When I was ten my primary school ran an exchange program ( well almost as it only worked one way ) for the children in my year so we could spend three weeks in Holland with a chosen family. I was excited and nervous as I’d never been abroad before and it was going to be the first time I’d be separated from my twin sister. My dad was very protective and I was very naive so I was very shocked he’d said yes. My twin sister went before I did and I felt a little lost without her, a few days later it was my turn to have my adventure.
Teacher Abused Me; I was 10 years old
Being on a plane for the first time was thrilling we even had our own lunch on the plane in a little briefcase with stainless steel cutlery we were allowed to keep, I couldn’t have been more excited. The family who looked after me were a couple in their 40/50′s and lived in Amsterdam. I felt privileged to be in such an amazing city and to be honest we lived very poor at home and went days without food so living with this couple was amazing I could have food every time I wanted. Things were great at first we went to a lot of lovely places and met lots of people.
They took me to a gathering it was dark when we were there and they told me there was a place I could go to sleep if I got tired, I didn’t and they seemed quite upset. I didn’t understand why at the time they were upset it wasn’t that late and I was the only child there. It haunts me now I’m an adult what would have happened looking back. A few days later when we were at their home I awoke to the woman at the door ( at the foot of my bed ) shouting at me for getting out of bed, but I’d only just woken, why was she shouting at me?
I kept telling her I hadn’t but she kept shouting. I was too scared to come out of my room after she left and I just laid in my bed crying. Shortly afterwards a man appeared in my room, I pulled the covers up to my neck as I only had a nighty on and I didn’t know who he was. He started shouting at me aswell all I could think about was my twin and how I desperately needed her with me. The same questions were asked over and over again : why had I got out of bed? But I hadn’t why was everyone shouting at me, what if I had? Why were they making me cry?
This guy who was shouting at me had finally told me he was the liaison guy from England to Holland. In the end I realised he wasn’t going anywhere so I said maybe I was sleep walking he just kept shouting no you wasn’t! All I could think was why do you keep shouting at me? I didn’t get out of bed. The liaison guy had eventually told me that the guy who lived in the house had said I went into his bedroom whilst his wife was downstairs and I touched his privates. What???!!!
I didn’t even know what they looked like let alone touch one. I was in shock and couldn’t stop crying no matter how many times I said I didn’t he wasn’t listening. I grew up in a very violent home and when the guy had said I could send you home but I’ll have to tell your dad! I wanted to die in the spot, my dad would kill me he never believed anything I said let alone being told by an adult. All I could mutter was no no no.
The liaison guy then without asking if I had done it asked me why over and over, he wasn’t leaving what could I do? So I did the most despicable thing anyone could do, I lied and not only did I lie I made up similar stories about my family members that I was accused of. All I could think was please please will you just leave now I’ve told you something. I was then told I had to get dressed as I was going home to the liaison guys house, I can’t explain how desperate inside I felt at this point worried about what was happening and the guilt of my lies which hadn’t accomplished what I wanted – which all I wanted was for him to leave.
He stayed and watched me get dressed and took me downstairs, the house was full of people and all I kept thinking was please please someone help me. The liaison guy had a push bike and I had to sit in the saddle with him and we went to his house. Most of the conversation we had at his house and things that happened I can’t remember much. I do know he returned me to the woman and guys house. Even as a naive ten year old I thought why? But I didn’t get any other choice.
The last few days were horrendous they were horrible to me and one night I couldn’t eat all of my diner so I had a phone call from the liaison guy shouting at me. All I wanted to do was go home, my family might have been poor and my dad violent but I wanted to be home with them. Eventually the day came for me to fly back to England I was so relieved although the liaison guy accompanied us on the plane.
When I saw my parents all I wanted was to disappear in their arms although in actual fact I didn’t even get a cuddle but I was home. The liaison guy shook my dads hand before closing the car door on me, finally it was all over. I mentioned to my twin something had happened and that was the end if that. I was very scared of my dad so I pretended everything was fine and from then learnt to push things to the back of my mind.
The nightmare was over or so I thought. Six months later my dad told me that social services were coming over to have a chat with him about my trip, would that hole just swallow me now? My dad had told my twin we would all get cinema tickets if everything was OK, oh god my dads going to be even more angry with me now! I stayed in my room and hoped I wouldn’t get called out. Social services had left phew it was all OK and the my dad called my twin out and asked me to stay in the bedroom.
I was worried sick I had no idea what was going to happen now. What seemed like such a short time my twin appeared back in my room, and then it was my turn. My mum and dad sat me now, all I could think was what are they gonna say to me? And what is my dad going to do to me? I sat quiet as questions were thrown at me. The lies I had told were coming back to haunt me as I now had to tell them again, oh god what was I doing? When would it stop?
After the agonising reiteration my dad had said if that’s true why has your twin said the man you lived with said you had done something. My twin had broken my confidence but I had never felt happier about a betrayal ever. I explained and I had my own social worker. The police were involved and I was interviewed, I was made to account for every single day whilst away, to this day I still can not recollect 3 days but can remember hour for hour every day apart from them.
Whatever happened was so traumatic I do not remember them and hope I never do, although I have flash backs from time to time. I hope my story helps others I haven’t gone into complete detail I am sure you will all get the gist of what happened.
This inspirational post was written anonymously by a mum who is a member of my Facebook mums group. I have full permission to share her story. If you can relate to this post and would like to share your own anonymous post please contact me.
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