My transformation — in a nutshell


The others were my father, a brother, and a stepbrother. Then my stepmother, stepsister, and the man next door.

This section had just been edited and trauma-related incidents added

Throughout my whole childhood, I experienced daily beatings from my stepmother, who thought it was acceptable to be such a violent and vicious human being. At another time she allowed her daughter, my stepsister to viciously beat me in the next room, while family members listened but ignored my cries.
My stepsister also made me kneel with my hands behind my back while allowing her son to beat me — her audience, my family watching on!!

The sexual abuse was and is something that I struggle with, a struggle to accept, understand and process, but on my 16th birthday, being trapped in the family home with my father led to him carrying out his threat to rape me. I was raped several times by him and my stepbrother.
When I left home aged 21, and soon after, I miscarried, not knowing who was responsible saw me destroyed!
Unfortunately, I went down a road that saw me drinking too much alcohol and taking tablets, anything to end the pain. A few times I had taken an overdose and on one occasion ended up in hospital.

I write this piece to give you, the reader an insight into me and who I am! I am not a victim but a survivor. I try being mindful of other survivors of abuse because of triggers!!

In January 2020 I decided to have a go at writing a poem as something to do! I never saw myself as any kind of writer and certainly not a poet. However, by January 2021, I had been selected to have two poems published in The Beckindale Poetry Journal and The Cambridge Poetry Journal.

This was the beginning of my writing journey. Now, two years on — I have lost count of how many poems I have written, and I now can’t imagine a life without words, my words…A life without my story being told!

I’m not the trauma you
Created, but the warrior I
I grew and fought to become



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Debra Reay

Writer, Poet and survivor of childhood abuse! Author of poem's~A Child Unloved, Soul Destroyed and more recently, The little girl in yellow bows.