tw: sexual assault & racism. my step dad just told me that if you have sex you’re opening yourself up to sexual assault. i was assaulted when i was eight & it pains me to know that he thinks this. he also believes the color of your skin means absolutely nothing yet recognizes racism exists. my mom then came out & yelled at me, telling me i had no right to speak about assault unless i had experienced it yet she knows my story & then told me unless it was rape it didn’t matter i am just so tired. i want it all to stop. i won’t do anything as i love living but i can’t handle living here anymore until im 18. im 15 right now. this month is the anniversary of my assault so it’s triggering my ptsd & my mother believes an apology is the kissing emoji & a cartoon photo of a monkey. you know what she was apologizing for? yelling at me, pushing me to suicide & then getting mad when i even considered it. i have never felt more numb in my life & they refuse to allow me to see a therapist as that means they’ll face consequences. my bio dad also doesn’t give a fuck about me, telling me im a mistake and brags about his girlfriend not having children and look at her! she’s successful! i fucking hate my life. i honestly don’t think ill make it past 20. ive come here countless time & you’ve all helped. thank you all. feel free to delete these xx my apologies
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I am so sorry that you are going through this. You don’t deserve to have your mother and stepfather invalidate your assault. What happened to you when you were 8 was sexual assault, even if there was no penetration. Sexual assault is sexual assault. Having sex (which is normal and healthy) does not open up someone to sexual abuse. That’s like saying that someone was asking for it because they wore a skirt. I know that it’s hard and painful to hear those things, and sadly I don’t think there is much that can be done to make them stop. I am sorry that your father isn’t supportive and verbally abusive towards you.
As for your stepfather’s racism, there’s not much you can do for that unless he is open to educating himself. It may not be a smart idea to open up this conversation if it will have negative consequences on your mental health. In case you do want to call him out, please utilize this guide:
I recommend seeing a therapist. It would be very cathartic for you and help you with your trauma. You’ve stated that your mother and stepfather won’t allow you to get treatment because they fear being exposed for their actions towards you. However, you may be able to get therapy without your parents’ consent, depending on where you live. Some states require that parents sign off on consent forms, while others will allow minors to give their own consent. I advise you to look up the consent laws where you live to see if you can get treatment on your own.
If you live where you have to get consent from a parent/legal guardian, you can still get help. I know that we’re in the middle of a pandemic and you may not be having in-person classes. However, I recommend that you reach out to your guidance counselor or your school’s psychologist. They are bound by confidential laws, and they can get you the help you need until you’re 18. They will only contact your parents if they feel that you may be a danger to yourself or be in danger. I understand if you’re not comfortable doing so, but I think it will be an excellent place to start.
You can reach out to your primary care provider for a referral as well. They don’t have to tell your parents what you shared with them, but they still may need to sign off on consent. Here are some guides with more advice on how you can get treatment without your parents’ knowing:
There are a few other options for you as well. First, you can look at online therapy options. Here is a website that offers some suggestions: https://themighty.com/2017/08/affordable-online-therapy-cheap.Second, you look for support groups in your area for sexual abuse survivors and teen support groups. Third, you can look for local adolescent mental health clinics or health clinics that may allow you to see someone. Lastly, there are options for free/affordable mental health services, which you can view by visiting https://www.popsugar.com/fitness/what-to-do-if-you-cant-afford-therapy-47388315 and https://www.popsugar.com/fitness/free-mental-health-services-during-coronavirus-pandemic-47392537.
Your assault anniversary will be a difficult day for you and will bring up even more triggers for your PTSD. Since you can’t see a therapist, I highly recommend that you take time for yourself. Write in a journal about how you feel. Write a letter to your assailant and then rip it up. Watch some calming or funny videos. Do whatever you can to relax your body and take your mind off of what happened. It can be challenging to do, but I think that it will help you. These are some self-help guides that you should look at for PTSD:
It is concerning that you have been having suicidal thoughts and considered following through with it. I know that it may not seem like it now, but things will get better. Right now, things are bad. You’re not in a supportive home or even have supportive parents, but you’re 15. You have your whole life ahead of you, even though you think that you won’t live past 20. Your life is worth living, and there is always hope, okay? These are some guides on how to cope with suicidal ideation that you should read:
Living with an unsupportive family is not fun. It has hurt your mental health and your healing process. From what I gathered, it seems that your parents and stepfather are toxic for your emotional health. It would be best for you to leave that situation, but you may not want to go into foster care or may not be ready to be an emancipated minor. When you turn 18, you can support yourself and live on your own. You won’t have to communicate with your parents unless necessary. In the meantime, here are some guides on how to cope while living in a toxic household:
In addition to the resources above, I recommend that you utilize the following helplines for support. Hotlines are excellent to use until you can start therapy. However, they aren’t meant to replace help from mental health professionals. They’re free, confidential, and available 24/7. Here are my suggestions:
Crisis Text Line: Text “HOME” to 741741 to speak with a crisis counselor.
7 Cups of Tea: Visit www.7cups.com or download their app (IOS or Google Play) to create an account. Once you have, you can connect with one of their listeners and/or attend group sessions for numerous topics. Alternatively, for 33 dollars a week, you can speak with a therapist.
Fort Refuge is an online support community for people who have experienced abuse of any kind and experiencing any of their adverse effects like PTSD, suicidal thoughts, addictions, etc. You can create your free and anonymous account at http://www.fortrefuge.com/.
RAINN is the national sexual assault helpline for anyone who has experienced any form of sexual violence. Their website offers many resources as well as their online chat, which you can view at https://www.rainn.org/. Additionally, you can call their hotline at 1-800-656-4673.
TeenTribe is an online peer support group for teens struggling with their mental health or tough family dynamics. You can create your account at https://support.therapytribe.com/teen-support-group/.
YouthLine is a peer-run support line. From 4-10 pm pacific time, you have the option to speak with teen volunteers. Any other time, you will be connected to an adult. They offer four different ways to access their helpline, which you can view at https://oregonyouthline.org/.
Suicide Prevention Lifeline: If you feel that you are in danger of hurting yourself or think that you want to die, please call 1-800-273-8255 to talk with a prevention counselor. If you prefer, you can use their online chat by visiting https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/.
I realized I forgot to address this earlier, but you are not a mistake. Having kids or not does not affect someone being successful. It’s their work ethic and perseverance that makes them succeed. You have so much potential to do great things in life. Your dad is wrong on so many levels for saying that to you. You are a child and your stepmom is a grown adult. If he’s upset that he’s not successful, it’s not your fault because you have nothing to do with that. You will get through this and recover. Remember that you are not alone, even if you feel like you are. Reach out to your friends or a trusted adult for support. Don’t give up hope and remind yourself that your current situation is not how your life will be. Your future is bright. If you need any more support, please don’t hesitate to come back to Asking Jude, we will always be here for you. We will answer any ask no matter what your problem is!
P.S check out Asking Jude’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/c/AskingJude for helpful videos.