Neighbour Abused Me

by Emer
(Ireland)

I don't know whats wrong with me. When I was 6 or 7 years old, I was sexually abused by our neighbour, an elderly man in his 60's or 70's. However, I somehow forgot about all the abuse until maybe 5 or 6 years later, when I was cleaning out a cupboard at home and found some leaflets and letters about sex abuse addressed to my mother, with my name mentioned. Then it began to come back to me.


The man lived in a little cottage a 2 minute walk from our house. We lived out in the countryside in a quiet area. During the summer, myself and my siblings would spend days playing in the garden, and the man would walk down to our gate and stop to talk. When I was alone, he would slide his hand under my shorts and underwear and stroke me, his eyes would glaze over as he enjoyed himself. His behaviour confused me but I was not afraid or hurt, so I said nothing to anyone. He would also place my hands over his privates or rub himself off me. On a number of occasions, I developed cystitis, and it was painful when he touched me.

It all ended when my mother began to get suspicious, and one day I saw her looking out the window at the man molesting me. From then on I was not allowed to see him and I was told he was a bad man. I was also questioned intensely by both my parents about the abuse, and this upset me more than the abuse? The man tried to call to our house one day but my father confronted him outside shouting at him never to come back. I remember feeling so sorry for the old man and crying that we would not see him anymore.

I have never discussed my memories with anyone, so I can't remember everything. Was he reported? What happened to him afterwards? Is there any point me talking about it now when it happened over 15 years ago?? If anyone else has gone through a similar experience I would love to hear from them.



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Comments for Neighbour Abused Me

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Apr 24, 2015
Emer:
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with you. Nothing at all. What happened to you is very typical. Children, especially very young children, often relate strongly to their abusers. This is because abusers are experts at luring the grooming the children they abuse. They lavish them with attention that is so welcome, and sometimes also with gifts. This is done on purpose to gain the trust of the child. And what child doesn't want the attention. So for goodness sake, don't blame yourself and don't call yourself down for the way you responded as a child. It would have been very confusing to you.

Children don't tell for a variety of reasons. #1 on the list is not being believe. But there are many other reasons. And when an adult finds out and grills a child, it's the child who feels responsible. Add to that, feelings of caring and compassion for the abuser, of course you'd feel the way you felt: sorry for the old man.

As you grew older and more mature you began to pass judgment on yourself. But that is highly unfair to yourself. Understand that you were just a small child and that you had no control over the power this man yielded as a result of his luring and grooming.

Your parents certainly did what they could to protect you. And they probably didn't want you (or them) to go through all the mess of legal stuff by reporting him, so they decided to take care of him themselves. And of course, this would have left him to abuse other children. No one can blame your parents for the way they handled the situation.

What's important now is to walk your own healing path. And it starts by no longer judging yourself for the way you handled things. Then by realizing that you were a needy child, which put you at risk for abuse. ALL children are at risk just because they are young, naive, and innocent. That's what makes them vulnerable. That's why children need adults in their lives to keep them safe.

Remember, there is nothing wrong with you. Not then. Not now. I send you love, light and healing energy, Emer. Thank you for sharing your story with my visitors and me.

From Victim to Victory, a memoir
Darlene Barriere
Webmaster: www.child-abuse-effects.com
author. speaker. survivor. coach
From Victim to Victory, a memoir

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