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  1. I always wondered why nobody wore swimming trunks at prep school, even our vicar headmaster. The only exception was a teacher who went about patting our faces, and was sacked. Perhaps it was to desexualise us, in the same way as keeping the Eagle comic from us was meant to keep our minds pure. But by being ducked to make me “like” the water made me a lifelong aquaphobe, so “Barrel” R.I.P., but, you may yet cause me to drown.

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  2. My brother just died from a heart attack and stroke having been struggling with substance abuse most of his 53 years
    He was abused at Cothill in 1976 the master was sacked and I believe was Jeremy Malim. My brother was adopted then our parents divorced my mum left Dad had custody then he died 5 yrs later then we were sent to England to live with my remarried mother and sent to boarding school
    And then this scum bag prayed on my vulnerable brother.
    I am so angry and saddened that this scum lives and he ruined an already fragile soul and lives in France and my brother had such a shitty life because of this ….
    Melissa

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  3. Hi Alex

    I have just finished Stiff Upper Lip: thank you very much for writing it. So much of it chimes with my experience of boarding school and many parts I could hardly bear to read. Yet, like so many, I was in deep denial at how damaged I had been by the experience even though I would tell anyone who would listen that I had hated it.

    It was only last year at the age of 63 that I found myself overwhelmed by the memories and needing to seek help. It will be no surprise that this happened when my son (my firstborn) turned 8 – the age at which I was both abused and punished for being abused. Perhaps not surprising either that it took me so long to start a family.

    I read one of your pieces in the Guardian about Ashdown House in 2013. While agreeing and sympathising with what you wrote, I still believed then that I had successfully moved on, that I had turned the page. How very wrong I was.

    Thanks again.

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    1. It’s a great thing for you and your family you have been able to acknowledge the abuse. It is better out than in my brother was unable to and kept it bottled up and suffered substance abuse and he has died as a result of struggling to keep the daemons at bay.. Thank goodness people like ALEX draw attention to this mass abuse it’s just horrific.
      Wishing you health and healing.
      Melissa

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