Author

Are We Evil

EvilThis question used to be at the forefront of my mind, embedded so deeply that there seemed to be no escaping the powerful emotions that it evoked. When did it start? Why was I born this way? How could I stop the terrible things going on all around me? I was hurting so many people. Maybe the answer would be found in prayer. I was willing to do anything to stop my world from falling down all around me. It seemed that everything I touched fell apart; I was just like my dad that was what I was told. My abuser had likened me to him so many times. Clearly I was from bad stock. Something was misfiring within my brain; were my circuits broken? I can’t seem to find a way out of the chaos it’s just a jumbled mess. I know that I am suffering blackouts; moments of time are being lost completely. There is an inherent unpredictability in my behaviour; I feel the need to lash out at the smallest of things but I can’t stop it. Nothing I do will end the pain and suffering that I had created. I’m just like my dad; the words playing over and over in my mind. Someone was hitting the repeat button reiterating just how evil I was lest I forget; some chance didn’t they know that I could never forget. After all I saw my reflection every day, the evil staring back at me with that dark look of menace. I’m not sure that prayer was the answer, maybe the answer to my questions would only ever found within the dark arts. This merry-go-round I was on must surely come to a stop at some point. I felt as if I was taking on the world, or was the world taking me on? Maybe I had made a pact with the Devil himself? Did I even believe in Heaven and Hell? I knew the Devil was out there; he was shadowing my every move. Who was I kidding? He had completely taken me over. I know that my real father had beaten my mother; I was in fact one month early because of a boot thrown at her in just another rage. The pub was where he spent most of his time, starving both her and us children of food, whilst choosing to spend his money on alcohol. Clearly I was from a bad seed because I was also choosing to hide my head in the bottle, but it was the only way I could get through the day. Waking each morning to a raging headache, sometimes spending the day running back and forth to the toilet as my body could no longer contain the poison I was inflicting on it. I couldn’t stop the memories were just too painful; I had to find some relieve even if only for a short while. I felt like a mouse running as fast as I could on a wheel that never stopped turning. So what of my soul did I even have one? If so it must be as black as coal. How could I fight the badness within that I was born with?

Let’s stop here and let the words above sink in do you really believe all of the above? I know that for many right at this moment in time the resounding reply would be a firm yes. I’m not going to even try to knock that reaction, because I myself lived through the whole experience. When you have been brainwashed to this extent, it’s a hell of a dark hole to climb out of; you may as well be at the bottom of an abyss. Light seems to be something that avoids you, sometimes of your own choosing as the darkness seems to hold some quarter of safety. Unconditional surrender to it seems to be the only answer; there is nowhere to look in order to find clemency. So there we sit doing just what our abuser hoped to achieve. We are just where he spent so many years trying to send us. Over more we seem to be happy there, the only other way was to fight it but that’s not an option right? Because it’s a fight we believe we have no hope in hell of winning. But the truth of the matter is that we are just puppets on strings, dancing to any tunes our abusers felt they could play. In truth they are not even involved in the scenario anymore; we are the only ones hearing the tunes. My own bobbed around for so long in my head that it felt empty once I found the strength to call it to a halt. To clarify, as if it needs to be said, it’s not an easy ride. But the real question you have to ask yourself without doubt sits right up there if you choose to look – is your life so easy now? Do you stay within the puppet show choosing to look the other way? There will come a time in your life where that’s no longer an option. We all have to arrive at a point in our lives where we have no other option than to stare our Demons square in the face. My aim here is to make the transition for you as short as possible.

Let’s now return to the top of the page and that overwhelming question – Are we evil? The resounding reply to that question is no. You were a child with the forethought and understanding of a child. The evil that sits all around us during that time is in the mind of our abusers, making it seem as if it was our life choice. You never had a choice. As children we look to those we love and our peers as to the rights and wrongs of life. As we grow we carry that pain along with us, until there comes a time when we all encounter that brick wall. It’s out there in front of us; there is no avoiding it; the wall always wins. So now we have a choice maybe for many for the first time in our lives. We can take it down one brick at a time or feel its full force when we encounter it. Together any wall can be pushed over; we are able to find that strength within each other. Your journey starts from just looking behind for a short period of time to take hold of those strings; on doing so you become the puppeteer. Once done there is no longer any need for backward glances; it’s now long past the time for you to look to the future . . .

Exclusive email interview for letsmote.com the worlds first emotional network

help me1. Tell us a little about your latest book?

In a nutshell, my book is a walk-through of my own personal experiences, within the mind field of abuse and recovery. Through writing my book, I found the strength and hope to come back from a very dark place. My greatest wish whilst writing was to impart to others, that we can all achieve this. I guess the prayer offered up within its pages was that the strength could be found within, for others to make their own journey to recovery.

After an accident in which I injured my back, I was ill-health retired. This gave me the time and dedication to put pen to paper. My life was no longer full, and I found myself with an abundance of solitary time, to sit and reflect everything I had tried so hard to bury. Although this journey was extremely difficult for me, my hope is that anyone finding themselves in the same type of situation may take some strength from its content. If this book were to be catalogued, where would it fall? A true account – personal autobiography – self-help? The real truth is, in all three.

Whilst writing I was forced down a road that I never really wanted to walk again. It’s an insight to the lengths someone will go to achieve a goal. At times I had to walk away to deal with the emotions that it invoked. To say this person was very unhinged would be an understatement: teetering on the edge of insanity, and crossing over more times than I can count. Where everyone else involved just became fall out. It was as if I were being pursued by the Devil himself. There seemed to be nothing I could do to stop him and the destruction he left in his wake. The facts within are very hard to believe, but believe it I must, because I was there.

For myself my book was a journey that I had to take. I needed to silence the demons I was carrying along with me.

There is a place deep inside of us all that remains untapped, unless you reach your lowest point and allow the soul within you to take hold. Today my outlook on life is so very different; instead of the glass being half empty, it is half full. It was time to heal the child within me; she had suffered enough.

There is always a light at the end of the tunnel; my books aim was to reassure that. “There’s a fine line” was my saviour, and through my writing I found my way back to the right side of that line . . .

2. Who is your Primary Target Audience?

I guess my primary audience would be those who have lived through the suffering of abuse; it has so many forms and guises. So would that fall under any heading? If only it were that easy. You will find abuse lurking in ever dark corner available, so my primary audience would be those that need to come back to the light. Those who want to take that step to heal the void that abuse creates, even those that are not quite ready to face their demons. Camaraderie can still be found within the madness of abuse. Small steps over time become a stride. By coming together, we find that there is a hand to hold, to take the right steps. Sadly my audience is vast.

3. Where do books stand in the ever-growing self-help industry?

Books or any reading material will always be an ever-growing part of the self-help industry; they are a part of everyone’s daily life. We can lose ourselves in books, escape the daily droll of life. The self-help industry with regard to books is one that allows us to take steps forward in our own time. What I mean by that is that recovery is not black and white; it’s all shades of gray.

If we sit in a doctor’s office we are expected to relate and relay our feelings, which is not always an easy thing to do. Books on self-help are flexible, because we can read and digest at our own pace. If we have had enough for that day we can stop; the book is always there tomorrow. A lot of the books are written by survivors or those that work within the field. But the greatest gift of all is that it’s right there in your hand, and always there for reference.

4. What do you think can further improve the coming future of the self help industry?

There is always room for improvement within the self-help industry as there is in any walk of life; we should never feel that improvement it not needed. For me it’s a question of asking the right questions to the right people. What do I mean by that? Well, if you what to learn how to drive, you ask a driving instructor, so the best person to ask about self-help are those that have achieved that aim. I feel that there is a lot of knowledge out there that remains untapped; the greatest understanding is always given by those who have walked that road.

Interview

girl on bedPlease visit this link to listen to my interview with Kevin Bull on “The earth needs rebels” A great show and host to which I will be returning.
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/free-thinking-voice-radio/2013/04/09/earth-needs-rebels-show-teresa-joyce-joins-kevin-bull

Are our voices really not heard?

girl screamingI’m sitting in a big room that makes me feel so small. I don’t even recognise the man sitting in front of me but he seems to know all about me from his conversation. My mum is telling him about the fact that I have started wetting the bed: how could she tell this stranger that about me? I felt so ashamed, each night fighting harder and harder to stay awake until my eyes were stinging; the covers over my head as I convinced myself that something came in the night to make this happen. When it really started is so hard to remember, but I know there was a time when it never happened. Chattering back and forth, I feel so very small; embarrassment presses down on me. I feel myself wishing that a hole would open up and swallow me. I had no clue as to why my mum would make me feel this way: I was trying to stop; I really was. Why was this happening – after all I was nearly 8 years old?

I was sitting in the classroom once more having been asked to sit at the back of the class; they were so fed up with me disrupting the class. They were there to teach me, but it seemed that I didn’t what to learn. If I did not learn then I would never get anywhere in life, well that’s what they were telling me: but I didn’t really understand the logic. There were children there that wanted to learn but it seemed I preferred the back of the class room. My mum was once more asked to come into school to see the head teacher; it was getting to be a regular thing. I knew that I would once more be punished that evening.

“Why can’t you be like your brother and sister?” my mum was shouting at me. Why did I always start the fight and act up; why did I feel the need to answer back? I was cutting off my nose to spite my face! What did that even mean? I would help with the dishes or I would be grounded for a week, so what they could ground me I didn’t care. I would run away one day then they would be sorry. I was sent to my room having chosen that the dishes could stay there forever as far as I was concerned.

The fighting had to stop. I was just so aggressive; they were now at the point of suspending me from school – in their words, that seemed to be the only option. Fighting would and could not be tolerated. Detention was a big part of my life but even there I would cause disruption; what could they do anyway – give me another detention? I had already lost count. It looked like the rest of my school years would be spent in this after-school activity.

I was sitting on the grass feeling so very sick; my head was spinning. I had to lean back just to stop the world from revolving. I knew that the bottle of sherry would be missed, but hey! I quite liked it in my room. I didn’t need any of them it was my choice that I was sent there; they were under the misconception that it bothered me but it suited me fine. I would just sneak out anyway they could not watch me twenty-four seven.

He was so much older than me but he treated me like a grown up; so where was the harm? It would only go so far because I was in control. Now I wanted him to stop but he was just so strong, he is telling me it’s ok but I’m so very scared. Well that was something and nothing; I did not understand what all the fuss was about. I’ll tell them that it proved that someone cared about me then they would be sorry.

The policeman standing in front of me asked me so many questions; my mind was racing just trying to keep up. How did it happen? Did he know I was under age? Where did it happen? Were we alone? I needed to see a doctor but why? I was not ill could I please follow this lady to be examined but for what? Where did I meet him? Did I know his name and where he lived? I put my hands over my eyes trying to shut the world out – the deafening sound of silence so craved for. I found myself wishing for school and the detention that somehow seemed right for me, to be alone in my room even though they thought of it as punishment.

Sitting here today, sharing the above scenario with you seems to be another life time away, but in truth these memories always stay close to me. The pain they used to cause is no longer present, and they are now used for the greater good. I am sure that something within this piece will have struck a chord with others that have lived through child abuse. So why is it that we act up? Talking to others throughout the years has made me aware that my past runs almost parallel to their own. The scenario may differ but the concept is too close to separate. So are we screaming out for someone to recognise what’s happening? We know the words cannot be said out loud but if they would only take notice. I guess it’s a shot in the dark that any attention that would be needed would then unearth the demons we were living with. To an adults mind that seems such a stupid thing to say, but we have to remember here that we were seeing things through the eyes of a child where our vision seems blocked, probably not even aware of the whys and wherefores.

To our minds we are shouting out the only way we know how; if we acted out we could no longer be ignored. I’m totally aware that my Statement sounds a little mixed up; but you see through the eyes of a child that’s exactly it. Simply put through our actions we are screaming out to be seen, because the words could never leave our mouths the consequence was just to grave. As children we see things through a child’s eye…… when we continue through life and become adults the past does not always make sense. In order to make sense of it we need to revisit our childhood at times in our life where we feel stronger and more able.

I will leave you with this thought rattling around in my head at this present time. A child suffering the terror of abuse could never shout louder, but as for being heard well that’s another matter . . .

Interview

cross over mouthPlease follow this link to listen to my interview with Annie O’Sullivan and her co-host Kelly Behr on Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery.
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/butterflydreamsabuserecovery/2013/03/30/can-you-hear-me-now-w-annie-osullivan

Lost days

young woman standingLost days – if you have ever been abused we all have them. Days that we either choose to push back into the recesses of our mind, or we have completely lost all memory of them. To this very day I still recognise this trait within me. In truth the only difference is that I no longer feel the need to revisit them to rake over my past. Having finally dealt with my past I no longer have that overwhelming compunction. Control is now totally within my grasp. If of my choosing I were to walk through that door once more, I would now be able to face the demons that lurk within, whilst leaving again unharmed. For some of you out there it is impossible to even think this possible, surly this is something you will have to live with your entire life. That place in time is only something that you can only dream of. The thing to remember is what we are never changes, but who we are changes all the time. The saddest thing that you can ever do is lose yourself, I’m not even sure that you know you have lost yourself until you have. When this happens we have truly reached rock bottom. This is the time we need to remember with clarity, to take strength in the knowledge that you have survived this far against all the odds. This is the time where we need to let go, to try to find answers to all the questions that have been there for so long.

There is a statement to be made that there are some questions that never need to be asked, along with questions that should never be answered. That is so very wide of the mark. Until you have embraced the fact that these questions need to be addressed, you will continue on the merry-go-round, never able to leave that ride. If I have learned anything over the years it is that delay is the surest sign of denial. For many years we strive to disguise ourselves to others, but this is the surest path to the misconception that we can disguise ourselves to our self. If your abuser is a family member there is nothing more difficult than trying to understanding the mind of your abuser. But it’s something that we have to strive towards. Love is giving someone the ability to destroy you but trusting that they won’t. If this love and trust is for a family member it’s within you from birth, unquestionable for the one person you felt would die to protect you.

A thought entered my mind last night during an interview that hit home hard: Fairy tales don’t tell the children that a dragon exists, the child already knows that the dragon exists. The only difference is that children are told that the dragon can be killed.

So how do we deal with the feelings caused by this portrayal? The undeniable fact is that sometimes we need the space to be alone; for this is the place that if we look deep enough within we will find our answers. It’s true to say that this is a very lonely place to be, which in turn may lead to feelings of a fractured life where we feel pulled apart cut off and isolated. But until you let go of who you think you are, you will never become the person you were meant to be.

Yes: there are days we can never reclaim, but are we going to continue on wasting the days that stretch out before us? Do we continue on thinking that we will deal with it tomorrow? We all know that tomorrow never comes. However many years we still have stretched out in front of us, we have the ability to make them count. Let go of the pain that has followed you around for it seems like forever. Close that chapter of your life because the play ended many years ago, and the curtain has come down. You are now the director, able to move in any direction you feel is right for you. You have the ability within to map out the rest of your life as you wish it to be. Take heart in the fact that the fat lady has already sung you have just failed to hear her . . .

Guest Speaker

Girl strugglingI am deeply honoured to have been asked to speak as a guest speaker for The Mental Fight Club in London. As I continue to reach out to those in need. This organization are making great strides in their endeavour to make a difference.

MAP

Book Review By Cathy – The Crazy Bookworm “There’s a Fine Line”

girlThis book is a memoir, unfortunately what this woman had to endure is not a work of fiction. How do you review someones real life? The author of this book is brave, having to relive these horrific memories to tell us her story. The stories told in this book are unbelievable, to think that someone can be so heartless, so manipulative. ‘Teresa’ had to deal with the devil himself. ‘There’s a fine line’ will take you down a dark road, a road that no one should ever have to travel. The author tells her story in so much detail and emotion that you feel as if you are standing right there with her. While reading the book I couldn’t help but get emotional, I got sad, happy but most of all angry, I was angry because of the situation she was forced in and at her stepfather. A lot of people will take something from this book, even people that haven’t been in a situation like this. It’s hard to think that life can go on after a tragedy or a horrific crime or something else life changing/shattering, but it does and the author is proof of that. It’s a giant step that a person has to make to move forward, everyone has their own methods that suit them best, the authors was this book. The rawness and vulnerability is etched into every word. The events that take place in this book are heavy, no doubt, but I think a person could take a great lesson from this book. I am glad I had the opportunity to read ‘There’s a Fine Line’
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/122882114