Hello. I'm a survivor of sexual abuse. I'm 27 years old and was sexually abused by a 16 year old step brother when I was in the 2nd grade. I never told anyone about it until this week. All of my life I have remembered fragments of what happened to me but never had any emotions connected with the memories. Recently I took a job at a school for registered sex offenders, ages 13-18. This is a school where offenders go to get help out of their criminal thinking and continue their education. Thinking that my sexual abuse from so long ago held no grip on me, I took the job and was looking forward to working with kids, even sex offenders. Well, all went fine my first week then came time for me to read all the "files" on each resident at the school. I read several case files on the residents, everything from what their abuse was like, to what crimes they commited on others. Whiles reading the files I read alot of what happened to me, but it did not bother me at the time. My first weekend came up and I was looking forward to spending time with my family. Over the weekendd something changed in me. My hands began to shake, and a anger built up inside of me like I had never felt before. My emotions where all over the place, one moment I would be calm, and the next I was ready to kill everyone in the room. I got to the point all I could do was sit on the floor and rock/shake. Something had caused so much anger inside of me that I was about to explode. I had no idea what it was at the time, but it was memories of my sexual abuse coming to the surface, memories I had kept hidden so long that I had consciencly forgotten them. As the hours went by on monday morning the worse I began to shake. I figured out on my own that it was the sexual abuse memories coming to the surface that was causing me to be so mad, but what I did not understand was "why". After all I had lived with these memories for 20 years without ever being mad before, and now that it is in my face everyday at my new job, I cant hold back the memories anymore. I'm remembering things in so much detail now that I sometimes need to go vomit. I decided to go into work and talk with the on-duty therapist about what I was feeling and find out if she had any advice for me. It was THE hardest thing I ever did, but I sat there in her office and told her what happened to me, at least what I remembered, from when I was in the 2nd grade. I have never given therapists much credit, figured they were a bunch of fakes to be honest, but this expereince woman was able to tell me things about my life that I was barely aware of. She knew more about me than most of my friends know. It was very strange. We spoke on friday and she said she would have a therapist lined up for me by monday (today). I understand that I have to deal with these feelings now or they will just come back later. This is very hard for me, just thinking about it makes me cry, and i cant even remember why im crying. maybe someone out there has some advice for me. Right now I'm overcome with emotions and I cant even label what they are. Im just now starting to scratch the surface of this issue and the feelings it stirs up scares the hell out of me. I'm starting to see how many of the behaviors i have developed on my life are survival skills Ive used to "forget" what happened. What amazes me most is I cant seem to force myself to think about it. I start to remember something and it is SOOO easy to just push the memory away and think about something else. I feel embarassed and ashamed, even knowing I should not, the feeling just wont go away. Well, thats who I am. If anyone has any insight to better help me understand what Im feeling, or can suggest good books, etc.. Please do.
thank you.
Idaho27