Sorry this is so long...wits end...totally out of ideas :(

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ijustdontknow
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed May 10, 2017 11:39 am

Sorry this is so long...wits end...totally out of ideas :(

Postby ijustdontknow » Wed May 10, 2017 12:09 pm

Hi,

I’m a 41 year old “typical bloke”... married, 2 kids, good job, nice house and car etc. I love my family, like watching the football (soccer for any Americans!), music, partying with my mates, playing computer games… as I say, typical bloke. Definitley not "grown up" as much as I probably should have by my age...so I guess "living the dream", on the face of it.

I have a problem though that periodically has a huge impact on my life and of course then my family… I get to the point where I can’t function normally and twice now have ended up with physical symptoms that take months to clear (eczema in particularly uncomfortable areas). When I’m having one of these ‘episodes’, some days at the start I feel kinda normal but super-anxious, next I feel low but can put a brave face on and try to plough on through, but sometimes I just end up curling up and wanting to die… or at least for it all to just go away. I don’t sleep much generally but during these episodes usually no more than 3 hours in every 24, as I just can’t stop thinking about it.

I’ll start at the beginning… sorry, this is going to be a long story!

My early memories are cool – happy mum and dad, big brother who was a bit of a bully but also stuck up for me – same for most little brothers that have big brothers. My dad was in the army so we lived in army-assigned accommodation – but I remember it being nice, well, at least clean. Times were different back then though, and my dad, typical army, had low tolerance levels for kids mucking about and used to hit us occasionally… but, this was ‘kinda normal’ discipline back then, so no big deal. Only once did he go overboard but I’ve since discussed it with him, as an adult, and I’m over it. I’m including this just for completeness’ sake - I was, let's say, 'familiar' with being spanked from a very young age.

Because my dad was posted somewhere with the army new every couple of years, which meant my bro and me had to change schools, which meant starting new classes, making new friends etc, my parents decided to send us to boarding school, so that at least our education would be ‘consistent’. I was 7 at the time, my bro was 10.

The first couple of years at the first boarding school were pretty good – I still clearly remember being driven up the long winding drive to be dropped off for the very first time – it looked like a fairy-tale castle, I was so excited. It had massive really pretty well-kept grounds, good facilities, loads of sports stuff. I was home-sick to start with, when my parents dropped my off that first time I remember feeling so unwanted and alone despite being surrounded by more people than ever, but, I settled after a couple of months and there was always something to do. I had a friendly form teacher, made some friends and, well, as I said, the first couple of years there were pretty good.

It became apparent though that my dad had kinda stopped being around when we returned home for school holidays – my mum would always say he was on a mission, or ‘on exercise’. But we came home one time to a new house (he’d been posted somewhere new when we were at school), and my mum told us that she and our dad had separated. She explained that it was because they weren’t getting on any more, that it wasn’t our fault, and it was for the best and so on, but I always blamed myself – if I hadn’t been away at school I would have been there to sort it out. Obviously a naive opinion to have... and I’m older and wiser now for sure!

I’m not exactly sure about the timing, but soon after that, a term maybe two, I started to be sexually abused by a teacher at the school. I wasn’t the only one being abused, and I realise now what a clever f*cker he was, targeting the most vulnerable. There was a general culture at the school of psychological ‘manipulation’ of the kids by the teachers (pretty sure it’d be classed as abuse these days), and teachers back then were also allowed to hit us (spank/smack/whatever you call it... canes had been banned by this time so they weren't allowed) – usually on our bums and/or legs, with their hand, or a rubber gym-shoe, or a slipper (hard-soled though!), but occasionally just whatever was closest that they could pick up and use… so, physical and psychological abuse were commonplace, but sexual abuse was thankfully limited to this one teacher, as far as I know. His difference was that he did it after making us pull our shorts and pants down, or pyjamas, or whatever it was we were wearing.

The first time something untoward happened to me was in a one-on-one lesson; he was teaching me some breathing techniques and pressed his hand against first my back, then my tummy, then my privates, to get me into a certain posture… “take a deep breath, chest out, tummy in”, as he pressed gently against me… he let his hand linger there for an uncomfortably long time before I freaked out an ran out of his classroom. The next time it was during another one-on-one lesson, same classroom, this time I’d done so well for once, he said something like “I bet you could do that standing on your head”… I was good at gymnastics and agreed to try, so he put a cushion on the floor and I started to do a headstand. He held my legs at first, then when I started to over-balance he moved his hand to my privates. He made it seem like he was helping me stay where I was, but it felt wrong again, and I bolted.

One of the other teachers was walking by at one of these times, he was elderly and walked using a walking stick, which he used it to stop the teacher from passing him as I ran past, like a barrier… I just kept running and I didn’t hear what was said between them, but I think the other teacher knew something was amiss.

The teacher (abuser) was always very strict, but he started to ‘soften’ to me after my parents had separated. He would still spank me same as before, but afterwards he’d adopt a ‘caring’ attitude, telling me it was for my own good. He’d make me bend over his knee wherever he was sitting, usually on a stool if it was during the day, or on his bed, usually just wearing his dressing gown, if it was first thing in the morning. He’d put one hand under me as I bent over his knee, so it was against my privates, then spank me with his other hand. Sometimes once, twice... 5 times, 10 times… sometimes it seemed to go on forever. I just couldn’t move, all the while being tickled and spanked, and though I think I wasn’t the only one, it was something that just wasn’t spoken about.

There was frequent ‘banter’ between all of us about him being a pervert – “he’ll be down to watch us have showers soon” and “don’t get caught alone with him” and that sort of thing, but none of us ever said anything about what he did. Of course with hindsight I should have done something – anything – he probably couldn’t have done anything to me if I had, but he was scary and I wasn’t brave enough back then. I remember one term, whenever he caught us messing about after lights out, he’d make us go into a separate room right by our dorm, individually, and offer us the choice of: 1 smack with the hand on your bare bum, or 2 with the slipper/gym-shoe through pyjamas. Sometimes the choice was 2 or 4, 3 or 6… but we always chose the smallest number – always with his hand on our bare bums.

I was lucky though, I think, as one of his punishments was to get up earlier than everyone else and go and stand outside his bedroom door. He’d make me wait, then when he opened it sometimes he’d make me go in, pull my pyjamas down, bend over his knee and and get a spanking, and tickle. Other times he’d just tell me to go away and get ready for breakfast. He had a couple of rooms at the school where he lived during term time, perhaps all the time I don’t know, but one was his bedroom and the other right beside it was his living room. This one morning I’d knocked on his door to let him know I was there, and as usual was waiting for him to open it. I was a little ill at the time with a tummy bug; I was so desperate for the toilet but was so scared to leave; I was praying for him to just open the door (and to not smack me that day!)… but, I couldn’t hold some in… yep, some slipped out and a small lump slid down my leg inside my pyjamas and landed right outside his door. The panic I felt was so intense I remember it to this day – I immediately ran off and hid in a toilet, for hours, before finally going to the sick-bay.

I started that last bit with saying I thought I was lucky – and this because he never touched me again after that, except maybe once or twice to smack me, like normal, and in front of the other boys like he would all of us sometimes when he caught us messing around, running in corridors and so on. In fact now I’ve learned to chuckle to myself that at least I took a sh1t outside his bedroom door… and I’ve always hoped he thought I did it on purpose.

The teacher’s sexual abuse came to light shortly after that, at the end of my bro’s time at that first school, when I was 11. Some books were found in a cardboard box, in the school loft where all the boys suitcases and trunks were stored during term time; they were being brought down so we could all pack up for holiday, so it must have been right before the end of term. Some of the books had his name on – as in, he’d signed them inside their front covers; others contained pornographic material about children.

They were all handed in to the headmaster and that evening, or maybe next, I remember being lined up with my whole class outside his office, and one-by-one we went in to be asked some questions. I told them some of what had happened to me, that the teacher had touched me ‘down there’, and that I didn’t think it was right for him to do that; I was thanked and told to send the next boy in. I did and the next boy in line went it, like it was no big deal. Nothing was made of it – it was just calm, “OK thanks, now off you go back to your dorm, send the next one in...” or something similar.

I remember being so relieved when my mum got a letter from the school during that holiday saying that the teacher had moved on, and right enough, the next term we had a new teacher for that subject. Nothing else was said about the abuse from then on (until much later in life) and I carried on as if everything was normal. I even did well in my last 2 years at the first school, and though my mum couldn’t afford the school fees any more (dad pleading poverty so no child support), I was sporty and fairly bright, and OK musically, so finished that school getting an all-round scholarship enabling me to follow my bro to the next boarding school.

My parents divorce date came through during this period, and it turned out it was on my 13th birthday. I was distraught about this at the time, that they wouldn’t even ask the court to change the date…I attempted suicide on that day, as I was so low thinking the world was so against me, but I obviously didn’t try hard - it was definitely only a cry for help. But I was clearly mentally fragile and showing signs of major stress, getting alopecia for the first time soon after (stress-related illness where your hair falls out in clumps/patches).

We had literally no money at home at this time, but while we were at school my bro and me were mixing with some of the richest and poshest people in the country...I think it’s about 2% of people went to private schools back then – and it was the richest and poshest 2%! We pretended we were like them (something I’m ashamed of today by the way) because we didn’t want to be different, or picked on… for instance I didn’t tell anyone in the 10 years I was at either school where I lived, because they all lived in mansions and our house was always tiny by comparison.

By the time I’d left that first school, my mum had moved into a council flat on a rough estate near to where her parents lived, where she’d grown up. So, mixing with the rich and posh during term-time, but during school holidays my bro and me had to share a tiny room together in a flat in a rough council estate – he was 15/16, I was 13/14… just imagine the testosterone floating around in that smelly room! It was a tough time for us, every holiday, until my bro moved out when he was 18.

Still, I got some counselling soon after starting the second school, though it was arranged to help me deal with my parents’ divorce, I never mentioned the abuse at the previous school – it was years before by then and I didn’t think it was important. And to be honest I was ashamed and didn’t want to share it, though I was always asked if there was anything else I wanted to talk about. I think now that maybe my second school knew about it, and that’s why they arranged the counselling for me. Anyway, I learned some coping strategies and got on with things as best I could, but it quickly became apparent that I had issues!

By this time I’d become angry about what had happened to me and ‘reconciled’ with myself that one day I’d get him back - I’d f*ck him up, and kill him. There was frequent banter amongst the boys at the second school too, about general boarding school culture… basically the sexual abuse of children by adults. I think it was all this that made me become so angry – the joking about it, combined with raging teenage hormones.

I was needy though too at this time and flirted with religion, because the school’s chaplain seemed a kind and understanding man and reached out to me. I soon began to feel that I was being manipulated by him though, and basically stopped trusting all authority figures. I developed a bit of a rebellious streak and after being suspended a few times, got expelled when I was 17 (drinking and smoking hash… like weed for anyone that doesn’t know).

Shortly after that I moved to stay with friends in a big city, and the next few years I was pretty much partying all the time – I was (and still am btw!) a good laugh on a night out (I think!), and fairly good to have around most of the time. Turns out I can party longer and harder than most people I know though – I don’t have an off-switch, so will go till I drop. So I was very self-destructive… booze, drugs, [unprotected] sex – I just didn’t care back then. I felt my life was ruined already so I may as well go out in a blaze of glory!!! My granddad died around this time too, leaving my mum the sole carer for my grandma, and then alone herself when her mum also passed a few years after him. I loved them both dearly as they’d looked after me during school holidays a few times when my mum had been having a hard time. I was particularly close to my granddad so that hit hardest of all.

Anyway, fast forward a few years… after one failed long-term relationship I met my “now-wife”, moved to a different big city and settled down (...a bit, though not according to my wife!); I got promoted at work and started to have a great new life, and I’d kinda got over the need for revenge. I thought I’d moved on, got over it.

OK so the next few things are over the next few years – it’s kinda blurry for me because of newborn kids, and general lifestyle… the internet got massive, then a few years later Jimmy Saville’s historic-child-sexual-abuse news story broke in the UK; then after Saville, a host of other celebs got “outed”, Rolf Harris, Richard Hall and the like.

Some didn’t go to trial, but others did, and the abusers were found guilty and sent to prison for a few years. For me, watching the sentences handed out to these people has just not been enough. Despite settling down and having a nice family life now, and despite being well educated, I consider myself to have come from a rough area, and well, there’s a code for this sort of thing where I come from. For sure a few years in some soft prison is not adequate punishment for child abuse.

This brought back my own need for revenge, to the extent that I’d lie awake at night thinking how I could kill him without being caught. Nobody else knew what I was thinking, but it started having a big impact, close to all-consuming, and I started to become much more self-destructive than usual (even for me), until I had a break-down.

I eventually told my wife and we tried to settle on a plan. For her it’s so simple... I need to report it all to the police and have counselling. For me, reporting to the police isn’t a viable option because even the maximum punishment isn’t enough. We were at a stale-mate, and life went on. I couldn’t do either, though I feel like a coward for not just doing what I want to do… after all, even if I got caught and went to prison, I think in time my kids would come to understand. I know for sure my mates would. But I do get that it’d be selfish, so I don’t… instead try to just put it all to the back of my mind.

But again, last year, shortly after another story about historic-child-sexual-abuse broke, this time about coaches of soccer academies, I had another break-down; clearly these stories are triggers for me, and I’m not going to be able to stop them, so I finally conceded to my wife and reported it to the police, on the basis that I wasn’t going to kill him any more. I called them one evening while out walking, and after that call did feel a massive sense of relief. Like I really had chosen an option, and in fact in doing so, had now actually blocked off my preferred option… if I did it now, they’d know for sure it was me because I’ve just reported him to them!

As soon as I got home after the call, I told my wife and then lifted the “media blackout” I’d placed on myself about googling him. I had googled him before, last time I think about 7 years ago, but I became paranoid that the police would be able to trace me through google searches, which they’d obviously check out when they found his mutilated body.

So I googled him… and discovered that he has already been imprisoned for the creation, distribution and possession of over 20000 pornographic images of children. He’s elderly now, and has been released having been “rehabilitated”; he’ll be on the sex-offender register for life and is banned from working with children. I didn’t know what to do when I found this out, it was totally unexpected. Was it good news? Was it bad? I just couldn’t get my head round it. I settled on good, I guess, because it corroborates what I’d reported.

A few days later, a policeman came round, took an initial statement and talked me through the process involved. Obviously as it happened so long ago there’ll be no physical evidence, so basically it’ll boil down to my word against his. They would however collect as much evidence as possible (i.e. through statements) and pass that to the CPS for them to decide whether it was in the public interest to press charges.

It may be that they decide it is, and take it to court, and if so I would be required to give evidence either in person or over video-link. He may then be found guilty and if so, will get the sentence handed out by the court [insufficient]. I told him I’d googled the teacher and what I’d found out, and it turned out that because the allegations took place before his existing prosecution for child-porn offences, and he has since been “rehabilitated”, they (CPS) may decide it isn’t in the public interests to proceed with this case regardless of the evidence that the police can collect. I think his exact words were “All we can do is collect as much evidence as we can and pass it to them”.

So I decided not to proceed as it’s just not worth it for me, with the potential impact on me, my family, and my career. As well as the best-case-scenario just not being good enough, I’m also a little concerned that I’m not exactly a decent witness given my history of alcohol and recreational drug (ab)use (...another story – but it’s not exactly something I want my work to find out about!)

Now it seems that even simple “injustice” itself triggers these dark episodes. So even stuff at work where I perceive “injustice”, when mixed with exhaustion, soon I start spiralling down until I can’t function, within days unable to think straight, about anything other than all this, and taking the action I want.

I know I can’t though, so it just goes round and round and round…… this leads to self-doubt, for being such a coward… to helplessness, hopelessness, utter despair. I’ve drank booze and taken drugs since I left school (no smack or crack but pretty much everything else… anything to escape), and increasingly so during dark times. These vices are the only things that help me get any sleep whatsoever, but I kinda know they’re also killing me.

So, to sum up, I’ve got anxiety, rejection, self-blame and trust issues caused by being sent away and sexually abused at an early age, chuck in my parents splitting up and having to spend my early life lying, pretty much daily, before getting expelled and then getting into the wrong kind of lifestyle. This makes it really hard for me to trust people… but I don’t just not trust people, I’m suspicious of pretty much everyone. I find having my family around helps me, but I think I’m messing them up as I don’t exactly set a good example of how to handle life’s issues, especially when I’m down… while I’m successful at work and my family is amazing, I can’t get past the thought that my life has been an epic fail – that the world is against me, and it’s just gonna keep kicking me even when I’m down.

So, here I am, canvassing for opinion… what would you do if you were me? I’m at a complete loss... I can’t carry on without being periodically struck by these episodes, I can’t take the action I want to take on account of the potential consequences (prison), and maybe cowardice, and I can’t go to the police as it’s a waste of time and effort, and also has potentially disastrous consequences for my career.

Thanks for reading...any suggestions will be considered.

Helloraspberries1
Posts: 260
Joined: Wed May 25, 2016 2:11 pm

Re: Sorry this is so long...wits end...totally out of ideas :(

Postby Helloraspberries1 » Wed May 10, 2017 4:40 pm

Hi there, just read your story and couldn't believe what happened to you.

I'm sorry you went through that. No one should go through that. Its very distressing and bad to hear what you went through and my sympathies go to you.

I can see this has really had a big impact on you. What you went through is horrible. As you said its been like this all this time. You had no one really to talk to or anything.

How you coping now? You said your life is very different? You mentioned taking drugs and drinking alcohol. Are you still? If so are you getting help? What's happened?

I'm glad to hear your wife is supportive and kids. Please don't blame yourself what's happened I'm glad you did what you did at the time. As you said you left things to it now and moving on with your life so I think that's best. Please keel carrying on with the support your getting.

Look forward to hearing from you soon

ijustdontknow
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed May 10, 2017 11:39 am

Re: Sorry this is so long...wits end...totally out of ideas :(

Postby ijustdontknow » Wed May 10, 2017 7:20 pm

Hi Helloraspberries1, thanks, I appreciate the support, and sentiment of what you're saying.

I think what you're saying is "just carry on" ? Yeah I still drink, and take -and make sure you get this bit- 'recreational drugs' (no smack/crack or anything like that!), and I smoke weed, but, if I need help for these things right now then I've got my priorities all wrong!

I guess the thing for me is that I'm normally considered to be a smart guy, but when this happens I literally can't think rationally at all.... the only lucid thought I have is that I'm going insane... my thoughts are so erratic, the only way I can explain it to myself at the time is that I'm on drugs, and I've just forgotten what I've taken... cos it's either that or I'm going insane!

Anyways, thanks for reading and replying... I'm hoping the more views and opinions I get the more decisive I'll be.

Helloraspberries1
Posts: 260
Joined: Wed May 25, 2016 2:11 pm

Re: Sorry this is so long...wits end...totally out of ideas :(

Postby Helloraspberries1 » Wed May 10, 2017 7:47 pm

Why do you say you got your priorities all wrong getting help? Do you want help for that? Would that help?

Yeah I think as you said before about trying to move forward to support your family is the best thing right now you can do. Why I say that is cuz of going back to how long ago it was and whether there still is a case and to not get your hopes up I think trying to concentrate on the good times now is maybe what you need. I don't know if you agree?

It is difficult one to think about. There are many people still trying to get justice from what happened to them and I don't blame them. It all depends whether or not the police can still do anything and from what you said about they just need proof is maybe letting yourself get your hopes up which isn't fair.

Have you thought about one on one counselling? What about support groups for those who been in the same position as you? I'm not sure if that's helpful to you or not but it's an idea to think about.

Also I might suggest aswell to see a doctor. I don't know if your on medication or not but maybe having these thoughts can prevent you from having them in future if you get prescribed something to help you relax and think more clearly.

Please keep getting in touch. I hope things get better for you.

Hugs

Helloraspberries

ijustdontknow
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed May 10, 2017 11:39 am

Re: Sorry this is so long...wits end...totally out of ideas :(

Postby ijustdontknow » Thu May 11, 2017 6:49 am

Helloraspberries thanks again... it's good to have an independent view-point (not my own or my wife's).

I think when I said the 'priorities all wrong' thing, it's to do with me thinking that it's so unfair in the first place, and I actually enjoy the things I do now, and they don't interfere with my day-to-day life (much...I'll admit sometimes gets out of control when I'm dark) ... so I think, why should I try to stop the only remaining things I have that I enjoy? OK sure I have my family, and I love them dearly...but like everyone's family, mine can be a pain in the arse at times! So the only thing I have for me, myself, is these vices. I just don't want them taken away because of this whole thing. Not sure if that makes sense but it's how I feel about it - I've been 'robbed' enough by all this, so I'm holding on tight to what I got left!

I do agree that I need to focus on what's important, my family, the future... that is unfortunately the problem... I can't! There seems to be more triggers for me all the time, and it's

I'm 'OK' now by the way, it definitely helps to 'spill your guts' and be listened to... for me though it's only been possible anonymously so far. I've told a handful of people an outline of what happened to me, nowhere near the level of detail I wrote down for this, and it hasn't been good for me - it makes me feel so uncomfortable at the time, and then they never look at me the same way again.

I mean, this is very topical at the moment here with 'mental health awareness week' going on, and people at my work know I've had to take time off in the past because of mental health issues, but that I don't talk about it despite being someone who probably should, given I'm fairly senior in the organisation, so should set an example. I got signed off for "stress, anxiety, exhaustion, depression" a few years back, after my first breakdown because of this, but was able to attribute it to "work stress" at the time.

Thing is I don't feel I can tell anyone about my issues because I'd have to explain more, give a reason, that I'm 'murderous'... going insane with thoughts to kill. As well as then having to explain why, having to say what happened to me when I was a kid which I just don't want people to know about. People talking about depression because of terminal illness, or bereavement, or life just being too much...well that's all cool...but it's not when it's because you want to kill someone. To be totally honest I'm not even sure if I'm depressed or just going mad.

I was put on medication when this happened the first time but it didn't work out...months went by and the only difference it was making was to performance at work, and not in a good way... perhaps I should try again, something different, but I'm reluctant to.

I've also tried CBT, mindfulness, meditation.. and I've thought about face-to-face counselling, and support groups, but it's the whole trust thing for me, and I get really anxious in groups of strangers - I'm off-the-scale introvert amongst everything else. I have tried counselling over the phone, as impersonal as possible, but I still couldn't hold myself together. You're probably getting that I'm reluctant to let my guard down with anyone - and that is basically the essence of it... but I do know that I need to. It's what my wife wants too so that looks like it's going to be the way forward.

Thanks for taking the time to understand.

Helloraspberries1
Posts: 260
Joined: Wed May 25, 2016 2:11 pm

Re: Sorry this is so long...wits end...totally out of ideas :(

Postby Helloraspberries1 » Fri May 12, 2017 2:55 am

Hi, I'm sorry to hear that. I replied back to your message earlier.

Yeah I can see you have tried everything. Is there anyway you can access other support or look into a mental health organisation who can support you long term? Sounds like you need one on one support but more of a long term thing where you got access to a support system to give you the direction to your recovery. Do they have anything like that where you live?

In time I hope therapy can help. Maybe your not in the right frame mind to speak to someone and that's ok. You just time. Maybe you should think about the mindfulness if it's helped you :)

I can understand you have gone through alot but its going up and onwards now and you want to be there for your family which is a really positive thing. What does your wife think of this? Is she supportive?

I hope things get better and please keep reaching out on here also.


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