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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Abuse & Assault » Excessive washing since sexual assault. trigger:Warning

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Author Topic: Excessive washing since sexual assault. trigger:Warning
Member # 110872

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This is hard for me, but since I was sexually assaulted a while ago I have been excessively washing my chest and genital area where the perpetrator assaulted me. I feel incredibly dirty and disgusting, I just want to be clean again. I've washed myself to the extent that I cause myself to become sore etc in that area. I just can't seem to get past the idea that I'm dirty for what happened.

I just don't know how to get rid of these thoughts I'm having as I know I need to stop excessively washing as its not good for my skin. But I always end up having to do it. I also keep experiencing flashbacks which are absolutely horrible about what happened


[ 07-19-2014, 12:29 PM: Message edited by: rainbowjelly18 ]

Posts: 4 | From: UK | Registered: Jul 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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I'm so sorry to hear that this happened to you and that you've been feeling like this.

Having flashbacks and feeling dirty are, indeed, very horrible to experience. There tends not to be an immediate, magic answer to feeling better about these things; I wish there were. What usually helps people very much is to have some safe, supported way of processing the feelings and memories we have about being assaulted, and perhaps about how we feel about our own selves and our own bodies after an assault. Have you had any specific, trained support around the assault? If you haven't, is that something you might like?

Too, we have on the site quite a few pieces talking about assault and recovery from assault. I know you've already done a great job of finding your way around the info you want on the site, but if you'd like signposts or suggestions to that information, we're very happy to pass you the links.

You're very welcome, too, to talk about whatever you need or would like to talk about around this here with us.

The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

Posts: 1786 | From: Europe | Registered: Sep 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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It sounds like you are trying to erase this experience by washing your skin, trying to clean the perpetrators touch from your skin. I want to let you know that what you are going through is okay, you are learning to heal from what happened. Have you tried seeking out a local group for people who have been assaulted or reaching out to a trusted friend or counselor? Personally I know that it's hard to navigate the world after rape, nothing really feels the same and you're stuck in your head with your flashes of memories that you wish weren't true. Find the support that is already there.
Posts: 2 | From: Michigan | Registered: Dec 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 110872

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I am currently on a waiting list for counselling which I was recommended to by national rape crisis and an organisation local to me but there is a 3-4 month wait to speak to someone even though i have been moved up list because of the washing. It is being investigated by police as I got courage to come forward but I am struggling with knowing how to deal with it. (The incident happened when i was in hospital with a head injury by a doctor, the DNA evidence has helped with some relief) but I just feel dirty and that its my fault what happened, I just want to be able to forget it but I keep having these horrible flashbacks [Frown] thanks for all your help!
Posts: 4 | From: UK | Registered: Jul 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Executive Director & Founder
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Sounds like you really need more immediate help here.

Since you reported -- good on you, that takes a lot of guts! -- by any chance did the police assign you an advocate? I ask because that person may be able to connect you with help sooner rather than later.

It's not your fault, by the way. You didn't assault anyone: someone assaulted you. Just like it's not someone's fault whose house got broken into because they had somewhere to live that someone could break into: it's the fault of the person who decided to rob that house.

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

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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