Over the last ten years we, as a family, have had to adapt to every situation that occurred either with my PTSD, various hospital admissions and the day to day “stuff” that gets thrown in the way: but that is life.
When the abuse happened to me I was thirteen. My body was changing: my hormones all over the place and my young mind, slowly growing and changing. My views on the world, dealing with conflict and trying to find myself in an environment I didn’t believe I had a right to be there.
The first weeks were the hardest for me, adjusting to a new school, new people, a different level of academic work and sport. For me sport was my release. I could not understand the work and nobody would help; not even my friends. The attitude at school was “you look after yourself”. I felt alone. I had my brother who wasn’t allowed to come into the entrance of the boarding house. However the sixth form boys were allowed to walk through to the sixth form lounge. I never understood why my house parents did that? I knew my brother was there if I need to talk. I knew my parents were there as well.
The abuse happened just as I started to enjoy school. I lost myself after the first attack and I struggled to cope. I started to mirror write, not eating and my mood was constantly changed. Outbursts, complete anxiety, making myself sick on a regular basis, staying with groups of people and pushing my family away from me. The individuals abusing me threatened they would hurt my family. I just wanted to protect them. The individuals had successfully mentally broken me and I knew what they were capable of.
My biggest regret in my life is not being brave enough to tell someone about what was happening to me but I can’t live in the past. We have all made mistakes, wrong judgements and that is part of growing up. I am aware of the damage, hurt and pain that my family have struggled with over the years and some days I still struggle, feeling helpless. My brother has achieved so much and I know that he has been in some dark places too but has continued to stand by me and deal with the difficult times.
We were just kids back then and I don’t think that there is a right or wrong way to deal with these situations. We can’t go back, but we can move forward and I know its important to remember that before the attacks, there were happy memories and our photographs show these times. All we can do now is move forward.