Was I abused?

Was I abused?

was i abused havocaIf you can relate to one or more of the types of abuse listed in the ‘what is abuse?‘ page then you have probably been abused.

One of the biggest problems facing adults who were victims of child abuse is denial. As children we probably dealt with the abuse by dissociating ourselves from the situation, and therefore have been in denial ever since.

Another way in which we as children can mask our problems is by turning to violence or drugs as a way of releasing tension and diverting attention away from the abuse. This self abuse can continue into adulthood. Part of the major healing process is breaking this denial and accurately naming your experiences rather than minimizing them is what the first stage of healing – awareness and disclosure – is all about.

The human brain is a clever piece of equipment, it has a unique ability to ‘forget’ bad experiences and concentrate on the good times. It isn’t an easy task to admit to yourself the abuse you suffered and actually disclose this information. Jerry, a reader who was abused by his Mother for six years as a child, denied he was being abused and stated that his Mother did the sexual acts because she was showing her love for him. Even after twenty five years he still sometimes makes excuses for her. Slowly and surely he is coming to terms with his past. In an email we received he stated My Mother was the prettiest woman I had ever seen, she was the funniest and kindest person in the world, she just had this one problem. I still admire her a lot though. You can see that through his denial he couldn’t really accept what was going on in his life. The idea of healing isn’t so Jerry can hate his Mother, rather than allow him to acknowledge the abuse and understand his feelings of anger towards his Mother.

Rationalizations occur during the denial period, men in particular are good at thinking their way out of problems, where as women are better at feeling and dealing with their emotions. Some rationalizations include: I was a difficult kid to raise; I never used to listen to my parents; I didn’t try to stop them; it was just normal punishment; I was a dumb kid; I never told anyone; my parents had it rough; we were poor; I was seductive; I would dress improperly; my body developed too early; I enjoyed it etc.

Another major problem we suffer as adults is we always imagine we were young adults during the abuse. We weren’t we were children. If you still have difficulty imagining the difference between an adult and a child, then get someone to stand on a chair and kneel down in front of them. You’ll be looking at their knees!!! That’s how small a child is compared to an adult. Try and imagine a young child you know who is the same age as you were when you were abused; realize how small you must have appeared to your abuser – it was not your fault. As a child you are programmed to obey and trust adults, you had no chance to overcome your abuser – it was not your fault!!

Think about an incident that happened to you that could have been child abuse. Remember what led up to the abuse, what the person/s did to you, and how it felt at the time. Were you abused? It is important to say ‘I was abused’ and if you can, tell someone close to you. You will probably feel a big sigh of relief. It may be the first time you have admitted to the abuse and lifted the great veil of secrecy over child abuse – you are on your way to dealing and coping with the experience. WELL DONE.

60 Responses to Was I abused?

  1. Avatarsarah gellar says:

    am 40 years old and i still have nightmares,i had my own room when i was a child but he use to come into my room late at night,didn’t see his face,but he touched me and then was on top of me.that next morning i went to the bathroom and i was covered in blood,i was taken to hospital but my mother told me it was something to do with my kidneys,i believe she covered for him,she use to hurt me,really bad,i was in hospital so many times,but she never once hurt my 2 sisters.no one has really helped me,and i don’t see my life going anywhere anymore,over the years iv tried to kill myself,not eaten for days or weeks i dont like the way i am,i know what was done to me,and i always went back because i wanted them to love me,she even took over my son and claimed him as hers. they is more to tell and all i want is for someone to get my life story out they,and let her feel how i have felt over the years.

    • AvatarDave F. says:

      I am so, so sorry to hear that you had to go through that, Sarah. This world really is an evil place. I have known others like you who were severely abused by their entire family and it always breaks my heart to hear it. I hope you can get help somehow, and I hope that this at least will maybe mean something to you.

      I was also abused by multiple members of my family. My big sister would force me and my little sister to “play school” and would pound my head into the cement floor of the basement if I refused. Then I developed a rare case of very early childhood onset schizophrenia, which was misdiagnosed and led my teachers to abuse me. I still hear voices telling me everyone’s going to kill me and hallucinate seeing things that aren’t really there. When I was a kid I saw monsters, now I see aliens. They’re just hallucinations, I know they’re not real, but in the dark at night it’s hard to tell. It was easier to tell the difference when I had a dog. Obviously if the dog was calm, they weren’t real. But she died a few years back and now I live alone and it’s hard to tell the difference especially at night. I still have trouble sleeping because I’m afraid of seeing aliens.

      But my parents weren’t any help at all. My dad would drink a 12 pack of beer every weekend, or go out, get wasted and drive home drunk. He got his license suspended once and he’s lucky it didn’t happen again. My mom was a raging codependent. They both tried to get me to give them relationship advice before I even became a teenager. They were constantly venting their problems with each other to me and I tried to give them advice. I don’t know what would lead them to think a 12-year-old could do a job that a therapist should be doing, but that was what they did because they knew I would be silent and listen.

      There was always a huge fight when he got home in the wee hours of the morning after a night of drinking. I lived in constant fear of these fights from early childhood all the way up until my early 20s. The police came to our house on several occasions. Usually the whole department too, cause we lived in a small town where they had nothing better to do. They’re divorced now, and ironically they get along better than ever now that they’re not actually living together.

      But whenever I try to confront them about it it’s all the same rationalizations: “We always put you kids first”, “We always supported you financially”, “You could have had it so much worse”. It’s taken decades to finally accept that it wasn’t my fault. I hope you and anybody else reading this can eventually accept that your abuse wasn’t your fault either.

      Anyway sorry if this is too much information or whatever, but I just wanted to relate and let you (and others) know you’re not alone. I don’t know if I ever will really trust people, or trust the world. I worry that we’ll destroy ourselves before things get better. But the one thing that has stopped me countless times from ending my miserable life is a Higher Power greater than myself. I believe that everything, every atom, every molecule living and non living in the Universe, is a manifestation of this Higher Power. It is not a punishing, judging Power. It loves us all, every single sentient being in the Universe, because we are all a part of it, and it is a part of us all. We all have a piece of the Divine in us that is intrinsic to our very being, and that includes both you and me and everyone else reading this. Knowing that I will always be loved by this Power is what keeps me going day to day.

      This website has a lot of great information that can help you on the road to recovery. The hardest part will be learning to love yourself. I’m still not there yet myself and I’m not sure if I’ll ever stop hating myself and blaming myself for the abuse but I have to try. I do my best and try to accept that that’s good enough for me. Some days I feel like I’m healing and other days I feel like nothing at all has changed and I’m still that stupid scared little kid.

      I don’t know what else to tell you. I hope you can try and recover somehow. My thoughts and prayers will be with you, Sarah, and to everyone else who has suffered abuse reading this. Don’t give up. There is hope.


    • AvatarSelena herra says:

      I appreciate everybody’s strength and comments on here … It is so difficult and scary to talk about . I remember a lot of the physical abuse my father did but not the sexual or some of the more horrific events. My father was in the military, was an angry man who himself was abused as a child in and out of foster care. He also had a mental illness which he refused help for and later struggled w alcholism. Because of his military training he knew torture tactics used on pows. Me and my brother were forced outside in January below zero forced to run in the snow till our feet bled, beaten w belts and other objects. Tapped on the chest and hung upside down , forced to eat or drink moldy food and curdled milk, or locked in our room for days w just a breadcrust to eat. The worst I couldn’t remember was the sexual abuse .. luckily I was never raped or penetrated that I know of … But as soon as I got my period he would come downstairs and touch me and threaten to impregnate me using the Bible and the Virgin Mary…also till my teens I was forced to pull my pants down in public and get spanked. It was very degrading and made me feel dirty. He abused my other siblings as well and neglected them so I helped raise all five of them. I also know he molested my other sister .. I caught him spooning w her at 17 yrs old and now she has severe anxiety problems such as me. My brother is also sitting in prison for having inappropriate relations w a minor .. so I am wondering if my dad molested him as well. I personally did not even remember some of the abuse till I was in my mid 20’s and some of my family still don’t believe me. I know I have the symptoms such as intimacy problems, I have put myself in situations where I have been raped, have prostituted, and am stripping , also w men I am promiscuous because I believe I have no rights ! I was told as a child all I would be is a Jezebel or a hooker and die of aids. I pls wanna heal from all this and help others who have been traumatized like this. I know now it’s not my fault I wasnt even a teen when this happened. To everyone who has been abused in any form as a child, or raped or trafficked .. I will keep u all in my prayers . Stay strong. If anyone knows how I can help become an advocate pls let me know…. I wanna use my story to help others … Peace and much love

    • Avatarsahara bahadori says:

      Thats awful! you are reacting from abuse and if you blame yourself for feeling so low, you are like every other person who was abused to! never leave your child with evil people the pray on the young! they make act as if they are better BUT the never get better!! im so sorry that happened to you.

    • AvatarBilly Baller says:

      I’m so sorry this happened. I am 20 years old and have recently been slowly accepting that I was a victim of child abuse. My father slapped and spanked me repeatedly until I was 13 when I moved to my moms. He recently fist fought me last year. I’m not sure if my mom knew of the abuse or didn’t care. The beatings were usually over nothing it didn’t matter if he didn’t like the way I was making a sandwich or if he was convinced that I was trying to stab him. It didn’t matter if I needed help with my math homework or if I did bad at sports. He repeatedly told me I was nothing I wasn’t shit was never going to be shit was stupid nobody was ever going to love me or care about me. Teachers had been worried about me and one time I told my 3rd grade teacher about the abuse and he was confronted and denied it all. Then beat my ass at home and told me if I ever said anything about it to anybody ever again it was over for me and he would beat me senseless and that he gave me life and will take it away just like that. Sometimes he would apologize and cry and say it won’t ever happen again but then he would do it all over again. He was never home he spent his time getting drunk and high and whenever saw him he was often angry and violent. He told me that I was a bitch and a faggot if I ever cried about the abuse and that he doesn’t respect faggots and nobody will ever respect me for being emotional and will laugh at me because I’m a bitch and a crybaby. To this day I have trouble trusting people. I think that people secretly don’t like me or hate me. I feel like I’m a waste of space and time. I’ve felt like I’ll never amount to anything because I’m stupid and worthless. It’s hard for me to be assertive I have let people bully me and put me down and accepted it. I have no confidence. I have severe anxiety. I have self hate self doubt and abuse drugs and alcohol. I have tried to kill myself. Because I lied to my parents about drugs and alcohol my dad was able to convince my mom and sister I was not to be trusted because I was nothing but a drug user and a liar when in fact that’s exactly what he was. One time when he was very drunk he admitted everything to me and apologized and told me of his own fathers abuse and that he never wanted to be like him but ended up being the same and wants to save me from that since his dad never saved him. But years later I brought this up to him and he denied it. I am highly scared that I will grow up and continue a pattern of abuse. It took my years to realize that my father was a narcissist and a manipulator. And that everything he said and did to me and about me was false. I am a person of value. I need therapy badly I am going to try to get it. I hope to one day maybe get that relationship he refused to have for me. But I’m not sure. He says he loves me and cares for me now but I don’t believe it. You can’t love somebody you bully abuse and hit especially a child. I’m tired of acting like his abuse was normal or okay. It was not okay for a 6 year old boy to be beaten because his drug addict father was convinced he was going to stab him with a pencil.

  2. AvatarKatie says:

    When I was very young- up to the age of just 5 we used to visit my aunt and uncles house.
    I remember that I’d often have to kiss or hug my uncle- I hated kissing him because he always had wet slimy lips.
    But when we where leaving to go he’d ask for a hug or kiss.
    Saying things like dont I get a kiss. I remember holding back from it- staying away from him- and probably my sister (1 year younger) would refuse altogether- but I remember him saying things like Katie* (not my actual name) will give me a kiss shes a good girl. And he would pretend to cry.
    I was a good girl and I would go to him- although I didnt want to because I didnt want to be called bad.

    I remember I never felt comfortable around him- but I do remember him manipulating me in this way a lot – in fact that is really all I do remember about him- and we spent a lot of time with my aunt and uncle at that time.

    A few years later- after we had moved away and saw him much less my dad sat me down- I was about 9 or 10. He explained to me that my uncle had been sent to prison for 6 years. Because he had tried to mate with my cousin. That was the word he used- I guess he found it a difficult conversation to have with me. The trouble was I didnt fully understand that it was a bad thing my uncle had done- I only had ever understood the word in terms of animals breeding and that didnt bring up ideas of it being wrong. (Years later when I told my dad that I hadnt really understood what he meant by the term he had said he was very relieved when I didnt show much understanding because his biggest fear was finding out it had also happened to me)
    Life continued as normal for us- we where told that my aunt would need a lot of support and went to see her frequently and also spent time with my cousin- but the situation itself was never discussed again until the conversation I just mentioned with my dad- in my 30’s.

    I held no feelings of anger towards my uncle, I think in some ways the emphasis on us being supportive to my aunt also crossed over to me not treating him unkindly when he came out of prison.
    I also had no feelings of empathy towards my cousin because no one had really explained to me that she was a victim.

    Mostly I really didnt consider it at all. Until more recently- when I was thinking back to my child hood and I realised that I could remeber my uncles tounge in his kisses- and feeling an uncomfortable lump underneath me when I sat on his lap. I do remember him coming up to tuck me into bed at night.

    I really dont think anything else happened other than what I have discribed.
    I’m not traumatised by the experiances because I didnt experiance them as traumatic at the time- more sickend by the memory and how vulnerable I was to him.

    I was conditioned to be a good girl as probably most young children are. There was an expectaition that I would do as I was told- and I did – afterall my parents where right there.

    I dont know whether the way he kissed me did constitue abuse in itself- but thinking of everyone else in my family- no one else did that. My grandmother was the most likely to make a big deal about giving us kisses- but I never backed away from them and loved her affection towards us.
    it made me really scared about how easy children are to manipulate.

    When I visit my friend her little girls often hug me goodbye- but sometimes they are tired and dont want to- and there is a tendancy for thier mum to say go on give *Katie a hug- but I stop that. Ok, so I know I’m not abusing them- but I dont want them to feel that it is expected behaviour for them to have to hug or kiss someone they dont want to- I want them to know its ok to say no and that they are still good girls and not being rude.

    I more recently found out that my uncle had served time in prison before I was born for child abuse- my aunt had said he’d been in a fight so the family never knew. When my father was ill my aunt and uncle apparently moved in with my mum who had 2 infant children at home- to help her.

    My mum didnt really find them any help and said my aunt was often dosed up on medication for deppresion.

    I’m not looking to uncover abuse that didnt happen- but I feel angry towards my aunt who allowed him into our lifes and put us at such risk- but part of me sees her as a huge victim also- espescialy as after his second release from prison my uncle attempted to molest her best frineds youngest daughter. She is now divorced from him, lives alone and has really lost her friend in all this.

    I’m also angry at my father because he continued to expose me to the risk of this man without me understanding it by taking us to see them after his release from prison and letting them stay with us for holidays.
    Mabe I was too old for him by then- but I continued to let him touch me because I didnt understand that what he had done was wrong.

    There is part of me that thinks there may have been more abuse than I can remember- I dont know if this is possible.

    But partly I wanted to share my experiance for others to know how easy manipulating a child is and how important it is to arm them with truths about men like my uncle.

    • AvatarOnlyMe says:

      Hi Katie ! Please , go and get help , please see someone and try to find out whether anything more did happen as it seems to me that you are contending with these memories . The fact that you have come across this site suggests that you do in fact believe that you were abused as a child but could possibly be in denial . The experiences you describe are very much the starting blocks of abuse and it IS possible that other events are being restricted from your conscious . A therapist can help you to uncover the truth – for your own peace of mind if nothing else . I wish you the best of luck .

  3. AvatarKay says:

    I have often been told by others & even my biological mother that I was emotionally abused,abandoned & starved by my mother. I was told how scared & frightened I always used to be. I have feelings that I I might of been physically abused by her but I can’t remember. And I’ve always had very bad emotional issues & the only conclusion for all my issues is because of something really bad happening to me but I can’t remember so I’m not sure & don’t know what to do.

    • HAVOCAHAVOCA says:

      Its always a difficult situation. My advice would be to seek professional help so that you can work with someone to see where your problems might lie. By doing this it may open up locked doors to your past. Good luck.

  4. AvatarEve says:

    I don’t know if I’m in the right ‘rubric’ but I am not writing about myself but about my now 27 year old son. He was sexually molested when he was 4 years old by his 10 year old cousin. I cut all contacts and went to a child psychologist who said it isn’t possible to say how long he was either raped/molested and I should observe him closely and return should there be any abnormal behaviour. There wasn’t. With 16 my son attempted suicide and apparently again with 18 (he lived away then) He has been doing drugs ever since but he is working hard, is quite successful. I feel terrible that I could not protect him from our own family member (a child himself) but I also suspect that my son was later abused as a teenager as he started cutting himself and completely closed down. Our relationship broke down for some time, and I am very glad that it is quite good now. Yet still, my son has not been with a partner, he likes women, is an attractive, intelligent young man but cannot find love. He is turning to dope to shut off and is extremely concerned about his privacy. My question is: Should I open the topic of his childhood abuse and my suspicions of later abuse? I so would want him to be happy but believe he needs to deal with these issues first, yet I don’t know if I’m the right person, being his mother with whom he may still have issues…

    • HAVOCAHAVOCA says:

      Thanks for your comment; I’m sorry you have the need to contact us in the first place but I’m glad you’ve reached out on behalf of your son. Its a difficult question to answer because I don’t fully understand the relationship you have with your son now. Approaching a victim of abuse and suggesting they need help could be the worst thing you could do for them. On the other hand, it might be exactly what they need.

      The bottom line about any support you provide for a victim is that it has to be unconditional and provided at the victim’s own pace. You can never force a victim to heal or to seek help. Perhaps you should start by supporting him to deal with his doping problem, holding back any suspicions you may have about the abuse?

    • AvatarJojo says:

      Eve I don’t think he was abused as a teen. I too blocked everything out until I was 15. Certain things would set off a flash back. Then when I remembered I tried everything to suppress the feelings that come along with it. You don’t truly get over something traumatic as a child. You just learn to deal with it mentally. And it doesn’t go away, I’m 32 years old and still trying to work through it. What helped me a lot to deal with everything. God or some type of religion. He needs to be loved and cared for. For some reason when a child has a traumatic experience his mind is stuck at that level until you go through the process. Everyone’s story is different and everyone handles it differently. I just wanted you to know feeling loved and safe is a huge huge thing to do for your son. And for a man I think its more detrimental because, men have so much pride. I think he feels ashamed and wouldn’t really talk about it until he is really ready. I still cry when I talk about so I know I’m not truly over it. I’m still dealing with the fact that i think i should’ve did something different to keep from all the terrible stuff from happening. He needs hope, love, and caring. ( his mother). Help him find hope and something to believe in again!!!

  5. AvatarAnnie says:

    Stumbled on this site today while searching for reasons why I sometimes think “it never happened, it’s only my imagination”.

    For a few years, starting at the tender age of a couple months before turning 3, only when we visited family out of state (done quite frequently every year) – I was sexually abused by an in-law. In the middle of every night while we were there, he physically took me out of the home and by car transported me to an unknown building. Then while everyone at the house was blissfully asleep and unaware, he raped me. This lead to not only him raping me each time, but after the first few times he started to groom and taught me to become a participant in the act. That was when the abuse, in my mind, became my fault because I “helped” him to do it so he could achieve satisfaction. His needs became more important than mine. Soon I was sufficiently trained (for me fear was an effective training tool), then I not only had to do it with him each time – but also with other men who watched then paid him to be with me. With each of them I knew what was expected, and performed just as I had been taught. By the time I turned 6, I was considered “too old” so the abuse stopped.

    He had threatened me and my family so many times – and at all costs I had to protect my family. He also told me that “good girls” don’t do what I had just done – which turned into being told how good I was when I did those things to and with him and the others. It was all about reward and punishment – I was rewarded when compliant – but he forcefully raped to punish me when I was not. So I quickly learned to obey and follow his directives – one being to keep silent about everything. That is how it all became buried deep inside, never telling anyone especially not my parents. And with that effectively suppressed what happened even from my own mind. Burying what happened only blocked out the memories (for the most part), but inside I always knew and thought that I was not “normal” – not like other girls – but somehow broken and defective. This had a huge impact on my entire life – never trusting anyone I never allowed a relationship to go beyond friendship.

    45 years after I was raped that first time, I went back into counseling for what I thought was yet another round of depression – having lived with severe depression and frequent thoughts of suicide for decades. This time the floodgates opened and the memories of abuse poured out over a period of time, surprising even myself. There is no time limit on repressed memories – once there, always there in both mind and body. Thankfully I have been with a really great therapist who over the past few years has helped me deal with this. Now I know it was not my fault, nor is it the fault of any child who is abused in any manner. This was a conscious choice made by an adult who only thought of himself and what he wanted.

    But I still find myself on occasion thinking that “it never happened”. Once unburied those memories can never be suppressed again – not like they were before – it is not possible nor healthy to do that. So why do I sometimes try to tell myself “it wasn’t real”? Is that a decades long learned behavior and coping mechanism? Or could it be possible that it really is all in my imagination?

    • HAVOCAHAVOCA says:

      Adults who are survivors of CSA often report a feeling of being “stuck”. Their efforts to build and manage their lives often seem fruitless, hollow, or even hopeless. There can be a persistent perception that they are somehow different from others. They commonly report feeling that they are on the outside looking in or believe that they just don’t belong.
      Often, these symptoms are a mystery to the sufferers. They may not understand the connection between their childhood situation and their adult experience. Generally, the abuse has either been accepted by the survivor as “normal” or is viewed as something that is better left in the past. In some cases, the abuse may not be remembered. Consequently, the significance of symptoms and problems arising from the abuse is often not recognized.
      The adult symptoms of childhood abuse can take many forms. Many adult survivors may:
      Find it difficult to develop or maintain close personal relationships.
      Have a strong desire to live in isolation or to “hide out” from life.
      Endure physical ailments like neck, back, stomach and gynecological problems that persist despite efforts at good self-care.
      Experience feelings of sadness, fear and anger that often seem unmanageable or overwhelming.
      Undergo panics, rages, depressions, sleep disorders, or self-mutilation or have suicidal thoughts.
      Find themselves depending on alcohol, other drugs, or may develop eating disorders to cover feelings of humiliation, shame and low self-esteem.
      Experience problems like low self-esteem, avoidance of sex, promiscuity, or inability to experience orgasms or erections.
      Exhibit signs of trauma like panic attacks, numbing of body areas, and feeling of being disconnected from their bodies.
      Most of these symptoms are due to the disruption of a healthy psychological development. An abusive childhood situation interferes with the child’s natural movement toward growth and expansion of his or her experiences.
      All children have a right to have their basic needs met. Children need to feel secure in order to learn to trust their environment. They need support for the development of dreams and wishes. They need encouragement to be separate unique individuals. They need a consistent sense of belonging, and of worth from their families and home situations. Abuse denies these very basic needs. As a result, adult survivors are often left with a deficit of emotional and practical skills for dealing with their present “grown-up” world. As a result of having limited opportunities to naturally develop these skills, survivors will frequently develop extraordinarily complex coping mechanisms in their attempts to appear “normal.” As a child, the survivor may have learned the importance of “pretending that nothing is wrong.” This coping mechanism allows them to function in society in ways that never allow anyone to guess that they struggle with such pain on the inside.
      Some survivors compensate for their feelings of shame or inadequacy by becoming “over-achievers.” They frequently mask their pain or feelings of fragility so successfully that it becomes all the more important to the survivors that others around them do not discover that they are not really who they pretend to be. Having not been given appropriate levels of love, care, or attention when they were their true selves as children, they might feel that they will not be given love, care, and attention if they allow their true selves to be seen as adults.
      Furthermore, the effects of childhood abuse also tend to recur at important junctions throughout survivors’ lives. Symptoms undisturbed for years may flare as they enter serious romances, consider marriage, or become the parent of a child. Adult survivors may fear the intimacy and responsibility of committed relationships. Caring for children may arouse memories of the survivors’ unmet childhood needs and lead to sadness and/or depression. They may fear that they may abuse children the way they were abused.
      The death of a parent can also evoke disruptive responses for adult survivors. Buried feelings toward the parent about the abusive childhood situation can surface at the time of the parent’s death and overwhelm the survivor if she/he is unprepared to handle them. Other friends and relatives may not know how to be sensitive to the survivor’s feelings and experiences. They may disbelieve, be unsupportive, or be unresponsive if the survivor discloses. These reactions can compound the difficulties the survivor is already experiencing.
      Impact of Childhood Sexual Abuse
      Because our culture regards sexual contact between children and adults as taboo, sexual abuse usually takes place in secret and is kept secret. Denial of sexual abuse is much stronger than denial of physical or emotional abuse. Because of the silence surrounding most sexual abuse, children are forced to endure the abuse and it’s effects alone. As adults, survivors often continue to feel alone and isolated. They fear exposing the shame, rage, and hurt connected to their childhood experiences. They tend to blame themselves for the abuse, especially if there was pleasure, comfort, or a sense of caring attached to the incident. They frequently feel ashamed by the fact that they could not stop they abuse. In many instances, adult survivors do not have the words to talk about the sexual abuse. They often do not remember the details but have only a vague feeling of discontent with another family member or friend of the family. Adult survivors frequently report childhood blackouts in which large chunks of time are forgotten. The denial of sexual abuse may cause total blocking of the experience, leaving only an intuitive sense that something wrong has happened.
      Sexual abuse survivors commonly live with a deep sense of shame. They may blame themselves for the abuse and fear being blamed by others if they ask for help. This self-blame is often exacerbated because it is not experienced as a guilty sense of having done wrong, but as a shameful sense of being wrong. Incest survivors are particularly harsh with themselves about causing trouble within the family and believing they deserve to be hurt.
      Survivors deal with the sexual abuse in a variety of ways. They may become over-responsible, believing that they are accountable for everything and must take care of others, often meeting the needs of others before their own. On the other hand, they may act out against others in manipulative or abusive ways, especially if that is the only way they have learned to get their needs met. Moreover, the survivor may have developed self-destructive behaviors (substance abuse, eating disorders, acting out sexually, self-mutilation, etc.) as ways to escape from or as attempts to gain control over the pain that stems from the abuse. Survivors who did not have the resources or opportunities to work through the trauma they experienced are frequently prone to self-hate, self-destructiveness, and feelings of hopelessness. It is important to remember that many adult survivors of CSA who have come to some sort of resolution with the trauma lead happy, healthy, fulfilled lives.
      Barriers to Healing
      It is often difficult for adult survivors to seek help. The following are some of the most common barriers to getting help that they face:
      Denial that childhood abuse is a problem. Many adult survivors have difficulty connecting their current life situation with earlier childhood abuse. This denial can take many forms: rationalizing, minimizing, intellectualizing, focusing of the problems and shortcomings of others, hoping the problems will take care of itself, feelings that they can take care of their problems on their own.
      The belief that things can never get better, there is no hope.
      Fear that they will be consumed by the intensity of their feelings if they begin to deal with the abuse. They often fear the feelings will engulf them or that they will explode if they lose control.
      Fear and shame about sharing family secrets. Survivors often fear that to get help is to betray and hurt their families, or that they will be punished for exposing family secrets.
      Fear that they will not be believed because they may not be able to remember the details of their abuse.
      Inability to blame their parents or other adults for the abuse. We are taught to love and honor our parents and to be respectful of other adults.
      Fear of taking responsibility for looking at oneself and one’s behvior. It can be much easier for the survivor to continue to blame others for the maladaptive ways that she/he is dealing with the abuse.
      Fear that there will be nothing left in the advanced stages of healing. This fear is sometimes overwhelming. As survivors strip away all the old negative beliefs that have been the burdensome but familiar foundation for their lives, they begin to feel that everything they’ve ever known is shifting and nothing is certain or sure.
      While these barriers are strong ones, they can be overcome. Consistent, patient, and caring effort is needed by both the survivor and those who are aiding in this healing process. While it is difficult and often painful to work towards recovery from childhood abuse, healing is possible when survivors have access to a support network that can provide them with nurturance, assistance, and appropriate levels of care.

      • AvatarSharlet K Meier says:

        We no matter how long it’s been should be able to file charges against him or them.

      • AvatarDiane says:

        My entire life I have thought it was my fault. It has been kept a secret. Never to be talked about. With the current Kavanaugh hearings, I have finally realized that I am a victim of abuse and then forced to never bring up what happened. I think I need help with these new found feelings.

  6. AvatarDarla says:

    Was i abused? I remember being struck so hard that I fell forward and didn’t have a chance to put my hands out to protect my fall…as a result , my chin struck the hardwood floor with a loud crack. Luckily there was no broken bones. Also being slapped for asking a question, when she wasn’t in the mood. Never being picked up late at night after a HS game. Was always my responsibility to find my own way home late at night after the bus dropped us off in the school parking lot. I was once ambushed when I walked in the door late at night from a game. I was beat with a board bc I didn’t have time to do the dishes that day after school.

  7. Avatarelaine says:

    i know my childhood was traumatic at times, there was emotional abuse, small amounts of physical abuse mostly from my mother. my father didnt realy stop it. my brother who is 6 yrs older was subjected too. so we had a dysfunctional family.when my parents fought, i would get really scared they would kill each other, id often run into my brothers room where i believed i was safe and he would protect me. when my brother was 18, he tried to take his own life. there was always a sense of us being survivors of our parents abuse, in my early twenties my brother who also received therapy would talk about memories from childhood, do you remember when mum did this to us…etc, i didnt really have many memories myself, and felt that his memories became my memories. once we went to the same therapy place and whereas i was given group therapy, something my brother was angry about at the time, he felt he was older and more depressed than me and he should have gotten group therapy, whereas he stayed receiving individual therapy. i remember thinking that odd. it seemed that most of the members of the group had had some kind of sexual abuse. one of the leading psychotherapists, who i knew was seeing my brother on his own, would ask me leading questions and i began to feel like he was trying to tell me something but couldnt because of the confidentiality. i left the group as it felt unprofessional and i was very scared of false memories being created. during this time however i did recal a memory of when i was 18 and my brother had rung me up to say he was sorry he had abused me as a child, i brushed it off saying dont be silly, your my brother of course i forgive you. i then blanked this memory for years. after the weird experience with the therapy, i confided in my mum, to see if she had any clues to anything possibly happening, when would my brother have been on my own with me etc..i asked she did not say anything as i was just trying to piece together this jigsaw, i still really didnt think he could have abused me and had no memories of such. there was a family get together that i did not attend however, and there my mother confronted my brother and asked what was it he did to me wheni was 13, he had ruined my life. Now i cannot rememeber why it was aged 13!?!? anyway he got angry, he was often angry with my mum and cut off communication with us as a family some years back, but came back when my dad had a heartattack. this time he left, my mum says he looked guilty, my uncle said the same. that was 14 years ago and he hasnt been in touch since. i have spent time trying to contact him, no replies, im worried that im placing the pieces of the jigaw together in the wrong way. my brother may have fled this toxic family for his own health, not because he was an abuser! i did a healing process recently, where you drop down into your body and allows feelings to arise, ask of memories attach to these, or drop down to feelings deeper. i had an experience where i dropped through layers of emotions, until i was white with terror and i physically curled up hugging my knees in absolute terror, i cried out and was crying, the only memory was that i had walked into my brothers bedroom and i was under the age of 11. so now i am back again thinking was i abused!? the fact that i dont know, the fact that i might be harbouring horrible thoughts of abuser at a person who not have done is killing me. i need to know……

  8. AvatarNikki says:

    I was abused by two of my cousins separately. I was about 5 the first time and 7 the second time. I went to therapy about 10 years ago but was afraid it would be my fault if I tore the family apart. I recently had a daughter and couldn’t get being abused out of my head, I can’t trust anyone and my emotions are all over the place. I have started telling my family members about it without naming names. Today I confronted one of my abusers and she told me I was disgusting for making up a story like that, that I was lying and she never would have done something like that. Well she did, to me. I feel like I’ve been totally and completely victimized all over again. I know at 5 years old I had no idea what she was making me do, I had no words to describe what she did to my parents. I told them as best I could and they decided I was just telling stories. They Re behind me now and feel terrible that they didn’t get in my corner right away. I don’t know what to do now that she reacted with complete denial, there was a witness who stands behind me when her brother abused me but no witnesses when she did… I have no idea what to do next

  9. AvatarJoanita says:

    I was abused for 2 times at the age of 5 by a cousin in the house that I live in. The memories were repressed until the age of 12 and only now the feeling is overwhelming. I am 26 now and I wonder ya this is happening. At the time I didn’t know what was happening. I don’t know what to feel. I haven’t told anyone or gone to therapy. I want to tell my mother but I am afraid that she is going to be devastated. I have no income of my own so searching for a therapist is out of the question. I started reading all this websites and thing like depression and anxiety out drug and alcohol abuse came up. I got so scared that one day that is going to be me. Please if anyone can help me now about you experience. Is it possible to get through this abuse? Is it possible to have a normal life??

  10. Avatarmom says:

    I was just told by my 20 year old daughter that she was molested by her brother who is 22. She did not elaborate on the actual events. She said 2 or 3. One happened prior to 4th grade and the other after. I haven’t pushed her for more information, telling her to tell me what she’s comfortable telling.
    Both siblings still live with us as they are going to college and live at home.
    I told her my job was to protect her and asked if I could speak with him, She doesn’t want me telling her dad, other siblings or confronting the brother.
    She also said a couple of years ago that she thinks her brother took secret pictures of her with clothes on.
    This is all so new, I have no idea what to do. I don’t want to cause her any additional trauma. I asked if I should have her brother move out, if she felt safe. She said no and that she felt safe.
    I really want to get the right help, not sure what to do.
    Was the brother molested by someone? Is this a much much bigger problem.
    I have got permission to speak with the brother, but only to regards of if something happened to him.
    But I want to make sure and not bring any additional stress on her and I’m not the best at lying and frankly worried I will come out with all of it to him, because I’m the type that likes and wants answers.
    Please help

  11. AvatarJel says:

    I am now 25 years old. My half brother is now 35 years old. (We now have no contact since I was 17) He didn’t live with us and very rarely visited (when he was 16 -18 and I was 6-8 )but I now have had “dreams” and memories from my childhood where he would get me to touch him. And use my mouth. I still remember the smell of his male parts and during my first sexual encounter as an adult that smell on another man was like a familiar smell.
    My parents used to say how he was really close to me especially when he visited – for a boy of his age wanting to play with a little girl. I remember it was our special thing. We would hide behind sofa if people came in.
    For years even now I still feel sick and like I’ve dreamt this up.
    I have never told anyone.

  12. AvatarDan says:

    I am 25 years old, nearly 26. I was abused at around age 9 (not sure when due to the whole denial of situation) and I suffer daily still with thoughts and dreams about it. I get smells that remind me of him, I get sounds that remind me of his classroom, and I see people on the street with similar hairlines and it makes me physically freeze in fear. I vomit when I hear about child abuse on the news knowing it’s still happening and I’m sure my mental state is in disrepair because of all this. I have spent years hiding it and when it finally came to light my family wasn’t so supportive so I’m seeking alternative therapy finally.

    I’ve had suicidal thoughts constantly since those years, I often go to sleep at night thinking about nooses. Not even necessarily hanging myself, but just about the ‘romantic’ aspect of tying a noose and using it potentially. I know it’s to blame for why I can’t form proper relationships and it’s made things between me and family so difficult. What can I do? Where shall I go? I currently have phone mentoring schemes set up but I want this to be properly dealt with and I want to start making changes to get this stage of my life done with so I can move on. I just need advice as to what to do because years of self harm, self hatred, self destruction, and isolationism has turned me into a recluse with few friends.

  13. AvatarPaola says:

    I don’t know if I got beaten or not by my brother as a child.
    I can’t remember my childhood as well as other people just some glimpses, but even when I look at pictures but memories don’t come back. The only things I think I can remember is being beaten by my younger brother.
    I thought it was normal being hit by my sibling, but I think it wasn’t normal.
    He started punching me when I accidentally knock something in his room or just some nonsense happened.
    You know how it is normal for siblings to fight and I thought that was my case until my 10th grade science teacher for some reason started talking about how she use to fight with her brother and sometimes while fighting he will bump her head against the wall and after it rubbed her head and asked for forgiveness and to not tell mom. In that moment I realized it wasn’t normal because my life had three different things
    1. My brother grabbed my head and hitted it against the wall.
    2. He wouldn’t stop he used to hit me 5 more times
    3. I was to scared to tell my mom he never asked to keep quite.

    One time he grabbed a metallic clothe hanger and started beating me with it and I thought if i laughed he will stop, but I think it made things worse.

    I just think it never happend because my brother acts like nothing ever happens and wants to hug me all the time. I remember crying and finally telling my parents but they never did something.
    And I have never told anybody about it I’m too scared that maybe it was not that bad

    So I’m just looking for answers like was that really abuse? Am I overreacting?

    I’m sorry my comment is all over the place but that is how my head is.

    • AvatarZ says:

      If a person repeatedly hurts you without any cause, then that is considered an abuse.
      I’m so sorry for what had happened to you, even though he was your brother. I’m glad to hear the abuse has stopped but if he starts anything again, I hope you will find it in you to stand against him because I personally know how difficult it is to stand up against a family member who is supposed to protect you and care for you, not to beat you for their pleasure.
      I hope everything goes well, and that your past abuse has not caused any long-lasting scars both mentally and physically . Keep on fighting.

  14. AvatarUnnoticed says:

    Just turning 24 and already my life took a turn for the worse. I understand I have problems and feel like I have to do and accomplish what I want alone. I’m different to my family because I’m a lot younger. The youngest at that. I always had food and a place to stay which meant everything was OK. Having to deal with everything I thought was OK before has been very real. I was unattached up until I was 20 when I nearly died in an accident. I was closer to my family because they looked for me because I nearly died. I convinced myself that family is all that mattered so I cut friendships. I worked, worked out, ate healthy and went home. Through doubt and little support from my peers, I managed to get better jobs, get promoted, lose over 60 lbs by going to the gym and on occasions spend time with my loved ones. Idk if I feel unaccomplished because everyone has something ( family, a home, cars etc..) But working towards having more than they had at my age was something to strive for. I then began dating. She was beautiful and what I needed. Although she had words of sympathy for me, she would message guys for 3 years of our relationship. Deny the truth then turn things on me so I could feel bad. I would occasionally smoke marijuana for stress and shed call me an addict. Eventually things escalated as she began to physically abuse me. Beat me and scratch me. I never reacted because I was scared that she’d manipulate things to her advantage. She can act. Convince people that she’s being abused all while making me look like a criminal. I can remember standing getting scratched and punched. Other times walking away while getting punched and scratched. Locking myself up in a restroom so I wouldn’t end up in trouble. I felt sure I was going in the rite direction, now I have her bringing me down. I worked full time while she went to school full time so she could get money to help us. I was doing good. I remember lying to peers about feeling sick so I could just be alone to rethink what had happened. She won’t leave and insists that I’m the only one at fault. Never manages to hold herself accountable. I mean she was caught with her bf at 14 messing around all while her mom was in the other room. Messaging guys while dating. And acts like it never happened. I’m in jeopardy of going to jail for not saying anything. For being a victim of physical and mental abuse but a man. Idk where I begin with help but ive known I need it. She doesn’t accept she needs it as well. She’s tried to take her life in the past and seems to be a victim of something in her past. She’s never fully opened up but I dont like to assume that I know something if I have little/no phycologists skills. I feel she feels superior because she attends college but forgets that I help . gives herself all the credit. I feel relieved crying while I’m expressing my concerns yet maybe I’ll be in jail. I’ve managed to get myself raises on my own and try all the time. Ever since I was 19, I began managing and have done it since. I am now going to get my trucking license to bring in more money to provide more while she goes to school. High five me rite? Nope I’m still a scum and she knows how to manipulate conversations to where we dont talk about what she’s done wrong and only what I do. Doing good she’ll find a way to turn that situation into an argument and potential physical abuse on her part. She doesn’t know this but I pray for her and me. I write my feelings because no one hears me. She’s surprised now of people physically beating other people on YouTube but won’t feel guilty for the numerous times she’s done it to me.

  15. AvatarJessica says:

    When I was about 12, I started feeling weird things around my uncle. I would get really sweaty, butterflies, and almost always red in the face. He’s six years older than me. When I was 14 I realized the strange sort of “Crush” I had for him. It was creepy to think about at times. Puberty started to hit and I thought about him more and more and I felt the need to say something to him. He and I were very close to begin with, we would text almost every day just to talk. I think because of our age gap, it was easy to relate to him. I decided to tell him about this long time secret because I knew he would understand and I would feel good about getting it off my chest. He replied to my text saying he felt the same way. I wasn’t prepared for that. we started “dating” after that. I thought I loved him, and vise versa. One night on a family vacation, he got me really drunk (I was 15 by this time). And we had sex. I remember telling him to stop in the middle of it and he did in fact stop. He apologized and said he didn’t want this to happen. I no longer see him. I’ve been asking myself for years and years if I was sexually abused. I instigated it all. I started everything. was it my fault? Did he rape me? I said no and he stopped. I’ve been so conflicted with this and I have been looking for someone to help me. I just need answers. I can’t get them from him so please. I don’t know what’s happened to me.

  16. AvatarDanielle says:

    Just recently certain memories are coming back to me from when I was younger. I don’t know what has caused them to return, or trictered them but I have them plain as day, I find myself questioning them, asking myself if it is my imagination but I really don’t think it is. When I was younger I would go stay at my Nana’s house every weekend, the lady upstairs had a grandson that one summer was there for a while (I never seen him before or after this ) but he was older than I was, I was around 8 the only reason I can’t put an age to it is because I remember what I was wearing very clearly and it was a blue dress that I loved and it was age 7-8 years and that was the last summer I had it on. But he was around 14/15 I think looking back now he was very developed if you get what I mean. Well I remember my nana and his gran being very close and we would go up to her house and she would come down so it wasn’t strange that me and him would be “playing together or hanging out” but on this day I remember sitting on the stairs of his grans house and him saying let’s play a game and it involved him putting his hands on my leg and slowly bring his hand up my leg and I was to say stop when I didn’t want him to go any further, I didn’t think anything of it I was 8 but he didn’t listen and before I knew it he was touching my above my pants then his grans shouts on him for lunch and I run out the door but not in a frightened way, later that day my nana had an old hut in her garden and I was trying to turn it into a Wendy house as you do as a child, but I remember him coming in and it’s a little blurry from him coming to to him pulling down his trousers and telling me to “put it in my mouth” and “lick it like a lollipop” I remember feeling strange at that point but doing it (and that’s where I feel that this is my own fault, why didn’t I just turn and run) he held my head and wouldn’t let me go, pulling my head back and forth. It didn’t last too long as I remember someone coming in the gate and him jumping up and telling me if I told anyone he would tell my nana i was a bad girl and a liar and that scared me because I was always told to tell the truth and lairs go to the bad fire. After that day I didn’t see him again and now I don’t even know his name or anything, my nana died 3 years later and his gran 2 years after that. But I question myself now ” was this child abuse” “is a child sexually abusing another child actually sexual abuse” I haven’t told anyone about this, and I have mixed feeling about telling my mum it would only hurt her I imagine I’m nearly 27, I’m just really confused why I’m remembering every little detail now. Just had to get it out and tell someone.

  17. AvatarSharlet K Meier says:

    I was abused 10 yrs of my life. Starting at the age About 7/8. Told I was going to tell my mom . He said if u do she will get hurt. I thought that he would hurt her. Even though he beat her alot. So for all those yrs I kept my mouth shut. And he kept on. The I finely told her. She confronted him. She ask me to keep my mouth shut. Not to tell anyone. So there I go again. One day when mom was at work. He came to my room. I was 18. I go up got dressed and he said o go back to bed I’m not going to do anything. But I went ahead and lift. My mom passed away 01/4/2014. She wasn’t even n the ground 3 weeks and he proposition me. I said why are you talking to me that way I’m supposed to be your daughter. So I went told my husband and he confronted him and he admitted it my husband told him you need to make it right with her and talk to her. All he did was pack everything up all my mom’s things and everything else if you he wanted and he left moved out east somewhere around he’s real kids. I was step daughter. I wish I could file charges against him. And I hope one day I get my mother’s things back. And I hope one day what goes around comes around. And yes I think about this often and it’s not right.

  18. AvatarJenny says:

    I found this article about a month ago and I keep coming back to it – I don’t even know why I’m writing this post, but I guess it’s a good feeling to get this out.

    I turn 20 in about a month. I haven’t lived at home for about 1 1/2 years and it’s only now that I’m beginning to realize that the way I lived before wasn’t ‘okay’ or that it wasn’t healthy.

    My dad has been an alcoholic since he was 13 years old. His dad was an alcoholic too. As far as I can tell, there was never any love in his family, no tenderness or no support. So he doesn’t really know how to provide that. My mum comes from a pretty dysfunctional family too and both my parents are from a pretty archaic culture. I guess this all contributed to my home life.

    Until I was about 12 years old (I think, I can’t remember it very clearly) we lived with my dad. He’d work a lot and when he was home he’d get crazy drunk most of the time. Completely hammered and would scream at my mum, blast really aggressive music super loud. He never got physically violent with us, but there were a few moments in which I felt he was close…it doesn’t sound that bad but I was a child. I was scared. My mum was my safe space, she was the person I felt protected by.

    So when we moved out I thought things were going to get better. My dad got into therapy and has been sober ever since – he really is a changed person. And I thought home life would be calmer too. But my mum was very stressed – she had an incredibly low-paying job and started another one just to be able to pay our rent. And of course she wasn’t emotionally well, so she lashed out. She started beating me whenever she snapped and then denied that it had happened. But the physical abuse wasn’t the worst part. (I did try reaching out for help once or twice but I wasn’t believed since my mum can be a very sweet person too – it just showed me that if I was the only one who thought it was bad, then I was just being dramatic/looking for attention.) To me the worst part was the constant screaming, constant arguing. We had a very tiny flat so there was no private space really and it got us to argue frequently. Nothing was ever good enough, I was always ‘lazy’, ‘ungrateful’ etc. My mum frequently talks to herself and so it was years of constantly hearing her mumbling under her breath how grateful I am, or cursing at me. I felt angry but I also felt that I deserved it.

    I started self-harming around age 14 and once again I was just ‘looking for attention’. Whenever I had a problem my mother made it about her and how it reflected on her as a parent. When I tried to reach out to her she’d get angry over how I was feeling. So when I stopped reaching out she got angry at me for not wanting to talk to her.

    Recently I’ve been realizing that I wasn’t ‘ungrateful’ and I wasn’t ‘just looking for attention’. I was a child. I was scared and hurt. I didn’t deserve how I was treated.

    About a month ago, I finally got my mum to admit to the physical abuse. I told her how all those years of emotional abuse affected me. She broke down crying. She wants to fix our relationship – even my father appears to want to fix it. But I can’t bring myself to care. I’m not angry at my parents – they aren’t bad people and they both have a lot of problems that contributed to what happend. But they hurt me deeply. I have many psychological and emotional problems, some more or less severe, but all rooted in what happend when I was a child. I’m depressed. I still self-harm, not by cutting myself like I used to, but my frequent substance abuse. I have great difficulty processing emotions like sadness and anger in a healthy manner. I’m a perfectionist and unable to feel any joy over my successes (recently I got a perfect(!) mark on something I worked very long and very hard on and my first thought was how that must mean that my teacher hands out good marks often and that I don’t deserve it). Many more small ones but you catch my drift. And it’s just hard for me to care that they want support or care for me now. I’ve learned to live without their support – I had to. I just can’t bring myself to care about getting better or bettering our relationship. It just feels like too little, too late.

  19. AvatarZ says:

    I remember being sexually abused by my brother and his one other friend when I was very young(5-6). They would lock themselves with me in a room and well,obvoius things happened. The thing is, they were both only two years older than me therefore probably didn’t know that what they were doing was wrong. Fortunately, my brother is like any other normal sibling now, I don’t think he remembers anything.
    I’m 16 now and due to that experience, I feel very wary of males, they make me feel ucomfortable and even though I can ignore the crawling feeling in my chest when talking with male friends, I almost always just suddenly stop any contact between us when I feel they are getting too close, or too familiar. It makes me feel bad when I start ignoring one of my male friends even if I like them a little, because any thought of ever being in a relationship terrifies me.
    It also makes it little difficult for me to tell my father I love him like any other daughter because it makes me feel disgusted even though he has been nothing but a normal father figure to me. I am sure it upsets him and probably makes him think I don’t love him or something.
    I can never imagine myself being married to a man, I would rather live alone. It has nothing to do with males thesmelves as they are humans just like me, and most of them never did anything wrong. Yet, I can’t stop wanting to tear my skin down whenever I get too close with them in a romantic way.
    I think it leaves my friends rather confused as sometimes, I would feel like I am ready to stop being scared and instead go out with a guy I’m interested in but then suddenly, I start ignoring that guy for some reason.
    Instead of a man, I won’t protest to the idea of marrying to my close female friend but my parents are rather traditional people, I don’t think they will support my decision. I don’t even know if I like girls but I know I feel very comfortable and safe around them.
    I’m just a tiny bit afraid, they both expect me to be like a normal girl, they don’t know my fear and I can’t explain it to them.

  20. AvatarCarl gayle says:

    When i was 8 my grandfather killed himself and that sent me into a depression. And when i was 4 my dad got a policeman to chace me around my yard and he use to hit me. When i was 13 my moms boyfriend through me outside naked. And my mom use to hit me and my sisters in the head when we did something wrong. This is a serious question is that child abuse

    • HAVOCAHAVOCA says:

      It certainly sounds like. Clearly its always difficult to say definitively from just read a paragraph or two. In essence, the important thing we try to convey to survivors is that recovery depends more on the effect of the abuse rather than establishing what type of abuse it was. I hope that makes sense.

  21. AvatarAnn says:

    I’m only just coming to the realisation that I may have suffered sexual abuse as a child . I have always had a relaxed attitude to sex , I would get drunk every week and sleep with multiple people each week . I would be filled with dread and regret every single week but still continue to live this way . I have been with my partner for 5 years now and have recently had a baby . I have little no interest in sex with him when sober. Just recently I got drunk and slept with my brother in law . I can’t even remeber it happening I just know it did . I’ve broken the family , ruined my sisters life and ours family . I hope I’m not just grasping at straws by thinking my actions could stem from the fact my sister started to have sex with me from a very young age . 6/7 years old . I didn’t understand back then of course . But could this have made me the person I am today ? Or am I trying to make an excuse for being a horrible person who’s done a terrible thing ? I’ve been to the doctors feeling suicidal and have been reffered for some help . I just feel so so confused , I still love my sister dearly and worry what the future brings . She was only young too .. Was she being abused by someone else ? How did she know these things ? Why did she think it was ok ?

  22. AvatarMilady says:

    I’m 19 and I may have come to a realisation only now that I might be a victim of child abuse. I dont know if what I went through is considered child abuse, I need to know because I’m facing a difficult time now and I don’t know if they’re related. I’m hoping telling my story here would give me the answers I need.

    The reason why I ask about child abuse only now is because I’ve been diagnosed with depression and currently I’m in a very bad place in my mind. The things my mother said to me over a decade ago are coming back in full force and I just feel so worthless and lifeless now.

    So in my culture, (Asian) it is quite well known that our parents discipline us quite.. (I’m hesitant to say ‘violently’) but from an outsider’s point of view, it does seem that way. When I was 6, I remember distinctly (till today) my mum smashing a glass pane right above my head because I had accidentally peed on the carpet. She also shouted at me repeatedly that I am the ‘devil’s child sent to punish her’. And that I’m a worthless piece of God’s creation. Until today I still feel worthless and not worthy of a good person’s time and effort. These types of punishements repeated, often when I did something to make her mad, like break something or scratched a piece of furniture or spilled something in the house.

    I remember another incident where I had threw a tantrum (I was 6) and I had stomped my foot in outrage. My mum told me to stand outside the house and continue stamping my feet on the spot. She left me outside for about 20 minutes. My neighbours all looked at me and I remember feeling so ashamed and I cried so badly that day.

    Then when I was 7-10 years old, my mum used to hit me on the head with objects like shoes, calculators and staplers, etc. Whenever i couldn’t get a math problem right. She also called me stupid, and hopeless, and I became very afraid of her. She also pinched me and I went to school with those bruises, until my teacher pulled me aside one day and asked if everything was going okay at home. Because it was my mother, I told him yes and that my mum was just stressed out. Take note that my mum was a teacher at my school as well, so my teacher was a colleague and friend of hers. So after that day, my teacher dropped that issue and we never spoke of it again. The beatings and scoldings from my mother didn’t stop tho.

    During my primary school years, I became quite violent (now looking back), I used to shove and punch my friends all in the name of good fun, they used to complain that I’m violent and always hit them too hard, but they always took it as me playing around. But now, I’m not sure if my intent was purely fun? Or was it me trying to mimick what my mother did to me? I dont know.

    I also remembered that my mother used to shout at me that I was embarrassing her and destroying her reputation (I was 7-8) because I was quite an anti-social person. I didn’t greet teachers when they walked by and when the teachers asked my mum why she would give me a beating and a shouting when she got home.

    I was also very afraid of the dark, and a few times, as punishment, she would lock me in the bedroom in complete darkness for at least 15 minutes. And I rememebr banging on the door to let me out but she didn’t.

    Generally, my mother has never been affectionate with me. Aside from the occasional hugs and rare praises, she never kissed me on the cheek or forehead. She does buy me things as a sign of affection. So I’ve grown up to learn that gifts are the surest way to a person’s heart.

    Today, she doesn’t physically or psychologically abuse me anymore, but our relationship is not as affectionate as my friends’ relationship with their mothers.

    Please help, I’ve been debating whether or not these constitutes as child abuse. My doctor has asked me if I had been abused as a child (as that may be a reason for my depression), and I found that I didnt know. My mother has always told me she punished me to make me a better person. And until now, I believed her whole heartedly.

    • HAVOCAHAVOCA says:

      Defining child abuse is always difficult especially in the emotional and psychological arena. Obviously there are some clear cut cases but there are also some grey areas. There are some very good self-help type books on abuse that might be worth reading. One that springs to mind is called “Toxic Parents“. From the books description:


      *Did your parents tell you you were bad or worthless?
      *Did your parents use physical pain to discipline you?
      *Did you have to take care of your parents bacause of their problems?
      *Were you often frightened of your parents?
      *Did your parents do anything to you that had to be kept secret?

      *Do your parents still treat you as if you were a child?
      *Do you have intense emotional or physical reactions after spending time with your parents?
      *Do your parents control you with threats or guilt?
      *Do they manipulate you with money?
      *Do you feel that no matter what you do, it’s never good enough for your parents?

      In this remarkable self-help guide, Dr. Susan Forward draws on case histories and the real-life voices of adult children of toxic parents to help you free yourself from the frustrating patterns of your relationship with your parents – and discover a new world of self-confidence, inner strength, and emotional independence.

      Another approach may be to go through each page on our website and identify areas that might relate to you and how you are feeling. Perhaps you can take these revelations with you to see a therapist, working through it together?

      Either way I hope you find the answer you are looking for and ultimately start to heal from your depression.

    • AvatarSelena herra says:

      Yes this does indeed Constitute as child abuse. There is a huge difference between giving a child a smack on the behind and using physical objects to hurt a kid . Also the behaviors u had as a child are typical of abuse I was neglected, physically and sexually abused as a young girl/ and I would act out in school too, was aggressive and sexually mature by far. I went to school too bruised up my dad actually almost broke my ribs one time I could not participate in gym so they saw my marks called social services and did not a damn thing cuz my dad was high ranking military. Get urself some help, therapy, there is hotlines u can call, look up Brookhaven or many others, u may even need medication like I did antidepressants or even a low dose of benzos. But talk to a doc and shrink first . Rember this is not ur fault, u were an innocent child . Be strong , get help, and move on w ur life… Keep truckin 😋

    • AvatarSam says:

      Hi Milady,
      Read your story, felt very sad. I don’t know what is the solution to this but yes in my views it is certainly a case of child abuse. I am 40yrs old Indian Male and yes I was Physically abused as a child on a regular basis by my father, mother and others in family.
      I can so strongly relate with you not having an affectionate relationship with parents. I don’t have that with my parents either. Sadly I even got married to a lady with similar beliefs. Even my wife, tends to dominate me by insulting me and pointing my mistakes on a regular basis (or may be all wives are like that, I just happen to look at mine like that because of my traumatised childhood)
      Today, the only thing holding me strong is my daughter, she is 6 years old and keeps me alive with her very tight hugs and kisses.
      If given another chance in my life, if I was at a stage where you are today.
      I would suggest you that you focus on your studies, as it is a strong chance that eventually you might land up in a situation where your life partner does not understands you. So prepare yourself to be strong enough that you are not dependent on him especially in terms of financial matters.
      Secondly, DO NOT MARRY A JERK! Marry someone only after spending enough time with him that can ascertain you that this person is compassionate towards you and has the ability to fill the whole that is left inside you, because of what you went thorough as a child.

  23. AvatarL.S. says:

    I have one snippet of a memory of my dad. My age is young. Maybe 4 or 5? It was during the day, laying on the bed (from side to side). He is looking between my legs. I think I had a dress on. I think he may have put baby powder there. This is all that I remember. How do I know if this memory is real? There have been no other memories like this.

  24. Avatarchecheanna says:

    i have nightmares of family members doing horrible things to me, i am sensitive about sexual positions, my cousin was molested by my grandpa, i don’t remember any actual incident. but i dream about the bathroom with no lock and being worried someone is going to enter and bedroom that i stayed in at his house. i have had a feeling something happened to me for a long time. my grandpa molested more than just my cousin that i know of. and his dad molested his sisters, possibly him too. i was sexually active at a very young age.

    do we really want to know what happened? if we can’t remember why dig up the past, can’t we just go on and continue to forget?

    will it be more painful if we find out what really happened?

    how important is it to seek help and why?

    • HAVOCAHAVOCA says:

      Its a personal choice. If you don’t have any mental health or personal issues then there is no need seeking help. If you are unsure or you know there are areas of your life that you would like to change, then you may find professional help useful.

      It is a painful process though and you should not underestimate the work involved.

      Healing can allow you to live a more fulfilling life. It can help those around you and it can put an end to any potential for the abuse to continue.

  25. AvatarJon says:

    I have been thinking about this for years now, a few of my friends where abused by an older guy who was considered slow or simple, he would be 4 r5 years older but here’s the thing. I spent more time wth him on my own then anyone else as he’s man was best friends with my man.. But I don’t ever remember him even touching me stall and I remember most of my childhood.heres d part I never can quite understand.i was always sexual since maybe 4.i remember sitting on d branch of a three and humping it till I (came)..i just seemed to always no way sex was, friends my own age where much the same.we would get erections and suck and play.we must of new it was something because we try to keep it a secret rarely get caught, how where we so highly sexed, also I would here my sister and her friend doing it and they where the same age, if leRnt to deal with the fact that that’s who I am. I don’t there is any help to STOL your fantasy..

    • AvatarJon says:

      PS sorry about the spelling.new fone.my above comment is all true us I have loads more, if your for some sexual gratification move along. I’m really wondering has anyone got something similar.id surely remember somthing of abuse

  26. AvatarSam says:

    My dad beat me up on a regular basis, mostly because he was proud of it!
    Beating my up was a matter of pride for him, he used to ‘show off’ how he was making me tough by beating me and letting me get beaten by others.

    At school in Parents-Teacher meetings, he would insist upon my teachers to beat me, instead of complaining about me not doing well. Later he would (with extreme pride) tell his friends, how he told my teachers to stop cribbing about my performance and gave them free permission to discipline me by beating me. Asshole should know, that only got me sympathy from my teachers.

    When we shifted to Delhi, teachers were more aware and realised that my situation might need legal help; so it was time for my uncles to start going to these meeting, instead of exposing my bastard father’s abusive patterns to the legal system. I spend every night crying alone in a room, entire night! I did very poorly in school and was labeled to be a ‘dumb child’. I was sent to do Hotel Management as that would have helped my father in perusing his dream of retiring by opening a restaurant.

    He, finally, had to stop physically beating me, when my reactions to his beating were simply smiling and staring back at him. I think he could realise that I was about to hit him back and being a coward that he is, he had no bones to hit someone that can hit back! I refused to join him in his fantasy of opening up a Restaurant and decided to pursue my career in hotel industry.

    That stopped the physical beating and I started thinking that it was all over.
    What this man started was, he started defaming me in the society. He started telling everyone, how he had such a difficult time raising me, as I was so stupid and he had to spend all his money in supporting me for my education. I was 21 at that time and my exposure to the world was too little to realise that I am in a mental warfare. Backed up with my poor performance in school, I gave in to this charade of proving him wrong and accepted the fact that I was actually stupid. I took the first job that I got after my Hotel Management and gave it my best, with peanuts for salary, I used to work extra hard as I was convinced that I was stupid and had to work extra hard to make up for it.

    This fake mental stability could only last so long! My boss, a very compassionate person, realised that I was wasting my talent and guided me to make an attempt for Higher Studies, he suggested MBA. Given positive feedback and guidance for the first time in my life, I decided to give it an attempt. It was ‘stupid’ of me to think that I could pass an entrance exam called CAT for getting into a decent MBA college, but then again ‘stupid’ was easy for me to do. I actually left my job and joined a coaching class that helped me to prepare for CAT.

    For the first time in my life, I saw genuine disappointment on his face. he was hoping so hard for my to fail again in my life. I discovered for the first time… I was not Stupid… I was bright, smart and intelligent way beyond average!

    I did my MBA from a very reputed institute of the country and got placed in a great job! I fought my way through an abuser and stabilised my life. I was earning more in a month than I was earlier earning in an entire year.

    Everything was going to be alright now! But soon I realised that I had grown up to be a very socially awkward person. I was the guy, that everyone in the office makes fun of. It was not that big of a deal, as I was used to get bullied not just by my school friends, but also by my sisters, cousins, uncles and of course, my mother and my father. So I was OK with being made fun of in the office, it was the way of life for me.


    My biggest mistake was to think that everything was normal… I lived in this illusion for a few years and got married and even made the mistake of having a child, my daughter is 6 years now.

    I completely ignored the reality that I was being thrown out of every job that I joined and was constantly changing jobs. This was not because of my ability to perform in a job, this was a result of my social awkwardness, my bosses never felt bad about asking me to leave, as I was the easiest target, when going gets tough for them. And I who was abused physically for the first half of my life and mentally for the second could never realise that this pattern was leading me to be a 40 years old jobless father of a 6 year old and husband to a wife who hates my personality and constantly tries to manipulate me.

    My abusive father, retarded mother and evasive sisters and rest of the ‘joint family’ have converted me an intelligent, strong and very logical person to be a complete failure and now, two more lives are gonna go down with me!

    Today my abuser lives a respected life in the society that he banished me from, my sisters are out of country and barely talk to me, rather look at me to be someone that they should avoid. Rest of my family sees me as a disappointment to my father, with him not being anywhere to be blamed!

    So now I am in a phase of figuring out a way to give my daughter the best I can, I don’t like my manipulative wife at all, but can not get rid of her. My greatest fear is that eventually my daughter would also see me from the same set of glasses as I am seen by others and stop respecting and loving me. Even if eventually I do manage to find some stability in my life, I will die alone under the command of my own abuser and there is literally nothing I can do!

    Hope I figure something out soon! FORGIVENESS IS NOT AN OPTION

    Being abused as a child… it has very long term effects, no matter how long you suppress them, they will eventually break out, hope it’s not too late for you… cause it is for me!

  27. Avatarjessicascott says:

    i i still have nightmares,from being abused by my dad and my sister dad i did not tell anyone then i told someone about my dad and my sister dad

  28. AvatarVio says:

    I’m happy i came across these comments. I am feeling so many of these similar thoughts. Things like it never happened. It was a dream. Im making it up.

    The fact is i was so little and supressed it for so long i have no idea. I dont know what are my true memories and what arent.

    I tried to go to counselling and freaked out when we got too close to the topic. I think im ready to try again.

    I was sexually abused by my brother who is 3 years old than me. So i also think…is that actually abuse?

    As i got older it became a real problem when i wanted to be initmate with my partner for the first time. I then told myself i would not have sex until i told my partner what happened to me.

    Then there were times i was convinced he was coming into my room at night. This was when i was in university. I even woke up to him one night on the floor. I screamed because i thought it was my mom and she fell. When i realized who it was my whole body siezed and i had a panic attack. I started to keep the light on at night so he would think i was up and not come in. Then i got a lock on my door. Even now as i write this i try to convince myself it was a dream.

    It was around this time i went for counselling.

    Then I met my current boyfriend and have been together 7 years. In the first year i waited 6 months to have sex. And i have a memory of telling him what happened between my brother and i. But now i cant tell you for sure if it was for real or a memory I’m making up.

    Now I’m worried about my children. If i have children i dont feel comfortable about them and my brother.

    I hate that my brother is still in my life. He himself must obviously be upset about it too. Many years ago he turned to alchol and drugs. One night he was so drunk and texted me to come to the backyard. No one was home. I told my best friend that if i texted him it meant I needed him to call 911. I was scared of my brother. He wanted to apologize to me for what happened when we were kids.

    I still cant forgive him. How do i move on.

    Funny how long these comments turn out to be.

  29. AvatarAnon says:

    I just want some clarification, I suppose…
    I think I was sexually abused as a child. I’m only coming to this realisation now and I don’t really know why I even thought of these memories, I didn’t even remember this until recently. Sorry it’s a bit lengthy..

    I was a young girl maybe 6 or 7 ? I can’t remember exactly. My dad and mom are separated so I always used to visit his house every other weekend, which he shares with his now-wife and her 3 kids—2 sons and a daughter. They’re roughly 8 years older than I am. This used to happen with one of the sons who I think is 7 or so years older than me, so I guess he was around 13-14 when this was happening ?

    We used to play this game. It was like hide and seek but when the you found the other, you’d shake them and tickle them and then they had to count. I only ever played this with this son, never really knew why ? (I never asked, but thinking about it now it seems it was only us for this reason)

    I remember it being really fun at first, though I didn’t necessarily dislike the game after it changed (it terribly saddens me now as an adult). I don’t remember at what point the game changed, but I remember after a while I would be the only person hiding, and when he found me, he’d do the same old shake and tickle but then he’d kiss me—cheeks and lips. Then he changed the rules so I’d only hide in one of the beds (he shared a room with his brother) under the sheets. And then he’d come and find me and kiss me, and then he’d get me to scoop up the bed and he’d put his hand down my shorts or skirt or whatever I was wearing and touch me.

    Soon after this, the game became associated with this—finding me in the bed and touching me and kissing me. Sometimes my clothes would be off. Sometimes he’d get grab my hand and put it down his pants. But this wouldn’t be just one time in the course of playing the game. If we were playing the game for half an hour, this could happen 3 or 4 times ? Each instance wouldn’t last more than 5 or so minutes I think.

    Then I remember we used to watch films together, Disney ones. I remember this one time when we were watching Hercules on his bed and he pulled me closer so I was laying on his chest and he’d kiss me and touch me and do things… but I never did anything about it. I just thought that that’s what kids do ? We used to play and that’s what I thought that meant..

    I don’t know how long this lasted for..months or years, I don’t know, maybe a couple of years ? The time kind of blurs together a little bit. But after a while, I asked if we could play the hide and seek game and he said we weren’t allowed to anymore. I think he said it was a children’s game and he didn’t want to play anymore. So we didn’t, at least play it like we used to. I remember we used to play a “tame” version without all the kissing and touching but we soon stopped. I guess he got older and realised it was probably wrong or maybe someone found out and told him not to, I don’t know.

    I just wish I had realised sooner I guess, but I guess I was pretty young that I didn’t know otherwise. I don’t really know what I’m asking for or why I’m telling this now, but I want it off my chest. I want to tell my boyfriend but he’s going through some stuff and I don’t want to seem selfish. I just need to stop thinking about it…

  30. Avataradam says:

    I don’t know what to make of all of this. My friend asked my a couple weeks ago if “something happened to (me) when (I) was a kid”. I thought about it, and realized I have no idea. I don’t really remember much of my life until I was about 13. My friend had reasons for asking me, but I had never considered that was a possibility. The more I look into this the harder it is. I know self-diagnosis isn’t enough, but I find it unsettling that I display about 90% of the possible after-effects. I know that my older cousin was sexually abused by my uncle. I was really young when that happened. I didn’t hear about it until I was older. My uncle went to prison for that, but I don’t know if anything happened to any of us other kids. My family is kind of “sweep it under the rug” about a lot of things. I just don’t know what to think. Thanks, whoever’s listening.

    • AvatarBeth B says:

      Hi Adam:
      Did your friend tell you the reasons for asking if you’d been abused? If you’re unsure if anything happened, but think it may be a possibility, may I suggest you see a therapist to discuss any issues. I am 62 and was sexually abused by my brother when I was little. At the time it got swept under the rug and because of that I suffered later in life. It was repressed for decades and came out in the form of severe depression, anxiety, and suicide ideation. It all came to a head this past year with multiple hospitalizations and just wanting to end it all. I was totally ready to give up on life. Thank goodness for my wonderful therapist who helped me through it all. Right after my last hospitalization(Sept ’17) my therapist called my brother just to let him know how much pain and hurt I was in and what a high suicide risk I was. My brother, who in the past had told me to snap out of it(the depression), actually called me to apologize for what he did. We had a session with my therapist at one point but it was a disaster. I am happy to say I have forgiven my brother and we now have a healthy relationship(it was strained for years). I am med free after being on antidepressants for decades and feel like a ‘normal’ human being, if there is such a thing….. Jan 8th was my last therapy session and I am happier than I’ve ever been.
      So, if you even suspect that maybe you were abused it may be a good idea to talk to someone before other symptoms manifest themselves.
      Wishing you well and let me know what happens.

  31. Avatarkatelyn says:

    When i was 11-13 my brother would rage and beat me choke me sometimes by wrapping his hands around my neck. And when i was 11 he stabbed me in the arm and my mom lied to the hospital and told them i got cut on a wine glass.

  32. AvatarKristy Jefferson says:

    I was abused when I was young by my mother. It seem like when my sister’s dad would hit my mother she would take it out on me only and now I’m 36 and still feel really depressed about it

  33. I’ll be 62 in a few weeks and still work almost daily to combat the residual effects of childhood abuse, and into adulthood abuse. In my family it was physical, emotional and psychological abuse. It wasn’t until our mother died that we as siblings realized that for most of, if not all of, our lives that our mom must have suffered from clinical depression, and that combined with our dad’s issues just was the perfect petri dish for how not to raise your kids.
    I remember being about 4 yrs old, having to stand on a kitchen chair (those chrome and vinyl 50s ones) while mom would pull (not unroll) wire and bristle curlers from my hair so I would have Shirley Temple curls. It was painful, and that morning I must have squirmed and complained too much for her liking and tried to get away. I remember her swinging at me with the closest thing at hand – a long metal spoon, the type you would stir a big pot with- I was fast enough to get out of the way, and a good thing too. That metal spoon came down on the chair with such force, it nicked the chrome and took out a chunk of the vinyl padding.. I was 9, and didn’t clean my room to my folks liking, so they flung me on my bed, and took the full diaper hamper (dirty cloth diapers for my baby sister), and dumped it on top of me.
    There finally came a time when I was just so done with the beatdowns and stuff thrown at me that I remember being about 12-13, flung down to the playroom floor while my mom continued to whale on me – something in me snapped and I hit right back at her. I never got beaten again, but the verbal abuse ramped up after that point. Even at 41, when introducing my boyfriend, who was soon to be my fiance, my dad was horrid, telling my him – she’s so stupid, she has cottage cheese for brains (I had been very very successful in my career, and considered an expert in that field)
    After Mom’s death, dad had no outlet for his issues anymore, and even in his 70’s continued his vitriol against me…one of the things I had been dealing with, and my siblings knew about, was I had been the survivor of domestic violence(not the man who had been my fiance). We had agreed not to let our folks know, since mom was so ill, no need in adding anything more to her pain. When we finally told our dad, his very first sentence was – you are so stupid, you make bad decisions. Not, are you ok, not were you hurt badly, not is there anything I can do to help you. Just, you are so stupid.
    I decided at that point, to detach myself as much as I could from that toxic relationship, and try to break out of that mindset. I had realized that I was constantly finding myself in relationships that I did all the work – trying to MAKE the men love me, and letting myself be a doormat. Just like I spent my life trying to make my father love me.and tolerating all the abuse.
    My dad is soon to be 90, I haven’t spoken with him in about a year, and will probably never see him again – I moved half-way across the country in my late 50s. I will get an occasional twinge of guilt, I should be in touch, but why? The last time I did call, it was all about him, not a question asked about how was doing, was I settled in yet, what was it like living out here, and then he was, I’m tired of talking, I’m hanging up. Okaaay.
    BTW, I’m your classical case of comfort eating…nothing like being 8 yrs old, chubby, being given your very own script for diet pills (yep @ 8 yrs old!) being called fatty by your 300 lb father and 200 lb mother.. Spent my life dieting my way up to 350+ lbs myself. Lose 100, gain back 125, lose 75, gain back 125….on and on.

  34. Avatarsbtraining27 says:

    hi there my partner for the last 11 years comes from a family of 6 brothers and 2 sisters 1 of her brothers Mike went missing for 22 years in his early 20s until 8 years ago when he suddenly reappeared no 1 knew the reason why until he came to stay with us for a weekend Mike and myself got on really well and obviously Mary my partner was happy to have her decent brother back we had a few drinks 1 night at home and Mike was a bit worse for wear when he suddenly started crying and telling us why he went missing . he is 1 of the younger brothers but he still recalled being abused by 1 or 2 of his older brothers all of a sudden Mary burst into tears and ran upstairs . I followed her and eventually she told us it had happened to her on many occasions by the same brother and she had never told anybody now 50 years have past and she carn,t deal with this taking to alcohol to try and blot the horrible memories out .I carn,t go round a sort these two pedos out she wont let me but they have ruined two lives what if anything can I do to try and help her its so so upsetting to see her like this

  35. AvatarFaith says:

    I’ve read a lot of these looking for something similar to my question. I can’t find it. Everything I read here seems much worse than what I experienced. So my question is: How bad does it have to be in order to be trauma? I will try to make this brief: three childhood experiences + the general way I was raised. 1. When I was very little (4? 5?) I was spanked for wetting the bed by a woman whose house I was sleeping over at. I would wake up being spanked – so I would be asleep and then I would wake up and this woman was spanking me in the dark. I believe that this happened more than once. Maybe it was twice, maybe it was multiple times, I don’t know because I was so little my memory of it is foggy. There is a lot more to that story, but I’m trying to make this short. 2. When I was about 10 years old, I think, my siblings and I (and at least once some girlfirends of mine joined us) would play a game. It was a role-play and my oldest brother (4 years older than me) would be someone who worked in an office and the girls would visit his office and he would get them laying down on the desk and he would lay on top of them and hump them. (fully clothed). I have one sister & at least one other girlfriend who he did this to, while my other brother watched and laughed nervously. I don’t remember my little sister or friend saying anything or protesting, but I know when it was my turn I would get really upset and yell at him to get off of me and threaten to tell his friends what he did and nothing worked and I remember that feeling of powerlessness. I also remember it happening more than once and thinking “this time I’ll be able to get him off of me”. 3. When I was about 8 years old I had meningitis and it was life-threatening. I was in intensive care for one week which I don’t remember because I don’t think I was really conscious during that week. I remember the second week when I was conscious and I just remember it being pure misery, and everyone around me seeming to think it was incredibly serious, but I don’t remember anything being particularly “traumatic”. 4. The way I was raised was “alternative” in a very conservative way. I was one of five siblings, we were all homeschooled, we didn’t have much access to the world outside our church and homeschool groups and were raised with a general fear of the outside world. We also moved frequently – generally every 2-3 years until I was 11 years old. I felt very cut off from other kids and generally lonely. All of this just doesn’t sound bad enough to me to constitute lifelong trauma. I’ve had other traumatic things happen to me as an adult, but these are the things that make up my childhood experience. The only reason I’m here asking this is because my therapist just told me that I sound like someone who has experienced trauma and that trauma victims tend to continue to experience trauma over and over again. When I look at this table: https://www.havoca.org/survivors/ I can strongly relate to everything in the “victim” column, but I think I’m already moving into the “survivor” column (for example, I want to talk openly about my problems because I hope that it will help others with the same problems, and I am not resistant to therapy or getting help).

  36. AvatarEmma says:

    Was I abused?
    I don’t remember the exact ages but I do know I was early teens. My brother who is three years older than me decided we should role play (we did act out little sketch type things for fun) but this was something different. Now, the bedroom doors were always shut, so we knew it wasn’t something we wanted out mum to see us doing, which means that somewhere whoever shit the door knew it was wrong to do right? I remember two occasions and whilst I was ok doing it at the time (I never said no and was never forcibly tied or pinned down, but I do remember feeling very unsure and anxious throughout as I was always blindfolded) I’m now 25 and can’t help but think that it was highly inappropriate and could be why I have some unknown dislike towards him when he comes home (I still live with our mum).
    One occasion was kissing, but it wasn’t a peck it was intimate kissing, using tongues. I also remember him telling me to keep my hands on the bars of his bunk bed and he lifted my top up and pulled my pants down. I don’t really remember much more and I try not to as I don’t want my mind to try full in the blanks and make up something that didn’t happen. The second occasion was in my room where something similar happened minus the kissing. I remember he said he was going to touch me (my private parts) and afterwards he said that he used a bar or doll to touch me not himself.
    My issue is that there was no sexual stimulation (he never played with my cl*****s) or penetration. There was no real genital touching and for years I have always shrugged it off as children experimenting. Like when you hear younger teens playing doctors and nurses sort of thing and I’m just really confused as to whether this is classed as sexual abuse and if I even have a right to be as upset or mad about it as I am right now? Was this even abuse when there was not malice or sexual gratification involved? Or was it just innocent curiosity of young teens?

  37. AvatarForget Me Not says:

    My mother was not mentally well. She was a very unhappy person most of the time, and she had a sadistic personality and enjoyed making the people around her miserable. Her socially acceptable excuse for getting away with abusing everyone she came into contact with was that she was jealous of everyone because she had a miserable childhood. She may have had a miserable childhood, but she also was a spoiled brat and relished memories of terrorizing her mother and especially her stepfather when she was younger, although she was sent to live with her older sister at the age of 15. I feel sorry for her, because she angered a lot of people and eventually was murdered in a disgraceful way by one of my relatives. I suffered a lot as her child, and I can’t forget the memories I have of her, and still think about nightmarish events every day. I hope that one day I can have a normal life and eventually be happier.

  38. AvatarJessica Griffiths says:

    I didn’t think I was being abused as a child but I’m now at the age of 21 that I can look back in my childhood and realise that my mother was abusive both verbally and physically.

    The furthest back I can remember I might of been five or six we had just arrived home, mum had clipped my hand in the car door and like most children I thought it was the end of the world.

    The moment we got inside the door she shoved me to the ground and kicked me.

    Apparently I embarrassed her, we lived near a pub and there were some people hanging out by the side on our driveway near the pub

    A few years later I’d say I was 8 or 9 we were in the Bahamas and I had thrown a tantrum which I can admit was bad of me, but it wasn’t until I was getting ready for bed and she had made sure that Steve one of mums friends who had accompanied us was out of ear shot, she started punching me, while yelling at me on how I embarrassed her, finally she stopped but not before I was crying, with a bloody nose, she took me to the bathroom and was apologising while she tried to stop the blood.

    Another incident that happened when I was 9 that I can recall, I had accidentally misplaced mums I pod and she threatens to smash my head it with a crow bar, and actually brought out a crow bar

    Then there was another incident a few years later when I was 13, mum was busy at work so she had asked me to make dinner, so I put some bacon in the oven, boiled some broccoli and put baked beans in the microwave.

    I don’t even know what set her off, but mums at the time boyfriend walked in the house and she went crazy started attacking him, yelling at him, then can into the kitchen and went off at me took the cooked bacon out the oven and threw it everywhere, Did the same with the broccoli, then grabbed me and mums boyfriend and tried to shove us out the house, she then grabbed my wrist and bit me twice, Mums boyfriend was able to get her away from me and got me upstairs before she could do anything else.

    A few months later I was getting ready for school one morning, for some reason I had developed a nervous twitch I don’t know how but it annoyed mum so much that she grabbed my by my throat and held me against the glass doors that led into the dining room, she threatened to smash my head through the glass.

    The other major incident that happened was on Christmas Eve I was 15, mum flipped out kept telling me how she would grab a knife and slit her throat, how she wished that she was the woman on the news who had jumped of a multi story car park.

    (This isn’t the first time she’s threatened to kill her self.)

    She would then go on to say how she hated me, that she’d wished she had an abortion when she found out she was pregnant.

    I was frozen in the downstairs bathroom in fear as she screamed at me (so loud her voice went up a pitch) to get out of the house.

    Mums boyfriend who amazingly was still with her (though they broke up a few months after Christmas) was defending me to her, kept saying how is so sad how his kids were spending time with there mother happy on Christmas Eve, yet I was here getting yelled at and having my Christmas ruined.

    He then asked mum to at least give me one good memory of that Christmas and asked her to tell me that she loved me.

    Mum didn’t say anything.

    There have been other incidents in my childhood I know there were but it’s like my mind has completely blocked them out, I can’t seem to remember them.

    She had also been verbally abusive, I’ve lost count of how many times she called me thick (like stupid) ugly, fat, useless.

    One incident happened when I was 17 I don’t know why it bothers me so much but it did.

    My mom and her new boyfriend were having a bath and my rooms right next to the bathroom, the walls in my house are very thin so you can easily hear conversation in another room.

    But mum was in the bath telling her new boyfriend how fat I was, how She wouldn’t have to worry about guys because no one would want to date me, how ugly I was.

    I remember laying in bed with tears streaming down my face as she made fun of me.

    It wasn’t the first time she said them but it hurt me more than I thought it would.

    I also think my mums a bit racist amount other things.

    I was dating a guy named Issac, he was black, he was an amazing guy, so smart, so caring we met at collage.

    When my mum Came to visit Me I thought it would be a good idea for us all to go out to dinner together, my mum was polite to him and friendly to him so I was feeling good, me and mum were driving back to her hotel when mum straight up told me I needed to break up with him.

    I was shocked, so I asked why she just looked at me and is to say why do you think.

    The whole drive back to the hotel she kept on going on about how I can’t be with a black guy and amethyst would it look like if I married him etc.

    After I dropped my mum off at her hotel I think I cried all the way back to my dorm room.

    Me and Issac did break up a few months later but it was for a was for a different reason and were still great friends.

    My next boyfriend was a friend of mine we hung out a few times and we both realised we had feelings for each other.

    He was Asian.

    And an Amazing guy, he was the sweetest guy you could ever meet, so funny and always willing to help friends.

    He accompanied me to a family birthday party of my great uncle.

    He was so polite walked up to my mother held out his hand to introduce himself.

    My mother took one look at him, and said right in-front of him, that I couldn’t be serious and that he looked chinky.

    I was humiliated and devastated, this amazing guy had done nothing to my mother
    He looked very uncomfortable and we ended up leaving.

    I had never been so humiliated in my life, he tried to reassure me that it didn’t change the way he felt about me but our relationship was never the same and we ended things a few weeks later.

    I realised just how much she was ruined my self confidence, when ever I look in the mirror all I see are flaws, I hesitate when going on dating sites or attempting dating because whenever I do I’m always reminded of my mum saying no guys would go for a girl who looked like me.

    Just recently I came out a Bi, and mum was like okay with it, that’s what she told everyone.

    However It soon became clear,

    she was going on to me about one day I would need a child to inherit the farm we owned to keep it in the family,

    I made a comment about I could marry a girl and adopt. However she looked at me and was like that’s not what we believe.

    What nailed the coffin shut for me was A few months ago we were having an argument and she went to hit me, now I’m a 21 yr old now and I’m not going to put up with it anymore, so once her first reaches me face I grab it and hold it in mid air.

    My mum them goes crazy stating I attacked her, she called me all sort of names.

    Said I was fat and ugly.

    But the most hurtful comment she made was when she called me a dirty lesbian.

    She then went and flipped out to my elderly and frail grandmother saying how I attacked her.

    Gran was clearly upset white all the yelling And held her arm in pain and mum pointed a finger at me and said if gran died it was my fault.

    She once agin called me a dirty lesbian in front of my gran, now my gran is deeply religious and is against same sex relationships.

    Gran asked what a lesbian was and mum went a told her with me siting next it her.

    So mum had forcefully outed me to my gran.

    And she knew I don’t want to tell gran because she even told gran that I didn’t want her to know.

    I forgive my mother for most things she had committed against me, however the moment she forcefully outed me I felt something snap in me.

    Something I can never forgive mum for.

    It’s funny all the years the abuse was happening I didn’t realise it was abuse, however now that it’s mostly stopped I can look back see the abuse, and how mums hurtful comments still effect my self worth to this day.

  39. AvatarLavender says:

    Was I abused?

    It happened when I was in elementary school, I was about 11-12 yrs old that time. We were seatmates. I am from the Philippines and during that time, our chairs are somewhat elongated and are shared by at least two or three students. We were friends and of the same age. I was wearing a skirt that day. It started with a touch in my thigh and I shrugged it off. But then it slowly progressed and then I don’t know what happened next but he was already touching my genitals. I was so shocked that I did not know what to do. He kept on doing it and I just stayed there, silently. Without aby idea of what to do. It happened about twice or thrice. Years go by, I shrugged it off, maybe because what I put into mind is that he was my age and he has no idea of what he was doing, it was like I was giving him the benefit of the doubt. Heck, I even thought I was enjoying it. But now, when I look back at it… I can’t help but be disgusted by myself. Can someone pls let me understand my feelings because I am very confused at the moment. Thank you.

  40. AvatarSteve says:

    I will be 65 in January….today its October 14th 2020…..And I had several repressed memories surface this morning…..today, instead of pushing them back in the box..I sat with them as I had my morning coffee…they were of abuse by my mom…..
    I remembered a couple of instances that I had locked away….that have resurfaced over the years, but never as detailed, or fully as this morning…..because when it had happened in the past, I shoved them down.unable to deal with them….Or I justified them, and then stuffed them down…
    Today, I sat with them….and thought about them…..and realized it was profoundly F-ed up….I realized my feelings of harbored guilt and secrecy and that I was responsible,, even tho I was 10…….a few more details popped into my mind…..but there is more…..just out of reach, like that common word that you sometimes lose, and can’t quite grasp in conversation….
    I let myself feel…..and came to the realization that it was a betrayal of a Parent’s sacred trust to their children……not my fault…..that I did NOT cause this to happen…..
    This has been a thing in my entire life……accepting responsibility for things not of my causing….the whole incident(s) of abuse, have colored my entire life, without me knowing or realizing…..
    I do consider myself blessed, that I am married to my best, and most trusted friend.my wife of 30 years……and that I could share this with her…..and get it out..because I felt like I was going to explode…..I felt shame, anger, feeling diminished,guilty, and a lot of other nasty stuff as I was verbalizing this all to her…….
    She sat listening….with no judgement……only with love and understanding….
    So, I guess the thing I wanted to say here.is find someone to talk to this about…..a trusted person……a professional……anyone that would be safe, and non judgmental…..
    After spilling the beans, so to speak…..the feeling of being ready to explode left….I felt emptied of a great weight….but Im worn slap out…..I know this is only the first step ……but that one is always the hardest one to take…….

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