Hate myself for what happened when I was 3

#1
How do you recover from sexual abuse at a young age? I was 3 when it happened and I have always hated myself for as long as I can remember. I grew up knowing I was dirty and disgusting. Strangely I now base my worth on how men view me. Shouldn't it be the opposite? I feel like any man who rejects me or treats me badly is just proving that I'm worthless and don't deserve to be loved, or to be treated with respect. I was 17 when I first told anyone about the abuse (Ironically to the boyfriend who was emotionally and physically abusing me at the time) but I still feel as if I can't move past it. I can't get past feeling as if the abuser when I was 3 could tell how much of a bad person I was inside and that's what made him do it. I'm 32 now and right now I can't see any way out of the black ditch I seem to be in. If I've suffered this way for 29 years, I can't face the idea of suffering for another 29. The only way I can think of stopping the voices in my head telling me how repulsive I am is to kill myself. I just wish I had a method because I've failed at suicide twice before just like I fail at everything else.
 

may71

Well-Known Member
#2
I can't get past feeling as if the abuser when I was 3 could tell how much of a bad person I was inside and that's what made him do it
A three year-old doesn't deserve to be abused in any way, least of all sexually. Absolutely no sane, decent person would say that any three year-old would deserve to be abused ever. Your abuser was a twisted monster, a person who dealt with the sickness of their own heart by taking it out on an innocent child. Maybe you were made to feel to blame by your abuser for your abuser's crimes, but that is simply another way that your abuser mistreated you.

I don't know if you've tried therapy or going to a survivor's support group, but that might help you to realize that you were not to blame for your abuse.
 

Petal

SF dreamer
Staff member
Safety & Support
SF Supporter
#3
How do you recover from sexual abuse at a young age? I was 3 when it happened and I have always hated myself for as long as I can remember. I grew up knowing I was dirty and disgusting. Strangely I now base my worth on how men view me. Shouldn't it be the opposite? I feel like any man who rejects me or treats me badly is just proving that I'm worthless and don't deserve to be loved, or to be treated with respect. I was 17 when I first told anyone about the abuse (Ironically to the boyfriend who was emotionally and physically abusing me at the time) but I still feel as if I can't move past it. I can't get past feeling as if the abuser when I was 3 could tell how much of a bad person I was inside and that's what made him do it. I'm 32 now and right now I can't see any way out of the black ditch I seem to be in. If I've suffered this way for 29 years, I can't face the idea of suffering for another 29. The only way I can think of stopping the voices in my head telling me how repulsive I am is to kill myself. I just wish I had a method because I've failed at suicide twice before just like I fail at everything else.
Hi there @Gingerdread welcome to SF.

I am so sorry for what you went through, no child should have to go through that. I'm curious at to whether reporting the abuser would give you any ''closure''. I am a child rape victim too and let me tell you that therapy has helped me so much realise that it was not my fault and in your case it was in no way your fault. Do you think you might have post traumatic stress disorder? You deserved to be loved, screw how men view you, its how you view yourself is what is important. CBT really helped me so I suggest you try it too. No more suffering - help is here and out there. We care about what you are going through and with every negative you'll always find a positive if you look hard enough. You can and will get better, bless you x
 
#4
Thank you so much for your reply. I was dreading reading it but it's actually lovely. I probably do have PTSD. I've tried counselling before but it has never helped. I can talk about what happened in a detached way but I can't be emotional about it in front of people I don't know. Even with my best friend it's a bit different but I still Just make jokes about it because I'm unable (or perhaps not prepared to) be vulnerable. I can't report it because I don't know who he was. I'd probably not recognise him now. The ex boyfriend at the time told his mum without my permission, who in turn told my mum over the phone. But she told my mum "don't worry, she's probably just making it up for attention." This woman was a police officer in the women and children's department. I only found out last year that she said I was probably lying. Just as well because I'd have been utterly devastated that anyone would think that of Me, especially considering I'd only just told one person for the first time, and suddenly 3 people knew within 24 hours! Talk about not being able to trust anyone. I've recently started self harming again and I have the worst scars I've ever had. Things just seem to be getting worse instead of better.
 
#5
A three year-old doesn't deserve to be abused in any way, least of all sexually. Absolutely no sane, decent person would say that any three year-old would deserve to be abused ever.
Logically, I know this. If I think about this happening to anyone else as a young child, I know it's all the abuser and absolutely not the child's fault. But since its about Me, then I must be the problem. I don't know why. I don't think of me being an innocent child, I think of how disgusting I was to let him away with it and never tell anyone. Which is weird because then when I see photos of me as a small cute blonde kid, I don't see the person I remember. That kid looks innocent but I know I wasn't, so I can't connect them as being the same person
Does that make any sense?
 
#6
Hi Gingerbread and welcome
((((((((((((HUGS)))))))))))))
There is a way to change how you are feeling by changing your mind and the way you are thinking. I was abused from age 3 or 4, and I hated myself for over twenty years, but hate is alien to me now. It's not all plain sailing still going through grief and sadness after a breakup, but the hate is gone.
Can I ask you a couple of questions.
What is the happiest memory you have among all the dark sad ones? And do you have any spiritual beliefs. How does the word surrender sit with you. And who or what do you or did you ever love.
There is a way out, it's a process of change, it takes time and effort but the fact that you are here asking for help is the first and most important step, your willingness to change.
Love and Light
P
A couple of poems for you

https://www.suicideforum.com/community/threads/i-changed.127936/#post-1537818
https://www.suicideforum.com/community/threads/seek.127669/
 
#7
How do you recover from sexual abuse at a young age? I was 3 when it happened and I have always hated myself for as long as I can remember. I grew up knowing I was dirty and disgusting. Strangely I now base my worth on how men view me. Shouldn't it be the opposite? I feel like any man who rejects me or treats me badly is just proving that I'm worthless and don't deserve to be loved, or to be treated with respect. I was 17 when I first told anyone about the abuse (Ironically to the boyfriend who was emotionally and physically abusing me at the time) but I still feel as if I can't move past it. I can't get past feeling as if the abuser when I was 3 could tell how much of a bad person I was inside and that's what made him do it. I'm 32 now and right now I can't see any way out of the black ditch I seem to be in. If I've suffered this way for 29 years, I can't face the idea of suffering for another 29. The only way I can think of stopping the voices in my head telling me how repulsive I am is to kill myself. I just wish I had a method because I've failed at suicide twice before just like I fail at everything else.
your not alone here, i have been through rape and i understand your feelings, I do agree with the other users in saying that you probabley have ptsd, the fact that you also now look at pictures of you at that age and dont connect as you feel like it s your fault and disgusted with yourself is a response common to these situations. i blamed myself after the incident in which i was raped and it a tough hole to dig yourself out of, i figured out that all the blame and contempt i held to myself was all in my mind and and i had to pack it all away otherwise i was gonna find mysellf in a hole i couldnt dig myself out of. try talking to someone you really really trust about it, it doesnt have to be or in a way in my opinion should be a shrink. dont get me wrong shrinks are great and i have the utmost respect for them, my mom is one actually but it should be a really good friend, just hang with them, get out and do things with them and find projects to do that they will support you in. since what happend to me i found comfort in some friends, i have gotten really good at things i had not previously even though of that i could be good at. currently i am working to become eligible to become an officer in the USAF as a pilot or pararescue and also study hard so i can eventually major in criminal psychology and and hopefully become an fbi hostage negotiater after the air force, never give up hope or blame your self as there was nothing you could have done. we may be total strangers to you but we are here for you and i am here most of the time if you want to send me a message and talk.
 

Dottie

Public Access
#8
No one deserves to be raped at all. Period. But a three-year-old cannot be evil, or bad. They're just not capable yet. I have a nephew who is almost three and he just isn't even really capable of being mean, let alone an all-around bad person. You did nothing wrong, and could not have done anything at all to "instigate" rape. These things you're telling yourself are poison. They are the poisonous thoughts of someone who has, unfortunately, been absolutely traumatized and is unable to resolve it.

You could never have done anything to deserve this.

Try to remember that. All the supportive and loving things you think or say about other rape survivors apply to you, too.

I know how easy it is to forget that.

It seems to me like you've been traumatized and are exhibiting symptoms of PTSD. Do you think it'd be worth it to look into therapists who specialize in treating PTSD, and/or specifically PTSD in childhood sexual abuse victims?
 
#9
My heart breaks for you that you have had to deal with so much evil in your life. You was not made for this and your direction in life is still out there you just need to find the way to follow it. You are not alone in this, there has been others fighting the after effects of abuse. I have been reading articles on children and abuse (google it) so many are looking for help with this. Also there is an organization called <mod edit - guidelines>
 
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SofiaLisbon

Well-Known Member
#10
Hey Gingerdread.
I was close friends with someone that was also abused at 3 years old and I guess the feeling never goes away. She also dealt with feelings of being worthless and low self esteem. I remember that for some reason she was an easy target for guys that didn't have the best intentions, or were manipulative, abusers, etc, like they could tell she would be an easy target for them, which was not great to see as a friend.
Its awful what happened with your ex-bf mother. I didn't understand why would he tell her right away. And why would she call your mother saying that you were probably lying. Tbh they seem like really mean people, its like they didn't like to see you in a position of victim and so they rushed to vilify you.
Also if you ex-bf was abusive, I dont believe he told his mother the story in the best light to you. But hes an ex-bf so thats good, hopefully you don't have to see them anymore.
If someone told me they were abused at 3 years old, I would believe them. This is why its great these Harvey Weinstein stories came to light, because people are starting to believe the victims and to put them first, its like sexual abuse and harassment are finally considered a huge crime. I know this probably doesn't make you feel better, but if you were a celebrity and you had thousands of followers on twitter for example, and you posted your story, you would have thousands of people liking your post and giving you strength.
Next time you feel down please come to the forum and try to talk to someone, maybe it will ease the pain, talking to someone. And don't think about your ex-bf and his mother, they are bullies probably making someone else's life miserable right now, but I believe in karma and hope they'll get what they deserve one day.
 
#11
Hi, I was raped by a Catholic priest whe n I was 7 years old. That memory stayed buried for 50 years. W he n the memory came back to me, my first reaction was to hunt him down and kill him. But he died 20 years earlier. Since then, I'm not sure what to think. Other than it's the past and so what. But I look back on my life and see the detriment but, it's the past and so what.
 

may71

Well-Known Member
#12
Hi, I was raped by a Catholic priest whe n I was 7 years old. That memory stayed buried for 50 years. W he n the memory came back to me, my first reaction was to hunt him down and kill him. But he died 20 years earlier. Since then, I'm not sure what to think. Other than it's the past and so what. But I look back on my life and see the detriment but, it's the past and so what.
Sorry to hear this Tom.

It makes me so sad and so angry that there's so much abuse of children in the world

Have you tried seeing a therapist about this? Do you think it might help?
 
#13
Thank you all so much for your kind comments. I haven't been on this forum since my last reply. I've needed the support, but somehow I felt I didn't deserve all of the nice people showing me support. My GP diagnosed me with PTSD (no surprises there I suppose). I went to two counselling sessions. The counsellor was lovely and I did feel as if I could talk to her, but I just feel as if the hole I'm in is so deep that talking can never get me out of it. I was living in Australia and was waiting for an appointment with the psychiatrist, but then last month I received a phone call to say that my mum and dad's motorbike was crushed by a truck. My dad is still in hospital 4 weeks later and my mum didn't survive it. Everyone has been so caring- even friends and ex pupils of hers who I have never met. Everyone tells me how much of an amazing woman she was. She absolutely was one of the most selfless people I know. I just wish it had been me instead of her. My mum improved every life she came into contact with. How is it fair that she has been taken away? My death would be so much less of a loss than my mum's has been. Why couldn't I have gone instead? We haven't had a funeral yet as my dad is still in hospital. I'll hold on until after it but I'm thinking more and more of just ending it all once all the formalities have taken place. Compared to the loss of my mum, my death won't have much of an impact on anyone.
 

Deety

SF Supporter
#14
Hi @Gingerdread, I'm so sorry for the loss of your mum. I don't have anything wise or helpful to say, but wanted to say it's nice to see you back but I'm sorry for the circumstances that have brought you here again.
Take care and keep talking. You deserve a good life, I am certain your mum would want you to hold on and keep trying to get help.
 
#15
(((((((((HUGS))))))
Bodies die, the love they share never dies, your mum's love can still improve your life, but you will have to allow it too.
Love is the most precious gift we can give and receive. Your mum left you a Legacy of love, but it needs a willing heart to accept it in order for it to thrive. Open your heart and your mind to living instead of dying and you can continue in her footsteps and improve every life you come into contact with,, start with your own...my heart goes out to you
Love and light
P
 
#17
And now my ex has decided I can never see my dog again. He is well aware of the circumstances. Feel like he knows I'll be in a really bad place right now and he's trying to see if he can push me over the edge.
 

may71

Well-Known Member
#18
That's terrible, it's the complete opposite of the way someone should behave in that situation. Would he want the same thing done to him?

I wish he'd have the decency to behave a little better

There might be a way that you could get custody of your dog legally, but going through a legal battle is probably something you don't want now
 
#19
That's terrible, it's the complete opposite of the way someone should behave in that situation. Would he want the same thing done to him?

I wish he'd have the decency to behave a little better

There might be a way that you could get custody of your dog legally, but going through a legal battle is probably something you don't want now
Ironically enough, the mother of his 2 children has him jumping through legal hoops every step of the way for shared custody of the kids. I've reminded him that he's doing the same (if not worse) with me and he tells me I'm being stupid, and that kids are completely different and I'm making this much hassle over "Just a dog". Well if he's just a dog to him, why can't he just let me take him? He's not just a dog to me. I know I'll never win the battle with him. He just wants to hurt me. With everything else that's going on I can't be trying to deal with legal stuff with him too. I'm hardly coping with everything already. It's been over 3 years since we split and he's been fine about letting me take the dog up until now. You'd think this would be the one time he'd be a bit nicer, but no. Apparently the perfect time to take away one of the most important things in my life is when I've just suddenly lost my mother.

Sometimes I feel like if karma is real, I must be a disgusting person. Maybe I'm just getting what I deserve, and my ideas about myself trying to be a good person and treat everyone fairly are all in my head.
 

may71

Well-Known Member
#20
Sometimes I feel like if karma is real, I must be a disgusting person. Maybe I'm just getting what I deserve, and my ideas about myself trying to be a good person and treat everyone fairly are all in my head
I think you're a good person Gingerdread. Overwhelmingly it seems to me that people on SF are good people who are suffering. I think being a good person actually makes you more vulnerable to suffering.

If you look at the people who get bullied, they don't get bullied because they're mean to other people, they get bullied because the bullies can get away with treating them that way.

Very often people who have suffered abuse in childhood end up in abusive relationships as adults. I don't think that's because of karma, but rather that people who have been abused are often vulnerable, and abusers seek out vulnerable people.

I don't know if there is such a things as karma, so I wouldn't try to convince anyone of it. For people who do sign on to the notion of karma though, it's not as simple as saying if you have been good in the past, you'll have a good life now, and if you've been bad, you'll have a bad life now.

In the "theory" of karma, a person may go through hundreds of millions, maybe even billions of lifetimes. Beings go through phases of building up karma, both good and bad, and phases of reaping it.

It's only under extreme conditions that the force of your karma is so strong that certain outcomes become inevitable. Much of what happens to you comes from crossing paths with the wrong people rather than it being a "force of karma" issue.

So you could have a very difficult life, and someone standing next to you could have an easy life, yet they could have hundreds of millions of lifetimes more of bad karma than you, and hundreds of millions fewer lifetimes of good karma.
 

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