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I think I was sexually abused as a child- (I Was- Updated- #47) - Page 2

post #21 of 61
For me personally, I think the MOST difficult part of considering this scenario is the idea that I might have negatively affected other children. Are there people out there who, thinking back on THEIR childhoods, consider me a predator or perpetrator?
post #22 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by LROM View Post
Part of what's amazing about this board is that people can come from very different ways of thinking but all share a common concern and true support for all here. IowaAngela, I have total respect for you for sharing in that supportive wonderful spirit.
I agree.

And thx LROM for your words. Almost threw up while reading what you wrote... but please take that in a productive way!
post #23 of 61
I do take it in a productive way, though sorry it made you feel that way but I really do understand.

Number572 just wanted to add something b/c I just re-read your other post and something you said I wanted to respond to:

Quote:
Originally Posted by number572 View Post
can't say i was abused b'c i don't think i was ever touched as a kid... just alot of sex/drug/alcohol crap around).
Again, not trying to insist that "all roads lead to child sexual abuse" but I do want to say this: households where parents were using drugs have a very very very much higher risk of sexual abuse of the kids because drug using parents usually mean 2 things: 1) there are period where they are really not aware of or paying attention to where their kids are or who is with them, doing what; and 2) there is generally a lot of traffic in and out of the house, people hanging out and using, or people buying/selling drugs. That also puts kids at higher risk of abuse because again, parents are focused on the drugs and there are people you wouldn't otherwise have in your house hanging around. It can become even more dangerous when money is owed. That horrific case several months ago where a woman SOLD her 5 yr old to a guy she owed drug money to and he raped her and killed her is an extreme case, but still, it's almost never a good scenario.

So hopefully no one did ever touch you. But if you experience big gaps of memory loss like several other posters here did, and your parents had a lot of traffic in and out of the house or even just if your parents were high a lot... it's very possible some stuff happened that absolutely should not have. And again, if it did, it is in no way a child's fault.
post #24 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deefodil View Post
For me personally, I think the MOST difficult part of considering this scenario is the idea that I might have negatively affected other children. Are there people out there who, thinking back on THEIR childhoods, consider me a predator or perpetrator?
I worry about this as well.
post #25 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama2landon View Post
I don't remember much of my childhood before eight or nine years old.

And in retrospect, I know that as a teenager and even in college I was severely depressed, although I didn't know it at the time. I went to school or classes, studied and went to bed. Laid in my bed literally all day. I had zero social life. Still have zero social life.

Realizing I've always been afraid of men. Not in a casual social setting, such as work. But when it's clear that a man is interested in me, I am scared and I back off so quick it must make his head spin to watch.
I can empathize with all of these statements; I feel the same way. For me, I think the reason is that my mother was an alcoholic when I was young, my father died when I was 10, and then my mother became a severe drug addict. Just a guess. Now, I'm about to give you some advice that I've never taken myself.

I think you definitely need to see a therapist. I think hypnosis would be great, if you're open to that. I'm sure it would be uncomfortable (to say the least), but it could also be incredibly freeing for you.

Sending you peace, love, and best wishes.
post #26 of 61
Very similar story and scenerio here.. although my "sperm donor" who had custody of my half sis and bro, is now in prison for being a pedophile. He was arrested when I was 20. I developed panic d/o and agoraphobia on 10/12/99. I started having memories..although they were not clear, but I KNEW my 11 y/o lil sis was being molested. I called DCF numerous times. He was arrested 3 months later. I have more validation that I was also abused by him, although I don't have memories. I have the snake dreams.. I have severe emetaphobia; I've never slept in my own bed because I'm still afraid of the dark. I had several UTIs as a little girl. I don't know why I didn't tell, and I don't know why I don't remember. You are not alone at all. Hugs!
post #27 of 61
Thread Starter 
I've been trying to put my thoughts into the perfect words, but they are just too confused. Bear with me, here are just some random things I've been thinking about.

There is a saying- "If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck." My own version goes something like this: "If all signs are pointing toward Rome, then it's a pretty damn good bet the road is leading to Rome." A bunch of signs, when taken separately, maybe don't mean much. But when considered together, well maybe then they means something a lot more.

There was a study I read while I was trying to work this out. It studied the kind of sexual behavior that "normal" children engaged in. Children with suspected or confirmed sexual abuse were screened out of this study. The things you talked about doing, IowaAngela, those were among the reported sexual behaviors for normal children. The things I remember doing at the age of 5 or 6 were not- not even for children in the 10 or 11 year old age group. 0%.


The brain, especially the part dealing with memory, is a funny thing. There's no way we understand even a tenth part of how it works, or why it works the way it does. I don't think repressed memories are as common as pop culture- tv, movies, soaps, etc. would have us believe. I don't think they're rare, either.

The attic room I talked about- it was my brother's bedroom. And I remember knowing that something bad happened in that room. When I was younger, I would also have this hazy image of a shadowy guy whenever I thought about the room. Lately, I've just been focused on the room- like if I could just remember that room, everything else would fall into place. (Which it didn't, of course) But it was always just on the cusp- you know like how you can't remember a singer or actor's name and it's just right there?

Really, it could be any old memory as IowaAngela pointed out. It's just that this memory had a different feel it, all I can explain is that I always "felt" or "knew" that someone had done something to me in that room. I also can't explain, but I "knew" it was something sexual, but I couldn't figure the memory out because I couldn't figure out that room- where it was.

Anyway, it has only been recently that I've come to accept that my brother's bedroom is the only attic bedroom I've ever known. My playroom was right there on the landing of the stairs.

I wanted to avoid even bringing my brother into this, because my point isn't to accuse anyone of doing anything. I don't care about pointing fingers and assigning blame right now- I'm just trying to figure out what happened or if anything really did happen at all. But my brother- yeah not a nice guy. 11 years older than me. Half brother, lived with his mom until she was murdered in front of his face before or shortly after I was born. She was a drug addict, God knows what kind of life he lived with her- her only other child is an alcoholic/drug addict- for what that says.

Don't remember brother much until after he left school. But I know he beat all of his girlfriends, still is verbally and physically abusive to his wife in front of their kids. Mom told me that she found out a few years ago that when he was in high school, he pulled a gun on his girlfriend and threatened to blow her head off in front of a car full of her girlfriends. That he terrorized one high school gf so bad she had a nervous breakdown. Forced another to steal from her parent's store for him. Stole money from my mom. He had, and still has a truly evil temper.

But also is charming and funny and personable to a fault. Loves kids and is great with them- and they love him. I did too. I idolized him. I still love him- he is my brother. I'm not saying that if something happened, it must have been him. It could have been one of his friends- could have been anybody, could have been nobody if I'm honest. But you can see how I'm starting to question him, right? All these things he did to his high school girlfriends- you have to understand that not a hint of this reached our house. My mom was a teacher in this school- a town of less than 1,000 people. One of the girls in the car was the daughter of another teacher, and not a single hint of this reached any adult. He had these high school girls thoroughly terrorized, how much easier would it be to intimidate a five or six year old? Again, I'm not saying he did do anything, but can you see why it would make me question? He was a disturbed person, still is really. Dad never let him get any counseling for seeing his mother's murder. And Dad was physically abusive to brother. I got a few spankings too, but nothing like brother. And Dad was verbally and mentally abusive to all of us, imo.

Anyway, just my random thoughts, because my mind has been circling. I knew it was his room, but I kept saying to myself "but I don't know anybody who is capable of doing that kind of thing" and then a little voice in my head said "don't you?" Even if he is a better person now- albeit one who seriously needs to be on some mood stabilizers- back then he was clearly a violent, disturbed and abusive young man. You see what I mean about the little signs that have the potential to add up to something big? Makes me think.

Couple other random thoughts: Deefodil, my thoughts too are with those kids I might have hurt with my own actions. Even though I was only five or six- I still feel guilty that I might have caused them pain. If so, I hope they were able to heal, I hope they don't think badly of me if they remember me at all.

Repressed memories: I know they are possible to a degree at least, because I know of one particular one I have sitting in my head. When I was in college I had a bad sexual encounter (rape?) with a man. I remember his face and his name. And I remember sitting in the bathroom afterword and shaking. I know it happened because I told a couple people soon after, but I no longer have an actual memory of what happened with him- just memories of telling certain people.

One last thing: counseling. Yes, I think counseling isn't a bad idea. I have limited faith in talk therapy, tried it and literally could not bring myself to discuss the things I wanted to/needed to. Physically couldn't make myself. Maybe a different counselor?? I've heard of cranio-sacral (??) therapy, but I don't know much about it, and the nearest ones are well over an hour away. Sceptical about hypnotherapy, because hypnosis is powerful, and I would worry too much about a practitioner asking the wrong things and accidentally "making" me remember something that didn't actually happen.
post #28 of 61


I can absolutely see why you are suspecting your brother may have had a role in what you are dealing with right now. From what you've said, he sounds like a pretty likely suspect, in fact.

I'm in a rather similar boat as you, although I'm not feeling as tormented with things at this stage in my life. I don't remember my childhood before the age of 12. At all. I know what my mother and childhood friend tells me - and I know what I see in pictures. I had a long standing battle with UTIs when I was three to six or seven. I know I was really into "sex play" with my friend and asked my mom very specific sex questions all the time. I know, from looking at old school reports, that in first grade after winter break I came back a completely changed kid and teachers were concerned. I was suddenly very unsure of myself and withdrawn. I know I got my period at age ten, but didn't tell my mom about it for three years. I know I deal with a lot of fear and anxiety issues today, and I sleep with the lights on ALWAYS. I even shower with my glasses on. I'm told this is called "hypervigilance". I don't know if you would call it rape, but I did have oral sex forced on me in college. This spiraled me (at age 19) into an eating disorder that I have struggled with for well over 10 years (and, really, still struggle with today at 33).

Are these reasons to suspect sexual abuse? I honestly don't know sometimes. I feel a hurt that I can't place, and I have these possible "clues" that could mean nothing or could mean something. I don't know how I should feel.

I don't blame you for being skeptical of hypnotists. I am too. I don't have the trust necessary for that type of situation, and it sounds like you might not either. Hypnotists, while most are upstanding, are the ones that get on 20/20 for being arrested for implanting false memories into patients. That'd be the last thing you'd need to deal with in the midst of this. But there is absolutely no way in hell I'd ever let myself be hypnotised. I'm pretty sure that if you aren't able to trust and let go, like me, hypnosis wouldn't work anyway.

At the age of about 22, I did seek therapy to try to sort out what had happened in my past. I don't know what exactly brought me to that point, because I don't even know if I have valid reasons to suspect. But I was really ill at that point with the eating disorder, and my thoughts weren't always too coherent. (I was barely eating 300 calories a day and typically throwing up what I ate. ) I was a grad student, and all I could afford was an on-campus clinic that utilized grad students (in another department than mine, thank god) as counselors. So I don't think I was getting the best help. The counselor asked me a lot about why I thought I may have been sexually abused. I don't think my answers were satisfying. I remember she kept saying "let's treat this like a mystery and try to piece together the clues"... I was like "OK, nancy drew, this is my LIFE and my f**ked up mind were are talking about... not some Clue in the Clock mystery for you to have fun solving in 300 pages or less." (No, I didn't say that... just felt it.)

In the end, I only went to about four sessions before quitting. She was pressing me with questions that I simply couldn't answer. I think she was getting frustrated with all my "I don't knows". I almost felt like making up some answers just to appease her! How do you answer all these questions when you have ZERO memory of your childhood?? She was also wanting me to talk to my mom and get some answers - which I couldn't bring myself to do or even consider doing. So that scared me away too.

So my experience in going to counseling was a total bust. It left me feeling even more isolated and weird and crazy for feeling this way. It was a really tough time in my life. I felt very alone.

I think, in retrospect, a huge part of the problem was that I had a poor counselor. She was a 25-year-old kid without much experience. I mean, she was a student! Not her fault, of course, but I don't think she was prepared to handle someone in my situation. I think she was probably great at talking to students with mild depression, or homesickness, or test anxiety... but not someone that felt as messed up as I did at the time.

Having said all of that, I do think a counselor would be in order for you. You sound ready. Not a hypnotist, though! I would suggest that you talk to your doctor and get a referral. He or she would know someone that is experienced and reputable. It'd be better than blindly picking from the yellow pages or the Internet. I'd also tell you that you have to prepare yourself for it to be uncomfortable. Perhaps be upfront with your counselor about your fears and make it clear that you want to go slow.

I admire you for searching for answers. I've sort of given up. I'm in a good place in my life right now. I have children and a husband that I adore. Yes, I do still have a monkey on my back (that is fear and suspicion and just the big unknown of my childhood), but I don't feel willing to deal with that monkey. I don't want to. I want to ignore it, and probably will ignore it the rest of my life. Is this a healthy solution? Probably not. But i don't feel I have the strength to do anything but hide.

So, again, I'm so amazed by you and your strength as you look for answers.

I guess one question you may want to ask yourself before going any further... what do you hope will come of this? Honestly. I had to ask myself that too, and I realized that even if the "mystery" of my childhood was solved, it wouldn't necessarily heal my wounds... in fact, it could make things worse. I wasn't strong enough to ride out the part where things got worse before they got better. I decided that things are hidden from me for a reason. I should just trust that and move on. Again, I'm probably making anyone in the psych community reading this cringe, but I don't feel strong enough to stir up a whole mess of trauma and trouble that my mind has been trying so hard to protect me from. So... what do you hope will come of this? Do you want to face your abuser? Do you want legal recourse? Do you want to change family relationships based on this information?

I'm sending you prayers of strength. Thank you for bravely writing this post and for your honestly. This is such a hard thing to talk about - and even harder when you don't have the memories to talk "solidly" about anything. I really pray this is a healing journey for you and that you get an outcome that is satisfying and improves your life. Sending you love!!!
post #29 of 61
I haven't read this whole thread, but...

-I know personally know three people who have severely repressed childhood memories. As in, months and years just *gone* from their memories.

-Two of these people (my dad and my SIL)I know for a fact were sexually abused as children. How do I know? Because they both sexually abused other children. In both cases, it was a younger, opposite sex sibling.

-Neither my dad nor SIL realizes they were sexually abused.

I think, and hope, that SIL will eventually be ready to hear it. DH has tried to ask her about it, using very un-blaming language, i.e., "inappropriate childhood sexual behavior", but SIL has no memory of it whatsoever. SIL has had a severe weight problem since she was about 8, which is around the time she began abusing DH. With therapy, she has lost 90 pounds over the past year, and I am hoping that part of this therapy/weight loss will be the eventually "outing" of the fact that she was sexually abused.

My dad has all sorts of problems- he's bipolar, he has severe addictive behaviors, and he's incredibly angry.

-I have never heard of a snake phobia having anything to do with childhood sexual abuse, but it's worth noting that my dad has an absolutely paralyzing fear of snakes. This is a man who rides a motorcycle without a helmet, parachutes, and climbs on roofs for a living, but he sees a garter snake and can't rest until it's dead.

Childhood sexual abuse is INCREDIBLY common. You are not alone OP. You are not alone.
post #30 of 61
My heart is just so heavy for all of you trying to manage these uncertain pasts and be present in the present. Such a difficult thing, but so very important when you're trying to work to a more peaceful, balanced, happy future.

First off, UTIs. HUGE MEGA RED FLAG for sexual abuse in small children, especially females! Recurring UTIs? Even more so.

Since most of you don't remember those years, I'm guessing you don't remember whether your parents took you to the doc? Do you remember anything about what the docs said or theorized? Well, no matter what they said - because even in the last 10 years docs have come a long way in being more vocal/active about suspicious ailments in kids and what to do when they see it - but whatever did or didn't happen with docs then, the majority of UTIs in young girls are related to sexual abuse. Sure a small number just happen (especially in homes where cleanliness is a huge challenge and kids are just not clean), but overall they're mostly associated with sexual activity in adults (again, with some exceptions), so in kids it's a mega red flag.

OP, your half brother... what I said about you goes for him too in terms of him also not being at fault as a child for victimizing you. But I have to say... given all you've said about his sad life... it's not just that all roads point to Rome... I think we're at a point in the road where the sign says "Welcome to Rome" - I think you've figured it out.

Your brother is a prime candidate for having been a sexual abuse victim himself, with an addicted mom, who knows who had access to him or what his mom did to/with him for her to get her drugs. And heavens, he witnessed her murder??? It's amazing he hasn't actually killed anyone himself yet - to grow up in those horrible circumstances, then witness THAT, then be refused counseling and further abused by his dad? I don't really have words. So unfair and awful.

But with your playroom near his room, and his room being the only attic bedroom you can remember, and his history... I know I can't say definitively beyond all doubt "We're in Rome" but is there really ANY doubt? I don't think so.

If/when you go to counseling, think about asking what would happen if you proceeded assuming you were victimized by your brother - ask what that would mean, what effects it would have on you, on your counseling, etc. You're wise not to make this into a witch hunt, but you could save yourself a LOT of time and agony if you give yourself permission to conclude that yes, you were victimized by your brother, much as you HATE for that to be the truth. And then proceed from there - what does that mean to you processing it and healing and moving on? Do you still have a relationship with him? You will very likely have to work through what that means to you and what relationship (or lack of one) with him will make you feel healthiest.

Because while it's true that children who hurt other children because of their own trauma are not responsible the way an adult who knows that what they're doing is wrong is responsible, the victims have ABSOLUTELY NO responsibility to try to protect their abusers, even if they were kids too. Your brother's life sounds awful, NO ONE should have to live that life. But it doesn't mean you need to do anything against your own interest just because he got such a raw deal in life.

It's time for you to take care of YOU. Whatever that means. Because you're the only one who will do it and the only one who is truly responsible for taking care of you.

This goes for all of you who suspect it might've been your father, step-father, cousin, uncle, mother, aunt... whoever the close family member or family friend may be in you life, and no matter how much everyone loves them or would find it impossible to believe they could molest a child... you MUST do whatever you need to do to help yourself. Including acknowledging that such a person in your life might have done terribly wrong things to you.

Because in most cases, the anguish you've felt all these years isn't really about the "uncertainty" of "whether" you were abused by this person. The anguish really comes from a combo of the trauma of the abuse itself, plus the KNOWLEDGE that it was this person, and the pain/anguish of trying to deny it because that truth is still so painful today and has been every day of your life. It's truly overwhelming. But in most cases, deep down, you already know that it DID happen, and who did it. Your brain/emotions have just been trying to protect you so you can function, but it's a weird Catch 22 - it may get you through the day/month/year, but in some ways it is also debilitating to be "unsure". In some ways, facing the truth and processing it so you can move on and find peace would be the better course to take.

Another part of the anguish is the anger/confusion/hurt because the people who were supposed to protect you didn't protect you. Those are also feelings that have been put on hold but can tear you apart slowly over the years. Maybe in your repressed memories is even a memory of someone who COULD have helped you and stopped the abuse, knowing about it and doing nothing. That would make the whole thing that much more traumatic. And your brain would repress that too, to try to help you just survive.

You have to be able to be whole in yourself, and that includes being able to not think yourself crazy for "imagining" or "suspecting" awful things in your past but feeling you must not think those things because it would hurt the molester, hurt you, hurt others. The truth has to be a starting point for healing, even if you never tell anyone else. You have to be able to tell yourself and trust yourself that you're NOT crazy, and this did happen if all roads point to it happening.

Last thing, if the person you suspect of abusing you is still alive, they likely still have access to children. If you get to the point where you can do it, please please tell your family or whoever is still around that person.

It's very possible someone knew, when you were a child, what was happening ot you. Maybe it happened to them too, maybe they observed it. Don't you wish they'd told a responsible adult and maybe stopped it, before it happened to you or happened again? If you can, please think about doing that for someone else if you get to the point where you can.

Much love and wishes of strength and peace and wholeness to all of you!
post #31 of 61
To ILoveSweetPea, I really understand everything you said in your post about your journey to today and why for you, with things in a good place, you've given up on trying to unravel the past. And I respect that.

The only thing I want to make sure you are aware of though, and that you maybe THINK about having a back up plan for, is this: people in your situation, in the UNLIKELY event (because hopefully it would never happen to your kids) but in the unlikely event you ever suspected someone was harming one of your own children, it can be VERY hard for parents who've themselves possibly been abused and don't remember to protect their own kids because the whole thing is such a trigger.

Hopefully this would never be anything you'd ever have to worry about. But I say this because in my work I deal with this SO OFTEN, parents who's kids are being abused/molested, and evne though the signs were there (it's often mom's boyfriend or husband, sometimes a grand parent or beloved uncle), the parent pretty much shut down into total denial mode because it was such a trigger for their own memories and they couldn't handle it. Which meant someone continued to hurt their kids, and they felt helpless to do anything about it.

I just hope you have a backup plan, someone you could turn to or somewhere you'd go, if you ever suspected something bad was happening to your children and you didn't feel you could even accept the signs as truth. This is really about protecting kids, and I respect and understand you not going further to understand your own possible painful experiences, but please make sure you'd be able to act if you had to protect your own kids. I just say this because I see it be a problem so often.

Take care and best wishes!
post #32 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by LROM View Post
To ILoveSweetPea, I really understand everything you said in your post about your journey to today and why for you, with things in a good place, you've given up on trying to unravel the past. And I respect that.

The only thing I want to make sure you are aware of though, and that you maybe THINK about having a back up plan for, is this: people in your situation, in the UNLIKELY event (because hopefully it would never happen to your kids) but in the unlikely event you ever suspected someone was harming one of your own children, it can be VERY hard for parents who've themselves possibly been abused and don't remember to protect their own kids because the whole thing is such a trigger.

Hopefully this would never be anything you'd ever have to worry about. But I say this because in my work I deal with this SO OFTEN, parents who's kids are being abused/molested, and evne though the signs were there (it's often mom's boyfriend or husband, sometimes a grand parent or beloved uncle), the parent pretty much shut down into total denial mode because it was such a trigger for their own memories and they couldn't handle it. Which meant someone continued to hurt their kids, and they felt helpless to do anything about it.

I just hope you have a backup plan, someone you could turn to or somewhere you'd go, if you ever suspected something bad was happening to your children and you didn't feel you could even accept the signs as truth. This is really about protecting kids, and I respect and understand you not going further to understand your own possible painful experiences, but please make sure you'd be able to act if you had to protect your own kids. I just say this because I see it be a problem so often.

Take care and best wishes!
Thank - I appreciate what you are saying and where you are coming from. if anything, i think i am sort of hyper alert and aware of signs of abuse. But right now it's all theoretical because my chidren have shown no signs. I suppose if they did show signs it's possible i would be reluctant to act... but i don't feel that way right now. I feel constantly ready to swoop in and protect.

You asked in a previous post about UTIs. I didn't remember getting UTIs. But when i was maybe 20ish, I ate some applesauce (which i rarely ate) and almost threw up. I was with my mom at the time and she said "you still can't eat applesauce?" I said "huh??" Then she explained "I used to hide your medicine in applesauce because you had a hard time taking pills." Turns out these pills were for UTIs, which I got almost constantly as a child. I asked why i got so many UTIs - my mom said the doctor told her I was probably holding my pee for too long. He also thought bubble baths may have been a culprit. When I talked about this with my mom again later, she threw out yet another theory - that doctor said my spine wasn't quite closed all the way - or almost wasn't - and that made bladder control difficult and caused infections. So these could all be totally legit reasons. But I still gag at the taste of applesauce.

Thanks for being understanding about where I am with things right now. I don't know if it "makes sense" to outsiders (especially since i never talk about this) - so thanks for being understanding.
post #33 of 61
You know SweetPea, if it wasn't for you not remembering your childhood I'd say the fact that your mom has variations on why you had recurring UTIs isn't suspicious. But because you don't remember your childhood, like I said it's just a huge red flag to me, regardless of what plausible explanations your mom had.

Have you had totally normal urinary functioning as an adult? Or do you still get UTIs a lot?

I'm not saying children who aren't abused can't still get UTIs - some kids definitely do, and I forgot to say above that kids taking antibiotics is also sometimes a situation where kids get UTIs as a side effect of the meds.

But the whole childhood memory loss combined with your UTIs makes it totally suspicious in my experience.

I know you said in your bad experience with that young counseling student that one issue was she wanted you to get info from your mom and that wasn't gonna work for you. So I'm not asking if you'd do this now, but I'm curios if you ever have: have you ever asked your mom why she thinks you can't remember major chunks of your childhood? What did she say?

I'd be pretty interested in her theories about that, if you've ever asked her or discussed your lack of memory with her.

On the "protecting your own kids" front, I'm really glad you're hyper-vigilant. I'm sure you'll be fine, and hopefully your kids will always be fine too. I only bring it up because even people who swear they'd never be in denial sometimes find themselves shut down by something bad happening to their kids and I just wanted to be sure you had that in the back of your mind - have a backup plan, someone you can talk to or tell your kids they can always talk to.
post #34 of 61
post #35 of 61
Just sending you all some healing ...
post #36 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by ILoveSweetpea View Post
I don't know if you would call it rape, but I did have oral sex forced on me in college.
Any unwanted sexual contact constitues rape.
post #37 of 61
Repressed memories are actually very common (with anything traumatic--abuse, war, etc.).

The hippocampus is the part of the brain that "forgets" what is too painful to remember. However, another part of the brain, the amygdala, remembers the feelings/emotions associated with the event.

So, part of your brain "knows" what happened, and another part doesn't. Very very common, unfortunately.

Therapy could be hit or miss. Some therapists will believe you; others won't.

A good book to read (in relation to parenting on this topic) is Protecting the Gift.
post #38 of 61
Yes repressed memories are so common. And I have to say, the whole movement to discredit them or make it seem like the vast majority of "supposed" repressed memories are really just therapists planting disturbing thoughts into someone's head really upsets me.

Where does that movement come from? It's like a smear campaign and I've truly never had time to try to understand why those who try to trivialize the frequency and consistency with which these memories accompany trauma are doign what they do. It's very upsetting. (Iowa I'm not including you in this category, because I believe you believe what you've read. It's the people who wrote what you've read that I'm talking about.)
post #39 of 61
yes, they are common. the psiquis doesn't get along with ambivalence, that's why it takes one pole and rejects the other one wich goes to the shadow. it does'nt dissapear and plays a big role in our reactions, so a good therapyst and not just any counselor might help you detangle your memories and early impressions. you can also look into holotropic breathing.
nak atm, will be back later
post #40 of 61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ILoveSweetpea View Post
*snip*You asked in a previous post about UTIs. I didn't remember getting UTIs. But when i was maybe 20ish, I ate some applesauce (which i rarely ate) and almost threw up. I was with my mom at the time and she said "you still can't eat applesauce?" I said "huh??" Then she explained "I used to hide your medicine in applesauce because you had a hard time taking pills." Turns out these pills were for UTIs, which I got almost constantly as a child. I asked why i got so many UTIs - my mom said the doctor told her I was probably holding my pee for too long. He also thought bubble baths may have been a culprit. When I talked about this with my mom again later, she threw out yet another theory - that doctor said my spine wasn't quite closed all the way - or almost wasn't - and that made bladder control difficult and caused infections. So these could all be totally legit reasons. But I still gag at the taste of applesauce.*snip*
Your post made me remember that I wasn't allowed to have bubble baths at a certain point when I was a kid because it was supposed to have given me UTIs. I casually asked my mom about this today, in case I was remembering wrong, but she did confirm that I had a few cases of recurring UTIs. Now I know that bubble baths can be a legitimate cause of UTIs, but again with everything else added together...

Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post
Repressed memories are actually very common (with anything traumatic--abuse, war, etc.).

The hippocampus is the part of the brain that "forgets" what is too painful to remember. However, another part of the brain, the amygdala, remembers the feelings/emotions associated with the event.

So, part of your brain "knows" what happened, and another part doesn't. Very very common, unfortunately.

Therapy could be hit or miss. Some therapists will believe you; others won't.

A good book to read (in relation to parenting on this topic) is Protecting the Gift.
I've seen this book recommended very highly here, I will definitely have to check it out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by delfin View Post
yes, they are common. the psiquis doesn't get along with ambivalence, that's why it takes one pole and
rejects the other one wich goes to the shadow. it does'nt dissapear and plays a big role in our reactions, so a good therapyst and not just any counselor might help you detangle your memories and early impressions. you can also look into holotropic breathing.
nak atm, will be back later
I've never heard of that, I'll have to do some searching on it.


Overall, I think realistically this is a question that I will never be able to answer for certain. All I have are suspicions and vague memories. It is validating, though, to see that others agree that there is at least a good basis for that suspicion. I think that is what has been driving me craziest, thinking that I was just being stupid for even suspecting that this might have happened to me.

I guess what I really wanted to come out of this was first just to know that I was right in thinking that there even might be a chance this happened to me. I felt like such a terrible person just for having suspicions, it makes me feel so much better to know that based on what little I know, other people don't think I'm being unreasonable or illogical to have such thoughts.

The other thing I would like to come from this is, now that I have accepted that it is possible- and even likely to have happened to me- now I can start thinking about how this has effected me as a person today. If this childhood abuse is the source of my fears and other self-defeating behavior, maybe by acknowledging that it happened I can begin to work on helping myself overcome these things. I'm not looking to excuse why I am the way I am, or why I do certain things, I'm just thinking that maybe this will give me some clue as to why I do things or think the way I do, and that will at least be a beginning to helping myself.

Just as an example, it seems reasonable to assume that part of my overwhelming fear of men and my fear of rape or attack might come from childhood memories. When I was a kid, whenever someone would come over to our house, I would run in absolute terror to hide in my bedroom. I would not come out until I was sure they were gone. Everybody thought it was funny back then, but it's not so funny when you are a 32-year old woman. A few weeks ago, the doorbell rang, and it was very late and we were not expecting anyone, so my first instinct was to grab DS and run for safety. I was convinced someone was coming to attack us (why I thought they might ring the doorbell first, I don't know). It wasn't until I was halfway to the bedroom hallway that I realized what I was doing, and remembered how I had done the same thing when I was a kid. That was the incident that propelled me to start searching for the truth again. I realized that I was engaging in some unhealthy behaviors, and that if I am not careful I might start passing on some of my irrational fears and behaviors to DS. Regardless of the basis for these fears, I've also realized that they are harmful to my (and by extension DS') quality of life and I need to begin some serious soul searching.

Counseling will have to wait- physical therapy, dental work and allergist visits for myself and DS are stretching me too much already financially. In the meantime, at least I have something I can think about and explore a little on my own. I appreciate the support you've all given, just knowing that others think that my suspicions are possible has been a huge weight off my shoulders.

One quick question though, several times I have almost started a conversation with my mom about all of this. A big part of me would like to talk to her about it- she has been my closest friend over the years. Another part of me holds back- I'm scared to bring it up, and I honestly don't know how to even start talking about it. Should I? And how would I do it? Any advice would be appreciated.
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