40. I Would Drink to That.

I have spent the last few days worrying about my brothers, my children, my wife J. The reason is the blog, not only is it an idea, it is up and running. When I first cast my eyes on the page I was excited, nervous, scared (that word again). I spoke to the Sunday Mercury and gave them the details of the blog and the background to the story.  The reporter was very interested in doing a piece. Over the few days I phoned the Mercury and spoke at length about the blog, my abuse, (I must stop saying that word), the after effects, the cause that we are fighting. I also contacted The Coventry Telegraph and they kindly did a story.

But before I continue, I have to mention J.  Over the past few months J has sometimes looked at me, showing disapproval at what I am trying to accomplish and the means to its end, i.e. the blog. We have known each other for 31 or 32 years, and in that time I did tell her that I was abused by a trainee priest.  I did not go into any details, those remained locked inside my head, never ever to see the light of day. That was my intention, but events outside of my control, my history catching up with me; put an end to that plan.

As I have the blog fully written and the deadline for publication looming, I decided to give the full story to J.  I had made a copy to give to her, but I felt time was ticking away, so I plucked up courage, and gave J the folder with the story in. J took it to her work.  So whilst one of her clients was asleep, having an afternoon nap, she could read it. After 32 years, what would she make of my story? I still cannot sit and explain what happened, but I have it all written down. I think I was 11 again, for the afternoon, I switched off.

Finally J arrived home. I opened the gate as the ducks were out.  She opened the car door and I think she said “hello stranger”. I was just waiting for a row to start, I did not want one, but the air was just like it is prior to a thunderstorm. Not a lot was said, I did not want to get into a fight, or have a row, and yes I was scared. As I had sent the Mercury the story, they wanted a photo.  So I had to ask J to take one.  She took about 6 photos, and we had quite a laugh about it. I sent them off, and awaited the weekend paper.

Sunday morning came. I went on the Internet, found the web page and looked at the story.  Finally it was out. Today, it is official, the monkey is dead, he is off my back, and no arguments, great.

A few days later, still nothing said, I spoke to J.  I asked her to write down exactly how she sees me, and how she feels, now that my past is out. The following are quotes from J’s notes:

“You were very open in telling me about Robinson in the early stages of our relationship, but we both knew he was always on the back burner.  I never once asked you what happened, I hoped one day you would open up and tell me.  I didn’t want the sordid details, just for you to let me in.  It never did happen. I found out a few days ago when you asked me to read your blog. I cried.  I cried for you and all the other victims. I cried because you were a small, innocent boy with no one to turn to for help. I’m crying now as I put pen to paper. You never could turn to me for comfort or support, tell me how you felt, you just got angry. Geoff that makes me feel so inadequate.

I have tried, believe me, to put myself in your shoes, but I can’t.  No one can, unless they have suffered like you and all the others. During this journey you have been on over the last couple of years you have met some very kind understanding people, people who have helped you come to terms with what happened to you.

I love our home.  I used to get a warm feeling every time I came through the gates.  But over the last two years on dark and wet nights coming home from work, seeing an open fire in the lounge, I just wanted to keep driving, anywhere, but home.  I love you Geoff, I always have, and I always will, but some days I don’t like you.

Remember once Princess Diana said there were three in her marriage, that’s how the last two years have sometimes felt for me.  Robinson never seemed far away, around the next corner, waiting to start another argument.”

Finally, the truth is out.  I can’t take it back, more importantly, I don’t want to.  The blog has been going out now for several months.  I keep looking for any news, any contacts.  Yes I have to be patient, not one of my greatest gifts, ask J. I constantly try and put myself in the position of being a victim and having come across this blog, would I get in contact?  I think I would, but, I have to say that, it’s not easy; I only hope some good will come of my efforts to help others.

Do you realise what I just wrote?  “I constantly put myself in the position of a victim”.  I think this says a great deal.  It appears I don’t consider myself one any more.

If I did drink, I would drink to that.


One response to “40. I Would Drink to That.

  • cassieharte

    Thank you for this blog, I ha e just stumbled across it and admire firstly, your honesty and secondly, your courage. I never told anyone about my abuse, had failed relationships, some because of my past. I met and married Daniel, my 3rd husband,l without telling him and thought I was okay. After beginning a counselling course I realised that I had to deal with the ‘elephant in the room’ so to speak, to be able to be there for my clients. After gaining a Masters in Counselling and having my own practice,I wrote my autobiography, warts n all as they say. I then met up with someone from my past, a young man whom I had loved, a forbidden love and that evening it all came out. My husband was wonderful, he always knew there was something and now I can talk about having been abused but never any detail. I do understand how J must feel, but she loves you and you will both get through this. After reading this, I feel like, me, you are no longer a victim but a survivor. What we all need to understand is that it takes very little for the damaged child to be present. If we can learn to take care of that child, the adult in us has won the fight. Every good wish for your future.

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