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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

My story of sexual abuse as a child and how important it is that we realise that abuse doesn’t live in the dark nooks and crannies, it’s hiding in all the places no one wants or thinks to look.

I cried today. I cried for humanity. I cried for all the girls and women, the boys and men, for all who may suffer.

I was five when a man who my family knew well, sexually abused me regularly in my bedroom.

I was even younger when my stepfather regularly rubbed his erection against my little body when lying next to him in my parent’s bed, while mum went downstairs to fetch a cup of tea.

Years of mental abuse ensued from that same man, but if you asked anybody about my stepdad they’d tell you what a great guy he was, so helpful and kind. …

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“We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand and melting like a snowflake. Let us use it before it is too late.”
Marie Beynon Lyons Ray

At 90 years of age, my grandfather took a 30-hour flight from the UK to visit me on the other side of the world, in Australia.

He always dressed in pressed trousers, shirt and braces. If he left the house… he’d add a tie. The only change he made to that in Australia? He bought an Akubra (an Aussie bush hat), to add to the ensemble.

It was his attitude to life that I will always remember. …

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Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Unsplash

I took one last look at the stark black and white house as the taxi pulled away. The home that held so many tales. I wish more of those tales had been happy ones, but life doesn’t pay much heed to ‘wishes.’

A week before, the front lawn had been full of flowers, bouquets and wreaths. The house had been packed. Cups of tea and chatter filled the rooms. Ghosts of the past had no room to breathe, no room to show their ugly faces.

The morning of that day, I’d felt so confident. We’d say goodbye forever. I was ready. You’d been ill for ages; we had all just been waiting. On this occasion though, I hadn’t got back in time. …

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She hung, suspended only by her ankles. Fear eliminated thought. His laughter seemed distant, drowned out by the tendrils of terror tightening around her.

She daren’t move for fear she’d slip through the cigarette stained, calloused hold. Fingers that should wash away her tears, comfort her, point her in the right direction.

The whisky expertly knew its way, pulsing through his fingertips, gaining momentum with each heartbeat.

He stared at the child below. Dangling. Petrified. The flowery carpet in the hallway landing beneath swirled around her head. He’d never liked that carpet.

The pleas from the child he held, were irritating now. The fun had worn off. How easy it would be …to just let go. …

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Forget-me-nots — Noah Silliman — Unsplash

I won’t give you my love or forgive and forget, but I do thank you.

A strange sentence. What’s even stranger is that I find it coming from my own lips.

I was five when first sexually abused and I am thankful for the resiliency and strength that grew inside my soul.

I was sixteen when my abusive, alcoholic stepfather was finally no longer in my life. I am thankful for the empathy, strength of character and persistence that has woven its way into my being.

Sexual and emotional abuse tainted my whole childhood and as a result, the subsequent beliefs about myself played a large part in how I began to shape my life. …

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Photo by David Brooke Martin on Unsplash

It’s not a one size fits all.

I could tell she was frustrated with me. I’d been hitting different parts of my body for nigh on half an hour and my answer still wasn’t shifting below eight.

It was me who should be frustrated. She was the one who’d promised to rid me of the pain. To neutralise the negative emotions. To help me to forgive and forget.

To forgive and forget the sexual abuse, the emotional abuse and the trauma that plagued my childhood. To forgive those responsible for stealing my childhood innocence and carefree days.

I’d heard the mantra, ‘forgive and forget’ for as long as I could remember. The secret to moving forward and truly healing. I was desperate to achieve it. …

A personal story of my first true love.

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Image Design: Shelley Roes

As I handed him the priceless piece of art, neatly rolled and tied with a blue ribbon, my heart stopped. My love for this perfect human gushed through my body as I handed him this precious representation of my devotion.

Everything had been building to this moment. This was who I was going to marry. My life was all mapped out. The whole weekend had been spent working on this incredible piece of art. It was my best work yet. A beautiful bronze stallion, his mane glistening as it caught the golden sunlight. …

It’s hard to forget her when she gave us so much to remember. Skudeneshavn swept us up in her warm embrace and we fell in love at that very moment.


On the western side of Norway, on the southernmost tip of the island of Karmøy, you will find her beauty. She is not a Stavanger, nor a Bergen and she is certainly not an Oslo. Skudeneshavn is more than all of them. She has a heart and soul and her very breath welcomes you with a whisper.

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Skudeneshavn holds herself with a sense of dignity and pride. If she strode the catwalks, you’d admire her classic style and empirical beauty. She is meticulous in her appearance, with bountiful blooms adorning her dazzling white homes. Some call her the ‘White Lady of the Empire’, due to her old wooden homes being inspired by the designs of ancient Rome. Those with a closer affinity to her, affectionately call her ‘Skudnes‘. …


Shelley Roes

Life’s Fine Lines and Wrinkles — smiling through it all

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