I grew up in a stable family life; parents together, a couple of brothers and a sister and myself as the youngest. Dad was in law and my mum looked after us; all siblings went and finished school, including myself.
When I was 3 my Dad was diagnosed with cancer and died when I was 11. In between all of that childhood was full of everything you would expect. Family videos, weekend sports, picnics, riding a BMX around the neighbourhood, meat pies for lunch on the weekends, scary movies with cousins, movies with friends, birthday parties, and family events every month. Monday – Friday was full of school activities, a few bullies with insecurities and primary school sweethearts. I didn’t spend much time in Grade 5 as Dad was getting pretty unwell and passed away near the end of that year so I wanted to spend as much time with him as possible. My parents loved each other, in fact, we all loved each other.
For a while after Dad died everyone would always say how well we were doing as a family unit, you know? How no one turned to drugs or alcohol and how we were all relatively stable for the situation we were in. I was kind of lucky to stay in the school I was in really.. I wasn’t the best student. Just your classic mucking around but it was consistent. I was a pleasant student to speak to though, from a teachers perspective, with very average grades, but I always came to school dressed well.
My older brother really took the reigns after Dad died. Picking me up from school, making sure we had groceries at home and checking in on mum. She didn’t deal with it well.. no one would.. losing someone you expect to spend the rest of your life with? I’d be in disbelief and heartache as well. So throughout the years of growing up and up until about a year ago, we really gave off this impressionable force of strength to the outside world as well as our selves. But when things got too hard, I just didn’t see us really banding together and nipping it in the bud? From my siblings considering ending their life, to some very questionable actions by my other brother that were never really spoken of. That’s not a close family.. I don’t think.
It all started after Dad died actually, the sexual abuse. But in my eyes at that age not knowing any better, I thought it was normal behaviour between two boys (I’ll write on this more later). There were parts I knew ‘probably wasn’t allowed’ but as an 11 year old you just don’t question these things and with the stress and anxiety that I was going through I would go as far to say I wasn’t coherent during the years, really. The “don’t tell anyone” was actioned by a close of the door; as simple and quick as that. I was sexually abused by my other brother; the details aren’t too important. It went on for a few years until after he finished high school.
So from the age of 11 – 12/13 I had lost my father, lost a family unit, and was being sexually abused under the same roof by someone that should have been protecting me. When I look back and I consider the feelings of anxiety that I felt – it was staring me in the face; my concern that my brother would be telling other people about what was going on. On our way home from mountain biking my brother was in the other car with my neighbour and cousin and throughout the drive all I could think of was ‘do you think he’s trying to talk to my friend about what we do?’. This wasn’t from a jealousy perspective, although that can be the case in abusive relationships, but it was a thought for concern and for worry. I didn’t want that happening to my friend. But I did nothing. Slept on it. Forgot it and suppressed it, probably. I’d say I suppressed the memories very quickly, if not immediately after the abuse stopped.
So I would consider my high school years to be relatively normal, there weren’t any major situations that stuck out as a concern from my perspective or my mums. I think highschool was when I really suppressed it; I don’t recall memories of the abuse popping up in my mind at all. I was a pretty responsible kid, other than the in-school mischief. Had a great group of friends; male and female. It wasn’t that I got along better with females; I just felt more comfortable around them and speaking with them. I felt like I could trust them. I look back at this and this makes so much sense; I was betrayed by a male figure who I should have trusted so of course I turned to the opposite sex for confiding in.
After high school I went into uni and dropped out after a year and started working in hospitality. At that stage I was around 19 and had relationships throughout. I am 26 now, so if you do the math and have a look at the site title, I actually first spoke about my sexual abuse when I was 25.. 14 years later.