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sex abuse - fact or fiction
February 27, 2007
9:17 am
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robbie2007
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I saw another thread similiar to this and did not want to be a thread stealer - so I started my own.

I'm looking for advice or help on how to figure out if I was sexually abused.

When I was younger, I kind of lived in a fantasy world and now I don't know what is what.

I need some help sorting thru it all.

February 27, 2007
9:44 am
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hopeful for change
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I myself lived in a fantasy world as a result of the abuse, creating my own place where all was ok. -

February 27, 2007
9:45 am
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revelation
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What does your gut instinct tell you?

February 27, 2007
9:52 am
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robbie2007
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I don't know. 🙁

I'm confused.

I'm thinking something may have happened when i was very very young.

February 27, 2007
9:53 am
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robbie2007
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I'm also kinda scared/embarrassed to talk about it.

February 27, 2007
10:55 am
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gracenotes
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robbie,

Something may have happened to you when you were too young and only able to think about things on a very basic early childhood or before level, maybe just in pictures or vague feelings, and where you had no words to even think about what happened, much less express it, much less any coping skills to deal with it. Also, a big problem in figuring out sexual abuse is that, as a child, it may not feel awful at first, in fact an abuser could make one feel good, if this happened, you were probably conned and manipulated to believe things that were not true and/or that it was ok. I am only coming from a viewpoint of things I learned studying psychology and doing some deep work to decide what kind of abuse I experienced as a child.

For me, on a deep gut level, it never was about sexual abuse, but, if it feels like this for you on a deep gut level, then it could be. It may be helpful to remember that your adult self is trying to make sense of something that may have happened when you did not have anything near a mature, developed brain at the time and probably not any developed verbal skills either to think about this.

Would you have any level of comfort talking to a therapist who is experienced in this specific area about these things? A child NEVER asks to be sexually abused or any kind of abused. It is ALWAYS wrong and the adults who do anything like this are 100% wrong in what they are doing.

February 27, 2007
11:02 am
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robbie2007
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I feel like there is such a long complicated story surrounding all this.

I have to be honest. I have never been honest about my life before. It's like it's been one big lie.

I feel like I'm 2 different people. On the one hand, I'm a really good person. But on the other hand, I have done some really bad things that would surprise people who know me.

The reason I am unsure if something happened or not, is because growing up, I lied about physical abuse.

I feel like such a bad "kid" for saying/doing that. and I have justified it in my mind. But still, I lied about it.

February 27, 2007
11:14 am
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robbie2007
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I don't remember all that much about my early childhood.

When I was 9 1/2 my sister was born. Not only was I no longer the baby, but my sister was handicapped and required a lot of my mothers time.

I think it was then I began to do things for attention. Things are a bit foggy now (I'm 40 now)....

I do remember wanting to be like my sister.

I know this has nothing to do with sex abuse but I'm trying to give a background to my life. in little bits at a time because it is just too overwhelming to do it all at once.

however - my goal here is to find out if something happened to me or not.

February 27, 2007
11:47 am
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revelation
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Robbie, whether the abuse was sexual, physical or emotional, or whether there even was anything that could be considered abuse, what you definitly know is that you had some sort of troubled childhood, something happened (and who knows it could be some small little incident that has nothing to do with abuse) which caused you to feel you had to do things to get attention...and for whatever reason you still feel guilty feelings for it. Now, there is no point in me, a complete stranger saying to you "Don't feel guilty for stuff you did as a child" just me requesting you to do that isn't going to make you stop. What I do really think you could benefit from is some counselling. Some one-to-one counseling with a professional psychotherapist. And of course, once you go down that path, this forum is a wonderful support tool.

I think, all too often we are afraid here to make that suggestion to people on the boards...and I think all too often when its suggested people take offence. There seems to be an undercurrent of feelings around it, like (a) counselling is for crazies/stupid people/attention seekers/people who can't cope/victims and (b) that by suggesting counselling we are passing the buck. In my opinion, thats just not true, I don't think there is anyone on the planet living today who isn't going to get some good and learn something new about themselves by going to see the right therapist (Preferably one that is licenced - ask them if you can see the code of ethics of the organisation they are affiliated with before deciding on them).

Robbie, I really don't know if you were abused as a child or not, and nobody else here can possibly answer that question, you know the answer yourself really, deep down its there somewhere...therapy could really help.

Rev.

February 27, 2007
11:52 am
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robbie2007
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Rev - counseling is not an option for me at this time.

I'm not asking for anyone here to give me the answer.

What I want from here ... I think is to have an outlet to be honest with myself and to tell my story in the process.

During the process I would like feedback and hopefully, the feedback combined with the fact with lead me to the answer I'm looking for.

there are many layers - I dont expect to find the answer any time soon. but NEED a place to start talking.

February 27, 2007
11:58 am
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revelation
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I'm not suggesting that you are asking for answers, not at all...but please understand the subject you have posted about is verrrryyyy sensitive, an absolute minefield....this is an absolutely great place to start talking, great for venting and you will hear from people who have been through similar experiences and who with their own stories may trigger something in you, I expect you could most certainly learn lots. But...if counselling isn't an option now, please do at least keep an open mind about it some day in the future.

February 27, 2007
11:59 am
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robbie2007
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thanks (((rev)))

I do hope you will come back to see what I add to this thread.

February 27, 2007
12:01 pm
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robbie2007
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do you think I should change the thread name and start over?

February 28, 2007
5:30 am
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revelation
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No I don't see a problem with it! First step to the new stronger, healthy more positive you...."Don't second guess your decisions after you have made them!"

If anyone has a problem with the title of the thread Robbie...its their problem...learn to tell the difference, it will set you free!

I meant to say earlier, there are also lots of great books out there...

I would suggest the following:

"The Drama of Being a Child" - Alice Miller (Great read, and its not a big heavy book, so its not too daunting - perhaps a good starting point?)

"Bad Childhood - Good Life" by Laura Schlessinger. (A very very positive hope inspiring book - EVERYONE should read this!)

And finally...my old favourite

"Creating Self-Esteem" - By Lynda Field (Again I think this is one everyone should read, no matter whats happened in your life, I think we could all do with a little self-esteem boost!).

Hope this helps.

Rev.

February 28, 2007
7:15 am
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lewis
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robbie2007

Hi, I know what you mean about having to explain things all in one thread, I think it is a good idea to break this down bit by bit, in your own time.

Peoples life's are complicated and loaded with many memories, I think your addressing your concerns in a healthy manner, your listening to yourself.

Take your time here robbie, and I don't think your subject name is a problem and don't think its a minefield, your here with your issue.

February 28, 2007
9:32 am
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I know that the abuse I suffered as a child was hard to tell, i kept it inside for years, and that allowed the perp to keep doing it. Then I felt even worse for allowing it to happen. I don't think a really young kid can just imagine these things for example, how would a five or six year old even come up with these thoughts, when they should no nothing of sex etc.

I to had alot going on in my family, my brother was born and attention there he had alot of problems and was in hospital for two years. The thing is child abusers, seek out the weak...they have plans, it is a seduction...the kids who are most vulnerable etc.

February 28, 2007
2:14 pm
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truthBtold
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robbie2007,

The title of your post is the 64 million dollar question for alot of us!!!

I agree with you that there are many, MANY layers.

As far as a counselor is concerned, I have been to several over the decades now. I have found that the vast majority of them simply had not worked out their own issues - for the most part to a satisfactory level and were more about cognitive approaches then really going down deep to explore the root cause. Sad but true in my experience.

The best therapist I ever had was the county mental health department psychiatrist. He pretty much had "seen it all" working for the county. They have since closed down.

What I try to do now is to just ask myself questions (on an emotional level----NOT an intelluctual one) about - what is really going on here when I get triggers or feel that my feelings might be regressing back to childhood.

I allow myself to quietly feel safe and honest with myself (aka - being "true to yourself" in action........) and quiet little insights emerge that help explain a little piece of the puzzle.

For me - I think - a vast majority of my own "blockage" comes from hanging on to being grossly naive.

Just don't want to let the fantasy go that the people who were supposed to love me and keep me safe screwed me over.

(In a sense, I kind of envy my two older sisters because they REMEMBER my father sexually abusing them - and I don't. At least they can fight a monster that they can SEE!!!)

I commend you for being so honest on this thread.

For now, what I have come to conclude is to just make a place for myself - within myself - to be safe to whatever decides to emerge and to perhaps start getting massages on a regular basis.

(I figure - since the abuse was on a physical level - then getting a massage will help.)

Trauma has been described as events which are outslde the realm of our comprehension....hence - the reason we feel crazy at times.

If I were to recommend some books, I would recommend"

"Getting Through The Day" by Nancy Napier

"Secret Survivors" by E. Sue Blume

"Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma" & "Healing Trauma" both by Peter A Levine

"Facing the Fire" & "Growing Yourslef Back Up" both by John Lee

"Living in the Comfort Zone - The Gift of Boundaries in Relationships" by Rokelle Lerner

"Toxic Parents" by Dr. Susan Forward

"Feel the Fear and DO IT Anyway" by Susan Jeffers, PhD

One of my favorites among all of these are the books by John Lee as he actually puts into his books some of his own personal experiences, which I find exceptionally refreshing.

My journey continues to evolve.

Right now I am going through a stage where I have finally admitted to myself (kind of kicking and screaming along the way....)that I still seek my parent's permission.....in my own mind....to move on and have a life of my own.

(whew - gosh - hard to admit at my age - I'm 46.)

Like - If I do something that is in my best interest...I get this little message inside of my head - like when I was a kid - that i am going to get in T-R-O-U-B-L-E......you know?

Another thing that I am doing is to tap into the time when I broke my ankle and the paramedic was so kind -I felt for the first time that my wounds mattered to someone. There was also a very kind nurse when I was in the hospital after my hysterectomy in my early 20's.

These kind people, though they probably have no idea how much of an impact they have made on my life - were true and true examples of VALIDATING me for being real.

(kind of sad - but true.)

My next step is to take Random Women 2's lead and just write a letter to each and every one of the people in my childhood. My mother, father and two older sisters.

Anyway, robbie, please do continue to post and share and I will do the same.

Brenda

February 28, 2007
6:36 pm
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student1
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Robbie,
I don't know if the thread you are reffering to is mine. I just want you to know that when I found this place, it only took a little while before I poured myself out. It made me feel better to tell someone the truth about what my life was and is like. Now I can look for help and the people helping me can give me better advise because they know what I have been through. It was hard to write it all out so I wrote in intervals and everyone hear was patient. It is so hard to be honest and admit to abuse and mistakes, however, bringing our feelings to surface makes them easier to deal with rather than digging deep in the pain. Memories are painful when you first bring them out but we can never put them back the same.
((((robbie))))

March 1, 2007
9:55 am
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robbie2007
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Thank you for your replies. I feel like you all are giving me empathy - but I don't feel like I deserve it.

I did a lot of bad things in my life and I don't know if I was even abused. ok, I realize now that I was emotionally abused (most likely) but not physically and I'm unsure sexually.

Actually, I was sexually abused...but I'm trying to find out if my father did something.

Earlier on this thread I mentioned lying about physical abuse. I can justify it now and I would like to explain about that.

It's not like I called police or authorities ..it was a little different than that.

On my limited emotional vocabulary as a child - I would had said my father is strict.

As an adult, I would describe him as emotionally abusive. controlling. intimidating at times.

If I were treated that way as a child, I would had felt battered inside (as I do sometimes now). I didn't know back then that that was what I was feeling.

But I think subconsciously, I wanted to bring the inside out. I mean, you cant see a broken heart or bruises on the inside - so I put them on the outside. I purposely bruised my arms as if my father had grabbed me. I acted like I didnt want the bruises to show - but I did - and "implied" that there was physical abuse.

I think this is a good place to stop for now...

March 1, 2007
10:40 am
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Robbie,

No child ever asks to be emotionally abused. Abusers do things to try to manipulate either into thinking it was okay for them to do that, or maybe did something to put the blame on us. It sounds like what you did was simply in reaction to all the nonsense and lies told to you. In your own way, you were trying to be heard, and I think you did the best you could at that time. I don't think it horrible, it was the best way you knew. Maybe, in time, you will let yourself off the hook. Keep posting!

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