Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Still dealing with the aftereffects of sexual abuse...(5 Posts)
Well it just doesn't ever really go away. At the age of 16 I was raped by a 19 year old man I knew slightly. He had tried to sexually assault me twice before and I was v scared of him. For many years I blamed myself because I had agreed to go to his flat when I bumped into him town one afternoon. I agreed because I didn't know how to say no to him. He knew I didn't want to have sex with him, and because I was so scared, I was tight and dry and it was so painful, it felt like someone was sticking a knife inside me. When he finally finished he unlocked the front door and said if you tell anyone about this, I'll kill you. I didn't disbelieve him. He practises martial arts and was a low level criminal. I found out a few years later he was in prison for raping a 13 year old girl.
I couldn't tell my parents, partly because he was black, they were quite racist and I know I would have been blamed for it. So I buried it. Went to school the next day as if nothing had happened and tried to block it out. But it left me terrified of men and I didn't really go near them for the next 2 years. Wanted to be androgynous, felt v confused about my sexuality and if anyone touched me sexually I'd just freeze and panic.
So it's 30 years on now and I feel it's left me very scarred. I'm not married and have been very promiscuous including being involved in the fetish and swinging scene, acting out submissive scenarios, having sex with total strangers and it feels compulsive, something I don't have control over.
I also find it almost impossible to orgasm, just can't trust, relax and let go which I think has also driven my sexual drive, including having threesomes and almost not caring what happens to me as the worst has already happened.
I've also had some very insensitive reactions from people when I've told them what happened to me ( which I very rarely do). For example, a Dr asked me if it was an "accident"? A barrister asked me if I was " really" raped or did I just think I was??? My closest female friends don't know what happened to me as I hate talking about it and I've never had counselling about it as I don't want to bring it all up and feel that it was so long ago there's no point talking about it, what good would it do?
So why am I writing about it here? Well, because it's totally anonymous and it's a way of publically acknowledging that it did happen to me. I also want to stop my dodgy sexual behaviour as deep down I know it's not good for me but it must be fulfilling a need or I wouldn't be doing it. I've slept with about 250 men and 10 women over the years, don't really feel I'm worth having a relationship with and sometimes feel like I'm just a thing to be used so I just keep acting it out over and over again...
Oh what to do..? I think the Jimmy Saville thing has triggered a lot for me and sometimes I feel I'd like to go to the police just to finally do the thing I couldn't do as a teenager. Scared they would just think I was wasting their time as it was so long ago...
Oh you poor, poor thing.
It sounds as though you have been so strong for so long.
It must have been exhausting for you.
You know the really terrific thing about people, is that WE CAN CHANGE. You don't have to keep doing what you have been doing. You can be different, act different.
But first you need to heal, or come to terms with, what was a traumatic, life-changing event. Well done for writing here. There are some absolutely amazing women here, who have been in your shoes and will be able to tell you the best place to go for counselling (I'm not in UK). Please try counselling. Even if its terrible, it is at least worth a try. It has helped so many people
What this man did to you was heinous. Horrible. And it is a crime.
But going through the legal system is a long and often upsetting process and it would be good if you could build up yourself first.
Do you have a good support network? Good mates?
It is terrible that you felt you couldn't go to your parents - shame on them for not being a safe place for you to turn. I hope you have that safe place now. If not, Mumsnet can be it.
I know it'll be difficult but you should have counselling, with someone qualified to deal with past and present sexual issues. I have the opposite problem to you, sexual abuse left me totally frigid, but our problems come from the same place.
Insensitive comments happen unfortunately. People don't like hearing that something that horrible has happened to someone they know so they try to explain it away. I got pretty much the same comment from my mother when I told her about the abuse. However, Ihave a circle of ffantastic friends who are immensely supportive and thats what you need.
Another one who says counselling - I also was abused / raped as a child, but over a period of time and I was under 10.
I didn't understand it when it was happening , the gravity of it only hitting me when I got to teenage years , I was also told not to tell anyone :-(
I was very rebellious , got myself very sexually aware but felt 'myself damaged goods' as I had ' let it happen ' .
I had a very good GP - one which listened to me , I broke having my 1st smear test. It was obvious I wasn't 'right' emotionally sexually.
She got me counselling , changed my life for the better.
I am in my 40's now , still know it happened , still have issues with the medical profession having to 'go there' , but that is because I don't want to 'surrender' .
My relationships are no longer 'punishing' I now know I was not to 'blame' for the abuse . It's not me that did wrong as with you I was the innocent.
In fact, Dh came to my counselling at the end sessions - all those many moons ago. I used to cry and wanted him to understand too .
I don't cry anymore not since my counselling.
I now know I'm not 'bad' and deserve a good , loving relationship.
You need to feel that too, all these years and it sounds like you still need 'punishment' for what you did - you didn't do it ! He did , you're not bad.
I have also had the brush off with 'professionals' in the past. The time I rang the Samaritans when I found out my abuser was then very high up in the social services locally and the MAN at the other end of the phone was so dismissive of me as a child that I probably ' made it bigger than it was' springs to mind - cheers mate.
You need to find the right person to listen to you. One that can felt you to mend and not dismiss your concerns.
Sorry it got long - good luck with finding your happiness, it's there inside you already - you just need help unlocking it.
Join the discussion
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.