Read My Story
I’ve been sitting here wondering how to best start my story. To be honest this ride (D2B) is going to be very therapeutic for me. I had a very secret story and I have only been able to talk about it over the past three years. Like that wonderful saying, ‘Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle – Plato’.
I kept my secret for 40 years and it has only been in the last 3 years that I have told my story. I was sexually abused in the Navy at Sydney’s HMAS Nirimba, a naval training base in the early 1970’s when I was 16 years old. In the last 3 years I have been working with Psychologists, Solicitors and the Government appointed DART (Defence Abuse Response Taskforce) to no longer hide my “secret”.
The link below is an article written by David Wroe at Sydney Morning Herald with a call for a Royal Commission into Defence Abuse.
When I told my daughters of the abuse they asked me many questions through the process. Two questions of which have stuck with me. One daughter asked me “Why keep it a secret Dad? Wouldn’t holding onto the secret cause more hurt for yourself?” and another daughter asked “Why did you give up Dad?”.
Now, my girls know me very well and while they grew up I always had an open door policy. They could always tell me anything, no matter how good or bad, whether I would be happy or disappointed. It was always better to tell me than to keep the secret. I am also a very dedicated ultra-marathon runner (was), Ironman and long distance swimmer, so you can imagine my girls have never seen me, give up no matter how tough the event. So you can see how both of these questions have stuck with me.
In answering my daughters’ questions I wrote these three short pieces to help explain why I kept the abuse a secret for so long and why I did give up at one point.
I can talk about my past quite easily now, don’t be afraid to ask questions as nothing disturbs me anymore. If you find parts of my story that brings up troubling feelings within yourself, there are links to websites in the following pages which could help.
If you need help: