Childhood I Had Plenty Of Chances To Tell

JadeB.

MyPTSD Pro
That keeps going over and over in my mind lately,that I had plenty of chances to tell what was happening to/around me.

I wish I hadn't been afraid of the consequences.I wish I would have had the courage to.I could have prevented much of the SA if I had.

I'm not blaming myself, I know I was just a child.I know I was threatened and brainwashed.I know that I was conditioned to do and allow what was going on. I know that I didn't know any better or even really understand that it was abuse when I was very young. I never knew what it was like to not have it happen,it was my normal. I don't remember a time or an age that it wasn't going on so it was as normal to me as brushing my teeth every day.

But when I was older and began to realize it wasn't normal,that it wasn't a part of every child's life,I still didn't tell anyone.And I feel I "allowed" it to happen because I did know better then.

If I had told someone it probably wouldn't have continued until I was 17 years old.It's humiliating that I could have at least spoke up as a teenager and I didn't. Instead I just kept doing what I was told and what was expected of me,even without the threats.

I didn't question it,I didn't protest,I didn't refuse.

And that's the hardest thing to deal with and accept.
 

JadeB.

MyPTSD Pro
Hearing you. Well done, starting your diary. Very brave!

Thanks.This isn't my diary though.

It probably reads like a diary entry though since I made statements but didn't ask any questions,didn't ask for help or support or anything.

I guess I just needed to throw it out there,that I had plenty of chances to tell and I didn't.
 

Friday

Moderator
If I had told someone it probably wouldn't have continued until I was 17 years old.
I would strongly challenge both the word & the idea of “probably”.

As telling could have done nothing, or gotten far worse, or just been differently bad.

“What if” isn’t a real place. So, in my experience? It’s best to try not to go there.

If you DO find yourself trying to go to a place that doesn’t exist? You can use what you think is “probably” to see what you desire most, or fear most, or to make changes in your life, now. But there’s also the very real fact that there is never only one possibility. And that all those possibilities? Have dominos that tick over in even more ways.

So, best example, that you’d told AND were taken away? (Which is actually both very rare, and very temporary, as kids are given back to abusers over and over and over again. Ask anyone in foster care. But also that in most places it takes between 10-20 reports by different people to even start an investigation.) But back to the best case, of telling changing your life? Would you have gone into foster care? Or been given to family? Or been given to family who couldn’t deal with a traumatized child, and given over to foster care? Or kept by but blamed/disbelieved by that family? Or raped and abused in all your different foster homes? Or run away and picked up by a pimp or other predator who keep eyes ot for runaways? Would you have been charmed, and felt loved, before being turned out to trick? Or beaten and threatened into it? Or hooked you on drugs, first? Or given back to your abuser after 3 days of emergency placement? Would your abuser magically change after those 3 days, or punish you for telling? Or, or, or, or? But that’s assuming you were even taken away. Rather than simply being one more kid with a note In their file at CPS, coming to learn/believe that everyone knows, but no one cares, and you aren’t worth caring about, and, and, and, and.

Clearly... there are good outcomes, too. But, in the land of abused children? Those good outcomes are so, so very rare.

Cut yourself some slack. And, if possible? Try not to use your dreams (of not being abused) to beat yourself up with, yeah? Using a dream as a weapon to hurt yourself with is heartbreaking. Find strength in your dreams. Let them build you up, rather than tear you down.
 

flowerapple

Confident
I feel the same way. My abuse happened by multiple persons and at different times. And I also feel I should have said something, especially given the many opportunities I had to do so. I know that I was a child when it was happening, and that I was scared of what would happen if I did say anything. Logically, I understand that I did nothing wrong, and that my failure to say anything about my abuse is not my fault. However, I still have difficulty telling myself it, and believing it to be true. And, my therapist also has a hard time trying to convince me too.

I was 4 when it began, and so the chances of me saying something that age were slim because I didn’t really understand what was happening, even though I still knew it wasn’t supposed to be happening. But I get why I didn’t really say anything because I was 4.The problem is that I wasn‘t 4 the whole time. And he stopped a few years later, so I then I didn’t need to say anything anymore because there wasn’t anything to tell anymore. And during that time, after it stopped I came to realize why it was that what he was doing was wrong, so I knew I should say something if it were to ever happen again.

But, when it did happen again, when I was 12, I still said nothing. I still kept my mouth shut, even though it meant that It would continue to happen. And while I get that as a 12 year old, I was scared and afraid of the consequences of telling, and that as a child it’s more common not to say anything, I wasn’t 12 the whole time. It continued until I was 17, and during that time, the guy would also invite his friends over to “have fun.” But I still refused to say anything, even when my mom asked me if something was happening, I told her no, and even reassured her by telling her that if it ever happened I would be sure to tell her. And since 16 is the age of consent, it would mean that ages 16 and 17, I was a willing participant, since I would always say I wanted it.

My therapist tries to explain that I wasn’t willing because I didn‘t want to do it, but that still doesn’t change the fact that I said “yes” to it. She says that it does though, because of the age that it began at, and because it was coerced, but I still know what I was saying yes to. And despite it continually getting worse overtime, I didn’t dare even say a word.

I feel the biggest difficulty I have with accepting the fact that I was a child and have none of the blame, is that I was asked point blank by my mom if I was being abused, and I lied to her, and thus helped him continue to do it.

Another big difficulty of mine is why I said nothing. I didn’t say anything, because I didn’t want people to know what was happening, and I was afraid of what people would think and say about me. And I know it’s because I was scared, so I said nothing. But my problem is that now I know it wasn’t worth it. My silence wasn’t worth those 5 years of abuse by those men, and it was foolish of me to have kept my mouth shut and suffered through it because of that. Especially given how much I’m suffering now, even though it’s long stopped. Even more so is the fact that I still feel that if something were to ever happen again, I would still say nothing about it.

My therapist tries to convince me that it’s actually brave to endure any amount of abuse, because it takes a whole lot of courage to put up with it. I get what she means by it, but I still feel that if I was really brave, I would have said something to make it stop, and that true bravery for me would have been to endure what people would say after it came out. She still tries to convince me otherwise though. She say that eventually with time, I will come to accept that it wasn’t my fault entirely, and that even though there will still be days where I go back to blaming myself, I would be able to tell myself that it isn’t my fault, but actually believe it when I say it too.

And I truly hope that day will come for you too. You just have to keep telling it to yourself, even though you may not fully believe it right now. With time, hopefully you will come around to it, because like you said, you already know that as a child, you were manipulated into doing it, and not saying anything. You just now need to believe it emotionally, because cognitively, you have reasoned to it already.

Sorry for the long post.
 

JadeB.

MyPTSD Pro
I'm really sorry you went through all that @flowerapple . I understand exactly how you feel.

I usually do pretty good at not getting caught up in all the "what if's" and blaming myself but sometimes it does still rear its ugly head.Especially when I've been triggered by something.

My mom knew what was going on and I got punished(beaten would be the proper word to use actually).Even when she saw it happen,it didn't matter whether I had my hands and feet tied up,she still blamed me. Talking to her over the holidays has triggered all those old memories and I hate it.

But as far as telling, even as an adult there's been things that have happened and I still didn't tell anyone.

I do believe I would now though.
 

Mach123

MyPTSD Pro
Yes I know all about this. This touched on a lot of things I'm sorting through in therapy now. I've always been sorting through them I guess. The secrecy. I think that jumped out at me. I was always hiding something. I wasn't though? It was all that stuff from back then trying to come out. All my behavior was centered around that but even I didn't know it. It's like hiding it and trying to tell someone at the same time. I was 40 when I finally got some to listen but that was just the beginning. When I told my wife it wasn't like I'd been holding something in, it was like I finally understood what it meant. I had tried to tell therapists before then. They would brush any mention I tried to make of it off by saying things like "children experiment". Which would mean In my mind "shut up nothing happened to you."
I even think recently like my mom knew. But what could have been done? I'm talking about the sixties. Nobody knew anything. The therapist said once she might have moved to have me removed from my parents. Really? And go where? Foster system? IDK. There is more to the story but I've often tried to think how anyone could've intervened and produced any kind of desirable outcome. I don't see it. I survived.
 

JadeB.

MyPTSD Pro
I'm sorry @Mach123 .

I do think things were different back in the day and people were more likely to mind their own business rather than intervene.

As a young girl I went to school one day and refused to sit in my seat. Instead of the teacher asking why I wouldn't/couldn't sit down (Im sure I wouldn't have told her anyway though)she announced to the class that I didn't have to sit anymore.I was allowed to stand by my desk.I don't think that would happen in this day and age.
 

Muttly

MyPTSD Pro
GAh, this makes my head buzzy. I can relate so much. I didn't tell. I've talked about this with my T and she has said stuff very similar to what @Friday

Here's something I've learned in life. People don't want to believe in the horrible things that can happen. It's frightening because it means it can happen to them. It's frightening and overwhelming because it means that they might have to take responsibility and/or action. So they blame the person abused. So they find ways to rationalize what's happening as normal, ok, lies, wanted, and such
 

JadeB.

MyPTSD Pro
I guess I should be grateful that I developed DID as a way to cope with my childhood instead of being ashamed.

It took a long time for me to talk about the worst of the SA in therapy,3 years actually. It took much work with my therapist to be able to trust him,to believe nothing bad would happen if I did disclose.It took even longer for me to understand it wasn't my fault.

Now that I'm fully integrated(and no longer have the DID diagnosis)it's different to look back on all of it through an adult's perspective. As I said,most of the time I don't get caught up in all the what ifs and blaming myself.I do still have times that I do though.

Reading others experiences helps. Thanks for sharing here. It makes me sad others went through the same.It makes me sad knowing it's still happening to kids in the world.I just hope things are handled differently now,and I do believe they are.Things have changed so much,even where I live,if a child isn't at school within an hour of it starting and a parent hasn't called in the police are sent to the home to see why and what's going on.If a teacher suspects abuse,they report it,etc.I don't think it's like it used to be.
 
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