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Ultraviola

Disclosing to others

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Hi everyone,

New to this site and new to acknowledging and processing my assault (4 years ago now- but did a very good job at suppressing it). 

Quite quickly in my healing journey I am finding this overwhelming urge to tell others what happened to me, but along side this a cognitive dissonance in worrying that others will think less of me, blame me or not believe me and so I shrink back into my shell. 

I’ve been thinking of ways to just override this such as just posting on my social media to everyone about my story or sitting down with friends and family to tell them, but I also can’t bare the thought of upsetting them with this information. Especially my mother who I know it will upset her greatly to know. 

Do others also deal with this struggle? How do others manage it? And will telling others make me feel better anyway? Or will that only happen through therapy?

 

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Dear ultraviola

Welcome to After Silence.  I am sorry to hear of the trauma you have been through!

Being here has helped me so much.   Everyone is so caring and supportive here.  I am proud of you for reaching out.  I know that is hard to do.  I also know that you will find that needed compassion and support here within our community.  Know we are here for you and we will listen whenever you would like to lean on us.    

Take care and please do not hesitate to ask for any help if you ever need it.  

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Dear @Ultraviola,

Welcome to After Silence.  I am happy you found us.  We are a kind and supportive community full of people who understand what you're going through.

About your question, all I can offer is a little insight into my own experiences in telling.

I have had very mixed results.  

It has been positive with some, but with others, it has greatly changed our friendship (not in a good way).  I think people have meant well, but it's painful when someone doesn't know how to respond or gives you the feeling that you're damaged or "not getting over it fast enough."  And that did happen with me, with some of my dearest friends.  

I don't think I could have gone on keeping such a painful secret, but it was painful to have some relationships change.  

What was helpful to me was going to therapy.  She helped me flush out my story a few times and get more comfortable with it, and then, when it did affect a couple of my friendships in a negative way, I was grateful for her support. 

I wish you luck and positivity in whatever you decide.

Gold Raindrops

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Hi Ultraviola,

Welcome to AfterSilence. I am very sorry for the trauma you endured and the struggles you face. You are not alone. We have many supportive and kind members, tho they are not IRL to you, they can definitely be a source validation and understanding.

It can be difficult to verbalize what happened to you, to those you know. The question of how they will respond is typically on every survivor's first question. Sadly, we do know that not everyone takes it well, tho some can and are very supportive. You will need to evaluate if you can deal with relationships changing, if shared. I'm not try to sway you in either direction, just to let you know. If you are unsure, maybe you could start with one and feel them out before sharing what you endured with them.

Having support is very important tho. If you decided therapy could help, it's encourage, but is your choice. This community is a good place to start as well (no modesty here, just my truth). You can interact with others who will never judge. We've all had challenges and there is a great deal of respect for one another. I would say it is a safe bubble where you can just be you. 

So if you yell from a mountaintop, or just take a small step to start, you are supported. You have already taken one brave step in joining this community. I am quite certain you will find your forward direction on this path of healing.

Mary

:notalone: 

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Hi Ultraviola,

I know exactly how you feel but I can tell you personally that at first I, too, hesitated to tell anyone. Even my friends. But as I said just a few things, it surprised me to hear that they didn't even know any of this was happening because I hid it for so long and looked happy on the outside. If anything, my friends and family saw me as a strong woman who did the hardest thing I have ever done which was to walk away and break the cycle. I would be honored to hear your story so please feel free to reach out if you just need an ear or a shoulder to rely on.

 

We are all here for you :)

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Ultraviola,

 

I'm also new here and am struggling with this very thing myself. I have told some people over the years about some of my history but am now thinking of telling the rest. I feel like I'm afraid to say some things that I haven't spoken of in over thirty years since it happened but also I feel like I want to finally. That it's really the only way for me to be able to heal eventually. It's definitely a very personal decision and is an incredibly difficult one to make. I wish you all the best in whatever you decide to do as that will ultimately be what's best for you.

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Welcome @Ultraviola to After Silence.  I’m sorry for what brought you here but I’m happy you are here reaching out for support.  Good job taking this step in your healing process.  You are not alone and what happened to you wasn’t your fault.

As far as disclosing on social media, that is up to you but I wouldn't recommend it.  On social media anyone can see it, including potential employers.  

Take your time exploring here and post when you are ready.  If you have any questions feel free to message me. 

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Hi @Ultraviola welcome to After Silence. I've found it to be a very helpful and supportive forum, with many kind members. I hope your experience here is as positive as mine has been.

About your question re: disclosing to others, my experience hasn't been great. The typical response I get when I tell someone else about what happened to me (childhood sexual abuse, among other things) is not denial, anger or pity, but withdrawal. Of those I've told, the only ones who don't withdraw are either those who have, or know someone who has, suffered sexual abuse or mental health professionals.

My experience may not match what you find if you decide to tell others. I've had one therapist who survived bombings and the death of her father in World War 2 tell me that my childhood was worse than hers. So I think that the withdrawal I see in others may just be an inability to handle some of the disturbing things that happened to me. Or maybe I'm just being charitable.

I would be especially careful about public disclosures. Once it's on the Internet, it is very difficult, if not impossible to retract. And it may attract the kind of vicious trolls that have hounded other survivors. Be very careful...

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Thanks so much to everyone who’s posted a response. It’s really heartening to hear other stories of strength and resilience but also saddening to hear when others have let you down. I guess in society most people are not yet equipped/know how best to support and help survivors.

Ive taken on board what some of you have said re posting what happened to me socially and have managed to curb this urge for now. I’ve also started some therapy which I’m hoping will abate some of these feelings of being locked in and silent. 

I hope everyone on here finds love and support for what they are going through. Our voices will be heard one day. 

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