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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Abuse & Assault » Getting started with the "healing process"

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Author Topic: Getting started with the "healing process"
AllyTwin2
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I was raped.

This is the first time I use these words. It's been hard to understand what happened and why it happened. I guess I have been trying to avoid to say these words in order to deny it happened to me, but I was told that the first step to heal is to accept it did happened, so here I am, saying those words with so much pain while doing it.

It wasn't at all violent but at the same time it was. I've been reading almost everything in here about how violence doesn't make a rape real or not but I guess there's a part of me still trying to pretend maybe it was ok.

I have so many questions in my head that sometimes is hard to even get some sleep, there's a very loud voice inside of me asking why you didn't do anything to stop it? Why the hell you were so quiet? Why you didn't scream? Why you didn't say no?

Everybody around me has a different opinion about what happened, about what should I do and about what should I've done. It's hard to answer to everyone when I don't even have the answers to my own questions.

I don't know what to feel or what to think anymore. I don't even want to feel and think anymore.

I feel lost. Lost in my own home, in my own bedroom, in my own bed. Everybody looks at me and I know what they are thinking, and it hurts me even more. I wish nobody knew about this. I wish I could be invisible to the rest of the world.

I came here because this has been such a great place where I have found such great people. But I feel like I'm never going to be ok. I though I was but looks like I was wrong.

Sorry if my words doesn't make much sense,I'm trying my best.

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nixieGurl
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Hi AllyTwin2,

I'm so sorry to hear that you are struggling right now, but I am glad you feel safe enough to talk here with us.

First of all I just want to tell you that what other people think or feel about this is not important, you were there, you know what happened and whatever you did or didnt do still does not make any of it your fault. You don't owe anyone any explanations, you don't even owe yourself any, what happened is traumatic and when something like that is happening we often don't get to react in a way we like to think we would because our brains switch off a little. Thats a normal thing and it's okay.

You not being able to scream or yell is not the reason this happened, it happened because someone decided to rape, that is the only reason.

It is normal to feel lost, scared, upset, depressed. It is normal to not want to think or feel sometimes too, and I hope it helps to know that you are not alone in those feelings.

Have you anyone around you who is supporting you through this? Are you able to ask those people who are wanting answers that you can't give to just stop asking that of you for a while? If there is someone in person who you can talk to about how you are feeling it can really be helpful.

Right now you have to cut yourself a break and be really kind to yourself (and I know that is a lot harder said then done, trust me). Are you safe now from the person who raped you?

Take care of you.

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AllyTwin2
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Thank you for your answer.

Yes, I am safe now, at least he is not around anymore. I don't know how to explain this but it just feels awful even when he is gone.

I do have people to talk to, too many I think, everybody wants to talk about it, but the thing is I don't want to talk about it.

I had an app with a counselor the past Tuesday, I didn't want to go really but my parents told me I had to so I went. It was awful.

I just feel like everything is spinning so fast around me and I can't deal with it.

Thank you for your words again.

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Robin Lee
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Would you like to talk about what made the appointment with the counselor so awful?

You have a lot of options for things you can do to help yourself and find support righ tnow.

We'd be happy to suggest some books you can read about healing and surviving. there are support groups, both in-person and online, that w'd be happy to help you find.

You can continue to talk with us here.

What do you think would be helpful to you? Is there something I haven't suggested that you think would help?

You mentioned that everyone around you wants to talk about this with you. I'm hearing in what you're saying that this is just way too overwhelming right now. Would you like to talk about ways to set some limits with the people who want to talk to you about this? It was something *you* experienced, so you get to say when and how it is talked about. Really, you do, and you deserve to have people respect your limits around this, and around anything else for that matter.

--------------------
Robin

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AllyTwin2
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My brother was supposed to be with me at the app, I specifically asked my parents that, he is my twin brother and my best friend and the only person who hasn't been pushing and pushing, but right when we got to the counselor's office my mom said "it's better if I go with you, I want to ask some questions" and that was it. She kept talking about what happened with the counselor and after she was done and it was my turn to talk I was just too upset to say anything so I kept nodding.

I don't think I could go yet to another place and start talking about this again.

About the books I think maybe it could be easy to read for now instead if talking so yes I would appreciate it.

I don't know if there is a way to set limits around here, I'm trying to be understanding that my parents are also hurt but it so tiring to think about everyone in a situation like this, I feel like I'm going crazy.

My mom keeps coming to my room at night to "check on me" because she feels bad I guess but that freaks me so bad because it's exactly how this happened at first and I told her please don't do that because every time I hear the door at midnight I panic but she keeps on doing it claiming she will try to be more careful not to wake me up.

I'm sorry for all this venting, this is already a long post but I didn't know with who else I could talk.

Thanks.

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Robin Lee
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It's absolutely okay to vent here and to talk about whatever you need to talk about.

I'm so sorry that your request to have your brother at the counseling appointment with you wasn't honoured and that your Mom took over the appointment in a way that made it impossible to talk with the counselor. Were you offered the chance to talk with this counselor alone or did your mom stay in the office with you?

Do you know if this counselor has specific expertise in working with people who have been raped? is there another appointment scheduled?

per setting limits with your family: do you think it would be helpful for you to explain to them that you know they're upset and worried about you, but that you really need different things than what they're offering right now in order to start your healing process? Do you think your brother would be willing and able to help you in talking with other family members about what you need from them right now? it sounds like he's been super-helpful with this in general.

it's really not okay for your Mom to come into your room when you've told her not to, particularly since it's so triggering for you. have her attempts to be quieter worked, or is she still startling and frightening you? If the latter, you absolutely are allowed to talk to her again and tell her that you know she cares and is worried, but it really is awful having *anyone* come into your room at night.

i'll be back shortly with those book titles.

--------------------
Robin

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Robin Lee
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Here are two books to get you started. If you're not able to buy these, one or both should be available in your local library.

Bean, Barbara and Bennett, Shari, The Me Nobody Knows: A Guide for Teen Survivors, Jossey-Bass; 1997

Feuereisen, Patti and Pincus, Caroline, Invisible Girls: The Truth About Sexual Abuse--A Book for Teen Girls, Young Women, and Everyone Who Cares About Them, Seal Press; 2005

You might also find this online resource helpful:

www.pandys.org

You can also still talk with us here, of course. These resources are to help you have *more* help. [Smile]

--------------------
Robin

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AllyTwin2
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Thank you for the books, I'll try to look for them.

No, my mom never left the app and maybe it was kind of my fault because there was a moment when the counselor asked if she could talk to me alone and my mom said she wanted to stay and the counselor asked me "is it ok with you ally" but by then I was already upset and tired that I just nodded, so yes it was my fault. I don't know what kind of counselor she is, my parents picked her from I don't know where. I have another app next week and she said to my mom it's going to be only me this time.

My brother helps a lot he is always trying to tell people to back off but he also gets in trouble because of that so I told him that he doesn't need to fight with everyone all the time. At school he is my best chance to get by, there is someone who is trying very hard to be annoying with me and he tries to never let me be alone. He is my rock right now. Yesterday I felt so bad and I couldn't sleep so I went to his room and slept there but my mom freaked out when she went to my room and didn't find me. She said that after what happened it's not a good idea to sleep with my brother anymore, I totally lost it then.

I just feel so tired of everything. There is a lot going on and it feels so unfair you know?

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nixieGurl
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Hi Ally,

I'm so sorry things are so rough at home at the moment. I do understand how annoying it must be to have your mother not really respecting your boundaries and decisions right now, even when it is coming from a place of wanting to help you. I'm pleased that this next appointment with your counselor is for only you, it sounds like this counselor could see it was making you upset an uncomfortable having your mother there, which is a good sign as it shows she has experience in this kind of thing, and even though it is hard right now to begin with she may be a great support for you in the coming weeks and months. Also it is not your fault that you didn't feel comfortable to express that you didn't want your mother to stay at the appointment, it sounds like it was more forced upon you, which is pressure you don't need and also should not be expected to handle right now, so feeling crappy about that is normal but also is totally valid. Your boundaries were not respected at that time.

It is also fantastic that you have your brother and it sounds like he is being really great with you about all of this, and that he is someone who will respect your wishes.

One thing that may help is to talk to your counselor when you have your session alone with her about how you feel around the way your family is behaving such as your mother coming to check on you at night, you did really well to tell her how you felt about it but sounds like she has not really heard you so your counselor could talk to her about that, sometimes for whatever reason it is hard for parents to let go of the "you are my daughter and I know whats best" thing.

It totally will feel unfair, I totally get that, and it IS unfair. You should not have to deal with this, it's not right and it is unfair. The best advice that I can give you even though it's hard and may feel impossible is to stick to your guns and keep setting these limits with people. It sounds to me like you really do know whats best for you and you have done a fantastic job so far of trying to sort things out with other people so trust your instincts and use that counselor as a real advocate when it comes to family things, that is what she is there for and that is a really handy thing to have.

Hang in there, keep talking to us here and we will keep listening.

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AllyTwin2
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I know they are trying to help that's why is so hard to tell them to stop I try to not complain about that but it's hard. It's so hard because I feel like I have to be careful with every word I say with every move I make. Anyway it doesn't make sense to keep talking about this. They are not trying to hurt me. I know.

Thank you to everyone who have answered.

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nixieGurl
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Hey Ally,

It's not complaining, its totally okay to feel the way you do, and I understand that even though they are trying to help it doesn't make it easy for you. We are here if you need to talk.

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Robin Lee
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What I'm hearing here is you just talking about how you feel which is, in my book, perfectly okay and necessary. You can have compassion for your family and why they're doing what they do and still have your own feelings and needs around it. [Smile] We've been offering a lot of suggestions here and maybe that's been a bit overwhelming?

Would it be helpful to just be able to come here and talk without trying to change everything at once?

Is there one thing that you feel like you could really use help with, or to talk about, right now without focusing on everything at once?

--------------------
Robin

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AllyTwin2
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[ 10-24-2013, 01:48 AM: Message edited by: AllyTwin2 ]

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AllyTwin2
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Sorry I didn't answer never meant to be rude but it felt like too much at the moment and I didn't know what to say to be honest I don't know what to say yet.

I don't want to keep saying I feel bad because I fee like people will get tired of me and this isn't usually me I'm so cranky lately and that makes me feel worse is like I don't have control over my emotions anymore.

I'm really sorry for being rude and I really wanted to say thank you.

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Robin Lee
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Hi Ally,

This space is for you and whatever you need. If you feel like talking here, that's fine. If you don't feel like talking, that's also fine. For what it's worth, I didn't think you were being rude. [Smile] I thought you were doing what you needed to do for yourself. [Smile]

We won't get tired here of you saying you feel bad. We know this situation is really crappy for you.

If there's anything we can do, even just to be an ear for you to vent to, please let us know. [Smile]

--------------------
Robin

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AllyTwin2
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Thank you that means a lot.
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Heather
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I want to also pitch in that from where we sit, someone feeling bad about another person having harmed them is a good thing.

I don't mean it's good for you to feel terrible in that people feeling terrible is a thing that we want. Rather, I mean that when we have been intentionally harmed, emotionally understanding -- feeling bad -- that harm has been done to us is really, really important. It's ultimately the most core step to being able to heal.

It's when someone is so dissociated, or feels they are deserving of harm, that they feel numb or don't feel bad at all that we're going to worry or be deeply concerned, because that person is very challenged in healing and moving forward. That person may have been so, so harmed emotionally in their assault or abuse that they have lost the sense it's not okay for someone to do them harm. [Frown]

Get what I mean?

--------------------
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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nixieGurl
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Hi Ally,

Just wanted to pop in and say I certainly don't think you were being rude, and taking time to do what you need to do to care for yourself is great. I understand how overwhelming it can feel when trying to deal with this stuff.

I understand the feeling of not wanting to annoy people by talking about how you feel, but you know what? This is a time where those people may just have to deal with that. You deserve support and you have every right to voice how you feel, even though I know how difficult that is.

As to feeling angry and out of control? That is totally normal. Someone took control away from you for a time and hurt you badly, it takes time for the mind to get over that trauma, and you will.

You are a really strong person from what I can see here, it may not feel that way but you can do this. You just do what you need to do and we are here when and if you want to talk. Take care!

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AllyTwin2
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Heather: I think I do understand what you mean, thank you.

Nixie: Thank you for your words, it's hard to deal with this because everyone thinks different so yes it's hard.

Mo: I don't know when you will be around. I went to my second app with the counselor and have to admit it was better than I expected. She let my brother stay and even when I thought she was going to talk about what happened she didn't instead we talked about the way my parents are dealing with this so that made me feel a little better.

I'm so mad right now you know? Like really mad because this feels so unfair, if I didn't do anything wrong if this wasn't my fault then why all the work to deal and recover from this is on me? I feel like I hate this guy so much and I feel so bad about that because that's not me hating is not the way I am but then again I get mad because he is free with no one harassing him, and I am sure he doesn't have nightmares at night and I do. It's just so unfair.

Sorry for posting my bad feelings here but sometimes I think I'm going to explode.

[ 10-25-2013, 06:30 PM: Message edited by: AllyTwin2 ]

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Edith_*
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Hi Ally!

You probably don't need more people to say something else about this but, I just wanted to let you know that someone saw your post and I am pretty sure as soon as one of the people you named in your post see this they will answer.

If there is a little chance for me to say something, that would be only that: there are no "bad" or "good" feelings. Feelings are just that, feelings and in a situation like this - and seriously in any situation in life - you get to feel whatever you feel. So, you don't have to feel bad about it. And as for venting, this is your space like Robin said before, so feel free to vent away!

[ 10-25-2013, 07:49 PM: Message edited by: Edith_* ]

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"Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it's very important that you do it " (...'cause no one else will) -Gandhi-

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Molias
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I'm glad to hear that your latest counseling session went better than you'd expected! I was thinking about you this week and hoping it would go ok.
Do you feel like the counselor had anything helpful to say about how your parents have been handling the situation?

It's really understandable that you're angry right now. It is 100% unfair that you're dealing with anger and nightmares and stress from something that wasn't your fault or decision at all.

It's totally all right to post your bad feelings here; no need for apology at all. This space is for you to use however you think it'll be helpful, and if that's you getting your anger out, then that's just fine.

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AllyTwin2
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We are going to have an app the counselor, my parents and me, and she promised she will help me to talk to them about how I feel.

It's not that I have hideous nightmares I just wake up remembering something and then I can't sleep again. Yesterday I had a very stupid breakdown because I was listening a stupid song and it sounded just like him. I don't want to keep thinking about him. I don't understand I was fine 2 weeks ago why am I so down now? How long is it going to take?

Thank you for answering Mo, and thank you Edith for your words too.

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Jacob at Scarleteen
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Hey Ally,

Sorry to hear about the sudden intrusive memories and of course everything else you've had to get through. It sounds like you've done incredibly well. As Heather said earlier, I don't think there's anything stupid about having a 'breakdown'. It's just what you're feeling and you've got every right to have those feelings and ask others or even ask yourself (with time), to be understanding about that.

My experience with therapy is that, although in the long long term, it'd be great not to have those intrusive thoughts, "How long is it going to take?" is less a question to ask about those thoughts, and more about how the recovery, which we're likely already doing, could make those things significantly easier to handle in the meantime.

I have things which took me years to get through and others that are on-going but the things I'm most thankful for are conversations I've had or lessons I learnt that make those horrible moments manageable and to pass more easily. I feel like all those things do contribute to feeling better and better. And while that is a long process it is thankfully not on my radar as much as asking what can be helpful in the present.

Does that help at all with that question of "How long?"... I'm not sure if my own experience is helpful, although it has helped me a lot with my (quite different) mental health stuff to hear about other people's journeys.

[ 10-26-2013, 08:00 AM: Message edited by: Jacob at Scarleteen ]

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AllyTwin2
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For Mo:

Hi. Sorry for keep coming with bad stuff I'm sure I should have a better process by now right?

The thing is my house became a really complicated place and I really don't know what to do. I have been trying to better by not complaining and just dealing on my own but nothing is enough. I feel like I'm always walking over eggshells and just one word will set the whole house on fire. I'm really tired.

I'm sorry for coming here with this but i just need to vent sometimes because I feel like I'm gonna break in any moment.

I guess this is hard because is not like I can move out and live by myself right? I just need to sleep and don't feel like I'm hurting the people around me.

Sorry for this post and thank you for all your help.

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Molias
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I'm so sorry to hear that things haven't gotten better around the house - it sounds like therapy last week didn't really go that well or do anything to ease tensions between you and your mom. =(

Correct me if I'm wrong, but your aunt helped you out some a while back to help you get plan b, right? Do you think that she would be willing to spend some time with you to give you a chance to get out of your house for a bit? It might be nice to have a change of scenery and spend some time away from your house and the stress that's hanging around all of your interactions there.

Please don't feel like you have to apologize for coming here and posting, even if all you do is complain! Especially if you feel like you have to walk on eggshells at home, it's ok to vent here.
If you just wanted to make a post here where you put capslock on and scream a bunch, that would all right. This space is for whatever you think will help.

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AllyTwin2
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For Mo:

Hi! Sorry I didn't answer before but sometimes it's not that easy to find a good time in my house. I wanted to thank you for suggesting to talk to my aunt I did and she was very supportive and talked to my parents telling them that maybe I should spend some time over her house. My mom obviously took it very bad and said things like why everyone was against her and it was a mess again. I really feel bad because we are not making things easier for her but really I don't know what else to do. I've been more quiet, I'm not complaining and it's just not enough. [Frown]

But anyway my aunt and my dad decided it was ok to live in her house for some time and here I am. It's been better I guess at least I can't stop sleeping in the floor but it makes me sad that my mom is still mad at me.

At least I've had more sleep and I don't feel like a zombie everyday at school. Am I a bad daughter if I feel better here? I don't know anymore.

I hope everything gets better one day, I'm so sorry I've caused all this mess for the stupid mistake of kissing that guy in that party. I'm really sorry. I hope I can talk to you again soon. Thanks.

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Molias
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Thanks so much for the update!

I'm sorry that things are still strained between you and your mom, but even though it might feel like you're causing her to be upset, I think a lot of this reaction is probably related to her feelings about her own assault. It doesn't make what she's doing ok, though.

It's ok for you to do what's best and healthiest for you right now. If you can sleep better at night and feel more alert in school living with your aunt for a bit, I think that's a great plan. I don't think that you're being a bad daughter for feeling better here. You can love your mom and still feel better being away from her for a bit. That's totally fine.

Thank you again for letting me know how things are going. =)

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AllyTwin2
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Thanks. Today I have my app with my counselor and to be honest I always feel better after talking with her so I hope today goes well.

I just want to say how much this place has been a life saver after all this. Really thanks.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Just a reminder for you too, Al, that you did NOT cause any of this because you kissed your attacker at that party. A kiss is not an incitement nor an invitation to rape. It just is not.

It might help to consider the very real possibility that he would have assaulted you, or someone else, kiss or no kiss. Because that probably is the reality, honestly.

Even if it were not, however, none of this is your fault. All the fallout here and mess really stems from the actions the person who assaulted you freely chose to do, against your will. And how your family is reacting also is not on you, either. As you know, there is some history there that also has a lot to do with this, history which predates you even being an idea, let alone a person.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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AllyTwin2
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Thank you Heather. It's just hard to think that way because there's this timeline in my head and all this stuff happened after that party a party I shouldn't have attended in the first place. I can't stop thinking that if I had stayed home everything would be different today. [Frown]

I just miss my family and the way we used to be before this. But I understand it's impossible to go back and that I have to deal with this because this is how things are today.

Thank you again and I hope I will come soon with some happy words.

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Sam W
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 108189

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Hi Ally,

I just want to reiterate Heather's point about not blaming your choices for what happened to you. Like she said, there's a very real chance that, had you not been there, he would have assaulted somebody else. Because the one thing that really caused this to happen was his choice to do it, not your choice to be at a party.

I think we all hope that you have some happy words too. But I want you to know that we'll still be here to talk them over with you if they're happy, unhappy, or somewhere in between.

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