The Bar Child
A lady describes to us here, the abuse she encountered during her childhood. A seemingly perfect family set up can be dramatically turned upside down with its very foundations destroyed and non-existent. All it takes is alcohol, adult emotional breakdowns, allowing the wrong people around young children and basically letting go of what matters, the emotional welfare of the child. The story is true and heart wrenching please take time to read this…
At aged 9 I had developed such a close relationship with my mother that she was my best friend. My parents were together, I was a generally happy little girl. But at the same age, things changed dramatically for me and for my family. A dream of running a bar in a hotel in Cyprus had tempted my parents into up rooting us all from school, friends, family and the stability I had known until then.
In the beginning I enjoyed the holiday lifestyle but that novelty wore off pretty fast once my parents started drinking heavily and neglecting me.
I concentrated on my school work, I was a grade A student year in year out. I was attending a private school which for me meant better opportunities for my future. My father and his drinking habits got so bad that he pulled me out of the school so he didn’t have to pay for it any more. Not much longer after that we lost our house and my parents lost their minds. Living in a mad house where my mother slept with the punters and my father simply laughed it off. My mother was no where to be found, just a drunken mess with no self-respect or control remained, and my father, he just didn’t seem to care anymore.
I was completely isolated from my friends at school at 15, by this point I had been self-harming, drank so much I had alcohol poisoning and was regularly attempting overdose. I was desperate to end my life. I had absolutely no support through the trauma of watching my parents in their slow motion life rollercoaster train crash.
My father had began dating a woman who would regularly corner me and sexually abuse me when she could. I was so afraid and too young to understand what was really happening. I felt confused and in disbelief but also petrified to say a word, so I just kept trying to top myself.
To make matters worse, my father was determined to have this woman as his new wife and with the divorce between my parents fast approaching, I felt there was no hope for me.
No one knew about the overdose, it simply hadn’t worked, instead I woke up terribly ill. The doctor said there’s as much alcohol in me as in an old hard core alcoholic and if I didn’t quit I’d simply die, my liver was not coping. No questions were raised. None. Ever. The police often had to be called to the bar, the fights, the death threats the underage bar child. But no, my mum hid me in the kitchen then.
My mother’s new partner was a real treat! A wannabe mafia type, don’t get me wrong he had the connections, but he was more into exorcising his macho beatings on my mother. He made threats on her life all the time and she was stuck with him.
The bar was forcibly closed due to so many complaints. The party moved into our home, 24/7. During a drug and alcohol fuelled evening, one of our neighbours were even shot.
I had not stopped drinking but I knew I had to get out of there. I had started sleeping with men for money too but I was just very violated because I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. Even less when I started drugs. But I HAD to get out.
When I finally turned 18 I moved with a friend to the UK but I didn’t make things better. I had gotten so used to that life I now created it for myself. And I took it much further, crack, heroin, you name it. Every day. Simply a lifestyle. And again, yet again, I HAD to get out.
I got back to Cyprus even more messed up than when I had left. My mum had got worse too, our lives simply blended of demons, drinks and customers. We shared them, shared the money, if we got any that is. Sometimes drink and a place to stay the night was enough. There were no longer ANY limits, any wrongs. We hitchhiked and dealt with abusive men like we had lost any normality or I don’t know, we simply had nothing and nothing mattered either.
Despite the repetitive violations something very big changed one night. My mum’s boyfriend’s friend raped me. What was the difference? Who knows, but I reported it. I had been trying to hold down a normal job someone had given me who’d known me since a child and felt sorry for me I think. Nonetheless, I did my best, I appreciated it. But the double life was impossible to keep up with. However, there was another lady working there and she had said if I ever needed anything to simply call. And it was that night that I called.
I moved out and stayed with her family for some weeks. That’s when I found out I was pregnant. Despite everything I still thought of home as my home but I was welcome no more. Head hung low I picked up contact with my grandparents that I was pretty estranged from. And I moved in with them as a child I had never been really.
The court case went on, time went by. I started therapy, I was put on medication despite the risks it might cause the baby. I had to keep it. My grandparents were religious, abortion was out of the question. And I had no money to do it myself.
I had nowhere to go and I just knew this child would come into the world under such unfortunate circumstances and mess. Part of me wanted the child, there was a love there I had never known about, but the rest, it was just all wrong.
I tried to kill myself again but couldn’t quite go through with it. I nearly lost the baby I was told when I woke up in hospital. So okay, after all this, maybe, just maybe this was meant to be?
It was. I had a beautiful absolutely perfect baby boy. I was getting regular therapy. But it wasn’t that simple, no. I had years of damage to undo and with my mental health issues, diagnoses, my ongoing drinking, economical problems, a diagnosis of Autism in my child, I was actually way further away from ‘ok’ than I thought.
I had actually gotten clean of heroin, crack and methadone a year before thankfully, miraculously! But drink, that first love as yet still a child was a problem and my liver proved it on black and white. Again I was furiously ill and this time is was going to take longer than a few months to recover like last time.
It was at this point I think I finally started getting better because that if anything was rock bottom. I got a new therapist who specialized in my disorders and made a structured therapy plan. I cannot stress enough the importance of the right therapist. I had been going for years and I really, really more than anything wanted to be ‘ok’ but simply the right tools weren’t there.
It sure scraped me out of the worst situations but never gave me that extra kick, that extra incentive to get better. But now I had that. I wanted it. I wanted it more than anything I had ever wanted. This was for me, this was for my child and I had to do it and not only did I just have to, I wanted to. Layer by layer every piece of dirt was scraped off and it was a huge battle but it was worth it.
So.. here I am, sober from alcohol, clean from all the drugs, rewired to function and even happy in doing so. It is possible. I want to help other people see that that is possible. I tried once. I joined a charity for trafficked girls but… my mum still has the same boyfriend and he still has the same contacts… He’s not involved himself but I was scared away. Maybe another day….
I have even forgiven my mum now. I do keep her at a distance and I have had to put her in her place many a times. I feel sorry for her sometimes and I get very angry with her still even nowadays but at the end of the day she’s my mum. I’m still the only friend she really has and that is sad. The difference is I take no part of her life any more. I won’t allow my son there in a million years. It’s complicated, that’s for sure but sometimes we even have good days.
Because she can play normal sometimes nowadays, or she tries to at least.. Other times she gets thrown out and I put her up in my house until her boyfriend accepts her again. But I’ve drawn the line even further now, if she’s drunk she’s not welcome because I have to protect my son. That is my prerogative and always will be. What will become of her I do wonder, but only time will tell. What matters the most is that I’m ok, because for as long as I’m ok I can make sure my son is ok and that, that is what is the most important to me in the whole world.
One of the most soul touching stories out there, pure honesty and experience oozes from this piece. I think this would make an amazing book. It offers brutal honesty in the effects of child abuse and the woman behind this life is someone who possesses some kick ass strength!
Written by an Anonymous Victim,
Edited By Chief Editor Michelle Naughton