My name is Emma-Jane Taylor. I am a Businesswoman running a series of lifestyle businesses, I publicly speak and share presentations that give thought provoking and motivational challenges. I have worked with the BBC, That’s TV, and more recently on my new YouTube Channel The Emma-Jane Taylor Show on bringing about change to my viewers. I present the Mid-Morning Matters show for Marlow FM Radio. I am also the Author of Don’t Hold Back (a motivational tool book) based on my life journey. I was told I was the failure, the girl going nowhere and I was labelled a juvenile delinquent aged 13 years old. I believed this to be me for years until my therapy started and the truth came out… here is my story…
In 1981 I was sexually abused by the restaurant owner who had befriended my family on a holiday overseas, I was 9 years old. I had no idea what had happened to me that night. I remember feeling scared, but I wasn’t sure what of. Unbeknown to me it was going to be a trigger later in life but not something that affected me immediately. I never shared this story again until I started my therapy in my early twenties.
I lived with my Mum and stepfather, my two brothers and from time to time my step siblings would visit. Every other weekend I would spend the weekend with my biological Father. My parents separated when I was very young, about 3 years old, and I was happy with my life, I knew no different. I remember being happy at school and had a nice group of friends. I was innocent, we all were, the days were long and happy.
Some of my earliest happiest memories were of the weekends with my Father. I idolised him; he was my prince, my hero, someone I couldn’t wait to see every other weekend. He was handsome, had a twinkle in his eye and would make me laugh. I loved him deeply. He used to pick me up and take me to our local sweet shop to buy our ¼ lb of wine gums and then we would go home and laugh, enjoy Saturday night TV and exchange lots of cuddles. It was a lovely time.
In 1984 and shortly after starting Senior School my Father picked me up for the weekend as normal, I was 12 years old. After a short drive he stopped the car. He told me there was a “problem in our relationship.” I had an instant sick feeling. I wasn’t sure what a “problem in our relationship” meant until the next night when he called me at my home and told me he couldn’t have a relationship with me again until I was older. I replaced the receiver and remember running out of the house with my Mum and Stepfather in hot pursuit behind me, they wrestled me and my hot tears to the ground. And that was that. In the blink of an eye my hero had gone. I was devastated at losing my Father from my life, and it turned out to be just that.
My Father abandoning me out of the blue has affected my relationships ever since. That day haunted me; within 24 hours I had gone from giggling with excitement seeing my Father and the next minute I was broken, sobbing, shaking, nauseous, and nervous of everything. I struggled to make decisions for a very long time after my Father left for fear of the consequences, life became a sea of darkness, I was a nervous wreck and suffered with huge abandonment issues. Fear of being rejected stayed with me for most of my growing up and young adult years. I avoided personal conflict.
I was becoming more and more confused by rejection, abandonment and being sexually abused; I lost some of my memory and just cried all the time. The once happy child was fading away and, in her place, became a withdrawn, nervous, and sad girl. I was hollow, I lived on a knife’s edge. All that had happened triggered my need for cleanliness. I started having a bath before bed, I felt that by bathing before bed I could wash away the pain, the feeling of being dirty. I could sleep feeling clean and fresh; it is a ritual that I still do now, aged 46 years, but now I enjoy the relaxation of my bath.
High School became a troubling time. I failed miserably at school. I was a naughty child from the start, and it wasn’t long before I was labelled a juvenile delinquent and sent to a child psychiatrist. Speaking openly about my story and my life was difficult. You live and breathe your own story; it becomes your normality and you don’t feel like you can speak out. This wasn’t because there weren’t good people in my life. I started feeling low, and unsure where to turn to, so I just spiralled out of control. I got used to being treated badly by men and I guess the next incident happened very easily.
In 1985, aged 13 I fell into a sexually abusive relationship with a much older man, who up until this point, had been known to my family and someone I completely trusted. He took advantage of me, he carefully groomed me, he became my friend, I guess he became my missing Father Figure. I suppose at this time I liked that someone showered me with affection and gifts. But there was a price to pay; I was degraded, tortured, raped and manipulated. He controlled my every move, he would follow my bus to school, and watch me get off and go in through the gates, he would be there when I got on the bus to come home and follow the bus back again. He was obsessed. He would manipulate me to sneak out from my parents’ house in the middle of the night. He would then drown me with alcohol and drugs and then have his wicked way with me. I can still remember the smell on his breath, the smell in his car, the music he played. I would allow him to do anything to me, I would feel nervous, but it seemed an easier option. I don’t know why I went with it; I just did. I couldn’t get out, I know that. My life was a blur, I felt suicidal at times. I didn’t think anyone loved me. I felt such pain I wanted it all to end. I wanted it all to go away and I could not see a way out. I didn’t understand this wasn’t acceptable behaviour.
My schooling suffered, I became addicted to pain killers to numb the hangovers. I drank heavily, smoked, took drugs, laxatives and became bulimic. I was lost, broken with constant suicidal thoughts. I used to listen to Cliff Richards “Daddy’s home” in the constant hope that my Daddy would come back. I never stopped dreaming that my Daddy would come and find me. But he never did.
I trusted the older man, I trusted no-one else ironically, but I trusted him. It was a terrifying time of life. Hindsight is a great thing; I can now see how easily this all happened. I was a sitting duck. Lost child abandoned by her biological Father, previous abuse, vulnerable and with no self-worth — bingo. I could be shaped any which way you needed me to be so long as the attention was given to my emotional state. In 1987 aged 15/16 I started to realise right from wrong and I mustered up my strength to step away from him, but it wasn’t easy. He was everywhere I went. He showered me with gifts (diamonds, money, clothes, perfume) to keep me quiet about “our secret”. He would threaten me and sometimes lock me in his car and travel at high speeds along dangerous roads, and at times I was never sure I would survive his raging temper but other days I didn’t care if I lived or died. I spiralled into an abyss of darkness, afraid to talk, scared to let go of the deep dark secrets inside of me.
I remember all the music he played in his car, or music he played at his home and the way he shouted at me, bullied me and scared me. One of my earliest memories was when he took my virginity. He was laughing through his tears that he had taken my innocence. I felt scared. I didn’t know why but I was terrified. I have had a lot of therapy to remove the images from that sequence of events and now I can speak openly about it without feeling scared and unsure. I was about 13 years old.
I did an A-Z of therapy over the years. I had regular counselling which was good, as it was someone to talk to, but I really felt for me that my hypnotherapy and psychotherapy sessions helped me the most in the earlier days of my recovery. It took me about 8/10 years after starting my counselling/reiki to feel ready to start hypnotherapy/psychotherapy. It was tough. Some days my therapist would take me deep back into difficult situations (with my consent) to help me release some locked memories, and other days we did gentle sessions to aid my recovery. I have also taken the following treatments during my recovery to support my mental state: Acupuncture, Meditation, Yoga, Clairvoyance, Picture Tapping, EFT, Reflexology, and Cranial Sacral Therapy. If I feel wobbled at any time now, I usually check in with my Clairvoyant.
If I had my life again I would prefer to not experience what I have, but after nearly 36 years I have found my strength to speak up, to stand tall and I have learnt to use my voice to support others, to give back my opportunities and open doors for others to a better life through my life lessons. I am proud of my journey and don’t want anyone else to suffer in silence as I did. In 2018, I took part in a BBC 3 Eye to Eye documentary. I was asked what my biggest regret was. I don’t like to have regrets but having to give an answer it was simple; I regret not speaking up sooner.
In 2018 I published my first self-help book Don’t Hold Back available on Amazon
My Divine Breadcrumb moment was forgiveness. Through my recovery years (therapy) I have learnt to forgive, I have understood that my perpetrators need help and I understand I am not a victim. I am a survivor. I believe I was in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people, but I also believe I have been taught valuable lessons that can now help many others. My journey is just beginning and through my writing I am finding so much calm. I am open to therapy at any time, and I encourage others to speak up. It is ok not to be ok. We can’t fight pain with pain.