These questions have floated through my thoughts everyday since the abuse happened. The flashbacks of walking through particular events and moments, so real I can feel the carpet on my feet and the lights from the path which potentially could have changed the outcome of the circumstances I have found myself in. But, how are you a supposed to react when you have been raped or abused? Your mind goes into fight or flight mode, I froze paralysed with fear and started to become withdrawn from the world around.
I know my parents blamed themselves for what happened and questioned whether I trusted them enough. It wasn't about a lack of trust or my parents not being there, I just couldn't speak. How does a thirteen years old communicate to anyone that degrading sexual abuse is happening? I believe most people would not have an answer for that.
The years go by and it is those unanswerable questions which get recycled. It becomes a haunting memory that cannot be changed. For me the grief set in and I was trying to find 'little Rosie' when she was young and free running through the wheat fields. I slowly realised that I could never get her back, she was gone. It was difficult process which I still struggle today with. Looking through old pictures makes me sad, I feel detached from the past and the present. I have a hole in my life that can never be filled but instead I look back at the photos now with joy and hold on to those memories that have not been tarnished with horrible moments.
A key aspect is that I never felt safe in the school environment. There was a hierarchy specifically within my boarding house. You respected the older years and you would be fine, this was in my first two weeks at school. These defined my whole experience of school life. I still know dread walking into a university campus. These fear's rationally or irrationally still shape my daily life.
Honestly, I feel that the systems within school has protected those people and my house parents which are still working at the school to date. I know I will never get answers or accountability from the school or the perpetrators. I have to live with this for the rest of my life.
Even with a Freedom of Information Act sent to the school because they are a registered charity, they are not required to answer it. There will never be transparence with in the system about abuse or sexual abuse within school, if public schools are protected by this Act.
Additionally, teachers do not need a teaching qualification at a public schools, this makes me question whether there is enough training in child protection?
Abuse within schools and in the wider society has become a taboo subject. I feel nobody questions and is willing to investigate the potential problems. I have tried to get justice through the courts but there is no forensic evidence and nobody to collaborate my story. It is my word against theres.
There are no answers to these questions, this is one of the hardest part of recovery to deal with. Slowly, I am getting there and trying to leave the past behind. I am trying to shape a more positive future where I am able to share my story and hopefully one day change will come.