Trust scattered

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“My Uncle touches me” when I was five, this is what I told my family. My uncle would come into the room I was napping in and touch me. When I would wake he would put his hand to my mouth and tell me to be quiet. He’d also say if someone comes in pretend to be sleep. Even at five I knew this was right and I didn’t like how it felt. So, I told. Then, it was like nothing ever happened. I wasn’t allowed to talk about it and if that uncle was at my grandmother’s I was going to be going. It was like I was being punished for a crime I didn’t commit.  So, fast forward four more year another of my uncles started touching me. Whenever we were left alone he would make me lay down so that he could run and lick my private area. After seeing what happened to the first uncle that touched me, I couldn’t bring myself to go through that again. So I told no one and for about two years whenever he was babysitting me he would touch and lick my body.

Here I am now in my late thirties and I still have hangups. I still find it difficult to have someone touch me sexually while I’m asleep. Family gatherings are also hard, if I know one of those uncles will be there I won’t go, especially since the older uncle tends to stare at me (I hate that look, like he wants to touch me).

Join the Conversation


  1. Shannon Volunteer

    Hey ElleG22,

    Thank you so much for trusting us with your story, I know it must have taken a lot to share with us. I am so sorry for everything you went through. What happened was not your fault and you didn’t deserve it. I hope you can find some relief in telling us your story, but if you need it, please text VOICE to 741-741. This will get you in touch with a crisis counsellor. You can do this at any time. But you are always welcome back here. Just know you don’t have to go through this alone. Be kind to yourself


  2. Mary Volunteer

    Hi ElleG22,

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. That takes a lot of courage. I am so sorry for what you went through as a child. What both of your uncles did to you was reprehensible, and you did not deserve one second of it. It is completely understandable that family gatherings would be hard for you. Seeing them sounds incredibly difficult. Having some “hangups” is understandable, however not wanting to be touched sexually while you are asleep is not something that you should ever feel like you should have to do. A person cannot consent while they are asleep, and if your partners are doing this to you, of course it makes sense that you would be uncomfortable with it! If there is anything that you are uncomfortable doing sexually, your partners should be understanding if you tell them what you do not want to do/have them do. If not, then they are not respecting your boundaries. Please reach out to us at any time! We’re here for you.


  3. Jordan L

    Hey there,
    I am so sorry this happened to you. Words cannot explain how much my heart breaks for you. I have a similar story. I was sexually assaulted by my uncle as well. For years, I was subconsciously afraid of him even when I couldn’t remember what he did to me. When I finally remember what he did to me, I couldn’t even look at him or go to family functions on that side of my family. I still barely go to my hometown now. He made me sick.

    It’s always best to remind your partner what you are comfortable with, this way your boundaries aren’t crossed. As well as you still remaining feeling safe. Do what’s best for you and your healing process. Everything you are feeling is valid. Is there a trusted friend you can confide in? Have you thought about seeking therapy? We can help provide resources under the “find help” tap.

    I want to thank you for trusting us with your story. We are here for you. We believe you. We support you.

  4. Edjay Volunteer

    Hi ElleG22,

    Thank you for sharing your story. What happened to you was horrible, and it’s even more awful that no one seemed to have done anything when you told someone what happened. It was wrong of your uncles to touch you, and it was wrong of the other people in your family to just brush it off and continue to make you see your uncle even after what happened. It’s understandable that family events are still hard for you, but it’s great to hear that you’re prioritizing yourself and not going to the gatherings if you know that one of your uncles are going too. Stay strong.

  5. eagle206 Volunteer

    Hi ElleG22,

    Thank you for coming here and sharing your story. You are very brave to share here. This is a safe space and we are all here for you. I am so sorry that your uncle touched you this way. It is also so frustrating that you were punished for telling your family. We believe that this happened and your family shouldn’t have reacted this way. I can’t imagine how frustrating this was for you. It’s unfair that you feel unsafe at family gatherings and that your family didn’t support you when you spoke up. Speaking up was the right thing to do. Do you speak to your spouse about this? It would probably help to have someone supporting you at family gatherings!

    Stay strong

  6. mkyuellig

    Hi ElleG22,

    Thank you so much for coming and sharing your story with us. I’m so sorry for you had to endure at the hands of a trusted family member not once, but twice. I’m so sorry that your family made you to feel as though you were in trouble after you confided in them. Unfortunately there seems to be a common theme of “not wanted to air the dirty laundry” in a lot of more old fashioned american families – and that ends up just pushing emotions down and making everything worse.
    I think it is absolutely understandable and well within reason for you to not attend any family gatherings with either of your uncles. You are a grown adult, and you don’t owe those men that hurt you anything. I think your family should understand why you don’t want to be around your uncles, and the fact that they would rather pretend it didn’t happen and continue to subject you to being around your abusers frankly makes me very angry for you.
    I also think that it makes sense that you might have sexual “hang ups” but I also just want you to know that there is absolutely nothing wrong with setting up sexual rules and boundaries for any reason at all. In my personal opinion, I don’t want anyone touching me sexually while i’m sleeping at all (not even my husband) because I am not conscious and cannot consent. There’s nothing wrong with doing an inventory of what you are comfortable with, and what makes you uncomfortable, or what triggers bad memories. Any partner that respects you should also respect your boundaries and guidelines, and should always always ALWAYS have you 100% consent regarding all sexual activity.

    Stay strong and be gentle with yourself,

  7. Lizzi

    Hi ElleG22,

    I’m so sorry for what you went through and that you were silenced by the people you trusted to help you and make it stop. It’s understandable to still have difficulties in relationships today, and I hope that things get easier for you over time.

    Much hope,

  8. Megan Volunteer

    Hey ElleG22,

    I’m so sorry that this happened to you. You deserve to be treated so much better than that. They should have listened when you told them the first time. Having hangups after something like that happening to you is normal. A good way to work through them is in therapy, if you want to give that a try. Also, you shouldn’t feel bad for not going to family gatherings. I wouldn’t want to either after all of that. The important thing to remember is that despite everything that happened to you, you are still here and you are strong and you are persevering.

    Sending love,

  9. Graciegrace22


    I am so sorry to hear about the terrible early childhood experiences you had to go through. Just know you did nothing wrong and none of what happened was your fault. You do not have to keep quiet anymore if you choose to be open about it we are all here to support you. I hope you are able to find some closure with what you have gone through.

  10. candyappleb Volunteer

    Hi EllG22,

    I’m so sorry that you went through those awful things and that your family dismissed your claims. What happened to you was never your fault. We believe you. Thank you for taking the time to share your story with us. Please feel free to post again as needed. We’re here for you 100% of the way.

    All the best,

  11. colton95 Volunteer

    Absolutely no one deserves to go through the horrible things that you had to go through. I really hope that you are staying strong and that you will not let what happened to you define you. I hope you are doing okay and that you will be able to persevere!

  12. Northlane1991 Volunteer

    Thank you for sharing you story and i am so sorry you had to go through all of that. It was not your fault. Please let us know if you need anything we are here for you!

  13. rkr18 Volunteer

    Hello ElleG22,

    Thank you for sharing your story. I am so sorry you had to go through this. It was never your fault. Also, am saddened that they responded that way when you told them. Do you have someone to talk to when you have these feelings? Please let us know if you need anything. We are here for you.

  14. Marissa Day Captain

    Hi ElleG22,

    Thanks for sharing your story with us. I’m really sorry you went through that when you were younger, and that it is still having such an impact on you today. It’s not unreasonable to feel uncomfortable when someone touches you when you’re asleep. Are your partners doing this? I think it’s very necessary and important to let them know you’re not okay with that, and if they respect you, they will understand. As for the family gatherings, I 100% do not blame you for not going. How your family reacted was definitely not okay. Nothing that happened was your fault, and it’s unfair that they treated you like the criminal in this situation.

    Please know that we completely support you. If there’s anything we can do for you, let us know! We’re here to help however we can.

  15. Jess Volunteer

    I am so sorry that your uncles did this to you. You absolutely did not deserve for either of them to do this to you and betray your trust. It’s amazing the bravery you had at such a young age to step forward and tell your family what was happening. I am so incredibly sorry that you received no support from them. You didn’t deserve the way they treated you, and I’m sorry that it made you hesitant to share what was happening later on. You didn’t deserve for any of this to happen.

    I am glad to hear that you take care of your mental health now by ensuring you don’t encounter those uncles. Your mental health is so important, and often we sacrifice it for others. It takes so much strength to recognize what you need to heal, so kudos to you for recognizing what you need right now.

    If you haven’t seen a therapist/counselor, that may be another route to explore. They would be able to help you navigate the path of healing. It’s a difficult road, but you’ve taken an amazing first step by sharing your story. If you need help finding resources, we have lots under our “Find Help” tab and you can always reach out to us, if you need.

    Thank you for trusting us with your story. We are always here and we believe you. Stay strong and keep fighting. <3

  16. music2799 Day Captain

    Hi ElleG22,
    I’m so sorry about what happened to you. You didn’t deserve it, and it wasn’t your fault. I’m so proud of you for telling your family, especially at a young age. However, I wish they could have responded better and been more supportive. You deserve that support. I’m so sorry that you still had to go to those family gatherings when your uncle was there. In a way, I understand how you feel. I still have to see my assailant almost every week, and my parents tell me to act like nothing happened (and they rarely talk about it). I’m sharing this with you to let you know that you’re not alone.
    I’m glad that you’re currently not going to the family gatherings when those uncles are there. Your mental health and well being are important, and I’m happy that you’re prioritizing these things. I think counseling or a support group could help you work through how you’re feeling. Of course, you can do this if/when you feel comfortable. There’s no pressure.
    Thank you for trusting us with your story. We’re here to support you. Please feel free to write back if you need anything, such as resources and/or more support. You are strong, and you can get through this.

  17. blashea Volunteer

    Hi, I am so sorry that this happened to you. They shouldn’t have taken advantage of your trust. Have you considered speaking with a counselor? It could help you find ways to cope with what you’re feeling. Thank you for trusting us with your story. You are brave and strong.

  18. MH Volunteer

    Hello ElleG22,

    I am so sorry that this happened to you. I am also sorry that your family was not more supportive when you told them the first time. No one deserves that. Have you checked out the “Find Help” section of the website? There may be some resources in the area that could be helpful.
    Thank you for trusting us with your story and know that we are always here for you!~


  19. Ryan4121 Volunteer

    Hi Ellie,

    Thank you, so much, for telling us what happened to you. I can’t imagine how horrendous the experience was for you and I’m so sorry you had to go through with it. Those two men are both in the wrong. I hope you continue to have the strength to do what is necessary to heal. Your strength is inspiring. Please let us know how we can further help.


  20. sfmbelle413 Day Captain

    Hey there ElleG22,

    It is brave of you to share your story. Please know that none of this was your fault. It is devastating to have no one in your family do anything about it. We hear you and believe you. You’re not alone. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help. We are here for you.

    Sending positive vibes,

  21. CarmenR Volunteer

    Hi there,

    I am so sorry for what happened to you. You didn’t deserve it, and it wasn’t your fualt. I am sorry that you didn’t receive the suport and help you needed when you spoke up. I know it can be hard, and if you don’t feel comfortable at family gatherings that’s okay. If you’re comfortable with it, therapy can be a really healing and helpful option. Please know that we are here for you. We support you, and we believe in you. Stay strong.


  22. Erin O'Callaghan Day Captain

    I am so sorry that all of this happened to you, and that when you had the courage to come forward, no one helped you. You didn’t deserve any of this, and this isn’t your fault. Are there friends, or people outside your family you could share with that might be more supportive? Maybe a friend who knows could come with you to family gatherings, so you can have that support. Let us know what else we can do to help you-you are not alone.


  23. Alyssa Day Captain

    Hi ElleG22,
    I’m so sorry this happened. This is not your fault and I wish someone would have helped you. That is not okay that no one did anything. Just remember you are a survivor. You are strong and brave. You have every right to not go to family gatherings. No one helped you when they should have.
    Have you ever talked about this with with any of your partners or a therapist? Talking might help you overcome being scared. If you don’t want to you don’t have to though. Thank you for trusting and sharing your story with AVFTI. Continue to stay strong. If you need anything let us know.

  24. Julia Mandel Day Captain

    I am so sorry you are going through this. It’s terrible when the people who are supposed to protect us hurt us in these ways. You did nothing wrong by telling, and we are happy you are sharing your story here with us as well. It takes time to heal and everyone does so differently. Have you tried going to a therapist or support group to help get yourself through the “hangups”? Stay strong; we are here for you <3