PE Teacher

In the early 80’s at a small primary school in Cornwall we had a male teacher for PE for one year. Every time we had PE we would fight to get to the changing room first to get dressed before he appeared in the room. We would be showering naked and he would come in and watch. I was extremely self-conscious of my body, I didn’t want to shower in front of anyone. I would rush in, throw on my clothes over my PE kit and get out before he appeared. On one occasion a friend was stopped as we tried to leave and he checked her towel, declared that she hadn’t showered and made her undress and shower while he watched. After that I learned to wet my hair and towel so it would seem I had showered. I avoided PE as much as possible. When I was 8 years old my best friend swore me to secrecy before telling me this PE teacher had touched her. The whole thing was bewildering and I didn’t know what I was supposed to do with that secret. Once she had told me she didn’t want to talk about it again. She was permanently damaged by that incident, felt responsible and that dark secret rotted inside her. She was never able to take that secret out and examine it in the light, to understand that it wasn’t her fault. She never got past that 8 year old girl that was hurting, confused and was abused by someone that should have been trusted. Looking back I can see the slow self-destruct that the guilt of that secret had on her. She lost all her confidence, became anxious and withdrawn. She went on to have relationships that were abusive and controlling. That 8 year me was powerless and I didn’t do anything.

  • One thought on “PE Teacher”

    1. What could you have done…nothing…you were 8 years old and as you said yourself you were ‘bewildered’ and totally out your depth in a situation you didnt fully understand! That young friend was lucky to have you to trust and to talk to. The fault lies totally at the feet of the sexual predator who felt his need/desire to touch a child in his care outweighed the damage that action would inflict on his student!

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