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Facing Sexual Abuse. How will a counseller help me?(8 Posts)
You are not alone
I was abused at a similar age by a primary school teacher.
Everything you describe - including the denial, crying for his death, the shame, overspending, impulsiveness, sexual problems, feeling bad for others but not for yourself, eating trouble - is NORMAL for someone who has been abused.
NON OF IT WAS YOUR FAULT - yes I am shouting and I still have people who love me trying to hammer that message into my head because it is true but for some reason hard to accept.
We were children and had no choice. Found this quote on the Internet somewhere- don't remember where, copied it to my journal:
'Stop judging your childhood actions through adult eyes. A child who believes in Santa Claus will also believe that an abuser has the power to do anything he wants. Cut yourself some slack for the choices you made in childhood, such as choosing not to tell anyone about the abuse. Instead, find compassion for the hurting child you were.'
A counsellor will help you give things a place but not by forcing anything. Things will happen in your time and on your terms so don't be scared to go.
CAT me if you want and/or find the thread about child abuse below started by adelicatequestion
I work with children and adults who have been sexually assaulted (but am not a counsellor unfortunately). From my experience you will be asked to 'talk through it' but only at a time when you feel able to do so. Maybe in little chunks or building up to it. Your GP should most definitely be able to refer you.
There are many organisations on t'internet in place to help people who have gone through similar things to you. Please have a look. And try not to blame yourself. As said, you were a child and it is not your fault. There are so many feelings associated with this that anything that went through your head would have been 'normal' and no one who is worth their salt will blame you for any of it.
Please try to get some help, because it will most likely keep coming back. Even if you feel that you really don't want to talk about it (and I can understand that) sometimes telling a stranger will 'get it off your chest' and out of your head, so it can be a relief.
I am in this line of work because I was sexually assaulted (might as well be honest) when I was 15. I bottled it up for a long time and blamed myself. It is only fairly recently that I can see the damage that it did to me and stopped dismissing it as a minor thing that I could get over. Talking has helped me, as has working in this role. I think it would be a good idea to find a survivors network through tinternet - getting advice from someone who has been there seems to help a lot of people and maybe you can get some experiences of counselling.
Sorry this is so long. Good luck to both of you.
Hi I was sexually abused from the age of 4-12 by my so called brother maybe younger I don't know as its my first memory I was hospitalized and underwent a D&C at 12 and they found an erosion on the womb but nothing was picked up it was queried as being caused by sexual activity but in the 80's kids weren't questioned just parents I went through years of counseling on and off from the age of 17 when I realized what had happened as I was never threatened and 'was a willing victim' as I thought it was normal. It did help a bit but I was better at helping others my counselor had me in tears as he told everyone that he'd known me 10 years and I still hadn't opened up and thats when I started getting better but it gets worse before it gets better I still have nightmares but not as many. In all honesty the thing that helped me the most was writing the bastard a letter telling him what I thought of him I know you cant really do this but writing down your feelings about it might be a start.
There are many people who were abused (including me) and the things you have described I'm sure we could all relate to.
Mine hit me after my DD was born. Horendous panic attacks, I'd always struggled with my eating etc etc.
My Dr referred me and it has taken me a year of counselling to even tell them the details of the abuse. Do not let them rush you, but the more you can tell them and the more open you are the better the results.
I can;t believe I just wrote that!!I am as closed as closed can be, however have learnt recently being open and honest has allowed me to progress more. Before, I didn;t want anyone to know anything.
Keep posting. The thread I started shows the level of support available here.
Take Care of yourself and deal one day ata time with what comes up.
have been through similar. Am still processing the guilt, shame, confusion, self-loathing etc etc. your post really struck a chord so am sending you big cyber-hugs.
It is so, so hard to face these things and to connect with the emotions of how it all impacted us at the time and now. We build fortresses around our inner feelings and shut ourselves off from them; that's the only way to cope with the fact that someone who is meant to care for and protect us is actually destroying our soul. I have spent the last few weeks trying to cast offthe responsibility for all of this away from myself. For so long I believe I was to blame - I must have been as he chose me.....etc etc - that it became part of who I was - a very bad, unworthy, unloveable person who had obviously deserved all of this (age 2-5) - I've learnt, through counselling, to let go of all of those feelings and to feel anger with the perpetrator instead. that has been very healing and even though I still get waves of despair and shame, which can be overwhelming,I am earning to separate things out and articulate the feelings and what is behind them.
I think therapy (but not CBT-too short-term and goal-focused) really helps to process all of this. if you look at my thread on scars of abuse in relationships there's a lovely quote from a Buddhist book by Tasmanian which really helps see this stuff in perspective.
Good luck; you have been very strong and brave posting here
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