Sunday, March 18, 2012

being fed the bad orange

I pull things apart layer by layer, until there is nothing left, but bare skin. I peel myself apart until I am completely vulnerable to my own thoughts and feelings.

Picture peeling an orange until you are at the point of soft skin. Anything you penetrate into it will cause it to be damaged. It will cause it to tear. It will cause it to bleed. You peel one piece away and it is no longer whole anymore.

A lot of people have said they love my positive outlook on life. They like the way I can turn a negative into a positive. But when it comes to myself I am the first to rip myself to shreds. And I know where it all stems from. I do it to myself all the time. Even in the smallest of everyday life.

I am having flashbacks. I was told this may happen to me at some stage in my life. I was told it could be as simple as a smell, or as more complex as having a boyfriend. Being told this in my early 20s, I thought I would be fine. I thought it wouldn't matter, as at the time I did have a boyfriend, and it was not affecting me in the way of flashbacks.

I have had smells trigger memories. But none that were new. Now I have something new that scares me more than anything. I wish I could shut it out. I wish it would go, but now I need to learn how to deal with this, so I can stop tearing pieces of myself apart.

Being sexually assaulted is something that rips you apart when you are a child. It takes all that innocence away.

Being sexually assaulted is something that rips you apart when you are an adult. It takes every layer of you off until the point where you are torn.

I have beaten this through years of facing court. Facing my fears. Facing him. Now I need to beat this facing myself. Facing every fear that is hidden below the layers that are falling off. I vowed to never face him again. No matter what I remembered, I would never go back, relive my abuse in front of him, and tell complete strangers every explicit detail.

The thing that is hardest, is I am really good at burying things. I am really good at putting a mask on, and wearing the one with the big smile painted on the front. I wish I never remembered. I am glad tomorrow is monday, and I will be able to put that little pinwheel smile on, wear that big happy mum face, smile at the man that holds my hand, smile at strangers, and deep inside that child within will be crying for her mum.

I will be honest, and say, for the woman that said this should not be a secret, I am finding it really hard to publish this blog post. I am not sure if it is because I feel ashamed* of what he made me do, or if it is because I am scared of the new memories. The main thing is that I am writing myself through this. The rest I won't share here. But I am sharing this part here because sexual assault should not be a secret. Even when you thought it was over.

*{And I know I should not be ashamed of anything he did to me. It is one of the layers I need to put back on, and a bad piece of the orange I don't need to eat}.

The positive is, I know I will get through this, and if it means I wake up tomorrow and I put that smile on, and I don't take it off for the rest of my life, bury what is flashing in eyes, and just get on with being that happy person I am, then I think that is ok. We all need to survive somehow. And I am a survivor, and I will beat this part in my own way. It may not be the right way to others, but I believe just having the courage to share, and having the courage to wear that smile, wake up to a monday with two happy children, and a happy mum, means I am surviving, and will continue to do so.

(I published this post. and within minutes I unpublished it. It took one email to repost. Thank you.... because you are right... I am letting it own me).


  1. Well written Hayley. You DO rock. Xoxo.

  2. so very, very brave of you to write this honest account of what it's like to be a survivor of child abuse and what you are going through right now. I feel so touched and inspired by your honesty, strength, realistic outlook and of course, your positive outlook on life. I know your amazing children will be so proud of you when they grow up and realise that their life filled with love and happy smiles was all because of your inner strength and bravery.
    thank you so much. i wish you all the best.

  3. Thanks for being so strong and honest. Your truthful writing is very inspiring.

  4. you should be proud that you have a this courageous voice. a voice for others who have not yet found theirs. You are much stronger than you realise.

    Go gently, Hayley. xxx


  5. Dear Hayley, we have talked via email but i don't think i ever told you that i deal with these issues for a living. So with much fondness and respect for you I again confirm that your honesty is such a show of strength. Nobody and nothing can ever invalidate you again, even if you have rough times with this. Eevery word you type is a declaration that you continue to exist and thrive - you are so loved <3 Belinda

    1. hi belinda, that means a lot you say this. With my thoughts of wanting to push it away and completely forget, I thought I was being weak, and scared, but you have made me realise that this doesn't make me weak, it is a dealing mechanism. Maybe one day I will be able to do more than hide from it. I however, won't ever let it eat me up like it did in the past. I have grown too much for it to ever take control of me again. xx



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