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Author Topic: To talk about it?
Alergnon
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I am unsure if this is suppose to really go here, but I need some help.

So, I finally called the Sexual Assault center here in town, finally, and went to the intake appointment. I didn't go into detail of what happened, just told her what she needed to know. I have never told or gotten help for it at all.

2 summers ago people at a group home found out and I was taken to the police station, my counselor at the time, was informed of what happened. Since then I haven't spoken of it, only briefly once or twice but got nothing outta it. The person was found innocent. So I left it that, now, it's always in my head ever since I saw my family in March.

I don't know what it's really going to be like talking about what happened. I know what counseling is like, not something like this, this is something very personal and close to me.

When the intake lady asked me what I wanted to get out of counseling, I told her to be able to talk about it, learn about it, learn why I am behaving a certain way, and to deal with it.

Is it like any other counseling? I sometimes feel I need to back outta it, almost feeling trapped from it. I know I need to talk about it.

How would it be easier to talk about it?

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Heather
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One thing we know about sexual abuse and assault -- those of us who have been working in it a long time, who have read all the research, and even more if we're also survivors who have adjusted pretty well -- is that not talking about it is one of the biggest barriers to healing.

We already live in a world that doesn't really tall about consensual sex very much when it comes to real-deal conversations, not flippant fluff or using sex to sell things. And sexual assault and abuse carry a MUCH heavier silence. Because of both of those things, really, and because we all still live in a world where fear and shame so surrounds sexuality and sexuality issues, so many survivors stay silent and hidden, which just makes us feel more isolated and alone, and makes it harder to heal.

And once we open that jar and start talking about it, it's usually pretty amazing how much easier it gets pretty quickly (not minutes, mind, or even weeks or months: often at first it's really hard and painful, but in time, that changes).

I hear you saying counseling has never been about anything very close and personal for you, so it sounds to me like you've yet to actually experience any kind of therapy or counseling, for real. Because when we have a good therapist or counselor and we're also really participating in the process, it's all very personal and about things that are big, or very close to our hearts and minds.

Counseling around sexual assault is a bit different than general counseling primarily in that this is what it focuses on. In other words, it's specific, not general. It's also from folks trained to do this work expressly, so you don't have to worry about things like a counselor not believing you, downplaying abuse, etc.

It probably won't be easy to talk about it at first, especially if you never really have, especially on your own terms. It's probably going to be pretty scary for you and hard at first: but really, that's a really key first step, taking that positive risk and just doing it in a safe space, to healing, and to things truly getting easier. Make sense?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Alergnon
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Hey Heather,
Yea I believe you that it will be hard, not just hard, but it's something that I have kept inside of me. It happened around 10 years ago. It was something I couldn't let anyone know about going into my teenage years. I kept having this awful thought inside of me that never went away, it's still there but it has increased stronger.

When I was in normal counseling, general counseling, I really wanted to tell so badly, but the fear inside me stopped me from telling. When it blew up while I was living in a group home, after it all happened to me, I still refused to talk about it. Not only that, one of the staff members there said a comment which I became to believe, but inside that comment was wrong. She basically told me that the police didn't find the person guilty and that I should feel bad, not only that but she told me I may have ruined the start of a new bond between my parents and myself, there wasn't to begin with. It hurt like hell when she told me that.

So May 1st I have a appointment to start talking about it, I'm very scared.

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Heather
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I can certainly understand why a comment like that was so hurtful. And for sure, when we break silence with this, it should be on our own terms, rather than anyone else doing so for us. I'm so sorry both of those things happened in the past, and I can get how they'd make talking now even more scary.

You know, if you think it'd make it easier for you on the 1st to have talked about it with someone before, I'm happy to listen and be supportive.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Alergnon
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Yea it really was unbelievable how it unfolded. I confided in another resident while she offered to smoke marijuana and after we did, I asked her something, then told her. I wasn't close to her at all, she was the bully of the Group Home, but she would come around and be nice. Well, I guess she got worried about me because I was depressed so she told the staff what I had told her.

Long story short, was taken to the police station, refused to talk, I wouldn't even look at the officer and the staff was talking to him and giving him my parents information of where they lived, how many people live there, etc., they got Children's Aid involved due to at the time my sister was 7. Then, I got back and left a death note on my pillow and walked down the stairs and out the back door, and ran until I was deep into a nearby trail. Then, I went through a thick brush beside the Highway and houses. Jumped a massive fence and past out on the side of the road in a ditch kinda thing, stayed there because it was pouring rain and the trees kept me from getting wet. Woke up to little kids playing in the driveway/parking lot sorta thing. Then finally got up and walked more risking being caught, crossed a intersection and quickly got on side streets. Somehow, my feet took me straight to the hospital, where the police where waiting for me. I was put in a room with only chairs, and an office sitting across from me, then 2 security guards posted outside the door. Another guard came to escort me up to the psychiatric ward where 3 more guards waited. I was locked up in a room with four walls and a mattress on the floor. Then, I freaked out then they shut the door on my face and locked it, screamed until it was pointless. Then, my doctor put me in a more comfortable room with a bed.

I wanted to ask, are there any web sites that are beneficial to me that could help me, like information or something?

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Heather
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What kind of information are you looking for?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Alergnon
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Well, there is only one Sexual Assault Center here for Survivors and others I really have no idea. I am scared to call this new Canada, Ontario number where you ask for like information, just I feel stupid calling it. It's a new thing- 211

I'm just looking for information on why it happens, what leads people doing that, if there was anything I could of said or done, etc., Kinda blunt things and broad things.

Or things I can do now?

I know I should talk to the counselor I am assigned to and ask her about it, Just It's bugging me that I can't do anything about it, the imagines, etc.

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Heather
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Why sexual assault happens and what motivates people who assault others? If there is anything victims could have done besides the obvious (run, yell, fight back, etc.) to keep assault from happening?*

With what you're asking for, have you already read all the material we have here on the site about these things? If not I could certainly build you a link list, and would be happy to include a few books and some other sites, too.

* The answer to this one is almost always no, by the way. The person in control of someone being assaulted is the person choosing to attempt to complete assault, not the person being assaulted, just like the person driving drunk is the one in charge, for the most part, of not hitting someone crossing the street, not the street-crosser.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Alergnon
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I don't know a lot about sexual assault and it would be helpful to read the things on the site about it. And other web sites would be really great.
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Heather
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You got it.

So, here are some links I would start with on the site:
• How You Guys -- that's right, You GUYS -- Can Prevent Rape (is very in-depth, and includes pages of info about who rapes and why)
• Driver's Ed for the Sexual Superhighway: Navigating Consent (Understanding what consent is is pretty critical to understanding nonconsent and sexual violence)
• Dealing With Rape
• http://www.scarleteen.com/article/advice/my_rape_is_stuck_in_my_head_what_do_i_do_to_get_it_out
• http://www.scarleteen.com/article/advice/dealing_with_date_rape_abuse
• http://www.scarleteen.com/blog/heather_corinna/2009/12/15/10_surefire_ways_to_prevent_sexual_assault

On some other good sites:
• http://www.pandys.org/articles/index.html (Nice big list here)
• http://www.d.umn.edu/cla/faculty/jhamlin/3925/myths.html
• http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/rape-a-history-from-1860-to-the-present-by-joanna-bourke-397211.html
• http://www.barcc.org/information/facts/prevention

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Heather
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Oops, forgot an important one!

Blinders Off:Getting a Good Look at Abuse and Assault

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Alergnon
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*WOW*

I had no idea something would happen to you Heather, when you were young and growing up. I guess I really can't think other people on here has it lightly, I get myself caught up in that sometimes, I've always thought that you knew everything because you went to school and gotten a degree or something. You can relate, I mean you know what or how it feels like in certain situations and whatever background training or degree you have, you knew before you learned more details of it, education.

There is a lot of information in the first part of the first link you put for me to read. I am going to continue reading more tomorrow morning when I get up.

Heather, Thank You for sharing your story [Smile] I feel less alone.

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Heather
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Hey there, Alergnon: you're welcome. And yep, I've got a combo of the book/job learning with this stuff as well as some real-life experience. Obviously even both of those things still won't mean I'll intrinsically "get" every survivor's experience, since your experiences can be so diverse, as is the greater context of our lives, but I can usually get it pretty well. I'm sorry I didn't realize you didn't know: if I'd thought that would have helped you, I'd have let you know that about my life sooner.

You're right, it is a LOT of information to take in, even as a relatively brief starter bit, and it's also all heavy stuff to process, obviously, so trying to take it in all in one night would probably be a bit much for anyone. take your time, you know where to find me if you want more or want to talk more. [Smile]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Alergnon
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Hey Heather,
Yea, well when I post things online like forums like these or similar I don't ask personal information nor look them up, if you know what I mean. I will certainly take more time in the morning to read some more and then again when I return from co-op and going to ask YMCA about reduced costs for a membership for low income persons then return and read some more. Gives me a gap to do whatever and process it as well. I honestly, haven't looked into your books that you have written and I would read them and check it out at the local library here but... I have books out from the fall and I owe them a ton of over due fees that I don't want to pay yet, need to return the books... hehe.

So, tonight I had the guts to walk to the sex store, before I called and asked them for like information and they couldn't tell me anything due to she didn't know if I was of age. Never walked into a sex store before, walked out with something for myself [Smile] hardly buy anything for myself.

And thank you for giving me some links to check out, I will continue reading again, like I said, in the morning and what not. Also, thank you for telling your story [Smile]

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Heather
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(Hey, Alergnon, I'm sorry if I leave you hanging over the next couple of days. Have just suffered a very unexpected, very huge loss over here and I'm afraid I'm just of little use to anyone, need to take space to grieve.

Again, sorry for this if you wanted to talk more soon. I'll do my best to pull myself together as I can so I can hopefully be back for that if you need it in a few days.)

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Robin Lee
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Alergnon,

I have some background specifically in this area (not as much as Heather, but some) so if you would like to talk before she's back, just post something. [Smile]

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Robin

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Alergnon
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Hey Heather,
I am sorry about your loss, take some time and grieve.

Hey Robin,
Yea, that'd be great. [Smile]

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Robin Lee
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Okay. I check in here a couple of times each day. So, if anything comes up for you with the reading Heather gave you, or anything else, just pop bak in here. [Smile]

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Robin

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Heather
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Hey, Alergnon: just checking in to see how you're doing.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Alergnon
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Hey Heather!
I haven't had a lot of time to read more of the articles, but I am planning to. A ton of shit has been going on. The day after I posted last, that is when things started to happen for me. Mostly started at the beginning of this shitty month. May 2nd found out on facebook (of all things) my uncle who has been struggling with cancer for a few months had past. I wasn't close to him, but that fact finding it out through facebook, was kinda a piss off. A few days later, went to my old work to see if they had gotten my employment record, left all pissed off with a number. A few days ago got a letter in the mail that I have been suspended from any government assist if I don't have this information in by a certain date. I thankfully gotten my employment record, finding out they owe me money they never paid me. The city where I live are 'running with their heads cut off like chickens' and going to the extreme level of making suicide awareness, someone had recently committed suicide. They had a great idea to start a group to make suicide awareness aware. I found out someone did through this event on facebook. Friday, I had to go to the police station to report the things they were posting. Found out a couple hours later, police posted a message on their page saying, they haven't heard anymore teens commit suicide and what teens are saying is a horrible rumour. Later, people where saying teens on facebook were claiming 4 other teens had committed suicide, which no one did besides the one teen. Later that comment was taken down. I'm freakin' out because I don't know if the police took the comments down or not, or someone who created the event did. The police have my name and address, I'm scared they will come looking for me, giving them false information. When, teens where threatening to die, swearing, bullying and cyber-bullying, threats, etc., where all going on, on this event. I was told by the office when I wrote the information down that the detective will look into it, they have special abilities to access that information, but the person wasn't there. Everything is coming right back to me! My *** is on the line now.

I'm hoping things will be better for me, I am going away for the weekend this coming weekend, and I am celebrating my 19th next week, as well going to prom and then to go out with friends to celebrate at a restaurant then I am looking forward to graduating next month, finally.

Yesterday experienced the most excitement I've had this month so far. I got into a bus accident. A truck ran a red light behind the bus, and tried to go in between a car and the bus, hitting the bus, damaging the bus and the truck went in front of the bus and we hit the back of the truck, bus stopped so fast, before anything heard a loud noise over my music and I flew catching myself and saw two people flew hitting the same pole and landed on each other. Sat there waiting for the supervisor to come, then the police, then a care-van to drive us to the terminal. That was the most exciting thing that has happened to me, kinda sad, for this month.

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Heather
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I'm so sorry to hear about your uncle, Alergnon, and also so sorry you had to hear about it that way.

I'm not sure why you're concerned about the police and the Facebook issue. I don't see any reason to be concerned about that.

The coming weekend sounds like just the thing for you, and a happy early birthday. [Smile]

And yipes, about that bus accident!

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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