Almost daily diary!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Being believed

As the Jimmy Savile affair blunders on relentlessly gathering distress and revelations along the way I can't help but reflect back to those times, in the '70's when what was seen as acceptable behaviour then seems so different, in hind sight, to now. Not that his behaviour was in any way excusable in either time frame but back then men seemed to have even more of an upper hand than they do now. Or is that just me?

Listening to some of the news items makes me remember my own struggle at home. Unlike many, I can't say it has ruined my life but it has, in some way shaped it I guess, otherwise I wouldn't be thinking about it now.

And as we all wonder why no one spoke out then, I have begun to think about what happened when I spoke out, back in the '70's. Nothing. No retribution or recriminations, just non belief - or that's how it seems. Perhaps some of those girls did speak out then and received the same treatment? Survivors, they say, often doubt their memories and when I heard this I realised I too doubt my own, is this because we have not had them validated?

So as much as I have forgiven, and it's taken a very long time to do so, I cannot forget - even if my memory doesn't serve me well, I'm pretty sure most of it is as I remember.

Why am I writing this? Because it still bothers me, and the bit that bothers me most is that I don't know if my mother believed me. That is my Big Thing. So I hope that all the victims, whether we feel that the abuse was real or not, will find peace form having their memories validated. No one can help them now, only by knowing that whatever happened to them cannot be forgotten.

My mother is too old now to open up old wounds, and I know she will go to her grave and I still won't ever know whether she believed me or not. But perhaps, as she took no action, that's a good thing. The lid is still firmly on the box, for us all.


Looking for Blue Sky said...

I'm very sorry that something bad happened in your life in the 1970s too. I have some clear memories of incidents that made me feel very uncomfortable, but I didn't know what to do or who to tell, so I did nothing. But while I remember them, i don't think they had much of an impact on my adult life x

Maggie May said...

Things were very different when I was a child but Jimmy Saville overstepped the line very much. Even then that wasn't acceptable, far from it.
People don't believe because it was easier to disbelieve. What does one do if it is true? How would one handle it? Men did have the upper hand and women were treated more as possessions.

I remember being *flashed at* when I was a child and I didn't even tell my mother because I thought it was my own fault.
I remember it happening 3 times on very different occasions and I felt guilty for just being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Now we have swung the other way and everyone is a possible molester.

I think if it was my mum I would want to have a talk about *it* in a non accusing way. You sound as though you need closure.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Suburbia said...

Yes Maggie but she is 78 now and still - happily buy her own recent admission - married to him.

Irene said...

I had a near incident when I was 11 years old and never told anyone. I thought I was responsible somehow and felt shamed and like I would not be believed. My parents weren't the kind I could confide in and would have made me feel bad and an issue of it. Little girls do suffer a lot of indignieties at the hands of oversexed men.

Rob-bear said...

It seems this demon hops up about once a year in your writing. (A year, more or less.)

Just how firmly is the lid attached to the box? Perhaps not as firmly as all might wish. Seems like you are peeking in every so often.

Maggie's comment about closure is ringing in my mind, too.

Blessings and Bear hugs!

Anonymous said...

Very difficult to know what you should do - your mum is so old. Is there anything to be gained now? Maybe closure for you? Sorry not much help I'm afraid, but a very intriguing piece from you.

nick said...

It's terrible that the usual attitude to confessions of abuse and inappropriate behaviour is still not to believe the victim, or at least to be sceptical. There still seems to be an attitude that we must pretend men are decent and never admit that a lot of them are predatory and sexually out-of-control.

I'm glad your own experiences haven't affected you too badly. A lot of women have been totally traumatised by such experiences. But changing men's ruthless sexual behaviour seems to be an uphill task.

Letty - A Little Girl With A Curl said...

Long ti e since I have read your lovely intelligently and precisely written blog but this post meant so much to me. The whole jimmy Saville stuff kinda got to me. I experienced mild abuse when young way back in the 70s stuff then so vile to me it traumatises me for years and years. I ended up with OCD probs, until I let go with.a therapist . Thanks for posting about this and like all abused I feel for ya xx

Suburbia said...

Thanks Letty
Lovely to hear from you again