Hi jls, I think the bigger question is WHY would someone hold anything like this against you? That would clearly be a shortcoming in them and not a reflection of you. It may not feel good if you found someone reacted that way, but it is their problem and if they choose to go through life that misinformed, well, they likely aren't the type of person connecting well with anyone. Sure bad things happen to everyone, but I think most people agree that there are different degrees of bad things. Some things we experience we can move past on our own, but being a survivor affects us differently because it was a profoundly personal attack on us at an age when we were not psychologically mature enough to make any sense of it, than say, being in a car accident, or losing a parent to illness. And when you consider a child is going through that at a young age or teen years and doesn't get the support of parents at the time, doesn't feel he can tell anyone who would understand, it is justified to say it is to a different degree. What I learned is that when something happens that makes us feel shame about ourselves it has the power to affect us pretty much more than any other emotion, because we feel like we can never do anything to be good enough. I felt never good enough, for a long time, until I figured out where that feeling was coming from- it was coming from what happened to me, and the message that was sent to me by a parent, it is not who I am.