If you were raped as a child, it hardly bears stating that you are completely innocent of any wrongdoing, whether you can yet believe that or not.
But for many of us, innocence is not just a legal definition. Innocence, or that lack of a sense of it, is something that goes to the very core of our souls. It is supposed to be something light, sweet, free of taint.
I had the knowledge of a red light district lady by the time I was 9
It’s very difficult to feel that any innocence can have been preserved when you were given knowledge of things a child should never know about. Many of us feel as if we were some sort of child “whores”, and the unjustified sense of dirtiness sticks.
Yet if that was true, it was also true that I believed in fairies, kindness and goodness, pretty flowers & puppy dogs. I imagined myself to be Cinderella, Snow White, or Rapunzel in a Beautiful magic castle. I was an affectionate – or affection-starved – child who loved everybody, and while that was used against me, it was a quality I retain still.
I refused to stop loving, and that is a triumph. Can you recall games and toys you liked? I have many original 1960s Topsy & Tim books – eBay is great for the out-of-print ones. I also still treasure a ladybird publication of Cinderella – and these books bring back to me her innocence that never died, even while such ghastly things were happening.
I am persuaded to believe that there is in most of us a flaming innocence that no rapist could put out. I hope you will find yours if you have not already.
NAPAC is a UK-wide charity supporting adults who were abused in childhood. Support line 0808 801 0331, free from UK landlines or mobiles 10am-9pm Mon-Thu & 10am-6pm Fri
CISters is a UK charity that provides emotional support for females (18+) who, as children/teens, were raped/sexually abused by a member of their immediate/extended family. See Cisters.org
or call Samaritans free – lines open 24/7 116123