I didn’t remember being abused until I was 29. At that time CSA was still incredibly taboo - I’d only ever heard 3 people talk about their experiences and it still felt like a big dirty secret. Even though abuse is never a child’s fault, we internalise the stigma, shame and guilt and go through life thinking there must be something wrong with us. A belief that is compounded by the mental health system that pathologises our distress and labels us as disordered.
The narratives around the experience are unhelpful - that it was a long time ago, that we should move on and get over it - all survivors know that we live with the impacts of abuse everyday. The icing on the cake is that most of us have no recourse to justice - there is no evidence to take anyone to court and even when there is, convictions are very rare.
I spent a lot of time in therapy (I still do) unpicking what happened to me and how that has affected me, working out that none of it was my fault, forgiving myself for all the chaos I created as a young adult and recognising that all the things I thought were wrong with me, were just very normal responses to trauma.
welcome to my blog
I'll be posting my personal reflections on creating work as an artist and survivor of childood sexual abuse, my work with the wider sector and interesting developments in arts and mental health.