Healing from Sexual Abuse and Trauma

I would like to welcome everyone to this blog for healing from sexual abuse and trauma.  Please remember that no matter what you have been through, and no matter where you are now, you can still heal and have in incredibly wonderful life.  I too, am a survivor of sexual abuse and trauma, who at one point in my life had no specific memories of the abuse but the symptoms of my life showed signs that something was terribly wrong.  I was constantly running away from everyone, the only place that I found solace was to travel.  That way I could meet people and leave before they could get to know me too much, I was scared that to know me was to hate me.

Then finally, after so many unexplainable pieces of my memories of the abuse had come to me, that I refused to belief, the very last piece came to me.  This helped me to believe myself.  I was listening to an audio recording where other survivors spoke about their experiences being abused by their parents and at that moment, I realized that I was not crazy thinking that my father had sexually abused me because he had.  I took my father out to lunch and confronted him about the abuse.  He never directly admitted it but instead said that the household help had done things to him and he thinks that his mother did things to him as well.  (His mother, my grandmother used to kiss me in such an awful way, that at the age of six years old, I had to tell my grandma, “no kisses, only hugs”.  It was that bad.)

My father then said that he did not want to talk about it, and offered me a new car.

Since that date many other memories and incidents from my childhood began to make sense for me.  Although I had forgotten the abuse, I had never forgotten the incidents that surrounded the abuse.  Such as why I had symptoms of PTSD including the startle response, which I displayed when someone walked into a room and I was concentrating on something else, I would frequently jump, startled.  I rarely do that now.  It also answered the question why so many people in high school and college mentioned that I acted like I had been molested and why I was misdiagnosed with proctitis around the age of 9 years old.

As I have gotten my memories back and allowed my body to detox from the trauma of sexual abuse, my life has gotten so much better.  I have less drama in my life (except onstage, I am an actress) and that gives me more time to do things that I love and enjoy them.  Before I got my memories back, I may be doing something that I loved such as hiking but would be thinking of the drama in my life or problem of the day, so I was not loving what I was doing.  I get my needs met from a more grounded place rather than by being a victim (playing needy) and it feels so much more dignified and takes much less energy.  If I don’t have tons of money, I realize it will come rather than freaking out and I know that the size of my bank account has nothing to do with who I am or how awesome my day will be. And as I heal my finances are getting better as well.

I am grateful to be healing and grateful to have regained my joy.

Please feel free to post your experiences in the comment box at the bottom of this page. Sometimes it may take a while to get your comment approved.

  • Please DO NOT include any sexual details about the abuse.
  • Please DO NOT include any sexual details at all.
  • Feel free to write “…” when excluding those details.  Thanks so much.

928 thoughts on “Healing from Sexual Abuse and Trauma

  1. I’m a 25-year-old man, and I’ve had some memories in the back of my mind for awhile. Before, I thought that what happened was consensual, but now I’m not so sure.

    I don’t know how I feel about it, which is partly why I’m writing it here. I guess you could say that that I’m articulating my thoughts as a way of understanding my own feelings.

    I don’t remember the details, but I remember my sister, who was around 11-years-old at the time, would convince me to do sexual things with her when I was 6. It was never anything serious, but she would ask me to do different things and I remember that I think I liked it.

    It happened several times, and whenever my mom and dad would come in through the door, she would say to me, “Mom and dad are home, so we have to stop now,” and I would say “ok,” but I don’t remember if I knew why.

    But now that I think about it when I’m older, I don’t know how I feel about it. I feel like I was too young, but then again, she was too young to know better either.

    I don’t know. I don’t know if it was abuse or not. I feel like I wasn’t really victimized, but I can’t help but feel like she took advantage of me. I was only 6-years-old. I don’t know.

    I remember not long after, I started doing the same things to other girls in my extended family that my sister did to me.

    1. Hi Rob,
      I am sorry you had this experience as a very little boy…i think you are right to believe you were too young to experience such things..you know however it is defined whether is was sexual abuse or not i think the important thing is that it has left you feeling very uneasy and conflicted about what happened between you and your sister…it may be worth it for you to discuss you feeling with a counselor.and there may be as time to discuss it with your sister but i think its important to touch base with your own feelings first…you were just a little boy and so was your sister so blame is not the issue here but how it honestly made you feel then and how it has lingered in your mind for all these years…i have mentioned this to other guys and i think you would find it really helpful to go to the site http://www.malesurvivor.org it’s a place where you can openly share your feelings about this in a friendly and supportive atmosphere and try going to the healing circle there that meets weds and sun 9pm est.a place where guys who have had similar experiences listen and support each other …i was abused as a kid and have found it to be a really helpful and safe place to be for a few hours a week..
      take care of yourself Rob and listen to your feelings they will guide you through dealing with these experiences, Joseph

  2. I’m not sure if there are many men here or if anyone here can relate to what I’m about to say?

    I’m a 43 year old male who’s trying to cope with the impacts of an extensive childhood of incest and physical abuse.  In the past, I used marijuana (and later opiates) to cope with the memories and other effects of my C-PTSD or Developmental Trauma.  That coping skill worked for 20 years until I graduated to heroin and it almost killed me.  I’m now clean for just over 22 months.  But the sh*t I was numbing all those years is back stronger than ever!

    Anyway, my parents divorced when I was 5 years old.  The guy my mother married after that started beating me immediately.  Then from the ages of 8-12 he sexually abused me as well.  It was horrible.  But in the end, I got my revenge.  I told on him to my best friend at the time….and that friend took me straight to his mother and told her!  To make a long story short, my stepfather was convicted and sentenced to a total of 24 years in prison.  He served over 20 but died shortly after he was paroled.

    Out of being abused well over 100 times….(edited by blogger).

    Anyway, coping now a days is insanely difficult but achievable.  However, theres one problem I can’t get under control.  And that problem is flirting with other women.   You see, I’ve been off and on with a wonderful woman for the past 7 years.  I love this woman with every ounce of my being and want to marry her one day.  But our relationship is getting destroyed by my interactions with other women.  The worst part is, I’ve never cheated on her.  She calls it “emotional” cheating.  I”m making progress but the final straw came a few days before New Years when I had a lady friend in my hotel room for 2 days/nights.  This girl “sally” and I were both attending (separately) a concert in NYC.  I mentioned that we should carpool and that “sally” can stay with me if she has no place to stay.  I reluctantly and last minute informed my girlfriend and she was very upset and asked me not to have “sally” stay with me in the hotel.  I just couldn’t bring myself to tell “sally” she couldn’t stay and chose her over my girlfriend.  Sally and I are completely platonic and never have flirted or touched one another in any way.  My girlfriend is about to leave me for good and I’m devastated.

    This is a fair example of the types of inappropriate (yet non sexual) behaviors I have with other women.  I’m struggling to completely eliminate this behavior.  But I have to or I’m going to lose the woman I love.  Please someone help me if they have anything?  Thanks.

    1. Hi Ralph,

      man what hell you went through as a kid…you are a survivor but I know it’s hard with all that happened to you ..and you were just a kid alone with no one to turn to for a long time and i honor the strength you had to go to your friend and tell him what was happening to you and get the bastard put away…

      I’m so sorry the compulsion you have about searching from emotional support from women is hurting your relationship with the women you care so much about…I’m not a therapist ( I am a survivor myself and some of my story is on amy’s site check boxes at the top-success stories at http://healingfromsexualabuse.com/success-stories/a-success-story-in-healing-from-abuseby-joseph/)..but it may relate to the fact that your mom didn’t “rescue” from this abusive man…I’m sure there are many emotions you are holding inside toward her including anger which is super understandable…aside from finding a therapist who has experience with men who have been abused as kids you might check out the site: http://http://www.malesurvivor.org/index.php I am a member it’s a really good place (https://1in6.org/ is another one to check ) they have sources for books on the subject (I have read many including two fine ones Abused Boys the neglected victims of sexual abuse by Mic Hunter and Victims no Longer by Mike Lew ) and I highly recommend the “healing circle”..on the website…it’s a private chatroom run by a wonderful , insightful man for men who have been abused as kids…guys ( who give themselves an anonymous name ) can talk about anything that’s on their mind without any concern it will go beyond the group …and then the other men give him insights and support and encouragement. I been a member of the circle for over two years…you really should try it and i think you’d get some insight and support for what your going through.

      Ralph you’ve been through hell and you’re a survivor so don’t be too hard on yourself…you take care of yourself, please…and i hope you give that site a try…

      my very best to you friend
      Joseph

  3. My brother sexually assaulted me twice when I was 7 or 8. He was 6 years older. I have always buried it so deep. I have only just told my husband recently. I have never told any of my dear friends. The shame is still massive.

    1. Hi Emma,

      I am sorry to hear that happened to you, that was not OK. And it is not OK that no one caught what was happening to you and stopped it and got you help.

      The shame does not belong to you, it belongs to your brother who abused you. You did nothing wrong, he did something terribly wrong, so by not telling, you are keeping his secret. No matter what you did, your brother would still have abused you, even if he blamed you or said it was something you did that got him to abuse you. It was his fault 100%, even if he scared you into remaining silent or into doing things that you did not want to do.

      Was your husband supportive when you told him? Is he supporting you to detox from the abuse and get the help that you need to detox from the abuse? Is he supporting you in not having any communication with your brother? It is very difficult to heal from abuse when you are in contact with the abuser. No contact means, no emails, phone calls, mail, going to events that he is at and if you have any children, it is extremely important that they have absolutely no contact with your brother either. Abusers rarely stop abusing, so all children, male or female, are not safe around your brother.

      When you tell your friends about what happened to you, you will not only stop keeping your brother’s secret, you will also figure out which of your friends are pro-pedophile and which of them support children. If your friends tell you to forgive and forget, or put the past in the past or you’re crazy, your brother would never do a thing like that. Those are not real friends and they are supporting a pedophile over supporting children. The same goes for family members, you can find out by their reactions to what happened to you, who is pro=pedophile and who protects children. Unfortunately, sometimes people who at first sound like they protect children wind up being better at hiding that they don’t really protect children but overall hearing people’s reactions to your story is a great start. And those who hide it, you can tell as you heal if they really care about you and protecting children or not. But anyone who is openly pro-pedophile needs to be out of your life, no communication. At first this might seem like a loss, but in actuality, you are finding out who people really are and getting rid of people who are toxic. And it’s always healthy to get rid of toxic people in your life.

      Also it may be really helpful to reach out to your rape crisis hotline at 1800 424 017 in Australia. They should be able to help you to find great and possibly free counselling in your area. A great therapist or counsellor should be able to help you to detox from the abuse. But sometimes the hotline volunteers are really helpful and other times not at all helpful, so if you do not feel helped hang up and try again later. The volunteers change shifts. If repeatedly you are not getting help, try finding a great therapist or counsellor by calling and Googling around. A great therapist is someone who has the tools to help you to heal from the abuse. I would not work with any person who wants to put you on medication because that will only stuff down the feelings that you need to detox from and cause a ton of really awful side effects including, suicide, depression, liver damage, etc not even herbal supplements like St., john’s wart because again you are stuffing down the memories and emotions that need to be heard and detox. Though if you are already taking those drugs and want to get off them, it should be done very slowly and under the supervision of an excellent doctor or alternative healthcare provider. Also detoxing from those drugs has been unfortunately confused by many professionals as chemical imbalance because they are not aware that detox can have the same symptoms of extreme emotions and can last for quite a while.

      It is also interesting to note that although they keep talking about chemical imbalance, there is not chemical test for the “chemical imbalance”. They will instead ask you questions and then prescribe a drug. Which is a great question to ask about how they can give a chemical cure for something that they cannot diagnose chemically. Here is one of many articles on about depression and the myth of chemical imbalance http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2003/11/it-prozac-or-placebo and http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/04/06/frightening-story-behind-the-drug-companies-creation-of-medical-lobotomies.aspx You can also look at Dr. Loren Mosher’s work who actually cured people of schizophrenic symptoms without drugs at his Soteria House and if people who are schizophrenic can heal without drugs, so if they can heal from schizophrenia you certainly heal from the abuse. Here is a great article he wrote about his experiences in psychiatry in general and why people suffer and how to help them http://www.moshersoteria.com/articles/soteria-associates/ and a video of him http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnryFXxl7yU .

      So start reaching out. Remembering that there are great therapists and not great therapists, a great therapist can help you get your life where you want it to be, a mediocre or bad therapist can do more harm than help, so choose a therapist that seems great for you. Just because a therapist is great for one person, does not mean that they are great for you, so listen to how you feel when you are talking with them. Who you work with is your choice.

      You might also want to try the exercises on my blog post “What To do When You Feel Triggered” at http://healingfromsexualabuse.com/ideas-for-healing-from-abuse/what-to-do-when-you-feel-triggered/ . You can also look at reading Dr. Howard Fradkin’s 10 affirmations at http://healingfromsexualabuse.com/ideas-for-healing-from-abuse/affirmations/ (they were written for male survivors but I think they can be helpful to female survivors also). Reading them at first might seem like a stretch but you can achieve all of them, be patient with yourself. You can heal, if you take action to heal and no longer hold onto your brother’s shame and have an awesome life.

      Feel free to write back with any questions, comments, answers to my questions or updates. Updates give other survivors hope.

  4. Hello. I decided to leave my comment about my experience of childhood sexual abuse. I had lost the memory of it until the abuser died. It was my own mother.

    1. Hi Belinda,

      I am sorry to hear that happened to you. You are not alone, there are many children who have been sexually assaulted by women, including their mothers, but it is under reported. Here is an article “Female sexual abuse: The untold story of society’s last taboo” at
      http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/love-sex/taboo-tolerance/female-sexual-abuse-the-untold-story-of-societys-last-taboo-1767688.html and this article might be helpful also http://kalimunro.com/wp/articles-info/sexual-emotional-abuse/mother-daughter-sexual-abuse .

      You can heal, if you want to heal. But you need to take action, if you don’t have an excellent therapist, then that could be very helpful to find an excellent therapist who help you in the healing process. And then take the actions that you need to take. A therapist or social worker who has the tools to help you to detox and heal from the abuse. Not any therapists or social worker but one who is excellent who makes you feel heard. Stay away from bad or mediocre therapists and social workers because they can do more harm than help. And even if a therapist is great for someone else it does not mean that they are great for you. You can try calling 800-656-HOPE (the 24/7 hotline should connect you to the local rape crisis center). Most centers have free counselling but even if it’s free unless it’s great, it won’t be helpful. So listen to how you feel when you speak with them and always give yourself permission to hang up or leave if the person is not being helpful. If the hotline was not helpful, you can always try the same hotline again later because volunteers change shifts. Or if that repeatedly does not work you can try another hotline at https://centers.rainn.org/ or Googling around to find help. And do not stop looking until you find someone who is helpful for you, no matter how long that takes.

      It is not unusual for survivors to remember abuse after the perpetrator dies. Many survivors have forgotten their memories of abuse, it can be a way that our bodies deal with the trauma of abuse. If anyone tries to tell you that you made up memories about abuse, it is important to look at where that concept comes from. There is a group, the False Memory Syndrome Foundation, that was started by two pro-pedophiles who were approached by two parents, where the father, was accused of sexual assault, but their myth that people have false traumatic memory syndrome of traumatic events has repeatedly been disproven. It usually is the other way around, a survivor gets a feeling that they were abused and more and more evidence backs up that feeling and the memories become clearer as well. Plus the founding of their foundation is pretty fishy. You can see an interview of the pro-pedophiles who helped the accused parents to found the False Memory Syndrome Foundation at http://nostatusquo.com/ACLU/NudistHallofShame/Underwager2.html . Also some of the studies used to disprove traumatic memories, use subjects subjected to everyday memories as opposed to traumatic memories and it has been repeatedly proven that traumatic memories are stored differently in the brain than non-traumatic memories. The other huge tragedy that came from the False Memory Syndrome Foundation is that this group, started by pro-pedophiles, went around the country suing great therapists who were helping survivors and put these people out of business, so that there are now less great therapists who can help survivors of abuse to remember and heal. Also they helped miseducate the general public and therapists (and there are tons of therapists who have now been miseducated to believe in False Memory Syndrome) to believe in the myth which allows more pedophiles to get away with molesting children and never get caught.

      So if you are working with an excellent therapist, keep doing what you need to do to heal and if not find and excellent therapist.

      If you keep taking action and work wit therapist that have the tools to help you to detox from the abuse, then you can heal and your life will get better.

      Please feel free to write back with any questions, comments or updates. Updates give other survivors hope.

  5. I am a 28 yo woman. I always knew that something was up regarding my father and sex. My entire life I have felt that I had a secret, but I didn’t know why it was I also lived feeling like I was a bad person, I’ve always thought I was bad. I have been doing work on myself. Part of the work is taking inventory of fears and resentments. I wrote “my dad” cause: “exposing me to sex”. I had no idea why I wrote that, so I started brainstorming. Trying to remember what happened. I knew for sure that he used to…(edited by blogger), and that there was something sexual about it. I kept writing things I remembered. I wrote about the way I acted as a kid: never ate, strange relationship with food, afraid that…(edited by blogger) you get the picture. The thing that stuck out the most was my fear of the basement. I would avoid that side of the house because I was so afraid of it. It absolutely horrified me. I started remembering that something had happened down there, I remembered my dad taking me into a room in the basement. I remembered going upstairs feeling like I was let into a big grown up secret. Then I started remembering the games he would play with me…(edited by blogger). I started remembering screaming and then stepping out of my body and going with God (dissociating). I remembered he would call it…(edited by blogger) I won’t go into details but he did the very worst things to me. I remember him telling me that if I said anything he would kill my mom. These memories came flooding in. I remembered everything. I was in shock shaking for hours, then I had a seizure. I haven’t been able to cry since I started remembering. I wish I could cry. I am seeing two doctors, doing a lot of therapy. But I don’t know what it means to heal from this. What even is that? How do you get through this? How do you heal that part of you? Please help me.


    I like to read a lot; so naturally I read up on the way our brains work in relation to our memories. I thought maybe my mind was making up things to fill in the gaps. So I did a little experiment: I asked my mom about the first house we lived in (where the abuse began). She was amazed at how well I remembered. Then I went to my sister, and she confirmed everything. She thinks he…(edited by blogger) her too, I know he did because I remember being there.

    I have been trying to process this, but I don’t know how. I hurt so much, but I can’t cry. Please help me.

    …(edited by blogger) he was murdered when I was 6. Bad news is he wasn’t the last one to molest me, it happened again and then again in a horrible way.

    1. Hi Dulce,

      I am sorry to hear that happened to you. That is not OK and you can heal from the abuse.

      To heal from the abuse, means that you can have a great life, with happiness, laughter and be able to cry when sad things come up in the present. To heal means that you can be fully present, living in the moment and experiencing your life as it is happening to you. You can get through this by detoxing from the past abuse and working with therapists or social workers who have the tools to help you to heal. Some therapists are great therapists and have the tools to help you to heal, while others do not, some are even mean while others need to really be working on their own problems, rather than being therapists. So you need to work with a therapist that you feel comfortable with who also has the tools to help you to heal. You can heal that part of you that was abused by listening to yourself. Do things that make you smile. (If you are stuck in a numb place it may also be difficult to authentically smile and laugh but that will happen as you heal.)

      It would be helpful to go to a therapist that can help you define the life you want and can help you to get there. Therapy can take a while but it does not have to take a lifetime as long as you are working with a therapists that has the tools to help you. You might also want to look into doing the workbook “Artists Way” by Julia Cameron, that has been very helpful to many people. But always listen to yourself, what works and seems right for you. A great therapist or book for one person may not be a great therapist or book for another person. You also want to work with a therapist who can help you to process these feelings without being overwhelmed by the memories, which may also account for the numbing feeling.

      The fact that are are taking inventory and the memories started to come up, is showing that your body is ready to detox from all of this stuff. You can try some exercises on my post “What To Do when you Feel Triggered” at http://healingfromsexualabuse.com/ideas-for-healing-from-abuse/what-to-do-when-you-feel-triggered/ It has things that you can do when thoughts come up or even lack of emotions that can help you to loosen the emotions when you feel numb.

      You may be going back to the place you were inside when you were a little girl and went numb to deal with the abuse. You can allow yourself to breath and reassure yourself that you will not be in danger if you feel your feelings now. You need to make sure that the people on your support team such as the doctors support you feeling and detoxing from the abuse without wanting to drug you. Unfortunately most doctors do not have the tools to help you to heal from trauma, which needs to be done emotionally not chemically, most doctors the only tools that they have are antidepressants, antipsychotics, ECT ((which causes internal brain injury and sometimes death, though the mainstream media mostly covers press releases from people who profit from ECT)). So the only “tools” they have to help you to heal cause more harm than help. But as the saying goes, “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” Or to translate that to what most doctors are taught, “If all you have is chemical treatments, everything looks like chemical imbalance.” Your doctors may be an exception and actually have other ways to help you and if so that is awesome. If you are already on drugs, it is very important, if you do decide to go off them, you only do so very slowly and under the supervision of an excellent doctor or alternative health care practitioner.

      It is also interesting to note that although they keep talking about chemical imbalance, there is not chemical test for the “chemical imbalance”. They will instead ask you questions and then prescribe a drug. Which is a great question to ask about how they can give a chemical cure for something that they cannot diagnose chemically. Here is one of many articles on about depression and the myth of chemical imbalance http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2003/11/it-prozac-or-placebo and http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/04/06/frightening-story-behind-the-drug-companies-creation-of-medical-lobotomies.aspx You can also look at Dr. Loren Mosher’s work who actually cured people of schizophrenic symptoms without drugs at his Soteria House and if people who are schizophrenic can heal without drugs, so if they can heal from schizophrenia you certainly heal from the abuse. Here is a great article he wrote about his experiences in psychiatry in general and why people suffer and how to help them http://www.moshersoteria.com/articles/soteria-associates/ and a video of him http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnryFXxl7yU .

      You are not making this up. That is why you remembered the house and what happened to your sister. Though ot is easy to believe that you made it up rather than believe that such an awful thing could have happened to you but you cannot fully heal while denying what happened to you.

      It is unfortunately not unusual for survivors to be re-assaulted by others. Being abused as a child sets us up to be abused later, because things that a child can do to cope makes us more likely to put ourselves in unsafe situations and also sexualizes us at an early age, but you can heal from all of that. Healing can happen when we learn to listen to our gut feelings which also makes us less likely to put ourselves back in dangerous situations.

      When you heal, the hurt will get less and less until you no longer focus on the hurt but instead on being in the moment. If you do need to find a therapist who has tools to help you to heal, if the one you have is not helping or you need more than one, you can try calling 800-656-HOPE (the 24/7 hotline should connect you to the local rape crisis center). Most centers have free counselling but even if it’s free unless it’s great, it won’t be helpful. So listen to how you feel when you speak with them and always give yourself permission to hang up or leave if the person is not being helpful. If the person on the hotline is not helpful, you can try calling again later (volunteers change shifts) or if they are repeatedly not helpful, try any hotline at https://centers.rainn.org/ or google around for therapists. And do not stop looking until you find someone who is helpful for you, no matter how long that takes. You want to work with someone who is excellent who makes you feel heard. Stay away from bad or mediocre therapists and social workers because they can do more harm than help. And even if a therapist is great for someone else it does not mean that they are great for you.

      So keep taking action to heal and get another therapist if you need one and things can get better. Feel free to write back with any questions, comments or updates. Updates give other survivors hope.

  6. I too have experienced sexual abuse. I have been to many counselors and therapists and I feel I have struggled with healing all of my life. My brother and family friend molested me for many years as a child from ages 3 to 7. They had made a pact with one another which I didn’t find out until I was in my 30’s. When I tried to tell my mother about these things at 3 or 4, she didn’t believe me. She told the family I was making it up. When she finally realized I was being honest, I was 7. My mother passed away when I was 18, so talking to her about the past is not an option. It is difficult to talk to my Dad about this because he took the accusations really hard and gets angry when I bring it up. I feel like I have no support from the family regarding it. I never went to therapy as a child. It became a family secret. I have always felt I was inappropriate growing up due to the sexual exposure at such a young age. In college, I was also raped. I keep feeling as though there is a black cloud that follows me. One of my therapists told me to be aware of certain behaviors from perpetrators so that I will recognize who is trustworthy and who is not. It has been very difficult to do that due to having sexual experiences as a young child with people who are suppose to be wholesome and trusting.

    I am really struggling now. Three years ago I got drunk with my husband and woke up to him raping me. He blames the alcohol and me being drunk as why he did it. We are going through major struggles right now because of my history and broken trust… again. He says he will never do it again. My best friend knows about it and tells me I need to divorce him and leave him. Is there something wrong with me? Is there something I am doing to encourage this behavior? If so, is it my fault? It is really difficult because I can’t tell family and friends because of the situation. I feel like when I was a little girl because I am not able to say out loud what I am feeling and going through and why divorce has been brought up.

    When I read your comments about PTSD, I was unaware startling is apart of it. I do this all of the time. If I watch scary movies, I might scream and get really freaked out while others are able to watch these scenes and think I am crazy. All of the behaviors and thoughts as I experienced as a child are being introduced to me again. I am looking for any suggestions about how to heal and cope. Thank you for listening.

    1. Hi Jenn,

      Rape is never the victim’s fault, ever, not as a child and not as an adult. So you can stop blaming yourself. Any time that you want to blame yourself, check your posture and stand tall, take in a deep breath and say something to yourself like “the people who abused me are the ones to blame for being raped, not me, I was the victim”. There is a whole psychology to our postures. Here are two videos about that http://wgntv.com/2016/02/10/posture-can-affect-your-mood-northwestern-u-study-says/ and https://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are . Perpetrators always want to blame the victim for them raping them but it is a sick twisted game that perpetrators play. They do not want to take responsibility for being a perpetrator. Think how sick a person must be to blame a little child for “making them” rape them. Keep putting the sickness back to the perpetrator. They are the ones who are very sick, not you.

      When we are raped as children, it can sometimes make us blind to other perpetrators because we had to check out about the abusers that were in our families. So not noticing is a survival mechanism that worked for us as children but is not as helpful when we become adults. That happening to you also could have you put blinders on to other perpetrators but you can heal from that. Also when children our abused, it makes them more likely to be abused again by others because of how the child learns to act but all of that can be healed. Do not beat yourself up, be kind to yourself, keep telling yourself that you can heal and ask what action can you take now to heal or at least feel better in the moment?

      What your husband did was extremely wrong and very sick. Sometimes it is easier for our friends to see what is going on in our lives than it is for ourselves to see what is going on in our lives. Your best friend may not have been able to say what she needed to say to you in a way that you can hear it, but rape is the ultimate betrayal. People who are willing to rape their sister or their wife are people who can never be trusted again. They are very sick people. It’s not like oops they were drunk and so they accidentally raped you. Like people don’t suddenly become prejudice when they get drunk. (I had heard a standup comedian do a joke about people not just become racist when they get drunk, which is why I mentioned it.) There are things that can accidentally happen when you are drunk but being willing to be a rapist is not one of them. That is who a person is, deep within.

      Your dad just getting angry but not helping you is not helpful. Is he angry at your brother for raping you or angry for another less valid reason, like that you are talking about the abuse? If it is something like the latter, you need to distance yourself from him. What a real dad would have done would have been horrified that that happened to his child and gotten his child help to heal from the abuse and made sure that you would never be abused by your brother again. Your job now is to only have helpful people in your life, only people who support you in healing from the abuse and no abusers, which means, when you are willing to it would be very helpful to distance yourself from your husband. The healthier the people in your life, the easier it is to heal. That means no contact with the brother and family friend who raped you. Even if you have very few people in your life or wind up for a bit alone, that is much healthier than having perpetrators or those who support perpetrators in your life.

      It does sound like your best friend may be supportive, so do not discount her because she thinks you should get a divorce, that could be very helpful. Your husband is a very sick man.

      Also your therapist who gave you things to look for in people sounds like they could be helpful. If someone recommends something that is too much then ask for a simpler version of their request. A smaller thing that you can do. As you are healing, you are in the process of retraining your brain, so you can start with little steps. Every great musician started out learning chords and at one point their music sounded terrible. Just like the musician, healing is a process and it takes time, though it does not have to take a lifetime, if you find the right person to work with, take actions to heal and are willing to stay away from unhealthy people. You will not do it perfectly, but staying away from unhealthy people means, you do not keep them in your life if they do not believe what happened to you and that you can heal (not forgive and forget but really heal from the abuse). Also if anyone is a perpetrator, you need to get away from them without blaming yourself.

      If your therapists are helpful, that is great, if you need to find more support, you can try calling 1-800-656-HOPE. You want to find a therapist or social worker who has the tools to help you to detox and heal from the abuse. Not any therapists or social worker but one who is excellent who makes you feel heard. Stay away from bad or mediocre therapists and social workers because they can do more harm than help. And even if a therapist is great for someone else it does not mean that they are great for you. You can try calling 800-656-HOPE (the 24/7 hotline should connect you to the local rape crisis center). Most centers have free counselling but even if it’s free unless it’s great, it won’t be helpful. So listen to how you feel when you speak with them and always give yourself permission to hang up or leave if the person is not being helpful. If the hotline was not helpful, you can always try the same hotline again later because volunteers change shifts. Or if that repeatedly does not work you can try another hotline at https://centers.rainn.org/ or Googling around to find help. And do not stop looking until you find someone who is helpful for you, no matter how long that takes. You can also try the hotline if you need temporary support and are unable to contact your therapist. But always keep in mind that the person answering may or may not be helpful.

      You can try reading and doing the exercises from my post “What to Do When You Feel Triggered” at http://healingfromsexualabuse.com/ideas-for-healing-from-abuse/what-to-do-when-you-feel-triggered/ So when you feel depression or fear or any other extreme emotion, you can try those exercises.

      It is very sad that your mother said you were making it up, how sick can a mother be? Once she believed you, it was her job to get you into therapy not keep it a secret. But you can still be the mom and dad to yourself that you never had. You can also read about some ideas I wrote about self parenting on my post “Surviving Mother’s Day and the Holidays” at http://healingfromsexualabuse.com/ideas-for-healing-from-abuse/surviving-mothers-day-and-the-holidays/ which can help you to be the parents to yourself that you never had.

      It is great that you are able to tell your story and to have realized about the PTSD. You can do this, you can heal from the abuse as long as you take action, small ones are fine, just keep taking action.

      Please feel free to post any questions, comments or updates. Update give other survivors hope.

  7. Don’t know how to write… My 2 years elder brother several times encouraged me for… (edited by blogger) with him saying like it is a game and all brothers do…(edited by blogger). Those time I was in my 10 and he was 13 years. Then after a few months he stopped himself saying no good type of game. Don’t know how but I managed to forget it very soon until he reminded that happening after 3 years then we had a big fight each other. So far I bear it in my mind and feel very bad. I remember it all time and nobody can not Understand why I hate him so much.

    Now I’m in my 37 years, married have 2 kids. But still feel very bad. Yesterday we were in a party with him and his friends. We drunk a lot and some how I told him that he is the worst human Who did the worst thing to me. We nearly fought. And now I woke up and want to be dead. Thinking what to do… I want to tell this history to my father who always blaming me for my hate to my brother. But he is over 60 years and can get heart attack. I feel too bad cannot to share it with anybody. Hope some one show me right way….

      1. By the way I’ve just reminded I was in my 8.5 years. I don’ know what it could change?. And I am male. Just for clearify.
        Hope I’ll find some real help. Can’t get it face to face you know.

        1. Hi Gulmamed,

          Sorry for the delay in my response, I emailed someone in Azerbaijan to see if there was help for male survivors there and they did not know of any. Here is the list of what they had online. http://www.naasca.org/Groups-Services/ASIA.pdf They may or may not help men and be ready for the possibility that they may or may not be nice. Unfortunately some places that are suppose to help survivors are not at all helpful, while others can be very helpful. It’s really sad but some places only address female sexual abuse survivors.

          Other male survivors have found helpful http://www.malesurvivor.org/ they have private discussion boards. But when looking for help, always check in with yourself to see if it is helpful to you, because not everything is helpful for all survivors. They also have workshops but they are in the United States. Are you able to travel to get help and how far is feasible for you to travel?

          I will write more later but it could take a while.

        2. Hi Gulmamed,

          You do not need to hold the shame of being abused, you are the victim, the shame of the abuse belongs to your brother who abused you, not to you. So if you ever feel that shame you need to remind yourself that it is not yours and belongs to your brother.

          When you had that fight with your brother, it’s like the little boy inside of you, was able to speak his truth, maybe not perfectly, but that little boy inside of you got to say (I’m paraphrasing) “What you did to me was horrible. And that makes you, when it comes to me, the worst person in the world”. Because to your little boy inside, your brother who assaulted you for now feels like the worst person in the world. So you do not need to beat yourself up for saying that, it helped that little boy to be heard.

          What your brother did was not at all okay, it was very wrong. That is not what real brothers do, real brothers care about their siblings and it sounds like you know this as well. I do not know what happened in the fight with your brother that happened recently but it is possible that he too forgot about the abuse (so if he said he forgot, he may have been telling the truth or he may have remembered and not been telling the truth) or the fight may have been about something else regarding the abuse, I have no idea, so I wrote that just in case. It is not strange that you forgot the abuse, many survivors of abuse forget that they were abused, while others never forget. Forgetting is one way that the body deals with trauma.

          As you are healing the best thing to do is try not have any contact with your brother. That means no phone, email, parties anything. This is because your inner child, the part of you that was abused, will be traumatized by seeing him. Even if he were to give you a real apology, it still can be traumatizing to see him. If he does not care that he abused you and that you were harmed by the abuse, then it is best to cut him out of your life. It can be difficult separating from someone in your family that abused you, but it is the best way to heal.

          When it comes to your father, you cannot give him a heart attack. Is that something your brother told you when he abused you? On some level both your parents, should already know that something terrible happened to you. When a child is abused, their behavior usually changes in some way.

          When you tell your father and mother, their reaction will tell you a ton about who they are as people. If they are horrified that that happened to their son and want to find out what could have happened to their other son that got him to make him become a perpetrator, that is a great sign, that they are authentically caring parents. If they are sad or angry that such an awful thing could have happened to you that is also a great sign. But if they tell you things like forgive and forget. Or that’s just what brothers do or you must be crazy, your brother would never do a thing like that or anything else pushing away your pain that is a bad sign. That shows that your parents would rather support a perpetrator than protect their own children. There is a possibility that at first they may not want to believe it (it should be a horrified disbelief and there should be no blame of you), because it is horrible but it is a parents job to believe and protect their children. So at first they may not want to believe it but then they need to acknowledge that this happened to you and ask how they can support you in healing. And your parents should feel horrible that this happened to you. So listen carefully to how your father and mother react.

          You didn’t mention a mother, so I am not sure if she’s not in your life or if you already told her or exactly what.

          The other question that needs to be asked is “who abused your brother?” It is not asked to let your brother off the hook but it is important to know. Children, rarely, if ever, sexually assault someone else unless they were assaulted. This is not to say that it is acceptable or to let him off the hook for what he did to you, but to see who had access to your brother and who taught him to be a perpetrator. Many survivors will never be perpetrators but some like your brother were perpetrators, at least for a little bit. I usually will write that perpetrators rarely stop perpetrating but it seems that your brother realized what he did was wrong and stopped so there is hope for him. That would also depend on how he reacted to you when you got angry at him. Did he not remember or did he try and validate that what he did was ok or what did he say?

          Even if he stopped abusing and got help, it is still best to not be around him for a while while you heal. To help your inner child and even if your brother is truly sorry, it is 100% your decision if you ever want to communicate with him ever again. You do not owe him anything, including the right to spend time with you and your immediate family (wife, children).

          You need to be kind to yourself. You need to surround yourself with people who believe you and support you in healing from the abuse. It can take a while to heal from abuse but it does not have to be a lifelong process once you get great help and take action to heal.

          You may be able to find a therapist that you can have Skype appointments with, if you can’t find a great therapist in person. Was the list I emailed you a link to at all helpful? Remember when reaching out for help, if anyone tries to blame you for the abuse or minimize the sexual assault of men hang up immediately or excuse yourself from the room. There are some amazing helpful people but there are also very sick people in positions where they should be helping survivors but are not helping at all. Have some piece of paper or phone screen which a supportive statement or image to remind yourself that there is nothing wrong with you, it’s them. Or if they do or say anything unsupportive, like forgive and forget, hang up or excuse yourself and keep looking for great help. A great therapist should help you to realize that you can heal and you can have a great life. Some states in the United States certain states prohibit telephone therapy for out of state clients but others do not prohibit it and some therapists have figured out how to work around that restriction. You want to work with a therapist or social worker who has the tools to help you to heal and does not try to take away your control of your own life. They are out there but may be hard to find. Here is a list of therapists who can work by phone http://internationaltherapistdirectory.com/worldwide/ there may or may not be any helpful people listed there. Your job is to keep reaching out until you can find an excellent person who can help you to heal from the abuse. And keep trying until you find the right person.

          Depression, anger, anxiety, etc are all normal responses to being abused as a child, it does not mean that you need to be dependent on medication to “cure” your depression because medication and things like St. John’s Wort do not cure depression (which is why people take them for their entire lives and yet still feel depressed or numb). They can cause a ton of problems so it is not a good idea even to take them for a short period of time. And they do have bad side effects like St. John’s Wort side effects are “trouble sleeping, vivid dreams, restlessness,anxiety, irritability, stomach upset, fatigue, dry mouth, dizziness, headache, skin rash, diarrhea, and tingling” take from http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-329-st%20john's%20wort.aspx?activeingredientid=329&activeingredientname=st%20john%27s%20wort (the side effects tab) and side effects from antidepressants and antipsychotics include depression, extreme anxiety, liver damage, tardive dyskinesia to name a few. But if you are taking them now, it may be a good idea to figure out some coping mechanisms to deal with your emotions and drug withdrawals before you go off of the drugs. If you are taking them, you also need to go off of the drugs very slowly and under the supervision of an excellent healthcare or alternative healthcare professional. They may also be able to help you to minimize some of the withdrawal symptoms, especially if it’s an excellent alternative healthcare practitioner. You do not want to take an antidepressant or antipsychotic to help you to get over the withdrawals from another antidepressant or antipsychotic, that just will be another drug you will need to withdraw from later. Also withdrawal symptoms are frequently mistaken for chemical imbalance but just as an alcoholic may look worse when they are detoxing from alcohol, you may or may not feel worse when detoxing from those drugs, if you are taking those drugs.

          It is also interesting to note that although they keep talking about chemical imbalance, there is not chemical test for the “chemical imbalance”. They will instead ask you questions and then prescribe a drug. Which is a great question to ask about how they can give a chemical cure for something that they cannot diagnose chemically. Here is one of many articles on about depression and the myth of chemical imbalance http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2003/11/it-prozac-or-placebo and http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/04/06/frightening-story-behind-the-drug-companies-creation-of-medical-lobotomies.aspx You can also look at Dr. Loren Mosher’s work who actually cured people of schizophrenic symptoms without drugs at his Soteria House and if people who are schizophrenic can heal without drugs, so if they can heal from schizophrenia you certainly heal from the abuse. Here is a great article he wrote about his experiences in psychiatry in general and why people suffer and how to help them http://www.moshersoteria.com/articles/soteria-associates/ and a video of him http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnryFXxl7yU .

          I really recommend reading “10 Daily Affirmations for Male Survivors” by Dr. Howard Fradkin that I posted on my bog at http://healingfromsexualabuse.com/ideas-for-healing-from-abuse/affirmations/ What also might be helpful for you is reading my post “What To Do When You Feel Triggered” at http://healingfromsexualabuse.com/ideas-for-healing-from-abuse/what-to-do-when-you-feel-triggered/ which has exercises you can do when extreme emotions come up like, anxiety, depression, rage, etc come up for you.

          Did you have a chance to check out http://www.malesurvivor.org/ ? They have online forums and I think even online meetings. And if so, was it helpful?

          My other huge concern, is that if your brother has not healed from being a perpetrator, then it is important not to expose your children to him in an way. Not conversations, emails, holidays, nothing. Also until we know who abused your brother, we do not know if that person has access to your children, so it is important to find out who abused your brother if that is at all possible. Your brother may have forgotten the abuse or not want to say or even make something up that is not the true abuser. The most important thing you can do is to keep your children safe by keeping them away from any possible abusers and to heal yourself. When you heal, you will be better at recognizing who is safe and who is not safe for you and your family.

          You have shared your story on my blog and that is a great start on sharing your story. You writing your story may have helped other survivors in the same situation that you are in realize that they are not alone. Keep reminding yourself that as you share your story, you will find out who your real friends are, they are the ones who are supportive of you and never tell you to forgive and forget. When people say unsupportive things, even if you thought they were your friends, those are not real friends. Even with your family’s reaction, you will be able to tell, though it may not be time to tell your children but everyone else in your family. Unless you don’t want to tell someone because you already think they are unsupportive, you might want to have something written to remind you, it was not your fault and that by telling people you are finding out who they really are. Unsupportive people do not deserve to be around you, everyone has the right to real friends and real family (though some of us may never have a real family of origin).

          Keep looking for great help and support and when you find great help, take the actions that you need to take to heal. You will notice that slowly your life is getting better.

          Please feel free to write back with any questions, answers to my questions, comments or updates. Updates give other survivors hope.

          1. Amy Marschak,
            Thanks very much for your support. You are right as less I see him, more better feel myself. Can not to share my history with any one else part of my father. With him-
            -Because the time that happened, he was the person on charge to his family. I don’t dislike my father, he is ok. My mother is still alive, however nothing to do with her.
            For now I’m trying to get better, continue to go to sport like get more Oxygen.
            A person like me would get healed if repaid. But surely I am feeling better and I am thanks-full to you for your great support.
            I will talk to my father, when-haven’t yet decided.
            Regards’
            Gulmamed

            1. Hi Gulmamed,

              It is great to hear that you are exercising, that can be really helpful in healing and feeling better emotionally.

              If you need support to tell your dad, you can try reaching out to the men’s chatroom at http://www.malesurvivor.org/index.php and/or the 24/7 online hotline at https://hotline.rainn.org/online/terms-of-service.jsp (which I think should work internationally) and if they are helpful, that’s great, if not try again later or try some other resources.

              It is healthy not to keep your brother’s secret, it is fine to tell who ever you feel comfortable telling. But always listen to their reaction, to see if they are supportive of child abusers or children.

              Feel free to write back with any questions, comments or updates.

      2. Hi Gulmamed,

        you do know how to write and i feel for you and can understand fully why you are angry at your brother…it sounds like he was someone you looked up to and instead of helping you he abused your trust and hurt you both physically and emotionally and even as an adult he doesn’t seem to have any regrets for how he mistreated you…

        this wasn’t your fault you were just a trusting kid, but it sounds like you are turning your anger at him inward and blaming yourself for still being angry after so many years…Gulmamed you don,t have to justify how you feel to anyone because you know in your heart how he made you feel.and that is a true and honest feeling..if you are worried about telling your father because of his health I think you might feel better if you tell someone you trust whether it’s your wife or a close friend and then you won’t feel so alone…it might be good to find a therapist who is trained in helping men who were abused as kids…it’s not as simple as some people think “oh i should just get over what happened to me it was such a long time ago”…you have a lot of emotions inside you that need a safe place to be free to come out…there is a fine website i can recommend to you it’s http://www.malesurvivor.org/index.php is a good and safe place for men who have been sexually abused as kids they have a library of books such as Victims no Longer by Mike Lew and Abused Boys The Neglected Victims of Sexual Abuse by Mic Hunter.( I have read both books and they were very helpful to me )…I was also abused as a child and their is a chatroom on the site which is completely confidential and safe called the Healing Circle…you might find it as helpful as it was to me…it’s a room run by a wonderful and insightful man where a man who has been abused can share his stories and emotions and where other men can give support and advice to to help him…you can just come and listen until your feel comfortable there…

        my friend when you said you woke up wanting to be dead it scared me because i don’t want you to hurt yourself …you deserved so much better as a child and i can hear from your letter that you have so much love to give to your family and friends…so take care of yourself please and consider that healing circle I think you’d find it a safe place to be supported and where you’ll find others who really care about you…

        my very best to you,
        Joseph
        (Note from blogger: You can read Joseph’s story at http://healingfromsexualabuse.com/success-stories/a-success-story-in-healing-from-abuseby-joseph/)

  8. I’ve also been sexually abused when I was around 11 or 12, not by my father but by my brother. I remember my brother (he was 15 around that time) was being physically abused by my mother, so he was always looking for comfort. Have been struggling with intimacy and trust ever since then, until I met my boyfriend.

    I confronted my brother around the age of 17. I just suddenly started crying and accusing him when it became clear why I always felt so bad. I remember him first just pushing it of as something stupid or small, but I was adamant that it wasn’t normal and that it hurt me. I remember that after that, he wrote me a letter, in which he apologized. And I forced myself to forgive him, for that time being.

    Fast forward and I’m now 20. I have disgust and an infuriating hated against him, especially since I now notice I have difficulties with intimacy with my boyfriend because of what he did. I live far away from my family and only see my father and mother every so often. They know about it and understand me, though don’t want me to bring it up, since they don’t want to think about my brother like that…

    But now it’s almost New Years Eve and my family has a gathering planned, where of course I am invited to go. I will go, with my boyfriend at my side, who knows about it and supports me. But still, knowing that I will see my brother that evening, I just get angry, feel unsafe and disgusted. I really don’t know what to do. I really don’t ever want to see him ever again. The only way I can truly forgive him is to never see him anymore, since he just is so much the same as the time back then.

    But I can’t just ditch my mother and father just for that piece of shit brother. But it’s really difficult… It really is. Sometimes I just really don’t know what to do with all these terrible feelings. Do any of you know how to deal with stuff like this? I don’t want to lose my parents just because of that piece of garbage brother.

    What a great way to start the new year isn’t it…

    I hope all of you stay strong and keep your hopes up. Don’t let them take your life away. You deserve better.

    1. Hi Anonymous,

      It’s time to stop going home. If your parents really understood you, they would protect you but your mother was abusive (even if only to your brother) and your dad did nothing to stop her. They need to get out of denial and do a ton of healing themselves. And the mystery still remains as to who molested your brother because children who molest other children were molested, though many survivors never molest anyone and the question needs to be asked is the person who molested your brother a family member or someone else?

      You are right that spending New Years Eve with your family who protects perpetrators (and keeps their sexual assault a secret) and your brother who molested you is not a great way to spend New Years Eve or any time really. So do not spend it with them. In order to be in your life they need to stop denying what your brother did and support you. And being around an abusive mother, even if she was “only abusive” to your brother is not OK. It is abusive to all siblings to pick one child out and abuse them and real loving parents would never do that. Or being around your dad who did nothing to protect you or your brother is also not OK.

      Yes, you can and need to ditch your mother and father because they are protecting a perpetrator and your mother was abusive. Your family is a sick family, ditch them. I understand it is in the morning of December 31 in your time zone but it’s not too late to change your plans.

      How about if you and your boyfriend do something super cool together? Go on an adventure, maybe go to a cool New Years Eve party you’ve always wanted to go to. Go on a super cool walk, hike if you are around hiking but it is really mean to yourself to spend New Year’s Eve with a sick family. I hope your boyfriend is thinking the same way and wants to spend an awesome New Year’s Eve with you rather than with your sick family. If you are staying with them, leave and splurge on a nice hotel or any hotel. And in doing this it can help you to realize the family that you really have, which is probably not the family you want. But it is hard to be around unhealthy people and heal from abuse. Google your town and New Year’s Eve and see what events come up.

      I will write more later but wanted to post this before New Year’s Eve.

    2. Hi Anonymous,

      How was your New Year’s Eve? Did you go to the family event or did you choose to do something else? If you did choose to go to the family event, how did it go? Or if you did something else, how did that go? You do not need to beat yourself up if you went to the family event, sometimes making new choices takes a while.

      Forcing yourself to forgive never works and as you can see from how you feel in your own life, it really did not work in helping you to heal either. An advocate for abuse survivors has said, “Healing may result in forgiveness but forgiveness does not bring healing, it only covers over the wounds allowing them to fester.” You can read more about forgiveness at my post “Do I Need To Forgive To Heal From Abuse” at http://healingfromsexualabuse.com/ideas-for-healing-from-abuse/do-i-need-to-forgive-to-heal-from-abuse/

      If your brother is minimizing the abuse, then he still needs to heal. Did he make any offer of amends in his letter? Has he realized how awful what he did to you and he is getting help to heal? Has he made any real apology with actions he will take to make amends to you, or was it just an empty apology? Either way, you cannot wait for your brother or parents to heal, for you to heal. But you can fully heal and have a great life but you need to take action and find a great person to help you to heal.

      You can try going to this website http://www.rcne.com/ and putting in your location if you’re in Europe and it should pull up the local rape crisis center. Call the number to see if they are helpful. If they are not helpful or do not have support there google round until you find great help. Feel free to hang up on any hotline or leave the room if the person you are talking with is not helpful. If you are calling a hotline, you can try back later and see if you get a more helpful volunteer is answering the hotline because they change shifts. Keep looking until you find an excellent therapist or social worker who has the tools to help you to heal without trying to medicate you or give you things like St. John’s Wort. Those have terrible side effects and only stuff down the thing you need to deal with. But if for any reason you are already on antidepressants or antipsychotics (very popular use in the United States) you need to withdraw from them extremely slowly and only under the supervision of an excellent medical or alternative health care practitioner. Going to a mediocre or bad therapist can cause more problems then they solve and working with an excellent person can help you to get your life back.

      You might also want to try doing the workbook “Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron, it has helped a ton of people.

      Keep working on not spending time with people like your brother and your mother and others who are not supportive in your healing. You do not want to be around anyone who wants you to keep the sexual predator’s secret. They are not healthy people and being around them will only slow down or halt your healing process. Another post I wrote that might be helpful when trying to avoid unhealthy family is at http://healingfromsexualabuse.com/ideas-for-healing-from-abuse/surviving-mothers-day-and-the-holidays/

      If you keep taking action to heal and heal, you can have awesome relationships and a great life. Please feel free to write back with any questions, answers to my questions, comments or updates. Updates give other survivors hope.

  9. I need help on how to heal and if I ever will be healed. I was molested by my brother at a young age (from like 10-13) and came out to my mother during my sophomore year of college. I had repressed it for years and something stressful in life just brought it out. But sadly my family didn’t really respond like I thought they would. They just told me to pray about it and forgive him. No one has really ever asked me how I am, if I healed…or even what he did to me. Holidays breaks are just so hard for me to deal with when I come back from school. I can stay a couple of days and repress my memories but with him living at home…I have to see him and it just makes me anxious and remember all that he did to me. I hit a depressed time a couple of months ago and now I just think will this be my life. Anxious and nervous at family gatherings because everyone acts like I wasn’t molested by my brother. No one has ever talked about it and it just hurts seeing them treat him so normal. Maybe I wanted my family to stand up and defend me and stand by me and help me heal, but i feel like I am doing this alone. Any ideas on how to heal and if anyone has had to awkwardly constantly face their abuser. I feel like my family just swept my sexual abuse under the rug and I resent them and have so much disappointment in them.

    1. Hi Crystal,

      When your family told you to pray and forgive him, that was wrong and very much wanting to ignore the horrible abuse that you went through. They should have been horrified and worked on helping you to seek help to heal. Their response tells you who your family really is and how they support perpetrators and are fine with the fact that children are getting raped. Are these the kind of people you want in your life? They gave up their rights to be around you, when they chose to not care that you were being abused, a real family would protect their children, not shut them up be telling them to pray and forgive.

      No matter what, in order to take care of yourself, you need to stop going home for the holidays or spending any time or have any communication with your unsupportive family. Make excuses, if they pay for college, but do not go home, if you are home now, make an excuse to leave early. Or if you want confront them about protecting a perpetrator and then leave. But it is also important to realize that someone molested your brother because children don’t just start molesting their sibling unless they were molested (though many survivors who are molested will not become perpetrators) and you don’t know who that someone is and it could be another family member.

      Your family will not help you to heal, they already chose to stand by a perpetrator but you can take action to heal.

      I will write more later but I wanted to post this as soon as I could. Also you might want to read my post “Surviving Mother’s Day and the Holidays” at http://healingfromsexualabuse.com/ideas-for-healing-from-abuse/surviving-mothers-day-and-the-holidays/

    2. Hi Crystal,

      How did the holidays go? Were you able to leave early or if you stayed were you able to see your family more for who they really are? Getting out of denial about your family can take some time, so do not be hard on yourself if you did the same thing that you’ve always done. Just the fact that you were able to write your story and ask for help, shows that you are changing and can be starting to heal from the abuse.

      It is mean to yourself to be around the brother who abused you and the family who is willing to keep his secret which allows him and possibly others to get away with molesting children. Child molesters rarely stop abusing children though if they were children at that time they were molesting other children, there is a better chance they may stop. If you confront your brother, and he feels terrible and is getting or has gotten a ton of help for having done that to you and wants to make real amends, then there is a great chance he will not keep molesting others. But if he blames you, calls you crazy, etc then not a great chance he is not molesting others (though there is a chance he repressed the memories of molesting you). It is healthy that you resent your family right now and be disappointed in them, they let you down and instead stood up for a perpetrator.

      Of course, you wanted your family to stand up, defend you and help you to heal and that is what a real family would have done. But your family is sick and should be avoided having any contact with them at all. When you are feeling depressed and anxious about going home, that was your body saying it’s not safe to go home, your body saying to you that it wants you to not go home. And you never have to go back home ever again. If they are paying for your college, try talking to the rape crisis center (If there is one on or near campus) about if there are options or scholarships for survivors of sexual assault to pay for college.

      And if you take action and get excellent help, you can heal from the abuse. Healing from the abuse does not have to be a lifelong process but it can take a while. Another thing that can be quite helpful is to get a therapist or social worker who has the tools to help you to detox and heal from the abuse. You can try calling 800-656-HOPE (the 24/7 hotline should connect you to the local rape crisis center). Most centers have free counselling but even if it’s free unless it’s great, it won’t be helpful. So listen to how you feel when you speak with them and always give yourself permission to hang up or leave if the person is not being helpful. If the person on the hotline is not helpful, you can try calling again later (volunteers change shifts) or if they are repeatedly not helpful, try any hotline at https://centers.rainn.org/ or google around for therapists. And do not stop looking until you find someone who is helpful for you, no matter how long that takes. You want to work with someone who is excellent who makes you feel heard. Stay away from bad or mediocre therapists and social workers because they can do more harm than help. And even if a therapist is great for someone else it does not mean that they are great for you.

      Keep taking action to heal and your life will get better and better. Now that you have gotten away from home, you can choose who you want to be around and who you do not want to be around. It is a lie that you owe your family spending any time with them what so ever. They gave up the right to spend time with you when they stood up for a perpetrator.

      Feel free to write back with any questions, comments or updates. Updates give other survivors hope.

  10. Can anyone tell me why a 31 year old man would continue to have any kind of relationship with his molester who is also his mother? My now ex boyfriend confided in me that his mom…(edited by blogger). He was very sincere when he told me he hadn’t done anything with her since we had started dating. He moved out of his grandmother’s house where he lived with his mother when we started dating. Then he confided in me and then a few months ago he moved back into his mom’s mothers home…since then I am sure they do…(edited by blogger). The thing is that he doesn’t seem to be happy about it. He I’m in fact seems like he feels like he is obligated or something. He told me that he told me his secrets because for the first time he felt really loved by someone and since he moved back in with his mother and grandmother he tells me I tricked him and he was wrong that I don’t love him. I love him….with every ounce in me I love him. I would do anything to help him start to heal. I would stick with him thru and thru….i apologize I’m not doing so well. Anyway we haven’t been doing well at all. Last night I told him that I’m done and I blocked him. His relationship with his sick mother is really causing me damage. I want to protect him and I can’t and I want too love him and he tells me that I don’t love him…his monster (mother) is 57 or 58. Is it even possible she wants it for enjoyment or is it a power and control thing? I hope I was clear … I really am so messed up. I don’t know what to do about his nephew….the not boy is like 5 or 6 and she babysits him regularly which is really really making me feel sick. It makes me more sick everyday…probably because I feel guilt for knowing that she could be and in all likely hood probably is doing things to her grandson….whose father is my boyfriend’s older brother….

    1. Hi JloveM,

      There is nothing that you can do to help your ex-boyfriend, he has been so conditioned by his mom and grandmother from such a young age, they control him. His moving out might have been his attempt to get away, but he moved back and they have him believing that you tricked him. That shows they control him as if he is still a little boy. This has been going on long before you ever met him and a part of him might want to get away but it he is not strong enough to do so and there is nothing you can do to help him. That is also really sad about what could be happening to his nephew, I hope he can get help if something is happening.

      Yes, his mother and most likely grandmother are very sick pedophiles which is why it is so important that our society starts to acknowledge that more woman are sexual predators than we want to admit. By admitting that, it will be easier in the future to help little boys and little girls from falling prey to any pedophiles, men or woman.

      What you need to do is to help yourself to heal from this relationship. It hurts to have been through something like that and to be betrayed by your ex-boyfriend. You need to take some time to grieve this relationship and also ask yourself if there is a wounded part of yourself that attracted such a wounded boyfriend. And if the answer is yes, there is a wounded part of yourself that attracted him, how can you help the wounded part of yourself to heal.

      You can try calling 800-656-HOPE (the 24/7 hotline should connect you to the local rape crisis center). Because you have been affected by a person who is a victim of sexual assault, they should help you. That does not mean that they will help you. Also most centers have free counselling but even if it’s free unless it’s great, it won’t be helpful. So listen to how you feel when you speak with them and always give yourself permission to hang up or leave if the person is not being helpful. If the person on the hotline is not helpful, you can try calling again later (volunteers change shifts) or if they are repeatedly not helpful, try any hotline at https://centers.rainn.org/ or google around for therapists. A therapist could help you to heal from this relationship. But stay away from bad or mediocre therapists and social workers because they can do more harm than help. And you are grieving for a lost relationship, don’t let a therapist or social worker recommend that you take antidepressants or antipsychotics or things like St. John’s Wort which will stuff the grief back down and cause numerous side effects, instead try and find a person who has the tools to help you to detox from this grief. (Though if for any reason you are already taking them and you want to stop, stopping needs to be done very slowly and under the supervision of an excellent doctor or excellent alternative healthcare professional.)

      Feel free to write back with any questions, comments or updates.

  11. I just need to know how you confronted him. What did you say? How did you know it really happened and wasn’t just a reoccurring nightmare from the past? I see my dad and I don’t see the guy who sexually abused me. I see the sarcastic funny guy who raised me. But I remember who he was and who he did I just don’t know how that could be the same person. I don’t want to sound crazy when asking and I don’t want to destroy my family and break my mom’s heart. What do i say to him?!?

    1. Hi Sabrina,

      I just need to know how you confronted him. What did you say?:
      I listened to “The Courage To Heal” on tape and it had said that you can confront them in the way that you want to confront them. So I decided that I would go out to eat with my dad and confront him there. And confront my mother separately from my dad because it had always been two against one, my parents against me. I was an only child. I had asked my dad several times before if he had molested me, he always had different answers. This time I told him that I knew he had molested me (because there was no more doubt in my mind that he had molested me) he denied it said that the household help and possibly his mom had molested him, then he screamed he didn’t want to talk about it and offered me a new car. I talk more about my journey to remember and confronting my dad in my play “An Angel Cried A Tear Last Night”. (You can watch my play if you make any donation to my website.) Watching it could be helpful for you in validating what you went through.

      How did you know it really happened and wasn’t just a reoccurring nightmare from the past?:
      I believed myself. Things I knew for a fact that I did not forget, when my dad came out to visit, he tried to lure me into his hotel room. He would talk to me with sexual tones. Also the book “Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron helped me validate my memories in a huge way. On the “Courage to Heal” tape there is a quote that goes something like this, “rarely if ever do we meet survivors who think something has happened only to realize it has not, it always goes the other way, they get a feeling about it and more things come up to validate that feeling or memory” (I am paraphrasing it to the best of my memory). Now that being said there are survivors who do not want to believe that they have been molested, so to go back into denial and pretend they have a real family, they might convince themselves that they made it up. This is very dangerous because then if you ever have kids, the perpetrators will have access to molest them and perpetrators rarely turn down the opportunity to abuse children, if they can get away with it. And their enablers would rather that you think you are crazy, then protect you or your children.

      Yes, your dad could have been the sarcastic funny guy who raised you but he also molested you. You are not crazy, you need to believe yourself.

      I don’t want to sound crazy when asking…:
      Perpetrators would rather that you think your crazy, then believe the truth that they sexually assaulted you. You, thinking that your crazy, protects the perpetrator and creates a safe space for him to sexually assault children without getting caught.

      I don’t want to destroy my family and break my mom’s heart:
      You cannot destroy your family because your dad already destroyed the family when he abused you. All that is left is the illusion of a real family. Real families protect their children from abuse, they do not allow children to be abused. On some level your mom already knows what has happened, you are not breaking your mom’s heart. Is that a lie that your dad told you to keep you quiet? When you tell your mom what really happened you will find out who she really is, if she is sad or angry at your dad and takes action to help you to heal and gets away from your dad, then you will know that she is most likely a real mom who cares about her children. But if she tries to call you crazy, saying you made it up or you “asked for it” or tells you to forgive and forget or anything not supportive then you will realize that she would prefer to protect a perpetrator rather than protect a child from sexual assault. Real moms and dads protect their children from abuse. By telling her and seeing her response, you will know the truth about who she really is. Though, at first when she hears it, she might be in shock either way.

      Now, if you choose to confront your dad, you need to ask yourself what you want to get out of confronting him. If you want him to admit he sexually assaulted you, apologize and make amends, that most likely will not happen. He may call you crazy, he may say you are making it up, he may even say you asked for it, those are much more likely responses. So if you are confronting him because you want to speak your truth that can be helpful but if you are confronting him for him to validate you or apologize, you might want to rethink and do something more supportive of yourself rather than being around a perpetrator.

      You do not have to forget the cool stuff your dad did but you need to put the fact that he is a pedophile in there and take car of yourself by not having him in your life or talking with him. Having him in your life traumatizes your inner child who remembers being assaulted by him and it is difficult to heal and traumatize yourself by being around perpetrators or people who support perpetrators at the same time.

      Another thing that can be quite helpful is to get a therapist or social worker who has the tools to help you to detox and heal from the abuse. You can try calling 800-656-HOPE (the 24/7 hotline should connect you to the local rape crisis center). Most centers have free counselling but even if it’s free unless it’s great, it won’t be helpful. So listen to how you feel when you speak with them and always give yourself permission to hang up or leave if the person is not being helpful. If the person on the hotline is not helpful, you can try calling again later (volunteers change shifts) or if they are repeatedly not helpful, try any hotline at https://centers.rainn.org/ or google around for therapists. And do not stop looking until you find someone who is helpful for you, no matter how long that takes. You want to work with someone who is excellent who makes you feel heard. Stay away from bad or mediocre therapists and social workers because they can do more harm than help. And even if a therapist is great for someone else it does not mean that they are great for you. The hotline may also be able to help you to come up with ideas on how you would like to tell your mom and confront your dad, if you still want to confront him.

      As you heal and believe yourself, you will notice your life slowly getting better and better. Please feel free to write back with any questions, comments or updates. Updates give other survivors hope.

    2. I’m going through the same thing right now. It’s so hard and scary. It’s my biggest fear and I want to move on from it all but I know that I can’t unless I open up about it! it’s a stressful situation…(edited by blogger) you get through this…(edited by bloggers)

  12. I was beating and mentally abused at a foster home at age of give until 9 taken out to moved to parson home for two 1/2 years, at age 11 was moved back to my home town in orange county again sexually abused by another foster home 11/12 years old i was adopted by pedophile…(name on sex offender register, edited by blogger) sexually abused me, threatening my life to never tell anyone. And again I was sexually abused by Catholic Father…(name edited by blogger) again…(name on sex offender register, edited by blogger) is wanted from new (york) i think. Next nickname is…(name on sex register, edited by blogger)

    …(last person named name edited by blogger) also sexually abused me as well at age 14 Westchester NY I am 50 years old today I don’t trust no one but me. And would rather travel too, was a truck driver but depression sometimes kicks in.

    1. Hi Jeff,

      You can heal, you need to focus on how you can best take care of yourself all of the time. Maybe it is making sure that you are eating healthy food and going maybe even small walks every day. And dress super warm when you go for walks around this time of year. Because a nice walk outside is only comforting if you’re dressed warm enough. (I wrote this because this winter, I have seen so many people painfully underdressed, running to get warm and I keep thinking they would like being outside if they were dressed to be outside.)

      Allow yourself to breath deeply and see if you are holding tension in your shoulders. Try holding yourself in a high self-esteem posture when you walk, it signals to your body things will be ok. Try right now, if you like slouching and breathing very shallow, then try sitting up or standing up very tall and breathing deeply, even put a “I’m awesome” smile on your face. Here are two videos about body posture and emotions http://wgntv.com/2016/02/10/posture-can-affect-your-mood-northwestern-u-study-says/ and https://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are

      You can even say to yourself encouraging things. I also just posted some affirmations from http://www.malesurvivor.org at http://healingfromsexualabuse.com/ideas-for-healing-from-abuse/affirmations/ reading them may help you. Try reading them every day, if you find them helpful or you can also write your own affirmations of nice things you want to tell yourself.

      You might also want to try some of the exercises on my post “What To Do When You Feel Triggered” at http://healingfromsexualabuse.com/ideas-for-healing-from-abuse/what-to-do-when-you-feel-triggered/ These can help when you feel extreme emotions like depression and other strong emotions that might come up. It can help you to start detoxing from the abuse.

      It also could be very helpful to find a great person therapist, social worker or psychologist to work with you. You need to work with a person who believes that you can heal, no matter what you are going through right now. Depression is a normal response to being abused as a child, it does not mean that you need to be dependent on medication to “cure” your depression because medication and things like St. John’s Wort do not cure depression (which is why people take them for their entire lives and yet still feel depressed or numb). And they do have bad side effects like St. John’s Wort side effects are “trouble sleeping, vivid dreams, restlessness,anxiety, irritability, stomach upset, fatigue, dry mouth, dizziness, headache, skin rash, diarrhea, and tingling” take from http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-329-st%20john's%20wort.aspx?activeingredientid=329&activeingredientname=st%20john%27s%20wort (the side effects tab) and side effects from antidepressants and antipsychotics include depression, extreme anxiety, liver damage, tardive dyskinesia to name a few. But if you are taking them now, it would be a good idea to work on some great coping mechanisms to deal with your emotions and drug withdrawals before you go off of the drugs. If you are taking them, you also need to go off of the drugs very slowly and under the supervision of an excellent healthcare or alternative healthcare professional. They may also be able to help you to minimize some of the withdrawal symptoms, especially if it’s an excellent alternative healthcare practitioner. You do not want to take an antidepressant or antipsychotic to help you to get over the withdrawals from another antidepressant or antipsychotic, that just will be another drug you will need to withdraw from later. Also withdrawal symptoms are frequently mistaken for chemical imbalance but just as an alcoholic may look worse when they are detoxing from alcohol, you may or may not feel worse when detoxing from those drugs, if you are taking drugs.

      It is also interesting to note that although they keep talking about chemical imbalance, there is not chemical test for the “chemical imbalance”. They will instead ask you questions and then prescribe a drug. Which is a great question to ask about how they can give a chemical cure for something that they cannot diagnose chemically. Here is one of many articles on about depression and the myth of chemical imbalance http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2003/11/it-prozac-or-placebo and http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/04/06/frightening-story-behind-the-drug-companies-creation-of-medical-lobotomies.aspx You can also look at Dr. Loren Mosher’s work who actually cured people of schizophrenic symptoms without drugs at his Soteria House and if people who are schizophrenic can heal without drugs, you certainly can as well. Here is a great article he wrote about his experiences in psychiatry in general and why people suffer and how to help them http://www.moshersoteria.com/articles/soteria-associates/ and a video of him http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnryFXxl7yU .

      Even if you find yourself doing things other people do not usually do, it still can be a response to the abuse. Keep trying to bring your thoughts back to what can you do right now that will be helpful to you and make you feel better. When you start to focus on the abusers, bring it back to saying to yourself, “Does thinking about them make me feel better? What action can I do or thoughts I can think that would make me feel better right now?” Possible going for a walk, watching something that makes you laugh, like a funny youtube clip or think about a small step you can take towards what you want your life to look like and then maybe take that small step. Your goal with your life can be a small goals right now, maybe to laugh more, see more nature, I don’t know what you like but something that would make your inner child happy. And also check posture and breath. Stand tall, breath deeply. It is not about ignoring the abuse, you still need to detox from the abuse but it is also about trying to get your life back. If you spend all of your time thinking about and naming your abusers, you are missing out on awesome things that may be happening in your life right now. And by focusing on the abusers, you are also terrifying that little boy inside of you who was abused. So it’s about possibly putting the abusers and thoughts about the abusers in a box and shutting the lid and then maybe opening the lid when you need to in therapy. But therapy should also be about how to live a better life right now. Healing is when you get your own life and don’t need to spend time thinking about the abusers and the abuse. And that can happen when you detox from the abuse and heal.

      You might also want to go to http://www.malesurvivor.org a website that has tons of resources for male survivors of sexual assault.

      Keep taking action and get an awesome therapist, social worker, psychologist to work with to heal and you can get your life back. Your past abuse does not have to determine your future life. Feel free to write back with any questions or updates. Updates on progress give other survivors hope.

      1. Yep, medication for three years, the drugs. Was a high for a while. Having crazy dreams, huh so true. I would pop more into my system, to feel bomb, and when I did a lot soul searching in my medication. When I stopped in cold turkey, the feelings multitudinous- emotions which had assailed me, it might sound crazy, I like the psychosomatic feeling, it was nuts at times, LMAO. The movie, “good will hunting”, Robert Williams. The kid is me, lol

        1. Hi Jeff paladino aka Jeff ford,

          Yes, quitting medication cold turkey can made the withdrawals really awful. It’s a shame that so few doctors and therapist even realize that people are experiencing withdrawals and not chemical imbalance. But then again many doctors are trained on the medication by the medication sales reps and why would a sales rep want you to know, that what they want you to buy, is a terrible product that is very hard to withdraw from?

  13. My father sexually abused me from the age of 11 until the age of 21, i am now 53. Two years ago I opened up to my sister, whom is three years older than me, it turned out that he had also attempted to abuse her a couple of times. For me the abuse was full on rape and molestation practically on a daily basis. I was made pregnant at least once, resulting in one termination and one birth.

    I have not reported him to the police, I may one day. My mother has chosen to stay with him and told my eldest daughter that if we say anything that she will kill herself. I now feel such disappointment towards my mother and sister, how can a mother turn against her totally innocent daughter and support her pedophile husband.

    I am so dismayed, I don’t really know what I feel. Can anyone help me to understand her behaviour?

    1. Hi Lorna Grubb,

      That is not ok that that happened to you and your sister. It is horrifying that a mother can turn her children like that. It is very poor behaviour and sick behaviour as well that your mother said she would kill herself if anyone told on your father. The best thing you can do is to have no contact with you mother or father. They lost their right to have contact with either you or your children when they abused you and allowed you to be abused. Also is also very unhealthy for any of your children to have any contact with your mother or father. Pedophiles rarely stop abusing. It is also a huge concern that your mother said that to your eldest daughter, did he sexually assault her as well? If your father had contact with your children he may very well have abused all of them. Pedophiles also may abuse both boys and girls, so you need to find a way to ask them that will not be too traumatizing. They may have also repressed the memory so even if they don’t say that he did not do that does not mean that it did not happen, though there is a small possibility that it did not happen to your children, if he had any access to them at all.

      Do whatever it takes for you and your children (grandchildren if that is applicable) to have no contact with them, no calls, texts, emails, visits, etc. You can possibly write a letter or email saying that you want no contact with your mother or father or simply stop returning their communication, remember that real mothers and fathers protect their children and your parents did the opposite. If she wants to threaten suicide, that just shows how sick she is.

      Next it is time for you and all those who were affected by the rape to get help. So even if your children were not abused by your father, they still may have been affected by the abuse. The first thing you need to do is to get help for yourself and the people who help you may be able to help you talk to your children about the possible abuse. Although when you were abused, you were alone, you do not need to be alone when you heal.

      Here is a hotline in the UK 0808 802 9999 between 12 noon – 2.30pm and 7 – 9.30pm any day of the year and also between 3 – 5.30pm on weekdays, they may or may not be helpful. If the people you are talking to are not helpful, hang up and try again another time, there may be someone else on the hotline. If they are repeatedly not helpful, try another hotline or google around. Keep making calls until you get the help you and your children need. Here is a link to other hotlines in the UK. http://rapecrisis.org.uk/centres.php MMany of the centers may also have free counselling for survivors. Unfortunately, some of the UK hotlines will not help boys or men, they say they will give resources that will help boys and men, so if that is one of your children, do not give up, keep looking, there is help out there for everyone, if you keep looking. Also if any of your children are male and affected by the abuse there is a website for males at http://www.malesurvivor.org/index.php which also has helpful advise for survivors of both genders.

      I just read this on their website http://www.malesurvivor.org/index.php and think it can be helpful:
      10 DAILY AFFIRMATIONS FOR MALE SURVIVORS (but I think it is applicable to female survivors also)
      by Dr. Howard Fradkin
      1. Recovery is absolutely possible and achievable for me.
      2. I will practice being disloyal to dysfunction and loyal to functionality.
      3. I give myself permission to connect to loving, affirmative, strong, sensitive, accepting men and women in my community.
      4. I release and forgive myself for any responsibility I have accepted in the past for my abuse.
      5. The abuser(s) from the past chose to hurt me. I will stop repeating the lie that it just happened to me.
      6. Offering myself daily compassion is necessary for my healing and growth.
      7. I commit to connecting to the boy (girl) inside me today so we can play, laugh, and experience joy together, even if just for a minute or two.
      8. I believe deep inside me I possess the ability to face the truth of my abuse and to learn to use new tools for healing.
      9. I have the right and the ability to speak the truth of my abuse and deserve to be heard, understood. believed and supported.
      10. Feeling is healing. As I heal, I develop the ability to experience a wider range of emotions to enhance my health and connections to others.

      I have googled around and have not found a time limit when it comes to prosecuting those types of cases in the UK, though I may have missed it. In the United States it depends on which state you live in what the amount of time you must file a claim by but the most important thing you can do right now is to heal.

      Feel free to write back with any updates, questions or comments. Updates can give other survivors hope.

  14. Hi, this morning the truth finally came out , my father was indeed spying on me and doing things, i dont even want to imagine. my mother finally saw /heard the truth, my dad was outside my window with…(edited by blogger) , i woke up and saw him standing outside, he quickly said no dont be stupid how can u imagine, i got out of bed and started yelling what the hell were you doing and ran to my mother. i’ve always felt uncomfortable around my father and always suspected he was doing stuff behind me and my mother’s backs. there are incidents i could not shake, the first time i told my mother i was about 17/18 they sat me down and my dad told me dont think like that of me i would never do that to my own daughter, the situation soon disappeared but i still felt uneasy around him, i noticed small things, but i denied it and denied it and was afraid to go to my mother unless i had solid proof. at a point i thought my dad put a camera in my moms bathroom where me and her shower, i never found anything but what happened this morning just shows most likely he did. about a month ago i suspected the camera situation and hoped to God to help me see the truth. having to fake like nothing was bothering smiling at family dinner and still being around him disgusted me, now today i finally know i was 100% right, but what now? should i be happy thats he is packing and leaving? should i be sad cus my mother finally found out about her husbands actions? how about my little brother? how is he suppose to feel towards my dad? why me? why my dad? why my family? i just dont know what to do now. im 23 now and i just dont know how to feel, i hate this, why did it have to happen to my family. my deepest secret is now revealed, i suspected my father was doing inappropriate things to me. now i understand all my choices, rebellion, and anger during my teenage years. i hope, my mom and brother can bounce back from this. ive been learning to live with this feeling for quite awhile and i know this new realization is fresh to them. i just hope we can manage to be a real family again..( i know i might be all over the place right now, im still trying to cope and grasp everything that just happened this morning, i feel lost)

    1. Hi Anonymous,

      It is a relief to know the truth. It is great that your dad, the perpetrator is leaving the house and that your mother not only believed you but also took action to keep her children safe. As for your little brother, it is possible that your dad abused him or would try to abuse him also. The only person who is at fault when it comes to your dad abusing you and him having to leave because of his actions, is your dad. Hopefully, he will stay away from you, your brother and your family and not wind up moving back in the house or having any contact with you. It is not healthy for any child to be around a perpetrator, including your brother.

      Your little brother, will hopefully get it, that dad did some horrible things to his sister and possibly him, so it is healthy that he has left the house. But it could take him a while to get there. And if your dad did stuff to him, he may have repressed the memories or be in denial. Think about how you would feel, if you had an older brother or sister who was abused by your dad and he was forced to leave the house, if you cared about your sister or brother, you would be relieved that he left but there also could be a bit of denial, so that could be all of the things your little brother is going through.

      Has anything changed since you posted this, because it was a little while ago?

      Another issue is that once we know what really happened, there is the opportunity for us to realize the toxic things from the abuse that we may have been stuffing down when we were not sure what was really happening. And then to begin to detox from the abuse. Also with him away from you, you can allow yourself to remember things you may have forgotten. You can try reading and doing the exercises from my post “What to Do When You Feel Triggered” at http://healingfromsexualabuse.com/ideas-for-healing-from-abuse/what-to-do-when-you-feel-triggered/ which could be helpful for you. You might also find that watching my play, my story about remembering and beginning to heal from abuse, “An Angel Cried A Tear Last Night” to be helpful also.

      It is a huge sign that you always felt uncomfortable around your dad. In healthy families, children feel comfortable and comforted by being around their parents but in unhealthy families where abuse is happening, children may feel uncomfortable, so your feeling uncomfortable was telling you something. Now that you can heal, I recommend having no contact with your dad, because it is very hard to let yourself detox from the abuse when the perpetrator is around. Your dad lost his right to have anything to do with you, when he did what he did to you. Real dads don’t abuse children, real dads protect their children from abuse.

      Another thing that can be quite helpful is to get a therapist or social worker who has the tools to help you to detox and heal from the abuse. Not any therapists or social worker but one who is excellent who makes you feel heard. Stay away from bad or mediocre therapists and social workers because they can do more harm than help. And even if a therapist is great for someone else it does not mean that they are great for you. You can try calling 800-656-HOPE (the 24/7 hotline should connect you to the local rape crisis center). Most centers have free counselling but even if it’s free unless it’s great, it won’t be helpful. So listen to how you feel when you speak with them and always give yourself permission to hang up or leave if the person is not being helpful. If the hotline was not helpful, you can always try the same hotline again later because volunteers change shifts. Or if that repeatedly does not work you can try another hotline at https://centers.rainn.org/ or Googling around to find help. And do not stop looking until you find someone who is helpful for you, no matter how long that takes.

      You are not alone, 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually assaulted by the time they reach 18, so it is not only your dad doing this, unfortunately there are tons of dads and moms who have sexually assaulted their children. But the good news is that because people are talking about it more, there are places where people can heal and I think that incidents of sexually assaulted children is becoming less, though we may be hearing about it more. It wasn’t that long ago, when children who spoke out about it were considered crazy, so we have come a long way in the past decades in healing to end child sexual abuse.

      You can heal from what your dad did to you. Keep taking action to heal and your life will get better and better. Feel free to write back with questions, answers and updates. Updates give other survivors hope.

  15. Does anyone on here have a drama about a true or even a made up story about not only a son but also his dad who both were able to be healed of a gay incest relationship and have a good healthy father and son relationship?

    1. Hi Darrell,

      I do not know of any story like that, though there could be a story like that. At first when I go your comment I assumed that you were the son but then I realized that you could also be the father, so I will reply to both possibilities.

      If you are the son: a concern that I have is the phrase “gay incest relationship”. It was not a gay relationship, it was an adult raping a child. Even if your father made you feel like it was consensual, it was not consensual. Even if you were manipulated to think that was what you wanted. The problem is that in a family where there is little real caring about a child, children will take any scraps they can, which sometimes even includes being raped. Even if it continued into adulthood. A relationship cannot be healed unless your father has done a ton of healing and made real apology and real amends. So if you want a relationship with him and he has done no healing, it would be detrimental for you to even be around him. For now I would recommend so that you can heal, that you distance yourself from him and do not talk to him at all for a while. I am sorry to say that because your question sounded like you really want to be around him but in order for you to have an awesome and healthy life, you need to heal and in order to heal, you need to not be around the person who raped you, while you are healing. At other times he may have been a super cool father to be around but if he raped you, the truth is that he was not a father at all because real fathers protect their children from being raped, not rape their children.

      So if you are the son, it would be great to find help to heal from the abuse. It can be helpful is to get a therapist or social worker who has the tools to help you to detox and heal from the abuse. Not any therapists or social worker but one who is excellent who makes you feel heard. Stay away from bad or mediocre therapists and social workers because they can do more harm than help. And even if a therapist is great for someone else it does not mean that they are great for you. You can try calling 800-656-HOPE (the 24/7 hotline should connect you to the local rape crisis center). Most centers have free counselling but even if it’s free unless it’s great, it won’t be helpful. So listen to how you feel when you speak with them and always give yourself permission to hang up or leave if the person is not being helpful. And do not stop looking until you find someone who is helpful for you, no matter how long that takes. You can also try calling another hotline listed at https://centers.rainn.org/ or google around.

      There are also a ton of resources for males who have been abused at http://www.malesurvivor.org they even have workshops (and I have read they have financial assistance if that is an issue for you). As you heal, you can become the father to yourself that you always wanted your biological father to be to you. I have some ideas about self parenting on my post “Surviving Mother’s Day and the Holidays” at http://healingfromsexualabuse.com/ideas-for-healing-from-abuse/surviving-mothers-day-and-the-holidays/ and there are more posts about my ideas for healing at http://healingfromsexualabuse.com/category/ideas-for-healing-from-abuse/ As you heal your life will get better and better, so keep taking those actions. You also cannot get your father to heal, he has to want to heal by himself.

      So keep taking action to heal and that feeling of lack from your relationship with your father should slowly go away and your life should get better and better. Healing can take a while but it does not need to be a lifelong process if you get the right kind of help and take the right actions to heal.

      If you are the father:

      It is not OK to call the relationship with your son a “gay relationship” it was a relationship where you abused and raped your son, it was not gay, it was 100% abuse. The best thing you can do is to apologize and make amends to your son and possibly pay a huge amount of money to him, possibly all of his living expenses and even more so he can live well (though even if you pay for his living expenses), you still have no right to talk with him or have any contact with him. The expenses should be paid through possibly a trust or to a bank so that your son does not ever have to have any contact with you, ever. And these should be paid forever, not just for a few years, unless your son does not want your money but even then he has the right to change his mind. Though there is no amount of money that makes raping your child OK. You also need to not be around your son until you have done a ton of healing and then only if your son has also done a ton of healing and only if your son wants to be around you. He has the right to never have any contact with you again and you still should pay financial damages. You lost your right to have a son when you raped him.

      That being said, everyone can heal, if you are truly sorry and willing to make the amends that are necessary, you can heal too.

      It is also not for you to get anyone to forgive you, your job is to make amends and to heal yourself. As victims of assault they need to be in control of the amends process, so it’s the amends they want not the amends you want. Your son may never want to see you again or he may want to see you again. They need to be 100% in control of their lives.

      Here is an article from called “Perpetrators are People Too” from Psychology Today https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/get-out-your-mind/201410/perpetrators-are-people-too it is about domestic violence but I think the points are valid for sexual assault also. It also does not talk about how woman can also be perpetrators of domestic violence.

      Here is an http://www.stopitnow.org/help-guidance/faqs/faqs-on-sex-offender-treatment about how people who have sexually assaulted children can heal. And there is a hotline that is M-F 12pm – 6pm EST at 1.888.PREVENT as always when reaching out for help, if the people are not helpful, hang up and try again later. They might even be mean, which is not OK or they may be very helpful or somewhere in between. If they are continually not helpful, keep searching until you find help. You need to only work with people who believe you can heal but that is also only if you really want to heal and are willing to make the amends. And there will be professionals who do not believe that you can heal and those are the people you need to stay away from unless they are calling you out because they do not believe that you are sincere in being sorry and wanting to make amends. Be vigilant until you get the help that you need and take all of the actions that you need to do to heal and make amends to the people you harmed.

      You might also look into http://www.malesurvivor.org they have a bunch of resources on their page and workshops. So look around that site and see if there are helpful resources there. IIf that is helpful great, if not keep looking. Do not give up even though there will be people and organizations who will not help you because you perpetrated against another, keep looking until you find great help. You need to feel horrible about what you did and the impact it had on your son and your family. That also includes never perpetrating against any boys or girls ever again and making amends to everyone you abused.

      Anyone can heal but they have to be willing to take responsibility for their own actions and they have to take the actions they need to to heal, healing can take a while but it does not have to be a lifetime process.

  16. i am still trying to forget but i m still having a hard time because my mom let it happen from age 7 .8.9 i am now 51 years old how can i get it out of my head also my dad walked away

    1. HOW DO I FORGET THE PERSON WHO MOLESTED ME FOR THREE YEARS NOW I AM 51 AND CANNOT FOR GET HIM OR MY MOM FOR LETTING IT HAPPEN AND A DAD WHO WALKED AWAY

        1. Hi Brenda,

          The first thing is that trying to get yourself to forget the event does not work, it only makes the memory and the emotions connected to the memory, scream more to be heard. What I think is much more helpful is to detox from the trauma. You can try reading and doing the exercises from my post “What to Do When You Feel Triggered” at http://healingfromsexualabuse.com/ideas-for-healing-from-abuse/what-to-do-when-you-feel-triggered/ So when you feel depression or fear or any other extreme emotion, you can try those exercises. You can also, remind yourself that you are in a place now where they cannot get to you, if that is true for you. I also highly recommend not having any communication or contact with your mother or your father because that can trigger feeling awful and they also lost the right to have you as their daughter when they abused you and allowed the abuse to happen to you. Keep hugging yourself or cuddling up in soft blankets if that’s helpful and remind yourself that you will be ok. Remind yourself that you survived the abuse and you can make it through healing from the abuse. If it is helpful allow yourself to breath deeply. Also when you get triggered, think of a certain color and look around for every place that you can see that color, that can help, deflect your brain from thinking about the abuse.

          You can also read about some ideas I wrote about self parenting on my post “Surviving Mother’s Day and the Holidays” at http://healingfromsexualabuse.com/ideas-for-healing-from-abuse/surviving-mothers-day-and-the-holidays/ I think it is extremely difficult to heal and detox from the abuse, if you are around the people who abused you or did not protect you from the abuse. The is also healthy to let go of the people in your life who do not believe you or support you in healing from the abuse.

          When you find that you have a hard time sleeping, you can have ready a list of things that could help you to sleep that have worked in the past, though I do not recommend sleeping pills because they do not help people to get restful sleep. http://www.doctoroz.com/article/what-you-dont-know-about-your-sleeping-pills

          There is a thing called Imagery Rehearsal Therapy where you rewrite your nightmare with a positive ending. There is more information in this article at https://www.verywell.com/imagery-rehearsal-therapy-2797304

          It could also be very helpful to find an excellent therapist or social worker who has the tools to help you to heal. This website list a bunch of resources in Toronto. http://sec.sa.utoronto.ca/resources/sexual-assault-information-counselling-and-emergency-referrals/ There is even one that has a self defence listed, which I think, can be very helpful in the process of survivors healing. As always, when you are reaching out for help, if the person you are speaking with is not supportive, hang up and try the hotline again later or try another resource or excuse yourself from the room if it’s an in person interview. Great therapists and social workers with the tools to help you can is important but bad or mediocre therapist can set do more harm than help. Keep looking for help until you get excellent help and also remember that a great therapist for one person may not be a great therapist for you so listen to how you feel around the people you are thinking of working with. Some of those people t the website I gave you may also be offering free counselling (which still needs to be excellent to be helpful.)

          Also I personally think it is important to not take antidepressants or antipsychotics or thinks like Saint John’ Wort because they only mask the symptoms and can have terrible side effects, even taking vitamins for trauma is not helpful and could cause harm. Here is one of many articles on about depression and the myth of chemical imbalance http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2003/11/it-prozac-or-placebo and http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/04/06/frightening-story-behind-the-drug-companies-creation-of-medical-lobotomies.aspx You can also look at Dr. Loren Mosher’s work who actually cured people of schizophrenic symptoms without drugs at his Soteria House and if people who are schizophrenic can heal without drugs, you certainly can as well. Here is a great article he wrote about his experiences in psychiatry in general and why people suffer and how to help them http://www.moshersoteria.com/articles/soteria-associates/ and a video of him http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnryFXxl7yU .

          It is extremely important that if you are on drugs that you go off them very slowly and with a doctor or a great alternative health care practitioner’s supervision. When you go off the drugs you may feel even worse but it is the body detoxing from the drug’s toxin’s not chemical imbalance and it may depending on your body and what you are taking take a while to detox from those drugs. When detoxing your health care practitioner may recommend drugs, herbs or vitamins that can help minimize withdrawals and the drug detox process. In this case they can be helpful and should be considered.

          If you keep reaching out for help and take action to detox from the abuse, you can heal. Healing can take a while but it does not have to take a lifetime. Feel free to write back with any questions or updates.

  17. I am about to turn 60 years old this year and have spent the major portion of my life unable to function from severe depression and social anxiety. I have found faith in God and an amazing husband and a family of children that are wonderful people I respect and enjoy. I minister to children from 3 yrs to Middle School at my church, and babysit grandchildren with enjoyment, but most of my days and nights are spent in my home alone with my griefs. I am grateful that I can rise to the need of these people in love, but hate that I am of service to no one including myself for the majority of my hours and days. My loving husband has provided opportunities for me to chase some of my dreams, but I always seem to fail in dramatic ways that I fear are of my own subconscious. I cannot get distance from my emotions and I cannot be disciplined in anything. I find myself now pushing even my husband away to spare him the downer of my emotions. He is not complaining, always willing to do what he can, but he does not know how to help unless someone else defines what is helpful. Which basically is me, and I cannot care for myself much less tell him who to help me. I feel so guilty for this. When someone arrives unexpectedly I am deeply ashamed of the poverty and mess of my self and my home to be revealed. For some reason, it is worse than it has ever been before. I hardly trust any adult anymore. I realize the coping mechanisms of the past are now very much part of the problem. But how does one escape the guilt, shame and pain of being so weak? There was one incident of sexual abuse in my childhood (outside of the family) but my family was very dysfunctional. Clinical depression and social anxiety runs in the family’s genes. There were comments from both parents that greatly increased my guilt, although they did not know about the abuse. Clinical depression and social anxiety runs in my husband’s family also. One member killed himself. Some of my children have received these same genetic disorders. How does one “detox” from the events that have crippled one? How much guilt is from personal failure and how much excuse is genetic and behavioral patterns? And how much of the parental criticism about laziness applies? I am coming undone, despite medications, and despite faith in God and despite a few years of counseling where it seems all I did was complain and cry. Please help me.

    1. Hi Erin Bailey,

      Clinical depression and social anxiety are frequently symptoms of sexual assault and abuse that are behaviours that can be passed down from generation to generation. And you did mention that you parents were abusive. Despite the pharmaceutical industry trying to say that it is chemical or from certain genes they have yet to have conclusive studies that show chemical imbalance let alone genes that cause those emotional behaviours but studies show that abuse does cause those things. http://healthland.time.com/2012/07/02/physical-punishment-increases-your-kids-risk-of-mental-illness/

      First if you’ve been taking drugs to help with those symptoms, look at the side effects label and you will find that severe depression, anxiety, liver damage, tardive dyskinesia are side effects from the drugs (antidepressants and antipsychotics) that could also be causing some of your emotional issues. A great article about drugs is at http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2003/11/it-prozac-or-placebo also if you look at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnryFXxl7yU (he successfully treated people with ‪Schizophrenia‬ without drugs, if people suffering from ‪Schizophrenia‬ can heal without drugs, you can heal from severe depression and anxiety.)

      So if you are taking those drugs it can actually make severe depression and social anxiety worse from the drug side effects. But if you are taking those drugs, it is important to only go off them with an excellent doctor or excellent alternative healthcare supervising your withdrawal and the withdrawal must be done very slowly. Also it is important to know that when you are detoxing from those drugs, you may or may not have more emotions come up but that is the side effect from detoxing from the drug and not chemical imbalance. (Frequently the withdrawal side effects are misdiagnosed as chemical imbalance.)

      So what are some things you can do to heal? My post “What to Do When You Feel Triggered” at http://healingfromsexualabuse.com/ideas-for-healing-from-abuse/what-to-do-when-you-feel-triggered/ has ideas on what you can do when you feel extreme emotions, such as severe depression and anxiety from your past. It has tools to help you to detox from past traumas. Also look at your body posture, try standing with your arms held high as if cheering for a huge success or even cheer for a huge success and try to be sad while holding that same posture (you should notice that in order to get sad you have to pull your body in have your hands not so straight in the air, slightly slouch). Also, if you are able to, brisk walks while singing sings loudly that make you smile, might help. Singing the songs and getting into the songs can detract your brain from focusing on things that stress you out or depress you. These can all help with day to day moments but I think to permanently detox from the abuse, you need to get great help from an excellent therapist or social worker. People who have the tools to help you to heal and not just stuff the past in the past do try quick fixes that don;t work such as getting yourself to forgive the perpetrator.  An Advocate for Abuse Survivors once said, “Healing may result in forgiveness but forgiveness does not bring healing, it only covers over the wounds allowing them to fester.”

      You can also try doing the workbook “Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron. It has a ton of great exercises that can help you to lived a more balanced life.

      It is unacceptable and shows there may be other things going on in your family, if when they found out you abused, they said things that increased your guilt, that is very sick.

      Unless you get an excellent counsellor, who has the tools to help you to heal, you can do counselling for years and sometimes if the counsellor or therapist is mediocre or bad, you can get worse instead of better. Be vigilant, in your search for help. To get help, you can try calling 1-800-656-HOPE which is a 24/7 hotline that connects you with a local resource center who may or may not be helpful. If the person you are talking with is not helpful, hang up and try again later or try another helpline at centers.rainn.org keep reaching out for help until you get great help for yourself. If that’s not helpful keep googling around to find a great therapist, remember that even if the therapist is great for someone else, they might not be great for you. Do not stop until you find a person with the tools to help you to heal.

      It is time to return the shame that you feel back to the person it belongs to, the person who abused you and your parents who did not protect you but instead shamed you. How sick does a parent have to be to make their child feel guilt about being abused. Extremely sick. Just say to yourself every time you feel shame, this shame does not belong to me, it belongs to the person who abused me and my parents who tried to give me their guilt. It is probably best not to spent time with your parents anymore because being around sick people does not help you to heal, instead it helps you to stay sick. As for your children, the more you heal, the more you will be able to help your children to heal and without drugs.

      You can heal and have a great life, if you take the actions to get great help and detox from the abuse. Please feel free to write back with any questions comments or updates.

  18. Yeup, that’s me…two of my older brothers sexually abused me…one worse than the other. The one only…(edited by blogger) when I was about 13/14 and commented…(edited by blogger). It happened when he was driving me home from the bus stop and asked…(edited by blogger). Brother #2 did it worse…he actually…(edited by blogger). This went on for 6 months or a year, maybe, I can’t remember. I’m 48 now and have never spoken about these events to anyone except my ex-husband..who treated the confiding in him as me coming from a fucked-up, redneck family. After that response, I just never told anyone else and kept it to myself. I’m researching all I can about whether or not I should confront both of my brothers. I’ll be honest, I’m scared to confront them..especially brother #2 because he is a total asshole to me to this day and due to my whole family being in a huge fight over our land, I’m afraid if I say something now he’ll convince people that I’m a liar. Brother #1 has fallen under brother number two’s spell and, because he is also guilty of abusing me, he’ll probably back any lashing out brother #2 will most likely give. For the most part, I don’t think about the abuse and, as a Christian, I have forgiven them. I’m a successful career woman in a very loving relationship with an amazing man…no, he doesn’t know about this part of my past. But other times I find my thoughts consumed by the horrid memories…I seriously do not know what to do

    1. Hi M,

      I am sorry that that happened to you. It is not ok for brothers to abuse their sisters or anyone to abuse anyone. The problem with you keeping your brother’s secrets, is that it’s not your secrets to keep. The secret along with their shame belongs to them and not to you. Secrets and shame always belong to perpetrators and not their victims.

      When you have healed your thoughts will no longer be consumed with the horrid memories. You will have detoxed from the trauma and your thoughts will be more focused in the present. You can try doing the exercises on my post “What to Do When You Feel Triggered” at http://healingfromsexualabuse.com/ideas-for-healing-from-abuse/what-to-do-when-you-feel-triggered/ and also doing the workbook “Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron has been very helpful to some other survivors.

      Another thing that can be quite helpful is to get a therapist or social worker who has the tools to help you to detox and heal from the abuse. Not any therapists or social worker but one who is excellent who makes you feel heard. Stay away from bad or mediocre therapists and social workers because they can do more harm than help. And even if a therapist is great for someone else it does not mean that they are great for you. You can try calling 800-656-HOPE (the 24/7 hotline should connect you to the local rape crisis center). Most centers have free counselling but even if it’s free unless it’s great, it won’t be helpful. So listen to how you feel when you speak with them and always give yourself permission to hang up or leave if the person is not being helpful. And do not stop looking until you find someone who is helpful for you, no matter how long that takes.

      Before you confront your brothers, you need to ask yourself what you want to achieve by confronting them. If you just want to speak your truth no matter how they will take it and what they will say to you, then that might be helpful. But if you want them to admit what they did to you and even apologize, that will most likely not happen. They may say you are crazy, you made everything up, you “wanted” it, etc. If you do choose to confront them, I would recommend bringing a person with you who supports you and believes you and will be cheering for you speaking your truth. You can also plan it with your therapist or social worker. Another option is to write letters to them that you never plan to mail. But it is up to you. There is a chance he might try to convince people that you are a liar. Perpetrators rarely want to admit that they’ve done anything wrong and if he’s still acting like an asshole, that’s not a great sign that he will admit anything to you.

      It also seems like if you have not told your partner, that’s holding back on being truly intimate with him. I understand that the last time you told your husband it did not go very well. But him saying that your family is fucked up, it does sounds like your family was messed up. Your brothers assaulted you (someone assaulted your brothers because children do not just start assaulting people unless they were first assaulted). No one protected you. Though sexual assault happens in all social classes. Unless your husband said mean things about you or inferred mean things about you, it could of been his way of dealing with hearing that something awful happened to a person that he loved. But I was not there and would need more details about his response, if I misunderstood your story.

      When it comes to getting yourself to forgive the perpetrators, no matter what religion you come from, I have never seen it help a person to heal. I have seen it get survivors to stuff down their feelings about the abuse and even lie to themselves that now that they have forgiven, they are fine or should be fine.  An Advocate for Abuse Survivors once said, “Healing may result in forgiveness but forgiveness does not bring healing, it only covers over the wounds allowing them to fester.” You can read more about forgiveness and healing on my post at http://healingfromsexualabuse.com/ideas-for-healing-from-abuse/do-i-need-to-forgive-to-heal-from-abuse/

      I would recommend doing what you need to do for the land thing and then not ever being around your brothers or anyone who supports your brothers’ action of abusing you after the land stuff is complete, if the land is important to you. If not, then distance yourself now. You will find out who people truly are when you speak the truth about what happened to you as a survivor of sexual assault. The people who say things like, I am so sorry to hear that happened to you or are sad with empathy or ask how they can support you in healing or other supportive things and their actions match their supportive statements, those are the people you want in your life. But those who say things like you’re a liar your brothers would never do that or you must have provoked them or forgive and forget (you cannot forget because those memories will scream to be heard until you detox from the abuse and screaming to be heard can also be in the form of extreme emotions such as depression, road rage, etc) or say they were just boys or other unsupportive things are people you need to distance yourself from.

      Keep taking action until you get the help you need and have detoxed from the abuse. Feel free to write back with any questions or updates. Updates give other survivors hope.

      1. Thank you, Amy. I’ve read and reread your response and have come to a few conclusions.

        1) I will not confront either of my brothers. Before you even wrote back to me, I knew that the asshole brother would never admit what he did. He doesn’t admit his guilt in ANYTHING he’s ever done in his life, instead shifts the blame onto everyone else. I know in my heart that he would call me a liar and cause all kinds of other troubles for me in my family.

        2) I will tell my boyfriend…at some point. I’m pretty sure he’ll just keep loving me as he does because he truly is a wonderful man.

        3) I will also tell my sister, who is also my best friend and my “mom” (our real mom died in a car accident when I was 2 years old and my sister was 8). I have a feeling that she was abused by the asshole brother as well. Not 100% certain, but there’s been a few statements made here and there over the last year or so that leads me to believe this.

        4) That said…it is the land issue that is my trigger. My dad left our home place to 6 of us; me, my sister and 4 brothers. I am the youngest, my sister the next oldest and the 4 boys all older than us. The asshole brother is the ring-leader in all of the legal, ethical and moral fights we are currently in. It’s a long, drawn-out story with many facets but the bottom line comes down to this; he is nothing but a big bully on the playground as he has always been and I refuse to let him push me, and my sister, around any longer. Legally, we could sue three of our older brothers and we would win. I know this fact because I’ve consulted a lawyer and we are 100% in the right as far as the law is concerned. Ethically and morally, we know we are right as well so that is something we can be proud of. The 4th brother is Switzerland…totally neutral and trying to do what is right without making the situation worse than it already is. Which brings me to my final point…it’s me and my sister fighting the bullies on the playground. Why are they so pissed off at us and taking their guilt out on us? Simple: A) we are women and how dare we stand up for ourselves! and B) We are the youngest in the family and how dare we stand up for ourselves!

        I appreciate all you’ve written to me. I’m still not sure how to completely detox the abuse out of me…can you ever truly, 100% get rid of all of that horrid shit inside of you? Forgiveness is key…but you’re right – I’ll never forget. And forgiveness doesn’t mean that I’m stuffing it deep inside. How can I stuff it deep inside when I’m faced with the triggers of the land issue and fighting the bullies on the playground on an almost-daily basis these days?

        Who knows…all hell may break loose in my world before this is all “over”…but in the end, I know I’ll be okay because I’m very strong, I’m a survivor,…(edited by blogger).

        Thanks again,
        M

        1. Hi M,

          Consider getting an attorney, so you don’t need to deal with the land stuff. It can cost money but is probably worth the peace of mind. You can keep reminding yourself that the attorney is taking care of it and that could even get rid of the situation of having to talk with your brother at all, I believe in that case your brother would have to talk with your attorney rather than you Depending on how it is set up, I think it may even be illegal for your brother to contact you (I’m not sure but think that is the case). Also make sure you get an excellent attorney, one who sounds like they are really on your side, and has the ability to win for you. You could possibly also look for a contingency based terms with the attorney, though I think the attorney in that case would take more money in that case. Here are some thoughts on contingency with inheritance on Avvo (also a great website to look for attorneys on. https://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/are-there-any-attorneys-who-take-probate-cases-on–1274226.html You can even look for attorneys that deal with both sexual abuse and inheritances, so they may have a better understanding about what your going through or maybe not, it is up to you. Though I am not an attorney and this should not be considered legal advise and I am not responsible for the outcome.

          The only person you need to forgive is yourself, forgiving the perpetrator in order to heal never works. To help with the detox try to repeatedly do the exercises at “What to Do When You Feel Triggered” athttp://healingfromsexualabuse.com/ideas-for-healing-from-abuse/what-to-do-when-you-feel-triggered/ and also doing the workbook “Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron has been very helpful to some other survivors. Also find a great therapists or social worker to help you to detox and do the actions that need to be done to heal, that should help. Healing can take a long time but it does not need to take a lifetime if you get the right help and take action. So be patient with the healing process.

  19. Hey not sure what to say but need advice because my heads a mess and am scared? A few days ago my ex who is a girl like me we were in a gay relationship for 5 year’s, we split last year but still close and I love her with all my heart…and other day I went out drinking with her brother and few of my mates. And her brother was staying at mine and only have a room, I thought could trust him but when i was trying to sleep he…(edited by blogger)…and I said no…he sexually assaulted me I remember thinking it didn’t happen? I feel disgusted and shame, do I tell my ex partner because it’s wrong what’s happened and will she hate and what I say

    1. Hi Jess,

      Sorry it took me so long to respond. I would tell her or have you already told her because it took me a while to respond? And if you did tell her how did it go?

      The reasons that I think it is so important to tell her are: it’s something horrible that happened to you and you are really good friends. If you don’t tell her that will be something that will be in the friendship that no one is talking about but on some level she might sense something is wrong. There also is a very good chance that he also abused her, perpetrators rarely only abuse one person once, perpetrators are usually always looking to find a person to abuse. The thing that must be remembered that if it happened to her, she may or may not remember that he abused her, so you need to keep that in mind. If she does not believe you, that still means that it could have happened to her and she has repressed the memory. I don’t think there is anyway to truly remain close to a person and keep this assault a secret, it will put a wedge in the friendship.

      Now there are a few responses that she might have, she may be horrified and feel terrible or she may not believe it and say you made it up or anywhere in between. She may also tell you about things she thinks he may have done to her. This really did happen to you, so you can’t just shove it away. Depending on how she reacts, is how your friendship will continue. She even may at first not believe you because she does not want to believe her brother did a kind of thing like that but then later tell you she’s sorry and she believes you. Be ready for any response. Be ready to take care of yourself, no matter what the response. You may want to try calling a hotline in before you talk with her if you haven’t already spoken with her. The website for the UK is http://rapecrisis.org.uk/centres.php and the hotline for the UK is 0808 802 9999 between 12 noon – 2.30pm and 7 – 9.30pm any day of the year and also between 3 – 5.30pm on weekdays. If the person that you are speaking with is not helpful, hang up and try again later or try another hotline, in the United States the hotlines are 24/7 and you can try any hotline at centers.rainn.org but you might want to evade the question about where you live if you call one out of your area. Keep trying until you get the help you need. It can also be helpful, if you find an excellent therapist to do therapy to release the trauma of being assaulted. But when looking for help, always look for an excellent therapist, a mediocre or bad therapist can cause more problems then they solve.

      Also you need to take care of yourself, so that would mean never hanging out with her brother ever again. You can if you like confront him or even have him arrested but it would be a terrible thing to do to yourself to be around him in a social setting.

      Please feel free to write back with questions, answers to my questions or any updates. Updates help give other survivors hope.

  20. thank you for sharing about forgiveness since I am tired of far too many well meaning people who so quickly include forgiveness as their idea of healing….it shocks me really when my own cousin says this.Thanks for validating who I am and what I believe.Elizabeth

    1. Hi Elizabeth Dell,

      Yey, the whole forgiveness thing is so perpetrator focused and can be very negating to the survivor. I’m not sure if you also read “Do I Need To Forgive to Heal?” post at http://healingfromsexualabuse.com/ideas-for-healing-from-abuse/do-i-need-to-forgive-to-heal-from-abuse/ it’s a whole post about forgiveness.

      I think sometimes when people want you to forgive, they don’t even want to hear what you need, they instead want you to do what they want you to do. When a survivor really needs to be asked, “What do you need from me that can help you to heal?”

  21. Hi,

    I was sexually abused by my father as a very young child. I don’t know when it started but it ended when my mother and he divorced when I was about 6. I had access to him for a short while at access centres but he kept taking me to the toilet frequently which raised concerns with the staff working there. I stopped seeing him as I was scared of him and he was an alcoholic and had been violent towards my mother in front of me.

    I didn’t see him again after that (age 6/7) when my mother and I moved away. He continued to write letters to me, send gifts etc and had my school reports. My mum even agreed to see him for a while to give him updates on how I was doing but then she couldn’t cope with seeing him anymore. I didn’t know at the time that I was being abused. It was only years later that I realised it might be wrong. I didn’t tell my mum about it until a few years later (age 9/10). I tried writing a letter to my dad to ask him to leave me and my mum alone, that I didn’t want anymore gifts, cards or any kind of contact from him anymore but he just sent the letter back.

    He still sent things at birthdays and Christmas then he stopped when I was in my teens. When I was 18 I moved back to where I came from and so did my mother. At 21 his sister tried contacting me through the Salvation Army but I panicked and ignored it thinking he was trying to contact me again. A year later I was settled with a boyfriend and decided to respond to my dads sister. Feeling more ready to hear what she had to say and to possibly see my dad but it turned out she’d tried to contact me to tell me that he had been killed in a car crash the year before. I went to pieces and didn’t know how to feel. I had a couple of counselling sessions. I got in touch with the rest of his family but I couldn’t cope with they way they portrayed him as this good guy when I was hurting so much.

    I sent them all a very angry email telling them what he’d done to me and how I felt. I really upset everyone especially his mother (my grandmother) who I think, wouldn’t read it. I took an overdose. I was signed off sick at work. I became pregnant and was too mentally ill to work so I eventually resigned.

    I’ve always had anxiety, trouble sleeping and night terrors, as an adult, nightmares. Since finding out about my fathers death I’ve suffered on and off with depression. Now I’m a mum of two I’m desperately trying to sort myself out and come to terms with everything and am currently going through psychotherapy. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done and I’m feeling emotionally drained, confused and alone. I don’t really have a relationship with any of my family anymore. Everyone is so damaged. I wish I could understand why things happened. I wish I could see my father and ask him why? Even have some sort of relationship with him. But then I feel relieved that it’s over – I’m so confused. Feel so alone. I don’t want to be a mess. I want to be strong and a role model to my children. I want to be stable not like my mother was with me when I was growing up. She was/is so depressed and hurt and damaged. Now she’s very bitter and desperate. Do I need more than psychotherapy? I’m seeing my dads sister soon to talk to her about things as she was also abused by him when she was in her teens. I’m hoping she might understand more than anyone else… I have such a complicated and damaged family. There’s so much that’s gone on. I just don’t want to feel so alone xx

    1. It is NOT your fault that your father was killed in a car crash. You owed him nothing, he stole your childhood. Even if he were still alive it would not be healthy to have a relationship with him because he is a perpetrator. Please do not blame yourself for his dying in a car accident. He was never a dad to you, real dads protect their and never violate children or adults.

      There is also a very good chance that if he still were alive he would be just as scary as he was before plus he could sexually assault your children male or female also.

      His sister may or may not be supportive of you, so be ready to take care of yourself either way and good for you for not calling her right away, you need to take care of yourself first. Can you imagine being at the funeral with everyone saying how great this pedophile was, it could have been awful.

      Will write more later but it could take a long time.

    2. Hi Amy,

      If you are anxiety, trouble sleeping, night terrors and on and off depression, then seeing an excellent therapist could be helpful. But they need to be an excellent therapist, mediocre or bad therapists are not helpful and sometimes cause more problems then they solve. Has your psychotherapist helped at all? They should be able to help you to reframe your life so things start to get better, though it could be slowly getting better but still getting better, so you don’t go to places that are as harsh to yourself as before. Also if you are taking medication, that can cause depression, anxiety, etc (it’s on the side effect label for antidepressants and anti-psychotics in the United States) and if you’re not don’t start, medication, herbs, vitamins can have really awful side effects that causes more problems than they solve. If you are taking medication and want to get off of the medication, it must be done very slowly and under the supervision of an excellent doctor or excellent alternative healthcare practitioner. And when you are withdrawing, you may experience even more emotions as your body detoxes from the drugs, it’s not chemical imbalance, it’s the body detoxing. It is unfortunate that some doctors never even read the side effect label or know about drug withdrawals.

      If your therapist is not helpful, it would be better to look for an excellent therapist. This website has a 24/7 hotline 0117 342 6999 and the website is http://www.thebridgecanhelp.org.uk/about/ which may or may not be helpful, they may also have free counselling. If the person you are speaking with is not helpful, hang up and try again later, or politely excuse yourself from the room. If you repeatedly do not get help, keep calling around until you find a great therapist for you. One who understands what you are going through and has the tools to help you. Sometimes therapist get their clients to bring up emotions in a way that only triggers the client worse and is not helpful, other times therapists can be helpful and help their client to detox from the abuse. Sometimes therapists are so noncommittal in their attitude that it would be more helpful to talk with a stuffed animal. Stuffed animals are also more helpful to talk with than mediocre or bad therapists.

      You might also want to try doing the workbook “Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron, it has some great tools in the book. You can also read my post http://healingfromsexualabuse.com/ideas-for-healing-from-abuse/what-to-do-when-you-feel-triggered/ which has tools that you can use when you feel depressed, anxiety or any other extreme emotions.

      Did you see your father’s sister? How was that?

      If your mother is bitter and desperate, she may not be a healthy person for you or your children to be around. As you heal, you will attract healthier and healthier people in your life but it can take a while. Be kind to yourself, do things that feel life giving to you and your children, things that make you smile.

      Keep taking action to heal and you can heal. Please feel free to write back with any questions, answers to my questions or updates.

  22. My father raped me at five years old and onwards my mother didn’t ask until I was ten! She really didn’t do anything but keep asking did he do it again. She would take me in her car to work and tell me to sit down low so know one would know I was there. She would bring me out a toasted cheese sandwich and a hot chocolate and tell me to walk to my friends house when it was light enough (my mother started work very early in the morning) She never talked to me about it. It went on for years. I played the part of a perfect daughter. I went on to have three amazing children that I am so in love with. This story is just to long and to hard. No one ever helped me so when it get to much I drink. Now my oldest dughter Hates me and won’t let me see my grand babies. I don’t drink that much, but I do sometimes have to many to block out my past while still trying to be the perfect daughter. My parents are happy to tell me how wonderful my grandchildren are. I am heartbroken as they ruined their family and now I am the outcast while I watch them ruin my family. What do I do ??? Please someone help me !!?

    1. Hi Just No One,

      I am sorry to hear your story, that is not ok that your mother never protected you and it is not ok that your father raped you. It might be time for you to stop trying to be the perfect daughter. It does not sound like trying to be the perfect daughter ever really worked for you. Also in order for you to have the best chance to see your grandchildren and protect them from your father (pedophiles rarely stop abusing children) it might be a great time to stop drinking. That would be the first step, unless you want to keep going down the same path you’ve been heading down. If others in your family think it’s a problem, even if they are sick themselves, drinking could be a problem. It’s time to feel your feelings and tell the truth of what happened but first get sober. After you get sober, then you can detox from the abuse. Do not let anyone tell you that you have a chemical imbalance and that’s why you drink because then you will only be numbing out your feelings with prescription drugs instead of alcohol. You need to be sober to detox from the abuse and to be a grandmother. If drinking is not that big of a deal in your life, then it shouldn’t be hard to stop and even if it is a huge deal in your life, you can still stop if you get the right kind of help and make the decision to stop drinking. And most likely there will be people who will try to tell you that medication will help, but as a person who wants to numb out, I strongly recommend staying away from them but if you are already taking the medication, only get off of it under a excellent doctor or alternative health care practitioner supervision and the medication needs to be stopped extremely slowly. Because drugs have side effects of suicide, depression, liver damage, etc sometimes when you withdraw, the emotional side effects get worse but it is the body detoxing though it might last a while. Which is why if you can get an excellent alternative healthcare person to help, they may be able to give you things that can make the withdrawals less.

      To get sober you can try Alcoholics Anonymous http://www.aa.org.au/ or even Narcotics Anonymous http://na.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=96&Itemid=135&lang=en the later will be most likely be more supportive of you not using prescription drugs. Keep reminding yourself that you are getting sober to protect your grandchildren from your father and your mother who did nothing to protect you and will most likely do nothing to protect your grandchildren. There are other options to stop drinking, hypnosis and I also came upon this link in Australia https://smartrecoveryaustralia.com.au/sshh-the-message-about-alcohol-we-rarely-hear/ that has a few resources.

      Also if you want to change your name from Just No One to something that tells yourself and others that you matter feel free to do so but so I know that it’s you, please mention in the comment that you were formerly “Just No One”.

      After you have taken these steps, reply with a comment and I will write more ideas for you. Or you can also feel free to write updates because taking these steps may also have tools to help detox from the abuse.

  23. hi, honestly I’ve been feeling guilty for weeks maybe months now. I have a boyfriend I’ve been in a relationship with him for about 3 months now. on the other hand I have an older brother he’s 18 now. one day my boyfriend texted me saying he was going to shower and I said okay so I was in bed just on my phone and my brother walked in…(edited by blogger) he (my brother) yelled at me called me the worst sister and stormed out and I started panicking having anxiety and feeling so much guilt because I have a boyfriend. I told my boyfriend what happened but I still feel guilt and this is not the first time this has happened with my brother. It’s happened a couple times before but the thing is i don’t know if this happened again while I was in a relationship with my boyfriend. But I was feeling guilty and blaming myself for not stopping it on time. My boyfriend was so frustrated and angry I’m surprised he still even in a relationship with me. this happened a couple months ago I assume and it still bothers me till this day and my boyfriend doesn’t like talking about it. so I don’t know what to do. I feel even more guilt because I don’t know if this happened another time while I was in a relationship. But if I did I’m 100% sure I would’ve felt guilt like right now, I keep trying to tell myself, no I’m just a human people make mistakes but it’s like my brain is obsessed with this. I need help. I need advice. I need to know how to get over this guilt and stop feeling bad for me and my boyfriend and stop feeling regret and guilt. please help

    1. Hi Karine,

      Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. It sounds like you are a minor and it also is possible that you were manipulated to do things with your brother and your brother is trying to blame you for it. Not your fault. Because this could have started before you remember it starting and because it’s been happening for a while, it’s like you were trained to not say no. You feel like you could have said no, but I think you were not really able to say no. You are also trained, in a sense, to blame yourself, even though your brother manipulated you, to do these things with him.

      You need to get to heal from what your brother has been doing to you. Your boyfriend probably does not understand that you basically wee not allowed to say no, just my theory. You can try talking to school counsellors or even try 800-656-HOPE. Keep looking until you find helpful people. A helpful person, will not blame you for what your brother did and help you to heal. They will be sad that this happened to you. If anyone ever tries to say that you are crazy, or you wanted it, or you are promiscuous or that it never really happened or forgive and forget or anything else putting the blame on you, run. Even if those people are therapist or family members, they are not helpful people to be around.

      Practice saying no. You might even want to take a self defence class for survivors of abuse. Stop blaming yourself and instead keep reaching out for help to heal from what happened to you. You do not have a chemical imbalance, so stay away from people who want to prescribe drugs, herbs or vitamins and definitely stay away from irreversibly damaging and unethical though legal things like ECT.

      Keep looking for great help until you find it. Going to a mediocre or bad therapist can be more harmful than helpful, so keep looking until you get a great therapist who can help you to heal. And stop blaming yourself for what your brother manipulated you to do. (though it’s easier said than done). The shame, guilt, regret, etc should belong to your brother and not to you.

      When it comes to your boyfriend, allow yourself to take time to heal. Maybe if you can really get that you were manipulated into the things with your brother, then maybe you boyfriend will get that too. And while your healing it may be easier to take a break from dating, but of course that’s up to you.

      If you take action to heal from what your brother manipulated you to do, you can let go of all of your brother’s crap and have an awesome life filled with great relationships.

      Feel free to write back with any questions or updates but please leave out all sexual details. Updates give other survivors hope.

  24. Hello,
    Reading your story resonated with me. I also have PTSD as diagnosed by several therapists. I do not recall the abuse itself. It comes to me in fragments. Certain things will trigger the abuse. A smell, an autumn crisp day. I have all the symptoms of someone who has been abused. Very promiscuous. Shame, secrets, fear… Not being able to focus at times.
    Distance Running has helped me a great deal with staying focused. Understanding the the abuse is what urges me to feel promiscuous and by recognizing that -has kept sex at bay. However, it also causes me to shut off all intimate contacts. And certainly, that’s not what I want. I want to give relationships a real chance. And be open to it. But this fear that I’m not good enough-can wreak havoc in my mind and spirit.
    This deep dark secret that sits inside of me. I only hope time doesn’t give up on me and my spiritual journey to grow from this awful trauma that’s plagued me since childhood.

    1. Hi Mary,

      I am sorry to hear that this happened to you and that you have PTSD. As you heal the symptoms of PTSD can become less and less. Have you read my post “What to Do When You Feel Triggered” at http://healingfromsexualabuse.com/ideas-for-healing-from-abuse/what-to-do-when-you-feel-triggered/ ? It had tools that can help you to detox from the trauma of the abuse and help you to cope with being triggered. Detoxing from the trauma can help with the PTSD also.

      Feeling promiscuous can be a symptom of the abuse, so you do not need to shame yourself for having those feelings. I recommend finding a great therapist who can help you to heal from the abuse. It is important to get a therapist that is great for you because an ok or bad therapist can cause more problems the they solve. And even if a therapist is great for someone else it does not mean that they are great for you. You can try calling 800-656-HOPE (the 24/7 hotline should connect you to the local rape crisis center). Most centers have free counselling but even if it’s free unless it’s great, it won;t be helpful. So listen to how you feel when you speak with them and always give yourself permission to hang up or leave if the person is not being helpful. And do not stop looking until you find someone who is helpful for you, no matter how long that takes.

      It is great that distance running has helped you to stay focused. It is also great to read that understanding where these thoughts come from has also helped you. That is a great start.

      It can take sometime healing before you are ready to have that intimate relationship, so focus on that first. If not that relationship can just trigger other feeling of the abuse.

      Whoever is coming up in your memory fragments, I would distance myself from those people. Another way to see who the healthy and unhealthy people in your life are, if you talk about the abuse and they blame you, call you crazy or say things like forgive and forget, those are people you do not want in your life, even if they’re family, friends from childhood, etc. You do not need to be around those people and it will make it more difficult to detox from the abuse and heal if you are around those people. Even if a therapist or person who is suppose to help survivors says those kind of things, run. They will not be helpful at all.

      I also think that because you are just getting small fragments of memory that watching my play “An Angel Cried A Tear Last Night” my story of remembering and beginning to heal from abuse might be very helpful for you.

      You can heal, if you take action and work with the right people who can help you to heal. Please feel free to write back with any questions or updates. Updates can give other survivors hope.

  25. Hey i am a father whose daughter were sexually abused by their brothers its been about two months and they have started counseling. You know as a father i would always to think protect my girls outside of my home and it was happening right under my nose. Everyday i deal with the thoughts of how i failed to protect them and how i failed to keep them safe. I dont know maybe this is something you could help me with.

    1. Hi Frankie,

      I am so sorry to here that happened to your daughters, I can only imagine how horrible that would be to find that out. I am sorry that it took a while to respond, how are your children doing now? Although you were not able to protect them, your being there for them now means a ton. If you read other survivor comments, you will see that many parents choose to never be there for their children and side with the abusers.

      Many counselling centers also have counselling to help families to cope with what happened to their children. You will need to find a way to forgive yourself for not realizing what was happening and if appropriate you can tell your daughters how sorry you are that you did not realize that was happening to them and also ask how you can support them in healing and then just listen.

      To get help for yourself, you can also try calling 1-800-656-HOPE which is a 24/7 hotline that connects you with a local resource center who may or may not be helpful. If the person you are talking with is not helpful, hang up and try again later or try another helpline at centers.rainn.org keep reaching out for help until you get great help for yourself and your children. Has your daughters’ therapist(s) been helpful for them? Are they starting to heal? The process for healing can take a while but it does not have to take a lifetime, I also highly recommend staying away from drugs, herbs, vitamins, etc when it comes to helping with emotions from the abuse. They all can have really bad side effects and also stuff down the emotions that the person needs to detox from. If your daughters’ therapist(s) is helpful for them they might have a recommendation of a therapist who may be able to help you to cope which what happened to your children but remember even if the therapist is highly recommended, it does not mean they are the right therapist for you, so keep looking until you find great therapist that can help you.

      What also needs to be addressed is who sexually abused your boys. Children do not sexually abuse unless they have been sexually assaulted, so that needs to be figured out also. And the abuser can be male or female or they may have been abused by more than one person. They also may or may not remember being abused. The brain can sometimes blackout traumatic memories but your boys also need to get help to heal. The hotline or others may also have suggestions for therapists to help your boys to heal. Your boys and you should have different therapists from your daughter’s therapists. Keep looking until everyone is getting the help they need to heal.

      Please feel free to write back with any questions or updates.

  26. met my step dad at age 14. He was attracted to me from the first time he saw me. He told me that we were having talks about sex because…(edited by blogger) eventually…(edited by blogger) He would say stuff on the phone that indicated he was attracted to me. A couple of days ago I finally stood up for myself but I think I’ve lost my mum. She does not think he’s done anything wrong. Is she right? What is what he has done called? I feel stupid for putting up with this for 21 years but I feared losing my mum’s support and my relationship with her.

    1. Hi Anon,

      You have done nothing wrong. Your step dad is a very sick man. He is a pedophile. It is great that you stood up for yourself.

      Unfortunately, your mother is also a very sick person, if she thinks that you step dad did nothing wrong. She is a perpetrator’s enabler and that is not ok. She thinks that it is ok to sexually assault children, that is very sick. So what really happened is that you found out that your mother was not a real mom to you because real moms would be horrified and deeply hurt to find out that their child was sexually assaulted. Real moms would confront your step dad and, if they were still married, get a divorce from them. A sick person would tell their child that the pedophile did nothing wrong.

      You don’t need to feel stupid for putting up with his abuse for 21 years because he groomed you to be abused. And you never had a mom who would protect you. Victims of abuse can get stuck in a feeling of helplessness, like they first were when they were a child and freeze and not be able to protect themselves, even as adults.

      By confronting your step dad, you were able to break out of that feeling of being frozen in terror or fear. So that is a great step towards healing.

      Next thing to do is to get away from people who are not supportive of you and unfortunately that would be your mother. You may have had a bunch of great times with your mother, she may have been supportive of other things, but a person who is unwilling to protect their child from abuse is, at their core, not a healthy person for you to be around or a real mother. Real moms and dads protect their children from sexual assault and other abuses, you did not have that.

      Another thing that will be helpful, is to get help in healing from the abuse. You could start by going to http://www.rapecrisis.org.uk/ or calling 0808 802 9999 between 12 – 2.30pm and 7 – 9.30pm. See if they are helpful, if so that is great, if not hang up and try again later (volunteers change shifts). If you repeatedly do not find a great person at the hotline, try shopping around for a great therapist. Ok therapists and bad therapists can cause more problems rather than help. Healing does not need to be a life-long process, if you work with a person that has the tools to help you to heal. Keep taking action until you find a great therapists and then do what needs to be done to heal. So listen to how you feel around them.

      You might find my posts at http://healingfromsexualabuse.com/category/ideas-for-healing-from-abuse/ helpful. I would start with my post at http://healingfromsexualabuse.com/ideas-for-healing-from-abuse/surviving-mothers-day-and-the-holidays/ it has ideas for self parenting and self care.. Make sure when you do reach out for help that you don’t see therapists or social workers who want you to refer you out for antidepressants or other drugs, herbs or even vitamins. Prescription drugs can cause extreme anxiety, depression and even suicidal thoughts, I know it’s weird because they are suppose to cure that stuff but those side effects are also written on the side effects warning. A great article about drugs is at http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2003/11/it-prozac-or-placebo also if you look at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnryFXxl7yU (he successfully treated people with ‪Schizophrenia‬ without drugs, if people suffering from ‪Schizophrenia‬ can heal without drugs, so can you.)

      If you keep taking action things and find helpful people to work with, things should get better. Acknowledge your strength in confronting your step dad. If you can do that, you can do what ever it takes to really heal and detox from the abuse and trauma from the abuse.

      Please feel free to write back with any questions or updates.

  27. I am 13 almost 14, got sexual abuse when I was 11. My mom and dad had a big fight this was on a sunday he took his things and left but before that they swore badly in front of us and she hit him with shoes in his face and he almost punched her in the face anyway he came say sorry and we went to the master bedroom and my mom said watch a movie on my computer on the bed next to their bed and we watched the movie for like 5 minutes (edited by blogger)…sat there in shock.

    1. Hello Athea,

      There are two issues here, I think. One issue is that you need to heal from the sexual assault and the second is that your parents have no boundaries and that is not ok either. It may be helpful to try and find a school counsellor or someone who can be helpful in healing from the abuse and distancing yourself from your family. It is never ok to hit someone unless it is self defence and that does not sound like self defence, it sounds like a fight. If you ever find yourself in a situation like that, leave if you can, leave the room as soon as you can. You need to retrain yourself to move rather than freeze. Every child has the right to have a great childhood and to be protected from abusers. Unfortunately that does not always occur. But you are not alone, if you are in South Africa, both girls and boys are equally at risk of being sexually assaulted and it occurs frequently but there are places you can try and get help to heal. And also work on boundaries because it seems like your parents have none.

      Here are some places in South Africa, I just Googled them, so I do not know if they will be helpful or not. Some organizations, although they are suppose to help are not at all helpful, sometimes not even nice, so always be ready to hang up or politely excuse yourself from the room, but others may be helpful. Also in one organization there may be helpful and not helpful people. So always listen to how you feel when you are talking with people. http://www.tears.co.za/ and http://www.childhood.org/project/south-africa/ has a list of a bunch of organizations and http://www.zazi.org.za/where-get-help.html-0 also has a list of organizations. Keep reaching out for help until you get great help.

      If anyone ever blames you for the abuse, calls you crazy, tells you that you need to forgive the abuser or things like that, those people are sick and will not be helpful, try and stay away from those people, even if they were friends, family, therapist’s etc, you want to be around people who believe you and blame the perpetrator for the abuse and not you. Also here are some posts that I wrote with suggestions on things you can do to help yourself to heal from the abuse http://healingfromsexualabuse.com/category/ideas-for-healing-from-abuse/

      Also it may be good for you to practice pretending you are in a situation that it would be better if you leave and practice leaving and not freezing. You might also see if you can take a self defence class. I also found this on Google, so this may or may not be helpful https://www.worldpulse.com/fr/node/31860 and I also found this link http://cobradefence.co.za/tag/children-self-defence/

      If you are considering taking an HIV test you might want to watch this documentary https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dVYJp5dHf8 and http://www.howpositiveareyou.com/ maybe consider not taking the test if recommended but I think it is best to stay away from people who recommend the test, this is just my opinoin from the research I have done but please make up your own mind. I would also recommend staying away from the experimental vaccine that they are introducing in South Africa, probably really bad news, though they say it’s just for adults but that can always change.

      So keep taking action to heal and your life can get better and better. Feel free to write back with any questions or updates but please leave out all details about the abuse and any sexual details.

  28. Thank you so much for sharing your experience as I’m currently struggling with past sexual abuse that happened over thirty five years ago. Similarly, I have chunks of my childhood completely blocked out from my memory. I’m relieved that I’m not alone, so thank you. I needed to be reminded that there is healing and that there is hope for my future…(edited by blogger)

    1. Hi Sterling,

      I am sorry to hear that you were abused. Healing is always possible as long as you keep looking for great help with healing and do what you need to do to detox from the abuse.

      It is not unusual to forget parts of your childhood when you were abused, it is the mind’s way of coping with the abuse. It is also not unusual to struggle for years from the abuse until you are able to find a great person to help you to heal from it. So that is normal and healing does not have to take a lifetime if you get great help to heal.

      If you are in or near Calgary, here is a link to some resources that may or may not be helpful. http://www.calgary.ca/cps/Pages/Community-programs-and-resources/Victims-of-crime/Victim-resources-Sexual-assault-and-violence.aspx Remember that some organizations, although they are suppose to be helpful may not be helpful at all but others may be helpful, so always listen to how you feel when you talk with people. Feel free to hang up or leave the room, if the person(s) you are speaking with are not helpful. Keep reaching out for great help until you find it and then work with those people and take the actions you need to take to heal. In other words just having a great therapist is not enough unless you do also takes the actions that you need to take but a great therapist should be able to make the actions you need to take doable. And a therapist that may be great for one person may not work at all for another person so keep listening to how you feel.

      Also with the holidays coming up, remember to take care of yourself first. If the abuser was a family member or friend of the family, make other holiday plans. The best way to take care of yourself is to not associate with people who abused you and the people who support abusers over victims. You might want to read my post at http://healingfromsexualabuse.com/ideas-for-healing-from-abuse/surviving-mothers-day-and-the-holidays/ to give you ideas on how to take care of yourself rather than be around unhealthy people. As you heal you will attract more and more healthy people in your life and your struggles because of the abuse should become less and less. You’ll know how to handle situations better as you heal.

      Feel free to write back with any questions or updates.

  29. i was abused at age six by an older cousin. I am sixteen now and can not remember the experience in detail but it led me to…(edited by blogger) and I am still struggling with it. I respect the notion of keeping one’s virginity till marriage i feel broken that I have lost my innocence and I don’t know how to let go. I have not told my parents. I bottle it up and cry alone wishing … There is a lot I want to say. To talk to someone and be listened to fully.

    1. I will respond but it could take a bit, in the meanwhile, you can try calling 1-800-656-HOPE and try talking with a trusted teacher or social worker but know that healthy people will support you, believe you and try and help you to heal. Unhealthy people will blame you or call you crazy. Get away from the unhealthy people. Hang up, or excuse yourself from their office. Do whatever you need to do to get away from unhealthy people. I will write more later.

      1. hi. I can understand how you feel I went through basically the same thing but I am a girl and my cousin that did this to me is a girl we were one year apart and we were like 9 and 10 years old she moved in with us and would always want to do things every night with me and I remember hating it and asking her how about tomorrow but she always said right now and I always did for like 4 years. I remember we shared a room then my mom walked in on us and she never did it again she (my cousin) told me not to tell anyone and my mom never told me to tell anyone and she never told anyone but I am 17 now and it recently has affected me. the reason is I feel like its my fault because sometimes I wanted too, I guess and I don’t want to just blame it on her because maybe she didn’t know any better but I don’t know its hard. This is how I can relate with you. I am catholic now…(edited by blogger) She recently moved back in with us to go to collage and I always want to ask her but now she is engaged and I don’t want to mess things up so I still keep it to my self. I wish I had the courage to ask my mom but I don’t know if I am ready. I think I’ll go talk with one of my deacons.

        1. Hi Aubree,

          I am sorry to hear that happened to you. It took me a while to respond, did you talk to a deacon or anyone else and if so were they supportive? Supportive would have them being sad that you were abused and not blaming you at all for the abuse and helping you with tools to detox from the abuse. Not supportive would be to blame you at all for what happened or call you crazy or tell you to forgive and forget (which just stuffs those feeling way back down inside to fester and scream to be heard) or anything else that does not support you to truly heal.

          As soon as your mother saw that happening, your mother should have tried to get you help to heal from that abuse. It is not ok that your mother did nothing to help you to heal. It is also not ok that your mother let your cousin move back in after she knew what happened to you. That is not being a protective or a great mother. A great mother would have gotten you help immediately and kept your cousin away from you.

          You told her how about tomorrow as a way to get her to stop and she did not stop so that is 100% her fault. And if I understand correctly your mother told you not to tell anyone, that is not ok. That is keeping the abuse that happened to you a secret. Secrets only help perpetrators to keep abusing. If you confront her then you’ll know if she has healed from being an abuser but you need to do it when it is supportive for you. If she is horrified by what she did to you and wants to make amends, then she may have healed but if she blames you or says you wanted it or something like that then she is still a perpetrator and will be a horrible mother and may even abuse her own children. Just because she is engaged does not mean that she has healed from being a perpetrator. Perpetrators rarely stop abusing if they do not feel horrified by what they did. There is also a chance that she repressed the memory.

          If she is not sorry or blames you, calls you crazy, etc then in order to feel safe in your own house, your parents need to throw your cousin out of your house but I do not know if your mother who did not protect you as a little girl would ever do that. It is not your job to protect your cousin, even if she is engaged, it is your job to protect yourself (technically it’s your parents job to protect you but so far they are failing at protecting you).

          Think if you had a daughter and saw what was happening between you and your cousin happen to your daughter, you’d be horrified. First you would talk to your daughter and find out what really happened and when you found out that her cousin was forcing her (assaulting her) you would get your daughter help and throw her cousin out and maybe get her cousin help because someone assaulted her which is how she learned to assault your daughter. If you were a great mother, you would never let her cousin stay in the house. How would your daughter feel safe to sleep at night with the person who assaulted her still in the house?

          I would first reach out to a school counsellor and tell them what happened or try 800-656-HOPE a 24/7 hotline that connects you to a local rape crisis center. See if they will help you with that situation because you are still a minor. As always if they are not being supportive, hang up and try again later or try another hotline. Most centers have free counselling but even if it’s free counselling or expensive counselling you want to try to make sure it is excellent counselling. Bad or mediocre counselling can create more problems than it solves, with therapists not knowing how to deal with certain situations or even some blaming you for their issues, or saying the abuse did not happen, it was your fault or even not really caring about you. If you ever find yourself in bad or mediocre therapy, you can politely excuse yourself. But don’t give up find a great therapist or counsellor. You can even google around to find a great therapist.

          Make sure when you do reach out for help that you don’t see therapists or social workers who want you to refer you out for antidepressants or other drugs, herbs or even vitamins. Prescription drugs can cause extreme anxiety, depression and even suicidal thoughts, I know it’s weird because they are suppose to cure that stuff but those side effects are also written on the side effects warning. A great article about drugs is at http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2003/11/it-prozac-or-placebo also if you look at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnryFXxl7yU (he successfully treated people with ‪Schizophrenia‬ without drugs, if people suffering from ‪Schizophrenia‬ can heal without drugs, so can you.)

          And don’t let anyone try to push forgiveness as a way to heal, no matter what religion you come from, I have never seen it help a person to heal. I have seen it get survivors to stuff down their feelings about the abuse and even lie to themselves that now that they have forgiven, they are fine or should be fine.  An Advocate for Abuse Survivors once said, “Healing may result in forgiveness but forgiveness does not bring healing, it only covers over the wounds allowing them to fester.” You can read more about forgiveness and healing on my post at http://healingfromsexualabuse.com/ideas-for-healing-from-abuse/do-i-need-to-forgive-to-heal-from-abuse/

          I don’t think that asking your mother would do anything to help you because she did not help you before and allowed your cousin to move in.

          Keep taking action to heal and get your cousin out if the house the only possibility that it would be ok for her to stay is if she feels terrible and will do anything to make amends but even with that you might still feel hyper vigilant because of what she forced you to do before. You need to take care of yourself first. Don’t let anyone blame the abuse on you and it is not your job to take care of your cousin. It is only your job to take care of yourself.

          Feel free to write back with any questions, comments or updates. Updates help give other survivors hope.

    2. Hi Jen,

      Sorry it took me so long to respond. First of all you are not broken, the person who abused you is broken. Don’t give that to the perpetrator, you are just as amazing of a person before you were abused as after, it is the perpetrator’s problem not yours. Don’t try to own your cousin’s problem. When you meet a person who you think is the right guy, if he holds this against you, he is the wrong guy and a horrible human being. You are not alone as a survivor of sexual assault. Statics say that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually assaulted before 18 years old.* So you are not alone and because it is common to forget such traumas, the numbers might be even greater than that.

      When a person has been traumatized, a natural coping mechanism may occur which will cause the victim to forget all or some of the event, so not remembering details is normal. Though others remember details, it all depends on the person and what happened to them.

      Since you wrote in have you tried to talk with the hotline or talk to to anyone else? How did that go? Did you feel listened to fully? Have you found a person who is helpful or where are you in that process? When you talk about the abuse, you no longer keep the perpetrator’s secret. It’s your cousin’s secret and your cousin’s shame not yours. When you tell others about what happened to you, some may be very supportive and others, even relatives may or may not be supportive at all. If the person you tell believes you and says things like how can I support you or they cry or are angry that happened to you and want to help you to heal, that is supportive. If someone is not supportive of you, or says your making it up, or that’s normal for your cousin to have done it, or just forgive and forget or I think you need meds, that is not helpful for you to be around those people, no matter how closely related they are or if they were your best friends. When they say that, what they are really saying is that they support child sexual abuse and that is sick.

      You can try telling your school counsellor, or call that hotline if you haven’t tried that already but always remember when you reach out for help those people may or may not be helpful. Whenever someone is not helpful, hang up or excuse yourself from the room. Do not let someone talk you into forgiving as a method of healing, it does not work and stuffs the feelings back down. An abuse advocate for abuse survivors said, “Healing may result in forgiveness but forgiveness does not bring healing,
      it only covers over the wounds allowing them to fester.” I wrote more about forgiveness and abuse at http://healingfromsexualabuse.com/ideas-for-healing-from-abuse/do-i-need-to-forgive-to-heal-from-abuse/

      Another post I wrote that gives more ideas about healing is at http://healingfromsexualabuse.com/ideas-for-healing-from-abuse/what-to-do-when-you-feel-triggered/ is has ideas of things you can do to start to detox from the trauma. It’s important not to stuff those feeling back down but instead detox from the trauma. Detoxing from the abuse and healing may take a while but it does not have to take a lifetime if you find the right person to help you to heal and you do what you need to do to heal. Keep looking for great help until you find great help. Don’t compromise and you were traumatized, so don’t let anyone try to medicate you, that only stuffs the feelings down more and comes with a huge new set of problems caused by the side effects. You have the right to be in charge of your healing process.

      Please feel free to write back with answers to my questions, any questions or updates.

      *https://www.nsopw.gov/en-US/Education/FactsStatistics?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

  30. (Comment edied by blogger to combine two seperate comments)

    I’m 47 now and this is really affecting me I’ve always thought I could handle this, but I can’t any more I have had Trichotillomania (twist and pull hair out) since I was about 8 (this started when the abuse started because this was the only thing that took the pain away) and it still continues, taking meds and seeing you clear and physiologist weekly

    (Added for clarification by Carissa) what I meant to say was now that I take the meds now there’s days that I can’t even see clearly, I don’t drove anymore, I was just released from the hospital due to having a TIA.

    1. Hi Carissa,

      I am sorry to hear about what happened to you, that was not ok. It might be a great time to look for a therapist whose has the tools to help you to heal and get off of those drugs, although I am not a doctor, if the medication is effecting your eyesight (which those drugs have been known to do, that’s really not ok). You need to advocate for yourself and find a doctor or alternative health care practitioner who can help you to get off those drugs. Some doctors, especially if they were the ones who prescribed the drugs, may be arrogant and even throw fits when their clients want to go off drugs (I have heard of that happening to other survivors.), if that is the case, politely excuse yourself from the room and find a healthy doctor.

      Those drugs are very toxic and must be gone off very slowly, your body may go through a detox period, which may or may not last a while (that detox period has been confused by some therapists as being a chemical imbalance). I would also not recommend trying to get the person who prescribed you the drug(s) help you get off them, they will probably not support your doing so. It is also very important to only go off those drugs under the supervision of a excellent doctor or alternative health care practitioner.

      If you are referring to TIA as a mini-stroke, that has also known to be a side effect of some of those drugs. I read this article mentioning that http://www.webmd.com/stroke/news/20121017/some-antidepressants-stroke-risk (please note that frequently the studies use relative numbers rather than absolute numbers to make the side effects appear to be less likely than they actually are). Here is a link to an explanation about relative versus absolute numbers (though it is talking about cancer in this particular article) the pharmaceutical industry frequently uses relative numbers to make all their drugs look better and the risks look lower than they actually are.

      Did you mean “physiologist” or did you mean “psychologist” or “psychiatrist”?

      What you need is a therapist that is compassionate and helps you to feel like you can heal and gives you the tools to do so. That therapist should also be an advocate to either help you get off those drugs or be an advocate to help you find a person to get off those drugs and not try to give you other drugs to manage your emotions, but instead help you with the tools that you need to detox from the abuse and have a great life. As you heal from the abuse the Trichotillomania should become better, though it may take a while, it does not need to take a lifetime. You might also want to read my post at http://healingfromsexualabuse.com/ideas-for-healing-from-abuse/what-to-do-when-you-feel-triggered/ whenever you get the urge to pull your hair out. Keep looking for tools that might help you. Some survivors have found light therapy helpful http://sensorylearning.com/locations.php . The light should be slow, not quickly flickering. But whatever you try, keep looking until you find helpful, help.

      You also might want to read and doing the exercises in the book “Artists Way” by Julia Cameron or you can get the abridged book on audio if you prefer. You might also want to get the book “The Brain That Changes Itself” by Norman Doidge which is also available in audiobook.

      Have you seen this article about Trichotillomania? Not sure if you have tried some of those things in it already? http://alimattu.com/blog/2010/10/7/a-beginners-guide-to-treating-trichotillomania-separating-sc.html

      You can also try going to centers.rainn.org or calling 1-800-656-HOPE (which will connect you with the local rape crisis 24/7 hotline). As always if they are not being supportive, hang up and try again later or try another hotline. Most centers have free counselling but even if it’s free counselling or expensive counselling you want to try to make sure it is excellent counselling. Bad or mediocre counselling can create more problems than it solves, with therapists not knowing how to deal with certain situations or even some blaming you for their issues, or saying the abuse did not happen, it was your fault or even not really caring about you. If you ever find yourself in bad or mediocre therapy, you can politely excuse yourself. But don’t give up find a great therapist or counsellor.

      Or you can call around to get a great counsellor, one that you feel is compassionate and has the tools to help you. Keep looking until you find someone who can really help you and then do what you need to do to heal.

      You can heal from the abuse as long as you keep taking action and use helpful tools, it may not be easy but it is doable. Please feel free to write back with any questions, thoughts, comments or updates.

  31. I feel devastated. My father never abused me. I don’t recall, but I am getting married this week. And only few days before, my father told me he had been in love with me. He felt I completed him unlike my mother. He also asked me to kiss him and I refused. He didn’t force me but that behavior completely broke me. Because my father has been my idol, he was like a God for me. I trusted him so much, he has been my motivator and behind to what I am today. But I feel completely lost today after what he expressed to me. Because I have trusted him like And have great respect.. But he told me that if a girl is not sexually attracted to his father, it’s very bad. I feel today at a lost..

    1. Your father is a very sick man. What he told you was not ok and it is fine to uninvite him to your wedding. What he said was an atempt to date you and that is very sick and unacceptable. I will write more later but it could take a while.

    2. Hi Amy,

      I am sorry that it took me so long to respond. What your father said is very sick, none of what he said was at all ok. He had no right to ask you to kiss him or to tell you that you complete him unlike your mother, that is all very sick behavior.

      It is hard when a parent betrays your trust, but that is what your father did. You can still remember the things that you liked about him but it is important to distance yourself from him because he just told you about what he wants from you. That had to have been very hard to hear.

      You can still be who you are today and still remember how he motivated you and maybe have your friends, husband and yourself motivate you now.

      If a girl or boy is sexually attracted to their parent, then there is a great chance that that parent or someone has been inappropriate with that child.

      Your father had no right to say any of that to you. He tried to manipulate you by saying “that if a girl is not sexually attracted to his father, it’s very bad” but what he was really saying is that he wants to be sexual with you but try to put it all onto you to get you to make a pass at him. Again your father is a very sick person.

      So what I recommend is to not have any more contact with your father, it can be very hard, but it is not healthy to be around a parent that wants to date and be sexual with their child. You may also want to tell your mother what he said. It is important that you do not keep, your father’s secret of being sexually attracted to you. If your mother is horrified about your father trying to be sexual with you and supports you in distancing yourself from him and healing from that trauma, then it is a good chance that your mother is a caring mom. But if instead, she blames you, calls you crazy saying something like your father would never say a thing like that, tells you to forgive and forget, “your father’s just like that” or even agrees with what your father said, then it time to cut contact with your mother as well. You need to have healthy people in your life. The same above unhealthy responses coming from anyone when you tell them, is a sign that you need to not be around people like that. So only being around people who support you to heal from that trauma and that what your father said was very sick.

      Did you tell your husband about it and if so what did he say? Was your father at your wedding and if so did he do anything inappropriate? Even if he didn’t do anything wrong at your wedding, you still need to cut him out of your life. If you choose to have children, neither girls nor boys would be safe around your father. Adults who want to be sexual with children, will often abuse both sexes.

      I recommend that you start looking for additional help to heal from the trauma of your father trying to sexualize you. If you are located in Mauritius you can try calling numbers on this webpage http://gender.govmu.org/English/Pages/Contact-Us.aspx or try some of the links on this page http://sosfemmes.intnet.mu/useful-links.php or try calling +230 2333054 (available 24/7) or there’s a hotline that is at Family Counselling Service Hotline: 119 (which could be the same as one of the previous hotlines. Some say domestic violence but a father trying to sexualize his child at any age is domestic violence. It was hard for me to find those links but there could be more. If those resources are helpful that is great but if you ever feel like you are not being helped, just hang up, try calling back in a few hours or ask when they change shifts, then call back after the shift change. If you repeatedly get bad help from a hotline or any place that your are reaching out for help, then try calling or call around to find a therapist that would be helpful. For temporary support or if you need to talk anytime, you can try the 24/7 online hotline at https://hotline.rainn.org/online/terms-of-service.jsp (but still feel free to end the chat if they are not helpful). If you ever feel like a therapist or any organization is not helpful, or even mean and unsupportive, hang up or politely excuse yourself from the room and remind yourself that there are excellent therapists out there, that person is not one if them. A great therapist can be super helpful, a mediocre or bad therapist can be really counterproductive. Keep looking until you get excellent help and then do the work that is needed to be done to heal from that trauma.

      It is sad that there may be people who work at places that are suppose to help that are not helpful and some may even be supportive of perpetrators, but there are also great people who really want to help, so keep looking until you get all of the great help that you need, always listen to how you feel and never minimize what your father said to you even if at another time he seems super nice.

      Please feel free to write back with any questions, answers or updates. Updates can give other survivors hope.

  32. It all began, as far as I can remember, in my family’s above ground pool I think I was 11 or 12. My oldest brother made up a game…(edited by blogger)…Many occasions later my other older brother joined in. Then it abruptly stopped, and my father started. I think he witnessed one of the…(edited by blogger) events. His actions were not enjoyable at all.

    My mother was sick, with a terminal disease. She was in and out of hospitals, some out of state. During this time my father would come into my room at night. In the daytime he would buy me jewelry as gifts. I remember friends commenting on the ‘nice’ things my father bought for me. Inside it all just hurt. No one knew the truth, so I just allowed people to think what they wanted. My mom was sick, if I told her I feared what would happen to the family. My little brother was not involved.

    My mom was in the hospital or ill at home for my teen years. I was the ‘woman’ of the house in so many ways. I did the cleaning, cooking, and keeping the household going, like my mom did. I was responsible to make lunches for school/work and dinner when everyone else was home watching TV. I was condemned by my father, to my mother in her hospital bed, when I didn’t do the chores.

    I remember some, but not all of the crap that went on. I am now 58.

    My mother passed when I was 20, and my dad (and I was glad) passed the following year. I never told my mother, and I never confronted my father, nor have I ever confronted my brothers.

    Because I only had three brothers left after my parents passed, and being the only girl, I felt compelled to keep the family together. I had done that for years but now find even being in the same room with my brothers very, very difficult. The confrontations we have are now all political (I am such a bleeding heart liberal it isn’t funny). My husband thinks I react too loudly and angrily at them, but he has no idea of their involvement in my early abuse. He continually tries to tell me I need to calm down, which is upsetting to me because I can’t. I wish he would just see my side first, acknowledge it, and then perhaps suggest ways I can better deal with it. I hate the feeling like I am always the one doing something wrong. But I pretty much feel like I am always doing something wrong.

    I sometimes feel that by now I should be over all of this. I wonder if I use the experience I went through as the excuse for my inability to have a calm debate. I am an angry person who is having more and more trouble with my anger.

    I find I hate myself more than ever and feel that there is no longer anyone I trust to be there for me.

    In recent years I have told long-time friends about the abuse my father did to me. I fear they don’t believe me, for why would they not ask any questions when I try to explain things?

    I feel like I don’t want to be me any longer. I wish I were never born because growing up into who I am today is not a life. It is a nightmare that never ends. I have been able to push it all aside for years. I had to support myself and function. I am in my second marriage. My first marriage was to someone very much like my dad. I fear my second marriage has been to someone like my brothers? But am I right? What do I know? I can’t trust anything I feel anymore. I do feel like I am losing my mind. I think about suicide often, only I don’t feel like I have the guts to do that.

    I can’t get out of my head. I know likely you can’t help me either. I think this is just my lot in life, but it isn’t a life. I don’t know how to fix it, or me.

    I have never told anyone about what happened with my brothers. I have told my husband about my fathers’ sexual abuse with me. I am so tired of crying, and wishing things were different.

    Thanks for listening, being the first I have told the whole story to, and allowing me to post it here. I guess it helped. I have crummy insurance, and no one to trust to talk to.

    1. Hi Katie,

      I am so very sorry that all of that happened to you and I also need to apologize that it has taken me so long to respond.

      What happened to you was so very wrong. Since you wrote this post have you reached out for and gotten helpful help?

      When it it comes to the longtime friends that you told about your father’s abuse, you will not know whether or not they believe you unless you ask them. You can say something like “when I told you about what my father did to me, you said nothing, I understand that it can be a very hard thing to hear. I wanted to know if you support me in healing from that abuse or how you feel about what I said to you because it was hard for me not to hear any response.” Anyone who does not believe you, or tells you things like “it was so long ago, you should be over it by now”, “leave the past in the past”, “you need to forgive and forget” (more on my thoughts on forgiveness at “Do I Need to Forgive to Heal from Abuse” at http://healingfromsexualabuse.com/ideas-for-healing-from-abuse/do-i-need-to-forgive-to-heal-from-abuse/ ) or “he would never do a thing like that, he was so good to you, you must be crazy” are people who are not really your friends and who are unsupportive of you. It’s healthy to find out the truth about people because when you let them go from your life and heal, you will then be able to attract healthier people into your life. Also if you find out they are supportive, then you know you have a real friend.

      I think it would be really helpful, if you tell your husband what your brothers did to you, it will help him to understand why you get so upset. Plus to be truly intimate with someone, it is important to share things like that. If you get anything like the above responses from your husband, then it might be time to distance yourself from him. You need to have truly supportive people in your life. But you might also get a husband who is super supportive of you and now understands why you are fighting with your brothers. Was he supportive when you told him about your father?

      It is also super important not to have any more contact with your brothers who sexually assaulted you. It is fine to have contact with your younger brother who did not, as long as he believes what happened to you and is supportive of you. He may also have been sexually assaulted by your dad and older brothers. Sexual assault is an act of violence and control, so it is possible he was also assaulted or maybe not or even if he was he may not remember it. The mind sometimes shuts trauma out to protect itself.

      Suffering does not have to be your lot in life. You can heal from all of the abuse, you can have an awesome life. But the way to heal from the abuse is to detox from the trauma and find an incredible therapist to help you with your detoxing from the abuse. A therapist that has the tools to help you to detox from the trauma and who will not try to get you to take anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, herbs like St. John’s Wart or vitamins to deal with the trauma but instead a person who really has the tools and compassion to help you to heal from everything that you went through. Taking drugs, etc. can interfere with you being able to detox from the trauma plus they all have terrible side effects and should not even be used as a temporary fix, those drugs can cause depression, suicidal ideation, liver damage, etc and when you are going off them those side effects can get worse through the detox process which can take a while. If you are on any of those drugs, you need to withdraw very slowly and under the supervision of an excellent doctor or excellent alternative health care practitioner.

      I recommend that you start looking for additional help. To start looking you can try calling 1-800-656-HOPE which is a 24/7 hotline that connects with your local rape crisis center. If those resources are helpful that is great but if you ever feel like you are not being helped, just hang up, try calling back in a few hours or ask when they change shifts, then call back after the shift change. If you repeatedly get bad help from a hotline, try calling one at the list https://centers.rainn.org/ . Most hotlines also have free in person counselling. If none of them are helpful, then try calling or call around to find a therapist that would be helpful. With any great and caring therapist, you should be able to work out a payment plan, though some don’t do that and they all should do free short in person consultations. If they ever make you pay them just to meet and see if they would work for you, I might try looking elsewhere. If you ever feel like a therapist is not helpful, or even mean and unsupportive, hang up or politely excuse yourself from the room and remind yourself that there are excellent therapists out there, that person is not one if them. A great therapist can be super helpful, a mediocre or bad therapist can be really counterproductive. Keep looking until you get excellent help and then do the work that is needed to be done to heal.

      You can have an awesome life, healing can take time but if you get great help it does not have to take a lifetime. So keep taking action to heal. Your writing your story was an action that you already took, so keep taking more action, things will get better, if you take action.

      Please feel free to write back with any questions, comments, answers to my questions or updates. Updates give other survivors hope.

    2. Hello! I want you to know that your story has impacted me. I am the mother of a 13 year old, beautiful daughter. I just found out 6 days ago that my husband has been sexual abusing her. I am searching for knowledge and strength to try to face all of this. Your story makes me understand that all of changes our lives are going through are worth it. I wish someone would have helped you years ago. I wish someone would have fought for you like I’m trying to find for my daughter. Thank you for the courage to share your story! I’m finding strength through you!!

      1. Hi Trying to Learn,

        I wanted to check in with you to see what has happened since you last wrote into my blog and see how your daughter is doing before I write a response. It was great to read that you are fighting for your daughter. It will be great when we live in a world where all parents want to protect their children.

      2. Dear Trying to Learn.

        I am glad you found my post helpful. I am also glad you are helping your daughter. I hope she is away from your husband, and that you are helping her to go forward with her life. Your husband needs to seek help.

        It seems to me that recovery from childhood incest is best while they are still young and after the abuse has stopped. It is so difficult to deal with it all as a fully grown adult. Life is just so much more complicated, so many other lives are involved and any good human never wants to hurt in any way another human.

        Since my post I read through more of what Amy has posted, and I realized I needed help and really soon. I contacted my local Sexual Abuse center and was immediately directed to someone who could work with my situation. It has been life changing for me. Maybe I really can be whole again and free of the ‘secrecy’ my life has been.

        I have re-read what I wrote, and although nothing I stated was untrue, I now feel the person who wrote that is no longer me. It is who I was. I am not that, I am much more now. No I am not all better, but I do feel a bit more whole and resolved.

        No, I haven’t confronted my brothers; I think I will have to soon.

        I did speak with my husband, and like I honestly thought all along, he loves me and only has sorrow for what I had to go through. He is most supportive. This is the part of life that I used to feel unworthy of, but I believe I was wrong. I do deserve to have happiness.

        …(edited by blogger) I am so glad you are in your daughter’s corner.

    3. I had a similar situation happen to me. I feel the same way. The only difference is my mother was mentally ill and I told her but she blamed me. My father lived to be 90. My mother is 77 but cannot take care of herself. She is in a nursing home. I told someone whom I thought I could trust about 6 years ago and she told everybody. She did not believe me and said that I lied to get attention. That hurt so bad. I have told 4 friends lately. Two believed me and two didn’t. It hurts when someone you trust does not believe me. I so am so glad that you posted this. I don’t want it to happen to others but I so want someone who shares my feelings. I told my husband. He knows my brothers. He believes me and protects me.

      1. Hi Jean,

        It is your job to take care of yourself and not your job to take care of your mother, she never took care of you. It is not ok to be around a “parent” who blames their child for being assaulted, that makes your mother a very sick person. Anyone who does not believe you needs to be automatically out of your life. You can think of this as a test to see who the great people are in your life and who the awful ones are, so anyone who does not believe you or blames you far the abuse, you no longer need to waste your time being around them. You are lucky to have friends that believe you, you need to focus spending time with them and with your husband. That’s awesome that he also supports you.

        When you find a person who does not support you, it’s great that you now know who they really are, people who support perpetrators and don’t really care about children, yuck. Stay away from them and if you have children, do not let them be around your mother or anyone else who is not interested in protecting children.

        If you haven’t already, try reaching out for help. In the United States you can try calling 1-800-656-HOPE which is a 24/7 hotline that connects with your local rape crisis center. If those resources are helpful that is great but if you ever feel like you are not being helped, just hang up or if you are interviewing a therapist, thank then and leave. If you were calling a hotline and they were not helpful, try calling back in a few hours or ask when they change shifts, then call back after the shift change. If you repeatedly get bad help from a hotline, try another one or call around and interview therapists. Most hotlines also have free in person counselling, so you can ask about that also. A great therapist can help you to heal, a mediocre or bad therapist can cause more problems than help, so listen to how you feel when you are interviewing them and most therapist should have free consultations. Keep looking until you find a therapist that works for you.

        Also with the holidays coming up, you still do not need to be around your mother, she is a very emotionally sick person, I recommend just spending time with your husband, you owe your mother nothing because she never protecting you and is ok with abuse. I also don’t recommend trying to forgive her, that still puts the focus on her and not on the healing you need to do. As an advocate for survivors once said, ” Healing may result in forgiveness but forgiveness does not bring healing,
        it only covers over the wounds allowing them to fester.”  More about forgiveness at http://healingfromsexualabuse.com/ideas-for-healing-from-abuse/do-i-need-to-forgive-to-heal-from-abuse/

        Please feel free to write back with any questions or updates.

  33. So this is very hard to write. But I am a survivor of sexual abuse. I was sexually abused by my first step father when I was really younger like 2 years old. My mom divorced him and took off to a different state with me. My mom remarried when I was about 5 years old and my neighbor started sexually abusing me. I did not tell anyone about the abuse until I was older after I found out that he did it to other girls. When I was 9 my step father beat me so bad with a belt he went to jail. But at the age of 11 I forgave him and convinced my mom to take him back. And I respect him and we get along great. We talk we are friends and we have a good relationship. For the most part I was a normal teenager. Except I got pregnant at 17. I thought about giving up my daughter for adoption but I decided to raise her on my own. I worked several jobs to make sure she had everything she needed or wanted. Because I grew up on welfare. I did not want my child to be on welfare. When my daughter was two her father died. When she was five I had a set of twins. I was with the twins dad for a couple years before we split. And I still worked hard as a single mother to make sure my children have everything they needed or could want. I have been with the same guy now for a few years. And I have been struggling with mine and my daughters relationship. She has told so many lies and fabricated so much over the past few years. She strives for male attention since her father died. She is a very caring loving person. She has a heart of gold. She has depression and PTSD. She been though a lot in her short 14 years of life. A lot of death and pushing people away. Including myself. Myself and her have been seriously arguing and just not getting along for years. I figured that it is teenage stuff. But I failed somewhere as a parent. But my real problem right now is that she is saying that my fiancee touched her. Police where called but the story keeps changing and she acts like nothing is wrong and she is telling the world about it. Please help me try to figure it out and get the help I need for my daughter. I don’t know what is coming with the case but I am very concerned about her mental health. And I cant tell if she is telling the truth or fabricating to get attention.

    1. Kids normally do not fabricate that they were abused (they may occasionally say that they were abused by someone else but that is rare). If you read other survivor’s stories, frequently their parents want to think they were lying but that hurts the child who was abused again. You as a mom, need to believe your child, your child needs help to heal from the sexual abuse. Also did your step father who sexually assaulted you ever have access to your daughter because perpetrators rarely stop sexually assaulting children. Do not use her mental health as a way to negate that she was sexually abused, that would cause your daughter more trauma. You need to really hear your daughter and believe that she was sexually abused.

      I will write more later but it could take a while.

    2. Hi Lost and Confused,

      Have you taken any actions to help your daughter since you last wrote? How is she doing?

      Here is a statement from “Trauma and the Brain: Understanding Why a Victim’s Story Might Change” at https://purposefullyscarred.com/2015/10/15/trauma-and-the-brain-understanding-why-a-victims-story-might-change/ “…one common theme in victims’ behavior is confusion or an inability to properly remember the events surrounding their assault(s). During the trauma, a victim will enter either “fight, flight, or freeze”. The brain’s activity changes as a way to protect itself. Later, remembering specific details or following a linear chronology as they tell their story can be very hard for many victims.”

      Another great article about this is “How Brain Science Can Help Explain Discrepancies in a Sexual Assault Survivor’s Story” at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cognitive-neuroscience-society/how-brain-science-can-help-explain-discrepancies-in-a-sexual-assault-survivors-story_b_7421768.html . It states that 7% may reports may be false (I believe that those would be people who were abused but accuse another person of the abuse, it is extremely rare for a person to make up sexual assault, even out of spite unless they were sexually abused).

      You need to be there for your daughter, it is possible that you have a bit of denial that built up from your childhood when you forgave the person who beat you so badly, he went to jail. Put that in perspective, children get beaten all of the time by their parents as punishment but unless there was child endangerment or a strange police department, they never go to jail. It was most likely horrific. If our mother was healthier, I believe, she would never has gotten back together with your step dad. It was her job to explain to you that what he did was not ok, and convince you why she was not getting back together with him to protect you. Unless he had gone through some incredible healing (not just a religious conversion) but really healing, realizing how horrific it was that he had beaten you, worked on his anger issues and done tons of huge heartfelt actions to make amends, then “possibly, slimly possibly” it may have been appropriate from your mom to get back with him.

      So you may have some denial stuff from that and also your own sexual abuse. Even so, you have to protect your daughter, to call her mentally ill is cruel, even if you can find an unhealthy therapist who will agree with your daughter being mentally ill. The term mentally ill, is a vague concept that does not deal with the core of the problem about what happened to your daughter or to help her to heal from any abuse.

      A post that might be helpful for you to read is my post “Do I Need to Forgive to Heal from Abuse” at http://healingfromsexualabuse.com/ideas-for-healing-from-abuse/do-i-need-to-forgive-to-heal-from-abuse/

      And I would also recommend that you get help to heal from your abuse and get help for your daughter to heal from her abuse. I don’t think that you want to be one of the parents that your daughter writes in about not believing her and still marrying the perpetrator. (Now there is a slim possibility that someone else may have sexually abused her, but a 99.9% that she has been abused). Please help her.

      In the United States, you can also try calling 1-800-656-HOPE a 24/7 hotline for survivors. They should be able to help you get help for yourself and your daughter. If the person on the phone is helpful, that is great, if not hang up and try again later (volunteers change shifts). If they are repeatedly not helpful you can try another hotline at centers.rainn.org. The people answering the phone frequently have centers that offer free therapy. But even if it’s free or low cost unless the therapist is great, it’s probably not helpful and bad therapy can be hurtful, so never hesitate if you need to walk away or hang up. If the centers are not helpful, keep calling around until you get excellent help for you and your daughter.

      A great therapist should believe that this has happened to your daughter and to you and never say things like “forgive and forget”, “put the past in the past”,
      “it must have been your fault”, “it didn’t happen, you’re just crazy”, etc.

      Like the other survivor have experienced, a great therapist is really helpful and bad ones are not. So listen to how you feel around that therapist. And never take prescription drugs or herbs for emotional issues, they have terrible side effects and are not even a good temporary bandaid. Don’t let them sell you on the myth of chemical imbalance (great article about that at http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2003/11/it-prozac-or-placebo). If that’s what the therapist wants you to do fix a chemical imbalance or take drugs, keep looking for an excellent therapist for you and your daughter. Don’t quit looking until you have found excellent help for both of you.

      You each should have your own therapist and not share the same therapist, your daughter needs to know that that is her therapist and will not be sharing what she told her therapist with her mom. That her therapist is there for her to heal. It may be scary for you to have your daughter go to a therapist, that will not be telling you what your daughter said, but if you truly want your daughter to heal and live a great life, she needs that privacy.

      Please feel free to write back with any questions, answers to my questions or updates. Updates can give other survivors hope, I am also pretty sure that other survivors have read your comment and are hoping that you believe your daughter, that she was abused and help her.

  34. I have just became aware in my mind I’m a survivor of sexual abuse by my neighbour. We were both children at the time. I was around 4 and he’s was around 8/9. He made do things which I never questioned and relationships with adults at this time was great. So I suppose I trusted him. He shamed me by making me show myself to others which I can remember until this day very clearly. Should a child not have memories of playing with toys? Thankfully through my adult life I’ve realised my violence and anger has been stemmed from this! I’ve had therapy which helped me so much! I’m on a healing process at the moment and glad to share this story as I haven’t told anyone this and I won’t be! This type of behaviour is unacceptable and I have read some of the other stories on here, it is difficult to admit this type of thing even if family members but it is not your fault. We did nothing wrong! I’m very glad for this website! Just to share this helps to breathe! Thank you

    1. Hi Sandy,

      Thanks so much for telling your story, it helps other survivors to know that they are not alone and can heal from the abuse.

      There is no shame in telling your story to people that you trust because the shame belongs to the perpetrator and not to the victim. And when you tell your story to people who are close then you realize who your real friends are, the ones who support you and are not, the ones who think it was your fault and should keep the past in the past. Or say he was just playing or that you are crazy, etc.

      If you like, feel free to share what has helped you in healing and not helped you in healing, and what has helped you to get to the place that you could realize that you are a survivor of child sexual assault, it can help other survivors. Keep on with the therapy, to help you to detox from the trauma, now that you are aware that you are a survivor. Great therapy can also help you to not hold the perpetrator’s secret and have a great adulthood.

      And yes, a child who had a healthy childhood, should have a memory of playing with toys and simply playing, though even children who have been abused, can have memories of a great childhood (and repress the memories of abuse).

      Feel free to write back with your thoughts, any questions or updates. Updates give other survivors hope.

  35. I want to start by saying thank you for being sooo strong and having the courage to post this. I am almost 29, a mother and wife. I was physically abused by my mother from age 7-16 and sexually abused by my stepfather from age 11-16. My mother would be drunk or on drugs and she would hit or throw things at me for everything. My stepfather would abuse me when my mother was out at the bar. I started doing drugs when i was 12. I knew it was only a mask. My family never stopped to ask me what’s up or why i was running away from home. Its been very hard to build relationships with people when the people who abused me would say they loved me. Sometimes i think my mother knew but my stepfather made a lot of money and it kept her quiet. My stepfather even tried to commit suicide but i saved his life. If i have to think with the abuse everyday so should he. I was hoping one day i could stand up to him and take away everything good he has since he took my childhood from me, but I thought i was doing good just hiding the abuse and keeping to myself. A few years ago was enough. I told my mother and sister about the sexually abuse. My mother just said you should have told me then…. My sister said don’t go crazy and they both still communicate with him. My whole family wasn’t very nice to me in the first place so i became scared to tell anyone else. My mother passed away 4 months ago…. I feel like everything is falling apart. My husband is very worried about me and wants me to get help. He doesn’t want details cause he wont take it very well. My husband works at the same company as my stepfather. Now that I’m opening up about it my stepfather has told the company to make sure they aren’t in the same room (what ever that is supposed to mean) my sister since then has been very mean to me till my mothers death now she and my grandmother are acting like they care about me, but they never cared in the first place. I’ve become very depressed, everything i tried so hard to forget is coming back to me and its hitting me like a truck. In my dreams it all feels so real. I flinch when someone raises their hand or toss something at me. Im claustrophobic, suffer from anxiety and panic attacks. I wont leave my daughter alone with males. My sister and grandmother didn’t involve me at all in my mothers funeral. My mother wanted me to have a bit if her ashes but they never did that for me. I’ve been drinking a lot of alcohol just to help not cry or think about it. My mother may have abused me but i felt she was the only one who cared for me out of my family. I’m very scared for myself cause thoughts of suicide have come to mind but then i see my daughter’s bright smile in the morning. Its really helped reading this blog and reading other stories. I’m not alone and just like you i can heal from this. Thanks for giving me a place to post whats happen to me. Its a release i’ve been waiting my whole life for. IM READY!

    1. Hi Annea W.,

      I am very sorry to hear what happened to you, none of that is at all ok. And I apologize that it has taken me so long to respond.

      It shows your strength that you were able to post your story. It sounds like the healthiest thing that you can do for yourself is to distance yourself from your sister, stepfather and grandmother. These people are toxic to be around and have any contact with. You owe them nothing and it is helpful when you are trying to heal to not be around or have any contact with toxic people. You deserve to have healthy people in your life. It might be hard at first but know that it is very helpful to not be around people who were mean and not caring.

      It is also hard when people die, even people who were mean to you. It shows that they will never be able to apologize or be the mother you deserved to have. A mother who loved and took care of you. And harder still if you got scraps of their caring that can have you hold onto the hope of a real mother, though a true mother would never have physically abused you.

      Your sister saying don’t go crazy is also pretty unsupportive.

      It took me a while to respond, have you been able to get great help? Mediocre and bad help is counter productive. And I do hope that you were not put on prescription drugs, anti-depressants or anti-psychotics because their side effects include suicidal ideation, depression, liver damage, etc (I just came across this link http://medicalwhistleblowernetwork.jigsy.com/psychiatric-drugs-side-effects- ) You do not want to replace one bad addiction, drinking with another bad addiction psychiatric drugs.

      The problem is that some therapists that don’t know how to help you, so they recommend drugs instead but it is extremely hard to detox from the abuse while stuffing it down with drugs or things like St. John’s Wart or harming your body with ECT, so don’t let any therapist sell you on those “therapies”. Here is one of many articles on about depression and the myth of chemical imbalance http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2003/11/it-prozac-or-placebo and http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/04/06/frightening-story-behind-the-drug-companies-creation-of-medical-lobotomies.aspx You can also look at Dr. Loren Mosher’s work who actually cured people of schizophrenic symptoms without drugs at his Soteria House and if people who are schizophrenic can heal without drugs, you certainly can as well. Here is a great article he wrote about his experiences in psychiatry in general and why people suffer and how to help them http://www.moshersoteria.com/articles/soteria-associates/ and a video of him http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnryFXxl7yU .

      It is extremely important that if you are on drugs that you go off them very slowly and with a doctor or a great alternative health care practitioner’s supervision. When you go off the drugs you may feel even worse but it is the body detoxing from the drug’s toxin’s not chemical imbalance and it may depending on your body and what you are taking take a while to detox from those drugs. Interesting article and video http://www.cchrint.org/psychiatric-drugs/side-effects-can-persist/

      That being said it is important to get great help. A person who can help you to detox from the trauma, so that you can live an awesome life. A person who can help you, so that the thoughts of suicide can go away as you heal and you can have a great life. A thing that has helped some survivors with thoughts of suicide, is to say something like “I was somehow taught that suicide was an answer to my problems that feels good, I don’t really want to die, so what is really a much better answer to my problems that feels good? (and then answer that question)” And say something like that every time that thought comes up.

      Another thing that can be helpful is some ideas that I wrote on my post “What to Do When You Feel Triggered” at http://healingfromsexualabuse.com/ideas-for-healing-from-abuse/what-to-do-when-you-feel-triggered/ Also you may want to call some numbers on this page http://www.calgary.ca/cps/Pages/Community-programs-and-resources/Victims-of-crime/Victim-resources-Sexual-assault-and-violence.aspx and see If they are helpful. If they are great, if not hang up and try again later or try another number. A bunch of them seem to also have counselling, some free. But always know that you can hang up or walk out of the office if they are not helpful. Keep looking until you get great help, do not settle for mediocre or bad help. Some of the resources on that page also had help for families, which could help your husband to deal with what happened to you. It is hard to know that a person you live has been abused. If none of those resources work, keep calling around therapists until you find excellent help.

      Also know that many survivors have had thoughts of suicide but do not act on them, so you are not alone in having those thoughts. You can heal. You can have a great life, healing can take a while, but it does not have to take a lifetime.

      Please feel free to write back with any questions, comments or updates.

  36. For the record, I don’t know if it was sexual trauma or abuse, and I’m mostly trying to hang in there before I can interview new potential therapeutic candidates (my parents are going to be out of town at one point so I can’t interview a new therapist — I can’t even drive) but either way, it’s been awful. I’ve been having these weird physical pains, I’ve been having memories, I’ve been just having a lot of issues. Is it possible to heal/detox if my memories are patchy, because there’s that factor too.

    1. Hi Anonymous,

      Sorry for my delayed response. Yes, you can heal if the memories are patchy, and as you heal you may get more clarity. What is important is not stuff stuff those memories back down, not with medication, herbs or vitamins. You do not want to stuff memories back down and no matter what never ever do ECT and if someone recommends it, tell them thank you and get away from that person as quickly as possible.

      It is fantastic that you are interviewing therapists, so this way you can find the person who will help you and has the right tools to help you. You can try calling 1-800-656-HOPE and see if they are helpful, it’s a free 24/7 hotline for survivors of sexual assault and should connect you with the local rape crisis center who also may have free counselling. Whenever you reach out for help, you should always check in with yourself. See if the person you are talking with is listening to you and being helpful or trying to force you to do what they want you to do. It is best to work with people who help you discover what is best for you to do rather than people who try to take control of your life. If you ever feel that the person you are speaking with is not helpful, feel free to hang up the phone or excuse yourself from their office. You have a right to get great help to heal, though it can take a while. Keep reaching out for help until you get great help, don’t give up on finding great help.

      Body memories can occur as physical pain. You want to find a therapist that believes that too. It is also important to listen to how you feel when you speak with a therapist. Do they help you to feel grounded? Do they help you to realize that you are capable of healing or do they want to make you feel like you need them? You do not want to go to any therapist that wants to take away your choice, ever.

      Also you might want to see about transportation in your area for people with disabilities. If for now the pain is disabling, you should qualify and then you don’t have to be stuck if your parents are out of town.

      You might also want to look into the workbook “Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron, it could be helpful to do those exercises. You might also want to look at my post “What to do When You Feel Triggered” at http://healingfromsexualabuse.com/ideas-for-healing-from-abuse/what-to-do-when-you-feel-triggered/ which has some tools that might help you when you get those weird physical pains.

      Because it did take me a while to respond, did you have any updates?

      Please feel free to write back with any questions, comments or updates.

      1. Thank you. And it’s definitely all right re: the delayed response and everything — I just wanted to say thank you for your advice. I think it might be body memories, those physical pains (might) especially since when I get them, I usually get some visuals attached to them. It’s pretty unsettling. And definite thank you regarding the therapists. I guess what I am worried about is getting possibly the wrong one, when I transfer, so I’ve been getting really picky. And thank you regarding the helpline. I might

        Fortunately, the pain isn’t disabling; it’s just rather unsettling. I’ve also been taking classes in independent living skills, which has been helping a bit.

        And definite thank you for the recommendations. I’ve been using the “What To Do When You Feel Triggered” exercise, and it’s actually been helpful in clarifying some of my patchier memories and even thinking up good coping skills just to work with my barriers to getting better. And as I’ve been working on the exercise, my physical pains have been going away, and my anxiety level’s been going down a bit.

        Again, thank you. Really.

  37. I was a abused by my brother for 18 months 1 was 11 when it started. I’ve blocked it out for so many years until last year when I told my husband. I have suffered anxiety and depression for years as well as irrational fears and I have symptoms of ptsd.

    1. Hi Sarah,

      Sorry it took me a while to respond.

      It is a great start in the process of detoxing from the trauma that you are no longer blocking it out. As you probably have realized, anxiety, depression, irrational fears and PTSD can all be symptoms of the abuse. You may want to look closer at those “irrational fears” because they could tell you more about the abuse that you have forgotten. My post that might help you with this is “What To Do When You Feel Triggered” at http://healingfromsexualabuse.com/ideas-for-healing-from-abuse/what-to-do-when-you-feel-triggered/

      As you heal the symptoms from the abuse should become less and less, though it can take some time. If you need to find help in healing from abuse you can try calling 0808 802 9999 between 12 noon – 2.30pm and between 7 – 9.30pm any day of the year and to find a local rape crisis centre you can try going to http://rapecrisis.org.uk/centres.php and click on the appropriate part of the UK that you are in. If they are not helpful, you can try another UK organization or try calling therapists or counsellors until you find someone who can help you to heal. A person who treats you well and makes you feel comfortable and does not try to take away your right to make choices. An excellent therapists should have tools that will help you to detox from the abuse and release the trauma from your body.

      I would not recommend taking drugs, herbs or vitamins for what you are gong through, they can have terrible side effects and in the end only numb out what you need to deal with. Keep looking for great help until you find it. Don’t settle for a mediocre or bad therapist, they can cause more problems then help.

      Was your husband supportive? It has taken me a while to respond, have you done some things that were helpful or not helpful since you wrote that comment?

      All the symptoms that you have can be healed if you get great help and do the work that you need to heal.

      Please feel free to write back with any answers to the questions, comments, questions or updates. Updates give other survivors hope.

  38. For a while now I constantly blamed myself for abuse that happened to me. Every day I would feel guilty and I would feel like a criminal constantly. Before I found this website where I could express myself I was suffering all the time. Vivid memories, flashes of me aged 7, or visuals from when I was 10 would play in my mind over and over again. Then I found this place, where I felt safe. I’d like to promise everyone that if you have faith in yourself you’ll see who you truly are. These memories and moments won’t define you.

    Please all stay strong and I promise one day all of this will be a thing of the past.

    1. Hello Amy,
      I just personally wanted to say thank you for your story and the way you allow people to express themselves on your website. I can say I’ve improved a lot since I first came. I don’t have nightmares anymore and the feeling of responsibility and guilt has gone. My memories from ages 7 and 10 don’t bother me anymore but empower me to be a better person.

      Thank you for all your help.

      1. Hello Amy,

        Recently I felt as if I was getting better but the days seem to flicker now. My memories dont affect me as such but I feel responsible for everything that happened to me. Even though I was 7, and my abuser was 11 at the time I feel like I caused this to happen. I did so much research into the legals of what happened and whether I’ll have a chance in court but then I feel worse if the person went to prison. It feels like whatever I do I’ll be the one feeling responsible for what happens.

        The trauma isn’t as bad now and I’ve definitely improved my condition, however the thought of being responsible for what happened to me ruins my day sometimes. What do you recommend I do?

        1. Hi Rez,

          I am glad to hear that you are getting better and the memories don’t effect you as much. The abuse was 100% the fault of the person who abused you and the people who abused the person who abused you. If an 11 year old was abusing you then there was someone who taught them to abuse by abusing them. But even so it is not even a fraction your fault. Abusers want to blame their victims, saying or acting like the victim wanted to be abused but that just shows the sick mind of the abuser. So often you will see abusers acting like the biggest victims in the world, like nothing is ever their fault, it is always the fault of someone else or that the world is against them. But the abuse was the fault of the person who abused you, no matter what. If they were 11 years old when they abused you, unless they continued to abuse you when you were a minor and they were an adult, then I (although I am not an attorney) I do not believe that they would be convicted though possibly the adults who allowed it to happen and did not protect you might be able to be prosecuted but again I am not an attorney. But let’s say that you could take your abuser to court and they were found guilty and went to jail, That would be 100% their problem and you should not feel bad about it, they should not have committed the crime in the first place.

          Every time you feel responsible for being abused, say something like, “No, the abuse is the fault of the abuser, what kind of person would try to blame a child for being abused? I am an awesome person and I will NOT take responsibility for being victimized. I give all of that shame, guilt and everything else back to where it belongs, I will not hold onto their stuff anymore.” Or something like that might be helpful.

  39. Hi everyone, am also dealing with past sexual abuse. I have been abused by my half brother since i was 5 i think. It may have started earlier but am unsure. It lasted until i was 11-12 years old when we moved country and he had to stay behind. When were “reunited” i was already 16 and knew very well of what he had done to me, however since my mother was not reliable and in fact she was yet another source of physical and verbal abuse in the household i had given up on living my life any other way and just decided to push it down, top it up with depression and suicidal thought and just go on about daily things like school as a shut in and empty version of me. I was truly all alone and put up with being put down in the house by my own family until i got into college.

    I eventually withdrew from college after lengthy struggle to go back top college when i was mentally not able to. That was due to being kicked out of the house for ordering food in instead of cooking dinner for the poor 27year old man who lived with his sister and a mother. That week i was writing my essay almost 24/7. He had assaulted me then and kicked me out. Later, when i told my mother her response was “it’s because you didn’t cook him dinner, he was only joking, stop being over-dramatic”, you get the picture.

    I was 21, lost, alone, no friend was there to give me a helping hand, i was at the bus stop from 4am waiting for the 1st bus so i could get onto college campus, maybe someone there could help i thought. My bf at the time (now my fiance) had found me in the lobby, with a backpack and laptop, trying to work away while wiping my nose and i honestly struggled top explain what had happened since i lied to everyone including myself for so many years about how “quite cool” my family was when in fact they were abusive, self centered and extremely controlling people. All i could think about was i needed to get extra 2 jobs on top of the part time i already had so i could somehow finish this year and do my final year after taking few years break. I was literally their puppet to push around. I somehow managed to finish that year. I was welcomed home few days later, but the daily fighting was unbearable. There’s truly nothing like dodging kitchen utensils and other kitchen items every other night.

    I got myself a job, i left at 5am, started at 6:30am, finished at 4pm, which game me enough time to change on the bus for my other part time which started at 5:30pm, my boss was alright so if i turned up at 6pm, it was okay. I would finish usually around 11pm on weekdays and 2-3am on Friday and weekends. The days i was off, i had something other lined up. I barely spent any time in the house.

    It had taken me 6 years from accepting i was abused in various ways in my household, and that was not a normal childhood other girls or children have when parents do love them. I am now 27 years old. Am happier, am stronger, i learned how to speak up and say what is on my mind. I no longer automatically reply to every question with “I am fine” and “everything’s okay”. I am still learning to accept everything that has happened, some days am feeling great some days i am filled with rage when i remember things. Other times i get scared and frustrated at being afraid of people in general.

    For the last 2 years i have been visiting my mom every few weeks, we would have dinner, we would try to chat, it was work in progress, and i honestly thought it would be better especially how we live so close now. I think we both worked hard at repairing the non existing relationship. I just really wanted to have a family, a real family for once where i could be myself. People change they say. I say, sometimes they pretend they have.

    Recently i had told my mother of the sexual abuse – in response she gave me an ultimatum that i either leave my fiance since he’s been a bad influence on me in 7 years and come home, or she is out of my life for good along with she statement that she was inexperienced at parenting not to realise i was sexually abused by her golden child which was 6 years older than me.

    And between remembering what he had done, and how she had treated me, telling me she wished i wasn’t born amongst severe capital punishment whether i did anything wrong or i just drew a picture wrong, or my handwriting was wrong, or i was not reading expressively enough, i kinda decided i need to love them from a distance, the larger the better. As much as i love them, and as much as i have yearned to have a family that loves me i was willing to put up with so much pain, it would honestly be better to be far away from these people and i realise that now.

    Lets face it, if i ever am blessed to have children i would not leave them with these people alone, ever. Hell, i let my mother supervise my dog last year, it took a year since for my furry baby to stop being afraid of anyone coming though the front door…

    That’s my story, am still learning how to be me and be happy. Am learning how to be a better person. Am learning how to forgive, although sometimes its hard not to feel angry for the fact i never had a childhood. When i start blaming myself for the fallout with family i have to force myself to remember how it was whenever i came over and that the pain i felt after every visit is not worth it. Still i worry, shes a single mom, alone, and i am constantly drawn to help her even though i know she doesn’t deserve it and i know i will spend another week crying if i go over. People are already judging me for cutting out my family like this, people will judge me, but they don’t know this story or many others that there are and how i struggled for so long to be me not whom i was told to be whilst wearing bruises both on me and inside of my being. In a sense this is kind of like running away – i chose to cut the contact so i could be happier. And it makes me feel even more guilty.

    1. Hi Clara,

      I am glad to hear that you cut contact with your mother, she sounds like a very sick and very mean person. If anyone wants to judge you badly for not having any contact with your family, then they are also people that you do not want to be around. People who believe that you need to be around your family no matter what, are not healthy people either. It is your mom’s fault for being a mean person, that she is alone, not your fault. Her job was to protect you, she willingly failed at protecting you and was instead an abuser to you.

      It is healthy to feel angry about not having a childhood, that is part of the healing process. You do not have to love your mother, she was never a real mom to you.

      I am concerned that you said that she is a single mom. Are there still children that she has access to? She seems incapable of not being abusive, even to your dog. I am not sure what to suggest when it comes to if you have siblings at home. You need to work on healing yourself first and keeping away from your mom. In the United States we have child protective services (I’m not sure about Ireland) which sometimes helps children and other times does nothing or is unhelpful, it always depends on who you talk to at any agency. Unfortunately in every agency you can have awesome people but you can also have perpetrators and perpetrators enablers.

      There is no requirement that you have to love your mother, she was not a real mother to you, ever. Even if at times she might have been nice to you, she failed in her motherly responsibilities. And forgiveness is unnecessary and forcing yourself to forgive can impede with your healing. An advocate for survivors said, “Healing may result in forgiveness but forgiveness does not bring healing, it only covers over the wounds allowing them to fester.” You can read more about forgiveness and sexual assault at http://healingfromsexualabuse.com/ideas-for-healing-from-abuse/do-i-need-to-forgive-to-heal-from-abuse/

      You can also read other posts on ideas for healing at http://healingfromsexualabuse.com/category/ideas-for-healing-from-abuse/

      It is your mother’s fault that you do not have a real family and not your fault. In a family where it is ok to abuse children, it is always the abuser’s fault that there is no real family, it is never the victim’s fault.

      You are not running away but instead you are making a healthy choice to not be around toxic people. It is nearly impossible to heal when you are around people who are abusive. The guilt does not belong to you, it belongs to your mother and people who are so sick that they think that you should be around your family even if they are abusive. You need to distance yourself from all unsupportive people (those who think you need to be around your family, ever). It could mean for a while that you might be alone, but as you heal you will attract healthier people into your life.

      It sounds like you have already started the healing process by getting away from your mother. Next step is to find a person that has the tools to help you to heal. Here is a page for support information in Ireland http://www.rapecrisishelp.ie/ it also has a map with local rape crisis centers. You can also try calling 1800 778888 which is a 24/7 hotline. Whenever you reach out for help or to get counselling, remember that there can be great counsellors and terrible ones, even ones who are perpetrator enablers, so always listen to how you feel around them. I also recommend staying away from anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, herbs and vitamins, because they all can terrible side effects and no matter what never do ECT and stay away from anyone recommending that. But that being said if you keep reaching out for help, you can get excellent help, you can find them immediately or it can take a while. You can also interview various therapists until you find one that has the tools to help you to heal. Do not stop looking until you find excellent help. As you heal, you will feel better, it can take a while but with an excellent therapist, it does not have to take a lifetime.

      Please feel free to write back with any updates, questions or comments.

      1. It is long overdue – but this is my response.

        Its been 2 long years since my last message. There was a whole lot packed without much context here and there, but the overall picture was clear – i was abused, it hurt – still hurts and i and only begun actual acceptance and realization of what happened. I am still coming to terms, but i am no longer making excuses for the abuse, the way i was brought up, the effects it had on me growing up and effects it has on my now that i am grown up.

        Everyday is a step forward, i am glad however that i did open up as anonymous as it is just to get that push forward towards acceptance and healing – so thank you so much!

        Reading peoples experiences i get another little voice in my head that says “yes it happened, no it wasn’t my fault, no it was not imagined, yes this is true, yes i was manipulated, i was a child that couldn’t comprehend – i had no consent” – and all of that little by little tells me more about people that try to call themselves my family. Since i cut contact, my mother has sent messages to my phone number and facebook page – i keep blocking every new account she makes. Usually its to tell me she loves me and hopes to see me soon and that i shouldnt isolate myself from family. Recently there was a postcard as well – she didnt post it, rather she came by my house when i wasnt home. I have struggled with responding, i am unable to respond at this time and unsure if i ever will be able to respond. Fact is tho, for over 2 years she hasnt tried coming in person herself, theres an expectation i should be the one to come first with an apology i guess… Either way, i cannot right now.

        All that aside, i am reading number of books and am going to start counselling soon – i think i am more ready to deal with these issues now, i was simply not ready before. I have also come across a book that talks about narcissistic mothers and how to deal with having grown up in that environment – after looking into the subject i found similarities of treatment the children are subjected to by mothers that are narcissistic and it is helping me understand not to mention relate to the kind of abuse i had gone through as i was growing up. It helps answer questions like why was i treated like this and kind of push past self blame, self doubt and never ending guilt that this lone parent did all they could and i was ungrateful, selfish, etc, etc.

        I am so glad i posted here and so glad i read your response and many more stories. Am so glad there is support out there that despite feeling all alone myself and other people get to at least virtually feel that hand on your back that just tells you “its okay, you can get through this, you didn’t imagine it – it sucks, but you can say it out loud now, you don’t have to hide”.

        Honestly, I can’t thank you enough for responding and for this page to be up.

        1. Hi Clara,

          I am glad to read that you are really getting that the abuse is all your mother’s fault and that you are moving forward every day. It is great to also hear that you are starting therapy, great support is so helpful, though always listen to how you feel to make sure that the therapist is the right therapist for you. I am not sure whether you do this but every time you block your mother, do you block and report? If it were me, under no circumstance would I write back anything to her, not even to say “Do not contact me”. When she is using a fake profile you can report that profile. Here is the Facebook info on reporting a fake profile, it is against Facebook terms of service and your mother should be reported each time she makes a fake profile. https://www.facebook.com/help/174210519303259?helpref=faq_content

          When it comes to the post card, there is no reason for you to respond, ever. She does not deserve a response. I just read this article about a college student who successfully filed a restraining order against their parents. https://www.theblaze.com/news/2012/12/28/college-student-granted-restraining-order-against-own-parents-for-being-overbearing-wait-until-you-hear-the-details I don’t know if that’s appropriate for you, if just ignoring her and reporting her fake profiles to Facebook gets her to stop trying to contact you. Also your phone should have a feature to block your mother’s texts and calls, there are also apps for that. It looks like certain landline phones models also have call blocking, in the United States our phone service can also block calls but every country is different.

          Your mother definitely sounds very mentally ill. And sick people often label others with labels that actually apply to them. Such as your mother is actually the one who is ungrateful, selfish, etc.

          I am glad that my blog has been helpful for you. It is great that you are taking action to heal! Feel free to write back with any questions, comments or more updates.

  40. From a young age I knew something was different about me. I was…(abused ) (edited by blogger) by several.older women whom my dad was drug buddies.with. And I was always angry as a child because my real mom left me for other men. All the time. Also I had a few times I was…(abused) (edited by blogger) by older boys and as I grew I had become awarded…(for abusing) (edited by blogger) my siblings step…(edited by blogger). I am now by myself with 4 kids that I have a terrible relationship with. I have never hurt them sexually but I don’t know how to show love without a physical relationship. So I don’t see them much because I won’t to protect.

    1. Hi Jason,

      Sorry that it took me so long to respond, I’ve fallen way behind on my responses but am now trying to catch up with them.

      What happened to you as a child was not at all ok. No child should ever have to go though that but you absolutely can heal from the abuse and become the dad to your kids that you want to be.

      What could be really helpful is to find an excellent social worker or therapist who has the tools to help you to heal. You are not alone, many boys get abused by women, it is just under reported. There is a website that other male survivors have found to be very helpful http://www.malesurvivor.org . (As with all resources, what can be helpful to one person may not be helpful to another person.) They have online support groups and in person conferences, that may be helpful and there is an upcoming conference listed on their website.

      Another resource is the 1-800-656-HOPE 24/7 hotline that will connect you with the local rape crisis center. That center might also have free counselling. The people on the hotline and at the center, may or may not be helpful. If you are ever talking with a person who is not helpful, feel free to hang up the phone or excuse yourself from their office. If it’s the hotline, you can ask when the volunteers change shifts because the new person, may or may not be helpful. You can also try other local rape crisis centers at https://centers.rainn.org/ if yours is not helpful, they also may or may not be helpful. Keep reaching out until you find great help and then you need to do the work it takes to heal. By doing this you can become a dad to yourself that you never had and the dad, that your kids need. It can take a while but if you get great help, it does not have to take a lifetime. A person who is great at helping survivors, should be working with you to heal and not try and manipulate you or be mean. They also need to have the tools to help you to heal. Do not give up until you get great help and do the work that is needed to heal. They should never try to force medication or ECT on you (never do ECT is causes horrific and permanent damage) Mediocre or bad help, is not helpful and can cause more harm than good.

      Here is a list of books that might be helpful, I have not read them so I cannot say from experience at http://survivor.org.nz/resources-for-survivors/books-other-media/

      Other children have also been forced to abuse their siblings, so again you are not alone and because you were forced to do that does not make you a perpetrator, since it was something you never wanted to do but were forced to do. It is the fault of the people who forced you to do that and then rewarded you for that.

      Every day you can say to yourself, I can heal, I am healing, what do I need to do today to heal? And then do that.

      Please feel free to write back with any questions, updates and comments. I would also be interested to hear your experience with http://www.malesurvivor.org if you choose to do that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.