As a child (6 years) my father had left the family home, and my mother entered a relationship with someone who did not want kids, so we were shipped off originally back to my father, and then later to my late grandmother to live.
I was overweight, suffered low self-esteem and felt unloved, with no significant positive male role model within the family to talk to.
It started with my elderly uncle starting to grope me and touch me inappropriately and this situation continued between the ages of 8 and 13 years periodically until I felt strong enough to stand up for myself, having been gripped with fear and shame.
When I shouted “no” at him, he retreated, and it never happened again.
He died when I was 19 years old, thankfully.
I tried to tell my mother but she laughed it off, and my relationship with my father was not
strong enough to trust him, so I never spoke of it again in any detail until I was 50 years of age.
It had a significant negative impact on my life which I sought help from a counsellor which reframed my feelings of self-loathing into an understanding that I was groomed and
preyed upon and it was not my fault.
I wish I had spoken about it much earlier on but even though carried it for many years, when I was well enough to look at it, I allowed myself to experience those painful times and put the blame back where it was due.