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It happened a long time ago, but...
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It happened a long time ago, but...

So I didn't realize I was raped until I was about 24 years old. I'm 25 now and I think I'm just starting to realize what really happened. I'm devastated by this and I think it has doomed the way I act in relationships. When I was 12 I had a "relationship" with a 16 year old and he coerced me and raped me repeatedly. Sometimes I thought I was willing, and I kept that thought all of my life, until recently I had the epiphany that I WAS JUST A CHILD. I know that seems like, well DUH, but for some reason I never thought of it like that. I spent so much time accepting that I just lost my virginity very young and that it was my own doing and even if I said "no" occasionally I was still basically asking for it.

I cannot believe how much damage this has really done to me. I'm not even sure if I fully understand the damage it's done. I've never had a healthy relationship, that's for sure. And I've always struggled with mental illness. I'm struggling really hard with my grip on reality.

Yesterday I think I was triggered. I thought I saw him. It looked exactly like him from the side profile. I freaked, hid my face, and walked FAST to my car, locked the car and just sat there shaking. Finally I drove off and just cried forever while driving home. I got home and told my boyfriend what happened, and how I'm really struggling with this now, after more than a decade of blaming myself and acting out. WTF am I supposed to do? I feel so screwed up and it's like I'm battling so many diseases and demons. I'm just tired.

I don't think there's really a question here I just feel like I'm going nuts. I've been dealing with so many triggers lately it's horrifying.
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285927_tn?1380802356
It will always affect the way you view your relationships until you put a stop to it. Realizing was the first and most important step. You might want to get some counseling in order to put it all in perspective and yes, you were a child, so lose the guilt and he too was a child but old enuff to know better. Our experiences shape our lives one way or the other and if you deal with this one now, you have a very good chance of putting it behind you and moving on in a very healthy way. Good luck.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you. For the longest time I thought it was in a "gray area." I can thank that "opinion" for keeping me in denial for so long.
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757137_tn?1347200053
Are you damaged because you feel damaged, or because socety says you are? And maybe you feel guilty because you derived some pleasure from it.. That was pretty young for sex, but what people forget is that in many societies today (and in the past in our country) a girl was eligible for marriage from the time she got her period. Edgar Allen Poe's wife Virginia was only 13 when they married and he loved her dearly. You may have had sexual feelings, and those were normal. I know what the law is, but I am not talking about the law, but human emotions. There are many, many girls sexually active at 12. I don't think it is a great idea but, by the same token, it is not abnormal.
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1032715_tn?1315987834
For the first time in 40 yrs I have finally told my whole story to my doctor my counsellor my daughter and my husband,My doctor and counsellor both explained that the things I did as I grew up were due to the warped introduction I had to sex,When my abuser,(my brother who was 10 years older than me sexually abused me from the ages of 7 to 10)left home I tried to have a sexual relationship with my other 2 brothers both older than me,they wouldn't they said brothers and sisters don't do that.I felt hurt because I didn't understand,I felt rejected,at age 12 the worst year of my life I actually touched a much younger boy inappropriately I was baby sitting he was upset I thought it would comfort him,after I realised how wrong it was and I thought I was becoming just like my brother who abused me I tried to commit suicide,By the time I was 14 I was drinking heavily I met a woman who was 28 I used to baby sit for her (and no I never touched another child again)She introduced me to many men aged between 25 and 55 they all had sex with me including her,often more than one at a time, it was concensual and I felt loved and I was getting attention again.This went on for approx 2 yrs,then I met my husband at 16 of course I was going to have sex with him the first time we went out,but he wouldn't,he wanted to get to know me as a person not just someone to have sex with,He said he wanted to love me before we took it to that level.Yes we're still married 29 yrs this year.Partly because of the abuse I became a heavy drinker at 14 was an alcoholic probably the whole time,and I became addicted to codeine by age 26.In the end I was drinking 3 to 4 x 1 litre bottles of bacardi per week and 18 to 24 x 10 mg codeine per day.yes sometimes you might see a post that really pisses you off,I got one reply, they said there's nothing wrong having sex with your siblings that it's only society's attitudes that make us think it's wrong.Yes at the time it was enjoyable so are you saying I shouldn't be damaged by what happened in my life.I'm now working on myself 65 days clean of alcohol and codeine,but it has taken nearly 40 years to get the help I needed, I hated myself all that time and blamed myself,are you saying I was to blame.  Denise
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Denise, I know you didnt ask me this question but i just wanted to reply to you.
You know that you were not to blame, i know you know this because you wouldnt be doing so well in your recovery if you thought differently now. You are doing so well and you should be so proud of yourself.
I think what some people fail to understand when it come to child abuse is that, as adults we can see and understand that what happened to us was wrong but its our child within us that is the hardest to convince. I began to see this when i started having therapy, when the abuse was talked about i would go back to feeling like a child again. Its very very dificult to heal a broken, scared child however daft that might seem to some people.

And Electrum, Its ok to feel the way that you do. Dont let anybody tell you that you shouldnt feel the way you want to. Everything affects people in different ways, theres no right or wrong when it comes to how we feel.
I hope ive made some sence here, my head tells me what i want to say but i find it harder to write down.
Allmymarbles, please dont reply to what ive written...thanks.
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1032715_tn?1315987834
HI
   Thanks for your comment, I do know I wasn't to blame,I know I shouldn't hate myself,and I know I was damaged by what happened even if it was enjoyable at the time.My comments to allmymarbles was to try and show her what happens in childhood enjoyable at the time or not will still affect you as an adult when you understand it all.
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Avatar_f_tn

Hi there !

I read your post. I think you are very brave to admit to your terrors. Guilt and Shame are so so hard to face. It doesn't seem to matter to humans whether the guilt was a result of something that they did or something that happened TO THEM.

Shame is crippling. And you know what, in spite of what we all say to ourselves and each other, it is in fact ourselves who are our own worst judges.

That endless critical self-talk (internal dialogue) Somewhere inside there is a horrid voice saying ...actually that person is right, I am Shameful...... For those of us who appreciate that our words reflect only ourselves it helps to quieten the frightened child inside. Their voices are heard with compassion.

bren969 ....  I think you have captured the essence perfectly.... it's the child within that is so hard to convince ...  Sometimes I think we forget that the child within is us.  Have you read any Bradshaw ???







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Avatar_f_tn
Karey, no i haven't read any Bradshaw, i will look into it though. The  biggest problem for me is the critical voice in my head telling me that i deserved  what i went though, only a small part of me believes this now though but that part  is still so powerful You are right we our own worst judge. My therapist tells me that i am my own judge, jury and executioner. I know what she means and im trying really hard to see it the way she does.
Sorry for hijacking your post Electrum, hope you are ok.
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757137_tn?1347200053
Your case is not the same as Electrum's. She was 12, not seven, and sexually mature (I presume).
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1032715_tn?1315987834
I was 14 when some of my abuse took place,yes I know my attitude was warped because of what happened earlier,but feelings and emotions need to be validated only the person who went through the experience know if they've been damaged or traumatised by it,we can not judge what they are feeling.This is an abuse support community,not a judgment community.
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319399_tn?1254535281
I know the feeling. I guess there is no way to turn back the clock but that doesn't mean you shouldn't express how you feel about the whole thing. What happened to you was very messed up. The whole point of children being advised not to be sexually active at such a young age is not just because of  the physical trauma that it  might caused, it is also because of the emotional roller coaster that follows. I am happy that you have someone to talk to about it. Anyways i am here if you want to talk.
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Avatar_f_tn
Why are you hear? What is your agenda? I don't understand why you are on an abuse forum trying to convince people that it's their fault or that it's just relative because of our society. You must get your kicks this way, and that's sick. You baffle me as a human being and I don't know who you are but I feel sorry for your family. I hope TO GOD you don't have any daughters. I fear for them if you do.
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Avatar_f_tn
Someone please just erase this ******* forum. I seriously regret ever coming here. **** this place. It's a ******* joke.
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1032715_tn?1315987834
Don't let her get to you. I've read allmymarbles profile she was never abused apparently,and is a non-fiction writer,maybe she's trying to get some material for a book she's writing.Who knows.She has a right to comment but my suggestion to you is don't even look at her comments.

  Denise
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757137_tn?1347200053
Almost every woman at some time in her life has been molested, usually at a young age (and that includes me). So this is something we all understand. Molestation in some form is not a minority issue. Unfortunately present day society encourages us to relive it, brood upon it, and stigmatize ourselves as victims. Is this really the road to recovery? Isn't better to exult in our survival? I certainly would not let someone's perversion destroy my life. It is not my perversion - it's theirs. (By the way I have three daughters, just so that you know I am not living in a vacuum.)

I talked about a young girl's confusion when she reaches a sexual age. Someone called me "judgmental." How can the acceptance of normal emotions be judgmental? You ask why I am on this forum. Why are you? Do you want pity, or do you want help?
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1032715_tn?1315987834
Not everyone that writes here and talks about their abuse wants pity I certainly don't,I'm the one who said you seemed to be judging her for the fact you assumed she was sexually mature at 12,No where does it say or show she wants pity maybe validation of how she's feeling which is quite normal,and like I said if you read at the top of this page it is a SUPPORT community.I don't think theres been much of that from you,My opinion.
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Avatar_f_tn


I'm with you on this absolutely. Sometimes the internal voice/inner child speaks so quietly that it is almost impossible to fathom. Usually when I haven't been listening my depression gets cranked up, and I'm left wondering what the hell is going on. Just starting to recognise the warning signs.

Bradshaw is a good read. Really, really helped me begin a better relationship with myself. "Healing the Shame that binds you" is a good place to start.

May I ask what type of therapy you have? I mean which model do you work from?

I did 2 years of counselling training and I'm so fascinated with the different approaches.

To  Electrum ...... I sense your hurt and bewilderment. Finding positive meanings can be overwhelming at times, but you know what?  You ARE moving through the healing process. Unfortunately we often pay more attention to our negative feelings and then we get swamped. It's not easy to look back and say with certainty .. Well I feel a helluva lot better than I did this time last year.

Reach for the better feeling slowly and be gentle on yourself. After all You are the expert on you. No-one else.
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Avatar_f_tn
My councillor has tried all sorts of therapy on me but because my stubborn head won’t allow empathy for myself not a lot seems to be working for me at the moment. I’m 47 and I didn’t realize until I began to see her 3 years ago that I had been abused in childhood. Daft as that might seem to some people but my mind blocked out all the feelings that I didn’t want to remember and they are only just emerging now but I’m finding it hard to make sense of them all. I just knew I found life hard and scary but didn’t know why.
One therapy she used  on me was by penny parks which is all about the child adopting a mistaken belief about herself which really belongs to the abuser and it’s a process which involves giving the abuser their problem back. I found that quite powerful and it answered a lot of questions I had about why the whole family felt the need to treat me the same.
She spends a long time trying to get me to understand that none of it was my fault and of cause my head understands but my heart doesn’t.
I don’t know the names of the therapies she has been using with me and like you say there are a lot of different approaches that therapists use.
I sometimes feel that I’ve gone through them all but I’m not going to give up yet.
It would be good if you could keep going with your counselling, I’m sure it helps us to understand ourselves better.
I will get that book you mentioned, it sounds good, thanks for that.
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Avatar_f_tn

Your life-story almost exactly mirrors mine. So no I don't think you are daft. Like you I knew that I was treated 'differently' It wasn't until 2 years ago during a therapy session as part of my training, that I fully realised that I was a victim of spousal and child abuse.

It was a horrifying sensation.

I also blocked out many things, feelings and memories. I know and empathise with your pain. I hope the books help. He has written several and I found them very powerful healing tools.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks Karey, i will get his books, i am in a better frame of mind now to try and help myself. My counsellor hadn't realised the abuse she suffered by her mother until she started her counselling course. I had an abusive marriage as well it seems the norm if you suffered in childhood too, but i did get out of it when my son was very young.
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Avatar_f_tn

I can see that you are very familiar with the dynamics of abusive relationships.

It takes a helluva lot of insight and courage to appreciate the roles we played.

I'm so pleased that you are on board with this and using your self-reflection to direct your own healing.

Your therapist seems to have your trust and approval.  That's brilliant !!
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