1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

My abuser might be a youth worker now

Discussion in 'General Support and Advice' started by Spot, Aug 8, 2019.

  1. Spot

    Full Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2015
    Messages:
    949
    Likes Received:
    84
    Location:
    Wonderland
    Gender:
    Male (trans*)
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Other
    Out Status:
    Some people
    I need serious advice. I’m a COCSA survivor and don’t bother saying that it wasn’t sexual abuse like some people have said. I know my own trauma and no one is going to invalidate that. I only say this because people on here have questioned whether or not it’s abuse…I’m not going to let people do that to me anymore. It’s called child-on-child sexual abuse for a reason.

    I just need advice because I saw my abuser’s name on LinkedIn and it said he was a youth worker. And I don’t know if it’s the same individual or not, it’s just the same name. He has a common surname and a weird spelling of a common first name. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. I don’t want to have anything to do with him, I want to cut him completely out of my life forever but I feel like I need to say something. Like I have a responsibility now. And I don’t know what to do. I feel so guilty and I hate that. I hate that he still makes me feel so horrible. I don’t want any other kids to get hurt. I just couldn’t live with that knowledge and I’d feel like it was partially my fault, even though I’m not the only person who was abused by this individual but I might’ve been the only one who saw the LinkedIn.

    I don’t even know if this profile is the same person. I just have a horrible feeling in my stomach. Just…what am I supposed to do?
     
  2. Chip

    Board Member Admin Team Advisor Full Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Messages:
    15,785
    Likes Received:
    3,630
    Location:
    northern CA
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    First, anyone who tells you that child-on-child sexual abuse isn't sexual abuse is ignorant, in denial, or otherwise just a pretty unhelpful individual. What is true is that not all sex exploration between children is abusive, but there's a pretty discernable line, and anything that involves a power imbalance and/or is causing the person harm years after the fact is most certainly abuse.

    Now... as to your abuser... here you want to be really cautious, because you could pretty easily destroy someone's career, credibility, and much else if this is a mistaken identity. So you really have to make a choice here: either explore this issue more thoroughly (which will involve finding out, in some way, if this is the same individual, but not necessarily contacting him), or, alternatively, letting it go.

    You do not have any obligation to anyone to report him, even if you discover that he is the same person working with youth. That is entirely your decision, and should be based, more than anything, on your own mental health and needs.

    The other thing that jumps out at me is... it's very clear you haven't really worked through the trauma that happened. This is the sort of trauma that is only effectively worked through with a good therapist, and sexual abuse is a specialty, and having a therapist that has that specialty is a necessity. So if you don't have a therapist with that specialty, I'd strongly suggest you do your best to arrange to see one, as this is likely tying in with your other mood issues as well. Likewise, if you had a therapist with an abuse specialty, s/he could help you navigate this situation effectively. (It's iffy with a non-specialist; I've seen some terrible advice come on the issue of contacting/confronting an abuser from therapists not adequately trained in working with abuse survivors.)

    So finally, the best I can tell you is... try and think about the different solutions and scenarios, think about what feelings come up for you when working through each, and try and use that as the way to help you discern the best answer.
     
  3. Bolt35

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2014
    Messages:
    1,223
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Queens,NY
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    I'm also a COCSA survivor, and I understand how traumatic it is to go through something like that.
    I do agree with Chip 100%. As much as you want to see your abuser be bought to justice, there can be cases of mistaken identity. I would investigate it more thoroughly beforehand. Be 100% sure that it's the same person. At the same time, work through your emotions the best you can, it seems like it triggered a horrible moment and it can get to the best of your emotions that can cause you to act erratically.
     
  4. Spot

    Full Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2015
    Messages:
    949
    Likes Received:
    84
    Location:
    Wonderland
    Gender:
    Male (trans*)
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Other
    Out Status:
    Some people
    Thanks for the replies. I know I’m pretty late in writing back…it’s only because I finally feel okay enough to revisit all of this. I try not to normally think about my trauma because when I do, it doesn’t end well for me. Seeing the LinkedIn profile and having all these memories come flooding back triggered a total nervous breakdown. By which I mean I just started crying out of nowhere, I felt shaky and like I was actually going to be sick. That was what happened initially. Then, I ended up relapsing with my self-harm. I hadn’t cut for a year but in that moment, I just didn’t care about all the progress I’d made. It was scary in that moment because I felt like I could actually slit my wrists…and in the past, even though I’ve thought about suicide I always said I could never do it like that because it would be terrible and probably horribly painful to bleed out like that. But I just didn’t care at the time because it was like, if that was the only way out then so be it.

    Obviously l didn’t do that, I had to talk myself down from the edge and that has only happened to me once before. Where I had a nervous breakdown and suddenly decided that I didn’t care how I did it or how painful it was, I just wanted to die. And it’s always really terrifying.

    And then following this nervous breakdown, I’ve just been in a depressive slump…I don’t know how else to phrase it. I feel depressed, more depressed than usual and it’s not even so much sadness but more just…numb. Or indifference because I don’t feel much of anything but at the same time, it’s like any little thing will push me over the edge. And nothing I can do, to try and make myself feel better has been working.

    I’m only writing all this to say that I really don’t know if I want to look into this any further. It feels like the wrong and the selfish choice to be making, like something I’ll probably regret in the future and always feel bad about but I just want to forget this person. I don’t want him in my life anymore, at all, I don’t want anything to do with him.

    I know I should get therapy. I’ve only talked to two therapists in the past about it and twice I’ve had bad experiences…well, the first wasn’t so bad because at least she took my abuse seriously but she thought it might’ve caused me to be transgender. Which doesn’t make any sense to me because I remember having dysphoria before it even happened. And then the other therapist told me that COCSA wasn’t sexual abuse and I believed that for a long time, I felt guilty for even being traumatized because there were people who were “actually sexually abused” and I felt like I should just get over it but I couldn’t.

    I thought I could get better on my own and I actually thought I was…because I didn’t think about it much and I seemed detached from everything, plus my nightmares from when I was younger had stopped…so I just thought I was fine. But I didn’t know how much it still affected me until all this happened.

    I wish I could guarantee I’d have a therapist who I knew would believe I was abused. The biggest thing that stops me from going back to therapy is the fear of not being taken seriously. It’s so hard to open up about it already and I just feel like I can’t have anyone else downplay my trauma anymore…so it’s just easier to not go than to risk being hurt. Maybe if I saw someone who specialized in trauma it would be different but I worry that’d make them less likely to take me seriously because they’ve seen so many cases of CSA.
     
    #4 Spot, Aug 20, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2019
  5. I'mStillStanding

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2016
    Messages:
    961
    Likes Received:
    335
    Location:
    East Coast
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    My thought isn’t to related to the question. I didn’t know what COCSA was till I looked it up after reading it. But this portion of what you wrote really stands out to me. I was first molested at 4 by an man who was in his 60’s, then again shortly later by a teen from church, then again by someone close to the family who was also a teen. The one closest to the family was the only one that happened more than once. But what you say to yourself about feeling guilty because their are people who “were actually abused” is something I have said and even at time still say about what happened to me. I’m trying to work on stopping that. Discounting my experiences... I’m in therapy, definitely helping even though it sucks!
     
  6. Chip

    Board Member Admin Team Advisor Full Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Messages:
    15,785
    Likes Received:
    3,630
    Location:
    northern CA
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    For what it's worth, I have worked with many survivors of sexual abuse (men, women, different ages, etc). Every single one minimized their own experience as "Oh, others had it worse" or "My abuse wasn't that bad" or something of the sort. This minimization is a coping strategy that is inherent that helps people rationalize and live with the experience.

    Spot, there is absolutely no question you need to get help for this. What you are describing in terms of what happened to you (the breakdown) makes it clear that you haven't processed this issue at all. As I've previously said, the therapist who told you COCSA wasn't abuse needs to be shot (or at least, have her license revoked) as that's gross incompetence and she should not be practicing.

    One solution is to find a therapist who specializes in male childhood sexual abuse. There are a lot of therapists that include this in their specialty. As to whether it is impacting your gender dysphoria, it is possible but by no means definitive. In any case, it sounds pretty clear that the abuse is at the very least a significant part of what's contributing to your current discomfort.

    I hope you won't put this off any longer and will seek out help.