Dear The Band,
I was sexually abused as a child from age 5 to 8 by my babysitter’s son who was 10 yrs older than me.
I didn’t tell anyone until I was 10 and blocked the bulk of it out until college.
I just found out that the babysitter passed away earlier this week.
I don’t feel anything about her passing
I am sorry for her daughter and all of her grandkids. But there’s really nothing there.
Am I wrong for feeling like this?
I don’t feel like your lack of feeling anything about her death is wrong or bad. It just IS. I wouldn’t be surprised to find you might even feel a sense of relief. The fact that you can feel compassion and acknowledge that her family is hurt is enough to know that you are a kind and caring person. Don’t beat yourself up for not feeling anything.
And I am sorry you had to go through this; as a survivor myself, I know it’s always with you, but it sounds like you are managing in a healthy manner. I send hugs.
I don’t think your feelings could ever be “wrong”. We’re all entitled to honor our feelings and let them come as they are without judgement.
What happened to you was/is wrong. You were so young. The little girl in you is probably still learning how to deal with the experiences and I imagine the feelings are extremely complex.
I don’t think there are “right” ways to process grief and I wonder if perhaps some of your feeling of “nothing”is part of your grieving journey. My guess is you’ll experience some additional feelings later one after the shock of the news passes.
If you need additional support, please come back to The Band and let us remind you how awesome you are. Sending hugs and strength.
There are no right or wrong ways to grieve. I promise. The numbness won’t last forever- it’s just your minds way of coping right now.
There’s a wonderful song from the musical A Chorus Line that depicts this exact experience. “Six months later I learned that [he] had died. And I dug right down to the bottom of my soul and cried ‘cuz I felt nothing.”
I think feeling nothing is a reasonable reaction here. We are not obligated to feel anything specific for people we happened to know, much less those who enabled abuse to happen to us….
Big Hugs to you