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I was sexually abused by my stepfather as a child. This has affected how I am as an adult, especially in terms of issues of trust. My mother continued to live with this man for eight years after I told her what was going on. It mostly stopped but I made sure to avoid ever being alone with him. I still had to eat dinner with him every night and have him drive me to Girl Scouts and the mall and go buy groceries with him. So do I know how to bear up in a dangerous situation? Yes I do. Do I expect to go through life without support when I am under fire? Unfortunately, I do. But it's not how I want things to be. Do I know how to live without love and affection? I learned how to do that during those years, too, but that's now how I want my life to be as an adult. I lived with the shame of this for years and then at some point realized I hadn't done anything wrong. So I'm talking about this because I think it's important to say it happened and I didn't do anything wrong and to let other people know if this happened to you, you were not the only one. My counselor said I am not damaged from this in how I deal with other people, but I take betrayal very hard and desperately want security. But mostly, I'm okay. And sometimes, when I see how I deal with people who actively want to damage me, I think I'm probably too okay, because I should not even speak to them or acknowledge their existence. Right, time for work.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
peacockdress
May. 17th, 2012 11:47 am (UTC)
Kudos to you for your bravery in speaking out. May there be more like you.
webcowgirl
May. 17th, 2012 03:13 pm (UTC)
It's so frustrating to remember that one of the biggest problems I had dealing with this from 12-18 was the way I was treated by my peers - like I was contaminated and gross. Of course when I was young and he was still living there they were right to avoid our entire household but still, even at high school (when he was gone), there was a shocking lack of pity and empathy from my peers.
peacockdress
May. 17th, 2012 03:30 pm (UTC)
Mmm. Teenage girls can be some of the cruellest beings on the planet. Having grown up queer, geeky and sensitive in a girls' church school in the 80s, I sympathise wholly. It can be challenging to reinvent your self-image after a start like that, but the discovery that the world can also be a welcoming and happy place, and the subsequent blossoming, is the greatest gift of my life.
mr_sadhead
May. 17th, 2012 02:12 pm (UTC)
It's difficult to be strong, and it's good that you're working on it now. People go through life trying to shrug off horrible things that happened to them, and then it gets them all at once and they fall apart like Dorian Gray. (Maybe the Wilde story was a parable?) If you pick apart the knots now, maybe you can plane out into a happier life to come.
webcowgirl
May. 17th, 2012 03:18 pm (UTC)
Being able to stand up and say, "This happened to me" really helps, and I know it helps other people to whom it happened to to not feel so ashamed. (Of course, it could just trigger them for all I know, but I hope it makes them feel less like they need to pretend it didn't happen.)
zygopetalum
Jun. 28th, 2012 02:06 am (UTC)
I still haven't spoken out about the sexual abuse of my past but the agony of that silence gave me courage to speak out when I was in a brief physically/emotionally abusive relationship last year with someone who was in my social circle and influential support start-up bands. The worst pain came from realizing that people will often ignore what is really happening to ensure their lives are unfazed by such things.

This tumblr is a really great tumblr, putting faces to people who have been victims of sexual violence: http://projectunbreakable.tumblr.com/
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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