This question used to be at the forefront of my mind, imbedded so deeply that there seemed to be no escaping the powerful emotions that it evoked. When did it start? Why was I born this way? How could I stop the terrible things going on all around me I was hurting so many people. Maybe the answer would be found in prayer, I was willing to do anything to stop my world from falling down all around me. It seemed that everything I touched fell apart. I was like my dad that what I was being told. My abuser had likened me to him so many times. Clearly I was from bad stock. Something was misfiring within my brain; were my circuits broken? I can’t seem to find a way out of the chaos it’s just a jumbled mess. I know that I am suffering blackouts, moments time are being lost completely. There is an inherent unpredictability in my behavior; I feel the need to lash out at the smallest of things but I can’t stop it. Nothing I do will end the pain and suffering that I had created. I’m just like my dad; the words playing over and over in my mind. Someone was hitting the repeat button reiterating just how evil I was least I forget; some chance didn’t they know that I could never forget. After all I saw my reflection every day, the evil staring back at me with that dark look of menace. I’m not sure that prayer was the answer, maybe the answer to my questions would only ever found within the dark arts. This merry-go-round I was on must surly come to a stop at some point. I felt as if I was taking on the world, or was the world taking me on? Maybe I had made a pact with the devil himself? Did I even believe in heaven and hell? I knew the devil was out there he was shadowing my every move, who am I kidding he had completely taken me over. I know that my real father had beaten my mother; I was in fact one month early because of a boot throw at her in just another rage. The pub was where he spent most of his time, staving both her and us children of food, whilst choosing to spend his money on alcohol. Clearly I was from a bad seed because I was also choosing to hide my head in the bottle, but it was the only way I could get through the day. Waking each morning to a raging headache, sometimes spending the day running back and forth to the toilet as my body could no longer contain the poison I was inflicted on it. I couldn’t stop the memories were just too painful; I had to find some relieve even if only for a short while. I felt like a mouse running as fast as I could on a wheel that never stopped turning. So what of my soul did I even have one? If so it must be as black as coal. How could I fight the badness within that I was born with?

lets stop here and let the words above sink in do you really believe all of the above? I know that for many right at this moment in time the resounding reply would be a firm yes. I’m not going to even try to knock that reaction, because I myself lived through the whole experience. When you have been brain washed to this extent it’s a hell of a dark hole to climb out of, you may as well be at the bottom of an abyss. Light seems to be something that avoids you, sometimes of your own choosing as the darkness seems to hold some quarter of safety. Unconditional surrender to it seems to be the only answer; there is nowhere to look in order to find clemency. So there we sit doing just what our abuser hoped to achieve. We are just where he spent so many years trying to send us. Over more we seem to be happy there, the only other way was to fight it but that’s not an option right? Because it’s a fight we believe we have no hope in hell of winning. But the truth of the matter is that we are just a puppet on a string, dancing to any tune our abuser felt he could play. In truth their not even involved in the scenario anymore we are the only ones hearing the tune. My own bobbed around for so long in my head that it felt empty once I found the strength to call it to a halt. To clarify as if it needs to be said it’s not an easy ride. But the real question you have to ask yourself without doubt sits right up there if you chose to look- is your life so easy now? Do you stay within the puppet show choosing to look the other way? There will come a time in your life where that’s no longer an option. We all have to arrive at a point in our lives where we have no other option than to stare our demons square in the face. My aim here is to make the transition for you as short as possible.

Let’s now return to the top of the page and that overwhelming question – Are we evil? The resounding reply to that question is no. You were a child with the forethought and understanding of a child. The evil that sits all around us during that time is in the mind of our abusers, making it seem as if it was our life choice. You never had a choice. As children we look to those we love and our peers as to the rights and wrongs of life. As we grow we carry that pain along with us, until there comes a time where we all encounter that brick wall. It’s out there in front of us; there is no avoiding it the wall always wins. So now we have a choice, maybe for many for the first time in our lives. We can take it down one brick at a time or feel its full force when we encounter it. Together any wall can be pushed over; we are able to find that strength within each other. Your journey starts from just looking behind for a short period of time to take hold of those strings, on doing so you become the puppeteer. Once done there is no longer a need for backward glances it’s now long past time for you to look to the future…..

Author's Bio: 

Teresa Joyce was born in 1958 the middle child of three. After losing her father at a very young age; it was to set the pattern for the rest of her life. Losing was something that 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 had no other alternative, then 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 around once more. Her mother was set to meet the man that was to become Teresa’s 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. Teresa swore to herself that she would leave all this behind her at the first possible occasion. She can still clearly remember the day that she left the family home and joined the Royal Air Force. It was just two months off her sixteenth birthday. Her stepfather had informed her that to remain living in his house, then she had to abide by his rules. This was a big decision for her to take being so young, but she could no longer live by any rules that he imposed. Never really understanding at that time what she was really running from. Memories were buried so deep that previous years and events were only a burr to her. Teresa’s Time spent while in the Royal Air Force was very rewarding, and she involved herself in all and everything possible. After meeting her now ex -husband whilst she was on leave, she left this all behind her and married. It was greatly missed and in retrospect, it would be something that she would live to regret many years later. Life as a married woman changed many things for her; the biggest of all would be the arrival of her son. Sadly after many years she found herself unable to stay within that marriage. The onset of a set of circumstances beyond her control would stamp its seal rendering the marriage unworkable. Engineered by the involvement of the one man Teresa had learnt to hate - her stepfather. The marriage was dissolved and there was no going back on her part, that door was firmly closed behind her. But there was one door she was unable to close, no matter how hard she pushed. During the last four years Teresa had and was still being stalked by her stepfather, whom to anyone acquainted with the facts was a complete madman. Events during that time are quite frankly very hard to believe, but believe it she must as it was her life during those years. Teresa’s thoughts at that time were that surly nothing could be in front of her that could put the resent past in the shade, but her life was set to make another turn from her envisaged path. It was to arrive in the form of an accident, which once again altered her life forever. After many months and many doctors reports she was ill health retired, unable to return to work in either one of her two loved occupations. Teresa was affected by this far more then she could have ever expected, she was left alone with nothing but time and still within the mix of a completely insane situation. She found herself delving deeper and deeper into her unconscious thoughts, revealing to her at that time memories which seemed so alien. It was at this point in her life that for her a trigger point had been reached, time had become the enemy. The lid on Pandora’s Box was about to be completely removed. Memories of her childhood abuse hit her with such force, that she could no longer do this alone and stay on this side of life. It was at this point that Teresa would enter into the mental health care system fully, to have any hope of dealing with everything going on around her. That care umbrella became a big part of her everyday life for many years.