Raped Between The Ages of 7 and 10 By A Family Friend
I was raped when I was at the age of 7 till i was 10 by a family friend (well in his late 30's). I shared this with a few close friends and most of them were sexual abused in some type of way. Why is this happening so much? I see flashbacks when im in class and im dealing with a teacher that I feel puts me down and makes me feel bad about myself. I am 14years old, i still see him at family events once in a blue moon but I hide. the stress is really killing me what do i do please help me. there is only some much i can take.
TeenHealthFX would like to start by saying that we are so sorry you were violated in such a terrible way as a child. We definitely feel for all you are going through right now as a result. It is understandable you would have strong thoughts, feelings and reactions to various things based on what you experienced. It is common with child abuse and sexual assault for certain situations to trigger feelings, thoughts, or flashbacks of abusive incidents.
FX can appreciate that you may be feeling overwhelmed with how to handle all of this. We are glad that you have confided in your friends so you are not completely alone with this, but we do think you need to take the following steps so that you can get the help you need in dealing with your feelings, thoughts, and flashbacks:
- It is very important that you tell your parents/guardians what this man did to you. They need to know so that they can be there for you with comfort and support, so that they can make sure this man is not at any events where you will come in contact with him, and so that they can get you the help you need from a trained mental health professional.
- It would be very helpful for you to meet with a reputable mental health professional, such as a clinical social worker or clinical psychologist, who is well-trained in working with people who have been sexually abused and who are dealing with trauma-related issues. A therapist can provide you with a safe space to deal with the thoughts and feelings you have about what happened to you. A therapist can also help you to better manage your thoughts, feelings, and reactions to certain triggers so you do not feel so burdened by them.
- At some point it would be helpful to discuss with your parents/guardians and your therapist whether or not you would like to press charges against this man. What he did was wrong and it was illegal. It might be difficult for you to think that he has not had any consequences for what he did or that he is free to abuse someone else – so FX would recommend that you talk about how you would feel about reporting this man to the police.
FX appreciates that the three steps listed above might feel a little scary – but it is important that you get the help and support you need so you do not feel like dealing with these feelings, thoughts, and reactions are such a difficult struggle. We are very sorry about what happened to you, but we also think that very positive things can come out of taking the steps listed above and that you can begin to feel better over time if you reach out for help.
If you live in northern New Jersey and need help finding a therapist you can call the Access Center from Atlantic Behavioral Health at 888-247-1400. Outside of this area you can log onto the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website for referrals in your area. You can also contact your insurance company to get a list of in-network mental health providers or check with your school social worker or psychologist to get a list of referrals in your area.
You can also contact the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), 1-800-656-HOPE (4673), 24 hours, 7days a week for help and information. You can search for a local counseling center on their website or use their online hotline.