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sexually assaulted(18 Posts)
I wasn't really sure where else to post this, hope you don't mind.
I was sexually assaulted on Friday afternoon while waiting for a bus with me 2.10yr old DS, I'm 6months pregnant. It was over in seconds and all done through clothes so not as bad as it initially sounds. The police were amazing but both DS and I were in a lot of shock - he now seems absolutely fine though thankgod and I've felt DD kicking around happily so am now calmer about the effect it's had on my children.
But I don't really know what I'm supposed to do. I suffer on and off from depression and have self harmed in various guises for years, though am generally an outwardly happy and positive person. Last Wednesday I asked my doctor to refer me for CBT on advice from my midwife and the MAPPIM team, mainly as a preventative measure against PND. My doctor however thinks longer term psychotherapy might be more appropriate, which I'm relieved about because I think my major problem is I tend to sweep things under the rug and not address how I'm feeling or the coping mechanisms I've come to rely on, so inevitably it keeps coming back.
I don't know how long it will take for the appointment to come through, but my doctor's asked for it to start with enough notice before my due date in November.
What happened on Friday has really thrown me though, I can already feel myself trying to push it away, I mean on a scale of sexual assaults it's really only a step on from catcalling, I wasn't raped. But I can't face leaving the flat on my own, I feel really shaken to the core. I know this will get easier and thank god it's a bank holiday so DH is around until Tuesday. We already had plans to see my folks today and go to friends tomorrow so we can at least get out of the house (while also potty training DS)....I just want life to carry on but I also know I'm likely to let this incident fester and possibly have a bigger effect on me than it needs to.
Just wondered if anyone had advice really
I'm nowhere near as wise as a lot of other people who will post here, but I couldn't read & not post.
It's completely understandable that you feel as you do. Nobody has any right to violate another human being like that, no matter how far down the 'scale of sexual assaults' it is. A sexual assault is a sexual assault. It would be bad enough anyway, but to do it when you're obviously pregnant & with a toddler is just a special sort of messed up on behalf of the attacker, & I can only imagine how much worse it made it. I've always thought that being attacked in view of DS (also 2) would be so much worse than if I only had to worry about my own personal safety & not his, or how what happens to me affects him. (It does sound like perhaps your DS doesn't really understand what happened, which can only be a good thing). It is completely normal that you would feel like this.
Luckily, things like this aren't very common (although the fact that they happen at all make them too common), & I'm sure you can do all of the rationalising yourself. That doesn't help too much when you instinctively feel vulnerable now.
I have had CBT in the past & although it works for some people, I found it to be half an hour of stating the bloody obvious once a week. I have found that sitting & just talking to somebody for an hour a week was really a lot more helpful. I actually saw my counsellor who I talked to, privately rather on the NHS, because I simply couldn't wait. I don't know if that's an option that you can / feel you might need to take. (I'm really not financially well off at all, but if you phone & ask, some counsellors will give a discounted rate to people who are struggling under the pro bono scheme, or something).
Whatever you do, don't let yourself sink under the weight of this. Keep talking. Keep telling your DH how you feel (I hope he's generally supportive of you & your worries?), tell your GP, tell your midwife. Don't be afraid to sound 'boring'. You are pregnant, which is difficult enough for mental stability anyway, have a history of depression, & have just experienced a traumatic event. Make people listen to you & get any support you can, because if it starts to get worse, it can escalate very quickly - as I'm sure you know from the past.
Primarily, just take care of yourself.
I'm sorry that this happened to you
Can you please stop trying to make it sound less than it was? Someone without your permission entered your personal space and touched parts of you that only you can give permission to be touched. He made you feel dirty and horrible. Of course you are shaken to the core and scared. It is not a step up from catcalling. You can't compare assault and assault and say yours is not so bad. It was bad. And you may need to talk, cry and take showers a lot. Take yourself seriously and take how you feel seriously.
thanks for the response, I guess telling my midwife and GP would be a good start. I have to phone the psychotherapy NHS service on Tuesday because the paperwork should have been received by then so I can book an appointment and will mention the attack then, in the hope it bumps me up the queue a bit.
My doctor said much the same about CBT, she said it's brilliant for some people but for me she thinks something longer term would be better, maybe just that my coping mechanisms and ways of thinking are so ingrained it needs something more to talk them through, I don't know.
I'm pretty sure DS is ok, though he asked me to go back to bed with him this morning and for cuddles (never willingly given!) and just kept saying he loved me. Breaks my heart.
Your DS will be fine. He probably senses more that you feel upset now than he realises what happened at the time. The concept of sexual assault is lost on a 2 year old & I am sure that you downplayed what happened at the time to protect both DS &, to be honest, yourself. Plus I'm pretty sure that all little boys secretly want a good cuddle with their mummy every now & then, no matter how tough & independent they pretend to be
Whatever you do, don't think that this is in any way your fault / you need to stop talking about it / there's a time limit on feeling like this, etc. Something horrible happened to you, triggering both your instincts for personal safety & the safety of your children. That will take some climbing down from. You absolutely must do everything you can to make sure you start to feel better & don't take on the burden of looking after everyone else regarding this, as well.
God I was rubbish when it happened, just sobbed and sobbed over the phone to DH then the police, then carried DS home, got him out of his wet clothes, put the tv on for him and we cuddled on the sofa til the Police arrived, both of us just crying and crying. I've always been shit at controlling my emotions in front of him. When the police officer arrived DS just kept saying "mummy crying, mummy sad, I want my daddy"
Ah yes, but you did phone the necessary people at the time, & you did carry DS home (whilst 6 months pregnant?! Wow!), & you did make him physically comfortable, & you did sit & cuddle him while distracting him with tv. All despite the fact that something so terrifying had just happened. You were emphatically not rubbish.
I have to go out now, but I should be back later at some point. Bump this again a bit later if you want more responses, too - it's always a bit quiet on a Sunday morning, especially on a Bank Holiday weekend. People will want to help Have a nice time with your family today.
Thanks so much
I'm spending the day with my folks and brother (and DH and DS) but will check back later, would be great to get any advice really, just not sure what to do with myself
Can't stop to chat yet, but thought I'd have a go at bumping for you
Thanks both. Am back home now. Today has been much more of a struggle in many ways than yesterday but I just don't know why
Why? Because it's only just happened and you've hardly even started processing it. The shock is starting to wear off so you lose the adrenaline that keeps you going. Be kind to yourself. Do something you normally enjoy, warm bath etc.
I just assumed it would be easier with each day that passes I suppose
That will probably be true but not for the first few weeks x
I'm just afraid of giving in to it and therefore getting much more down and affected by it than I might do otherwise, but then I don't want to not address it and it therefore come up bigger and worse later on
I want to just be normal and for it never to have happened
Those are very normal feelings. You won't bring yourself down by allowing the feelings to come out - that's how you process them and then put them behind you. If you need to cry, cry, if you need to yell find somewhere away from the kids and yell. Talk about it, as many times as you need to. Get it out of your system, literally.
a new day, just feel numb but just nice playing with DS. I need to go to the shop but don't want to leave the house alone
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