My Angel, My Hero

In 1993, I was a very confused and angry teenager. I was afraid, alone, and ashamed. I had been suffering abuse at the hands of my father since I was six years old.

I was terrified of my father.  He had complete control over me. He had verbally, physically, emotionally and sexually abused me on a regular basis. He convinced me that it was my fault, that I deserved this treatment. I was silent about the abuse, believing what my father had said: “no one would believe a child over an adult”.

I felt that no one would understand or believe an upset teenaged girl’s story of ongoing sexual and physical abuse. Confiding in my dear friend Lisa was the first step on my journey to the life I have today.

Lisa convinced me that going to the police was the right thing to do.  It was the only way to end the abuse and stop my father from hurting others.  Hand in hand we walked into the police station.  Filled with terror and shame, I waited to tell my story.

This is the moment when my life changed forever.  This is when ‘my hero’ Frank walked into my world and saved my life.

Frank was a police officer who, at first glance, made me feel safe and understood.  Above all else, he believed me.  He was comforting and waited for me to be ready to open up with my story.

After that night Frank went above and beyond the call of duty.  He tracked down other victims of my father’s hateful acts and collected victim impact statements to be used in court.  Because of Frank’s persistence and dedication, my father was declared as a ‘dangerous offender’.

Coming forward was a very emotional and stressful time in my life.  I did second-guess myself and, out of fear, changed my mind.  Yet in the end, Frank was my voice of reason. He was always supportive, understanding and never judging, which was one of my biggest fears of coming forward.

It has not all been smooth sailing. There have been many ups and downs. I have battled my demons, with suicide attempts, depression and anxiety problems. Through it all Frank has been my guiding light letting me know there is hope.

Now, I have a wonderful husband, beautiful daughter and an amazing son. All because one police officer went out of his way to help a scared, ashamed young girl who thought no one would believe her.

Part of my healing process has been writing about the pain, emotions and fear of my experience.  In 2007, my collection of poems based on the abuse was published.  “Cry No More” is my journey.  Writing it has helped me. Now my only wish is that it can help others to see they are not alone and they can overcome, make a new life and move forward.

Recovering from such a long, traumatic childhood of abuse has been very difficult. I have a great support team though, lead by My Angel, My Hero, Frank.  Without the love and support of Frank and my husband Trevor, I would not be where I am today. Alive and happy.

Included in my book “Cry No More” is the following poem written for Frank.

Angel, My Hero

    Heaven sent to me an angel,
    With no halo or wings or dress,
    An ordinary everyday hero,
    With a badge upon his chest.
    He came to me one evening,
    When hope was almost dead,
    With patience and concern,
    Offered to me a helping hand,
    I could not believe that here before me stood,
    My angel,
    My hero,
    Who I had prayed for every night.
    He did amazing things for me,
    He gave me back my life,
    He gave me hope and dignity,
    Things I never thought would survive,
    So much time has passed since then,
    A lifetime ago it seems,
    Today I have a family,
    A home full of hopes and dreams,
    All because this stranger believed,
    While others turned away,
    Burying their heads in the sand,
    So not to hear my pleas,
    To many he did his job,
    To me he moved the world,
    In my heart he'll forever stand,
    In my life I hope he'll remain,
    Forever and always,
    "Mommy's policeman," as my children say.

Never give up hope.  No matter how dark and unending the pain may seem there is always an angel waiting in the wings.  Just believe and depend on those you love.  Thank you Frank.

Tracey Lynn Jones
Victim

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