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GaryP - RA Survivor


This page briefly outlines my history according to what I have always known, and documentation I have always had.

I have tried to keep it brief, yet include the basic information that gives a reasonable picture of what my life has been like, according to what I always knew.


1968 - 1972

Born in [...], I spent my first few years living here, in the southern inner suburbs. I have very little information from this time, other than a few pictures and some info from a baby's diary.

One memory I always had was of walking to kindergarten (a few streets away) from home, by myself - I would have been 4. That's about it.

1972 - 1992

1973 - 1979 Roman Catholic Primary School

1973 - Prep - 6 months. - I suppose my first memory of [] may be my first day at school. My mother-figure and I arrived a little late in the morning for assembly, and all the other kids were already arranged in the courtyard like soldiers. I was terrified that I would not know where to go or what to do. Getting something wrong was a terrifying prospect. I cried and clung to my mother-figure in fear.
I was quite violent in early primary school, beginning in Prep - according to my mother-figure. She described how I would often get into fights, and especially pick fights with kids older and bigger than me. Allegedly, any physical contact was perceived by me as an attack, and I would attack back.

1974 - 1975 - Grade 1 & 2 One brief memory during this time of staring out of the window while in class. According to my mother-figure, the school wished to keep me down in grade 1 because of behavioral problems I was having, not getting along with other children. I seemed to be keeping up academically, despite allegedly never paying attention in class.

1976 - Grade 3 - I recall my teacher for this year, a nun, punishing me with a caning. Despite this memory of her, I have a clear memory of her as my favorite teacher of primary school.

1977 - Grade 4 - For part of this year I went every Monday afternoon to a child psychiatrist or psychologist (not sure which), located near the [...]. My mother would drive me, and my sister was almost always along, but she did not go to the same institution I did - I did not know where she went. I began to become less violent, I expect as a result of the institution.

1978 - Grade 5 - This was the year I decided God did not exist. In response to my questioning of inconsistencies in the teachings in religion class, I was berated aggressively. Toward the end of this year, I attacked another girl in my class with a knife, causing damage to her bag and books - I didn't actually harm her body. I followed up this action with a couple of months of occasional stalking over the summer holidays, where I harassed her at her home. At the time, I was completely unable to understand my hate for her, although I know it related to a triggering grade 5 spelling test where the teacher put her surname as one of the words in the test, and I got it wrong and 99 right - I was angry about it.

1979 - Grade 6 - I recall being in a remedial group for children who could not read a dial clock. There were about 5 kids in this group. I also have a memory of being only able to remember 7x7 in the times table, of the higher numbers.

1980 - 1983 A State technical/trade School

By the time I began secondary school, I had become almost completely non-violent. This process was completed in 1980, and I became a bully victim for my entire secondary school years. I was totally frustrated by my inability to fight back or stand up for myself. I could not understand why, I was simply unable, and there was nothing I could do about it. I was bullied physically and psychologically on a daily basis. I was mostly teased about being homosexual, although I had no perception of myself as such.

During this time, I gradually drifted away from social contact with my parents. I preferred to go out on my pushbike, which I did most days after school until dark, and mostly on weekends. At home, I would spend time in my room, and come out to eat and watch TV.

1984 - 1986 A State High School

Not wanting to continue into a trade, even if just to avoid making a decision about where my future would lead me, I changed to a normal high school. The tech did not provide year 12. At high school I followed my interest in science. I had already learned to bury my awareness in its detail - I didn't know how this occurred, or when.

1985 - Yr 12 first attempt. I had so much trouble with academic achievement due to the bullying and almost constant depression I was suffering when I was awake, that I decided to repeat year 12 in 1986. After this decision had been made, i still went to classes and finished off the academic year in preparation for my second attempt. Near the end of that year, another amazing event happened. in a fit of rage I struck out at one of my main bullies, and gave him a blood nose. The effect his 10 second rage had on my life was incredible. All the bullies suddenly stopped bullying me. I could hardly believe what was happening, I was walking around in an elated daze for weeks afterward. I truly believed all those years that they would kill me if I fought back, just as they said. When this reality did not unfold, my mind had to basically go through a very large overhaul. For the first time in my life I understood that I could actually affect how people treated me! Wow, I had something to live for!

1986 - This was a vastly different year for me. Without being bullied, I began to socialize for the first time, even after school a bit. I was enjoying myself so much (relatively), that my academic achievement also reduced. Yet I did just well enough to get into uni - despite having failed english.

1987 - 1992 BSc, university.
Until the end of my BSc, I was living at home - partly due to the financial benefits (my parents regularly provided me with small amounts of money) - but mostly due to my great fear that I would be unable to survive on my own. My preparations toward the end of 1992 to leave home mark a very extraordinary period in my life, where my fears were temporarily disabled (I had no idea why) and I was able to make the move away from home.

1993 - 1998.

During my honors year I spent a little time tutoring first year biology students, and really enjoyed it (compared to what I was doing the rest of the time). So I applied to study teaching. In the 2 weeks before i left home, after I had announced my intentions to my family, my mother-figure informed me that she had been planning to go to visit her daughter (my sister-figure) for many weeks - thus she was there when I actually arrived, and left 2 days after that. I did not believe her explanation, I was suspicious.

1994 - 1997 Unemployment and occasional work. Although I worked out a lot in this time, I still was unable to work out the main problems in my life, such as not being able to sustain employment (7k).

While working as a [...] in September 1995, I experienced a period of strange behavior that I was unable to explain at the time. Halfway through the project, I was sacked, because my behavior became too unpleasant for my employers. At the time, I really had no idea why I was behaving the way I was, and couldn't understand where all the thoughts and behaviors were coming from. What I wrote while employed there is strange, violent, and in hindsight, very suspicious. It now suggests that I have been affected psychologically in a way that I didnt know about or understand at the time, but do now.

Mid 1997 - I encounter what I think may be the truth about my life.

1997 - faced with a situation in which I had nothing else left that I could try to fix the problems in my life and relationships, I just started to cry. At the time I was shocked. I had no idea why I was crying so much, although I had some awareness what each cry was about. I cried quite a lot for a few weeks, and then I started to get some images coming up in my mind, along with some extremely unpleasant emotions. I was starting to recall sexual abuse from my childhood, beginning with memories involving my father-figure. From then on, I gradually have been uncovering more and more memories relating to abuse in my childhood.

While living in a small town, I met the person who I had a long relationship with. Meeting her was an amazing experience. I have not known such a strong awareness that a complete stranger has such a significance to me. I was determined to communicate with her. It was a very unusual experience for me. It turned out that she had a background of similar abuse as I did, yet worse.

The circumstances surrounding my leaving the school, and my mother-figures involvement in it, resulted in my breaking off all contact with my 'family'. I had already refused to spend the previous Christmas away from them, and it was the best one I can recall having.

After finishing work in the small town, I spent most of my time from then on dealing with issues from my past. During this time I moved to cut off all communication with my 'family', after confronting my father-figure about my memories of his raping me.

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