“I am so sorry that these things happened to you and that you are not being supported by your parents. You are not the name your dad called you. You are a human being who deserves love and respect. What your stepfather’s cousin did to you is wrong. You are not at fault for that. There are a lot of adults in your life failing you and so I hesitate to ask you to reach out to yet more adults, but that’s what I’m going to ask you to do. Do you have a teacher or counselor at school who might listen to you? If so, please reach out to that person and tell that person what you have told us. I’m worried for you that you are depressed and not eating. I very much want for there to be supportive people in your life who hear you and help you. If I could hug you, I would. If I could hold your hand in mine and tell you to your face all of the wonderful things about you, I would. For now, just know that I am thinking of you and that you are not alone even though it might sometimes feel that way. I believe you. It’s not your fault." - Myfanwy
“The grownups in your family may be grownup aged but they are not real adults if they name-call and don’t make taking care of their kid a priority above their own feelings.
The silver lining of having family who you can’t trust is that you also don’t have to trust anything they say. I hate that they say degrading things to you, but what they say simply isn’t true. It’s your right to be upset, because their lack of support is upsetting. Please, try not to take their insults to heart!
As you grow up it will be your choice whether you want these people in your life, and to what extent." - Meredith
“What your dad and your uncle are saying to you is wrong. You are perfect just the way you are, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You’re learning unfortunately that even people who are supposed to love us sometimes don’t know how and end up hurting us, even if they don’t mean to. I hate that your ex and your stepdad’s cousin did that to you. I want you to know that you are not worthless. You deserve love and happiness. These boys did what they did to you because they were brought up to think that women’s bodies are something they can control and have power over. They did it to you because they are taught that sex is the only way to prove and validate themselves as men. What they did was wrong and I hope you never have to go through something like this again. What I can tell you is that everything gets better as you get older, when you have more agency and control over your own life. You won’t have to entertain people who are damaging because they are ‘family.’ You will be able to choose your family, and I hope you fill it full of people who are positive, loving, and who validate who you are as a person without asking for anything in return. Just know that you deserve to love yourself, and that will help you in more ways than you know. Love yourself as hard as you can. The right people who will love you back will come along much easier that way." - Amelia
“All I want to do is give you a hug. You are not a slut. I wish I could come by your house for a chat - a real heart-to-heart - with your family. You didn’t do anything wrong and you do not deserve to be treated as if you did. This is part of what ‘rape culture’ means. It means that instead of listening to you, the people who should be protecting you and comforting you are hurting you instead. It’s not right. It’s very, very wrong and I am so sorry.
It might help to click through our resources and choose an online support network that does live chats. I bet you can find valuable one-on-one support there to tell you it’s going to be okay and give you advice on how to get through. I believe you, honey. It’s not your fault." - Jennifer
“Everyone else here has said this, but I want to echo: What has been done to you is wrong, and it is not your fault. Please do not punish yourself by withholding food. You deserve food because you are a whole/fabulous/strong human being. You need to eat food to sustain the brave person who wrote us this letter and told your story, a start to your path of healing! So much love." - Alex
“It’s going to take some time. What you are describing is a normal reaction to trauma and it’s a very common way to feel after being attacked or assaulted. Are you in contact with a counselor or a survivor’s group? You might need help moving on - because what happened was traumatic - but that does not mean you will not be able to move on. XOXOXO Love to you." - Jennifer
“Be kind to yourself. Our culture says ‘just get over it,’ but it’s not that simple. And really, that isn’t even logical. There is now a time in your life before this happened to you, and after. Your concept of the world has no doubt altered and your feelings of safety within it. Give yourself time to process and see how you feel now. I strongly recommend taking self defense if you haven’t already. It can help a lot to feel empowered and safer in the world. I’m thinking of you." - JM
“I have found that there is no ‘supposed to’ in regard to healing from trauma. It’s only been two weeks, give yourself a break! To echo Jennifer, you may, like a LOT of us, need help to move on. You can’t expect to have all the tools you need on your own." - Alex
“Your hurt is so raw and fresh still. Please be gentle on yourself. ‘Getting over it’ has no schedule or timeline, and the way you wrote this makes me fear that people close to you are telling you to get over it and they’re not respecting, believing, or taking care of you. If that’s the case, there are a lot of hotlines that are willing and wanting to listen to you. If you don’t already have a survivor’s group, as others here have said, please just call one of the helplines on the resources page so you can be validated by people who understand and believe you. You don’t have to do this by yourself or meet others’ expectations. You can move on. Eventually you will, but you’ve suffered a major trauma, and you deserve the time to process this. Hugs and love to you." - Melanie
“I don’t want you to just get over it. I want you to feel better and to begin healing. I say begin, because healing takes time. Two weeks is not very long at all. I hope you have good, loving people around you to listen to you and to hold your hand when it needs holding. I hope you have people around you who let you cry and rage if that’s what you want to do. I hope you have love around you. I hope you are kind to yourself and gentle with yourself. I hope that bit by bit and day by day you will begin to feel just a bit better until you get to the place where you feel like you have moved, if not on, at least forward." - Myfanwy