A woman who suffered years of horrific and emotional abuse has bravely penned a new book about her ordeal after starting a new life in Fife.
Yvonne Mandeville, 69, who now lives in Markinch, has published The Girl in The Kings Arms which explores the physical, emotional and sexual abuse she received from her mother and grandfather as she was being brought up in Essex in the 1950s and early 1960s.
The story details her childhood, with the contrasting tales of post-war rural life and the abuse she suffered from her family, and she believes it is a tale that needs to be told in the hope others going through similar circumstances will find the courage to speak out.
“It was just something I had to do, because I have kept quiet for decades, and little things were urging me on to get it out there and let people know,” she said.
“I started writing about my childhood, and with every chapter, which in effect is a story in its own right, no matter how much I put myself in the fields, playing with friends, describing the flowers, the happy memories, all the time I was writing the good things, these dark memories were creeping in.
“I couldn’t let go of them, because they were very big parts of those memories.”
Being born a girl when her mother wanted a son was not a good start to life and Yvonne was soon handed over to her grandfather and his “live in” mistress to be brought up.
In talking about it to the daughter of the mistress – an elderly lady now, and a longstanding friend – it transpired Yvonne’s grandfather and his mistress were incestuous paedophiles.
“One of the instances of sexual abuse was when I was just 11 years old,” she recalled.
“I was taken in the early hours of the morning to what I was told was a “party” with two men at their house. I didn’t want to go, but was forced to. “When I got there I realised that it wasn’t a “party” at all – just darkness.
“The two women who were with me were the women I trusted most in the world but that night they let me down.”
She added: “Everything I really treasured as a child was given away to other girls who lived nearby.
“I had to know – and see – that they were enjoying my things, those things that I loved.
“Even my kitten was given away to someone living in London.”
Yvonne now lives in an old farmhouse and takes in rescue cats and has called Fife her home, with her husband Mike, for around 20 years.
Yvonne has a website at www.thegirlinthekingsarms.com and the book can be bought on Amazon or at http://www.ypdbooks.com/biography/1814-the-girl-in-the-kings-arms-YPD02002.html in paperback, Kindle or eBook formats.