Do I have to tell?
Hi, my name is Astrid and I was abused as a child. I don't remember how old I was, but I know that it ceased when I was about 7-8 years old. I remember only flashes, words and feelings when that happened so I can't, and I don't think I would have the stomach to, describe in detail what happened.
I don't feel anything about writing about it like this, no relief or anything, but I think that telling it to someone will be really different. So I wanted to ask if I have to tell someone and, if I don't tell anyone, what will happen to me?
Sorry for my bad English and sorry if this is not clear enough, but I think I need help.
Thanks to everyone,
Thanks again for all the answers.
What happens to you depends a great deal on… well, you. How will you respond to a counselor? How will you respond to revealing your past experiences of abuse? How will you feel if you keep it to yourself and never share? Will it fester or dim with time?
It’s hard to say exactly what would happen to you since every survivor of sexual abuse responds differently, but many victims say that talking about it makes them feel better. It never fully erases the pain and emotional scarring, but it can help.
I hope you will tell, and here’s why:
- Telling allows not only a healing opportunity for victims, but also an opportunity to stop the child molester from abusing another kid. The sooner victims come forward, the better the detectives’ chances are of finding evidences against the criminals.
- Most victims find that when they tell their story, a large part of their burden is lifted. Somehow sharing the secret lightens the heaviness they have felt from years of pent up emotions.
- A counselor can help victims move on with their lives. A good counselor doesn’t focus on reliving the past, but rather learning how to deal with the past in healthy ways – even when it was dark and frightening – so you can live the life you want to live in spite of the abuse. When you tell others, then other people who were also abused gain courage to come forward.
Victims keep their abuse secret for many reasons – embarrassment, shame, fear that something horrible will happen to them or someone they care about, fear that something horrible will happen to the abuser, fear of being judged… and the list goes on.
By keeping it secret however, victims bury those painful feelings deep inside them. That doesn’t help victims. Often, that only cankers the soul and the ache festers and grows. Most say the pain doesn’t dim until they openly deal with it in one way or another.
You don’t ever have
to tell if you don’t want to. Some victims never will. But I encourage it.
Good luck Astrid. I hope you find your answers!
P.S. No worries - you have excellent English. :)