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Feel like I can't trust anyone anymore - November 21st 2013, 01:54 AM

So I was sexually abused, I guess you could say, two and a half years ago when I was 13. I kind of pushed it out of my head for a long time and pretended that it didn't happen so that I could move on with my life. I told my (now ex) girlfriend a few months ago that I wanted to tell her something because I figured she would be supportive. We had been dating for almost a year and I trusted her by then. She told me I could tell her whenever I was ready and so I told her the story of what happened. She broke up with me. She gave me some excuse about how it was all her, not me, but I knew it was because of what I told her, considering it was the next day.
It was one of my friends who abused me originally, my best friend in fact, so she definitely abused my trust, and now my girlfriend decided to leave right when I needed her the most... I feel like I can't tell anyone anything anymore because they'll all leave me and I don't deserve to let anyone know what happened.
But I've been getting flashbacks all the time of what happened and my nightmares came back, and I just feel out of control all of the time. It's even worse than right after it actually happened, years ago! I'm so conflicted. My girlfriend was the only person I ever told about what my "friend" did to me, and she betrayed me...
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Re: Feel like I can't trust anyone anymore - November 23rd 2013, 04:35 AM

Hello, James! I'm so sorry to hear about the sexual abuse and your girlfriend's failure to support you. Having dealt with sexual abuse as well, I know how important it is to be able to express yourself to loved ones, and to receive their full support.

I can't read your girlfriend's mind, so I can't say why exactly she decided to end the relationship; however, I wouldn't assume it was solely because of what you disclosed to her. She was clearly unwilling or unable to "be with you" in your pain, and that is NOT your fault. People can be trustworthy, but they may not always want to tolerate intense feelings or dwell on intense experiences, for reasons that have NOTHING to do with you.

I want to reassure you that there ARE people who are willing and able to hear your story and provide support. TeenHelp is one of those places where you can reach out to people, but it's not the same thing as having a person in "real life"... so I encourage you to think about who else you can turn to. There are hotlines available to people who have been sexually abused (you can find a list of hotlines in your country here). There are school counselors and mental health professionals who can provide support and referrals to other resources. You may also be able to receive support from a local LGBT+ organization (sexual abuse of LGBT+ members can be stigmatized by the larger community, so having LGBT+ members you can talk to may be helpful).

In the meantime, I encourage you to learn more about grounding techniques. A Google search will pull up some great websites, like this one and this one. Grounding techniques can be helpful when you begin to feel "out of control" or begin or dissociate. If you feel the urge to hurt yourself, check out TeenHelp's list of alternatives to self-harm.

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