Abused Just Once

by Anonymous
(Virginia, USA)

I'm 21 and diagnosed with BPD (bi polar disorder). I've been receiving mental health help since I was 14. I've even been in-patient at 15 because I tried to kill myself a few times. I grew up with an alcoholic father, who was emotionally and physically abusive to me, my siblings and my mum.

But the reason I'm writing here is not related to that abuse. I recently told my therapist about something that happened when I was 6, I was molested.

There are a few reasons I never wanted to talk about it. I never realised it was molestation until I was 17, which I feel incredibly guilty about. Even after the first year of realizing it was wrong, I kept trying to deny it and try and tell myself "maybe there is a explanation for it". I also want to make clear this is not something I suddenly remembered years later. I always had this memory, and for some reason I believed it was a medical exam, which makes me wonder if the man told me it was.

Another reason I held back on telling my therapist was because the memory is extremely vague.

I don't remember how I ended up alone with this man or who he was (it wasn't someone I knew) and I have no memory of removing my pants or underwear. I just recall sitting on his lap while he touched me between the legs and put his fingers down there. I don't remember anything else, like it ending or how long it lasted. Because of this, I was terrified my therapist wouldn't believe me because I looked online at other sexual abuse stories and everyone else seems to remember most details.

Even now after telling my therapist, I just feel like I should be able to move on, I mean it only happened once and it's nowhere near as bad as what sexual abuse victims experience?

Even before I realised I was molested, I had nightmares for years of being alone with a man touching me down there and I never understood why I was getting them. I also can't wear bikinis because I feel dirty, I haven't even had sex because sexual intimacy repulses me, even being touched by boys makes me feel wrong. I'm not purposefully acting this way, and I hate how something that only happened once is effecting me so much. Is it normal to be so badly effected by an isolated sexual assault?

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Comments for Abused Just Once

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Jun 11, 2015
To Anonymous:
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

It is very common for sexual abuse survivors to only remember vague details. It is also VERY common to be "badly affected by an isolated sexual assault". Try not to compare other peoples' stories to what you endured and the effects you're now left with. Each person experiences something different. It's what you tell yourself about what happened that can make a huge difference in the healing process.

If you think of yourself as "dirty", then you cast judgment and condemn yourself for what someone ELSE did to you. You weren't to blame. The abuser was to blame. He's the one who shoulders the shame for what he did.

And as for not telling sooner, the #1 reason sexual abuse victims don't tell is they're afraid they won't be believed. So please, stop judging yourself for not telling sooner.

You can't change how you feel, but when you change what you think you automatically change how you feel which automatically changes how you act and treat yourself.

Unless and until you are prepared to change your perspective on this, the abuser will always be a part of your life. And that means that you will forever be connected to him. Don't allow that to continue. Tell yourself the truth: he manipulated a very young child that was vulnerable and too young to protect herself. He took advantage of your youth and vulnerabilities. That's what sexual predators do. The prey on little children who aren't equipped to keep themselves safe. But you survived. And now it's time to thrive. You deserve that in your life.

I send you love, light and healing energy. And I thank you for sharing your story with my visitors and me.

From Victim to Victory, a memoir
Darlene Barriere
Webmaster: www.child-abuse-effects.com
author. speaker. survivor. coach
From Victim to Victory, a memoir

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