If you’re wondering what ‘Your Story’ is all about you can read more here.  Today’s post is anonymous and is here to give a voice to someone who has nowhere else to tell her story.  Please feel free to leave your comments, she will be reading and will respond to as many as possible.  If you feel affected by what you read, possibly because you have experienced something similar, please check out the links I’ve included at the bottom of the post, they are to well known and respected support groups.  Thanks for reading.

Oh, thank you! Yes, I’m six today, I’m a very big girl now. How old are you? Huh? Why is it rude to ask? Are you really old then? Oh, ok, I won’t ask again.

No, no party. We are going to visit my cousins. We go there lots. My cousins are boys and they are very bold sometimes but I like them most of the time. Me and my littler sister, we have fun there. We used to make my Mum cross because we would fight about the beds, but we don’t do that anymore. I let her sleep in the bed by the window all the time now.

Well, uummmm, you see I didn’t know.

Ok, I woke up one night and I thought I was at home because I heard the puppy crying. Then I turned around and it wasn’t the puppy it was my sister. I didn’t know, I really didn’t know he did it to her too. I didn’t like the sound she was making and I was really scared. So now I sleep in the bed by the door, then he won’t get to her. He only goes to the bed by the door.

I feel bad and sad, sad and bad. Hey, that rhymes! I only feel like that while it happens and after. I kind of forget then when I get home, until the next time we visit. Then my tummy starts to feel funny and I get scared again.

Don’t be silly. If I tell then Mum and Aunt will fight and they will both cry lots and lots. Then I’ll never see my cousins ever, ever, EVER again. I don’t want that to happen. I don’t want my Mum to be that cross and sad.

Yes, we are leaving in a little while, it takes a long time to get to their house. I hate being in the car long, it’s boring.

Ok, see ya.

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There are many groups and associations who provide support to victims of abuse.  The two charities listed below are well respected and, vitally, they also provide advice and support to the partners of victims.  If you have suffered abuse and are considering speaking out about it for the first time, know that there is support out there for you and it is never too late to take that step.

National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC)

Supportline


I am six
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46 thoughts on “I am six

  • April 28, 2010 at 7:14 am
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    Wow. Just wow. This gave me goosebumps. I feel so sad, it’s so hard reading this in a childs voice. Going to away and cry a little bit now.

  • April 28, 2010 at 7:17 am
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    Oh my lord, I hope whoever this it got help, no child should ever have to suffer this. It makes me feel sick, mad and very very angry. As a mum how could she not know?

  • April 28, 2010 at 7:19 am
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    This is a powerful piece of writing & I doubt anyone reading it will not be there with you. I have afriend who is 59 & is still coming to terms with what happened to her. I do hope you have been able to get the support you need so that it hasn’t blighted your life as it has hers. Thank you for sharing. There will be many out there who will be grateful for your bravery.

  • April 28, 2010 at 8:02 am
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    This is awful. Some years ago, I found out that a similar thing happened to my sister. It was when she had a sleepover at her friend’s house. She only told my parents when her then husband encouraged her to. He blamed them basically for “dumping” her off with someone else, but they weren’t to know (and it’s not as if they would have been child free if they had) and it explained a lot about his attitude towards them. I think they felt particularly guilty about it, esp as my dad was actually her stepdad but brought her up as his own.

    I have chosen to stay anonymous to protect her privacy. Bizarrely, I know about this and I am sure she knows that I know but we have never directly spoken about it. I am fairly sure that it has affected the way her life turned out and for that, I am very angry that the man that did it to her got off scot free and probably did it to some other poor little girls.

  • April 28, 2010 at 9:02 am
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    This post made me cry. I felt so, so sad for this little 6 year old, an experience no child should ever, ever have to suffer. The responsibility this little one took on herself is heartbreaking to read. I truely hope that writing this goes a tiny way to helping her heal, just a little.

  • April 28, 2010 at 9:36 am
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    That was an extremely brave thing to do, to write about your experience like that. I hope that writing it was cathartic and helpful for you.

    Many women have had similar experiences to you as children. You are not alone.

    xxxx

  • April 28, 2010 at 9:52 am
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    Oh my god 🙁

    To the person who wrote this… I hope you’ve had (or are getting) all the support you need now and how brave of you to write this.

  • April 28, 2010 at 9:57 am
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    My eye brows raised as I read this, and I tried hard not to imagine the scene set. Talking and writing about this has to be a way forward.

    CJ xx

  • April 28, 2010 at 10:04 am
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    Can’t even imagine what that would have been like. It’s shocking that’s for sure. That children have had to go through this and many still do. What a brave 6 yr old for taking her sister’s place. I hope that both of them have found a way to heal from this experience. It takes a lot of courage to write about it. Great thing you are doing here Paula. x

  • April 28, 2010 at 10:17 am
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    What a powerful piece of writing.

    A very brave 6 year old, and very brave to write about it now, it takes a lot of guts to deal with an experience like that, sending you lots of lovexx

  • April 28, 2010 at 10:26 am
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    I’ve got a real lump in my throat and my stomach reading that. I am so, so, sorry that you and your sister had to go through such a terrible thing. I hope by writing it down somehow eases the pain for you. Sending lots of virtual love. xx

  • April 28, 2010 at 11:54 am
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    If it weren’t such an emotional story I would remark on how well written it is. But the fact is the only thing I can really say is “I’m sorry. You were very brave then and now and I’m sorry you had to be.”‘

  • April 28, 2010 at 12:47 pm
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    I’ve got to go home and hug my 6 year old daughter as quickly as possible.

    I hope that writing this, and the comments that others have written, are of some support.

  • April 28, 2010 at 1:05 pm
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    That was heartbreaking.

    So brave for her to finally say the words out loud. Hope her experience and writing prevents many others from ever happening.

    HUGS!

  • April 28, 2010 at 1:41 pm
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    That bought tears to my eyes. What an incredible woman to write about it and how brave she was when she was a child to protect her sister. I really hope that writing about it has bought some closure for her.

  • April 28, 2010 at 1:43 pm
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    I do hope you feel better for writing this. I want to give that brave 6 year old a massive hug and tell her I believe her and I’ll make sure it stops. I feel sick and angry and powerless and I have tears rolling down my cheeks. Much love to you x

  • April 28, 2010 at 4:05 pm
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    Thanks for being the first to comment H, I agree it’s such a difficult read and particularly poignant for those of us with young children. A big thankyou on behalf of my guest for being here xx

  • April 28, 2010 at 4:07 pm
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    You’re so right, no child should ever have to suffer this, and yet they do every day and even those closest to them don’t know. So often, even without being told not to tell, the victims of abuse take it on themselves not to, and like you it makes me feel sick, mad and angry. But by being here and reading you have helped, so thank you on her behalf xx

  • April 28, 2010 at 4:09 pm
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    Thank you Julia, she has read all of the comments and really appreciates them all. I hope your friend manages to find some peace, and has all the support she needs. I agree with you, this is an immensely brave post, and she was such a brave little girl xx

  • April 28, 2010 at 4:16 pm
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    That’s so sad. The only blame can be with the perpetrator of these acts – no sane person would ever deliberately leave their child in the ‘care’ of a paedophile. I hope your sister got /gets the help she needs, and maybe that one day you can speak about it, if that’s right for you both. Child abuse is a horrible, horrible crime that leaves deep scars and, as you illustrate, its reach can spread far beyond the original victim.

    Thank you for sharing your story. xx

  • April 28, 2010 at 4:17 pm
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    Thank you lovely, it’s quite unbelievable isn’t it that at that age a child could take on such a heavy burden. Like you, I’ve been incredibly moved by this. Thank you so much for your lovely comment xx

  • April 28, 2010 at 4:21 pm
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    Thank you hon, she has asked me to reply to everyone to say how much these comments have meant to her. You’re so right, she’s incredibly brave and no, sadly not alone in her experience. Hopefully though it is a crime that we can all work hard to prevent, and at some point in our children’s future stories like this will no longer need to be told.

    Thank you xxx

  • April 28, 2010 at 4:22 pm
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    Thanks Nic, so brave and yes, she has had support. Thank you for reading and commenting xx

  • April 28, 2010 at 4:24 pm
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    Thanks CJ and I think you’re right. This is such a taboo subject and so difficult to open up about, and yet the statistics speak for themselves (and are, sadly, probably a huge underestimation). Your comments are really appreciated, thanks xx

  • April 28, 2010 at 4:26 pm
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    I still cannot fully comprehend where a child could find that strength from either Heather. I agree that it’s shocking that she should ever have felt the need to, but she was obviously a very brave 6 year old and a very special person. Thanks for commenting xx

  • April 28, 2010 at 4:27 pm
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    You’re right – she must have needed a lot of strength to deal with all of this, and to write such a beautiful piece about it as well. Thanks for reading and for taking the time to leave such a lovely comment xx

  • April 28, 2010 at 4:29 pm
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    Thank you VB, it’s such a hard thing to read about isn’t it? And yet, terrifyingly, it goes on all the time…

    Your lovely comment is hugely appreciated, thanks again xx

  • April 28, 2010 at 4:30 pm
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    That did sing from the page didn’t it? A show of human resilience. Thanks for reading, and taking the time to leave your lovely comment xx

  • April 28, 2010 at 4:33 pm
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    It is so beautifully written isn’t it? Thanks Dara, it is shameful that we live in a society where this goes on but I’m proud to think that there are so many people prepared to work to make a change. She’s very grateful for your’s and everyone else’s lovely comments. xx

  • April 28, 2010 at 4:34 pm
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    That’s how it makes me feel too, no child should have to tolerate this, ever. Thanks for commenting, it means a lot to her xx

  • April 28, 2010 at 4:37 pm
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    Thanks Susie, it’s a really hard subject to read about but one that so many children have and will continue to suffer. It would be good to think that through writing and talking about it we could start to facilitate a change… xx

  • April 28, 2010 at 4:38 pm
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    Thank you Liz, she is truly incredible. Like you, I hope that this process has helped her. I know that your comments have meant an awful lot to her so thanks for taking the time xx

  • April 28, 2010 at 4:41 pm
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    Thanks Sandy. It’s horrible isn’t it? We think we do everything we can to protect our children and stories like this bring it home that it’s not always that easy. I’m with you, wanting desperately to do something to help, but feeling completely powerless. We’re not though, just by talking about it, working to break down the taboos and campaigning for change we can all help. Much love to you too xx

  • April 28, 2010 at 4:46 pm
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    stunning. from the mouths of babes. amazing how are children will go through anything to protect us. Makes me cry just wondering how i could ever convince mine i will always be on their side and they don’t need to look after me, that’s my job. thank you to the person who wrote that

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  • April 28, 2010 at 5:05 pm
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    What bravery, then and now. The writer is obviously a remarkable woman. My heart goes out to her and I really hope that writing it down helps.

  • April 28, 2010 at 5:44 pm
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    That is such a fantastic piece of writing. I have spent the past hour trying to think of something to write that will reflect just how stunning it is and still have no idea. A heartbreakingly different take on the topic, I hope your honesty saves someone elses suffering, and I hope that you are doing well and have forged a life for yourself in spite of this.

  • April 28, 2010 at 6:12 pm
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    To the Writer – You were then and are now, exceptionally brave. I hope you can feel proud of yourself for writing this brilliant piece of work. I hope you are getting all the support you need. Words cannot change the past but they can help build a future. I wish for you a future full of hope.

    To Paula – You are one of life’s truly good people for putting your hand out to help someone express herself like this. Feel proud. Today you did something wonderful. You gave a victim a voice. A chance to express and not be shunned but supported. You have no idea how rare that is.

    MD xx

  • April 28, 2010 at 7:37 pm
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    Children are remarkably resiliant and have stength of character and mind adults rarely give them credit for. A desire to protect ones siblings is intense from a very early age but can have profound and difficult repercussions. No child should suffer abuse but they do, every day. The human cost is immense but the best thing an abused child can do as an adult is work through it and not let the pain and anger swallow you up.

    Talking is good. Keep talking. Talk to your sister too. Sisters need to talk about these things.

    All my hugs xx

  • April 28, 2010 at 7:38 pm
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    Very brave and I can understand you must have an urge to write about this but at the same time feel you can’t. This experience is similar to a friend of mine’s, as is often the case nothing has ever been done about the perpetrator she remains too afraid to tell. It makes me angry and upset that we can’t protect our children completely. I’m not sure how you deal with this on a day-to-day basis, it must be tough.

  • April 28, 2010 at 7:50 pm
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    The one thing that comes across in this post is the strength of the writer, to do so much to protect her sister and to keep it quiet and see the impact it would have on her family and do what she thought was the right thing in her six year old eyes.

    And now she is brave and strong to share with us, thank you.

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  • April 29, 2010 at 10:34 am
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    Oh,I don’t even know what to say. That was a wonderfully touching post,written so well. I hope the author has had help and support and her sister too. I also hope that the perpetrator has been charged, to prevent it happening to other children.
    As a parent I cannot imagine the force of a disclosure from your child about such a shocking thing,but I also would hate to think that anything was happening my child that was so awful and that they would then be afraid to tell me about.
    Well done to the brave author for sharing such an experience,my thoughts are with them.
    C

  • April 29, 2010 at 9:38 pm
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    I don’t think I can find the right, let alone eloquent words to describe how that post makes me feel. Except to say so desperately sorry for what the writer had to go through. Our children are at the very core of our feelings and the thought that they could come to such harm is beyond comprehension. Much love to the writer and to you for posting it here xxx

  • May 3, 2010 at 3:21 am
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    Gosh. This has just made my blood run cold. It is beautifully written. It is shocking and appalling that so much of this goes on. My daughter is six.

  • May 4, 2010 at 8:43 pm
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    This is awful, its not just older boys that do it though, my older girl cousin did the same to me 🙁 never spoke about it to anyone

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