Hi again, 

Just thought I’d jump on here for an update. Sorry it’s quite a long ramble.

The good news is that I finally got to see a psychologist after waiting 5 months. So far I’ve had 3 sessions and she seems nice. Although it’s hard to get a good feel over zoom calls (and everything being super up in the air because of Covid). 

I have to go through quite a thorough assessment soon which will determine which of my mental illnesses can be linked to my abuse, and what treatment I can have funded. I feel very very anxious about this as I have never said my entire story out loud to another person. The most I have shared is here on this website…

It will also determine whether I am eligible for income support (as I haven’t been able to sustain study or work due to my mental health). At the moment my dad is still supporting me financially but since he got remarried at the end of last year he has been hinting at cutting me off (as my step mother doesn’t like how much he supports me financially). I really want to be financially independent and not have to rely on anyone but every time I’ve returned to study or part time work my mental health has taken a nose dive and I’ve ended up in hospital. 

I have been working really hard trying to get all of my medical records together, as well as all the paperwork form various therapists and specialists I’ve seen over the past 7 years. + my uni records and medical certificates from when I had to drop out of study for this upcoming assessment.

I know I am in a very fortunate position having had my dad support me this long as I just turned 25. But I’m very anxious about my future and it is hard not to spiral into a depression. 

Since everything with Covid starting happening just after my Aunt died I still haven’t had an opportunity to tell my dad about the abuse. I live in NZ and we just moved into level 2 lockdown which means I can finally see him in person. 

I want to tell him soon but I am scared. I also feel this weird need to have a set plan so if anything goes wrong I can be self sufficient. 

I haven’t really had the chance to talk any of this through with my new psychologist as the assessment has to be completed before I can start any therapeutic work

Does anyone have any advice on how to tell someone you love that you suffered abuse as a child? I have this weird guilt that I’ve kept some sort of a shameful secret from him for the last 14 years. I really have no idea how he will react or whether I will even be able to get the courage to actually say it out loud. So any advice or things you’ve found useful in telling your story would be greatly appreciated.

Anyway, thanks for letting me dump my thoughts here. It feel good to Get my thoughts written out.

Hope you are all keeping safe out there! It’s a scary time at the moment so please remember to be kind to yourself and others xx


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24 comments

  1. Turnschaosintoart Day Captain

    Lonelyandempty
    Hi there, sounds like a lot has been going on. It is great that you are looking to get further treatment. I feel for you on all the stuff you need for assessments. They are a pain. But you will do fine. You seem very prepared. As for telling your dad, be honest and let him know how you feel and why it took so long, that it is your story and your were not ready and you love him and hope that he will be there to support you. I hope this all goes well for you. We are always here for you
    Sending you positive vibes

    Kristin

  2. Rustin Volunteer

    Hi Lonelyandempty,
    I think it’s great that you are pursuing treatment and completing testing that seems like it will help you in the long run. Good luck with all of the testing! As for telling someone you love about something that you’ve kept quiet for so long can be a difficult process. Just be patient with yourself and go with your instincts. You probably know how your dad responds to news, so I’m sure you will know how to tell him when you believe that the time is right. Be patient with yourself. Thank you for sharing! Keep us updated!

  3. eagle206 Volunteer

    Hi Lonelyandempty,

    Thank you for coming back with an update. Don’t worry about length, we are here to help in any way we can, we are happy to read whatever you want to post here! So great to hear that you have been able to speak to a therapist over zoom. Even if it’s hard to get a feel for the relationship over the call I still feel like there will be benefits to starting! It’s hard balancing your mental health with a job or school. It sounds like you’re very organized though and I’m sure that will help! Know that you aren’t at fault for keeping it a secret from him. You choose when you tell people about what happened to you, you don’t owe anyone an explanation unless you are ready to talk. I’m sure he will understand how hard that has been!

    Stay strong,

    Tyler

  4. dzreid Volunteer

    Lonelyandempty,
    Well, hello there! It’s good to see your return on here. It’s your time to share, so however long it is, or short your story is either way, it’s ok. That’s what we’re here for! It can be very challenging sharing our stories for the first time, especially if it’s done through zoom! I’m glad you were able to finaly be connected with a therapist. The results of surviving trauma, plays havoc with our bodies & our minds. I’m sorry it’s been so tough on you! I know you can do this. I believe in you! I’m happy to hear that your dad has been there financially for you. I’m in no place to offer advice, but I can share suggestions. Just the thought if sharing with any one is scary, to share with family makes it even more scarier. If you still feel like sharing with your dad, then do so when you feel ready. Maybe you could write a letter stating what you want to say first before actually sharing. People respond in many different ways when someone they care about had been hurt. If you share, give him time to absorb what is heard. Be patient. If he responds in silence, that doesn’t always mean it’s a bad thing. We are here for you. It will be hard but won’t be any harder than the trauma experienced. Take some deep breaths before hand, & take it one step at a time. You got this!
    Dawn

  5. meg Volunteer

    Hi!

    Thank you for coming back and sharing your story with us. No need to apologize for the length of the post! Writing out thoroughly is a great way to process what you’re feeling. It’s brave to do and I am happy you did. As for the work with the psychologist, try to be as open and honest as possible. It gets really scary when you can’t do the therapeutic work right away, but you will be able to. You’ve come so far in your healing journey. Remember to breathe deeply and steadily when it feels hard to do so. You’ve got this. As for telling your dad, I understand how scary that is too. With family, try to remind yourself that he will likely be angry and sad that you were hurt. It’ll be complex for him to process so give him time to go through and fully understand. I’d tell a friend that you are having a difficult conversation with your dad so you can have support after if you need it. You don’t have to give all the details if you don’t want to. It’s your story to tell; you decide how and when to tell it. We are here for you. We’re your family here. Let us know how you’re doing in the next few days!
    -Meg

  6. aegardiner Volunteer

    Hi Lonelyandempty,

    Thank for providing an update here. I’m glad to hear that you have been able to start meeting with your psychologist and that so far you have a good feeling about her. It will be nice when we don’t have to rely on Zoom as much and can have that person-person interaction again, but it’s good to hear that you have someone you can at least talk to to get the ball rolling for now. I’m sorry that finding a balance between being able to work/study and take care of your mental health has been a challenge, but am glad to hear that you’ve had the financial help from your dad so that you’ve had one less thing to worry about. It sounds like your dad has been a continual source of support. Nonetheless, telling those we love our story can be especially hard when we don’t know how they’ll react. I’m hoping for the best for you and that when you are ready to tell him, he is receptive and loving to you. I think this is definitely something to bring up to your psychologist – she should hopefully have some suggestions for you on the best way to handle it. Please continue to reach out here if you need additional support in finding the courage to talk to him.

  7. Natalie M Day Captain

    Hi there,

    Thank you for coming and sharing your thoughts with us – I am so glad you did! It is definitely a very scary time and that has had so many effects on our lives. I am so glad you have finally were able to get assessments done with your new therapist! I hope all goes well with it. It is okay that you have needed to take some time before going back to school or work, but it shows just how strong you are that you have tried to go back and are working toward healing. It is okay to not be okay and need a little help! It also sounds like your dad has been very supportive of your healing journey with mental health. I hope he is just as supportive when you are ready to share your story with him. Remember that it is your story! You are able to share it how you want to and when you are comfortable. Please don’t feel any guilt about not sharing with your dad before. It takes time to heal from such a traumatic event and that is okay!

    Stay strong! We are here for you!
    -Natalie

  8. Amysue43 Volunteer

    As you mentioned your anxiety with speaking about your experience to other people, perhaps it could be beneficial for you to write down what you would like to say (you could refer to previous posts if that’s helpful) then read from that. Could help with configuring your thoughts and providing appropriate information to the person who will be there for assessment. This process can be overwhelming, but it’s great to see you are keeping up with it all – the paperwork, the financial side of it, etc. As for your search for some advice with telling someone you love that you suffered from an experience like yours, I would encourage you to talk with the therapist you’ve seen for three sessions about this. She could help you practice how to do such in a way that you would be most comfortable.
    Stay strong <3

  9. Marissa Day Captain

    Hi Lonelyandempty,

    Thanks for giving us an update (no need to apologize for the long post! 🙂 )

    I totally understand being anxious to tell your story. It’s completely normal and a reasonable reaction. If you feel ready, I believe you can do it. However, please don’t push yourself! It’s YOUR story – tell it when YOU feel comfortable. I’m glad you have been able to see a psychologist finally. Hopefully they will be able to give you some tips on how to go about talking to your dad. As for him financially supporting you, could you kind of ease out of getting help from him? Based on what you’ve said, it sounds like it would be really hard to go from getting money from him to getting absolutely nothing. Personally, I don’t think it has to be all or nothing! You don’t want to add any unnecessary stress or push yourself too hard. That isn’t healthy!

    Please let us know if there’s anything we can do for you. We’re here to help however we can! Stay strong and stay safe!
    Marissa

  10. Solongago Volunteer

    I took my time in responding to this, because families are hard and knowing how to manage this sort of conversation is really difficult. For one thing, everyone is different and you are the best judge of your dad’s personality, so how you approach this conversation really depends on who you are and who he is. The best we can do is tell you what worked or didn’t work for us, or what we think is a good idea, and than you can sift through the ideas and maybe choose something that might work with your dad.

    First though, I think it is very important to understand that it is the norm not to tell, at least not to tell right away. It is not a breach of trust that you did not tell your father right away, though parents can take it that way. Personally — why didn’t he/she tell me. But those parents are making it about them, not you. And that is wrong. We don’t tell at the time for a number of reasons. Not all of them are fear of our parents or punishment or just disappointing them, though most of us do initially blame ourselves, and when we do that, we do fear how our parents will react. I think that children who are sexually abused or assaulted have an inner drive or instinct to keep it secret. And the secrecy increases the damage. Sometimes folks don’t tell because they cannot tell. They do not have the words that describe what happened. Or they are afraid of the abuser. Or they cannot relive what happened to tell. Whatever the case, it is not something you should feel guilty or ashamed about because it is not your fault, not any more than the abuse itself is. I consider it part of the syndrome.

    As for telling your father. I told my mom in a burst of anger, and I would not suggest that course. I think that there is no hurry, you can take your time and pick your time and place carefully. Maybe pick a day and time when your father will be free, and set it up in advance. If you want a friend or partner to be present, decide on that. Pick the place. I think that if I had it to do over, I would ask my dad to come to my house on the pretense of some home repair (I have enough of them). I would then say to him, “Dad, I’d like to tell you about something that happened back…”

    I think you could take the time, in order to talk to your therpaist one or more times, it can be beneficial. They can help you prepare how you are going to talk and what likely responses may come. I think there is a lot of guilt when parents find out one of their children has been molested, so it is likely he may respond defensively. That would be about him, not you, but it can still be hard on you. I am not saying not to tell, but to be prepared that he may not act the way you expect or want, or he may surprise you.

  11. haesol Volunteer

    Hi Lonelyandempty,

    It’s so good to hear you’re seeing a psychologist! that’s a very big step. Telling your whole story can be scary and it takes strength and bravery, you’re doing a really good job by seeking help.

    Thinking too hard about the future it’s tough most times, as you said, it’s easy to fall into a spiral and see everything in a dark way. I truly wish you the best and I hope the upcoming days and months are full of light and positive things for you.

    I can’t advise you from personal experience and I’d hate to say something wrong, so my apologies. However, I send you strength and the best of my wishes.

    Stay safe, too! keep doing just what you have been doing so far, it’s good enough.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us! we are always here to hear and help you. I hope everything goes well.

    -sol.

  12. candyappleb Volunteer

    Hi Lonelyandempty,

    I’m glad to hear that you were able to get in with a psychologist. Hopefully you can receive some sort of financial support as you continue to work through your recovery. It can be extremely difficult to disclose abuse for the first time. In my personal experience I’ve written a letter. I wrote one to my husband and then a separate one to share with my parents. I think for me, it was a bit easier to distance myself from their reaction to the news. Would something like that work for you? Remember, you are in charge of your healing and that if you don’t yet feel ready to share with your dad, that’s totally okay. There aren’t any right or wrong ways to go about informing your family. It’s something that’s entirely up to you. Please feel free to write again anytime. We’re here for you!

    All the best,
    Becca

  13. tolleytn Volunteer

    Lonelyandempty,

    I’m so happy to hear that your appointment with a psychologist went well and you were finally about to get in touch with them! I hope that it continues to be a supportive tool in your life that can continue to assist you in your healing.

    I know that being financially dependent on another person can feel like a burden sometimes. I’m glad you have a family member that is willing to support you in some way in your mental health journey. Although I have not personally experienced the kind of abuse that you have, it was useful in talking to my therapist about how to communicate a difficult circumstance of my own to a family member. Maybe you could bring this up to your psychologist or when you get a therapist? I wish you the best of luck in this and I hope to hear another update from you soon.

    – Tiffany

  14. Ashley Day Captain

    Lonelyandempty,

    Thank you for coming back to provide us with an update.

    I commend you for attempting to return to school and work part-time, but it sounds like you need some time to heal and that’s okay.
    It’s wonderful to hear that you have been able to receive support from a psychologist. I believe in you and your ability to share your story with her. Before talking to your dad about the abuse, I encourage you to discuss the abuse with your psychologist beforehand because I’m thinking she can help you practice telling your dad and she can come up with ideas on how you can start the conversation.
    If you believe it will be difficult to say your story out loud, consider writing your story down and having your dad read it; I see that other volunteers have suggested this idea too.

    Continue to stay safe and hang in there!

    Ashley

  15. jcas120 Volunteer

    Hello,

    Welcome back! I’m grateful you’re here to share another update with us. I’m very glad that after those long 5 months of waiting you’re able to get an appointment. You did a great job being patient and I hope that you find the appointments helpful. I know you’re very strong and able to handle anything that comes your way. Setting up these appointments does sound like it could make anyone feel anxious, but I know that you will do just fine for the assessments!

    It’s very brave of you to open up about your abuse to a family member. It’s perfectly normal to feel scared. You are in full control of how you share your story to anyone, and I know that you will make the right choice on how and when to share that information. Since you asked for advice, mine would be to trust yourself! 🙂 You’ve been through a lot and I know that you will do what’s best and most comfortable to you.

    I hope that everything goes well and we will be rooting for you!

  16. sfmbelle413 Day Captain

    Hey there lonelyandempty,

    The current environment with this pandemic is different for sure, which can be terrifying. It’s great you were able to connect with a psychologist and are doing the best you can under the circumstances to get the support you truly deserve. The future can also be scary – with the thought of your dad not being there to support you as much financially. I can tell you’re doing all the right things to stay comfortable and safe.

    It’s understandable that you’re afraid to speak your abuse out loud and to share it with your dad. Like musicislove suggested, sometimes writing it down and sharing it in writing can be helpful. Or, writing it down might be helpful just for you to sort out how you want to tell your story. Writing can be a powerful outlet. Please know we’re always here to support you and you’re not alone. I hope you remember to take your own advice as well – be patient and kind with yourself. I can tell you’re doing your best.

    Sending light your way,
    SFM

  17. loveishere2020 Volunteer

    Hello there, I am Hollie.
    Times are certainly uncertain and you have a lot to digest. But how awesome that you are getting the help you need and will soon have navigated through it all. I trust all will end well.

    I have some advice on how to tell a loved one that you suffered abuse. Full disclosure. Just let it all out. The moment is not about their feelings, the moment is about YOUR feelings. Abuse tends to make us feel guilty for everything but this moment is for your healing. If there is any time to be selfish, it is this moment. So get it out and know it is a step in the right direction.

    Come back soon, okay. I’m here for you.

    Stay safe – Hollie

  18. musicislove

    Hi lonelyandempty,

    I’m so glad you were able to start seeing a psychologist! I hope that the assessment goes smoothly so you can really start your healing process. Since you’re nervous to tell your dad about the abuse, writing it out can be really helpful. Getting all your thoughts out and in front of you could help to figure out what exactly you want to say, and if you feel like you can’t get the words out, writing him a letter could be an option. It could also be really helpful to talk to your therapist about what you want to say so they can process your thoughts with you. You never need to be sorry for how long an update is, we’re here to listen and want to be able to support you! Please come back anytime, we’re always here for you.

    Delaney

  19. Northlane1991 Volunteer

    Hey Friend
    Thank you for sharing your story. I am happy you found someone to talk with. I know it is now easy to discuss your experience with anyone. Please let us know if we can do anything. We are here for you!

  20. rkr18 Volunteer

    Lonelyandempty,

    Thank you for sharing your story. I’m so happy that you found a psychologist. I know It’s never easy to discuss your experiences with anyone. I think that when you meet with your counselor they can give you direction on what to say. Please let us know if there is anything we can do.

    -marie

  21. KatherineL Volunteer

    Hey there,

    Thanks for sharing. You never need to be sorry for posting. You’re welcome to share however much you want, whenever. It’s great that you’re finally able to access psychological help and that it has been helpful so far. My recommendation is to talk with your therapist to develop a plan for telling your dad about the abuse and how to cope with whatever his response is. You don’t need to tell him until you feel ready and secure in doing so. But know that whenever you do: 1) you have nothing to be ashamed of; 2) it was not your fault; 3) we are here for you.

    KatherineL

  22. colton95 Volunteer

    Hope you are keeping safe as well! Feel free to share as much as you want to! We are more than happy to listen and help if you ever ask for it.

  23. Alyssa Day Captain

    Hi Lonelyandempty,
    Thank you for updating us. Don’t be sorry for writing on here. We are always here for you. I think it is great that you want to tell your dad your story. My tip for you is, to sit him down and tell him exactly what you want to say. Don’t force yourself to say it when you aren’t ready. Talking to your psychologist about telling your dad is also a good idea.
    It is great that you are getting help. It sounds like your psychologist is helping a lot. If you need anything else you can always write back. Good luck telling your dad. We are here if you need anything.
    -Alyssa

  24. Erin O'Callaghan Day Captain

    Thank you for coming back to share. I’m glad that you were able to get in and see a therapist! I hope that’s really helpful, even given the restraints of our current situation. I know it can be scary to talk about what we have been through. Just now that you have nothing to be ashamed of, and you deserve to be supported. Maybe it will help to talk that through with your therapist first, too? That’s always been helpful for me before I’ve told other people in my life. And you can always come back to share here.

    Erin