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Anyone know how to get over sexual abuse?

As of recently I've been thinking a lot more of an incident that happened to me when I was younger (3 yrs old) and again when I was 10 and I feel as though it's the only thing keeping me from moving on and feeling happy. I was sexual abused, I'm not going to name who by, mainly because it's not my focus right now, I want to deal with what happened to me, not with who sexually abused me. I wasn't raped but I was touched (as inappropriately as it gets) I didn't know what was happening at the time, I was confused and I didn't know what to do. I barely remember it, but I know it happened and it's been a secret ever since. But now that I'm older I find that I'm getting more and more uncomfortable in social as well as intimate situations. I want to learn how to stop blaming myself for what happened, that it wasn't my fault. And learn how to be more open to independencey because ever since I realized that I was sexually abused, I've felt the need to depend on people, people that I feel comfortable around. I get attached and I have a theory for why that is: since no one knows of what happened and no one was able to stop it, I look for people that can protect me. Which leads me onto another problem/issue/weird occurrence: I feel more attracted to intimidating men, apposed to the run-of-the-mill guy you see downtown. And by intimidating, I mean; tattoos, muscles, black clothes and a death glare to match.
Seriously, I crave those erotic books written about sexy criminals that can pull off leather and a suit and tie.

Maybe that's just me, a preference for the sexy and dangerous but I guess I need reassurance that if I do walk down the path of leather and neck tattoos that I won't be messing myself up even more.

Of course I won't let myself stay in another bad situation again but mentally, what will happen? I guess it's how you feel, right? If I feel bad, like I'm not happy in the situation or relationship then I should get out of it..

In the end, I think I need someone to talk to about this stuff, just to rant to or talk about how I feel in the moment. Everything else I think I can figure out by myself.

Re: Anyone know how to get over sexual abuse?

Hi @Icantbreathe welcome to RO Smiley Happy thanks for sharing your story - it takes a lot of bravery to do so. What happened to you definitely wasn't your fault and it seems like you want to be able to work towards not blaming yourself for it. You said it's been a secret ever since, is the first time you've disclosed this?


I'm not sure if you've heard of 1800 RESPECT but they provide 24 hr counselling and support to people who have been through SA and family violence.


Are you currently or have you previously seen a psychologist to work through some of the things you've mentioned here?

Re: Anyone know how to get over sexual abuse?

Hi @Icantbreathe thanks for sharing this with us. Sexual abuse is highly traumatic and can impact survivors in many ways. It doesn't matter to what extent the abuse occurred, even a single inappropriate touch can lead to devastation because the child's trust in the world around him/her is broken. Nobody should have to go through this. I am really sorry for what you had to go through and i want you to know that you were never, ever at fault. 


Healing from trauma is a journey and we need supports along the way. You are on the right track that you want to talk to someone about this. Are you seeing a mental health professional currently? If not, I strongly urge you to look around for a counselor or psychologist. You may not click with the first (or even the first few) professional but keep looking and you will find someone you can trust and talk to. As you said, you'll start figuring other things out as well (like your preference for intimidating guys etc). That may or may not be related to trauma but the most important thing is to find a professional (if you don't currently have one).


There are some great resources online for helping with healing from sexual abuse. Pandora's Project is a very popular resource.


I also recommend looking up Inner Child healing resources. Here's an informative article about it. You can also google key words like 'inner child healing'. 


I hope you find the help and support you deserve on your journey of healing. Recovery is not easy but it's very much possible with the right support and a commitment to ourselves.

Re: Anyone know how to get over sexual abuse?

Hi @Icantbreathe, I'm so sorry you had to experience what you've been through. It takes a lot of strength to come to a point where you feel you can begin to tackle moving on, so you should take a moment to recognise what you've got in you that has brought you to the point where you're ready to take that step.


From my own experience with sexual assault and talking to a lot of other people who have had similar experiences, I can say that you're definitely not alone in feeling like abuse effects the way you approach relationships and what sort of men you're attracted to. It shows a lot of self awareness to question how healthy the way you currently look at relationships and attraction and you're on just the right track to think that talking this over with someone will be helpful. @May_ and @Mona-RO have suggested some great resources for seeking professional help, to add to that here is a national list of resources and services that are there to help survivors of sexual assault. 


It's absolutely your choice who you share your experience with, at the same time having people within you're own person support network who you can share your journey of recovery with can make it feel easier in many ways. Have you disclosed this to anyone around you before? Would there be anyone you'd feel comfortable sharing the idea of seeking help with?


While you start on this journey, please remember to be patient and kind to yourself. Recovery isn't always linear and takes time, but I hope you feel that posting here has been a small step in that. Let us know how things are going Smiley Happy

Re: Anyone know how to get over sexual abuse?

@Chessca_H thanks for sharing your lived experience and supporting other members - legend. Heart

Re: Anyone know how to get over sexual abuse?

hi @Icantbreathe


ive also been sexually abused (rape) and more than once as well and i was 14 and it went on for a few years.

im still dealing with the thoughts and emotions associated with this but im really glad your working through it.

firstly it wasnt your fault, it was an abuse of power over you from someone else. you were only 3 you wouldnt even know what innapropriate touching it and at the age of 10 you woud have been very confused. most power abusers use terms to make you think its your fault and that is a secret but it isnt AT ALL!

i find it very uncomfrotable to be around people as well so you not alone in that,

i dont have the experience of intimidating men im terrified of them so im not really able to help you there but it has been known that people can stay atttracted to the people that abused them or people that remind them of him/her.. is that the case for you?

but yes i think you should see a psychologist to give you a hand with your thoughts and feelings


**NEVER be afraid to ask for help because you're WORTH it!**