To honour World Mental Health Day we’ve added a list of places to get mental health support, as a permanent page on this site, specific to adult grooming.
Many people who’ve found out they’ve been groomed are able to just wipe their hands and move on. Some have already moved on by the time they find out they were groomed. (I had). Some don’t find out til many years later.
Every mind is different. Every experience is different. I would have considered myself an incredibly strong person. I’ve cared and looked after other people’s interests all my life. I’ve never complained about anything without trying to do something about it. To find myself facing the big black dog of depression, of making myself physically unwell after discovering that ‘the love of my lif’e was unreal, was a groomer, was shocking.
Others have reacted angrily. Some have held out hope of a return to that relationship. Some end up in clinics. And others are just fine. I chose to channel the shock into joining this campaign to have grooming of adults made illegal. There is no standard way to respond and sadly there’s not specialist help out there.
I’ve personally found a Life Coach more life affirming, more positive, more useful than counselling. (The therapist came from the view that I was already vulnerable and looked for the reasons why, rather than trying to help build me back. Still in a state of shock, I was really unready for this.)
Over the next week I’ll be writing up a book review of Class Action: I’ve noted a prevalence of PTSD amongst campaigners who take up a cause, notably going through the legal system, so I’ll see if there are any papers that cast some light on that as well before publishing. (Yes, PTSD – I was surprised!)
In summary – it’s OK to be mentally unwell after any kind of sexual abuse. It’s not essential, but it happens, the same way as physical illness. There’s still a little stigma around it, but only by speaking out, by strong, healthy people admitting to a bli,p do we get a change in attitudes and a healthier discussion going.
Get well. Stay well. Wherever you’re at, I wish you the happiness that we all deserve.
If you have any sources/resources to add, please note them to the comments below and we’ll add them, or email them to AntiAdultGrooming@gmx.co.uk.