Should I just let this go? **Trigger warning from MNHQ: Child abuse**(14 Posts)
So to cut to chase, something happened to me a very long time ago and every now and again it seems to be brought to the surface of my mind and then it seems to be all consuming. It has recently been stirred up again due to recent new stories and a few other things. At the age of 9/10 years old, I had sex with an older boy who lived up the road from me who was 16 years at the time. I think subconsciously I have partly blamed myself for letting it happen (no violence used) as I didn't know any different and it was only as I got older and learnt about sex that I realised that this was not normal behaviour! I think I knew at the time, but thought of it more as a little secret and not such a huge deal that it is. Over the years I have felt guilt, anger and blame. I have thought about counselling but quite honestly, I am not sure if this would do more harm than good. Not sure really what I am asking, but I think I need to shake off this feeling that it was my fault because I (for want of a better term) went along with it. Would you call this rape despite the circumstances that I have mentioned?
Yes. Of course.
A sixteen year old boy took advantage of a nine year old.
Legally this is rape as you were under 13, that's sex with a child and is different to 'underage sex' which applies to 13-15 year olds.
A 16 year old sould definitely have known what they were doing was wrong, you were absolutely too young to really understand or give consent.
Have you ever discussed this with anyone?
Sorry just caught your mention of counselling. I think it would definitely be worth pursuing therapy as you say it consumes you when you think about it. You can work through this.
You were taken advantage of and should talk to someone about this. It's obviously still on your mind.
I'm so sorry this happened to you. I'm sorry to say that this is definitely rape; it was not your fault. The reason the law is set at certain ages is because that is the point at which someone can truly understand and consent. At 9/10 you wouldn't be able to comprehend properly whereas a 16 year old would.
I would definitely recommend getting some counselling. These things will work their way to the surface one way or another.
Would you call this rape despite the circumstances that I have mentioned?
Yes it is . A child 13 and under isn't deemed to be able to give informed consent. You were abused.
Over the years I have felt guilt, anger and blame.
You need to evaluate what you want from the healing process. I do think councelling would help you come to a decision. You may think that a prosecution would not be good for your mental health, or you may decide it would bring closure.
I would say weigh up your options, take specialist MH advice, and make the decision best suited to your needs.
I'm so sorry this happened to you. It was absolutely rape. Second getting some counselling. You could - if you wanted - report this to the police as a historic rape - you would be taken seriously.
Thank you for your replies, I really appreciate it. I think I need a shift in my mindset to convince myself that I was not in any way at fault and the responsibility lies solely with the boy. I have spoken to my husband about it who is very supportive but hard to talk very frankly as it's obviously very personal, so haven't got into the details of it. Have told a couple of friends, however that has been when I have had a few too many to drink and blurted it out.
Your story is like reading my own, I spent years in and out of deep depressions, blaming myself then at 23 I went to the police, they were really nice it went to court, it was a two year process all in all and he was found not guilty (much to the dismay of the police and prosecutor) it was a blow BUT I got my day in court, I got to make him know I remember and it was wrong, he will be on the police radar forever now and most importantly I went from thinking about it EVERY day for 8 or 9 years to having closure, not tormenting myself and never feeling better, the years of depression went and I saw a light at the end of tunnel. I felt good about what I had done.
Not everyone will go to the police for various reasons but if you can it's not as horrible as I was expecting and if you can't maybe some counselling? I think trying to get some sort of closure will help.
He was so wrong for what he did and you should never blame yourself. X
An 11/12 year old cannot concent to sex. It's always classed as rape. It's very clear cut. You are the victim
Chesterlady - thanks so much for posting your experiences. You are so very brave to have gone through the courts system. I don't think this is an option as I don't actually think it will help me have closure, and would invariably bring a lot of hurt to the family, including my parents.
I think if I can change my mindset to truly believe I was not at any fault I think this would help me draw a line under it. I'm wondering whether something like cognitive behaviour therapy might be suitable. It seems a bit crazy but I can not actually remember how many times it happened, as at the time it did not seem to be such a traumatic thing to go through. More than 3 times but probably less than 5/6.
I agree I think CBT would help, I would speak to your gp and see what's available in your area, there is usually a long wait unfortunately but I would get your name on the list as it were and look at it as the start of the end and you are finally taking charge and beginning to move on.
To post on here shows your strength and I wish you all the luck in the world
I'm so sorry that this happened to you. It wasn't your fault.
It's understandable that you don't fully remember. Often, self-blame can be your mind's way of trying to cope with traumatic or overwhelming events. Changing that often needs to be a gradual, gentle process and it's completely okay to need time, help and support.
I don't think it's really possible to just let things like this go. It's kind of like how, if a stove burns me, I can decide to let go of the fact that I've been burned - but that won't take away the burns themselves.
Therapy helped me a lot with my own history of abuse. I didn't discuss many of the details but worked through the after effects.
The Survivors Trust might be a good place to start: thesurvivorstrust.org/
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