What happened next when you told someone about your sexual abuse?

There has been a secret you’ve been concealing, that’s most likely eating you up inside, however, you now have mustered enough courage to tell someone you trust. It’s rough, and you’re just a kid.

Protection and trust have already been shattered by your abuser; you just couldn’t take it anymore, now it’s time to receive compassion, tenderness and told you were so courageous for coming forward and that person will be punished.

It may perhaps have been very positive for you, you were believed, acknowledged, obtained love, affection, sorrow and apologies for this ever happening; possibly counseling. You went on to recover with perhaps some difficulty, but you received support.

OR

Instead, it was the most regretful day of my life.

A brief detail of my abuse. Our neighbor (Fred), whom I adored, trusted, showered me with gifts and termed me his “princess”, began sexually abusing me at around five or six years old for about 2 years. He had free rein while babysitting my (baby) brother and me a few days per week, as well as, taking turns at his house while his wife was upstairs.

The nights of sexual terror became more recurrent and I could cling on to this “secret” no longer; ultimately breaking down and “telling”. My parents confronted him, which of course he denied any wrongdoing. Confusion and my head muddled, I was ordered to apologize to this person for causing trouble.

So, on a sweltering, hot afternoon, I walked next door. Standing there unaccompanied, frightened, bewildered, yet furious, I behaved like the noble little girl – rapped lightly on the back door. When he appeared, I respectfully stated “I’m sorry for the trouble that I caused”, with him responding, “that’s ok we all make mistakes”. Those words make me well up with tears to this day.

This is the way I surmise my parents reacted to my “telling”:

~~I can’t believe this, Fred, of all people, he adores her and would never hurt her

~~Sexually abusing her, doesn’t seem right, there is no way, she must be making this up

~~I think she is getting him back for something, she’s spoiled rotten

~~She always has this wild imagination, always in her room dreaming up stories, a loner

~~He’s always buying her gifts and showering her with love and now she does this to him

~~Well, I don’t believe for one minute this happened, do you?

~~I don’t know, possibly he touched her and she interpreted it wrong

~~We better confront him, although I feel bad, almost embarrassed, but we want to get his side

Children must be believed. Less than one percent of sexual abuse allegations by children are false.:

~~Well, I am so angry and embarrassed. He said there is NO way he would ever touch her.

~~I totally believe him. He said he cares for her too much to ever do that

~~She is an embarrassment to this whole family now, accusing him of this horrible thing

~~This is the worst thing a kid could ever do to an adult

~~That’s it, no more contact between him and her, and no more babysitting for sure

~~I’m so mad, I’m spitting nails, what happens if the other neighbors find out, we are going to be shamed. She is grounded for at least a month.

~~The only thing to do to smooth things over is for her to apologize to Fred. Get her to go over NOW

~~And, we should invite them over on Sunday for dinner, and I’ll make my special potatoes. What did I do to deserve a kid like this?

I felt I was doing the right thing by telling my parents, but when they didn’t, believe me, I was dumbfounded. The day I apologized was the day my soul was broken, taking years to trust anyone again.  I remain in therapy until this day healing from both sexual and emotional abuse as a child.

Written and copyright by Deb McCarthy 2017

26 thoughts on “What happened next when you told someone about your sexual abuse?

    1. Thanks so much for your caring words. It’s been a tough thing to deal with my entire life to think how parents don’t believe their children when they are approached with such a serious situation.

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  1. So horrible not to be believed. So horrible to be sexually abused.

    My grandmother told my sister, when she was 16, that I had run to her in the middle of the night and told her my dad was, “hurting me down there.” I was around 3 or 4 yrs. old. Grandma said, “I told your mother, but she wouldn’t believe me.

    When I was 7 or 8 I got a genital wart. I think my mom didn’t believe the doctor. Later, she told me, “I didn’t believe anyone.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just horrible. I believe the way my parents dealt with the sexual abuse had a larger impact on me. Those memories have followed me all of my life and have had to deal with them in therapy. Thanks for commenting. 🙂 I’m sorry this happened to you, it’s not fair when you can’t trust the people you thought you could trust.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The whole thing is despicable and evil. I’ve been victim too, so I understand. I don’t believe that our Broken Minds ever truly heal from our trauma, neglect, abuse and emotional targeting, starting when we’re so young. How can a broken mind heal from any trauma, when the very people you TRUST are abusing you, and when you turn to other people you TRUST for help, they call you a liar, or laugh at you, and then make great friends with your abuser?? Fuck that!! and them….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right, the broken mind never really heals, and I’m certain the emotional abuse had more of an impact on my life than the sexual abuse itself. The way my parents dealt with that situation was like a slap in the face, or more like, “why are you bothering us with this?” The betrayal and trust factors for both cases of abuse are so difficult to overcome, and in an article I wrote, ‘daughters of narcissistic mothers have a hard time keeping friendships’ are due to this factor. This is true with me and includes other situations in my adult life. So sorry you had to experience this also. Trust is a biggie, especially when it begins when you’re a kid.

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  3. I am so so sorry you had to go through this. As a child sexual abuses survivor myself, I could only feel your pain very acutely. I doubt anything I can say can put a balm on your soul, so I will only offers hugs and a ton of love. I hope that in time, one day, you are able to trust again and you are able to put the pain behind you. ❤ Hugs

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    1. Thank you and huge hugs back. 🙂 The way my parents handled this entire situation is unforgivable and has haunted me throughout my life. No child should ever have trust issues, especially with their parents.

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  4. This is atrocious. I hate how adults never believe kids because it leads to stuff like this happening and nobody doing anything. Just because they’re young doesn’t mean they don’t have a grasp of reality. 😑 I’m sorry you had to go through all this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, children don’t abuse themselves and I believe coming forward to a parent is courageous in itself. With having the parent respond in such a demeaning manner, accusing them of ‘making it up’ and showing no empathy how is the child supposed to respond. My trust and soul were broken that day and I’m still in therapy attempting to heal. Thanks for commenting. 🙂

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  5. I know what happened to me was not as extreme as some people have suffered. Nevertheless, it did have repercussions. When I was young and my body was developing my Mother was very reluctant to answer an questions for me, so I knew nothing. Every year we would go over to Ireland to visit my Grandmother and my mother’s eldest “extremely close” brother had a habit of touching my breasts and making comments, to this day well into my sixties even writing this I can feel those hands fondling my breasts. When I told my mother, not sure what she would do or say, what I did not expect was to be told I was a “dirty little bitch, a liar and don’t you ever say this again”, when I told her I would tell my Father I was quickly told “you will give him a heart attack”. Needless to say the Uncle never stopped and my mother always encouraged me to be with him, I just did my best to avoid him. As a child I withdrew into myself, always the loner, still the loner. I married a man in my mid twenties who was 30 years older than me, rejected me on my Wedding Night, I guess that says it all. Please excuse my language “these bastards take what they want from children damn the consequences”. All I have ever wanted in life was to be loved, I know I have my two Sons Love, but I always wanted the love of a man who really wanted me for me.,

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    1. Abuse is abuse regardless of which form it takes. No matter how much therapy you have, you may not feel the pain or experience the memories as much as you have had before therapy, but they will always be there. At least therapy gives you the tools to help with grounding techniques.

      That shouldn’t have happened at all when you were a child, that was horrible abuse by a trusted adult, so no wonder you have had problems with trust later on in years. Trust must be earned, and it sounds as if the people in our lives didn’t earn theirs, thereby only betraying us. Thanks for sharing. Hugs xo.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love your writing and I love reading your blogs. I am so sorry you had to go through all of that. You are so brave. This piece is truly heartbreaking because I lived through the same thing. I hope my writing improves with each piece, so I can be able to touch peoples heart as you are.

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    1. Thanks for your lovely words and it not fair that we both had to experience this ‘shit’. Your writing is great, keep at it and remember your blog is your blog and you can write whatever you want and not post just to please everyone else! I learned that a long time ago, as I was hesitant to post articles as I thought I was going to offend people (when I first started in 2007), and I presented a different style of posting. 🙂

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  7. i get your blog.i was abused sexually as a child. i have m.e. because of it
    lot lot health problems .i am disabled. i trusted some one told about the abuse

    BETRAYED ME abuse got lot worsor ..HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO TRUST SINCE

    i do a blog .http;//mark-kent.webs.com

    please do reply if you would like too

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