Dear Dr. Meg,
My name is Evelyn and I am 17 years old. I have some questions. I saw your article about why not to watch Fifty Shades of Gray and I thought maybe you could answer some questions that I have been dying to get answered. I understand that you are a professional woman who is very busy and I understand if you never reply or never even see this email—but I could really use some answers.
Background information– My father is dead-beat, pays no child support and is honestly probably just completely physco. I’m a rape victim–my oldest brother was my attacker and my mom knows but I can’t talk to her and I can’t afford therapy and she doesn’t really help try and get it. Also my mother is practically a child and when it comes to my parental units I’m the adult around here and I take care of myself–I am on my own 24/7.
Here are my questions:
I’m in a relationship with a much older man and I’m told it’s because of my “daddy-issues” and the fact that my oldest brother raped me–can that really have anything to do with it?
Will I really get past what happened?
Is it possible for me to-without extensive therapy-turn out completely mentally and emotionally healthy and normal and able to lead a normal life?
Do you feel that I would benefit from getting professional help?
Again I can only imagine how busy you are- I can only hope that you can find time to just answer these few questions. Thank you so much for your time and I hope to hear back from
YES!! You can get past the hurts that you have endured but first you must understand that the things that have happened to you have taken a much larger toll on you emotionally than you can realize now. So, you must trust the things that I am going to tell you even though they go against what your heart is telling you.
Because of your experiences and lack of good parenting, your heart will play tricks on you. It does this because even though you have gotten older, part of your heart is stuck being a little girls craving attention. So, you must rely on your head and a good adult or two who will give you healthy guidance. Let me explain a couple of things to you regarding the way you feel and why you do what you do.
First, you are in a relationship with an older man because deep down, you crave male attention. Your desires are completely normal. God gave your heart needs and this is one of them. But there’s a catch here. You are seeking attention from your boyfriend because he is older, comforting and very much like a father figure. But you should not be dating him. Your heart wants comfort from a father( figure) but when you mix that comfort with romantic feelings and sex, it completely confuses your heart.
So, you need to break up with him. If he loves you, he will stick around as a friend and if he doesn’t, he won’t. You need to be strong enough to break up because this relationship isn’t healthy for you. Until you break up, do NOT put yourself in a situation where you will get pregnant. You need to work on you now and a baby won’t let you do that.
Second, the issues with your brother. Being raped is a horrible, horrible insult and rapists should be put in jail. Period. Rape hurts you on deep, deep level. It changes the way you see yourself, men and women. It changes how you feel about sex, how you trust people, how you love your self and others and your sense of vulnerability. You really do need someone to help you through this.
I know that you can’t afford a counselor but this is what I would do. Go to a church that has a lot of young people and ask to talk to the youth pastor. Make an appointment (it’s free) and tell him that I told you to go. Tell him what your struggle is and ask if he can help. He will be able to find wise adults or counselors who can help you for free. (Note- help with the psychological fallout from your abuse should not come from a boyfriend-even if he’s older.)
Third, there’s a great book you should read. It’s called The Wounded Heart by Dan Allender. The book explains why you do what you do and why you feel the way you do because of your sexual abuse. It also has a workbook that comes with it. I know that this sounds boring, but do it. It really will help you.
Fourth, if you go to a church, ask the pastor if there is an adult couple who might meet with you periodically to help you out. If you don’t go to church, find one that young people go to and try it. Then ask to meet with the pastor. Your folks are so bogged down with their problems that they aren’t emotionally available to you. This has nothing to do with you- they sound like very ill people. But there are many adults who would love to help you because you deserve help. You should have had help, love and protection during the years you were growing up and I’m so sorry that you didn’t get these. You need to know that God wants to give back what was taken away or what you never had.
Fifth. I don’t know if you are used to praying but start. Ask God to help you and show you what to do next. Many folks want nothing to do with God after the hardship that you have had, but He didn’t do it. He hurts for you and never wanted any of this to happen. He will help you out and you can trust Him. So lean hard on Him and watch him work, one day at a time.
Evelyn- you are a beautiful, young, sensitive and smart girl. You will go on to do great things with your life so count on it! Your job in the meantime is to figure out every day what God wants you to do in order to heal and get your life back on track. He will. Promise that you will write me in a year or two and show me what He has done. Never, never, give up on life or yourself.