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[b]1. Were you silenced by someone? How? [/b]

I was raised into silence. Growing up in my family it was assumed that children are liars. I was often told what the true story was by my parents and older brothers.

My parents words "Don't talk back" is what I remember most. They would ask me to explain how something happen and then the words " don't talk back" would be yelled at me or "don't laugh ... this is not funny" ... I remember that I was definitely not laughing. I was crying with tears running down my face ... how could my parents think I was laughing. Also they would ask for an explanation and then immediately accuse me of lying or to not talk back. It got to the point that I would just wait for my parents to tell me what happen because they were not going to listen to me anyway. My parents also did not like the words "I don't know" so it was better to have some sort of explanation (even if they would accuse me of lying) than to say "I don't know".
My parents also had very intense arguments that were compounded when they drank alcohol. That behavior indeed left me silent. My mother was also in a lot of depression and pain as I was growing up. I normally was afraid of her. And she would have to spend a few weeks in the hospital here and there for depression or anorexia. This was never explained to me. My mother normally looked angry towards me so it was better not to disturb her.

My brothers were the primary abusers and they helped to intensify my fear of my parents with stories from their own childhood about being beaten. My brothers also instilled in me not to be a "ta-tile-tail" through malicious taunts. My brothers were frequently my baby sitters so keeping silence was key if I did not want them telling something on me (like I really didn't eat my dinner or the mess I made when I poured my milk)

[b]2. Have other, beside the abuser, betrayed you? (In relation to your abuse?) [/b]

My parents - I have to say that the most painful confrontation was with my parents when I was 16 years old. This disclosure was not my choice and did not lead to anything except more pain. My mother found my journals and within the journals was all my pain around the sexual abuse. My parents were shocked, hostile, drunk, and mostly concerned about the reputation and disruption of the b-family. It was my parent’s version of the inquisition. My parents accused me of lying, questioned my sanity, pressed me hard for details of the abuse to prove if I was telling the truth, blamed me for breaking up the family, offered me counseling but then told me that only weak people get counseling.

The ER staff - In 1974, I was 7 years old. I was taken to the ER for lacerations inside my vagina. I was released to go home for sitz baths. They released me because of my mother's frantic hysteria. The ER staff did not know how to deal with her and she got more upset when they recommended that I stay over night for observation. They also released me because the only answer I gave to the ER doctor was that a swing did this to me.

I remember this event somewhat clearly. I remember my mother crying and screaming that I could not stay over night when the doctor suggested that. I remember my mother's other worry was whether my hymen was intact or not. I remember the doctor telling my mother that he did not see how my story was possible. He did not see that there was anyway that a swing could have done this and that the shorts I was wearing were not torn. I remember the doctor shacking his head and saying to his nurse "this is a mess".

I remember the embarrassment of having a doctor have to look at me there. I remember thinking to myself that I really could not remember how this happen but I could not tell the grown-ups that because I didn't want them to think that I was stupid. I remember my brother being on top of me earlier that day and him hurting me more than other times but never making the connection between me being in the ER and what he did earlier than day ( I did not make that connection until after I had children of my own and seeing them at the same age of this event)

The ER staff betrayed me when they let me go home with no follow up and within a few weeks my brother was back on top of me again. My regular pediatrician never received this ER report. I can't ask for the hospital record anymore because they destroyed records over 30 years old.

My ex-husband: He betrayed me because towards the end of our relationship after he tried to strangle me and slammed my head against the wall he turned everything that I kept in confidence with him about the CSA into a way to belittled and humiliating me. Even going so far as to bring up to the divorce lawyers that I am an unfit parent due to this past CSA.

[b]3. Did you "tell" people in a way other then words about your abuse? (anorexia, withdrawing etc) [/b]

Going to the ER with a torn bloody vagina at age 7. Being placed on phenobarbital at age 7 because I complained of a stomach ache all the time and was nervous (they were sure this was from school stress). Going to the my pediatrician for returning UTIs. Unexplained bruises on my thighs. Severe depression through out my adolescence and adult life.

My school records showed: I struggled through out grade school and was in special low groups for Math and Reading. I went to speech therapy at school for lack of “TH” sound usage (that blended consonants represented the sound my brothers used for what they did to me). My low productivity in school all turned around when my brother moved out of the house and joined the armed services.


[b]4. "The damage of betrayal is deepening the conviction that relationships can neither be enjoyed, trusted, nor expected to last" Do you agree with that statement? Why or why not? [/b]

This is a very deep question. The betrayal that I have experienced has lead me to those thoughts of despair. I can not deny that I have very few friendships and stray from intimacy but there is another part of me that does not want to give up and still strives to enjoy, trust, and endure relationships even if it is on a very small scale. I have kids and I would not have given birth if I did not think that this part of me was dead. However the betrayal still haunts me so I do have to address this despair at times. When my depression is greatest is when these convictions shout most loudly.

[b]5. How do you see yourself now? [/b]

A messy depressed woman with few friends that still struggles with her past. I use humor as my way out of the muck.

[b]6. Have you begun to tell others about your abuse? What have your experiences been like? [/b]

The telling with my parents and my brothers can me summed up in this post I wrote a little while ago:
[url="http://pandys.org/forums/index.php?s=&showtopic=54262&view=findpost&p=429551"]http://pandys.org/forums/index.php?s=&...st&p=429551[/url]

The telling to other people...
Within my extended family (cousins, Aunts, Uncles, grandmother) it has been frighting and greeted with awkward silences and minimization on the part of the relative ( I am sure it was not that bad because you brother is really nice) and people wishing to remain impartial because they really like my brother (I am sure you are just over reacting or forgive and forget ... he is your brother after all)

Telling friends about this ... I normally did not have the friend anymore. I am normally greeting with awkward silence.

[b]7. Do you trust others? Do you trust yourself? [/b]

I am learning to with both others and myself Edited by Zebrina

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1. Were you silenced by someone?
Yes, he threatened to hurt me again, and I knew he could. I was more afraid of him than anything else, I still am and haven’t seen him in almost two years! I also didn’t want to put my family through anything else at that time.

2. Have other, beside the abuser, betrayed you? (In relation to your abuse?)
Yea, when I told one friend they were like “oh” and than wont talk about it any more. we talk about everything! But not this, it really hurts that she wont be there for me through this. And also people who don’t believe me, that hurts more than anything


3. Did you "tell" people in a way other then words about your abuse? (anorexia, withdrawing etc)
I don’t know, I kinda just pretended for so long and than started to brake months later when I couldn’t take it any more. Friends who really cared asked about it, but I know a lot of people noticed.

4. "The damage of betrayal is deepening the conviction that relationships can neither be enjoyed, trusted, nor expected to last" Do you agree with that statement? Why or why not?
I don’t agree at all, trust can be built and can last. Relationships are needed more tha anything to heal from what has happened. I am learning to trust again, I know relationships can last because my God is powerful and I know relationships can still be enjoyed because my friendships mean more to me than anything!

5. How do you see yourself now?
Broken, and worthless. I love my boyfriend more than anything but feel guilty every day that he is with someone like me who can not give him what he deserves

6. Have you begun to tell others about your abuse? What have your experiences been like?
Yea I have told four people, but I also know that some of those people have told others, some with permission to and others without so I don’t know how many people actually know. For the most part it had been good for me and has helped with healing but some have also hurt alot

7. Do you trust others? Do you trust yourself?
I am learning to trust others. I have had my trust broken several times in different ways and it has been hard to re build that trust but I have an amazing boyfriend who is helping me learn to trust again no matter what has happened in the past that does not shape the people around me or decide how they will act towards me. I don’t know if I trust myself I thought I did but I question myself now.

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[b]1. Where you silenced by someone? How?[/b]

No. No one silenced me. I silenced myself. There was no one I could tell, it was too embarrassing. Besides, I did not consider myself to be raped the first time, in anycase, I still would not have told; the second time, I minimized it—it wasn’t violent. My perp was my boyfriend and I thought that I would keep it under wraps. It was between us and was of no concern to others. (Such a wrong thing to have done).


[b]2. Have other, beside the abuser, betrayed you? (In relation to your abuse?)[/b]

I’ve told very few people. One, as far as I know. After realizing that I was raped and assaulted, and that I was promiscuous and that I was honest about desiring him (I loved him), he told me “I treated you as a commodity because you are not Christian and I wasn’t going to marry you anyway”. He also claimed that his fiancée sanctified him. In short, I was dirty and she was not. I had the guilt of exciting his passion while she could control his.

[b]3. Did you “tell” other people in a way other then words about your abuse? (anorexia, withdrawing etc)[/b]

No. No one could tell that I was abused. I felt that no one on campus was really interested anyway. I became clinically depressed. Since I had been blue for a long while before the rape (friends who were not psychiatrists told each other that I was a manic-depressive which I was not), it seems that everyone thought that I was just being depressed. It was stupid. I should have told my deans.

My parents did not understand my depression.

[b]4. “The damage of betrayal is deepening the conviction that relationships can neither be enjoyed, trusted, nor expected to last” Do you agree to that statement? Why or why not?[/b]

I feel that it is true to a certain extent but I fight against that sentiment. I can enjoy relationships without trusting completely. I can enjoy relationships while not expecting them to last, while wishing they would. But I believe that if I find someone who really loves and respects me, I should be able to have all. My family is a testament to the above quote and this helps me greatly.

[b]5. How do you see yourself now?[/b]

I have no idea. I don’t want to see myself. I guess, persevering. Scared. My therapist says that my core is compassion. I'm very pleased with that!

[b]6. Have you ever begun to tell others about your abuse? What have your experiences been like?[/b]
For a long time I didn't but I began talking since last year, bit by bit. I told one lady at church without citing rape. She was the first one who defined it as rape. She was extremely encouraging. I believe that God lead me to her. I told my therapists—they gave a legal term to my experience as well. They were very encouraging. My father has been supportive. My friends, less so. One seems to think that I am overreacting. One not writing for ages because he was so shocked forced himself to write an email. I was very touched by that. Others have acted as if nothing happened and have not made any comment. I feel that most who know my perp will disbelieve me but they don’t know him as well as I do. They’ve never gone out with him.


7. Do you trust others? Do you trust yourself?

I only trust my family—they care about me.

I don’t know if I can trust myself. The abuse has damaged what little confidence I had. I know that I can’t trust myself when I’m depressed. I can’t assess risk very well. While at first I may be extremely suspicious, I can turn immediately into a trusting person, following blindly. That’s why I have a written list of people I can trust. If you are not on that list, I will not even talk to you. In any case, when I’m depressed, I become confused and have a hard time talking. Edited by scamellia

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[b]1. Were you silenced by someone? How?[/b]

My family of origin was the first to silence me... they told me I had a big mouth. That I was stupid. That I didn't know what I was talking about, I was being "too sensitive" and "overreacting."

The fact that they could talk almost anyone and everyone out of being concerned for my welfare if I told, made me doubt myself so much. The first part of my 30s was spent going OMG that was WRONG! at everything I remembered, that is the parts I hadn't already acknowledged as being bad.

It also was spent realizing that how the adults in my childhood life reacted (or rather, didn't react) to my reaching out for help was NOT a reflection on whether or not my life was normal. They were willing to take the word of my b-parents over me because of their professions and my b-mother in particular can be very good at manipulating people.

If it wasn't the put-downs or accusations of being ungrateful, silence was induced by telling me there was nothing wrong with what happened and it was normal.

It was effective training. I learned to slap a smile on my face and pretend, deny, etc. It was the only way I knew how to get "table scraps" of love from my b-family.

My X-H silenced me by threatening to make sure I never saw our daughter again, including trying to make me sign a document saying I'd give her up if I left him before we married (I was pregnant with her at the time). Of course after I did finally leave and told people he denied it, but the hell on earth he put me through during the custody hearings sure reinforced his threats.

When I was raped by a former boyfriend he didn't have to silence me. I felt like it was too late to say no and just let him do it once he started. All that prior training, like I said, very effective...

I had a family member make legal threats to try and silence me for speaking out against them. This person also stalked me for a year.

[b]2. Have other, beside the abuser, betrayed you? (In relation to your abuse?)[/b]

Yes. My b-mother told me repeatedly my being sexually abused was "normal family experimentation," no matter how many times I told her that isn't true. When I tried telling her I never wanted it, never consented, that I told him no, she outright said she was going to choose to believe her own version of the story.

She also knew about my being raped but would talk about that one like he was an old family friend.

When I told another friend I'd been raped, he went "I dunno, sounds like a grey area to me..." I felt like I'd been punched in the stomach - this was someone who had been very supportive of me while going through my divorce an was one of the first. Later on he told me it would be wrong to cut off contact with my family when I wanted to do it in my late 20s and his advice was the reason I continued to put up with their abuse for another 3 years before I finally went through with "divorcing" them.

I consider my extended family's refusal to believe that I was SA'd by my b-family to be a form of betrayal too.

[b]3. Did you "tell" people in a way other then words about your abuse? (anorexia, withdrawing etc)[/b]

I had anorexia throughout my teens into my early 20s and then lapsed again after I was raped. I also struggled with compulsive eating from the time I was little until I started getting help a couple years ago.

As a child nearly every one of my report cards said I "did not work up to my full potential." I think part of that is my having neurological disabilities that were not officially recognized or were only diagnosed in boys at that time and therefore no help was available to me, and nobody is to blame for that, it is what it is. But it wouldn't surprise me if the abuse making me think so little of myself contributed.

I was also criticized for crying a lot, not just by my b-family but teachers. I was told I had an "anger problem." (Gee, you think?!)

I have had chronice problems with depression and anxiety nearly my whole life. I also have some PTSD symptoms though I've never been officially diagnosed. I've had so many bad experiences with therapists I can't bring myself to go again.

[b]4. "The damage of betrayal is deepening the conviction that relationships can neither be enjoyed, trusted, nor expected to last" Do you agree with that statement? Why or why not?[/b]

Sort of and sort of not. I think if I genuinely felt that ALL relationships could not be enjoyed, trusted, or expected to last, I likely wouldn't be married with kids today. But, it doesn't mean that I don't have an edge of cynicism when it comes to my marriage, or that I don't have difficulty enjoying my husband and children, and I think this concept is behind why I tend to find fault in others and why I have difficulty communicating my emotions and opening up.

[b]5. How do you see yourself now?[/b]

A mess.

[b]6. Have you begun to tell others about your abuse? What have your experiences been like?[/b]

I've been telling people for a while now. Most of my friends know I am an incest survivor, as does my husband.

Only a handful of friends and my husband, and Pandy's know about the rape.

Most of my friends, except for Mr. "Grey Area" have been supportive (I'm no longer friends with him or his wife, we, um, fell out of touch). Same with my husband, he's been the one person to validate what I've been through as being abuse or rape in real life. His family knows about my family of origin and they have stuck up for me, they tell me constantly that I am family to them.

[b]7. Do you trust others? Do you trust yourself?[/b]

This is still a big issue for me. I don't have as much fear of abandonment anymore but I still do fear that certain people in my life won't "be there" for me in the way I need or that if I'm honest about how I feel that I'll be retaliated against, as unfortunately that has happened. I've also dealt with the whole thing of believing that because I was raised a certain way or because I had certain experiences in some relationships that this must be how everyone is, and that does chip away my trust in others.

I am not sure about whether I trust myself. Okay, no, I do know - I don't. I never take big risks and want everything to be comfortable and remain the same so I don't have to be scared and I don't have to worry about making mistakes or failing. So no, I don't trust myself.

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1. Were you silenced by someone? How?
Only silenced by myself, not willing to talk in fear of retaliation and then once i did start talking i was retaliated against so in a sense my fears were grounded in reality.

2. Have other, beside the abuser, betrayed you? (In relation to your abuse?)
Well i'm not sure, does my mother telling me its my fault count?

3. Did you "tell" people in a way other then words about your abuse? (anorexia, withdrawing etc)
I don't know if i was actually trying to tell anyone what happened but I did witdraw completely from my life and quit my job. I relocated to another town and never spoke to anyone who I knew before about what happened.

4. "The damage of betrayal is deepening the conviction that relationships can neither be enjoyed, trusted, nor expected to last" Do you agree with that statement? Why or why not?
Yes. I am scared to even think about entering any relationship. I do have one friendship now but i'm still very scared because i get so touchy about subjects that I often scream or yell or argue about my feelings and i wonder if i'm just constantly trying to make this person out to be an enemy although she has proven time and time again she is a really good friend.

5. How do you see yourself now?
I see myself as one who exists, i live and move but have no being.

6. Have you ever begun to tell others about your abuse? What have your experiences been like?
Yes I have started talking. Its still very difficult at times but mostly its been positive. I've found more support and then I find myself craving human contact so I can just talk to someone about whats happening and how I'm feeling then I don't feel so bad and so completely alone.

7. Do you trust others? Do you trust yourself?
I waiver on this. Trust isn't really a word I use anymore. I would like to trust again but it seems like a far off goal and I don't know when I'll reach it if ever. As for trusting myself, if I could get past this self doubt and self hatred then maybe that would happen again too. I just don't know.

Shoshanah

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[size=2][font="Franklin Gothic Medium"][b]1. Were you silenced by someone? How?[/b]

Yes, I was silenced by a couple of my abusers by them threatening me that if I told anyone they would kill me or they would give me the impression they were going to hurt me worse if I let anyone find out. I also silenced myself by living in isolatation and not allowing myself to talk about it for fear of the unknown happening.

[b]2. Have other, beside the abuser, betrayed you? (In relation to your abuse?)[/b]

Most definitely, my mother betrayed me by not coming to my rescue when she knew for a damn well fact I was being abused. I have a lot of "relationships" with abusive alcoholics who probably could've done more to protect me ie: my father and other family members.

[b]3. Did you "tell" people in a way other then words about your abuse? (anorexia, withdrawing etc)[/b]

Yep, I devoloped Anorexia at age twelve and I still continue to hurt my body by starving. I withdrew myself majorally by the time I was about 14-15 to the point I dropped out of school by the time I was 15.

[b]4. "The damage of betrayal is deepening the conviction that relationships can neither be enjoyed, trusted, nor expected to last" Do you agree with that statement? Why or why not?[/b]

Yes, more than I should. People have proven to me that they are worth being trusted and I still have issues with completly trusting them. I always expect people to leave my side so that way it doesn't hurt so much when they do. And I rarely enjoy relationships to their fullest for some reason or another.

[b]5. How do you see yourself now?[/b]

Tough one. I see myself as damaged. I'm most definitely not the same person I was at one time, but I see sides of that being good and bad. Sometimes I don't even think I know who I am. I definitely don't like myself and there's times when I can't even stand myself.

[b]6. Have you begun to tell others about your abuse? What have your experiences been like?[/b]

Yes, I have told others about my abuse, and I've had expirences that were good and bad. I've had therapists not know what to say so they blurted out the first thing that came into their not-so-smart minds. I've had "friends" that have abandoned me. I've had therapists and friends that were supportive. And then there is always the people that feel sorry for me.

[b]7. Do you trust others? Do you trust yourself?[/b]

It's rare that I completly 100% trust someone, but most of the time I keep my fears about them to myself. I don't trust myself much since being abused. [/font][/size]

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1. Were you silenced by someone? How?
I guess by myself...I didn't recognize what had happened at first as assault; the guy told me "you did nothing wrong, don't regret it," so I thought it was just plain regret I was feeling. And people didn't even know that I was hooking up with this guy cuz we kept it secret, for some reason. I heard my friends talking about him and saying how he was a jerk to girls and stuff. So, even after calling it assault and telling one person about it, I never said who it was, because I thought I'd be told I was stupid for seeing him in the first place. Plus I thought the guy would swear that he didn't do anything to me and I would feel all defensive, and already I continuously sway back on forth on what was my fault or his. People might have believed me over him, but I didn't want to risk it. I could have told more people if I wanted to, I guess.

2. Have others, beside the abuser, betrayed you? (In relation to your abuse?)
My friend I told was not available for me to talk to him. He used to always be around, and suddenly he was much too busy, and he never said when a good time to talk was. Then he got frustrated with MY frustration and said that he didn't want to be my "therapy friend" and I should try to have happier conversations with him. I was extremely let down.

3. Did you "tell" people in a way other than words about your abuse? (anorexia, withdrawing etc)
I think I really withdrew, I stopped sitting with my friends at meals so much because I didn't want them to hear them making their usual jokes which I was now very sensitive about. I spent a lot of time crying in my room. I especially stopped watching movies with them because certain scenes, the way guys spoke to women, made me very upset and I would leave; this was before I even officially labled what happened as assault. I have since found from the person I told that, after one of those times, my (guy) friends discussed whether something had happened to me. but they never asked me, and I didn't know they suspected anything. They didn't stop making insensitive comments (not as bad as what some guys say, but still, not things you typically hear girls joke about). The next semester, I became kind of obsessed with rape myths/education and kept talking about that, which made them suspicious again. But when I mentioned I was a virgin, they decided everything was fine. I guess in their mind, you were either raped or nothing at all happened.

4. "The damage of betrayal is deepening the conviction that relationships can neither be enjoyed, trusted, nor expected to last" Do you agree with that statement? Why or why not?
I think betrayal does deepen that conviction, but I also don't think it means you can't ever have a good relationship again. It's just harder.

5. How do you see yourself now?
I'm at home for the summer, being a hermit and just trying to relax after being so stressed out this year at school. I feel like my perspective on things has changed enormously, and I feel like I have to make a lot of changes with how I go about dealing with people because I'm sort of a doormat. I'm afraid that if I don't take the right measures about how others see me, then I will be hurt again or worse in the future, although I know that's kind of a negative way to think because it's like blaming myself for what happened. But I feel like I make it hard for most people to respect me, lovers or friends, because I avoid confrontation too much. I would also like to be with another guy,to be with someone who treats me properly, or even to be with a jerk again so I can leave him, to prove to myself that I know when to leave a bad situation...

6. Have you ever begun to tell others about your abuse? What have your experiences been like?
7 months after it happened and 2 months after realizing what had happened, I told a girl I've been online friends for 6 years, and have continued chatting to her about things since and she has been perfect, except she's not free to talk very much (and I avoided asking her to talk more often, because I had been let down by my someone else). I wish I could talk to her in person. I told one guy friend at school, who was initially great, but then very disappointing, as I said in #2. I saw a school counselor for a month and a half, before the semester ended. She was very nice, but it felt awful having to bottle up everything and only get to talk for one hour a week, and to someone who HAS to listen, not a friend. Therapists are good, but aren't you supposed to have both therapists AND friends?I have also never told anyone who assaulted me or exactly what he did.

7. Do you trust others? Do you trust yourself?
I trust the guy that I told. He is not much of a friend, but I don't believe he would ever abuse a girl he was seeing. The guys who came to my school to do the One in Four Men's Program also help restore my faith. But my basic instinct is to not trust guys, I guess, though I know there must be others like the ones I already know. I do not think I trust myself very much, because I am still so appalled that I got myself into a situation with a guy like that, that seemed completely out of character at yet I was still drawn to him. I thought I would know better, which is why I want to be with another guy, to prove to myself that I DO know better, and I just wasn't educated well before. But I'm also afraid to be with a new guy in case things go badly.

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I was harassed/stalked, not raped but I'll answer anyway.

1. Were you silenced by someone? How?

I felt like a wuss because I was being harassed by a blonde girl with large breasts (you know the type) in high school, who was rather slutty...but she was very forceful with flirtation, liked to get into personal space and touch more than was necessary. She would also go out of her way to corner me when I wasn't expecting it, and to rally her friends to push me to be with her. Plus she was bi and I was gay...and to say, "This blonde slutty chick is sexually harassing me to the point that I have nightly rape nightmares about her" is hard to do.

2. Have other, beside the abuser, betrayed you? (In relation to your abuse?)

I don't know honestly. My friend sort of loudly belted it out to some people that I was having rape nightmares about the girl (lovely huh?) and that I consider to be betrayal in some way.

3. Did you "tell" people in a way other then words about your abuse? (anorexia, withdrawing etc)

The girl who did this is by FAR not the only reason for my depression, but I cut...I've dealt with bouts of anorexia (I'm not sure actually...I mean my friends say I have it, I say I don't...gaah), I've carved words like "pure" into my arm to try to feel like I'm still innocent despite a lot of things, and I wrote some poetry anonymously for our school literary magazine.

4. "The damage of betrayal is deepening the conviction that relationships can neither be enjoyed, trusted, nor expected to last" Do you agree with that statement? Why or why not?

I sort of agree and disagree. When I had the first rape dream (after she had been giving me a dose of hell at school for a while), there was this moment when I felt like divinity had disowned me...this girl could just do whatever she wanted to me and no one cared/would help me. She still sometimes talks to me, and reinforces that if anything like that WERE to happen, I would and do deserve it...and it's hard when people tell me they want me in any way shape or form not to think of them as savage and horrible.

5. How do you see yourself now?

I hate myself most of the time.

6. Have you begun to tell others about your abuse? What have your experiences been like?

Yes...but harassment is hard to tell people about because she was such a crafty manipulator, she was very good at making it look as if you started absolutely everything she did...and she's very proud of this fact.

7. Do you trust others? Do you trust yourself?

I don't trust myself. I feel like deep down I'm a whore and I deserve whatever it is she has been trying to do to me...and I don't trust others because my own mother when I tried to tell her about this situation basically said, "STOP dreaming about girls/well that's what happens when you go around telling everybody you're gay."

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[quote name='' date='Nov 12 2001, 11:40 PM' post='19570']Here are my answers! (I do them too!)<p>
1. Were you silenced by someone? How?<p> i was silenced by my abuser (my stepfather). i was absolutely terrified of him and was convinced that he'd try to kill me if i told anyone <p>2. Have other, beside the abuser, betrayed you? (In relation to your abuse?)<p>well, i feel like my mum betrayed me because when i told her she called me a liar. ive lost a few friends over it as well. they just dont want to know me anymore, as if im contagious. i feel betrayed by them as well<p>3. Did you "tell" people in a way other then words about your abuse? (anorexia, withdrawing etc)<p>i think so. i used to write a lot of poetry. i started spending a lot of time on my own, and i was reading book after book on sexual abuse, and other peoples experiences, trying to understand.<p>
4. "The damage of betrayal is deepening the conviction that relationships can neither be enjoyed, trusted, nor expected to last" Do you agree with that statement? Why or why not?<p>i do to some extent. the damage from what happened to me has made me vary wary of relationships, and i dont trust people.

<p>5. How do you see yourself now?<p>as a very confused depressed girl. im 18 now and only been away from my abuser for 9 months. i struggle with everything constantly. the general workings of day to day life seem so exhausting and unnatural to me still. i dont know where im going, what im doing, or what im going to do.

<p>6. Have you begun to tell others about your abuse? What have your experiences been like?<p> i told my best friend at the time and all of a sudden it was like the world knew. at the time when i left home, i was involved in the very public world of drag racing, and for a long time it felt like everytime i went there, i couldnt turn around without someone asking me why i wasnt with my family anymore. most people have been really good about it, and they all keep telling me that bad things happen to bad people so he'll get his deserve...

<p>7. Do you trust others? Do you trust yourself?<p>i sometimes trust myself. not often though. i dont trust my judgement or my decisions. as for trusting other people, no. i dont trust them. as much as i love my friends and the people in my life, i dont trust any of them. i'm always wary of them and i'm convinced they'll eventually let me down. the only person i can trust is my partner, and even now, after almost a year, i dont trust him completely...[/quote]

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1. Were you silenced by someone? How?

He silenced me. He refused to hear my no. Now I don't bother with refusal. I find myself silently allowing a lot more than I ever thought I would.

2. Have others, beside the abuser, betrayed you? (In relation to your abuse?)

Not exactly. The efforts of my friends (with the exception of one) to support me have been feeble and half-hearted. Some change the subject, some pretend not to hear. But they are still, I suppose, well-intentioned people.

Frankly, I've betrayed myself by beginning to self harm. I was the one person I always thought I could rely on. I guess not, anymore.

3. Did you "tell" people in a way other then words about your abuse? (anorexia, withdrawing etc)

I don't mean to, but it seems to show. People seem to have this uncanny way of... knowing. I am not sure why, yet.

4. "The damage of betrayal is deepening the conviction that relationships can neither be enjoyed, trusted, nor expected to last" Do you agree with that statement? Why or why not?

Yes, I do agree. This is exactly how I feel about relationships, particularly romantic ones, at this time. I don't want to believe in anything only to get hurt again.

5. How do you see yourself now?

I barely know myself. I suppose I must be the same person, but it's hard to recognize who I once was.

I am selfish, scared, confused, needy, angry. I can't tell if I am re-creating myself or destroying myself.

6. Have you begun to tell others about your abuse? What have your experiences been like?

I have told some others. My mother has been wonderful about it. So has my best friend. A surprising number of people don't seem to know what to say. They act as if I've given them something really hard to deal with. Do they think it's easy for [i]me?[/i]

7. Do you trust others? Do you trust yourself?

I count the people I trust on one hand.

I am not included.

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[b]1. Were you silenced by someone? How?[/b]

My perp told me that I had done a very bad thing, and he promised not to tell if I didn't. I actually did try to tell my mom, but she wouldn't hear it. She told me that (at age 4) I was either telling an awful nasty lie because I'd been watching too much television, or I had seduced him and was a very bad girl. I told her I made the whole thing up. And to this day she believes that it was just a "phase" I went through where I told awful lies.

[b]2. Have other, beside the abuser, betrayed you? (In relation to your abuse?)[/b]

It was a huge betrayal when my mom didn't believe me, but otherwise no. I keep expecting it though. I can't seem to relax, I just know someone who knows will use the knowledge to hurt me, or else that I'll be hurt again in the same way that HE hurt me.

[b]3. Did you "tell" people in a way other then words about your abuse? (anorexia, withdrawing etc)[/b]

I think that I did, but no one ever noticed. I guess since I was their first child, my parents didn't realize how odd my behavior was or something.

[b]4. "The damage of betrayal is deepening the conviction that relationships can neither be enjoyed, trusted, nor expected to last" Do you agree with that statement? Why or why not?[/b]

Yes. After 5 years with my man I still keep expecting him to hurt me, can't imagine why he'd love me, and even though there's no reason to think we won't last, I'm convinced that he'll leave me and I'll die alone. I'm trying to learn better with him and with my friends, but somewhere in the back of my mind there's always the idea that I can't trust anyone because they would be better off without me. I feel like they all must be using me, must want something from me, and they'll take it if I don't give it willingly. Once they don't need me for...whatever, anymore, they'll leave.

[b]5. How do you see yourself now?[/b]

Sometimes I feel good about myself, but it seems like just when I start to feel like my life is worth something and I can make a difference and love and find happiness...something or someone will make me feel awful again. Someone will remind me that I'm nothing to them or anyone, only good for what I can offer. I suppose that they don't realize they are doing it, or mean to. But it doesn't change how I feel.

[b]6. Have you begun to tell others about your abuse? What have your experiences been like?[/b]

Yes. I have finally told the 4 people who matter the most to me. My bf told me that it was not his business and aside from one time he refuses to let me talk about it. He wants to pretend it never happened. My sister was and is very supportive. My younger cousin doesn't get it. She thinks I should be over it and said that "At least he didn't intentionally hurt you, that must really help." It doesn't. My older cousin I think was uncomfortable, but she is also a survivor and she best understands how I feel. Aside from telling them, I never talked to them about it. Knowing the general story is one thing. Hearing how much it still hurts would make me look weak I think.

[b]7. Do you trust others? Do you trust yourself?[/b]

I don't trust anyone.

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[b]1. Were you silenced by someone? How?[/b]
I was kept silent by my abuser, i was threatened to be harmed once i was threatened to be killed i also think because of my age that i wasn't able to convey in words what was going on

[b]2. Have other, beside the abuser, betrayed you? (In relation to your abuse?)[/b]
my middle school's police officer, when i first told anyone i told my teacher who then had to tell the school and the school officer was supposed to help with legal matters and he did not do his job.

[b]3. Did you "tell" people in a way other then words about your abuse? (anorexia, withdrawing etc)[/b]
I was a horrible child, i was in trouble at school and daycare for acting out, hitting, being disruptive, and not paying attention i was diagnosed with ADHD when i was in the third grade and come to find out i never had it, also in the 8th grade i went downhilli was withdrawn, cutting and not sleeping.

[b]4. "The damage of betrayal is deepening the conviction that relationships can neither be enjoyed, trusted, nor expected to last" Do you agree with that statement? Why or why not?[/b]
i do believe this, nothing is sure, or constant especially when it involves humans, but you can accept it for what it is and enjoy it as a temporary arrangement. I love my pet fish, but i know they won't last but about a month.

[b]5. How do you see yourself now?[/b]
I see myself as confused and restless, i am unhappy as to how i am but not sure as to if it can be fixed

[b]6. Have you begun to tell others about your abuse? What have your experiences been like?[/b]
i have told a small amount of people, mainly because i needed there help at the time

[b]7. Do you trust others? Do you trust yourself?[/b]
umm.. well lets say i trust myself more than i do others

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[b]Were you silenced by someone?[/b]
My grandfather told me my father wouldn't love me anymore, but I finally could not take the sexual abuse any longer and told.

[b]2. Have others, besides the abuser, betrayed you? [/b] (In relation to your abuser?)
My mother betrayed me because she blamed me for the abuse.

[b]3. Did you tell people in a way other than words about your abuse?[/b] (anorexia, withdrawal, etc.)
When I got older, I buried myself in a bottle of beer, but I'm almost 26 years sober now.

[b]4. The dammage of betrayal is deepening the conviction that relationships can neither be enjoyed, trusted, nor expected to last. Do you agree with this statement, why or why not?[/b]
The damage of betrayal can take a toll on your relationships, but if you work hard on healing, you will be able to have reasonably successful relationship. It all takes time and energy.

[b]5. How do you see yourself now?[/b]
I see myself as a stronger individual traveling a long a very long journey of healing. I see myself as a survivor who is not willing to give the perpetrator power and control over who I am.

[b]6. Have you begun to tell others about your abuse? What have your experiences been like?[/b]
I have told a few select people about my sexual abuse outside of Pandy's. The experience has been positive and supportive. However, I feel more support from Pandy members because they know what I am going through.

[b]7. Do you trust others? Do you trust yourself?[/b]
I have a difficult time trusting others but am working on it. I am learning to trust that I will make appropriate decisions for myself.

Thank you for posting these questions. They gave me some food for thought.

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1. Were you silenced by someone? How?

I am sure I was silenced by my father, but it was his actions more than his words his stare was terrifying and that was enough to keep my mouth shut. Albert the neighbor who abused me would threaten. He once killed my little tadpoles and said that next time I wouldn't fight. If he killed my little tadpoles I knew he would hurt others that I loved. He stomped on them right in front of me as I was trying to pick them up. Later when I was gang raped and I told the youth group leader I wasn't believed at all and she spread it all over the church that I was lying . I was the chunky unpopular girl why would I get raped. I should have learned sooner but I knew then I would never say another thing.

2. Have other, beside the abuser, betrayed you? (In relation to your abuse?)


There have been a lot of people that have betrayed me. Most of it came out when I decided to press charges on my father. The counselor that I saw told the detective that she didn't remember me talking about the abuse by him at all. I was devastated and couldn't believethat she wouldn't take a stand for me. My uncle told the DA that if she made him come and testify against my father that he would make my father look like a F***ing saint on the stand. I couldn't believe that these people couldn't stand up to my father and they were going to lt him hurt more children, that I will never understand.


3. Did you "tell" people in a way other then words about your abuse? (anorexia, withdrawing etc)

I think I did tell people in other ways its just no one noticed. I would never play with anyone else, always stayed pretty quiet. After the rapes started by my father at 5 I starting gaining weight , I wasn't generally happy was always worried about others and taking care of what others needed. I even had an imaginary friend that lived by my fence he knew better not come in the yard but he was there always with his hands in his pocket , I think I was always hurt so much his hands were in his pockets I knew he could never hurt me. I am sure there is only so much that a 5 year old can hide, the people around me chose not to see that I was dying inside.

4. "The damage of betrayal is deepening the conviction that relationships can neither be enjoyed, trusted, nor expected to last" Do you agree with that statement? Why or why not?


I do agree with that statement. When such terrible things happen in your own house when I was so young I learned to trust no one no one would make things better and no one would protect me. Even today I have a close friend and if I don't get a call back that day I worry that they are going to leave and be gone. I just learned never to rely on anyone for anything.

5. How do you see yourself now?

How do I see myself wow. I am not really sure and try not to think about it. I know that I am a good mom and I love every second of caring for my kids.Deep down when things get quiet and I have some time I see myself as pretty broken but someday I hope that will lessen. I know I am giving my children all the things that I never had and that makes me feel awesome but I still get so sad at times for all the things I never got.


6. Have you begun to tell others about your abuse? What have your experiences been like?

I have told a few others. Its not something that is easy or comfortable conversation. Sometimes I just want to be able to get it all out but thats not fair either no one deserves to sit through that


7. Do you trust others? Do you trust yourself?

NOPE I don't trust others at all for anything. I know thats not good but oh my to have my trust betrayed anymore is something I can't do. Do I trust myself I think more and more I am trusting myself but its still a struggle.

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1. Were you silenced by someone? How?

well, i think i was mostly silenced by myself. initally, the first time it happened, or the first abuser it happened with, i didnt realize it was rape. it was only my 4th or 5th sexual encounter, and only my 3rd boyfriend. i thought i was supposed to lay there and take it. when i knew better, and it happened again, i guess i would have the same answer. i silenced myself. i just never spoke the words. i was too afraid of them.

2. Have other, beside the abuser, betrayed you? (In relation to your abuse?)


yes. my parents. there were things going on with my brother at the time that it came to a peak (he was not part of my abuse) and they took his side. really, really turned their backs on me. i have had friends betray me. making rude commentaries. i have had therapists betray me. i have betrayed myself because for such a long time i was silent and felt i deserved what i got. that person who felt that is a stranger to me now. which is a good thing. and i guess part of the reason why i am doing this exercise; to see how far ive ocme.

3. Did you "tell" people in a way other then words about your abuse? (anorexia, withdrawing etc)

i had depression and ptsd. initally, i lost a lot of weight. i had anxiety and would not go out to get food. then, i gained weight. i lost one of my jobs. i had to go on medical leave with another job. so yes - i suppose i told people about my abuse.

4. "The damage of betrayal is deepening the conviction that relationships can neither be enjoyed, trusted, nor expected to last" Do you agree with that statement? Why or why not?

no. i simply cant. it has no place in my life. i would not have made it thru this if it were not for the people on here and the few people i trusted. i already gave them (the abusers) my time, my tears, my anger. i could not give them this. i have to believe that there are relationships that can actually work; friendships and otherwise. everyones life constantly shifts. i realized that part of the reason others left me is not because they couldnt handle what was going on with me; its because they had things to cope with in their own life. it just seemed like such a huge betrayal then. relationships are harder for me because of the betrayal, but i could not allow the abusers to take my trust in all facets of my life. my friends and the relationship i had with them kept me standing.


5. How do you see yourself now?

it varies. sometimes i see myself as this super amazing strong woman who is a survivor, facing things head on, being brave, resilent, simply fabulous; laughing and playing and blowing bubbles. then there are days that are harder where i look in the mirror and i just want to rip my skin off. my size bothers me. i resent my body. i resent the effect that this has all had on my life. it poured over into everything.

6. Have you begun to tell others about your abuse? What have your experiences been like?

absolutely. i just joined pandys on facebook and asked other friends to join; friends that havent seen me in eons, and told them it was because i was a sexual assault survivor. they all joined. nope; everyone knows.

7. Do you trust others? Do you trust yourself?

it is hard for me to trust others. and when i do and that trust is broken, its hard to get back. i dont give it out. there is not an assumtion of trust. with me, you have to earn it. and that goes for myself and for others in my life. i guess i trust myself. in some cases. so no, not fully. but im getting there.

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[b]1. Were you silenced by someone?[/b]
Even though I was only 7 when it ended, the shame caused silence enough.

[b]2. Have others, besides the abuser, betrayed you? (In relation to your abuser?)[/b]
He was finally caught abusing me when his little sister walked in on us. She told her mom, who told my mom. When I got home that day, I was actually "in trouble" for what had been happening. We have never talked about it to this day, but I was grounded and she said things like, "how could I ever trust you again?" I still don't know if she knows the extent of the abuse. It went on for years, but I guess to her knowledge, that last time was the only time. That statement has effed with my head for years. But we have a great relationship, she's just completely in the dark.

[b]3. Did you tell people in a way other than words about your abuse? (anorexia, withdrawal, etc.)[/b]
I was the kid who called home everyday from school with a "stomach ache." I used to SI in really discreet ways. I didn't even know what I was doing, why, or that it was an actual thing. I just knew it made me feel better. In hindsight, it was childhood depression. My parents took me to see a T, who told them that I was depressed, but I was such a good actor even then that they thought that their little Alli, cute and bubbley, could never been depressed or damaged. Ooops.

[b]4. The dammage of betrayal is deepening the conviction that relationships can neither be enjoyed, trusted, nor expected to last. Do you agree with this statement, why or why not?[/b]
Oh god. Agreed. Friendships are fine. Its the romantic ones I've always had trouble with. I kinda suck at them.

[b]5. How do you see yourself now?[/b]
I try not to see myself at all. I can barely look in a mirror when my voice teacher asks me to sing while looking at my reflection. A nervous smile is plastered onto my face. I've been so overly stressed by school that all I can see is someone who is happy-go-lucky by day, playing the part of normal, and by night, someone who is falling apart at the seams, barely keeping it together.

[b]6. Have you begun to tell others about your abuse? What have your experiences been like?[/b]
When I was little, I would share stories about it with other kids, only to find that they had similar experiences. I never felt the trauma of it until high school, when I was sitting in my AP Psychology class, and the subject we were studying was Childhood Sexual Abuse. I effing lost it. Full on panic attack. Told my best friends what had happened in class and when I was a kid, and they helped me get into therapy right away. They even went with me to my first couple of sessions. My parents still don't know why I'm in therapy.

[b]7. Do you trust others? Do you trust yourself?[/b]
Trust is such a general term that feels very funny to me. I think at this point in my life, I know who I can trust for certain things. Trust in myself is a little on the fritz. Edited by Alli3144

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[quote name='Alli3144' post='861153' date='Jan 18 2009, 11:00 PM'][b]1. Were you silenced by someone?[/b]
I think that I silenced myself

[b]2. Have others, besides the abuser, betrayed you? (In relation to your abuser?)[/b]
I am not sure what this question asks, but relative to my abuser (my father), my sister betrayed me later on by putting me in a dangerous situation, and blaming me (when I was 15) for a very inappropriate comment she heard her husband say about me. It seems like there was always a male out there that wanted to hurt me. I was hurt by other males later in life after my father.

[b]3. Did you tell people in a way other than words about your abuse? (anorexia, withdrawal, etc.)[/b]
I was the child that was very withdrawn, quiet, and tried very hard to stay invisible. I didn't eat, and I went through a very self-destructive phase, cutting, and putting myself in dangerous situations. I stayed away from home as much as possible. Looking back, as a parent, I think that my pain would have been obvious.

[b]4. The damage of betrayal is deepening the conviction that relationships can neither be enjoyed, trusted, nor expected to last. Do you agree with this statement, why or why not?[/b]
I think that what happened will always affect my relationship, I believe that I will never truly be able to trust unconditionally. I am always scared of what I care about will be taken away from me, that I have to be as perfect as possible or my husband will leave me. It was very hard to trust that someone really did love me.

[b]5. How do you see yourself now?[/b]
I see myself as a strong person that can be able to just about handle anything that comes her way, I see myself as caring and compassionate. All at the same time I also feel forever and irreversibly damaged, ugly, incapable and scared

[b]6. Have you begun to tell others about your abuse? What have your experiences been like?[/b]
I have tried, and have through writing, letters. I can't 'talk' about it face to face. I told my husband through a letter, he said he was sorry and that he knows that I could handle whatever I am going through and it was pretty much dropped after that. I have told two friends through emails, one changed the subject, and one said that it is not a rare thing to happen, that it happens more than I think, and I never heard from her again. Pandys of course, wonderful responses and I could not have asked for anything more, and a therapist that gave me a lot of compassion and understanding that I needed, and still need.

[b]7. Do you trust others? Do you trust yourself?[/b]
I trust others to an extent, if I know them (family members, children, and husband). People I do not know well (co-workers, and pretty much anybody but my family), I do not trust at all. Myself, I do not trust at all[/quote]

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[font="Palatino Linotype"]1. Were you silenced by someone? How?

Yes, by my abuser (also my bf at the time). He kept on telling me that he "loved" me, & he wanted me to feel "the best pleasure possible", & that what "we" were doing was "natural & pleasurable", so I thought I was the crazy one for not liking it. I felt like I was alone & I was losing my mind.



2. Have other, beside the abuser, betrayed you? (In relation to your abuse?)

Yes. Many ask "why did you let him do those things to you?" & "why didn't you leave him right away?" & "why didn't you call the police?". They don't understand that when you are in love with your perpetrator, it isn't that easy. Others minimilaze it & tell me that since the abuse was only sexual & not physical, it "wasn't that bad". Some people just see it as me "having sex". I've never even had sex, it was something I was forced & threatened into doing. Ugh.


3. Did you "tell" people in a way other then words about your abuse? (anorexia, withdrawing etc)

Yes, I used to smoke weed & drink a lot while I was in the relationship with my ex-bf/perpetrator.


4. "The damage of betrayal is deepening the conviction that relationships can neither be enjoyed, trusted, nor expected to last" Do you agree with that statement? Why or why not?

Not really. After being SA, the survivor does feel that any relationship is hopeless. I know I have. But there are people you can trust out there & healhty friendships you can have.

5. How do you see yourself now?

Healing but still damaged.

6. Have you begun to tell others about your abuse? What have your experiences been like?

Yes. Many family members know, & a couple of my friends know. It's a mixed bag. See question #2.

7. Do you trust others? Do you trust yourself?

Yes. If I know the person very well & I care about them, then yes I trust them. [/font]

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1. Were you silenced by someone? How?
Yes, my father silenced me by telling me it was supposed to be a secret and that if I told, very bad things would happen. So I grew up "knowing" that if you have problems with someone or something, you don't talk about them. You bury them all inside because you don't deserve to be able to express your emotions.


2. Have other, beside the abuser, betrayed you? (In relation to your abuse?)
In relation to my abuse? I'm not sure. I haven't told anyone about it other than a very small amount of people. People have said stupid things about it, at least what happened last summer, like "why didn't you tell anyone then?" and that hurts. :(


3. Did you "tell" people in a way other then words about your abuse? (anorexia, withdrawing etc)
My entire personality changed when I was a child. I became extremely withdrawn. I hid from everyone and everything I could manage. I also became very depressed and started self-injuring when I was about 9, although I didn't call it that. And now I believe I have some kind of eating disorder, although not positive it's anorexia.



4. "The damage of betrayal is deepening the conviction that relationships can neither be enjoyed, trusted, nor expected to last" Do you agree with that statement? Why or why not?

Yes. It's so hard to trust in any relationships now. Although I think I'm managing all right.

5. How do you see yourself now?
Damaged, fragile...but not broken. Not anymore.


6. Have you begun to tell others about your abuse? What have your experiences been like?
Yes, both on Pandy's and in real life (my best friend, my boyfriend, etc.). For the most part, they've been supportive, with the exception of a few "stupid" kinds of comments.


7. Do you trust others? Do you trust yourself?
I trust only one other person completely and totally. I don't even trust myself as much as I trust my boyfriend. Other people, I trust to varying extents, but not very much usually.

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1)Were you silenced by someone? All of my a*****s tried to shut me up. :cry: (Fortuneatly W wasn't successful)
2)Have others,besides the a*****s betrayed you? If you count my ex bff T,no longer talking to me b/c her bf doesn't like me (eventhough he's never met me)then yes.
3)Did you tell people in a way other than words about your abuse? Whenever I would see **, I'd start to :cry: As for M, I never wanted to be alone with him. :scared: :scared2: I can't recall how told my mom that W had attempted to **** me. In B's case, considering that went to my grandma W's house @ 1am I'd say yes.
4)"The damage of a betrayal is deepening the conviction that relationships can neither be enjoyed,trusted nor expected to last?No
5)How do you see yourself now? I'd like to think I'm alot stronger emoitonally than I was 2 yrs ago.
6)Have you begun to tell others about your a****? What have your experiances been like? Yes I have and some have been negative. My bff,M and her sister T didn't call me for a while because they didn't know what to say to help me. :tear: :down:
7)Do you trust others? Do you trust yourself? I'm beggining to.

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1. Were you silenced by someone? How?
.My uncle was my abuser. He silenced me by telling me that if I told anyone about the abuse, he'd get a knife and kill me.

2. Have others, beside the abuser, betrayed you? (In relation to your abuse?)
My ex girlfriend laughed when I told her what happened. She said I was making it up. She didn't believe that male rape happens too.

3. Did you "tell" people in a way other then words about your abuse? (anorexia, withdrawing etc)
.I started cutting myself, to the point that I ended up in hospital for a week because of it.

4. "The damage of betrayal is deepening the conviction that relationships can neither be enjoyed, trusted, nor expected to last" Do you agree with that statement? Why or why not?
.I'm not sure. I am in a stable relationship with my girlfriend Sarah, but it took a long time for me to be myself around her. As for my uncle, I am still scared of him, even though he's been dead for 2 years.

5. How do you see yourself now?
.Vulnerable, but a little stronger now that Sarah knows what happened.

6. Have you begun to tell others about your abuse? What have your experiences been like?
.I recently told Sarah. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do, but she was great. She's so strong, it amazes me how supportive she is. I'll always be grateful for that.

7. Do you trust others? Do you trust yourself?
.Trust is hard for me. I trust Sarah. I hate being alone with people I hardly know, like some of Sarah's friends when I met them, if she wasn't in the room I got really uncomfortable to be there. I scare myself sometimes, the thoughts I have, the nightmares, but I am beginning to trust myself more now.

Danny.

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1. Were you silenced by someone? How?
I don't think anybody silenced me in a way. I just silence myself I think. Allthough I used to get these dreams where I was running or something from somebody and I would scream but no sound came out. I hear that's connected to the feeling to not be able to talk.

2. Have other, beside the abuser, betrayed you? (In relation to your abuse?)
Yes. My ex best friend abandoned me when I got to remember a part of my assault because he wasn't ready to hear the details. He abandoned me when I needed him the most, when I was in the middle of a really bad breakdown.

3. Did you "tell" people in a way other then words about your abuse? (anorexia, withdrawing etc)
I withdrew a little. I stopped feeling. I changed my clothing style. I just changed.

4. "The damage of betrayal is deepening the conviction that relationships can neither be enjoyed, trusted, nor expected to last" Do you agree with that statement? Why or why not?
I have only had 3 relationships.
The first one was with a guy a little while before I came out as a lesbian, it lasted a week and had no sexual inimacy. I dumped him. The guy was head over heals for me but I had no feelings what so ever for him. He ended up stalking me.
The next was a girl. I had no feelings for her but I thought I wanted a relationship. I dumped her after about a month.
The third was with a girl. We were best friends and I actually think that I loved her. We had some pretty amaizing times together that sound more like a fairytale than reality. But we came to a mutual aggreement to end the relationship because the both of us were'nt ready for one.
I've been single for a little over a year now, but I've been keeping up some sexual activeness with one night stands while I was drunk. But the last time I had sex was last april.

5. How do you see yourself now?
I don't actually know exactly. I'm kind, willing to help others, a good listener, stubborn, patient, focked up emotionally and more things.

6. Have you begun to tell others about your abuse? What have your experiences been like?
I've told very few people, but the poeple that I have told about it have been very supportive.

7. Do you trust others? Do you trust yourself?
Beginning to. I think I will always have a problem with it though.

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Thank you for posting these.

1. Were you silenced by someone?
Myself. I felt so awkward and afraid, and also by his nonchalant reaction to the whole situation. He didn't seem to acknowledge that anything had been done wrong, and I was afraid to challenge this belief.

2. Have others, besides the abuser, betrayed you? (In relation to your abuser?)
No, not directly. The closest thing I would say is my friend, who I told about the situation, who continues to put herself in positions where she's drunk and alone with random men. It feels almost like a betrayal, and I don't understand why she won't listen to me and protect herself. I'm really afraid for her.

3. Did you tell people in a way other than words about your abuse? (anorexia, withdrawal, etc.)
Chain smoking like mad.

4. The dammage of betrayal is deepening the conviction that relationships can neither be enjoyed, trusted, nor expected to last. Do you agree with this statement, why or why not?
I think while it does do damage, that damage is not irreversible. You just need to work through it, and learn to trust again, but remain cautious of who you trust at the same time.

5. How do you see yourself now?
Stronger, older, but still struggling.

6. Have you begun to tell others about your abuse? What have your experiences been like?
Yes. I had the most supportive reaction just two nights ago, when I told one of my best male friends. When I told him I had been raped, he was actually physically taken aback and tears sprung up automatically in his eyes. He asked what happened, and I couldn't look at him when I told him the story. There wasn't much immediate reaction, and I could tell that my story had really really upset him, which upset me. We moved on to other conversations, and the next day i noticed a difference in him. There's an added gentleness in his movements around me now, even just in the way he looks at me. I can tell he really cares, and thats probably the most touching thing ever. He's the only person I managed to tell in person.

7. Do you trust others? Do you trust yourself?
Yes, I trust myself. Others, I'm willing to trust most of them- but trust doesn't include wanting to be alone with them if theres any inkling that things could go bad.

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[b]1. Were you silenced by someone? How?[/b]
Yes, by myself because of fear, my age, and avoidance. Also by one of my abusers, he said he would break up with me and I thought I would be alone forever and didnt deserve anything better.... so I stayed quiet. Again by others (outsiders) saying how great people my abusers were (of course, not knowing the real them) and always telling me how lucky I was to have them in my life, so I talked myself into believing what was happening wasnt real.

[b]2. Have other, beside the abuser, betrayed you? (In relation to your abuse?)[/b]
Yes, friends after hearing the stories of the "real" me. And ex-partners who used my vulnerability to benefit them.

[b]3. Did you "tell" people in a way other then words about your abuse? (anorexia, withdrawing etc)
[/b]
Yes. As a child I "told" others through my major anger and physically getting upset (kicking, holding my breath, hitting myself)
As a teen and adult, becoming withdrawn from others, anger, binge eating, cutting, failing classes.

[b]4. "The damage of betrayal is deepening the conviction that relationships can neither be enjoyed, trusted, nor expected to last" Do you agree with that statement? Why or why not?[/b]
I used to believe that statement more in the past and still do on my bad days. It takes a large intentional effort for me to be able to think differently, but it is coming more and more naturally now. Through therapy and true friendships, I am beginning to have positive experiences with others.

[b]5. How do you see yourself now?[/b]
Self image is one of my biggest issues at this point... I can honestly say I really hate myself and who I am. Both Individual therapy and Group Therapy are helping me to participate in self care and love.

[b]6. Have you begun to tell others about your abuse? What have your experiences been like[/b]?
I have over the past year. The experiences have been very positive for the most part, causing others to be more understanding as well as able to make a connection with me. Other experiences have been negative because some people have used my vulnerability against me.

[b]7. Do you trust others? Do you trust yourself?[/b]
I do trust myself, most of the time. Other times I feel like I am so "crazy" I cant trust myself. I am beginning to trust others, I trust people initially then as they learn more about me and as the relationships progress, I start to question everything they do or say.

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1. Were you silenced by someone? How?

I only told one friend then, because I didn't want anyone else to know. The one that picked me up knew, but we never really talked about it after I told him I didn't want to talk about it and I just wanted to get to his house so I could sleep (I couldn't face by family). He at least knew that there was a lot of bad stuff going on, because I was crying, my shirt was ripped and I had walked over a mile before I even realized I didn't have my shoes on.

2. Have other, beside the abuser, betrayed you? (In relation to your abuse?)

Sometimes I feel like my husband is betraying me, because he acts like it's not a big deal and has asked when I'm going to get over it.

3. Did you "tell" people in a way other then words about your abuse? (anorexia, withdrawing etc)

I withdrew some, but I tried really hard to appear the same on the outside. I was terrified that my mom would find out and think it was my fault. I avoided my house as much as possible on the weekends when my sister was home from college, because I was afraid she would find out.

4. "The damage of betrayal is deepening the conviction that relationships can neither be enjoyed, trusted, nor expected to last" Do you agree with that statement? Why or why not?

I have a really hard time trusting anyone, and I think part of it stems from that.

5. How do you see yourself now?

That depends on the day. I view myself as pretty strong most of the time. I feel like I've dealt with this largely by myself for six years, so I can deal with anything. But then the nightmares come and I can't sleep with my light and TV off, and realize that maybe I'm not dealing with it quite as effectively as I had hoped. During the day I'm confident that I'm strong, and handling things well.

6. Have you begun to tell others about your abuse? What have your experiences been like?

In real life, I have told very few people. My husband and I were already married before I told him the first time, and even now we very rarely talk about it.

7. Do you trust others? Do you trust yourself?

I don't trust anyone except for my sister, but I've never told her, so maybe I don't even fully trust her. I think the reason I haven't told her is because I don't want her to hurt, but I'm not positive on that.
I trust myself sometimes, but never fully. It seems like I'm always reminding myself that my choices aren't always good ones or I never would have put myself in that situation. Edited by daybydaybyday

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