I wrote my book You Will Bear Witness under a pseudonym to protect my family as many of the perpetrators of the paedophile ring organised by my parents, are still alive today and also my siblings were not in any way aware of what my parents had done. I do not feel it is my place to reveal or destroy their perception of my parents at this stage. There is a large age gap between my siblings and me. They are in their seventies and it would crush them to no avail. It would be selfish. I would have nothing to gain and they would have everything to lose at a vulnerable stage in their lives. They were not at home when I was growing up so were completely unaware of what was going on and I swore to secrecy and threatened to reveal nothing to them ever.
When I was kicked out of home at the age of eighteen and ended up living up on the streets of Dublin I went into denial and blocked out all memories of abuse both sexual and emotional. I was eventually rescued by the Salvation Army who sent me to Night School where I was taught to read and write as I had received no education growing up having spent most of my time locked up in a bedroom in my parents Hotel. The Salvation Army organised for me to immigrate to Australia when I started saying I wanted to go home again. They said it wasn’t safe for me to return to Baile Na Cuirte.
My suppressed memories remained that way for thirty-five years. I was happily married with four beautiful children, had gone to University and was a Sociology Lecturer. It was only with the advent of the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Abuse in Australia and listening to the victim’s testimony and Cardinal George Pell’s comments “that the Catholic Church was not the only cab off the rank”, that my memories and flashbacks came flooding back. I became extremely mentally unwell suffering from Complex PTSD and Dissociative Identity Disorder with comorbid depression and anxiety, resulting in many suicide attempts and repeated hospital admissions.
The book has arisen out of those my past experiences of abuse, survival and journey through the Mental Health System here in Australia. My blog is dedicated to Child Abuse Survivors and those coping with Complex PTSD.