When the cause of pain is a sex crime, victims are frequently invalidated by people they count on for support! Reaching out for help can make the victim feel like they’re choking on the turmoil they lived through! Having to justify painful feelings while being discredited heaps pain on top of pain and can cause deep depression! When the weapon that undermined their sexual consent was fraud, invalidation by family and friends is all too typical and common.
A woman I’ll call Laurie contacted me recently for help. She’d been violated by a sexual sadist who got off on hurting her during sex. He’d built up her image of a lasting, loving relationship over a few months. True to her level of oxytocin and other attachment brain chemistry, when he became rough during sex, and she clearly said “stop,” she didn’t immediately grasp that he was assaulting her.
Forgiveness and caring, the emotions of a neuro-typical person, often prevents them from recognizing the truth. The delay in recognition is looked at by others, who are not aware of the impacts of brain chemistry, as giving license to the behavior.
While her conscious mind told her to accept his horrific behavior, the horrid sensation of being abused haunted her. She tried to discuss it with him in the hopes he’d understand and treat her romantically. Instead, she was told that he simply was using her as a sex toy, and he disappeared.
Laurie contacted me for help
We spent some time talking about the connections our minds make that are driven by the infrastructure of our brains. She could more clearly see what had caused her to try to hold onto the relationship rather than simply walking away. That insight has enabled her to forgive herself even if the people around her have difficulty understanding. Today, I received this message:
I’m reading “Combating Romance Scams” to my mom and dad now – It’s such a help to us. I was having a problem letting them know exactly what had happened to me and your book is helping me do that with less shame.
Combating invalidation when you’ve been scammed
Sometimes, you can talk ’til you’re blue in the face, with the utmost clarity and knowledge, but people simply don’t “get it!” If it happens to you…. which is likely if you were sexually defiled in a romance scam, “Combating Romance Scams” can help! If you can’t afford it, let me know. I’ll send it your way!