The last words of my blog yesterday were:
“The past does not exist, even though everything is interconnected by happenstance.”
Someone took exception when they read this yesterday and told me:
“You’re an idiot. Of course the past exists.”
Well, it doesn’t and it does…
Two days ago, I posted a blog headlined Rolf Harris, Jimmy Savile, Gary Glitter, Roman Polanski – and what it is like to be sexually assaulted as a child.
Yesterday, I got a response from ‘Sandy Mac’. This turned out to be someone I met at the Edinburgh Fringe last year. This is what she wrote yesterday:
I was born in 1946.
I was about seven years old or a bit younger and sometimes looked after by a neighbour with a small daughter. I rarely saw her husband but, on this occasion, he was at home.
He and I were in the front room sitting in front of the fire. Amidst the chat, I looked up to see this ‘thing’ in his hand which he urged me to touch.
I remember feeling uncertain, confused if not a bit frightened at what he was asking, although I didn’t know why.
I remember him saying: “Go on. It won’t bite.”
Then his wife called us to the kitchen to eat. I can’t remember how I felt after that as we all sat around the table.
I do know that I didn’t tell my mother, but I didn’t go to that house again.
A happy coincidence maybe, but no explanation was given.
In my early twenties, I remember working for one particular employer who was an absolute menace around women. He also wielded quite a lot of power. Not a happy combination. As well as witnessing my employer’s behaviour towards women at first hand, I heard accounts from other people too. This would have been in the mid-1960s.
That sadly was the climate of the times.
Police at that time, I remember, were loathe to intervene in cases of domestic violence. Oh how I applauded Erin Pizzey when she opened her first refuge in Chiswick in the early 1970s.
I was an ‘unmarried mother’ at sixteen and was sent to a mother and baby home, run by nuns in Stamford Hill.
The stigma was huge in 1962, only matched by my mother’s disappointment in me.
My daughter will be 52 this year with three boys of her own. She was reunited in Canada with her father and his lovely wife. She and her dad had about ten years to get to know one another. She was with him when he died a few years ago now.