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Author Topic: Lost
Music is my soul
Neophyte
Member # 40267

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I have no idea where to begin. I hope I posted in the right spot.
I was sexually abused when I was between the ages of 3-6. I did not remember any of it until I was 13 years old. I had hid it, in fear because I was ashamed and felt dirty, and I felt like I deserved it. I was scared that no one would believe me. I had finally came out and told my mother last summer. I am 18 now. I have tried to go through therapy for it, but I am not comfortable doing so. This interferes with my life, as well as my relationship with my boyfriend. He has been a great support for me and without him, I am not sure where I'd be now. I have flashbacks, panic attacks, I fear being around other men, even my own step-father. Is this normal? I have dreams about it and it would seem so real, I would wake up crying, and I'm unable to sleep. I was wondering if there is any way to have such resource of coping through books? I discussed with my mother previously, that perhaps coping through a help of a book could maybe help put my life at ease a bit. I have struggled with it for the longest time, and I still do to this day. After finding this site, I have read through this for a while now, and I finally found the courage to speak out. It took my mother a while to accept what I had to tell her. I feel that maybe, someone could help me to understand how to cope with this once and for all. Thank you for listening.

[ 09-16-2008, 11:34 PM: Message edited by: Music is my soul ]

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-Lauren-
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Hey, Music. I'm just writing to say thank you for trusting us to share your story, and that we do see this and will do what we can to get you the support and resources you need. I'm afraid I'm not the best person to do that due my own history with childhood sexual abuse and currently living outside the US, but I will leave a note for some of our volunteers more experienced with sexual abuse to step in. Hang in there!
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September
Scarleteen Volunteer
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Hello, Music. Welcome to ST.

First of all: yes, it is normal for survivors of abuse to experience flashbacks and panic attacks, and to have difficulties being around people who share traits with their abuser(s). The good news is that those things will happen less and less with time as we work through the abuse and start to heal.

I'm glad that you've been able to talk to your mother, and that your have such an understanding partner. Having a good support system is really important when dealing with abuse, and it sounds like you're doing good on that front.

I hear you expressing that you're not comfortable with going to therapy. Is there a particular reason you don't feel comfortable with that? While there are good books out there about healing from abuse, and while many survivors do eventually find their own ways of dealing and healing, it's is really hard to get started on that road without professional help. If you can let us know what you're worried about in regards to therapy, we can talk about that and dispel some of your fears.

--------------------
Johanna
Scarleteen Volunteer

"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

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Music is my soul
Neophyte
Member # 40267

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I am honestly not sure to why I don't feel comfortable going through therapy, I guess it's just the idea of not knowing what would be the case as to going through it. My boyfriend has suggested that idea, as well as my mother, but I refuse to.
I just am afraid of being judged, I think, and well, I just am not sure of the whole idea. Perhaps someone could talk through the process of how it is?
Also, september, thank you for responding, it gives me a bit of strength to go on, really, from the bottom of my heart, thank you, I admire you!

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September
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Thank you so much for your kind words, Music. [Smile]

I understand very much that the idea of going to therapy and talking to a stranger about something so personal and painful is really scary. When I went to therapy the first time, I had a friend with me when I called to make the appointment, and when I was finally standing in front of the office I really just wanted to turn around and run. But I went in, and I am really glad I did.

In the beginning, therapy is hard. But then it starts to help, and it's worth it to try. A decent therapist will NOT judge you, they will not pressure you to say or do anything you're not ready for, and they will do everything in their power to make sure you feel safe and comfortable.

When you're ready to give therapy a try, you'll want to look for someone who has experience working with abuse survivors. You can find those through RAINN.org or other, similar organizations (if you give us your location, we can find you something near you), or you can just get out the phone book and call some therapists and ask around. Too, if you are in college, you can go to your campus health services and ask them to refer you to someone suitable.

I know this can seem pretty overwhelming, and to a large extent, that's just what it is. But you're likely to find that taking steps to get the help you deserve also makes you feel pretty empowered because it is something that YOU are doing for YOURSELF. You're reclaiming some of that agency that was taken from you, and that's powerful stuff.

If you have any specific questions about therapy, I'll be happy to answer them for you, as well.

--------------------
Johanna
Scarleteen Volunteer

"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

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Music is my soul
Neophyte
Member # 40267

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Thank you,

I appreciate the information and thank you for sharing your experience to going. I have this feeling that therapy would do me a great deal, I can't help but feel hestitant as to trying, but I will most definately take the time and think this all through. as for the coping through books, is it okay to try that? If you feel therapy is strongly advised in the good end, I could try.

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September
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You're welcome.

There are good books out there that I am sure would help you greatly, but I tend to think that books are a supplement to therapy, or an extension once you've had some therapy to start with and are trying to go on on your own, as opposed to something that can replace therapy.

I was going to recommend some reading and am blanking on book titles now, so I'll get back to you.

ETA: Alright, a good book for you to read would be The Courage to Heal, and you should also look for books by Staci Haines.

[ 09-18-2008, 08:41 AM: Message edited by: September ]

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Johanna
Scarleteen Volunteer

"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

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Music is my soul
Neophyte
Member # 40267

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I understand, Thank you. This has helped me be strengthen for when it comes to that time of considering therapy. After posting this, mustering the courage to speak out; I've finally opened my eyes to doing this for the benefit of MYSELF. Thank you for also explaining of how it works within that choice of considering. I hope of what I'm decisive to do, will help in the long run

Thank you again and have a great day

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September
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Glad to hear I've been able to help you out.

There's no hurry with starting therapy. With something like this, the most important thing is that you listen to yourself and do what you're ready for, at your own pace. You've already made a lot of important steps (opening up to your mother and partner, coming here), so be sure to give yourself credit for that!

I wish you good luck and a lot of courage. And if you need anything, we're here for you.

--------------------
Johanna
Scarleteen Volunteer

"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

Posts: 9192 | From: Cologne, Germany | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Music is my soul
Neophyte
Member # 40267

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Thank you!
It has indeed been the best choice I've made as if now

I had went to a public library in search for the books recommended, never could find anything, or even anything regarding to it. I did thought of checking a community college library? I have an aunt who goes there for night classes. What do you think?

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September
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Yes, you can definitely see if your college library has the books. College libraries also often have services that allows students to get books from other libraries, so you might even want to ask your aunt if she can help you with that.

If all else fails, you can always order the books through larger books store, though of course that means shelling out the money.

--------------------
Johanna
Scarleteen Volunteer

"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

Posts: 9192 | From: Cologne, Germany | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Music is my soul
Neophyte
Member # 40267

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Wow, I never knew that! Thank you. I plan to call my aunt tonight regarding it, hope all goes well
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Music is my soul
Neophyte
Member # 40267

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Came back to do an update, and maybe perhaps can get a better insight on how to handle this..
Hopefully this all makes sense!

I've finally gotten a book to read on...it helped tremendously, although, I didn't ever get to finish; Since it had a due date. I have used a few tips, and it helps alot. I can't get myself to go to a therapist still..I feel a bit stupid to admit this, I have tried, but yet, cannot get myself motivated or anything to. Just earlier tonight, I cried in front of my mom, and my siblings; It was sort of embarassing, But they all comforted me and told me it was going to be okay. I still keep getting bad nightmares, My moods, they're just all over the place, I have no idea, At times, I'll be happy, one minute, then sad, then confused, It's weird. I still kind of think on the abuse from the past alot; Such as regretting, and the anger I feel torwards not saying something when it was possible to; I have had alot gone on in the past year..Last year back In june, I lost my grandmother, on my dad's side, to cancer, she was so special to me, then october had lost my grandpa from my mother's side to cancer as well. During at that point, it was bad, I had went downhill, I was depressed alot, etc. but I had gotten better. Recently, back in july, I was diagonosed with type 2 diabetes, and of course I went on a diet, and did exercise, etc. At that point, I went downhill once again, I was angry that I had that, and, it put me into a sort of deep kind of depression, I did thought of convincing myself to see my doctor this coming monday of it, perhaps get a referral to a therapist? What's your ideas on this, anyone? I am sorry if I posted this in the wrong spot. never intended to. Overall, I just mean that this abuse; I cannot get it behind me. Obviously, I need to see someone about it, I just fear the outcome of doing so, and Perhaps someone could shed a light on what options or the possibilities there are?

Thank you.

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