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sexual abuse/depression and how do you know?
October 9, 2005
5:56 pm
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firsttime
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I have very limited memory of an abuse that i think happened when i was a young child... i have all sorts of issues - one being depression..addiction and low self esteem..trust issues.... but cant that happen to anybody?? how do i know if i was abused and d oes it really even matter?? i read somewhere that if u think you were abused as a child you most likely were.... does this even make a difference?? especially if i have limmited memory of the abuse??

October 9, 2005
6:05 pm
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Randomwomen2
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I would go and see a counseler and start working through some of the memorys you do have most likely those memorys didnt come from no where. And it does matter i was sexualy abused for 10 years and it haunts me everyday. If you see a counsler you will be able to start dealing with this and see how it has effected your life then when you get to the root of the problem you can start changing the behaviors

October 9, 2005
6:15 pm
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firsttime
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i am in counseling a bout other issues.....i dont have that much memory of what i think could have been abuse and therefore am having a hard time bringing it up- i am doubtful myself

October 9, 2005
6:51 pm
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hippychick
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Listen to yourself. Really listen. Your gut will tell you whether or not to pursue this issue any further. It is scary territory - I wish you well.

October 9, 2005
8:58 pm
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firsttime
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has anybody ever dove into this topic in therapy and remembred more or realized that maybe it was possible root of their problmes??? do you think this is just dangerous territory that should be left alone?? I would rather leave it alone to be honest but seems like im wasting time in therapy if this is the real root of the problem.....

October 10, 2005
2:18 pm
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evi
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Our minds are an awsome thing. I believe from research I have done that the mind supresses things that it feels our bodies can not handle. Especially if the abuse happened when you were a small child, at that time your memory chose to block it out and sort of hide from you so you could get through. Sometimes when your older your mind will relax and let bits and pieces come back, only when you are ready. You may think you are ready but your mind may not. Sounds crazy I know but I have seen it happen. Good luck to you and be strong. Make the most out of life, live for today and tomorrow!
Evi

May 17, 2006
11:22 pm
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natalie21
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Hi,
I know this thread is old, but I was wondering if "firsttime" or anyone else has any words of wisdom for me, as I'm having a very similar situation. I have no memories of abuse, just feelings that something happened. I have been dealing with depression especially after the births of my children. I have an appointment to see a counselor next week...I am just wondering if it's something that really happened or if it's something my "mind" is making up to add more drama and to give me an excuse to be a "victim".
Some of the reasons I believe it could have happened, even though there are no memories are...my father is an alcoholic, as well as being very emotionally and verbally abusive and controlling, my mother worked evenings(he had to pick her up from work-so nothing could have been interrupted), my mother is very passive and the type to stick her "head in the sand"-I believe if something happened, she knows about it. On either my 11th or 12th birthday, around bedtime, although everyone was still awake, my dad came into my bedroom and gave me my "birthday swats"--this was a pretty hard spanking actually, and it made me cry...my mom came in right after, and asked me why I was crying so hard...I don't think I could talk, or didn't want to tell her because he was drunk and I knew it would lead to more trouble--she asked me "if he touched me". She had to suspect that he was capable of that.
I have had kind of a "breakdown" of emotions in the last day or so, and I can't figure this out--if it really didn't happen, why would I feel so terrified all the way to my soul and why would I have these shaking sobs? Why would it revolt me to wake up to my husband touching me, and make me feel violated, and that I had to go along with things?
I know everyone says if you think it happened, it probably did...
thanks for letting me ramble on. I have known for some years that I think this is something I need to "dig into", but have been so scared of the answers, and what that would mean. I still am the "peacemaker" in my family--I try to get along with my dad so that it's easier on my mom...but my relationship has crumbled with him over the years.
Anyway, any help you can give is greatly appreciated:)

May 18, 2006
12:27 am
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Randomwomen2
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Hey sweetheart. I would trust your insticts. The fact that your mother had asked makes me belive that something had happend. I am very happy that you are going to see a counsler. Abuse should not be dealt with alone. Belive me I know. I dealt with my abuse for years alone. I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. If you do uncover memories its going to be very difficult sweetheart but the best thing to do is to write about it and to talk about it. Dont keep it in. YOu are always welcome to talk to us here.

May 18, 2006
12:57 am
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mamacinnamon
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Natalie21:

Very glad to meet you. I'm glad you are seeing the counselor. Do keep coming back here to vent, cry, rant, rave, laugh, whatever. You are always welcome here.

(((( hug to ya ))))

May 18, 2006
1:11 am
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free2choose
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Natalie,

Hi.

For a very long time, I had no "memory" of my abuse. I had a patern of getting involved with friends and partners who had a history of abuse, and I was very intent on "Fixing" them, which I now know was caused by an unconsious need to "fix" myself.

Although I had no "memory" of my abuse, I had what I now know to be called "Body memories", in that I felt my memories more than I "saw" them.

I had overwhelming unexplained fear when recieving unwanted or unexpected "touching" from boyfriends. I could not relax during sex with a male enough to enjoy it, I ALWAYS felt "icky", degraded, or "less than". When my breasts were fondled, I often felt nauseated or physically ill. During sex, I would have "flashbacks" of feeling...extreeme fear, bieng unable to breath, I would want to cry (and not in a good way). I began to avoid sex at all costs. When asked to perform oral sex on a boyfriend, I would have a panic attack, or become nauseated, I once actually vomitted during the act (not a very good night, poor boyfriend!).

When I finally stopped forcing myself to be intimate with men, I got into relationships with women. Up until just recently (after therapy) I was never able to "recieve" sexual favors, I always felt too "vulnerable and out of control". I was almost strictly a "giver", and for my it was very nuch a control issue. Also, when recieving sex, I felt not only vulnerable, but ashamed of my responses, ashamed if I liked it, ashamed of the noises I made.

All of these feelings were unexplained, I suspected, and I was aware of one incident when I was 10 (which I did not view as "rape" or molestation because the age of the perpetrators, and because I was "willing"), but I had no REAL memories.

Then one day, while I was in treatment for drug rehab, I had my first memory. I was 3, and I was performing oral sex on a woman. The memory was so vivid that I could taste it, smell it... FINALLY!!!

But still that did not explain the men... To this day, i still have not had the "big reveal" that I know is lurking somewhere in the subconsious on my mind. I have, however, re-evaluated the events that took place when I was 10 and placed the appropriate emotions to it. I have realized alot of what that did to me, and to my belief systems about my body and my feminity, and sex.

I have done therapy, and it has done a WORLD of good, to help me cope with the emotions and repercussions of my sexual abuses. I am not 100%, by any means, but things are much much better than they used to be.

I have been slowly able ro reclaim some of my lost "womaness", I have learned to not be ashamed of my sexual response, needs and desires. I have lerned to let go, to be vulnerable, in a safe setting with someone I trust. I have learned to set boundaries, when I need them, and to also not be so rigid when I need not be. I have grown comfortable with myself as a sexual being. Rarely do I experience flashbacks, panic attacks, or nausea.

My blanket steriotypical beliefs about men, and their"predatory" nature has somewhat relaxed, and I have recently been able to view them as people, not monsters.

I no longer am terrified at the thought of having my own children. I am no longer totally intimidated by the thought of having a daugter, one who could potentially be hurt, one I could not protect, as I was not protected..

Healing has been slow, often painfull, frieghtening, and hard...but it does happen and it is worth it!!!

You are not crazy. Every feeling you have is valid, whether or not you have concrete "Proof"....The feelings are valid in and of themselves...do not doubt your instincts and trust your gut.

I spent along time disregarding what I did know, because to me it was not "enough" to explain ME. I kept searching, pushing my memory, pushing my psyche... I have learned the more I push and demand of myself, the farther it goes away from my ability to see. It is best to just deal with what we know TODAY, at this minute, work on what you have in front of you...the rest will come when you are ready...

My father was not the one who sexually abused me, however he was physically, verbally, emotionally and spiritually abusive of me. I have had a long hard road to walk when it comes to healing our relatinship. One of the reason I have been able to is that not only have I changed and grew, so has my father. He is not the man he used to be, and that makes it much easier. If he was still the abusive ass hole of my childhood, I probably would not be willing to have a relationship at all with him...

I am so glad you are going to therapy, stick with it, even when it is hard and you want to give up! You were strong enough and courageaous enough to survive your childhood, use that stregnth now to HEAL from it.

Good luck,

Erica

May 18, 2006
1:40 am
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awall
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Remember...
As a child you have NO control, No responsibility for the things that happen to you. All of that lies on your parents/guardians.
However, as an adult you have Total control and Total Responsibility (to yourself and those that love you)for the things that happen in your life!
Be strong, take control, you Do deserve to have a beautiful life, but it's up to you to do it!
Good Luck and Keep Your Chin Up!

May 18, 2006
1:36 pm
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ScaredinMichigan
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I also had no recollection at first at first that what had happened to me was wrong. I was six the first time. Over time and repeated occurences, I started to recall past occurrances, and remembered what had happened to me. Having been there, and I do struggle a lot with my sexual relationship with my husband, I believe that something has probably happened to you as well. I agree with the others, trust your instinct. Get the help that you need, and uncover the lost past you have. You need not to be the peacemaker for your family. You need to be a peacemaker for your heart. You deserve better. Your dad and even your mother will survive, but you need to help you. Honey, get the help you need, don't let it destroy you for as long as so many of us here have and still do. We are always here for you.

Hugs....ScaredinMichigan

May 18, 2006
3:25 pm
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natalie21
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Thank you all so much:) I know this will be difficult, and it's good to see that there may 'be light at the end of the tunnel'. I am just scared that this will take more "energy" than I have right now...for years I have been saying that I didn't have time to dig that deeply or that if I found my memories, they would shatter me. But...now that I realize it, even though I may not shatter all at once, if I dont' do something, I will break apart, piece by piece. Maybe if I start now,I can prevent further damage, and take back my life?!
Free2,lots of that sounds so familiar to me when I think of my attitudes toward sex.

You know, I do have one memory...I've always had it...and it's one that I never felt really good about, but I've never been able to understand it...For many years, I felt nauseated when I heard someone sing that old song "let me call you sweetheart(I'm in love with you)"...but I can't remember who sang it. I can't decide if it's just that i was embarrassed as a child about "being in love", or if there's more to it. With that song, I remember seeing carpet...almost that I was staring down at it...kind of oldfashioned, like an oriental rug...but I don't remember ever seeing it later on in childhood.

Anyhow...maybe I don't need to remember exact things...maybe they are so 'stuck' inside...I am a person who always "pushes past the pain" and keeps going...maybe I learned it long ago?? I have changed so much over the years, from being a weak, shy person, to a strong and mostly confident person...but it only takes an instant to go all the way back again.
well, gotta put the "armor" back on and go to work...
thanks again for the validation...I really need/ed it! thank you, thank you, thank you 🙂

May 18, 2006
10:15 pm
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free2choose
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Natalie!

Hey, I am glad that you are able to feel better with the validation. I know that always helped me...I had a way of convincing myself I was crazy, or that I "shouldn't" feel a certain way. Well that is BUNK! Any feeling I have is a valid one, and yours are too! You are not crazy and neither am I.

You know my sponsor told me once, when i asked her if she thought I was crazy, "Erica, you know why I KNOW you are not crazy...Cause crazy people don't wonder if they are crazy, they think they are perfectly fine!"

That always made me laugh and feel better!

Good luck, keep us posted, ane keep coming back, OK?

Hugs,
Free

May 19, 2006
3:05 am
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pez
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Natalie21,

I never had to question the experience but for many years (too many years!) I convinced myself that it was love and not abuse...

To face it was one of the hardest things I had done up to that point in my life, and it was a very painful process. I can honestly tell you now, that feeling the freedom from suppressing reality has made every battle since then a walk in the park!

It gets easier, and the people on this site give great advice...

Pez

May 19, 2006
9:43 am
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mamac
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nat21
First off I am so sorry for what you have gone through. I just want to tell you little bout my sisters story. Her and I grew up in a foster home, one of the good ones thank God. But she and I visited our biological father when we were still very young. Well to make an extremely long story short, she had night terrors and eveything you describe. It wasnt until our biological mother died that we found out the real truth about our bio. family. My bio father had been abused and the abuser, it is unknown whether or not he did anything to my sister or I, We do know for a fact he got his sister pregnant when they were kids. Shocking I know!! We also found out somthing about how my sis had a rectal prolapse when she was two. I studied alot of law cases, and found that this is almost always caused by sexual abuse. She still cant remember anything though. We went to bury our mothers ashes in 2004, we had to travel to the state where our bio- father lives. Her and I both confronted him, we just came out and asked him if it happened, he denied it of course, but we could tell he was lying through his teeth. That is when we realized what a monster he was, and if somthing did happen it wasnt our fault. She confronted him on many issues. Now she is so much better, just confronting him and seeing the real him helped. She had been diagnosed with post tramatic stress synrome. Now all her symptoms are all but gone. I hope this story helped a little, I know it takes alot to confront somone but could it be a possibility? If not just keep doing what your doing. And remember you dont always have to remeber the incedent to heal, just deal with the syptoms at hand.

May 19, 2006
10:16 am
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Randomwomen2
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With me I remembered right off all the abuse that my father put me through (10 years of it) But I didnt remember about my mother. I was in denile about it. I had convenced myself for so long that she didnt do anything that I had actualy forgotten all the memories that I had of her during the abuse. Which is difficult cause I dont remember much except for the abuse. It took me 10 years to realize that my mother wasnt innocent in fact she was far from it. SOmetimes these things just take time sweetheart.

May 19, 2006
12:22 pm
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must_be_me
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Heya everyone ...
my saying is ... 'if u have instincts it did happen'
Hun .... there are many people out there who can help you with dealing with ure thoughts ... even if u think u have no memories.... maybe you have repressed them? in denial?
I believe you totally .... when i came here i was in your situation ... i knew something happened ... did'nt know how or when or why.
then i just sortave began getting the memories via flashback.
anyways ... be strong... keep your head high ... I am believer that if and when you are ready to face what happened your body will show u.
xxx kee xxx

May 19, 2006
2:16 pm
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natalie21
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Thanks everyone...I am really glad I finally looked for some online support! I want to say "it feels weird to almost feel lighter now--but it's not weird, is it? I have always been afraid of how much "digging" needs to be done...what a toll it could take on my life....but look what's it's already done. I think I'm finding a couple "schools of thought" on repressed memories--one seems to say that bringing them up could be more harmful, and the other seems to think they can stay burried, you just have to learn how to react differently in situations/relationships. Is this right? I suppose that the "answer" will come to me as I begin counseling. On one hand, I am just afraid to concentrate on these thoughts so much that I make myself a victim of my thoughts....but on the other, ...well, I don't know just yet.
I don't think I'd ever be able to confront my father...at this point...but for some time, I've been wanting to ask my mother just to plainly tell me "yes" or "no" if she knows of or suspects that I was abused somehow. I don't know if that's the right thing to do...I almost asked last nite, but my kids didn't go to bed as early as they should have, and then it was too late to call her. The more I thought about it though...maybe I don't need to know her thoughts...would she honestly tell me things if she knew them? Most likely, she'd do her usual and start crying. She's got the victim routine down-pat. Whenever things get uncomfortable, or asks her too many questions, she starts to cry...and guess what, everyone leaves her alone. We all worry about her feelings, and how things will effect her. I'd say I was always more of the "mother" than her. I was my "Dad's daughter" and my brother was my Mom's son"...Our family had no boundaries..I learned this when
I did some counseling about 12 yrs ago after my parents were stabbed by an "employee" of my fathers--long story...but I coudnt' handle how his drinking and need to be important by having these "workers" to help around the house. I went to Alanon and Adult Children of Alcoholics groups, until the groups disbanded in our area--they helped alot! Anyhow an interesting point is that the guy who stabbed them claimed he did it because he one time when he was at my parents house--my dad had his business out of the house--they were drinking and this guy says he woke up on the floor with his pants pulled down and that my dad had molested him. Now this was about a 30 yr old guy...who knows...but it's interesting to me that the guy chose this as a defense. I know I am just rambling...so I'll stop...but when I think back, there seem to be sooo many signs and things that were wrong.
Anyhow, thanks for reading and your thoughts...thank you for sharing things that are so painful. You have given me ideas and little bits and pieces of things to work on. God bless you all 🙂

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