All news is good news - 16th May 2019

Nothing about writing or my books this week. I am currently the Chair of my village's Parish Council (for one more week). We are trying to attract visitors to our village - not only to the beach but also to the village centre to help our traders. Our plan was to have lamppost banners used to make the place look more seasidey and as way-finders. We produced a brand design, added "on-sea" plus a tag line, "be in the centre", and put it our for consultation to the village residents. Some people liked it and others didn't but the trolls on social media (yes we have a few locally) used the opportunity to slate the Parish Council as they do for everything else. National media picked it up and our village is now well known across the whole country - including Scotland! So the whole thing backfired on the trolls and we've had all the advertising we could ask for at no cost. The hyped up negative newspaper reports have caused people to look up the village, see photos of how lovely the place is, and decide it is worth a visit. So the old adage, "All news is good news" has proved to be correct.

 

Hardened Stance Against Spanking Children - 29th April 2019

The American Academy of Paediatrics has hardened its stance against spanking children as a form of parental discipline In a new policy statement, published in the journal Paediatrics on Monday, the paediatricians’ group recommends that adults caring for children use “healthy forms of discipline” — such as positive reinforcement of appropriate behaviours, setting limits and setting expectations — and not use spanking, hitting, slapping, threatening, insulting, humiliating or shaming. The policy statement updates guidance published in 1998 that recommended “parents be encouraged and assisted in developing methods other than spanking in response to undesired behaviour.” “In the 20 years since that policy was first published, there’s been a great deal of additional research, and we’re now much stronger in saying that parents should never hit their child and never use verbal insults that would humiliate or shame the child,” said Dr. Robert Sege, first author of the policy statement and a paediatrician at the Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Centre in Boston. “This is much stronger than the previous advice,” he said. “The new policy encourages paediatricians to discuss the data about different kinds of discipline with parents so, of course, they can make their own decisions in how they chose to raise their children.” The policy statement describes corporal punishment as “non injurious, open-handed hitting with the intention of modifying child behaviour” and indicates that spanking is considered a form of such physical punishment. The statement goes on to describe how several studies have found associations between spanking and aggressive child behaviour, depressive symptoms in adolescence and less grey matter in children’s brains, among other outcomes.

 

Interview with BBC Radio Sussex 2nd April 2019

I was interviewed by Danny Pike on BBC Radio Sussex on 2nd April. He got the title of my book wrong but hey ho! He was interested in my story and asked lots of questions about my historical childhood abuse. You can still listen to  it on the BBC Radio Sussex website until 1st May. It makes quite good listening. The interview is at 1:09:03 from the start and ends at 1:24:46. A couple of people rang in or texted following the interview and these can be found at 1:36:46 and 1:52:01. Here is the link:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p073c9x2 

 

Me with Danny Pike after the interview

Back from my holiday and ready to go - 26th March 2019

My week in Tenerife was wonderful. The weather was perfect every day and to add to the enjoyment, the hotel upgraded us to a suite. We were so excited. This was a first for me, and I loved it. We had a lounge, bathroom, bedroom and two balconies - each facing in a different direction to allow us to sit in the sun at any time of the day. See the photo below of view from one of our balconies.

I've been home just a few days before seeing the following update from Fern Champion on Change.org about support for survivors of sexual abuse after they have disclosed:

"Government's latest announcement just won't cut it for all survivors. You may have seen the government's announcement last week that they have increased funding for specialist support services. This may sound like good news (and I know any increase is something!) but the reality is that the increase is much too small and is not enough to ensure that Rape Crisis services across the country can open their waiting lists, let alone see more clients. The bottom line still is that many survivors will still be denied the help they need when they ask for it. With so many now speaking out about what they have experienced, as encouraged by this government, the very least each and every one of them deserve is the specialist support they will need to help them recover. This increase in funding shows that raising awareness and pushing for better CAN work but there is still so much more to be done. I want to maintain pressure on the government and Theresa May (even though I know she's busy) as the aim is still to ensure that NO survivor is turned away. I will not stop until this government can guarantee that all Rape Crisis centres are able to reopen their waiting lists. It angers me that this is the standard we are fighting for – to just get survivors onto a waiting list. However I do have faith that together we really can bring about the change that is so desperately needed. I am so unbelievably grateful to the nearly 150,000 of you who have already signed (my petition), but we must keep pushing to make the voices of all survivors heard. So please keep sharing with yours friends and family, ask them if they have signed or if they know that thousands of survivors are still being turned away from the support they need. Help me reach 200,000 signatures and make #NoSurvivorTurnedAway a reality. Thank you for your ongoing support. Fern

View from hotel balcony - Tenerife March 2019

I'm going on holiday - 14th March 2019

I'm all packed and ready to go off for a week in Tenerife with my very good friend, Clare. We met when we were studying for our social work diploma, which we both did in the 1990s. We had such fun during those four years of part-time study, and we still have such fun when we go on holiday together now. Over the years, we've learned to be flexible with and tolerant of each other. For example, my snoring can be a real problem for the other person in the hotel room. Not only that, but when I drink alcohol, the snoring gets louder. Thank God for ear plugs! Also, thank God for friends. Where would I have been without friends over the last three years since my husband died? My friends support me and love me, for which I will be forever thankful. So here I go, the white Glo (my nickname), and with any luck I'll come back in a week's time, the tanned Glo. You're allowed to be envious because I'm going to have the best time!

'One Small Word' - contributing to the Truth Project - 1st March 2019

I'm so proud to know that my book is contributing to the Independent Inquiry into child sexual abuse. I hope with all my heart that this inquiry will make children safer in the future. I hope the Inquiry also helps to remove the stigma that is still present in our society. It's as if people are embarrassed to admit that they were victims of child sexual abuse. Maybe it's something to do with society colluding with the abusers' emotional blackmail on their victims. The whispered phrase (or should I say 'threat') - spoken or implied, "Let's keep it our secret." seems to be upheld by society keeping the subject hush hush, as well as expecting survivors to keep hush hush too.

We should be supporting those who have the courage to speak up - not turning away and looking embarrassed! The more openly we discuss this subject, the less chance abusers will have of getting away with their criminal and perverted actions.

We've come a long way since I was a child in the 1940s and 50s, but we still have a long way to go. Books like mine go some way to giving survivors  a voice, as well as encouraging those who've kept their painful secret for many years, to feel safe to speak up.

If I were a celebrity, I'd have the TV and Radio queuing at my door to give me airtime as if somehow, by being famous, the abuse hurts more than it does ordinary people. Well I want to give a SHOUT for the unknown thousands who don't get heard but do need help.

The Truth Project is trying to give that help, as are various charities, including, for example, 'Support Line' and 'The Survivors Trust'. Join in discussions on social media. Add your points of view. Speak out and help end child abuse once and for all.

Letter from the Truth Project - 28th February 2019

Article about my book in my local newspaper - The Herald 14th February 2019

ARTICLE FROM THE WORTHING & LANCING HERALD

A Lancing woman has released a novel based on her experiences of childhood abuse in the hope of helping others.

Isabella Kiperska

13th February 2019

 

Gloria Eveleigh, who is the chairman of Lancing Parish Council and was a social worker who worked with vulnerable people before she retired, said her book, One Small Word – Surviving Childhood Abuse, was already having an impact.

Victims of childhood abuse receive lifetime anonymity under the law. Mrs Eveleigh has chosen to waive that anonymity to speak to the Herald about her experiences.

The 71-year-old said she was ‘honoured’ to have been invited to submit the novel to the The Truth Project, part of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

She said: “That’s the best thing I could have hoped for. I wrote the book because I wanted to help others. Already it is having a huge impact, which is more than I could have hoped for.”

Mrs Eveleigh, who has written several children’s books in the past, said it took ‘quite a lot of courage’ to write and publish the novel, which is told from the point of view of a protagonist named Frankie. “It was very difficult at the time because you actually relive it, you really dig down and one memory gives rise to another memory, so that was painful,” she said. “But it was very cathartic in the long term. Afterwards, I felt that I was kind-of free.”

Mrs Eveleigh said that when she was young there was ‘no support’, adding: “There was and still is a great stigma to talking about child abuse.” Reading a book like this would have helped her when she was growing up and her self-esteem was ‘just about zilch’, she said, as it would have helped her understand that some of her behaviour was directly caused by her experiences.

“I think it would have stopped me feeling guilty,” she said.

“I wanted to give a glimmer of light to the people that are part of the way through that journey.”

The novel, which is published by Urlink Print & Media and is available to purchase on Amazon.co.uk, was officially launched at an event at Lancing Parish Hall on Saturday, February 2. Some 60 people attended the event, which Mrs Eveleigh said was an ‘amazing’ night. “It was perfect,” she said.

To purchase a copy of the book, search One Small Word on Amazon.co.uk Anyone affected by issues raised in this article can contact SupportLine for confidential support by calling 01708 765200. .

The Truth Project Inquiry into Childhood Sexual Abuse - 4th February 2019

I'm feeling very honoured to be asked to send my book 'One Small Word - Surviving Childhood Abuse' to the Truth Project to enable the inquiry panel "... to reach conclusions about how institutions failed to protect children from sexual abuse, and to make recommendations for the future to help prevent such abuse."

Me at my Official Book Launch on 2nd February 2019

My Official Book Lauch Event - 2nd February 2019

60 guests 'danced the night away' at my official book launch event on 2nd February. A live band, The Smileys, was brilliant, as was the buffet. I signed and sold lots of books, whilst chatting to several friends that I hadn't seen for many years. It was an extremely memorable event, and was a great start to the marketing plan for my book 'One Small Word - Surviving childhood abuse'.

My first Reader Reviews on Amazon, and Barnes and Noble - 1st February 2019

My book is now available online at Amazon, & Barnes and Noble. It is also on the shelves of Barnes and Noble shops. It will become available as an e-book on Amazon this month.

I'm really excited because I've already received two five star reader reviews.

Here is the review on Amazon:

"Gloria Eveleigh shares her story of horrific child abuse and how it effects her life's decisions. As you walk with her through her journey, she takes you to the healing place where a person can learn to love themselves and move on to live a beautiful and productive life. I highly reccommend this book for those seeking a light at the end of the tunnel of abuse."

Here is the review on Barnes and Noble:

"An excellent biographical work. It's possible to heal from past trauma and this author shares her journey into adulthood after surviving horrendous child abuse. Walk with her on her journey to the healing place and find that it is possible to grow into a person, full of self-love and light. Gloria Eveleigh shows us that life is to be lived and enjoyed and that it's possible to have that even after experiencing child abuse. I highly recommend this book for those struggling to see the light of day after living through hell of abuse.

A Busy 2019 - 19th January 2019

I was so excited to have my autobiographical novel in hand after it was finally published on December 18th 2018. I'm even more excited about my upcoming book launch event on 2nd February. I'll be celebrating with friends and family by dancing to a live band - The Smileys, as I sign books.

I'm already planning the sequel to 'One Small Word - Surving childhood abuse' and meanwhile I'm writing and illustrating 6 more phonics story books.

2019 looks to be a another busy year.

One of my personal goals for this year is to lose weight by improving my diet and increasing the amount of exercise that I do. I will be attending a weekly 'Weight Escape' class for the next 12 weeks. My first class was on Tuesday this week when I weighed in at 11st 2lbs!!! I've been doing my best to eat less, and have a more healthy diet  over the last 4 days. I haven't done quite as well at achieving my planned 15mins brisk walk each day but I have done some. Today I discovered that I can get into previously too tight skirts. This prompted me to weigh myself - something I hadn't planned to do. To my surprise I weighed 10st 12lbs - a weight loss of 4lbs.

Now I'm even more determined to lose the 1.5 stones I need to. 

Wish me luck!!!

 

Farewell 2018 and welcome 2019 - 5th January 2019

What a year 2018 was for me. On 1st March I started my online course teaching me to write a book in one year. Within just nine months my book was written, edited and published. It was the most enjoyable, cathartic and totally consuming activity of my life. I actually miss my daily writing sessions so much.

Now I'm planning a sequel to 'One Small Word'. At present I'm thinking of giving it the title, 'Frankie Moves On' - although that is likely to change several times before book 2 is completed.

They say a change is as good as a rest, so with that in mind, and before I start on 'Frankie Moves On', I've decided to write and illustrate the next set of six phonics-focussed story books for small children. That will make 30 out of the total 42 books I set out to write three years ago.

I'm 71-years-old, and there is so much I want to do before I come to the end of my life. So I'm focused and motivated. I love hard work (as long as it's not too physical!) so I'm determined that my achievement during 2019 will be many.

Happy New Year!

Here I am with my book in hand on 20th December 2018. It was so exciting. I just can't believe I wrote it!

Christmas is coming - 4th December 2018

I've had such a busy few weeks but I've also enjoyed four days in Poland at the Krakow Christmas Market. What a beautiful and magical city. I bought lots of pretty and unusual Christmas decorations, I ate some amazing food, I drank far too much Prosecco, and enjoyed the company of my long-time friend, Clare. The temperature went down well below zero, and it even snowed for half an hour. What more could you want? Then when I returned home, I bought myself a real dinky Christmas tree, and decorated my lounge to look like a magical fairy grotto - almost on a par with the Polish Christmas market - well, maybe not quite! Then to put the icing on the cake, my book is to be published immently after such a long wait. 

I'm not going to discuss a serious issue this week. Christmas is a time for families, a time for healing and happiness, a time for counting our blessings, forgiving and forgetting.

I would like to wish all of my friends and family a happy and joyful December as we lead up to Christmas Day. Love to you all.

Me at Krakow Christmas Market

Myths about sexual violence/abuse - 15th November 2018

I was reading a court report entitled 'Rights for women - a handbook for survivors of sexual violence.' This listed several myths about the issue that many believe are true. Each myth is accompanied by the facts in law. Worth a read:

 

People are most likely to be raped outside, late at night, by a stranger.
Sexual violence is most usually perpetrated by someone known to the person who has experienced it and usually takes place within the home or somewhere else familiar to that person (like their place of work or at a friend’s house). A person is not to blame if they experience sexual violence and should not be made to feel that they cannot be in public spaces alone or at particular times. Such myths serve to reduce freedom and seek to shift the blame for the offence away from the one person who is responsible for it, the perpetrator.

 

People who are sexually assaulted are ‘asking for it’ by the way they dress or behave. Sexual assaults happen to people of all ages, classes, cultures, sexualities, races and faiths. No one is ‘asking’ to be sexually assaulted and no one is to blame in any way if they experience sexual violence. Sexual assaults are acts of violence for which the perpetrator alone is responsible.

 

When someone says “no” to sexual activity they often mean “yes”.

Sexual activity without consent is a sexual assault. No always means no.

 

A person cannot be raped or sexually assaulted by a husband or partner.

Having previously had sex with a person or being in a relationship with them does not mean that consent is given to all (or indeed any) sexual activity. Consent must be given every time people engage in sexual contact. Legally a person can chose to engage in different forms of sexual activity at different times and change their mind about sexual activity at any point. Their partner must respect that.

 

If a person did not fight back / scream / get hurt, they probably were not assaulted. There is no typical response to being sexually assaulted and a person may respond in many different ways. Many are afraid to struggle or fight back, or may freeze. A perpetrator may use tricks, verbal threats or mild force during an assault. A lack of injury, or not fighting back, does not mean that the person was not sexually assaulted or that the perpetrator will be believed.

 

If a person did not immediately report the sexual assault, it probably did not happen.

A person may be scared to report sexual violence for one of many different reasons – for example, they may think they will not be believed or they may fear repercussions. If a person does not report an assault immediately it does not mean that they cannot do so at any time in the future. Delay in reporting sexual violence should not affect how the person reporting it is responded to by either the police or Crown Prosecution Service.

 

If a person is not upset about the sexual assault it probably did not happen.

People respond to sexual violence in different ways. Some people may be upset, others may be angry. Some want to talk to their friends and family and others are embarrassed or too distressed. There is no typical way of behaving following a sexual assault.

 

People often lie about sexual assault or make false allegations.

Between January 2011 and May 2012 the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) examined rape allegations. There were 5,651 prosecutions of rape and only 35 allegations of making false allegations of rape. Even if the CPS decide not to take a case to court, or the jury do not find the defendant guilty, this does not mean that the allegation was false.

 

People involved in prostitution cannot be raped or sexually assaulted.

If someone engages in sexual activity without consent an offence has been committed. If someone has paid for sexual activity this does not mean that the person involved in prostitution has consented to it. The law on consent applies equally to people involved in prostitution, no one can assume consent and a person involved in prostitution can choose what sexual activity they want to engage in and with whom and can change their mind at any time.

The Brain Adapts to Dishonesty - 31st October 2018

Do you know people who you might describe as compulsive liars?

 

We all tell little white lies. We all lie. But what about the manipulative liars? What about the people that deliberately lie? If you are wondering how people lie without a flinch in their adult years—science can now show how a person may have “adapted” to the lying (lauracorbeth.com).

 

You can read the research study entitled, ‘The brain adapts to dishonesty’ by Neil Garrett, Stephanie C Lazzaro, Dan Ariely & Tali Sharot at: https://www.nature.com/articles/nn.4426.epdfreferrer_access_token=qUP2u4WPHsrLTghBgOUL4NRgN0jAjWel9jnR3ZoTv0PB5NSmVpFfhwCDyZeXsazdlOU8TBRk13R9YTFZTPWweAMpt2aqSTIrS2Q_voo5Icp85zpBsBaGs8G8BN3K1mgpVNbtyWPELcnc8j5ZAWd1I7_cXQri3dQX6H1TpBbFNnb2dnqnpNNmOyy7Le9zGXtQjVaZj_YvwUOj6_YjH0P9YbynoZI9HCyeF4z9gXik%3D&tracking_referrer=www.cnn.com

 

Basically, the study proves that the more you lie, the easier it becomes. So don't just ignore your children's lies. Their brain is still developing up to the age of six. Teach them honesty right from the start.

Coping with Flashbacks - NAPAC (The National Association for People Abused in Childhood) - 18th October 2018

Flashbacks are an involuntary recall of past traumatic events. They may be experienced as pictures, sounds, smells, feelings, or the lack of them (emotional numbness). You may feel panicky, or trapped. You may feel powerless without knowing why. These experiences can also happen in dreams. Sometimes they are experienced together with a self-critical voice or hearing an abuser’s voice again.

 

As a child you had to protect yourself from the emotional and physical horrors of abuse. In order to survive, the child had to submit to the abuse, unable to express the feelings and thoughts of that time. Children cannot make any sense of cruelty inflicted on them. But adults can slowly process these painful memories.

 

Flashbacks and nightmares are a sign of the subconscious mind starting to process the memories. As such, they are a sign of recovery. When memories come back, the child part in you is experiencing the past as if it were happening today. As the flashback happens you may forget that you have an adult self who is available for comfort, protection and grounding.

 

The extreme feelings and bodily sensations are so frightening because they are not related to the present and often seem to come out of the blue. You may think you are going mad and are afraid of telling anyone about what is happening. But learning some simple grounding techniques and talking about it with someone you trust will help to manage the intense emotions that accompany flashbacks.

 

Flashbacks are normal Flashbacks are a symptom of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a normal reaction to events that are outside the range of normal human experience. PTSD stops the rational mind from being in charge of our thoughts and feelings, and basic emotions like fight, flight or freeze take over.

 

What does help? Tell yourself out loud that you are having a flashback. Remind yourself that the worst is over. The feelings and sensations you are experiencing are memories of the past. You are now processing those painful memories, which is difficult and frightening work.

 

Breathe. When we get frightened we stop normal breathing. As a result, our body begins to panic because we don’t get enough oxygen. Lack of oxygen causes even more panic. You may experience pounding in the head, tightness, sweating, feeling faint, shakiness and dizziness.

 

When we breathe deeply and slowly the feelings of panic can decrease. Talk to the child part in you and say it is OK. It is very important that the child part knows that your adult self is around and available. The child needs to know that it is safe to experience the feelings and let go of the past.

 

Find your boundaries. When in flashback you may lose the sense of where you end and the world begins. Wrap yourself in a blanket, hold a pillow or soft toy, go to bed or sit in a safe place as a way of finding your boundaries

 

Get help. You may need to be alone or you may want someone near you. In either case it is important that your close friends know about your flashbacks so they can help with the process, whether that means letting you be by yourself or being there with you, whatever is right for you.

 

Take time to regain control. Sometimes flashbacks are very powerful. Don’t expect yourself to be able to do adult things immediately.

 

Be kind and look after you. Do something that you enjoy. Be patient. It takes time to heal the past. It takes time to learn ways of taking care of yourself, of being an adult who has feelings and developing effective ways of coping in the here and now.

 

Find a competent therapist. Look for a therapist who understands the process of healing after child abuse. Working with a therapist can be a crucial part of the healing process. Remember: flashbacks are a normal part of healing from abnormal childhood experience

Lay preacher sentenced for non-recent sex offences - 2nd October 2018

A lay preacher has been given an 11½ years prison sentence for non-recent sexual offences against three girls in Sussex after an invetigation by Sussex Safeguarding detectives.

Peter Ernest Bourne, 79, retired, of Moorefield Way, Great Stukeley, near Huntington, Cambridgeshire,  was sentenced at Brighton Crown Court on Thursday (27 September), having been convicted on the same day after an eight-day trial on 14 counts, including one rape, five offences of indecency with a child, and eight offences of indecent assault, separately involving the three girls, all known to him, in Southwick, Hove and Worthing during the 1960's and 1970's while they were between the ages of 9 and 16. 

 

He was found not guilty of the rape of one of the girls and of sexually assaulting another of the girls. He will be a registered sex offender for life.

 

Detective Constable Andrew Roe of the West Sussex Safeguarding Investigations Unit said; "This investigation started two years ago when we received information for this for the first time, from a third party. A sensitive investigation was carried out to identify and gain the confidence of the victims, who had not disclosed any information to police for up to fifty years.

 

Bourne had taken advantage of their vulnerability and exploited them each separately, for his own sexual gratification over several years. He refused to admit his guilt throughout, and when arrested he made no comment to all questions put to him.

 

"We also discovered that Bourne, who worked in a range of roles, including as a charity worker, a coal man and a driver, was also a lay preacher in various churches including evangelical and Baptist churches, in Sussex and elsewhere. However these vulnerable young victims became known to him through his personal life and not through his church activities.

 

"Due to the abuse that he subjected these individuals to, it has taken great bravery and strength for these individuals to come forward. Our thanks go to all of Bourne's family still in Sussex who supported the prosecution case with information, and especially to the three victims, now adults in their fifties, came to court to give evidence against them. 

 

"We will always take reports like this seriously and investigate to seek justice wherever possible, as well as enabling victims to access other sources of support and counselling.

 

 

NSPCC - Preliminary study estimating the lifetime costs of child abuse and neglect in the UK - 27th September 2018

This is the first UK-based study to estimate the lifetime economic costs of child maltreatment/abuse. It gives a conservative estimate for the financial costs of child maltreatment per person in terms of:

- health care

- social care

- education

- the criminal justice system

- the impact of lost productivity on the economy

It does not, and cannot, capture the significant intangible costs of abuse to the individuals involved, such as the emotional suffering borne by victims.

(Research was conducted by University College London on behalf of the NSPCC.

Authors: Gabriella Conti, Stephen Morris, Mariya Melnychuk, Elena Pizzo.

Published: 2017)

Key findings

1. The estimated average lifetime cost of non-fatal child maltreatment/abuse by a primary care-giver is £89,390 per person (with a 95% certainty that the costs fall between £44,896 and £145, 508).

2. The largest contributors to this cost are social care costs, short-term health-related costs, and the costs resulting from a lower probability of employment.

3. This study presents a very conservative estimate of the economic costs of child maltreatment, limited by the range of child maltreatment and outcome measures available. 

From previous studies on the subject:
a) The main findings were that childhood maltreatment, especially physical and sexual abuse, was associated with higher risk of a number of health problems, both physical and mental, lower educational attainment, cognitive decline and lower enjoyment of close relationships with other people.
b) These papers find long-lasting effects of CM on a variety of different outcomes, such as health, depression, personality traits, the probability of committing crime, and socioeconomic outcomes, such as education, employment, earnings and assets. The costs are greater for those who experienced multiple types of CM in particular physical and sexual abuse.
 

 

 

 

 

"Gaslighting: It happens in families" - 20th September 2018

When I read this blog by Laura Corbeth (May 2018), it rang very true for me. See what you think:-

 

Mental slavery is the worst form of slavery. It gives you the illusion of freedom, makes you trust, love and defend your oppressor while making an enemy of those who are trying to free you or open your eyes!

—Miss Fiyah

 

When we are born, we look into the eyes of our parents taking care of us, and we trust. We believe they are going to love us, protect us and take care of us. But, sometimes that doesn’t happen. Many books have been written about how some people are not born to be parents. I have been a victim of “gaslighting” and I have believed many things I’ve been told over the years. But it’s a long life. Now I know that what I’ve been told were lies.

1. STICKS AND STONES WILL BREAK YOUR BONES, BUT WORDS WILL NEVER HURT YOU. 

Not true. And this lie is one that I believed my whole life. Psychological abuse is not that “bad”. My mother always asked me when I complained about my brother’s bullying, “Do you see the bruises, Laura?” I had nothing visually showing. But the cuts went deep.

 

2. MY PAIN DIDN’T MATTER. 

Not true. It matters.

 

3. PHYSICAL ABUSE FROM MY BROTHER WAS NOT ABUSIVE BECAUSE I DIDN’T HAVE SCRATCHES OR BRUISES. 

Not true. Holding someone down against their will and tickle torture until you cry, is physical abuse. Holding someone down while licking and spitting on them, is abuse.

 

4. THREATS TO “GET” ME “HURT” ME, OR “KILL” ME, WERE “JUST WORDS“.

Not true. I witnessed abuse to animals, what do you think I thought? Maybe there was an association?

 

5. I WAS OVERSENSITIVE.

Not true. I was told I was “over-reacting”. I was told I was “making a big deal of everything”.

 

6. ANGER IS BAD.

Not true. I was taught that if someone raises a voice, that was the worst thing in the world. We are not to get angry. Someone a long time ago, (about 2,000 years) got mad. I’m mad. I am taking my anger and using it positively. Anger is a good emotion. Do you get angry when you see a child abused or an animal abused? I do.

 

7. CHILDREN SHOULD BE SEEN AND NOT HEARD.

Not true. Studies now indicate that if you were brought up hearing this, you have a high-risk of mental health problems. Children are the future. We now know that the first 1,000 days of a child’s life are so important. The brain is still developing for the first 6 years of a child’s life. Now we are learning about the long-term effects of childhood trauma. Toxic stress and the long-term effects of child abuse and neglect. Adverse Childhood Experiences.

 

8. YOU MUST FORGIVE.

I was told by family members that I must forgive my abuser or I will never get over my PTSD symptoms. Not true. Trauma does not “heal” by forgiveness. Trauma needs help with a qualified professional.


I was told many false beliefs over the years. I was a victim of Gaslighting! I believed those things I was told. Now I don’t. I woke up.


FOR YEARS I PROTECTED MY ABUSER

Why? I was told that my abuser had changed and found God. I believed it. I was always defending him. I was (what psychologists call), a “flying monkey”. Oh, how I defended my abuser. I was an easy target: sensitive; gifted; imaginative; loving; forgiving, and; empathetic. Easy prey!

 

THE WORST ABUSERS

Who are the worst offenders? They are people that lie to hurt you, intentionally harm you, tell you lies for personal gain. Those type of lie are dark. There is no other word for me other than “dark”.

Am I mad? Yes. Am I hurt? Yes. Do I have regrets? Yes!

For years I was a victim of “gaslighting” and it has taken my psychologist a long time to help me to see “the truth”. I really had a hard time seeing the big picture. And it has been hard. Sad. I had to accept what I’ve been told were lies. And I’ve had a lot of tears. But I am worthy of love and respect.

 

YOU ARE WORTHY

Don’t be fooled by lies. Do you doubt yourself? Do you have low self-worth? LIES!

You are worthy. You are loved. These are lies from people that want to bring you down!

Don’t believe it. Hug your inner child and love yourself. Don’t believe the gaslighting lies.

Peace.

 

 

 

 

 

Soul Murder? - 13th September 2018

"To abuse or neglect a child, to deprive the child of a separate identity and joy in life, is to commit soul murder. . . . " (Leonard Shengold, 1989)

In his book, 'Soul murder: The effects of childhood abuse and deprivation', Dr Shengold  explored various forms of child abuse and deprivation and the resulting psychological trauma that often surfaced when victims reached adulthood.  Although he acknowledged that a terrible childhood sometimes strengthens a person, he also noted that victims can end up abusing their own children because of sadomasochistic impulses and a susceptibility to terrible rage, as well as a compulsion to repeat the traumatic experiences, both as victim and as aggressor. 

Other research suggests that when a parent or other powerful figure violates a fundamental ethic of human relationships, victims may need to remain unaware of the trauma - not to reduce suffering, but rather to promote survival. Amnesia enables the child to maintain an attachment with a figure vital to survival, development, and thriving. It may not be until the child reaches adulthood that s/he remembers the abuse.
 

In 1994 Linda Meyer Williams asked the question,  "Do people actually forget traumatic events such as child sexual abuse, and if so, how common is such forgetting?"

She discovered that almost 40% of women did not recall the abuse that had been reported 17 years earlier, and the younger they were when abused, or if the abuser was someone known to them, then the more likely they were to have no recall of the abuse.

The NSPCC has identified the long-term effects of abuse and neglect, including:

   - Emotional difficulties such as anger, anxiety, sadness or low self-esteem

   - Mental health problems such as depression, eating disorders, post-
     traumatic
stress disorder (PTSD), self-harm, and suicidal thought

   - Problems with drugs or alcohol

   - Disturbing thoughts, emotions and memories that cause distress or
     confusion

   - Poor physical health such as obesity, aches and pains

   - Struggling with parenting or relationships

   - Worrying that their abuser is still a threat to themselves or others

   - Learning difficulties, lower educational attainment, difficulties in

     communicating

   - Behavioural problems including anti-social behaviour, criminal behaviour

 

When I look at this list, I count myself very lucky that I haven't been affected by the worst of them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is control? 6th September 2018

This week, I've been the subject of attempted control. It is not a happy feeling. It has happened several times during my seventy years. Very often it is people that you love most (even unconditionally) who seem intent on preventing you from being your own person.  As a result, I've been thinking about what control is.

The Oxford Dictionarly defines control as, "The power to influence or direct people's behaviour or the course of events."

There are lots of 'controllers' in this world - people who try to inflict their will upon other people.

Control is never good unless it is the control you exercise over your own behaviour and destiny.

Even in business, the most senior managers and directors would do better to lead rather than control their staff.

Controllers are not always abusers, but abusers are invariably controllers. Controllers fail to respect others. They value nobody but themselves. 

Controllers inflict hurt and heartbreak on those who do not deserve it.

Controllers try to control only those they feel threatened by.

Controllers see themselves as superior to those they try to control.

Controllers try to control others because their is a deficiency in their own lives.

Better to love rather than control.

Better to put others before yourself.

Better to ask rather than tell.

Better to give rather than take.

Is it ever okay to confront an abuser? - 30th August 2018

Here is a question that I was often asked when I was a trainer on the subject of abuse: 

Is it ever okay to confront an abuser? 

This was always asked in the context of having found out that someone you know is abusing someone else. For example:

1. If you discovered that a member of your family was abusing another member of your family, or

2. If you had witnessed another member of staff in a care home abusing a resident, or

3. If a close friend who is a single mum was leaving her child at home locked in its bedroom asleep at night so she could go to work to earn money for food, or

4. If the family of an elderly relative with dementia and a tendency to wander locked that person into their home to keep them safe from going out and getting lost or having accidents.

What do you think?

This is how I'd answer those questions:

In all of the above examples, the person being abused is either a child or a person that is vulnerable enough not to be able to protect themselves.

You say you want to give the abuser a chance to stop the abuse before they get into trouble. After all, if you report them to the appropriate authorities things are likely to get worse for the victim as well as the abuser.  Other innocent members of their family will also suffer. If a child is taken into care, then so will their siblings be. Is any care setting better than being in your own home even if you are locked in sometimes? Might you not be breaking up the care networks within those families? Might a worker lose their job and then their own family would suffer too? Might the cost fall on other members of society if a person is not able to work? Might the children of a loving mum who is doing her best to feed her children, be denied the love of their mother?

The answer to all of those questions is yes. But what might happen if you do confront the abusers?

You may be lucky and they change their ways - especially if the abuse is accidental i.e. they do not realise that what they are doing actually amounts to abuse. That can be addressed with extra training or support for the abusers.

But most abuse is not accidental. It normally occurs where there is a power imbalance between the abuser and the abused. 

Ask yourself these questions:

- Might the abuse get worse because the abuser will then need to threaten the victim to deny that abuse is happening?

- Might the victim be in danger of death - after all abuse never decreases if left alone - it always escalates.

- Might the child or dementing elderly person locked in their homes be in danger of being trapped and burned to death should a fire break out?

- Might the worker be abusing other care home residents too, that you don't even know about?

- Might the victim be suffering more than you realise and just waiting to be rescued?

- Isn't any care setting better than being regularly tortured at home?

Remember abuse is almost always a criminal action. By law, you must disclose what is happening as you could be seen to be colluding with the abuse and thus as guilty as the abuser.

It's a no brainer. Never, ever confront an abuser.

 

Professional editing begins - 23rd August 2018

My Australian Editor, Janet, is in the process of structurally editing my book, 'One Small Word'. I cannot stress enough the value of paying for an editor to tighten up your book before the publication process begins. She is expert at using my words in a different order to increase the impact on the reader. Yet she ensures that I always remain in control i.e. I can accept or reject her suggestions without concern about offending her. She is brilliant at picking up potential threads and weaving them more effectively into my story. She identifies where readers might misenterpret my intentions as a result of lack of clarity in my writing, and makes me think latererally. She is opening my mind to possibilities that I'd never have thought of. It is really exciting to see your rough diamond of a book becoming a polished gem. I'm loving this journey so much!

Such an exciting week - 16th August 2018

This week has been so positive for me for the following reasons:

 

1. The organisation, "Support Line" that supports victims of historical child abuse, has agreed to write  the foreword for my book.

 

2. I had a professional photoshoot for the portrait that I can use on my book cover. What amazing fun it turned out to be.

 

3. I found a live band (introduced to me by the photographer) who's members are interested in raising awareness of abuse (as my book does), and they agreed to play at my book launch at a significant discount.

 

4. The photographer also agreed to take photos at my book launch for an amazing price.

 

5. I found and booked my ideal location for the launch, including a bar and catering.

 

6. I then organised my book launch for Saturday 2nd February 2019 - a long way in advance, but believe me, trying to coordinate everything is quite a task!

 

So all that is left to do now is to get my manurscript to my editor, publish the book, and get enough printed copies for the book signing part of the Launch.

 

Then the real marketing begins. Can't wait!

This Week In America - 9th August 2018

I was privilaged to be interviewed during the week by Ric Bratton, who is the presenter of an American Radio Show called "This Week in America". I recently republished my first phonics story book for small children with a new publisher, "Book Venture", who organised this interview for me. Ric also wanted to mention all my other 23 phonics story books, and then discussed the memoir based novel, "One Small Word - surviving childhood abuse" that I've just finished writing. He is a great interviewer and does extensive research beforehand. Click on the You Tube link below to see and hear the interview. I didn't realise how very 'South London' my voice sounds!:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SN3k92BfzCY 

 

Also, this week my cat turned a corner regarding her recovery from her ear cancer surgery. Batcat still looks odd, but is much perkier now. My little princess has returned - be she temporarily an ugly but endearing princess. Tests show that she is now cancer free, with only a very slight chance that it could have got into her lymph glands. So fingers crossed, she'll live for many more years to come. 

 

 

Batcat post op and recovering - Ugly but Endearing

Nearly there - 2nd August 2018

I've been very close to finishing my manuscript for a few weeks but then came up against a brick wall. I couldn't seem to continue writing. I lost clarity. Apparently this is quite common and referred to as writers block. Today, I started writing again and can't stop. I'm on a roll. This time I'm determined to keep going to the last chapter.

 

I've also made a decision. I'm going to publish this book under a pen name to protect the people upon whom the characters are based. I've changed all their names but this is an extra level of protection. My pen name will be Evelyn Glow.

Meet Batcat - July 26th 2018

Batcat is about 10years old and is a rescue cat. She was rescued at the age of 4. She used to live in Littlehampton until my husband died. She was a very independent cat. We now live  together in Lancing. She has become a little princess and is very clever. She can understand the english language, although I only understand a few words of cat language. 

 

Recently I discovered that Batcat, had cancer in her ear. A few days ago she had a very uncomfortable operation to remove the whole of her left ear canal and now is completely deaf on that side. She's usually such a  perky little thing but at present she's quite poorly. She really doesn't like her blue collar as you can see in the picture below.

 

I hope to be able to report in the not too distant future that she has completely recovered.

 

Batcat recovering from her cancer surgery. How she hates that blue collar!

Steaming forward - 19th July 2018

The title of my blog this week will give you a clue as to the weather in the UK, which continues to be hot and humid. It also tells you that I am steaming on with my novel, with great hopes of completing soon.

 

Today I went out for a walk with a friend along the banks of the River Adur, which is around a mile from where I live. I'm so lucky to be able to walk out into the countryside whenever I wish. We were surrounded by water, trees, fields and hills. It was so peaceful until we really listened hard and realised we could hear the thunder of the traffic from the distant busy road. We have polluted our world in so many ways in pursuit of progress, including noise pollution.

 

My village of Lancing is situated between the sea and the South Downs. We are proud that we are the largest village in England and are listed in the Domesday Book. 

 

Most of our community are protected from flooding by the large flood plains that soak up the groundwater flowing down from the Downs, and the extensive network of ditches that take away the surface water from rainfall.

 

The Government in its wisdom is forcing local authorities to build a given quota of houses, completely disregarding the environmental balance. They are blindly insisting on houses being built on our sensitively balanced flood plains, even though they are aware that by taking the flood plains away, the ground water will rise up elsewhere and the rest of the village is highly likely to flood.

 

The community has been up in arms and has pressured the local authority to defer the final decision as to whether this building goes ahead until the current risks are investigated further. They are fighting for their village and their wellbeing. They are coming together in adversity, just as people did in the last war.

 

There is a widely held belief that the greedy developers are, in some way or another, bribing the Council Members, so their plans will be pushed through regardless of the disaster that will ensue. How sad it is when individuals get into a position of power and that means more to them than the people they represent. They will abuse their positions of power for personal gain and effectively betray their own community.

 

Abuse results from an imbalance of power. Child abuse is arguably the worst type of abuse. Young, innocent children suffer from the hands of those who have control over them, and use them for their own purposes. Beating a child is never acceptable. Using a child for sexual gratification is never acceptable. The abuser is inflicting a life sentence on the child they abuse.

 

As I write my novel based on my childhood experiences of abuse, I understand more and more about how those experiences have defined me as an adult. 

'One Small Word' - surviving childhood abuse is a powerful read.

 

How many of us have the opportunity to relive our lives and get to know ourselves better? Writing a book provides this opportunity. For anyone who has been the victim of abuse, or for those professionals working with them, this book is a must read. It provides insights into the effects of abuse that those people will be able to relate to, and this will help them to understand themselves better.

 

Sign up to attend my book launch and receive a free copy of my book when it is completed in the next couple of months. Either email me at gloriaeveleigh@icloud.com with the words 'Book Launch & Free Copy' in the title line; or leave your email address at the bottom of this page with the same words in brackets.

 

I look forward to hearing from you.

It ain't alf ot ere - 5th July 2018

The UK is experiencing a heat wave. I'm sitting on my sofa in my lounge, Wimbledon Tennis is on the box,  every window is wide open, and I'm still hot! However, I can hear the birds singing and I can see the blue sky. With a bit of imagination I can even hear the waves gently breaking on the sea shore beyond the green across the road from my home. I love living here at the seaside. It makes me happy, and when I'm happy I can write non-stop. My memories come thick and fast and my words do the same. It is not always easy to deal with the memories or find the right words but today I have received four positive reviews about my memoir based novel, which have encouraged me no end. Thank you to my followers who give up their time to read parts of my book and provide me with a critique. Your interest and support make my journey worthwhile. Please keep it coming x

Positive feedback - 21st June 2018

It is so valuable to receive honest feedback. Thanks, John, for pointing out my very fundamental mistake regarding kryptonite and its effect on Superman. It puts a whole new connotation on the words said by the Social Work Manager when she commented on Frankie's bottom. You'll need to read Chapter 1 to understand what I am talking about!  John's review touched on some real truths, and gave me a great incentive to keep going with my book. You can find it on the Review page of this website.

 

I am also very grateful to Joanie, who pointed out a spelling mistake that the spell checker missed. Frederick, the father of my main character, Frankie, dished out the Christmas pudding, which I inadvertently described as 'the desert.' In fact the pudding really was not as dry as a desert! I, of course, meant to use the word 'dessert.'

 

Both John and Joanie saved me from embarrassing situations, for which I shall be forever grateful. Look on the Review page to see what Joanie had to say about the first four chapters of my book.

 

 

Progress as of 14th June 2018

I've been so encouraged this week. My email list of interested supporters has grown significantly. Thank you to everyone who has offered to read and review parts of my book. Your input improves the readability of my book significantly.

 

I would love to hear from child protection social workers, professionals working with survivors and/or offenders of historical child abuse, and most importantly anyone who experienced childhood abuse. Your input would be particularly valuable to me. You are my main target audience and would be able to gauge if my book would help you.

 

Contact me by email on gloriaeveleigh@icloud.com  if you would like to participate.

I've done it at last 07.06.2018

I'm relieved that I have at last managed to set up my blog. I don't have good computer skills but I do have staying power and determination. The more I struggled, the more determined I became to succeed. I will be writing a blog at least once a week and will let everyone on my email list know each time I add something new.

If you would like to read just one chapter and provide your objective feedback, I would be honoured to hear from you. Just leave your email address and I will forward one to you:

 

 

Name*
Email address*
Message*