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Please advise me

(38 Posts)
mirrorme Sun 22-Sep-13 19:57:57

Wasn't at all sure where to post this and couldn't really find anywhere relevant, so I'm sorry. Also have nc as know people in rl on here.
I was watching the news the other day (i think friday) and it was the story about the adults who groom children, making them think they are their age and then blackmailing them once they have something over them iyswim.
I was a victim of this as a teenager (probably around 15 years old, I am now 22). I always thought that it was my fault and never said a word to anyone because I was scared of what people would say and knew I should never have sent anything anyway. There is alot of detail to this story but not sure how much detail I should go into as I don't want to upset anyone or anything, but it does follow the general pattern as mentioned on the news- i.e photos, blackmail etc, this was a cycle that carried on for about 3 years. He made a fake account of me and put up various photos on a social networking site at one point when I said I wouldn't send him any more photos.
He finally disappeared eventually (not sure why, possibly because of my age). I have never mentioned this to anyone at all. I am wondering if there is anything I could do. He was not from this country. I feel absolutely terrible that he might (and most probably is) still doing this to other young girls.
I feel sick seeing all this written down. I am just asking for some advice as to whether there is anything I can do now.
Thank you in advance x

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 22-Sep-13 20:10:59

There's plenty you could do. First and foremost take care of yourself and, if you think it would help you feel in control, consider counselling. Second, tell the police about this man and give them as much detail as you possibly can. You're right, he's probably out there somewhere, honing his technique and luring other victims into his nasty web. Nationality is not necessarily a barrier to prosecution. Good luck

mirrorme Sun 22-Sep-13 20:48:13

Thank you for your reply. I am worried that they won't be able to do anything, as I deactivated my email address, social networking profiles etc and can only remember parts of his email address/one name he used.
I feel sick that I have possibly let it happen to other people.

something2say Sun 22-Sep-13 20:53:26

Sweetheart you haven't led to this happening to other people. The man did it, and he did it to you. It's natural for teenagers to explore sex and sending pics online is one of those things people do. It is dangerous we know now, but the Internet has been a growing phenomenon and its taken us all the same amount of time to learn that.

I think the poster who advised you to get some help and then consider reporting have the best advice. First off, you were a victim too. Second off, if you want to do what you can now, that may go some way towards making you feel you did what you could to help, in your own time, no one would blame you xxx

mirrorme Sun 22-Sep-13 20:59:16

I was old enough to know better, it is so stupid.
Thank you for replying. It is like it is all hitting me at once.
x

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 22-Sep-13 21:02:55

You definitely haven't let anything happen to others. Abusers who target young girls are very skilled and very cruel manipulators. Using blackmail to scare you into silence. Making you believe you're complicit. It's deliberate, sinister and you should be very proud that you survived the experience quite honestly. But that's why I suggest counselling because the fact you still feel guilty means that some of the manipulation is still influencing your thoughts.

The police may not be able to catch this man purely on the strength of your evidence but they might already be aware of him and something you think is unimportant could prove to be the last piece of the jigsaw. Just telling someone the full truth could be beneficial.

mirrorme Sun 22-Sep-13 21:08:37

Am i going to be in trouble for not going to them sooner?
I have gone on to being in two very abusive- one emotionally, the other emotionally, physically and sexually- relationships, and I feel like this is sort of the end of the line for me.
I don't think i can cope with leading this sort of life. I am a bad person.

mirrorme Sun 22-Sep-13 21:26:57

And I have just realised that I haven't got my laptop I used to either, I am very stupid I'm sorry

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 22-Sep-13 21:27:04

You're not going to be in trouble and you're not a bad person. It takes enormous courage to even talk about something like this, let alone report it. Men like your abuser know how to terrify someone into keeping their evil secret and don't care how much they damage that person in the process. If you've gone on to have other abusive relationships that is not your fault either. Age 15 you were cynically and cruelly manipulated into believing how this man treated you was normal and acceptable when it was anything but. With help you can identify the same traits in others and... very important... develop methods to reject them before they can hurt you.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 22-Sep-13 21:27:52

You're not stupid either.

mirrorme Sun 22-Sep-13 21:34:35

Where would I start? Would I just walk into a police station? X

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 22-Sep-13 21:47:16

Or call the non-emergency number and give them an outline. Child abuse is a hot topic at the moment ... priests, Savile, asian gangs, internet grooming... so they're interested.

mirrorme Sun 22-Sep-13 21:53:38

Thank you x I don't know if I can which makes me feel so bad.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 22-Sep-13 22:07:14

Have you ever told anyone IRL what happened? Someone you trust? I think it's significant that you've felt able to post here anonymously - maybe treat that as a springboard to telling someone else. If not the police maybe Samaritans as an intermediate step?

mirrorme Sun 22-Sep-13 22:13:23

I haven't told anyone about this no I feel that it's my fault as I really shouldn't have been speaking to him in the first place.
I don't think I can cope I thought I was starting to deal with the relationship I have just come out of and now I have realised this sad sorry I don't want to be moaning x

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 22-Sep-13 22:20:36

It's actually OK to moan. smile Talking is the way through this. Abuse is extremely traumatic, very damaging, and what you're experiencing... the flashbacks, the realisations, the negative impact on your subsequent life, the guilt ... it wouldn't be an exaggeration to call it Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

I don't know you from Adam and I don't think it was in any way your fault. I believe you and so will others. You've coped alone so far but I think you deserve to be listened to by someone that can help you progress further.

mirrorme Sun 22-Sep-13 22:24:01

Thank you, so much x x x

mirrorme Sun 22-Sep-13 22:37:30

I don't want to be here anymore sad

EHoneybadger Sun 22-Sep-13 22:43:58

Lurker here. I don't post very often but wanted to now to say I believe you too and so will other people.

It is not your fault and anything he may or may not have done or go on to do is not your fault either.

You were young and vulnerable (still are to me as an oldie in my 40s).

I hope you take the advice to seek help for yourself. You deserve to have a happy and full life and deserve any help you need to find that.

If you feel strong enough I hope you succeed in adding to the weight of evidence that will stop him but I understand why that thought is overwhelming.

Sending good thoughts and wishes your way as it is all I can do but really hope you move forward and are okay.
xx

EHoneybadger Sun 22-Sep-13 23:01:31

I listened to this story on the news and remembered mum and dad always telling me there was nothing I could do that would ever stop them loving me not even the most terrible thing I could imagine. They never elaborated why they said that but reassured me I could and should feel able to talk to them about anything and they would look after me. It didn't make much sense to me at the time but I thought it was a nice thing to know.

My dad worked in social work; child protection. This was back in the 70s. It was before the Internet but when I heard the tragic story of a boy killing himself on the news, suddenly I realized that he must have seen some awful things and was trying to let his children know they would always be safe even from the most awful secret and was trying to tell us it was safe to come to him and mum no matter what.

Thank god we never needed to but I think that message needs repeating even more now.

To OP, you have done nothing wrong. You have nothing to be ashamed of and you will be believed. Please talk to somebody you trust. You have every right to be here. I know this being dragged up will stir up horrible memories and make you feel exposed but you are not alone. If nothing else you have people on here who believe you and wish you well and will talk to you.

Please take some comfort from that and look after yourself. xxx

fifi669 Sun 22-Sep-13 23:02:33

If your networking site was Facebook, doesn't using your old log in details deactivate your account thus finding more clues to this weirdo?

mirrorme Mon 23-Sep-13 07:13:44

Thank you, EHoney, that was very helpful to read. I am glad I posted.
Fifi, it wasn't Facebook- I was 'friends' with him on 3 social networking sites that were popular, I don't have access to any of them as I deleted all the profiles. I feel stupid for doing that too.
You have all been so helpful to me I do feel ashamed and bad but I do understand what you are all saying. Thank you x

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 23-Sep-13 07:29:39

How you're feeling is normal for abuse victims, unfortunately. He made you feel ashamed and worthless at a key time in your life when your personality was still in flux and experiences determine the kind of adult we become i.e. adolescence. 'Old sins cast long shadows'... the sin being his, of course. You don't have to get therapy or talk to the police right now if you don't want to. You can choose to consign this to the past and keep moving on the way you have been doing already, making the best of it. However, if at any stage you think that you could benefit from some professional guidance or if you feel this loose end is preventing you from leading a normal, happy life, then it's never too late to ask for help.

mirrorme Mon 23-Sep-13 09:14:05

Thank you cogito. I am worried that I'm going to be like this forever. I feel so so bad at the thought I could have prevented other people from going through this but I can't change what I've done now.
I have been seeing a sexual assault referral centre worker for something I have already reported to the police. I may try to talk to her about it.
Thank you so much for replying x x x

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 23-Sep-13 09:40:42

That sounds like an excellent idea to talk to the referral centre worker. Please be assured that you are not going to feel this way for ever but it'll take some initial effort to turn your thinking around. e.g. the responsibility for this man's criminal behaviour is his & not his victim's. Take the blame, shame and guilt off your own shoulders and place it squarely on his.

Here's another way to look at it. Imagine a 15yo girl wrote to you anonymously and told you that she was in deep with 'a boyfriend' online and he was making her life miserable demanding sexual pictures, making threats and so on. What would you write back to her? I guarantee you wouldn't be writing that she was a bad or stupid person that had brought it on herself or that she'd put others in danger. So be as kind to yourself as you would be to that 15yo girl.... that will be a start.

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