This is what my friend Terri Dry wrote when she gave me permission to share these two, of many, horrific childhood memories of not just abuse and trauma but of torture at the hands of her father.
Terri shared other aspects of her repeated early childhood torture and rape at the House of Lords, Westminster Palace in June 2017.
Terri has had a seventeen year association with the University of Melbourne's Dax Centre, first as a Psychology teacher and then in publicity and collation of the Poetry Collection. She is now a presenter for Wellways, an NGO that creates opportunities for inclusion and belonging for people who feel isolated and excluded because of mental health issues.
WARNING: Terri's memories below are horrific and triggering.
Daddy put my 4 year old hands on a red hot stove to teach me not to do drawings showing his sexual abuse of me. At the same time he told me he would chop my fingers off if I did them any more. I believed him because he had a chopped off finger from a wood chopping accident.
I clearly remember my father looking down at my 13 year old self as I lay covering my mother’s body. He had just brutally and repeatedly bashed me with the heel of a shoe for throwing myself over my mother’s body because he had been bashing her.
His words to me at that time are seared into my memory forever. They were that he hated me like he hated my mother and like he hated his mother! He also said that he pitied the man I married and that I was lazy and dishonest.
My mother took me to our GP who gave me sedatives!!!!...
My mother told me to tell my swimming squad buddies that the bruising on my back was from a bicycle accident. I complied without the implications occurring to my 13 year old self.
So yet another lesson from authority figures in my life to just calm down and put up with outrageous abuse. What a recipe for an adult life of suffering.
For confidential information, counselling and support for those impacted by domestic, family or sexual assault or abuse, please call 1800RESPECT = 1800 737 732
Kathy Kaplan OAM
I am happy for the whole world to know... I'm angry and it's taken a LONG time for me to find my voice