Realized I’ve Been Sexually Assaulted

This happened a few months back when I came across a post about sexual assault (or something similar, not sure) that made me realize this. Basically, when I was around at most 12, I was following my friends who were my neighbor's (whom I trusted very much and wholeheartedly thought was a very nice person) grandkids to play. I smiled at him while I was about to get into his house from a second door that was in his garage. (my friends had already gotten in the house so I was the only one behind) But before I could enter he called me over, grabbed my shoulders, and kissed me. I remember not being able to process what was going on. After about 3 seconds he let me go and said I could leave to which I responded with a shaky smile before going to where my friends were while still trying to understand what just went down. I proceeded to normalize what happened by saying things like "well, parents sometimes kiss their baby on the mouth right?? maybe it's his way of showing affection? yeah. something like that." I literally couldn't comprehend how a person who I trusted so much could do something so wrong. Sexual predators were strangers that invited you to weird places right? It couldn't be my neighbor who gave me apples from his garden, was good friends with my dad, and was always nice to me, right?…

So I never told anyone. I brushed it off and stopped thinking about it. For 5 years it rarely popped up in my head and when it did I continued to brush it off. It had been a long time since it happened and I never really cared much, I thought I had just gotten harassed (thought only rape or grabbing someones private parts counted as sexual assault) and that making a big deal out of it was just me looking for attention, especially when there were people who had it much worse than me. (gotta admit I can't help but still feel that way)

That was until a few months ago when I came across a post that made me realize that I had been sexually assulted and I started thinking more about what happened, which sent my mental into a steady decline. I've gone from giving a quick glance to what happened like twice a year to having breakdowns almost every two weeks. It's like this is always on the back of my mind now and I hate it. I've started forcing myself to not trust anyone, especially men. Anyone who I considered to be nice has the potential to be a monster now and I don't think I can trust anyone like I used to again. Even with my dad who I'm extremely close with… I can't help but think "I thought our neighbor would never do anything bad to me but look at what happened"

A couple of days ago I remembered our old neighbor inviting me to his house after he had kissed me to which I politely declined because even though I didn't want to think of him as a bad guy I was still scared. He continued to ask me to come in whenever he would see me passing by his house (I tried to go there less after what happened and when I did pass by his house I was riding a bicycle) I now realize he was probably planning on raping me if I ever did accept his offer which is… something to think about, I guess. I've started having breakdowns almost immediately when I see news/a post/etc. about things like rape and harassment. (I became extremely sensitive to these kinds of topics like two months after thinking more and more about what happened) I really wish I could focus on studying for my entrance exam instead of thinking about this all the time. I've brought up going to therapy to my dad a few weeks after explaining what happened to my parents but it never really went anywhere. I don't think my mom thinks what I went through was that important to get this mentally fucked over. (whenever I go to her about feeling awful and not safe anywhere she basically says she went through something similar and so did her mother. I would have to learn to just… deal with it somehow) I don't think we can afford therapy right now anyway and I don't want to burden my parents with this in general.

Sorry for the long vent, I really needed to talk about this fully. I need some tips on how to deal with this and would really appreciate it if anyone gave me some. Thanks for reading :^)

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