Category Archives: Survivor’s Experiences

Jeff’s Story

As a young boy I was a bit slow minded, and it was normal for me to be told to go and have a wash each evening.At about twelve years old my Mother began coming into the bathroom when I was in there. She would say that I should keep the end clean, and would grab the face-cloth from me.While I stood there in front of the hand-basin she would move me to theright against the wall and bend down in front of me with her back to me onmy left, with her elbow accross in front of me. I could’nt see what she was doing but could feel the rough material of the towelling-cloth wiping around the ring behind the head. At the time it just seemed sort of normal formumto do this for me.

Anyhow mum kept doing this until I was almost fourteen. But one day it felt different, but wasn’t sure what was actualy different. The first time this happened I felt the usual wiping but then for some reason I began shakinginside and she growled at me to “stand still while she cleaned it!”. One night it felt very strange (the second or third time later) while she was cleaning it and I began shuffling around and started shaking again, except this time she seemed to bend down further in front of me, and the end felt warm.

I know something definitely happened because I remember my eyes seemed to go out of focus, I know this because I used to look at Mum’s head and shoulders and wonder when she would finish cleaning it and stand up again.

I think this might have happened one more time, but then it just stopped, and nothing ever happened again.

From about sixteen there was a lot of changing jobs between leaving home and ‘making love’ for the first time, that people nowadays call ‘having sex’.

By the time my early twenties came along I had begun having my first sexual experiences with women my own age, but it actualy wasn’t until my mid-thirties that one of my partners did something that made me realize and remember exactly what had happened back then. I can’t really explain the anger that I had inside me after this, (or even explain the confusion at the time) it was all so mixed in with everyday things. It’s been quite a number of years trying to deal with this, and then trying to move on. The longest lasting part for me since this realisation has been trusting people, both men and women.

At the time, there was no point telling Dad mainly because he was always loud, scary and overly controlling and would have become extremely angry. I wouldn’t be exagerating by saying us kids lived in fear while we grew up, there were just too many things wrong with our family to speak of here. Some of it could be said to have been quite insidious too. I had a range of very poor experiences.

Unfortunately both my parents have a history behind their own lives.

I’m much older now and find I can speak about it slightly more easy. Throughout my life (including high-school) I’ve had difficulty

concentrating on the things around me, money, sleeping, muscular tension, following any career, or even connecting with people – even in a happy way. There were even a couple of times in the past where I attempted suicide because it all became too much. I’ve always been a very mixed up person, but hopefully I’m getting better as time moves along.

These days I accept that the right medication helps keep me in balance.

In recent times my Mum became very unwell, and I went to see her to say goodbye, and told her that she could rest now. The following day she passed away. I will still never say anything to Dad, but only because he is very old now and because Mum is not here to defend herself. A reasonable chance that I would give to anyone. But I can never forget it.



Bryon’s Story

September being many things, but the standout was Prostate Awareness for males. I have travelled a long way during my recovery and acceptance of both my depression and historical sexual abuse. So, this month was another huge step for me.
I was experiencing what I thought were some tell tale signs and I better get myself checked out. Those adds on tele and the fact I was waking up 2 to 3 times a night to go to the bathroom and sometimes I had trouble peeing.
I made the appointment and went to the doc. I got there, talked about some things and then he said “Well, up on the table with ya pants down and we’ll have a feel”. “Ahh, na” was my reply. We talked about my abuse and the fact that I’d prefer to warm up to the idea, then make an appointment.
I did prepare myself for this particular uncomfortable procedure, made the appointment, went, and did it, yep I DID IT. This was HUGE for me and I walked out of that doctors rooms feeling and thinking that I now could do anything. Ah wrong, the depression then set in, for months.
This apparent positive statement caught me totally by surprise as a negative automatic thought. It was some time before I was counsciously aware of this fact. This reminded me that my depression is always there, waiting like a psychopath in the shadows. Waiting for me to slip up, forget, live like this hidden killer is no longer a part of who I am. It (my depression) nearly won some time ago, it convinced me to take my own life. And this month, I did something I needed to do for my physical, mental, and spiritual health, and depression was there.
I don’t enjoy my depression sometimes and I find it extremely hard sometimes to stand up as myself, but I have, I do, and I can. Depression is with me when I’m tired, when I’m weak, and when I believe I am extremely stong. I cannot forget.
Bryon Cope