The Big Lump of Concrete
There he was again. At the kitchen window, holding up a bag of sweets to lure me in so he could perform his need.
This had happened on several occasions before. Too scared to do anything else, I went into the house.
Afterwards, I was repeatedly told not to tell anyone, least of all my parents. Being the seven-year-old child I was, and not wanting to get him into trouble, I kept the silence.
I kept that silence for years. The first my parents knew about it was when a friend broke my trust and told them, just a couple of weeks after I’d confided in her.
I never wanted my parents to know because of all the guilt it would cause them. I never felt it was their fault and I never blamed them; after all, they left me in the care of someone they felt they could trust.
The whole family lived just down the road, they knew us well and they had worked with my parents.
Years went by and, after a failed marriage and with my son in tow, I wanted to move on and find me, but I felt stuck in this block of concrete.
The secret had surrounded and kept me trapped. It stopped me from moving forwards. It had stopped me showing emotion, being able to freely love or even hug people.
My friendship group was kept very small. My self-esteem and self-confidence was at an all time low. I wanted to move on and break through this big lump of concrete.
I used to look back on my past and have vivid visions of those moments. I started to reassure myself - and my younger self - that it was safe now, that my adult self was in control.
In time, I began to grow into a stronger person. If I noticed myself having a negative thought, I began to simply say the word “stop”.
As time wore on, I began to replace ‘stop’ with more positive compliments about myself.
This was difficult to do; it took a long time for me to feel more comfortable with me. The concrete block was beginning to get smaller.
Later, I found the courage to talk about my experience in a safe, held space, with people I could trust.
This was my biggest turning point.
I had an honest conversation with my parents about how it had affected me. I had never admitted, to them, how much that childhood abuse had impacted my life.
Those were, by far, the hardest two steps I took.
That concrete block was now very thin.
From time to time, I still have those visions of him standing at the kitchen window, but they are far less vivid and powerful.
When they come, I reassure my seven-year-old self that I’m ok and safe.
I used to feel I was a victim, but now I choose to find the positive outcomes; I look for the ways in which I’ve been able to grow from those experiences. For instance, if it hadn't happened, I wouldn't be doing some of the things I am doing now.
Yes, I still have a way to go, but at least the block of concrete has almost diminished.
Are there things that have held you back, that you have been able to work through and move forward from? What has worked for you?
Until next time.