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Survivor's Creation

Poetry by Andreena Leeanne

Poetry by Andreena Leeanne

“On International Women’s Day 2019, I read a poem I wrote at a Labour Party IWD event in Leytonstone for the first time in front of many people and I tell you although I cried throughout the poem, I did it. The most empowering thing of all was that so many women came up to me at the end to give me a hug and some told me they were also victims of childhood sexual abuse.” 

This is my poem…

– Andreena Leeanne


No longer keeping secrets

I was sexually abused from the age of five

Yes, the innocent and tender age of five

Not long was I alive on this Earth

When my mum met that six-foot sex offender in Jamaica

That’s when I learned to keep secrets

I was his little secret

At 7 I begged her not to marry him, but she did and years later

Had the cheek to blame me for ruining her marriage

When we returned to England, she sent for him soon after

She said I should have told her

I said, How could I? I was just a child

Leroy Channer is his name and today at 38 I am no longer ashamed

To this day that woman still carries his last name

Knowing what that man did to me for 5 years

At 9 he tried to pass me to his friend whose name I think begins with M

Looking back, it makes me cringe to think I was almost part of a paedophile ring

She could never say she didn’t know because it was her who caught him in the act

She could not lie or deny because she saw me on top of him with her very own eyes

It was her who called the police

He was arrested, convicted and spent a short time inside

She accepted a wooden prison gift handcrafted by him

She saw him when he was released

She had him in her car within 3 miles of our street

The betrayal

The deceit

His punishment far from fit the crime as it’s me who is doing the time

Throughout the years I have tried to forgive and forget

This I will never forget

Live and let live yes and maybe with time forgive

Years ago, Mum told me to forgive him and move on and

That’s when I decided to keep quiet

I decided not to speak even when others confided in me what had happened to them

How can I ever forgive a man who almost ruined my life several times?

I’m not just talking about the times I tried to end my life

I’m talking about the times I could not be touched by the people I claimed to love

I’m talking about the times I slept around so much I was labelled a slut

I’m talking about the times I drank so much I got ridiculously drunk

I’m talking about never fully knowing who to trust

The antidepressants

the time I’ve lost thinking about this I will never get back

I’m talking about watching my own daughter like a hawk and

teaching her from birth to tell me if someone ever

touched her here, here or here (pointing to private

Parts)

At times I relive the physical, psychological and emotional

Pain and I’m aware it will never fully go away

Some of my relationships have really suffered over the years

I will always be scarred, 

Charred

It has been traumatic to say the least

To say I’ve been through a lot in my life is an understatement

I have been through heaps

The PTSD

Hours of lost sleep

Wide awake night after night counting sheep

Over time I have been able to see the wood for the trees

Statistics show that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men are affected by this

I am a woman

I am resilient

I am courageous

I have achieved amazing things

Despite my circumstances I remain strong

I now know full well what he did was wrong

I am not to blame

After telling Mum I’m now speaking out

Her response is still to keep quiet and move on

He has 5 children she said

What are you after, revenge?

I know she’s only trying to safeguard herself

Don’t silence me – I will no longer be silent

The silence is broken, 

The worms have been released from the can

You failed to protect me, Mum and now you’ve washed your hands

I am nobody’s little secret; I no longer keep these kinds of secrets

I will speak my truth

It’s my truth to speak no matter how much havoc it wreaks

I’m done protecting you, I need to look out for me

I can’t turn back time, but I can spend my time fighting for what’s right

To ensure others can speak of their plight as I continue to write.

– Andreena Leeanne