First blog post

This is the post excerpt.

This week I received an advance copy of my book.

For many years now I have wanted to share my story.

The thought that I may be able to help others by sharing my own experiences has been an important factor in my own recovery and healing process. It has given my suffering meaning and with this I am able to rise each morning, count my blessings and, in the words of Henry David Thoreau, ‘live deliberately’.

Well…I try!

Unfortunately this week I have also been plagued with nightmares. It has been exhausting.

Last night I had some particularly disturbing nightmares about the abuse I suffered whilst living at Denver House. After waking for a third time I called for my dog. She knows this routine well now. She dived under the covers, turned herself around and then settled down next to me with her head resting on the opposite pillow.

Having her next to me and listening to her breathing (snoring) helped me to ground myself in the present and go back to sleep.

This time I had a wonderful dream that I would like to share with you.

I dreamt that I was cycling along a winding, cobbled road that climbed a steep hill. I was tired and it was dark. The bike I had was not suited to the road I was riding along which made the journey difficult but I would not allow myself to stop. I had a sense that I was almost where I needed to be although I had no idea where I was or where I was going.

I kept on cycling until I reached a flat surface on the hill. I stopped just as the sun began to rise. As it rose it spilled light over everything below it, revealing a beautiful town just on the other side of the hill. Beyond the town I could see the ocean glistening.

I like the way the light of the sun takes the place of the night’s darkness each morning.

I am grateful that I am enveloped by this light every day no matter how long the night before it.

The sunrise reminds me that light finds it’s way into all places in the same way that our inner light will shine through an open heart and wash over all of the darkness we have known.

Let us promise to keep rising and shining!



Author: zoepattersonfightingback

Practice what you love with love, working IN the moment and not FOR a moment. The world does not stop for defeat or for victory and neither should you. I have known victory and I am no stranger to defeat. Despite my personal challenges I still wake each day with the intention to practice what I love and this has served me well. I am an England boxing coach and qualified personal trainer, working hard to help others practice what they love.

61 thoughts on “First blog post”

  1. Loved reading your first blog Zoe. It’s a brilliant image of the road you’ve had to travel – and no one deserves to reach the town in the sun more than you do.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am 70 years old and just read “trafficked Girl” It is the first time I have ever read of a mother (who had a very unhappy childhood) treating her daughter really badly, not wanting her to be happy because she was abused as a child herself. This was quite a revelation to me. I was not trafficked. However, I grew up in a foster home where I was physically, mentally, emotionally, psychologically abused daily for 13 years by a foster mother who hated the world. She was a supreme actress, neighbours commented on how great she was to take in a foster child. She had them all bamboozled because she was a maniac at home behind closed doors. I was traumatized daily by a bitter, hateful person who used me as a punching/kicking bag. It left me badly damaged and it is just now that I am finding peace of heart and mind and beginning to heal. I am learning to forgive. That is the key to me regaining my sanity. Thank you for helping me to understand that the abuse had nothing to do with me. Wonderfully written book. Well done!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nancy, thank you so much for sharing some of your story with me. You are an inspiration. It takes courage to face up to your traumas. I am glad and humbled to know that my story has helped you to understand that the abuse you endured had nothing to do with you. I am glad that you have shared part of your story here so that other survivors can see that you can work towards and find peace at any age. You are definitely a fighter! Much love to you. Zoe


    2. Hi Zoe, Just litterally finished reading your book, I completely relate to it as I was brought up in care as well mainly in Denver house type settings in London. When i left care at 18 and got a flat i did the same thing as you. I gave myself goals like looking for a job, doing up the flat and passing my driving test. Well done for getting as far as you got my care experience was not like yours. I feel like I was stronger and could cope with it because it seemed normal! ( if thats all you know) if you get what i mean! What I am not strong enough to do is apply to read my files its not something that i could do because it would stir up so much shit up and there would be no one to question about it. There would be more question than answers i think…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Deborah, please forgive my late reply and thank you for getting in touch. It is very much appreciated.

        I am so sorry that you too experienced terrible things in the so called ‘care’ system.

        I understand exactly what you mean about feeling strong and being able to cope because it was your normal. You are right, when that is all you have know you have nothing to compare it with and so we put our best foot forward in good faith.

        Do not lose that good faith, even when you realise that what happened was not normal and actually, you were displaying a tremendous amount of courage and strength. Almost superhuman!

        In my early twenties I kept myself very busy, and never spoke a word about anything I had experienced to anyone because I thought it was normal and that I deserved it. It was only after the break up with my first partner that I was forced to face the horrors of my past. Luckily I met Pam then and she supported me through the very difficult time that came after receiving my care files and facing my past.

        If you do decide to apply for your files please make sure you have someone you trust completely who will support you and help to guide you through it all to the other side.

        Keep putting that best foot forward and you won’t go too far wrong! Love, Zoe


    3. Zoe firstly you are so strong and so amazing to now have wrote this book ive cried so much reading your story your strength throughout I read it in a day so sad that’s it’s really happened you should be proud of yourself all the best for the future

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the way you describe the struggle up the of the hill and the relief and exhilaration you find at the top..and to know the effort was worthwhile. Also like the fact that you get comfort and reassurance from your dog !

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Zoe I just finished your book and I was stunned and saddened by the horrific experiences you had to endure as a young girl. Your strength and bravery is something my daughter and I will never forget and you will stay in our thoughts always. I love your blog – you express yourself beautifully! Well done with all your amazing achievements! Deb from Sydney Australia

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have just started reading your book Zoe and I am astounded at what you went through as a young girl. Nobody should ever be treated that way and it made me very upset to read the kinds of things you had to deal with. You really are an amazing person and you should be so proud of all you have achieved! Good luck with everything in the future too ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Zoe I have just finished reading your book and I just want to say you should be so very proud of yourself you did it! You escaped from all those demons and have built a life. You are an inspiration to all who are going through the worst times of their life. Best wishes to you and good luck! X

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Zoe,
    Wow! Congratulations on staying alive through all the horrendous abuse. I am so very sorry that there was no one when your mother decided to “do a number on you” and blame everything wrong in her life on you and to do everything she could to destroy your sunny, cheerful, smiling soul . And then Denver House, where all the social and care workers simply played it safe by “ignoring” your sexual abuse outside and being bullied by Natalie.

    I can see why so many other young girls simply couldn’t take the abuse and then wish to have their lives ended early somehow.

    Your book makes me want to find places like the “Denver House” and volunteer and spend time with the kids, do something to make their miserable lives less miserable by showing that people do care and there are decent people outside.

    It’s too bad about Jess who wanted to bring you down (again) so she could control you. It’s all about control and I think she’ll show up again at your doorstep to plead that you take her back (and she’ll lie again and abuse you again and again if you let her back in).

    I just finished reading your book and I understand the pain of a being an unwanted daughter who gets everyone’s anger that is directed by a jealous mother who is angry that her daughter will have an easier and better life than she did, thus she does everything she can to thwart her own daughter so she can feel better about herself.

    Hurting you was your mother’s way of feeling better about herself, that she had power over someone else. She couldn’t “get back” at her own father or her mother, your ‘Nan’, so she got back at you to get back at what was dealt to herself. She became twisted and warped along the way.

    Congrats on your brillant book! Sending you warm pink fuzzies, you are a super survivor.


    Liked by 1 person

      1. Unfortunately my late mother was not ready to have one child, let alone 3 more after me, and had no support from her parents as she lived nearly 1,500 miles away in the states and my late father didn’t make enough to help her hire an ‘au pere’ other than sporadic ‘helpers’ who came and went and didn’t really help.

        But she was too damaged to ever be ready to take care of any children and so she had nothing to give to us: she was always looking outside for validation and attention and resented us children wanting her love and attention.

        I bring this up because the key to understanding how you developed such low self-esteem is how your mother emotionally abused you 24 x 7 and drinks herself to an early death because she can’t cope with what she went through. So your book is more than just being trafficked, it’s how you got there in the first place, thanks to the abuse and neglect of your family. I’m mentioning this so you can better position your book for all those girls and women who had abusive mothers.

        How are the book sales coming along? Perhaps you can arrange to have copies of your book available at local libraries near care facilities like ‘Denver House’, or with local social services.

        On a different subject, I highly encourage you to learn more self-defense, not just become a boxing coach, but learn some kind of internal energy based martial art such as Xing-yi, the practice of which will help you develop internal life force energy and be more grounded:

        I understand you don’t live in London (who can afford to), but pulled up a website that describes their classes and methodology: Xing-yi , also known as Hsing-I, both roughly mean “Form Intent Boxing”.

        It’s something to look into. Stay strong!


  7. I read your book and it is incredible how you fought back. You are truly an inspiration to all young girls going through this sort of trauma, I felt like giving you a round of applause once I finished the book (about 3 minutes ago). You are a phenomenal person

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Zoe, i have just finishes reading your book. I believe i am a similar age and cannot even begin to imagine what you have went through. You truly are a massive Inspiration and how you have fought back and are where you are today is amazing. I wish you so much luck in the future 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Zoe,

    I’ve just finished reading your book. Can I just say how sorry I am about you went through and having no support their to help you the way any young girl should!!! You should be so proud of the person you have become and an inspiration to others. Thank you for sharing your story!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Zoe, my name is Jenna, I just want o say thank you so much. Like you I was abused by one of my parents when I was a young girl and sexually abused by my former step sister, luckily by the time I was eight I had been rescued and was living with my grandparents, like you I suffer with nightmares and flashbacks, I was then diagnosed with autism at the age of 12 which made everything a lot harder for me, eventually the nightmares got so bad that I was willing to do anything o stop it, which included self harming and having suicidal thoughts, and honestly it’s only recently that I’ve gotten better, but thanks to you and your book I’ve finally started seeking help for the nightmares and everything, I’m now 17 and a catering college student and am doing a lot better, so thank you so much Zoe for sharing your story and giving me the confidence to speak out and fight back.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story with me. You truly are a fighter. I am just getting myself ready to go for a run and your message has given me all the motivation I need for today, so thank you! I wish you all the best with catering college and the future. A victory for one of us is a victory for all of us. Good on you for fighting back!


  11. I have just finished reading your book Zoe, I am reeling from lots off emotions from all you’ve been through and the fact that none off it should have happened had you been loved and cared for as was your right. You have proved yourself a strong woman, and please take pride that you are now giving strength hope and support to others out there. I wish you all the peace and happiness that you so deserve, may you now have a bright future, well done Zoe , stay strong x

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Zoe I just finished your book. You were so brave to tell your story. Hopefully it has helped you and I believe it will help many young women who find themselves in similar situations that you survived. You can now call your self an authour and educator, high accomplishments. I am so sorry that this happened to you and hope that you will learn to allow more people you can trust into your life , they are out there needing you as much as you need them. Sending you positive love and light. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your message Di, it is very much appreciated. I certainly do feel a lot better for having shared my story. It has been an empowering experience for me. I have already received a number of messages from women around the world, saying how much my story has inspired them. I can not find the words to describe how much this means to me. As for trusting others, I’m finding that the more I trust in myself, the more open I am to trusting others. Sending you positive love and light also. Zoe xx


  13. Hi Zoe,

    I have just finished reading your book, and have a really compelling desire to make contact with you. The first thing I wish to say is that you are truly an inspirational human being. You have the spirit of a solider and the fight of a lion. Your ability to overcome the most harrowing of adversity, is nothing more that a lesson for us all to learn from, and draw inspiration from. I am in absolute awe of the position you have been able to wrestle yourself in today.

    I also want to let you know that I am a man. Reading through your blog, I noticed the omission of men whom appear to comment.
    I am in absolute disgust of the atrocious physical and psychological pain, these cowards, (I use the term ‘coward’ in lieu of the perpetrators apparent gender) put you through.
    I want you to know that no real ‘man’ is like that, nor would ever act out or allow these behaviors. The cowards who preyed on your vulnerability are merely parasites, and I am disappointed to share their gender.
    As a father of 2, a boy 1 ½ and a girl almost 4, and my biggest fear in life is not being there to protect them.
    As I read through your story, I wished I could have been there to help you, both physically and emotionally to support you. I cried as I read your account when you were driven to a location and were forced, shaking and terrified, amongst a circle of cowards. I was relieved when they were spooked, but my heart still broke for you. I would also like you to know, that if I had the opportunity to defend you in that situation, I would have, with all my human and parental instincts. I know it may sound funny, many years post the incident, from Australia, but there is no way on earth that 1 could ever allow that to happen with my knowledge. I want you to know that there were people whom cared for you, as Zoe Patterson and a fellow human being, during your darkest hours and would have protected you had they had the opportunity. I am a Uniformed Serviceman, and I would like to see how these cowards would stand up against some real men, like my mates and I.

    I am an advocate to stop violence against women and your story has only inspired me more to speak out, call out, and intervene if required, against those whose behavior against women and children is unacceptable.

    I had a challenging upbringing, nothing like the trauma you experienced, but as a young boy with my brother and sister, my mother would go missing for days, on drug and alcohol fueled benders. For some reason, this would inspire me to get my brother to school and try to initiate behaviors within him that would ensure we broke the rut, and didn’t fall victim to the path our life was heading. “Make sure you do well at school today mate”, was a common parting statement I would give my brother as we went our own ways to class.
    I felt as though we shared some of your thought processes, as you fought your way to happiness, and found a love for boxing, as my brother and I fought to get out of the rut our life was heading.

    I want you to know that your story has inspired me even more so, to make the greatest family life I can, and make my children feel the happiness everyday that you felt, that time your father pushed you on the swing.

    Thank you for sharing your story. You are an incredible human being. Your ability to overcome adversity is second to none. I wish you all the strength and happiness in the future, and hope to hear of your continual successes through your blog.

    With care and thoughts,


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Brad,
      I would like to thank you for your message. I was emotional reading it, and I’m feeling emotional again now as I reply to it, but in a good way though : ) so don’t worry!
      I am sorry that you too have experienced a challenging upbringing. It is commendable what you did for your brother, it made me think of my own brother Ben and his attempts to offer parenting, taking me to buy my school uniform etc. It is also commendable what you are doing for women. If anyone needed proof that what is inherently good has nothing to do with gender, you are that proof! Keep fighting the good fight Brad! But please make sure that you take some time for yourself to relax and enjoy the good life you have created for yourself. I have been so used to fighting that I sometimes don’t know what to do with myself when I’ve got some free time!
      You too are an incredible human being and I wish you and your family all the love, happiness health and blessings in the world.


  14. This book is so badly needed. I am just grateful someone gave it to me because they knew of my problems. Not as bad as yours Zoe, but something like the same. Abigail. ( NOT Abbie)

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Zoe I finished your book this evening and I knew I had to reach out to you so I am glad I found this blog. You are an amazing young woman. Despite everything you clearly have always had an incredible will to live and keep going. I suffer from depression and anxiety and know how sometimes giving up can seem the only answer. I am absolutely blown away by you Zoe. You have inspired me in more ways than I can articulate and I am rooting for you. Much Love.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Karen,
      I am sorry to hear that you also suffer from depression and anxiety. Thank you for sharing that with me.
      I am glad that my story has been able to inspire you. We are certainly not alone and believe me when I say that there is so much light at the end of the tunnel!! Much love to you. Zoe.


  16. Wow, just wow
    I read your book today, couldn’t put it down. It’s now 2am, and I feel a great need to help with children in my own town. I just keep thinking if you only had one person who took the time to really listen and help, you have stirred something so strong in me!!! I will keep you in my prayers and I know with how much you have accomplished and keep striving for you will beat all the obstacles that come your way!!! You are worthwhile!!! You are strong!!! You are smart!!! I feel sorry that your mum will never know or understand the amazing woman you are. Keep your hands up and chin down.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Zoe I proud of you to overcome such a dreadful childhood. I just finished reading your book which made me so angry this little girl was getting overlooked by so many people. You persevered and over came so much. I too read Louise Hays, How to heal your life. It’s helped me overcome anxiety issues I deal with just living in the world we do. I’m sorry you experienced what you did and grateful Pam came into your life when you most needed her. Thanks for sharing your life and wishing you only the best in your future.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Zoe, literally just finished your book and had to sought you out to say how sorry I am for the life you have had up to now. Abuse causes such long term effects and you have been abused is every possible way – yet you survived and that is such an inspiration to many. I’m so glad you decided to continue sharing your journey for yourself through a blog – our writings really do remind us of how far we have come and I send lots of love and warm wishes to you for a happy future. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Hi Zoe,
    I just finished your book and I had to make contact with you. I am a Child and Youth Care Worker and spend my days with children in care. My heart absolutely aches for you and I’m so angry with the lack of care you received. I feel the need to apologize to you. I’m so sorry that you were let down so many times by the people who should have been keeping you safe. My heart hurts because one of the teens that I’m currently caring for is in a very similar situation that you were in. One day she just had a phone and a vehicle would drive past the unit and pick her up down the road. She comes home under the influence. She has started stealing for these men as well and I just want you to know that I’m doing everything in my power to keep her safe. I’ve contacted the police, I’ve contacted her social worker, I even took her phone and called the piece of shit who ha been abusing her and told him that the police are waiting for him at the unit. She confides in me and every night no matter the time, when she comes home, I tuck her in and read her a story. She is 16. I will fight for her every minute of the day and I would have fought for you as well. I’m so sorry that you didn’t have that person.
    As well as being a child and Youth Care Worker, I’m a mom to three boys and I raise my boys to respect women.
    On top of that, I was sexually abused by my father for 10 years and I suffer from Complex PTSD. Our experiences are different but devastating. I just want you to know that you are strong and resilient and amazing, just like the sunflower that grows through concrete. You inspire me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Krystal, I really hope that the young girl you work with is being helped. I am glad she has someone fighting for her. What you are doing is inspirational given your own childhood experiences. We are proof that negative life experiences do not have to influence who we become. I want you to know that you are also strong, resilient and amazing! Sending you and your family lots of love and light. Zoe


  20. Hey Girl

    I too was trafficked and turned to Muay Thai kickboxing years later as a form of moving meditation! What really made the difference/ breakthrough with my ptsd was going for Brain Integration / neuroemotional pathways ( Specialized Kinesiology ) we should connect !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Rayanne,
      Wow! I have just read the note on your website! It is incredible what you have achieved and what you are going to be doing for others like us. Maybe one day I will visit. Sending you love, light and very best wishes. Zoe


  21. Hey Girl

    I too was trafficked and turned to Muay Thai kickboxing years later as a form of moving meditation! What really made the difference/ breakthrough with my ptsd was going for Brain Integration / neuroemotional pathways ( Specialized Kinesiology ) we should connect !

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Zoe, I have just finished reading your book. You are truly inspiring, strong, brave and courageous. I work with teenagers and have for many years in different roles, your story motivates me to always listen to the unspoken words and actions of those I support and to always be true to my word and take action. I will follow your blog. I hope the world changes quicker than it is to prevent such realities for children and young people. May the sun shine bright each day for you and the moonlight protect you while you sleep x

    Liked by 1 person

      1. “Hail fair moon, ruler of the night, guard me and mine until the light” is a little chant I did with my daughter to the moon when she was younger and was scared of the dark. I wish you peaceful sleep x

        Liked by 1 person

  23. Zoe, I just finished reading your book and I cant believe how similar our stories are. I am a recovering addict and am now a year and a half clean. No matter how many times I tried I just couldnt stay clean until I faced my demons. I was drugged and sexually assaulted by a group f nine men when i was 17 and then they beat me to the brink of death and dumped me in a ditch. The police where I lived said because I didnt remember large parts that they couldnt help me. In order to deal with the pain of having to face what happened to me I began drinking and using drugs. I got clean and managed to stay clean from 2004 when I gave birth to a baby boy who I gave up for adoption until my husband and I lost our third child, a little girl named Alexis, to SIDS at almost six monts old in Febuary of 2011. I have had many other emotional traumas including being abused by my father my entire childhood and being beat up by every man I had ever had a relationship with until I was set up on a blind date as a joke in 2006 when I ended up meeting my husband, Matt. You are my dear an absolutely wonderful, astounding, articulate and beautiful person. I am so proud of you for managing to make it through to where you are. My heart is with you. If you ever decide you’d like to talk, Im always here.


    1. Hi Ashleigh, I will start by saying how sorry I am for what you have had to endure. You are one strong woman!
      Thank you so much for reading my story. I hope it helped to show you that you are not alone. Your words inspire me, and will continue to inspire me. If I am having a bad day I will often have a read through some comments from other women who I know would understand how I will be feeling and it helps to keep me focussed. Sending much love to you.


  24. Hi Zoe,
    Your story was amazing! Not only how much you have suffered, but how beautiful your soul is. So many people suffer abuse and turn so bitter, angry and continue the same abusive pattern on others. I am originally from England; moved a few years ago. I endured sexual abuse from my “father” for many years from the time as early as 4yrs old. I moved out as early as I could (17) and never went back. Fortunately, I didn’t get too deep into drugs, however, I was on the brink of alcoholism; same as both my parents. I decided to stop the cycle as I didn’t want to continue anymore. My life is great now and full of love and my own family. However, my Niece had endured years of abuse from her Mom and ran away and got very deep into drugs and bad relationships. She has lost her young children and is trying to get clean. I am going to pass on the book to her as I know it will help her. You dear, Zoe are so talented and strong and by sharing your story, are changing lives. I want to send a huge hug to you across the many miles between us. And please know how very special and awesome you are. You deserve only to have the best and only positive people in your life that will build you up to the great heights that you deserve. Thank you for being so brave and not letting them take your spirit. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Andrea, please forgive my late reply and thank you so much for taking the time to write. I am happy that you have been able to break the cycle of abuse. It’s not easy and it takes something special from deep within. You obviously have that something special!
      I really hope that your niece will follow your lead. We all deserve only the very best! Sending much love to you and your niece. Love, Zoe xxx


  25. Ive only recently started reading books, its amazing how it opens your mind to a whole new world, im especially fascinated with real life storys that get you hooked from page to page and make you not want to put it down, i cant help but compare these storys to my life and think if anything so horrific happened to me and it really makes it all more intense and life like! The detail thats put into these kind of books really does open your eyes to the cruel people there is in the world and its a frightening thought, so much emotions run through my mind while reading this book and so much sympathy for the woman having to relive this horrendous part of her childhood and shes still here to write this amazing book about it, women truly are amazing!
    My thoughts after reading your book zoe so touching and full of emotion! Well done for overcoming such a horrendous childhood you are an inspiration to women x

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I just finished reading your book and couldn’t help but cry but also be happy to know that you have over come so much and your are still standing and still fighting,Zoe you truly are an inspiration and strong women.Your heart is nothing but whole and kind even though it has being g broken in many pieces many of times.Thank you for sharing your story.Much love to you.


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