Do I remember every detail from birth to the age of four? No of course not. However, I still have nightmares to which those snippets held me prisoner of fear for decades. I toured each Belgian family member over the years and divulged those snippets. Many members revealed more than what my mother ever did dare. What unfolded is what appears in my autobiography.
I was bewildered but not surprised to find all that I did. Each member revealed a different piece of the puzzle. Although, not each piece revealed itself there and then. It took decades. Not many would speak of those days, let alone reveal that they knew and did nothing to prevent it. Some who did try, well somehow they were bombarded with bureaucracy and psychological blackmail.
As I matured and fell into horrendous relationships, I began to slip into a deep dark depression that succumbed my every actions. I couldn’t hold a job down, I could not sustain any kind of normal life. Then the dreaded moment came, and my son passed away. I was left feeling sorry for myself. Grieving my son and my passed life.
I had hit rock bottom and I went to seek help. Within the following nineteen years, I began to heal. I realised I could only heal once I knew that I had accepted what was. The torment that pursued me was due to my not having accepted my past. I had felt guilty for my demise. Once, I had managed to understand that my childhood was not my fault but that I was a victim of circumstance, I was able to start accepting and heal.
Family members divulged things that I continuously dreamed of and never understood. My life began to make sense and I noted everything down, checked with the authorities and everything that they had divulged was unfortunately true. I was left to wonder as to why then, if so many knew of our demise, why did no one that was around us at the time, do anything. Why?
People might argue that perhaps the mentality of Belgians was different to that of an English man but no that is not the case. Should we look around us we tend to move in the same circles as those who are similar to ourselves. This is what occurred in Belgium, my father was a dangerous criminal and an alcoholic who beat us and he moved within similar circles. So, every one feared the next person, hence, the silence blanketed and blurred the vision beyond their very own noses.
The system failed us but let it not fail those who are suffering today. There is no need to fear. So much more could be achieved today compared to forty years ago. A person should not live in fear of their partner or friend. We are in the twenty first century and every one deserves a voice. A voice that will not behold him to persecution and constant torment. Lets join forces and keep alert, pick up that phone and help those who need our help.
For years, I was told not to speak of my past as that would upset certain people and that meant that I could not heal. I was even persecuted by others and called a liar as my victimiser portrayed himself as the innocent victim. I was kicked from one corner to the other in debates that was already proven in courts. So, what was the problem?
The system had let me down badly. Even when all was proven and for a few measly years that he was sentenced, his family members still believed his lies. Believe it or not, once he was deported back to Belgium from England, he went on to repeat his sexual abuse on other children. Amazing, how he slipped through the net and still he persisted in abusing others in such a monstrous way.
On my twenty first, my father rang me at my sister in law and it was not to greet me my twenty first as one would assume. No, he phoned to let my brother and youngest sister tell me that they knew I lied. It broke my heart to think that they were both there in imminent danger. Alas a few months later they both fled the scene as my father had tried to rape my youngest sister.
This was dreadful, to hear that everything that you went through was to no avail and others still went on to suffer in that monsters hands. I felt dirty, filthy and violated but worst of all I felt that I had not done my job right. For the mistake of not returning to Belgium, my sister suffered the same purgatory that I did. However, it was not me that failed my sister but the system had let us all down. Never the less, my guilt was now deeply stained within and my anguish grew intensively within.
This should never have occurred but it did and today it should be even more harder to re-enact those horrid days, yet, it still goes on. Lets not give way to further decades of decay for those suffers. Lets act now and support the victim until they are able to support themselves psychologically. When I attended the group of those children of alcoholics, it was a group that went on for years, why could we not have such a support group for the victims of abuse.
Lastly, this is why I have snippets to this day. I am forty nine years old and still I recollect some of those events as if it occurred yesterday. My life has taken nearly fifty years to move on. Don’t let the nightmares hold some one else down for a further fifty years. Lessons on life and beauty should be present in every account of life and examples of what is not acceptable should also be part of a child’s vocabulary. We teach of history and yet we do not mention the things that hit at the very heart of our community. Let’s join forces and spread the word that being a prisoner of abuse is not an acceptable commodity.