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Violence

I would like to ask you if my history of being molested is affecting my relationship. I am in love with a very good man, respectful hard-working, honest and trustworthy. However, every time we are together for awhile, I start getting scared and sooner or later I break up with him. When we are apart, I can’t stop thinking about him and no one else adds up to him. He is the only man I have ever loved. But I am still constantly reliving a tragedy.

I was molested daily from the age of 7-15 from my uncle. I was very close to him because he was the only person in my family who paid attention to me. But I was in therapy and spilled my guts one day on accident and he was charged. On his first day of trial he committed suicide and to this day I have not forgiven myself. My boyfriend knows the whole story and tries to understand but I know he wont wait forever and I don't want to lose him. I want to understand why I keep getting scared. Am I just afraid of losing another person I love? Please give me some insight!

 

First and foremost. thanks so much for reaching out to Feminist.com and for sharing your story with us. Also, I have to note right from the get-go that while I can offer my opinions, I'm not a certified therapist. That said, I have certainly interacted with so many people who share a similar story to you and I think the way sexual abuse manifests in us includes many layers — not just one, so there is naturally not one explanation for our behavior. Shutting off sexually is a very natural reaction — there is fear of being intimate, which often requires vulnerability and submission, and therefore a fear of being vulnerable and being taken advantage of. There is also an instinctual trust issue that you are dealing with — i.e., another person you loved and trusted took advantage of you, why won't this person? That second guessing is unavoidable. And of course, the guilt — but as I'm sure you have been told by others, you simple have to let go of that — you did absolutely nothing wrong and can't beat yourself up over that.

While it's healthy for you to let go of your anger, you have to be angry at least for some moment — something happened to you that shouldn't have; you were violated by someone you trusted. And while you have to be aware of what happened to you, in order to move forward you also have to learn how to move past that — to let go. I have no way to assess if your current boyfriend is the one to help you move to that next stage, but I also sense that you will no when it is the right time/right person. And you have to learn to trust others, you have to learn to let others love you...that's simply one of the things that makes life were living and while you feel cheated, the revenge is reclaiming that.

Amy