jack shit….
“As I have gardened, feeling myself in some sort of deep dialogue with an unseen and silent partner, I have come to know true inner peace..’
( Martha Smith …..beds I have known)
I sit, frozen… He looks at me…….
Breath……my hearts pounding, please wake up…….I desperately try to send a message to my sister …maybe if I think it hard enough she will hear the message in her head……he gets up…..
Breath……..he walks past me……breath……his belly, his smell……..
Abuse comes in different forms……the abuse I went through as a child did not leave bruises, and broken bones, they came later in life……emotional and sexual abuse doesn’t result in physical evidence such as bruising or malnutrition, it can be very hard to recognise or even ‘see’.
This abuse was never spoken of, was taboo, and scandalous if it ever did come to light, but more for the child than the abuser.
The child would be branded an attention seeker, trouble maker and you’d be scarred by it for the rest of your life. No one would believe a child….!! Well no one believed me….
My abuse was never seen…….except by me…. This abuse caused Depression, anxiety/panic attacks. Sleeplessness and nightmares, difficulty concentrating, headaches, fatigue. Eating disorders alcoholism, and feeling powerless and out of control. Bruises heal, but mental and sexual abuse never really leaves you….
We moved to a mining village ….the first house we moved into was near the bottom end of the village….we would later on be moved to the ‘better part’.. The house, to my little girl memory, was huge….and white, and had steps that lead up to the front door….
The family across the road, the Wilson’s, are still close family friends with my parents, to this day.
The family to the left….Mr and Mrs Kobus and Margaret ……. something or other, I can’t remember the surname…..lived with their young son Kobus and her father, Oom Willie.
The house to the right, I haven’t a clue…those memories are long gone, and for very good reason…..everything, besides these 3 houses, in that street, are a total blank to me …….
What I can remember is that if we wanted to meet up with our friends, we would have to ride our bikes, skateboards or roller-skates to our friends house, and it was uphill all the way, and asked if they were allowed out for a bit. I don’t think my mom ever had to drop us off at a friends house, everything and everyone was local, and it was safe for children to be out in the streets, the woods, playing.
I didn’t have a bicycle when we lived there, My sister did, I would walk, I hardly ever used the roller skates…it wasn’t me..
We were brought up with such impeccable manners that we asked face to face, Or we’d pick up the plastic telephone, dial the number and ring their parents To ask permission. If you didn’t have a phone, you waited till the next day and whilst your mom picked you up from school, you would ask the friend’s parent, with the best manners, if their child could come over to play. Mom had the final word and if she said ‘no’, then it was accepted without much disappointment. Oh and we never ever called our friends parents by their name, it was Mr or Mrs and their surname…..I still today call my 3 South African friends parents Mr and Mrs…….when in their presence, it feels to weird to call them by their names, it’s just not right….
Unfortunate for us, the school we were enrolled in was in Hendrina, a daily school bus trip was the highlight of the day…NoT…I hated it….half an hour there and back, surrounded by hormonal teenage, Afrikaans boys, need I say anymore, and girls flaunting it every opportunity they got…..was all new to me, it just was not my scene.
I was never a child that wanted to be involved with the ‘klick’ I had a couple of friends I would have lunch with at school, maybe hang out at the pool in the village at weekends and occasionally week day afternoons…..
But other than that I basically kept myself busy with my own interests…
When thinking back, I realise that I actually became much more withdrawn once the abuse started… No one ever knew or suspected a thing, not even later on in life….
“I just come and talk to the plants, really-very important to talk to them, they respond I find…” HRH Prince Charles, 1986, TV interview
The old man next door was always friendly, always wanting to say hello over the fence…..my sister and the neighbours son use to play…she was into guns and bicycles, a tom boy….I found his his mother interesting, for a while….tall, blonde, make-up, long painted nails…..I can distinctly remember that inside her fridge, the door, basically just contained bottles of different colours of nail varnish..if you kept it in the fridge, and just gave the bottles a good shake every now and then, the varnish didn’t dry up!
Model rings to mind…..
Well, my parents were friends with them, but not as close as they were with the Wilson’s…I can’t actually remember ever visiting them with parents In tow, or even having a braai at their house, were as the Wilson’s, well we all just became an extended family….
Arnot was not far from the other mining village called Optimum….and that is where my dad’s brother and his witch lived……and as a result of it being ‘just down the road’ ..about a 45min trip…we seemed to visit there more often than non.
It was during these visits, that this little girl started feeling and experiencing the evil side that some people had.
I only ever wore a dress ONCE to this evil house, and that was when we first moved over from Botswana.
My very friendly ‘uncle’ gave us all a big hug and welcomed everyone in……..fast forward……after lunch, beckoned to me to sit on his lap to have a chat, and his hand went wondering under my dress..
I froze, looked at him, he smiled, I bailed…….and stayed as far away from him as I possibly could for the rest of the visit..
After that, whenever dad said we are off to Visit his brother for the day…..I just knew what was In store…and then the arguments would start over the dress code….
I just couldn’t bring myself to say why I refused to wear one ….and would use excuses like : can’t play with the boys (my cousins), and run around In a dress. Can’t play ball In a dress……can’t can’t can’t …WONT.
So dad in a mood, sulky kids in the back, car packed and off we would go…….
To hell….well my hell….
He was sneaky, crafty…. Would always find ways of ‘finding’ me on my own…..or wanting to show me something in the garden…….always something or some way of getting me away from everyone else.
I tried my utmost to always have someone In tow.
When he did manage it, his hands would be the first to wander, ‘accidentally’ touching an arm, stoking my back, trying to get me on his knee….it was horrible.
When they got pissed it was far worse cause then he would have Dutch courage and be much more forceful. He would grab me and pin me up against a wall and try and force his tongue in my mouth, or pin me so I could not move and then his hand would do the rest……
OMG…..it lasted for a couple of minutes, it felts like hours……but each time he did get me on my own …it started to progress to forceful roughness …..and the threats of ‘Keep this to yourself…no one will believe you if you did say anything’
I was on my own…….and this went on for years to come……
Our next doors neighbours decided they were going to a party – I think it was to be held at the village hall/club…My parents were going as well…..myself, my sister, and baby brother and their son, were to be looked after by Oom Willie.
We were dropped off next door….and yes, we had to wear dresses…..lovely little white frocks…..my sisters was covered in tiny tiny pink flowers and mine dress, exactly the same but purple….
What you need to understand is that we were brought up in the true old fashion sense….and with my mom being British……it was Proper….we spoke like little ladies, dressed like little ladies, conducted ourself as a little lady, spoke when spoken to and be respectful……and adults were Always right…end of..
You did what you were told, NO back chat… My mom was firm and only had to speak…..my dad on the other hand would give the hidings…..so one would try to avoid them…..at ALL costs.. Don’t get me wrong, my dad did not beat us to death, I can’t even remember my brother or sister ever getting a good hiding……I on the other hand must have had at least 5, that I can remember, throughout my childhood/teenage years, they were really bad…and most of the times there was really no need to go to that extremity. My dad was STRICT really strict…..my dad did adore me as a child, but never showed affection..his way of showing affection would be to work hard, provided well for the family and make sure all your needs were met. Once a month he would send my mom on a shopping spree for clothes, and then the horror, we would have to try them on and fashion parade around the sitting room so he could see what mom had bought…….I HATED every second …. We never chose what we wore then, mom did……only in our teenage years did we get to go with and choose what we liked, and if mom did not think it appropriate, we would have to choose something else..
We never wanted or needed anything………except his affection.
I use to climb up on his lap for a HUGGLE, he would look at me and say, ‘now what you after?’ I would climb back down and sit somewhere else…..all I wanted was a hug….. I tried this many times……still never got the hug…..
He showed affection in teaching things, like how to use the lawnmower…..and then that became your chore…. He taught me how to fish, service a car, change a wheel, check for a fault, change spark plugs, oil and fluid changes…..and how to KEEP a car pristine and clean…how to change a household plug and even solder wires, how to spray paint…I Loved every Minute….I would rather be out doors doing things, yes even the horrid chores…..I use to love my uncle Colin coming for a weekend cause then it would be cars and fishing……and my dad would always be involved as well…..except huggles from my dad were few and very very far between….
As far back as I can remember , I spent a lot of time with my dad at work….sitting me in the bulldozers, while he demonstrated how they worked…..I got to go on the huge CAT 777F……draglines, drills, you name it………I loved it.
But as i got older, it all changed……where exactly did it all change?? why??
I had been In the house before, mainly the kitchen, hence me noticing the nail varnish in the fridge……as children it was not polite to wander into and around people’s houses even if you were invited In.
The whole feeling to the house was dark…….and dark the sitting room was…There were genuine massive fishing nets hanging from the roof…..I cant even remember a colour scheme, except black, white, brown…..and the occasionally red..I think it was a pillow…….and a green…dark green carpet….yuk….
She had lobsters and fish…not real ones……’caught’ in the net…….hanging above everything else in the sitting room…..in those days the ‘In’ sofas were the L shaped with loads of seats in a row, up against a wall, with the L in a typical, shin knocking position….or if you didn’t like the L shape, u could have the Curved set, which was the whole sofa set curved…..now try and arrange that In a sitting room already over crowed with every other possible bit of furnisher…
She had the L shaped sofa set…….up against a wall, fish nets, fish, lobsters, something that looked like seaweed, to a child that was scary…and it was dark.
I am not scared of the dark, I don’t like the dark……and all that comes with it….the sleeplessness, the nightmares, the sounds, the thoughts you cannot switch off……all amplify when it’s dark and especially when your on your own…
Everyone should feel safe.
When I was little, I would sing ten green bottles, over and over again in my head to try and keep the nasties away….relationships, whether family related or not, always leave marks, wounds, maybe that’s what rooms hold on to, a pandora’s box, just waiting to be opened…at Night….
If the ten green bottles didn’t work, i would then concentrate on counting sheep…..yeah right…that would go ok until I got to number 5….. By then the other sheep, waiting to jump the bloody fence, would be blaring and stirring and causing a stir because number five still hadn’t jumped. it would then be total chaos and they would all be jumping the fence at the same time……
“Flowers are restful to look at. They have neither
emotions nor conflicts.” Sing mound Freud.
I was given a radio one birthday or Christmas. I enjoyed listening to The Men from the Ministry, The adventures of Jet Jungle, The Navy Lark, The Mind of Tracy Dark, the Pip freedman show, Taxi, Sherlock Holmes…..OMG and Squad cars – “they prowl the empty streets at night…waiting……”
At night if I couldn’t sleep, was sick to death of green bottles and the bloody sheep, i would turn it on really quietly, and listen to the late night stories on Springbok Radio…there is one I never listened to, but always managed to catch a couple of mins before I could turn the radio off..I cannot remember the name of the story…..but it always started to the sounds of bombers flying over…..air raid sirens going off and bombs exploding….scary …yes, that scared me……the thought of what went on ….and what happened to the many injured and dying, that scared me, the thought of what I would if it was me running, that scared me……and I had heard a few world war stories from my grandad over the years which made it even more real to me, that scared me…..
I am sitting here, reading the above…just realised it’s 1976…. I had been groomed, touched, prodded for going on 3 years…..and no one was wise to any of it…
I have a major issue/problem with old men that are grey, going bald, and carry a huge belly…. With a limp……Just the thought brings bile to the back of my throat….when I see one approaching me in town, anywhere, I literally freeze to the spot…… Panic rises, my heart tightens, my lungs stop breathing…everything just stops…. At the age of nearly 50, I control it better, but it’s still in there..
I’m sitting on the sofa, in the dark house, in the dark room….I think the tv is on in the background as I can hear different sounds and voices. Baby sleeping in the camping cot. My sister and the little boy had fallen asleep playing on the carpet. I was sat, on my own.
He asked me if I wanted anything, to which I replied no thank you. He gets up, comes over to me, sits down and asks to see the book on my lap. I hand it over. He then proceeds to try and cuddle up to me, as if he was going to read a story….bear in mind this nasty is a big, fat, balding, grey haired Old smelly man..
The aftershave he wore was so overpowering it was nauseating.. I juggled up to the opposite side…he did to….there was no where else to move to on the sofa, next stop, the floor.
I asked if I could please use the bathroom. He got up, took my hand, walked me down the hall, turned a light on, pointed to the loo and left. I quickly shut and bolted the door. When I opened the door, he was standing in the doorway to a bedroom at the end of the hall and beckoned to me to come to his room. I said I couldn’t as the baby might wake and I wouldn’t hear him……he said he would hear anything.
My hearts pounding…my heads saying listen, my hearts saying no…my adrenalin says move…
Frozen to the spot……it’s as if time stands still…there’s something in me telling me this is not good…..my instincts prickle …..all the memories flood back….the touching, the wanting to talk, the little under the breath remarks/comments…..it’s as if my brain who explode…..
He beckons me to come and sit next to him on the bed…….I slowly walk over to a chair the opposite side of him…he is only an arm length away from it…..not taking my eyes off him, my heart beating ten million to the dozen..
Green curtains…dark ones…green bed cover…. Brown shoes….musky smell……tassels, green, on the border of the cover…..grey shiny trousers…….OMG on the floor…..brown shoes…I feel sick…
Green bed cover…..hand patting….I don’t move.
In that year the chopper bicycle was in fashion And everyone wanted one…..I didn’t.
He promised me a chopper, brand new, if I came and sat next to him…..I didn’t budge… But politely said no thank you.
My knees are clasped together, my hands folded in my lap, my head bowed, I can’t look up, I just cannot look up.
I can vaguely recall him talking, things like ….this is going to be our secret. What would you like for a present? Your so pretty.
The girl was picked up, put on his lap, her back facing him…
You make me sick…….. I was in the room, but I wasn’t in the room…it’s as if I shut off, mind from body, just listening to a voice…far away…..bits and pieces…….
He pulled the top of the dress down, stroked so her shoulder…..he reached around her, touched her, then lower, lower…..prized her knees open, and touched.
Breath, my heart wants to jump out my chest…..from spasms…….
Tears start to run down her cheeks, there is nothing she can do….she feels dirty….sick….she’s going to vomit… But she can’t.. She struggles to breath In between hidden sobs……
She’s burning…his fingers are rough.
He pulls her tight against him, moving himself into her back……then he stops….
He moves the little girl onto his left leg, her right shoulder, touching him…..his chest is cold…his breathing…..panting…..
He takes her hand and places it around whatever it was…her eyes tight shut….he promises a present…..he puts his hand over hers and moves it up and down……she sobs…..you like? He asks…..eyes tight shut…..tears falling…..can’t breath…..he stops…
She feels the hand on the back of her head…..eyes shut, breath…….then she can’t, he forces her head forward, she nearly chokes, she gags….the smell…..
He stops…..he puts her hand back where it was and covers it with his again, then it starts again……..her hand is wet, sticky, the smell…..he strokes her hair…. Bile builds up. He takes his handkerchief and wipes her hand …..brown shoes, green tassels.
It’s an old black and white horror movie and everything is moving really really slow……..
She gets up, and slowly moves to the bathroom. She hears him move……. The smell, the sweat, the………vomit builds up in her throat…..she moves, not quick enough….she feels the. VOmit in the back of her throat…..she hears him buckle his belt….she’s over the toilet…….
Time goes by……she doesn’t want to leave the bathroom….to scared of what his next move would be……..if feels like hours in the bathroom but it’s only been about 5mins……she over the sink, washing her mouth with soap…….scrubbing her hands, her arms……the marks…!!
She scrubs ……
She hears him talking, she freezes…..what is he doing…?? To whom is he doing it……??
At least she won’t be on her own……she dries her hands And face ….and slowly , head bowed, sobs escaping every now and again…..walks back to the sitting room.
My sister and Kobus were playing……how long had they been awake?? Did they see or hear anything?? These thoughts played on my mind…….and would do so for a very very long time.
She climbed on a sofa, in the darkest corner, and just sat and watched the two playing……and rocked, and rocked….
I cannot even remember my parents arriving to collect us……traumatised is not the word…..
But no one suspected a thing…..it was a dirty disgusting secret…..
The next morning, was surreal…..it was as if the previous night was just a nightmare….but it wasn’t, I was sore…..I felt disgustingly ill… The dress on the floor, the smell, just the look of it….I threw up.