Tuesday, May 11, 2010

the skeleton in my closet

Last week I opened up, really opened up. I used my voice and you all heard me talk. Right now I feel amazing, I feel incredibly strong. The reason for this is because as a writer you write in the hope that people hear you and are listening. Last week you all told me you were. With emails and comments still being posted from my secret I am feeling overwhelmed. I honestly thought I was going to receive comments that were negative. I am still scared.

When someone has been abused they go through many ways of dealing with their pain. I am going to share with you the way I have dealt with it and I am still dealing with it today. Yes even though I have gone through many processes to deal with my abuse; court, opening up and telling my mum, and finding my voice, I am still dealing with the pain today.

There is a skeleton that lives in my closet. A skeleton that you all know about. He is someone that I think will always be there. But because I have stood face to face with him, and I have found my voice, he is no longer scary to me. He is a skeleton that holds my clothes, folds them for me, and says hi whenever I open my closet! However, he used to hide under my bed. He was behind any closed door, in cupboards, even cupboards that a person could not physically fit in. If it was a dark space that I could not see directly into, then he was there. Hiding. Waiting. He was going to get his revenge. The only way I could face being alone, was to have every light on. You see, my skeleton was afraid of the light. He was also afraid as I had a big knife under my pillow. It was a knife that was waiting and ready for when he came out again.

When I could not deal with the skeleton, I ran. I ran like I was Forest Gump. I would run every morning before school and every afternoon when I had finished school. I would even run some lunch times if I was really scared and to frightened to face my skeleton. When I was not doing very well I would eat, and eat and eat. I would go into the cupboard and find anything sweet. I especially loved milo drinks. I would put so much milo in the cup and very little milk. I would eat this and feel ill. When I felt I had eaten enough I would go and throw it all up. It would all be sitting there in the toilet. I would flush away all of the pain. It was not food, it was my fear sitting in the toilet. I felt in control. I could control what went in my mouth and then I could control it to come out again.

I had two moments where the food was not enough. I had lost a lot of weight and my mum was noticing. I could no longer face my days. I decided to try and end my life. I attempted suicide. Although, I was scared to even follow through enough for it to work. I was crying for help.

I would draw. I drew my fears. I drew evil eyes and hands. I drew little girls, with fear in their eyes. I drew my abuse. My art teacher could hear my voice through my art. She helped me. I told mum.

Today, I still have the skeleton in my closet. I cannot watch films that involve abuse. I cannot watch the news when there is a story on child abuse. I feel sick to see the monsters. I want to reach out and help those children. So today I have decided I am going to use my voice, and continue to use it. They might not be able to use theirs, but I will speak for them. My skeleton will look after my clothes for me and when he scares me again I will be ok. I will find a way of dealing with my fears and my pain. It is what survivors do. We deal with it. You just have to deal with it a way that does not hurt you. Run, walk, read, write, draw; do anything that makes you happy and keeps you safe.

You are not dirty. You are not at fault. You are the victim. You are the survivor. You have a voice.

I sleep with the light off.


  1. What a brave lady you are, thank you for sharing your story so honestly.
    Peace xx

  2. oh gosh.. you made me cry again :)
    i feel sad & angry that this happens.. i'm sitting here wishing for a very nasty end to the poor excuse of a man who hurt you & his pathetic kind.. sorry! i know that probably makes me sound crazy, but there's absolutely no hope for people who commit crimes against children. none.

  3. Oh Hayley, you are a beautiful spirit. Your courage in facing your skeleton and sharing your story with us is truly and absolutely inspirational.

    Both my parents suffered abuse and it is fair to say that neither have dealt with it. They came together as wounded souls do and this woundedness has never left them and permeates through every part of their lives, including the way they parent (or don't in the case of my Dad). Your courage and bravery are an incredible example for your little people - and us - MAJOR SNAPS to you.

    Much, much love,

  4. hayley, i sit here, at the top of your blog, making a start on catching up on the last 2 weeks postings that i have missed. i have tears in my eyes and i just want to grab you, give you the biggest ever cuddle and protect you. but you don't need protection, you are doing it, you ARE a survivor, and whether the little ones know it now or not, you are showing them how to be the best people they can be.

    you are amazing.

  5. what a powerful powerful empowering post.
    you ARE strong.
    you ARE brave.
    you ARE a survivor.

    well done to you.

  6. I wish I had the strength and courage to be as honest and open as you x

  7. You are a survivor but so much more....by sharing you help others. I had a friend in high school who opened up to me about things that were happening to them via poetry they wrote. I put it all together and worked it out but begged I did not tell teachers....made me promise. I still to this day think about them feel guilty that I should of told a teacher. I was only 15 or 14 too young to think right. Your post made me focus on my friend as a survivor a brave amazing survivor as they moved out of home and when I ran into them last they seemed at peace. I agree with Bec you know I saw you recently and watched you with Taj....such an amazing wonderful fun mother...Taj was one of the most happiest toddlers I have seen and watching you with him- just amazing! Keep that head held high because you are really a wonderful person with a gorgeous spirit x

  8. Oh Hayley - I didn't respond on your last post when you opened up as I just couldn't even begin to imagine how tortured you must or even still do feel. The fact that you have used this abuse and risen above & beyond it to become a truly beautiful mother & person is truly inspirational to me. I wish you and your family all the love & happiness that you deserve xxxooo

  9. Oh, hayley.What can i say?.Now i had the feeling to give you a big hug and you can be so proud of what you did and do in your life.You are so positive and so strong.There is always a way for you and this is so amazing.You began to live with your past and this is so admirable.Thanks for sharing this and your children can be so glad to have a mommy like you...cheers and hugs...i



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