Wednesday 29 September 2021

Confronting Child-Abuse

I wrote the poëm below back in the late nineties or early noughties. It deals with the thorny issue of child-abuse. This covers physical, emotional, spiritual, sexual and neglect issues. Please do NOT read any further if these themes might cause distress.

Of late I am once again being pestered by bad-memories that come into my consciousness unsolicited. I dearly wish I could control them or ignore them. Lamentably, I cannot. A couple of years back I requested help from my G.P. (family doctor), but they failed to follow through in making the agreed arrangements. Since then, my health has deteriorated and then of course we had the global pandemic. The counsellors are currently rather busy. I shall pursue again in the future. My doctor knows I am not going to try anything I might regret. But if you need assistance as a matter of urgency, do not feel that you cannot ask. There is HOPE and there is support and you are entitled to it.

[Image description: contact page for CHILDLINE]

If you are a child in the UK (their definition is anyone under the age of nineteen), please call CHILDLINE on 0800-1111. It is run these days by the NSPCC. They give you advice and support either directly or they can direct you to the most appropriate assistance. From someone who along with my siblings was abused by parents in the days when there was no help for kids, we lobbied hard for this service. Even the abusers need help for their issues. Everyone receives the help they need. But someone has to make the call. Please do. Or if you cannot, ask someone you trust - a friend, or a valued teacher - to make the call on your behalf.

If the reader is an adult who has been abused, please be aware that there is lots of help and support available. Try an internet-search or contact your family-doctor for more information. I am not medically nor professionally trained to offer support. This blog-post offers my own perspectives and opinions.


they who look like me

empty photographs

I don’t remember your faces

I cannot recall

what you look like


only now

that you are not so potent

ageing and greying


I have to call you parents

though you don’t deserve the title

a right the state bestowed

without my assent

you ought to have been incarcerated

retribution for what you have done

separately and cumulatively

but arrest now would only harm me

still you think yourselves innocent

despite hypocritical Christianity


dissembling atheïstic libertarianism

you refuse to do penance

no proffered expiation


it is I who am imprisoned

embondaged to the past

ever present and merciless

a personal hell I cannot escape

founded on your abuse

of one too young

too naïf

to understand

to make sense of the meaningless

actions, misdeeds to a psychë

who had done nothing wrong

too intelligent for my own good

so why was I steeped in so much guilt

how did you twist


that missed the point

storgē should protect

cover a multitude of sins

even had I erred in the first instance

the shadows move closer

claustrophobia re-asserts

but I see no mien

of love

just self-reflected hate

in the mirror of your lives

the man who looks like me

walks over to the squawking child

and slaps the boy


back in the forties

the man who looks like me

walks over to the tubby child

and slaps the girl


back in the fifties

when will the anger come

not aimed at myself this time

but against you

when the release

from pain

when peace

of mind

the only gain

I need to pursue

the man who looks like me

the woman who looks like me

walk over to the cowering children

and beat the siblings

black and blue


back in the sixties, seventies and eighties

living still in memory

they who look like me


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