Having made that initial phone call to the police and gotten over the initial shock I went through a whole kaleidoscope of emotions and thoughts.
I wondered if I’d be taken seriously; wondered what was going to happen next; will I be believed? Sheer disbelief flooded me and I thought “Oh my goodness Fi, what have you done? I cannot believe you did that”. There were moments of sheer terror at the thought of having to talk about what had been the hell of the first 20 years of my life. There was also desperation that they do take me seriously and moments of fear that they’ll not be interested and would say it all took place so long ago, it is impossible to investigate.
It was so hard to make that phone call and disclose to the police. I cannot convey just how hard it was to pick up the phone and make that disclosure. Words are not adequate, but words are all I have to build a picture, so my inadequate words will have to suffice.
The following day I came home to a message on my ansaphone from a police woman from the local child abuse investigation unit wanting to arrange to come and meet me as soon as possible to discuss the allegations. I wave of utter relief washed over me. I thought “yes, they are going to take me seriously”. But again the terror kicked in and I flashed back to all the threats that were made to me about telling, those threats had kept me silent for so many years. I knew I had to find a way past those threats and just do it, find that voice that had been taken from me at such a tiny age and begin to tell.
It was still a shock though when exactly two weeks after making that initial call I found myself on Monday 22nd March 2010 sitting in my flat with the investigating officer being informally interviewed and assessed as to whether I would be able to cope with the rigours of the formal interview process and how willing I was to see the complaint through. Although we did not discuss any detail just a basic overview, the police officer was in no doubt as to the seriousness of the case. She said she could see the trauma all over me and hear it in my voice and that it was obvious to her that I’d been through very severe trauma in my childhood and that I was still very traumatised by it. She was very compassionate towards me and I felt that possibly, just possibly, I could trust her. I was very encouraged by that reaction inside me and gobsmacked at how seriously I was being taken.
It was an even bigger shock to my system when I found myself just one week later on Monday 29th March, three weeks after making the initial phone call, sitting in their special interview suite giving evidence and speaking in detail for the very first time of the horror which was my childhood.
I remember being very guarded in that first interview. I was still believing the lies that if I told I would not be believed and people would think I was just a dirty little whore, a silly little troublemaker etc. I was unsure how much to reveal because for me I find it hard to believe just how cruel and sadistic my abusers were although I know the truth. But if I told it how it really was would I really be believed? It was a conundrum. Although I’ve lived with the truth and the horror of the memories all these years now I had an opportunity to speak freely about them I froze and found it incredibly difficult to speak about the abuse and torture I endured. In the end I found words for the things that I could find words for. It was very hard to convey within 3 hours the scale of the true horror of what took place in that house but I had to accept at the end of it that I’d done as well as I could on the day, and shared what I was able to share. I walked away hoping I could get a second chance to tell my story because I felt I’d told it so inadequately.
At the end of the interview she requested my written permission to be referred to a nearby Sexual Assualt Referral Centre (SARC). It was standard practice in my area that once evidence has been given about a sexual crime for referral to take place so that the ‘victim’ can be supported through the legal process, but she needed my signature to permit it.
I had a really bizarre reaction to that referral request. Although I knew the truth, there was still a part of me that did not want to accept that I’d been sexually abused. There was another part of me that still believed I would not be believed and that if I was referred to the SARC the workers would soon see through me and realise I was just a time waster and I hadn’t been abused and was just lying.
As she waited for my answer I just stared at her and could not communicate what I was thinking and feeling, but I knew I had to okay the referral and just go with it. As I looked at her I realised she was in no doubt about the truth of what I’d been through and she gently persuaded me that I needed professional help and support.
So after a few very bewildering minutes I pulled my thoughts and emotions together and signed the referral form.
I am a survivor of extremely severe ritualistic childhood abuse and sadistic systematic torture. This blog has helped me get my voice back and documents the journey I'm on to heal from the trauma and damage caused by that appalling abuse. Now is the time for me to tell of MY experience by speaking the truth about MY life. I will be silenced no more! On this blog I share MY life, MY healing journey; helpful quotes/stuff I come across and MY thoughts along the way. The more I speak out the more liberated I am from the shame and trauma of the abuse. My broken wings are gradually being repaired. Without God in my life I wouldn't still be here. But somehow, I keep on staying alive, surviving and rarely, occasionally, living a little!