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To be very concerned that this woman has children (trigger C.S.Abuse)(314 Posts)
MNHQ have commented on this thread.
Name changed for this for obvious reasons.
When I was twelve years old I made a friend, through a mutual friend, who was sixteen coming on 17 at the time.
No obvious problems at home and she came from a good family, supportive parents etc. Relatively nice life. I mention this incase anybody wonders whether she was vulnerable.
I however came from a single parent family, absent father and poor motherly parenting provisions. I was a bit of a lost soul. Damaged if you will.
The 16 year old (I'll call her J) would often go around with older guys (20-30) and would encourage me to tag along, drink and take drugs. It was commonplace for her to sleep with the men, often at her initiation. I firmly believe there was no grooming involved, she knew what she was doing and didn't receive payment or any incentive to go these things. She pursued these people for a 'good time' and enjoyed the lifestyle.
I looked up to her and began imitating her behaviour, drugs, drinking and having sex with older males. J encouraged this.
J would tell some of the men I was older (15) and tell me to do the same, but for the most part they knew how old I was.
As I got older I distanced myself from J because I felt increasingly extremely uncomfortable about the lifestyle, still just a child myself I was aware enough to know it was wrong. I developed other, healthier friendships.
I was friends with J from 12 years until almost 15 years old.
Now as an adult I reflect on this period of my life with sadness, shame and disgust. I stumbled across J on social media today by accident, she came up in our mutual friends, and I'm left with alot of conflicting emotions including anger toward her and confusion as to why she would have encouraged those things when I was just a little girl.
I couldn't fathom replicating her behaviour, when i was 16 I looked at a 12 year old as a young child and despite my own past would have reported anything of the sort to the police, not encouraged it.
My DM knew about some of this, useless as she is she didn't encourage me to report it. She is what people would call 'slow' and just didn't seem to get that you need to protect your daughter from things like this. I think she thought it was all my choice, which it was, but I was caving to peer pressure and at such a young age don't have the capacity to give righteous consent in the first place.
J now has children of her own, as do i. I feel uncomfortable about somebody with her attitude toward underage sex (which I now acknowledge as child abuse) having children.
I feel it's too late to do anything about all of this, it was years ago and I have no proof but I'm left with scars that pop up every now and then like today.
AIBU to feel this way towards her? At 16-17 can she be excused as just knowing no better? Is my anger misplaced? fwiw I am angry at the males too, but she was my friend.
Your anger is misplaced. The way that you describe J it sounds very much like she was groomed.
You need to learn more about grooming and stop being so ignorant and judgmental.
She wasn't, though.
At least never during the time I knew her.
She would add people to MSN, for example, chat with them and then arrange to meet up.
This wasn't a case of her being targeted, she actively sought out people to 'party' with.
Just because she wasn't "vulnerable" by your standards doesn't mean she wasn't groomed. You don't know anything about her home life except that she wasn't poor and there weren't any "obvious problems", that doesn't mean she wasn't vulnerable. Anybody can be groomed, from those in uncaring single parent families to those in loving, supportive, "traditional" families.
I'm sorry for what you went through but it is absolutely wrong of you to judge her and say she shouldn't have children.
Going to pubs and convincing strangers to buy drinks, inviting us back to the man's place etc.
That's not grooming.
I know what grooming is and none of this was that.
I kinda think that J was groomed also. Too young to realise the consequences. The older men around her should have been aware.Much like you, she probably feels she made the wrong choices, influenced by the adults around her. I wonder if her stents were really as good as they appeared at that time?
I don’t think it would mean you should question her as a parent.
It sounds like she had significant issues, even if they weren't apparent to you. You were only young so you didn't spot her life wasn't perfect. The fact she thought this was the way to have a good time and thought you should too reflects something about her as a young person. I don't think she is necessarily that same person now. She may have regrets and feel she was used.
I'm not saying she shouldn't have children, I was asking whether I was being unreasonable to be concerned that she does.
Would she encourage her own 12 year old to drink, take drugs and sleep with men?
I highly doubt it, so why do it to me.
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I'm happy to be told IABU though, in fact it may help me process everything as it's not something I talk about IRL so only have my own (heavily biased) point of view to go on
She wasn't thinking as an adult or a parent then.
It does sound like you have a lot of anger and it's something you need to deal with, perhaps through counselling, because it will eat away at you.
This wasn't a case of her being targeted, she actively sought out people to 'party' with
So because she arranged it, she can't have been groomed. Right. This sounds akin to "she can't have been raped, she arranged a date with the guy and suggested she might sleep with him" I.e victim blaming.
Just as you straightened your life out and went on to have children, she may have done exactly the same. I'm nothing like I was when I was 16 (now in my late 20's). It's judgmental of you to assume she's a bad mother based on how she behaved when she was really just a child too. As for her home life, you have no idea what goes on behind closed doors. For all you know, she could've been a victim of abuse and you would be none the wiser. Which would explain her being vulnerable to grooming.
With all of that being said, I am so sorry for what you went through and hope that in time you heal.
Lilou is spot on. This is also how people (including the police) saw the victims of the Rotherham grooming gangs. It's shameful.
I had a similar experience but I didn't drink or do drugs. Older friend did..
My older friend lost her dc to the care system.
She moved to Ireland, name changed and had more dc.
I often think about her dc....
Grooming can be in many forms op. I know my friend was groomed -
Under 16 the law says you aren't mindful to give consent. Adults ignoring that are abusers imo.
*Nobody made you drink or have sex with older men, that was a choice. But no decent person is going to judge you for it because they'll understand that grooming and coercion is not something that is explicit.
Now try to be that decent person and try to understand how J found herself in that situation. It's probably very similar to how you describe your own teen years*
It seems very likely OP that J was a victim of abuse too before she knew you, and that her behaviour when you knew her was a way of handling that. It isn't uncommon for child sexual abuse victims to seek out unhealthy sexual relationships as a way to normalise what happened to them.
I'm sorry you had such a tough childhood. Have you sought any counselling in rl?
I'm surprised that anybody would suggest a 12 year old having sex with somebody in their 20's to be a choice.
Children aren't equip to make that choice, hence the law.
I would be aghast if my 16 year old actively encouraged a 12 year old to behave in that way.
I saw an article recently where a girl was jailed for her part in things not too dissimilar to what I've described. It's interesting that people have a different take, though.
I am listening and taking on board.
I’m assuming that the men were supplying the alcohol and drugs to J? That’s a form of grooming OP. It doesn’t matter so much that she was going out and targeting men to get these things for her. By then she would have been an addict. It’s the men who should be thoroughly ashamed for the way they treated both of you.
I’m really sorry that you went through that chapter of your life, and I’m glad you found the strength to move on and carve your own life. I hope J has managed to move on too.
It sounds very much like you want to blame her for your behaviour since you feel badly about it yourself, when in reality, both of you were children.
At 12, you certainly weren't in a position to judge what emotional or abuse issues she might have been experiencing. You still aren't in that position now, having had just a portion of the facts when you were a child yourself.
So yes, YABU.
This wasn't a case of her being targeted, she actively sought out people to 'party' with.
She was young and vulnerable. Normal 20-30 year old men do not hang out with/drink/take drugs/have sex with a 16 year old child. She absolutely was groomed.
She may have added them to MSN/chatted with them, but a normal adult man would not have engaged with her.
I'm surprised that anybody would suggest a 12 year old having sex with somebody in their 20's to be a choice I don't think the pp meant you were to blame, but that actively being there was a choice HOWEVER that choice was based in grooming and coercion, and that is likely what happened with J so neither of you were able to fully make informed decisions because of the abuse
I was sexually abused at 10 for 2 years by my step father, nobody would have known as we had a nice home, I told my mum at 12 ans she left him. I lost my virginity at 13. I also slept with older men as did my friends (with no encouragement from me). At her age I highly suspect she needed a friend and didn't see it as being wrong, thankfully you did. I now have 3 sons and can safely say I haven't sexually abused any of them and have a loving 15 year old with little interest in most girls as he hates how they flaunt themselves.
I'm afraid the older girl was absolutely groomed. These men use girls and boys of today age to do exactly what she did - bring more children into the circle of hell.
Very few people in the midst of being groomed will realise that is what has happened.
You were, and are, both classic examples of how these bastards work.
Alcohol, drugs, sex, touching - it's all attention, and it's how they reel people in. They encourage them to bring their friends along too, telling them how wonderful they are etc. They build them up emotionally, then take control - often with threats, violence, rape, coercion. You wouldn't have been privy to what happened to her.
Maybe now is the time for you to talk to someone about your experiences?
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