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I was 12 years old and camping with my best mate and a scout leader. We were both raped by this man and made to do things that were just wrong. I was young and didn't understand, but I knew the experience was a bad one. It wasn't until I forgave him that I could move on and be close to another in my life. I am still trying to forgive myself for being naive and allowing this situation to occur. It was 27 years ago. I thought time was supposed to heal.
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Thank you for telling your story on this site, Mandy. You are a very brave person, and I'm so sorry that this happened to you and your mate. There are some things that time heals, and others that we have to help with. This is one of those things that you can help with.
These are some thoughts to consider:
1) What happened to you was in no way, shape or form your fault. You were not in the least bit responsible for this scout leader taking advantage of his position and raping you.
2) You trusted him, because he was a scout leader. That was not naive, that was smart. You're supposed to be able to trust scout leaders. Besides that, you were a child at the time.
3) Other responsible adults should have and could have stepped in to prevent a man from taking two girls on a camping trip--that's just not a good situation.
4) The scout leader took advantage of his power and authority, which makes his crime even worse than it would have been otherwise.
5) You might want to consider reporting him, to the police and to the scout organization that he was a part of (this is of course assuming that he has not already been reported).
6) The reason you're having trouble forgiving yourself is because of shame. It is completely normal for sex abuse victims to blame themselves for what happened. But you don't have to live with this shame any more.
Here are some things you can do to heal:
1) Imagine yourself as the adult you are today going back 27 years in time, to that camping spot. Walk into the scene and remove the man from the situation. Do not violently attack him, because that will distract you from your healing process. Just make him stop what he's doing, tell him that he's wrong, and move him away until he's completely gone.
2) Then go to the 12 year old Mandy, and hold both of her hands in yours, look into her eyes and say, "It was not your fault. You didn't do anything wrong. He was wrong, and he took advantage of the situation and of you. You are good. Your body is good."
3) Then take her to a special healing place in your mind. Wash the shame and the memories from her body, continuing to tell her that she is good, and that it was not her fault.
4) Keep doing this until you feel a sigh of relief and letting go in your body. That will let you know the healing is happening.
I hope this helps, Mandy. You deserve to be well and happy.
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