As part of #CSASurvivors I offered to blog survivors stories. #CSASurvivors have twitterstorms to raise awareness. This is the second #CSASurvivorsStory, #CSASurvivorsStory2.
This story is from Caroline and her twitter is @NOROOMToGroom. I am constantly amazed by the bravery and fortitude of survivors, having gone through so much, and Caroline is a good example of this.
I am Caroline, aged 37, I live with my wife and 3 children. I have a dual diagnosis of depression & Psycho-sexual dysfunction disorder.
In August 2001, I started having driving lessons and was introduced to Mitch, now 63. He was the mechanic of the driving instructor. I began using Mitch’s services and soon became what I thought was close friends with Mitch. He noticed cuts on my wrists due to self harming, so we talked about that, which led us to talk about my mental health.
He displayed a very warm and friendly nature and in October 2002, he sent me a text message saying ‘If you ever need a shoulder to cry on, I’m here’. Again, he appeared very friendly. I replied back saying ‘thank you’
Unknown to me then that this is when the grooming started..
I trusted Mitch, but soon he would text me throughout the week, telling me his fantasies, and things he wanted to do to me! He made it clear to me not to text or call him after 5:30pm Monday – Friday, and never at the weekend!
Mitch would mend my car troubles and wouldn’t give me a bill for the cost. When he did charge me, he wouldn’t add in the VAT. This upset many of his customers.
I would receive text messages from Mitch telling me he had a present for me. Most of the .time, it would be something inappropriate.
I felt like a prostitute because I’d give him money occasionally for the car repairs, and he would expect other things. I felt it was something I had to do, because of my diagnosis
Mitch took advantage of it..
I felt like I was living in Mitch’s vile fantasy.
I was petrified by what was happening, what would happen next. I felt that no one would believe me anyway, so I never spoke out. It was obvious people thought Mitch was a respected man. Several people knew of our ”relationship, Mitch had told people.
I was scared of what could happen next whenever I was with Mitch so I just prepared myself as I felt it was want Mitch wanted!
It took a huge toll on my mental health, and eventually, I began going to the woods alone, hoping that someone would kill me!
I was often in pain, both physically and emotionally, it felt like my insides was being torn. I felt bruised, I hated myself already, but even more so after this!
Mitch continued to give me gifts and was as friendly as ever! He fixed my car even though I didn’t ask him too, all I asked was for him to look at the problem and then quote the work.
I respected Mitch so much, and often said how he is a kind man. Little did I know that when he did such kind things, he had other ideas.
The more vile his actions became..
I felt betrayed, I trusted him.
This disgusting behaviour lasted for 13 years – it makes me feel physically sick knowing what I had to do for Mitch. I felt used, I felt like a prostitute, I felt so betrayed and stupid, but most of all, I hate knowing the fact that I was taken advantage of, just because I have mental health issues!
Finally, in October 2016, I felt able to speak out about what was happening, and managed to shut Mitch out of my life. I’m still taking medication for depression and suicidal thoughts etc but now I’m trying to move on.
[Mitch is a pseudonym]
Please note that victims of abuse may be triggered by reading this information. These links are generally UK based.
- The Sanctuary for the Abused [A] has advice on how to prevent triggers.
- National Association for People Abused in Childhood [B] has a freephone helpline and has links to local support groups.
- One in Four [C]
- Havoca [D].
- Useful post on Triggers [E] from SurvivorsJustice [F] blog.
- Jim Hoppers pages on Mindfulness [G] and Meditation [H] may be useful.
- Hwaairfan blog An Indigenous Australian Approach to Healing Trauma [J]
- Survivors UK for victims and survivors of male rape or the sexual abuse of men [K]
- Voicing CSA group [L] helps arrange survivors meetings in your area
- A Prescription for me blog Various emotional support links [M]
- ShatterBoys -“Male Survivors Of Childhood Sexual Abuse Inspiring change, Through Shared Experience Whilst Building Connections…Together We Can Heal” [N]
[A] Sanctuary for the Abused http://abusesanctuary.blogspot.co.uk/2006/07/for-survivors-coping-with-triggers-if.html