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Rape and Abuse If you or someone you know is being abused in any way and you need support or advice, don't hesitate to reach out to us here.

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trebletrouble Offline
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Sexual harassment - April 22nd 2019, 12:31 PM

Hi, all.

When I was in school, in 6th grade (around 12-13 y/o), I was sexually harassed by a teacher.
I was in in his art elective. I'd always been pretty average at art but i enjoyed it nonetheless. First it started slowly, he would yell out my name in class and say "Hey, you're beautiful".
Then he started putting up my drawings all over the classroom, though they were genuinely pretty average. I would always wonder why he liked them, other kids' were better.
Eventually, he started asking me to accompany him to art competitions alone. I was a bit uncomfortable by this point, thankfully it never materialised.
He'd ask me to stand next to him (and not across from him) whenever I would talk to him at his desk, he'd give me biscuits which he kept in his desk drawer (yes, disgusting).
Then it really got uncomfortable, he would hold my hand, try to caress it. Finally, he started asking me for massages by which time I couldn't take it anymore.
Please bear with me, I was really young and though I knew I was uncomfortable, I didn't know how wrong it all was or what it meant.
Anyway, I told my parents. I don't remember what I said exactly, but I remember my dad saying "I know what he's trying to do".
We wrote numerous letters and got me removed from his class.

I had kinda blocked it out for several years. With the recent uproar of "Me Too", people started talking about my school and it all came back to me.
It took me a while to collect myself afterwards. I finally told a friend of mine and my boyfriend, I'd never told people before.

Recently, I was on a holiday wtih a close friend. There, while at a restaurant for dinner, this guy of around 55 years, kept staring at me and my breasts.
I tried so hard to enjoy myself despite this and I remember thinking "i shouldn't have worn a dress."

Why I'm talking about both these things is because I've been having a really hard time dealing with the fact that these things happened. I shouldnt be reproaching myself for having worn a dress, its my right and freedom to wear whatever the hell I want.
These two things are constantly in my head these days and I don't know what to do.
I just need someone to talk to.
Sorry for the long post.


do what you gotta do

Last edited by trebletrouble; April 22nd 2019 at 12:50 PM.
   
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Celyn Offline
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Re: Sexual harassment - April 22nd 2019, 03:09 PM

Hey there (and welcome to TeenHelp by the way!)

No need to apologise for the length of your post. I hope that it helped being able to type things out!

I'm sorry to hear that you experienced sexual harassment by your teacher when you were younger. You are right that you were young at the time and though you felt uncomfortable, you didn't know what it meant. This is especially true in school as teachers are trusted authority figures and some teachers can just be really friendly (with no hidden intent). I'm glad that you told your parents and that you were moved from his class. It was a very brave thing of you to do telling your parents!

It makes sense that you would've blocked it out afterwards, only to find that with the 'Me Too' movement and other things in the media, it would've come back to you. Not only the memories but the feelings too. I'm glad that you also told your boyfriend and a friend. It can definitely be hard talking about difficult experiences when you've not told anyone else. I hope they were supportive of you.

I'm also sorry to hear about what happened when you were on holiday. After having experienced harassment before, it makes sense that you would be more wary and uncomfortable about it happening again. Blaming yourself for wearing a dress may make you feel like you have some control over what happens to you e.g. if you don't wear a dress, you won't get harrassed. It can help to make us feel like we have power or control over the situation or that we are at fault. But this isn't true as when someone harasses us, it's their fault and responsibility not ours nor what we are wearing. So as you say, you have every right to wear whatever you want and not feel bad about it. At the same time, it makes sense that even when you logically know you shouldn't feel bad, you may still feel this way. But keep reminding yourself that you aren't to blame.

I understand you would want to talk about this and I hope that coming here has helped a bit. You can also try journaling or talking to a counsellor to explore your feelings more since it's been on your mind for some time


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Re: Sexual harassment - April 22nd 2019, 04:32 PM

Hi, thank you for replying.
It felt good to hear from someone with an objective POV, the main reason I've been feeling like I have no one to talk to. I do, just that I needed objectivity.
Yes, what you said about wanting to be in control about what I wore makes sense. Perhaps that is the reason behind it, I'm just trying to make sense of it.

Don't get me wrong, I'm really psyched and glad about the Me Too movement. It takes a lot of courage and strength to come out and it's also very important that people be brought to justice.
And I also know that this might not be a big deal, I know some people have it much, much worse, for no fault of their own.
But how does one get over this?
I don't want to bury it again, I want to feel it and deal with it. But how do I heal from this?


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Celyn Offline
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Re: Sexual harassment - April 23rd 2019, 08:50 PM

It makes sense that you would just want an objective point of view. Sometimes hearing from someone impartial can be a lot of help.

Everyone is different and everyone deals with harrasment and abuse in different ways. What affects one, might not affect another, but that doesn't mean that one is worse or better off. You can't compare these things.

And just like everyone deals with things differently, recovery and healing is different for everyone too. It depends on how you personally define healing, what that means to you and how you will know when you are on your way to healing. Another point to make is that healing may not always be straight forward. Some people find that they have dealt with their traumas for a while, only to find them resurfacing at a later point in life. This might not be true for everyone but it can happen and that's okay. Like life, healing is full of ups and downs.

It's good that you realise what happened to you and want to feel it and deal with it. Talking, writing, being creative to release your feelings in a healthy way are all good ways of putting into perspective what happened. Counselling can also help with exploring your feelings as can talking to others who may have experienced similar things.


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