Thirty years ago this March, my entire world was completely shattered after being befriended by a Snr Constable of the N.S.W Police Force & he invited me to his unit to watch a VHS Video of the 1984 Movie “Police Academy”. He knew I was an absolute movie nutter. He lived in the same block of units directly above mine. I had only lived in Sydney since mid January 1985, after moving from a small NSW country town at the age of 20 to seek my ‘fame & fortune’ as an entertainer. My eldest brother was also a copper, a Sgt in the Highway Patrol…so I trusted the Police.
I arrived at 8pm (as requested), he gave me a glass of red wine (I usually drank beer) small talk ensued then my head started spinning, I felt nauseous and said “I don’t feel well, I need to go home.” He helped me to my feet (I was extremely unsteady & my legs were like jelly). Instead of walking me to his front door, he took me to his bedroom where he raped me.
When I used to recall what happen then (eg when I finally told my best friend of 40 years, 4 years ago) I could only recall what I’ve just described. I thought initially that I’d passed out. I was to discover over the next 4 years how frighteningly wrong I was! Through a series of nightmares & “flashbacks” the happenings of the ENTIRE night were revealed. The most disturbing aspect was the very last that my mind finally revealed in December 2013. I won’t go into details. A very good psychologist friend who had observed my erratic behavior early had asked me what was happening. I only told her about my symptoms & that something terrifying had happened to me aged 20 on a particular date. She said “you’ve probably suffering from P.T.S.D! I later had that confirmed by 2 psychiatrists.
Through the loving support of my wonderful circle of highly trusted friends, desensitization therapy and writing about my story. I believe I have conquered P.T.S.D. (eg no more Flashbacks or nightmares etc.)
Yes I am ‘cured’ of PTSD, but depression is a typical side effect for those who fight it, like I have!! I simply cannot tell you how hard it has been for decades now. Believe me when I say that I fight against depression EVERY day & have been doing it for 30 years!!! The only thing that keeps me from going insane is music & good friends. I have been walking a fine line for way too long now!! Quite frankly I am exhausted. To quote the great Tina Turner “No mater how bad it gets, it’s all fine whilst I’m up on stage”. Well that’s EXACTLY what it was like for me in Sydney post 1985, and even now to a much lesser extent.
My darling husband is a true saviour, who has helped me achieve a level of fitness which I haven’t enjoyed since 1984! Yes, that’s how well I now am.
When I’m fine, I know full well that I have a heck of a lot to live for, I am so grateful that I have such wonderful & understanding friends. That’s the true value of my good fiends to my life, they keep me on track by simply being around me so that I can converse & just be normal.
I have already embarked on a huge project, to write my story (wart’s & all) as a novel (my day job was with News Ltd media) titled “Into The Void- Alone” I have an editor & once finished a screenplay will be written. A country kid who’d already been ‘noticed’ as a singer (finalist in the 19 80s TV Talent Quest Show “National Star Search”, who’d been drugged one night & then raped 8 times by 6 different men (I truly believe were all policemen) over a period of 8 hours & also kicked & bashed at the end of that night, by the original Policeman.
Needless to say, I couldn’t trust anyone EVER again, so over the following years 1985 to 2002 I forged a career by myself see http://www.jolawrencemusic.com/about-me.
Thank you for reading & Bless you.
– Josephine Lawrence