Need to get this off my chest

I'm sorry but I feel like I have to let this off my chest.

When I was about 14 years old, I was quite a simple child didn't understand the severity of things (as most kids wouldnt). My friend came to me one day and told me that her step father was making her do things sexually. I knew it was wrong but never really got it. She then told me another day that he had raped her, he took her innocence. I wanted to ring the police but she made me swear that I wouldnt as she didnt want her mum to know, as the step father had threatened to hurt her mum. I never done anything, I should have rang the police, done something to save my friend. But I didn't.

I now look back all these years, me and my friend drifted apart due to friendship groups, but I still look back and think that it could have been me that saved her. That stopped that abuse from happening. I finally opened up to someone the other day but not properly I couldn't get out what I wanted to say. I'm not sure if I ever will. I feel like the worst human being in the world and I have felt this way since the day she told me.

Sorry for my massive rant, it's being playing on me for too many years. And whether or not everyone thinks that I'm a knob or anything for not phoning the police, you're right I am. But as a kid I didn't even really understand rape. I wish I did and I would fought with every fibre of my being.

12 Replies

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  • Shortney, I don;t feel that there's anything I can say by way of advice or anything that will really help you, other than that your feelings of guilt are entirely misplaced, though I understand that that won;t stop you feeling them. As a child yourself at the time there was no way you could have known how to deal with that information, and I imagine your friend knows that now, and probably appreciated having a friend to confide in at the time, even if the situation didn't change as a result. This probably isn't helpful to you really but I wanted to let you know I had read your post and that I don;t feel you can be blamed for what happened at all. Also, don;t feel you could have 'saved' her - it was not you who hurt your friend, you were a support for her at the time she needed you.

  • It is very brave of you to post this, this is something you have been carrying with you for many years and it is never too late to "confess" for want of a better word to what you didn't do.

    Like you say you were 14 and you didn't really understand the full meaning. It's easy to say "Yes, I should have called the Police but you did or didn't do what you thought at the time being the person you were then"

    It is clear that being the person you are now you are truly sorry, and that means something.

    I do hope you are able to forgive yourself and give yourself some peace now.

    Gemmalouise x

  • At 14 you couldn't possibly comprehend the severity of a situation like that, it's something even adults would struggle with. It's great that you are able to write about it & tried to open up about it, it would be really difficult to keep that kind of thing in, I'm sure you've found that it was hard to do so for so long. If it helps, do talk some more about it - if not, take some time until you feel you are ready

    I know it's easier said than done, but do try not to blame yourself for not helping her. You would have been getting mixed signals between your desire to help and her asking you not to. Of course you didn't want to betray her trust and go against her wishes.

    I hope this is the start of being able to let go of the guilt you've been feeling

    Clare

  • Reading your first post again it could have even been dangerous for you as a 14 year old to report things to the Police. That would have been an awfully big demand of yourself as you say the step father had threatened to hurt her mum, and it could have even made things worse for her at the time if for example she wasn't believed or her mum was attacked because of it. Even less reason for blaming yourself now.

    It would in reality have been very hard indeed for you to stop what happened from happening although of course it is terrible to know of another person suffering so much in that way and I understand you feeling so sorry for what your friend had to go through.

    I hope this helps. x

  • You weren't to blame. You did nothing wrong. She chose to tell you and actually, just listening to her at the time probably helped her in more ways than you can imagine. There's nothing to say she didn't confide in other people, too. And those people may also have made a decision to tell or not to tell. As awful as it sounds, it was her decision not to report it and you respected your friends wishes. You're not a bad person. Are you still in any contact with her?

  • Hello

    You were one year a teenager, there was nothing you could have really done, She was young and would have been frightened to tell the mother, you need to ask yourself now did this happen, or was it a child growing up?. Look at that now first

    Please do not shoot the messenger here, I need to consider what the situation was at that time, I remember some stories told in class were risque and were of that type, not told by parents, but the child? That was sitting on a desk at lunchtime

    We now have to say yes this was happening, what could you have done would you have talked to your parents?, would you have approached the wife of the stepfather,?

    You would have been in a strange place, there, can you imagine what have been these situations.you could become involved in adult actions, think what could have happened to you?

    What about the Police ? I do not know how many years ago this happened ? What was your attitude to the Police. What would have been their attitude to you

    You were thirteen years old, the situation you would have found yourself in was impossible,and difficult to get your head around, a teenager of your age would keep a secret quite easily and would feel adults would not understand, possibly at the time you would have thought not as an adult, just as a child.

    Over the years you would not look back as a child, you became an adult, memories of childhood would have have been more grey than black or white and you have agreed in your blog that you would have not really understood the concept of rape, you cannot put the clocks back.

    We all can look back in life for many things, although what if ?. No we cannot look back at a child who barely knew what was being talked about. Could it now be possible that that man may now have served his time. for that and other crimes.

    There is very many what ifs in life. We all have regrets of what has gone in our past life, this is quite crazy. There is nothing to be sorry about, you are an adult with a secret, of a young teenager that had little understanding of life in general

    Stop banging yourself up you were a child , forget it

    BOB

  • Thank you ever so much everyone for everything really, I just assumed that everyone would think I was this horrible child and although the guilt may never go away, youve all helped ease it so much and that is worth a million thanks. xxx

  • Shortney, I have to report my suspicions and any admissions of a child at risk as part of my work.

    It is not easy as a 40-something, not sure a 14 year old could have the skills and resilience to do it.

    I'm now dealing with a personal life situation where I think that a woman is grooming a teen girl I know, and the problem is, if I report it, the girl is likely to deny it. So all I can do is remind her that ANYONE touching her in a way she doesn't want without her consent is not OK. I'm hoping I'm wrong.

    So be kind to that 14 y/o you - she's just a kid

  • Shortney, just want to re-iterate what others have said.

    YOU were also a child.

    (As you mentioned yourself) you yourself did not understand the severity of the situation.

    You were not in blame in any way for this situation.

    100% of the blame belongs with the abuser, not you.

    You did nothing wrong at all.

    Amanda

  • Yeah I understand, thank you very much. It is just extremely hard to let go of something like that. But I really appreciate you saying that. x

  • the farthers threats put both of you in a lot of fear,, and both of you would have been afraid of the consequences if the police had not arrested him straight away...Your friend drifted apart because of friendships groups, so it does not sound as if she holds any grudge against you. It's easier said than done but try not to use her past trauma as a way to beat yourself up.

  • Again thank you all, actually talking about it a bit and having everyone respond in such a kind way has really helped. I well and truly thank you all for helping me through this! And appreciate every single word you have all said. xxx

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