Friday, 23 December 2016

If #poetry

If forever is something
that I can explain
Will I trade you that knowledge
when you whisper my name
If confusion and desperation
are things I understand
Would healing come faster
from the warmth of my hand
If trust is a thing
that I cannot hold
Will our happiness be something
that’s never foretold
And if this is true
Can we feed on our insanity
And live in this world
of frustration and vanity
When that something inside you
decides to stop yearning
You’ll find me wherever
a fire is burning

Sunday, 4 December 2016

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year?

Christmas is coming...... I have always loved Christmas, the build up, the sharing, time with friends and family. Almost every year as an adult I end up depressed....

It has improved over the last few years. Acknowledging the fact it exists, and then sharing that knowledge is so important. I know now the reasons why I struggle over Christmas.. A need to please, wanting everything to go well, I plan and prepare and plot too much. The grandfather was born on Christmas Day... That used to really bug me. Gifts I received for Christmas used to vanish soon afterwards and I'd get the blame. In truth he sold them to pay for his Whisky habit...

I almost got into that "habit" myself as an adult. Drink was such an easy escape, then mornings came and feelings of guilt, shame and the hangover. I hid this for years. It was always worse at Christmas.

I spent a couple of Christmases totally alone, not seeing anyone. I hated it and now if I hear of anyone spending the day alone I invite them over. Christmas is no time to be alone.

‘Tis the season to be jolly..... Apparently December is not only the month where depression is most likely to hit you but it also has the highest rate of suicides. It’s the month where family and friends should be getting together, where you plan your Christmas and decorate the home etc.

Many things can trigger deeper depression in December...

Loneliness, bereavement and grieving, failed business or loss of a job. The breakup of a relationship. Ill health generally.  All likely to set you on the road to depression at any time, but worse at this time of year.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D) adds to the equation. The long nights and short days, the frequent lack of sunshine...

 I love the idea of Christmas but hate the commercialism that this celebration has been overtaken with.

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

Coping with depression is bad enough, but trying to do so when everyone else is extra happy makes it harder to reach out, to ask for help. We don't want to stand out from the crowd so instead we cut ourselves off. Not wanting to drag others down into our depression we stand alone, and watch from the sidelines.
Instances of depression are higher in those who have suffered trauma in their earlier lives. At a time of year where people are getting together to celebrate, those with depression are most likely to feel more isolated. Unable to join in, to embrace the season of good will, they sink further and further into a pit of gloom.

Alone in crowd. I have often felt most lonely when there are people hustling and bustling around me, laughing and joking. Not wanting to spoil their festive fun I would either paint a false smile on my face or just vanish into the shadows. Christmas can be a very stressful time for anyone. For those prone to depression it can be a nightmare.

Though there has been more publicity over the issue of Christmas depression in recent years, it is still not understood. The most important thing you can do is tell someone how you feel. Reach out before the season starts and share. Communication is much easier now. Social media and the internet generally helps bring people together. Telephone someone, talk to someone. See your Doctor or Priest, just don't sit at home alone. There is no shame in admitting that you get depressed and you may be suprised to find others feeling the same way. All to often those who find themselves getting depressed do nothing about it.

Depression can deeply affect your life. It can sneak up and disrupt your work, your home life, your health generally and can lead you to neglect those around you that need you well. Grab a hold of the problem and do something about it.The most important thing is to reach out, ask for help, talk to someone.

Don't let depression destroy your Christmas or that of those around you. The power to do something about it is in your hands. Do you want to become another statistic? Please remember there is no shame in asking for help. This is the season of goodwill to all men and if Scrooge can do it then so can you. 

If you are prone to Christmas depression then reach out, tell someone. Seek help if needs be.
If you know someone who appears to be slipping into a depression or who always gets the winter blues reach out to them. It won't kill you and you might just save a life.

Be nice to yourself, be kind to yourself. The greatest gift is that of love so remember to love yourself too.

To finish.. A little message from me!

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Midnight Waltz #Halloween

                                               A midnight waltz with a fallen angel
And your dreams will be fulfilled

The stars will twinkle with the beat

Of knowledge for which some have killed
Behind the curtain of darkness
Lies a single ray of light
Shadows of the past at your heels
A pain that holds you tight
I come to you with a simple offer
A dance to meet your every goal
I'll give you your dreams on a burning plate
But in return, in return, I want your soul
My enchanting tune will lure you in
And test the power of your will
While a breeze of suppression hides the truth
My intent is purely ill
I'll take the form of anything
To beguile you with my charm
Don't worry! It's just a little dance
How could it bring you harm?
A moonlit dance with destiny
Will cure you of all your ills
Will you be able to withstand the temptation
Or will you submit to a midnight waltz?

Sunday, 2 October 2016

You Deserve Your Own Love by Patricia Singleton via @patriciasinglet

This is a reblog from a few years ago. It's message is so important I wanted to share it again.

I would like to introduce you to a shining light, a lady in every sense of the word. I feel so fortunate that she has written this for my guest slot. Knowing her is both a privilege and an honour.

I will let Patricia introduce herself further in her own words.

I have been on a spiritual path my entire life but only in the last 12 years have I known what that entailed. My spiritual beliefs are taken from varied religions and my inner knowing. On my fireplace mantle, you will find pictures of American Indians, wolves, buffaloes, and eagles. You will find feathers, stones, crystals, essential oils, and candles. You will find pictures of Jesus, Mother Mary, Krishna, Ganesh and Sai Baba. I believe in all of them. The more I grow spiritually, the more expansive the Universe and my God become. I have been to India three times to visit Sai Baba. I was told to go home and worship the God of my understanding and to pay more attention to my own inner teacher. My stories are just a point of reference for who I am today. I don't go around identifying myself as all of my experiences. Before I started blogging, I had even stopped calling myself an Incest Survivor because that wasn't who I was any longer. I only do it now as a point of reference to offer what I have learned about myself because of the incest to others who might need the hope and love that I have learned. We are all so much more than our experiences can define us as.

You Deserve Your Own Love

"You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." Buddha

If you asked me what had the greatest effect on my healing from incest, I would tell you learning to love myself brought about the best changes in my life. The book Learning to Love Yourself: Finding Your Self-Worth written by Sharon Wegscheider-Cruse helped me to begin to love myself.

Another book that helped me was Compassion and Self-Hate: An Alternative to Despair written by Theodore I. Rubin. Before I could love myself, I first needed to accept that I hated myself. I grew up hating myself because I believed all of the lies that my abusers told me. I believed that some part of me was so bad that I kept attracting new abusers into my life. Also, I believed that I was so bad that even God wouldn't love and protect me or hear my cries.

Some of the things that loving myself taught me were:

1. Love doesn't hurt and doesn't lie.
2. Love and fear don't live in the same house.
3. Loving myself means liking who I am, faults and all. I don't have to be perfect to be loved. Incest happened to me. Incest is not me.
4. Loving myself gave me the right to have needs and wants.
5. Putting up healthy boundaries was part of loving myself. Those boundaries protected me from being abused again.
6. I have choices. I will make mistakes and that is okay. Mistakes are just lessons to be learned from. I am not a mistake. With my choices, I began to trust myself.
7. I am worthy just as I am. I am always enough just as I am. I can feel confident in who I am and in what I can accomplish.
8. Loving myself gives me the ability to truly love others. Real love is unconditional.
9. My value comes from who I am, not from what I do. I have value just because I was born into this world.
10. Loving myself means feeling all of my feelings and reconnecting with my body and my spirituality.

Some people teach you that loving yourself is selfish. Abusers and controllers especially do not want you to love yourself. If you love yourself, you are not easily controlled or abused. Abusers don't pick children who are likely to tell their nasty secrets. So nurture and love yourself so that you can teach your children to love themselves. You often teach more by your actions than you do by your words.

Meditations to Heal Your Life, by Louise L. Hay, Hay House, Inc., Carlsbad, California, 1994, page 252-253:

"I am comfortable with my self-worth.
I can do it.
The more I support myself with love and acceptance, the more worthy I feel. As I feel worthy, I feel better. In fact, I feel really good. I begin to let good things happen to me. I begin to see opportunities that I never saw before. I let life take me in new and interesting directions. I let my mind go beyond what I thought was possible. I become worthy of the totality of possibilities, and life suddenly becomes very exciting. I realize that I have a right to have the life that I want. I might have to shift this or that, scrap an old belief, let go of an old limitation, but I can do it. YES! I am worthy. I am deserving of ALL GOOD!"

Patricia Singleton
Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Childhood Sexual Abuse in British Schools. #childabuse

Over the 5-6 years that I have been blogging I have seen, heard and read many shocking cases of abuse. What I think stuns me the most is those cases where the perpetrator is caught but the events are hushed up and the teacher is sent packing to another school. The perpetrator then starts their little "games" again and more innocent lives are destroyed. Why? To save the blushes of those in charge and to avoid a public scandal..

The people who allow this to happen may as well be abusers themselves. They have no interest in protecting children and care only about themselves and their reputations.

I have seen this in all forms of schools, public, private, primary and secondary.

PERHAPS there is more awareness today and PERHAPS this does not happen anymore. There is no guarantee however.

What breaks me heart is hearing a survivor of such abuse state something like "If I had spoken up then maybe other children would have been spared" etc. Blaming yourself for not speaking up is exactly what the perpetrator hopes for. They feel invincible because who would believe a child over an adult..

I have also read cases where the powers that be have blamed the children for sexualising the adult!

If you have been affected by abuse in your school please speak out. Name and shame those involved, the school and the local authority.

I am very interested in hearing from anyone who suffered abuse whilst in the following schools during the late 60s through to the early 80s.

Bengeo Primary School - Hertfordshire
Longlands Primary School - Hertfordshire
King College Choir School - Cambridge

Further reading:-

A secret history of child abuse

Abuse in Britains boarding schools

Sexual abuse in schools

Sunday, 26 June 2016

False Memory Syndrome - The BIG Lie @MSurvivorsTrust #childabuse #survivors #FMS

The term false memory "syndrome" implies professional acceptance but there is NO SCIENTIFIC FOUNDATION for FMS and the existence of false memory "syndrome" has NOT been proven in any way. The FMSF (USA) was founded in Philadephia to support those who claimed they had been wrongly accused of sexual abuse. The FMSF and its UK counterpart is now a hiding place for abusers who are in denial, and their USA 'Director' Pamela Freyd, admitted that the organisation does not make any checks to see if their members have criminal records for sexual abuse! She stated "I dont know the truth or falsity of any individuals story" Another cop-out!
Pamela Freyd also ridiculed those who are opposed to child sexual abuse as "politically correct" and therefore, perhaps, merely trendy!.
The False Memory Syndrome Foundation created the term "false memory syndrome" to explain how false accusations could occur. They have taken the stance that delayed memories are often false, and memories recovered in therapy are particularly suspicious.
Their theory is that vulnerable people are coerced into believing they have been abused by therapists who are more interested in having long-term clients than in assisting them, or who unknowingly create false memories in their clients through hypnosis or suggestion.

New Research Casts Doubts On False Memory! Syndrome

By Patricia Reaney

British scientists have cast doubts on the prevalence of False Memory Syndrome and the idea that recovered memories are often bogus ones induced by therapists.

The theory that memories of events which never occurred can be constructed by suggestion during therapy was used successfully as a defense by those accused of child abuse, to discredit children's testimony. Not any more!

Researchers at University College London claim their study of data from 236 adults with recovered memories shows many are of true past events. "There is now consistent evidence that 'False Memory Syndrome' cannot explain all, or even most, examples of recovered memories of trauma," the British Psychological Society said in a statement.

Dr. Bernice Andrews, who conducted the study, said "There is increasing evidence that many recovered memories cannot be explained by so-called False Memory Syndrome. To date there is no evidence for a specific False Memory Syndrome"

"What we've shown is that a substantial proportion of these memories have been corroborated". Contrary to common belief, not all repressed memories are about childhood sexual abuse. They can result from many types of trauma and not all are recovered during therapy.

"People often come into therapy because they have started to remember things that have happened in the past. In our study around a third of cases were people who came into therapy after recovering memories," said Andrews.

She and her colleagues interviewed 108 qualified therapists about the 236 patients. They said the most common triggers for recovering memories were events concerning patients' own children that they associated with violence or fear that they felt themselves. Less often books, videos and memory recovery techniques were used to help patients recall the events.

"Therapists in the majority of cases do not use aggressive, suggestive techniques to get their clients to remember things. They (memories) come up just as a matter of course during therapy and are often accompanied by a lot of emotion as though the person is reliving the event in the present," Andrews explained.

The researchers said their study cannot prove that all recovered memories are true. "You certainly can't explain all instances of people recovering memories in therapy in terms of so-called False Memory Syndrome," Andrews added.

False memory - the false media impressions
(March/April 1995 issue of Addiction Counselling World) Abridged version.

False Memory Syndrome is mainly concerned with childhood sexual abuse.

Surveys indicate between 10-30% of children have suffered sexual abuse in one form or another.
(Kinsey et al 1953, Russell 1984)

Percentages jump to 80-90+% in alcoholics' or addicts' childhoods, depending on which research you read; looking at these issues forms a major part of their personal recovery.

Statistically this must concern some of the friends and acquaintances of any of us, a fact most people would rather ignore.

An important subject is being taken over by a smooth public relations exercise.

There are no research statistics or even evidence to justify the term "syndrome".

This situation is not helped by the reluctance of people to discuss - or even admit the existence of childhood sexual abuse.

Meanwhile, those adult children, some of whom are still suffering some form of abuse, are left to wonder if there is any chance that they will be believed.

The FMSF supports parents who say the accusations by their adult children of childhood sexual abuse are false.

These parents are typically aged 50s, 60s and 70s.

Their accusers are adults who, for one reason or another, have met unbearable emotional pain and insurmountable difficulties in adult relationships - at work, socially or at home - and have sought to relieve the burden of their memories.

To resolve these issues, some have sought help from counsellors.

Counselling can often be the first time a survivor feels safe enough to speak about their childhood sexual abuse, which then leads to the allegations.

Our culture regards parents, regardless of who they are, or what they have done, as upstanding citizens being wrongly accused in their twilight years, while the adult children, by the very nature of their need to seek help, are regarded as less than stable, even unreliable.

Certainly, these adult children do not conform to what is regarded as socially acceptable: it is felt that it would be better for all concerned to keep a stiff upper lip.

Therefore, we have an imbalance of power between accuser and accused.

This also means that the accused becomes the accuser - the parents accuse their children of lying or fantasising. This is seen as acceptable because children are not to be believed, whether they are adult or not.


Counsellors and Psychotherapists blamed for implanting 'stories' ?

FMS supporters suggest that memories of sexual abuse are implanted by counselling, but validated research clearly shows that 25% of a study of hynpotised people were subject to having false memories implanted.

75% of the subjects were not convinced the memory was real!

Bu the FMS still insist that this assumption is based on two counts: bad therapists and bad science.

It maintains bad therapists are leading their clients and/or using dubious methods such as hypnotherapy or truth drugs to develop false memories.

They say the existence of recovered memory is not proven scientifically, and if that argument is to stand up, lets remember that the term "false memory syndrome" implies professional acceptance - it does NOT and never will have any scientific foundation to be accepted!

Its worth noting that the British False Memory Society made much of Majorie Orr's reflection that an estimated 2-8% of accusations by children were false.

They declined to comment on the 92-98% who spoke the truth!.

In discussing issues of childhood sexual abuse with therapists/counsellors, they stated that client to recover a memory is not how they work! In reality, a real memory becomes clearer over time, while an imagined one gradually fades out to more pressing and real issues.

Evidence of recovered memories has been corroborated for traumatic events other than child abuse, such as war, political torture or concentration camps.

Memories of such experiences often come back to haunt them many years later.



Both sides agree that child sex abuse exists. I say "agree" because the FMS agree that child sexual abuse occurs, it just does not happen "in their back yard." It happens in another street, town, or city.

In countless cases of child abuse, someone is always ready to say that it cannot be 'him/her' who is responsible because they have known the people or family for years, and that they are model citizens.

People should not ignore the figures of accredited surveys, indicating anything up to 30% of female and c.10% of male children suffering some form of abuse. The figures are chilling - and higher for children who go on to live addictive lives.

A study (Feldman-Summers & Pope 1994) supports earlier studies indicating that abuse survivors routinely reported periods of time when they had forgotten some or all of their abuse. Briere & Conte (1989, 1993) and Herman & Schatzow (1987) had linked amnesia to the severity and/or violence of the abuse.

In Briere & Conte's study, of a sample of 468 clinical subjects with sexual abuse histories, 279 (59.6%) reported a period of their lives before age 18 when they had been amnesic for their abuse.

Those who had repressed memories were most likely to have been molested at an early age, to have been physically injured or to have suffered violent physical or psychological force.

Another study - of 500 psychologists in the US, with 330 returns - showed that two out of five victims of abuse reported periods of amnesia. 26% of women and 16.5% of men reported having been sexually abused, totalling 21.8% of the sample (given the sample, there was no definition of sexual abuse).

The major findings were sexual & non-sexual abuse was subject to periods of forgetting.

Fifty six per cent reported that therapy was associated with recollection.

About half of those who said they had forgetten also reported corroboration of the abuse. Forgetting is not related to age or gender of the Survivors, but to the severity of the abuse.

These studies are specific to the underlying issue in the false memory debate. There are innumerable studies of wartime, concentration camp, torture and other major trauma victims, which have indicated amnesia in order to survive.

These are familiar at the level of the general public with associated 'flashback' repetitive replays and so on. The impact of the Vietnam war and its horrors come to mind as being most well-known, popularised by films such as The Deer Hunter.


Peter and Pamela Freyd
It is also worth noting that many members of the Scientific Advisory Panel of the FMS Foundation have dual professional relationships with the Freyd family.

Co-founders with the Freyds were Dr Ralph Underwager and his wife Hollida Wakefield, co-author of two books on child sexual abuse.

Dr Underwager resigned from the FMSF, following his 1993 interview in a dutch paedophile mazazine which endorsed sex between adults and chidlren and also suggested decriminalistion of paedophilia, to open the debate! His wife remains on the board of FMS Foundation.

The US Appeal Court dismissed Dr Underwager's defamation suit against Dr Anna Salter who criticised the inaccuracy of Underwager/Wakefield's book.


The supporters of 'false memory' complain that no one listens to the proposition that false memories are being implanted, but do not give credence to the fact that there are real memories and real abuse.

Their blinkered and often abusive attitude towards survivors of sexual abuse gives the impression they are concealing a fear of what they are unable to face.

The last word belongs to Jennifer Freyd, following the disclosure that she was sexually abused her father, none other than Peter Freyd.

In 1993 she gave her side of the Freyd family story. It was one of boundary and privacy violations, unwanted sexualisation by the father and denial by the mother, and intimidation and manipulation by both parents.

"At times I am flabbergasted that my memory is considered 'false' and my alcoholic father's memory is considered rational and sane," she said.

"At this point, we need to find a constructive way to debate legitimate issues surrounding adult survivors of child sexual abuse. We need to find a way to be gentle and tender in this pursuit, even as we look critically at the many domains in which we are scientifically and clinically uncertain." 

Thanks once again to Steve Bevan of The Male Survivors Trust

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

The Secret Garden Of My Fears #poetry #depression

Here I am again, alone
under the pensive moonlight
painting the leaves with
silent songs of sadness.

The rainbow of my moods, crushed,
to a single dreary hue.
The womb of my longings, gutted,
coloring the carpet of withered blooms.

No more summer blue skies ...
Just wintry nights ...

The safety of my innocence, picked,
my intellect, raped,
the river of my thoughts, sullied,
My heart, stilled.

I walk through my secret garden,
the secret garden of my fears.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

The Voice Of Silence #childabuse #poetry

Listen the voice of my Silence
My words travel without sound
I met a fallen star on my way
It told me I should open up and cry
I told myself I don't go there anymore

The moon lights the full dew fields
She's filled with beauty and so bright,
but so sad and alone, all stars wish upon her
But her pride keeps her higher
I wanted to reach her by a jump
I needed her light to find my way out

When hearts sleep and souls dream
She's still there in the starry sky
Condemned to be beautiful, yet alone

The light so warm and golden will light the way
And the morning sky will sweep away the stars
That happily lie on a black blanket
The hearts wake up again, a day is come
The flash of a blood-stained sun covers
My eyes, and the way I will not find anymore

And I will wander again without directions
Watching faces both weeping and joyful
That mix in my dead and lonely mind
I will wander looking for this warm light
That comforted me in the cold night
But I know I will find nothing
And so I will stop another time,

Listen to the voice of my silence
The Words do flow like a river
And I will wait for the return of my Moon
Bringing with her a light so bright and sweet
No confusion, she will take me on my way
We will dance and talk all night
When Hearts and Souls dream tender

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Demons Of Despair

The world is crashing down
Just a few days ago I was happy as a clown.
I wandered this earth in the security of a love bubble
Laughing away problems with the ease of a chuckle.

The bubble has been shattered
My bloated body lay battered.
An army of demons demolished my happiness
And doomed me to live an eternity in loneliness.

My self belief has vanished
My dignity has been banished.
My heart is shattered, my mind in turmoil
A simple thought of my reality sends the blood to boil.

I have nothing left
Because of this theft;
My dreams are gone
So I am forced to await the dawn.

Hoping that with the coming of the new day,
A sign will come that everything will be okay.
Desperately I wait, like a dying patient for a cure,
The coming of a new life, pristine and pure.

I hope with this new life, There will be no strife.
My heart will begin repair, Ridding itself of despair,
Regaining its capacity
to care.

The dust in my mind will begin to settle,
Blood will no longer boil like a tea kettle.
Happiness will reign again like a king on his throne,
All that is left of my former life is a pile of rotting bones.

For a new day has dawned,
A new life has spawned.
Time will heal all wounds love can cause;
Yet fate has its claws,

Deep within me.
Love is the key, to survival,
Life without love is no life at all.
Though love is the demon known to maul

Anyone that touches it or gets too close by;
Leaving the desperate for love, to suffer, and die.....
I smile to myself. It feels familiar. 
It's time to go. My horns need polishing.

The Despairing Man

A heaviness weighs upon me, crushing my spirit with an uncaring ease
This rollercoaster no fairground ride, more a living hell, why do I struggle
A day of feeling unworthy, a day where the silver lining is soiled and peeling
Why should I bother when for each step forward I am kicked back three.

To reach this point has been no easy task, the decision to go on based more
On the needs of others, not my own. I feel unable to do this just for me.
Not yet, not now. Later. Those damn tears threaten to break free, but
They remain trapped in a time now long past, yet as fresh as yesterday.

Trying do do right, I appear to be doing opposite. This cloud of despair renewed
Though I thought it dissipating. No. To truely be free of my demons might be
one step that I am not able to make. Not yet, one day, perhaps. We'll see.
A heaviness weighs upon me, I have not the strength to resist.

Aug 19 2011

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Let's see if gingers can fly.. via @bethevans1775 @poblcymru #mentalhealth #heroes

Let's see if gingers can fly......

I will be doing a tandem skydive for POBL Cymru because It is a wonderful charity which helps so many.

I have decided to confront my biggest fear (trust me..just ask anyone who has flown with me) and raise money for an incredible cause that is very close to my heart.  Please give as much or as little as you can afford. It will be very gratefully received and will benefit so many people. Thank you xxxx

POBL Cymru

POBL is a new Mental Health charity based in Wales that aims to educate the public and the business community around issues concerning Mental Health.We are a charity that will provide mobile support and assistance to people throughout Wales taking our road show to the communities who need us most.

Donate HERE!!!!
Follow Beth HERE

Follow Pobl Cymru HERE

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Request to Male Survivors of #childabuse for "Coping Mechanisms" by @tracyblack05

OK guys, lets help this lady out and get our own points across. I should have posted this a few weeks ago but I got a little lost and caught up with events in my own life.

Hello to all male survivors of childhood sexual abuse. I am sending out a call for help! I am also a survivor of CSA and I am in the process of writing a book about triggers, flashbacks and how, as adults, we cope with them. We are aware that CSA is not gender specific therefore I would like to include stories from men. The book, Coping Mechanisms currently has seven female stories, all contributions are anonymous. I have selected my story to give you an idea of wat I am looking for. There is no restriction on word count, it can be as short as you want or longer than mine. I would like to thank Ján for giving me a spot on his blog. And I would like to thank you for taking the time to read my request!


My name is Tracy Black, my age is, well let’s say I’m in my very early fifties and I am a mother of two boys. I have three grandchildren and hope to meet a lot more in the future.
I have been living in Spain for several years now. In fact, I have spent most of my life travelling. My father was in the British Armed Forces, and as a family, we went with him to all his postings. We have travelled to Singapore, Malta, Germany and Northern Ireland to name but a few. Sounds great doesn’t it? It should have been but I dreaded each move.
My father started abusing me when I was five; we were living in Germany at the time. At first, it involved me touching him, then vice-versa. The abuse I suffered was both physical and sexual. He didn’t only groom me for himself he  groomed me for his friends.
With each new posting, he upped his game. I was a child and thought that’s what dads did. He isolated me from any friends I made and he kept me behind closed doors at every opportunity.
Abusers are good liars and they are exceptional when it comes to convincing others. He told me if I dared tell anyone my mother would die, plain and simple. She would literally be struck down where she stood. I persevered because I didn’t want my mother to die and I certainly didn’t relish the responsibility he put on me. I kept quiet for the sake of my mother.
Growing up was like living in another world, a dark and lonely place, but for me it was normal. By the time I reached 11 years of age I realised that what he was doing wasn’t right. However, I still believed that if I told anyone my mother would die, he had instilled that belief in me and had secured my silence. I knew I needed to tell someone, anyone because the older I became the more horrific his advances. Who would believe me anyway? After all, he was a hero wasn’t he? He was a man wearing an army uniform, there to serve and protect everyone.
At twelve, I became out of control. I was fighting in and out of school, thieving from shops and aggravating grown-ups. I did all I could to get noticed by the Military Police. I stupidly thought that if I became so out of control, someone would ask me why I was behaving so badly. Nobody asked. All the Army did was assign me to a Social Worker and they monitored my behaviour at school.
Things didn’t get any better and one night I ran away. The Military Police eventually found me and I refused to be taken back home. I told them everything. They didn’t believe me. The following morning they decided that I was to be sent away to a Boarding School until I was old enough to leave and make my own way in the world.
At the age of 15, I left Boarding School, and headed to the UK and began to make my own way in life. It was easier said than done. By the time I was 21 years old I was a single parent with two boys.
I remember one particular flashback that was a horrible and unpleasant experience. Prior to this, I’d had little things that reminded me of my childhood abuse, but nothing I couldn’t handle – I pushed them aside in my own way. None of them had shoved me over the top until the Old Spice incident.
The offensive trigger was the smell of Old Spice aftershave. When it happened I was sitting on a bus on my way to work. Like every other morning it was busy with workers and shoppers. I was lucky enough to find a seat near the rear, but after that, it was standing room only.
As more people clambered on the standing passengers had to move further up to the back. Suddenly, I got a whiff of something that sent a shockwave of emotions running through me.
Some guy, not too far from me, was wearing Old Spice aftershave. I found the source of the smell and he looked at me and gave me a smile. I panicked, in my mind I was a child again and all I saw in front of me was my father standing grinning and beckoning with his finger as he used to do.
In that moment, time stood still for me and I felt terrified. Even though it was wintertime sweat ran down my face and neck. My stomach was doing summersaults.
A woman sitting beside me gave me a nudge and asked who was going to hurt me and was I okay. It dawned on me that I must have been mumbling out loud. My only thought was to run, run as far away as possible from the smell of Old Spice aftershave. But to do that, I would have had to shove and fight my way through the throng of passengers and it meant passing by him too.
The thought of moving from my seat panicked me even more, without warning my stomach heaved and I vomited all over the floor of the bus. Standing passengers moved aside for fear of me being sick over them. I saw my chance and darted down the aisle and off the bus. It took a few hours for me to feel ‘normal’ again.
I stayed off work for the rest of the week because I was so scared in case the man with the aftershave was on my bus. A friend was worried about me, although she had no idea about my childhood sexual abuse. At her insistence I went to the doctor’s surgery because the work had requested a sick note. To my surprise, I ended up telling him about the abuse I had suffered at the hands of my father and the incident on the bus.
I was glad I went, he was sympathetic and understanding. It was then I found out I had had an ‘episode.’ The doctor explained about triggers and flashbacks. He discussed ‘grounding’ with me and suggested I used it if I ever had another one and it would help me through it.
I never did come across anyone else who wore Old Spice, new scents came out and men moved onto the newer products. It didn’t mean the end of my triggers though because soon after I took an aversion to the smell of lavender, be it flowers, sweets or perfumes. When I was a child, my mother used to fill my room with soap ornaments from Avon and they were always lavender scented.
A friend used to come to my house and she always had lavender perfume on. The smell overpowered me and it took me by surprise because it was her usual perfume and it hadn’t bothered me before. I was able to put the grounding technique to the test.
I left my friend in another room and went into my kitchen. I thought about painting it, cleaning out the fridge and cupboards. Keeping my mind occupied was my main objective and after a couple of minutes I was fine. It didn’t make the flashback disappear but it blurred the visions. The distraction and ‘grounding’ worked for me.
After that incident, I bought incense candles and still do to this day. My house always smelled of vanilla incense and it masked my friend’s perfume whenever she came to visit.
Even to this day, I avoid garden areas or places where I know there are lavender shrubs. I’m glad to say I can put up with the smell now without having a flashback surfacing. Although the odour still makes me nauseous but I think it is all in my imagination and my mind is playing tricks on me.
* * *

Endorsed by Lesley Hayes

Now retired from practice, Lesley Hayes worked for over twenty years as a UKCP registered Integrative Psychotherapist, a UKRC registered Counsellor, and an accredited Full Member of AHPP, the Association of Humanistic Psychology Practitioners.
I have read Tracy Black’s book Coping Mechanisms with great interest, and value the way she has approached the subject. For so many years sexual abuse has been shrouded in shame and silence, and it’s encouraging to see how the tide has turned in recent years and survivors are finding their voice and standing by their right to be heard.
The difference between Coping Mechanisms and some other books I've seen written by survivors is that it shares the insights gained by the writer rather than just the story, and aims to put the reader confidently back in the driving seat, rather than simply describing the road crash of their experience. There is sound advice here as well as some harrowing descriptions of what led to survivors losing control of their lives.
It is a book written with compassion rather than anger, by someone who has worked diligently to move beyond her own experience of childhood abuse. If you have been drawn to this book because the title and description resonates in some way with your own experience, then feel heartened. You have come to the right place. Tracy Black is the acclaimed author of several works of fiction that explore the subject, as well as her own autobiography. She is offering you here the wisdom gained from her journey out of pain and powerlessness into a place of health and optimism. Lesley Hayes

Contact Tracy via this blog, or her Twitter @TracyBlack05


Wednesday, 16 March 2016



The following MYTH's need to broken down and exposed as false, as they are still widely believed.


Despite any so called statistics that say males sexually abused could go on to sexually their children or children they know, the figures FAIL to represent true male Survivors, who would NEVER sexually abuse children!If that myth was true, then surely every survivor, male and female, would be classed as abusers, yet it's rarely thought that female survivors would abuse their children, so why is it thought that we, as males, would even consider sexually abusing our children?
Having worked with over 4,000 male survivors of sexual abuse, none of them would ever consider inflicting the same pain on another child and cause them the same pain.
Some pedosceles say they were sexually abused, but they ARE NOT survivors of sexual abuse.
One man arrested in Operation Ore, said he was searching child porn because his support group, for male survivors, had told him it would help! There is NOT a support group near him, yet it was given as evidence in court, and duly reported as fact in his local newspaper! I checked all support groups miles around him and no one had heard of him. Remember, pedoceles LIE!
Just because they say they were sexually abused themselves, it is taken as truth and rarely investigated, and is therefore seen and believed to be true!
It is not true!

Child sexual abuse happens every single day..year in, year out. Estimates vary, and are so often wrong, so double or even treble any numbers you may think, to reach what may be the right number of abuse cases.

REALITY: 85% of children are sexually abused by someone they know, i.e. family members, relatives, neighbours and/or family friends. Sex offenders look for any chance and opportunity to sexually abuse children.

REALITY: Not always the case. Sometimes, the abuser, male or female, is either a parent, brother, sister, or other close family member or perhaps in a position of trust.
  • Any abuse is damaging and confusing to a child because of the secrecy, shame, lies and isolation that follows. That creates an aura of secrecy, shame, lies, isolation and breach of trust, and creates immense confusion for the child

    REALITY: It is always damaging, and always destructive to the child.
    Children who are sexually abused are:
  • Denied a childhood, 
  • Denied a loving, nurturing relationship of trust, 
  • Exploited and betrayed by a person who is in a position of authority and trust.

    REALITY: Children do not have the explicit sexual knowledge necessary to describe a sexual event that they have not experienced. Children do not have the cognitive capacities to make up stories of sexual abuse. If children do lie about sexual abuse it would be to say that it did not occur, in order to protect the offender and/or the family unit.

    REALITY: Total Bullshit! It's just another way of trying to excuse the abusers behaviour and pass on the blame to a child. Sex offenders exploit a child's curiosity and his need for affection, and then blame the child !

    REALITY: Child sexual abuse typically goes on for quite some time before discovery. It is not confined to one child, but usually involves several children.
  • In the 2004 case in Plymouth, England, known as Operation Emotion (November 2004) William Goad was sentenced to life for abusing about 3,000 (thats three thousand!) boys over a period of years.
    Goad had a history of sexually abusing boys stretching back to the 1960s, and once boasted that he had abused over 140 boys in a year.
    I've had the honour of meeting just a few of the brave men who stood up and went to court, and I am proud of them for taking that stand and getting some form of justice.

    REALITY: It it was that easy to do, don't you think we would have done so already? Child sexual abuse 'victims' try to block memories of what happened but the effects surface as they grow up. Not talking won't make it go it away, it just festers.
  • If adults are not willing to talk about the abuse, a child will probably feel there is something to be ashamed of, that it's dirty and too awful to talk about. This attitude only serve's to increase the child's feelings of guilt, shame and feelings of being abnormal and will compound their problems.

    REALITY: Any man can be sexually abused, regardless of size, appearance or sexual orientation. Not all men are strong, emotionally or otherwise, to protect themselves from attacks, including sexual assaults.
  • Men who are attacked undergo the same reactions as women. They are paralysed with fear, so frightened that they cannot call for help and often too afraid to resist in case this provokes more violence.

    REALITY: Sexual abuse can be violent, but the manner in which it is inflicted doesn't always involve violence. A pedoscele doesn't have to use a weapon or beat you into submission in order to achieve their end. The majority of sexual abuse involves the subtle brainwashing of a child.
  • Your family may have shown an a twisted expression of "touch" and "love" in the form of sexual abuse, or perhaps you were 'rewarded' with treats or extra love and attention, or even bribed to keep silent in the same manner. Sexual abuse can also be verbal, with the pedosceles main weapon being words (such as inappropriate sexual comments, or an overly invasive interest in your body and sexuality)
    Perhaps you 'gave' in because they threatened harm to someone else if you didn't comply, but it is still not your fault!

    REALITY: Many adult survivors report a deep sense of shame, because they may have felt some 'pleasure' in an aspect of what happened, but the ovcer-riding effects are damamaging,soul destroying and harms that child for the rest of his life, unless healed!
  • Perhaps the abuse was the only form or understanding of affection you ever got, perhaps it was soothing, perhaps the pedoscele got off on making you feel pleasure. Just because you did feel pleasure doesn't mean you were not abused. Our bodies are designed to feel pleasure and respond in particular ways to particular kinds of touch. If your body did respond, it does NOT negate the abuse.
    The pedoscele used you for their own ends, taking away your free will and right to let your own sexuality develop as it should have.

    REALITY: The Law is an imperfect system designed by imperfect people, in order to provide some framework for basic conduct in an imperfect world, but even the best legal systems are not guaranteed to discover the truth about a given case.
  • If the law takes your pedoscele to court, and they find him or her Not Guilty (or Not Proven, or the equivalent for your country's judicial system), that DOES NOT mean that you weren't sexually abused and violated, or that the crime never actually occurred: all it means is that it couldn't be proven in court.
    It does not mean that you are a liar, it doesn't mean that the pedoscele never did anything wrong, it doesn't mean that you have no right to feel outraged, it simply means that courts of law require very specific types of evidence in order to prove a case, and in sexual crimes cases, it is a case of one person's word against another. Maybe the statute of limitations has run out. Maybe they didn't have enough hard evidence.
    Maybe the pedoscele was such a good liar that they had everyone fooled. Maybe they got off on a technicality beyond your control. IT DOESN'T MEAN THAT THE ABUSE NEVER ACTUALLY HAPPENED.
    Maybe your experience doesn't fit the law word-for-word, because of an age difference. Maybe what happened to you was hazy to recall fully.
    All it means is that you may not be able to prosecute successfully. Memory is an inexact science -- you may remember that something happened to you, and you may remember what it was, but it is hard to make memory alone stand up in a court of law. You can still heal, and still feel angry, as the law doesn't matter in terms of your recovery. (Dont resort to vigilante justice.)

    REALITY: Heterosexual, gay and bisexual men are all liable to being sexually abused.
  • Being sexually abused has nothing to do with current or future sexual orientation.
    There is no excuse. Sexual orientation is not an excuse to be sexually abused.

    REALITY: Most abusers, if asked, would identify themselves as heterosexual.
  • Sexual abuse is about violence, anger, sexual release for them, and control over another person, nothing to do with sexual attraction.
    Just by checking press reports, etc, you will usually see that those sentenced are described as 'normal married men', living a 'normal' life.
    Sexual orientation, or their perception of sexual orientation, is not an excuse to sexually abuse others.

    REALITY: Although the majority of abusers are currently recognised as being male, men and boys are sexually abused by women. The most recent and high profile case in the UK was Vanessa George, the Nursery School worker in Plymouth.
  • Females who sexually abuse children are more often far more sadistic in the forms of abuse they force upon children, and either act alone or with others in abusing children.

    REALITY: Erection and ejaculation are physiological responses that result from the physical contact or even extreme stress.
  • Some abusers are aware how erection and ejaculation can confuse you -- this motivates them to manipulate you to the point of erection or ejaculation to increase their feelings of control and to also discourage you from reporting the crime.
    It doesn't mean you enjoyed the sexual contact, it was your bodys reaction to touch and feeling, thats all, but IF you did enjoy the sensation, and did ejaculate, dont worry about that either! I defy any man to deny its Operation to be touched around their genitals

    REALITY: A consenting individual is aware of what they are doing, has an understanding of the consequences, and is free from any manipulation or coercion to choose a certain way. If a person is NOT capable of knowing what they are getting into, how can it be said that consented?
  • If, as a child, you were abused again and again, YOU DID NOT CONSENT, AND IT IS STILL ABUSE. The reason is that a child is not a fully sexual being. Children are not supposed to be.
    A child is not fully aware of sex and all its complexities, and their own sexuality is expected to develop slowly and surely over the course of many years.
    As mentioned above, you may have also chosen to 'go along' with the abuse in order to ensure that you did get through it; but submission does not mean consent.
    If a gun is pointed at your head, and you're told to rob someone or you get your head blown off, the issue of consent doesn't even enter into it. How can you really make a choice, when one choice offered is death?

    REALITY: Sometimes, depending on who, where, etc, the child loves and protects the perpetrator. Some children feel "special" about the abuse, as it may be the only attention or physical contact they are getting.
    Because of this, some survivors try to deal with the abuse by minimizing it, by making the abuser and events "OK". All they are doing is delaying the inevitable, in that they need to heal from their abusive past, in order to leave the grief behind.
    The effects of sexual abuse last well into adulthood, affecting relationships, work, family, and life in general.

    REALITY: Yes it could! You can be old, young, fat, tall, small, black, white, asian, gay, straight, a cop, a student, whoever, and rape or abuse couldhappen to you.
    It's probably comfortable to believe that you're immune to being potentially raped or sexually assaulted; in the firm believe that you couldn't be raped because you're too nice, too white or too uptight, which gives you a false sense of security. "I couldn't be raped," because I never go out at night alone." "I couldn't be raped, because I'm a man." "I couldn't be raped".. for any of a number of highly superstitious reasons, but why hide behind the powerful spell of denial and place yourself at risk?
    THE REALITY of the matter is, you could be raped, no matter who you are. You could be assaulted or abused, no matter what. If someone really is out to get you, they can do it.
    There are never any 100% guarantees for you being safe. Bu before you freak out and never leave the house again, there are some good steps you can take to increase your safety level, and reduce your risk of being assaulted or abused.
    Trust your instinct and stay away from people who make your skin crawl or who make you feel unsafe. It's a beautiful world out there, but as you know all to well, it has the potential to be a violent one too, so use your head and stay safe!

    Many men who have been raped display symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress disorder and many try to kill themselves, and many more have turned to alcohol and drugs to help them cope with the experience.
    Male survivors can be left doubting their sexuality, fearing sex, and may have difficulty forming relationships afterwards.
    It is difficult for men to access support if they have experienced rape as most rape crisis services are not accessible to men. Therapists working with men who were sexually abused in childhood have conducted clinical case studies and consistently report long-term problems. These include guilt and self-blame, low self-esteem and negative self-image, problems with intimacy, sexual problems, compulsions or dysfunctions, substance abuse and depression, and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. [Bruckner, D.F. and Johnson, P.E. 1987, ‘Treatment for adult male victims of childhoodsexual abuse’, Social Casework, vol. 68, pp. 81-87]
    They may also fear that the sexual abuse has caused them, or will cause them, to become homosexual. [Gilgun, J. and Reiser, E. 1990, ‘The development of sexual identity among men sexually abused as children’, Families in Society, vol. 71, pp. 515-521]

    Any of the responses above do not imply that you wanted or enjoyed the abuse and does not indicate anything about your sexual orientation.
    Sexual abuse against men happens in many different ways. Some men are abused by a stranger, or a group of strangers, while others may be abused by someone they know. Men are sometimes sexually abused by women, but most often they are sexually abused by other men.
    Some abusers use weapons, physical force, or the threat of force to control the situation.
    Others may use blackmail or a position of authority to threaten or coerce someone into submission.
    Others use alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both to prevent victims from fighting back.
    No matter how it occurs, it is a violation of a man's body and it can have lasting emotional consequences.
    So, if you need reminding again, it is possible to recover from all of this and regain control of your life!

  • With thanks to Male Survivors Trust


    Friday, 11 March 2016

    Love Is..

    I started this blog back in 2010 before the child abuse memory tsunami hit me. My world was good. I had achieved my ultimate goal and was a success (or what I had spent my adult life believing to be what a success was). I had worked hard and had pushed my way up the corporate ladder. I had bought out my employer in a million pound plus deal and was worth several million more on paper. Life was good, yes?


    As I have mentioned in the past, I was taunted whilst growing up that I would amount to nothing. That I would never be successful, I would never know happiness. I was told that I was a freak and that I would end up either dead on the streets or in a "lunatic asylum". Why? Because I was different.

    I spent almost two decades working myself to a frazzle, going years on end without taking holidays and even working over Christmas and New Year. I did it because I had to prove them wrong. I had lived on the streets for several months in my late teens, I had all but lost my mind, and I had been a drunken and selfish layabout. I had tried hard to be a studious student at college and university. When my second parent fell foul to cancer I too fell foul. I gave up. I threw in the towel. I decided to no longer be what I was expected to be. I would be me.

    Why was I different you may ask? The abusers were torn. Some saw me as a Christ like figure and others as an Anti Christ. A light shone out of me. I stood out in a crowd. No matter what they did, I mostly looked inwards and smiled to myself. I forgave them as and when they molested me. I tolerated their pathetic and mindless perversions. They were base, stupid and twisted by their inherent perversions whilst I always seemed to know deep inside that I would endure. I would live. I would survive and one day I would expose not only them but all that they stood for. I knew that one day I would thrive.

    Like all "Super Heroes" I had a weakness. Love. This blogs url is "whatislove". What Is Love?

    That was the question I asked myself back six years ago.

    Love in itself is not a weakness. It is a force almost as old as time. Love is the glue that holds humanity together. Well.. That is in theory anyway. Love can become twisted, distorted, can be controlling and it can be used as a tool and a means to an end. I am not that sort of love. Yes, you read that correctly. I just defined myself as LOVE.

    "May the force be with you"... The force in question is one of good, one of love, one of tolerance, one of peace and harmony.

    I was born out of love. I was born despite the fact that my mother was given the option of chemotherapy or to have her child. She chose that I should live. She ultimately sacrificed herself that I should live.

    I consider myself, and have often been told by others, that I am strongly empathic. I seem to be able to read feelings and emotions as if they were written on a poster above a persons head. Not always, I am not a supreme being after all. I am, but me.

    Six years ago I thought I had achieved over and above what my earlier life detractors had said I could or would not. In most part I had. Where I had let myself down was that I had not found that ultimate goal. Personal joy.

    Much water has passed under the bridge since then. I had a full on nervous breakdown in 2011 which is when the past came back to literally haunt me. I survived both the past and also the re-enactment. I am indeed still standing.

    I have opened up my life, ripped apart my heart and exposed my inner self to all. Why do such an extreme  and foolish thing?

    I wanted and needed to be heard. I had lived too long in silence, pretending that I was able and strong.

    I needed to fall to little pieces so that given time I could rebuild and reinforce what and who I was.

    I am love.

    Love need not be perfect, which I am not. Love need not be beautiful and breathtaking which I certainly am not. Love just needs to be open, true, loyal and steadfast. Love needs to be nurtured. Love needs to be given openly and freely and received in abundance. Love is not a one way street. Love is neither a game nor a legal contract. Love is the ultimate gift. Love is love.

    Love can be a roller coaster ride. Indeed I think it needs to be. The ups, the downs, the gasps and the shrieks if shared openly, honestly and with integrity are all part of the wonderful, multifaceted and amazing thing that love should be. To fully appreciate the ride one must give all and trust all to the other. No subject should be taboo. No games should be played.

    Many will mock my ideals and I have no problem with that.

    So many people have written about love over the centuries. So many opinions and yes, this is just my opinion. Well.. actually this is more than just an opinion, this is in fact a statement of personal requirement. Love takes many forms. I should know. I need love. I need understanding and harmony. Many have tried to extinguish my spark. From this day forth I intend to set the world on fire.

    I often consider myself in phoenix terms. A phoenix can rise and fall and rise again many times. So have I.

    I have seen the damage that "love" can do when not applied in the appropriate manner. I have suffered at the hands of those who claimed to love me and also, a step or two away, by the love others had shown those I love. To be a victim of both first and second hand damaged love is most unfortunate indeed. Yet I still believe in it. I still believe that love can conquer all.

    I find myself almost laughing at my own words. I have been called obsessive, delusional, nonsensical and weak because of what I believe. So be it.

    Love is good, love is kind, love does no harm and love can help us grow and prosper as individuals and better still as couples.

    Let love in, do not mock it. Do not shun it. Return it with the intensity that is received. Do not try and stifle or control it.

    Love is pure and positive energy. Love is life. Love is a force of nature. Love is...



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