‘Tangled claws caught in a web of hair the grit of sea salt burning retinas in the dank ocean
Murky depths defined by hatred in a closeted space, the tide a relentless demon,
Failing organs pulsating no more in the crunch of death, past shadows threatening to overcome,
Young flesh torn to metaphorical shreds in her imagination, sins best left behind in the waters,
Drifting limbs struggle to escape their bodial prison, a fragmented source of my imagination’
Kicking and screaming I was carried by a strong pair of arms out of the water, the salty water burning my eyes and awakening me to the reality of what my stepmother had done- she tried to kill me. In her black hollow heart she had dug deep into the hatred of her soul and revealed her true nature to my dad for the very first time. But he didn’t care, my kind hearted dad was too caught up in her web of deceit to notice what she had done wrong and consequently I was blamed for ‘swimming too far’ when he knew I could not even swim. I sighed to myself ‘When was he going to see ‘E’ for the monster that she was’ but I knew that he could not escape her tangled claws.
A series of more minor events passed by, another bruise on the cheek, another slap to silence me for speaking my mind. I became withdrawn, painfully shy and in a helpless cage where there was no key to escape. I knew I had to forge my own escape but there was more to come before I could finally put the demons at rest. ‘E’ made me watch as she fed her daughter the most sumptous meal and to me I was fed scraps, a real-life living Cinderella forced to become a shell of my former self. ‘E’ took away all my family and drove away my fathers friends and still he could not see the life that he had chosen for himself but who was I to say anything, I was just a little girl. But I felt wise beyond my years and that was a testament to the torture I had been facing at home.
I joined every after school club I could think of too scared to face the threats that had become my constant misfortune and for a while noone knew anything. My aunty and my cousins were forced to watch my pain from the outside as the niece that they loved was being abused by the monster they had to call their sister. Even now ‘E’ has isolated dad from everyone that he loved and for years after I went into care at the age of 10 he and my aunty did not speak, blaming her for taking me from the home when in reality it was me and my two auntys that changed my fate. It is only recently after I told him that my aunty was battling cancer that he came to his senses and began to speak to her again.
Although ‘E’ was violent torwards me it was her choice of words and use of blackmail that would poison my thoughts, the girl who was ‘too ugly to be loved by anyone but herself’.After all, she would tell me gleefully, why are you left without both parents?’ and she had a point. My mother had left when I was 2 and a half and it was not until I was 10 that we would resume contact again and my dad was a passive bystander, afraid to stop the sorceress that had claimed his heart and his senses. Love is a powerful thing but can it really be called love when it sucks the very life out of you? I think not.
When I look back into my abusive childhood details are hazy. Certain very painful memories are hidden in the tangleweed of the past, too frightened to see the light again and I wonder why. Is it because I had placed a mental block on my mind, to protect myself against the pain that it would cause me. It feels strange to admit but at the time although I was badly hurt the mental impact would not affect me until years later. It is like I threw away the key and jumped into my teenage years desperately trying to escape the past but it was not meant to be and after four years of physical/mental abuse and severe neglect I was placed into care at the age of 10.
If you read my last post (pt II) you will remember that I had told you Social Services had first come into contact with me when I was eight years old after ‘E’ had hit me so hard that my head was severely swollen. After six months of ‘good behaviour’ ‘E’ was given the all clear and we resumed life as normal, where the abuse became intensified after her pleasure heightened. ‘E’ was sick with lust and took great care to be more careful this time, when the doors shut upon humanity she would list all my faults and make me sick to my stomach as she abused me again and again.
‘E’ was sealed the last time we went out to Madeira and my aunty and uncles finally realized ‘E’ was abusing me. My Aunty ‘L’ took me under her wing and started proceedings behind dads back, taking me to doctors who examined me and talked to me about the abuse I was facing. She was adamant that for the remainder of my stay in Madeira I was not going to stay with them, instead I would stay with her and be spoilt like the princess she said I was. The Portuguese Social Services moved quickly and by the time I reached England and went back to school I was summoned to the head office. It was the last time I ever stayed with my dad again and ‘E’ was given a criminal record. But that is not the end of the story my dear friends for it is only in fairytales that happy endings are your reward for a lifetime of servitude. Oh no ‘E’ was not finished with me yet….
If you have been abused or are being abused please contact the organisations below or get in contact with me for advice and a chat. My virtual door is always open to you x
For All Abuse Victims
* Please note there are many more wonderful organizations and type of abuse so don’t hesitate to contact other companies.
Much Love Springbots xox
Photography: Jumanna Khanom
Top- Pretty Little Thing
Skirt- Miss Selfridge
Location- Crystal Palace Park