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Kathryneaustin Offline
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Processing trauma - April 7th 2017, 12:47 AM

Hi, um I'm not sure how to do this. But my moms friend came down to live with us and he manipulated me into a relationship with him, a sexual relationship. I'm 14 and he's in jail and I'm trying to process things and I'm not sure how to do that.
   
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Celyn Offline
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Re: Processing trauma - April 9th 2017, 11:34 AM

Hey there,

Thanks for reaching out! I went ahead and moved your post to a thread of it's own so you can get more support. If you want to start a thread of your own, in future, click on 'new thread' just above the area where you can see all the threads listed in the forum.

I'm sorry to hear that your mom's friend manipulated you into a sexual relationship with him. Even though the trauma has passed and he is in jail, trying to process what happened can be difficult.

Are you having professional support, say a therapist or counsellor? Sometimes exploring difficult feelings can be helpful in a safe environment with a trained professional. Other times it can help writing down you feel or talking to someone you trust. Even reading self-help books can be a good place to start.

However you decide to process what you went through, the best advice is to not rush it and take it at your own pace.


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Re: Processing trauma - April 9th 2017, 08:21 PM

Hi, Kathryne!

I'm sorry to hear that this happened, especially only being 14. It was wrong of him to manipulate you into a relationship. Remember that it is his fault, and from here on it is important to be kind to yourself as it wasn't your fault. You deserve support, love and the positive feelings in life.

Allowing yourself to recognize that this did happen, and letting yourself cry and feel the emotions that come to the surface is important to ensure you don't push those feelings away since they always find their way back if pushed to the side. I imagine the feelings associated with this event are scary to think about feeling, but allowing yourself to cry about this is a first step towards healing. Do you have a journal? Blogging or journaling about the memories and experiences can help you put it on paper and help get it off your chest.

Holly has a great suggestion about talking to a therapist or counselor. Have you considered that approach? It would allow you to explore what happened as well as your feelings surrounding it in a safe, private environment. On top of having that additional support in your life. In addition to a professional, is there anyone in your personal life you trust enough to open up to about this? Would you feel comfortable talking about it to your mom?

Letting people in who you trust and are comfortable with could help. Mainly, processing what happened on your own terms rather than rushing into it is a good idea as Holly mentioned. And in the process, be kind to yourself and always remember none of this is your fault. As hard as this must be, you aren't alone - you can reach out to us anytime, okay? You can message me if you'd like. Take care and stay strong, you can do this.
   
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Re: Processing trauma - April 11th 2017, 06:32 AM

Processing is telling someone what happened, and having them listen in a calm non-judgemental way without replying or trying to fix things. Their listening is what fixes it.

The secret, as far as I can tell, from what I've read, is when we retrieve a memory, the memory is actually rewritten. It's not a "recall only" thing, it's a "recall and rewrite" thing. Recalling a memory rewrites the memory.

So when we recall the memory in the presence of someone calm who knows how to actively listen, the memory gets rewritten with less emotional significance attached. The emotional significance of the traumatic event is lessened.

Hopefully the result is we feel less bad about the incident, we are able to accept that it happened, and be less emotionally upset about it.

It may be necessary to repeat this a few times. Each time we retell the story, and we feel we are heard, and we feel we are still accepted by the person who heard our story, the memory gets rewritten with less of an emotion attached to it.

Hopefully the end result is we remember it happened, but the trauma we initially felt has been "processed" out, so we are able to accept it, acknowledge it, let go of it, the significance is left in the past, the event is left in the past, and we are able to return to the present and be OK.

(There's a TED Talk I saw recently by a young woman who was abducted around age 14, forced to have sex with a man for 9 months, before being rescued. Her giving that TED Talk, and being able to tell everyone it happened, and everyone just sat quietly and listened, that was probably extremely therapeutic and healing for her.)

And I'm very sorry that happened to you. I'm also sorry this appears to be a lot more common than I once thought. You are definitely not alone!

You can look to see if there is a RISE (Resiliency Interventions for Sexual Exploitation) program in your area. I just learned about this program. I think it's new, possibly started in 2015, in response to there being a lot of young teenage girls involved in sex trafficking (which I didn't even know existed!). The program rescues these women and helps them process the trauma out of them so they can return to a normal life. Apparently it's very successful.

And you can always talk to us here anytime. We're good listeners! You could PM Celyn or Nala if you'd like to privately converse with them. They're both very good!
   
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Re: Processing trauma - April 12th 2017, 09:02 PM

in so sorry to hear what has happend. im 14 to and i have been through kind of the same thind but from m stepdad but wsnt a relationship

you could write all of your feelings on a pice of paper and/or burn it or rip it up. if you have a school councellor you could talk to them or a local therapist.

if you ever need to talk ill always be here
   
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Re: Processing trauma - April 12th 2017, 09:03 PM

in so sorry to hear what has happend. im 14 to and i have been through kind of the same thind but from m stepdad but wsnt a relationship

you could write all of your feelings on a pice of paper and/or burn it or rip it up. if you have a school councellor you could talk to them or a local therapist.

if you ever need to talk ill always be here
   
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