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Boarding school taboo: author reveals in book her worst nightmare aged 5



Boarding school taboo...

Author reveals in book her worst nightmare about starting boarding school  aged 5:

Daily humiliation by the nuns due to her constant bedwetting problem which persisted until adulthood

  • The schools are soon to be opening their doors for a new term with new faces in September. Spare a thought for victim of  child abuse  being sent away to a Catholic boarding school only for the abuse to carry on... 

  • The author of book No Fourth River, Christine Clayfield was a bed wetter and carried on wetting her bed until the age of 32. This was a direct result from the abuse she suffered at the hands of her tyrannical father, the mean nuns then her first husband who domestically abused her.


  • Christine Clayfield would like to share her book, her terrible experiences and inspirational story with the world as she has created a totally new life for herself. She is now a self-made millionaire despite being told by all figures in authority she was useless and would make nothing of her life.


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 Her book No Fourth River takes the reader on a difficult journey as she relays the abuse she suffered at the hands of her tyrannical father and the authoritarian nuns

Ex school-boarder and serial entrepreneur and author Christine Clayfield says:

"These scars can fade. I suffered extreme domestic violence at the hands of my tyrannical father during my childhood in Belgium. He told me I was worthless and useless during his many physical punishments. He sent me to boarding school. I begged and begged him not to send me there but he did and I was only five years old. The nuns and children were so horrid to me, it ensured my bedwetting continued as I had daily humiliation".

Commenting on John Smyth's death she says:

"What are the limits of teaching discipline? In the name of Christianity or in any other name. The abuse of power and trust by people who are responsible for your care and well-being is horrendous. The physical pain can heal but the mental pain stays with victims forever and can potentially influence the rest of their lives. I have a lot of sympathy for the victims of John Smyth. Their voices deserve to be heard but unfortunately it is too late for that now. There are many victims who suffer or suffered abuse of power and their stories need to be told".

I am now a self-made millionaire having set up over 15 businesses using the guts and determination I didn't have during my childhood.

My mission is to inspire children and adults who experience bed wetting and have had a painful boarding school existence. Being laughed at or teased for bedwetting so so painful particularly when it's totally out of the child's control."

Christine wrote No Fourth River, a novel based on a true story. A profoundly moving book about a woman's fight for survival. It makes very challenging reading as you witness the events she endured in her life but the story ends well when she totally turns her life around and discovers sport and then running multiple businesses that helped to take her away from what she has suffered. 

She has lived in the UK for over 25 years and is happily married with twins.

Christine is available for interview to talk on the topic of boarding schools and bedwetting.

She encourages people to share their stories of domestic abuse or their bad past with the hashtag: #BraveMe.

As a result of her childhood she has various health conditions and anxieties:

  • Irreparable short-term memory problems. When she has to do something, she writes it down immediately; otherwise, two seconds later, it will be wiped from her memory forever. This is because of too much stress as a child and young adult.
  • Anxiety when in a room: given a choice, she will never sit in a room where she can't see who is behind her. She needs to feel safe and see what's coming at her. For example, in a restaurant, she always chooses a table so she can oversee what is going on and nobody can creep up on her. This is as a direct result of bad memories when her first husband used to attack her from behind and hit her with his full fist on her back. 
  • She has a deep, low voice. People on the phone often call her "sir." This low voice is apparently due to too much stress as a child.
  • She has Restless Legs Syndrome. One specialist believes that this might be because her legs have been wet during the night or have been on damp sheets, due to her bedwetting as a result of the stresses caused by the domestic violence, for a large part of her life.


 Notes to editors:

  • Christine Clayfield, 59 years old, has set up 15 businesses, the first of which saw her selling Apple computers in the 1980's. She became the best reseller in Belgium thanks to her grit and determination.
  • See images of her life story here:
  • She turned her life around after her coma and became a leading triathlete often coming first.
  • During her years of abuse she dreamt of having twins she could look after and give the love she never had, she succeeded and had twin girls with her second husband who is her rock.
  • Christine was sent off to strict boarding school aged 5 where her bed wetting problem was a source of bullying from the nuns and pupils. Every morning she was paraded through all the dormitories holding the wet bedsheets so everyone could see and jeer at her.


Press contact:

Amanda Ruiz

Tel 07711 419595

Contact Christine Clayfield:

Tel: 01233 733 993