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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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How to love myself again? - October 15th 2010, 11:27 PM

I was sexually abused for about 8 months last year. It was a really hard time in my life. I had to walk around school in fear and none of my friends understood. He moved away so its all over now, but the memory still haunts me and it seems I have lost all of my self respect. How can I learn to love myself again?


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Re: How to love myself again? - October 16th 2010, 12:04 AM

Hey there, Nicole!

I just want to bring up something you wrote in your post.. you said that he's moved away and it's over. In a way it is over, because you're safe now. You are safe and he can't hurt you. It also means that you can focus on healing now, without having to worry about seeing him or being hurt again. While it's going to be easier to heal now that he's gone, it is still going to take time to recover, to learn to love yourself again. Healing from abuse isn't easy, and I want to make sure you know that you have all the time in the world to recover. Don't feel rushed or pressured to heal quickly, or at someone else's pace.. take it one step at a time and move at a pace that's comfortable for YOU. There's no time limit when it comes to healing.

Learning to love yourself again can be difficult. I definitely think that, before you can fully move on and love yourself, you need to believe that the abuse was NOT your fault. You need to believe it for you, and not for other people. For example - I could tell you that abuse is never, ever the victim's fault (which is true), that it was HIS choice to hurt you (also true), that it was HIS fault for harming you and doing things you weren't comfortable okay with (again, true). But it won't stick with you, and while you may accept that it wasn't your fault.. until you truly believe it, and until you can say to yourself "the abuse was not my fault," it's not going to mean anywhere near as much. So that's a huge, huge step to loving yourself again - truly understanding that what happened was not your fault, and that you had no control over what he did.

Memories are tough to deal with - are you currently seeing a counselor? If not, that's something you may want to consider. Talking about memories is scary at first, but becomes easier with practice. Not only that, but the memories get a little easier to cope with every time you talk about them. Talking means you're not bottling it up or pushing it to the back of your head - it means you're dealing with these thoughts and feelings, so they don't intensify.

Remember that although your friends care about you.. it's hard to know how to help someone when they're being abused. It's hard to know how to react, what to say, and what to do, especially without prior experience. Your friends are your friends for a reason, because they care. They may not always understand what you're going through, but they do care. If you're able to.. talk to them. Tell them what you need, and that their support would mean a lot to you. If they don't know how to help - tell them what helps you best. At the very least it's worth a try.

Hang in there and take good care of yourself - I'm here if you want to talk about anything.



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Re: How to love myself again? - October 16th 2010, 04:35 PM

Thank you very much =] Your right, time heals everything.


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