A sexual abuse survivor has written to her former school, reaching out to them to thank them for all the work they do now helping children who are victims of abuse.
The resident, who has just recently moved to Havering has spoken out against sexual abuse and has praised her school despite them dismissing her cries for help as a teenager.
She told the Havering Daily:
“Things were much harder back then, abuse wasn’t picked up by teachers as it is now. If the teacher had believed me, then, perhaps the situation could have been very different for me. But they didn’t and I don’t blame the school in anyway as I can see now all the hard work they are doing to help their students.”
The local lady was a child when she suffered abuse at the hands of a family member and decided to share her story with her teacher in a desperate cry for help.
“My teacher asked us all to write a story, something where we could share our feelings. So I decided to share my pain with her and write it. I had hoped that perhaps someone would hear my plea and stop the abuse I was under going.
“I shared the experiences I was going through on paper but sadly my teacher was off and we had a supply teacher who read them. She put a red line through what I had written and told me to stop letting my imagination go wild and get the better of me.”
As a result, the teenager’s abuse was not picked up in school despite her being a very quiet and withdrawn student.
“Obviously I wished things had been different, but they weren’t and there is no point being bitter against the school now as I can see how much work they are doing to help their pupils today.
Please see the very moving email the local lady has written to her school.
Email to her school.
I hope you don’t mind me getting in touch. I attended your school in the 1980’s. Obviously things were completely different back then. It’s so reassuring to see that the school now provides safeguarding support for the children.
I was a very withdrawn student. I got my work done and most of the time I tried to get by unnoticed. It worked, nobody ever suspected what I was going through.I loved school so much, it was my safe place. I knew nobody could hurt me there.
I am a survivor of sexual abuse. I was abused right through my school age by a member of my family (from the age of 7 until when I left home). I kept this secret hidden for so long as I didn’t feel I had the support. I guess the truth is that nobody knew how to help back then. I don’t blame anybody but myself. I just wish that teachers had that training years ago.
I finally opened up when I was 35 years old. I’m now 52 and still suffering from flashbacks. My mental health has declined so much over the years. I’m diagnosed with PTSD and EUPD. (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder). I also self harm when I can’t control my emotions. I’m now on medication and seeing a therapist but I know it’s a long road ahead.
There were times that I tried to reach out but people didn’t understand or they thought my imagination was running away with me. But I was screaming inside for help. I felt weak as a child, I should have tried harder to be heard.
Even today my mum doesn’t understand. She won’t let me talk about it as she doesn’t want to believe it happened.
I’ve even started writing poetry about my feelings and emotions. My poems are quite deep but explain the rawness and pain that I suffer as I’m sure many other survivors do. I am happy to share some if you feel they could help anyone. I feel it’s important for people to know it’s not just happening to them.
I’m so glad that children these days have the support from people that understand. I hate to think of youngsters going through what I went through for so long. I know that with your help snd support these children will realise how strong they really are and get the help they desperately need. I just hope they realise when they need the help and support and that they ask for it. They must remember that reaching out doesn’t make them weak. We may feel weak during the tough times but really we are stronger than most. To get through something so traumatic you need to be strong. But these abusers should never be allowed to take control. It’s time for survivors to get the support and take back control of our own lives.
I just wish I had spoken up and asked for help when I was younger. My life could have been so different now.
I moved away from the area as soon as I could and subsequently lost contact with all my friends. I worked a good job but worked 7 days a week, 16 hours days, so I didn’t have time to think about the past. You can only do that for so long then everything catches up with you and your world is torn apart, as I found out.
So many thanks to you and your team for all that you do to keep the children safe. Keep up the good work and keep them safe for many years to come.
To help her deal with her experience, the Havering lady now writes poetry which she shares with other victims of abuse and mental health sufferers.
Please see one of her poems below.
Looking around the classroom, looking at their faces
Can they see the cracks, can they see the traces
Do they know what’s happening behind closed doors
Can they see the pain in my eyes, it’s seeping through my pores
I feels so strange inside not knowing if they know
I struggle every day to ensure the pain doesn’t show
I look around at teachers, is there one I can trust?
Will they understand or will they be fill of disgust
My friends wouldn’t get it, they wouldn’t understand
This abuse and this pain wasn’t something I had planned
Inside I was screaming , someone help me please
I don’t feel normal, feels like I have a disease
I try to fit in and be the same as all my friends
I hope that one day the abuse and pain will end
But that didn’t happen and I struggled through
I tried writing it down but it wasn’t believed to be true
Now looking back, I needed to be stronger
If I’d spoken up it wouldn’t have gone on much longer
I could have been happy and had a good childhood
I should have asked for help instead of wondering if I could