Early experience of abuse
I started to experience childhood sexual and physical abuse from the age of five by a babysitter and family friend. It was a very difficult time really. I was too frightened to tell my parents and my abuser set me up in a lot of ways. She was very manipulative - she would do things like giving me lots of pop to drink and she would encourage me to watch horror films. I’d be too frightened to go upstairs and I would wet myself, but she’d tell my parents she told me to go to the toilet and that I took no notice - that kind of thing.
I started to become very insular, I guess, in some ways. When I was about seven I thought that all the world knew what was happening but no-one was prepared to help me. I got very paranoid at a young age. I would socially isolate myself in my bedroom and mum would say to me ‘you can’t stop in here all day’...
So eventually I started to go to a local park and there was a putting green. I would get one golf club and two golf balls and I would play against something I could hear. It had no identity, no gender, it was just a voice. That voice was like an imaginary friend, you know, quite reassuring and supportive.
As I approached thirteen years of age, my body started to respond to the sexual abuse. It felt nice, and that made me feel like I was compliant in it, that I was enjoying it, and I started thinking why would I enjoy something I don’t want? It got very very confusing in my own mind. It affected my behavior in school and at this time, the voices started to take a really sinister turn. I started to harm myself and I started to harm other people to the point where I got to be seen as being quite dysfunctional. I’d be hitting people, and saying to them if they told their mum I would cut their fingers off – that kind of thing.
It got to the point eventually, which was just before my thirteenth birthday that this woman came round to the house mid week. She told me she’d come to help me with my homework, and she had full sex with me on the bed upstairs and I was really worried. What if she’s pregnant? I’m going to get blamed for this because I get blamed for everything else…
But what happened also proved to be a turning point because I actually said to my parents – I don’t want this woman to come round anymore - I can look after myself – and fortunately they agreed. The abuse stopped and the voices went away. But I made a big mistake at this time – I never told anyone what this woman had done to me.