Suffer the children
Posted by Tim Roux in: Books, Children, Family, Literature, Non-Fiction, Relationships, Sex, Social Issues, Sociology, Women's Rights Leave a comment
We mostly have the same script about how childhood should be.
A baby enters as a warm bundle into a sometimes wet world. Especially in Britain, we know that that the sun doesn’t always shine. We are realists.
The growing child should be loved and cherished, and allowed to run free (and safely).
At a certain point, school, friendships and romance flow through to a young adult’s triumphal entry onto the world stage as a happy, balanced and generous human being ready to contribute fully towards society, not least by repeating this cycle.
Sometimes this happens.
Sometimes it doesn’t.
Sometimes it so doesn’t happen that it rips you apart.
Sometimes this ripping apart isn’t academic.
Stacey Danson started being taught to pleasure men at the age of three. Yeah, yeah, I know, I think that is too early too. By five, she was swallowing them, and by six she had lost her virginity. No, no, no, silly, she didn’t get pregnant. And don’t worry, there was always a family doctor on hand to assist Stacey. He was on top of her illnesses and then he was on top of her.
Whatever would they think up next?
That is just a little part of the first chapter of Stacey Danson’s ‘Empty Chairs’, a book she wrote because she felt she must more than because she felt a compulsion to write it. She hated writing it; she hated reliving what had happened to her. She had to get very, very drunk to get started (it didn’t help).
The book is called ‘Empty Chairs’ as a reference to the group therapy sessions Stacey attended where fellow victims of child abuse sat on those chairs around her screaming and sobbing out their tales. Many of those chairs are empty now and not because their occupants have come to terms with what has happened to them. Sometimes it seems wiser to call it quits.
‘Empty Chairs’ will be published later this year by Night Publishing as part of a series of books on child abuse, another being Kat Ward’s ‘Being Sick Is Wicked’. We have already published Charles Huxford’s ‘Run, rabbit, run’ account of the systematic rape of children in a North Wales orphanage c. 1980 by a group of well-connected people, including a UK Government Minister, as a short story in the Speak Without Interruption collection ‘….at last!’.
Perhaps the most astonishing thing about ‘Empty Chairs’ is that it is beautifully, beautifully written. The next most astonishing thing is that Stacey ever lived to write it.
You can read an interview between T.L. Tyson and Stacey here, and the first precisely graphic and strangely uplifting chapter of ‘Empty Chairs’ on Night Reading here. The horror is the horror. The miracle is what you read.
Thank you, Stacey. You may not have been lucky, but you have been beyond brave.
We salute you, but now we must run off to save the others.
TL Tyson interview: http://tltyson.weebly.com/stacey-danson-interview.html
Chapter 1 of ‘Empty Chairs’ by Stacey Danson: http://nightreading.ning.com/profiles/blogs/empty-chairs