Question

Hello!

Can you help me?

When I was 5 years old, a 6-year-old boy led me to a well-hidden place on the primary school's playground and, with some friends covering him, he pulled down my trousers and my underwear and began … how can I say… to kiss my genitalia. I was a child. I really didn't understand what was actually happening, but I ran when I could. I told my teacher what that boy did, but she didn't seem to believe me.

I'm very ashamed of it and no one knows, not even my mother. I thought she wouldn't understand. From time to time, that day suddenly appears on my mind and I cry or feel really down. There are days, though, I find it all ridiculous and nonsense and think that it's not a really important thing. But last year, I developed kind of a "rape phobia." I try and avoid this subject whenever I can. When I simply have to stay and listen, I begin to feel kind of a panic. Do you think my rape fear is related with that event of the boy who did it?

Thank you and God bless you!


Answer

What the boy did was a form of rape. I'm sorry that your teacher did not believe you, but you should have told your mother, especially since other adults did not believe you. However, the past is over. It cannot be changed. Technically there is nothing to be ashamed of because you did not do anything wrong. The boys involved in what happened should have been ashamed and punished.

So let's focus on the present instead of the unchanging past. What was done does not have to affect you unless you let it. Just because it happened years ago, it doesn't mean it will happen to you again. Instead of being terrified, you should find sympathy for the victims. You understand their plight better than most people.

Wow! I've always thought I was giving too much importance to this subject. I found it was just a foolish fear, but you opened my eyes. I didn't work my problem out, so I'm still afraid of my fear. Thank you so much!

 

Hi again,

You know, when I sent you that first email, it was the first time in 12 years that I wrote about that event. Your reply did help me a lot and when I need, I recall your words.

It has been about three months, but I'm still terrified by what happened. Sometimes I feel so lonely and hopeless that I even wish I could disappear from this world. Don't misunderstand that: I thank God for my life and I don't want to die, but I feel so lost.

And because someone talked about rape, I was crying this very afternoon.

God has been my best friend, the one who's always caring about me and about my feelings. He's sent lots of messages telling me not to be afraid and I'm very thankful. I really love it, but sometimes I get so desperate. I really don't know what to do. I talk to Him and I feel better, but what else can I do?

Just to point out, there was a day my mom asked me to watch a documentary about a girl who was raped by three or four men because she was studying that case (and she doesn't know about my phobia). I forced myself to watch it because I had no courage to tell her it was horrible to me, and it woke up my fears!

Please, help me! What can I do to get better? I have no one else to speak but God and you. I want to forget it and go on with my life, it was years and years ago and it wasn't so so shocking, but I can't help carrying on. Please, tell me something to do.

Thank you!

I know it is difficult, but you are not letting the past go. You purposely think about about it all the time and as a result the memory of it is growing bigger than life. Try to keep things in perspective. I'm not downplaying what happened. It was wrong. However, consider the realities:

  • It was done by children who really did not understand what they were doing.
  • It was done to you as a child, who did not really understand its signifcance until years later.
  • It happened once.
  • It caused no physical harm to you.
  • There was mental harm, of which you do not permit yourself healing.

You are letting what some child bullies did years ago to define your teenage years. That is giving them greater power over your life than they deserve.