My name is Alex, I write under the pen name Alex James or A. James. I am currently 29 years old. I was born in England but moved to New Zealand at about the age of 18. The Kapiti Coast is my home, My wife and I moved there in 2015 and our family has since grown, welcoming our daughter into the world late 2019. I have served in the New Zealand Army and currently work for Kiwirail. Weightlifting is a passion of mine, I have been working on my own garage gym for sometime. I have competed in powerlifting competitions but have had to step back due to injuries sustained whilst in the Army. Music has played an integral part in my life, both listening and playing – the guitar is my instrument of choice. I mention these activities as I believe both physical and creative outlets played a huge part in me finding balance in my life.
The first time my stepfather sexually abused me I was 14 years old, I was groomed prior to that and the abuse escalated and became more frequent throughout the years. My life from 14 onwards was fraught with behavioural and mental health issues, many of which I chose to ignore and push through. In 2018 my wife and I decided that we wanted to start a family; this became the catalyst for me confronting my problems and speaking up about who my stepfather really was. In 2019 he received a prison sentence.
Soon after he was sentenced I realized that my story has the power to help others, if I can reach them. Moving on, for me, doesn’t mean letting go of my past but using it to try and do some good. Many survivors of sexual abuse, both as adults and children, don’t feel like they will be heard if they speak out. Some even feel shame because of the suffering they endured – statistics indicate that this is particularly prevalent amongst men – but the shame belongs entirely to the perpetrators. Moving on for me means openly sharing my story so that people can see the system works, that they don’t need to be ashamed and that people will listen to and support survivors if they speak out.
I have written a book chronicling my experience with and recovery from childhood sexual abuse, it is called, ‘Buried Alive: a story of hate and acceptance’. It is available in Kindle and paperback formats and is free to read through Kindle Unlimited.