Cruel by Denise Richardson
One Child's Story To Survive
From the author:
Our childhood is meant to be uncomplicated, full of love and involve a fair sprinkling of fun and laughter. Mine wasn’t. This is not a statement of self- pity or a frivolous dismissal of what happened to me but rather an acknowledgement that I am a survivor and no victim.
As a child I felt alone, unloved and fought for survival. Towards the end of my mother’s life, I feared for my life and felt like I was living in a nightmare. It is a fact that I was subject to a significant amount of cruelty and abuse at the hands of my mother and for a variety of reasons that you will read; my father was no better.
One might argue that some mitigation is offered for my mother. After all, she was an alcoholic, took high quantities of prescription drugs, and was herself; a victim of abuse. For my mother, alcohol and drugs helped her navigate through tragic memories and painful realities. Unfortunately, for her and me, she did not possess the strength, support and courage to break the cycle of abuse.
However, as a young girl, none of this mattered. My mother used me as a physical and emotional target as she exorcised whatever demon, whim or mood crossed her psychotic and drug-addled mind. And because there was no escape, I learned very quickly how best to try to limit the cruelty inflicted upon me. I was not always successful.
My story reflects a daily battle of surviving a toxic and often disorientating domestic environment, which was devoid of positive adult role models.
The cast of my story is hugely varied. It involves my parents, police officers, teachers, social workers, strangers, ex-convicts and other children suffering equally unspeakable childhoods.
Each, in their way, taught me valuable lessons about life and remarkably, helped me, as I grew older. And it is this last point, which provides my answer to those who wish to know why I wrote the book. After all, the content is no classic fairy tale.
Long before I took my final step out of a children’s home, two deeply profound truths were marrow-deep in my psyche. Firstly, to be a victim is a choice and I decided not to be one.
Secondly, the indefatigable nature of the human spirit allows us to aspire and achieve anything we desire.
Then and now, I am determined to ensure I am not held prisoner to my past.
— Denise Richardson
A harrowing, yet inspiring true story of a young girl's abusive childhood, from new author Denise Richardson. Denise endured emotional and physical cruelty and molestation at the hands of her mother and her drunken boyfriends. In an environment full of toxic emotions and violence, her survival depended on navigating daily, a safe passage through the basest of human behaviours. An absent, paedophilic father could not be trusted, and her older brother fled, as soon as he was able. Alone, in this domestic battlefield, she faced an unpredictable psychotic mother, regular beatings and torture, all against a backdrop of fear that she would be killed. But throughout Denise kept alive dreams of escaping. This book covers the early years of her life and is an affecting and inspirational book of the horrors of child abuse and the steadfast determination of one child to survive.