Follows on from JAGGED #4
Chapter 15: The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Not that one. This one!
Last time I said to you that this next Chapter would be about the Law as experienced by this voice from the world of childhood sexual abuse. I’ve changed my mind. The next Chapter will detail my legal experiences in full. This Chapter is about some other things.
The publication of Chapter 14 – the first time that my being has fully spoken of dark carried truths – flat out emptied me. Once I had completely put my abuse experiences down on paper I literally just sat in place on my lounge for three days before sending the Chapter through to AIMN. Oh, I did some normal things like have a cup of coffee or eat something, but largely I just sat there blank-minded. At the end of the three days I stood up, went over to my laptop, and hit the send button. Hitting that button, by far, is the hardest thing I have ever done by choice in my entire life.
JAGGED is an unfolding journey. I have not yet even mentioned my mother, that will happen, but just not yet. I have not yet mentioned how my childhood experiences affected my personal relationships with women when I became an adult, and I have not yet mentioned how much my working life was affected – all of that will come. I have not yet spoken of how important it was to me to become a father, and how scouring it was to realise that the strength of my love as a father to my children was matched by my ineptness.
I have not yet talked about how strange it feels to me that in the society that existed in Australia back in the 1950s and 1960s many male and female children, who actually still did have parents, ended up as state wards in religious orphanages. I have not yet talked about my older sister who died recently and who I never really got to know. She lived into her 70s, and my niece who I have only just recently met online informed me that her mother could never, despite loving encouragement, ever talk about her early orphanage experiences. Can you imagine that? A lifetime spent without being heard.
If you met me out there in the world in some sort of random way you would not have any sort of automatic insight that would help you recognise me as a Victim/Survivor of childhood sexual abuse. I don’t have a blinking neon sign on my forehead saying ‘ah, when you see my limitations there are reasons for it’. You’ll just meet a quiet and anxious man.
So far in this book I have wanted to give you context before I move on to writing about areas of life that are very important to me. I have wanted to show you what happened to me as a child and how it altered the workings of my mind. I really have wanted to give you a sense of ‘who’ is writing this book.
As I plopped along through life I never labeled myself as intelligent/average/slow, all I’ve ever really thought about all of that is that I think the way I think, and I think at a level that is no better or worse than the way anybody else thinks. Earlier I mentioned how a mental health professional assessed my intelligence level, and I’ll mention it again because there is something I want to say about that …
Psychological Assessment Report (GPAC) 14 March 2008: “Vocabulary and grammar skills were suggestive of .. intellectual functioning .. to above average range.”
Medicolegal Report 27 January 2018: “Mr Davis presented as a relatively intense and intrinsically sad person. His intelligence is above average, and could possibly be in the superior range. He is capable of thinking in a psychological manner.”
My point about all of that is this – nothing protects you from the ravages of childhood sexual abuse – being able to process at a certain cognitive level affords no protection whatsoever from the imposition of abuse legacies and does not grant any special internal ability to mitigate or transcend those legacies.
One is in a bit of a vice with this intelligence stuff. To have a mind that understands what happened to it, and how it was involuntarily changed, afforded me the benefit of a non-fractured psyche/personality. That is a good thing. On the other side of things – to have a mind that understands what happened to it and understands cognitively why that mind is highly unlikely to improve or repair is nothing short of a rolling curse.
I well remember the testimony interview David Hill (the ex-director of the ABC) gave a few years ago on television to recount, if I remember correctly, his child-migrant abuse experiences. That very successful man totally broke down when he spoke of his experiences. The experiences that I speak of in JAGGED have that power to demolish.
I do not have the ability to give verbal testimony of my experiences with coherence. If I try to speak with someone about my experiences I fold-in and cry and the muscles in my face uncomfortably twitch and roll under the skin. That is why I write about my experiences and my legacies – because that is the only real way I can ‘speak’ about them.
That I have the ability to understand the demolition process in my own case leaves me hanging on to the sharp blades of a cognitive double-edged sword. Gives me the shits!
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