10 things to never say to someone who was molested as a child
Sexual abuse is never an easy topic to talk about. I can speak from experience that it is the hardest thing I have dealt with in my life. Even tho it has been over 15 years since it happened, it is something that I will forever live with you. Can you move on? Yes of course, I live what I consider a normal life but the trauma and the memories are always there. It has affected every area in my adult life. I am now very comfortable talking about it but some never are.
People who have not gone through something as tragic aren’t the best with words when talking to a sexual abuse victim. Like I said before I have talked many times about this. Some questions and comments just left me either upset and hurt in the past. Please when talking to a survivor do not and I mean DO NOT say these things
- Why didn’t you call the police?
This is one of the most common questions I’ve gotten. The answer is because I was scared, ashamed or my personal reason I was a child. I didn’t have the confidence I have today and my loved ones didn’t believe me so why would a police officer. A question like this could really put a survivor down and make them feel like this is their fault. There are many reasons why they did not go to the police. But it usually doesn’t end there it will continue with “well not he/she is hurting other kids/adults you should of just gone to the police”
- Get over it !!!
It’s easier said then done. This isn’t a break up! This isn’t something you can just get over in a week or month or even a year. It takes years and years of finding yourself and healing and even then you will never completely be over it. My innocence was taken from me without my consent. An innocent child thinking no one would ever hurt them or that hasn’t crossed their mind yet. A child should be playing with barbies and cars, not violated ! It changes a person completely then you learn how to hide things you realize at younger age how certain body parts feel when being touched and see another persons body parts. Can you imagine that! You cannot take that back when its done! its done! So how the heck can you just get over something like that. Sometimes you don’t feel the affects until adulthood or until you have your own children. So please do not tell people to just “get over it” because they can’t and the more you tell them, the more they won’t and it will dig a deeper hole.
- You need to go to therapy
No sh*t Sherlock! Excuse my French but yes I think I know I need therapy but even therapy doesn’t do miracles. How do you know I’m not already in therapy. Or maybe I am not ready to go all in and talk about everything. Be careful with your words, horrible memories come back along with guilt and shame. If we are talking about it with you it is because we trust you or just want you to understand us more.
- Why didn’t you stop it… if you continued to let it happen you must of liked it
I didn’t stop it because I was a child. This has to be the worse comment of all. When you are molested or even raped you are being touched in areas that naturally make you feel a certain way. The molestor knows this and make you feel as if you want this and they just want to make you feel good. Just read those two sentences again, how disgusting and horrible is that. So, no I didn’t let this happen. No, this isn’t my fault. PLEASE do not ever say this to anyone it could do some major damage.
- Its part of Gods’s plan
I’m a Christian so this was very hard to hear. I don’t think this is the best way in putting it and no one wants to hear that God meant for this to happen. I am stronger now and use this as a way to help others. But, I walked away from God due to these type of comments. I thought to myself why the heck would I want to believe in a God who would let this happen. I was an innocent child. I now realize certain things but this should never be the first thing a person hears when opening up about what happened to them.
- Why didn’t you say anything sooner?
Because I felt like it was my fault. I was convinced I liked it. I didn’t think anyone was going to believe me. I felt nasty and dirty. And mainly Shame, yes shame. I didn’t have strong relationship with my parents. It was something I got used to and felt weird telling anyone. I felt different and weird and no one would understand. I have gotten a weird look or told i was lying or maybe I was dreaming which only made me angry and sad as if this again was my fault. A victim should never feel like anything is their fault.
- Well you didn’t die or don’t have cancer
I was told this by an aunt of mine. I sat her down and told her I needed to tell her something. I had some heavy breathing and it was hard to come out because of the judgement and the blame. This is what I was used to by my family. After I finally came out and told her I was molested she told me “ oh I thought you were going to say you had cancer, you are alive you will be fine.” The hurt I felt inside was unbelievable even tho I was not surprised, we always hope for something different. I am not taking away the severity of cancer but so is the fact a grown man took my innocence for years. Yes, like I said before I am physically alive but died in many ways.
- How could you still talk to him/her after
The grooming process is the most important part a child molestor focuses on before touching a child. They develop this relationship with the child. They gain the child’s trust and love before doing anything. This could take a short amount of time or a long period of time. They also know what personality characteristics are easier to groom. I am not saying they molest one type but certain traits in a child are easier then others like shy, closed off personalities. So when this happens even though they are hurting and taking advantage of the child they still have a relationship with them and sometimes love the person. They may feel sorry or them or think they are sick. They may still joke around and care for the person because that person developed such a strong relationship and might even think what this person is doing to them is ok.
- At least you survived
Yes, I did survive but maybe i am dead instead due to it. I probably wont have a healthy relationships moving forward or it will be very hard to have a healthy relationship. It will be hard for me to trust anyone and this will affect my life tremendously. Yes, I survived but maybe i feel or have felt worthless inside and not wanted to live. The pain is hard to live with. I am glad I am alive but to many of us the thought of not living may cross our mind because of what was taken from us.
- Don’t compare
Don’t compare one case to another. This isn’t a competition nor did we ask for this to happen. If you were molested 5 years and the next was molested 2 years it doesn’t make one better or worse. They are both horrible and shouldn’t of happened in the first place. We need to listen to one and another. LISTENING is the key word here