RaPAL

Research and Practice in Adult Literacy – a friendly group

Anon

Anon, MTC Maroubra

This is a story of abuse and resilience through the eyes of a ten year old. It all started many years ago. I had just turned ten and my dad was getting out of jail. All I ever wanted was a dad. When he got out, I moved in with him, even though my mother did not want me to go. But I went anyway, and it broke her heart.

So the first few months were ok. Then the sexual, physical, and mental abuse started. I did not know who to turn to. I thought I was the only one he was touching and doing this stuff to, but little did I know he was doing it to my cousin when she stayed over. I never realised why he always told me to ask if my cousin was allowed to stay over. I thought it was so I would have someone to play with. My cousin was nine. The abuse carried on till I was fifteen, and my dad went back to jail for drug dealing. He also had me dealing heroin for him. He would make me carry it, so if the police pulled us over, there was a better chance the police would not search me. I was his slave.

Three years ago, my cousin came forward and brought charges against my dad. Then four more girls came forward. I was not one of them, as I was scared, and still am. My dad got ten years in jail. It is only now that I have started to move on, and put it all behind me. I spent ten years of my life on ice and heroin, in and out of jail, and lost my two children. I am lucky my mum took my kids. I have been out of jail now for one year and am drug free. I am on the methadone program but I am ok with that. I am getting the help I need. I go to counselling once a week. I have a support worker that I can ring at any time if I feel the need. I am also doing a computer course. I see my kids every day. I am really sorry for the life I gave my kids up till now – worrying more about where my next hit was coming from, rather than looking after them. I was self-medicating, trying to suppress the shame of what happened to me when I was a child. I am starting to trust people again. I feel like I have come so far in such a short time.

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