A Dad’s Voice Part 3
His legacy, my recovery.
They say time is a great healer. In my circumstance it is not a healer, it is a sentence that I might complete some day. Our lives have been changed irreversibly. However, what we have found after these years is that there are ways through the pain, loss and despair.
There are great people and organisations out there to help and give you the strength to try and understand that your life is different, how to cope with the inevitable changes to come alongside the immediate pain and trauma. You will be going down a different path to one you expected. There ARE ways to navigate through the destruction left by someone.
My daughter had the support of different charities and individuals who have done a marvellous job. However, when it came to me talking and trying to understand where we had been left, I was at first very apprehensive about opening up to strangers. I had some individual therapy which helped, but for me (and everyone will be different) joining the parents voice group at The Green House has been a game changer, and in all honesty, a lifesaver.
Being able to discuss, vent and laugh (yes laugh – everyone needs a release, sometimes) has been a godsend. Generally just having a place to come together – with other parents and carers and the great people at The Green House, who are all only initially linked through tragedy – to come up with ideas and ways of dealing with the internal struggles has been absolutely a benefit to me and my recovery.
It has given me a focus to try to use my experience for the greater good, this in turn has helped me with my inner thoughts, feelings, and understanding in a way that I certainly did not think was available.
We set out with an aim of giving The Green House some insight into our lives and experiences and ways we, as individuals, could help them with their support for other parents. This manifested into a sort of self-help group as well. We then decided with The Green House that we should create a book which is a self-help guide for parents and carers of survivors of child sexual abuse. You can download or read it on The Green House website or order a physical copy from them.
The group as individuals have also spoken at conferences, seminars, and activism days so we can push the idea that you are not alone and that there is help out there, from people and organisations.
The Green House have been absolutely outstanding in the support and opportunity to talk and to put ideas into practice.
We are coming to an age now where our daughter is looking at university. This is absolutely frightening for me. However, what I know is that I have a sound understanding of where I am, how to deal with and support my daughter to the best of my ability. I can’t ask for much more.
Although our lives have taken a different path, it’s not all bad. There are things that we do as a family now which would not have been on our radar before, we have met some great people and done some things I never thought possible had our lives not been turned upside down by one person whose legacy has basically been to destroy everyone’s life around him.
I arrived at The Green House apprehensive, scared, worried and embarrassed. I left with understanding, achievement, and objectives completed. From a group of strangers put together under horrible circumstances, I have gained friends for life that we all can depend on in times when needed most.
Be kind to yourself.