Kimmy’s Story, from her darkest days as a victim to surviving, now like a WARRIOR she is THRIVING ! …. and you can too !
For those of you who know FACAA, you will know regular contributor Kimmy. She is one of our oldest, most staunch members and for years now we have been looking forward to the day she felt comfortable enough to share her survivor story.
Let me tell you I’ve read quite a few survivor’s stories in my time but none of them hit me like this. Maybe it’s the affection we all feel for Kimmy here at FACAA, she is all heart and we love her dearly.(note she is in my phone as Sissy), or maybe it’s the incredibly brave, raw, hold nothing back, way she has written this story… whatever it is…. this one will kick you right in the stomach !
Kimmy has not written this to make anyone feel sorry for her. She has written it to show that anyone can… not only survive, but utterly thrive !
Kimmy wrote this to inspire others to find their inner warrior like she has. She wants everyone to be a Warrior not a victim !
Don’t give your abuser the power to keep you down ! (A)
:::::WARNING TRIGGER WARNING:::::: This story is raw, emotional and holds NOTHING back ! It is a survivor’s story in it’s purest sense and what you are about to read will emotionally affect you.
#FACAA #ProudFACAA #SurvivorsStory #GuardiansOfTheInnocent #VoiceForTheVoiceless #HopeForTheHopeless #Kimmy #KimmysStory #RaisingAwareness #EndingChildAbuse
Kimm’y Story – My Life’s darkest secrets
Hello, my name is Kimmy Daboul, before we begin let me say this, I am a fighter and a survivor and here’s why. When I was born, I was two months premature and weighed 0.9 kg. My paternal grandfather told my parents, “don’t get attached she’s going to die too.”
I understand why he said this, my older brother Charles died when he one week old with a hole in his heart and my grandfather assumed that I would die too.
These traits are an important part of me, mainly because they were one of the things that kept me going after I was molested from age four violated, belittled, put down and raped twice by my aunt’s husband and two sons until I was sixteen years old. Then for the next twenty years, my survival and fighter traits helped hold me together when my life spiralled out of control… to when I found the slow road to recovery and regained my life back.
Before the abuse, I remember the fun times I had with my mum, dad and many others who were wonderful to me. I loved to sing and dance, but when the molestations and rapes became a regular thing, the singing and dancing stopped. I called this “My house of horrors” and suppressed them from my mind, mainly to protect my aunty, because I loved her so much, as I loved my uncle and cousins too, even though they did those things to me. Yet, little did I know, I hid those acts to protect me as well. My parents trusted them. They LOVED them. However, unbeknown to all of us, my uncle and cousins had “groomed” my parents.
What do I mean by grooming?
I remember when I studied child protection, I never once connected “grooming” to what happened to my family, especially my parents, until the trial. That’s when I connected the dots.
At first, I hid these secrets and went on living as if nothing was wrong. I thought I was bulletproof and as such coped with the pretence and veneer my life had become, right up to when my dad died in 1992.
Suddenly, my rock, my dad was no longer there. He was gone. I was 17 years old, two weeks shy of my 18th birthday, when the world that I knew crashed and burned about me. The emotional damage I had stowed for the past 14 years could not stay hidden any longer, as the venom and poison built up had spewed forth from their hidden dormant state.
Without dad’s presence keeping me together, I found myself drawn to alcohol and drugs and when my life spiralled out of control, they became my solace that masked my pain. With the drugs, I felt alive. I felt happy and free, even though these were temporary, they were enough to dull the pain of grief. As for the alcohol, I went gangbusters and drank everything and anything that came my way.
I was out of control. I was a complete mess.
Then when I thought I had hit rock bottom, things deteriorated even further, when I found I wasn’t the only one my uncle and cousins had abused. My younger sister Chrissy was also molested. She told me about her ordeals in 1993.
I left school, started work but continued my solace with alcohol and drugs. I had a number of relationships but these were short lived, culminating in a nervous breakdown when I was diagnosed with depression and placed on medication. In 1997, I tried to end my life by overdosing on pills and sculling down bottles of whiskey.
However, I survived and I am still here, which means, I must be here for a reason. Then in 1998, when I was 22 years old I told mum about my uncle molesting and raping Chrissy and me. It seemed the silence that had trapped and suffocated us was finally removed, as if a weight was lifted off our shoulders, or so I thought. Chrissy took the abuse hard and turned to heroin as a means of masking her pain. Soon she became addicted and began a downward spiral, which affected her health, and in 2004, when drugs and suffering an aneurysm ended her life.
When Chrissy passed away, I felt so alone. I felt angry that she had left me to face the world alone. Chrissy was my baby sister, I had no one else. I have an older half-sister whom I’ve never met but that’s another story all on its own. Chrissy was a beautiful person. When she smiled she lit up the room and you would never know her pain, even though we both saw each other’s pain. I live my life to the fullest despite my hurt and grief not only for me but also for my baby sister Chrissy.
I remember as Chrissy’s health deteriorated I was hurting for her as well. That’s when I told mum about Chrissy’s addiction in the hope she would understand why Chrissy took drugs. At the same time, I told mum about my drug and alcohol use and will always remember the shock on mum’s face when I told her. Following Chrissy’s passing, I told mum of our cousins’ involvement in these rapes, at that stage my uncle and one son had died, leaving one surviving son.
Chrissy’s death was the catalyst for going to the police and filing a complaint against my cousin, which over the course of the next four years set off the following chain of events.
The charge against my cousin went before the courts in 2008 and lasted through to 2012. It was a long arduous ordeal but any hope of a favourable outcome disappeared after the court mishandled the evidence and my cousin had more legal rights than we did. When the court found my cousin not guilty, I felt the system had betrayed and let me down. When the verdict was handed down, I recall a strange feeling had engulfed me, heavy and sluggish, and yet at the same feeling empty. It was strange. Something I will never forget for as long as I live.
Throughout my court case, I felt it was largely a victim blaming exercise, where I was the one on trial, not my abuser. I had to endure two aborted trials, with changes in crown prosecutors, detectives and lawyers. There was a lack of consistency, and as such, justice wasn’t served in my favour. But in the end I exposed him. I shone the light in his face for what he was. A molester. A paedophile. More importantly, I grew as a person and broke free my silence. Even though I was battling with my mental health, drugs and alcohol I stood taller than before and was growing proud of myself.
Despite this, there was more going on during these four years than my court case. While fighting my cousin in court, I continued my solace with drugs and alcohol, like there was no tomorrow. I was seeing a counsellor for my depression, when she found I had bipolar as well and needed more medication. You can imagine the impact this deadly cocktail of more medication, speed and alcohol had on my bedraggled life, it’s not a wonder I had many health problems. Then in 2011 when I was about to get married, this fell through when all the pressures and dramas I was going through at the time eventually took their toll.
Things weren’t all bad, although at the time I would have disagreed. In 2010, I joined the FACAA (Fighters Against Child Abuse Australia) a not-for-profit organisation that fights child abuse in Australia, which was the beginning of my slow road to recovery that continues today.
By joining the FACAA, gave me a sense of purpose, which until then was lacking in my life. I call this my life changer and with my newfound purpose, changed my diet, took up exercising and was introduced to martial arts. I found this so empowering, especially at a time when I had many health problems, which included thyroids, bi-polar as well as depression. Adam Washbourne, who is the founder of FACAA became my mentor and continues to have a major influence on my life.
Then in 2011 soon after my engagement fell through, I followed through with my dream about helping others, especially those less fortunate than me and thought what better place to do this, than overseas, volunteering in an orphanage and with children. I love children, mainly because they made more sense to me than adults and their innocence is intoxicating. In January 2012 with this burning desire inside me, a Vietnamese orphanage accepted me to help in their orphanage. I travelled around South East Asia, and volunteered in other places too.
As an aside, if you were to ask me why I volunteer, here is my reason. Volunteering keeps me alive, especially after I had found my voice and healed many of my internal wounds. I now have this constant urge to help the vulnerable and less fortunate. Some days I find it hard to breathe if I have not volunteered for a while. I don’t know what this really means, but I ache inside and get restless. I do what I do because I have to. I love to and for me it’s the right thing to do.
When I came back from Vietnam, I continued with my very slow road to recovery.
In early 2014, I was diagnosed with severe PTSD and Bipolar II disorder. I remember how I was in the Psychiatrist room. I was a blubbering mess. My thyroid also wasn’t functioning well and was put on more meds.
Then in October 2014, I recall waking up one morning, I was overseas, hungover, sick and lost. I said to myself, “I don’t want to do this anymore. I can’t do this anymore. I deserve better than this. My mother deserves better also and deserves a healthy, strong and capable daughter.”
Despite all my ups and downs, the traumas and the losses in my life, I retained my zest for life. I always felt blessed no matter what. I love to laugh, be silly and yes, I AM a little out there and loud, sometimes too loud. No matter the traumas and losses, I have always bounced back. I have always stood tall and proud too.
So in October 2015, in an effort to raise my confidence and self-esteem, I became a contestant on Wimp2warrior Series 4 in Brookvale, Sydney, which took my recovery to another level. Richie Cranny the head coach took me under his wing. He believed in me from the beginning. As I got fitter, my moods stabilized, I was eating better and the more I trained, the more I kept pace with the younger people involved in the training. I trained for four months before injury prevented me from completing the 22 weeks training program and entering the cage. The cage was when the contestants fought others in the program. Not that it mattered by this stage, the benefits from the training regime had served their purpose. I may not have entered the cage to fight, but fought hard enough to get myself out from another cage. This one called my life. That which locked me into battling addiction, low self-esteem, relationship breakdowns, depression, trauma….the works!
I give thanks to my coaches as well as all the wonderful people I met during Wimp2Warrior. I love them all for being real and by my side throughout the entire program. What a blast that was. This journey truly broke my chains and hope that many more people get to experience Wimp2Warrior for years to come.
Then in April 2016, I embarked on a world trip and returned in July 2016, which brings me to where I am today.
So for me, where do things stand?
I am now free from my past and many of my dark ghosts have been laid to rest. Because of this, my physical health continues to improve slowly. As for my mental state of mind, by speaking and sharing my past and mental illness with others has helped my self-esteem and confidence. As oppose to what I did for most of my life, keeping them hidden, which affected my mental and physical condition in a most destructive way.
I am aware there are many women and men who were molested and abused as kids, but are suffering from their experiences many years after the abuse had stopped. As I am also aware, the abuse continues today and children are being exposed and raped as I speak. I hope by sharing my story, gives these people the inspiration and confidence to seek help, or report this unseemly behaviour to the authorities.
As for those fortunate enough not to suffer at the hands of this abuse, I hope my story provides an insight of how the behaviour of one person forced upon another, can shape and mould that person’s life in a most negative and disparaging manner.
Finally, if I can give people a piece of advice, this is it. Don’t judge a book by its cover. Don’t judge people without knowing them first. I could have been a homeless person or any incarcerated person out there. The fact that I wasn’t doesn’t change things.
My name is Kimmy Daboul, thank you for allowing me to share my story with you.
Kimmy and FACAA would like to thank and acknowledge the help of her wonderful freind Patu Randell in helping her immensely by writing this survivor’s story with her. Thank you for bringing this story to the world Patu (A)