A mother who gave birth to a daughter at 12 years old after being raped by her older brother and gave her baby up for adoption has spoken about her heartbreaking ordeal.
Tressa Middleton, now 21, who spent much of early years in care became addicted to drugs and alcohol after the arrival of Annie. Her daughter was then taken into care.
Miss Middleton, from Broxburn, Scotland, who has since turned her life around, appeared on ITV’s This Morning to talk about her harrowing experience.
Miss Middleton has also detailed her experiences in a new book, Tressa: The 12-Year-Old Mum’, which she said she has dedicated to her Annie.
In a touching moment Miss Middleton said: ‘I just hope one day she does forgive me.
‘I know it’s going to be hard for her when she finds out her uncle is actually her dad.’
She added: ‘I hope she doesn’t blame me for not telling people what actually happened when it happened and for drinking and going off the rails.
Speaking of her early childhood memories, Miss Middleton said: ‘My mum was homeless and I had to go into care.
‘I remember one day my foster carers arranged a birthday party for me at McDonald’s and let me see my brother Jason.
‘He was a bit older than me but it was really good seeing him,’ she said of the person who would ended up raping her and sending her life on a traumatic trajectory.
‘After a year of care I returned home in Edinburgh. My mum was trying to get Jason back – and then he did come back to live with us when we moved to Arndale.’
Back living at home at the age of nine, Miss Middleton said she got in with an older crowd.
‘I was like a 20-year-old – even though I was only nine. All my friends were older than me. I also started to drink at eight or nine. It got too much and I was taken back into care because of my drinking.’
In 2005 at the age of 11, Miss Middleton was living back with her mother, when she was raped by her brother, who was then 16.
Tressa with her mother and daughter in 2006.
When I was 11 – that was the time I fell pregnant. I trusted him,’ she said.
She said her brother took her to a building site, where he attacked her. She said: ‘We used to go there to play on our bikes. One minute he was absolutely fine and the next everything is different.’
It was not long after the incident that her body started to change.
‘It was my friend who said I might be pregnant,’ she said. ‘She got me aside one day and said, “You might be pregnant” but I tried deny it.
‘She said we better check so we got her dad to get us a pregnancy test. The next morning I did a test and it came up that I was pregnant.
‘I never thought about terminating. I didn’t believe in abortion even at that age.
‘Me and my friend went over to my mum’s house and asked her if she could tell her, but my auntie was there.
‘My friend told my auntie, that I was pregnant and my auntie said I better hide. My mum was in the bath but she ran out after me in her towel into the street.’
It was only after the birth of her daughter, Annie, that Miss Middleton mustered up the courage to confess the true identity of the father.
‘I was at my mum’s house and half an hour later Jason arrived. He came up after me and was really drunk.
‘He said: “I love you” and I said “love you too”. Then he said: “No, I really love you – as a girlfriend.”
‘And I said: “No this can’t happen”. He was the only person who knew the baby was his.
‘Later I was really drunk and I was at my friend’s house and I just broke down and told her that Jason was Annie’s dad. She thought I was lying at first.’
Once the truth came to life, the authorities were alerted and after a trial in 2009, Jason was jailed for four years when DNA tests proved he was her baby’s father. He has since been released from jail.
Miss Middleton, also wanted to tell others in her situation to seek help.
‘If anything like this happens – you must speak out,’ she said. ‘I wish I had someone to confide in when I was younger.
‘I didn’t want my family to be split up, which was the main reason I didn’t tell anyone.’
Miss Middleton’s dedication to her long-lost daughter from her book.
It read: ‘You are never far from my thoughts. You are the last person I think of when I go to sleep and the first person I think of when I wake up in the morning.
‘You are the beating pulse of life. In the cupboard I still keep your clothes from when you were a wee baby.
‘For now I want you to know I love you and I always will.’