This is my Story.
My name is Sandra and I am 70yrs old. I was sexually abused by my father from around the age of 3 yrs old until I was 8 or 9, throughout that time my father also beat me, the violence only stopped when I left the family home at age 18 and went to live with my Grandparents. Sometimes when I was very young the beatings were so bad my bottom used to bleed, my mother would rub in a white cream to help soothe the pain.
Somehow I managed to do OK at School, although, I never had any real friends..looking back I was terribly lonely, and isolated.
Throughout my life I have had a series of breakdowns, the first one was when I was 18 and just starting my first job In those days my GP was at a loss with how to deal with my mental health issues..consequently I was given lots of medication …which made me feel worse, and even more out of “ control”, at one point I became very addicted to Tranquillisers.
I knew from a very early time in my working life I had issues with trust, and despite a reasonably successful career as an Accountant I stayed well away from close friendships and relationships, when I did become close I made a mess of things and they fell apart usually arising from my problems with trusting and loving.
By the age of 40, I was running my own Business, working hard helped improve my self worth and made me feel good about myself, my Staff also seemed to like me which was very important at that time. However in-spite of this I was really struggling with loneliness and depression and eventually sought Therapy. Thank goodness I did..because been able to tell someone the truth about how I was really feeling started to set me free from the awful darkness and secrets that was very much part of my life.
I maintained a distant but dutiful relationship with my parents which was completely lacking in love, similarly with my two younger sisters. When my father died I decided the time was right to talk to the 3 of them about what my Father did to me as child, I truly believed when they knew the truth, they would understand why as a teenager I was moody and distant within the family Home and frequently difficult, I also thought they might love me.
I never for one minute thought they would not believe me… after all they had witnessed the beatings, but that was their joint reaction, and from then onwards I was disowned by them. My Mother has since died too, however, my sisters remain angry with me and in denial and have no contact with me. I have given up all hope of any form of reconciliation, and am mostly philosophical about this ever happening.
This was and still is very painful…however despite this hurt and rejection I have absolutely no regrets about telling my family the truth. 30 years ago I met Judith… together we ran successfully our business up until we both retired quite recently. We live a very happy life, our home is filled with love, and reassurance, and I have eventually learnt that trusting someone can be a wonderfully rewarding, something for many years I never believed was possible. I have also learnt at last what love really feels like, and I know I am capable of loving too, which I previously thought impossible.
I sincerely hope my story gives comfort and hope to all survivors who chose to read it