Scared

I’m 19 years old, the case started a few months shy of my turning 16. The abuse happened when I was a little girl, somewhere in between 2 and 8. The trial was set for August 5th but cancelled and nobody can give me a good answer as to why. I’m so sick of it, sometimes I just want to call the whole thing off, but I’ve worked too hard to give up now. Meanwhile I’m coming to terms with the fact that I’m more than likely bipolar or have BPD. I don’t know because I’ve been putting off the diagnosis for over a year now, I don’t know how it could effect the trial or if they could use it against me, and if they can, wouldn’t it be better to just give up on justice for my younger self than to have suck a big piece of me used against me ? I feel so stuck and don’t know what to do anymore.


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26 comments

  1. music2799 Day Captain

    Hi Flawlessfreak,
    I’m so sorry about what happened when you were a child. You didn’t deserve what happened, and it wasn’t your fault. I agree with the comments below – I think speaking to a therapist could help you figure out what the next course of action is. Maybe processing these feelings can help you evaluate whether or not you want to continue with the trial. Your conflicting feelings are valid, and you can decide what to do because this is your healing process.
    As for the diagnosis, it may help to put things into perspective, and you could figure out a variety of healthy coping mechanisms. I’m not sure if a diagnosis would be used against you, but I think speaking to a lawyer and a mental health professional can help you prepare either way.
    Thank you for sharing your story. I’m so proud of you for being determined to get justice. We’re here for you if you need anything from us. Continue to stay strong – you can get through this.

  2. Kayla Volunteer

    Hey,

    Thank you for sharing with us. The justice system is unfortunately really slow and tedious. I do think it’s really important for you to seek justice for what happened to you. I am not a psychologist, but I do believe there is correlation between childhood trauma and mental illness later in life. I do not see any reason why a diagnosis of bipolar or BPD would be used against you legally. If anything, it could strengthen your cause for long term effects as result of the abuse.

    Are you able to see a therapist? Having a diagnosis can lead you to healing, it can bring clarity and also mechanisms for handling and working with your illness. I myself am bipolar type 1, and it’s really not unmanageable. It was significantly worse before I understood it.

    We are here for you, and i’m sending you love.

    Kayla

  3. brodie_james Volunteer

    Hey, friend,

    Thank you for sharing this part of your story with us. I’m so sorry you’re going through this right now. I can’t even imagine how rough this process has probably been for you, from the court case to understanding your possible diagnosis of bipolar/BPD, to feeling stuck and scared about whether to seek treatment for your diagnosis or put it off until after the court case. Unfortunately I don’t know a lot about the legal system to know for sure whether a diagnosis can be used against you in your case, but my gut thinks that in order for someone to use it against you, they’d have to know it exists and then petition the court to get a subpoena for your mental health records. Even then, some therapists are able to just write a summary of what your goals have been instead of releasing the whole record. I would definitely speak to your lawyer or whoever is helping you through this court process about whether that is true or not. I really admire your desire to seek justice for your case while also wanting to get the diagnosis and the help that you feel you need. You’re an incredibly strong and resilient person, and you’re working so hard to help yourself in so many different ways, and that’s an amazing thing to be able to manage!

    I hope things begin moving in a more positive and calm place for you soon. In the meantime, if you feel you need any more support from us, please feel free to write us back.

    Cheers,
    Brodie

  4. Amysue43 Volunteer

    I admire your determination for justice. I hope that you continue to push through even as it might feel that all the fingers are pointing at you. Nothing can excuse the abuse you experienced and we will be here to support you. I’m sorry you’re experiencing these overwhelming events and emotions; however, your feelings are definitely normal given the circumstance. Let your emotions motivate you to pursue this justice. Your hard work will pay off. You deserve it!

    Stay strong <3

  5. Harton.13 Volunteer

    Flawlessfreak,
    I’m so sorry for everything you’re going through. Dealing with abuse is hard enough, but the legal element often makes things more complex and can end up being really disappointing, so it’s totally valid that you feel conflicted about going forward. But many people feel like bringing their abuser to justice will make them feel more whole or help them to move on, so if you’re not quite ready to give up the fight, there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m not sure what region you live in, but a lot of cities have nonprofits that put on clinics to provide resources and free legal advice for people trying to navigate the system. Whatever you decide to do in that realm, I hope you take care of yourself and prioritize your mental and emotional health above all else. We are all here for you if you need us again.

  6. Megan Volunteer

    Hey Flawlessfreak,

    I’m so sorry that this happened to you. You didn’t deserve any of it, but you definitely deserve justice. I’m sorry that this justice system does not always treat survivors well and with the respect that they deserve; it’s so unfair. I can imagine it must be hard to not know if getting a diagnosis will affect your case. To my knowledge, they are not allowed to use a mental diagnosis against someone in a court case (I don’t know for sure but that sounds wildly unethical if they can). Additionally, the fact that you were abused led to a higher risk of you developing a mental illness, so I feel like they shouldn’t be able to use a diagnosis as a defense against your case. It’s obviously up to you and if you are ready to do it, but I think seeing a therapist and getting a diagnosis will really help you. The diagnosis will help you understand what is going on with you and will help you get the proper treatment. The sooner you get the treatment, the better the outcome is likely going to be. You don’t have to go through this alone.

    We are always here for you if you need it. Stay strong,
    Megan

  7. Lizzi

    Hi Flawlessfreak,
    I’m so sorry for what you’re having to go through. It should be easier and quicker instead of being dragged out. It’s understandable to want to call it off, but I agree that you’ve put so much effort into it. I believe it’ll be worth it in the end. Mental health diagnoses can be hard to accept sometimes, but hopefully that means you can start getting the right help and support to deal with that. I don’t know legally if/how that can being used against you in the trial. Is there anyone part of this that could give you some legal advice about it?

  8. tayestlack Volunteer

    Hello love, the long waits and canceled trials can be frustrating, but you’ve fought so hard to be where you are now. Perhaps your diagnosis could be something to focus on while you await your trial and maybe be able to already have answers for any possible questions they may try to use against you. Please keep us updated and if you need anything, please come back and let us know. I hope you have a lovely day

  9. Northlane1991 Volunteer

    Hey

    I am sorry this process is taking a while. I know it can be difficult and hard. Remember you are strong and brave. You are going to get through this. Continue to stay strong and know we are here for you.

  10. Alyssa Day Captain

    Hi Flawlessfreak,
    I’m sorry this process is taking so long. I know it can be hard and tedious. Remember you are strong and brave. You are going to get through this. It doesn’t make sense why they would cancel on Aug. 5th, but just know that when this is over you are going to feel amazing. If you don’t want to continue with the case that is entirely up to you. You shouldn’t feel forced to do this, if you are struggling mentally. We are always here for you. Thank you for trusting and sharing your story with AVFTI. Continue to stay strong. If you need anything else let us know.
    -Alyssa

  11. musicislove

    Hi,

    I’m so sorry for what you went through when you were younger and that your still dealing with the trial. I think speaking with a therapist is a great idea. Being able to talk about what your going through with a professional that will help you work through everything is really helpful. I dealt with a two year long trial when I went through my abuse and if I didn’t have a therapist at the time I don’t know what I would have done. However you decide to proceed with your case, you’ve been fighting for yourself and that’s so brave, but you get to choose what’s best for you moving ahead. I agree with the others below, speaking with your lawyer about your diagnosis to see how to deal with what could happen is a good idea. We’re always here for you, thank you for sharing with us.

    Delaney

  12. Marissa Day Captain

    Hi Flawlessfreak,

    Thanks for posting and letting us know what’s going on. I’m sorry you went through that abuse and that you have to deal with it now. I agree with what Jess said below: speaking with a therapist might help you to unpack everything you’re feeling. It also might be beneficial to talk with your lawyer to see if/how that diagnosis could be used against you. Just remember, what happened to you is YOUR story. You are free to handle it however you feel is best. Please don’t push yourself too far out of your comfort zone. Let us know if there’s anything else we can do for you. We are here to help and give you our support!

    Marissa

    PS – you’re not a freak! you’re beautiful and strong!

  13. Jess Volunteer

    I’m sorry that you’re struggling right now. Deciding whether or not fighting in the legal system is worth it is so incredibly difficult and frightening. In the end, that is an incredibly personal decision and we will stand beside you no matter what you decide. Have you spoken to a therapist about these feelings? I know you said you’ve been putting off getting a diagnosis, but it may be beneficial to seek treatment and assistance with navigating this difficult process. You’ve worked so hard and come so far. Keep fighting and stay strong, in whatever way that means for you.

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. I’m glad that you felt safe to come here and share. If you need anything else at all, we are always here and we believe you. <3
    -Jess

  14. Jevati Volunteer

    Hi Flawlessfreak,

    Thank you for reaching out to us and sharing your story. I can see you’ve been dealing with this for a long time, and that can be really exhausting and stressful. It is so awful to be in the dark and not know why things are happening, especially when those things directly involve you — your present and your future.

    It can be a very scary feeling to not know if a diagnosis will be brought up and/or used against you. I know this doesn’t necessarily change the consequences, but I want to reassure you that if anyone uses a diagnosis against you with this case, they are wrong. It is not your fault. People who have mental health diagnoses are more likely to be victims of crimes than perpetrators, and just because we have a diagnosis does NOT mean it was our fault.

    You are incredibly brave just for waking up each morning and facing the world. There are some great resources in our Find Help tab at the top of this page, plus we are always here for you. It’s okay to keep coming back and reaching out to us to be here for you.

    – Jev

  15. mikaylaanne11 Volunteer

    Hey there flawlessfreak,

    I’m sorry to hear about the trouble with your case and the experiences you had as a child. Regardless of the legal outcome, we believe you and are here to give you any support and resources that we can. Coping with a diagnosis can be hard for some people, and your fears are so valid. I think that you know what is best for your body and your brain, and if you believe that getting a formal diagnosis can help you heal, I support that decision. That helped me start to work through my own trauma.

    I think that your younger self would be proud of you for where you are at. Healing is a journey and looks differently for everyone. Be gentle with yourself as you work through the case situation and your mental health. We’re here for you any time you need an outlet.

  16. kelly Day Captain

    Hi, Flawlessfreak. I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this. The legal system does not make it easy for victims of sexual abuse to get justice. I can understand the dilemma you’re facing. I think it’s important to be gentle with yourself while you’re going through all this and pay attention to what you’re feeling. Only you can make the decision if the legal battle is worth it. I understand how important it is to get justice, and I also understand how important it is to protect yourself. I can’t tell you what is the best route for you, but I know you’re strong enough to get through whichever path you choose. Have you talked to a therapist about this? It might be helpful to have someone to weigh out these options with on a deeper level. Let us know if we can help in any way. We’re here for you.

  17. Bluebell13 Volunteer

    Dear Flawlessfreak,
    Thank you for trusting us with your story and with your concerns. I am so sorry that this happened to you and that it is taking so long for you to receive justice. You are a rock-star! It is good to hear that you have an advocate to talk to and who will guide you through the process. If you want a second opinion about how a diagnosis might affect the trail, you might call the RAINN hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or their webchat at http://www.rainn.org. They help survivors and are involved in changing legal policies specifically related to sexual violence and may be able to give you a more concrete answer. We are here for you no matter what you decide to do. Please feel free to write to us as often as you would like. You are not alone!!
    Sending you love and strength,
    Roxie

  18. Breanna Grunthal Volunteer

    Hey there Flawflessfreak,

    Thank you for coming to share with us while you are feeling this way. I am so sorry that that you are feeling scared and that the trial is taking so long. You are INCREDIBLY brave for sending this to trial – it must have taken a lot of courage and patience. I hope you are proud of yourself! As for a bipolar or BPD diagnosis, I think it depends how and where you get the diagnosis. There is doctor-patient confidentiality that applies to psychologists (except in the cases where you want to harm yourself/others), but I am not completely certain on how this works with diagnoses. If you are comfortable, you can explore our Find Help tab, which has plenty of valuable resources. If you are comfortable, you can consider reaching out to a legal hotline to ask what they think. But – I think the fact that you are going to trial is incredibly courageous and brave. We will be here for support. I hope you are kind to yourself while you are going through this. Keep your chin up and stay strong.

    Sending love and support,
    Bre

  19. dzreid Volunteer

    Hi there!
    Thank you for sharing part of your story! I was moved at your bravery for returning so you could go to court. I’m glad you have an advocate to help you through this process. I’m sorry that you experienced what you did. You can get through this! Taking little steps & going day to day often is more helpful than taking huge leaps. I wish continued growth, & peace for you Stay strong!
    Dawn

  20. Flawlessfreak

    Thank you all for the support, I desperately needed it, and definitely cried a little reading all your comments. I moved across the county from my family 2 years ago, so I haven’t been present for any of the court dates in person, on the 16th I’m making my first trip back. I called my Advacate, who’s wonderful but I’m terrible at reaching out to, thus afternoon and there’s going to be a court day the day after I arrive, I’m excited to see my mom and old friends but I’m terrified about seeing/hearing him and hearing what the DDA thinks is fair, they’re taking about a rehab program currently. I asked my Advacate about whether or not me being given a diagnosis of bipolar or having BPD could effect anything, she said in theory it could, but if they don’t have an official diagnosis it can’t. She’s going to talk more with my about it after court on the 17th and I’m angry that this could potentially hold me back from the help I need but ready to finally get to look them in the eyes and voice my opinion.

  21. Solongago

    I don’t know for sure, but if you want to get a diagnosis or work with a therapist or psychiatrist, that is all private. If you are not the perpetrator, your diagnosis, and your treatment, is your business. They cannot “hold it against you” because it was not court ordered, and unless you as a victim are using some form of treatment in the part of a civil case to prove pain and suffering our how your life has been affected, I think then that might be entered in, but it would only be done if you choose to do that.

    But your medical records are NOT public records about you, like a criminal record. I think a defense attorney can use a criminal record against a victim, but this is often frowned on because blaming the victim can backfire. And, any diagnosis or emotional therapy would probably strengthen your case rather than throw any shadow of doubt. Probably. But again it would be private.

  22. Samantha Harris Volunteer

    Hi Flawlessfreak,
    Thank you so much for sharing part of your story. I’m sorry that you’re going through this. It’s not your fault and you don’t deserve to deal with this. I can only imagine how hard it must be to go through the trial process, but I believe in you. You’re so strong for getting this far already. We are all on your side here. If you ever need anything, let us know. We’re always here for you.

  23. Shannon Volunteer

    Hey Flawlessfreak,

    Im so sorry for what you are going through and the abuse you have suffered. But you are strong and can get through this ! i hope you come back and update us with how you are doing. Thank you for sharing and be kind to yourself

    Shannon

  24. Natalie M Day Captain

    Hi there,

    Thank you for sharing what is going on with us and trusting us with your thoughts. I am so sorry that you had to experience abuse in your life, especially so young. I can’t imagine how hard the trial must be for you but you are getting justice. What happened to you was not okay and it was not your fault! I think you are extremely brave for continuing with the trial and for getting justice for yourself. It is okay if you are feeling not okay. You are so strong and so brave – you can get through this! We are on your side through the whole thing. Let us know how we can help!

    Sending support and hope,
    -Natalie

  25. zelda Volunteer

    I just wanted to say that I’m so sorry for the abuse that you’ve endured. Nobody should have to go through that, especially at such a young age. If I were you I would keep going through with the trial. You’ve worked so hard, don’t give up yet. However, if you’re feeling like it’s taking a huge toll on your mental health and overall well being then you have to do what’s best for you. I could never convict my rapists so I applaud you for your bravery. If there’s anything I can do for you please let me know. We also have resources available here that might be able to help you. Stay strong.

  26. Erin O'Callaghan Day Captain

    Thank you for coming to share with us. I am so sorry for what you’re going through, and how stressful this is. We are here for support you. Do you have a victim advocate with you that you could maybe ask for advice? Sometimes you can get a legal advocate to come with you for the trial for support-you can try checking our “find help” tab for those in your area. Let us know how else we can help-we are here for you.

    Erin