Little Tim: Big Tim, T Roy

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Content: Insert front cover
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM Little Tim: BIG TIM Tim Roy Edited by Martin Challis
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM Little Tim Big Tim Tim Roy is much more than a survivor of ritual child abuse. He is an inspiration to those who seek a path of healing. He is living testament to the victory of love. "I sit on the step and visualise my inner-child standing in front of me. I reach out my arms and draw little Tim to my chest. A moment in time, a lifetime of moments rectifies the neglect and rejection that the past holds. I promise the little bloke as I hold him that he I proclaim it to the building that has caused the memories to surface. I laugh quietly, a little embarrassed that I am talking to my inner-child."
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM This book is dedicated to my daughter Sophie Special Mention Jan Ewing Martin Challis Brooke Fehlberg Amerie Davenport Jan Ungerer Ashley Kennedy Deborah Glover Thank you for your belief and assistance to get this project completed. You have all touched my life indescribably: You have given me a wonderful gift. True friends are real not imagined.
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM First Published in Brisbane Qld Australia 2005 ISBN 0-646-45320-3 Title: Little Tim Big Tim Edition : New Author: Roy, Tim Editor: Challis, Martin Cover/Photo: Fehlberg, Brooke Copyright: Tim Roy Printed by Colourwise Reproduction 300 Ann Street, Brisbane Qld 4000.
Part 1 Little Tim
Part 2 Big Tim
Part 3 Bricks and Mortar
Part 4 The Awareness
Appendix ­ Transcripts
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM Author's Notes Some of the names in this book have been changed in order to maintain the dignity, privacy and anonymity of others. At stages throughout this book the language and vocabulary depicted presents itself relevant to the age and intellect of the child's part/persona that is offering the truth. I decided, for authenticity, to present their truth as it was presented to me.
SATANIC RITUAL LITTLE TIM The huge steel structure painted grey, criss-crosses the view of the Sydney Harbour. I playfully punch my four-year-old brother James excitedly as I strain to see the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. What a view! The smile on my face is just as big. Dad hasn't said much about where we are going; just that we're to visit some of his friends! His friend's house is a wealthy residence: big concrete pillars on either side of the path and steps to the entrance of a huge wooden door with a big metal knocker. The door swings open as the metal clang echoes through the neighbourhood. Stewart, my older brother, expresses a fearful look that freezes James and I still, until his face finally relaxes, as we realise his eight-year-old humour is scaring us. `Could be haunted,' he smiles dismissively, he knows his younger brothers absorb every word he says. Inside the entrance runs a plush red carpet the length of the hallway that is adorned with antique furnishing. A middle-aged lady beckons us to the left of the hallway. Atop an antique side-stand are glasses of milk and biscuits. I gaze at Stewart as he watches Dad move towards a doorway on the right hand side of the opulent hallway. I turn to see what his eyes are trained on. Dad disappears behind the hat stand holding numerous hats and overcoats. I raise my head to look Stewart in the eye; he is a foot taller and three years older. A tear escapes from the corner of his eye and trickles down his cheek. He quickly wipes it away and attempts to prove that he isn't scared. James burrows his head under my armpit; his little arms tightly grip my chest as his body trembles. `Let's eat the bickies and milk,' Stewart breaks the silence as we stand alone in the daunting hallway. Unaware of the basis of the fear 3
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM Stewart is struggling to suppress, I follow his directions, but feel my own level of fear rising as I quickly munch on the biscuits as a distraction from what I am not able to comprehend. The lady returns wearing a red cloak and has black material draped over her arm. She leads us down a set of stairs, hastening James, who is shoving the last of the biscuits into his face. At the bottom of the staircase, to the right, black curtains drop to the floor. The lady ushers us behind individual curtains to be greeted by tall figures in black robes and hoods. James is crying next to me, now obscured from my view due to another curtain hanging between us. I want to comfort him but I am literally petrified. The black figure is rough and strips me completely. In less than one minute I am dressed in a small black robe, naked underneath, with a hood on my head, obscurely given an onion to carry. I can't see a great deal, but I feel my brothers' brush against me momentarily. As soon as I smell their familiar scent, another invades me. I am raised off the ground to be cradled in a strange man's arms, to be overwhelmed by tobacco breath and putrid body odour. From the height advantage I now have, with my hood slipping off, I notice James being carried the same way and Stewart gripped by two figures either side of him. We are escorted into a candle-lit room. The light illuminating the room reveals its secrets. A podium with animal skulls and bones dresses it. A large number of people dressed in black cloaks are in a position forming a human ring. At their feet lie candles formed in a circle. A square of red carpet is placed in the centre of this human circle, where we are deposited. A chant begins. At first no words spoken can be deciphered; however, the volume increases and truly terrifies me. The room vibrates due to the volume that these people achieve. As systematically as it starts and having reached its crescendo, it fades. A new chant begins. `Great Satan, we take these boys virility to give us vitality to be successful in your name.' 4
`Great Satan, we take these boys virility to give us vitality to be successful in your name.' `Great Satan, we take these boys virility to give us vitality to be successful in your name.' The chant increases in volume, rising to a crescendo again. As the room vibrates once again, I tremble violently, standing in the middle of this madness. I have no idea what they are chanting; I feel I am going to wet myself soon if they don't stop. They maintain the volume of the chant. I am placed on my hands and knees and my hood removed, as are my brothers'. We are now pointed towards the podium, which has animal bones on it, illuminated by candlelight. The sweaty onion is removed from my hand and pushed roughly into my mouth. I feel sick. The chant continues and somehow gets louder. My arms are held behind me and my cloak is raised and placed on my back, my bare bum tingles in the cool air. The pain is searing. I think that if I had done something wrong to deserve this, I would be happier to receive an hour flogging with the jug cord. The pain is unbearable. I wet the floor and feel shame, sure to attract some form of discipline - anything than what I am suffering now. The screams being forced from me intertwine with the screams my brothers are releasing. My body goes limp; however the violent action behind me doesn't stop. Suddenly a ball of light appears to my front; I focus on the light piercing the blackness of the ritual. I wish. I plead. I pray for an angel to appear and whitewash this nightmare from my existence. My angel appears. The ball of light dissolves into a pure winged angel who holds out her arms to me. She says, `Come to me Child, its safe here.' I have no concept how I am going to leave my body and obey the angel's direction. I just keep looking at her and concentrate on her purity and my deep desire to be pure again. The pain starts to subside and I grasp my angel's arms and she pulls me into her. I feel protected. 5
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM At times I find the courage to look back at the satanic ritual that I have just escaped mentally, and painfully observe my brothers being held with their arms behind them and someone violating their bottoms. A glimpse of my physical-self gives me no anxiety for I totally understand that only my body is suffering the torment, not the real me - my mind and soul. My angel reluctantly removes her sanctuary and asks me to return to my body explaining that my brothers will need my strength to help them through more of these situations. She leaves me with the mantra, `Look for the colours my child, tell your brothers the same, and look for the colours.' The pain rapidly makes me aware that I am back in the body I no longer want to be in. The searing heat being produced at my rear end over-stimulates my brain to produce colours in front of my eyes. A kaleidoscope of colours beckons me, as did the angel. Once again I find an escape from my body; my mind and soul are mine. PETER As Little Tim slips into the place of many colours, I find myself experiencing a searing heat and something hard and fleshy stuck up inside of me. Big fingers slice deep into the sides of my bottom; I'm pushed forward and slammed back viciously as my knees rub raw on the red carpet. I'm scared. I don't know how I got here, and the skin, tissue and muscle overstretched in my bottom hurts - really hurts! I look over and see two other boys, one bigger and one smaller. Who are they? Automatically I know who they are. They are my brothers, but I don't know them or more truthfully, I have never met them. Where am I? The self-questioning has to wait, for as the hard thing inside me goes soft another one, bigger this time, intrudes the space in between my legs. The pain arches my back and forces my face into the carpet that I am on. I now know what the searing heat is called. I know from that moment that Pain is its name. 6
LITTLE TIM `Will you stop whingeing about the car seat,' my father snaps at my brother. His gruff voice brings me back to reality. I don't know where I've been except that the place had many colours, and I could float, not feeling any sensation other than that I was safe. My angel was there and said that I had a friend that would help when the bad people interfered with me. Additionally, she informed me that there were lots of friends who could help me. Stewart is asleep, with his head resting against the rear right passenger window. James is between us squirming on the hard leather seat. I suddenly start doing the same, reminded how uncomfortable my bottom feels. To ease the pain I notice that James is sitting on his hands, I do the same. `Good idea,' James states. `Yeah you're clever,' I offer. `Not me silly, you told me to do it.' I have no memory of what James has just proclaimed. A distant thought, I didn't give it much substance. Maybe that was the friend that the angel told me about. The car pulls into our driveway then we are ushered inside the house to our bedroom to be lent against the wall. James starts to slip from the standing position and I assist him back onto his feet. My hands are covered in blood, still dripping from my bottom. So that we don't ruin the bedclothes, our parents are putting plastic sheeting on our beds. `Don't wet your bed now,' they order with force as if in another reality. Our reality is: our bottoms hurt and they are bleeding. Their reality is: `they're only kids, they will forget.' Ours is: `please, please, let me forget!' 7
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM CHURCH MEMBER'S HOUSE LITTLE TIM `Stop running in the house,' Nasty Mum orders. `Where's Tina, Mum?' I ask about our family pet. `Oh the dog got run over by a car, she died.' Her callous method of informing that Tina is dead leaves me stunned. When our last dog was killed, Nice Mum sat me on the edge of her bed and gently told me that the family pet had gone to heaven and that we would all meet one day and be a family again. I sat on her bed and cried and she held me and hugged me until the tears subsided. I longed to be hugged right now. She offers nothing. The sharp pain in my little heart overwhelms me and the place of many colours greets me. I glimpse Peter who moves into the sad place where I just can't be. I call him Peter because Peter starts with `P' as does Pain. PETER I'm Peter. I deal with any pain, even pain from losing my pet; I help Little Tim shelter himself from all types of pain, even emotional pain. I get into trouble a lot when I don't answer to Little Tim's name, for as Peter the pain holder, (as Little Tim decides to call me) I realise that the people around me in this family see my face and call me Tim. Now there are two of us, Little Tim remains inside and I talk to him often, sometimes aloud. family members comment that Tim is talking to his imaginary friend; we never tell them it's the other way round or that it isn't in our imagination, we are real. 8
Little Tim doesn't remember that I arrived when he had the meeting with the angel. He forgets that someone had to be responsible to keep us breathing. When the people in the hoods attacked us at that place, I was created. Created to take the pain of the attacks and hide the memory of what we suffered. Most of the time it works, however, sometimes I can't hide all the pain from Little Tim. I now occupy the body full time but am not prepared for the next attack on our bottom. Little Tim and I are talking to each other in the backyard. Our favourite spot is by the back fence. We pretend that we can walk through the fence like it's a waterfall with a cave on the other side. In this cave we are safe and no one can find us. Our Dad calls our name. Little Tim answers when I hesitate, being afraid of the pain that I am expecting; I'm always expecting pain. Little Tim runs inside to be greeted by Nice Dad, who gives us a hug; a sign that pain is around the corner for me. However, Little Tim believes it to be genuine. Dad is never really affectionate unless he wants us to cooperate. He will be all sugar and spice until he has us in the car and then suddenly turns nasty. James and `Us' (Little Tim and Peter) are sitting in the back of the new car and silently stare out the window, for now Dad is nasty and whatever the destination, there is surely to be pain. Within these situations the fear ultimately creates a battle of who is to be exposed to the disgusting acts that men want to do to us. We are both aware of the entrance to the place; this one is to a church member's house who has offered to teach us how to play the guitar. Apparently this is all the information that is required for our Mum to give approval for her sons to be molested. The house is set back from the street with a lawn covering the area from the little fence bordering the footpath. The steps adjoin the side of the building and the open front door allows entry to a small alcove where a stand for a telephone is placed. Numerous piles of magazines abut the wall. 9
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM A bookcase with Christian-related books is filled to overflowing, The Bible, being the most prominent, is placed on top of the bookcase. A guitar rests against the bookcase. I hope that maybe we just might be taught how to play guitar. However, as usual, we are the playthings. James is taken into another room and we hear his muffled screams. Little Tim practices his escape into his kaleidoscope of colours, I beg him to remain with me as long as possible before escaping into the space of many colours. He promises he will and does his best until James sits down next to us and rubs his naked body against us. His rocking motion and whimpering, trembling form is enough for Little Tim to escape and leave me alone again to face the torment. Dad takes me into the other room. He looks at the man sitting on the bed and then nonchalantly states that he is going to make a cup of tea. He leaves me there standing at the bottom of the two stairs that lead into the room. The bedspread is an orange colour, but still doesn't hide the stain­a result of the recent injury to James' bottom. The sweaty man pats the bed next to him. I remain still as the overpowering smell of dirty socks fill my nostrils. He pulls me to the bed and lifts me onto it next to him. He grabs my little hand and puts it on himself. It gets bigger. He forces my head onto himself and makes me put it in my mouth. I gag; he doesn't remove it. My eyes begin to water and I feel sick, I want to vomit but I'm choking too much. He finally lifts my head and cradles me in his arms, pulls my pants down, and lowers me onto him. As I let out a yelp of pain, he quickly covers my mouth and bounces me violently up and down. My mouth muffled, tears stream down my face. The attack finally stops when the fat sweaty man makes a loud grunt. He lifts me off and leaves me to lie on the bed that now reeks of his stink. I want to move out of this stench, but am comfortably numb. My father yells at me, `Stop being disgusting and get dressed and wait with your brother.' 10
The two men laugh at my predicament as I try to find my clothes that have been thrown around by the sweaty man. A screech of brakes outside the house hastens my effort. Little Tim is concerned about James after he has returned from the space of many colours. I adjust to the pain and run to the place where James had been left. He is investigating the screech of brakes. He has used a chair and opened the front door and is now nursing a dead dog by the side of the road. The dog belongs to the house where we had just been used as sex toys. As I reach my brother and sit next to him with my arm around him, a police car pulls up beside us. The nearest police officer gets out of his car and checks the dog. He realises the dog's neck is broken and gently informs us that the dog is dead. He asks us if we own the dog. James just replies that the bad man owns the dead dog and points to the house of the man who has just raped us. `That's the bad man's house,' James squeezes out between sobs. The police officer returns to his car and the driver parks their car and steps onto the footpath. Dad and the bad man are moving towards us. Little Tim warns me that we are in trouble now. I don't care; I am hoping that James' comment is going to be investigated. The police officers question our Dad and the bad man. `What do you think these boys mean when they call you bad?' the police officer queries. A short pause and the bad man being questioned answers with, `They probably feel I'm bad for not looking after the dog better and letting him out to get run over.' The police officers look at the men and at each other and accept the explanation. I am hoping they will investigate further and enter the house where they would see our blood on the bedspread, and just maybe we would be removed from such a sadistic, sick father. Instead we get sore bottoms on the inside and the outside. Dad flogs us with the jug cord because of James' attempt to get us saved and in a safe place. 11
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM THE CUPBOARD PETER `Dad you're bad, I'm going to tell the next big person that comes to the door that you're a bad daddy,' Little Tim threatens. `All right, I will lock you in a cupboard when other people are around if you're going to be bad,' Dad conveniently twists the threat. `Don't tell people I'm bad, I'm not bad. Bad people hurt people. I don't hurt people, do I Dad?' Little Tim pleads for absolution. `Sometimes.' It is pointless to try and understand the mind and dialogue of Dad who has the capacity to be nice or nasty whenever the whim reverses his character. Little Tim quickly retreats, expecting some repercussion for back-chatting our Dad. I am propelled to the surface; however, I too refuse to be known or capable of being bad. Bad is sick; and I want nothing to do with being sick and bad like the men that hurt me. We are aware of the difference of good and bad; we live with Nice Mum and Nice Dad, they're good and the nasty ones are bad. Maybe when Mum and Dad call us bad, they're taking about someone else. The repercussion from the backchat presents itself. The blank stare that is etched on Dad's face turns into an apparition that represents a demon incarnate. His grip on my arm severely smashes the muscle to the bone. The bruises that are forming from his fingertips digging in are leaving an impression that will last for weeks. I will have to wear long sleeves so he doesn't confuse me by asking how the bruises appeared. On his return, Little Tim will see them but will have no memory of how they arrived. He will disregard them and give them no credence, hence the need to cover up: a strategy utilised to protect us from Dad's irritation when we tell him he has inflicted the damage he's enquiring about. He will 12
never accept that he has caused the bruising. His irritation always over-loads leading to him turning into Nasty Dad. Damned if I do, damned if I don't: hide the evidence and learn to forget. My face is pressed into the backboard of the punishment cupboard. Strangely the new source of pain is welcomed as my limp arm is released and the blood starts to flow to the extremities. The punishment cupboard is a solid piece of furniture; it stands five feet tall with two sides. One side's primary purpose is to hang up clothes, the other has drawers. Two full-length wooden doors secure it; both of which are locked. To kick the doors just damages the toes, (another prerequisite on entering the dark space is to violently have my shoes removed). I sit at the bottom of the cupboard and try to look at our Dad's face, wondering who has taken over our Dad's body. He never looks back at me. I'm angry, Little Tim begs me to stop being angry. Unusual! Little Tim is never in the cupboard with me. His presence starts to soothe me. `Peter stop being angry, we will get in trouble.' `I don't care, we are always in trouble' `Maybe we can change that. Go to sleep Peter, it's always better after a sleep,' Little Tim suggests. On the bottom of the cupboard floor, with my knees pressed into my chest, my lower limbs have been numb for hours when I'm awakened and startled to hear another little voice in the cupboard that doesn't belong to either Little Tim or me. `My name is Troy - I'm the bad boy!' `You two are a sorry sight. Little Tim, you're too scared to get into trouble and Peter the pain holder, you're too scared of the pain if we do. Okay, so we are angry and it's my job to be angry.' 13
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM Troy starts kicking his feet into the floor of the cupboard; it hurts our heels. I join in and we both giggle with glee at the loud sound we are making. Little Tim slips away again. Finally exhausted I start to slip into the safe space and I don't return until later, when I hear Troy banging saucepans. TROY I'm Troy. I've collected the saucepans and lids, from Mum's cupboard and I'm outside the back door when Little Tim and Peter arrive to have some fun. Mum yells to stop but I convince the other two to keep going and tease her. `Okay, you bad boy, wait `til your father gets home,' she threatens. I don't understand the gravity of the threat. The other two stop and beg me to do the same. I continue to make a racket and enjoy the sounds I am making. Suddenly I'm ripped up from my seated position and the others are pleading with our Mum. `No Mummy, no Mummy, no Mummy, I will be good,' they hysterically cry. Mum pushes us headfirst into the cupboard that stores the saucepans. She kicks us in until we realise that we can't escape this confinement. We push the pots to either side of the cupboard, but still have some resting on us, in order to fit into this cramped space. Mum kicks our feet once more so she can close the door and leave us to be in darkness. I am bloody angry. Little Tim and Peter the pain holder plead with me not to create any more trouble. I agree and whisper what I would like to do to her. I saw on a cartoon how Tom and Jerry had a fight in their kitchen. Jerry the mouse grabs the fry pan and clobbers Tom the cat in the face. The impact stops Tom dead, until his body starts vibrating from the top down to eventually bounce on his heels. Finally, Tom comes to a stop and then he starts chasing Jerry again. I explain my memory to Little Tim and Peter. We all giggle. Hours pass and Little Tim escapes into the space of colours. Peter and I whisper quietly to each other how we want to hurt our 14
parents for being so cruel, but that it will never eventuate because we are too small and too young. Then suddenly something strange happens. We are suddenly awakened from our uncomfortable sleep in the cupboard. Our Mum is calling out Little Tim's name as if she doesn't know where we are. Peter tells me, `Don't be bad or we will have to stay here longer.' The cupboard door opens and our Mum announces, `Oh, there you are! Have you been hiding from Mummy? Out you come.' We move slowly out of the cupboard and hurry quickly towards our bedroom. On the way to the bedroom, Mum warns us not to tell Dad that we spent the afternoon in the saucepan cupboard. This is the last thought I have for some time. THE SHOP LITTLE TIM Our parents have leased a delicatessen/milk bar. The deli has a meat slicer that sits prominently on top of the stainless steel counter. The shiny steel implement gives me the chills as it too is added to the dimension of torment. I decide to attempt to steal some lollies out of the shop but as soon as we have the lollies in our pocket I find my hand being forced onto the cutter by my father. As the blade spins to full rotation I think I should leave the bad stuff to Troy to do because I'm always getting caught. Dad freaks me as a hysterical laugh escapes his chest; fear switches Peter and Troy to the surface. 15
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM PETER Troy and I push away hard from the rotating cutter to be flung down the hallway and dragged into a broom cupboard. This isn't the first time we have visited the broom cupboard, so we are quite aware that if we sit down, the door will open. So we stand up rigid to ensure the door doesn't unintentionally open because if it does, a flogging will ensue. Today's nightmare is yet to climax. We spend the whole day standing rigid and wishing the cramps away. Little Tim is still in the space of many colours. The door creaks open and suddenly we are being dragged to the front of the shop. Wrapped and unwrapped lollies are being forced violently into our face. Whilst shovelling the handfuls into our mouth, bruising our lips, our Dad is commanding us to never steal lollies again and to repeat back that we wouldn't touch the lollies. I'm too petrified to open my mouth and Troy is rightly pissed off and refuses to answer. This insolence infuriates Dad who grabs our little hand and presses it onto the flat griller. I screech out in pain as the flesh of my palm emits an odour that I have never experienced. Troy has disappeared as he realises his bad behaviour has got us damaged again. I slam my foot down onto Dad's foot and kick his shin repeatedly as Troy has taught me. I finally rip my hand away from Dad's grip and race out into the street. My whole palm is a solid blister. Troy convinces me to go to the end of the street and speak to the lady that is nice to us. We were playing down the street outside her house a couple of weeks ago and were talking to ourselves. She invited us in for a drink and some biscuits. She surprised us by looking us in the eye and saying, `bring your friend'. Maybe she is like us and has other friends inside her that she speaks to. She isn't surprised about our peculiarities and we are surprised that she isn't, and this makes us feel safe. 16
Troy and I enter the nice Greek lady's house and smell the strange scents in the kitchen that belongs to the European cuisine this family gets to enjoy. It isn't biscuits of the Australian type, but sticky thick pastry. They're neatly arranged and sit in front of us on the kitchen bench. She smiles at us as we perch ourselves on the stool at the end of the bench. Our hand is tucked away in our pocket, the pain is excruciating. Mustn't let her see my hand, we will get into trouble. `Tim, have a biscuit,' the nice Greek lady offers. Little Tim surfaces and is disorientated and goes to pick up a biscuit with our burnt hand. He freaks and starts howling as he inspects our damaged hand and screams at the blistered flesh. The Greek lady places her large gentle hand under ours and proclaims that she should call our parents. `Your Mum's a nurse isn't she? She needs to look at it.' Our world crumbles in again as she speaks to our Mum about our injured hand. She hangs up the phone, `Your Mum is on her way. How did it happen?' she enquires. Troy quickly tells her that Dad has done the damage. She looks shocked and says nothing. Shortly, there is a knock at the door. We sit on a stool at the bench where the foreign food is displayed, the stool closest to the open back door. Mum is following the Greek lady into the kitchen. The lady asks Mum if her husband was capable of inflicting such damage. Mum quickly goes to Dad's defence and tells the lady that I have damaged my hand with firecrackers. Our little heart sinks again as another opportunity to escape has faded away. We walk behind our Mum up the length of the street, well aware of the flogging that is coming our way. Little Tim escapes again; we get the jug cord for our lie against their reality. The pain becomes excruciating. Troy is "in the cupboard", which is his retreat space, and Little Tim is in the space of many colours. Later in the evening, Mum starts to bandage the hand. When finished she allows us to snuggle into her and be cuddled. Her 17
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM warmth assists the pain level, but it is short lived; as our Dad enters the room she quickly kicks me to the other end of the couch, so as not to meet his disapproval. We leave Mum appeasing Dad's wishes and sob in the boys' bedroom until we exhaust ourself to sleep. We awake later in the night to watch James start a fire in a KFC barrel. He is using shoes to try and suffocate the flames as they grow larger and out of control. He stops and all three brothers watch the fire making, no attempt is made to put it out. It has just started licking the curtains and as the fire is about to gather momentum, Dad rushes in and rips the curtains down, opens the window and throws the KFC barrel and curtains out the window. He looks at us, stunned and accepts the only defiance we have is to allow the fire to be our 'fait accompli'. The numb expressions Dad faces brings fear to his eyes as he has to accept that we are willing to die instead of being on this earth, as his toys. A small victory for us with a huge result, tonight there will be no flogging. A week later we find Dad attempting to drown James in the bathtub. Troy runs to attack Dad and save James, only to receive a back-hander across the room. Dazed in our crumpled position, we are picked up and flung through the air to be dumped into the bathtub. We don't even struggle after the first few moments of realising he has complete control over our tiny body. Once again, the fact that we don't struggle and accept an early death confuses our Dad into ceasing the attack. In the past, Troy would bite Dad's hand and we would end up battered and bruised, also raped; and this act proves that Dad can do anything to us whenever he chooses. The more we have control over Troy and his anger, the better off we are when it comes to survival. Ironically, the less we fight back and accept death as an escape, the less amount of damage we suffer. This strategy works for some time. On our seventh birthday Little Tim refrains from recognising our birthday again, for on his fifth he was raped by a 18
stranger and prefers not to be involved in birthdays; so inadvertently he remains five years old. At this period Troy also stops growing. This doesn't mean that they aren't with me from time to time, they are, just that from this recognisable point, they don't age. They gather snippets of memory, but never long strains. I collect most of the memories of the sexual or brutal attacks. It's a lonely period. Our Brother Stewart gets very sick and ends up in hospital with Hepatitis B. This eventually also presents another condition. He now suffers epileptic fits. This curse is a blessing, for now he isn't taken for the horror drives to strange men's houses. At the first indication that an attack is looming, the fear sends him into a seizure. His mind has found a way to escape the nightmare. The family is organising to move up into the Blue Mountains where it's really cold. I hate the cold. However, at these times all family members are around each other to pack for the new destination. Troy, Little Tim and I try hard to have fun with our brothers and sisters. These strained relationships are difficult to maintain for as soon as we feel that we are bonding, the experience is destroyed by an inevitable forced isolation. THE BREADMAN LITTLE TIM Peter and I are sometimes left unattended. In a large family of seven it's unusual, but when this happens we are grateful to be by ourselves. We sleep in the same room as our brothers, but when daylight arrives we are kept apart, separated or taking our turn in the cupboard. It is useless being angry about our confinement because that just increases the duration and the pain to be suffered. The decision not to get angry leaves Peter and I in greater control of our world. 19
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM Dad refrains from raping us for some time, maybe months, however the brutal floggings and bashings don't cease. Simple misdemeanours create a rage that will frighten the dead into being dead again. The physical abuse is at night after Dad gets home from work. He will walk in the door and be informed by our Mum what we have done wrong. `Wait `til your father gets home,' is the chant of terror, which always results with Peter (the pain holder) doing his job. Dad's job is the Bread man, he delivers bread door to door, and at times I'm kept home from school. These days I call `the dammed days'. The rapes start again. Dad visits people that he delivers bread to on his round. It's always organised and prior to slipping into the space of many colours, I am surprised that strangers will ask about my brothers by name and how and when they can see them again. My confusion and terror when hearing these strangers talking about my brothers, suddenly whips me into the space of many colours. PETER The man is small with stumpy fingers; he has a round face with a balding head and black-rimmed glasses. His windpipe is extra large in proportion to his neck. Little Tim has gone again; I feel alone and ask Troy to be with me during this nightmare in the middle of the day. `Look at that neck, I wonder if I ran up his body and smash, smash, smash, smash it?' Troy's words resonate in my head. I feel comfort and hold my head up high as I'm led away to face and endure the predicament that my Dad has rendered us. The attack is short and Dad comes in as I am gathering my clothes. `Hurry up son and meet us in the kitchen.' `I'll hurry you up Dad with the kitchen knife,' Troy has suddenly joined me. 20
Little Tim is looking for our shoes and is getting quite frustrated. I tell him to stop looking as he is bent down and looking under the bed; in this position its quiet painful and blood is oozing out of our bottom. Little Tim sits on the dirty brown carpet and starts crying. `I promise I won't get angry so we don't get in trouble today,' Troy declares as he thinks he is to blame for Little Tim's eruption of tears. I just don't want any more pain, so I reassure Little Tim and tell him to go and find our shoes outside and return to the kitchen as ordered. We sit at the kitchen table, looking out the window at a tree bare of leaves. Dad and his friend discuss church activities that they have been involved in recently. Money changes hands and its a lot more money than the cost of two loaves of bread. These people live in two worlds, the hidden one and the one they present to the world. A small bird lands on the leafless tree and looks directly at us. The sound of Dad's conversation starts to fade as I wish to be a bird and fly away from this human existence. The animal kingdom, birds and nature are the only source of sanity I want to be involved with. BAKING PETER It must've been a big pay-off because nothing happens to us outside of what goes on at home for a long time. I'm in the third grade, the happiest period of my young life. Troy is controlled and will only come out of the dark places, his cupboard, when asked. Little Tim is starting to resurface more and more. As Peter, I start the third grade. I can't be a bubbly joyful little kid, but Little Tim can and his refreshing demeanour brings favour to us. The other children refer to us as the teacher's pet. We don't care, and we are pleased to find someone who cares about our existence within the miserable reality we find ourselves. At the end 21
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM of the first term Little Tim feels safe to re-emerge, so I give his body back and return to the Dark. LITTLE TIM It's strange at first getting used to some toys and clothes I have never seen before. The house we live in is cold. I go downstairs to the kitchen; I use my sense of smell to navigate around the strange rooms and hallway to find it. All of my family except my Dad are there looking at me strangely; I have a bewildered look on my face. `Are you alright weirdo?' my eldest sister asks. `Come here Tim, warm yourself by the fire, you look like you're frozen,' my Mum offers generously. This interaction isn't what causes my bewildered look. My response to the sight in front of me is that I hardly recognise any of my family. It must've been six months since I have seen them and their physical changes frighten me. They are all taller and their facial features have also changed. I feel small and puny, even my younger brother James and younger sister Dorothy seem to have grown up quicker than me. Once I'm warm and have breakfast, I run upstairs to get my homework for school and run back to the kitchen to do it by the fireplace. It's really Peter's homework and I will need him to explain the work I don't understand. Everybody else has disappeared to enjoy their holiday activities. Mum queries me, `Why are you doing your homework on the first day of the holidays?' `I need to understand the work.' `Can I help?' she offers. I'm shocked but accept her offer. She explains the mathematics that I have never seen or understand. She praises me when I finally get it right after countless times of getting it wrong. She questions me, `Why are you finding this work so difficult, when only a couple of weeks ago you knew the solution?' I look at her and say, 22
`I just forget lots of things Mum, I'm sorry,' expecting some repercussion for being dumb. What she said next startles me. `That's okay son, I forget things too.' Did she just then explain that she looses time too and forgets things she has learned, the same as me? My little mind tries to reason that maybe when she is nasty, she doesn't remember. Her demeanour doesn't change, she's being friendly and caring and I risk another question hoping not to provoke Nasty Mum to surface. `Where's Dad?' `Oh, he's at work.' `Oh, yes, work,' I reply, covering up that I don't know what work he does and leaving an opening hoping Mum will explain more. She does. `Yes, you haven't seen much of him as he leaves very early in the morning and he comes home when you're asleep. He does love you and misses seeing you.' I don't understand her last comment; a strange thought enters my head, maybe Dad forgets too. I'm too young to explore this observation with Mum. Mum and I are alone in the kitchen; she helps me to learn all of Peter's work that I don't understand. Once I feel confident that I know the work, she quizzes me. If I get it wrong, she doesn't chastise me, she simply says, `hit the books'. I practice the correct answer until I get it right. When confident I announce to my Mum, `Ready for a quiz.' `What's the capital of Australia?' she starts. `Canberra.' `What's the capital of New South Wales?' `Sydney.' `Spell the word `giant'. `G-i-a-n-t, giant.' `Good. Spell the word `friend'.' `F-r-i-e-n-d, friend.' `Good. Spell your name.' 23
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM `T-i-m, Tim.' `Very good.' The quiz ends with a 100% pass and I feel confident, with Mum's help and Peter's silent assistance, that I will be able to achieve a good result in the third grade. If I dedicate some extra time each day to learning the work, I can sit in Peter's chair and no one will be wiser that I haven't attended school in this grade, thanks to Mum giving me a sound foundation. Mum states, `Since you have been a good boy and learnt your work, how about helping me to do some baking?' It feels good to be praised by Mum. I feel proud. We bake all day--chocolate cake and Anzac biscuits. When the mixing is done, we each lick a beater clean. I giggle out loud at the chocolate mixture ending up on Mum's face. She points at my face and I do the same. The freedom to be happy in my Mum's company is indescribable. Evening approaches and with the loud bellow of a voice that rings through two blocks at least, she summons the rest of the family to dinner. All seated at the table, the conversation revolves around family members activities during the day. All are excited to tell their own story. My older brother ribs me about being involved with the baking session, but he doesn't understand it is the best day of my life. School holidays continue and we only see Dad on Sundays. He works six days a week. Each Sunday he is extremely diligent, he makes Mum get us ready for the church service he says we need to attend to avoid being damned. Sunday School is bearable, but Dad drags us into the big church to be bored out of our brains; we never understand the words being preached. This is an opportunity to display us to the churchgoers; some obviously have more interest in us than is socially acceptable. Soon Stewart starts having seizures again; more pain to come is the only conclusion. 24
My great achievement comes in the form of the honour of being class captain for the last term of my third grade year. I am adorned with a white rectangular badge with the word `Captain' in gold lettering; the school badge dangles underneath it. I carefully remove my pride and joy at night and place it on the dresser with careful attention, and each morning excitedly pin it to my uniform and get to class early to carry out my responsibilities. My life is coming together. With Peter holding the pain of the attacks at bay and Troy holding the anger, I begin to truly be myself as best as I can. I become quite popular and have lots of friends. My schoolwork is constantly rated in the top three. Miss Freeman, my teacher, smiles and touches my hand as she places my work onto my desk announcing to the class that I have achieved another `A'. When I look up at her from my desk she smiles and winks. I have finally found an adult that I can trust. THE DISAPPEARENCE LITTLE TIM `I've got a surprise for you and James tomorrow. You won't be going to school,' Dad informs me. I start arguing with Dad about not wanting to miss out on school, the only place I feel safe. He removes his belt and starts swinging; I say nothing, as words offer no reason that might release him from his sadistic self. I accept the belting from Dad's belt and am soon comforted to have Peter step in while I'm released to find sanctuary in the space of many colours. 25
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM PETER As Peter, I can say that Troy and I have been left to feel the pain inflicted upon our bottom. We have no idea why we are getting this flogging. Troy is vowing to grab the steering wheel of the car and send us over the edge of a cliff on the drive down the Blue Mountains. I tell him to behave, as we have to protect James. The destination is a commercial TV station and the promise of being able to look through a real TV station subdues us until we enter the door of the long rectangular building. It's a lie. Two men wait inside to pay our Dad for the pleasure of having our bottoms to penetrate. We are put into one of those large black cars to go to an unknown destination. The most surreal event happens; James is interested in the car we are in, so much so he's distracted from the inevitable by asking questions of our would-be attackers. Once again I suffer an invasion of our body and have to carry the pain again. Troy is starting to piss me off, threatening to get even only after the act. I feel so alone at the time of the attacks; Little Tim abandons me and Troy surfaces only after the event is over. I decide in future I will take more control when I surface. From this juncture I will only provide my energy when the body is in pain. LITTLE TIM As Little Tim I wake up in my room unaware of recent events and proudly pin my Class Captain Badge onto my uniform. At breakfast Mum gives me a phoney note explaining why we were not at school yesterday. Peter is in the Dark and I am really feeling how sore my bottom is. I go to school early and make sure I'm sitting down before class starts. However, at recess, Miss Freeman notices my discomfort. 26
She queries how I got injured. I just deny that there is anything wrong. She presses for some logical explanation and I finally crumble and break down sobbing, `Daddy and his friends hurt us.' She storms off towards the principle's office; she doesn't return. I decide to pack my gear and leave immediately. I don't go home; instead, I go to my safe place that I use on the few occasions I get the opportunity to flee. My safe place is a bush park with large trees; at the entrance is an arch brick gateway. I locate a large tree and scale it so I can see if anyone is looking for me. I wait until the school kids cut through the park on their way home before I return home, ensuring that no suspicion arises from me arriving home early. The front door is open so I go straight to my room and start doing homework, expecting a flogging at any moment for dobbing in my Dad. We have dinner and nothing is said. I am in bed when I hear Dad come home. Any minute now, I prepare myself. Nothing happens. Fear will not allow me to sleep; I toss and turn all night. At one stage in the intense fear of the expected torment I mentally plea for a flogging; anything to give me some relief from the anxiety I'm suffering. I wet the bed, not daring to move. In the morning, before the others stir, I quickly put the wet sheets and pyjamas into the washing machine and close the lid so no one can see them: problem gone away. I go to breakfast and still nothing is said. In fact, Mum is extra kind and gives me extra treats in my lunch in the form of iced vovo biscuits. I run all the way to school to be close to the teacher that I trust will expose my twisted existence to the authoritarian adult world. The bell rings to begin school. (The school captain's responsibility is to walk around the grounds clanging the bell, yelling `five minutes to next bell'.) This bell means that class captains are responsible for ensuring that students are all seated by the time the next bell rings. When it rings, most of my class is seated; I am seated too however frozen rigid. 27
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM The fear within me revolves around unanswered questions that have surfaced since I told Miss Freeman my distasteful tale. I am alone and have to bear the associated anxiety and pain without help from Peter; it isn't physical pain, and Peter only surfaces now when I have to endure physical pain. I fear I have created trouble by being bad and telling Miss Freeman my story. I wonder if Dad has been told about my accusation and has done something to Miss Freeman. This thought scares me as I pray to God to let her walk into the classroom with her usual smiling face. `Sit down children,' a man's bellowing voice commands. It's the school principle that glares at us to obey his command. Within sixty seconds the class is silent, sitting at their desks, looking to the front. `Miss Freeman won't be teaching you anymore, she has left the school,' he informally states. `I will be your teacher until we find a new one.' Tears well up in my eyes, I'm in the front row, only the Principle can truly observe my weakness of the fear of the unknown. What really happened to Miss Freeman? The girls of the class start to cry and ask the Principle if we, Miss Freeman's class, have made her leave. The rest of the boy's are querying collectively if they have been too bad and made Miss Freeman leave school. They too start to cry. By now the whole of the class is crying about missing their favourite teacher. I'm crying due to the fear and shame that what I said to her may have got her hurt from the bad people. The Principle is losing control and realises that the callous way he approached telling sensitive third graders their teacher and friend won't be coming back is not appropriate. He leaves the room with all of us still distracted with the sudden shock of the unpleasant news. Miss Pearson enters our room and starts to quieten us down. This doesn't take her long as we are slightly exhausted from howling, sobbing and crying and, as the last of us quietens, she tells us the truth of Miss Freeman's sudden departure. 28
`Miss Freeman has left due to the fact she is going to have a baby,' she gently informs us. The girls are first to respond to the news; `Oohs' and `Aaahs' echo throughout the room. The boys all have relieved faces too, as now there is a logical explanation to her departure. I feel shame, a new emotion: Shame for wondering if I've gotten Miss Freeman hurt or sacked. I run out of the classroom all the way to the park with the trees and heaven's gate at the front. Shame overwhelms me as I sob asking the same question over and over again. Did I get Miss Freeman hurt? I don't believe adult truth. 29
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM STUD FARM LITTLE TIM James and I are involved in another satanic ritual. On the drive out to the property where we are to be used as meat for the ceremony, I notice James mumbling to himself. Commanded not to talk to each other, I assume that he too has extra friends to help him through this depravity. It's interesting to observe this interaction from the other side. His voice inflections from one persona to the next are slightly different; his facial expressions change with the moods and emotions he is expressing silently to himself. His angry and scared face show the only true expression available to a little boy who is about to be violated. The horror ride ends at a stud farm as our car, a Ford Squire station wagon, pulls up next to the black and grey Jaguars and Mercedes. James, loving cars, distracts himself with the phenomenal sight of some of the richest cars on the earth in one place. I hate rich cars and rich people; this mob is the cream of the crop. Dad is bragging how his friends that we'll meet tonight are TV personalities, radio announcers, lawyers, judges, advertising executives and all types of business people. He seems proud to be farming his sons out to these sicko's. When it happens it's just another degradation. If I could change the reality of this I would do it in a heartbeat. The most functional way to deal with the incessant onslaught is to fall asleep when it's finished. I am bundled into the back of the car to hear some feeble attempt at justifying their sick behaviour; the familiar words, `they're only children, they will forget.' James gets in the back and whispers in my ear, `I spat on all their cars.' I smile for a brief moment. 30
THE BIRTHDAY LITTLE TIM Saturday, Paul's party; Mum (nice Mum) wakes me up to go shopping for his present; a matchbox car is his gift. I'm wearing my best clothes and I'm allowed to walk the short distance up through the school and down the road to his house. I feel so big when Mum says I could get there by myself. The excitement of the party almost outstrips the shame I am feeling about yesterday. It's one o'clock and I am dressed with a neatly wrapped gift under my arm. Entering the sunlight I make my way towards the party address. The party is to start at one thirty. I am the first one to arrive and am left in the lounge room as the occupants run around trying to finish getting ready. Soon the doorbell rings and three of my classmates enter. We are eating chips and drinking soft drinks. The whole class arrives and I am asked to the kitchen to assist with the food. Paul's mother asks me about my parents and what they do for a living. I confidently explain their names and occupations. She whips around and gives a stare that almost knocks me off the stool I'm sitting on, freely swinging my legs, which now freeze as words finally leave her contorted face. `You're not a Brant are you?' The way she screams it, I know she doesn't expect an answer, she already knows. `You must go home now, Tim.' I don't look at her, I know what shame is and I am feeling an abundance of it. I leave the house. As I reach the front gate, Paul runs up to me and snatches the present I'm totally oblivious I'm still carrying, out of my hand. He starts singing a chant. 31
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM `Tim's Mummy and Dad are really sick and bad. `Tim's Mummy and Dad are really sick and bad.' I run as fast as I can to try and drown out the incessant pitch and rhythm of his taunting. I don't stop running until I reach the abandoned building across the road from the school. We are warned never to go in there `because it's dangerous'. The way I am feeling I don't care about danger, I welcome it. To allow entry into the condemned building I boldly push away a pile of broken glass bottles that slightly obscure the hole where bricks have been knocked out of the wall. Walking across broken glass, I look at my Sunday best clothes; they are filthy-- more excuses for a flogging. I'm not handling this situation very well. As I sit on the ground, surrounded by litter, I think of how much shame has entered my life recently. It's an unbearable burden from which I don't know how to relieve myself. I want to crawl up in a ball and die. Instead, I crawl up in a ball and cry, and eventually fall asleep. When I wake its early evening and I don't know where I am, who I am, where I've been, or even where I live. A voice in my head keeps telling me my name is Troy and I'm a naughty boy. `Is that my name? Troy? As soon as I ask my question, my head answers, `No, that's my name; I'm Troy the naughty boy.' We/he picks up a rock and throws it, smashing a four by four foot window that already has holes in the glass pane. I have no control; I, or we, definitely he, is picking up rocks and smashing windows in this abandoned building where I have woken. I feel an overwhelming sense of shame flood over me. We stop throwing rocks. `You got it? Your job is to feel and carry shame: Shane the shame carrier. Little Tim can't deal with some things, so for us to survive, you have been created.' `I'm Troy the bad boy, and there's Peter the pain holder. Little Tim decided not to be bad and has suffered enough pain, so he has 32
friends to help him: Peter and me and now you, Shane. Your job is to experience the shame that Little Tim can't and won't handle. I will get you home and be there to give you information as you need it.' `It could be a bit unsettling `cause I usually get into trouble but you will also suffer the consequences. However, I'm the only one that is available to help you out, `cause Little Tim is in the space of many colours and Peter refuses to come out unless there is real pain. With the trouble I get you into you will get to experience pain, and if it gets really bad you will more than likely meet Peter.' `Well, are you ready?' Troy asks. `Yeah, I guess so,' Shane answers. My head is feeling relaxed as somehow the explanation doesn't seem unusual. `Well this is how we do it. Go to the end of the building, out through the hole where the glass bottles are piled up, through the gate in the school fence, through the school, to the right. At the end of the school, there's a set of stairs that lead to a road. Go across the road and at the next street on your right, there is our house; big, with a green roof, number four, second house on the left. Have you got that?' Troy questions. `No, I will need your help!' I request. `I can help but the more time I'm around, the more trouble we are going to get into,' Troy warns. `Well I better learn quick,' Shane announces. SHANE I make it to our house and move to a bedroom I have never slept in. I instinctively know where it's located. The bedroom is full of boxes packed up. I remember the warning from Troy and ask him to leave me alone to get used to these surroundings. With his voice in my head gone, I wait for something to happen. A young boy comes into the bedroom. `C'mon Tim, let's go out and play.' I look at him stoned faced. The voice that belongs to Troy has told me my name is Shane. 33
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM `C'mon Tim, let's go and play.' I still give him no response `Are you sick again? I won't tell nobody, just come and play,' he pleads. `My name is Shane,' I inform him. He laughs. `You're always changing your name. Just make sure if Mum and Dad call you Tim, you answer them. You know how mad they get when you don't answer to your name. Also, we are moving tomorrow in case you forgot.' He turns at the doorway and whispers, `My name is James. In case you forgot.' From our conversation I know that I am called Tim by others, and Shane by the voice in my head. Also, we are going to move which will be in my favour; a new place will be strange to all of the family members so I won't look lost. I guess James is my brother. BLACKBERRY BUSH SHANE The move isn't too far away, just to the next town. The new house is located at the edge of the bush with the nearest neighbour one hundred metres away. It doesn't take long to settle in. One day I am home alone with our Dad and suffer my first rape at the new address. I don't know what a rape is, however I know intuitively what I'm experiencing. Peter, who I haven't met 'til now, arrives precisely when our Dad inserts his willy inside me. Peter explains to me what is going on and that he will take over now until the pain subsides. 34
LITTLE TIM Once Peter has arrived, I, Little Tim, want desperately to get out of the place where we are being violated. I run outside, down the dirt road about one hundred metres and into a blackberry bush. The thorns don't slow my progress as I head for the middle of the thicket, collapse and cry until I am exhausted and fall asleep. Peter has slipped back into the Dark. Shane will soon realise that he will have to come to the Light. Lying still in the thicket, I spot a bunny rabbit and lizards approaching me, as if to comfort me. The animals are so friendly: this gives me an insight that maybe the God I pray to every night for this abuse to stop has sent some animals to comfort me. Once this thought enters my head, I hear the voice of the angel I met at the satanic ritual. She says, `Move to the bush to be safe.' The bunny rabbit rests against the side of my body. His fur tickles me. I want to stay with my new friend; however the sensation of shame and pain is overwhelming. I tell Shane as he enters my reality to run to the bush to be safe. I slip back to the space of colours. SHANE We are lying there in the thicket of the blackberry bush; obviously we have lost time. Little Tim tells us to run to the bush to be safe. Peter is with me as the bunny rabbit that comfortably snuggles into us, moves and hops away towards the denser bush. The shame hits me like a blanket of thorns and the pain subsides now that Peter is back in the Dark. I return home to find our home full of activity. The whole family is home. Dad has switched and has no previous accessible knowledge of what he has done to me. This is obvious when he asks, `Have you been playing in the bush?' 35
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM He actually expects an answer because he truly has no knowledge of how he attacked me, or maybe that's what I need to believe. `Yeah Dad, I've been in the bush,' I assure him because I'm too weak to confront him. James looks at me. This type of communication is done with a simple glance between us. That small interchange confirms to him that Dad has switched and has raped me. His little face contorts with a painful look. It was my turn this time though, which explains why relief then enters his eyes. I know he knows, and we know the incident will never be discussed. The reason for this is that James has lost trust in me. My capacity to instantly forget the attacks leaves James feeling betrayed, James is robbed of confirmation about the attacks we experience together as an element of survival; another way our Dad isolates and separates us. His activities force us to become estranged. DARUKE SHANE `Tomorrow, James and you are going to a function at the boy's home.' As Shane, I listen to the new orders; my face shows confusion and James raises his pointed finger to his lips. `Daruke,' one word sends chills over my body. Daruke - a delinquent boys' home. I know it is the place where Dad works; in fact I have heard a conversation between Mum and Dad just last week about it. He came home with a bandage on his shoulder that dressed a knife wound, courtesy of one of the boys. `The little bastard got what he deserved before and after,' he had proudly proclaimed to Mum. 36
I couldn't sleep through the night fearing the inevitable. I decide to sleep on the journey down the mountains to relieve some anxiety and to lessen the time I have to wait until we drive into the front gate of the boy's home. A BBQ is the function we are invited to. The media is present; they're there to promote the concept of goodwill between the rich, powerful hosts and the delinquent boys. The men from the TV station are there too and James' face goes white when he recognises them. He mumbles, `TV station!' He looks at me for validation; do I have an accessible memory that we were at a TV station? But that's the problem; I have no connection, I am unable to give him the much-needed acknowledgement that events did transpire. I have no memory of the details of activities that the others have suffered but seeing the expression on his face puts the fear of Satan in me. A tear trickles down his face. It's late afternoon. The festivities finish and the nightmare begins. The flesh party is held at a mansion in a North Sydney suburb above the Harbour. The Sydney City lights bounce and blur in my vision as we are violently attacked. Peter takes the pain; I take the shame. When is this going to stop? The arrogance of the men involved is witnessed again as I hear them comment that `we are only children, we will forget.' When will this stop? 37
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM THE BULLY LITTLE TIM `He should've stopped picking on Shane who is too scared to stand up for himself.' This is the revelation that I, as Little Tim, receive from Troy as I resurface to sort out the mess he has caused. Troy has belted a bully good and proper for stirring Shane. He was calling Shane a poofter. He couldn't possibly realise how much shame Shane carries and how the taunts would only lead to a shut down on Shane's part. As soon as the shut down happens, so as not to create a situation we aren't able to control, Troy shoots to the surface and flogs the bully into realising he's way out of line calling Shane names. As at home, when Troy surfaces, there are always consequences. With Troy, Shane and Peter in the Dark, I have to face the music. I'm scared because all my fourth grade mates are now taller, and look different and even smell different from when I last saw them. I instantly think I am in the middle of a satanic ritual, however it doesn't look as evil as the ones I have been exposed too. The letters on the classroom wall read `Halloween'. I don't know what Halloween is, or what the cut-out cardboard witches and pumpkins with candles in them, mean. It all seems quite tame compared to the usual rituals. I'm rather concerned though about the whining bully sitting on his bum with a nosebleed, crying, `Miss, Tim hit me. Miss, Tim hit me!' Peter is now with me as we are ordered to go to the Principal's office. 38
I'm so confused and lost by my sudden arrival into reality that I have no idea how to get to the Principal's office. I panic and wet my pants. The shame, the emotion I can no longer carry rapidly switches us; I go to the space of colours, and Shane is reunited with Peter to suffer the consequences of Troy. SHANE Little Tim has left me in a serious predicament. I am concerned about what Troy has done; did the bully deserve it? Having wet pants and a red face to front the principal, I am sure only ridicule is coming our way. Peter and I knock on the door of the principal's office. The principal opens his office door and tells us to explain our actions in the classroom. `Well Sir, I hit him because he called me a Poofter.' `That's not a good reason to hit someone. I think you need to have the cane to learn that lesson. Put out your hand for four whacks.' Peter puts our hand out and bravely takes the whack without whimpering. Getting whacked from the cane is nothing compared to what we suffer living under the same roof as our parents. With our hand stinging I don't return to class, I just sit in the playground waiting for school to finish--not a good idea. Just before the end of school all the kids are dressed up as goblins, witches and demons, running around the school grounds. Peter needs to go. Although it's all in fun, the similarity to a real satanic ritual scares him. I run to our old familiar safety spot and climb a familiar tree. I come down the tree in time to meet James and walk the short distance to pick up our younger sister. We return to the primary school and collect our bus, our daily routine. I don't tell James or Dorothy what happened. Secrecy is the most accessible survival tool. 39
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM CIRCUS SHANE Dad announces that because James and I have been good, we deserve a treat. When Dad says we have been good, to me that, means that Troy and Peter haven't had to be out much. Peter surfaces though with the word `treat' being mentioned; for us, treat means threat. The Circus, the supposed treat, is located at the town show grounds. The circus owner is the threat and his caravan is to be the place of sleaze. James waits outside while I feel totally ashamed to be where I am. I am about to be raped again and can't do anything about it. No introductions just pushed against the bed; a big hand on my back pressing me down, my pants ripped down to my ankles, his thing inserted hard. I move to the Dark space, crossing paths with Peter, who always looks miserable. As Peter walks out of the caravan, I join him. Peter and I intermix and as I look into James eyes I see tears well up; Dad has two hands on his shoulders, completely in control. I know it's my job to feel shame; however I sense another emotion that I have no control over. Implements such as a lamp, a ball of steel, a wooden stake and a metal torch are all within reach. A quick move to grab one of these and smash it against my attacker's head can save my brother from the torment and torture I have just suffered. The feeling or emotion is guilt. It's the first time I have experienced it and it over loads my capacity to function. I quickly gain some control of this new emotion only to be overwhelmed by 40
the feeling of shame again as James brushes past me entering his particular nightmare. I feel shame and guilt intermixed. I don't know how to interpret what is going on. I run, and run, and keep on running until I'm at the edge of the circus where the animals are tethered, with chain, to stakes in the ground. The camels interest me the most; the size and shape of these `ships of the desert' fascinate me. The idea of being on a ship in the desert appeals to me: in the middle of a desert I would be able to see if anybody was coming and could move to protect myself from the suffering. Guilt starts to rise again. I fight this unusual feeling again and daydream of riding a camel out into the desert; the searing heat of the sun making the terrain inhospitable to any would-be attackers. James stands next to me and says nothing; he just stares at the same camel. The camel, who until this point hasn't really acknowledged our presence, raises its head and winks at us twice. `Did he just wink at us, Tim?' James asks. `I guess so.' `I'm sorry,' I add. `Why? You get hurt too?' `Because I could've hurt him so you wouldn't have to go through it.' `You're too little. When we get bigger we will stop them.' `Yeah, I guess so,' I admit. We both fall silent and I ponder what might one day be possible. James face is flushed with anger - even the camel senses it. The camel moves to the far side of his pen, as far as the chain will reach. `We better head back to the car,' I suggest. We move through the circus' Fun Alley; all the stalls are closed. Its mid-morning and only a few `Showies' are hanging around. We cannot blame them for not helping us; their boss' caravan is separate from the main living quarters. No one would have been able to hear the pain we were suffering. 41
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM Dad isn't far behind us as we get into our car. He gives us a ticket each to the circus. I am sitting in the front seat of the car; I lower the window and unceremoniously let the circus ticket fly away from my fingers, making sure Dad sees my actions. `You ungrateful...' I don't hear the rest of the sentence as my ears are ringing from the solid punch I receive. DIARIES SHANE Dad has not been sacked this time, he has quit his job. It has been eighteen months of living at this address on the edge of the bush. Although Dad is once again out of work he occupies himself with other activities. Church members are the `Johns', we are the whores and Dad the pimp. The disguise, or what puts blinkers on our Mum's and other people's eyes, is the Sunday roast lunch after church which we are quite frequently invited to church members' houses for. James and I are the dessert. We are learning there is no safe place for us. Even going to church is a threat. Church is supposed to be a loving space for the community; however, if that's love, we want nothing more to do with it. Love is abuse to us. The money must've piled up because yet another move is proposed. There is a feeling in the air; another relocation. The impending move is what is giving the feeling in the air substance. One week goes by before an announcement confirms, `We are going to move, back to Queanbeyan.' This time it's church members who finance our move - payment for our little bottoms. 42
We are packing up again when I come across some letters, diaries and photographs. I recognise the addresses, the names entered in the diaries and the faces in the photographs. Also, there are two carbon copy books; one full of correspondence to a well-known media personality, and the other, letters to a mixture of recipients. I have stumbled across these documents because Dad asked me to help pack up his study. They are stashed neatly under the bookcase that has space between the lowest shelf and the floor. Hey, isn't this a photo that of those big personality friends you know?' I question him. `Give us a look. Yeah, that's them,' he calmly confirms. At this point, he has a switch, and demands to know where I got the documents and photos. I explain that they were under the bookcase and point to the spot. As quick as he switched, he switches back and asks me what my question was. I answer him quickly, `Dad I feel like I know these people in the photo. Where did I meet them?' `I don't think you have son.' We knew them; they were the men who raped us at satanic rituals and at the Daruke Boy's Home Media Function. I know who they are and hate them as much as hate can allow. Dad notices my unease and tells me to go and pack my own stuff; I obey and forget the evidence exists. ANOTHER MOVE SHANE With the combination of the money saved from our involuntary torment, and the church funds, we move to Queanbeyan. Peter tells me that we have lived in Queanbeyan before and of the 43
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM events that have transpired. I'm not looking forward to the move; not back to a place that I am supposed to know. It is the Summer School holidays and I will take the opportunity to explore the town and its surroundings to try and prevent disorientation, or being caught out by not having the answers I should when being questioned. After the holidays we are sent back to the primary school that Little Tim and Peter have been to. It's hard having to pretend that I, as Shane, know the school. Until now I haven't made any friends for fear that they might get hurt like we do by the sick adults. However, I do know a boy my age who is a family friend--I believe his Dad doesn't like my Dad much but tolerates him for his kids' and us kids' sake. We become good friends and he helps me re-establish myself at the school. I can't tell him of our secrets or that we often lose time or switch. He is a true friend who seems to be aware of the fact that we behave differently than his other mates. He always stands up for me if his other friends call me `Weirdo.' I am just getting close to my friend when Dad tells me that he and Mum have been accepted into Bible College. We are to leave in two weeks time. Once again my hope of having a normal life is stripped away. The Bible College, set up to teach people how to be missionaries in third world countries, is located outside Newcastle. As we drive through the front gate for the first time, I feel that maybe this might be the safest place I can be. I count about fifty people, singles and families, enjoying the sunny afternoon. The college is located on Port Stewarts Bay. It offers saltwater fishing, saltwater swimming in a man made swimming enclosure and a trampoline. I am very excited to be here. The large amount of people makes me feel safe. I can always run to another adult. My tenth birthday is spent at home and that night we have a birthday dinner with all the family. The regular visits to the attacker's houses have stopped for me; however, James is still 44
suffering attacks, alone. Five months goes by and nothing happens to me. The overwhelming feeling of shame is lifting, and I move into the Dark to see Little Tim move into the Light. LITTLE TIM As Little Tim I regain my body and start to really enjoy breathing and living. So many fun things to do--the other kids liked Shane, so it's easy for me to fit in. It has been a long time since I have been out `in reality'. But I am always aware of the others. I truly believe that having friends like Shane and Peter, who take care of different parts of my life, is normal for everyone. However, I never ask anybody to confirm this. My life has changed now; reaching the magical age of ten years, no more visits to the rich peoples' places, I stop wetting the bed and achieve solid friendships with other kids. Dad comes into my room one night and asks me to help one of the college students at the mattress shed. There is nothing unusual about the request, we are always asked to help other students with their tasks. `Who is it that I will be working with?' I ask. `John. He requested you specifically,' Dad finishes. `I like John; he is friendly with all the kids.' I arrive at the mattress shed at eight o'clock on Saturday morning. The mattress shed is a shed where additional mattresses required for camps and conventions are stored. Hundreds of mattresses are piled on top of each other. John is at the back of the shed away from the mattresses; he turns and faces me with his Willy poking out of his trousers. I am completely shocked and think that it's a mistake on his part: wishful thinking. He is just like the others who hurt us. Betrayed again, the shock sends me flying back to the space of many colours. Peter surfaces to carry the pain once again. This man has total control of me. 45
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM Although it lasts a short time, I believe that I should've been able to stop this attack. Shane refuses to return as our shame has now developed into another emotion. Shane doesn't have the capacity to carry another emotion. Another friend is needed. We are guilt ridden, so I create Gary the guilt holder. He now takes the position of Shane; Gary is now in the Light. PETER Gary is thrust into being ten years old. He is small for is age. He's a cute kid whose facial features sport flushed cheeks and swollen eyes and he has a very sore bottom. His voice changes, he is definitely the same age as the rest of us but his voice has a higher pitch. I am the one who educates Gary along the gravel road that he finds himself travelling on. `Where am I?' Gary questions. `You're at a Bible College,' I answer. `Who am I?' `Your name is Gary the guilt holder; however, people will call you Tim.' `Why?' `Because Little Tim has created you to be in the Light because he doesn't know how to handle guilt.' `How long must I be in the Light?' `Until Little Tim doesn't need you anymore.' `Who are you?' `I'm Peter the pain holder.' `Do I only handle guilt?' `Yes, you feel guilt, to be more accurate. You are free to have other feelings if you wish.' 46
GARY I sit down on the dam wall and look at rows of army huts that I instinctively know to be family homes. I am in shock as I ponder what Peter has been telling me. I have no memory of being here but somehow I know what is in front of my eyes. `How come I don't remember anything?' I ask Peter. `Because Little Tim doesn't want you to have a memory, just knowledge. Believe me; you will soon learn that you don't want a memory. You will have the knowledge but no memory to reference it.' `I feel sad and funny inside.' `That's guilt. It's your job to carry the guilt until Little Tim can understand and carry the guilt.' `Well, I'm off. I will see you from time to time, unfortunately.' Peter says with regret. Peter is gone. I sit on the dam wall and contemplate the knowledge I have been given. I walk to the third hut on the right and know it's where I live. I instinctively grab Little Tim's fishing rod and head for the water that I can't see, I have no memory, I just know. I almost have a panic attack as I fish the day away, avoiding everybody. The anxiety of having to deal with this situation drives me into a hyperventilated state. But as it turns out, the anxiety level is not necessary; Little Tim's family is used to my unusual behaviour. Fitting in with Little Tim's family is easier than I thought: to them I am having another episode. They are completely unaware that I exist and of my purpose. Their deduction is that I'm a weirdo and choose to behave differently on purpose, choosing to have a separate reality to theirs. A couple of months later, I have caught up and have secured the knowledge of my environment and those who live in it. Even at school, at first a disaster, I'm now getting passes in all subjects. I come home from school, grab my fishing rod, which is always outside, and quickly change into some old clothes stashed the night 47
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM before. I put my school clothes into my school bag and dump it at the front door so nobody will bother searching for me. I run down to the swimming enclosure that reaches thirty metres into the bay. The U shaped platform, which is six feet wide, provides plenty of space to fish. I never go home until dark, and then I amuse myself in my bedroom which I share with Little Tim's brothers. Our time at the college seems to drag on, especially for us. We still avoid adults as much as possible. There is some controversy in the air that revolves around our parents, especially Dad. He is under a lot of pressure to remain on the course. Nightly arguments between him and Mum are intimating that we will be leaving soon. The magical milestone of eighteen months arrives. Dad quits his course and Mum has to do the same. We are heading back to the Blue Mountains. Other family members are excited about going back home to their friends and old schools. I freak. I don't know anybody or any school back where we came from. I have the knowledge but no memory to connect the knowledge to an image. Something unusual happens at this point. Dad has been out picking mushrooms for the family breakfast. Being quite a fussy eater, I refuse to eat the mushrooms. Mum hasn't touched her breakfast when the first signs present themselves that the mushrooms are poisonous. Everybody is vomiting and Mum's rapid remedy of drinking salt water induces more vomiting. No one comes to my family's aid. Mum is doing her best to control everybody who by now are stoned from the effect of the poison. It is rather hilarious to watch Dad and my brothers and sisters walk around describing the grass as being multi-coloured and the horses swaying with the breeze. Mum is starting to panic. She has to get all of them to hospital. She turns to me and gives me orders in a tone that demands immediate action. `Get some towels and some buckets, put them in the car,' she orders. I do as she asks, realising how serious this situation is. Our little sister is extremely sick and is having difficulty breathing. Mum 48
carries her to the car and lays her in the back of the station wagon. Our older sister is less affected than the boys and Dad, and Mum makes her sit with Dorothy. Getting the boys into the car is some feat. Once Mum or I have them in the car, the unattended ones get out and start wandering around describing the colours they are seeing. Mum and I decide that once they are in the car we will put their seat belts on. This confuses them long enough to get them all in and ready to go. The sight is hilarious now as they fumble to undo their seatbelt locks; they have no co-ordination to achieve the simple task. The attempts to unclip their belts cause Mum and me to laugh out loud; it is a brief but oddly enjoyable moment. The joviality is short lived. The seriousness of the situation escalates rapidly. Mum has called the ambulance which will meet us on the way. We are forty kilometres from the nearest hospital so we have to drive until we intercept the ambulance. We have driven twenty-five kilometres and transfer all of the sick family members into the two ambulances that we have met. As we drive to the hospital Mum surprises me by saying that she is proud of me. My Mum hardly ever compliments me. I am shocked when she says that today I have grown into a young man. I have proved myself in a difficult situation. As I sit outside waiting to hear if the stomach pump has aided the family's recovery, Little Big Tim is created. Little Tim has grown up, and the secrets are passed. 49
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM YOUTH CAMP LITTLE BIG TIM Little Tim creates me to help him grow up. I am given all the secrets and information that Little Tim holds. He also shares his memories. Now that I can remember all the details of our life that Little Tim has experienced he can stay safely in the space of many colours. The memories take me to doorways that hold pain, shame, guilt, fear and anxiety behind them. I am glad that I don't know what is kept there. I know there are others like me, but I only sense them. Their job is to protect me and help me to function at difficult times. We have packed up and left the Bible College behind. There was definitely an unresolved issue between the Old Man and the Bible College. We drive straight to the Blue Mountains to a house Mum and The Old Man have purchased which is five hundred metres away from Echo Point where the famous Three Sisters (rock formation) can be observed. I am in heaven. The Old Man is working as a cleaner at the hospital and Mum returns to her profession as a nursing-sister at the same hospital. With both of them working, it means that there is plenty of time and space for me to run around in nature without anybody knowing my whereabouts. We have changed religions. Now we attend the Happy Clappers Club, well, that's what I call it - the Assemblies of God church. It's another Bible College that the Old Man attends; this time he is completing an external course. The best thing about the Happy Clappers Club is that there are a lot of kids my age who attend regularly--although reluctantly. 50
We become very close to each other throughout the school holidays, as all activities are done as a group. I feel safe and secure with my new friends and know my place in the pecking order; I am second in charge. My best friend is in charge. Jim, our leader, is a tall lad at thirteen, one year older than me; however, Jim always treats me as an equal. He has been in Australia for about a year before we meet. He is from `The United States of America.' This is always the way he tells people; not the USA, or not the USA and a city or town, just `The United States of America.' We live about three hundred metres away from each other and I am always at his place. One day he asks me why I don't invite him to my place. I don't answer him; I just leave and go home. I can't answer him for as soon as I feel shame, Shane surfaces and is totally confused as to where he is and whom he is with. A month goes by and Jim finally contacts me. Every time I had gone to call him, I felt ashamed of what we had done and felt guilty about ignoring my friend. So each time I picked up the receiver to call, I would pass Shane and Gary heading for Light as I was flung into the Dark. Shane and Gary would be in the Light totally confused and not having the capacity, or memory, to dial our best friend's number. Jim informs me that he misses me and wants me to come over to his place for lunch, and then play in the afternoon. I accept his invitation feeling the blanket of loneliness starting to lift. I hadn't wasted the last four weeks; I had been exploring the surrounding bush by myself. I had numerous spots I was eager to show Jim after lunch. The most exciting discovery was a cave which I found by traversing a cliff face after leaving the main track and climbing for twenty metres down an incline. The cave was well hidden and I only stumbled upon it out of sheer luck. I was kicking a rock along a bush track, went for the big drive, the rock impacted on the outside of my shoe and curved about twenty metres in front of me and landed near the edge of the cliff. As I neared the cliff I noticed a piece of metal shining in the cliff face. I 51
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM lowered myself over the edge, found a rock to act as a footing and then the edge jutted to allow me to walk comfortably into a cave entrance. Another opening to the cave stares directly at the lush forests down in the valley. The view is spectacular and I spent most of the last month hanging out there, or near by. Today I would be sharing my secret with my best friend. Next week we will be starting a new school. First form is our designated grade and primary school is to be left behind. I am on a high from the holidays, showing my secrets to Jim and watching his face light up with astonishment at the cool places I've found. They are our secret. The high is short lived as the Old Man loses his job. The next day the Old Man asks, `Wouldn't it be cool to go for a train ride?' I agree and we arrive in a park two hours later. I'm standing outside the toilets at Central Park, Sydney; the Old Man is still talking to men when I need to relieve myself. I finish, flush and then turn to look into a man's chest. It is the same man that the Old Man has been talking to at the table outside. The man hurts me as my face slams into a swinging door and he has total control of my arms. Knowledge comes flooding into me; I feel dumb, I should've known what the Old Man has been up to. Peter is rapidly propelled into existence and I'm forced into the Dark. Shane and Gary are headed to the surface also. Peter suffers the rape, Shane carries the shame of being there and Gary the guilt holder is asking the question, `why can't we stop these attacks happening to us?' Peter is finally ready to move back to the Dark space where he prefers to be all the time. Shane and Gary take the emotive issues with them as I pass them back to the reality that I must exist in. They look forlorn; however, I feel relieved that they have done their job. The next time I will do better and get away, I promise myself. There is a next time--in the same park. The Old Man is completely confident that I will behave and go through the ritual 52
abuse I have involuntarily suffered again. I am told to wait by the table and chairs as he speaks to a man. Something inside me screams, `Run. Run.' My legs twitch as my upper body remains solid. Why do I want to run? My legs twitch harder, I am vibrating on the bottom part of my body, but my upper body seems to be disassociated from the will and thrill of wanting to move. I move to the back of the table to avert anyone seeing my body's malfunction. `Run - Run - Run,' the voices inside scream. With my legs backing away from the table, I look up to see The Old Man and the other approaching me. My upper body finally agrees with my legs, and we bolt! We are moving so fast that I feel wind passing my ears. We are running aimlessly and we don't know which direction to take. We run with The Old Man and the other man in hot pursuit. The park starts to incline and I hear traffic to my right. I glance behind; the Old Man has given up but the other man looks extremely determined to secure me. I am running short of breath and slowing down. I notice that there is a chain-wire mesh fence that will need to be scaled to obtain safety. Our pursuer is about twenty metres away as I spot a hole in the fence near to the ground. The urgency in the escape starts to be realised as an overpowering force flings me head first through the hole. As I stop tumbling, the man chasing us stares at us from the other side of the fence with an evil glint in his eyes. I now know what the unknown force was that assisted me; intuition is the force that saves me from dealing with the evil in those eyes. We bolt to the train station leaving the Old Man and the other man in the park. Fear sets in. What will the Old Man do when we get home? I am home a good two hours before the Old Man. I hear him come in and start arguing with Mum. The content is inaudible; however, I sense that it's about me as I shake under the bedclothes. The incident is never raised again. We fought back and won this battle--but not the war. 53
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM WAR CONTINUES LITTLE BIG TIM The war continues on three fronts: the church youth leader the Cadet Officer at school and Mum at home. It has been some time since our body has been violated. I have completed first form with flying colours and I am looking forward to the Christmas break. I'm to attend a camp for the youth group. I'm excited, and that's an understatement. Jim and I are selected to complete the challenge to earn the coveted senior award known as The Camp Fraternity Badge. This is a big deal; we will be the only ones from our group competing. The challenge involves camp-craft, canoeing, bush walking, rope work, first aid and rescue and finally the cross-country run. Jim and I are equally tied for first place on the second last day. That night I'm awoken to hear Jim's muffled voice pleading. `Don't do it, please don't do it, don't do it, don't do it.' The pleas fall on deaf ears. I want to hurt the person that is forcing himself on Jim but I can't. I am frozen stiff. Every `don't-doit' plea that Jim emits cuts like a knife into my chest. Reinforcing the pinned down feeling I am dealing with, the naked body belonging to our youth leader presses against me and my last thought is that I have let down my friend. Disassociation follows. Peter takes the pain and Shane and Gary have additional roles this time. Not only do they carry the shame of the attack and the guilt of not stopping it, but they also feel the shame and guilt of not stopping the attack on Jim. Jim and I never mention the attack to each other; but there is no doubt that we both know that we each suffered rape. Next day all the students are lined up for the final event, the long distance race, cross-country race. We have trained pretty hard for this event; so much so that we are also both selected to represent our high school for the state cross-country team for our age group. 54
Our youth leader is so cocky; he keeps telling everybody how we are destined to win. The starting gun fires, the other competitor's race off and the sound of their feet hitting the ground soon fades. Without any verbal communication, Jim and I look at each other and start to walk. There seems to be some kind of intuitive link that is accessed by those who have suffered with you. This is our silent protest. The youth leader rants at us to start running. His unChristian action brings attention to bear on himself. The other youth leaders are amazed at our defiance, and questioning looks are cast upon him. I have decided long ago that I can't trust adults when it comes to telling them that abuse is near by. Is it because of denial or shock that good Christians can allow others to behave with such impunity? It doesn't matter either way; no one ever takes action against them. Jim is too ashamed to expose that he has been forced to fornicate with another man. It is possibly his first experience. I'm sure his guilt is intense as he questions why he didn't stop such violation. We stroll the whole distance of the racecourse. I start to speak but soon realise that conversation is not appropriate. Throughout the journey Jim's cheeks are flushed red and tears dribble down them. As they leave his chin new footsteps collect old teardrops. We finish the distance to be told that transport will pick us up after the badge ceremony. We have achieved enough points to be awarded badges. Then we are told our youth leader had to leave due to a family emergency. That's how Christians cover their arses-- they have family emergencies. Fellow Christians are too polite to inquire about details. The new youth leader, who is now our chaperone, asks why we walked. `Did something happen between you boys and your youth leader?' Jim stares me in the face; I do not move a muscle. He instinctively knows that to say anything will be a disaster. We keep our secret to ourselves. 55
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM Our secret is a bond that also sees us drift away from each other. I totally understand this; I have lived it many times before. Jim needs isolation, and I feel abandoned. Jim decides to never talk about the incident and to not speak to me again; this is how he will make it all go away. We sometimes pass each other in the school corridors. At first I am totally ignored, but after a while I catch the occasional brief smile. The incident has proved to Jim that it isn't safe to be around me. I have lost my best friend forever, due to the depravity I seem to attract. My brother James and I are caught again. We still have to attend the youth group. The youth leader hasn't been replaced and I feel sick in his presence. I know he has raped me, however, I also know I can't tell anyone what he has done. He asks James and I to carry some equipment over to the main college building. I take longer to carry my armful of equipment; James arrives before I do. The main foyer is deserted. I drop the equipment where the other equipment is lying inside the doorway. Intuitively I know the leader's room number; I am deeply concerned about my brother and I start calling his name. The youth leader pokes his head out of his door and says, `Come here, he's in here with me'. I pull on his door; it opens with a creak signifying the era and sturdiness of the door. It opens slowly, but not slowly enough; it finally exposes my brother, naked on the bed. My blood stops cold as I freeze at the helplessness of the situation. Guilt hits me first, as I do nothing to stop the attack on my brother. I can't face this reality and repulsed, I move into the Dark. 56
PETER As Peter I move into the Light to receive the usual sensation of pain. It has been some time since I felt our bottom ache. Our brother is there also, crumpled on the corner of the bed against the wall, sucking his thumb. The attack is finished; the violator has left the room. James and I cuddle each other until the pain has subsided and our whimpering fades. LITTLE BIG TIM Peter returns to the Dark and I as Little Big Tim sense that Shane and Gary are momentarily in my reality. I move to get dressed. James is also getting dressed. As I leave the old door to creak behind me, I look at James and say to him, `Leave what happened in there to always stay in there.' He looks at me and I see myself: he is eleven years old and when attacked resorts to sucking his thumb, also like me, he hands over all will to whoever wants to take control. This has to stop. James asks me to never tell anybody he was crying and sucking his thumb; he is more worried about this behaviour than the depraved situation that he was forced to endure. I immediately reassure him that no one will know of this behaviour or the attack. I also assure him that I am going to refuse to go to the youth group, ever again. He pleads with me to tell Mum and the Old Man that he wants to quit too. Because we are getting old enough to talk to other people and maybe, just maybe, someone might believe us, I feel confident that they will let us quit without investigating why. We walk down the steep street and at the bottom of the street we cross through a park. The toilet block sends shivers through me 57
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM and I know I have had experiences buried deep within me, in this toilet plus many other toilets in the Blue Mountains area. James notices the distress I'm feeling and says, `Has the Old Man brought you to the toilets too, Tim?' `Yeah, but I am going to stop all that from this point on.' James looks at me and says, `How? I want it to stop too.' `I don't know. It's just going to stop.' I am underdeveloped for my age and light as a feather, but I am determined to not allow any man, including my father, to violate me again. I feel my defences are ready for future male attacks. Unfortunately there is still another form of abuse that I am totally unprepared for and am completely unaware of the impact it will have on us. The new form of abuse comes from our Mum. It isn't physical or emotional abuse, which is old-hat. No, it's sexual abuse. The Old Man has started working nights and Mum asks me to sleep in her bed. Mum rarely shows much affection towards me, so to be offered the opportunity to be close to her, I jump at the chance, only to be betrayed by my naivetй. Lying next to her, I hear her ask, `Do you love your Mum?' `Of course I do.' At this reply she lifts my head and places it on her ample breast. I try to pull away only to have her hold me there firmly. I fear that the Old Man might see me being weird with Mum. I feel shame and sense Shane is with me as Mum uses her hand to get my penis into an erect state. Once this has been achieved, she lies on top of me and wiggles a bit and I feel my penis get wet as my virginity is lost to my mother. A repulsive situation; I have to endure a heavy, obese lady pleasuring herself by grinding away on top of me. I ejaculate and I'm cursed for making her sticky and wet. The whole experience lasts two minutes. 58
I am ordered to go and have a shower and to not mention the special time I had with Mum. This is the first time I have been violated in a heterosexual fashion. The shame allows Shane to experience the episode with me. During the past attacks from men, I had the freedom to escape and slip into the Dark. But the subtlety of the invasion from Mum is not physically painful, so there is no need for Peter to surface. However, the emotional pain of Mum crossing the threshold, sacred between mother and son, is unbearable. I feel dirty and whilst taking a shower I scrub myself until my skin is inflamed. The nausea is released; I vomit down my chest then repeat the severe scrubbing I torture myself with. The ritual continues with Mum whenever the Old Man is working and she desires my company. The abuse lasts longer each time. I'm forced to perform acts for her sexual gratification only to be abused and shamed for making her wet and sticky. The longer it lasts, the more I assault my unclean skin with the scrubbing brush. In the shower, going through my cleansing ritual, I vow that this is going to stop. Before this began I would expend maximum energy fearing what the Old Man and his contacts would do to me. Now I also fear him finding out that Mum is getting pleasure from me. I even hold a perverse thought that Mum might tell him and get me flogged for being in her bed at the age of fourteen. When will this nightmare end? I know it has to end soon, I just don't know how. Maybe if I end it for us ­ this is my first suicidal thought. I wonder why it hasn't clicked before, that the only way was for me to end it. I feel excited and relieved that I have found the only course of action left open to me in order to escape the nightmare of torment and terror. End it, that's what I'll do. A spring in my step appears; I will carry on as normal and tomorrow night my choice of suicide is going to be hanging. The beam above my bed is going to be my hanging point. After school I will write my suicide note and post it to Jimmy--even 59
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM though Jimmy and I haven't spoken since the so-called Christian camp. My suicide note will explain why I did it. I'm sure that it will be passed onto the authorities as I am also relying on Jimmy's parents reading it. My death will surely spark an interest in the contents of a letter sent the day I decide to take my life. This event will hopefully bring our parents to the realisation that their actions are wrong and that they are accountable. I feel that James' safety will be assured, and other family members will be saved from the torture and torment. Yes! This is the only solution left. Stick to the normal routine and then soon it will all be over. CADET OFFICE/CAMP. LITTLE BIG TIM The next day, at the Old Man's insistence, I join the Army Cadets at school. Last week he had announced, `On Monday the Cadets are taking names for enlistment, I want you to remain after school and enlist into the Cadets. It will make a man out of you,' he laughed his cynical laugh. I thought at the time that they would teach me to use a gun and I was well aware of who I wanted to use it on. I stick to my plan and wait for the afternoon to arrive. I remain cheerful and co-operative throughout the day. When night arrives, it'll be my last. `Must post the letter,' I remind myself as I move to what is called the Cadet Q store--where all the equipment allocated to the High School Cadet unit is stored. The new recruits are organised into a line and I am placed at the end of it. My turn finally arrives to sign my enlistment papers. Everybody has left; it's just Captain Waters and I. I stand at his desk and he asks me to close the big steel door used to ensure no Army equipment goes missing. I obey his order and, before I turn, I know I'm trapped again. Once again I've been set up by the Old Man to 60
please sick men's desires. The usual transition develops and I am flung into the Dark, defeated again. Peter passes me to suffer the most brutal of attacks. PETER With my back to him, I, as Peter, am grabbed and flung across his desk; he is twice my weight, so this is an easy feat for him. I find myself in a new position over the desk. The buttons of my shirt rip off as the back of my shirt is bunched at the back of my neck, my pants and underpants are unceremoniously pressed down around my ankles. He digs his fingernails into my back and rips my flesh as he pierces my bottom. The pain in my bottom is secondary to the damage that is done to my back. His fingernails repeatedly run down my back and my hollers are inaudible to anybody as we are in a steel and concrete room. His last grunt brings an explosion within me. Something has gone off inside me. This explosion has ten times more value than the self-gratifying one he's now recovering from; Troy has arrived. Troy picks up items off his desk and brands him as we have just been branded. His name plaque is the first to make contact; next, the glass pin holder lands fair on his head. `Stop that you're hurting me,' he whines. Troy speaks. `No shit Sherlock, you just hurt me. Now open the door,' he orders. `Don't tell anyone. No one will believe you,' he pleads. `No shit Sherlock. Open the fucking door,' Troy screams. Our first swear word to an adult in our entire existence. Another force joins me and we taunt the sick little man, threatening to throw a dummy grenade at his head if he doesn't obey our command. `Open the fucking door,' the new, older and more controlled voice commands. 61
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM The door is now open eighteen inches wide; we make our move, throwing the dummy grenade smack into his forehead. As he falls like a bag of shit away from the entrance, he pulls the steel door open enough for us to escape. `Don't tell anyone, they'll never believe you,' Troy taunts. I look back at the crumpled mess Troy has caused and for the first time see my attacker as weak and insignificant. As usual no one will believe me. Nothing can change the fact that he did attack us, but this time we attacked back! Something changed when the explosion had occurred. That something is the arrival of Mark, who stops the marks being made. `Where did I come from? Did I come from inside? Where am I?' Mark asks. As Little Big Tim, I don't know. I have a voice talking to me; and another is saying `thanks for helping us.' `You have not seen anything yet.' I assure the other, not understanding why. `What do we do now?' Mark questions. Then Peter answers. `We go home.' `Where's home?' `I'll show you.' `Who are you?' `I'm Peter, the pain holder. Every time Little Big Tim gets attacked like that, I come out and suffer the pain. A long time ago Little Tim couldn't handle the pain anymore so he created me. Meeting you makes me feel that there is a drastic change in our world.' `I know two things, I'm here to stop the marks and I'm to stay here until Little Big Tim stops thinking about trying to kill us.' `Well that's why Troy helped us in the storeroom; he must be part of the plan to stop the attacks.' `Who's Troy?' `Troy carries our anger and can be naughty which gets us a hiding.' `Can you stop us getting a flogging? `Does a hiding or flogging mark you?' 62
`Yes, always.' `Well, yes, that's what I'm here for. I'm to stop our body getting marked.' MARK The conversation ends when we are standing outside a house. Peter tells me this is our house and that I sleep in the small room on the verandah. He says that it will be smart to go straight through the house to the back, get out of our school clothes and have a shower. When finished, go to our bedroom, put on pyjamas and wait to be called for dinner. I think, `this is a simple plan, I can follow this.' I open the door and go through the house only to be caught by their Mum who inspects the shirt with the ripped buttons. `How did that happen, Tim?' she asks. `A man did it.' `Why do you always lie to me?' Her fury rises as she jumps off her seat to grab an item from the kitchen, which I suspect is to be used for punishment. `Now, tell me how your shirt got ripped and no lies this time. You have been fighting. I warned you about fighting. I told you the next time you were fighting you would get the jug cord.' So that is what she is holding, a jug cord. I assess that those who use such an item against children must be quite sadistic and barbaric. I think to myself that this must be what I'm here to stop. She doesn't believe me about the man ripping my shirt and, because she thinks I've been fighting ­which always leaves marks on you­ she wants to punish me by putting more marks on me! I don't understand; she is sick. As she swings the cord through the air, I stand stationary. I am not feeling intimidated as we have been over a thousand times before. Somehow this woman believes she has this God given right to punish with impunity. The first whack impacts; I don't murmur, flinch or cry, I vow no more tears. I, Mark, feel the pain. Peter is 63
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM jubilant within which signifies that he is having his first reprieve from being the only one who feels pain. The sting on my flesh makes me feel happy inside--I know what to do. With the second swing, I grab the cord and hold it firm. A tug of war with the cord begins; she pulls and I pull back. Although short, she is a large woman, and threatens me with more punishment if I don't relinquish my right not to be belted. I win; the cord hangs in my hand. I grip it tightly ensuring that it can't be used against me. Mum looks at me with a look you would give to a rabid dog that is out of control. But I am well in control of my actions; I am now taking control for all of us. Our Mum is furious at this defiance and moves to strike me across the head with her hand. I protect myself with speed and agility that is only seen on Bruce Lee movies. My first words of defiance to my Mum are `No! No! No! No! No!' I keep repeating that one word until she takes a step back and is now not invading our personal space. `It stops here; I will fight you every time you are going to belt me. I will fight you! It stops here today, tomorrow, forever,' I decree. `Just wait `til your father comes home,' she threatens. She looks me in the eye for our usual reaction. There is none. No fear. I have no knowledge of what the statement `wait `til you father comes home' means. I don't even know who our father is. Knowledge, yes, that he is evil and sadistic and the rest of us have been in a living hell with him, but no true understanding of the repercussions of Mum's threat. I assume that what our Mum can't achieve, the Old Man will finish. If that threat means I am going to be punished, it won't be happening this time. I leave Mum standing in the kitchen, furious that I have won the battle. Repeatedly chanting the word `no' over and over, I move to the backyard to echo my new understanding that `no' finally means `no'. 64
The Old Man does come home and I sit on my bed in readiness for Mum's threat to be carried out. But it isn't me at the end of his wrath--it's Mum. They are arguing into the wee hours of the morning. I curl up on my mattress, still in my clothes, and fall asleep. The Old Man starts working nights and sleeping through the day. Apprehension is building inside me due to this pattern of behaviour. I sense, but have no memory of the different situations that can arise to create different forms of stress and discomfort. That night I find out. Our Mum approaches me and asks me to sleep in her bed tonight. I query the directive. `Aren't I too big to be sleeping with you?' `I don't think so,' is her short reply. `None of the boys at school sleep with their Mum.' `You're not like the boys at school, you're special.' Alarm bells go off inside my head. `She said special, don't let her manipulate you,' is the clear warning inside. I am fourteen, and that should be enough for the fact that I have outgrown Mum's additional affection. `No, No, No. I'm too old to sleep with you,' I take control. Mum's face displays devastation. She tries to shame me into retracting my firm refusal. Her ploys don't work and I feel another energy join me. It's Shane and he appreciates that I am controlling Mum's attempt at shaming us. `Who's been there for you and loved you all your life?' is one of the comments Mum tries out. `Who brought you into this world and nurtured you and nursed you when you have been sick?' Another ploy. `Where would you be if it wasn't for me?' A common tactic. None of them work. After each attempt to present an argument, we answer with one word: `No!' She gives up and leaves me in my room. 65
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM About thirty minutes pass and I'm trying to understand how to do this schoolwork, having no school background or learning experience. Shane helps me because he says that it's extremely important to know the work. No time to be idle; times table first, writing and spelling next. It's hard work just learning, but harder still to accept that I am learning stuff that a five-year-old can master. Mum returns to our bedroom and, in a very arrogant fashion, she announces, `I don't need you for cuddles, James will cuddle me anytime I like.' She slams my bedroom door and another energy joins Shane and I. Shane explains that it's Gary the guilt holder. The guilt is that James is suffering what we refuse to endure. Could we have stopped his suffering, maybe? This is the only way Mum can show love, as so called "cuddles". At this point, my understanding of love can only be explained as abuse. So the more abuse, the more misconception we form as to what love feels like. Jealousy moves through our energies. I'm jealous that Mum chooses to love James more than me. The last fragment of a bond with James is cut. She manipulates the situation to turn us against each other. One blessing does come out of it; when I said `no' to Mum about being belted, she stopped belting James too. However, her assaults on my younger sister become more ferocious and severe. The Army Cadet Camp is on but I don't know that I am meant to attend. Although there is Army gear in the corner of my bedroom, I have no idea that the Old Man has signed us up and collected the gear and equipment from the officer who raped Little Big Tim. The Old Man tells me to be ready tomorrow morning to go to Army camp. He has gotten to the stage that he doesn't look at me when speaking to me. This is a form of intimidation he uses since I stood up to Mum. I think it is bizarre that he behaves this way but I can't be complacent because I know he is still pulling strings behind the scenes. 66
The camp is held in Megalong Valley; the set up takes all evening to complete. I just begin eating out of my first ration pack and am enjoying the experience when the corporal in charge approaches. `When you finish, the boss wants to see you.' I front the Cadet Officer and immediately recognise him as the one who attacked us. He starts intimidating me by telling me that no one will believe me, and he can choose to do anything to me whenever he wants. `Try it. I will eventually fuck you up,' I promise. He is shocked. I assume that the Old Man has portrayed me to him as an easy hit, but I am that no longer. `Return to your sleeping spot. I'll guarantee that I will be the one that fucks you up,' he threatens. This threat seems idle in comparison to what our body has suffered. I suspect that this man will not place himself in a personal battle with me; I am right. The next morning I become the brunt of bastardisation that is extremely minor; others might think the torment I am enduring is severe, but they haven't experienced what I have undergone since the age of five. Peter joins me when the pain level rises sufficiently enough to warrant his existence. The push-ups in the rain, the running up and down the hills, the water jerry carries; I am a toy in their personal boot camp. The children ­for that is what they are, just seventeen year olds­ who are giving me orders admire the strength, stamina and pain tolerance of the fourteen year old. The bastardisation treatment lasts five days. They give up on the physical stuff and use ideas of torment I'm sure they've seen on TV. When the sun comes up I am made to cook the senior boys' breakfast, clean their boots and then move to the camp kitchen to do the pans. I perform all these tasks with a smile. By day six they give up on tormenting me and some take the opportunity to get to know me personally. Captain Waters is furious 67
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM that they haven't broken me. It's obvious that the senior boys, the highest ranks in the cadets, are being berated for failing to break me. I spend the last two days of the camp sleeping in a hutchie (shelter) by myself. I'm not included in any of the activities organised. The senior boys sit with me when the activities have been concluded. They call Captain Waters a `Wanker' and say that I needn't worry about them tormenting or torturing me anymore. The camp finally finishes and I leave knowing that they can't break me and that I am never going to quit. I choose to stay in the cadets making it difficult for Captain Waters to win this one. Inadvertently, my presence does not allow Captain Waters to prey upon other boys. School starts again. I study every waking minute, but because I'm doing it by myself I'm not sure that what I learn is correct. My first term of fourth form (year ten) I'm in a class where the teacher is homosexual for sure, as his interest in looking at the boys' bums as they come into class is repulsive. I begin his class by holding my pens and ruler and banging them on my desk until it annoys him, a daily ritual. When chastised for my behaviour I demand a transfer. I do this with all teachers that have homosexual tendencies. Finally I am only in classes that have female teachers. I am well behind in my grades as `F's' and `D's' are predominately handed back to me. I find myself in the lowest classes. The school swimming carnival is on and I have to swim in the fifty-metre race. I don't know how to swim. It's time for my race and no one realises that I can't swim. I have to find a distraction to get out of this predicament. Mr Waters is my target. I am walking half way up the pool length when I see Mr Waters perving at little boys' arses. It sickens me that I can be aware of his perversion and the other teachers are completely ignorant. I approach him and proclaim loudly and clearly, `Stop perving on those boys.' 68
Embarrassed to be busted for his sick observation, he tells me to go and sit on the hill and tells me I am not to participate in any activities. I protest slightly but turn and smile as I have achieved my objective and get the bonus of exposing him again. School exams are around the corner and I am freaking. I know I will fail. No matter how hard I try to learn, there are basic fundamentals that I keep getting wrong. I'm sitting in the remedial class trying to grasp what the teacher is patiently trying to explain to me when I am suddenly ejected from the Light into the Dark. PROSTITUTION LITTLE BIG TIM As Little Big Tim I am plopped into a seat to find I am being given instruction by Mrs Roberts. I know Mrs Roberts because she lives in our street, but what confuses me is that she has always been the remedial teacher for the slow learners. Flung into this reality confused, I am shocked to hear myself proclaim, `Fuck, what am I doing here?' `You can go to the Principal's office for that outburst. Tell him I sent you and what you just said,' Mrs Roberts retorts. I walk out of the room with the full intention of going to get punished at the Principal's office, but shame overtakes my desire to adhere to Mrs Roberts' directive. SHANE As Shane I am in control but I'm totally lost as to the direction of the Principal's office. I go outside the building and sit 69
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM on a bench enjoying the sun. A man who we don't know soon approaches us. `What are you doing out here, Tim?' The stranger asks. `Umm, don't know, Mister.' `Mister what, Tim?' `I don't know, Mister, Sir,' adding the `Sir' in case that is what he wants to hear. `Come with me, your cheek has got you into a lot of trouble this time,' he threatens. I follow him, relieved that someone knows how to negotiate these hallways to a known place. As we arrive in his office he picks a length of cane out of a bin that stores about forty canes. It's an intimidating sight but I'm unaware of the impact it's going to have on me. `Hold out your hand,' he demands. The swish of the cane comes down hard; I am ripped into the Dark to see Peter coming to the surface. PETER Being unprepared, the first swishes sting like hell. The next two on one hand and three on the other hand are taken without flinching. It infuriates our Principal to the point that he decides to put extra effort into the last two swishes. `Get back to your class. And next time you are told to come to my office, do it promptly.' `Yes, Sir,' I know it will be prudent to address him this way. I leave his office, to be totally confused as to where I am. I keep walking away from his office to ensure I look like I know what I am doing, but I don't. And it's confusing as to why I am still in this reality. 70
I know I was on the cadet camp (sharing the Light with Mark) but I have no idea how much time has passed. Where am I going? What am I meant to be doing? If I don't solve this puzzle soon I will be back in the same office, with the same result. I round a corner to be deposited into the Dark as Little Big Tim slips into the Light. 71
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM LITTLE BIG TIM I am at the far end of the building and the only way back to my class is back past the Principal's office. However, I know he sits outside his office near the end of the period to catch kids cutting class early--effective at one time, but now a deterrent as it has become habit that all students are aware of. The class-period will finish in ten minutes. I decide to wait where I am until the bell rings so I can mingle in with the flowing current of children moving purposefully to their next class. My next class is mathematics. I reach into my bag and see that my class diary is written almost ineligibly; I know I haven't put these details in this diary. It's October of forth form (year ten). I have mostly been absent since the attack in the Army Cadet Q store by Captain Waters. I wonder if that goddamn prick is still breathing. I am shocked I can call him such a derogatory term in my head. Blasphemy would be an accusation that my Mum and the Old Man would use to shame me, but I don't even feel a twinge of guilt. I have a new understanding in my head. My world seems to be refreshing itself. I get to my maths class and realise that this is also the lowest class in the form system. The work in my book is not my writing and is almost, apart from some scribbles and some way-off calculations, non-existent. I need to do some serious catching up. It's only four weeks to exams. No time to worry about my sudden entry into the, real world. Time to study. The class begins and it's work I knew from the higher classes last year; the advantage pays off for me. I complete the work given quickly and hand it in for a grade. My teacher calls me to her desk `that's an `A'. You have finally woken up, I'm pleased to see.' `Yes, Miss. I'm here to learn,' I vow. `We'll see. I wonder if it was a fluke.' `Try me,' I looked at her confidently. 72
She gives me a new test and I quickly complete it and am about to return it to her when something within tells me to not be too cocky. A couple of correct answers crossed out will get the same overall result, although a lesser mark. I hand my work in and am once again called to her desk. `Eighteen out of twenty right and you had the two wrong answers, correct, before you crossed them out. I'm sure you have been asleep all year. Keep it up,' she encourages. She doesn't realise how close to the truth she is. School finishes and I go home to lock myself in my room to study. Study is all I seem to do when I am in the Light. I take my meals to my little room on the verandah and continue to study. Mum has changed the way she treats me; in fact, I think that at times she may even be wary of me. I am four feet ten inches and lighter than nine stone, truly nothing to be scared of but the Old Man won't even look at me. A lot has happened since I've been gone; the tables have definitely turned. I have to maintain this new shift of power by not letting them become aware of the fact that I am not the one that has put them onto the back foot. My study is my whole life. The next four weeks it's `head down, arse up'. I steal my big sister's textbooks to try and regain the level of education I had. At the end of the first four weeks that I am back in reality, I think I am ready. I sit the exams and freak at the maths paper. I really don't understand half of it. Sure, the remedial maths class wouldn't have covered most of maths I am looking at on the paper, but my sister's textbooks that I learnt from must be outdated as well. The result is not going to be good. The English exam is also complicated. Of the four book choices given, I have only read one. I devoured every book I thought could be used in the exam. I have knowledge of only one book but my essays and short questions are to be based on a choice of two books. 73
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM The first two parts of the two-hour English exam are short answer questions pertaining to the content of the two books chosen. I chose the Catcher in the Rye and The Summer of the Seventeenth Doll. The Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, I have read, but not the other. The first part completed in thirty minutes, I move onto the second part, which is to write an essay on each of the two books. I begin furiously. This essay will have to be a cracker. I pour every ounce of creativity and life into the essay on The Summer of the Seventeenth Doll. The pile of scrunched up paper on my desk and at my feet is a testimony to how committed I am to getting this right. With two minutes to go I finish what I think is the best essay of my life. Now I had to do the last part of the exam, an essay on The Catcher in the Rye. I write on the paper: `Did the catcher ever catch who, or what was in the rye?' A joke that I hoped would be read last; a dismal effort due to lack of knowledge. I had done my best with what I had. The last week of school for forth form has arrived, and in the last period we are given our results in a sealed envelope. The envelopes are addressed to our parents as most of us are still under sixteen and the school thinks we are not responsible enough. I rip mine open to look at the result. I start a chain reaction; all the other students rip their own envelope to read their results. I look at the certificate in front of me. The scale was 1 - 5, 1 being the highest. I received a 3 for English and a 4 for mathematics. That result meant that the work I did know and had attempted in the final exam would have been marked in the ninety's out of a hundred. I had done my best, although a below average result, I am content. My teacher is wrapped; one of her students has risen above the dreaded double 5 result. She looks at me and says, `I knew you would get a good result. In all my years of teaching I have never seen such commitment over the last four weeks than you've displayed. Make sure you go onto your senior years.' 74
`Sure, Miss,' I yell at her as I run out the door to enjoy the beginning of my holidays. Day two of the school holidays, the Old Man tells me to be ready after tea; he wants me to do something for him. I am wary that he is pushing me into a set-up. We drive the short distance to Echo Point. The tourist site only has a waist high fence and, as we are looking at the Three Sisters, he moves behind me and presses my small body against it. He then grabs my pants and lifts me off the ground. While horizontal to the ground, I listen to the threats he makes to me. `You will do what I tell you and you will do it with whomever I tell you to. We all have to do our bit for the family and if you don't, I will throw you off this cliff.' I don't answer him as the fear has gripped my jaw shut. I don't care anymore; `finish it', I silently plead with him, `just finish it.' `Another thing, if you're feeling like sacrificing yourself, I promise you if you don't do as I tell you, I will kill your mother. Then who will look after Dorothy and James?' I don't say a word; I wish he had thrown me before that final threat. I am completely trapped and petrified; the Old Man is sick enough to carry out these threats. Now I have the responsibility to do exactly what I am told, and obviously who I am told to do it with. The nightmare is back. `Yes, Dad!' I am lowered back onto the ground under control of the Old Man. Every aspect of my life is under his control. We drive another short distance to the park near the Echo Point shops. I love this park; I love to ride my bike down to Echo Point, follow the bush tracks until I am exhausted and then come back to the park and lie on my back under the huge trees and recover from the exercise. I really love the feel and energy of this park. The Old Man is responsible for me to feel nauseated every time I am near that park after tonight though. I hate him more for tainting my sanctuaries than the open prostitution he is putting me through. He doesn't even hide the cash 75
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM exchange so, unlike before, I can't even pretend that the rape was an unfortunate and unavoidable incident. Peter the pain holder takes the suffering and I slip into the Dark. PETER The place that I have been propelled into really stinks. It takes some time to realise that I am kneeling in effluent on the concrete floor of a darkened toilet. The stench singes my nose and repulses me more than the heat and pain I am feeling in my arse. My head is crushed against the cistern. The one responsible for the pain in my arse lifts my hips until my legs are straight. The fluid from the floor flows down my legs distracting me briefly from the pain. The speed of the usual motion increases as does the pain, until the sick prick has his fulfilment and empties himself into me. As he extracts, Shane takes the feeling the violator's juice running down our legs. The stench of the toilets overpowers us. SHANE I am bundled into the back seat of the car and driven home. The Old Man goes inside first to check that he can get me to bed without bumping into any family members. Mum is working night shift and as soon as any family members hear the Old Man's car they quickly get to bed to save any interaction with him. He comes back to the car and says, `Get out and get to bed, don't tell anyone or I will kill Mum, do you understand?' `Yes, Dad,' a defeated response is all I, as Little Big Tim, can utter. 76
I put myself to bed, for this is the only way I can deal with the threats that the Old Man makes. The fear of the younger ones not having a Mum means that I will definitely tow the line. I feel nauseated lying in bed not able to wash the scum off my body and feeling the ooze run out of my bottom, however, I know that if I spew on the floor I will draw unwanted attention, which I have been warned not to do. Feeling completely beaten again and disgusted by the state I am in, I cry myself to sleep. I wake the next morning and quickly get up and into the shower. As the cleansing water runs down my back, the temperature alternates between hot and cold due to the washing machine in which I have put my sheets. The evidence is removed away from yet another rape. I am the only one up. I get dressed and run all the way to Katoomba Falls. My hiding spot is about ten metres down a steep incline. Once I'm in my favourite position I can see the amazing beauty of the Jameson Valley. The misty spray off the falls beckons me to mix my blood with its steam. James and Dorothy are the only reasons I don't jump today. Every second night for the next two weeks I suffer the same degrading, disgusting, brutality as the night in Echo Point; the only difference is the location of the toilet. I become aware that James isn't home those evenings. Our parents have severed any normal brother-to-brother bond; however, they are unable to destroy the desire we have to protect each other in fearful situations. James and I have been playing soccer in the park during the so-called holidays. We need to go to the toilet so I go inside expecting my little brother to follow me, he doesn't. I have finished what I need to do and as I am washing my hands, I hear a ruckus outside the door. `Stay away, I mean just stay away,' James threatens. I exit the toilet block and am surprised that James is swinging his boots wildly in front of a man and proclaiming that this is our toilet and for him to stay away. I stand outside the toilet and 77
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM protect him the same way as he protects me. I ask him why he is doing this as we snarl at the man who is totally confused by our antics. `I don't have to put up with bad men doing what ever they like to me when the Old Man's not here to force me,' he defiantly states. I become aware that James has more insight into the attacks than I could ever possibly grasp. I want to tell him about Peter the pain holder, how I can't feel the pain and don't remember most of the details of the attacks. I decline to tell him my secret for two reasons. The first is that I don't want him to think he is different because he doesn't utilise others like Peter the pain holder, Shane or Gary to carry some of the burden that is cracking him. The second reason is the mental state he finds himself in after asking the next question. `Tim, when is this going to stop? I can't put up with this shit anymore. Poofter's on one night, Mum on the others,' he proclaims. Before he has finished the word `others', his lip trembles and tears roll down his cheeks. We sit down in the middle of the soccer pitch and we both cry, hugging each other. The turbulent life we live has only allowed us to have few memories of tender moments; not the usual way brothers bond. We are proud of each other's achievements and successes though. I, truly, am so proud of James' survival, especially since he has no other personas to carry the burden and all of him is doing the suffering. Again, for another fortnight, we are forced on alternate nights into the evil darkness; each night feeling pain, shame and guilt. What makes it worse is that we are not only suffering at the hands of strangers, but also church members. 78
FIGHT LITTLE BIG TIM Mum and the Old Man argue all day and into the night. They are having a serious argument in the hallway. Stewart is home after one of his frequent disappearing acts. `Whack, whack': the quiet after the second whack forces James and I to investigate. `Don't ever hit Mum again,' Stewart has the Old Man up against the wall. The Old Man smiles back at him to show that at any time he can regain control of the situation. James and I see for the first time that the Old Man is in a semi-vulnerable situation; we take the initiative as flashes of the countless beatings I have suffered surround me. James is in front and we simultaneously strike blows; James to the body and I jump to contact one to his head, right into his eye. He seems to be enjoying the punishment. In silent defiance, the smile that creeps across his lips that seems to be stating `c'mon do your best'. Or is it something else? Blows keep connecting with his body and head as the three of us give some well-earned payback. An explosion of energy rebounds me off the wall where the Old Man had been cornered only a few seconds ago. It's frightening the speed that this overweight man can move. Stewart cops it first; three punches rapidly to the face. He is stumbling backwards from the velocity of the attack when I trip over and am solidly kicked in the rib area and collect Stewart as we are flung backwards to the end of the hall. Stewart and I lie crumpled against the front door. James ends up on top of us from an openpalm shove to his chest. 79
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM The Old Man stands over the top of us and surveys the damage he's caused. A demonic laugh rises from within him and he brags that he has whipped us collectively. That laugh and that demonic look; I'd never been more scared of that man, or anyone, before or since. Mum screams at him to get out or she will call the cops. `Get out, get out, get out,' she screams. `Stop being so neurotic,' is his reply. My brothers and I don't move in case we suffer another barrage of violence. He notices how we are fretting, wondering what his next move will be when he suddenly turns and walks out the door without a word. Although Mum has told Dad to leave, I believe it was our action that finally forced the change. Is this the end of my nightmare? Maybe for me, but I know James is still tormented with abuse from Mum. Stewart packs his bags and leaves through the front door. The dysfunctional family going separate ways will only create different ways of being dysfunctional. Dorothy, the youngest, suffers unrelenting physical abuse from Mum and from Nina, our eldest sister. James continues to be in his own personal nightmare and I suffer physical and emotional abuse from Mum and Nina. As Little Big Tim, I level out from the sudden disappearance of our father and the usual disappearance of Stewart. The sexual abuse seems to have finally stopped. The school holidays finish and I start to develop friendships. We decide to move again because the Old Man is living opposite the school and Mum is wary about us having to travel past his house everyday. This is refreshing, considering the decade that just passed where she couldn't care what he did to us. 80
IT STOPS LITTLE BIG TIM One day, I see James bike out the front of the Old Man's place with the front door still open. I hear James and the Old Man talking down the hallway of the house. The usual belly of bile and dry throat accompanies me as I hear James yelp in pain. I freeze at the door that stands between us. I want to turn and run from the house to protect myself, however, I have failed my brother before and this time I cannot turn my back on him. I push open the door and bust the Old Man forcing himself onto James. James looks at me and proclaims that the Old Man has forced him. `I know mate, pull up your pants and go home,' I say calmly. `Are you coming too?' he pleads. `Yeah mate, I'm coming too,' I reassure him as I pick up a wooden walking stick and hold it out menacingly. `James, get dressed and get out of here,' I tell him. `But you have to come to,' he begs. `I will mate, just get out of here.' He pulls his pants up and moves past me. The Old Man sits on the bed with his pants down around his ankles. I think to myself that this is a favourable situation; his pants around his ankles means he can't chase me. My exit planned (out the door and down the hallway where James will be waiting), I raise the cane above my head and say, `I'd love to crack this over your head.' `Why don't you have a go?' he taunts. I move closer to be able to carry out my threat but I have no intention of striking him. My will for violence hasn't reached a level where I feel justified striking him when he can't protect himself. After all the pain and torment he has put us through, the one of us that holds the cane can't bring it down. 81
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM I turn to leave the room and the pathetic sight of the Old Man sitting on the bed half-naked. I think to leave the cane up against the wall. Suddenly my face is slammed viciously into the wall as the Old Man, with his pants around his ankles, flies into me. I rebound but can't get onto my legs, I yell to James. `Run, James, run,' I gasp as the wind leaves my chest. `James, come back here now,' the Old Man orders. I collapse to the floor and now the Old Man has his pants up to his waist and lunges through the doorway. `James, come back here now or I will hurt Tim!' `Don't hurt Tim, I'll come back,' he promises. James is still in the house and I am searching for a second breath. I grab the cane and lodge it between the Old Man's legs. He falls through the doorway. `Run, James, run. Don't stop; get on your bike and go.' I pray he will listen to me and run. I hear his feet patter on the wooden floor and out onto the verandah. Confirmation comes when the Old Man slams his fist down, still lying where I have tripped him. `Damn, damn, damn. He's gone and you're going to pay for it,' he vows. I wait for a beating and a kicking and get both. The kicking comes first. The persona of Peter who is always on call when the pain gets too much cannot believe the damage we are receiving. As Little Big Tim I have done my best to stay in the Light. 82
PETER The Old Man stinks like he hasn't had a shower for days. He grunts as he viciously rapes me another time. As Peter I switch the pain off and try to understand why the Old Man wants to punish us the way he does. Is it control? Maybe his discipline revolves around the threat `you will do as you are told'. That's what control is; we have to do as we are told. As I feel the movement behind me I block the pain, but smell the stench and feel the drops of sweat fall onto my back. I wonder if the Old Man's own Old Man had said to him `you will do as you are told!' He finishes what he is doing to us and I am ripped away as Mark comes to take over. MARK Now, as Mark, I push back with all my might. He is doing his pants up and is easily unbalanced. I jam him up against the sidewall, kick him solidly in the shins and push him to the ground, then reach down and pull my pants up. I rush for the door, still trying to close my pants and go the wrong way out the door into a hallway. I turn right and slam into a wall. I fear this miscalculation will get us caught again, but this time the Old Man just has a raucous laugh as I bounce along the walls trying to find the front door. I can still hear the laughing as the Old Man relishes the comical situation. The fact is I have no idea how to navigate his house. He has no idea that I as Mark hadn't entered his house, but I'm glad we got to give him a slight rough up. When I finally get out of the place, away from the stench that is still present in my nostrils, I snort to clear my nose. Home isn't far away. I don't know what to expect, just that it has been some time since I've had control of our body. I remind myself that the family members will call me Tim, not Mark. 83
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM Once again, I manage to bluff Tim's family into believing that I am the real Tim. However, school catches me out again; I just am not as clever as Little Big Tim and there is no way I can bluff the teachers at school any longer. I have a plan. About a month after my return, Mum has moved us to another town in the same locality. Mum is finding it hard to make ends meet so I suggest to her that I leave school and get a job. She initially balks at the idea but eventually allows me to make my own decision. I start looking for work. Mum's interest in my brother allows an opening for me to escape the madness. I present her with the Army enlistment papers, and she signs. `It'll make a man out of you.' I think to myself, you already stole that opportunity. And I will never let anyone betray me again. 84
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM IT DIDN'T HAPPEN YOU WEREN'T THERE BIG TIM - SOLDIER `Wake up, wake up.' The image blurs, and I feel pain as a drop of sweat trickles into my eye socket. I instinctively wipe my eye only to realise I've introduced camouflage cream from my face. The intense sensation causes me to shoot to my feet, knocking the man who intruded my sleep to the floor. The fear in his face reminds me of who and where I am. I reach over to assist the scared man to his feet. The equipment on the floor reminds me of what I am here to do--this time it was only a short blank-spell. The startled man belongs to the aircrew of the Hercules aircraft that we have been flying in for hours. The destination: somewhere in the Western Australian desert. `Stop frightening the help, will you.' The command comes from my Patrol Commander, Barry Wilkes. A Sergeant in the SAS (Australian Special Air Service), this man has been my patrol commander for the past three years, admired by many and revered by me. He has taught me everything I know and now I am his senior operator without rank. The other three members are still asleep; it's my responsibility to wake them up. The nearest man to me, Corporal Phil Reynolds, our Patrol Second in Charge (2IC), has always worked with Barry and has recently refused the option of being in command of his own Patrol. It is rumoured, but never admitted, that Phil is distrustful--any other operator would be capable of keeping his good mate alive. I lean over his sleeping figure being aware to be at arms length. Barry watches curiously from the rear of the aircraft. Phil, with his eyes closed, senses the invasion of his personal space. A gush of air cracks as his arm lashes out and long 86
slender fingers squeeze my larynx closed. I still have not reached the speed of protection that Phil has mastered. `Still not fast enough--keep trying.' Phil makes eye contact with Barry, who beckons him to the open ramp. His large slim frame moves across the red nylon bench seats, stepping onto the knees of Andy and Jim, rudely awakening them. `Get your shit together,' he orders. We quickly strap on our parachutes, webbing and packs. Our rifles are the last item; we are ready for the dark abyss that howls at us from the rear of the aircraft. As we wait, no one speaks a word. The crewman I knocked over earlier sounds the sixty second warning. I turn my back to have the ripcord pins checked for security; a solid slap on the parachute rig cover confirms all is in order. I return the favour. We waddle down the aircraft towards the open ramp. The force of the turbulence pushes us back; we are forced to lean forward at an acute angle. Once stable, Barry reaches up to the top of his helmet and cracks his light-stick, it soon glows a fluorescent green. We all follow suit. The green light comes on. We holler above the shrill of the aircraft's engines. `Go, go, go.' On exit, Barry is swallowed by the lonely blackness of the night. His plunge swiftly becomes an uncontrolled tumbling; a strap securing his pack is loose. He slides and tumbles out of our view. A quick visual inspection of Andy's equipment is all I have time to accomplish. The check is reciprocated and we dive from the aircraft, gripping each others arms. We are immersed by the unknown. The equipment we carry on this mission soon causes an unstable flying process. My legs should be trailing with our heads together. But on this occasion, I can't get my legs up and we clash together head to head, toe to toe, our bodies' vertical. We drop to Earth like pins falling to carpet. 87
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM The shovel, an additional item for this mission, although padded, causes a deep gash near my armpit. But we are now spinning, twisting and tumbling through the night, which is far worse. My side becomes warm from the blood. My heart chills. `Don't concentrate on what you can't fix,' I proclaim to myself out loud. Instinct and training dictates survival. We have to slow the spin speed or we will lose consciousness. Immediately, trying to attain a humanly tolerable speed, I drop the leg opposite to the direction of the rotation. Andy does the same. It works; we start to slow. The incident has been expensive in altitude and location. I look for light-sticks of the other members', however I can't see light in any direction. Slowly spinning to the right, we finally adjust to a stable flying position. Comfortable for about three seconds, smiles appear on our contorted faces. They disappear suddenly though, as we enter a rapid left-hand spin. Our altitude is now five thousand, two hundred feet. The designated break height is four thousand feet. With my brain screaming for stability, I let go of Andy--the last thing we need is one of us free-falling through a developed canopy. The golden rule is to know the position of the other Patrol members. Since I only know the position of Andy, I know maintaining visual contact with him is essential. By the time I stabilise, he has tumbled nearly three hundred feet below me. His light-stick is receding rapidly. Poised above him, I observe his frantic attempts to get his body into the Delta-position. With his head down, arms by his sides and legs straight, he struggles to get stable. His inexperience leads us into an untenable situation, which is becoming extremely dangerous as he slides beneath me. I take evasive action and try to slide away but he seems to be magnetically attached to me and follows my every move. He has no 88
idea what is happening above him. From my position I can see the difficulty he is still having getting a stable flying position. His dump height is three thousand five hundred feet. At his third attempt he reaches his ripcord. `Jesus, he's going to pop his canopy!' We are still at four thousand feet. As the canopy flashes off his back, I can't help but gasp. `Shit I'm too close!' As it develops, my face gets whipped. Fortune favours though, as there is enough air in the canopy to bounce me off. It's as though I'd bounced onto a trampoline incorrectly and I fall, flailing off its side. Somehow during the contact I don't collect any suspension lines, which would entangle us and mean certain death for us both. I race past him, at a separation of only five metres. `Shit!' he yells. Plummeting past I wear a relieved smile. At two thousand five hundred feet I pull my ripcord. My canopy opens beautifully. I rotate, swinging under the canopy, three hundred sixty degrees, trying to sight anyone. I can see Andy, his second light-stick hangs, swaying gently beneath him. Since I am the senior Patrol member at the lowest altitude, I am required to lead the team to the designated target. This contingency plan was spelled out in our orders. Andy will be concentrating on my second light-stick. We have designed this system so we can follow the light of the soldier below. I reach down to my leg, break the elastic band and let the light-stick drop. It's attached to my leg by a two-metre cord. We have been ordered to dump at different altitudes; the result will be that canopies of the Patrol members will create a stack above me. As I gaze silently into the nothingness before me, I know my next responsibility. Get everybody down safely. The wind direction is all-important; I know my canopy is driving with the wind. I scan for a safe place for the team to land 89
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM being hopeful that the upper winds are the same direction as the ground winds. The team is first-class at canopy control; we are jumping with round canopies. During mandatory rehearsals we landed within twenty-five metres of each other. This was a huge feat considering that these canopy's responses are slow and when you hit the ground with a wind speed higher than eight knots, you unavoidably experience landing backwards, which is the majority of the time. Another unusual item that I am required to carry for this mission in the Western Australian desert is a twenty litre plastic jerry full of water. The jerry strapped to my chest is obscuring my vision; I am at a thousand feet and trying to focus through the blackness, when a helmet comes floating past me. The air seems to be filling the helmet; it seems to resist gravity as it continues on its way. `Fuck, someone's having a rough ride.' At five hundred feet I still can't see the target and its pitch black, there are no lights, no fires and no torch flashes. The RAAFies (Royal Australian Air Force members) have fucked up again and put us in the wrong spot. At two hundred feet the blackness seems to lighten, the most inhospitable ground that you could wish not to land on, rushes towards me. All rock; jagged rocks, boulders--this landing is going to hurt. At two hundred feet on a round canopy you are too low to do any major adjustments. I am lucky this time; I am correctly bringing the team into-wind. `But the ground,' I say to myself. If no one breaks a leg on this jump I'll be very, very surprised. I hit the ground hard and do the best Para roll that I can accomplish to wash off the momentum of the impact. The bloody jerry (literally bloody from my own blood dripping out of my shirt) strikes a boulder, brings me to a full stop and winds me. I twist around gingerly to see if Andy follows the 90
same path that I have taken. He has. Good, this will give the lads at higher height a chance to land together. Barry's fate doesn't cross my mind, I know and respect his experience and I know he will find us. All four of us land safely, only one additional minor mishap; Andy has sustained an ankle injury, a sprain. He knows as well as we do that there won't be any assistance until we are well clear of the drop zone. He will have to put up with the pain, knowing Barry will move us at least five kilometres from the drop zone before we stop and rest. This is where the parachutes will be left, marked for pickup. Operational procedures stipulate that the drop-zone is never to be compromised, so the parachutes will be buried at least five kilometres away from the drop-zone at a designated location. Also at this location anyone injured will be given first aid, some serious painkillers and strapping for a sprain. Andy, the lucky bastard, won't be feeling any pain tonight. My cut is manageable and I will have to wait the same period as Andy, before getting the medic to dress the wound. `Where's the boss?' I ask Phil. `Fucked if I know,' he quietly whispers. `What happened? Just as I am about to explain the boss' untidy exit, we hear the familiar sound of air passing through the vents in a canopy. He is off line to our right and the obvious problem is that there is a rocky knoll between him and us. Phil comes up with a brilliant idea just in time, any later Barry would've been setting himself up to land on the other side of the knoll. Barry can not see any lights to follow; Phil throws his lightstick into the air. Barry focuses on the green light-stick that is being thrown into the dark space above us. He begins to make his move towards us. He just clears the knoll by a few feet; we can tell he is concerned about how low he is; as he clears the lip of the knoll he has his knees up to his ears. We can almost hear a sigh of relief, as his feet are extended to prepare for the mandatory backward roll. 91
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM Upon reaching his location we notice he has vomit all down his front. Andy asks him if he is all right and he whispers, `Rough ride, but better out than in.' `Who brought us in?' Barry questions Phil. `Tim did.' `Well Tim, you are a good man in a tight spot.' I look at him to ensure I heard right; I am finally acknowledged as an equal. During the first stop, my job as patrol signaller is to get our location from Barry who at this stage has done a resection to get our true location. SAS SHQ (Squadron Headquarters) will need to know the location of the parachutes and plot our progress on their maps. `Fucking RAAFies,' he says, as he passes me the true grid reference. `Wont be long Boss.' I confidently whisper. I quickly code the grid reference and tap on the Morse key back to SAS SHQ. The grid reference indicates that we landed ten kilometres away from the correct Drop Zone. Thanks to the RAAFies we'll have an extra ten kilometres walking on top of the usual twenty. We have already walked about five kilometres; so simple mathematics tells me that we'll have to do a further twentyfive kilometres tonight. We will walk the distance throughout the night. Barry gives the order to move off as soon as I acknowledge that the code has been successfully sent. The trick to effectively travel long distances, carrying over sixty kilos, is to concentrate on terrain changes. It stimulates the mind and alerts you to distance already achieved. The desert however is always the most deceptive; its environment can offer no visible changes for hours. The rocky plateau stretching before us offers a slight change of terrain. The boulders and rocky outcrops we have been weaving through become smaller in size and frequency. Another hour and the rocky out-crop transforms into a carpet of rocks the size of cricket balls which roll my ankles straining the ligaments and tendons painfully. I am drenched with sweat and look down at my boots concentrating on not getting an unwanted injury, which would make the evening even more uncomfortable. 92
The cricket balls become marbles and, although more forgiving on the ankles, slow our progress as our boots compress and compact the loose surface; the grinding sound resonates across the plain. We have travelled about twenty-three kilometres and the ground is becoming pebble free. Barry decides to stop; he is aware that the loose red dirt is drawing us into the hardest topography that any soldier carrying a lot of weight can suffer; bull-dust. While this mission is only an exercise, our professionalism always maintains standards required during operations. The patrol members' move to their designated position within the man made defence circle. All members except Barry individually move out a visual distance and survey the surroundings, return to the circle and report. When all reports indicate that there is no sign of enemy, it's time to have a feed and prepare to get some sleep as the sun is rising across the blanket of red dust which is now swiftly transforming into dark ochre. Our sleeping positions relate to the major positions of the compass; my position is east. I lie with my feet facing East so that if startled whilst I'm sleeping and have to move quickly, I can run straight and I know that I'm running East. The other members take the position of North, South and West; Barry's location is in the middle of us. Barry takes the first rotation of being awake through the daylight hours in case of enemy activity. An additional patrol task is to ensure the sleepers move into the shade as the earth rotates through the sun's orbit from east to west; it is easy to become dehydrated when sleeping in the sun, which of course will then render you useless. I'm absolutely shagged, so am able to sleep in temperatures, ranging between forty and fifty degrees. Due to exhaustion we will all sleep soundly until it's our turn. My shift is at the end of the day and as the sun dips over the range that is our next destination, I wake the other lads and everybody packs up their gear. 93
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM Andy, acting as scout, moves off followed by Jim and then Barry. I follow Barry's foot prints into the dust. Phil is last and his responsibility for the patrol is to remove any obvious sign so no-one can follow us. As the bull-dust swallows my knees I know that Phil will be relying on nature to achieve the insurmountable task of removing our tracks. On cue the wind picks up and now, not only having to lift our knees high into the air to achieve progress, we strain against the force of the air. The tracks before me are filled by the ground-wind sucking the fine ochre dust into the empty cavities. For four hours we battle the elements of shifting earth and disagreeable wind. Eventually the landscape offers a change. The ground introduces the first sign of flora; clumps of spinnerphex grass intermittently spaced. Over a short distance however, the spinnerphex takes over the territory we move through. We now walk through the tight clumps, raising our knees high as the bushy heads brand us with their spears. The strain and the momentum are alleviated by rest stops. I would rather keep moving; to sit and rest in this environment is pointless as you pick up more spears from the spinnerphex which aggravate the skin. However, the decision from Barry to stop to avoid heat exhaustion/stroke shows the wisdom and experience of a seasoned commander; better to be uncomfortable and allow the body to cool. The range looms before me as I finally raise my head and focus on the sandstone formation; for hours I have had to concentrate on where my feet were landing. The pack weight, water jerry weight, and the duration of the march have taken their toll; I'm in pain. I focus on locating a passage up the sandstone wall--not my responsibility, just, a healthy distraction. The next distraction comes in the form of the twenty-litre jerry; the additional weight presses hard into my shoulder as it's my turn to carry it again. My primary responsibility as a signaller is to carry the radio and all relevant equipment needed to successfully raise communications which dictates that I carry more weight than anyone else. The additional strain of jerry, with the water jerking 94
back and forth in its confined space, has taken its tole on the energy of the others. I will carry it until someone believes they have recovered enough to relieve me of the burden. I know that this torture period will be lifted as soon as one of the other's is able to assist. Thirty minutes have passed and I have only stumbled twice. As I prepare to ascend the sixty-foot feature to my front, the weight on my shoulder is lifted from behind. The sudden freedom causes my right leg to punch through the air as it is not restricted by the weight bearing down. Barry now has the burden. Although I'm still carrying sixty kilos I find I have a spring in my step and scale the small feature with ease. Another reprieve: our cache destination is within visual range. We move to the edge of the next terrain change; savannah bushland greets our next sunrise. We have walked solid for twelve hours and, after the defence-ring routine and a quick feed, as my head presses into my pack that I'm using as a pillow, sleep swamps me. I'm woken two hours before dusk and handed a night vision scope to survey the location we're to use as our cache site. I'm well aware that a lot of reconnaissance will be carried out; we do this to ensure our orders aren't compromised and that we're not walking into a trap. A box recon (4 sided reconnaissances) will be Barry's preferred technique. All north, south, east and west quadrants will be surveyed, one at a time. When one quadrant is completed, the recon team will return to the nominated base, report to Barry and then move into another quadrant. The whole exercise will take all night. We rest through the remainder of the day completely confident that we are the only ones in the vicinity; the recon presented nothing to fear. Tomorrow night the cache will be buried. Barry calculates that to get to our exfiltration (pick-up) site on time we must approach the cache site two hours before dark. I'm told to get my equipment ready and am handed a code which is to be sent when shovel loads of dirt are patted down at the cache location. The whole process of burying the additional equipment that has tortured us over many kilometres takes thirty minutes. The home 95
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM brew plastic barrel, which was miraculously `jumped' by being strapped to Phil, is the first item to be lowered into the hole. Through it's opening, ration packs, maps of the area including a sealed map, ammunition, knife, M16 rifle (in parts, ready to be assembled), strobe light, torch and batteries, are carefully placed. The water jerry is placed next to it and as I start to tap on the Morse key, I hear the distinct sound of soil hitting plastic containers. I report the secret location to SHQ. They return the received code and I give the thumbs up to Barry who finishes pacing out distances; he will be required to present a true diagrammatic map of the cache site to SHQ on our return. SHQ's immediate action will be to send the location to special forces Command. For now, our job is done. All that is left is to move to the elected exfiltration (exfil) location already arranged between Barry and the pilot of the selected aircraft. Prior to infiltration (infil), Barry had discussed our means of exfiltration and transportation with the RAAFies. But there was no joy as they were already assigned a task for the night we required exfil. The next option was the Army. This means our transport option is a Plius Porter, a small plane that can hold a patrol very uncomfortably. The Plius Porter can land on a five-cent piece. The army pilots of these aircrafts are especially good; they have to be. It's up to Barry to designate the landing site. This could be anything from an outback road to a desert pad or a beach. Barry has already organised to use a beach, due west of the cache location. We have ninety five kilometres to walk to the exfil; this will be achieved over the next three nights and by the fourth night we should arrive there. With the additional weight now in the ground we are all itching to get started. A full night of walking lies ahead; hardly a challenge as the enthusiasm to move bubbles everybody's spirits. The next stage of this operation will be to walk at least forty kilometres to ensure that Barry has some time and space to organise 96
and place an Observation Point (OP) from which to observe the beach to make sure it isn't compromised. It is always expedient to cover as much distance as we can while fresh. As we set off, Phil asks me, `How much water do you have?' `Two bottles,' I reply. He continues asking everybody the same question then returns to me. `Barry wants you to code a message for the water resupply during the walk tonight.' `Will do,' I whisper. There is nothing unusual about this request. I will code the message when we stop for a ten-minute rest, which we do every hour. `Ask for the technique you came up with. The one we rehearsed at Base before we infiled,' Phil adds. I feel proud that I have instigated this new technique and that it's going to be used for this operation; it's a great idea, even if I say so myself. We have rehearsed the technique a dozen times without one failure. We had an aircraft designated to us so we could practice our jumping skills and this technique, newly introduced to the Regiment. The concept was discussed amongst us. This is always encouraged, each of us being quite capable of intelligent input. We are assessed and trained to be capable of applying solutions to practical situations. Individuals don't pass selection without displaying these attributes. It doesn't matter what year you undertake selection; every patrol member is expected to offer input. During rehearsals, all members of the patrol are asked for ideas, with the commander making the final decision before anything new is adopted. The concept I had designed involved a twenty metre length of fire hose. Once Barry gave me the go ahead to try the system, it was a quick trip to the nearest fire station with a request for any spare hose lying around. The Fireies were extremely helpful, and it 97
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM wasn't a problem to give us a serviceable length of fire hose that wasn't perforated. We returned to the landing ground and acquired two clamps for each end of the hose. A low flying aircraft was our option to do the drop--a fly-by would not attract any attention. A helicopter hovering or landing, would definitely compromise our mission and location. The test showed that we could drop a full hose from an aircraft flying-by without having to reduce speed. It was pleasing to see the hose full of water bouncing along the ground, landing safely. Barry, the pilots and I wanted to increase the height to see if the technique would still work. It did; after twelve drops we worked out the optimum height of one hundred and sixty feet. This height would clear all beaches, hills and knolls on approach. The drop-off operation absolutely assured success. We had rehearsed and now it was confirmed in our minds that the water resupply would go according to plan. The hose filled with water and the clamps secured to the ends wouldn't be touched until our aircrew loaded it in for our necessary water resupply. It's planned for the pilots to do the water resupply four hours after request. At 0800hrs I give confirmation to Barry that water is on the way. It's mandatory to retain some water prior to a resupply, just in case it fails. It's about midday when we hear the familiar drone of the aircraft designated for the water resupply. Barry has communication with the aircraft via an UHF radio. They approach our location once we have given them the prearranged code. The ramp lowers on the caribou and two crewmen assist the water hose off the ramp. The hose falls through the air and hits the ground ­it doesn't bounce as it has done during rehearsals­ on first impact the hose coils like a snake that has been dropped from a great height. The last nervous reaction signifies it's dead. The water hose lies lifeless on the ground, water pouring out of it. The desert floor quickly drinks our precious nectar. Shock freezes us momentarily; devastated, rude 98
gestures are thrown back to the aircrew as they turn their backs on us. The aircraft climbs and disappears over the horizon. On inspection, the hose is not split or perforated; water is only coming out of the ends. Snapped out of our stupor we all race to save what precious water is left in the hose. The wing nuts that are used to secure the clamps to the ends are loose; someone is fucking with us. We manage to salvage ten bottles of water from the hose and it's, `Fuck the army!' This statement is bellowed in a chorus from all of us, except Barry. Barry just seems to take it in his stride and is trying to calm us down. We are still in an operational environment and he wants us to maintain our professionalism. Phil approaches Barry and questions him. `Well, what the fuck are we gonna do now?' `Calm down and follow me,' is his reply to the direct question from his 2IC. Phil and Barry discuss our situation. This is the first time a discussion is conducted without all members involved. I begin to set up our radio. I need to occupy my mind with something other than the memory of watching the first impact and watching our precious water seep into the hot desert's sandy floor. I place Andy and Bill in protective positions. By the time Barry and Phil finish their private conversation, I want communication to be set up. I finish the set-up and await my instructions from Barry; which will be to send the failed water resupply code and coordinates of the location for the second attempt. I have already encoded the first half of the signal. I look to where Barry and Phil are hunched over a map. It's likely they're trying to locate a water resupply spot. They return and instruct me to establish comms, send the fail code and request resupply at this location. I write down the grid reference and add it to the coded message. Thirty minutes later I have to inform Barry that I can't establish comms and that SHQ have not acknowledged any of my 99
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM transmissions. I keep trying to establish comms all through the day at the insistence of Barry, but still no joy. When the sun finally sets Barry calls us all together. `We're going to head back to the cache site, dig it up and recover the twenty litre jerry full of water.' We will be walking all night again to cover the forty kilometres with only two bottles each. We are still fifty-five kilometres short of the ocean and now have to go back over the forty kilometres we've already travelled to our original start point. We finally arrive at the cache site at about 9am. Barry asks me to set up comms, as the boys slowly dig up the cache. Barry is very experienced in handling troops who are fatigued and exhausted; he has each man do ten shovel loads, and then rests them. After trying every type of antennae, I know that I have done my best. Three hours have passed since I began calling SHQ. I try one more solution. This call is clear, without code, a definite no-no; I disregard all the rules in the book. The message I send is: `We need water now. Patrol location: live cache site.' No answer. Barry is pissed off and grabs my pack that carries the radio. Throughout the evening it's been shared between the five of us. The others have dropped their packs forty kilometres back where the water resupply had failed. Barry was a qualified Patrol Signaller prior to being given command of his own patrol. He returns about an hour later having tried every antenna known to man, and throws the pack down. `No fucking joy,' he laments. I look around; all the patrol member's faces display dejection. Our lips are cracked and bleeding. We are all sucking the blood from our lips to ensure no precious fluids escape our bodies. The jerry of water is retrieved from the cache; we have six bottles of water each. Barry puts water discipline rules in place: there is no drinking unless ordered and it's to be only a Green army bottle (1-pint) capful each time. Hopefully following this discipline 100
will allow us to reach our destination which is about ninety kilometres away. We are heading for some dams that are shown on our maps. Our maps are twenty years old and we are all praying that these dams will be full of water. We start walking late in the afternoon. It will be `fuck the rules' from now on; we will move day and night. By the time we reach the other packs we have expended two bottles each--four left go to get us to the site of the dams. The dams are five kilometres short of our designated pick-up point. We know that by the time we get there we will be 24 hours late for pick-up, which in our minds is okay. We have a `lost comms' procedure which dictates our nominated time of pick-up. If we are not there, the same designated aircraft, will try to pick us up exactly 24 hours later. We will be on time for the second pick-up. With no water left in our bottles, we are all hoping that five kilometres from the coastline will be enough for the dams not to be brackish. Due to exhaustion and fatigue we are off to the right of the dams. I spot them first. My legs have a sudden burst of energy and I run to the lip of the first dam. My heart sinks at the sight of the dam. Sure, there is water there, but it's black and silty, and has dead animals in it. I sink to my knees and just look at this depressing sight. Then I hear one of the boys. `Let's check this one.' There are four dams in a row. When I finally look up, the rest of the patrol is standing around the last dam. As I reach their location, Jim has climbed down the side of the dam, and is spitting the water out. His comment drops all our spirits. `It's fucking salty!' That's the last straw. It starts with Barry dropping his pack and proceeding to give it a kicking. He violently loses the plot. We all release the built up aggression by yelling, `Fuck the army.' I look to the sky, and ask `Why?' Our feet are stripped of skin and we are battered and bruised. Even the plaster dressings on our feet are not protecting the damage done during the walk to the 101
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM dams. Every one of us is limping and the weight we have lost is phenomenal. Our bodies are now eating the muscles away. We are in poor shape and we know it. Sixteen hundred hours and we still have to travel the last five kilometres to the beach to catch our designated aircraft, expecting it to pick us up at 2400hrs. The last five kilometres are the climax to the whole ordeal. It takes us three hours to travel the small distance. We are still carrying equipment weighing between forty and fifty kilograms with no food and no water. The struggle to finish the trek is debilitating and slow. When Barry flops we all do the same. By the time we get to the beach we are resting every 100 metres. We find the hardest part of the beach by driving our heels into the sand. An impression more than 1 centimetre means the plane will bog for certain. The length of the landing ground has to be one hundred metres long. We find the desired length and hardness. Precedence must be given to adapting a functional survival mode routine. Anything of clear plastic is fastened to live Tea-Tree limbs. Tea-Trees are very spindly and sparse and will not generate much moisture. The technique involves collecting evaporated moisture from the leaves. It's a technique, which will only work when the sun is up. I wonder why Barry has ordered this action. Weren't we getting off this shoreline at midnight? I silently question myself. I remember what Barry has taught regarding survival situations - it's always better to do things now, not later, as later you might be too weak to achieve a simple task. Barry, the most coherent, has correctly applied this principle. I feel fortunate that Barry is a leader who knows what's required to maintain a sense of hope in a situation that is hastily deteriorating and may result in a fatal outcome. I'm told to set the radio up and establish comms with SHQ, to give the code that we are waiting for exfil. I follow orders. For the next three hours I keep tapping on the Morse key. I am away from the group as high ground enables me to achieve better 102
comms. Because we are near the ocean, the radio waves will travel more easily to Swanbourne, Perth the home of the SAS Regiment. I'm directed to go the emergency frequency and contact Perth and also Canberra, who will both be manning the frequency twenty four hours around the clock. Barry approaches me at 2330hrs and checks the set for serviceability. Everything is working at our end. 0100hrs arrives; no plane. 0200hrs arrives; Barry tells me to pack up and get some sleep. I start packing the set up but collapse on the spot and sleep for a solid four hours. Morning arrives. Andy is extremely sick and has been vomiting throughout the night. He has lost a lot of precious fluid and blood, and it appears he has a ripped stomach lining. I know we have to get comms or Andy is going to be the first one to die. I grab the radio set and notice that Phil and Jim are nowhere to be seen. I ask where they are. Barry produces his map and shows me a black square, a homestead on the map. It's about fifteen kilometres away from us. `The boys left a couple of hours ago. Hopefully they will find water. Put the set down and just rest. Save your strength,' he recommends. I'm absolutely shagged and just operating on what little adrenaline and endorphins I have left in my body. It's about 1600hrs when they return. The remaining three of us can't move, or more to the point, are completely depleted of energy and strength. Our tongues have swollen, filling our mouth cavities--a very abnormal experience. The boys have found water, probably equivalent to ten litres. The water was found in a life raft container that originally would've been attached to a HMAS patrol boat. Someone a long time ago must have found it on the beach and used it to collect water off the drain at the homestead which had been abandoned years before. How ironic; the Air Force is responsible for the neglect that has placed us in this perilous condition, and flotsam from the Navy is presenting us with a reprieve. The desert has taken over the homestead, but because this half container remained in the shade, it has stored precious water that 103
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM has saved our lives--for the time being. Andy requires water immediately. Phil and the Jim douse their neck scrims, usually used for camouflage, into water and administer it past our swollen tongues. We are gagging from the introduction of water into our systems. I sleep for a couple of hours then find Phil squeezing water into my mouth again. The swelling of my tongue is subsiding, and I can feel the fluid passing the tongue into my stomach. I ache all over from being too dehydrated, but I am alive. I fall asleep again, or pass-out, I'm not too sure. I wake late the next morning re-hydrated. The boys have been administering fluid to me throughout the evening. After everyone recovers we have five more bottles to survive on. If we don't get picked up soon, we will all die. It's 2100hrs when we hear an aircraft approaching. All ears are strained listening for the hum of the engines. Free-fallers can identify most aircraft by getting to know the distinguishing sound of each particular aircraft. This one is ours. We move gingerly with our feet ripped to bits and, to identify the landing ground, light the fires for the aircraft. The Plius Porter plane lands safely. The pilot turns to taxi the full length of the advanced landing strip to be able to take off into the wind. We fling our packs and bodies in whilst the aircraft is rolling forward. The urgency displays the last effort required to gain safe haven. We are going home! There is iced water on board. Even with cracked lips stinging like hell, we are all able to slowly suck on a piece of ice. The aircraft lifts and we are leaving the desolate place where we almost perished. As the pilot banks his aircraft, and I recognise the location of the Tea-Trees that we laid under, too exhausted to move, an overwhelming wave of betrayal and abandonment floods over me. I know the emotion, and I know not to let it surface. I fall asleep--or pass out. 104
Our next stop is at the Regiment Barracks at Swanbourne. Finally, a familiar place, but the face at the door is unusual. It's the Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM). He says to us, `Have a rough trip boys?' No one answers him. He continues, `The CO has put you blokes on stand-down (short leave). Get your feet fixed and get some rest. Come in next week for your next order. Barry, Phil and Tim, the duty driver will get you home.' The RSM is gone. No one is going to question him. Why were we left in the desert without any water? At home, I dump my gear, strip off and head to the shower. I must've passed out in the shower for I find myself on the shower floor with the water being very cold. My skin has shrivelled like a prune so I must've been there for some time. I try to stand and fight the pain in my feet, though it's a better idea for me to sit back on my arse. I reach up and turn the taps off then drag myself to bed. I stay in bed for seventy-two hours. I wake up every now and again, but am just too exhausted to move and suddenly fall asleep again. After my seventy-two hour sleep and rest, I decide to eat everything in the fridge and repair my feet. The gash in my side has become septic and requires treatment and a dressing. I have pressure sores from losing so much weight, so I treat these as well and dress them. My selection course instructor, Sgt. Dave Sherrick, turns up on the sixth day of my stand-down. He has my next order in his hands. As I open the door he says, `You lucky sod! They're giving you an advanced demolition specialist's course. You are to report in three day's time.' `What about my patrol,' I ask. He explains that my patrol has been disbanded. Jim and Andy are posted to other war role squadrons, and Phil and Barry are doing build-up training for their next tour of the Counter Terrorist team. Dave doesn't ask what happened--nor should he. What happened to us will remain in the minds of those involved. It's far 105
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM better to let it slip away as you always have something else to think about which requires one hundred precent concentration. My next distraction will be to study the theory of demolitions. I have limited time to absorb the new information; in three days I will be expected to know and understand the theory and application of advanced demolitions. Sgt Dave, who is about to leave, says, `Tim, remember the old saying, `you weren't there, it didn't happen'. Get on with the job and forget what is in your mind.' I do just that and prepare myself for the next stage of my career. I never work with any member of the desert/beach patrol again. I feel betrayed. 106
MEMORY GAPS BIG TIM - SOLDIER After successfully completing the advanced demolition course, I am busy stripping and cleaning my weapon when the second in charge of the squadron comments to me that my hair is thinning out. `For Queen and Country Sir,' I offer. The exchange that follows confuses me and I'm sure my reaction leaves him completely bewildered. He bends down and whispers into my ear, `You aren't the only one from the beach who is losing their hair. Andy and Jim are thinning rapidly as well. Also, Barry and Phil are now sporting a grey streak on the sides of their heads.' He recoils when I look him in the eye and ask him, `What do you mean by `the beach' sir?' my question is an honest one. His eyes search mine for some explanation. My lack of memory is real. With not a word spoken he affords me sanctuary, he understands and respects the method I have chosen to continue to function. The attitude of, `I wasn't there, it didn't happen,' is not created by me. It's a phrase common to the Special Forces. Soldiers are taught how not to be controlled by stressful experiences. This phrase is a catch-cry for most, for me it's a way of life. At the time, I have no evidence of the missing event, or knowledge of the missing gaps in my life, the only evidence that is becoming more prominent are the times when others look and react cautiously around me, as the Captain has just done. A true indication of memory gaps comes when I become aware that I am on guard duty again, with no memory of being assigned the duty, if it's a punishment, or how I got dressed and arrive in this time and space. 107
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM Silence is golden; so I keep the bewilderment of these lost events to myself. Familiarity dictates that my world is just as normal or sane as everyone else's. But as the lost time and space begins to become more frequent, even I start to question if my behaviour and relationship to the relative reality has credence. The answer to the surfacing dilemma comes in the form of an extremely dangerous act. This time not strange looks or reactions, but fear etches on the faces of those who are witness to my mental implosion. Career suicide! I point a loaded weapon at someone else. I am training for selection for the Counter Terrorist Team and have engaged my target with two rounds. My brain hears the order to raise weapons and engage the target to my front. I about turn and raise my weapon to face the range Safety Officer. Very calmly, he orders me to engage my safety catch and move off the range towards him. I comply and apply my safety catch. Travelling the short distance, I can't remember if I have applied my safety catch and keep repeating the action until I stand in front of him and present my weapon. `Tim, your weapon is on fire,' he states. I looked down at my weapon that he is by now holding and what I see is the complete opposite of what he has just stated. My eyes and brain show that my weapon's safety catch is on safe. I shut my mouth as he moves the safety catch to the safe position. The fog lifts and I am back in his reality but with this, the second of two safety breaches, that's it, the end of my career. From elite soldier to a glorified gardener, the highest paid lawn-mower man in Australia. There is no improvement in my mental dysfunction. I believe if there were, the hierarchy would've reinstated me back to operational duties. But there is no referral to a psychiatrist for assistance, either. Perhaps they don't want me back, just 'out'. With no help coming, I discharge from the Army and apply the fundamental policy of `I wasn't there it didn't happen.' 108
RECOVERY BIG TIM - SOLDIER I walk into the office of Professor Larry Evans (Doctor of Psychiatry). The June afternoon is bitter, and so am I. This is my second visit to Brisbane from the Whitsundays, to see the `Shrink.' The first visit related to an assessment of why and how I can't grieve the loss of mates that died on 12th of June 1996. Two Black Hawk helicopters collided resulting in the death of eighteen men, fifteen of them from the SAS Regiment, my former troop, men I call friends. I can no longer hide from the facts and how they affect me. `It didn't happen I wasn't there,' is bullshit, but what's harder to deal with is that I'm numb and have recognised this condition since the news of their deaths filtered through to me. I need help and Veteran affairs have arranged Dr Evans to assess me once again. However, this visit will be concerning treatment I suffered at the hands of the NSW police, and the fact that Veteran Affairs deny it happened. I don't trust Veteran Affairs. It's taken them three years to accept I need help, and having had to expose evidence to Dr Evans of a state police unit being accused of conspiracy, I tend to be quite paranoid about the direction into which I'm being coerced. My file is sitting on the unattended Receptionist's desk. Inquisitive to know its contents, I commence reading. Patient name: Tim Roy Diagnoses: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Acute Delusional Disorder (Persecutory type) Veteran Affairs accepts conditions to be service related. 109
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM The sound of a door closing startles me; I quickly replace the file. No one enters the reception area. Instinctively, I sit down with my back to the wall to observe all angles of the room. My eyes start to dart around the room, so to arrest this malfunction I use a tactic that I discovered intuitively. I pull a folded, tattered piece of paper from my jeans, unfold it and read a poem; its ink letters are starting to fade. I whisper the words so I can hear them and hope that they will distract me from the distortion I'm diminishing into. ODE TO A TROOP ONE SQUADRON SASR Who dares wins, Who cares who wins? You have said it a thousand times, Never meant it, Just put your life on the line, Just another job, where's bob? Your company vehicle is Black Hawk, Fly in them at night, Light's out, Rehearsals done, You never baulk, on skids again, There is no out, go, go, go is the call, Shit, Everything is a fireball. Fifteen gone, never again to be on line, It's our country, We all know that death can come when you don't think it's your time. 110
We will miss you; from us you have left, good men, friends. The times we climbed, the jobs, the exercises, these are what I'll remember, The Professionals. Courage of all the operators, dangerous, arduous, Living on the edge. We remember, Just another job, where's bob? The answer is simple Gone, fifteen gone, real men, Family and friends left behind, Pick up the pieces, get on with the job Forget what has been placed in your mind, Inspired by fifteen souls. As the last word leaves my lips I know I have lost the battle on this occasion; my mind moves into hyper-vigilant mode, rapidly absorbing visual images of the room: carpeted floor; one door; six chairs; table in centre of floor; magazines (Time and Women's Day). No one else is in the room, if there had been, I would be observing bulges in clothing and the position of carry bags. The sweats are the first indicator that the nightmare which has taunted me every night, and sometimes days, for the past three years is returning. There is no light to my front; however I can distinguish the silhouette of the Black Hawks. Four in total and they seem to be off target to the right as I look at them. The lead helicopter is making dramatic moves to get to the drop site. Black Hawk II 111
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM and Black Hawk III seem to be racing each other to the same drop site. `Fuck they have collided,' I yell. No one is in the observation room with me to hear the devastation in my voice. Night turns into day as one of the Black Hawks burst into flames. The screams from my mates are clearly audible through the plate glass window. I grab the chair I was sitting on and throw it through the window. I want to help. I feel closer to my dying mates now that the window is removed. As the glass and the chair fall away from my view, I see the Black Hawk on fire invert and plough into the ground upside down. I grab the window squeezing hard onto the wooden frame, completely oblivious to the shards of glass that are now embedded into my hands. `No! Fuck no!' The reverberating scream traverses the room. Still squeezing the window frame, the physical pain does not register or resonate over the emotional pain that I am experiencing. The other damaged Black Hawk lands hard on its skids. The burning remains of the first Black Hawk illuminate the rescuers that have reached the upright helicopter. Men are dragging bodies out of the wrecks. Others have more distressing tasks; as the grab their mates, they find that only bits of them can be extracted from the wrecks. I turn away; I can't do anymore than what is already being done. I sit down on the floor with my back against the wall. The screams slice through the dark night, overpowering the sound of the burning Black Hawk as metal crackles and buckles. Voices of the rescuers match the screams of our mates. I look down to my hands; there is still no pain, I decide that I am in shock. 112
At this point in the nightmare I always end up inside the doomed helicopters watching my mates' final moments before they hit the ground. All the operators are standing, kneeling and hanging onto the rope ready to drop. A flash of light, I see five strikes of the helicopter's steel blades, each strike hitting metal and flesh; obviously the flesh loses the battle. The first strike hits the fuel tanks and fuel is pouring in on them, it then ignites, the screams are deafening. I'm suddenly flung back to the empty observation room where I first witnessed the disaster. I see someone trying to rescue someone else. The light from the fire gives me a visual image. A soldier is tugging at an injured mate. He falls backwards, pulling out what he has been struggling with, to realise he has only a set of human legs lying across his chest. The rescuer is violently ill. I sit down numb, no pain, and no tears, totally bewildered as to why I can't express any emotion for this graphic loss. I'm back in the reception of Dr Evans. Beads of sweat are quickly wiped off my skin. A burp is suppressed and I swallow uncomfortably as my mouth feels full of sputum. I have to quell paranoia, another symptom within the myriad number of mental conditions ascribed to me. It has been explained that paranoia is common for people who suffer PTSD. The words `Acute Delusional Disorder' plague my mind. Another label added to my name; credibility further stripped; something else to cope with. I reach into my daypack and retrieve a pocket dictionary. I have a vague idea of what the word delusional means; I just want to be sure that I clearly understand the newly presented label. Although informed, I am still unable to recognise and identify the signs and symptoms. That's the delusion; I have no 113
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM recognised skill to absorb any awareness of the deterioration that I'm now experiencing. Bitterness overwhelms me. They can train individuals and ensure we're switched on to do what we are told, no matter the consequences, but back in the civilian world, we must adjust on our own. They don't switch us off; a huge oversight of the military. Additionally, the Government continues to deny an incident that transpired shortly after my discharge from the SAS. Those in power decide to deny certain facts and leave me grasping at fragments of truth, I plead with others to accept that my truth can be substantiated, if they would just do the research. They don't and they won't. I have been trained to a level of expertise that civilians would prefer remain within military boundaries. Their attitude is: "we prefer to not have to know the truth, just let them do the job that none of us will do." The receptionist returns to her desk and picks up my file. `The Doctor will see you now. Please follow me.' Today will tell me of Doctor Evans' commitment to my mental health. I hope he has read the NSW Ombudsman's report I left with him on my first visit; he might be of some help if he can see how blatantly the truth has been disguised and that the Government is covering up the past. `Please, come in, I will be with you in a moment.' I enter his office and take a seat in the biggest chair, sitting on the edge with my back rigidly straight. The Doctor is busy reading the Ombudsman's report. He has two pages to finish. I am pleased that he is seems interested in my concerns. He finally looks up and says, `This would be a great book, better still a movie.' I have heard it all before. Friends who have read the report would make similar comments. `Well Doc, what do you think? Am I deluded about what they are denying? Does it give reason to be paranoid?' I ask. 114
`No, I don't think you are paranoid or deluded about the raid from the NSW police. However, I believe that the years of stress that have eventuated because you felt that no one would believe your facts have resulted in signs and symptoms that can be arrested with the proper treatment and a bit of hospital rest. In reference to the facts contained in the Ombudsman report, it's very easy to see where the police have doctored the documents. It is clear they carried automatic weapons and intended them to be used on you and your family. Please, can you recall to me the details of the evening of the Raid on you, after leaving the SAS?' I look out the window into his garden, looking through the plants, not at them. `Do you know that there is no one out there?' the Doctor inquires. I turn and glance at him, signalling that I don't need to be relegated to a hospital bed allocated to people who look out windows waiting for the shadows to move. `Are you sure?' I ask knowing the answer. He doesn't shame me by answering the question; my tone relieves the Doctor's anxiety. I withdraw a videotape from my daypack and tap it solidly--a favoured idiosyncrasy. I insert it into the video player and turn the on the TV. The tape is a recording of an interview that is an exposй on incidents relating to the TRG that the government didn't want to acknowledge. The opening scene shows me sitting at the table in my campervan, the journalist sitting opposite. Doctor Evans stares into the television, his pen poised to write in his pad. The journalist opens the presentation. `The Tactical Response Group of New South Wales Police Force, who once again get it wrong.' `Today we are at Mrs Roy's house. What happened here last night was quite extraordinary. A simple household became a siege site. The Tactical Response Group raided this house with the assistance of the Military Police and the Bomb Disposal Group. Mrs Roy's son, an ex SAS officer, was having an open garage sale, selling off his past to collect funds to enable him and his girlfriend to travel around Australia in their campervan.' 115
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM `Mr Roy, can you explain to me what happened last night? `I was awoken last night after midnight when I heard loud banging on my Mother's front door. As I put a pair of pants on, there was a knock on the campervan door. I opened the door to see three police officers. One had a pistol pointed at me. The other two had their pistols drawn in an extremely dangerous fashion. `Mr Roy what do you mean by extremely dangerous?' `In my training, short barrel weapons are considered dangerous, and people who use these weapons should be trained to understand their capacity. Last night the officer who banged on the door had a weapon pointed at his back from a fellow officer. The officer to the rear was pointing his gun towards the officer in front.' `If you didn't have your training what would've happened if you had panicked?' `Two cops would have had holes in them. If I had run back into the campervan, the officers would've riddled the campervan with gunfire. They were that nervous. I calmed the situation before it escalated into a lethal situation, for them and me. `Did you know that the police were informed that there were four to six ex-SAS officers hiding out at this address with explosives and weapons?' `No, but if they have been told that information, I would like to know where they get their intelligence from.' `In your training, what would have you done if you were to be placed in charge of the raid?' `Firstly, I would know the location of the target. I would do surveillance, and I would ensure that the civilians in the vicinity had protection--the police didn't. A simple covert operation at the garage sale would have confirmed that their intelligence was flawed.' `The police also informed us that the Army bomb disposal officer identified an anti-personnel mine in your possession, is this true?' `No. That claymore mine has inert written on it for a reason; it's a training item. The Army officer involved in the raid on me is totally incompetent and probably got excited about the weight of the 116
Claymore mine. For training, we glued in steel weights to ensure we practiced with an operationally correct weighted load.' The TV presentation portrays an Army corporal at the nearest Army Base who explains to the journalist about the capacity of an inert claymore mine. `Corporal, can you tell me about the item known as an `inert claymore mine'?' `The inert claymore mine has the word `inert' written, on it. The mine is only used in training.' I vague out and don't realise the presentation is finished, until Doctor Evans stops the tape. `The hardest patient to treat for paranoia is the one that has reason to be paranoid!' Doctor Evans states. `How do you feel about that?' He offers a fleeting look and returns to his pad ready to scribe. I look blankly at the Doctor and answer honestly. `Tired.' He raises his head, sympathy seeps from his eyes, his pen remains stationary, as the answer requires respect and acknowledgement. He clears his throat. His professionalism returns and, before he speaks, ensures that we have eye contact. Our eyes interlock as the uncomfortable pause dissipates. `Tim, to ensure the validity of your claims to Veteran Affairs we must demonstrate your willingness to recover, therefore, I want to admit you to hospital today if possible. Is that convenient?' I think to myself: `I don't think my life would be so tossed up if I am in hospital for a night or two.' I start to drift off, but catch it and remind myself of the room offered to those would don't remain in the reality of the masses. I answer the question abruptly. `Yes, I will come to the hospital. I just need help.' `Good, I will contact Veteran Affairs and tell them of your decision to go into hospital under my care tomorrow. Could you please wait out in my reception room until I have finalised all the necessary details with Veteran Affairs?' 117
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM `Sure Doc, thanks.' I shake his hand briskly. I return to the reception room and experience another bout of hyper-vigilance: Carpeted floor. One door. Six chairs. Table in centre of floor ... DETOX BIG TIM - SOLDIER My first psych ward admittance under the care of Doctor Evans lasts three days. The absence of numbing substances such as alcohol and drugs unearths a physical response that I can't fathom. I wake on the third morning experiencing a detoxification from a range of chemicals that can be introduced to the body. This uncomfortable sensation means that I cannot stand upright; I feel stinging pain on the back of my thighs. The psychosomatic intrusion frightens and shames me simultaneously. I feel as if I have been buggered. I quickly pack my bag and wobble to the elevator. I need to get pissed and stoned. As I exit the elevator I stride onto the shimmering surface of the large foyer, my mobile phone rings, I don't answer it; I'm truly perturbed and I must locate an exit. I find one; its' sign illuminated above the door. I press the receive button on the ringing phone which is now drawing attention due to my lack of urgency to answer it. The number displayed is foreign; more apprehension as the caller knows who I am but I don't know them, yet. `Hello,' I answer as my finger moves to rest on the `off' button. `Tim it's Stewart. Dad's real sick, you better come to Sydney, this could be his last days,' it's my older brother. `Ok, I'll catch the first plane.' I feel a weird sensation as if I'm not linked to the conversation--or anything else. Stewart hangs up. 118
DYING BIG TIM I'm standing on a shiny tile floor. Trepidation chills my legs. How did I get here? At my feet is a large green duffle bag--the ones soldiers are issued. I know it belongs to me, I believe its mine: if I keep convincing myself I will soon feel secure enough to pick it up. I lower myself as confidently as I can, expecting the possibility that any minute someone will scream, `Thief!' If this occurs, I will quietly step over the bag and walk briskly to the exit I have been facing since I spoke to Stewart. The bag is on my shoulder but no one points an accusing finger. I know that I have left the Army but am confused as to why and when this was. The lost time must be a drug or alcohol blackout; this seems logical to me, but I know subconsciously there's more to this mystery. Drugs and alcohol bury the truth. I am not ready to own this consciousness. The flight to Sydney must be organised; this feels better, a distraction. This is the first time my brothers and I meet after many years of estrangement. I'm aware that the primary reason for this reunion is because our father is dying in hospital. We stand around a fire that is burning in the back yard. I watch the embers break away from a burning log; this is a foretelling of events that are about to unfold. I have two brothers; Stewart is older, and James is younger. James has had a hard life, proclaiming Dad and Mum abused him. Not only that, he also accuses Dad of palming him out to Paedophiles. He has approached me only once asking me to verify his truth. I can't, I have no memory of such things. But now, looking at this fire, a burning hole within me grows stronger. I desperately want this to be extinguished; unfortunately, I have no resources to alleviate this frustration. It's hard to deny James' truth. His adult life has revolved around countless hospital admissions and a multitude of therapies; 119
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM all trying to arrest the effect of the trauma and the mental states he proclaims we suffered due to the abuse we endured as children. The contrast of the weather, from rays of sunshine in Brisbane to the bleak cold of Sydney, is obvious. The fire warms my outside but I am feeling ice cold inside. I look at my brothers realising that my addiction to drugs and alcohol is eventually going to be exposed; the signs and symptoms of withdrawal are becoming evident. They both suspect I use heavily but don't know that I have stepped into addiction. I myself think I haven't reached that level of uncontrollability, but if I'm honest I have. My older brother offers me a beer. `I'll need a carton,' I quickly stipulate. He sends his wife to the bottle shop. We are completely alone. I look into the fire, hiding the fact I'm hanging out, needing to be stoned or pissed or both. It dawns on me; my alcohol and drug excesses are all about hiding the truth of the past. Some facts of my childhood illuminate themselves as the heat of the coals burns holes into my seemingly Impenetrable Shield of denial. Memories with no order or logic flood me; God, please let me get stoned. I understand why three men can have three completely different realities from each other. As children, we were always isolated and put into situations where we couldn't rely on each other. We couldn't be confident that the other one wasn't going to be tricked or manipulated in a subterfuge situation, where the Old Man had created a belief that your own brother had `given you up'. Stewart's reality is confirmed to us, not by admittance, but by lack of change; he is continuing to 'swim up the Nile' (remaining in denial). I decide at that point to get off the boat and join James on the banks of truth. `James I believe you.' I slowly raise my head and look at the face of a man who just doesn't trust what he has heard. I know we have to heal years of denial and mistrust. Our survival has been independent of one another. We are overwhelmed at the thought of uniting, and now a period of time has to be dedicated to ensure that this realisation isn't a lie; time for healing 120
and recovery to begin. I have no idea how to heal myself, just that every fibre within me wants to feel relief. I am willing to take the first enormous step. I know that James and I will now have the opportunity to heal our sibling relationship and learn to trust each other. So here I am again, facing another death, this time it's the Old Man's. But I'm not willing to accept the expectation that I experience a normal amount of remorse; that it's appropriate to experience some level of loss. I feel the only feeling I know, numbness. My brothers and I endure the long hours around the fire: it seems our silence keeps the flames flickering. There is awkwardness and an uncomfortable space between us. The brothers can barely remain in each other's company. Nothing else is said: a pile of bottles litters the ground at my feet. Ultimately, James leaves to be with his family. Stewart and I sit in silence looking into the fire, probably jointly dreading having to face the Old Man the next day. We finally go to bed not speaking another word to each other. The next afternoon we visit the Old Man. James looks extremely distressed and ask me to stay close to him. He takes on the appearance of a young boy. I am shocked at the effect that the Old Man holds over him. I feel honoured that he wants me close by as I feel that I have let him down in the past--although it's a reality I'm not ready to completely acknowledge. I ask the Old Man to relieve my misunderstanding of past situations and incidents; he remains silent. James is very uneasy; Stewart is withdrawn and tries many distractions to stop me probing for the answers I want. Being totally deflated, I return to Stewart's place. I feel drawn to the only belongings the Old Man has left. It's pitiful; he only has a small suitcase with a novel inside, and carboncopied books containing correspondence--six in total. I open one and find the dates go back to thirty years ago. I pour myself a drink and scan the diaries; I take a lot of alcohol to ensure I am comfortably numb. 121
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM The diaries, in the form of carbon copies of letters, are written to a well-known Australian personality. The more I read, the more I become aware that the letters are referring to paedophile activities. The final drafts relate to how my father is blackmailing dozens of influential people in Australia. These facts completely smash the layer of cement that covers the torment I have avoided for years: the complete stark and utter reality is exposed. James has lived with the memories every day of his life; I had suppressed them every day of my life until now. Almost immediately I want to know where Stewart stands. My insistence to get some acknowledgement from Stewart leads him to snatch the diaries from me. We start having a physical fight in front of his family. His denial is deeply entrenched; he wants me to be complicit in this. And he wants the diaries detailing our depraved childhood to go away. Quite rightly, he kicks me out of his house. James picks me up, and as we drive off we hear him yell something. I ask James if he heard what Stewart had said. `I think he said he burnt the diaries.' I fly out the next day for my hometown. DIAGNOSIS BIG TIM A month later I get a phone call. `Tim, James here. The Old Man is dead. You didn't get invited to the funeral because the family didn't want a drug addict turning up.' `James, I'm three weeks clean.' `Good for you mate. You wouldn't have wanted to be there anyway. I wish you were though.' `Sorry man.' `Tim I have to go.' He hangs up the phone but not before I hear him sob. 122
He is alone again on his journey of recovery. This is something I dread; the more clean and sober I get, the more the memories and the pain of being robbed of a childhood bubble to the surface. I don't hear from anybody over the Christmas period. I hear from James again in mid February. `Tim, Mum's dead. Sorry I didn't tell you earlier but I have been in hospital for the last six weeks. She died Boxing Day. I hang up the phone and two brothers sob simultaneously. A friend notices that I am rapidly deteriorating and contacts the Veteran Affairs head psychiatrist. I am rapidly sliding into deathwish mode. The townsfolk dread the outcome of an ex-SAS operator losing the plot. The bike club members in town are no match for my madness, I taunt them to waste me or at least give me some physical pain to alleviate the emotional pain I am swimming in. Paranoia encapsulates me. I honour its power; it almost acts as a friend, distracting me from the effects of the continued discoveries of a damaged childhood. I flee the mental damage by focusing on the perceived abandonment and rejection I endured whilst being employed as a Special Forces operator. Memories of these incidents fuel paranoia. I am also faced with the fact, which until now I have not acknowledged, and must openly admit that I lose time and memory. I used to attribute lost time and memory to the alcohol and drug-use, but this is not a valid excuse now that I am clean and sober. Admiration pours out of me for James who has thrown himself down the gauntlet and walked this path before me. I have so much respect for him: for enduring countless visits to psych wards and for undergoing every type of therapy known to the mental health profession. The impact of my parent's deaths and the family's decision to exclude me from their funerals, because of a belief that I would be an embarrassment as a clean and sober addict, drives me forward to seek my own recovery. 123
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM The only embarrassment I may cause to the family now is that I believe James' and my own unsuppressed truth of how sick our parents were. Their last wish for me to be excluded demonstrates to me their guilt. The realisation that all their sick secrets have gone to the grave with them really hits home. I am very sick from the detoxification (detox) I am suffering. It's the seventh month of detox. I have needed to be completely clean for this period to give my physical system a chance, and for me to have a manageable life. I live in a state of fear that to use drugs or alcohol again will only lead to homicidal or Suicidal actions: homicide against the paedophiles and suicide against the madness within that escalates with no sign of relief. My mental state and emotional emptiness creates an imbalance that needs professional assistance. My GP sends me back to my Psychiatrist, Dr Evans. The primary reason for this referral is that I am still not dealing with PTSD symptoms from my service with SAS. Without the drugs and alcohol, the death of colleagues and friends during peacetime accidents feeds the emotional pain that is alien and suffocating. Little do I know that the iceberg of past pain has barely been scratched. I am admitted to the Wesley Hospital in Brisbane. I understand the reason for the admittance: 'I need some rest', as it is politely explained to me when I inquire as to why I am now a patient in a psych ward. I know that the death of my mates has led to this; however, it doesn't explain why, since my admittance and interview, I am walking bent over with severe pain to the back of my upper legs. I feel as if I have been buggered all over again. The repeating sensation is extremely obscure. I am diagnosed as having Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depression). The Doctor explains how, prior to the Boys falling out of the sky and dying during the Blackhawk disaster, my movements were very rapid, I had extremely high energy levels, and how intolerant I was to others who didn't operate on an unsustainable or flat-out (fast) level. I acknowledge the truth of his comments. 124
Little do I realise that this behaviour is a mental illness that disguises itself as a resource, but like with everything in life, equilibrium will eventually demand that one must endure the equal and opposite reaction. Naturally, depression follows and the `Speedy-Gonzalez' behaviour is frozen and trapped. As a consequence I have the experience of battling with a four tonne boulder that presses me into the couch. The realisation that I don't have any zest for life hurts me more than the pain of immobility. Hospitalisation gives me an opportunity to decipher the mental confusion I am living with. My first lesson back to clarity is that I have to learn to grieve. I have to feel the pain and the anger for the deaths of the men from the Blackhawk disaster, but also for the deaths of friends, military and civilians to whom I owe my remorse. The non-emotional commitment, taught to me superbly by the military in matters of death, is now totally dysfunctional in my life. I reflect on time spent with the ones that have passed over and feel the grief I denied myself at the time of their deaths. Clarity enters my world. I too am vulnerable to emotion. The removal of drugs and alcohol becomes the foundation of my new existence. The twelve-step program and a belief that a power stronger than me is leading my life gives me direction. CONFIRMATION BIG TIM Miracles start to occur: events and coincidences rapidly push and guide me along an unknown path. An amazing journey presents new awareness. Of course part of me would prefer not to have to undergo this transformation, but I figure that what doesn't kill me will make me stronger. The Pandora's Box is opened. Hidden memories receive confirmation. Miraculously I meet someone who is the same age as me and we have a conversation. `What have you been up to?' Bill inquires. 125
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM `Out and about, up and down, mostly down,' I introduce the topic with my last word. `What's got you down, Mate?' `A long story,' I hesitate. `So is life, I might be able to help,' he offers generously. `Well it's funny you say that, it is my life story. A story I hid from for years. Recently I came across some documents that hold undeniable evidence that my father was involved in a paedophile ring. My brother and I suffered sexual abuse by our father and these men who are extremely powerful and rich.' I fall silent. Bill respects the need for me to pause. Something seems to be welling up inside of him, surging at an uncontrollable pace. I feel he too has secrets that he has never revealed to anyone. A family man, with a wife and a little boy, I suspect that what has happened to him in the past has always been regarded as inconsequential. Decades have past until the path of two little boys, now men, (one that society deemed as bad, the other, good,) now meet at their destined crossroad. I continue. `My Father kept thirty years of documentation in the form of diaries. My Father, being a mule for the paedophile ring worked at a place called Daruke Boy's Home for delinquent children.' I sit looking over Bill's shoulder. Bill sits there listening intently, his colour changes to a shade of green, he spits out a large amount of sputum, and begins to tremble slightly as liquid from his coffee cup spills onto the floor. I watch the drops of coffee forming patterns on the concrete, raise my head and gaze at Bill. The beam that predominantly belongs to Bill's exterior has disappeared, his usual rosy glow absent from his face, replaced by a grey tinge. `Are you all right mate? I sympathetically inquire. `Daruke... Daruke... fucking Daruke, I haven't heard that name in years,' Bill recalls. `Were you at Daruke, Bill?' `Mate, I spent three years there. I got busted painting the school headmaster's office one night. The pricks gave me three years for 126
attempting to educate him on the cool colour scheme I produced. I got there when I was nine years old. I hated every minute of it, especially the guards. Was your Old Man a guard at Daruke, Tim?' `Mate, his last name was Brant. I changed mine from his name a long time ago.' `Brant. Fuck do I remember that name. That prick raped me on my first night at Daruke.' `I'm sorry mate. I'm really sorry.' I respond ashamedly. Bill doesn't answer; his own Pandora's Box has been opened. I know where his mind has taken him: flung back decades to that night; recalling the experience of how he was violated; and feeling the anger and bitterness that results in deep hatred for a society who lacks responsibility to protect him. Bill has cocooned himself from the effects of that night and many other nights that followed--I assume. The anger directed to the men that this society dictated were safe to foster him, is deeply etched in his face. He has come a long way. He has found solace in the 12-step program and assists others to obtain the wisdom of the 12 steps. Today he is reminded of evil. I feel responsible. I have reached out to my mate for support and comfort to inadvertently bring him to the same space that I am now enduring. Within my mind a memory explodes of being taken to Daruke on Sunday afternoons to socialise with the boys of my own age. The memory opens another door; the guise of socialising with these delinquent children also made my brothers and me available to suffer the incredulous deeds that these men felt entitled to perform on their charges and children. I realise the possibility that, due to being the same age, we could have met on these `anti'-social days and possibly have suffered the abuse with each other. I reach for confirmation. `Do you remember the Sundays at Daruke?' I inquire. `Sure mate. Sunday's with the visitors. Some were good, others were fucked. I was just thinking what you might have looked like at age nine. I always felt sorry for the sons of Brant and always thought to myself that at least I don't live with the prick.' `Shit, I have to go. Look at the time; I have to catch my plane.' 127
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM I look at my watch purposefully to create an exit to save my kind, gentle friend from having to relive and correlate of our life's journeys any further. Bill springs to his feet and gives me a sincere hug. I return the gesture. We both look at the other with watery eyes. The festering sore has been well and truly opened. Denial is futile and disrespectful of my true self. From now on my recovery will be inspired by the courage of two people: Bill and James! I will follow Bill's lead and crave for the courage he lives with in his everyday commitment to leading a clean life; he is my first 12step Sponsor. From then on we would have coffee together from time to time and I would hang onto his every word. He would occasionally enquire as to whether I had started to write. 'No' was always my answer. He would giggle and reply, `when the pain gets too much you will.' I feared more than anything picking up a pen and releasing the words that were starting to choke me. The military had drilled and enforced the rule: don't write anything down, it could always be used against you. I fought that concept with every ounce of servitude that encased me. Coffees in the mall with Bill gave me another of life's pleasures; for possibly the first time I experienced a true belly laugh. It's infectious and brings immense relief, even now to think of the sight, as two grown men sit at their table and laugh and laugh. I have begun to feel something. I discharge myself from hospital with the blessing of Dr Evans and inform him that I'm going home to start writing. COURSES BIG TIM I write and I write and I write. However the fear is still ever present so at first I do not delve into the deep past. This gives me the option not to write about the childhood abuse. Instead I write about the events that happened in my Army life, events that I feel have been detrimental. This also helps me explore the possibility of why my PTSD 128
is so rampant. I write my first book, in fact/fiction form, to purge the events that need expression. The title `Switch Me Off' impresses Dr Evans. He understands that the writing helps me to look at things differently; he reads the ninety thousand word manuscript. My belief in mankind and the caring nature of the Mental health professionals I encounter leads me to develop a new attitude. I apply myself diligently to every suggestion given, hoping to lead to a quicker recovery. Dr Evans assures me that I am ready for the PTSD to be treated. This starts with an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder course, where they take me out and put me atop of high buildings and place me amongst people who suffer OCD. I don't feel I need to face any phobias--I fear virtually nothing. My clever psychiatrist though says that he'd like to see me walk into a church; he finds a fear. It's difficult to do. I know I was placed in a lot of Christian circles that my parents, being staunchly religious, considered was the lifestyle into which we needed to be indoctrinated. The underlining feeling that is making me uncomfortable can't be identified. The next challenge I am inducted into is a combat related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder course and I am very fortunate to be with other out-going veterans awaiting discharge. Some have been to Somalia, Rwanda, and East Timor and one has served in the SAS. In my opinion, the reason these soldiers have found themselves on these courses revolves around the lack of acknowledgment of a job well done. The government has neglected them in regards to their veteran status. Their service is not acknowledged because it's deemed as a non-service area. These soldiers would go to dangerous locations, believing that they were going to be looked after if things went wrong, but there has been no compensation. There is no actual acknowledgment of their participation in a field or theatre of war, just because a bureaucrat deemed so. They are also deeply affected by the horrific places they have been sent to and the atrocities they've witnessed. The stories I heard would allow any reasonable person to believe that the soldiers who 129
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM dealt with these incidents couldn't be anything but traumatised. So that was the prerequisite to be given a space on the course. The course facilitators presenting the course are civilian psychologists. The content revolves around an understanding that military thinking is a lot different from civilian thinking. They have great difficulty explaining to soldiers that the type of thinking that saved their lives in countless dangerous situations is now deemed to be dysfunctional. Black and white thinking is the only type of thinking they have done all their adult lives, but now this is seen as wrong. Within the civilian world they are required to accept there are shades of grey. For the course duration of six weeks they try to get this concept across with various forms of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). The curriculum includes physical exercise, learning relaxation techniques and other activities that soldiers normally don't get the opportunity to experience. Personally, I believe the course should be offered to all military members prior to being discharged. If given this experience the soldier will be allowed to realise how hard it is to adjust to the civilian world. At the end of the course, as far as the facilitators are concerned, I have achieved all competencies, and they are pleased with the result obtained. I still have issues that hadn't been addressed by the course. I'm referred to a Clinical Psychologist, Dr Jan Ewing, who determines and admits to me quite quickly that I have complex PTSD. I don't enquire what she means by `complex PTSD'. I feel honoured to be one of her clients/patients. The Vietnam Veterans bestow high praise for her ability to assist former soldiers back to a functional life. I see her once a week and I am happy to do so. Dr Jan teaches me how to deal with the pain and the stress I live with regarding not dealing with the grief of losing mates, and of being abandoned on the beach. She also points out that if I had not gone through the SAS and all that training that the dysfunction may not have surfaced. I contemplate what might have been if I had had the opportunity of remaining on active duty, awaiting retirement age. 130
Dr Jan again shares with me the possibility that a diagnosis of complex PTSD would be more accurate. This time I question Dr Jan about the understanding of complex PTSD. She explains to me that for PTSD to surface usually it is predetermined by a trauma event that isn't processed in my childhood; hence `complex'. The time has arrived when she feels free to expose another assessment that is going to illuminate the reason for dysfunctional behaviour: time being lost and memories not connecting up. It has been a twelve-month period of therapy and a lot of energy learning how to obtain and display self-esteem. The bombshell is dropped. Ultimately Dr Jan presents a possible diagnosis of DID ­ Dissociative Identity Disorder, formerly known as Multiple Personality. This diagnosis is best described in my case as fragments/personas controlling the mind and body without the personas/fragments being aware of transitions, usually triggered by an overwhelming emotion that can't be or doesn't get processed. Signs and symptoms in the past are unknown, as the DID system operates within the individual who is totally convinced that the reality of life each persona has is exactly the same as it is for others. The recovery work takes a completely different tack. I am dealing with a new education, that is, to have feelings without switching to different Personas or Fragments and to learn that this is normal behaviour. Previously I was dealing with a complete misunderstanding of what I thought was real. And I am now being made aware that Personas or Fragments of me have experienced different realities. This means that all of me does not experience the same reality at the one time. Confused? I was. I ask Dr Jan if I can attend a self-help group that is a pilot program for people who have suffered addiction and the many forms of child abuse. With the blessing of Dr Jan, and the relief I feel for some reprieve to not have to face the confusion that revolves around the DID diagnosis, for the moment, I induct myself into the course. 131
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM FEELINGS BIG TIM I sit in the corner of the room of the self-help group that offers peer support for recovering addicts with abuse issues. I am propelled into an environment of sharing and exposure. Mr Martin Challis introduces himself as a lecturer from Queensland University of Technology's Acting Department. As he looks at me, I portray a cold facade. His first question to the group is, `How do you feel?' I shrink into the armchair, listening to the others in the group as I examine myself to see if I am able to recognise a feeling; I now understand why Dr Jan agrees to this type of exposure. My answer to the large man sitting in his chair smiling at me is: `I'm sorry, I feel numb.' No shame follows my answer, as Martin explains that he can offer a model of facilitation that can help me grow an awareness of how to connect to my feelings. His understanding, and also that of the mental health professionals, is that it is a well known fact that most people have roles with which they function. The roles they choose to function within have a certain persona that takes on that role. I assess, with the help of Dr Jan, that those who suffer from DID have no memory of the switches, whereas the normal functioning woman, for example, can chose to be in mother role, socialite role, business role or wife role. There are subtle changes to personality but continued awareness; they are connected-up, well-informed parts of the person all of which know that these shifts have taken place. I have to find some strategy to link the changes that happen within me automatically, I have to understand how my DID system works. The sessions are constructed with two individuals sitting opposite each other. One person allows him/herself to transfigure the person, opposite, who in my case is my father, my perpetrator. I 132
allow myself into a zone, to believe that I have an opportunity now to ask him why he did what he did to me. The exercise eventuates as I exhaust myself pleading with the transfigured form to say sorry. Martin at this point informs the person sitting opposite me, transfigured as my father, to say `sorry'. The impact is enormous. Just one word from this kind person and I begin to feel some closure. I am honoured by this supportive intervention. I can't explain its impact, however I have the opportunity to see this technique used many times and the result is incredible. It's hard to accept that paedophiles put a person through such degradation without ever coming around to apologising. The experience of having a feeling/sensation when I heard that word `sorry', gives me new wisdom. The fear of discovery for someone who has hidden the truth for decades cannot be qualified--I'd rather be shot at. By the end of the course I am strong enough to say that the paedophiles are never going to control me mentally, physically or spiritually. The truth is that I forgive myself and therefore I carry no shame or guilt. So I start working with Martin one-on-one. He offers to be my public speaking coach and we enter into a world of growing selfawareness. He graciously gives his time and the opportunity for me to work towards integration as an individual. We become strong friends. The trust he shows in me opens up another world for me to understand; not everybody has an agenda. I now have the courage to change the conditioning; and the conditioning for me is the DID system. We are not given anything we can't handle. This truth is following me now, as courage has been reborn. This acceptance spirals and escalates in me the need to purge. The importance and impact of this process could never be overstated. At five o'clock in the morning I enter the building where the peer support program is held, bent over from the cramps that plagued me throughout the night. I lay the cushions onto the floor and adopt 133
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM the foetal position. A bucket is placed near my head as the nausea I'm experiencing is longing to rise. Better out than in; at the completion of this thought my head is located in the bucket. The fluid being deposited is not the usual stuff from a body discharging unwanted matter; the bucket is filling up with bile. I assume its bile; black and thick liquid fills the bottom and inches up the sides. The process has no stop button, I heave and involuntarily arch my back as the bile projects into the bucket; tears of relief flow for the first time in decades. The head facilitator is another individual whose agenda is only love and kindness. She sits with me while I vomit up the filth, making room for a forgotten necessity--love for myself. I am not such a disgusting little grot: the perception I had of myself. I am enveloped by an amazing sensation, I know from this point I have something to give others. The angels of my past reintroduce themselves again. I must in some way relive and face the nightmare. I know what I have to do; I have to go back to the bricks and mortar. I have to return to the places where I was abused: mentally, physically and sexually. 134
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM BOAT SHED BIG TIM I arrive at the Bible College my family lived in for sometime during my childhood. The college was specifically designed to teach its students how to spread the word of God in third world countries. It is located on a salt water bay north of Sydney; the water lapping the oyster-encrusted rocks brings back a pleasant memory. I am grateful to have some images like these: I remember how I would fish out of this bay and run carefree along the gravel road to reach my favourite solitary spots. These thoughts bring me crashing back; the reality was that both good and evil existed in this place. But my goal now is to reach a more positive outcome. I need to acknowledge the places where the evil occurred, lurking behind closed doors. I desire liberation and I long to visit the places that hold the secrets of my survival. It is Sunday lunchtime. Extremely poignant, as in most Christian households the family would be sitting down for a roast lunch. The College held the same protocol, with a difference; all families would sit together in a large dining room. The size of the meal would be relatively large compared to the rationed size of meals throughout the week. Due to the size of the meal, a walk after lunch was a mandatory activity for college students and their families. Another shocking reality dawns on me: this was when my father took the opportunity to parade his children to those who were sick enough to procure his merchandise. I am sitting in the car looking at the building that once housed convention guests and campers. Two hundred campers in one hundred double bunk beds would be crammed into this large wooden structure. My presence outside its large double doors opens me to a forgotten memory. 136
There were two male college students who were always hanging around the kids and showing off. They would play games by tensing their stomach muscles and getting the kids to punch them. I avoided them; when I saw them playing this game I just wanted to kick them in the balls, repeatedly. I had the instinct to avoid them, however back then, I did not have the knowledge to understand why. These two men would give me death stares every now and then, especially when nobody could observe their actions. Four of the younger kids were upset, for some reason. I asked them what had happened. They told me that the two men I avoided had locked them into a storeroom and done sick and disgusting things to them. I was able to tell my Mum and the Old Man because it happened to someone else, but still they told me to stop lying. The other kids did the same and were also told to stop lying. The two boys and two girls who were attacked, all of them under the age of ten years, were looking up to me to relieve the pain and anguish. `What are we going to do?' one asked. `I know what we are going to do, if no one is going to believe us, then we are going to make this night a night they will never forget. We're going to trash the place!' The kids' spirits lifted. `Yeah, let's trash the place, let's trash the place!' they chanted. I looked at these kids and saw the wild excitement in their eyes as I mirrored their jubilation. I had a wrecking crew; I only had to point the way. Our anger had been built up by adults hurting us and others denying that our truth was real, and I quickly assessed what we could do some damage before we got busted. I came up with the idea of trashing the camp dormitory. The adults had spent hours making up beds for about two hundred visitors to the college, expected to arrive the next day. I found a way into the highly presentable dormitory and opened the door for the little ones to extract their revenge on the adults who had deaf ears to 137
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM their pleas for relief from abuse. I insisted that they just strip the beds and toss a few pillows around, and then we would get out before we got caught. `Go to it,' I said as they released their fury. They went berserk. They quickly ran from bed to bed in the large dormitory stripping each one with ease and flying the pillows into the air. What took five adults hours to accomplish was destroyed in a couple of minutes. The little ones were being too loud. I tried to hush them. Some of the older kids arrived to see the place in complete disarray. Again I tried to calm down the little ones who were now unstoppable. The assault on the place escalated. The kids found new strength in their determination to be destructive. The double bunk steel beds were being toppled after rocking for a period of time. The majority of the beds had slammed onto the ground, the noise drowned out by children being hysterical, dancing around the floating feathers falling to the ground. Within five minutes the place was trashed, rows of bunk beds were now entangled beyond recognition. What were once beds and bedding in well-disciplined rows was now tangled debris and utter chaos. Sure enough, the noise attracted attention. The older kids who had witnessed the majority of the destruction just stood inside the doorway shocked, with expressions of disbelief. College staff members were the next to arrive and the parents of the culprits followed. Then all hell broke loose. Dad gripped me by the armpit and my flesh pinched between his fingers. We led the procession to the bamboo patch. Select pieces of bamboo were chosen, and then we were marched home. The screams, as bamboo lengths were used as swishes against our bottoms, echoed through the buildings; the children's cries shrilled with the impact of bamboo hitting flesh. The cries in the night took hours to subside, however, eventually all children that had been flogged finally fell asleep. I leave the car and the large building and stride purposefully across the grounds towards a little wooden building, its primary 138
function was that of a boat shed. Anger wells inside me, I wish for some person to ask me why I am here. My response would be to dictate a story, to tell a tale, which would turn their stomach. No one inquires. I reach the boat-shed and release the anger so I am able to complete the main purpose for the visit--to heal myself. I remember that I would wait for hours in the boat shed after an attack, until the pain subsided enough to able to walk back home in a fashion that no one would notice that I had embarrassing injuries. As a child I was more worried about what I looked like to adults instead of worrying about what they were doing to me. I would cry until exhausted. With the assistance of the fumes from the paint and thinner cans, I would eventually pass out and would awake to believe that it wouldn't happen again. The sanctuary of the Boat-shed did give me some relief; I would look out over the bay and wish that I could find myself on the other side, and just the thought that I could possibly manifest that reality kept me strong. This safe zone was more than just somewhere to go. It also gave hope. I leave the boat-shed and move along the rocks on the shoreline. I arrive at a special rock, it sands alone in the shape of a chair. I squeeze into it and laugh. How things change; when I was a child I would always sit in this rock chair dwarfed. I would have to wait my turn when the other kids were using it; I always hid until it was free. I wonder if they were doing the same when I was in the chair. I know the rock chair, as the Judgment Throne. I would sit there and, as Judge and Jury, pass sentence on those who had violated me. The rock chair is another place where I was the winner. 139
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM CHURCH MEMBER'S HOUSE BIG TIM The drive south opens the memory banks to when I was five years old; the town ­situated on a river­ offered space to grow and play. My family home was two hundred metres back from the river, with bush and a grass bank dividing them. As we drive through the area I am not too surprised to see the two hundred metre gap now covered in houses, shops, cafйs and a restaurant. The family home is still there, although dwarfed by the size of the affluent residences that now occupy this ritzy end of town. My partner Brooke, who has come along to support me, parks the car as I look at my old family home for the first time in decades. I sidle over in the car seat to study the area that is obscured by houses, remembering how the ground meandered down to the river. `That's where I used to run to keep safe.' I share with Brooke. There is one more address that I want to see in this town. I feel confident about how I am going to deal with reliving the past, however I need to temper the experiences and only expose myself to as much as I can handle. To move forward I have to turn the negatives into a positive. The way I am choosing to do this is to not only return to the places the abuse happened but also visit the places I ran to as a kid to keep safe. We drive to the end of the road to the last house on the right I and remember an attack by a church member. The process requires me to expose myself to whatever sensations and memories surface. I am totally committed to staying in the moment and to not regress or switch. So far so good, I sit down on the path with my feet in the gutter at the front of the house. With my head down I remain in this position for about thirty minutes. Throughout this period my body shakes and sometimes shudders as I relive the memories and the emotions associated with the grief that I am now letting go. I apply a simple understanding 140
that Dr Jan shared with me. When I feel I am slipping away, I will look down at my hand and acknowledge that it's a big hand and it can only belong to a man, I am no longer a child. I've recalled the incident with the dog. That dog possibly saved James' life by sacrificing his own. That's freaky! If only those cops investigated further, we could've been given a different family. I wonder what has happened to those cops. Still sitting in the gutter, I stand, turn and look at the house. Symbolically I step out of the gutter and realise that the degrading experience has paled to an event that is now a memory, not a trauma. THE SHOP BIG TIM The building the shop was in still stands in Sydney, possibly the only city in Australia that still tolerates one hundred-year-old buildings. These buildings are a nostalgic image, however extremely impractical; most other cities have moved into the modern era and replaced relics such as these with more functional dwellings. Sydney is the only place where landlords can charge the highest rents in the country for hundred-year-old buildings with hundred-year-old problems. My family paid rent to live in this property over three decades ago. As a pungent smell enters my nostrils I am reminded of one of the hundred-year-old problems resurfacing: sewage. Before we left a bout of dysentery and hepatitis was the final diagnosis for some family members. Thirty years later the same unsanitary situation exists. I wonder how many other people suffered because the greedy landlords didn't update their buildings and amenities throughout the years. If I had a sledge hammer in my hands I would like to commence the job. I wonder why I feel such hatred towards this collection of bricks and mortar. 141
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM Breaking the trance that the memories of the building has put me into, I find myself sitting on the set of steps that leads to the side doorway. The graffiti on the opposite wall gives a true indication of how `tags' and spray painted artwork over the decades hasn't really changed much. `What am I meant to do here?' I ask myself. `Think about how you feel, express it.' I remember. I'm a trained SAS operator and I'm really starting to understand what being truly scared feels like. I am taken back to childhood memories, Memories I've managed to place a dark cloak over, so as to not interrupt my life. They surface at a rapid rate and fortunately the `I Feel' process allows me to feel the anger and hatred. Although emotionally draining, I am aware that this technique ultimately gives the participant relief as they suffer the fear, pain, hatred and degradation that the child within hasn't properly processed. My trust in the process eventually burns the negative emotions. The process ultimately reverses as I become drained emotionally. Placing myself back into these environments gives me the opportunity to nurture my inner child. I sit on the step and visualise my inner child standing in front of me. I reach out my arms and draw little Tim into my chest. A moment in time rectifies a lifetime of moments of neglect and rejection that the past holds. I promise the little bloke as I hold him that he will always be safe now and nobody can hurt him. I proclaim it to the building that has caused the memories to surface. I laugh quietly, a little embarrassed that I am talking to my inner child. A technique for identifying feelings 142
WARRUGA ST BIG TIM We pull up outside the first home I remember the Brant family living in the Blue Mountains. The park down the road is of most interest to me. I look at the house and then scan down to the entrance of the park. Standing on the road outside my old family home, I realise how short the distance is from the house to the park; it's about fifty metres. It has been over three decades since I have trodden that route which I thought was more like two hundred metres away. I keep looking from the house to the park wishing it to return to the way that my memory dictates. A green corrugated iron roof and a wide front balcony abuts the weatherboard house. The exterior has been neglected and the paint is peeling; the state of the house is close to how I remember it. To see this house sends shivers up my spine. I have returned to expose myself to specific memories, hoping they will assist me in accepting what went on. I have to find some way to move through the past and open a future that is going to be fruitful. I am unaware of where this process is going to take me but I am committed to give it every opportunity to work. The feeling I'm getting is that I'm quite scared of my father. He would often lock me away under the house to spend hours on the dirt embankment. The cupboard and possibly a pantry were other spots where he'd lock me up. I would be separated from family members for long periods especially James. My father abused me sexually, physically and emotionally. Most often the attacks could not be predicted or avoided. However, occasionally I could pre-empt an attack and would run down to the park; it was safe and no one looked for me there. I turn my back on the house and leave it behind forever. I search for a memory where, as a child, I might have made a similar decision of defiance; but none surfaces. 143
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM I walk towards the park and reach the entrance of the sanctuary I used to avoid my father. The archway that serves as the entrance was known to me as the gates of heaven. I knew if I got here I was safe for a while. The park is about thirty metres wide by eighty metres deep; it is well overgrown with trees and brush. A walking track slices through the middle. I move into the park swiftly as if the urgency will unravel the twisted secrets enabling me to move through the process more quickly. I stand under a sixty-foot tree that offers sanctuary. I contemplate the analogy of the tree, of letting go and growing. I honour the tree by acknowledging its strength and height, and I dedicate myself to achieving a relatively similar stature. As this awesome member of nature welcomes my energy and commitment, an awakening occurs. The lowest branches are now too high for a man to quickly scale. I wonder if this majestic tree was planted at the perfect time; thirty years ago her limbs were low enough for her to offer safe haven for a scared little boy. Some force was looking after me. I quickly move down the walking track, negotiating the bush as if I own the property. I stop in a spot that I recall was covered by brambles. Kneeling behind them, I could look up and down the track. There was also a spot off the track that I could slide down and be completely hidden--this was my favourite spot, I felt the safest here. Even as a child I had skills relevant to staying alive which my military life was yet to re-enforce. I intuitively knew where to be to see if anybody was approaching, and what escape routes I had available to me and I instinctively knew when to run. I would sit here and cry until exhausted and convince myself it wouldn't happen again. Revisiting this place gives me an understanding that I was meant to survive. `Maybe I was meant to survive so I would get this opportunity to come back and understand how much this safe place meant to me. 144
Or maybe I survived so I could tell others of my story which may in turn help them to heal,' I whisper to myself. I sit silently for a good while and allow the tears to trickle down my face. TOILET BLOCK BIG TIM I stand outside a nondescript toilet block twenty-five years after the torment and torture; twenty five years after the cruel and depraved grabbed us with their dirty hands, the stall doors swinging closed, trapping James and I for their pleasure. We were the meat in our father's sandwich. He would arrange for the paedophiles to be at these locations when we arrived, one of us would be sent in first whilst the other was held by the Old Man to ensure that he didn't lose half the money he'd arranged as payment. I tell myself I need to go through the 'I feel' process. I start to shake from the knees up. `How do I feel?' `I feel nauseated, I feel scared, I feel used, I feel angry, I feel expendable, I feel hurt, I feel lost, I feel vulnerable, I feel frightened.' `I'm seeing myself bent over the toilet bowl as the man is holding me down with one hand and is pulling my pants down with the other. The pain is indescribable; the stench of the toilet sickens me as much as the depraved act I am suffering.' `How do I feel about that?' `I feel hopeless; I feel like a piece of shit; I feel like someone's sex toy.' `How does that make me feel?' `That makes me feel angry, that makes me wonder why was I born in this family, that makes me feel that I should be able to find 145
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM something positive by now. `Should' is a shaming word. I survived; I survived... that's the only positive that I can take from revisiting this place. I survived, I survived.' My breathing returns back to normal from a hyperventilated state. My legs begin to stop shaking. I look at the toilet block and declare to the bricks and mortar, as if they are able to register, `I survived.' My breathing slows, my muscles relax and I feel warm. This is bizarre to me as I am in the open mountain air, the wind howling around me; the chill stings my skin, however I feel warm inside. The technique I used, like others I have been shown, has helped me get through this today. I have no idea how they function, I just know that they work. 146
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM SAMFORD BIG TIM Samford, Brisbane: the location of Dr Jan Ewing's, psychology practice. Nestled outside the rural township of Samford, the wooden cottage provides a haven for her clients. My relationship with Dr Jan has grown. I am in a place of no return. I wait for her to finish with the client that currently holds her undivided attention. Not usual for me, I pace her carpeted floor attempting to distract myself by absorbing the titles of the books on her bookshelf. The majority of the written material relates to wartime conflicts that Australian military personnel have been involved in. My apprehension with this particular visit revolves around pre-empting Dr Jan informing me that she would like to continue a therapy technique known as Eye Moment Desensitisation Response, EMDR. The technique of EMDR, in layman's terms, allows the subject to access and identify dormant memories of traumas suffered in the past, and allows them to be processed into memories without the overwhelming, debilitating emotions attached. This helps the participant find relief from the irrational responses that surface from various psychological triggers. A lot of progress has already been achieved with the treatment of PTSD related to my military service. However, the journey into suppressed memories is extremely frightening and emotionally and physically exhausting. The fear, the cold clammy skin, the nausea arising within, forewarns me that once again the suppressed, forgotten childhood issues that I have previously not ranked as having any importance are to be revisited. The journey back to the bricks and mortar that housed the nightmares I experienced is presented to Dr Jan in the form of a video. The viewing brings us closer as she sees that I am diligently applying myself to my recovery, and as much as she attempts to be the consummate professional, her emotions are noticeable. 148
The progress to date has opened my mind to accept that my continuity of memory is not similar to other peoples, as I have falsely convinced myself. I live with a reality that most rational people would never be able to conceive. As with most good therapists, Dr Jan more aware of what I need to go through to heal, and also of the denial I need to shed. The intense sessions, often terrifying, at times leave me numb--so much so that I can't recall all that transpires. Dr Jan knows more about me than I do; she realizes I'm awaiting EMDR and her reassuring look lightens the sensation that is squeezing my chest. Her expression shifts as she studies my face; she is determining which one/part of us is sitting before her. I am comfortable in her plush chair in the session room as she takes me into an EMDR trance. An infant voice within a grown man answers her. `Hi Dr Jan it's me.' `Little Tim, do you realise what we are going to do today?' `Yes, but I'm a bit scared.' `I'll be there with you. I'll keep you safe.' This is the first time in decades that little Tim has ventured from the psyche into the present. As Dr Jan guides him to memories, the relocation and sudden appearance back to his parent's bedroom overwhelms him, his senses indicate to him that this is the past, however somehow it is still the present. The initial smell of talcum powder is then overpowered by perfume, known as `White Linen'. This reminds him of nice mum when it was safe to approach her and be encompassed by her ever-present scent. The shuffling of his feet is the only sound in the room; the fibres from the carpet between his toes feel strange and new. His little hand rests on the end of the bed, which is chest high; it vibrates from movement in the bed. The movement belongs to two people, one being his mother the other a teenage child. He is shocked as he looks at the teenage child whose facial features alter from those of a boy to those of a girl. He realizes that he is looking at himself as a teenager, as Little Big Tim. He runs and 149
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM hides his face into the corner where the cupboard abuts the wall. As this event transpires, the trance is broken and I am suddenly bunched up into the corner of the session room armchair. I am shaking and my face muscles contort to exhibit terror. `I want you to wake up now,' Dr Jan requests. My mind has never been more `mush' and the unconnected information stirred by the EMDR session needs to be given the chance to be organised and arranged. I look deep into Dr Jan's eyes and without any reservation request to be admitted to the Psych ward until I can find some reality as to what has happened in my life. The Psych ward is the safest place to be because if the supreme fear engulfs me I become catatonic. PSYCH WARD BIG TIM I am admitted to the ward and processed. I reiterate to the nurse who is doing the interview what I have discovered about myself. She takes notes as I explain the pain. `As a child I suffered emotional, physical and sexual abuse for a period of at least ten years. The primary abuser was my father, who additionally farmed my brother and me out to other paedophiles for money. These rapes occurred within high society homes in Sydney in the form of satanic rituals. After the age of ten, the rapes were predominantly held at church members' houses, also the degrading experience of being prostituted inside public toilets.' I pause as I catch my breath; the truth of the words has lost its sting. I feel that the confusion of emotions needs an example to illustrate my true misery. `I remember lying in filth on the floor of one of these toilets and I started to believe this was the only existence I deserved. This belief 150
was reinforced by the greatest betrayal of all that I suffered; my mother also used me as a sex toy.' I study the nurse to see if there is a level of acceptance of my dysfunctional life story. She is rapidly taking notes when she raises her head and smiles a smile of all knowing. She is patient and allows no intrusion to the progress of my induction into the ward. Wisdom flickers from her eyes, it's an unmistakeable sign that all the information I have presented is believed. Her previous exposure to this subject has given her intelligence that these events did transpire. I assume from one look that this is why she chose to be a mental health worker, to help people deal with their damaged past; and I believe these are the majority of her charges. `You're very eloquent Tim, please continue.' `Anger inflamed my existence and behaviours. To manage the anger in my adult years, I abused myself with alcohol, drugs and other associated behaviours, all to numb-off any emotions. The suppression of emotions has been the key to my survival, but now I am ready to step out of denial and face the fears which are dominating my life. `Denial is inappropriate. My brother has lived with the memories for twenty years, which have led to numerous psych ward hospitalisations. Recently I opened my own Pandora's Box and have had four hospital admissions within a three-year period. Since I was referred to Dr Jan Ewing, my Clinical Psychologist, truly, for the first time, I have had reason to wake up without vowing `I wish I were dead! `Recently I was introduced to a technique known as Eye Movement Desensitisation Response (EMDR) technique. `I understand the technique allows the mind to release the dormant traumatic memories and lessens the fear to allow the patient to feel safe to release his or her pain. With me it's been highly successful as the memories lose their `fog' properties: the shadows became recognisable figures and the blurred images have new clarity. The suppressed becomes crystal clear.' 151
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM `That sounds like you have a good grasp on the treatment you are getting,' the attentive nurse adds. `I'm facing the fear. That's what I'm here for,' I explain. `Yes, and you have been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, Acute Delusional (Persecutory Type) Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (Complex), Disassociation Identity Disorder. Is that correct?' `Yes.' `Good, is there anything else you would like to tell me?' `To survive the ordeal I suffered, my response to the bizarre world I grew up in, was to create friends. Not the type that children confidently expose to their care-givers as imaginary friends, but in my case, I created complete personas to carry the functions of the body and the memories of the experiences that the mind and body endured. The trigger to create each persona was an emotion that finally became too overwhelming for me to absorb. I'm here to identify who they are now that it's safe for us to become one. Also, when Little Tim saw himself at different ages and as a girl, we decided that it was time to find some answers.' `You referred to yourself as we, Tim,' her wise eyes bore into mine. `Sometimes we do that. It makes us feel comfortable. `Ok Tim, I have finished the interview, now get some rest.' `Thank you nurse, but we are here to do work.' `Rest tonight Tim, I will see you in the morning.' The nurse closes her file, however not before we glimpsed her last note, it reads: `Patient refers to himself in multiples and when questioned doesn't retract or rectify' We know that referring to ourselves as `we' is unusual, strange or frightening to the majority of the population. We know we are not normal and we have functioned within the world in the past because we believed everybody had the same madness in his or her head and had the same reality as our reality. As the Oxford dictionary definition for normal is: `conforming to a standard, usual, regular, ordinary and sane'. We stripped the belief that we were sane, ordinary, regular and normal 152
and accepted that our realities are not similar to those of the general population. The disassociation was a pseudo-sanity which allowed me to survive the nightmare which was my childhood. The irony being, what others would call abnormal is the only process we have had to ensure that we don't become mentally dysfunctional. The solitary technique (disassociation) resolves around belief that I wasn't there and it didn't happen. At the time, I have no evidence of the missing event, or knowledge of the missing gaps in my life, only memories of others looking at me strangely and reacting cautiously around me. I can now admit to the dysfunctional and destructive periods that plagued and intruded my life. Until now I have managed to cover my mistakes, by not admitting to myself that they happened. The truth is: I am unaware of time and space when the dysfunction occurs, and to convince others to believe my unreal reality requires skill. Often I have to think on my feet and rapidly twist and turn the relative/normal reality. This process is acute and finely tuned. To reverse this behaviour I understand that I need to apply strategies and diligently observe people's reactions. If people are reacting to me adversely, I need to sit back and realise that a situation has occurred and that it is possible that the most appropriate persona is not present at the time. The pause creates time for a reassessment of the situation to be conducted, and for a rational response to be found. I have an intuitive understanding that the personas need to be named and, not only do they need to be named but also they need to know each other. The acceptance from the personas that an integrated self can be achieved presents a goal for all the personas to discover when and why they arrived. This is an enormous relief, for now there is an opportunity to really validate each of the personas. How does a child cope living in an environment gripped with fear, knowing that the parents he lives with are there to torment and torture him; abandoned by the other adults who live next door, down the road, at the church and at the school, who all know that 153
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM this goes on? These other adults, seeing my parents as an embarrassment, just forced them to leave town so they wouldn't be affected by their bizarre behaviour. The town folk had banished the madness again and again. Without conscious choice, I created my own survival system. Disassociative Identity Disorder (DID) had become my system of survival; that is how this child coped! Segregation is the old madness; now we need to break down the walls to plough through the pain, filth and scarring to eventually absorb the delusion and create the true reality. Integration becomes the new madness. I have an overload, too much information that I don't know what to do with. I don't know how to decipher it, I don't know what or who it is, and I don't know what or who it was or what time-line it was. I know the memories are there, but I am not completely able to grip a clear understanding. I need to attempt to name all the personas and build a time-line. I disobey the directive from the nurse. I start to write. PERSONAS BIG TIM Seventeen fragments/personas are revealed. Eventually, I become aware of each individual persona existing. Particular sensations and/or memories are only held by the persona that was in control of the mind and body at the time the event occurred. The first switch occurs during a satanic ritual at age five. The pain becomes too much for LITTLE TIM. PETE (The pain holder) surfaces and will do so consistently when pain is applied to the body. 154
Little Tim saw and felt what the men did to his bottom as bad. He couldn't and didn't want to be bad, so another persona was created. When I was bad as a child the persona known as, TROY (The BAD boy) suffered the consequences. He carried the anger related to the incident or situation when I was bad, which was determined by my parent's strict ideals of behaviour. SHANE (The shame holder) appeared when other adults labelled Little Tim as sick and bad because of his parent's behaviour in their community. He is ashamed of himself also. GARY (guilt holder) developed when the other personas were so overwhelmed that they couldn't stop the attacks coming from numerous angles due to disassociating. Gary carried the uncomfortable sensation of not stopping the attacks. His arrival occurred at around the age of ten years. LITTLE BIG TIM surfaced as the body grew into puberty and Little Tim went to remain in his sanctuary of many colours. The physical changes to the body reminded him of the bad men that had harmed him. He had not developed with the others and when he surfaced to see these changes he couldn't absorb the reality. At age thirteen, Mum started to use us as a surrogate husband. Recently divorced, Little Big Tim became her sex toy. A dilemma developed, mum's sexual activity was gentle and soft and prior to this I had suffered rough and violent homosexual acts. SEXY took the role of dealing with and appeasing mum's inappropriate sexual activity. Because this heterosexual relationship was new, to maintain the only understood experience of sex, being homosexual, I created a female energy or persona to alleviate the confusion she was known as Lusty. LUSTY was suffering a vicious flogging with a jug cord for a minor altercation when MARK (stops the marks) suddenly appeared and grabbed the jug cord in full swing to cease the attack on Lusty. After this, Lusty went dormant. 155
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM Escape from the family home came in the form of joining the Army. Suppression was survival. LITTLE BIG TIM joined the Army with MARK finishing the recruit course. ADDY (the addict): due to the religiously staunch ideals belted into me, consuming alcohol and drugs was not acceptable, so ADDY came to carry out those tasks. Mark didn't have the right stuff to join the Australian Special Air Service (SAS) so the SOLDIER was created. Soldier was quite successful; however at times, when the system failed, one of the others would arise at inappropriate times. KLUTZ was created to avoid embarrassment for the system and to take the blame for altercations that arose. SOLDIER functioned better believing that his career was productive and progressing without any repercussions. Within the civilian world the SOLDIER is completely inappropriate to civilian ideals and behaviours, so MANNY (the manic one) was created. To balance this event, DOPEY (the depressed one) was designed to allow rest. DIGBY: present only if life was running smoothly and emotions weren't needed to be activated. I have no memory of switches and could only explain this eventuality as having experienced blank spots or blackouts. WILLIAM (the writer) came into being and by writing we started the healing process by exposing the facts, as tainted and depraved as they were. BIG TIM is the one that desired integration and can now, when he is in control of the body, explain his absence and pass on the knowledge that it's safe to integrate. He can also express information transferred from the others. 156
FREEDOM BEGINS BIG TIM I walk out of the hospital accepting each persona's beginning, their reason for being and their purpose: seventeen different personas and each of them created out of necessity. When an emotional overload occurred a persona took charge to prevent the whole system being overwhelmed. And when a new situation arose a new persona was created. The majority of the personas revolve around emotions and sexuality. It is extremely difficult to acknowledge that a female persona by the name of Lusty exists. The lack of belief in her validity stagnated my recovery process, as the majority of personas deny her existence. The writing starts to flow freely as the years are documented and each persona offers their knowledge as to why and how they existed. Lusty's truth could no longer be denied; I finally owned the words I had written over and over again, then crumbled and discarded at my feet. I had kept discarding them grasping the umbilical cord that fed my heterosexuality, frightened that to accept Lusty would rob me of my natural desires. Lusty's story describes how she pleasured Mum because Sexy didn't understand the process of oral sex and would become confused as these inappropriate flashes of time interconnected with other times of being with men. Sexy had to step aside so a female could save the system from imploding. Every time Lusty wrote, her truth never changed, and the writing that flowed was finally believed. When it was accepted we had sat and cried within our allocated room, grateful that we had been hesitant to walk the halls of the hospital in case of spreading our sickness to those already sick. I proudly carry hundreds of foolscap pages of knowledge: pages of lost knowledge, knowledge I can accept, knowledge that is real to me, and knowledge that my truth is connecting up. I know the personas, when the personas have been involved and in which situations and incidents. In my bag are two other manuscripts: `Switch me off', 157
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM the necessary purge to identify events and incidents during my military career and `Switch', the fact/fiction book written to organise the chaos in my mind that was my childhood and the therapy surrounding my desired recovery. The pages under my arm are a monumental start to an autobiography of the recovery journey that I am now excited to share with others. I also hope that others who have suffered like me can find some identification and solace, especially males. I will call this exposй of my journey `Little Tim, Big Tim'. A smile crosses my lips as I sit in the outside garden area waiting for my ride, impatient to have the opportunity to assure and confirm with my mental health professionals that I'm starting to understand that the Personas are there. They exist, and I understand their placement in my mind as follows: Little Tim immerses himself in the place of many colours, where the Angels can comfort him. Peter sits in a corner of my mind, always crossed legged on his bottom, better to sit on the blood than to have it run down his leg. He is afraid that some adult might inquire and be repulsed by the answer. Troy hides in his cupboard; a dark but safe space. He has pots and saucepans at his feet, something to bang and clang when angry. Shane sits at the big table with his head resting on the flat surface. His arms are folded. Shane's face is never seen. The perpetual bright stain of shame and embarrassment never fades. Gary lives sitting on a dam edge. The location of his first introduction to the madness is the only place of solace for him. He waits to warn the other children in the hope of alleviating the burden he is destined to carry. Little Big Tim sits in a corner and rocks. The rocking is a soothing comfort. The rapid growth and regression has exhausted him. He just moves through space with no true purpose. Sexy is very strong and sits by the window between reality and the safe zone. He is the first to jump the void to impress you if you're female and intimidate you if you're male. He knows that he 158
has a strong body, however he's also aware that he can control with charm. Lusty stands in the shower and looks at her body wishing for her breasts to grow. Alternatively, she scrubs her skin raw; her sentence of confused duality is the only reality she experiences. Mark, created for the purpose of stopping the marks (the attacks), lives in the safe zone doing the opposite--making marks. He has a knife in his hand. He craves for the new strategies, the new techniques, and the new lessons we need to apply to function in the world with a sense of gravity. When these new understandings come, he carves them in the table so they are always accessible. Now the information is not lost between the links of the selves. Everyone can now access the knowledge needed to get better. Addy is lost; he lives in the memories of all the couches he sat on getting stoned. Soldier alternates; he believes in prior planning and that preparation prevents a piss poor performance. He can be doing push ups in the corner with full kit on and wearing camouflage cream; the next moment he can be back at the unit (Army) at the memorial rock showing reverence to his mates that died, also wondering if he wasted his life. Klutz is always on the soldier's shoulder although Soldier is still unaware of him. Klutz just is. Manny paces the room like a tiger and only surfaces when other manic people are around so he doesn't sense that he is weird. He looks forward to psych ward visits. Dopey sleeps, he waits for the others to experience burnout. Digby today is completely integrated with Tim. There are no memories left of Digby's. Digby memories are now Tim's. Writer sits with his a pen on paper, observing. Big Tim utilises the pathways that have been created. He encourages integration; he sees this as safe and secure process. He can decipher trauma and memories and respond to and recognise the difference between them. 159
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM The huge steel structure painted grey, criss-crosses the view of the Sydney Harbour. I playfully punch my four-year-old brother James excitedly as I strain to see the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. What a view! The smile on my face is just as big. Dad hasn't said much about where we are going; just that we're to visit some of his friends! As I begin my autobiography, I shiver with goose bumps, but the memory holds no fear or pain, I am free. 160
EPILOGUE THE BEGINNING Thank you for sharing the experience of my Recovery Journey. Unfortunately, I didn't get to document some personas in more detail. To be honest, some personas have not exposed all of the functions and activities that they were involved in. Some personas became fragments and some just held a minor role to assist me in a major crisis in my life. I thank The Higher Power, stronger than I am, that gave a child the resources needed to survive. In the past I would have switches where I didn't know where I was or what I was. This knowledge confirms for me that the integration process is a positive step and means that I can get back to being able to function in the real world. I will always honour the fact that the abuse did happen. I will always honour the fact that I will need skills and strategies to get through life, however, by accepting that, it does not debilitate me and it does not force me to be `less than.' So, while I've both enjoyed and suffered writing this recovery autobiography of my journey, I hope it helps someone else out there. This is really its' divine purpose--to assist others to heal in conjunction with the help of mental health professionals. I would never deny the help of professionals, I would never deny the help of twelve-step meetings and I will never deny the help of peer support groups. Also I believe that those who need help must get as much as they can from the appropriate institutions. But if something is still lacking in the wisdom they seek, I would encourage them to keep moving forward in pursuit of the answers they need. The answer I needed was that I had to forgive myself. I find the concept of forgiving others irrelevant, considering that most of these people who abuse children--paedophiles as such, are abusing not only 161
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM one child but many. In my opinion, the only way forgiveness can work for one individual abuser is by all victims who have suffered at their hands to forgive collectively, otherwise it's really irrelevant to forgive. Strange as it may sound, I truly believe that if you can forgive yourself, forgive yourself for the pain you put yourself through, forgive yourself for the lifestyle you've lived, forgive yourself for your drug and alcohol addiction, forgive yourself for the guilt you carry, forgive yourself for the shame you carry, forgive yourself for all the ills and woes that you decided to place upon yourself, and forgive others around you for not listening to what went on around them; if you are willing to come to that stage and are able to forgive all of that, then you can obtain your freedom. You become a complete person. For me this is where integration becomes a reality. This means I can forgive myself. I forgive myself and I'm free. THE END 162
Transcripts: 1. Tim interviews Dr Jan Ewing 2. Dr Jan speaks with Little Tim 3. Dr Jan speaks with Troy 163
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM 1. Tim interviews Dr Jan Ewing: (verbatim) Tim: I want to interview you about the last three years. Dr Jan: Ok Tim: Okay I'm aware that with DID and leaving here at times I would have no memory of what was said between us or what work was given. However when I did leave here there was always something that sort of triggered within me which was a good trigger for me to work on what was appropriate. I suppose the best way to do this for the benefit of the recovery autobiography is we met three years ago, what did you think when we started. Dr Jan: You are going to test my memory now. Tim: That he's a mess Dr Jan: You had childhood issues that you wanted to focus on. They (PTSD Course) were sending you to me. That was something that you identified as something you wanted to work on. Tim: So I actually spoke to someone about that because I have no memory of that. I only believed that I was coming here for the understanding of the combat PTSD in reference to the death of the lads and not really being able to resolve or understand how to grieve that process. Dr Jan: In the group program they commented that you had difficulty (in the individual sessions within the group program) 164
that you had difficulty focusing on any one issue for too long, that you believed that many of the current problems were linked to your childhood background. And you had to revisit that to deal with that. They thought that was an issue- that until you had resolved that you couldn't really focus on any of the other PTSD stuff and I said that was fine. I would be happy to explore that with you. Tim: And I thought I was a good student. Dr Jan: Oh well (Tim and Dr Jan laugh) It doesn't mean you weren't a good student. It means that actually you were a good student and that you identified what was the next thing that you had to do. You knew what was going on for you. Tim: I have no memory of asking for help regarding the childhood stuff. Dr Jan: This report is interesting from the PTSD course; you had reported history of severe childhood sexual and emotional abuse instigated by both parents. In order to cope with this situation Tim described himself as acting like a chameleon, so that he could remain in the background without being noticed. And you described being isolated with limited communication between your siblings. So you identified that. I think the use of chameleon is very interesting. Chameleons change in order to blend in with their environment. It's an interesting description to be a chameleon isn't it? That with each situation with its different stress levels; you could turn into a chameleon; that you could actually be a different person in each situation which would enhance your safety. So even back then you were using a description that sits very nicely with what was going on. Tim: Okay, in hindsight you and I have worked from a level where we understand that the DID system was extremely functional in getting me to levels like employment with the 165
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM SAS. The fact that it actually probably imploded at the end of my time there and the reason I conducted the safety breaches within training. Did you feel that we worked on that specific area to get to the point where we are now or did we find that specific area of the trauma within me, for example, the felt sensation of abandonment on the beach? Dr Jan: I think we got to that point pretty early. We started working on that stuff for the reasons you were talking about. I actually always thought they were more of a door into where we really needed to go. But we needed to work on those to get some sort of an understanding because you always ended up coming back to the childhood issues that were being triggered by the adult PTSD things. Within our sessions, you would end up back in the Blue Mountains and back in that whole sort of police raid and all that sort of stuff and that took you back to those original traumas. I mean that was almost like creating a re-enactment of the whole violation and unjust invasion of boundaries in an adult sense. It was almost like going back there, life's experiences offered a reason to recognise that you where treated unjustly. I always felt that we had to explore more. I actually thought that with the events like being left on the beach, there had to be some validation on my part; that you needed me to know that that had happened, that it was real and that I was going to be on board with that that, of course, that would traumatise you but I'd never was all that fussed about it. Because I really felt that those events, I have no idea what happened in those events and I only take your story for it, as I guess with everything. I always did have some sense that these were surface manifestations of something else that was going on for you, that what was happening for you at that point was just coloured. 166
So, than we would never have a clear understanding of what that was, until we went back to the childhood stuff. So we dealt with it fairly quickly in terms of validation and giving some understanding about what that would do to somebody having that experience. But then we needed to go very quickly to why you think that experience affected you the way it affected you, in particular at that point. Then we started to move-into childhood experiences. Tim: And when you say then we started to move into- was there a period of time of between you and I, I mean was there times and were there places and events that you know that you have a memory of that I don't have a memory of? Dr Jan: Well it's hard for me to know what you've got a memory of. I was never surprised when you would come back in sessions and say that you did not remember much of the last session and I accept that that may well have been the fact. Particularly if I had been interacting with another alter( persona) during the session, during the next session, you, the host Tim, would come out and would say that you don't remember much of what went on or only have a very short vague memory of what went on. Then I would often tell you; sometimes I would only give you a general idea if I thought that was what you needed to know. So I'm sure that there were sessions that I was having with you where the host Tim would only have a very vague memory of having been here and that was about all. One of the signs of integration has been that you experience that less and less and you have experienced that outcome on fewer occasions. Tim: Yeah well is it a complex situation; is it the fact that there is a duality there in the majority of cases? Dr Jan: In the majority of cases that I see I would say that it's complex, but it's very common also that there have been 167
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM difficult childhoods unresolved childhood issues which were resolved just by going tough. That toughness reached its limit and then there was a breakdown of not only what was going on, but also of all that went before. Then having to go back to all of the earlier stuff and yes that duality is not uncommon. The best soldiers, once that real toughness has reached its limit, have got a lot of unresolved issues from childhood, which is what made them a good soldier in the first place. They learnt to dissociate early, they learnt to be tough, they learnt not to feel things and they learned to just push through, very early. I encounter large numbers of veterans with PTSD who have you know clearly got huge amounts of character and strength, but have got histories of childhood abuse of one sort or another and that has made that system, which is fragile within in them, to reach it's limit. And so recovery is more complicated. Those that don't, those that just have had a pretty well adjusted background, have had one or two overwhelming situations that have created PTSD and their only trauma have been adult age trauma, recovery is a fairly straight forward treatment process. You deal with the trauma, they recover and see you later, and six months down the track we're done. The others I have seen for longer inevitably have got childhood issues. Tim: Okay prior to meeting you and as I met Larry and worked out that I needed to get help, you know the biggest numb off component in my life was drugs and alcohol. Do you think I could of achieved the level of recovery we've achieved today using drugs and alcohol? Dr Jan: Absolutely not. I think that if you had continued to use drugs and alcohol you might not even be alive today. And I certainly don't think, I think drugs and alcohol can keep you away from psychological pain. They can't in any way allow 168
you to process and do the recovery work that you need to do. I think that drugs and alcohol are self-medication to try to dull pain, but they don't do healing. Tim: So talking of healing, when do you think we really started to escalate in our understanding that we were going to be able to work together and heal with each other? Is there a moment in time? Dr Jan: Well to begin with, I remember feeling we needed that before we were going to do the work we were going to do. We really needed to build a strong therapeutic alignment. I was going to give you plenty of time to do that and I have been sure to be very open with you and to make sure that you knew that you could trust me. If you asked me a question I would answer it. But I think the most pivotal session was one of those early sessions, one of the EMDR sessions. I can't remember if it was the first time, but it was one of the early times when we did the EMDR session. You were having a memory of when you were about nine and then we went back to some earlier memories, but we did some work which was to show you that they were memories. I was suggesting to you as you were starting to re-experience them that you could prove to yourself that these were memories by changing something and you were able to do that. You were able to take a baseball bat to one of them (paedophiles) and change the perceived reality and that, I think, was a watershed session for both of us. It was the session where you got relief; you were resigned to the fact that this was a memory. But not only that they were memories, but if they came up, you had some sort of strategy that you could use to show yourself, again, that it was a memory. You could actually use that tool to give yourself some psychological distance from them again, so that you wouldn't 169
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM just get thrown into them. You know, if you got triggered somewhere you wouldn't just be frozen and be re-experiencing all of the fear as if it was about to happen again, you could actually use that tool. And you started using. Whenever you found something, you've always grabbed hold of it and gone out and used it- to your great credit. And you started using that very quickly after that and instead of having to come back in and do more work on memories, you actually just went away and started doing that on your own. Brought all the memories up and started changing them and doing the work It's always surprised me that we've often only had to do one or two sessions on something that I expect to do fifteen sessions on. But you get the tool and you go away and by the time you've come back in, all the things I think we're going to do next, you've actually been doing in between sessions. So that, I think, was the first time that you got a real sense that I was going to be able to give you something, a good change and a sense that you could actually do the change yourself out there and get some real insight. And it also taught me that this was going to be the process. I think I've always followed along behind (laughing) you know, you'll come back in and tell me where you are up to now. Because you're going to go away always have done the amount of work I had just given you. I would say here's a tool and off you go and start using it. So I have to then be prepared for where you are going to be when you come back in again, because what you do in between sessions is going to be a whole lot of work that might normally only happen in here. Other people maybe too anxious to do and would only do it in here. So I decided to follow your lead because when you come back in I have to discover where we 170
are, from the work you've done in between. And then you usually tell me where we need to go next and we go to the next one, so it's been very much lead from behind. Tim: So when we walk in here and we go very confidently looking you in the eye and say that we don't have DID where do you go from there? Dr Jan: (big laugh) Aahh, when you very confidently tell me that you don't have DID we'll talk about what that means to you and... Tim: So we already do that. Dr Jan: That's right and we always talk about it and we always come to an understanding that we both agree. Tim: Well one of us agreed anyway. Dr Jan: Well yes we come to some understanding about what does that mean. What does it mean not to have DID Tim: Well DID to me means that the escalation of productive therapy leads to DDNOS (Dissociative Disorder Non Otherwise Specified) escalating to another level which is known as something else. DID is a part of a process that is only part of my recovery journey. The pivotal moment for me was hearing the soft young voice of Little Tim, accepting that a persona age five existed within me. And feeling you're working very hard to remain in your professional role and resisting from comforting the frightened persona that owns the five year old voice. That was a revealing moment and at that point I walked out of therapy believing that there was a possibility, a big chance that I have suffered with DID since I was a child. There was a BIG Tim and now a Little Tim. Then for me to find the courage to do the journey down south to revisit the places and houses where the abuse took place. It was the memories of what transpired within and around the 171
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM bricks and mortars. For all that lost time and space to now be allowed to have some context. Dr Jan: Huge courage. Tim: I think taking an understanding that where we are in relationship to the therapy and its direction. It's the next step, and if there is another diagnosis that is lesser than or minimises DDNOS, I feel that is where I am at. See, when you said I would need five years of therapy, making me aware that this problem of mine would not dissolve over night, I argued and said `Nah.' Dr Jan: (Laughs) I remember you saying you saying `Nah,' like we had to find some way to do it faster. Tim: I had no idea of how we were going to find a way to do it faster, for I had never been exposed to psycho-therapy as intensely that I was about to experience with you. Dr Jan: I have to say that you have probably worked harder than any other client I have worked with, which is why it is faster than five years. If we found one way that worked for you, I was always thinking maybe we should've done more of that, we have just done something and I had the feeling that we might possibly have to do ten more of those relevant sessions. However by the time you come back to the next session you don't need to do anymore of those. I'm often left with an thought am I doing you a disservice by not offering those ten sessions, or should I just go with you and acknowledge `ok, lets go to the next step.' Generally I have just gone with you, tentatively aware that if we need to travel the ground again, we will. Tim: Yeah, and I have done my recovery twenty-four, seven and I'm getting comfortable, with the writing, releasing the anger I carried against the military, for other people to see, the recovery autobiography and finishing that. You have got no 172
idea, correction; everybody else has got no idea it doesn't have to be published. Its just part of my recovery journey. I would like to see it published if my story of recovery assists others in their chosen path back to normality, but it doesn't matter, the work has been done. If it leads to individuals saying to themselves I don't have to be dictated to, for example the ten sessions not being a necessity. Dr Jan: Sure, not following recipes. Tim: If that closes doors and slams shut the lids of Pandora's boxes. Then that's why my story may be published, Dr Jan: We have always had that understanding- that I wasn't going to impose a textbook on you. There was some anxiety earlier that maybe if you didn't do it the textbook way, I wouldn't believe you. That this may not be the way that DID was suppose to be, that maybe the textbook wouldn't mirror your behaviour. So from very early we got it clear that there is no textbook that this is the TIM ROY'S story. Whatever it is for you, that's the way it is for you. I'm not going to impose a belief onto you that it's not supposed to happen like that. Also, I decided to not tell you to complete particular sessions when they weren't relevant to the levels that you where achieving yourself. We have always had a very individualised approach, which is the method I use with all my therapy sessions. I get quite cross with recipe therapy, all clients are unique. Tim: Another thing that has been of assistance was being able to return to the next session and listen to what you said and try to find a way to apply the knowledge within my recovery. I listen to my mental health professionals. I could've have read. Dr Jan: Mmm yes 173
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM Tim: I could've read, I decide not to pick up, one self-help book/books. I know a lot of people mighten agree with that strategy. Dr Jan: Yes you decided not to be influenced. There is a lot of confusion within DID, because all the memory is vague and there are so many gaps. I think every DID patient questions if it's real, I don't think there is any DID patient that doesn't. Tim: Once a week. Dr Jan: Exactly, and then there this concern that if you do read something relevant to the subject, how were you going to manage to not entangle someone else's story with your own truth. I believe that approach was quite wise for you, even though at times it's quite helpful/useful to read others' stories to be able to identify and relate. Tim: It's the healing process I have chosen to write, to have read others' work I could be accused of plagiarism, I am safe from that accusation. Dr Jan: That assisted us to know whatever happen, happened, and that you were not influenced by the stories of others. Then whatever happens happened and that allowed us to just explore and what is, is, and we will work it out together. For quite a long time, there was a lot of trying to map what the system was. You came up with one watershed session: the triangular system. Tim: That was clever, that was only thirteen though. But I knew there was more. Dr Jan: Yes, I never thought any number was something I should hang onto, because you never know. Before that you where very confused and you drew me a lovely diagram at the time trying to explain to me how you felt. The diagram depicted all these circles with eyes, the eyes of the circles where looking in at Little Tim as you identified that persona at 174
the time. What became confusing for you was that with the work (therapy) we were doing some of the circles now where looking out, this was strange and new. Now they where looking out through their own eyes for the first time seeing what's going on rather than being directed. Sometimes a picture tells a thousand words. Quite often, pictures in therapy have some visual image, some analogy, or metaphor, which is often the way the unconscious speaks, in metaphors. This has been utilised because it has been too difficult to explain in words. Then you progressed to show/draw the triangulation diagram, and this was a way of conceptualising what you where experiencing. Because it wasn't individuals, it was all these connections with different strengths. Tim: Yeah, firstly I worked on a square, with two diagonal lines intersecting in the centre, with a circle drawn over the intersection, the circle, as I understood it represented Little Tim. The outside lines of the square and the inside lines that crossed represented a persona that wasn't connected up and only understood their own existence. With the advancement of the triangular understanding, I now experienced three personas that had their own identity were now connected and their experiences and memories could now be shared within their nominated triangular structure. As one triangle gave identity to three personas, due to the symmetric properties of a square dissecting in the middle, there were now four triangles that held three personas each. The centre still circled and represented Little Tim. Now I could identify twelve personas and Little Tim. However the triangle that held its own three personas could not access the others' world. The frustration lay with not being able to access the others, as we became increasing aware that 175
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM the system wanted to integrate. Slowly we understood that we could access the identities in their entirety, the Seventeen, as the next diagram I drew was the wheel and the spokes became the personas meeting in the middle which was known as Big Tim. We are clever. Dr Jan: Yes. We are clever. I think what's clever is the unconscious mind, in solving dilemmas. That is what your unconscious mind has had to do your whole life, find ways to deal with this, that's its going to work, keep you safe and keep you functioning. I never cease to be amazed at how clever the unconscious is. We think in these logical minds, and it comes up with something completely laterally. Tim: So the progression of the diagram's complexity and the understanding that I know had led to the hospitalisation and that I eventually let go of the belief that Little Tim controlled the system; Little Tim just remained Little Tim. We were in a safe place and we were ready to accept the truth whatever that was. Change our core beliefs. The first example was that we could not integrate with the flood method; we had to absorb the truth within a trickle method. Our DID system was created because we got overwhelmed, so we can't be flooded in therapy/recovery because that doesn't work. We had to accept that opposites work. Opposite behaviours, beliefs and actions have led to the understanding that Little Tim was not in control it was just what my mind understood to be able to explain to somebody else that was what was going on. Dr Jan: I think back and all along it didn't seem to make a lot of sense that Little Tim was in control. It's inappropriate to tell you you're wrong, you're never wrong; I can't ever tell you you're wrong. I can try and explore what you are telling me so 176
I can make some sense of it, its never wrong; it always has got some reason for why it's being expressed. So I listen and say to myself well that's interesting, that's curious and let's just explore that further. I know this, that whatever is there for a reason and the reason is always protective, including something's that looks self destructive, self sabotaging. Then there are times where you can't see the protective reason. My understanding of DID, is that whatever is created at the time that it was created, was functional and the function was always protection and survival. I always say to myself if I don't understand something, wait for it to be revealed to me, rather than say it's wrong, it's never wrong. The awareness I have now is the unconscious presented that understanding to ensure that the pace of integration happened at the pace that was required to keep you safe and protected. Tim: So as my journey continued I got intrigued and fascinated by the possibility of a collective reality, although the fear was still there initially, that I'm a freak. Dr Jan: That word I have difficulty hearing you use to describe yourself. Tim: I love that word; I'm a fascinating freak. Fascinating funny freak. Dr Jan: I would rather hear unique than freak. Tim: Well I have forgiven myself for feeling any shame that revolved around feeling different. Dr Jan: Exactly, It's a word that has your own meaning to it. Tim: Exactly, if society wants to run around the school ground labelling/calling me a freak. Well I rather be that kid that can accept it and say yeah, I can deal with that. Take all the venom and fun away from the uneducated. Dr Jan: Yeah that makes sense. 177
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM Tim: What I would like to do with Public Speaking, the `education of does it really matter.' How much precedence we place on the importance of things we can't change. The relative point I used, was how hard it was initially just to stay in the moment. Techniques of the flicking an elastic band on my wrist just to stay in this reality, to the other technique taught, LOOK, HEAR and FEEL. What do I see, what do I hear, what do I feel on my body to not totally disassociate. People become quickly aware that the uncontrolled parts of their lives don't matter; it's what they can do about/for themselves that really matters. Dr Jan: It interesting that some people might look at those skills/techniques as a simple little thing. But it's interesting how powerful giving someone simple little tools allows the more complicated process to look after itself. You have got to have a way to know that `if this happens I have got some way to get back,' which empowers you enough to have the courage to do the work. The mind wants to heal, however it has to have a safe way to accomplish it, the simple techniques give the system an escape route. Tim: That's right because we know that if we get overwhelmed, we are doing the opposite to what we need to do to heal. We need that escape route to pause and regain control of the pace we are working at. Dr Jan: The therapeutic process has to be based on trust. This is an ongoing process, understanding and trust and then introduces some of those tools to you fairly quickly. So you can assess that this going to be safe. Tim: In the early days I have a vague memory of not feeling safe at the movies. Dr Jan: That was the first time you froze. You shut down; there was some altercation with someone at the ticket counter. 178
Tim: No I didn't want to move and when I did some big bloke called me a Wanker and the soldier wanted to teach him a lesson. We just wanted him to swing. Dr Jan: Ok, when I was called you were frozen, and could hardly talk. We used Look Hear Feel and eventually after some time we got you back so you could go home. Tim: All the Soldier wanted was for this bloke, who is so brave, to gob off but when he realised that I was standing behind him, didn't want to take a swing. What happened next was overwhelming confusion. Dr Jan: Of course, as it turned out; another event that moved your healing rapidly. Prior to this you, would have compartmentalised the threat/situation and only one persona would've interacted. This time, due to the progress you had made, the system argued back and forth until the only solution left was to shut down. This was a signal that integration was going to happen, we had evidence that the parts where starting work towards integration. Now we needed to adapt and emplace techniques that we discussed that can be used in crisis situations as the theatre and you would go and practice those and return and report which ones worked for you and which didn't. Tim: To be honest, I didn't know what I was doing. I just let life present situations either consciously, subconsciously or unconsciously, the opportunities arose. The other levels you refer to propelled me out of my created reality into a world of the soap opera. I could see your world; I could hear it, however perception was that I was not part of your world, just observing. I watched the scene being acted in front and behind the cameras, I soaked all of this reality, I now was ready to immerse myself in your world. By learning acting skills I now 179
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM could step stealthily into your world being safe, in the zone of real and pretend, that the institution of acting offers. Martin Challis offered his time and skill and then the confusion started to lift as clarity grasped it logical place. Someone else worked with the selves to assist me to be myself. Dr Jan: At that time, it was amazing, really the timing of that was exactly right, even though I have not meet Martin and we haven't spoken a word to each other, we were working towards a common goal, in liaison, it was working very well. But I think in many ways that's because you take what you need from us, rather than us say here's what you need, you find the people and you take what you need from us. I believe you coordinated us rather than we coordinate your therapy, you coordinated your resources. Tim: That's what the segregated self did. The integrated self is becoming aware of subconscious and conscious state that you are referring to. You giving me an understanding to the different roles that people utilise throughout their lives. As for women their roles are mother-wife-daughteremployer/employee-friend and also for men father-husbandson-employer/employee-friend, each role is different to the other. Martin teaching me about the vulnerable self, the internal self, the child like self, and all those awareness's that offered me an understanding that I'm not that different. Just to date I lose time and memory where when the masses change roles they do it without loss of continuity. So time and space is different for me, and your understanding of a linear world is different to mine, that doesn't rule an understanding that I can't function in your world. Dr Jan: That's right, getting an understanding that your world, because it has been very split, our worlds are not so different 180
for we all have our inner child. We do have different modes of operating, we don't have amnesic barriers between those modes, but we definitely have different sensations within those modes. I can remember only yesterday feeling about sixteen, because of a situation I found myself in. My behaviour and even my voice would have had a sixteen-ish inflection to it, but I remember it now, and I remember it `as if' I was sixteen. Now if something happened and I saw a client I could have very quickly slipped back into my professional role. However whilst I'm in my sixteen mode, I can access more memories of what it was like and what I did at that age. Once again the major difference is that I don't have amnesic barriers, because there is no danger for me to deal with, as there was for you. Tim: So today I emplace a strategy that recognises that an amnestic barrier is likely unless I take time to allow a process of I was that role, now I'm this role. The speed of this act to fruition is increasing and because I honour that this time is necessary, I function more productively. My process is not automatic, and that's not a liability. Dr Jan: That's exactly right! Tim: See you play those processes automatically; I would only be foolish to think that I can do the same. Dr Jan: That's very wise! Of course you are going to have other mechanisms in place to ensure you're safe, I don't have to have. That's a positive thing that you understand that, and you accept that, that's what recovery is all about, is learning how to do that. Tim: What I understand of DID and try and summarise it into a couple of sentences of clarity. When overwhelmed we created different personas. We came to you and asked how do 181
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM we kill them off. You quickly got us to understand that we needed to identify and honour their existence, so, as they can feel safe to be able to integrate. The stage I'm at now, I call it the higher level of understanding. Everything we did to survive we can still utilise out here. Dr Jan: Absolutely Tim: We/I will still be different to the masses and still have the same functions just in different ways of manifestation. That's really relieving. Dr Jan: Now that's what I've been trying to communicate all along. I think you have got it. That concept had to be tested, it had to be understood, and it had to have the limits of it tested. We decided together very early that there is no rule of how to integrate; whatever worked for you, worked for you. There is no recipe. Tim: That gives me great comfort, for the level and speed of growth is only maintained by desire to be healthy, and that's my responsibility. Dr Jan: Absolutely, you have always shown that desire. . 182
2. Dr Jan speaks with Little Tim: (verbatim) Dr Jan Ewing frequently gave individual personas the opportunity to converse, after the successful application of Eye Movement Desensitisation Response technique EMDR and/or hypnosis. Under hypnosis Dr Jan creates an image of a conference table within Tim's mind, which allows all personas the freedom to converse. The persona known as Little Tim speaks with Dr Jan Ewing when he feels safe to do so. Little Tim aged five years, has advanced to nine years old, but now has regressed to five years old again. He is frail framed and pale, very timid. Dialogue will appear infantile during conversation. Tim: I'm quite comfortable saying that paedophilia does revolve around evil forces and the darker side of life. I could never really tangibly explain, but I believe that people who do paedophilia have some influence that distorts, such as possession. I really can't live with the fact that they're normal people and they just do it, because they like to do it. Dr Jan: Mmm Tim: I need to think that there is something that overtakes them and controls them into this sort of evil side of them. Dr Jan: MmhhMmm 183
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM Tim: I mean when I saw my father do his switches I mean the evil that was there just reeked out of him Dr Jan: MmhhMmm Tim: Yeah ok, as a child that is probably what I needed to do I did demonised it. Dr Jan: Mmm Tim: And so and I got William to write about it and he wrote about the fact that this huge dark shadow. Dr Jan: Yes Tim: I really feel that this was more of a representation that's now gone. It's not involved in my world anymore it doesn't have control over me. The dark shadow the reality that gave its existence, was fear based. It didn't have to be the Old Man walking in; it could have been any man. Dr Jan: Yes Tim: The memory could still give a personification of Dark evil. Now it surfaced again. The process requires Little Tim to actually sit in the room and to explain to us what he saw within the memory. The degrading situation of when the Old Man walks in on us in his bed with Mum. SWITCH Little Tim: What's going on and why am I here? I don't belong here. I don't come here; this is not my job. I live in the colours; it's like I don't come to this black and white world. Does everyone see everything in black and white? Dr Jan: Not everybody. Little Big Tim: There's no colour in memory, it was like so yeah I mean I can even picture that scene now Long pause. Dr Jan: You okay? 184
Little Tim: (hesitantly soft) yeah I'm okay. (A breath and whispering) I'm okay. (Loud voice) I don't, I don't like being here with you guys it's, it's like it's really, why is it always scary in this place? Why is everyone hurting each other, why don't you all learn you can run away and be safe? Dr Jan: Do you realise that you don't have to run away anymore. Do you realise that everybody, all parts are learning that you don't have to run away and you don't have to be hurt. That now you have grown up? Little Tim: I don't want to be grown up. Dr Jan: You don't want to be grown up? Little Tim: Nah Dr Jan: What if it was safe? Would you turn out to be a good grown up? Little Tim: Yeah. I know, it's all good, that you tell us it's safe around here and we believe you because you you're the fixer upperer of the big people. (Whispered) I just don't understand, I don't want every time I'm with you guys in this place with the voice that shakes. I always feel really scared. Dr Jan: I don't blame you. No one likes to be scared. Is there a way we can make it better for you, is it when you're in here in this office that that's happening? Little Tim: I don't, I don't like any of the world. The world is really scary it's like no one takes time to actually look at the little people and the little people know that they can run away. You might think it's funny that the little people play with fairies and goblins and little friends, but it's clever, it's so much smarter. Dr Jan: Absolutely Little Tim: And the big people tell the little people to forget and soon everyone forgets. Some of us don't forget and then that gets all confusing. That's scary. (Pause) James and me and 185
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM Peter we're gonna go play down by the river. We're gonna run away. Dr Jan: Do you understand that the others decided that running away wasn't going to work for all of them? Little Tim: I can't run away I mean every time I run away I end up looking down on top of them. Dr Jan: Do you think, maybe you could teach all of them to run away if they need to, just go to a different place if they need to. Hopefully they won't need to, very often. Little Tim: And I don't understand. What's going on and why they want to put themselves through the sad and bad things and all the hurts they go through. Dr Jan: Mmm Little Tim: We don't understand all that (whispered) we didn't know people cared Dr Jan: There are a lot of really good people in your world who care a lot. Little Tim: What about the big people who hurt me instead of caring. Dr Jan: Well those big people that were there when you were little. They were very sick, but there are lots of other good big people around. Little Tim: Sometimes I wish I were James (whispered) sometimes I wish I were James. He might have had to do things harder, gone through lots more stuff, but I think he's known for a lot longer that there's big people out there that just do care for you. That's how I got here, I believed James's story Dr Jan: MmhhMmm Little Tim: I believe what James told me now Dr Jan: MmhhMmm Little Tim: I didn't want to believe what James told me didn't want to, didn't want anyone to know what went on. 186
Dr Jan: Mmm Little Tim: Wasn't my job to let anyone know. Dr Jan: Mmm Little Tim: And that's why the writer had to write. Dr Jan: MmhhMmm Little Tim: So many stories, so many words cause I tricked him for a long time. Dr Jan: It was very brave of you though to believe that. Little Tim: Believe what? Dr Jan: To believe James. Little Tim: Yeh he's my little brother. I couldn't protect him. Dr Jan: You did your best Little Tim: Nah he got hurt all the time and I just couldn't stop it. Dr Jan: You were little. Little Tim: And my big brother he just got sick all the time. Dr Jan: Yes Little Tim: He'd be saying things running around shaking and stuff and spit coming out of his mouth and then and everyone going `don't let him bite his tongue, don't let him bite his tongue.' Dr Jan: (comfortingly gentle) You were too little, it was a grown ups job to look after him and there should have been a grown up there looking after him. It's not your fault that there wasn't a grown up there at that time. Little Tim: (barely audible) I couldn't look after him. Dr Jan: That's what grown ups do? Little Tim: (louder) There's no good grown-ups. Dr Jan: There weren't or they just didn't know. If I'd of known about it I would have helped. Little Tim: Yeah but 187
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM Dr Jan: Other people too, there's lots of good grown ups that would have helped. Little Tim: Nah there were a lot of grown ups around; a lot of grown ups just didn't want to help; they just didn't want to see it. Dr Jan: Mmm Little Tim: And that's why it's easy for us to go in the world where it doesn't happen. I remember the school grounds. How did I get to the school grounds? Dr Jan: Because everybody didn't run away. Someone did have to stay and deal with what was going on. So someone had to stay and do that and everybody had a different sort of situation that they could each handle. They went away from the stuff they couldn't handle and they handled the stuff that that was their job to handle. Little Tim: When I was on my own playing sport, then someone would step in (half laugh) that doesn't know what they're doing, and he'd run the same way as the other team, this is so funny thinking about that, now. It was really really silly at the time; everyone would think I was a bit nuts. Dr Jan: Mmm Little Tim: Because it was like you can't, you can't love damaged goods so it's better to appear nuts. Dr Jan: Mmm do you think that's true now? Little Tim: What the nuts part or the damaged goods part? Dr Jan: Do you think it's true that you can't love damaged goods? Little Tim: I always loved damaged goods Dr Jan: Mmm Little Tim: I liked and kept the broken mask I found. The yoyo with the broken string, I collected a knife that I never sharpened. 188
Dr Jan: Good for you, so you like damaged goods and it's not true that you can't love damaged goods. Little Tim: I know, but do other people? Dr Jan: I do, I guess that's why I became a psychologist. Little Tim: Yeah that could be the reason. Okay I'm learning this stuff, it's all new, and all of us don't know this stuff. Dr Jan: I know, as it turns out some of these things that you thought are true don't turn out to be true. It's not true that you can't love damaged goods. Little Tim: I always loved damaged goods, and big Tim has a lot of people love him. Dr Jan: He's got a lot of love for them. Little Tim: Well yeah, He just gives it all out because that's the love we didn't get shown ourselves. So we just, we learnt, we learnt that it's better for us to give lots of love because we didn't get any. Dr Jan: Mmm Little Tim: We're allowed to do that because, because we didn't get that much love. We're allowed to actually turn that around and take what we missed out on there, put it on us as big people. Dr Jan: Mmm Little Tim: Cause it doesn't hurt to love. Dr Jan: No. Little Tim: It just hurts to be scared. Dr Jan: Yes that's exactly right and your also right that when you give out love you get a lot back. Little Tim: And that's true, We see that. We believe in that and that's happening, that's all happening. Dr Jan: It doesn't have to happen every single time; it only has to happen enough. 189
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM Little Tim: It's happening because all the boys are telling the story and I helped them write the story and I'm helping. I'm coming out to help but that's when we're by ourselves, so I suppose it's really really hard. I find it's really scary to come out because (whispering) I'm not big. Dr Jan: Yes Little Tim: And I can't have people thinking that we're a little bit silly because we don't talk big words and stuff. Dr Jan: Yes Little Tim: More of the story, Dad he used to live on the corner and when Little Big Tim and Mark and I and some of the others used to go to school Dr Jan: Mmm Little Tim: The big boys, Mark and Little Big Tim were the bosses then and when we went to school we had to go past his house and everyone thought that he was a poof and it was like everyone in the school was saying that he was a poof and we just kept hiding the fact that we exist and that that was our Dad. Dr Jan: MmhhMmm Little Tim: The big boys know now that men who choose to be poofs, who want to be poofs, that's alright. The big boys know that that's normal. I just see that that's just scary if these people were/are funny with little people. Dr Jan: That's right, that's right. It's about power. If it's two grown ups they can do whatever they want to do. Two grown ups can both can say yes and no but when you've got a power thing where it's a grown up and a little child and the little child doesn't get to say yes or no that's wrong. Little Tim: Yeah Dr Jan: Very wrong Little Tim: Yeah they just had demons in them hey? 190
Dr Jan: Mmm Little Tim: I mean even the church ones even the church ones had lots of demons in them, hey you could see them sometimes they were really scary hey. Dr Jan: Mmm Mmm Little Tim: And they'd be jumping up and down praising the lord waving their hands in the air, be clapping and all that and speaking in tongues and all that and then after church it would be really scary hey. Dr Jan: That must have been very scary all the way through Little Tim: Really scary Dr Jan: Do you know now that that's over? Do you know now that the big boys have grown up and that you're safe? Little Tim: We don't go to church hey. Dr Jan: Mmm do you know it's over? Little Tim: Yeah well I do but like I don't think I want to grow up Dr Jan I don't want to. I have had the best start cause I know when we had times that were the safe times and if I grow up I could lose those. Dr Jan: Why do you have to lose those? You still have those times? Little Tim: If I become one, if I have to learn all the memories (traumatised) of the stuff that I don't want to know. Well that, that's too much, if I don't want to go there I don't think I need to drag all the memories the boys and the girls and they know it's,.. they know the memories I don't need to know those memories. Dr Jan: MmhhMmm Little Tim: I don't need to know the bad stuff I need to know when mum was nice to me. Dr Jan: Look I think it's really important that you are able to let them know there were good memories, there were safe 191
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM times. I think it's really important that you let them know that. The times that you remember, the okay times, it's very important. Little Tim: Yeah well I was pretty cheeky; I used to slip in quite a bit when the good times were around. Dr Jan: Well it's very important that everybody, all the parts, know that there were good times. It's part of explaining why you all turned out to be okay because there were good times Little Tim: I can come back in and give them that but they can't give me their jobs otherwise I wouldn't have given them a job in the first place. Dr Jan: Oh no but I don't think you have to take on their jobs I think everybody, everybody still gets to do their job it's just that you get to share it rather than stay separate from each other. So you can still be the part that can go to the colours if that is necessary hopefully that won't be very necessary but if ever it was, if ever, you were interrogated again or something like that you could say lets go to the colours. You could do that; the other parts can do their jobs it's just that everybody knows about what is going on. So I have got a part in me that pertains to my professional role and another, the role of mother. The playing part that allows me to play and muck around. Little Tim: That's fun hey? Dr Jan: Yep I can do all those things and they feel quite different at different times. I know I can feel that when I'm walking to work and getting ready to be professional, it wouldn't be appropriate for me to be in here being the way I am with my mates or my husband because that just wouldn't be very professional or therapeutic. So I don't do that, that part of me isn't operating when I'm in here but it knows about this part of me, it all feels like one part, but I behave differently. I 192
could, if you say to me go to your, some other part of yourself I could do that, and it's quite a different part of me when you see it here. So the only difference is that I don't split them up and it all feels like it's all one me. It's one me who can be a different type of person in different situations, with different skills and different abilities and different ways of being. Little Tim: How do you make me know what you're talking about? Dr Jan: Mmm well if you were to imagine. Little Tim: Is there is there is a little Dr Jan? A little girl that I could play with? Dr Jan: Mmm there is. Little Tim: And it's in everybody Dr Jan: Mmm everyone has his or her inner child Little Tim: Then why don't they run away when, when they get angry and all that sort of stuff? Do you and the little girl have friends? Dr Jan: Well not everybody's had bad times. My inner child has only ever had the good times. When I was little I used to have a little imaginary friend called William because I was a lonely little girl. Little Tim: I call William the Writer; did you want to be a boy? Dr Jan: No I don't think well maybe I did, I was a bit of a tomboy, and boys seemed to have more fun. And then slowly I just became Jan and William was part of who I was; the tomboy part of me. But I can choose whether or not I want to be in tomboy mode or feminine mode or professional mode or mucking around mode or whatever, depending on the situation; which part of me will be more prominent and be the part that is showing on the outside. And I can decide to be the other part 193
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM but usually it depends on the situation as to which part I'll be. But it all feels like one me. Does that make any sense? Little Tim: So if I decided to stay away and not play in the light, as everyone wants me to play in the light, they will never l be all one. Is that what you're saying? Dr Jan: But if you stay away that means... does that mean that they won't know about the goods times that you had? Little Tim: No they can know the good times but there is plenty of ways, if I have to go away, to tell what's going on and who's in charge. Dr Jan: MmhhMmm Little Tim: Right, just sometimes the way that we behave, or it could be calling out Little Tim or they could be calling out Tim; or they could be calling out Timmy or they could call out lots of things. If it's Peter he doesn't know it straight away. And if it's Troy he doesn't know of it straight away. Dr Jan: MmhhMmm Little Tim: So there's always lots of ways to sort of try and work out that who's in charge. Dr Jan: So you seem to know them. Little Tim: Now I have probably got more information than ever I ever had, when the other day I suddenly ended up in here with you. Dr Jan: Did that feel okay? Little Tim: Scary. Dr Jan: Scary because it was new, but did anything bad happen to you? Little Tim: Well yeah well no that's the sort of... Dr Jan: Try and think about it Little Tim: Well Mark wouldn't let any marks happen to us otherwise I wouldn't be allowed to come back and 194
Dr Jan: Hang on. You only came back into the memory; you didn't come back in the real thing you came back into the memory yeah? Because you were here with me so it couldn't be really happening. Little Tim: Yeah well I didn't get hurt in the memory. Dr Jan: Right and actually you can't get hurt in the memory. Little Tim: What if I was hurt in the memory? And one of them were carrying the memory of that and I... this is... this is what scares me, I don't know... I don't know whose going to tell me what and... Dr Jan: So you mean you become one with them then you will be there too. Little Tim: Well what if I was hurt in that memory and I just don't have memory of it? Now I have memory of it because I'm connected up. Dr Jan: Well if you were there you would remember wouldn't you? If you were hurt Little Tim: Well I wasn't hurt that time Dr Jan: That part of you Little Tim: But there could be other times I wasn't hurt that time I know that Dr Jan: You would you remember all the times you were around and the other times you are in the cupboard. So when you come back and remember; when you come back into the memory and discover what's been going on, it will be you coming back to a memory that will be just the way it was, except you get to see what was going on. I don't know whether that's what needs to happen and I guess we're just trying to work out whether that's what needs to happen. If that doesn't feel good for you just don't do it yet. But it is important for you to remember that none of this can add anything new. Little Tim: I'm learning. 195
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM Dr Jan: It's important that we don't do anything that doesn't feel safe. If it doesn't feel safe for you yet then you don't do anything that doesn't feel safe. But what I want you to keep thinking about is that these are all memories. Nothing new can happen now. What's more, all the other parts, all the parts that do have memory, they're all there, and they're doing okay. They survived it. Little Tim: But my job was not to have memory. Dr Jan: Yes. Little Tim: My job now is to have memory. Dr Jan: Well it is. Little Tim: That way I won't be so scared. Dr Jan: Yeas that's right, you won't be so scared but we also want you to let the other parts know about the good times. Little Tim: But the memory I gotta have is what I'm scared of, finding out that I'm allowed to have memory. Dr Jan: But now you also know it is only a memory, you can take it at your own pace. You can stop it, you can turn it back, you can turn the volume down, and you can live your life because it's not actually happening again. You don't have to do it again, the parts that did it the first time have already done it, they've already survived it, already got through so all they're doing is letting you know that's it's happened, however all parts got through, it's okay, it's over, it's done `we' survived. Little Tim: That's right; I can always stop the film and the other stuff. Dr Jan: Yes and that helps. That you don't have to go in and get hurt, you just have to know what happened. You don't even have to do that if it doesn't feel safe. I don't want you to do anything that doesn't feel safe. But one way to make it safe is that you do get to control it, you can stop it and say that's 196
enough for now, you can turn the volume down, you can make it go further away and more distant. You can do anything you like because it's a memory and you can manage to let it happen at whatever pace, whichever way you want to do it. However fast or slow or if it's enough, it's enough because this isn't happening again; it's just something that the other parts, that did know about it, are letting you know `this is what happened, but its okay because we got through.' Little Tim: Mmm Dr Jan: They knew how to get through it, you don't have to get through it, they've already done that for you, and you just have to know about it. You won't be scared because then you'll know exactly what happened and you'll also know that you got through it. You all go through it together with the different parts doing their different ways of doing it. So you don't have to worry about maybe there is something you don't know about that could happen again, because you'll know exactly what happened and you'll know it can't happen again. Little Tim: Well that's like I'm gonna go back to the table (Conference) now and we'll know a little bit more of the memories of the other parts. Dr Jan: Mmhhmm Little Tim: That what we've been talking about today. Dr Jan: Remember just do what feels safe for you. Little Tim: Yeah little bits, little bits at a time. Dr Jan: Just test and see and make sure that we're on the right track okay. Okay, so now can I have one of the grown ups, who can drive, come back to the room? (Six seconds a yawn later) Tim: Can I have a mattress to fall asleep on? Dr Jan: Take your time to come back. Tim: I've got a coffee somewhere. 197
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM Dr Jan: Yes down beside you but it'll be pretty cold, iced coffee you'll have to drink it as now. Tim: I like iced coffee. Dr Jan: You okay? Tim: Yeah. 198
3. Dr Jan speaks with Troy: (verbatim) The following is a transcript of a conference room discussion. The persona known as Troy will converse with Dr Jan Ewing when he feels safe to do so. Troy is aged five years, has advanced to thirteen years old, but now has regressed to five years old again. He is solid framed and displays an angry appearance and his tone will be appropriate too his state of being, very protective persona. Dialogue will appear adolescent during conversation. Dr Jan: We were talking about the memory of how you were in the bath. The first memory being. (Tim interrupts.) Tim: I think what scares us about where we are going with your work now is the specifics. The actual event, the visual flashes, a lot of blood in the water, the water is up to our nose. We are just telling ourselves that we should just drown ourselves. That would be better, just drown ourselves. Just worried where James was. Obviously the Old Man had palmed him out. Dr Jan: We need to honour the fact that Troy's anger, while in some sense we know that it's not constructive now, it was very constructive then; it was the part that fought to stay alive. Tim: It's was the strength, you know, to bite, to bite a man's hand. 199
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM Dr Jan: It pushed through the water and bit the hand and got safe. Tim: To bite a man's hand and actually pierce your teeth into it. Ended up with a lump on my head, yeah got belted for it. Dr Jan: Mmm if we think of Troy more as a life force, rather than just rage. Maybe that allows him a way to begin to calm the situation. To begin with it had to be rage for that was the only way to have a life force. But a life force can be many things. It can be manifested into other things other than rage. It can be a drive to be alive and a way to keep going, a life force in the sense of not giving up. Tim: He (Troy) is pretty content in hearing that, cause it has been so spilt off and so individual functioning. I don't know enough to actually talk here at the moment so (long Pause.) I've got a big problem, a big problem, Little big Tim, Little Tim and Mark there are too many blank spots and to actually try and get a time line of specifics of what year and date. Dr Jan: I don't think that matters that we work out whether you were four or six. But I think when you have a memory like that and it's an image of blood and it feels very distressing, what we want to do is to stay with that long enough for any part that has any memory of that and feeling that went with it, we want to stay with it long enough for them to actually know it's a memory. That it's actually is over. That TIM got to survive and grow up and they did well by holding the memory whilst he did that. But they need to know that happened. And being able to say that was really scary, quite rightly so. You were only little and he was much stronger, he was actually doing something that would frighten anybody. There was a part of you, which we think is TROY who really fought for survival and we have to acknowledge that he was there as a life force. It's all part of TIM- any part that has that memory of 200
being there in the bathtub, whether this particular one or any of the other times; because, they might all meld together, it doesn't matter if we can't work out if it was that specific time or the next one. Or if it's two combined it doesn't matter. What matters is that the feelings and sensations that go with those experiences get acknowledged, get validated as being quite reasonable sensations and feelings. There would have been a lot of different emotions going on, fear, rage, and maybe guilt- about getting in the situation in the first place, all sorts of emotions, all valid for a small child, who doesn't know what to do and is totally powerless. All parts that have got any memory whether it be an image or a feeling, a sensation needs to be able to recognise that and then know that it's over, and share the memory that TIM forgot. SWITCH TROY: I dropped a crumb. Dr Jan: Don't worry about it, it's my carpet. Troy: We'll get trouble. Dr Jan: My carpet, don't worry about it. I'll vacuum later. Troy: Your carpet? This is this your place? Dr Jan: Yes. It's my place and I don't get cross over crumbs. Troy: Umm okay I did my best to keep our head out of the water. I swore and little, Little Tim went to his place of many colours. Dr Jan: Mmm Troy: I'm scared, really scared; always sad. Dr Jan: Yes, you were fighting back. 201
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM Troy: It's hard to fight back. Dr Jan: You're hanging on. Troy: We want to get out of the water. (Yells) Dr Jan: Now you need to know that you did. Do you remember when you got to breathe again? Troy: Bite his fucken hand. (Angry) Dr Jan: And then you got to breathe. You did well. Troy: Peter came and had a chat. (Mumbles) Dr Jan: Who came to help you? Troy: Peter. Dr Jan: Is Peter there now. Troy: Yeah Peter is cool, we get along Dr Jan: That's good. Troy: I heard you telling us about me helping and my strength, cause I'm strong. Dr Jan: Yes. You keep them alive. Troy: Strong one. Dr Jan: If it wasn't for you, you might not have survived. Troy: The anger...the anger. Dr Jan: The anger gives you strength now, doesn't it? Troy: I know that, I know it sorts of helps me, but I have got problems because, no one knows anger like I know anger. It's the same as Shane sitting at the big table (Conference table) feeling anger he doesn't know what to do with it. When I had to experience shame from Shane, it was really, really hard to know what that is about, it makes no sense so when the others know anger they don't know how to deal with it. Dr Jan: So everybody is getting the experience that everybody else is experiencing and its becoming confusing. I can 202
understand that, because some of those emotions are kind of new to them. Shame for instance, isn't something you have let your self know about. Now Shane is showing you what that's like and you are showing him what anger is like. Troy: But its like this, my job was to be angry. You're telling me that I did other parts and other jobs while I did that job. Dr Jan: While I think that being angry was the way you did your job. I think your job was actually to stay alive. I think the anger was how you got the strength to do that. Troy: And I feel older `cause I can understand big things like that. I don't feel five and scared. I feel like Mark probably took most of my job when I got too exhausted...too tired I couldn't keep up. Before it was simple. We knew how we spoke to each other. We knew who was who; we knew what age... we don't have that anymore that's all really bad. Dr Jan: I know...It's always very worrying when things change but there were some problems with that system too. We wouldn't have changed that if it was working well. What were the problems? Troy: No one knew what each other were up to. Dr Jan: And why was that a problem? It wasn't a problem when you were little, why was it a problem now that Tim is bigger? Troy: Cause he can't get angry when he is late. Cause I'm angry. No one tells him where he is meant to be and when he is late, he doesn't know how to be angry about being late. Dr Jan: So what you are saying is that when it's all spilt up like that, even though you know its familiar and got you through those hard times, it now has been creating problems. Because trying to function as an adult in the adult world that's making life very difficult because the adult Tim can't have some emotions when he is supposed to have them. He doesn't 203
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM know what is going on for him, very confused, or he's not fulfilling some of the things that he is supposed to be fulfilling because he doesn't know about it. So it ends up being too confusing; he doesn't want to not be able to function in the adult world. To be in the adult world you have to remember where you have been and what you have said and what's going on, and then you have to have a whole range of emotions so you can be a whole person. So the splitting that was keeping the pain away still keeps the pain away to some extent but it makes everything else harder. So now what we are trying to do is to get it so everybody knows what that pain was about, that now they know we are actually big enough to know about it: because now it's over. While it's still happening it's too scary to let everyone know about it, especially if you are still little, you can't do anything about it. You just have to find ways to survive. But when it's over and you can start to know about it. It is not still happening. Troy: See when we were young, everybody was like this, we knew that. We knew everybody was like us. Now that's wrong. Imagine a fish bowl and we are all the goldfish and you put a shark in there, which is the new stories, we are going to scatter to feel safe. Dr Jan: I think it's important that only the parts that are ready to hear the stories should be hearing the stories. If there are some parts that aren't ready to hear the story yet then they are not ready to hear it and we need to respect that. Don't you think? Troy: We don't know when ready is ready. We don't know when the shark going to appear or when we are safe to come together. (Big sigh). Everybody trying to please everybody, you have got no idea you really have got no idea. You have, because you're the boss of fixing these things up. But, 204
Dr Jan: I know, in the end you know it's hard when you are trying to please everybody; with me you don't have to please me at all, I'm on the journey with you. Troy: Yeah you're the boss of fixing things up. We all know that you are the boss of fixing things up but we don't know how to fix things up. Dr Jan: Ok one of things that worked really well a long time ago when we started working and I actually think it might have been Little Tim. One of the things that worked really well, to show if there was a trigger/shark like memory and parts don't know about it and are getting very anxious about being back there. The way that helped know that it's just a memory is to start to change things in it. You can actually allow the parts that would normally disappear to stay but let them do what they would've liked to do. Do you remember the time we got the baseball bat? Troy: The big guys can do that all the time. What I'm trying to get you the picture of to get you to know about. (Longpause)... I can be older, I can be five, and I can be what everyone wants me to be. But I can't take on things that have happened thirty years long. I don't understand, I don't understand Shane's job, I don't understand Gary's job, I don't understand Peter's job I don't understand Mark's job, I don't understand, I don't understand all of these jobs. It's too much, its big, it's a long time, they're old, Don't understand things, feelings, and thoughts and whatever happen and all those things being flooded onto me and I just don't understand. And then same-as equal maybe. I give them my stuff they don't understand that. Why are we so scared like a child when we are big now? Everyone shuts down it all comes back to me, who's got to cope with the anger again because they don't understand that its anger from a little person who 205
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM has still got little feelings, little thoughts, little actions and stuff they just don't understand. Dr Jan: Mmm Mmm. Troy: It's too hard sometimes. Dr Jan: So what might be a way for us to start to do that a bit better so that people don't get flooded like they are. Does it need to be trickled a bit more? Everything is happening in a big hurry? You can't do thirty years as you say in five seconds. And it is a lot and it takes a long time to process and a long time to work out what that's about. Maybe it just needs to be trickled. Troy: Little Tim and I used to play a lot, invent things and build things. What I'm seeing to answer your question you know those things that you put peas in. Dr Jan: Colander? Troy: No, no the wire thing. Dr Jan: Like a sieve? Troy: Yeah sieve. We are in a situation where we are using a sieve and realise how quickly water runs through the sieve. We were working out a dam sort of thing; the water, a certain amount washed away the sand. On top it quickly washed the sand away but when we put the sand in the wire thing and then water, the water slowed down and trickled and didn't wash away the sand as fast. You we need some sand. Dr Jan: Exactly Troy: Big sigh! Dr Jan: Exactly, that's a lovely way to describe it. That's what we need. It's not to be dumping but to actually be trickled, sprinkled. It doesn't have to be each part is going to get everything it ever did. Everything it ever felt, dump on top of any other part. Maybe if something comes up and reminds 206
them of their job that they allow the other parts to get a bit of that. Troy: Yeah Yeah a bit of that. Dr Jan: Say if something comes up in everyday life. Like in Tim's life now that one part is carrying something, instead of just doing it on their own they can trickle; `Okay here's a little bit of what I feel in these situations,' rather than do it on their own, they trickle, could that happen? Troy: Yeah yeah this is what I have to get across to the fixer upper. Me just me sitting here trying to talk without getting angry is really a lot of hard work. Me stopping the angry noise coming out is really a lot of hard work. Because that's who I am. You say to me ok, we just trickle. We understand we need the sand but to get something happening WE have to actually have the memory given to us of the thing that happened, right? Dr Jan: Mmm. Troy: Let's talk about what Shane did when he told William the writer about all this stuff when me and Shane meet each other, in the abandoned building. Right? Big sigh! Let's talk about that, what happened there is that all of a sudden... I don't know how many years later... A long time... I've got to feel and remember that situation. Now, I look after anger; I look after being naughty and I make sure we're strong and we can breathe tomorrow. That my job. Dr Jan: Yep. Troy: We've got a situation now that where I got to feel shame because that's Shane's job and I got to share that feeling. But it's not just painful (very angry) Because it's it's everything, it's the whole bloody thing. It's like the building and the noise, the crap on the floor, the fear, it all comes in. You just don't know. (Extremely agitated) 207
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM You don't know if it's going to stop or is it just going to keep going. I'll come back to my cupboard because it's safer there. I just don't know, I don't want to be angry anymore, I'm tried of being angry. I want to be part of this that's going on, but us little people we just don't understand, too much time. Not only that he (Shane) has hundreds and hundreds of times he was shamed. He's telling his story and I don't know I don't know how to find the sand. Dr Jan: Somehow I think what the sand is. It's something like a video. Troy: I don't even know what a video is! Dr Jan: Like a Movie. Do you know what a movie is? Troy: Yeah we had movies Dr Jan: I'm wondering if the parts that are learning that, could let the other parts know to do it like a movie. You get to see it, if it's going too fast you can slow it down. If it's going too slow you can speed it up. If you want to know what happens at the end you can move to the end and then come back to it. If you want to turn the sound off you can turn the sound off. Troy: Little bits at a time. Dr Jan: I'm hoping they are all listening now. It's the way you can also do it when you're trying to let someone know about your anger or when you were surviving. You can just do a little bit about it then say 'ok I want to stop now, we do some more another time.' You can do it in black and white or you can do it in colour. You can do it with sound or without. Close your eyes at sections if you don't want to see it. You can watch it another time with one eye open if you want to, you can do it any way you want to. And Shane and the others, whoever is showing you, needs to let you do whatever way you want to do it. In that same way, they get to hear the other people, including you, any way they want to. Every part needs 208
to do it the way they want to. They can go over it as many times as they need to. Troy: The little people are saying that the others forgot us, we don't see them helping us. They forgot us. They forgot that we were around. They want to know how you think they are going to help us? They forgot us; they didn't know us until writer (William) came along. Dr Jan: Was that because you didn't want them to know you were around? Troy: The situation was that we were pushed out in the first place. Dr Jan: Did you go very quiet, or did they shut the doors down or what happened? Troy: They didn't need me when Mark stopped the belt there was no need for me to do the job. There's only one job you don't get two people doing the one job. (Angrily) Dr Jan: Ok. It might not have been pushing you out, it might have been someone else taking over the job and you got a rest. Troy: Did they forget us? Dr Jan: They might not have known about you They might have only just started... what they knew was when they started. They might not have known what came before. They might just be learning now that you were there before. Troy: So I got to tell the young ones, the little ones, for us to have some sand we have to tell the older ones to slow down. Dr Jan: That's right. And if they don't know that, you can just go out of the room, close your eyes, whatever you have to do if it's too fast just say 'that's all I can take right now.' If they don't hear that, then you can go out of the room. You only stay in the room if it's not too much, if it's too much you go out of the room, come back when its playing another time. 209
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM Troy: They are getting angry at me because they don't understand how, it all works. Like I used it in the beginning, that those times I used anger like they all do now. The memories of the horror, pain, fear, everybody always scared. Dr Jan: They don't have to, every time you use anger or if any part wants to use anger to be strong. They don't have to remember every single thing that was part of; they can just use strength. Troy: That's the writer's fault. He just doesn't know. He is so young. Got no idea what we went through. He just writes our story. He's got no story. He might have a story with the screenplays and books he writes, he's got no story of life, he writes our story. That's why I'm saying it is his fault because he wants us to walk through a bloody storybook. And know what we are supposed to feel because we don't feel. We got to know what we are suppose to feel otherwise we're not good and we are not going to make anything out of ourselves. (Very angry voice) He wasn't there, he doesn't know how much bullshit was going through us at the time, and he doesn't know how scary it was. He just writes, you know, he writes our story and uses these big words, that don't mean nothing to us. We're little people, (Frightened voice) We're scared we don't care about what bottles are broken or how many windows I broke, I was just looking after Shane. Little Tim couldn't deal with it any more. Right? That's what happens. I was there for most of them. Except when Mark came along he was there for most of them. He doesn't even know I know that. 210
Dr Jan: Two things about that are that the little people didn't get forgotten and someone else looked after them, taking over some of the stuff. Troy: We still don't want to get bigger, don't want to be like those big men, why get bigger, real scary don't want to get bigger. Dr Jan: So you know that when you got bigger you didn't turn out like those men? Troy: Yeah, now I do `cause I remember, they have got no idea how clever us little people really are. We just go in and out and we can see what's going on. Yeah we know we are not bad men. Dr Jan: Mmm Mmm. So can we come back to the little ones who thought they had been forgotten? Are they still feeling that way or do they think that now it wasn't about being forgotten? Troy: We just don't get it right, get in trouble, don't drop crumbs on the floor. Dr Jan: Did you get in trouble today for dropping crumbs on the floor? Troy: No! Dr Jan: So do you know that it doesn't matter anymore about the crumbs? Troy: I'm learning Dr Jan: You are, so you know that you are in my office and that you are not going to get into trouble for dropping crumbs? Troy: Yes Dr Jan: So you don't have to get in trouble anymore. Troy: Sometimes. Dr Jan: Do you, which time? 211
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM Troy: Sometimes when the big adults are yelling at one of the big guys. He might run away, and it seems natural to us to go and take charge. Dr Jan: Because that is what you always do. Troy: Yeah. It seems more natural to me cause little Tim can't stand up to them. Dr Jan: So we really need the big guys who are grown up to stay in that situation. Troy: (whispers) Yeah but they don't. See if there a big guy putting it on Shane, that be because we done something wrong. Shane doesn't understand that but Gary does, cause he knows that you got to feel bad if you have done something wrong. So he steps in so that's where it really works for us because we at that point have no real understanding of what is going on. And this person is just ranting and raving and when the ranting and raving starts I go in and then Peter goes in and we try and sort it out, but it doesn't get sorted out that well because we can't, don't know how big people think. Dr Jan: That's one of the reasons why we thought that the system had to change somehow because that's when it doesn't work that well. We're trying to find a way where that doesn't happen; where you only get big people information to try and deal with a grown up situation. We need a grown ups to be able to deal with that situation rather than younger parts that don't have that skill. We need a grown up to stay there and work out what this is about, work out what's the appropriate way to deal with the situation. Troy: We can but it's really hard. Dr Jan: Yeah but I know you can Troy: Now, we worked out today that we needed sand, and to fix the situations we close our eyes. Now there is no need to get angry and upset if we know to close our eyes, because we 212
have been told to close our eyes. Before that we wouldn't have that thought. Dr Jan: So how about you can try to close your eyes and when you come to see me next time you can tell if it works or not. Troy: You want me to go back to the cupboard and sleep all week; you want me to be away for a week. Dr Jan: No no. That's not what I'm saying, what I'm saying is if there's memories coming in too hard and fast, things are getting too overwhelming you can try closing your eyes. So you don't get overwhelmed by it, you don't get too much sand being swept away. You can leave it as a trickle or you can have just one eye open or close them and take a rest from it. You don't have to go away to do that. I don't want you to not be around. I'm saying just try to get the sand to trickle by using that technique and report back to me if that's better, a better way to do it. Troy: And other ones. Dr Jan: Let the others know that they can do the same thing. And if it works for some and not the others I need to know that so I can think of a better way for the others. Troy: Ok Dr Jan: So next week you tell me if it's working or not. Troy: You're the fixer upper Dr Jan: Now we need to stop. Can Big Tim or the writer come back so you can drive home? Dr Jan: You alright? Tim: I'm back. 213
LITTLE TIM BIG TIM Little Tim Big Tim is an inspirational story about a young boy's extraordinary ability to survive adversity, and as a man, his absolute determination to heal and recover from his past. Tim Roy suffered a decade of physical, emotional and sexual abuse from the age of five. The primary abuser was his father who also farmed him out to other paedophiles for money. At five years old, Tim was able to utilise a remarkable survival technique. Tim learned to disassociate. Imaginary friends were created to help him deal with the overwhelming torment, torture and rape. This story traces the events that caused his psychological disintegration and the events that brought about his journey back to re-integration. Despite disassociation being an extremely functional survival system, Tim as the host was completely unaware of his various interactions in an actual-world reality. The system's success however, did allow Tim to reach the highest level of professional soldiering: the elite SAS. Unfortunately after six years of service in the SAS, the survival system imploded during an incident on the firing range. From Tim's discharge his behaviour became more and more dysfunctional leading to alcohol and drug addiction. This led to him to consider suicide in order to eliminate the pain that had surfaced without rational explanation. Desperation ultimately led him to begin a process of recovery. This is a story of Tim's discovery of his past and his unswerving commitment to recovery and integration. Tim is insistent on the importance of exposing dysfunctional patterns that occur when the past is not accepted. He is dedicated to the process of healing and self-empowerment. This dedication leads Tim's desire to help others find their courage and truth. With acceptance of the past, the future can change. Seek the courage to change. ISBN 214
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T Roy

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