I was impressed when reading an article ‘Surviving’ (written in BACP magazine, 2013) by author Murray’s courageous and honest approach. Her resolve to be seen as a survivor and not just ‘damaged goods’ is evident from this article. Murray speaks of survivors of abuse being ‘extremely resilient and resourceful’. She also writes of a journey, and how it is possible to receive help and to go on to become a professional (in the field of counselling).
About Debs’ Journey
Let’s call him ‘Frank’. He was a family friend known to us and loved by Debs, aged 9. It was a happy, loving and growing friendship. One borne out of childhood innocence and (I see now) an Inbuilt need to feel loved. ‘Grooming’ – that is what it was. I am aware of that now. Grooming which took place over many months and in many different forms. Days out, sweets, cinema, babysitting, gifts of clothes and toys – in fact most things a child that age would respond to. He picked me up when I fell, plastered my bleeding knees and dried my tears in times of distress. He was always very kind, gentle and loving – all that a little girl could need when Daddy was away working so many hours. Sitting on his lap and having an innocent cuddle was a comfort. All part of love’s young dream – I idolised ‘Frank’ and he was all I could think of a lot of the time. Even my dreams were taken up going on beach holidays with him, going on fairground rides and eating candy floss.
Incredulously, how could such a lovely man turn out to be so sinister, so misguided and so dark in character? These are questions I still ask myself today. I have discovered that there are no easy answers. Even now, over forty years on, I regret the day I chose to stay at home with him instead of joining a family day out. That day will remain etched on my heart forever. It was the day my childhood ended. The day that all things beautiful were shattered and for a long while afterwards, disillusionment and mistrust reigned.
The Dream of Harmony and Graduation
After reading Murray’s article relating to sexual abuse, I felt that I wanted to hold my hands up. It almost feels like my own way of coming clean. I want to tell the world how right Murray is and how much I agree with her that we can use our experiences in a positive way to help others.
Harmony is a big part of my healing and a huge part of saying no to remaining a victim. Harmony represents new beginnings and an opportunity to help others. I managed to find help for myself after many, many years. My hope is that by discovering Harmony, clients can receive my help and understanding, and that their recovery may not take as long.
If any of my story rings true for you, why not pick up the phone, email or pay me a visit. It won’t cost you a penny for an initial consultation – what have you got to lose?