Home » My Journey » I was sexually abused

I was sexually abused

*Potential Triggers*

“I was sexually abused”.

I don’t know how or when I will get used to those words or the enormity of what they mean.

I cannot imagine that a time will come when I will utter those words without my voice wavering. 

Perhaps one day it will no longer be a shock? Maybe in the future I won’t feel as if my legs are turning to jelly whenever I say those words? 

Today, at work, one of my colleagues told me (some more) about her abusive past. 

I excused myself from the office and gave myself a little time out to recover. I was thinking about what this poor woman had been through and how conflicted it makes me feel (for various reasons) and I thought to myself “I can’t imagine how horrible that was for her”.

Instantly I felt stupid because I can imagine to some extent, I have been physically abused too, though of course our experiences are not the same. And a little (spiteful) voice inside told me that my abuse was mostly sexual and therefore shameful. It shouldn’t be talked about like hers could be.

All of a sudden, I could not see past my own experiences. Selfish perhaps? But those words (and the shame) were like a flashing neon sign above me, I could not avoid them. They made me want to hide. What if others could see? They would know my shameful secret.

“I was sexually abused”  

Then I was hit by a wave of nausea and darkness surrounded me. All that was left, was a distinct smell and heavy breathing, that I knew did not belong to me.

I grounded quickly.Yet somewhere inside, something shattered- again. And though people were around, I couldn’t help the pool of tears forming in the corner of my eyes threatening to to escape. 

Once again, those words had hit me with the weight of a train. Tearing through me, leaving a mass of destruction in their wake.

What could I do? I was in work, I could hardly sink to my knees, no matter how much my legs threatened to give way.

I did as I always do. I am me, after all. I am well rehearsed-I know how to hide it from the world. So, I cleaned away the debris and I covered the gaping wound. A patch to keep in the pain and to get me through the day.

Will it always be this way, will those words always cut through me like a knife and drown me in shame?

How do you come to terms with the knowledge that you were sexually abused? When does it stop feeling so shameful? If it is not something to be ashamed of- why can I not make that shame go away?



13 thoughts on “I was sexually abused

  1. The pain becomes less when you can tell yourself that it was HIS evil that abused you, not any fault of your own and really, sincerely know it’s true. Sexual abuse is not at all about sex, but about violence and control and should be spoken of without shame from the victim. Unless we speak up, the taboos surrounding it will forever keep its victims silent and in pain.

    It’s hard. It sucks to be triggered by it, but there will come a time when you don’t feel anything but rage that someone did this to you. I hear there’s a calm acceptance out there waiting for me, but I’m not there yet.

    • Thank you. And you are right, if we don’t speak up the taboos won’t change. I want to make a difference to help others. I want to be vocal about my past- I am limited by keeping myself safe from my abuser and my shame. I am determined to overcome my shame. My awesome T will work with me until I can say confidently that my abuser caused it, it’s his shame, all of it.

      Thank you and I pray you find that calm acceptance soon. I hope it’s out there waiting for all of us.

  2. I’m so sorry. Thinking of you and sending hugs (if wanted) Please try not to feel ashamed… none of it is your fault. You should be proud of yourself for working so hard on recovery, not feel ashamed of what someone else did to you. It’s so unfair that the victims are left to feel the pain. xxx

  3. ugh…I want to read this to gain insight into you and how you cope/think but I can’t for fear of triggering. I’m feeling very weak right now so I’ll have to skip this one but I will come back to it when I am able. Thanks for the warning.

  4. I recently made a decision to be more honest about my experiences, but when it came down to it, when I had to be honest in front of someone that was not bound by professional ethics to be safe, I wanted to crawl away and hide. I think the shame comes from our abusers. They ingrain it in us so we don’t go telling the world their indiscretions… I have to remind myself daily that it’s not my shame but theirs… and it’s ok not to talk about it with everyone. The ability to be more public about stuff takes time and a knowledge that, even if the people you tell are not safe, there will be safe people top turn to when you need support.

  5. I’m so sorry about what you have had to go through. And I’m so sorry that it is made worse by a culture that shames sexuality and even rape victims so much that you have that extra burden. I wish I could say something to relieve your troubles. But I do offer my sympathy.

  6. Thank you for sharing this. I also was sexually abused. I remember feeling that shame. I still feel shame but blogging has helped me find others. Finding others helps realize you aren’t alone, and helps you speak out. Speaking out takes the shame. It was not your fault, you don’t need to feel shame.

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