"I’ve started talking to my daughter about me being abused and telling her what signs to look out for and all. Even the violence I experienced in my life was crazy."
I have always wanted to do this… I want to share my story so it’s going to be used – where young people can read it. From starting sharing bits of my story I’m beginning to feel relieved. I’ve started talking to my daughter about me being abused and telling her what signs to look out for and all. Even the violence I experienced in my life was crazy.
I’m Lilly, 34, was born in Belfast, I’ve 4 kids and a grandchild. Well my childhood was pretty crap we were dirty kids with no food and never got new clothes. I never really had a childhood. No childhood at all. Social services admit it now they knew I was being abused as a child but why not do anything? When I look back on it now my Ma and Dad were paedophiles – see in this day and age they would be classed at Paedophiles. There was even incest among my brother and sister and all. That’s why I don’t speak to none of them. When I used to drink with my sister she used to say ‘see my oldest child – that’s my brother’s. Just drops it in like that was normal. They all do it; I don’t what to know them.
When I was aged 8 until 12 my dad abused me and I never went to school. I was kept off to clean their dirty house I couldn’t wait to leave the house I hated it there. I got my dad arrested for 74 hours but my brother and sister said he wasn’t like that and he got out. See they were good actors when people called to the door – they would let on we were allowed to do stuff, but see when they left - we got murdered for it. It was just a dark, grim, darkness place, I hated it like.
He abused me from when I was 8 -12 years old and my mum was doing it to the boys. She was doing it in full flight, in front of other people. My daddy touched me but everyone said no he didn’t. My brother and sister then had a child together, but I was taken out of school aged 13 to raise the child up. She is in her 20s now and she knows who her daddy is but her daddy has a family and none of his family knows. It’s like a big family secret; I don’t want any part of it. To me I have broken the cycle of the dirtiness. What we seen growing up wasn’t normal – it wasn’t nice.
Why are men always so bad to me?
At the age of 15 I started drinking and met a fella that showed me love and so I left home and moved in with him and his dad… (Little did I know this fella would beat me for the next 12 years) we drank every day and at 17 I was an alcho, our lives were drink, drink, drink.
I can remember becoming an alcoholic. He said to me the next day take a pint of cider and you’ll feel alright, took a pint of cider and I felt fucking great, that was me from 17 right up until 6 months ago everyday drinking. I just thought I was going to end up dead one day. But I didn’t. It turned me into a nasty person. This fella beat me so bad in 1999 the police charged him with attempted murder but stupid me couldn’t cope without him so I dropped the charges and he came home outta jail and 2 days later he beat me again.. so 7 years ago I woke up with a busted jaw, 2 black eyes and later at hospital had 2 broken arms so that day I left never went back. In 2009 I found out I was deaf because of the violence, because he hit me around the head so much. I’ve got nerve damage at the back of my head. But I thought everyone lived like that, I thought everyone was getting beat. Although I never seen it happen before. He kept telling me he only ever beat me because he loved me. He doesn’t bother with the kids or anything now so I just let him be.
I got into serious trouble with the police last year when I finally flipped. I was drinking and last year a fella I knew came into my company drinking and cos I wouldn’t get him a drink he rang the police saying that I beat him up. The police removed me from there to a friend’s house and this fella kept ringing me laughing at me because the police believed him and I thought, fuck this, he’s not going to make a cunt outta me. So I was drunk and put a knife in my bag and got a taxi to the flat where he was and when I got there he near shit himself and opened the door and punched me to the floor. He completely floored me. That’s when I took the knife out and stabbed him in the knee cap. That was the day I flipped. I was fed up with being treated bad, by men. I got put in jail for 4 ½ months on remand. No one would give me a bail address; it was a heart breaking time for my kids. In the end I got 3 months sentence which I did on remand and 18 months probation.
It’s OK probation I love this art group it chills me out and I like the two leaders. I’ve been outta jail now a year and I’m sober the first time in 19 years and there is light at the end of the tunnel… It’s been a very long road and I’ve learned to deal with things and I’m going to enjoy my family and I hope I stay off the drink.
Well I know I will because it’s a brighter life now. I still have these walls up that no-one body is going to touch me – that it’s not going to get to the point where there’s violence again, no way. It broke my kids’ heart seeing me inside. They visited me every week in there; twice a week. I had to pay for their taxi but to be honest I would have paid anything just to see them twice a week. I’m really glad I’ve done this – in here it’s me doing this sober – see before I would have took no shit, I would have head butted yas. But see now I can sit back and relax and think, fuck you don’t have to be violent. But I thought there was that much hurt in my life, I just thought - you know what, no one is going to hurt me and I was out there with an angry attitude. Thinking about it I’m surprised I wasn’t in Hydebank long before, I was always hitting people and I used to think it was going to come back and bite me in the ass – and it did. I’m glad it has now; it hit me right at the right stage where I’m off the drink and all.
I would like to make a difference in other young people’s life’s who are drinking getting into trouble. It doesn’t land you anywhere nice. I’d just love to help the wee ones. Or even people who are being abused… I never had the balls to say to my ma or da when they were a live, see now their dead; it’s just like I’m not talking to them. See I never talked to them from I was 15 until my dad died and I went back but couldn’t stick my ma she was and oul bastard. Then she died – I only found out last night she’s coming up to 3 years dead. But you know, I still have some, not respect, love for my daddy. I would have his photo and all in the house and people would say you know I couldn’t have that there and I would tell people, he was my dad at the end of the day. And there is things he learnt us like respect you for your elders, ya know, there is good things as well.
But in my head I have forgive him… I just wish I had the balls to say something to him when he was alive. But, it’s what I make of life not…. See I can see the other side where I do feel sorry for myself and think fuck it, I will drink every day off the week but I don’t want that for myself. I always say to my daughter whose 17 I’d love to work with your age group, I think I would be good at it. I’ve always wanted to do it but the drink was a big battle for me. Ya know I’ve lost my kids through the drink. I want to get them back, I want to stay off the drink get a job and get them back.