Crissy Rock has spoken out for the first time about the physical and sexual abuse she suffered from her grandfather while growing up.
In a heartbreaking interview on Loose Women, the Benidorm star told her story as part of the show’s Never Too Late To Tell campaign which encourages survivors of abuse to tell their stories.
She said: “A lot of what happens in your life is related to mental health, and I’ve always known why I have these feelings and why I have these anxiety attacks.
“But I’m able now to control it because I know why a smell, a sound, a noise has this domino effect that transports you right back.”
Rock explained that the abuse began from when she was seven years old as her entire family had been living in one house, but when her parents got their own home, she loved her grandmother so much that she decided to stay with her grandparents.
Talking about the effects of the abuse, she said: “I have a phobia of a bath, I can’t get in a bath.
“People get in a bath and relax, but to me it was getting dragged out of bed by the scruff of your hair and thrown in a freezing cold bath, having water from a pan thrown all over you and scrubbed, while being told how disgusting and filthy you are and that it’s all your fault.”
She added: “You were told it was your fault and they wouldn’t believe you. I couldn’t concentrate in school, that’s why I couldn’t read or write until I was 27. I didn’t know what was going to happen when I went home.
“I did a lot of self-harming, 17 years. I was moving the pain, I was in control of when I was going to hurt.”
Rock went on to become a household name and explained that channelling herself into comedy had helped her to cope.
She said: “Being a comic helped a lot, because I never really had a home. I’d go to my mum’s and she’d say go home, then I’d go home and I didn’t want to be there.
“So the only home I ever felt safe was on the stage.”
My whole heart is aching for @Crissy_Rock, listening to her story on Loose Women. What a brave, courageous strong lady. Wow 💓— ELLIE (@ellmcintyre) June 24, 2019
The abuse eventually ended when her grandfather had a stroke, although she had to care for him before he died.
Rock admitted: “When he died I was so angry with him because how dare you just die and not say why? I loved you as a granddad and I still don’t understand why you did what you did.
“You’ve just gone and taken it away and I can’t ask any questions.
“I sat in a room for three days, arguing with this dead person who wasn’t there anymore and I said if you walked in this door right now, I’d say I don’t understand why, but I’m going to forgive you because by forgiving you, I’m forgiving me.”