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My Past Has Ruined My Life

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From Barbados: when i was eleven yrs old I was encouraged by my older cousin (let’s call her Jyl) to have s** with her brother (who is also my cousin) at first i objected, but she continued to pressure me so I did as she said. Eventually Jyl spoke out about the matter but never speak out about the role she played in the situation. I didn t even defend myself when she (Jyl) confessed it all, I just put on a strong face, but I was crying on the inside. Eventually everyone found out about it, as you know words spread like bush fire. In high school I was bullied for it and other rumors that Jyl and my so call friends created about me.

Now i am in college and i m still being bullied. It so happens that Jyl and i attends the same college. One day out of the blue during a curriculum practice she spoke out about my past when i was 11, still not saying the role she played in it. Christians, students and lecturers all bully me, i have also loss friend and i’m constantly depressed. everyone says that I am nothing, the treat me like a germ. It so happen that the principal found out and put what I did in my past in my record. Persons constantly remind me that I have no future, since i would never get a job. So what should I do now? I tried everything

My Past Has Ruined My Life

Answered by on -

A.

Your past did not ruin your life! You were only 11! You were a victim of child abuse, not a willing or knowledgeable participant in sex. In the U.S., 11 is well below the age of legal consent. (I don’t know the law in Barbados but age 11 is a child as far as I’m concerned,┬áregardless of legalities.) You deserve compassion and support, not bullying.

Your parents could confirm whether the principal really did put something in your record. I hope that is another nasty rumor, not fact. I’m not a lawyer so I can’t give you legal advice but if there is something in your record I do think your parents might want to consult a lawyer about your rights to privacy about something that happened to you as a child. If the lecturers are participating in the bullying, I hope your parents will insist that it stop.

As for your cousin and so-called friends: You need a better class of friends. I suspect “Jyl” keeps bringing it up as if she had no part in it because she knows that she and her brother are guilty of doing something terrible to you. She rationalizes it by shifting the responsibility for it on to you. By doing that, she doesn’t have to face her own guilt — and she is continuing to abuse you.

It’s asking a lot of you, but I hope you can find the strength to stand up for yourself. If someone bullies you about early sex, you might say something like, “I was only 11 and was taken advantage of by people who were old enough to know better. I trusted them and they abused me. That’s not something to bully me about.” If they don’t quit, avoid them if you can. Get adults to help you. Do consider going to another school and making a fresh start if you think that is the only way to get away from the bullies. Taking care of your emotional well-being is more important than trying to change them.

You are no different from the many, many other people who have been victimized as children. People do recover from abuse and do create good lives for themselves. You absolutely have a future — as long as you refuse to accept the opinions of toxic people. You will get a job based on your education and your skills, not on rumors about something that happened to you when you were a kid.

Being bullied is very, very difficult. You might appreciate having a therapist to talk to about how to handle “Jyl” and the bullies and how to hold onto your self-esteem in spite of their horrible behavior.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

My Past Has Ruined My Life

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). My Past Has Ruined My Life. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 16, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2015/11/30/my-past-has-ruined-my-life/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.