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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Abuse & Assault » Recovering Memories (Page 2)

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Author Topic: Recovering Memories
breath
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**PLEASE SEE**

While I am slowly and in my own time coming to terms with it,(while also in school where only 1 week left and I really hvae to focus):

reading some of the other posts and replies is very helpful BUT can TRIGGER My own memories that I can't afford to deal with right now. In a way it is helpful b/c I can identify the common things that I didn't know how to put words for before, ie. betryal etc.


Do you have any words regarding reading other posts here and that trigger own memories, which is helpful but currently dont have the resources/time/support to quiet deal with fully?


Again, for now, I just have to congratulate myself for having a word for "it", that whatever happened was NOT my fault, WHICH Is REALLY EMPOWERING (And chips away the sadness, that I felt for so long), and that the present moment my life/world is in harmony. *Deep breaths* THAT AS a strong person, and like many other beautiful strong people before me, I am fully capable of recovering and making all these difficult feelings a strong part of me. And that I will have a good future and that I will learn about healthy sex soon for future.


I write,vent and then get back into finals mode. I really want to see a brighter life where i'm meeting and exceeding my academic goals but constantly I' am performing below par b.c of this. I feel that until finals are over, I need to breathe, work, exercise, eat and keep my eyes focused on GPA.

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Heather
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If you're getting triggered a lot by reading here, or anywhere, my best advice would be to step back and not read so much from other survivors. Sometimes we're just really not ready for that or it is too much.

I can certainly suggest some books you could read for survivors, if you like, where you are very unlikely to be triggered because they're meant expressly to help with healing for someone healing, rather than being narratives like you often see here from various people writing for their own healing, rather than to aid someone else.

I absolutely agree with you that it was not likely you, as a person, as an individual, who made the individual who abused you decide to abuse. The only way in which that was about you was that you happened to be the person there who provided an opportunity for that person to abuse someone: someone else could have stepped into your shoes and wound up being who that person abused, too. Abuse happening was about your abuser, not about you. They made that choice, based on their wants and themself.

And yes: statistically, people who rape or sexually abuse typically do not do it only once or to only one person. That's one thing a lot of people misunderstand about rape statistics: when we say that around one in every four to six women have been raped, people will sometimes gasp and say, "So every one if four to six men is a rapist!?!" But that's not true at all. It's way, way less than that because those who do rape and otherwise sexually abuse tend to do so to more than one person.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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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breath
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And that this had very little to do with the fact I was staying in his house, other than it meant that he had "access to me" and someone to abuse.

There is nothing in thoery that says that just because someone is staying at your house YOU have non-consentual sex with them etc. In principal, I did nothing 'wrong' by staying at his house and CAUSING this.

ABUSE Is only something that gets worst over time, I can see why poeple have a 0 tolerance over such things. It's mainly a way one person exerts power over another, and once they can get away with 'seemly tolerable things', they will attempt more "seemly bigger" things.

The main thing was that this is the KIND of person HE was, to many more people before me and me too. None of this behavior was EVER about ME, it was about HIM, HIS THOUGH PROCESSES, BEHAVIOUR and even that I am no longer present, HE is still likely to THINK and CONTINUE to behave this way.

i was hard for me to understand and get away from all this. perhaps b.c i was alone with no one supportive to talk to (or so I though-shame, guilt etc). Isn't it true that I must/should try forgive myself for being confused, repressing feelings and not being clear on this situtation, even though I knew that i was unhappy, unclear and really sad during it? I am trying to be liberated from the self-negative talk. [Smile] Again as all articles mentioned, the ABUSE Is NOT my fault and It iS mainly this person's problem.

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breath
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In general. I had to be careful, because I was wiling to give him some leeway for his abusing my boundaries over "small things"...and i was more tolerant of things, but the truth is that the boundary just kept getting pusher more and more.
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breath
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I hope it is not "bad" if I write some thoughts here. I had pages and pages and pages of my journal from June - Sept filled with confusion and unclearly and trying to convince myself based on what others aid that it was "OK" but really, I didn't feel "OK" until I was able to finally have a word for it. The word was lingering in the back of my head even while I was in "it" but again, just couldn't accept it completely. ...
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breath
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Sometimes I would think that: even though it was not about me, *why* did I not become proactive and remove myself from that situation when he was behaving a certain way etc? lots of factor involved as to why (...) but those images of times and those come in my consciousness at times.

Moving forward, I plan to educate myself more firmly on consensual sex and know that by doing so, I'm not being too "uptight" or less "Adventours" or "whatever".

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breath
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Are there any comments for when people experience shud thoughts of 'why'..?
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Stephanie_1
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Hello ar1001: I hope you donít mind me jumping in here as well. Iíve been following your post, and I see youíre really coming a long way in being able to really take the blame from yourself, and thatís awesome. Itís extremely difficult to come to realize that any type of abuse isnít our fault, so I hope you realize just how far youíve come and how truly strong you are.

Itís absolutely true that you should and must in time try to forgive yourself for the confusion and even the feelings of blame. Why is and will be a question that may plague you for some time, but that too comes with time in realizing that saying it's about them also means the reason they would do something like this to another is about them as well. The why isn't you, how you act or look, what you say or don't say. The why is about the abuser - and it's something you likely will never have an answer to.

Itís a battle so many have had after abuse, and one thatís never easy to fight. Remember too, youíre not alone in this Ė there will always be other survivors that will be willing to help you as much as they can through all the feelings, pain, confusion, anger, and any other emotions that may surface. Iím hoping this finds you well, and wishing you luck as you continue on in healing. <3

--------------------
"Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side" ~Anon

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breath
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Hi Steph, i dont' mind at all you "jumping" in.

Sometimes I wonder *why* I didnt' move or remove or act proactively in that situation...part of it were the circumstances and that fact that it can be a scary thing to admit to yourself that this is indeed what is happening esp in a foreign country. If I had access to a non-judgemental friend / person who could help me sort out the 'confusion / unclear / difficult feelings' it would have been easier for me. I also thought that since I'm leaving soon , it'll be fine. However abuse gets worst with time, and by time, it doesn't always mean years or months. It could be minutues, hours, days or weeks or months..


One of the strongest things that I do have going for me (Then and even now) is KNOWING the abuse had nothing to do with me, that this person DID not specifically pick me to have this stuff with. That it *IS* VERY LIKELY something that the abuser HAS done this to MANY people before and perhaps even currently does that to others that come to his life. KNOWING THAT MAKES It easy and what he did was not my FAULT OR DUE to what I caused. I remind myself this gently everytime I find myself falling into pits of depression.


I knew that any kind of physical interaction with him did not include any "care" for me..but care isn't just emotional need, it's consent, something very basic to engaging with a partner. I also had a therapist at that time, who SCEWED up the situation for me, without ever asking me any details of what was actaully happening and began to impose *her* views.

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breath
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Some people rape others telling them that "what's wrong if a man loves a woman" which is what he said first. But WTH, what you are doing to me isn't "a man loving a woman", you are touching me and my body without my approval/consent and without even seeing first whether I am interested or not.
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breath
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RE: Yes, I went to a therapist on general stuff and she made me loook at this situation in a "positive way" although there is NOTHING positive about this, and did not identify or help me voice all my difficult feelings about this. Even months later, she told me to forget the past.

That's why i'm so happy that here, I was able to find a correct word for it and then work towards accepting it. It was there already in the back of my mind but we all need some friend/someone non-judgemental to validate or nod with us to reassure us. So many woman live without even knowing WHAT is it that HAPPENENED to them.


The problem with sexual abuse is that it happens in many many many many many different forms and it can be hard to tell. That's why we all need to be having a honest clear conversation about it.

I am a strong person. Yes this GOD-AWFUL thing happened, and it's gonig to be a part of me and i'm allowed to grieve. I have handled it REALLY well so far in a way that has brought healing and care to me.

But I dont wana get bogged down by this. I have a wonderful life ahead and even now, I'm miles and miles and miles away from this ugliness and i HAVE a strong drive to get ahed of myself and rise above. It's important (equally) to know that in the here and the now, i am fine [Smile] and away from the bad stuff.

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breath
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******ANY TIPS for how to deal / with this while focusing on school, etc?*****
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Stephanie_1
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It can certainly be difficult focusing on school and other work when something like this is swimming around in our minds. How you handle it is going to be a lot about what you personally feel works best for you. Some things you can try would be journaling before or after school, keeping something with you to help you ground if you do have a flashback (like a necklace or bracelet that can help remind you where you are.).

Also, finding ways to relax is essential to focusing - so things like deep breathing or asking to use the restroom if you should need a minute alone. As well? How about looking into meeting with a school counselor? They can be AMAZING in terms of having someone to turn to when we start getting bogged down with feelings and emotions, and can even help us keep on track with our studies. Ultimately it' going to be about what you feel helps you the most, and just know it may take some trial and error to get there.

--------------------
"Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side" ~Anon

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breath
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Thanks. I have found it helpful to write and support from some good people around.

Reading any one's sad or problematic or any personal material related to this topic really upsets / triggers me and causes me to go into a whirlpool of more questions, triggers, so many past events, etc. Ground is v. important as you said.

I have found some supportive persons, esp.a person near the abuser (friend/close friend) who is supportive so far (Although with caution). But that thought definately provides me with comfort.

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Stephanie_1
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Reading other people's experiences very often will be triggering for people. It's been years since I was raped, and there are still times when I find posts here trigger me. But in time that becomes less and less, and you're able to work through these feelings a lot better. Give yourself time, and healing will come.

--------------------
"Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side" ~Anon

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breath
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Thank you again for the language that I have been given here. I don't think that I have gotten this help anywhere else, not even from my school's psychological counselor that deals with such issues. Part of the reason is that the appointments are kind of short 45 mins and it takes a while for us or anyone to open up and talk.

Reading your and Heather's responses here and a few times on other related posts helped me very quickly on how to "talk to myself" in this manner, which definately helped me.

I agree with the triggers...it's too much for me to read as it lets me questions or take back or etc in a lot of ways. I have to come back and tell the story again of the other two times this happened too, but short-duration and I "just ignored it" when in fact, there is not to be ignored.

I am going through final exams and my semester grades (permanent part of my academic record are on ilne. This is my chance to get my GPA from 2.9 to 3.2ish so I can't afford this right now) When the thoughts come, I deep breath and tell my mind to STOP. I am not ignoring them, that I will address each and every related issue in full capacity, but at this moment I gotta work and get my @#3 together to do my best. That is self is a great mental break--in fact, exams makes us focus whichis a great mental break all of us can use---such feelings and thoughts will come and it's OK to take time .


Deep breaths...

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breath
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Oh dear god, I have some terrible memories that I am dealing with that sometimes lets me go there "in that moment". Ah.. *thinking/visualizing* but I cant' write it out here..or can I?. You were rubbing me so suddently and @#$!#$!$#@ I said No YOUR NAME NO and you still continued faster. OMG. And then you stopped sometime later maybe mins maybe seconds, I don't know and went so crudely to the bathroom without a look at myself.

I didnt know what to think of it so I left it there. I just remember telling myself vagely Ok So this is what it feels like ("it" sex type stuff) and to be careful around you. I think in this incident you had your penis out of your body, b.c I remember you taking it out of your pants a few seconds before and me asking 'what is that thing". So when you rubbing, you must have had it out and I'm sure that my legs were wide and it was going near / or maybe at(???) my genital areas.


I think you did the same thing when I was sleeping/laynig your bed. But this time you were slower, and closed your eyes and I let it go. Then you rolled over and said 'thanks' (WTF).

Deep breaths. I am not so sure what you did even, what part of your body were rubbing on my body. I know that both times I had my clothes/pants etc on. I dont remember if this time you had your penis out or not. I just know that you had closed your eyes and you didn't look at me. When I said show me some love atleast, you said that isn't love, your eyes shut.

If this is why you insisted that we cuddle and slsep on the same bed, I wouldn't have ever. I dont' even know what you may have done to me during my sleep, but again, I don't think you could have done much without waking me up.

*DEEP BREATHS* I need to "forget" these triggers and even scarleteen.com for a while

*tears* *deep breaths* I am strong, I can deal wtih this in full details later

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breath
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That's the first image that I had when I heard Heather say that "all bridges are burned when the assault happened. That after that there is nothing TO say".....*deep breaths*

I am busy now with life, but at some point after finals I will like to see if I can talk about it to the "friend person" there. This pain , "shame" "uneasy feeling" ,but mainly pain and memory is not really for me to keep nor does it belong to me. It needs to go back to where it came from and I think that by talking to the person close by during that time, it will help me take it away from it. It does not belong to me nor should it stay in my life nor is it mine to keep inside me....ah deep breaths

10 mins lateR: Now, Im wondering if you knew exactly what you were doing before you asked me to go and laid in that bed. I don't know. I really don't know. Does it matter whether or when you made that decision? The fact is that this is wht you did.

Please, anyone comments.

[ 12-05-2010, 05:55 PM: Message edited by: ar1001 ]

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Stephanie_1
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Amber: I'm not sure what to say. What you're writing here is perfectly normal - and very honest heartfelt feelings. It's a great thing to be able to put our feelings into words - and very brave of you to share them. You're really a very strong person.

--------------------
"Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side" ~Anon

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breath
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Hey
I was wondering

1 ) I want to understand the medical examination process that often is recommended for survivors with assault/etc.

In my case, it was done 'lightly" so I didnt' feel anything. Othertime, it was done more rigious forceful rubbing ....and I think my stomach area hurt a few mins later. Can you describe to me what/why my stomach hurt and was it related?

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Heather
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I'm not sure what you're asking.

With what medical examination? An exam after an assault?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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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breath
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I read online that often rape/assualt survivors go for a medical examination right after the incident to get verfication and evidence, even if there are minor or no visible injuries, they often go for a pelvic exam.

It seems like in my case, it wouldn't have shown anything? He rubbed on me for what may have been a few mins or 1 min (I don't know the time--I was frozen)....do you think that his pre-cum may have been on me or my clothes, without it even feeling wet?

I remember feeling some pain in my stomach area afterwards. Is there a chance that it could be related to the physical action directly or just nervousness of the body?

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Heather
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Sorry, still not totally clear.

You had an exam right after these assaults? And when you did, your stomach hurt, and you're wondering what that was about? Do I have that right?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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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Kawani3792
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I think you're wondering *if* you had gone for this exam, *would* it have shown anything, because shortly after he did this your stomach hurt, and you want to know if the stomach-hurting was him, and therefore maybe showing up during an exam, or if it was just you being nervous?
(I'm just trying to re-phrase the question to make sure I understand it right)

I'm no professional and never been in this situation, but I think it probably would have been you nervous...anytime I've been really nervous or afraid I've had stomachaches, and once or twice gotten physically ill from being nervous and scared.

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breath
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Thanks for your response everyone.

I am wondering

A. When a rape/assualt survivor goes to get a medical examination, what kind of things do they check for? Are they just collecting data (hair, semen etc) to link that person to you and providing healthcare aganist infections, pregnancy etc? In some cases, if that's any physical force used, to provide treatment for those wounds? Anything else...?


B. As Kawani3792 said, *if* I had gone for this exam, *would* it have shown anything, because shortly after he did this my stomach hurt, and I want to know if the stomach-hurting was him, and therefore maybe showing up during an exam, or if it was just me being nervous? Shortly ie. mins after this happened, i was acting so non-chanlant and 'OK'....

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Heather
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A medical exam after an assault is generally twofold: it's to treat any injuries a victim may have sustained (which can include things like Plan B or HIV prophylaxis), and also to collect evidence.

I can't possibly say what would or would not have shown up had you had an exam. There is just no way of us knowing that.

I also can't say why your stomach hurt and if it would have hurt during an exam. For sure, stomach upset due to psychological upset or fear is very typical, but there are a million reasons why someone's stomach might hurt.

Maybe you can give me more of a clue of what you're looking for with these questions? Since you're asking about something you didn't do, I still am feeling very lost.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me ē 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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breath
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Thanks for everyone's response and clarification.

On a broader note, I guess I am just wondering what / if there are any physical differences "between unconsensual / assault" vs "consensual sex" that a physical exam sometimes picks up? When a victim comes to a doctor, what signs do they check for to acertain assault/rape or they assume that the word of the victim is true and just are trying to collect evidence (hair, semen etc) and treat any cuts, wounds, infections etc?

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Heather
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Well, they're always going to start with the assumption that someone saying they have been assaulted has: the point of an exam isn't to disprove that. It's to, again, treat the victim for any injuries and take care of them and to try and collect evidence if the person will want to report and press charges.

What you'd tend to see in an exam is first, hopefully, evidence of whatever contact is being reported, some of which would be the same with consensual, wanted sex: fluids, for instance, is the biggie. But in an assault, you also may find microtears and bruising you'd not typically otherwise see when someone has sex that is wanted, where they were feelings aroused, etc.

Perhaps obviously, if someone has also otherwise been physically assaulted, there could be evidence of that on their bodies, like cuts, bruises or other wounds.

I'm still not quite sure I understand why you're asking this, though, since it's obviously much too late for you to go and get an exam post-assault.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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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breath
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I am asking for my own FYI and because I was curious and didnt now how it all worked.

is it true that fluid still remain in the vagina or around it?

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breath
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On a personal note, I guess its' time that I allow myself to experience all those negative/bad feelings resulting from this; however I also think that may it's time that:

A.I forgive myself for letting myself "go" and not knowing how to respond when someone was behaving this way towards me.

B. Forgive myself for not seeking help - I felt that anyone I would have talked to about this would have been judgemental, and just advised me to leave the house; however, I need more explaination and support that i felt that no one could give me at that time

What do you think ? any comments appreciated.

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Heather
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You know, I think just rereading what you just wrote a few times in this most recent reply all by itself would be very valuable: let that all really sink in.

Because I very much agree with you that both of those things are essential.

In terms of allowing yourself to experience your full range of feelings, that's likely something that will just happen more and more in time once you stop trying to stamp them down. It's not really something we can make ourselves do, that kind of "Okay, now I am going to feel all my feelings." You know?

But it's a lot easier to feel more open to those feelings if we can remove self-blame, for sure. And if all your anger has been put on yourself, in stead of who did this to you, it's also going to be tougher to feel the full range of your feelings.

It also tends to feel a lot safer to feel those feelings when we have some support. Are you still able to see that therapist?

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breath
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Yes and some of it will come with time.....i am generally able to remove self-blame from all this and realize that all this happened was in way caused by me or prompted by me not being as wealthy as this individual or because of my looks or anything.

This individual would likely do this (and from what i have known) to any one who can near him. I did my best durng that time to keep away/distant but it's hard sometimes and I am OK, no longer blame myself for ANY of what happened.

I think that while I think this past semster, i have gone enough sad, difficult days...I want to also be "done" with this atleast for the most part - as well as my consious mind is considered. I finally wrote 10 page letter to this individdual with everything in it. I also want to quickly address the other harassers/abusers (and their families) aboard so that will be a great final closure for me too.
i dont want to feel block by this...

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Heather
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I really hope you realize that you're pretty amazing. [Smile]

I think you've been doing a great job in your process with this.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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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breath
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Thank you Heather. I am processing the 2 assault/cases with different individuals here. I have wrote them letters, and just spending time with the letters over some days - in between work etc to make sure that it's all flushed out and clear -has been very helpful. Re-reading and re-readng the letters (like you said re-read my posting here) have been definately helpful.


It's interesting that the discussion on consent makes me think of this situation. I think one of my confusion was that * i knew that it was not a relationship etc* and so I was confused how these kind of flings are suppose to go and how to feel when someone was not paying attention to my needs/wants even just sexually/physically. i know now that even in short-term flings, one-night stands etc people have to listen and actively seek consent even if they are just in it for their own pleasure.

I didn't exactly know that 'consent' applied to this situation--although I had some things in the back of my head that i repressed for a lot of reasons, one of it was that this was my first sexual experience.

[ 01-06-2011, 01:16 PM: Message edited by: breath ]

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breath
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Update;

So I feel that at this point, I have done all I could do consiously to address the issues. I addressed a total of 5 people in writing letters to either them and/or their respective institutions, familyand their friends to describe what happened, why it was wrong, etc.

I also just talked to a few friends, and just myself process what happened.

Now, it's time for unconsious healing?....I still find that reading some posts on this topics made me very distrubed, and unsettled [Frown]

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