UK contact for NAASCA (National association of adult survivors of child abuse)
UK ambassador officially representing NAASCA
Teresa Joyce was born on the 15th December 1958 the middle child of three. After losing her father at a very young age; this was to set the pattern for the rest of her life. Losing was something she would have to get used to. She still has some memory of her real father but in truth it’s all a little hazy.
Her mother through no fault of her own after that loss had no other alternative, other than to return to her parent’s home with her children in tow. This family unit were to spend only a few years there until the wind of change came along once more. Her life was about to change beyond belief. Her mother was set to meet the man that was to become her stepfather and they moved once more to a new city with the promise of a new life. Hopefully it would be a happy one for all concerned, but it became a place for Teresa that felt far more like a prison.
She would spend many years hating not only herself, but everything around her as the years progressed. She swore to herself that she would leave all this behind at the first possible occasion.
No one was safe if they stood in the way of her stepfather and what he claimed was his. She would be abused and blackmailed, whilst unable to stop or control anything going on around her; until she felt that the only way out would be to check out on life completely and it seemed a welcoming prospect. Running from memories of all those years living under his rules, buried so deep within her that she never really faced or remembered until she was forced to do so.
She would find herself in a situation that she had no control over and in the grip of a complete madman, who was hell bent on destroying her life.
She found herself delving deeper and deeper into her own unconscious thoughts, revealing to her memories which seemed so alien. Happy memories for Teresa are something that she holds in very short supply, she always thought that they were in her childhood but that was about to be blown out of the water.
But the problem with opening Pandora’s Box, was that once opened she could no longer close the lid. For many years she carried it along with her – like an uninvited guest at a party that never knows when it’s time to leave, sadly leaving her with an enormous sociological and psychiatric residue.
The onset of a set of circumstances beyond her control would stamp its seal rendering her marriage unworkable. Engineered by the involvement of the one man she had learnt to hate – her stepfather.
She would spend many years within the mental health care system; trying to heal under their care umbrella. She would move from a heterosexual relationship into a lesbian relationship. Firmly believing that anything controlled or even remotely integral to men was something she never ever what’d part of again.
Today this is her message to you – There is always a light at the end of the tunnel; her aim is to reassure that through her own personal experience.