(image: JPMS Medical blogs)
The writer of this article is an anonymous woman who wanted to speak out to share her story of being sexually abused as a child and teen. She also has mental health issues as a result.
Trigger warning: please read with care
I have been abused twice, both times were at the hands of people I knew and respected, once when I was 8 and once at around age 17/18.
A lot of the memories were lost due to the extent of the trauma, but having EMDR has opened up the box, broken the chain that was firmly fixed around it and let all the memories out.
It has been horrendous, reliving the abuse, the detail of my memory, almost physically feeling I am back, as a child in that bed, remembering the details . The family friend was a women, who was so trusted by all of us, growing up I adored her, admired her, almost wanted to be her, and now, all of those feelings have vanished replaced by to many emotions to specify one.
When I was a teenager I was abused by a well known Rabbi, thankfully the abuse this man carried out has come out in to the community.
I have written this letter in the hope that more people in the community may feel more able to step forward to talk about this.
If someone would like my e mail address please ask the blog owner for it.
Dear my abuser (s)
This letter will never get sent , but I want you to know what impact you had on my life, how those actions which may have only lasted 15 -30 minutes , actions which you probably have forgotten about, shaped the person I have become.
In a strange way I am grateful for the memories of what you did, as not having the memory, yet knowing that something happened was worse. When the memories savaged my brain, invading my mind with your face, your hands and your body I believed that the shock and horror would never pass, everything I had ever thought of you, all my memories of you changed from seeing you as a positive, supportive influence to a monster who had harmed me in the worst way possible.
Your actions, made me aware from such a young age of my body .For years I knew, that from the age of around 9 my body was an immensely complicated thing in my mind, at such a young age being so aware of my body affected my confidence, self esteem and self love .
At age 8 you took away the most precious thing, you helped yourself to my innocence, you took away from the person I could have become and began my journey to becoming the person I have been.
That knowledge made me in to a pretty messed up person.
My child is around that age . I look at my child and see a happy future, a future filled with love and self confidence. The thought of something similar happening to my child is to painful to contemplate.
By the time I was in my teens, my journey of self destruction was well on its way. I had learned by that time how to hide things, how to keep secrets, how to come across as confident and well adjusted and to this day my public persona and the person I am inside are two very different people. My life, for so many years was about seeking physical pleasure in order to reassure myself that I was a loveable, attractive person, that having sex was the self affirmation I needed to survive, lowering myself, giving my body freely, whilst hating myself for doing it, gave me the tools to breath, to live. Even today, if I do not feel my husband desires me it destroys me for days.
There were so many questions, mostly WHY, and HOW, how could I have let this happen to me twice, and why did it happen twice ( I know now that is was BECAUSE it happened once it happened again ) , how could I have stood as an older teen -when I let the pictures overtake my mind I am screaming silently why, why, why.
It is like being at a movie, a never ending movie, you can not leave the screening, you are on the screen, you try to yell, you try to reach out to the girl in the movie, but she can not hear you, you see her at 8, you see her at 17 you see her life unravelling, and you can not do anything to stop it, you want to beg her to tell, you want to beg her to be strong.
You see the girl grow, you see the way she lived her life, and you understand how the girls journey began, it makes sense to you that the girl ends up with severe mental health issues , you see how mental health issues are worsened by no self esteem, how other tragic events could tip her over the edge and compel her to seek comfort in the arms of any man who would take her, and you understand her.
I understand now that cause and effect would dictate that the reason I ended up in your office, was a direct result of what she did to me at age 8, that she was the one who started the chain of events.
You taught me, you guided me to the mind-set that “the way to get love and care is to do what a man wants”.
My whole self worth was wrapped up in a package labelled, please sleep with me.
I feel so much sadness, sadness for the girl you both violated, sadness that the girl whose body you choose to fulfil your sick desires was mine, sadness that I am constantly questioning everything, why was I there, how could I have let you, why didn’t I tell anyone, when will I be able to go a day, an hour, 10 minutes without one of you pushing your way in to my thoughts.
There is nothing I can do to turn back time, there is no way I can ask you why, or sit with you and show you the movie of my life, the one which you started, I pray that there will come a time I can accept what you both did, I hope with all my heart a day will come when you will not mean anything to me.
All I can do is wait, sit with these constant overwhelming thoughts, trying to untangle them like a necklace with those annoying knots in the chain that are impossible to open, yet I will persevere.
I will continue to pick at the chain until all those knots have gone and you both become dust that is blown away from my mind
If you need support with sexual abuse and you live in the UK please contact:
The Survivors Trust