Seeking Help After Trauma
Sharing Your Story


When I was younger, I was sexually abused by my best friend. I was really young, only nine years old, and didn't know it was wrong until years later. We were both nine at the time. Then it happened again two years ago. How do I handle all of this? I'm doing things I shouldn't be doing to cope with all of this. This is my first time sharing my full story. I need help.


Thank you for having the courage to share your story. I'm so sorry for what you've been through. What happened to you at age nine, and again two years ago, was not your fault. Sexual abuse by a friend, especially when you're so young, can be incredibly confusing and traumatic. It's completely understandable that you're struggling to cope with these experiences.

Recognizing that you're using unhealthy coping mechanisms is actually a huge step forward. It shows self-awareness and a desire to heal. Many survivors find themselves in similar situations, using various methods to manage their pain and confusion. With time and support, these unhealthy coping strategies can be replaced with healthier ones.

Some examples of other coping mechanisms you might try include:
1. Journaling to express your feelings
2. Practicing mindfulness or meditation
3. Engaging in physical activities like yoga or running
4. Creating art or music to process emotions
5. Joining a support group for survivors
6. Learning grounding techniques for when you feel overwhelmed

Sharing your story for the first time is another significant step, and you should be proud of yourself for reaching out. It shows incredible strength and a desire to heal. Consider talking to a trusted adult if you can, like a parent, teacher, or school counselor. You might also want to contact RAINN's National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or use their online chat. They offer 24/7 support and can help you find local resources, including therapists who specialize in childhood sexual abuse. If you are under 18 years old, you can also reach out to ChildHelp who offers similar services and can walk you through reporting options if that feels important to you.

Remember, healing takes time, and it's okay to have difficult days. Be gentle with yourself. What happened wasn't your fault, and you deserve support and care. Your feelings are valid, and there is hope for healing. You don't have to face this alone, and reaching out for help is a brave and important step towards recovery. You've already shown incredible strength in recognizing your current coping methods aren't healthy, and that strength will help you develop better ways to cope and continue on your journey to healing. Thank you so much for trusting us with this information. You are not alone.

Safety Exit