Sharing our wisdom.


If you’re reading this, you’ve probably been through something that can best be described as hell and you’ve survived, or maybe you’re going through it now, and you’re surviving, only just.

In each of our journeys we’ve all learnt a lot of things along the way. What wisdom or life lessons could you share with others? Things you wish you had known earlier? Services you tapped into? Books you found helpful? Managing and dealing with your emotions? Whether or not to tell family and friends? How to tell family and friends? How to cope with loosing friends, family? How to support and help those friends and family who stayed and supported you? Advice you received or gave to yourself? How you cope with body image? New relationships?

Let us fill the posts of this thread with meaningful and helpful words of wisdom.

I’ll start.

“it’s not your fault”. I’m sure you’ve heard it, I heard it, many times over. Usually the phrase “it’s not your fault” was followed by the phrase, or my response of “easier said than done”. I did eventually achieve the belief and knowledge that ‘it wasn’t my fault’. I did this by actively and consciously changing some of the words in my telling of my story to others, and in my self talk.

After everything came out there was soo much hindsight. If only I’d noticed he likes to go shopping at around the time the school kids are coming out of school. His views and opinions about sex offenders, ‘back in caveman times, people did have sex with young women, it was normal then. Those who are desiring sex with children are normal’. He treated me like a princess and slowly he made himself my whole world. The way in which he treated me was soo perfect, that this one opinion of his sounded right to me at that time.

With all of this hindsight and second guessing of myself, I felt soo much guilt, and my sense of self worth was very very low. I felt guilty that I had had children to this man. I felt guilty that my children would grow up without a father. I felt that I was a worthless failure of a human being, because I didn’t know that I had fallen into his trap. I felt like an idiot.

By changing the way in which I expressed myself about myself and my story, using the word ‘shame’ instead of ‘guilt’. With that conscious decision and actively using the word “shame”, instead of “guilty”, a massive burden was lifted. Life became a lot easier to live. I started to become someone I could like again.

Shame instead of guilt, is not the ultimate answer to where ours or your emotions need to move to. It was the first step I needed to take to stop feeling like it was all my fault.

What wisdom can you share about how you coped with life in the aftermath of finding your partner has been accessing child exploitation material?

In solidarity,


For me it was my father, and I’m still processing a lot, but…

  1. People will generally be more supportive and empathetic than you think. The sense of shame can be immense, and whilst it’s very difficult for people to understand the complexity of what you are going through, I have been overwhelmed by the response of anyone I’ve told. Not a single person has seen it as a reflection on me or my family.
  2. It’s ok to grieve the “old” relationship.
  3. Get professional help, but from someone who has some background with sex offenders or victims. My first psychologist just wasn’t properly equipped.
  4. Know that you’re not alone xx


For me, it has been a long time since I discovered my ex husband was sexually abusing his daughter (my stepdaughter). It has been 13 years and even though I got through those years of pain, I still have those feelings of guilt at times. However, I know I did the right thing and have had incredible support from my loved ones. It does drive the person I am today however and has set me on a course for a different purpose in my life (one I am still discovering).
However I would have never gotten through it without the support of my family especially. I know not everyone has that luxury though - a loving and supportive family. Some may have lost their family or friends throughout this process for whatever reason, but not letting that be a reflection of you and what you have bravely done is so important. Having someone to talk to, lean on, vent to, listen and love you is vital I believe. If you don’t have anyone like that then allow the ladies on this forum to be that for you. It may not be in person at first, but at least having someone to talk to and share things with helps. I guess what I am saying is don’t bottle it all up, because it will come out eventually and most likely in a way that is not in your character, or it will affect your health. We humans are made to do life together, not alone. I really believe that. Also just take some time to be kind to yourself and think of your strengths. We all have incredible strengths and resources - we are women of course! :laughing: Learn your strengths and reflect on them. Give yourself a bit of slack and love yourself. I hope this all makes sense, just my thoughts for the moment. :slight_smile:



Once lost trust is a really tricky thing to regain. One of the bizarre things about trust that I’ve noticed is that once we as humans have been hurt, we then expect that that same hurt will come from another. Before someone else betrays our trust, we look for the ways in which they might betray us. Sometimes we hide the fact that we are looking, cause we don’t want them to go to great lengths to hide what we fear might be there. In doing so we are actively betraying the trust other people have placed in us.

I know what it feels like to have a friend flinch in the belief that I am going to hurt them, simply because they were hurt by someone else. When I’ve had this happen, I’ve tried to be patient, and remind the person that I am a different person, and things are different now. That reassurance reallly helped.

but… to push my fears and my mistrust onto my friends is to cause them pain. I found that by being upfront with friends and by talking and communicating, I’ve been able to slowly manage my issues around trust. I’ve requested that my friends have patience with me. I’ve asked them to reassure me, and remind me that they are a different person.

It seems to be working.

In trust,


I turned inward trying to come to some understanding, shocked to my core, avoiding the judgments of others, and my own of course.
I had to work to support myself as my partner was registered to live in my home, and of course, he was preoccupied with his own survival - no room for me.

I first felt that I was moving forward when I consciously decided to meet my work colleagues eyes as we approached one another in the corridors. Then weeks later I once again consciously chose to connect with conversation, and try hard to remember something of their lives they shared, so that I could use that as a stepping stone for future conversation. Slowly ever so slowly I started to extend myself and move out of the madness to some state of being present, and into outside of myself. Does that make sense?

Thank you for starting this thread Rai.


After my husband of 29 years was arrested, I felt as though I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. A counselor suggested I go straight to my GP and ask for medication to slow down my spinning brain. He gave me Lexapro 10mg. I have been on it for 18 months now. My daughter said “Mum, at least you’re not crying so much now.” So it has helped me be able to keep my job and stop panic attacks. I am not a fan of medication, but I was in quite a bad state and did not want to become reliant on Valium. I want to get off the Lexapro, but my (soon to be) ex husband will be released in the near future and I know that will bring another wave of anxiety. I also find regular walking seems to calm my distress… I would also be interested to hear what others have found to be helpful through this hell experience.


Rai, thanks again for starting this trend.

Much later down the track I found that I was using my offending partner as a point of reference ie, his activities and way of thinking, to judge subsequent males who came into my life. That was so unfair on who they really were. It took me quite sometime to realize that and I then consciously sought and identified different reference points eg the loving couples, with families I had in my life as the point of reference for trusting another male/s.
The faces of happy children within that circle of love and respect, rather than searching for signs of discomfort, confusion and pain in the faces I happened across in my daily encounters.

So I was back to who I was, with awareness gathered from my experience rather than searching for evidence of mistreatment. The new reference points improved my previous trust issues.
Hope that’s of help Natasha


Thank you Moresteps for your positive words. I am 49 years old, with 2 adult children and divorced now after 21 months of separation. Everyone wants a happily ever after “go out and meet someone” kind of end to my dreadful story. But the man who I loved with all my heart and for the most part treated me with respect, gentleness, good conversation and fun was hiding something that took me over 30 years to find out. Trust ?? How will I ever REALLY know? Because, when I am ready and wanting, you give me hope!