Comments for Child Abuse Story From Nancie

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Nov 12, 2008
You DIDN'T deserve this...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

Nancie, promiscuity in childhood is often the result of some form of child abuse. And studies have further shown that ALL sexually intrusive children (young children who are sexually aggressive or sexually active with other young children— I'm not suggesting anything untoward about you, Nancie; it's just information) have been sexually abused themselves in some way. Try not to apply adult values to what you did and did not do as a child or adolescent; none of it was your fault.

You asked, "How was I supposed to know he would do something like this?" In a phrase, you had NO WAY of knowing. And of course you wouldn't know what to do. You were probably taught to do as you were told. And if you were raised like I was, you may even have been taught to always listen like a good little girl when a grown up (even more so with aunts and uncles) wanted you to do something. Your uncle was the adult; you were the child, Nancie. This is all on him.

I commented on a story the other day by including a questioning exercise that you might find helpful. If you haven't already checked it out, you'll find it at Krystle's story.

You used the present tense when you said you get suicidal thoughts; I strongly urge you to seek out some form of counselling. It's not that you want to die, Nancie; it's that you want to be out of pain. But even if you no longer get these suicidal thoughts, I still highly recommend seeing a counsellor. A counsellor can help you to deal with the inner turmoil and your residual emotions.

As for asking your cousin if the same happened to her, I'm with you. Asking her outright is very personal. After all, you have no idea whether or not something did happen, but you must also consider that she may have adopted coping skills that have left her blocked of any memories of abuse. Nevertheless, I suspect as you do: In all likelihood she was molested by this uncle. Sex offenders rarely stop at one child. But if you are compelled to discuss this with her, use an approach that is geared toward opening a dialogue. A passing comment from your perspective (not hers; don't make any assumptions about what her situation was/is) could go a long way toward such a conversation. Consider something along the lines of: I was always uncomfortable around Uncle ___. Then see where it goes.

Nancie, it's a very good sign that you feel strong enough to disclose what happened to you. It's a courageous first step. Just don't stop there. Take the next step and get some help for yourself. You're certainly worth that kind of help.

Thank for your sharing your story with my visitors and me.

Darlene Barriere
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

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