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Is Telling The Whole Story Helpful??

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Anyone here who was sexually abused, I would really like your input on this.

How many of you have actually got the whole story out in one way or another? (Told someone everything, written everything down, whatever)

If you have done that, did it help you or make you feel worse?

When I had my first meeting with CAMHS (months ago now) the psychiatrist said that telling the entire story would be an important part of my recovery. But I can't even bring myself to speak relatively tame parts of my sexual abuse out loud. I get so distressed, I'd rather just avoid it.

I've written a few things down but even my journal has never learnt everything that happened to me. And of course I have never told my mum, my boyfriend, anyone, the whole thing.

I'd be really interested to hear what you have to say about this. Thank you,



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I have not been sexually abused, so you may want to totally ignore this whole reply (don't worry, I won't be offended if you do).

When I was having therapy, there were certain things that I just could not talk about, they were humilating, embarassing and something that I did not want anyone to know about. But as time went by, I realised that, personally, I needed to have them out there so that they were not just sitting in my head. I ended up writing lots of letters to my therapist, she would receive them, and then we would discuss them the next session. Provided that I was totally honest, and did not hold anything back, it was a relief to get it out.

With regards to you, it is natural that it distresses you, and you feel trauma-ed by it.

The person who said telling your full story did not mean instantly, he just meant in general, over time. He will know that you need to be able to trust someone before you say anything, and that you will need to take things at your own pace, in your own time.

It is your choice if you talk about it, but try to think about it like this, so far, it has been staying in your head, you have not talked about it, and thigns are clearly not good for you. Maybe now is the time to start trying something else that might help you feel less pain from the abuse you suffered. The something else might be talking about it, or writing about it, or drawing about it, and showing those that can help you.

In my experience, the things that we strive to keep inside, that we struggle to release are often the things that need to be released the most.

If you do decide to talk about it, it is improtant that you realise that most probably in the short term you will feel worse. It is like reopening badly healed wounds. They need to be reopened (which is the short term hurt) to have the rehealed properly so that they don't cause you anymore pain (the long term gain). It won't be easy, and it won't be quick, but it could be a process worth doing.

Do you lose anything by trying?

I know this is probably totally irrelevent to you, so I hope that someoen else can offer you some decent help.

Take care of yourself
It really depends on the person. I never told anybody about the abuse until like 11 years later and I regret that I ever did. It started off just as 'i was abused as a kid', but then as our converstations got longer and more intense so did the details. I ended up telling him about 95% of what happened, there is just some stuff that I buried and just didn't want to bring to the surface. When all is said and done I wish I never said anything. It didn't help me, it made me feel worse and I still can't look this person in the eyes. But it also depends on the person you tell. I mean, if its a therapist or something and you can trust them go for it. What do you have to lose? If you tell them and it doesn't end up helping you are no worse off. You are in the same position you were before you said anything. Try it, if it doesn't work atleast you can say that you tried and you can look for other ways to heal from the abuse.
I hope this helps...if not I'm sorry.

Lady E

Well-Known Member
If you are ready to talk about it, it can be very cathartic just to get it out of your head.
It is very hard to even think about what happened and I remember it just coming out one night and I felt a weight lift off my shoulders when I was writing it out.
It really lies with the individual's personality.

However, getting everything out always has this therapeutic element about it... ultimately because after years of holding things in, you sometimes feel as if you might explode. Suppressing words can be destructive in the long-run.

Yet forcing yourself to tell everything will probably make you feel worse. You need to tell as much as you feel comfortable telling at the moment, and move in steps. It needs to be your own, well-figured decision.

It's bound to seem intimidating at first, because it's likely you've never shown anyone that part of yourself before.

But keep in mind that you never have to tell everything at once; reveal as much as feels right.

Personally, I'm one of those people that tends to hold things in for fear of worrying others. Around the time of my therapy, there was a lot I hadn't told-- but very much wanted to. Allowing myself to let go of things that had been lingering over my head was cathartic. I felt lighter; I didn't feel so dreadfully alone. So for me, telling the entire story to a trusted individual did help. At that point, more than anything, I'd needed a good cry and a good vent to be able to concentrate functionally. I was somewhat apprehensive about it at first, but I eventually realized how much harder it would have been to continue surviving if I'd never told anyone anything. Sexual abuse is a terrible experience; one that is isolating enough in itself. Withholding thoughts --that you'd rather let out-- only increases those feelings of aloneness and isolation.

Whatever you decide, be sure you're ready. It can be draining. Good luck and take care of yourself.



Well-Known Member

Thanks to everyone who has replied already :grouphug:

Sorry to drag this thread up again, I just wanted as many opinions as possible. I know an awful lot of people who use this forum have been sexually abused.

I just want to know whether or not telling everything could help me.

Not even necessarily in therapy, just anywhen.

I've been thinking a lot just recently about trying to write down some of what happened to me. Maybe on here. I don't know. I don't want to just hurt myself more by making myself think :sad:.

I think a lot of you know what I mean. I'd love to hear everyone's ideas about this.

Thank you, muchly.

I honestly feel that you can only tell someone as much as you want to. In 2005 I was raped and at first i found it so hard to let people know what i was going thru, but with so much support mainly from my best friend bless her soul i got thru it all and im pretty much happy now. I found it hard but once it was all out and delt with i felt better. As much as some things were very embrassing to tell people they found out one way or another anyway, even if i didnt say anything, mainly thru the court case.

They found out like that and i found it more easier to talk about as the ice breaker had already been formed.

As with my partner now i told him everything from the beginning and the reason we got close together was down to the fact that we were both suffering from forms of depression and was there for each other.

Im sorry i think im missin the point here, only if you feel ready to talk then i advice it, if not then wait untill you are.


Well-Known Member
i have often asked myself this same question, is it really helpful? my answer is yes. for a long time i wondered if i would ever have the strength to talk about what happened to me. but as i have continued to work on my issues, i have slowly been able to confront things. i don't think i will ever remember (thank God) everything that i have gone through, but for the things that i do remember, over the last 6 months or so, i written them all down. i was amazed at how just writing them was therapeutic for me. they went from this big blob in my head to being formed words that i could look at. it from confusion to making a little more sense. i have yet to "talk" about these things, but i did let my T read them. someday, i will be ready talk. hope this helps.
nobody- for starter's, if you feel that you are ready to deal with these issues then it is time. are you strong enough at this time? that is the big question. it took me a long time to even admit that i was molested by my step-dad. then a predator found me and shit happened. i tried to kill myself and almost succeeded after this pedophile got his hands on me. i wouldn't even and couldn't think about it for like five years. when i finally even said anything about it, it screwed me up. but i had a person that meant a lot to me, she was my best friend. she's no longer w/us. but i was able to talk to her and go into details and get everything out. she made a suggestion to me and i did it. she wanted me to write the chester's letters and describe what they did to me and how it made me feel, how it made me feel belittled, and anything i felt and or thought about it. why i am the way that i am today. just write it all out. then, when i felt that i was done and could wash my hands of it all, so to speak. she had me do all this, and it took me awhile, b-cuz i was scared. i wasn't sure why she was having me do all this. basically besides talking to her about and then writing about it, which was actually easier than i thought it would be, she and i sat down in her living room and started a fire in her fireplace, and guess what-all the shit that i went through with these people, and being ashamed of what happened and everything that goes w/ being a victim, we burned it.;) believe it or not, but for me it really helped. melodie is the one person that i was able to tell all my dirty laundry and not knew she wouldn't look at me any differently, or treat me any different. she didn't either. i had a lot of fear that she would think differently of me or tell someone that i didn't want to know, but she never said anything, treated me different, or anything.
then she died. she was the only person i was able to talk to about anything for a long time. i jsut keep it all bottled up and stuff it until i can't hold it in any longer. that's when i found this site.
my suggestion to you is to find someone that you trust like i trusted melodie- maybe a shrink. it's up to you, just be careful. it will hurt, trust me. but in the long run, it helps alot. if you don't trust anyone like that, write it down on paper and burn it when you are done. or maybe sign in as someone else here and post it here. it's up to you, but in my opinion, you need to get the crap out sooner or l8r. these are jsut suggestions. this is what i did and it helped. everyone is different. you need to think about it for a little while before you decide what to do. just do yourself a favor if you decide to start letting it all out. you will need to talk or write about everything. what happened, and how it made you feel at the time, and how it made you feel about yourself in the long run. just be very careful how you do start letting it out. it will be better in the long run, at least for me it was and is.


Well-Known Member
First off...*wraps arms around you, and just gives you a long, warm hug* :hug:

And yes...it does help...a lot. At first the only person I had ever told was one of my closest friends, and even though I was terrified that they would either hate or despise me, or look upon me with disgust...(because in my mind I should have been able to stop the abuse, even though now I know that it's wasn't my fault).

And even more recently, I've let a few more of my closets friends...(incidently people who I met online, and have become very close to ^^)...know what happened to me. And do you know what they all did...they accepted me and loved me, and made me feel even closer to them for telling them ^^

So as others have said, it really does depend on who you trust to tell about what happened to you. But when you do decide to tell someone, it can feel as if a huge weight has been lifted from your shoulders ^^

I hope that what I've had to say helps you out even a little bit :hug:

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Um. Where to start. erm.
well. i was. sorry i cant say it. not even type it. when i was much younger. ive not said nor written it down (this is the closest to what happened you'll hear!)
I told my first serious bf when i was 14 (im now 19). never said who. i told my "best friend" although again ive not said who.
im afraid i'll break up my family. or they'll think im a liar. and id rather keep the memories than share them.

I guess i'll never mention them. when i finally go to my counselling sessions, i'll tell them everything, except that, won't mention a word. cause they'll try and get it out of me and i cant say. i have to act normal around him. i have since those days, and i wont change now.

sorry im not much help. but im in a mood where i need to share, to stop me crying!...(im not trying to "hijack" as u put it :) cwtches!)
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