Talking about it in real life

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Talking about it in real life

Post by Squiggy » Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:24 am

Today at work, conversation led me to mention my "history". I didn't go into a whole lot of detail. I did briefly mention the visits by the cops and the Illinois DCFS. My co-workers were very sympathetic, for which I was extremely grateful.

How many people here have talked about their past in real life other than to family or psychologists/therapists? In how much detail? What reactions did you get?

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Re: Talking about it in real life

Post by Harmony » Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:08 am


Healthy kind people will may react to your disclosure with compassion. People who are judgmental about are usually fearful or triggered some discomfort of their own. Please be gentle with yourself.

Having healthy boundaries is a struggle for many of us.
Did you feel you over disclosed or spoke from your heart?

sending support,

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Re: Talking about it in real life

Post by MayaSantiago » Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:39 am

hi Squiggy,
Well yes I have. Five of my closest friends know that I was abused as a child. They were great: supportive and understanding. Two of them tried to minimize it though along the lines of "it happened so long ago, let it go!" :shock: :x When I explained that it was not that easy, they kept on supporting me, but I was real mad at them!
I still haven't been able to tell my family. but they do know I'm diagnosed with severe depression and that I'm in treatment. I haven't told other people because I think they can be judgemental or I can be stigmatized somehow. For example I have a really good friend who has small children. I wouln't tell her because I knowfrom other conversations we have had that she thinks people who have been SAed will automatically become abusers themselves... So I don't want her to look at me funny when I'm talking to her daughters...
Take care.
If you survive, if you persist, sing, dream, get drunk
This is the time of coldness: love, hurry.
The wind of hours sweeps the streets, the roads.
The trees wait: but you don't have to wait
This is the time to live. The only one.
Jaime Sabines

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Re: Talking about it in real life

Post by Squiggy » Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:48 am

Thanks Harmony & MS.
I don't think I overdid it. The topic came about naturally, and I didn't tell any detailed horror stories, just mentioned a few things in passing.
They said, among other things, that some of the things I had said in previous months, on seemingly unrelated topics, suddenly made sense.

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Re: Talking about it in real life

Post by Writer203 » Sun Jun 10, 2012 5:46 am

Hi Squiggy,

I think it's a big step to talk about your past with other people besides close friends or a psychologist. I think it's a great sign that you have trustworthy co-workers! :)

I have shared my past in class before, but on purpose. I majored in Child Development, so child abuse came up occassionally. Somebody made the remark about how awesome foster care is and that all foster parents should adopt their foster children because the foster kids can't tell the difference between their biological parents and the foster parents. Being in kinship care myself and having a sibling in foster care at the time, I lost it. I raised my hand and lectured the class for twenty minutes on my past and how I arrived in foster care, and what foster care--even kinship care--was really like. I was glad for it. It also made someone else, who had grown up in foster care, feel brave enough to tell her story in front of the class. My professor was very impressed with me. :)

Other than that, my best friends know and I had to divulge my SA to a boyfriend to explain why I kept flinching every time he went to kiss me. He wasn't surprised and didn't react positively or negatively at all.

I don't tend to tell people not because I'm ashamed but because I don't want to be defined by my past. Plus, I've had terrible instances where former friends have thrown the abuse back in my face. I had one friend demand to know if my SA was the reason why I was "afraid of men" and wondered if I was a lesbian because I rarely date. That wasn't a fun conversation. I had a close friend who tried to set me up on dates divulge my abuse to the guys he was trying to set me up with, which was a huge breach of trust. But that wasn't the worst: when I moved in with my mother after my PA/SA, she took it upon herself to tell all of my teachers about the abuse. She thought she was being helpful, in case I developed PTSD at school or something like that. I was mortified. It was a small school. Within a week, all of my teachers and future teachers knew and I was treated with kid gloves for the next three years. And it was middle school, which is already hell!

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Re: Talking about it in real life

Post by maggiegirl » Sat Jun 16, 2012 4:52 am

I worked in a school setting and was around many children. I did not disclose my abuse because people do tend to think victims could abuse children. I have told very close friends and they have been very supportive. And my sweet husband learned about it from our years of marriage counseling.
Last edited by Anonymous on Mon Jul 09, 2012 10:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: changed MT to NT

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Re: Talking about it in real life

Post by earthhorse » Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:08 am

Hey well done! It sounds like you told in a very safe and wise way.

I have told a few people in the real world. I find leaving out the detail like you did Squiggy also helps me to stay feeling safe. I told two friends recently and it was safe, they behaved supportively. I try not to mention sexual abuse though, unless that is with fellow survivors, but even then I am careful. I found that I could also burn myself badly by telling. The less information the better is my experience. There was a time when I really needed to reach out about how I was feeling. because of their offered support, I really depended on the wrong people who used it against me later professionally to hurt me. It was/is very painful. What most people don't get is that people who suffer from tramatisation are not crazy, we are not irrational. Because I am in pain does not make me less good at my job.
"One kind word can warm three winter months"

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Re: Talking about it in real life

Post by Sheep » Thu Jun 21, 2012 3:27 pm


I agree that healthy people may react with compassion. Once I shared with a lady I was working for about falling out of a car at 2 yrs. of age. She was very compassionate.


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Re: Talking about it in real life

Post by sunnyskies » Wed May 22, 2013 10:15 pm

Well done Squiggy,

I think you're really brave. I haven't told any friends or family at all as I've only just stepped onto the rollercoaster and admitted what happened. Just thinking of telling people makes me panic so I think you're very courageous.

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Re: Talking about it in real life

Post by Gingerdee » Sun Jun 16, 2013 8:53 pm

Well Done - good for you Squiggy :D

I realised in my 20s that I had to stop lying all the time as I felt like I would split in two.
I think the lies also ingrained this sense of guilt and secrecy that blocked my healing.
All the experiences of me are part of me and are real, so I think it is important that we don't feel ashamed of them.
It was often and still is hard for me to handle questions that can often come up - as I did not grow up with with my Mum (she was mentally ill and was removed from the family home for abuse)...

Now I tell partial truths to people and mainly let them know in healthy conversation that I grew up with my dad and that my mum had a severe illness or that I was a "tear-away" in my youth... which I was!

I think everyone on this forum are truly amazing...

Be good to yourselves

GD :-)
Last edited by Harmony on Mon Jun 17, 2013 6:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: changed trigger indicator from MT to NT

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