I’ve been truly humbled by the response I’ve had to my Pandora’s Box post. It’s been a little over 3 years since I wrote that post and 9 years since that day I walked through the front door of York Police station, therefore I think an update is more than in order, not just because people have asked me what happened next but because I’m no longer bound by sub-judice or by my emotional state.
What happened after I made my statement, really amounts to very little. The officer had sent my statement down to Sussex. I waited 2 weeks but still hadn’t heard anything, so I called the detective from York to see if he could help. The next day, maybe day after; I had a phone call back from York CID to tell me after some trouble they had finally got a contact in Sussex for me. At this point I’d become convinced that I’d made a mistake in my statement about the layout of the house where I’d been abused. I was frightened beyond belief that at this early stage I’d screwed everything up. To try and put things right I phoned DC Fifefield in Sussex. He had no idea who I was, hadn’t read my statement and did very little to calm me down or ease my anxieties. About and hour later he rang me back having finally read my statement, fortunately I’d not made the mistake I thought I had and the investigation was about to begin. After a few weeks of trying to contact my sister and my friend who were both unwilling to come forward, Baulch was interviewed. Needless to say being the lying cowardly piece of crap he is, he denied it all. Fifefield rang me to say because the other victims wouldn’t come forward it was my word against his and that meant they was insufficient evidence to proceed. Fifefield knew from Baulch’s demeanour that he was lying and was guilty but couldn’t do much more, so the case would lie dormant until any further evidence turned up or the other victims changed their minds and made a statement. I felt completely and utterly defeated, I hadn’t stopped him abusing children, but hoped the police would keep an eye out for him.
The next few months were rough, I had to take a leave of absence from university, I was haunted and defeated. Functioning was more luck than judgement. I had agreed with the university to have my outstanding work submitted by march 2009. Struggling through January to March I managed to get the final year’s work written and submitted, including a ten-thousand word dissertation. With a sense of achievement my work was all in and i could unwind a bit. For my 33rd birthday I celebrated in town til silly O’Clock. The next morning whilst nursing the mother of all hangovers I was at York Station to catch a train to Manchester Airport to fly to Gatwick to visit Mum and Dad to celebrate my birthday with them and get a few days golf in. After a few days of ‘hangover’ I found myself on an operating theatre table for two and a half hours removing a burst appendix. The next month I was stranded in Sussex, in and out of St Richard’s hospital having further treatment and operations. During the third inpatient stay, to remove three stomach abscesses and some remaining sepsis from the appendix a nurse started to worry about my mental health. What she was worried about was the scars on my arms from past incidents of self harm. What she and the doctors should have been worried about was that I was desperate to get home to York. Being stuck in Sussex meant that when I wasn’t in hospital I was stuck at Mum and Dad’s next door to that bastard who still lived with his parents. The next four weeks certainly took it’s toll on me, but my physical recovery, which was slow kept me distracted from my mental deterioration. The drop in my mood and increase of my PTSD symptoms and anxiety soon became too much and the next three years became a blurry mix of physical and mental pain.
Around the time I wrote Pandora’s Box I was in a really bad state. I’d been in and out of my local psychiatric hospital, discharged from the Community Mental Health Team (CMHT) & left to my own devices. All at a time I was having an extreme flare up of my ptsd symptoms which were complicating my other mental health problems. Without being too graphic I was having nightmares where I stood in the corner of the room watching myself being abused by Baulch, I would then wake up in what can only be described as a post orgasmic state. I was so frightened. It’s always frightening to relive the abuse, but it was worse because my body had reacted in a way that was so vile and abhorrent. My mind was telling me that because I’d had an orgasm in response to memories of my abuser I must find it arousing and I must be becoming the very thing I feared the most, a paedophile in the making. I told this to my Community Mental Health Nurse (cpn) the week before she discharged me, her response still sends cold shivers down my spine. I was looking for answers, reassurance that I wasn’t a paedophile so she questioned whether she needed to call the police and social services. This frightened me even more, increased my suicidal tendencies. I had at this point decided that if my head was right then the only way to protect children and the world from me was to remove me from it.
3 or 4 weeks after being dropped by the CMHT, my dear friend Amy (whom I owe a great debt to for her unending support) put me in touch with a local charity who supports adult survivors or sexual violence and child abuse. Survive really came into a time in my life consumed by great darkness and shone a bright light. I was very lucky to be assigned Annie as my support worker, she was everything the cpn wasn’t, bright, articulate, listened without casting judgement. She was everything I needed in a support worker, like a delicate plant sapling I thrived in the nurturing conditions she provided, whereas with the cpn I withered away through neglect and lack of care. Towards the end of my first meeting with Annie I bit the bullet and told her about the night terrors and what my body was doing and how my head was interpreting it. I still haven’t worked out whether it was bravery or madness to confide in a total stranger, all I knew was whatever the answer is was probably fated. Much to my surprise, Annie knew exactly what I was talking about. Not only did she know what I was talking about, she had a name for it, hyperarousal.
The next few weeks Annie and I started working through the mess of what I was going through. One session I showed her his landscaping website which concerned both of us, Baulch was advertising he builds children’s playhouses. This was particularly worrying because some of his crimes against me and my friend happened in Wendy House my dad built for my sister and me. Annie suggested we bought this information to the attention of the police and ask them to look at the case again.
A couple of weeks passed til the local child protection officers could meet with us. Remembering how hellacious it was first time round, I was beyond anxious, Annie had booked the whole day for me. Charlotte and Jo, the officers from York Protecting Vulnerable People were kind, patient and shared our anxieties about his access to children. What seemed like an eternity, but was probably no more than an hour and a half we had a plan of action. They would pass the information onto Sussex, with the addition that my sister was finally ready to make a statement.
A week had passed before I heard back from Charlotte, what she told me took me by surprise, the case although I was under the impression was just lying dormant, had actually been closed. I was furious with Sussex Police, at no point had they had the courtesy to inform me over the previous 6 years. I felt somewhat let down. But considering the attitude of Fifefield’s reluctance to do anything, in retrospect I’m not surprised.
To be continued…
If you have been affected by abuse, on know someone who has, my love and thoughts are with you! For more information contact the NSPCC on 08088005000 or http://www.nspcc.org.uk or NAPAC or The Survivors Trust where you can also find information about support in your local area.