Content Warning: Please be aware that some of the stories on these pages contain details and descriptions of abuse which you might find disturbing or upsetting.

“I feel lost, and I don’t know if this pain will ever leave me…”

I was abused from age 7 to 20. No one in my life knows except doctors/counsellors/helplines or the occasional Samaritan.

I carry on every day like I’m absolutely fine. No one would ever know.

It’s almost like having two lives which makes me very sad.

I was abused by neighbours a few doors up. There were 2 main abusers and lots more over the years some of whom I remember, I have a lot of memory but blanks too.

I was abused in their house/van/outside/old war bunker/ upstairs above a shop and more.

There were no other children involved as far as I knew ( I’m very aware there could have been others I have never known about but I’ll never know) it was only me.

I got very close to my second abuser and would do anything. He died when I was 20 in a motorbike accident. I was lost as was very close to him and he was all I knew. It stopped just like that. I miscarried 3 times whilst it was happening. I now trust no one. I have a chronic condition ‘endometriosis’ and some people think there is a link between trauma and endometriosis. I don’t know.

I try my best to carry on but each day is hard as I have depression and anxiety.

During my abuse, I still had a normal life as in family/school etc but no one ever knew. They were clever in their grooming slowly at first and as I got older it was easier for them to get me for longer amounts of time. I’m left with a mixture of deep sadness/pain mental and physical anger and I so desperately want to help others who are being abused now.

My neighbours had guinea pigs and I loved (still love) animals so would go round to see them, that’s when the grooming started, I was abused by him and his son. I don’t know how old he was but his son was 16 when I was 7.

He (the older man) would let me upstairs as he talked about a snake. The snake wasn’t real. It started with him asking/telling/forcing me to touch him and it escalated from there.

There were times when his son would be in the room with me and I had to touch him too. It went from every kind of touch to rape. And as I got older more men were involved. I remember being in a war bunker (I actually played there sometimes with friends) with different men/different voices it was half dark and they all wanted sex or something similar.

I remember a van after school (secondary) where there would be a few of them whilst they assaulted me in the back and above a shop too where lots happened. I remember a bed and being assaulted/sometimes tied up.

My older main abuser died when I was 13 and his son carried on. I was very close to him. He could be nice but also not so nice. I’m sure there was money involved. I know it sounds crazy but some were nicer than others and when a ‘nice’ one arrived I was actually relieved ( that breaks my heart now)

It has left me with PTSD/depression and anxiety.

I don’t do ANY relationships. Never have. He died when I was 20.

I have endometriosis which is a painful chronic condition so have a mixture of pain from that (although I’ve had surgery which has helped sooooo much) and my abuse.

Because I have never ever told anyone in my life this is very lonely to live with, I carry on like I’m absolutely fine although I’m not. I work, I have family and friends and no one has a clue.

All I’ve ever wanted is like a support person who knows a bit about what happened but we just do normal stuff like a coffee etc

I ring helplines lots and I even got an auto barring off The Samaritans as I’d rung I don’t know over 1,000 times in a month as I was desperate for someone. I won’t speak to men so I hang up.

The Samaritans let me back though. I have had a handful of really bad experiences off helplines and Samaritans ( most are amazing and last night I was on the phone with a lovely lovely lady for 2 and a half hrs)

I had a counsellor I was with for 4 years and I left her about 4 years ago but have just started with her again because of lockdown and increased anxiety. She is great with me. She said she’s met you as I was talking to her about your book.

I don’t know if this makes sense. It’s probably a bit all over the place.

I think now in my life I need someone like a friend/support person but every time I’ve tried I’ve failed. Although I do have contact with a few helpline people and as much as it’s not allowed I wasn’t going to turn down the offer of outside contact and I have outside contact with a few Samaritans although that’s gone nowhere.

I feel lost, and really don’t know if this pain will ever leave me...

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