Neighbour Abused Me

by Emer

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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