Mummy won't love you

Did Trevor really have the power to turn Mum against me?

Published by: Zoe Beaty & Sarah Veness
Published on: 4th August 2011

As the school bell sounded, my heart sank. All around me, friends were packing their rucksacks in a rush to get home, but I’d rather have had another hour of maths.
Aged 12, I’d have done anything to put off going home because what waited for me there was so awful…
Holding my breath, I opened the front door quietly, hoping I could sneak upstairs without my stepdad Trevor Williamson seeing me.
But as I kicked off my shoes, I felt his eyes boring into my back. ‘Hello love,’ he said. ‘Good day?’
‘Um, yeah,’ I mumbled.
‘Great… Oh, do us a favour and fetch my slippers from upstairs.’
My heart sank because I knew what was about to happen. As my foot touched the top step of the stairs, I felt Trevor’s hands wrap around my waist, pulling me into my bedroom. ‘Please, don’t,’ I croaked.
‘Shush,’ he mumbled, the smell of alcohol sour on his breath as he nuzzled my neck. Pushing me on to the bed, his hand slipped under my school uniform. ‘No,’ I gasped, struggling to push it away.
‘Be quiet, it’s fine,’ he whispered, clawing at my thighs. Eyes shut, I imagined I was back at school, held my breath, and prayed this horrific ordeal would be over soon.
It was never over, though. I was always on edge, terrified of when he’d strike again. Sometimes, he’d abuse me a couple of times a week, other times he’d go for months. Then, just when I thought I was safe, he’d come for me. It had been the same for years…
Mum had got together with him when I was seven, and he’d always made an effort with me. At weekends he’d take me to the pub, making sure I had a glass of pop and colouring books. I missed my dad, but Trevor was kind and fun.
Then one night when I was 10, I’d jolted awake. It was dark, but there was the shadow of someone by my bed – Trevor. I’d held my breath as his hand slipped under the covers and tugged at my nightie.
Although I was young, I’d known what he was doing was wrong. But frozen in fear, I hadn’t been able to move, let alone call out for help.
As I’d laid there, his hands pawing at my skin, his lips had brushed my ear. ‘This is our secret,’ he’d said. ‘No one will believe you if you tell them.’
And I’d believed him. Mum was in love with Trevor, why would she believe me? And, surely, others would just think I was spreading nasty lies because he wasn’t my real dad.
I couldn’t tell anyone, for fear I’d be the one who got into trouble.
Instead, I’d kept quiet and the abuse had continued. Trevor would sneak into my room at night, or ask me to get him something from upstairs to get me alone.
He was even so brazen to do it while Mum was in the house.
There was nowhere for me to hide. A couple of weeks later, I was in the bath when Trevor walked in. ‘W-what are you doing?’ I asked, frantically trying to cover my naked body.
He crouched beside me. ‘I need to check you’ve washed properly,’ he said, reaching into the water.
‘Get out,’ I begged, as his hands traced my body. ‘I-I’ll tell Mum.’
‘She’ll hate you,’ he scoffed. ‘She’ll never love you again – you don’t want that, do you?’
Of course not, I loved her… but she loved Trevor. He was right, she’d be disgusted with me, think I’d brought it on myself and disown me. I was helpless about Trevor’s abuse.
One night when I
was 13, he pushed my bedroom door open. ‘Go away,’ I pleaded, pulling the covers round me.
But he told me to hush, putting his hand over my mouth. As I struggled, he took his hand away and replaced it with my pillow.
‘Get off,’ I panicked, fighting to breathe as his hands touched me all over.
‘Keep your mouth shut,’ he whispered as he’d finished and walked out. I was terrified.
Even on the rare occasions he left me alone, every night I’d curl up in bed and cry myself to sleep. No one would believe me if I told them how sick he was. The only way to stop him was to get away.
Luckily, when I was 18, I saw my chance. Mum and Trevor went on holiday to Ibiza for two weeks, and I moved out. From then on, I tried putting what had happened behind me.
But Trevor’s warnings haunted me. I never told a soul about what he’d done, even when I met Peter. We went on to have three children Stephanie, 23, Wendy, 21, and Bob, 19. Sadly, our relationship didn’t last but, 10 years later, I met Ian Johnston, 60.
Within a year, we were married and I moved from Newcastle to Scotland to be with him.
At last I was truly happy, even started opening up to him about Trevor – because the fact was, 25 years on, I still couldn’t forget what that man had put me through as a child. I was haunted by the memories. ‘He was a nasty, evil man,’ I told him. ‘I was an innocent girl, and he took advantage of me.’
‘But you’re safe now,’ soothed Ian. ‘I’ll always make sure of that.’
Still, I couldn’t fully hide from my horrific past. Every time I passed a playground packed with children, I remembered the years I’d suffered– my lost childhood.
Now something else haunted me too, though. There were so many other vulnerable children out there Trevor could pray on. ‘I have to do something,’ I said. ‘I can’t let others suffer, I have to break my silence.’
‘I’m here for you, whatever you decide,’ Ian promised.
With his support, I went to the police and Trevor was arrested.
But in protecting him from the law all those years, he’d been able to turn Mum against me. I never heard from her, even when Trevor Williamson, 62, pleaded guilty to three charges of gross indecency with a child and two charges of indecent assault on a female. It was a bittersweet victory when he was jailed for 32 months at Newcastle Crown Court, and placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.
Me and Mum haven’t spoken since. After everything Trevor put me through, the worst is he seems to have come good on that threat – she’ll hate you, she’ll never love you again. Of all the things he robbed me of, stealing my mum is the worst. Ian is my rock, though. Trevor may have taken my childhood and my mother, but he won’t take my future.
Shirley Johnston, 45, Helensburgh, Argyll and Bute