They say abused become abusers... I was so scared that would be me

WITH just 16 years between them, Benidorm telly star Crissy Rock and her daughter Tracy look like they could be sisters. The two constantly chat, joke and laugh together.
But their smiles hide a family heartache as Tracy, now 35, was the baby conceived after Crissy was raped as a naive teenager by a stranger. The award-winning actress also suffered sexual abuse as a child, sickening domestic violence at the fists of her first husband and a second marriage to an alcoholic.
Now she has bravely put pen to paper to recount her amazing struggle to survive in a moving autobiography, This Heart Within Me Burns, which is No4 on the bestseller list. Tracy told The Sun: "Mum not only went through all that trauma as a child, she then went through a terrible time as an adult too. I remember a little bit from being a child, not a lot, but enough. I only knew when I was older how bad things had been and what my mum had gone through. I was in tears at the story. It's weird because for all those years you think 'why didn't mum love me, why did she behave like that with me?'
"Then I realised it wasn't me, it was the situation. It wasn't something she had meant to do, it was something that had just happened."
More than seven million viewers have tuned in to see Crissy in the ITV1 comedy show - but away from the screen, her story is one of survival against almost impossible odds. Brought up on a run-down council estate in Liverpool, she was sexually abused by her granddad which left her wracked with self-doubt when she became a mother at just 16 following a rape by another man.
Now 52 and a grandmother-of-five, Crissy said: "I was terrified I'd accidentally touch Tracy somehow when I was changing her nappy as a baby and she'd remember. They say the abused becomes the abuser and I was so fearful that would happen to me.
"I wouldn't help her when she was learning how to use the toilet, I couldn't sit her on my knee. Because I was so afraid of her and because I loved her so much I put this wall up. I wouldn't let her sit on anyone's knee because I wondered if I'd sat on my grandad's knee too often or hugged him too much - and that's why he'd behaved like he did. We went through hell when she was a teenager. She'd ask why I didn't care about her, but I can't spend the rest of my life saying sorry."
Crissy was a teenager when she was raped by a stranger at a neighbour's house and fell pregnant.
She now refuses to use the word rape, instead referring to the incident as an attack. Crissy explained: "To me that word is a horrible, violent, nasty word and I don't want Tracy associated with that because she is none of those things."
Crissy rushed into a marriage with her boyfriend of the time thinking it would give her and her baby stability and security.
It turned out to be anything but. Crissy refers only to her first husband as "B", and reveals how he beat, stabbed and almost drowned her during years of domestic abuse.
Through it all, Tracy was her beacon of hope. In an emotional open letter to her daughter, Crissy recalls: "It was only Tracy that kept me going. Tracy, you have always been my strength, I love you more than you could ever imagine. When you were born I was a child with a child and I wanted a manual that would tell me how to be a good mother. Sadly, it never arrived. Some things you get wrong, sometimes more than once. I made some big mistakes along the way for which I can only apologise. All I can say is that they were honest mistakes.
"You were there through the worst years of my life and I managed to pull courage and strength from deep inside your beautiful body. When my energy was drained, you rejuvenated me. You were my strength and I love you, my beautiful baby girl, from the bottom of my heart."
Tracy said: "I cried over that letter. Mum has not only had to live through all this, she has had to go through it again when she wrote it all down. While she tries to make things humorous or into a joke, she has feelings and emotions like anyone else."
After finding the courage to divorce B, Crissy decided to tell Tracy about her biological father on her 13th birthday, terrified her ex-husband would use the secret against her.
Crissy said: "When is the right time to tell someone that?" It took the pair years to come to terms with the revelation, and all the while Crissy continued to fight tooth and nail for Tracy and her younger sister Hayley. She recalled: "I had to be their dad as well as their mum, as they never had a dad. I could have been battered loads of times but I had to stick up for them like I was a man.
"Tracy called me crying from the phone box once when she was 19 because a boyfriend had punched her in the face. I flew down there and I went into the pub where he was sitting with his mates. I walked straight up to him and punched him right in the face. Then I got a bottle, smashed it and told him if he ever put his hands on my girl again I'd stick that broken bottle right in his f***ing throat.
"My nerves were gone, I was terrified, but I thought to myself 'how dare he?'
"I told Tracy, 'if you let a man hit you once, then you lie on the floor and let him kick you to death, because he will in the end, I know.'"
Crissy found TV fame after she entered a stand-up comedy competition for a bet. Already an award-winning actress with films including the 1994 cult classic Ladybird Ladybird under her belt, she was spotted working on the pub and club circuit in the Spanish resort of Benidorm. The creator of the hit show, Derren Litten, cast her as hotel manager Janey York.
Tracy, who has just returned to the UK after living in India for five years, said: "I couldn't help but laugh when I turned on the TV after getting back to the UK and Benidorm was the first thing that came on."
She fully supports her mum's idea to write the book, published by John Blake Publishing at £14.99. "My mum is fantastic at what she does and is an incredible woman. We're as close as sisters now and she's a tower of strength. I was happy for her to do the book. I told her not to leave anything out. I'm so proud of her and it's amazing that after surviving so much she's the person she is today."
Courtesy : The Sun