My name is Elizabeth and I am a survivor of CSA and horrific trauma. Abuse and fear are all I can remember from my childhood. I was a sex toy, loaned out for the pleasure of my so-called father’s and his pedophile friends’ enjoyment from his sports club. I was restrained, gang raped, and forced to watch women being “tortured” near me. That is what I believe happened in my young mind. I was being tortured. I was living in fear of dying daily and I watched three people die right next to me during the act of rape. Trauma is something that will live with me forever, even though I am now safe and cut out all my previous life, replacing it with a new one.

I feel happy that I have moved on and am surrounded by love, support, and friends. I have made a new little family filled with only love. The trauma I suffered as a child, turned into Complex PTSD but I have come a long way in my healing. I share my experiences of overcoming abuse because I think it is important for the truth to be out there. It is not something that should be covered up. There are so many people out there like me and it is up to us to fight for our freedom and get these criminals off the streets and from abusing our younger generation.  I have written quite a few blogs on what it is like to be a survivor of abuse and the methods I have used during my healing journey. The methods that work for one individual may not work for another. We are all unique and our stories albeit similar, are also different. Where and how the abuse happened, who abused you, for how long, and how you felt are all unique events in your life. That doesn’t mean that we cannot share the experiences we have had as survivors. We can take snippets of other people’s recovery methods and make our own healing journeys. Similar to making our very own healing patchwork quilt! Something my great nan would make to keep me warm at night.

My plea for help

In this post, I want to explore how we as survivors overcome the threats that come with the abuse. Threats were a daily necessity for my abuser to shut me up so I did not tell anyone afterward. I still did but my childlike “re-enactment play” of my own abuse was met with contempt and disgust. It was ignored and I was just a precocious girl with a very vivid imagination. Mother laughed at me when I “played sex with my teddies”. When I started school and practiced “stick against the wall” games for all to see, I was physically dragged away by adults into the nurse’s station. In there, several adults restrained me and forced me to listen to “whale music” to relax me! What messages do you think I got from that, other than more fear of adults? I learned very early on in my life that if I just clammed up and became a robot, the threats would not be so bad. Trust me they were still “bad” and repeated but if I even looked up at my abusers they would turn to violence to stop me from talking.

My persistent stubbornness to defy the threats

“If you ever tell, you will get sick and die!

You don’t know how many times those few little words have haunted me throughout my life. That specific threat was ingrained in my mind after being repeated over and over throughout my childhood by my abuser. What happened was secret and not something I could talk about. Yet, I was a “stupid girl” and I kept talking about it over and over, each time falling on deaf ears. The truth was just too unbelievable and I had a vivid imagination. Inevitably, I clammed up, but I still kept trying to get the truth out there in my drawings and writing. Without this outlet, I think I would have gone insane. I couldn’t understand what was happening to me and I needed to process it like the air I breathed. I was resilient and adamant to keep talking and so I kept a journal where I disregarded all the threats. My words poured out of me, my feelings, and my fears. All of it is in detail. I had a second journal in school where I wrote about escaping to a better place. My journal was stolen, read, and ridiculed by my classmates and then lost. I found that difficult to handle for a long time after. How could my friends my own age be that cruel? I never got it back and someone fleetingly told me it had been trashed. What was so wrong with longing to be in a nice place rather than in my hellish reality? What was wrong with wanting freedom? I know it was a childish prank at the time but to me, that journal meant something. It was my escape and my little object of hope in a hopeless lonely world. My faith in humanity was at an all-time low. My writing continued but in secret. I hid away my feelings and learned to just exist like a robot, devoid of any feelings or beliefs. I was in this state from the age of 8 years old. By then I had witnessed more in my young life than anyone would in a normal lifetime. I had lived through two murders and consistent sexual violence in the “sex club”, none of it ever got reported and those responsible never got held accountable. Years later, I found out that the first murderer I witnessed while being raped, had been caught through DNA evidence. He went to prison for life and is now dead. My so-called father is still alive and walking free.

I moved away, cut my old life out, and started again in a safe place. I was free to be myself and do what I wished. I finally had my life and my freedom. Without financial support or help from loved ones, it took me longer to get where I wanted to be. I am however a very stubborn woman and my sheer willpower to carry on living is my revenge for everything that has happened to me. I put myself through college and I lived happily through all its ups and downs. I can now tell my story to anyone who is willing to let the truth be told. I survived the threats.

“If you ever tell, you will get sick and die!

Throughout my life, I have been told many times to write down my stories and publish a book. I don’t just write about my own story but I like fictional storytelling too. Winding forwards 27 years, I decided to write a memoir of my childhood. I decide that enough time has passed and that I am in a good safe place to tell my whole story and publish it. Since publishing my story my health has deteriorated considerably with infections, Covid, and even the Flu with their own nasty side effects. Then suddenly, I have an anaphylactic shock to my new Christmas shampoo and am admitted to the ER. I get treated with adrenaline and steroids but after a day I’m back in the ER with secondary anaphylaxis. Being sick is rough in its own way but being close to death is traumatic. I have come too far and have so much yet to achieve in my life considering I started living it at 18. I don’t feel very old even though I am classed as middle-aged. My own children wonder if I lived in the stone age with the dinosaurs. Yet, I am far too young to die. If I had not been through therapy over the years, my experiences of my sickness in the past few months would have made me believe that my abuser was right. “If you ever tell you will get sick and die”. My memoir was published last year and I always believed that it would kill me if I told my story. I am, however, a long way in my healing from my childhood trauma so I don’t feel that way anymore. I am happy about having published my story. My book is out there now and people will read it when they are ready for the truth. It is not a masterpiece. It will not sell tons of books. It is written in raw detail and some people cannot read that. All I want is for my story to be told so that abuse is exposed. I want people to understand what it feels like to be abused but also to come out of it, get a second chance in life, and create the will to start over.  There is life after abuse and those threats were never going to be my downfall.

My name is Elizabeth and I am a survivor.

My story is available on The Sex-Offender’s Daughter: A True Story of Survival Against All Odds eBook : Woods, Elizabeth: Kindle Store

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