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Support thread for survivors of childhood sexual abuse

(721 Posts)
cailindana Tue 10-Mar-15 14:17:05

I started a thread some time ago as a support for people who suffered sexual abuse as children. It went on for quite some time and I think people found it helpful. It fizzled out for various reasons but I'm thinking now is a time to get it going again.

I was abused as a child, by two family friends. My family entirely ignored it, and when I tried to talk to my mother about it she basically told me to shut up. It affected my life massively as a teenager and led to some self-destructive behaviour in my twenties. But with the help of my massively supportive DH (without whom I don't know where I'd have ended up), MN, and some really great friends, I feel like I've dealt with it to a large extent and it no longer has such a hold on my life.

This thread is intended for people who want to talk about their experiences with abuse - either themselves, or those they love. You can share as much or as little as you like. You can just come on and say you're here, you don't have to contribute anything. This will be a safe space to chat to people who understand what you're dealing with. Hopefully it will help.

cailindana Tue 10-Mar-15 14:33:58

I know it might seem scary to post, but you don't have to say anything in particular. No one will push you to talk.

cailindana Tue 10-Mar-15 15:52:50

Bump.

AuntyBatshit Tue 10-Mar-15 21:30:49

Me too. This will out me in rl but I don't care. I was abused by my mother and her friends, ever since I can remember, until I left home at 14. I finally plucked up the courage to report her when I was 21. She got 3 years and, because of time spent in remand, walked out of court free.

Sprit Tue 10-Mar-15 22:02:45

I think I remember your thread Cailin. I'm not sure how much support I can offer as I'm in the middle of a kind of resurgence of anger at my abuser mixed in with a sort of self disbelief. I know that reading other threads on here helps- in fact one the other day validated my own experiences a little as a poster also mentioned sexually abusive/ intrusive behaviour by their own mother, not too dissimilar from my experience.

In my own life my extended family dropped me like a hot potato when I disclosed to one of them. Heartbroken for my children who will grow up without cousins etc because of me. I don't think people believe women/ mothers can do this. The fact she did makes me feel abnormal in some way ( I know I'm making little sense here!). Good on you aunty for reporting. Pity she didn't get to rot for a bit longer in jail. I reported too a couple of years ago but they were a bit like, we don't have much evidence to do anything after such a long period of time.

weedinthepool Tue 10-Mar-15 22:03:33

This couldn't have come at a better time because I'm just at the start of the process of reporting my child sexual abuse. My video interview is coming up in 3 weeks.

My parents & extended family swept it under the carpet too. Two other victims have come forward and police have very very subtly hinted there is 'other evidence' to indicate my abuser has been accessing stuff online too. All a mess!

pocketsaviour Tue 10-Mar-15 22:46:19

Hello all, I was abused by my dad from age 11 to 13, every day.

My mum was an absolute waste of space and did not help at all, in fact the things she said put my healing back for so long. (I should shut up complaining because he bought me everything I wanted, I was still a virgin so nothing had really happened, stop making such a fuss and being a drama queen, etc etc etc) I have recently moved back to the area where we lived then and a lot more memories have come back for me about how isolated and unsupported I felt. So I have recently gone NC with her as I am so angry (not just about that, other things too, she treats my son very poorly.) I have not seen my dad since 1989 (and good feckin riddance!)

I spent my late teens and twenties an absolute mess, drugs and alchohol, was in a very abusive relationship early twenties with a man who verbally abused me and raped me several times. I was able to get out with help of friends but then ended up with a passive aggressive alcoholic man-child for 7 years.

Everything changed when I met my H, I moved areas to be with him and his son (now my son as I've been raising him since he was 5) My H was a founding member of the first ever UK support group for male survivors of abuse. Being with another survivor and knowing that he "got it" was an absolute revelation for me. There was an absolute trust there for us that I had never experienced before.

We set up an online forum for abuse survivors and kept it going for about 5 years, we helped a lot of people and we knew there were abusers in jail because of the support we had given people, and equally there were survivors alive and thriving who had been able to move on with our support (I mean the whole forum, not just us two!)

Sadly the marriage didn't last and he ended up moving in with another woman and a while later he died very suddenly sad I had to take the forum offline as I couldn't cope at the time.

They say "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" and it's absolutely true for me. Every pain I've been through has built more and more strength and will in me. I now know I can survive anything life throws at me.

Oh and would just like to add that any survivor who is worried they will never be able to enjoy sexual activity, YES YOU CAN. It takes some work and can be incredibly challenging and you will need a partner you can trust utterly (which in itself is difficult for us) but you can get there. My sex life is bloody amazing! grin blush

Linguini Tue 10-Mar-15 22:46:42

Just marking place for now.

cailindana Tue 10-Mar-15 23:49:08

Thank you so much for posting everyone, I've come down with some bug but will be back asap flowers

PeppermintCrayon Wed 11-Mar-15 05:52:07

Thank you for starting this up again. Hope you feel better Cailin.

I had the same perpetrator as pocketsaviour. I am completely NC with my family of origin. DH and a very few close friends know why. There were some other things of this kind but it started with this. I still can't write a straightforward sentence about it.

AuntieDee Wed 11-Mar-15 06:04:35

I'm in a slightly different situation in that I was being groomed (I think) by my father. He used to get in bed with me and lie really close I could feel his hair against me. One day I asked, in front of my mum 'Dad, why do you get into bed with me every night?', I must have only been about 6. My mum covered up for him of course saying that that was their bedroom when they first moved into the house and he had been sleepwalking. Bullshit! He never came into my bedroom again... My parents are still together but seemingly haven't had a sexual relationship since them - it's a bizarre setup.

I was affected by this hugely as I never understood what had happened, and it wasn't until I was much older that I realised. I spent a lot of time thinking 'What if?' and got really wrapped up in it. I ended up having counselling, CBT and EMDR and can now live a normal life.

I sometimes debate with myself whether I should ask my sister if he did anything to her - I don't think he did as as soon as she was out of a cot and in a proper bed I asked to share a room with her despite there being enough rooms for us both to have a bedroom.

This is the first time I have said this outloud to anyone other than my therapist and parents...

PeppermintCrayon Wed 11-Mar-15 06:09:07

AuntieDee, I'm glad you felt able to post.

My experiences have led me to a career helping others. (Obviously trying to vicariously save myself.)

cailindana Wed 11-Mar-15 10:48:36

Thanks for joining in everyone. AuntyBatshit, have you had much support? How are things for you now?

cailindana Wed 11-Mar-15 10:49:23

Sprit do you know what triggered the resurgence of anger?

cailindana Wed 11-Mar-15 10:50:07

Weed, how are you feeling about the prospect of giving evidence?

cailindana Wed 11-Mar-15 10:51:48

Pocket, your post really touched me. It's such a sad story but your strength and courage are obvious. Have you had much support since your H died?

cailindana Wed 11-Mar-15 10:52:58

Thank you for posting Linguini. Post again whenever you feel able flowers

cailindana Wed 11-Mar-15 10:54:35

Peppermint, don't worry about being straightforward. I'm sure everyone here can related to the tangled thoughts - we will understand.

cailindana Wed 11-Mar-15 10:56:55

Thank you so much for posting Dee - I know hos hard breaking that silence can be. I struggle with my sister too - I'm fairly sure she was also abused but we don't have a good relationship and I can't bring myself to talk to her about it.

Elfina Wed 11-Mar-15 11:04:14

I think I will join in, here.

I was groomed and the sexually abuse by a teacher at school. My parents became aware, but it was never spoken about. I dealt with it by becoming anorexic, and later, self-harming.

I've never properly dealt with it. I have kind of swept it under the carpet of my own mind.

cailindana Wed 11-Mar-15 11:21:56

Do you feel ready to start dealing with it Elfina?

Elfina Wed 11-Mar-15 11:24:25

I guess it depends on what 'dealing with it' means…I suppose?

pocketsaviour Wed 11-Mar-15 11:28:10

Cailin, thank you. I am very close to my sister and we support each other emotionally (and practically) a lot. I also had some more therapy sessions a couple of years ago. (I also attended quite a few with my son after my H died but that was more in support of his grief.)

Day to day now, I rarely think about the abuse. Or rather, I can think about it factually and say "I'm a survivor of abuse" without that causing feelings of fear, pain or shame, or having flashbacks.

I am very open and matter of fact with people about my history. I feel like every time I say "I was sexually abused as a child" it's one more brick taken out of the wall of silence, if you know what I mean. When I first started talking, that wall was fucking massive! It was made out of huge slabs of ice and towered over me and threatened to crush me if I spoke out. Now it's like a tiny decorative garden wall that I can step over without even thinking about smile

I am very assertive and several times have challenged people using hurtful language (e.g. colleagues saying "ooh it's so busy today, we're gonna get raped on volume".) I would say of all the times I talk about being an abuse survivor, probably 9 times out of 10 someone who heard will approach me afterwards and say "Thank you, I'm a survivor too but I couldn't say anything."

I think it's really important for us to break those walls of silence that our abusers (and often our families) have constructed. They absolutely stop us reaching out for the help that we need. This was the hardest part for me, in healing. To be able to talk out loud.

Elfina Wed 11-Mar-15 11:32:52

Pocket, when you say 'when you talk about it' what do you mean? How does it come up??

cailindana Wed 11-Mar-15 19:46:14

To me, it means reducing the damage it's done, even by a little bit, Elfina.

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