I just feel so broken..Am I?

Questions and discussion about sexual or other abuse or assault, and support and help for survivors.
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0PT1M15T1C
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I just feel so broken..Am I?

Unread postby 0PT1M15T1C » Thu Jan 30, 2020 9:53 pm

Hi.. I've been really struggling with this for a while and I guess I just need some help or advice, or I don't really even know, maybe it'll just help to be able to write it out.
Please know that I'm going to describe whatsWhat's happened to me.
This all started quite a long time ago I was ten at the time that everything got bad. I can recognize no that this person was manipulative for the time I really didn't know. I just thought what they were doing was okay and I truly believed I needed them. They made me feel I just I couldn't do anything by myself or that I was no one without them. They made it so I had absolutely no one they spread rumours that made sure my friends didn't like me and stop talking to me. They left me so alone and they were all I had. I remember whenever I did anything wrong Weatherby look the wrong way or even say the wrong thing they would leave me and because at the time I was being bullied they would still just leave me and suddenly that bullying would get so much worse. They would come back into my life about a week later and they tell me how much I needed them and they'd show me some really cool things and treat me well for a short period of time. This just went on for a long time but it got worse after a while.
It started out at a friend's house and they forced my friend and I that were nine at the time to watch porn... We both didn't know what we were looking at really we're really confused and honestly kind of scared but they told us we had to watch. I remember personally finding it really gross. Then a few months later I was at this person's house at a sleepover and we stayed in the guest house that was like in their backyard sort of. I remember like when it was time to go to bed we settled in with a movie and I remember that I had to go to the bathroom and they refuse to let me go into the big house so they told me that if we had to go to the bathroom we had to go behind the guest house outside. I went to go to the bathroom and they watched me. We went back inside and they asked me if I wanted to have sex. At this time I was ten and I still didn't really know what that was so they reminded me that it was what we saw in the video. I said I didn't think it was a great idea and that I wasn't sure and they still said like come on we should try. I just remember I said like what if your dad comes in and they just kept persisting that we should I still said no or made up excuses but eventually those questions like do you want to turn into threats like I'll ruin your life and that they'd hurt themselves if I said no. They started getting mad and eventually I just gave in and I said yes. I'll never forgive myself for that.
They certainly seemed really excited and immediately took their clothes off and help me undress. They told me to lay down and started touching me. After a little while they told me to switch places with them and I told him I didn't know what to do and so they sort of guided me through it I guess. A few minutes later they yelled at me and told me that I was not good at it and just lay back down they seem quite angry. I laid back down and they put their fingers inside of me... I just remember that it really hurt and I told them that they had told me that it would start to feel better and I just had to relax and they went faster. I'm not going to continue describing what they did but I remember their dad came out to give us popcorn and we quickly got dressed and jumped under caboose. I remember I did actually go into the house and I went to the bathroom and I just remember finding blood. I thought I was going to die I was so scared everything still hurt. I finally went back and we fell asleep. When I woke up it was just me I was alone. I remember just bawling my eyes out and feeling so scared. After a while I went in and I found them sleeping in their own bed cozy and warm just so peaceful and it really really messed with me because I was so hurt. They told me I couldn't talk about what we did because we both get in trouble and that I really didn't want that. They told me it was our little secret.
I wish I could say that's the only time it happened but it wasn't. Even after this I went back and they can that's something I can't forgive myself for I went back even though they did this. I guess I just didn't really realize what happened was wrong. I still thought I needed them. I can't remember how many times it happened or even some of the things that happened and I don't know if that's really normal or okay or if I should remember it so I'm sorry.
After I believe over a year of this I finally went to a new school and I thought I got away from them. But sadly the next year they followed me there and we're put in the same core classes as me... Honestly I convinced myself that I made everything up and that they were different because they became close with one of my friends and I didn't want to lose them. I also couldn't tell my teachers what had happened because I was still scared...I mentioned that it was hard for me and they responded by telling me that I had to work well with other people, even if we didn't get along the greatest, that it was a major part of my collaboration mark. At first I thought they were different I thought they changed. . I hate that I did this.. Before Halloween we are both invited to this party at this person's house..and it happened again. Our mutual friend identified as asexual and I really didn't want to have sex. We were playing this game of spin the bottle that if you spun someone you would both go into a room to do 7 Minutes in Heaven and I learned that was just so they could get this personal alone because when this person was in the bathroom they told me what they wanted to do to them..
I still can't get the things they said out of my head.. "Trust me, you have no idea how many peoples minds I've changed, it's like waving a wand, all I do is touch them and bam they want to have sex with me" "Everyone wants to fuck me, I'm just fuckable" "People don't think they want it until they're with me" "They might say no, but they just need a little help getting there, trust me, they love it."
The bottle ended up spinning on me, and everyone encouraged us to go into the room together..We did and I remember I just sat against the wall with my legs tucked to my chest and tried to just have general conversation, they didn't like that and started threatening some things and then went out and asked them to reset the timer and told me I needed to please them.. I did..
After the party I did everything I could to stay away from them and they didn't like this, they posted pre-transition photos of me, blamed me for trying to kill themselves as well as cutting themselves, then later on they posted a video of me into a larger account with close to 10,000 followers that got 8,000 likes in just a few days.. I was bullied pretty badly for it..
The next year they said that I hurt them, as well as began stalking me... The stalking started in April, and they had their friends involved and they stalked and threatened me from April-June.
The stalking is still continuing and a little while ago they had their boyfriend threaten me telling me to keep my mouth shut, that know one would wanna rape my ugly tranny ass... that he'd shatter the adams apple I haven't developed yet and leave me lying there gurgling on my own blood, theres a lot more but I think you get the gyst..
Honestly, I have a lot of questions about this and I'm hoping maybe you can help answer them..?

After what happened.. From 10-11 possibly until 12 but I believe it was mainly the age of 11..I don't know why I thought this was okay but I thought it was a great idea to start talking to older men online and I would send them pictures and videos of myself... They always told me I was really attractive and made me feel good about myself.. And now I realize it was just to get more photos... Does that ever happen...? Am I just stupid for doing that..? Idk it felt so normal..
It took me a really long time to realize what happened was even wrong...And honestly I was fine until I did.. I didn't think about it very much but once I kind of put the pieces together it's really been affecting me.. Im therapy now but like.. Is that normal for me to not realize and for it not to bother me..?
Adding on to the last question..I didn't have problems with sex or anything until realizing..And now I can't even touch myself without panicking.. I'm scared that part of me is like broken.. Or that I'll never be able to do anything again.. I get so scared when anyone touches me..Even if it's not sexual.. Is any of this normal..? Why can't I just enjoy I guess masturbating I thought it was supposed to be fun.. I mean it was until I realized back in April..I haven't been able to really even orgasm... I honestly just feel numb and scared.. Which is really sucky just because I'll be thinking I'm excited and ready, I want to and I just can't.. What do I do about that..? Will I ever be able to have sex... Will it hurt a lot...? I remember it hurt a lot when that all happened... That sounds so weird for me to say and I hope it's okay..
Do you have any tips for dealing with flashbacks...? Or nightmares maybe.. Most nights I can hardly sleep...
What is what happened even called...? Is it my fault for going back..?
I don't remember most of the times it happened... Is that normal..?
The first time it happened.. (because this is the only time that clearly I remember this) I remember it felt good for a minute... Is that okay..? Does that change it? Why did it feel good if I was so scared..?
The person wasn't older than me.. and realistically I was bigger than them.. Is it my fault then..?
Also I know this post is really long post so I hope that's okay.
I think those are all my questions.. I think it was also just helpful to be able to get this off my chest..
Thank you in advance,

- R
You have the power to say "This is not how my story will end".

al
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Re: I just feel so broken..Am I?

Unread postby al » Fri Jan 31, 2020 12:26 am

Hi R,

First of all, welcome to Scarleteen. I’m glad you were able to find a place that feels safe enough to talk about what you’ve gone through and get things off your chest.

I’m so sorry that you’ve experienced what you have. It sounds like quite a lot of predatory and manipulative behavior by this person as a way to cover up their own abusive behavior. Unfortunately, that’s something that isn’t uncommon among people who seek to violate others and get away with it.

I can definitely answer some of your questions, but the first thing that I want to ask is - do you feel like you are safe, and you have others looking out for you? That threat that you mentioned was not just horrible, but explicit, and certainly enough to report to someone with authority if you’re looking for extra support. No one ever has the right to say things like that to you or make you feel afraid at school, work, or wherever. Have you told anyone about what was said to you?

As for your other questions: you’ve been through a whole lot, but you should know that the things you’re experiencing and wondering about are pretty common among people who have experienced trauma or abuse. Doubting or blaming yourself, wondering if you’re normal, or if things will always feel this difficult - they’re all a natural response to an unnatural amount of stress. You might find it helpful to read through Blinders Off: Getting A Good Look At Abuse And Assault, as it details the ways that someone can exert power and control over others, and what the effects can be.

In terms of your question about your behavior online - you’re definitely not the only person that did something like that. When someone has experienced a violation of boundaries and relationships, especially as a young child, they can find themselves reaching out for relationships and interactions that might be considered “risky” or “inappropriate”, and test those same boundaries again. Not because they want to be re-traumatized, mind you, but because they want to make sense of what happened to them before. Like you said, we don’t always understand the full meaning of what’s happening when we’re young. But the grown men who were online receiving those images? They did. That’s on them.

It’s totally normal to not quite remember everything clearly, and for your feelings/relationship to those memories to change over time. That’s part of why trauma is so tricky - it rewires our brains making it hard to lay things out chronologically or in a way that makes sense to others.
It also okay for those memories to contain some moments of “feeling good” as well. Bodies respond to touch as a stimulus, even sometimes in direct conflict with our brains and hearts saying “No no no”. Again, you were young, and didn’t fully understand what was happening. But your body was in all likelihood trying to figure out how to survive and stay safe.

That being said, it’s okay for your relationship to your body and sexuality to be a little complicated right now. It takes time and love and hard work to heal those wounds, and you’re already off to a great start by talking about your experiences and going to therapy. Have you found that helpful at all? Is there anything that you’ve found helpful, that makes the numbness or pain feel any less intense?
In general, as you work through these things, it’s really important to take care of yourself. What do you do at home, or school, or other places to take care of your body and heart and mind? Do you have family or friends that are supportive about this? (If you haven’t checked it out yet, you might also find Self-Care A La Carte helpful as well!)

I’m sure there will be others chiming in in the morning, but once again, I’m glad that you were able to write things out. We’re here to talk whenever you need to, and provide support however we can. ❤️
Nothing happens in contradiction to nature, only in contradiction to what we know of it. -Special Agent Dana Katherine Scully

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Re: I just feel so broken..Am I?

Unread postby 0PT1M15T1C » Fri Jan 31, 2020 9:38 am

Thank you for responding Al.
As far as the threats I do actually have authorities involved, at the moment that investigation is a little complicated because the threats were coming from two private instagram accounts without any identifying information publicly viewable. They have to file a lot of paperwork which will take months but I'm in the process of pressing charges. Thankfully the constable at my school has been amazing and so supportive of all of this. She knows about the other parts but at the moment can't do anything because I don't have enough evidence for it. She is reviewing tapes and taking in any video I do get of the stalking though, overall she's just been a really good support.
My friends are also all aware of what happened to me and then have stood by me through all the stalking and threats. (The guy went as far as to message one of them to threaten me). I feel really terrible that now they have to deal with this too.. But I'm also glad they're there for me.
I have a whole bunch of things I'm supposed to follow to keep myself safe like never be alone, (The first day the constable actually walked us to the train), keep my phone handy, screenshot then block and send everything to the constable immediately. There's a whole lot but those are some examples.
Therapy has been helpful but I find it really hard to talk about details in person, granted It's new so I'm getting better at it. Currently she's kind of stuck on how to help me because she really wants to put me on meds for anxiety and my mom refuses..
I haven't been able to mention a lot of the problems going on especially around being intimate because it just seems so weird to talk about..
Thank you for the links as well, I'm definitely going to check those out.
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Re: I just feel so broken..Am I?

Unread postby Sam W » Sat Feb 01, 2020 9:10 am

Hi R,

I'm so, so glad to hear that you've been receiving support both from your friends and from the people you reported this too. With your therapist, it's very common for people to have a hard time talking about the details of traumatic experiences in person. After all, those were painful, scary things. Even when we want to share them with someone who can help us, it can feel like dragging a very raw part of yourself into the light. If certain problems, like the ones you're having around intimacy or feeling safe to even touch your own body, are just to hard or awkward to say aloud, you could write them down and share them with her that way. That's a trick many people use to share things in therapy that, for whatever reason, they find it too hard to say out loud.

Is your therapist someone who specializes in, or has a lot of experience with, helping survivors of things like sexual assault? I ask because, while the two of you may have discussed things that lead her to conclude meds might be helpful, there are a lot of other approaches to working with someone who has survived sexual abuse.

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Re: I just feel so broken..Am I?

Unread postby Siân » Sat Feb 01, 2020 9:23 am

Hey R,

I am so, so, glad that you have some good support - both from the constable dealing with your case and from your friends. They sound wonderful. Reading through this thread it's clear that you have been treated awfully by several people and none of it is your fault. It's great that you have some people on your team too.

It sounds like figuring out how to work through this with therapy is a bit trickier just now - is that right?

I know it can feel really difficult to put words to your the problems you're having sometimes. It sounds like you'd benefit from speaking to your therapist about some of the feelings and fears you have around your body, masturbation and intimacy. You did a good job of writing things out here. Would maybe writing down what you want to say before your next session, and then telling her you'd like to read it out be an easier way to start that conversation?

So you know, in most of Canada if you are deemed to "have capacity" you can consent to medical treatment without parental permission. Basically, you may not need your mom's permission to get the anxiety meds. If that's something you want to explore, we can talk about how you could go about that - what do you think?

How do you find speaking with this therapist overall? Do you feel like you might be able to trust her and open up some as you get used to the process? Does she say things that you find helpful - like telling you things you didn't know or suggesting ways of thinking about stuff that you hadn't thought of?

EDIT: looks like Sam and I were writing at the same time! I know that we've touched on some of the same things, but I'm going to leave this here as there are a couple of extra points. Don't feel like you have to answer everything at once!

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Re: I just feel so broken..Am I?

Unread postby 0PT1M15T1C » Sat Feb 01, 2020 9:53 am

My therapist is not someone who specializes in that area, I had that option but I also wanted to enter therapy for a number of other reasons and for me, this was the best option because my mom was originally very against it.
With my situation I was also and am still being stalked and dealing with a lot of that, I was also dealing with other threats and bullying on top of it all. When I had a phone screening they did bring up that as an option but overall thought that having therapy where I am would probably be a good idea.
I have had bad anxiety for quite some time now and she had brought meds up as a tool in the past but I refused because I didn't like that idea.. But recently the stalking has gotten a lot worse again and now there's threats so many of which depict acts that would kill me, the person has said they have seen me in real life and if they see me again I;
I'm not going to like it... And considering the amount this person found out about in such a short time frame it has left me pretty scared, not to mention his pfp is a gun with custom "sweetheart grips" is what I found out they were called. My anxiety has been so high I haven't been sleeping and although we are working on tools she said at this point she needs help to help me in a way, like right now she just feels stuck on how to help me because the situation is still happening it's hard to recover from something you're still in. We are talking about other options and medication would not be long term, she just wants me to have some help getting out of where I am so we can work some more on healing.
It's all really frustrating because What has happened is still happening so most of the time when I go, something else unfolds and we focus on that.. I hate that all of this is happening so much, like I don't get why they can't just leave me alone.
It's hard to deal, like I always ask myself like "why me" and I wish I just never did realize because of the way everything has affected me. Like I mean, I'm 15 and shouldn't most 15 year olds be able to do things like be intimate without any problems..? All my friends can and talk about it a lot and I just can't.. I'm scared my therapist will think it's weird or stupid or something.. Like that's kind of a weird thing to talk about..

I also read through the articles Al sent (Blinders Off) like mentions this "arguing for or initiating a sexual activity to the point that a person gives consent by being worn down." "a person being forced to view pornography" "to look at the genitals of someone else against their will or to watch certain sex acts (like masturbation) against their will, name-calling during or other forms of emotional, verbal or physical abuse during sexual activity can also be classed as sexual assault." all of that happened but it still feels so strange to call it that..? Like the person is a girl, they were my age which all probably sounds so stupid but like idk... When I think of those terms like abuse and assault i don't think kids.. Am I wrong?

And I'm just seeing Siân's post so wow a lot.
Yeah, working through it is definitely just a bit trickier because like I mentioned...It's not all done with, that person is still in my life and causing me hard which really sucks.
My mom won't take me to the doctor to discuss the meds, and I have to be 18 to go to the clinic alone so you know, that sucks. (I actually called the clinic) She also managed to like convince my therapist or something so that now neither of them think meds is a good idea but what my school counsellor believes is happening is that my therapist knows that my mom won't let me and now has to try some other things. Honestly I have no idea and so I'll talk to my therapist about it on Monday when I see her. I'm hoping that all makes sense? (My school counsellor btw is amazing, she was actually the first adult I told about all of this because she knew something was up and persisted, she gave me options to tell her in ways my parents wouldn't find out. She's just incredible.)
I mentioned/talked about this above I'm just scared that it will be really weird to talk about.. Like even if I write it down...
Working with my therapist has done wonders, I haven't passed out in quite a while and my grades are more steady with a 92% average overall (Yay me). I used to get mad and I'd let them drop because people look at my grades and think that me having high grades means I'm okay, and thankfully I've realized I don't need to drop my marks for someone to hear me now. It's getting easier to talk about the things that have happened, and I'm sure it might get easier to open up about the whole intimacy thing but I just really want to be able to get help around that because like 15, and not having any interest whatsoever, or when I do, that immediately going away is really frustrating.\
She's provided me with a lot of tools to help ensure I'm trying to relax, I live a very hectic life and so I very rarely get downtime. She has me journalling, which I like because it helps me reflect on what the biggest problems were since the last time we talked and what needs to be brought up. She also has be doing a body scan each night and doing breathing. Overall it is helpful.
Thank you both for responding.
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Re: I just feel so broken..Am I?

Unread postby Sam W » Sat Feb 01, 2020 10:49 am

All that extra detail is really helpful! It sounds like you, and both your therapist and the school counselor, are doing the best you can to manage this situation. You're right that being in the midst of the traumatic, scary thing makes it way harder to treat, because you're having to triage so much that doing any deeper healing has to to take a backseat to your immediate well-being. Too, there's the fact that the reactions you're having are pretty dang logical. Even if you do have underlying, general anxiety, you're dealing with a situation where people are making graphic threats towards you, which would make basically anyone feel a heightened amount of fear. It sounds like a helpful course may be to keep working with your support team on ways to balance needing to be safe with needing to also be able to manage your anxiety so it's not preventing you form things like sleeping.

You mention your mom was previously against you getting therapy. Is she now supportive of it except for the recommendation of meds? Too, how would you feel about adding another element to your support team in the form of a local rape crisis resource? That way you could get care from people who specialize in helping survivors while continuing to work with your current therapist.

So, part of the reason you (and many other people) don't think kids, or women, or other certain groups when they think "sexual assault" is that our culture tends to present a very narrow version of what sexual assault is. That leads a lot of survivors to feel as though their experiences don't "count." Unfortunately, you experienced first hand the fact that someone doesn't have to be a man, or be older than you, to hurt you in that way.

You're right that, in an ideal world, most 15 year olds would feel okay exploring their bodies or talking about sex. But the crummy fact is, you are far from the only young person to have experienced things like sexual abuse or stalking or to have those things affect how you interact with sexuality as you grow up. So, as much as you can, try to push back at your brain when it tells you that you're the only person going through this and that makes you wrong or broken. Too, even if you were the only 15 year old in the world experiencing this? That still wouldn't make you broken; it would make you someone who survived some awful stuff and is having to heal from it as best they can.

I do want to add that any decent therapist is not going to be weirded out by a client talking about issues related to sex. You don't have to raise the issue with her just yet if you're not ready to do so, but do keep in mind that it's something that she's likely talked with clients about in the past.

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Re: I just feel so broken..Am I?

Unread postby 0PT1M15T1C » Sat Feb 01, 2020 11:13 am

My mom was originally against therapy because she thought I was doing well, she was one of the people that looked at my grades and my sports and thought that nothing could be bothering me, finally I told her a little about what happened to me and she has been able to see that I'm struggling with it, now she's okay and happy that I am in therapy because she's seen it benefiting me. It ended up being a full blown argument for me to start therapy and I had to do everything on my own which was challenging and then thankfully she signed the forms. She's just frustrated because even though she signed all the forms making it for me, they keep calling her to confirm appointments and she feels that violates my privacy with how many times we've told them to call me rather than my mom. She's actually saying to take her off of my record if they can't sort it out which is nice to have her stand up for me like that. She's been really great, she just doesn't want me relying on pills is all.
I'm curious as to what that might look like as far as looking into those resources? If you could possibly share anything about that..?
Okay, that helps to know that she's probably talked about this with other people... It just makes me a lot less nervous I guess.
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Re: I just feel so broken..Am I?

Unread postby Sam W » Sat Feb 01, 2020 11:34 am

I'm glad she's gotten more supportive. And it sounds like you did an awesome job advocating for yourself and your needs in the beginning! If you ever do decide that trying medication is something you want to do, it may help to frame it for her this way: we don't (or at least I hope most people don't) scold diabetic people for "relying" on insulin. Psychiatric medication is no different, and people use it for the exact same reason: to keep themselves well.

So, when it comes to finding a rape crisis resource, it can help to google things like "rape crisis center" and the name of your town or area. I did find this list of Canadian resources. It's from a women's help network, but it looks like quite a few of the resources listed serve clients of all genders: http://www.cwhn.ca/en/organization_en/r ... omy%3A2998. When you're looking into those resources, you can see if they have things like hotlines, support groups, or individual therapists, and decide which resources seem the most helpful to you. Even if it's just calling a hotline once and awhile or attending a group, having support specifically around sexual abuse and assault could be really helpful for you.

One tip I give people who are feeling weird or nervous about broaching a topic with a therapist is to write down what they want to say and ask the therapist to read it. Sometimes that can make it easier to communicate what you need to. Too, you always have the right to say to a therapist "hey, I want to bring up this topic, but I feel nervous about it, or like it will be weird to talk about. How do you suggest we approach that?"

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Re: I just feel so broken..Am I?

Unread postby 0PT1M15T1C » Sat Feb 01, 2020 11:46 am

I tried to explain it to my mom that way before, and sadly didn't go over all that well, she just sees it as putting chemicals into my brain and thinks I just need to let it pass. Not much I think I can do there especially when bringing it up just causes a fight.
I'll definitely look into some of that and see if there's some groups around where I live. And I'll probably write it down and see how that goes. I'll definitely use what you mentioned as far as how to bring up so thank you.
May I ask like, is there anything I might be able to do as far as working through that part.. like with masturbation especially without bringing it up with her..? Like are there any tricks as far as like staying in the right headspace, I'm hoping is okay for me to ask. But like when I do I'll actually want to and as soon as I start or almost immediately after I just end up panicking.. And I will bring that up with her, and I'm hoping I can do it on Monday when I see her, but if I'm not able to..Is there anything I can do to help with that..?
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Re: I just feel so broken..Am I?

Unread postby Gone.Sorry. » Sat Feb 01, 2020 10:00 pm

Hi, 0PT1M15T1C, and welcome to the boards.

I saw another post of yours in another section and am really impressed with the mature advice you gave someone else.

I'm so sorry to hear about everything you've been through. Al is absolutely right that it's not your fault whatsoever in any way. I am also so glad that you finally have some support in your corner. I'm also incredibly proud and impressed at how you've advocated for yourself and how much you want to process and recover. Sometimes just wanting to process and recover, never mind pursuing the resources to be able to do these things, is a good half of the battle.

It sounds like you've got a lot of things lined up for yourself that you need right now. It sounds like you're doing most everything you can be, and that's great. I just want to encourage you not to get frustrated or lose hope or lose sight of the actually immense amount of progress you've already made if there are some things that are harder than others to progress with and if recovery, which isn't a linear journey, doesn't happen in the manner or order that you expect/want it to.

Like, for example, masturbating. I'm sure there are some things you can try, but also - as has been talked about, you're right smack dab in the middle of a lot of the still ongoing trauma you're trying to process. It might be that right now the best way to handle your reaction to masturbating is to back off of trying for a little while. Especially because it's something you want to and think you should do and you have all these expectations about how it should be pleasurable and how it should go - well, that's a lot of pressure on you and that alone can mess up your headspace, even subconsciously, never mind all the other pressure you're under right now.

One thing you might be able to do right now is focus on how you can get in touch with your body and find pleasure with your body in ways other than masturbation. This could be self-massage/utilizing pressure points, stretching everyday, yoga or tai-chi, or even meditation (you might find that guided meditation is better than just meditation to silence or music - with my trauma and neurodivergency I know I personally prefer guided meditation). YouTube is a great place to find video instructions for pretty much everything if you don't have access to a stretching or yoga class or whatnot. For meditation, I use the free app Insight Timer, which has thousands of free meditation sessions for a variety of topics. Getting to know and enjoy your body might just mean showering in the dark and taking the time to explore your body and its shape and hair and muscles and everything with just your hands, finding out where you're ticklish and where you it feels good to feel and where you don't so much like being touched and where you prefer light touches and where you prefer touches with some pressure to them. Exploring your body could even mean exploring cooking/baking and trying new foods and expanding your palette and seeing what new foods and flavor profiles you really like. Exercise is another good way to learn about your body. I see in your profile that you're a goalie for soccer! You might focus on that for a while or develop some extra exercises you do in your spare time to enhance your goalie skills.

Keep on keeping on. You're doing a lot of good work right now. I hope things get better for you and this whole stalking and threatening mess can be cleared up by the authorities so that you can feel and be safer. <3

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Re: I just feel so broken..Am I?

Unread postby 0PT1M15T1C » Sat Feb 01, 2020 11:27 pm

Thank you very much, I'll definitely keep what you said in mind as far as backing off for a while..
And that's awesome to hear what I said might actually have been good advice haha.

I'll definitely try some of the tools you mentioned such as getting to know my body a little more although I don't know how much I'll be able to do the shower thing just because dysphoria is kind of a bitch...and I just don't like doing that very often at all.
I think the main thing I want is to just be "normal" which is something I've never had, so maybe I should adjust those expectations a little.
I also want to say this part that you mentioned really stood out to me and I'm definitely going to do my best to remember it even when things get frustrating. "I just want to encourage you not to get frustrated or lose hope or lose sight of the actually immense amount of progress you've already made if there are some things that are harder than others to progress with and if recovery, which isn't a linear journey, doesn't happen in the manner or order that you expect/want it to."
I know you mentioned guided meditation and that's something I actually quite enjoy, I have an app specifically that helps with body scans and all of that (I personally find them helpful and calming) but I'm definitely going to look on YouTube. I also really struggle with paying attention so the audios always help, otherwise it's like breathing and two seconds later "is that a bird out my window?" I have NO attention span it's crazy. I am going to check out the app you mentioned so thank you.
As far as focusing on my goalie stuff, I work out for 2 hours a day on average so I think I'm pretty set haha. I play up a year so the level of fitness that is expected of me is much higher, it also just makes me feel safe to be working out and definitely takes my mind of the things that have happened.
This so isn't fair that they're still doing this to me, it sucks SO much.. It's been happening for 1/3rd of my life and that's not okay. I'm hoping this will eventually stop so I can actually start to heal from it, so I'm going to try my best to keep my head high for that, even if it's scary. Who knows, they might go to a different school next year.
The thing that sucks most about it though, the person stalking me, the same person who I guess abused me hides behind people and gets them to deliver threats, so hopefully they get a little more ballsy so I have something to press charges on. (stalking is EXTREMELY hard to press charges on btw)
I do have a few questions just because of things I've read both on the boards and elsewhere and it's had me thinking a lot, and these questions aren't necessarily to anyone in particular but I am curious.
For a long time I really just blocked out a lot of my like young childhood years especially after everything started, I guess that was part of how I coped. But as I'm getting older I'm starting to remember pieces and some of them have me both disturbed and confused.
When things like actually picked up, as far as them forcing me into having sex with them I remember just being a really sexual kid, and I brought this up a tiny bit in my first post but I don't think that's really the same, I think there I was looking for more validation I guess? But I would always even when playing with dolls (I would never be the girl in anything even at a young age, I would actually force my brother to be the girl when we played) but what I'd do is I'd always have them like depict sexual acts that this person forced me to do.. For a large part of what they forced me to do, and also what they forced me to watch in the video it would depict "scissoring" (I'm hoping this is okay to say?) and that's what I'd always force the dolls to do, especially alone. I'd always undress them and make them do things, and I wish this was the only thing that's coming to mind but it's not. Playing games when I was little I would always I want to say almost rehearse what had happened or like I'd always have "problems" around my private areas.. I just also stopped caring and my dad would come into my room and he'd always get mad at me because I refused to wear pants especially when I slept, which in my house is not okay. "This is not a clothing optional household" and it's still true to this day.
I also remember quite clearly with what happened, especially the first time, they forced me to go to the bathroom outside behind the guest house and watched and even tried to touch me then.. I was really scared but that also translated into some of the behaviour... I remember after that I just thought it was okay to go to the bathroom like that outside and this all feels so so strange typing but that became normal almost even...I remember there was one boy that I was experimenting with, and he asked me to do some things and I asked him if I could watch him do the same. Also during games when I'm talking about those problems around my private areas... They'd almost always relate to that...
I guess my question is why would I ever have thought any of that was appropriate? Why would I ever have thought that was okay or a good thing to do..? Like I've read articles on kids that act it out but I always thought "No, that's not me" but it was... As embarrassed as I am to say that. Or is any of that normal.. maybe?
I feel so strange for this now, and especially thinking that I was doing this around other people really concerns me..?
I also want to clarify, I never forced my brother to do anything and typically would actually make him leave, I also never forced anyone else to look at me or touch me in any way. I can remember that much. There were a few encounters where boys would show themselves or girls would and I would do the same but talking to most of my friends, most people have done that to experiment.

Thank you all for all of the support and everything that's truly amazing.
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Re: I just feel so broken..Am I?

Unread postby Gone.Sorry. » Sun Feb 02, 2020 1:59 am

It does sound like you're working out enough, lol! My suggestions are just ideas to get you thinking. You don't have to try any or all of them or do them exactly as I suggested. =) I'm glad you like some of the ideas, though! I do hope they help.

I think the main thing I want is to just be "normal" which is something I've never had, so maybe I should adjust those expectations a little.


See, what a clear and level-headed observation! You haven't had "normal" experiences, so of course you're going to have different experiences and feelings and journeys than many other people.

But besides, what is "normal" anyway? There's a pretty clear expectation of what you're supposed to be and look like in commercials and advertisements and mainstream media... but that's just one story. It's certainly not everybody's story!

When I was a teen, I was extremely sex repulsed and touch averse. I was so uncomfortable with anything semi-sex related that I couldn't even stand my own body. I downright hated changing clothes and loathed showering. I did these things as fast as possible and often in the dark. Nothing in particular happened to make me that way. It's just how I was born and who I grew into. It possibly had to do with my asexuality and living in a sex-obsessed world, but it's possible I would have developed that way regardless. It potentially was wrapped up in being nonbinary and genderqueer (though that wasn't something I even started questioning until a decade+ later, so I doubt that), but it's possible I would have developed that way regardless. How I felt in this regard certainly wasn't the typical or common experience. But does that make my experience something inherently bad or wrong? No! While what you've been through isn't okay at all, that doesn't mean that your reactions and your path for healing are bad or wrong. It just means you're experiencing things differently than many others.

People are impossibly diverse. Just because your growth doesn't perfectly match the common narrative doesn't mean it isn't yours or that you're in any way doing something wrong.

You're right, though, that you've had to go through all this crap for far too long. It's not right, and it's not fair. =( I really do hope it starts to clear up for you soon.

Regarding how you reacted with the dolls and other people and games: it is extremely common for kids/teens to act out the trauma they experience in these exact manners. If you look at any resource on describing signs to watch out for in catching if kids are being abused, any reputable source will list out reenactment with toys/friends.

It really doesn't have to do with specifically finding the behavior inappropriate or appropriate or trying to be inappropriate. Trauma is difficult and uprooting enough for adults, who have more resources for help and are better suited to process what they've gone through (with help). Kids, though... They have no idea what they've gone through. They may have been told and convinced that what they're being put through is completely normal/expected and that all kids secretly go through the same things. They don't have the words to describe what they're experiencing. They may have been threatened away from telling anyone or asking for help. And while adults may also be threatened and gaslit, kids really have no basis of comparison for the behavior being wrong and they're totally dependent on other people to take care of them and keep them safe. They don't really have much experience in establishing boundaries or gaining independence. Trauma is confusing and uprooting, especially for kids, most of whom probably haven't heard of or experienced terrible things like that in books or movies or otherwise in their life until it happens to them. Acting out what happened is just how kids try to make sense of what's happened and how they're feeling. It can be a method of trying to understand why they don't feel happier about a terrible thing that they've been told they should enjoy or that is enjoyable for the other person and so they should be happy about that.

Reenactment is just a processing method that kids and teens actually have access to and know how to do. It's not about trying to hurt other people or trigger themselves. It's just about trying to understand what is/was actually going on.

In fact, trauma reenactment isn't uncommon with adult survivors of trauma either. In adults, it's often labeled as a compulsion. As well, reliving trauma is sometimes (only sometimes! for specific people! - it's not helpful for everyone) even used as a method of therapy for survivors, too, in order to help them accept what happened so that they can move on with less flashbacks and emotional outbursts.

So what you did was extremely common. And of course you didn't find it inappropriate because that's not what you were thinking of or why you were doing it. You were just trying to sort out what was happening to you in the best and really only way you had available for yourself.

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Re: I just feel so broken..Am I?

Unread postby 0PT1M15T1C » Sun Feb 02, 2020 10:39 am

Thank you for explaining that it if anything just brings some comfort in knowing that it's both extremely common as well as a way I might have been processing it. What you said also gives me some context as to why I did those things.
I was told a lot both during the acts as well as before and after that it was "something everyone does" and that if I didn't enjoy it, I was a freak. I was also told that I should want to because of just how normal it was. I was told numerous times that it was "our little secret so don't tell anyone" and told no one would ever believe me, that I would get hurt possibly if I did tell someone, that I would lose everything. I was terrified of reaching out because of all the things she told me.
I think the way you explained it really gives me some clarity as far as yeah, I really didn't know what was happening to me, I didn't understand any of it, even as it was happening, throughout the times I was always confused but after a while just..let it happen until they were satisfied..It just became something that happened... She always enjoyed it so much and I really never understood that at the time because while she might have felt pleasure, I felt pain and fear. But to me, that became normal.

"
Reenactment is just a processing method that kids and teens actually have access to and know how to do. It's not about trying to hurt other people or trigger themselves. It's just about trying to understand what is/was actually going on." I'm really glad you said this because I feel really guilty for the way I reacted but never ever tried to hurt anyone.
You also said this "Kids, though... They have no idea what they've gone through." And it's crazy how true it is or at least was in my case, for so so long after what happened I just continued believing what happened was normal, that that's just something everyone did. And in fact that's actually how I came to tell the first person I ever told. 6th grade at recess we were talking about sex and I made a joke that I had done it before and still, just thought it was completely normal, I thought she'd say the same to be honest. She asked me a little about what happened and when I told her she just looked shocked and horrified, she immediately told me that she was sorry that happened and honestly, it made no sense to me. I just stopped talking about it again because the reaction left me confused and I didn't know how to handle it. She understood the fear I faced though when I heard this person was coming to my new school where I finally felt safe and she just let me cry...
What was happening to me was all I knew and so it really confused me and not knowing how to process it I guess it makes sense that I acted this way.
I really wished someone would have noticed some of this though.. That someone would have asked when I was in the middle of all of it.. Like me being 10-12 acting the way I did, how did no one take not, they could have pulled me out of that horrible situation so much sooner..
Like especially my teachers I wish would have asked when the first year we started sex ed the amount of information I knew already wasn't normal, I remember they handed out this diagram and no one had ever seen that before, people were making jokes but I filled this thing out like it was nothing, but no one even asked me about that, I was able to answer questions about it in so much detail because of the amount I researched it and was forced to do.
Even at home like I just wish someone had been able to come in and stop what was happening to me.. I know if someone asked I would have told or at least said something like "it's a secret" which would have been pretty alarming I'd think.
It's just frustrating knowing that like for example with the diagram, she looked confused but never asked, how much time would it have taken to ask me how I knew those things, a minute maybe. My 5th grade teacher disliked and never cared about the relentless bullying and would force me to hang out with the girls because "I was one" when I wanted to hang out with the boys. It would have taken her a minute to talk to me and possibly help me, but no one did that for me...Instead it continued. I just wish they would have asked..I could have gotten help then rather than years later, maybe the effects would be less.. It wouldn't have gone as far, but it also could have been intervention for that person but instead now they've been doing this for years and to so many other people as well..It sucks..
Even though these things happened so long ago (I mean like as far as being forced to do things..) It's still all so new to me and really scary..Like I only started to realize "wait that's not normal" in March... And so I guess it's been a while but processing is taking time..
Either way, it's helpful to know that me reenacting it, that was fairly normal and more of a way to cope..
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Re: I just feel so broken..Am I?

Unread postby Gone.Sorry. » Sun Feb 02, 2020 1:48 pm

I'm about to run out the door, so I don't have time for a longer post right now, but I did want to reply now in case I don't have time later tonight either.

I'm so glad my explanation was able to help you and explain some things for you. <3

I'm so sorry that no adult caught on to what was happening to you and was able to help you and make it stop. That sucks. It's awful. Too much slips by us sometimes, and it's not fair that you were someone that slipped by everyone. I wish someone had been able to help you earlier. </3

I'm glad that you've got more support and resources right now. I hope that there are so many good things in your future because you deserve so many good things. So many amazing and wonderful things.

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Re: I just feel so broken..Am I?

Unread postby 0PT1M15T1C » Sun Feb 02, 2020 5:32 pm

Hi, I just wanted to post a bit of an update and hopefully that's okay.

Thank you horriblegoose (btw your username always makes me smile looking at it I just always remember this amazing time when during a cross country race this Canadian Goose and these geese are vicious just so you know, chased this girl out of the race and I passed her. So many of us couldn't even breathe we were laughing so hard. Just wanted to let you know that) but thank you for everything you've mentioned.
I've been putting off self care for a little while just because I have felt completely disgusting with my body and what's happened and although talking helps, it's still been a rough weekend. Today I decided I was going to force myself to do a little, you mentioned about turning the lights off and exploring my body and to me that seemed really scary but I turned on some music, originally set a candle but decided I didn't like that later and really just explored in total darkness. it was so relaxing and I'm so glad that you recommended it. Just letting the water run over my face and running my fingers across my collar bones and up my neck, really noticing each touch and how it made me feel, running my hands over my scars and just remembering that it's my body, that I am in control of it and how I choose to touch it and treat it. I just felt my heart beat in my chest for a little while. It really helped me calm down and just ground myself a little. It went great up until the end when my brother thought it would be absolutely hilarious to connect to the speaker and start playing tribal music, so I had to get out and reconnect my phone which was in another room and the second I got settled again he played baby shark. I got back in but couldn't get back into the mood and that was extremely frustrating but what was even more is that I decided to get out of the shower and just relax for a few minute with my body before getting dressed and my mom decided to not even knock and barge in, I slammed the door back and now almost got grounded for that even though I was completely naked and in the bathroom of all places, she just wanted to know if I wanted the speaker reconnected but she could have done that from outside the closed door. If she saw my scars it would mean a 2 hour long lecture with her yelling at me about how stupid self harm is, and I really don't need that. ( I want to say that I am currently safe and have actually reached 2 weeks clean today.)
Coming from that though I was able to settle myself back down and I am trying just to take a chill day, continuing to listen to music, I did some guided mediation from the app you recommended and even though I'm not in the shower I've still been finding it helpful just to continue that exploration and notice all of the things I was missing about my body, like damn, my wrists are so small.
I'm also just appreciating that I have this break over this weekend from my stalker, that I am currently safe and I have decided to just give masturbation a break, I'll come to that when my body is okay to learn with me and begin healing. I don't need to be doing that right now, and especially knowing that it's not "wrong" for me to have problems around that, my friends might be able to do it however often but it will take time. I have this time to deal with my annoying cat who really likes shutting the door and then begging me to open it, I'm alive and get to deal with that. Also just appreciating that I truly have come a long way since these things started and that I am working hard to be okay.
Knowing I have a space like this where I can share my story, be believed and get support.
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Re: I just feel so broken..Am I?

Unread postby Sam W » Mon Feb 03, 2020 8:13 am

Hi 0PT1M15T1C,

I'm so glad having a space here at Scarleteen has been helping you! It sounds like you've already taken some awesome steps, both in starting to explore ways to connect with your body and in knowing which things (like masturbation) you can set aside for the time being. It sounds like you're starting to have some luck internalizing that belief that there's nothing wrong with you for needing to approach your body in this way, and that's a big step too.

Is there a way we can best support you around all this right now, or something we haven't touched on that you'd like to talk more about?

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Re: I just feel so broken..Am I?

Unread postby 0PT1M15T1C » Mon Feb 03, 2020 8:29 am

Right now a lot of this is just exploring what exactly to call what happened to me, there were a few different ways I’ve been told I could or different ways everyone has described it but I don’t want to be wrong, if that makes sense. And I know that’s something you already touched on, words have always just been confusing to me I guess.
Also going to see my therapist today and hopefully that will help some. Also just hoping that person won’t be at school today to make the day a little more relaxed.
Oh yeah, I’m wondering if it’s also possible for me
To maybe post a little update with charges and everything maybe court? If anything just like to have this to look back at or even provide some sense of like closure to the post, maybe to show myself if I keep fighting this maybe it will get better. Or maybe when something I feel pretty good changes for me.
I guess I have one more sort of question about this, is there any way you guys would suggest bringing some of these things up with my mom. When I reported it I had to tell her the bare minimum which for me was explaining that when I had to skip school to go to the doctor without her and refused to tell her what for that it was to get tested for STI’s after being in a bad situation with the person (I named them). But she’s never understood the full extent. Is that something anyone could possibly touch on at all? She’s never understood a lot of it and just tells me to not let it affect me, focus on school and sports. So maybe actually telling her some parts of what happened would help but I don’t even know where to start..
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Re: I just feel so broken..Am I?

Unread postby Amanda F. » Mon Feb 03, 2020 10:26 am

Hi 0PT1M15T1C,

I've just caught up on your posts and I'm so sorry you have had to face such traumatic experiences. And I'm also really impressed by all the work you're doing to heal from this!

Your experience, and all you have done to face it, reminds me of an essay called Trauma Is Not Your Fault, But Healing Is Your Responsibility. (I hope it's okay that I use the word "trauma" to describe what you've been through, as I know you're still trying to find the right words and I don't want to apply a word that doesn't feel right to you; given everything that has happened and how it is affecting your life today, this feels pretty traumatic to me.) Despite how everything that happened to you wasn't your fault, and was unfair, you're still taking on the responsibility (and challenge) of healing and moving forward with your life because you want something better. I really admire that. I know it can be really hard, so major props to you.

We can definitely continue to keep talking about the words that feel right to you to describe what happened to you, if you'd like. And of course, you can keep posting updates and let us know what's going on! We'd really like to hear you and be here to support you as things progress. You can post when you have an update, when you feel good, or even when you're not feeling great. We're here for all of it.

As for sharing more with your mom - there are a few ways you could go about that. However you proceed, it's probably best to give your mom a heads-up that you want to share something with her so that you can get some support. You could say this to her directly, or it might help to write some things down in a letter if that's more comfortable.

In difficult conversations it sometimes helps to have a supportive third party present, like your therapist. If you felt comfortable, you could ask your therapist if she would be all right with you inviting your mom in for a session or two (I think she would probably say yes). Then you could ask your mom to go with you because there are some things you'd like to share with her, and it would help you to have your therapist present.

You can also give your mom this guide (Scarleteen Confidential: Supporting a Teen after Sexual Assault) and tell her that you need some support.

Do any of those approaches feel like they might work for you? How do you think your mom might react to any/all of them?

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Re: I just feel so broken..Am I?

Unread postby 0PT1M15T1C » Mon Feb 03, 2020 11:24 am

It’s completely okay that you used the word trauma as yes, all of what happened was and is extremely traumatic for me. Mainly I mean with that using terms such as sexual assault/abuse just because those scare me a little and I find myself concerned that maybe it would be the wrong word to use in my situation. I used to say that I was just in a bad situation for a while but I don’t really think that gives it justice at all for what they did to me.
I’m also kind of curious as to would that have meant I lost my virginity..? Like what happened?

As far as addressing it to my mom, I think that’ll take some more time.. I think that yeah maybe bringing my mom in to my therapy would be helpful in the future.. but quite honestly I haven’t really been able to share much information about what happened to me, she knows I was forced to have sex and that threats were involved, that it went on for two years and knows all about the stalking and threats... I broke down to her crying last session and told her I really didn’t want to die that way. Definitely helps to have that as an option for the future and maybe for now giving her some small details as time goes on.


Also today in therapy I was able to bring up that idea of masturbation and it was one of the strangest, funniest and most embarrassing conversations I’ve had. She didn’t judge me at all when I said that I couldn’t and we were able to talk partly about why this is happening, my therapist goes from 0-100 real fast which just made it hilarious. She came up with a few analogies one of which was if there was a tiger around you wouldn’t be fucking someone you’d be scared and trying to get out of that situation. It sounded so much funnier in conversation. I mentioned the same concern as that I would never be able to have sex and she immediately responded with like a “yeah right” and said “we’ll see how that goes, you tell yourself you can’t have sex” she explained it as people are all sexual beings and that reproduction and that need is really normal. And that what I mainly have to do is acknowledge the things that happen when I try and accept those emotions. The way I put it makes it sound judgemental but it wasn’t in any way whatsoever and helped a lot. Rather than saying that what I’m experiencing isn’t okay, I need to accept it and remind myself that’s just my brain panicking, that I’m safe. She also mentioned that her being able to create this safe space for us to be able to talk about things, even such as masturbation is really important and I shouldn’t feel weird at all for it. I still think I might take a break from that and when I do go back to it rather than trying to reach orgasm or something just letting myself feel all those feelings and be open to anything that happens.
I’m taking my time in talking to her about what happened but I can recognize I really have made a lot of progress.
Things have still been so hard but I’m trying to remember what all I have and am striving towards, flashbacks and nightmares especially aren’t easy.
I did read the articles you sent and thank you very much. Although both are helpful, I really love the first article you shared. That definitely speaks worlds to me.
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Re: I just feel so broken..Am I?

Unread postby Sam W » Mon Feb 03, 2020 12:19 pm

Those reactions to the word trauma are pretty common, because words like "trauma" and "assault" feel really, really loaded. When it comes to virginity, that's a place where you get to decide how you want to define it for yourself. Part of that is because virginity is a concept, rather than a physical state of being. Lots of people define "virgin" as "someone who hasn't had vaginal sex" but that's just one definition of many, and is pretty flawed in a lot of ways. Too, some survivors choose to define losing their virginity as the first time they had a consensual sexual encounter. Heather actually dives into some of why people do that here: https://www.scarleteen.com/blog/heather ... g_rape_sex. Does that make sense?

When you've shared pieces of the sexual abuse with your mom, how has she generally reacted? Is she usually supportive or caring?

I'm glad talking to your therapist went so well! It can be such a relief when asking for help around something results in you getting what you need (I see what she was getting at with the "sexual beings" comment, but there are some people who don't really experience sexual desire or have sex with other people. It was helpful at least for her to normalize desire as a positive thing).

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Re: I just feel so broken..Am I?

Unread postby 0PT1M15T1C » Mon Feb 03, 2020 12:36 pm

Okay yeah, I read through that article and I don’t think I want to consider what happened as losing my virginity, I’d much rather be able to say I lost that with someone who I trust and and comfortable with in my life. I also want to consider it the first time I have sex, not when I went through what I did.

As far as the therapy my therapist and I mentioned the asexuality portion but we were just talking in more general terms of how things work, and in my situation. I hope I could clear that up a little.
As for how she might react, there’s been a range of emotions. The same year at 12, I was groped in a bathroom by an older man.. she blamed me for that because I was “somewhere I didn’t belong” and she put me into counselling where my counsellor didn’t even know what being trans was and compared me being trans to the fact that I’m a little more on the energetic side and have trouble with focus. He also blamed me for what happened and that really has played a huge role in this, when I told my mom what happened she yelled at me.
However in another situation my ex boyfriend held me down and kissed me, he left me with a concussion and bruised wrist that I had to wear a brace for almost a month. He also forced himself on me in a hot tub. He has since actually been able to change and apologized for what he did and I’m grateful it didn’t go any further. We stopped communication after what happened. My mom just held me and let me cry..
After I told her the few bits I did she also just let me cry about this as well for a little while and told me she loved me. However I don’t think she even understands any of what really happened.

I notice you’re using sexual abuse to describe what happened though, and so I think that’s something I want to be able to say for what happened.
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Re: I just feel so broken..Am I?

Unread postby Mo » Mon Feb 03, 2020 4:03 pm

I can certainly understand why you'd be reluctant to talk to your mother about the full extent of what you experienced, or unsure about how she'd react, considering the ways she's reacted to other abusive situations you've been in. It's a pretty terrible thing to let a parent know something upsetting that happened to you, and have them get angry or blame you for it. (If you need a reminder about this, no matter where you were or whether you were "supposed" to be there or not, the fault for groping you rests entirely on the person who chose to take that action against you. None of that was your fault in any way.)

I know you already have a lot to discuss in therapy, but one thing I think therapists can be really good at is helping figure out scripts or ways to talk to people and let them know important information. I wonder if your therapist or school counselor might be a good resource for helping you think about how you might want to explain things further to your mom, and also how to handle it if she has an inappropriate reaction again.

In terms of wanting to be able to call what happened to you sexual abuse, I wonder if you'd feel more comfortable starting to use it in smaller or more private ways, first? Maybe it feels like a lot to say out loud, or to someone else, but you might feel like you can write it down if you do personal journaling about how you're feeling. Maybe you can say it in your own internal processing but aren't ready to say it out loud to other people yet. I don't know if taking those sorts of smaller steps will help or not, but I've found that helpful, when there's something related to abuse that I might still be uncomfortable applying openly to my own experiences.

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Re: I just feel so broken..Am I?

Unread postby 0PT1M15T1C » Mon Feb 03, 2020 4:40 pm

Honestly telling my mom really seems like a lot at the moment and I think that will take time for me, I can live with her not understanding.. She's scared for me, like the thought that I'm going across the city each day to a place where I've been threatened and stalked and someone could very well take my life so that isn't a very fun idea. But it's a possibility. She doesn't want to know she can't protect me and especially the biggest piece, that I hid it from her for so long. I know she cares about me very much.

And thanks for that I did kind of need to hear that regarding the situation that happened in the bathroom, I still hate going in them to this day but I've been working on it.

I definitely won't be calling it that off the bat, and if I did I'd be killed for it so there's that aspect of it too. If I don't keep my mouth shut the person has said they'll find me and so I don't say a word. But I think just being able to put some sort of name to what happened is so helpful because for so long I really wondered what even happened to me. So yeah, I'll probably leave it in journals, what I've been able to say here and then talking amongst my immediate friend group. It's not something I think I ever want to say publicly, some people might be able to, but that's just not me. Like I said, just being able to know that what happened has a name is just helpful whether I need to speak it or not. I just really don't think calling it a bad situation shows any of what I went through. It wasn't just nothing or even a bad situation and so it being shown seriousness or having a term that actually reflects what happened I find important. So many people have no believed me, adults in my life included, the people who I thought were supposed to keep me safe made those decisions for me whether or not I was telling the truth and sadly they didn't believe me. That's the reason I want to call it by that name, not because I want it to sound a certain way but so that I know it was serious what happened. What she decided to do to me ultimately changed my life, and just now am I able to recognise the seriousness of that myself. I wish I had found a better way to put it than "want to call it that" because I feel that sounds extremely misleading.
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Re: I just feel so broken..Am I?

Unread postby Mo » Mon Feb 03, 2020 5:07 pm

You have so much going on right now that I can understand wanting to hold off on telling your mom all of this if it'll be stressful for you both. I think that makes a lot of sense. And it's certainly good to do whatever you need to in order to keep yourself safe, when it comes to publicly talking about your experiences. I'm glad that you have this space and some friends you can speak openly with.


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