I’ve seen his name printed on the headstone, I’ve spat upon his grave, I know that he can never again harm me, yet I’m still caught in the web of fear and terror he wove over my life. He was my father, he was meant to be my protector, how could he do the awful things he did to me night after night? I kept silent for years about the abuse he dished out under the cover of darkness, terri ed that no one would believe me.
By my early teens I was consumed by an intense self-loathing, nothing was of value to me. There was no joy or happiness in my life. Eventually I broke down and confessed “our special secret” to my school counsellor, who informed the Juvenile Aid Bureau. They called my mother, interviewed me and took me to the hospital for a full examination.
Before coming into the J.A.B. office, my mum had searched for and found my diary. She read it and brought it along with her. She listened to the officers ask me questions and heard my tearful yet truthful answer, she saw me tremble with fear during the invasive hospital examination, yet not once did she reach out to wipe my tears or comfort me: her response was to pick up my diary, call me a liar and throw the diary at me as she walked out.
A police officer took me home, where my mother was waiting. She told me I was either a liar or a whore who must have enjoyed it to let it go on for so long. My loving mother then proceeded to scream that I was no longer welcome in her home or her family; the front door then slammed in my face. I was taken (again by a police car) to a refuge. The J.A.B. officers must not have believed a word I said for they never so much as addressed a single question to my father.
My two brothers and my sister turned their backs on me. That was incredibly painful, but I don’t and never did blame them. I’d gone to the police and no action was taken. Our mother refused to believe it and to them our dad appeared as he always had, how could they possibly believe that the man they loved was capable of the evil I was accusing him of?
I felt an incredibly strong anger… anger I didn’t have a problem with showing the world, but mostly kept and aimed at myself. I discovered that alcohol and drugs numbed everything, drunk and high I became the life of the party. I was forever surrounded yet the more people I was around, the more isolated and alone I felt. Thoughts of suicide were constant. There were guys, so many guys, that I’d do anything, and anywhere with. I craved the feeling of somebody wanting me, of course it never lasted long and I’d wind up feeling even more unwanted and unloved.
I’d love to say that I’ve turned my life around and that I’m doing great, but it’s too soon. You see, everyday is a struggle, and every night I …still come face to face with the demons of my past, but thanks to Charles Wheeler and the amazing and talented staff at Student Care Welfare Queensland Inc, I’m no longer alone in my battles.
I owe them a lot, it is because of these fantastic people that I gained not only the strength, but the wisdom that will enable me to win the war against the ghosts that continue to haunt me.