I’m sitting in a big room that makes me feel so small I don’t even recognize the man sitting in front of me but he seems to know all about me by their conversation. My mum is telling him about the fact that I have started wetting the bed, how could she tell this stranger that about me? I feel so ashamed each night fighting harder and harder to stay awake until my eyes were stinging; the covers over my head as I have convinced myself that something came in the night to make this happen. When it really started is so hard to remember, but I know there was a time when it never happened. Chatter back and forth and I feel so very small embarrassment pressing down on me. I feel myself wishing that a hole would open up and swallow me. I had no clue as to why my mum would make me feel this way I was trying to stop I really was. Why was this happening after all I am nearly 8 years old?
I’m sitting in the class room once more having been asked to sit at the back of the class; they were so very fed up of me disrupting the class. They were there to teach me but it seemed that I don’t what to learn. If I did not learn then I would never get anywhere in life, well that’s what they were telling me but I didn’t really understand the logic. There are children here that want to learn but it seemed I preferred the back of the class room. My mum has once more been asked to come into school to see the head teacher; it was getting to be a regular thing. I knew that I would once more be punished that evening.
Why could I not be like my brother and sister my mum was shouting at me? Why did I always start the fight and act up, why did I feel the need to answer back? I was cutting off my nose to spite my face! What did that even mean? I would help with the dishes or I would be grounded for a week, so what they could ground me I didn't care. I would run away one day then they would be sorry. I am sent to my room having chosen that the dishes could stay there forever as far as I was concerned.
The fighting had to stop I was just so very aggressive, they were now at the point of suspended me from school. In their words that seemed to be the only option. Fighting would and could not be tolerated. Detention was a big part of my life but even there I would cause disruption, what could they do anyway give me another detention? I had already lost count. It looked like the rest of my school years would be spent in this after school activity.
I’m sitting here on the grass feeling so very sick, my head was spinning I had to lean back just to stop the world from revolving. I knew that the bottle of sherry would be missed, but hey I quite liked it in my room. I didn’t need any of them it was my choice that I was sent there; they were under the misconception that it bothered me but it suited me fine. I would just sneak out anyway they could not watch me twenty four seven.
He is so much older than me but he is treating me like a grown up so where was the harm? It would only go so far because I was in control. Now I wanted him to stop but he is just so strong, he is telling me it’s ok but I’m so very scared. Well that was something and nothing I did not understand what all the fuss was about. I’ll tell them that it proved that someone cared about me then they would be sorry.
The policeman standing in front of me is asking me so many questions; my mind is racing just trying to keep up. How did it happen? Did he know I was under age? Where did it happen were we alone? I needed to see a doctor but why I’m not ill, could I please follow this lady to be examined but for what? Where did I meet him? Did I know his name and where he lived? I put my hands over my eyes trying to shut the world out. The deafening sound of silence so craved for. I found myself wishing for school and the detention that somehow seemed right for me, to be alone in my room even though they thought of it as punishment.
Sitting here sharing with you today the above scenario seems to be another life time away, but in truth these memories always stay close to me. The pain they used to cause is no longer present, and they are now used for the greater good. I am sure that something within this piece will have hit a cord with others that have lived through child abuse. So why is it that we act up? Talking to others throughout the years has made me aware that my past runs almost parallel to their own. The scenario may differ but the concept is too close to separate. So are we screaming out for someone to recognise what’s happening? We know the words cannot be said out loud but if they would only take notice. I guess it’s a shot in the dark that any attention that would be needed would then unearth the demons we were living with. To an adults mind that seems such a stupid thing to say, but we have to remember here that we were seeing things through the eyes of a child where our vision seems blocked. Probably not even aware of the whys where’s or so forth.
To our minds we are shouting out the only way we know how, if we acted out we could no longer be ignored. I’m totally aware that my statement sounds a little mixed up, but you see through the eyes of a child that’s exactly it. Simply put through our actions we are screaming out to be seen, because the words could never leave our mouths the consequence was just to grave. As children we see things through a child’s eye…… when we continue on through life and become adults the past does not always make sense. In order to make sense of it we need to revisit our childhood at a time in our life where we feel stronger and able.
I will leave you with this thought rattling around in my head at this present time. A child suffering the terror of abuse could never shout louder, but as for being heard well that’s another matter…….

Author's Bio: 

Teresa Joyce was born on the 15th December 1958 the middle child of three. After losing her father at a very young age; this was to set the pattern for the rest of her life. Losing was something she would have to get used to. Today she still has some memory of her father, but in truth it’s all a little hazy.
Her mother through no fault of her own after that loss had no other alternative, other than to return to her parent’s home with her children in tow. This family unit were to spend only a few years there, until the wind of change came along. Her life was about to change beyond belief. She would spend many years hating not only herself, but everything around her as the years progressed. She swore to herself that she would leave all this behind at the first possible occasion. Happy memories are something that Teresa holds in very short supply. Her mother was set to meet the man that was to become her stepfather, and they moved once more to a new city with the promise of a new life. Hopefully it would be a happy one for all concerned, but it became a place for Teresa that felt far more like a prison.
No one was safe if they stood in the way of my stepfather and what he claimed was his. I would be abused and blackmailed unable to stop or control anything going on around me; I felt that the only way out would be to check out on life completely and it seemed a welcoming prospect. Running from memories of all those years living by his rules, buried so deep within me I never really remembered or faced until I was forced to do so.
I would find myself in a situation that I had no control over and in the grip of a complete madman, who was hell bent on destroying my life. Running from memories of all those years living under his rules, buried so deep within me I never really remembered or faced until I was forced to do so.
I saw myself delving deeper and deeper into my own unconscious thoughts, revealing to me memories which seemed so alien. Happy memories for me are something that I hold in short supply, and I always thought that they were in my childhood, but that was about to be blown out of the water.
But the problem with opening Pandora’s Box was that once opened I could no longer close the lid and I am still carrying it along with me – like an uninvited guest at a party. It has left me with an enormous sociological/psychiatric residue.
The onset of a set of circumstances beyond my control would stamp its seal, rendering my marriage unworkable. Engineered by the involvement of the one man I had learnt to hate – my stepfather.
I myself would spend many years within mental health care; in fact I am still under their care umbrella. I would move from a heterosexual relationship into a lesbian relationship. Firmly believing that anything controlled or even remotely integral to men, was something I never ever what’d part of again.
There is always a light at the end of the tunnel; my aim is to reassure that through my personal experience.
www.teresajoyce.com