is there a difference?

Is there a difference between rape and molestation? If so what is I am sincerely sorry to ask this. But I am curious and still trying to figure out why it happen to me? Why did the men in my life  that I'm suppose to trust do this! How can I begin to healing process? I've felt with this and felt with this since I was 13and I am now I am 21. I just want to move on I am engaged to the love of my life I don't want to drag this in to my marriage all this anger and this feeling of depression I will appreciate any replies I get. Thank from the bottom of my heart turely 

Ouch I am so sorry this happened. Your husband to be must be a very special man. I knew a woman who completely wrote off all men after having a series of very unhappy experiences with a few of them. But there was one man who was so special, she let him in and knew she was safe with him. All other men were still on her !@#$ list, but this one man was different, special, and so loving he nursed her back to health and happiness.

Anyway back to the healing process. The best thing would be if you could find a small processing group. These are special groups where people go, meet, the rules are laid down at every meeting. Anyone is free to talk. Everyone else listens. No one is allowed to respond, or give advice, or say anything in reply. There is anonymity and confidentiality. "Anything said here, stays here!" People are reminded at each meeting to respect the confidentiality of others and not repeat anything outside the room. It's an incredibly powerful format! People feel safe to say whatever is on their mind, safe knowing they are being heard, everyone else is listening, and safe knowing no one is going to reply. We are so used to wanting to "fix" things. But some things can't be fixed. The past can't be fixed. But it can be made OK. Often the present can't be fixed. But it can be made OK. People have problems. We don't fix problems; we make it OK to have problems. In all cases the listening itself is the cure that makes things OK again. People tell stories just like the ones you have to tell. There is something magically healing about the process. People feel better afterwards. It's the format used by AA, NA, Al-anon, Nar-anon, Al-ateen, Nar-ateen, and a host of other similar processsing groups.

Finding a good processing group is the tricky part. If you happen to know someone "who has a problem with alcohol" (i.e. is an alcoholic), then you're in luck that qualifies you to go to any Al-anon meeting. Or if you happen to know someone "who has a problem with drugs" (i.e. is a drug addict) then you're in luck that qualifies you to go to any Nar-anon meeting.

Or if you yourself are or have been an alcoholic or a drug addict, that qualifies you to go to any AA or NA meeting. They're all just processing groups, with the format described above.

Unfortunately there are so many other people who need these kinds of processing groups, who aren't alcoholics or drug addicts or know people who are, yet they need these kind of groups for their mental health, just as you state.

Possibly a rape crisis center might have some information of some processing groups that would be a good fit for you. Sometimes churches realize this format is very powerful and they set up "Connection Circles" that use this "listening without responding" format. (There are many non-Chirstian churches popping up as many people don't feel comfortable in traditional Christian churches, yet they still yearn for some sort of spiritual church they can go to. Unitarian, Unity, "Center of the Heart", look around...)

Counselors, therapists, psychologists, counseling centers, they might know of some processing groups you could try. Maybe there's a CARES center, or a phone number you could call. (If in America you can always try calling 211 and just ask what's available, can they direct you towards someone who might know what services are available?)

That's basically the secret to the cure. Somehow you connect with these people once a week at the meeting, you eventually become familiar with them, get to know them, they reaffirm that you are an OK person, you are a person who has problems, but you are not your problems. Your problems do not define who you are. And it's OK to have problems. Because that's what the real problem was. The real problem isn't that we have a problem, the real problem is we are upset by this problem we have. The magic of the processing group is it decouples our emotions from our problems, so we are free to feel emotionally OK again. Our problem isn't fixed. Nothing is fixed. We still have our problems, whatever they are. But we feel OK again. Because that was the real problem. We didn't feel OK about having a problem. The processing group makes it OK to have a problem. That is the healing process. That's how it works.

Best wishes. I am so happy you have met the love of your life. He must be a very special man indeed.


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