Possible Indicators of Sexual Abuse

Feb 13th, 2010 | By | Category: All Posts, Discovering I'm Empowered

Do you suspect you may have been the victim of sexual abuse? Sexual abuse is one of the most traumatic events a person can experience. Victims of traumatic events commonly repress the memory of the event. Memory repression is a coping mechanism that allows the person to survive mentally, emotionally and physically. Memories are usually recovered naturally when the survivor is ready to face their painful past.

Listed below are some of the indicators of sexual abuse. Please note that one or more of these do not necessarily indicate abuse, but are merely indicators of possible abuse. There may be a variety of reasons for these symptoms.


  1. I began masturbating at an early age.
  2. As a child, I used to insert objects into my bottom, and I do not know where I learned to do this.
  3. I seemed to know some things about sex even before they were explained to me.
  4. I have never really been very interested in sex OR I’m preoccupied with thoughts about sex.
  5. I can’t stand to be touched in certain sexual ways or areas of my body.
  6. I have a strong aversion to certain sex acts OR I have a need for particular sex acts.
  7. My experiences with sex are degrading or short-lived.
  8. I freeze up or can’t say no when someone wants to be sexual with me.
  9. I feel threatened when someone expresses sexual interest. All pursuit feels like a violation.
  10. I have a sexual dysfunction, such as premature ejaculation, inability to have an orgasm, or pain during intercourse.
  11. I feel as if there is something wrong or dirty about my sexuality.
  12. There is only one way I can have an orgasm or one position that turns me on.
  13. I have fantasies of sexual abuse during sex or sexual fantasies of dominance or rape.
  14. I am or fanaticize about being a prostitute, stripper, sex symbol, or porn actress.
  15. I have an erotic response to abuse or anger.
  16. I have had promiscuous sex with strangers, but I’m unable to have sex in intimate relationships.
  17. I tend to sexualize meaningful relationships.
  18. I am compulsively seductive OR compulsively asexual.
  19. I cry after an orgasm OR am impersonal and shutdown.
  20. I cannot be sexual unless I am the aggressor.


  1. I am afraid of being alone in the dark or of sleeping alone.
  2. I had or have recurring dreams.
  3. I often have nightmares and night terrors (especially of pursuit, threat, or entrapment).
  4. I remember vividly one or more nightmares from my childhood.
  5. I have difficulty falling or staying asleep.
  6. I sometimes wake up feeling as if I am choking, gagging, or being suffocated.
  7. I have awakened from sleep trying to attack my partner.
  8. Sometimes I fear or sense that someone is in my bedroom.
  9. I often wake up frightened at the same time every night.

Fears and Attractions

  1. I am frightened of one or more common household objects OR I have a strange affection or attraction to a common household object.
  2. I would never go into a closet or any dark, confined space.
  3. Basements or certain other spaces terrify me.
  4. I am afraid to be alone or to leave my house.
  5. When I was a child, I cowered in corners and liked to hide.
  6. I hate going to the dentist more than most people.
  7. I neglect my teeth.
  8. My mouth seems repulsive to me.
  9. I hate to have someone touch my hair.
  10. I hate water on my face when bathing or swimming. It sometimes feels like I’m suffocating.
  11. I am always alert to the possibility of sexual assault.
  12. I don’t like making noise during sex, or while I cry or laugh.
  13. I carefully monitor my words or my volume, especially when I need to be heard.
  14. I am afraid to take risks OR I frequently take dangerous risks.
  15. I’m afraid to get too emotionally close to anyone OR I get too close to people too fast, before I even know if I can trust them.

Eating Disturbances

  1. I have had periods in my life when I couldn’t eat, or I had to force myself to eat.
  2. Sometimes I binge on huge amounts of food.
  3. Certain foods or tastes frighten me or nauseate me.
  4. I am seriously underweight or overweight.
  5. I gag or choke easily.
  6. I make myself throw up, take laxatives, or exercise exhaustively to control my weight.

Body Problems

  1. I do not take good care of my body.
  2. Even if I think something might be wrong with me, I don’t go to the doctor.
  3. I don’t feel connected with my body.
  4. I hate the way my body looks.
  5. I avoid looking in mirrors.
  6. I wear clothing that covers up my body, either too much clothing or baggy clothes.
  7. I wear clothes even while I swim, bath or sleep.
  8. I need more privacy than most people when using the bathroom.
  9. I have odd sensations in my genitals or rectum.
  10. Whenever I think of a certain person from my childhood, I get a sensation in my genitals.
  11. I sometimes feel physical pain or numbness associated with a particular memory, emotion, or situation.
  12. I avoid going to the gynecologist, or I dread it terribly.
  13. I have gastrointestinal problems, gynecological problems (including spontaneous vaginal infections), headaches, arthritis or joint pain.
  14. When I was a child, I had frequent stomachaches or headaches.
  15. When I was a child, I wet the bed.
  16. When I feel threatened I sometimes feel detached from my body, like I am watching a scene from a movie.

Compulsive Behaviors

  1. I sometimes hurt myself in a way that marks or sears my body.
  2. I have an addiction to drugs or alcohol.
  3. My drug or alcohol use started before I was thirteen.
  4. I do some things to excess and I just don’t know when to quit.
  5. I can’t seem to control myself when it comes to spending money or gambling.
  6. I try to control things that don’t really matter, just to have control of something.
  7. I need to have the feeling that I am in control of myself, others, or situations.
  8. I have a strong need to protect what’s mine.
  9. I have often taken foolish risks with my safety.
  10. I pick at my body, often without even thinking about it.

Emotional Signals

  1. I space out or daydream.
  2. I have an extensive fantasy life. I imagine relationships or identities that I don’t have.
  3. I feel the need to be invisible or to make as little trouble as possible.
  4. I instinctively know and do what others want or need without having to be told.
  5. I don’t know why people would want to be nice to me. I have a high appreciation of small favors by others.
  6. I often feel like I have no right to set limits or to say no.
  7. I seem to have a pattern of being victimized, especially sexually.
  8. I have a pattern of having relationships with a much older person, which started in adolescence.
  9. I feel the need to be perfect OR I feel the need to be perfectly bad.
  10. It is difficult for me to recognize, own, or express anger.
  11. I am constantly angry.
  12. I have an intense hostility toward an entire gender or ethnic group of the perpetrator.
  13. To smile or laugh means I am losing control.
  14. I often feel like I am being watched.
  15. I get nervous when I am being watched.
  16. I tend to be secretive.
  17. I don’t like surprises.
  18. I startle easily.
  19. When I am in crisis, I go into shock and shutdown.
  20. Sometimes really violent or strange pictures flash through my mind.
  21. I feel a sense of doom, as though my life will end in tragedy or disaster.
  22. I get nervous when I am happy and tend to sabotage it.
  23. I have the feeling that if I am happy, it’s not real or won’t last.
  24. I have unexplained bouts of depression or I cry without knowing the reason.
  25. The pain in my life seems too big compared to my known history.
  26. I have a strong sense that something terrible has happened to me or that I carry an awful secret.
  27. I have the feeling that no one will listen to me, though I have an urge to tell OR a strong fear that my secret will be revealed.
  28. There is a blank period in my childhood when I can remember nothing.
  29. Other people seem to have childhood memories at an earlier age than I do.
  30. I feel different from everyone else; I feel that I’m not real and everyone else is or vice versa.
  31. I feel marked, like I am wearing a scarlet letter.
  32. I have multiple personalities.
  33. I have the feeling that I am crazy.
  34. There have been times when I had suicidal thoughts or attempted suicide, including “passive suicide”.
  35. Nothing seems very real sometimes.
  36. I am not in touch with my feelings, I am usually numb.
  37. I identify with abuse victims in the media, and often stories of abuse make me want to cry.
  38. I have a desire to change my name, either to get away from my abuser or to take control through self-labeling.
  39. I have a strong need to believe that nothing bad happened to me. “Maybe it’s my imagination.”
  40. I tend to minimize the bad things that were done to me. “It wasn’t that bad.”

Adapted from symptom checklist from “Repressed Memories” by Renee Fredrickson, Ph.D. and Incest Survivors’ Aftereffects Checklist from “Secret Survivors” by E. Sue Blume.

If you can identify with this list, you probably have a lot of questions. Many survivors of sexual abuse remember some or all of their abuse experience but haven’t defined it as sexual abuse. They minimize it with statements like:

“I wasn’t penetrated.”
“It only happened once and he didn’t actually hurt me.”
“It was just kids being kids.”

If you’d like to learn more:
What is Sexual Abuse?
How Do You Know If Your Memories of Sexual Abuse Are Real?

No matter what happened to you, you don’t have to live with the effects of abuse. Healing is possible.
Where Do I Start?

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  1. i have a few of those as an adult from childhood

  2. oh wow… ive just become a bit teary-eyed when i saw this. this is EXACTLY the kind of problems ive been having from my own abuse :/

  3. I started to cry halfways through this. This connects a lot of dotts in my head.

  4. I agree i was in total shock reading this. I even had my husband to come read with me hoping he would have a better understanding. &Know I am not just making excuses.I did not count how many refer to my own abuse , but i can say it was most of what i read.

  5. it was like talking about me

  6. Fits me perfectly, like reading my diary, haha.

  7. The 1st two at the top broke my heart.. majority of it fitsme perfectly how heart breaking when its put out in front of u to make u realise.. 🙁

  8. I’m glad to read the sexual one, b/c I’ve struggled with some of those and didn’t know why. It makes me very angry at how my abuser screwed me up.

  9. I just discovered that I suffer sexual abuse. Now I know why I have so many emotional disfunctions but I think that now I’m ready to be healed. Thank u guys for helping people who struggled the whole life because of that.

  10. wow. I wish I would have read something like this 20 years ago, I might have realized why I felt the way I did and avoided a lot of further damage had I known and dealt with this back then. I honestly thought that all my “problems” had nothing to do with my abuse history and that I was just “crazy” and “bad” and thats why I did/said/felt etc. the way I did.

  11. Amira,
    I feel the same way. It would have been so much easier if I had recognized the effects for what they were. Instead, shame piled up on shame. I’m glad we know now!

  12. I was sexually abused at 11, I am now 34, I am trying to get justice for what was inflicted on me. I have a mild brain injury as well, which hampered my ability to understand the wrong done against me. I feel I can’t be married, as I don’t like to be embraced in a loving way except by my parents. I need love and support when I am home alone as I feel that I will be abused again, or my parents won’t return from their long holidays.

  13. That’s what my friend’s niece did: touched her grandpa’s private parts. When he asked why she did that, she said it’s what her dad makes her do.
    That’s how they found out his 4-year-old niece was being molested by her dad. And, since her dad was literally connected to the mafia-he was their muscle and would break people’s legs [real nice guy]-they couldn’t take it to court.

  14. When I was 20, my dad told me I was raped but my mom’s best friends son. My dad has always been a compulsive liar and was very scandalous, so it was hard for me to believe him, and I didn’t. Well, shortly after that, I began having visions of sitting on a black leather recliner at 5 years old and a teenager getting too close for my comfort, then things go blank. After these flashback occurred, I began acting out in a very promiscuous way. I slept with random men as a game; I never got attached. Soon after that, I started stripping, which led to porn, which led to escorting, which is just a prettier way of saying I was a prostitute.
    Well, I have not done any sort of sexual act for funds since May 24, 2009 and I have been in a living hell since.
    I just found out I have been dealing with PTSD. Well, I started looking back on my life before my dad casually dropped this bombshell on me that inevitably destroyed me, and I realized I had very odd behavior from the time I was 6 on. I began to starve myself for a better body and exercised vigorously at age 6, had and acted out scenes of violent and tortuous sex at age 7, was touching myself inappropriately at the same age, all together stopped calling my mom “mom” or “mommy” at 8 years old and till this day I refer to her as nothing. The list goes on and on.
    So I stumbled across this website and when I started reading the signs and symptoms, I began to cry immediately. Out of that entire list I couldn’t relate to 5 at most.
    I am in such shock, pain and disbelief right now. I know I need to get help, but I feel so ashamed. I really don’t know what to do.
    I do find comfort in knowing I’m not the only one who’s been through this.
    Anyway, thank you for reading my rant.

  15. @B
    I don’t see it as a rant. It sounds like a healthy expression of your feelings.
    But I’m certainly no expert on feelings, b/c I feel like I’m not allowed to lose control at any time.
    At first I thought felt that way b/c of my job; I’m a paramedic and we’re NOT allowed to lose control in front of patients; but now I think it didn’t have anything to do w/ my work.
    My second mom never had any respect for people who showed even the tiniest bit of emotion-and that included people who showed grief at a funeral-she looked down her nose at anybody who had any feelings.
    In order to please her, I started trying to hide every one of my feelings and, to this day, I still feel like I’m doing something wrong if I show any emotion.
    That’s not a healthy response though, b/c it keeps the person locked into not dealing w/ it. I really don’t want to call it sick, b/c I believe it was a learned behavior. In my mind sicknesses aren’t learned. They’re the result of bacterial, viral or chemical imbalances. Chemical imbalances meaning norepinephrine, dopamine or other neurotransmitters being out of alignment in the body.
    Learned behaviors don’t have much to do w/ chemical imbalances, but I’m not claiming expertise in the mental health arena. I got my information from a psychiatrist anyway, but I could be perceiving it different from the way he meant it.
    As a paramedic, I understand neurotransmitters better than learned behaviors, and I’m more familiar w/ acute illnesses than chronic ones.
    I’m just saying I don’t have all the answers, but I know talking is supposed to be more freeing than suppressing the feelings.

  16. I read the list and was just gob-smacked. I can identify strongly with so much, both now, as an adult,adn way back in my childhood. Like Amira, I wish I had seen this years ago – it might have saved me decades of PTSD and got me into therapy so much earlier – and I might have had a real life, instead of a half-life. Still, I guess we all get there in our own time, when we are ready, whatever. And I am gonna show this to my husband, who is suffering with me and struggling to understand. It’s not his fault, anymore than it was mine. The evil that these bastards do has tentacles that reach far beyond the immediate act, and invades our souls and the lives of others around us.

  17. This list really opened my eyes. I have just recently been sexually assaulted, orally. My therapist is telling me that It’s because I am a victim of prior sexual abuse, she’s right. I was abused several years ago as well. I have struggled with disturbing thoughts my entire teenage life and into my 20’s. I am always a victim in my thoughts, being abused somehow. I have rejected these thoughts as best as I could, but they keep coming back. The nightmare of my thoughts came alive only a year ago, it was as if my nightmare/dream came true. I am still sorting out my feelings, the realizations I am coming to are terrifying, but necessary. It’s starting to make sense. I just hope I can get through this.

  18. I want to hug all of you for sharing, for your bravery,
    and for being the only people (besides my husband
    & therapist) who don’t turn away from a topic that every-
    one else I know finds to ugly to face. It’s not our freaking
    fault that degenerates abused us. It’s still very hard for me
    to believe I had it so bad…but most of that list describes me.
    One day, I pray, society will view us as the victors, not
    as the taboo. Again, if I have to be in a club I didn’t choose,
    I feel blessed to be in it with all of you!!

  19. I began being sexually abused when I was about five years old. This continued on for many years by six different men. From the time I was five to fifteen or sixteen, I was secretly, shamefully, and sadly abused for years. Friends of the family, cousins, uncle, a step-father… After so long, I got numb to it, and haven’t really, seriously looked back since. I have always known or felt like I should feel more, know more, understand more about my abuse, but with hidden emotions i couldn’t connect to or didn’t really notice were there, i figured I wasn’t affected anymore. My entire childhood was an emotional mess with mental abuse, psychological manipulation and sexual abuse, so things got complicated. I figured i had moved on from the tangle of mess of so many confusing dark figures in what I wanted to be a bright world. I thought I had moved on, and into that bright world, just because i could and did move out, went to college and started a life of my own. I thought I was fine. I wasn’t of course, having made so, so many wrong and hurtful choices (both to myself and others) but I thought I was normal. I I thought… It took a very serious love a beautiful love that could have and should have been everything two people could hope for, if abuse had not gotten us both. She was and is amazing, and is still amazingly my best friend. But as I said, my actions and learned behaviors from abuse really hurt our relationship, and her own triggers didn’t mix well with mine. A love, ,a lost love to help me realize the truth of my abuse, and the effects it has had on me, on someone else I truly love. I still, for this last year though have been unable to really know what is going on inside of me I have healed some for sure, learned some boundaries, have been seeing a counselor, but I am still on that road to self[love and healing from abuse. Then something so simple as this list; this list shot serious connections though my body, mind and soul. And while I do not quite yet understand what this all means, I do understand more about myself, and have been able to look at another layer, other layers of my past, feeling that pain, and finding more clues to the road of recovery, the road to my ture self. The me I feel buried inside, wanting, waiting to emerge and finally live fear free, and love full.

  20. Hello,

    Most of the things listed here resonated for me. A friend recently suggested that I may have been sexually abused, he said when exploring my history it seemed that there were indicators of sexual abuse everywhere he turned. I have no memory of sexual abuse (as a child, there were mild incidents when I was older) and struggle with the question was I abused? I have been doing self work for a year and have had therapy to heal from other childhood abuse I suffered (mainly emotional abuse and neglect). I have come a long way in the healing process but I think there is a barrier as I can’t seem to get very far in healing things which seem like they have come from childhood sexual abuse. I want to regain memories (if I have any to find) so that I can heal from what may have happened and move on. I feel frustrated and a little hopeless, how can I heal from something I can’t remember? I have tried meditation exercises and I do get pretty dark thoughts and sensations when I go there yet nothing that is a solid, tangible, or cohesive memory. Where my mind goes it could just be imagination. I guess I was wondering if anyone had experienced similar things (I realise I’m late to posting here and so may not get a reply), like does anyone have any ideas as to how I go about trying to regain memories? Also, how do I differentiate between memory and imagination? I’m finding the process of memory recovery scary and frustrating, what if I never get the memories- how can I move on? And, how could I have ended up with so many indicators (for example, ran away from home at 13 started having sex with older men, poledanced, came close to prostitution, drugs, eating problems, sexual dysfunction etc.), if I was not sexually abused at an early age? Could emotional abuse and neglect cause me to identify with most of these symptoms? I struggle so hard to remember my childhood but I think I need to remember, to live a free and happy life.

    Anywho, if anyone has any comments or if there’s a more appropriate place for me to post these questions then I’d totally appretiate it!

    Thanks loads


  21. Hi R,
    One of the most helpful tools in helping me remember is the book, “Repressed Memories” by Renee Fredrickson. Wow, it’s a great book!

  22. Thank you to all who have shared their experiences though not beautiful childhood ones makes me realize even more there are lots of like survivors from sexual abuse.
    I have been trying to get some happy memories back about my childhood as my abuse was recalled to me after watching a woman who had been interviewed on the Late Late Show here in Ireland from which time the abuse took over in helping get me to be a survivor. We have to be survivors and stop any one that is abusing. we have to stand out and speak out be named as survivors as by staying anonymous the abusers are still abusing us. I had a wonderful childhood of at least 17 men preying on me. It was fondling, to full sex depending on the abuser. I never told my parents until 7and a half years ago when I came out of another failed relationship. My dad had died with out knowing (his good friend was one of the tormentors). I decided to tell my mother at the point of the last break up as she was judging me all my life. I started to heal then tough I do think she has but it to the back of her mind as when there are discussions on abuse I put in my speak and she seems to dismiss me as if I would not know what I am talking about. I have to that go as I don’t have the energy to be fighting with her.
    I am luck now that when I ask people to tell me fun things we did as children together we can do so and I can enjoy some of my childhood memories.
    I have had strength to report someone in my circle of family and friends to authorities and get a child assessed. It turns out the child has been abused but the parents did not press charges ten and a half years ago, it turns out her brother came forward over a year ago and also a neighbor and have decided to bring charges against the assailant. It takes forever and in the meantime the aggressor lives with his own children. The state in Ireland is slow to move on and protect children though they are saying they are doing it.
    My abuse was done by 100% lay people and not one person of clerical sector did anything to me and I come from a catholic family with lots of priests and nuns in family and was in their company a good bit.
    People do not realize that 95% of abusers are lay people and most are people the victim knows. Abuse is about the control they can have on you not the act only but they are controlling bullies. Thank you for the list of signs in adults and children I have been looking for this for ages
    Congratulations to all who have taken the chance to let their feelings be known. SPEAK OUT AS IT HEALS. SILENCE MAKES YOU SICK AND THEY ARE STILL CONTROLLING YOU IF YOU STAY SILENT . Love to all who use this site may the higher power help you

  23. It all makes sense now.

  24. Thank you for this great website, it does all make sense now. I have been in al-anon for many years and therapy too and I have talked with different friends about our childhood sexual abuse and even some in therapy but people do shy away from it – even therapists! But looking over the last relationship I was in I had to see the patterns and the unresolved issues I have struggled with all my life.

    All the men I have been involved with have somehow fit the pattern of late night visits, or secret lovers. How can I deny that any longer? That is the pattern from the abuse from dad and brothers. I can’t stand to think that even ‘knowing’ about the abuse I have still continued the sexual patterns of no intimate relationships, or having a relationship with a man where it is a secret of some kind or a ‘booty call.’ The last man I was involved with would not acknowledge me to his family and hid me when we were out in public. Then he just ‘disappeared.’ I don’t know if I can describe just how incredibly angry I am that I have perpetuated this sexual abuse with other men in my life – and there are plenty of men who are available to take the place of the original abusers, and I can find them!

    I know that I can’t change what happened in my past and that I am responsible for my life today, I am ok with that. I just want to stop continuing the patterns and to make better choices for myself today. Reading over the questions above confirms for me that I am right there along with all the other commenters above: my sexual abuse history has been dutifully repeated by myself all these years. I either avoid sexual or intimate relationships, or I act out the late night molestations by my father and brothers. It’s really just that simple.

    And if I don’t do it sexually I will do it professionally through abusive jobs or situations which I either find or re-create.

    It is all so incredibly sad –

  25. Sarah,
    That’s a really strong tie-in to the abuse and so many survivors don’t see the connection. I used to beat myself up for all the ways I coped and expressed the pain of my past in unhealthy ways. Seeing the connections helps me deal with the root and to have more compassion for myself. The more I listen to myself, the less need I have to express myself by “acting out”. Thank you for sharing your experience and feelings. I’m glad you found us!

  26. There is always fear that the repeat action can take over. When I am at a low ebb I want to got out and do stranger unprotected self abusive sex. Though I have a loving partner who some times takes up the information on something that has triggered (he blames himself) my turn off in sex. I have to per occupy myself with happy things and good creative things.

    live life give love and through this you will heal and survive and beat the past

  27. Everybody, has anyone tired anything to forget what has happened, Im almost 25 and every week seems like my memory wants to remember more and more and I don’t wish too. I am happier and a better person when I don’t remember when I remember -I get into this mood that I don’t want to be touched by my soon to be husband….I know that the life I have lived has been something I pretend has never happened to me, I have came online to try and find or figure out how I can get help. If anybody has had any help with online services or medication or any source of help, please let me know. Thanks

  28. Hernandez,
    I’ve found that all the ways that I tried to separate myself from myself and the past only hurt me more. I’ve developed addictions and patterns that created even more pain. The only way I’ve found to stop the pain is to face it and deal with it. That’s what this entire site is all about.

  29. Or of the totaled one hundred and twenty nine symptoms I have, had or displayed 88 many I have worked very hard at hiding from myself and others learning certain things are our should be unacceptable. reading this did not make me cry, I’ve known for a long time but I don’t know what happened, Wii did what where or when. But I know. the majority of my childhood is a giant blank space with little glimpses here and there. I believe something happened to me in a hall, pool, bathroom, my bedroom with my bunk beds or a combination of any if these. I am 18. My symptoms date back to before I was 8, Loooong before. I don’t know if I want to know or if I ever will. I don’t want what happened to damage my current relations with my family. I read once that those who are sexually abused tend to abuse especially if they’re still young and aren’t aware its wrong. A vision I was very close to and still an very close to was abused sexually, I would hate for it to turn out he did it to me, however I have already forgiven him if he did because it wasn’t or wouldn’t have been his fault. I love my cousin. I also have symptoms not listed above; intrusive compulsive thoughts of incestuous relations with family members, I keep them at bay as best as I can and for the most part I succeed. I’m not sure if I should try to learn what happened or not….

  30. Reading this list hurt. I thought there was something wrong with me & I was disgusting all my life when I’m actually displaying common behaviour. Wish I’d known this years ago. I grew up with physical, mental & some sexual abuse. My dad eventually apologised 20 or so years or so later & again when he died, but my mum denied knowing the sexual abuse was going on which I know wasn’t true. She apologised for when she was a bad mum when she went & I think that’s what she was referring to. My sister (child abuse victim herself) allowed her husband to abuse me between the ages of 16-19 (disguised as ‘medical training) & at the end I was heavily pregnant. He hurt me, I was very upset & she gave me half a bottle of cheap perfume to make it better. After I had my baby he got into bed with me while she was in there & I managed to tell him to leave me alone. Another time he knew my baby & I were desperately poor (we lived on £5 a week as all my money went on rent to him & my sister) & offered to give me £100 if i had sex with him – which i refused. I’ve not been allowed to mention any of this since as he became wealthy & to my mum & sister this was more important than me. At age 18 I woke up during a party (passed out drunk in a friends bed) to find someone having sex with me – as I was drunk I didn’t stop it but encouraged the guy – it never occurred to my until a couple of years ago that he had been raping me & since then I’ve been disgusted with myself Years later when I was assaulted by the vague new friend of a friend, I told her but she again acted as though nothing happened & kept in touch with the guy. I’ve had to forgive all friends & family involved or live through the trauma & shame of everyone knowing about me & causing problems within the family. I’ve become fat, ugly & depressed, have two failed marriages as well as broken relationships behind me (having chosen men who were all horrible in one way or another) & have had several children in these different relationships – so people generally assume I’m a scummy slut. Reading this post makes me feel stupid & I’ve allowed people to trample over me my whole life, especially my family & children. I hope that one day I can let go, get over this & be happy.

  31. Hi thanks for the great list, it’s sooo helpful. I have some memories of sexual abuse but can’t remember others. I know it’s my father. I confronted him, and he denies ever doing anything to me. Though the more I ask him the more he answers with strange questions, saying things like. I need to know more details of what happened to you to be able to help you. He keeps asking for details of the abuse which makes me feel sick. I was molested by a piano teacher when i was 13yrs old. As I was physically (hitting) and emotionally abused at home by both parents i did not think my parents would care to know. So I didn’t tell them till I was an adult. When I was 11 yrs old an old cleaner at our school would touch our breasts when we sat talking to him so we all stoped talking to him. I like others of you have acted out my abuse choosing partners that continued to abuse me. My first sexual partner was 23yrs older than me. I was looking for a dad’s love and continued to throughout my adult like. I worked in a massage parlour (working naked/ did not do full sex) at 21yrs old. I became very promiscuous. As a result of the abuse I learned wrong patterns of relating to others, I also learned that to have love you needed to work for it and you only got crumbs of love and you had to wait for the bits of love that would be given to me when the person felt like it. I have had a lot of guilt because of all the wrong choices. But am starting to understand that I was a victim and that I needed to acknowledge what was done to me and to learn new and healthy patterns of relation to other and also my worth. I thought it was all my fault I had F—- my life. But i can see as I work through things that I was a child and was Innocent and was abused learning very unhealthy patterns of relating and feeling that I was dirty, ugly, not wanted. I can relate to lots of the points above, not liking my body hurt me when I read it because I should be happy with the body i have but loath it. I remember my dad as I grew up into a teenager always looking at my breasts. He would also say mean things about my thighs at 11 or 12 if I wore shorts. I was ashamed of my thighs always after that thinking I had awful thighs. One man I slept with told me I had very nice thighs which helped a bit. My dad would take me to get an ice-cream tell me how I should act with men explaining that I needed to be seductive, and act like a cat very sleek and sexy. I was F— 12yrs old. When I gave birth to my two children his camera was used by my friend to take picture of my Childs birth; he developed the pictures and cut up bits of the pictures that he didn’t like and posted it back to me. I was so embarrassed. When my second child was born my sister borrowed his video camera to film the birth. She unfortunately gave it back to him with the video. I phoned him asking for it back and he laughed. I said don’t look at it and he just laughed and ended up sending it to me latter. I felt so humiliated and powerless. I was very poor in those days so didn’t have a camera or video. I can now pick out the bad man I think. And so am very careful. I have been single though for 7 years for fear of choosing wrong. So I avoid all intimate relationships for fear of being with another abusive male. I have been diagnosed with bipolar, and the last relationship left me so unwell I know I can’t go through something like that again. Thank you for listening to me and good luck on your journey. 🙂

  32. oh god. Most of these describe me. This has made me very sad and scared. I have always told myself I made all this abuse up. argh so much of it is like me. very very scary. don’t know what to do with these feelings 🙁

  33. I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes..almost every single one of these are me..I began to masterbate at 4-5 yrs..I’m 29 yrs old n ihave been pregnant 9 times n I am a opiate n benzo addiict..I started smokin weed @ 11..I’m still scared to fall asleep at. Night n can’t fall asleep until I’m exzausted..I always thought what happened wasn’t that bad..I’m wrong this shit has fucken destroyed me..but I feel sry for my abuser because he doesn’t no what he did n he was probably abused too..thanks

  34. I just want to plaster this list on a bunch of big yard signs and put them
    in the yards of my brothers (who love me but won’t believe what our terrible
    stepfather did to me) & my mother who was complicit.
    I’m so angry lately and I don’t know what to do with it!!

  35. This is so me. It makes me sick. I still can’t say a lot of it out loud. It’s gone on most of my life.

  36. Weird. Though it makes no sense. It should tell about how many of these have to be true in order for something to most likely happen.! i have 34 of em. I think thats more than plenty!

  37. It breaks my heart to read each and every one of these stories and how I can identify with most of the stuff on the list . My story is similar to most of yours; forgetting what happened to me as a kid and then having memories come up now as an adult and reliving the past. I am 18 and I just told my parents that I was abused a few months ago. I have felt so hopeless and confused and scared most of my life and I want to meet people who have gone through this kind of abuse so I can feel like I’m not going crazy and not feel so alone in all of this. Going through this you feel so trapped, and like you never felt like you really belonged to yourself. It’s like your body is a tomb to your mind and all your memories are like poison, imobilizing you and you feel so stuck. This is a sad and sick thing that no one shoud ever have to go through. It’s hard to see past any of it now while you are living in the silence and secrecy. I want know if there is a better life and a hope to hold onto.

  38. Lindsey…..well I am glad you told your parents, I never told mine cause they were never really around. I, myself just started seeking help, I have only told one person which is now my husband. I felt a relief but not entire….every on from my childhood I have blocked and every once in awhile that I remember -is in my dreams…I wakeup feeling the age I was when I was sexual abused. I want to seek further help but I don’t feel I could I don’t want to remember anymore than my dreams. I have three girls I’ll be 25 soon, and I feel I have copied with it on my own well, I have made a family and my life couldn’t be any better. I think thats the reason I haven’t looked for too much help, besides talking with someone else who has experienced similar childhood. Don’t let yourself live in the past of what wasn’t your fault…live to the fullest and be happy as you can be. You have to do whatever it takes to protect yourself! Good luck

  39. So how many of these do I have to get before it becomes a possibility that I might have gone through some form of abuse? Because I mean I’ve never been sexually active with another person in my life (hell I haven’t even kissed a person in my 20 years) but I feel like the numbers I do identify with are rather heavy ones.

    Here’s just a few:
    I began masturbating at an early age.
    I have fantasies of sexual abuse during sex or sexual fantasies of dominance or rape.
    I am afraid of being alone in the dark or of sleeping alone.
    I had or have recurring dreams.
    I often have nightmares and night terrors (especially of pursuit, threat, or entrapment). (i don’t have these anymore but I did have them excessively throughout my junior and senior year in high school when I was stressed out)
    I remember vividly one or more nightmares from my childhood.
    I avoid going to the gynecologist, or I dread it terribly.
    I space out or daydream.
    I have an extensive fantasy life. I imagine relationships or identities that I don’t have.
    I have the feeling that if I am happy, it’s not real or won’t last.
    I identify with abuse victims in the media, and often stories of abuse make me want to cry. (Not really the media but of fictional characters in stories and I don’t cry – i’m not much of a crier- but I always feel drawn or have some kind of fascination with stories with trouble or abused youth)
    I have a strong need to believe that nothing bad happened to me. “Maybe it’s my imagination.”
    I tend to minimize the bad things that were done to me. “It wasn’t that bad.”

    I kind of just started looking up repressed memories after I had a kind of wacky dream last night.

  40. Hello, I’m searching the internet for answers. It’s been like this for the last year when I started to get memories of when I was touched inappropriately by my sisters husbands. And well, I struggle to believe that any of it happened. But then easy part is that I can’t remember anything besides three sold memories [nothing sexual]. And then I have this hunting flashback that I just don’t know if it was real or not. I open up to a woman i trust, and she files a report. But when the police officer interrogated me, i told her everything i remembered, and then tried to tell her of my flashback. she immediately told me that if it was just a memory it might not be real. so she didn’t put it in the paper work.
    I leave it alone, I’m just shaken at that point by all the onslaught of memories that kept flooding into my mind. In the end, they have the court order a nurse to check me, but because my memories are when i was younger, the nurse only looks at me, but says that it was a long time ago and that there was not chance of any evidence to be found. She too ignored me when I talked of my flashback, also stating that it was not real. It wasn’t solid or based on facts. She said and i quote “it’s not like the others. How do you remember, with great detail all that happened to you, and not that? No, honey, it didn’t happen.”
    I didn’t know what to say, so i just left it alone.
    No a year later, I can’t believe it’s only been a year, I’ve been trying not to think about it. It scares me and then people i trust, I tell them what I remember, even the flashback. And they, unlike the liscensed professionals actually believe me, and tell me that they “know” something happened to me. It’s horrible. I can’t even think that it happened to me. It scares me. It makes sense though. All of the things this list has explained it makes total sense. And it makes me cry, because i still don’t want to believe that it happened. I don’t think anyone who has gone through rape and forgotten about it wants to admit or think it happened. At least not in the beginning when the realization comes. I know I don’t. I’m so scared and at times, from the fear I tell myself that it didn’t happen, but I still think it did. And then finally today I had the courage to read this and it just made me cry. It just sounds like me, when i was little. It’s so horrible. And it’s true.
    I just want to tell you guys that have been through this, you guys are really brave. Here I am scared and you guys are just so brave. It’s really inspiring.
    I’m still confused and scared and in denial, but I think with time I’ll deal with the truth. This whole list was just painful to read. Honestly.

  41. I’m actually really scared right now because I can relate to almost all of the things on this list.

    Long story short right now, I’m 18 and I’ve always thought something was wrong with me, I hate physical contact, especially in certain areas, I don’t like getting close to people etc, long story short I feel like there is many things wrong with me.

    I don’t feel safe, ever, especially when I sleep, I’ve built a tent over my bed out of blankets and I have toys to make me feel like I’m not alone. I was expressing to my mum how I don’t like the bedroom arrangement at my grandmothers (I sleep there because It’s close to my work) because the bed is in the middle of the room and I always feel someone is watching over me or something is there. My mum said something to me, she said, “why don’t you feel safe? were you hurt as a child?” and I hadn’t realized until then what could be wrong with me. I feel like something could have happened in my childhood. I don’t remember any of it before I was about 10. The things I do remember are from photos, videos or people have told me. So right now I’m kind of trying to find out the truth. I have horrible nightmares about monsters touching me. not real people but twisted humanoid creatures. the most recurring one is one with claws scratching at my right side, I wake up in spasms.

    The thing that bothers me the most about this is
    2. I have an extensive fantasy life. I imagine relationships or identities that I don’t have.
    I have an entire fantasy life built inside my head. It’s usually all I think about it. I have a fantasy identity with fantasy people and relationships. I tend to think of them as my imaginary friends and they make me happier than real people, it’s hard to admit.

    just have to get my story out there, if anyone can help me I’d appreciate it.

  42. I’m 13 years old and pretty much all of these apply to me. I came onto this website because in the past few years I feel like I can’t remember something and I suddenly feel absolutely disgusted whenever my father tucks me into bed, I’m fine when my mother does it- I actually try to stall to get her to stay longer- but my dad will stroke my hair when I’m in bed and I just feel uncomfortable and I find myself praying for him to go away. I have an older brother and I am super close with him and love him alot,it’s just around my dad all of a sudden I feel like I don’t love him much anymore.
    Does anyone think I might have a repressed memory? And could it be to do with my dad?

  43. Brie,
    Nobody can answer for you what really happened, but it’s good that you are listening to yourself and aren’t dismissing those things. One of the tools that helped me to put the puzzle pieces of my life together was the book, “Repressed Memories”. That may help you answer the questions that you have.


  44. Brie… I believe you may have a reaction to something that possibly he did to you at an early age you don’t remember -as it was said nobody could answer that..except maybe yourself..knowing the facts, probably why you feel the way you do towards a certain person. Everyone of us is different in our horrible past experiences with an abuser. They are abusers cause they. Verbally tell us things and. Put things in our mind, threaten, hurt..anything to get what they want. The uncomfortable maybe should be told aloud or tell your mother how you feel. I wish you the best and hope it’s just something towards any adult man and not nessasarly your father.

  45. Wow…this article made perfect sense to me and its so horrible that there are so many people whose childhood was stolen from them. I grew up with very loving parents and I was especially close to my father when I was younger. My father is a beautiful man but I grew distant from him over the years when I started remembering all the sexual and psychological abuse I suffered at the hands of my uncle, his brother. To this day, I’m 30, nobody in my family knows because I never wanted them to suffer or feel guilt. Also, people from my cultural background are incredibly judgmental and it’s shameful to admit what happened. I think having a secure home environment enabled me to progress with my life even though I was abused by this uncle every Sunday when we’d visit my grandparents.

    I grew up bullied in school because I was considered a “frigid”. I completed high school, finished college and have progressed very well in my professional career. I also have lots of good friends around me. However, I had consensual sex with my first boyfriend that I really loved at the age 24 and he was so good with me. After just over 5 yrs together, we have recently broken up for good. I don’t think he ever really understood my PTSD and to be honest, our relationship took its toll on both of us because he was moody and unpredictable and at times I caught a glimpse of his violent side. When I first told him that I had been abused as a kid, he cried but stopped talking to me for 3 days. I stayed strong because I had convinced myself nobody would ever want me. During one period (in the first 2 years of our relationship) he picked yet another argument with me where I would just detach myself from him and simply avoid him which pissed him off enough to call me a slut because of my childhood. He often raised his voice with me but I always stayed civil with him until he made that one comment that made me erupt like a volcano and he said I was too harsh. From that moment in time every time we argued, I fought back and I always felt like crap afterwards because I never was like that before but I never felt so disrespected by someone I shared my painful history with. My parents didn’t think he was right for me. They said that I seemed depressed with him. I continued to see him in secret while my parents assumed he ended it after 6 months. For 5 years I lived with this secret and it was killing me to lie to my parents. I lost my faith and I became a different person and he just watched me go through that. I was always so vocal about my feelings with him but he used them against me every time.

    On top of this, I feel rejected and unloved. I was always there for him and he admitted that but Everytime I needed him, he would just break up with me which gave me a bigger complex of feeling unworthy and insignificant. I remained faithful to him during our breaks but after 5 years, I found I was attracted to someone who was always there for me and he was kind to me and loving. I had a short fling with this man after my ex broke up with me. I was finally starting to feel happy until my contacted me. I was honest thinking he would just leave me alone. He called me every name under the sun and I felt guilty, not because he was hurt but because I had consensual sex with a second man after I turned 30 and it made me feel like I did something wrong. This ex of mine had the tendency to deflect his bad actions by either making it my fault or making me feel like I deserved to be punished. There are certain things I won’t do sexually, and he was incredibly understanding. I always enjoyed sex with him. Occasionally, though, he would call me a whore or a slut and tell me my body was made for sex and while I was repulsed and couldn’t make love to him during those times, I actually found myself really enjoying the rough sex because I imagined I deserved to be treated like that. A lot of people dirty talk but I did mention to him once that I didn’t like being called ugly names because it always gave me nightmares or insomnia afterwards and I would hate myself. On the one hand he really was everything to me but it was like he was two different people because he had a very dark side. We broke up 6 months ago and he moved overseas but that hasn’t stopped him from telling me he loves me still etc. but then we start talking again and he revealed that during some of our arguments, he wanted to have really rough sex with me by bruising me and choking me and he had to control that urge by not having sex with me at all out of fear he could hurt me. I’m writing this now and I’m actually connected to my thoughts for the first time enough to see why I still can’t let him go even though he was not right for me. Whenever I would tell him I felt used or abused, he would say it was in my head but i knew it wasn’t because even his own friends saw his severe mood swings and fits of rage. No wonder I feel so worthless coming out of this relationship, like everything was my fault and I’m not worthy of being loved when someone like him can do this to me after I loved him.

    Before i chose to have consensual sex for the first time, i saw a psychologist for the first time to help me sort out my issues. She was not interested in me except that she couldn’t get over the fact that I was waiting for marriage before I’d have sex. She put me down and said that my relationships don’t last because I don’t do the “natural” thing which is to have sex. After that, I gave up my faith and changed because I wasn’t even a virgin anyway after the child abuse. I was spiraling out of control slowly.

    I know I need professional therapy now more than ever because I have to stop being so self sabotaging and be healthy so that no man will ever get the chance to convince me I’m worthless. I also want to fix my relationship with my father as we barely talk and my dad is really passive so he probably thinks I hate him but I really don’t. He is the one man that no man can ever measure above because he shows me his unconditional love without ever failing me.

    When people tell me I’m very attractive, I always say something nasty about myself. I make jokes at my expense and I really put myself down. I rarely ever dress provocatively because I don’t like men sexualising me, it actually repulses me to the point of vomit.

    I guess I’ve had an epiphany and I desire nothing but strength and perseverance to overcome my past and finally live a fulfilling life where I’m not constantly hating myself.

    I hope everyone of you takes care of yourself and realizes that our past doesn’t need to dictate our future anymore.

    One more thing, I was hard on myself for giving up on God only to find my way back.
    God bless.

  46. I am looking at this list too and seeing that there are so many common things I’ve gone through and have experiences… and Gladly, I no longer speak with my perpetrator— this has separated the family, but I have the space I need to see what the truth was, to feel my body, to get in touch with my numbness, my body parts and to develop more trust with my own feelings… ( I am painting a watercolor series that is helping me get in touch- as well as researching) but I see many of these characteristics in my siblings… whom I believe to have also been abused (there was physical,emotional, and I believe sexual as well) and perhaps my little niece who was born from my sister at the age of 16. I believe there was sexual abuse happening fairly regularly because of how dissasociative I was especially at night with so little memory of my childhood and things I do recall are reoccurring nightmares, and snippets of dirty moments and things that made me feel frozen and shame… my brother being afraid to take a shower thinking that aliens were going to get him, peeing in my pants especially while laughing and then feeling shame as well as was being made fun of by my siblings, nipples being rubbed and this happened during the day time too… so I think that this helped me see that my perpetrator was not an innocent. I recall being a bully to some other kids i knew growing up. It was my way to control others… otherwise, and I felt it was an alter personality, to my usually being controlled, invisible, dirty, shame. I also has so much disgust for wet sticky panties/ pjs, I would feel, see or sense in the morning after… this was a very strong visual, sensory emotion that was a first memory after my ptsd and emotional return to some of my body parts that were helping communicate my reality from childhood. I am also a hairpuller. I have been hair puling from the age of 13 and it’s been now, 24 years and i am still doing this. Wish I could stop, but I am so glad that I don’t blame myself, that I have gotten through much of the shame and am looking at this in a clear way, that I know that I am a survivor. Please trust yourself. tAke time to allow things to reveal themselves. Be patient. Let things come naturally… it takes time, but sit with your senses, feelings, memories and begin a dialogue through a journal…. drawing and creating these watercolor works has been really good and sometimes scary for me. I am glad to be a survivor, to share my story, to be where I am today. I wish you all so much healing, love, and gentleness.

  47. I had a piece of a memory come back recently. I realized lately that I don’t remember much of my childhood. My boyfriend talks about stuff he remembers from being 4 years old and I don’t remember much before 2nd grade. And the memories I do have are only times when I was ashamed of something. The memory I had come back was of a bathroom that I somehow recognized as being one of my mom’s houses, but all I can picture of the house is the bathroom itself. I’m in the bathtub and then I get this sense of dread. Of something wrong. I don’t see a face but it’s definitely a man. I know she remarried after she and my dad got a divorce but I don’t remember him and for some reason my family makes a point of not talking about him. The only thing I’ve ever gotten out of them is my aunt saying they wanted to take a trip and she wouldn’t let them take me with them. I also know I was taken out of my mom’s custody and given to my dad by child protective services, but I don’t know why. I look at this list and see so much that is me. I feel like my family knows more than they’re saying, but I’m afraid to ask.

  48. as i read through this and it is like an open book to my life. I am now 32 almost 33 and I have repressed alot of these memories and now my past is haunting me in nightmares

  49. I have been trying to figure out for a while if what I remember from my childhood is real or not, but I knew in a way that my Uncle sexually abused me until I was about 12 and found my voice and started to act out. I am 16 almost 17 now and know that after almost 7 years of abuse from him and the “casual” touches of my butt when I am wearing a dress or skirt during holidays that he isn’t done with me yet. I am looking into telling my family, but know that since he has a bipolar disorder that they won’t believe me even though I don’t relate to maybe five of the things on the list.

  50. I identify with so many of those but don’t remember ever being abused. Is it possible to just not remember?

  51. I am 45 years old now and the sexual abuse done to me is just now surfacing. I repressed it for over 40 years. I can still see the oral images of this older teenager’s penis and taste the salt on this person. Sorry to give you graphics but it shows you how real and damaging sexual abuse can be. It is if it just happened yesterday. This went on for a month if not longer. He did this to my twin brother and me at the same time when we were 5 or 6 and tried to reward us with apples and food for doing a good job. The worse part about this is that when I was 8 years old I tried to make a 5 year old boy perform oral sex on me in the woods. Luckily the boy ran away, and I pray that the boy was not damaged by what I had done to him. I carried this shame with me for so long. When I confessed this dirty secret to my wife, is when the abuse done to me started to surface. Brothers and sisters, I am starting to heal already just talking about this and because I confessed this to another person. My dirty secret was out about what I had done. I am just now (4 days ago) wrestling with all these powerful emotions. I have 50% of the classic signs listed above but did not realize that it was all caused by this childhood nightmare. Healing only begins when we start to face the demon, the lie that tells us it was our fault. Start your healing process now by opening up those wounds. Let the Lord Jesus Carry those burdens. Be angry with Him, he can handle it and will show you the path of life. I also am still angry with him for not showing me this sooner and blame him for allowing this to happen to me. My heart hurts but I know that he is faithful and will turn this all out for his glory and my full deliverance. PS: I just told my mom 2 days ago that this all happened to me. I told her I loved her but that what I was going to tell her was going to scare her deeply. She needed to share the burden with me, as she was my mother. It was not her fault, but she needed to share the burden. Let God speak to your heart about this as it might be hard to share this with those that love you, who were supposed to take care of you and watch over you as children. Know that God cares and sees your pain and desires that you come boldly to him.

  52. Hello, I was shocked to read the list and counted over 82 yes answers. I only remember a few real powerful memories and many many horrible dreams. I suffered severe emotional abuse some physical abuse as well. I was removed from my home due to the abuse. I have suffered all my life going through Alcohol and Drug abuse and dealing with eating disorders and interpersonal relationships. When it comes to sexual abuse though I just shut down. I know there is more there then I remember but it causes real serious depression thinking about it and makes me feel scared for myself. Am I crazy?? My therapist after 2 years of therapy wants to discuss this now, but I can’t remember much and just don’t know what to do. I have a real problem speaking about sex or speaking words associated with sex I just shut down and can’t even speak. What is wrtong with me. I can talk about the mental and physical but not this. I feel like I am crazy. I was always told by my parents that this or that did not occur when it did.

  53. It seems the comments section is actually full of people with meaningful things to say instead of ignorant opinions (my fault for spending too much time on yahoo answers i guess), thank you everyone. Some of the things on the list apply to me, but then it is very extensive. Also my Cannabis addiction confuses things.

    I am curious if everyone is affected by childhood sexual traumas. Am I altered by my experiences or would i always have felt like this. From the age of about 7 to 9 my abuser would shove his hands down my pants and fondle me until i was hard telling me i like it really while i squirmed and said no. Occasionally there was a similar aged girl present. It was different sometimes but the sexual acts never changed much.

    As an adult i am fixated on handjobs. I can be a good lover when i want to be but the pleasure for me is absent, I have abstained from masturbation long enough to come during sex every time. The feeling of what i am doing is often that of a chore. We stop having sex cos she picks up on my disinterest which leads to relationship pressures and the inevitable break up. I enjoy being viewed as sexy and adore women as normal but feel disconnected from those same sexual feelings like they would have a lot of fun without me if i wasn’t attached. I come from a single parent family too and never expect a relationship to last, especially after a couple of good ones have ended.

    I could ramble on some more but i don’t know what im trying to get at now. Has anyone identified there problems and dealt with them effectively? or found someone who is awesomely understanding? or just learnt to live with it. Perhaps theres dating sited for people like us?

  54. I have been reading the email update posts on this webpage because I posted last summer. It is fantastic to me to read what I also feel inside, another person feels the same way!

    Last summer I had a floodgate of feelings and memories come back to me and this time I just let them come, I didn’t try and hide from them in work, being ‘busy’, depression or any other distraction. Well, I did take a new job but I needed the money and it also helped me to move to a much bigger city where I have been able to go to support groups like Codependence Anonymous, Al-Anon, and the Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous meetings. We even have a Survivors of Incest meeting once a week. Maybe these groups are not very strong in other areas of the country but I figured it couldn’t hurt to learn more about myself and see others healing as well. I might just be really lucky, because the recovery support here seems very good.

    Also, I have been to see a therapist who is comfortable talking about incest issues which helps alot. It is wonderful to me to read others comments because it validates what I experienced and felt, and still feel. Healing with others is a great way to take back power from the abuser, and put the shame and humiliation back onto the abuser as well. We can walk in beauty and self-love today, survivors!

    One of the things that I like about these support groups is the structure and the literature, reading the characteristics of codependents, or sexual addicts/anorectics or whatever, helps me to understand that there are common patterns of behavior that come from abuse and dysfunction. It also means that there are ways to heal and overcome these patterns of thinking and behaving. Feeling unworthy or shamed makes me pick poor partners, or put myself into dangerous situations. Looking to others to validate me, or protect me is a great way to fall into an abusive situation as well.

    Today I can validate myself, look to myself to take care of my wants and needs and to also set good boundaries to protect myself – because I am worth protecting. And finally, I can parent myself in the ways that I didn’t get when I was a kid. I was forced out of the family for talking about the incest and wanting to get help.

  55. I have been reading the email update posts on this webpage because I posted last summer. It is fantastic to me to read what I also feel inside, another person feels the same way!

    Last summer I had a floodgate of feelings and memories come back to me and this time I just let them come, I didn’t try and hide from them in work, being ‘busy’, depression or any other distraction. Well, I did take a new job but I needed the money and it also helped me to move to a much bigger city where I have been able to go to support groups like Codependence Anonymous, Al-Anon, and the Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous meetings. We even have a Survivors of Incest meeting once a week. Maybe these groups are not very strong in other areas of the country but I figured it couldn’t hurt to learn more about myself and see others healing as well. I might just be really lucky, because the recovery support here seems very good.

    Also, I have been to see a therapist who is comfortable talking about incest issues which helps alot. It is wonderful to me to read others comments because it validates what I experienced and felt, and still feel. Healing with others is a great way to take back power from the abuser, and put the shame and humiliation back onto the abuser as well. We can walk in beauty and self-love today, survivors!

    One of the things that I like about these support groups is the structure and the literature, reading the characteristics of codependents, or sexual addicts/anorectics or whatever, helps me to understand that there are common patterns of behavior that come from abuse and dysfunction. It also means that there are ways to heal and overcome these patterns of thinking and behaving. Feeling unworthy or shamed makes me pick poor partners, or put myself into dangerous situations. Looking to others to validate me, or protect me is a great way to fall into an abusive situation as well.

    Today I can validate myself, look to myself to take care of my wants and needs and to also set good boundaries to protect myself – because I am worth protecting. And finally, I can parent myself in the ways that I didn’t get when I was a kid. I was forced out of the family for talking about the incest and wanting to get help.

  56. Sarah, that’s so great to hear about all the breakthroughs you’ve had and that you found some great support groups. Thanks for sharing!


  58. Hi. Does anyone else get terrible physical PTSD symptoms, specifically pelvic/abdominal pain and/or trouble breathing? A man I work with rubbed my hips and then pulled me down to sit on his lap earlier thus week. I jumped off immediately. It triggered every physical manifestation I get. A few other things have happened at work lately that make me feel voiceless. Now I’m in bed with a heating pad and I’m feeling guilty for getting depressed.
    When does this ever end?!

  59. i can iddentafly with all this as i was a victim of abuse for alot of years!!!

  60. Hello everyone you know it is kind of crazy running into a website like this, I was reading through the indicators and I identify with more than I care to admit. Majority of my childhood is a blank space I was abused by a female cousin and molested by males in both sides of the family. Often times I feel that something has happened to me during those black out times of my life, I am about to be 29 and am experiencing flashbacks. I am telling myself nothing happened it is just my imagination, but my behavior suggests other wise. I am going back and forth between denial and acceptance. It feels good to know that I am not alone, I am scared of what may or may not have happened in addition to the things that I do remember. I am currently working towards earning a degree in in human services so that I can help others like myself. I look forward tomtaking the first step toward the healing process

  61. I was only 6 when it happened. He did it twice to me.It was my cousin! I didn’t understand any of it He told me not to tell any one and I didn’t. It wasn’t rough or painful but I didn’t realize how wrong it was and didn’t know it was a violation. I haven’t thought about it since it happened. I’m 18 now and have been experiencing a number of the symptoms. I have 32 of the symptoms. My close friends have noticed that there’s something really wrong that I’m struggling to deal with. They know that I have trust issues and they’re willing to listen but I just can’t. I’m a person who keeps everything to herself. They told me that I need to let off some thing off my chest.I know it happened to my sister also because I was outside the room when it happened. I tried to ask her about it indirectly. i knew she wouldn’t tell me so I was looking for some non-verbal sign and I got one but her insisting that I was crazy and lying made me second guess myself because I sometimes think that I imagined the whole thing. I want to tell them-my friends-but I’m afraid that they’ll tell somebody like a teacher and then my parents. My parents don’t know. I think I may be depressed right now. So many times my best friend had to calm me down when I was having a mental breakdown. This is the first time that i’m actually letting it out of my system. I’m really afraid that they won’t believe me. I can’t shake it no matter what which is why I think I should tell my best friend but can’t bring myself to. I know my parents and they won’t believe me. They used to make fun of me and didn’t believe anything I said. My mother actually told me that she had no time for me. They would treat my sister better. They always preferred her which is why I was trying to get her to admit what happened and then I’d tell her and she could tell my parents. I don;t know how much longer I can hold up.

  62. Story of my life.. It makes me depressed! How much longer will I go on on denial pretending I’m like everyone else? It will come to an end hopefully one day…

  63. I dunno…I could have written so many of these feelings and sensations using those exact same words…I’m so used to hiding it away I don’t know what will happen if I admit it to myself, but its getting harder to shut it out and pretend its not real….any suggestions? x

  64. O my gosh! This is horrible!! I started choking while reading it : it explained the reason for so many of my wierednesses. I will never forgive that person!

  65. I was sad to read some of these and some of these I have. But I was looking up my question about being molested when I was little and I havent told anybody or talked to anyone about this. Im 21 now and I dont hardly think about it. Is that normal? Or is their something wrong with me? It like I taught myself to deal with it and accept it mentally.

  66. I have a photographic memory but I do not remember anything before the age of 8 just bits and pieces. The rest a remember so clearly. I am not sure that I want to remember.

  67. I have been looking for answers over half of my life. as i do not remember the other half more then bits of it. I love my kiddos and i dont mistreat them but i continue to involve my self with abusive man and illegal subtances. This time around it migth be my last opportinity to recover my babies. I found out recently that my sibiling was molested and he remembers. I had only nigthmares about it. The other day i had an outburt as i was told my mother who does not speak to me told my son lies about me. when i found out i told my exinlaws she did not loved me nor my son as she refused to admit i was molested. in shocked i ran away. since then i cant sleep or stop crying. after reading this article i am going to seek help as i refuse my past dictate my future. i have attempted or done everything on this list. i am only 28 with possibility of liver issues as i have put my body to say much in attempt to never remember.

  68. I’m sitting here crying my eyes out. This list fits me and is just like you all said…it could be my life story. I’ve been sick, very sick most my life and almost died twice. I, on my own, have just started to seek help now that I’m on my 10th surgery to “get better”. Turns out there is a HUGE connect with sexual abuse and sickness..great. So not only did these assholes hurt me, but it keeps hurting me and now 10 surgeries later I still suffer. I am completely numb, I am in constant physical pain, I have no close relations, no relationship – they have all failed and most have been very abusive. I have all the other shameful, dirty and awful feelings. I feel I deserve to feel this way, that it was my fault…that somehow I caused it. I have a very hard time remembering the details…and that angers me now, however, I remember TRYING to block and forget everything…now I have. And I hate being touched, except lovingly with my son. I have no problem comforting or hugging my son, or having him hug or snuggle with me….but I cannot STAND the touch or ANYONE trying to touch or comfort me. I am so sad….it’s so lonely and I’m so sad. I feel that I’ll never “feel” anything ever again and I hate what this has done to me. I feel as though there is no hope. I just want to run, and if it wasn’t for my son, I’d run and never look back. This is so painful….and the worst part? I TRIED to confide in my parents…who didn’t belive me and then put me in harms way. RIght now I feel SO SICK. Reading this has made my pain get so bad I’m shaking and already almost threw up. Is there any hope at all for us?

  69. Peyton,
    I’m so sorry for all that you’ve been through and for what you’re dealing with now. Yes, there is hope and that’s what this site is all about. I started OSA because in spite of how the abuse devastated my life, I’ve been able to heal. I hope you stick around and check out the rest of the articles and blogs. Lots of others are working through their healing too and share their process here.

  70. I’m 18. At 2 I was placed into foster care with two of my sisters. We were in an abusive home, don’t know how long really, until I was about 5-6. After that we were shuffled around until we were placed with a man and his wife. He turned out to be a pedophile who molested my sisters until I was about 13. He had told the social workers to separate us when I was 7 so I didn’t know about it. I remember once waking up and feeling uncomfortable as I looked at a pile of toys. But that’s really it, no definitive memory of sexual abuse. I was adopted at 10 and I never thought about it until puberty hit. I became extremely depressed and suicidal, I began looking for sexual stories that involved incest, rape, humiliation, control. That scares me and I would never act on them, but the fact that they’re there is terrifying.

    Another big thing is that I love to daydream that I’ll meet a guy or girl that will make everything great, to the point that I ignore the advances of people. Every time that I go for a physical I get extremely nervous and when the doctor touches my genitals I flinch away and I don’t know why. I started doing some research and I came here, I fit a lot of these but I also think I might just be imagining it all. I never relax like my peers, I hate my body and I freak out if there’s a possibility someone will see it. I don’t know what to do or think about all this anymore

  71. The story of my life

  72. I am usually one against self diagnoses but everything listed under the sexual system are things that I’ve suffered from. When I grew up a little, I knew SOMETHING was wrong. I knew when I checked off more than 10 symptoms that I was a victim. 🙁

  73. I am only 13 so a lot of the sexuality symptoms didn’t apply to me but A LOT of the other ones did and when you add that to some of my dreams and vague memories I can see how it could be true

  74. I got 78/116, mostly in the sexuality and emotional catagories, but I don’t remember a damn thing, from I was pretty much 15 and before, I just don’t know how to even begin dealing with this shit.

  75. all of these apply to me. literally all of them. i came here because i feel as though something bad has happened to be but i cant remember and whenever i hear/ watch a movie about rape or sexual assault i get very affected and can relate to it. i have no memory of this happening to me during my childhood though (getting sexually assaulted or raped) is there anyway my brain is blocking it out or something?

  76. I moved back home at 28 and now I am having dreams i thought they were just dreams. . according to this I am sure I was abused. I have about 70% . thank you . I will seek help. .

  77. I was wondering something about myself, googled it, read this page and broke down in tears. This has been my life. I`m 24 and only have one vague memory of it. So vague I convinced myself I made it up or it must have been a dream.

  78. Wow.
    I cried through the whole thing. I relate to almost all of them. I hate knowing how much he stole from me.

  79. does this sound like i was abused? i am over 40 now. dad would say ‘they’ll think who’s that young guy married to that girl?’ when we walked in public together, imagining people thought he was my bf/husband. he walked through our bedroom at night to get to the attic throughout childhood. he jiggled doorknob pretending to come in when we bathed or were on toilet,making joke of it. tickled me so hard up to pelvic bone inside upper thigh when about 6. it hurt! she told him don’t roughhouse and said he had all brothers. she used to make us show him our new outfits and shoes, parading us in his den. i had stomachaches at bedtime and nightowl age 12 til today. she also told us not to wear nightgowns in front of father at adolescence because ‘that is not fair to men.’ in the early 1970s, sib and i slept in same bed as grandpa at ages 2 and 3!when we slept at grandparents. mother also made us urinate in this portable cup-thing on trips,which she held. i was over age 4. she didnt want us sitting on public toilets. they showed us naked body drawings of separate male and female in a medical health book that showed 3 stages of body development. pencil drawings, not actual photos, when i was very young.

  80. Miss me, I believe the part that screams sexual abuse is your father touching you inappropriately. A man should never touch a girl in the one area that parents try to teach is sacred. That to me, was wrong, period. Him joking about invading your privacy, as to see you naked, was also abuse in my opinion. I personally believe that you have been through some sexual abuse. Also personally, because your father went that far, he may have gone farther and you don’t even remember because you were too young, or your mind doesn’t want to admit it yet.

    My abuser used to invade my privacy specifically to degrade me, and so that his power over me would still be intact. I believe that a huge part of sexual abuse, is when something that is private to you, has been exposed by someone else. That (it sounds like) is exactly what your father did. He invaded what was private to you.

    Also, if you feel that you were abused, then you were abused. People don’t just wake up one day and say, “Hey, you know what, I think I was sexually abused!” It just doesn’t happen. The thought is in your head for a reason, my advice is to listen to it and get some help with your trauma.

  81. So I was reading this and I totally started crying. I’m 19 and recently these memories have been coming up out of nowhere. For the longest time I thought I was just making it up. I keep having flashbacks of a time when I went home with my female gymnastics coach (I am also a girl) and we were in the kitchen eating lunch and then I randomly remember her giving me a band aid. I think I was 4 at this time. I honestly can’t remember why I was at her house. That’s all I can remember. I don’t remember much else from my childhood. All I know is what my parents have told me. They said I had night terrors that started when I was about 5, I had ADHD, and chronic stomach aches. I also wet the bed up until I was 11 and always felt a weird tingling in my genital area.
    I started doing poorly in school when I was in third grade. My parents were sincerely worried that I wouldn’t pass. I also remember being sent to the nurse a lot because of stomach pain. When I was about 7, my girl neighbors and I started experiencing things together. We would hide in the closet and make out with each other. At the time we thought it was funny. I don’t really know why but now the thought of that kind of freaks me out. As I got older, I started becoming friends with more guys and didn’t want to hang out with girls. They always made me nervous. In 7th grade I had some friends who were girls but all this drama happened and they ditched me. Ever since I have always had way more guy friends than girl friends.
    I started cutting when I was in 8th grade. I don’t really know what triggered it but I just felt really depressed all the time. I was still doing gymnastics but felt really uncomfortable and shy around my coaches. Sometimes I would tell them I didn’t want to be spotted even if I knew I needed it. I became suicidal in 10th grade and almost overdosed on accutane. I’ve always had trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. I remember having nightmares all the time, even one that I had when I was little. I’ve also had several recurring dreams. I’m also a conscience sleepwalker, meaning I know what I’m doing when I sleepwalk.
    Another thing, I don’t know if this is related or not, but I get really nervous around my mom. I flinch whenever she goes to touch me and avoid hugging her or being near her. Same with my sisters. I just feel really uncomfortable being near other girls and I’ve never understood why. Oh, and another random thing that no one in my family can figure out is that I have an irrational fear of ovens and stoves and just heat/fire in general. I refuse to be in the kitchen when someone is using an oven and the same if something is using the stove. I don’t know why but it just freaks me out.
    So basically I just want to know why I am the way I am. Was I sexually abused by my coach? Why do I hate being around girls so much? Why do I suffer from severe depression and suicidal thoughts all the time?

  82. Hannah:
    It seems like something happened to you when you were little. If it was your coach, a “friend” of yours or your parents, just someone. I wouldn’t doubt that you were sexually abused. Just because you are overly careful and anxious around girls doesn’t necessarily mean it was by a woman, but it does scream that there was an issue.

    As to the ovens, stoves, etc. Think about when someone is cooking and they have the oven or stove on. The room gets warmer, but nothing is touching you. What does it feel like when someone is standing too close to you? It feels warmer, but nothing is touching you… yet. It makes complete sense that the feeling of having someone close to you (that you didn’t want close to you) would freak you out.

    I hope you find some help, and know that there is a surplus of people that are so willing to help you, listen to you, and just be there for you.

  83. I just woke up from a nightmare that I have been having for about a year now. I keep dreaming of a man, whose facebi have never seen. His form is not of flesh more like a evil spirit that is raping me but I can feel the breath, I can feel it like it is flesh. I wake up and it scares me because it feels so real. I have been in several abusive relationships.I am petrified if the dark. I get scared at night. I am almost 40. I have always been extremely sexual,pand promiscuous at different times in my life experimenting with men and women. I have always thought something was wrong with me. I can identify with alit of the things on this list. My childhood and most of my life is a total blur to me. I don’t remember to much at all and all of the childhood memories i have are good. I remember one of my moms boyfriends touching me inappropriately one day. I remember one of my older male cousins trying to get me to touch him, I remember another male cousin trying to have sex with me. I remember trying to seduce a man way older than me one day at a really young age. I have been with alot of older men at a young age sexually. I have memories of a close female friend when I was young touching me and talking to me about wet dreamds at a very very young age. I don’t understand all of the pieces to this crazy puzzle but I am trying to make sense if it all. I know something happened, I just can’t remember!

  84. Well, that’s me in a nutshell. After being very shocked to see this article in my search results at all, I am even more shocked how detailed it describes what I thought was my own abnormality. How sad that the article ended without pointing me in any direction for healing. I wonder what to do next?

  85. Anne,
    This whole website is about healing from sexual abuse. I hope you check out the rest of it. There’s even a page called “Where Do I start?”

  86. Some people on this site, like me, have not only zero support system, but are still currently experiencing a form of abuse and living a blurry life off not knowing where to turn for inner strength. Just read some comments above mine and see people hurting more, even younger, and its breaking my heart. If no one helps me, fine, but let’s help the others!!!, HOW do you deal with being a person who fits this list? HOW do you regain a sense of normalcy?

  87. According to police reports, my father did this to me from the time I was 18 months old until (at least from what I can remember) 4 years old. I know it must’ve happened in later years because I had several bladder infections as a child, starting from when I was in the first grade.
    I first realized it when I was 12. I had a memory, which seemed like a picture of a moment or a short reel on a film, of the sexual abuse. I began to seriously rebel against my father right afterwards.
    I was also a victim of physical abuse by him, which also started at an early age for me… Probably 3, and went on for 11 years. I began fighting back when I was old enough to withstand his size and force.
    I reported him when I was 14, however he was not prosecuted for anything. I had the worst experience with CPS, having been interrogated by them several times in my childhood. My father threatened to beat me to death if I ever said anything, but even I know the signs of abuse were right there: in my mannerisms, my expression, everything.
    I confronted him over email almost a year ago and have been working towards recovery ever since. I’ve made a lot of headway so far, with the memories I do remember. I try to read up on different theories of psychology to help me figure it out. I hate self-help books. Haha
    Right now I’m figuring through the possibility that I may have been raped by him when I was younger. There are phrases I vaguely remember him saying that were VERY suspicious. I also had a reoccurring dream when I was younger that has certain clues in it that back it up. My sister was raped by him, which makes it not that crazy to believe. I don’t think it’s certain, I wish I could remember so I’d know for sure. But, it’s very likely.
    I still have a lot of things to work through. I have really bad social problems, mostly. Most of my problems lay in the realm of human interaction: not trusting anyone, not having good social skills(because of verbal and mental abuse I also received from him), a lot of social awkwardness.
    I know in my heart that I can easily come to terms with anything that happened, but it’s just a matter of remembering. From 5 to 11 years of age, I barely have any memory. What I do remember is basically what I learned in school or anything related to school, not much of home life.
    Is very much like to know everything that happened. I know bits and pieces from other family members (who turned out to be as equally crazy).
    But, regardless of whether or not I know certain things, I try to live my life to the fullest with what I have. 🙂
    I disowned my family (for various and just reasons) and have been on the journey of making my own with the few friends I do have.
    I applaud everyone here for seeking answers and growing as a person, working towards being the best you can be. Do your best with what you can remember and stay strong. It’s the abuser who see’s you as vulnerable. They don’t want you to remember… Probably why they do it to children in the first place.
    And, always remember that you’re better than them. They are weak and give into that weakness and are completely obivious/ignorant. Scum of the earth, my friends. You are the cream. 😉
    My advice is not to sympathize with evil. Yeah, it probably happened to them too, but that doesn’t justify their actions. There’s no reason to be an asshole just because you have unresolved problems. And, trust me, they know what they’re doing and they know its wrong. No sympathy.

  88. Also, have a hard time identifying with my age group (I’m 21). I hang out with people older than me… But that’s an intellectual sense, nothing sexual about it. So, really think about what’s on this list. It may be something, but maybe it’s nothing, like the example I gave. 😉

  89. wow i just spent over 45 minutes reading this i guess you wouldn’t spend that much time reading it if so much didn’t apply? i was drugged when it happened and afterwards i didn’t remember much of my childhood and i still am not sure if it happened so i guess just lucky me right i guess im going to repress some more childhood dreams

  90. I just read this. I won`t say I`m in tears, but I`m utterly surprised and really impressed. I can feel related to a lot of this items, but I `m not really sure if what happened was abuse or molestation because I was 16 at the time. I went to visit my dad`s side family and I met an uncle I haven`t seen in my whole life, He was so nice to me and he kept telling me how special and clever I was, and he would take me to a lot of places. but after a couple of weeks things got weird. -he would come to stay the night so often and started to hugging me an grabbing me a lot. I was a fool and I just thought he was really affectionate. then he started putting his hand on my tights or hugging me to tight it was uncomfortable, and then putting his hand under my clothes and stuff like that. he even kissed me on the mouth a couple of times. it went for almost three months and almost a year ago and I had just forgotten it, because in comparison with what other people have gone through, it wasn`t so bad, and I wasn`t a child. I know I should have stop him and I had to deal with it.
    But this last weeks one of my uncles is acting the same way he would act when it started, complementing me too much, kissing me on the cheek so often and by a surprise, hugging me, and then when he was kind of drunk he asked me for a kiss, and I said no, and I got scared, I feel something awake in me, because now I feel so, so guilty about what happened when I was 16 and I don`t feel safe and happy in our family reunions as I used to. what If I`m just overreacting? I don`t want this experiece to affect my daily life but it seems is getting over me and I`m feeling really frustrated.
    Any advice? thank you.

  91. I was molested by my God mothers cousin when I was little. I remember when it happened and what happened. I remember going home and crying and I was only about 6. I didn’t tell anyone but my closest friend who was also molested by someone else in our parents circle of friends husband. I ignored it for a while and then I moved to my fathers where I didn’t have a close relationship with him. Long story short I became this less than girl because my “2nd” sexual experience was horrifying I did it thinking I was accepted after that it just got worse. I am now almost 21 and I hate myself. I wish I can go back and changed everything. I feel like I will never find someone to love. I was lucky (at the time) to find someone. We were friends who began dating I told him about my past but the relationship ended because I had no trusts in him and I felt he was just using me like others guys. So it didn’t work out. I noticed I was becoming this crazy person and I couldn’t control my anger. I do not plan on being with anyone anytime soon and have committed to celibacy because I was unable to experience a sexual experience with anyone that meant something. I am currently hating myself and ashamed it is hard for me to move on with my life. I found this site googling traces to why I acted in such a disgusting manner that I cannot take back.

  92. you are not wrong. It was molestation which is abuse. just because you were not penetrated does not mean you were not abused. the trust you had in these people was abused and their position in your life violated your life. no one has the right to make you uncomfortable in your own body. you were a sixteen year old who trusted these people to do right by you so no you are correct you were abused, molested, violated.

    you will have scars but you can have a good life.

  93. Hi,
    It is as if the word that I speak are not true. It is so sad and I wish that I could have more self compassion for myself, more than anything I wish that I could somehow accept it. It is the part of me that I wish would leave so I can be shiny and new. The achievements in my life are just as Sarah described … I have an Enormous need for approval. Even when I write here I hope that I get feedback and approval. The need for approval in my life means that I am turning 32 and I have just finished a degree but I am so hard on myself that I did not finish the degree. Within the therapy I’m in I am told to work on consistency…but the truth is I just cant accept this part of myself. My father was my best friend and my abuser! He was my best friend and my mother and me were like two people that didn’t click. Now if I click with a man I hate him, I hate so often, and distrust so quickly. A close uncle has been supportive and I have been trying to heal. But now I think that he may like me as a friend I am sickened and so hurt I am just so hurt and I cannot seem to unwrap the past from my body it is like a sticky web. I blame it on my bad attitude but the truth is I am waiting for others to acknowledge the pain and then I will heal. I realise that this is a childlike behavior and even this forum angers me I just hate being defined by this, I believe that when I talk about the abuse that I am bad, I am a bad person for not being able to move on. But the roots of the abuse and the neglect of a mother has meant that I read into what people say to me and it has become my identity. I am told that I am rude and not nice, But inside I am utterly devastated. I have the symptoms , I zone in and out of my life. I guess I really don’t know how to be who I am. I am from Ireland and find incredible hope from the website thanks for setting it up.

  94. I finally decided to look this up. For years I’ve constantly felt this problem and I cried when I started reading. So much of this refers to me that I’m shaking. I shouldn’t feel like this at 16, but I do. And now the question is, what do I do now?

  95. How many of these is a lot to expirence?

  96. i cant remember but i remember. i still feel lustfully involved. i wasnt really abused because i said yes but i feel so. all these i cant believe is me. i feel so embarrassed. i wish i couldve straightened my past. how can we overcome this shame?

  97. HOW DO I FIX IT? i have no insurance and live paycheck to paycheck. what do i do? its becoming unmanageable and its ruining my life. i just need to know where to go. anyone please help me

  98. I am wondering if this is the case for me. I do not have but a few memories of my childhood. I forced myself to my first kiss at 14 in order to appear normal like the other girls, it was disgusting. When I started my sex life my first sentiments were panic and fear especially when partners were holding me in certain ways. I have always been very sensitive when hearing about abuse victims, so sensitive that when a friend shared her childhood abuse story with me I started shivering and my whole body tightened up, I could not control it. Now I am 32 and I have a loving partner and it is the first time I am feeling free sexually but an incident with my ex bf made me wonder if something has happened to me in the past. I slept over at his place and in my sleep he caressed me, took of my underwear and I woke up when his hand was about to touch my genitals. I freaked out. This is when I started wondering. Do you think I am right wondering?

  99. I’m not sure how I feel right now. I identify with so many of these symptoms; nearly all of them. But I don’t recall ever being sexually abused from what I can remember. I deal with so many of these things and when my boyfriend touches me I have a complete meltdown and try to stifle it. I’m unsure what to do.

  100. I recently had a male friend pin me up against the table and masterbate over me. I told a friend what happened and he said it was probably all my fault. I now feel very diry and ashamed. Trying to work out how it was my fault. He was much bigger than me and I couldn’t fight him off. I blocked my feelings while it was happening. I’m still trying to block it. I wake up crying and try not to sleep. I’m so tired I’m not functioning as well as I should during the day. Wondering how long this feeling of total low life if going to last. Some days I just don’t want to be here. My ex used to beat me and rape me and I got over that by pretending it didn’t happen. This time it wasn’t as bad but it hurts even more. Why?

  101. Most of my life I have had a feeling that something wasn’t right. I am petrified of being touched, scared of men being around me. I started at age 4 masturbating and dancing naked with my doll, I knew a lot about sex by that time and used objects on myself. Now tell me something is not trapped in my mind that needs to come forward. I have about 90% of these listed indicators. It scares me to death and I want answers, I can’t believe this at all. Family used to ask me if anything was ever done to me sexually and I couldn’t say yes because I had no memory. Something happened and I want to come to terms with it.

  102. Hi, I must say that these symptoms bring tears to my eyes. I have nearly all of them, but the thing that makes me unsure of being abused is that I do not remember anything related to this subject which makes me think If it is just an imagination which is another indicator. All I can say is I really don’t like it when my dad tries to kiss me or hug me and did not like it during my childhood. Is it a way to remember ? Pls help me so I will know if I am too cynycal or not. Thanks

  103. I have quiet a few of them. Just want to know the truth and I guess I never will. Hope there is a reincarnation going on, otherwise ??????????????????????

  104. I’m sixteen years old and tried to have sex for the first time. Memories came flooding back to be and I lost control. I think I was raped three years ago but I’m not so sure if I even trust myself. I just read this list and checked off just over half of them. Is it possible to repress memories at age thirteen? If it’s true, and I was raped, how the hell do I sleep at night?

  105. Another thing, I feel like if I tell the therapists/ and social service child experts in my life, they won’t beleive me. I’ve never heard of a case of a thirteen year old repressing memories, but my memories are here and they hurt and they’re vivid. They’re violent and shocking and I’ve always felt different and had an unexplained aversion to this place where it happened. Still though, I bet they’ll think I’m telling them for attention or as a joke or something. Right now, I’m most terrified of not being believed ever and everyone thinking worse of me. Can I tell them or should I keep this to myself for now?

  106. I came across this website as I was researching a dream I just had last night, which was similar to one I would have as a child. I’m 34 and my 2 daughters and I are currently living with my mother and her husband due to my health problems as I try to get back on my feet. My mom only got remarried around 4 years ago, and divorced from my birth “father” when I was 18. In between those years, my mom and I had developed somewhat of a relationship, which we had never had before due to the abuse by my dad (who would always try to convince my younger sisters and I that my mom was the horrible, abusive one). I’ve only lived in this house since January, but I quickly began to see a side of her husband that I did not know before (I introduced them), and how much my mom has changed, and is not the same person. I’ve been in counseling for the last month or so, and he pointed out to me that what they are doing to my girls and I is a form of abuse. So I Googled emotional and verbal abuse, and sure enough, all the criteria is there! How could I not see this sooner! I knew something wasn’t right, but why did I not see that it was abuse? It’s the same stuff my dad did to me growing up, just not as aggressive. And no physical. My dad could also be physically and mentally abusive. He was extremely controlling, to the point we were rarely allowed to leave the house. He pinned me up against the wall and choked me when I was 11 for asking to call a boy. To this day I can’t stand anybody or anything to touch my throat. I will be cold in the winter because I can’t stand stuff like scarves around my neck.
    It’s been suggested by various family members that I may have been molested, but I honestly don’t know for sure. There are too many black spots in my memory, huge time frames I can’t remember anything. There are a few things I know for sure. Almost every single thing on this list describes me. I remember knowing about sexual things at a young age, and looking back, I have no clue where I learned it. I remember a few times, a (female) cousin of mine who I was close with growing up, around 8-9 years old, while she and I were sleeping together, I convinced her to practice with me, so that we would be ready for when we were with boys someday, saying that we would need to know what to do. I seem to remember having in my head that I had heard that from somewhere, but I wasn’t sure where. We would just last our hands on each others parts, and that’s about it. It only happened maybe twice. I know when we got older we were both so ashamed, having no idea why we did that, and vowed never to tell anybody. It wasn’t until I was 10 or 11 and started my period that my mom told me what sex was.
    When I was 12, I was fully developed, so much so, I was often mistaken for someone much older. Every morning I was woken up by my dad coming in to my bedroom to pay on top of me for something like an hour. I couldn’t move, I could barely breathe. I wanted to escape so bad. He never did it to my sisters. I do remember him trying to touch me in different ways: on my shoulders, legs, my back, put his feet on my lap when I was sitting on the couch, etc, other things that are foggy, and I would be uncomfortable or something like my shoulders might hurt, and he would get mad, saying things about how I’d let a boy do it to me, and other demeaning things. I remember my while life that every morning he walked from his bed room at one end of the house to the coffee pot at the other in his under wear ( not boxers), not caring if I was awesome or had company.
    This leads me to my dream. I would have dreams (more like nightmares) of my dad naked, even if there was company, and insisting on everybody looking at him. Last night, I had a dream of coming down the hallway and going into the living room on my right towards the dining room. My mom’s husband came in the front door (which is in the front room, to the left of the hallway) goes through the kitchen, and is coming through the dining room to the living room, and he’s naked! He’s almost 70 years old, this isn’t a man I would want to see naked! He hasn’t done anything sexual to me, but the verbal abuse towards my kids occasionally is my biggest problem. I don’t understand the dream. I refused to look at his thing, and immediately turned around, and then woke up freaked out. I know he is somewhat controlling, and I believe hypocritical. My mom I think has begun to kind of loose her mind, and has become verbally and emotionally abusive, lying and I think even sometimes sneaking my things. I’m trying to get moved this month, but that’s another story. I cut off contact with my dad because of all the abuse, even into adulthood. I don’t know if there’s suppressed memories of sexual abuse or not. I know I got a lot of genital rashes when I was young, and would wake up in the middle of the night in excruciating pain. I also woke up vomiting a lot as a child, and have a very bad gag reflex. I always had menstrual problems, from my very first period. Both of my childbirths had complications, my first child, I wouldn’t dialate. I just had to have a partial hysterectomy last year, right before my 34th birthday, because my uterus was falling out, and pushing out my bladder and intestines. I’ve had bladder and intestinal problems as long as I can remember. Also, insomnia, from the time I was little, even now (its 2:30am), and still sleep with a night light and music. And still have nightmares, sometimes about my dad. I’ve been raped multiple times since I was 15, always scared to fight them away, and I know that that fear comes from the fear of standing up to my dad for anything. I started masturbating when I was young, but I had no idea what it was I was doing. I’ve wanted to stop so bad. Sometimes I can for a while, but then I start again. I hate sex and the thought of a man’s naked body, but on the other hand, sometimes I want it so bad, and want to be wanted. But then when it’s done, a lot of times I cry, and I don’t know why. I guess I could go on and on, but I will stop. At least this gives you, whoever, an idea. I don’t know if anybody reading this will have any good thoughts/advice to share with me on this here not, but that’s why I shared it, just in case. Other than seeing counseling, because I’m currently in counseling. But I don’t mind, and actually appreciate, any extra help. Does anybody know a good way to bring suppressed memories to the surface?

  107. My life is a mess. I drink too much to feel good then I say things I dont understand wen re told to me. I cant trust anyone with how im feeling now. As everyone ive trusted before let me down by just not caring or its like im special in a way no one can be near me. Ive only just realised that I cant remember much of 7 years of my life. It feels like everybody knows something I dont. My husband says im looking into things too deepley but he knows that deep down something isnt right. I have 4 children that I love so much. I need help to remember the past. I hav weird parts of a memorie and now im feeling that the I was having an out of body experiance. And the strangest memory of santa in my room. I hide under the covers . I was so hot. I dont no wot happened. Help me remember without having to ask others.

  108. This really helped me. I actually feel both emotional and much better after reading this. So much relates to my own experience, and I feel like my emotions and actions make sense. I don’t have to feel so ashamed for the way I cut my dad out of my life and feel so a scared and desgusted thinking about him, and changing my name away from his, even wishing he would die… I felt ashamed and I still do but things make more sense.

  109. Thank you for the useful site. For many year i have been in some form of denial. I wasnt really sure why i just couldnt remember my childhood. I couldnt remember the basic things children should be doing. However 3 memories that have continunously popped up in my head throughout my teen years and my adult life (i am 29 yrs) is the image of this black man waking me in the middle of the night at my grandparents, me lying on my side in a orange/banana field of my grandparents farm and the feeling of been at my aunts house but knowing something was not right. It makes me angry and frustarated that this is all i can really remember from my upbringing. After years of been in denial and suppressing the feeling, the question did occasionally dawn on me – was i sexual abused by this black man (who in my head is my aunts then-husband). After reading the list and other blogs and materials, there is no doubt in my mind that the answer is YES.
    My story of realisation really started 3 days ago, when after again one of many verbal and physical fights i had with my boyfriend (which i have had with most but mostly in my adult life)3 days earlier, which resulted in policy been called and me completely out of control. It finally came out of my mouth. I was sexual abused as a child!! I couldnt believe it that after years, multiple bad relationships with people close to me (including my family) i had outhed those words that always gave me a chill. In that instance i felt a sense of relief in my heart and body. I felt i was out of chains that i never ever thought i had. because like many of you I have tried ignore the thoughts convincing myself that it wass just weird thoughts that i had created in my mind and if that was not the case i could just stop thinking of it and it will go away. I mean at the end of the day I have lived my life been the emotionally unstable person. The person that always loved too hard (even when i was not supposed to) but could not except been loved beucase i just dont feel worthy of anyones love. The questions is then why cant i continue to live the way i have. My constant thought throughout my late teen and adulthood was “well if they dont like me, I can find someone else”. Unfortunately like many again this relates to reationship. Growing up I have relied on mulitple men to feel me with this sense of affection i desperately urged for. A feeling that noone could ever fill, meaning that i was never faithful, feel into the first best/worst mans arms (and bed) and when i did not feel that the love was not mutual, this great anger, saddness and disapportment would take all over me. I cant control it, i become this verbally and physically abusive person i just do not know. On a good day i am loving and fun. But recently those days became less and less.
    During my university i started to abuse alcohol, because this is the time i started to go into my shell and shut the world down. This has continued to a point of almost certainty that/when i am in a relationship i will get into some form of fight whilst drunk. This is how the latest incident begun with the police been involved.

    After years of feeling stupid, worthless, unloved, angry, blaming my parents for feeling this way – i just had enough and had to admit it to myself. My trust and childhood had been stolen from me. But i am no longer willing for it to be stolen. I was not been able to sleep these past few days after finally opening up aboout my. My head has been trying to understand really what happened and whats going tohappen. Reading the list above and recognising myself in many of these points has really given me the courage to finally awaken these thoughts that i have been neglecting in order to finally move on with my life. As afraid as i am of what will be revelead, how will be hurt and how my life will change, I know it is time to finally release. I am ready to meet a new, better and happier life that i DO DESERVE and not let what happened to me define me.
    There is so much more to my story. This is only the surface but I feel comfort in knowing that i am not alone.
    Thank you for sharing your stories.

  110. When I read this I was connecting the dots for myself but was only able to get about halfway until I stopped connecting them because they didnt apply anymore. But I know alot of these do for the women in my life and it hurts to see this but at the same time its good to know that this is here to help others face what theyve gone through. Im glad that alot of you want help or are trying. Dont stop trying, and dont let your hurt hurt the ones you love. These two women in my life are using their hurt to hurt others and I cant help but hurt as I try to be their only support. So keep on trying because you efforts are not in vain and you can stop your pain from affecting others in your life. The sick sick people who hurt others and abuse others are wrong and should be punished accordingly and justly, but you cannot control what they do or what happens to them, but you can control what you do and what happens to you now. Thanks for letting others know, and dont stop trying everyday.

  111. I am amazed. I am also a 42-year-old man named Seth LOL.I just had a massive bout of crying yesterday that lasted about a half an hour. The reason I even specifically say “bout” is because it was actually a fight to stop crying. It’s all starting to make sense to me. I was miserable at home when I was 20 even though everything was great and there was love the house. All I did was work full-time and go to college and after one year With failing or low grades for classes that I didn’t want to take that I was paying full price for while working full time and having to live at home because we didn’t have money which is okay but it was very difficult. I suddenly joined the Army in 1993 because I want to do something different but the truth is I believe I’ve come to realize that what I really wanted to do was get out and not be there any longer, even though it was sad to leave home and family. Go-go go and 20 years later I’m retired. I just retired March 2013. One year has passed and I believe that I am actually getting comfortable being in the same place and not having to move aroundand be deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan or wherever and finally able to actually try to find myself which is something I really am trying to do. I wanted to go back to school to see if there was something I might like to do. We actually moved back so I could be close to home as well, and ironically now I have pretty much severed ties with my mother because we are at an impasse on the impact of the hurtful things she currently says to me and my sister, wife and brother-in-law too. I recently admitted to my sister that I was sexually abused by my mail cousin who is actually older than me. This is not the kind of crying you have when you break up with her boyfriend or girlfriend, this is something deeper, a huge huge grave loss that almost feels like a death or loss of faith, but I think it’s something else and fortunately or unfortunately I pretty much feel every single thing on every list as if I had just experienced it. I had a bout of panic attacks and 2004. this is the next major one because I still feel panicked everywhere I go and almost the same in every other way with the exception that I now take 300 mg of Wellbutrin and 150 mg of Zoloft, which pretty much makeThe issue a lot easier to deal with, even though it feels as though something is literally burst out of me and nothing could stop it from coming out, and The worst part was that there was no control at all just like the previous one. If anyone actually reads these, if it helps just slightly before this event I started having extreme sexual arousal and excitement all day and all night which I project appropriately and inappropriately and indiscriminately and can hardly control it any longer. I have seen my therapist and made the arrangements to deal with everything for counseling or medication. When I read this I actually cried for a few seconds but I was able to pull back. While I know I was abused by my cousin, which was when I was 12 by the way, I know for certain because I have memories of me, is six or seven-year-old boy, playing with myself or playing sexual games with my like-aged friends. I also have had a recurring dream since as early as I can remember of penetrating a somewhat larger woman (could be perspective too) and playfully slapping on her belly before doing it. I don’t recall ejaculating although I may have I don’t know and the worst part is I don’t think I should’ve had dreams like that so early in life. I have been reading a lot of articles about sexual trauma and boys, even though it’s difficult to find as much as there are for girls, and I’ve learned about dreams and potentially misinterpreting a dream or potentially somehow attaching a fantasy or something to that dream and making it real, and of course each time I say that I doubt myself and think that it must be one of those and I’m dictating this so as I was saying it actually felt a cold chill in my stomach, which then makes me feel as though I’m really going crazy. As with anything there obviously are so many variables and obviously if this gets turned into a thread I will definitely add anything as I go along. I don’t know what this is, imagination or thoughts that were buried in the bottomless chasm somewhere in my brain and now they’re only coming out because I’ve actually let my barriers down-and I’m now wondering if it’s letting the barriers down or if they just fell I am and I’m actually kind of more leaning toward falling –, the barriers that I put up to help me deal with goings-on of life for the last 23-24 years. I don’t know.

  112. I am only just starting to come to terms with my childhood.
    I am very confused.
    I have no real idea where blame lies, so I have always assumed it is my fault.
    My brother who is 2 years older than me, found a porn video (yes video that’s how long ago it was) belonging to our dad.
    Apparently he had watched it a few times before he wanted me to watch it with him. He then said we have to have copy everything they do. There was dancing naked, lots of sex, mostly everything I shouldn’t have known ever existed before all this.
    I was just 9 years old.

    My mum was well aware and never done anything to protect my innocence, instead I was the only one that got told off and punished ‘beaten’. This is where the self blame stems from. I was the one that was wrong. I was dirty, disgusting, etc. He wasn’t punished at all.
    My mum handed me a magazine with an article about a mother who chose to report her son for abusing her daughter and she had to choose which child to keep and which one to put into care. My mum said she would not have been able to choose and I could make my brother go away forever and people would ask her why and she didn’t think it was fair if she was blamed.

    My parents were never really around anyway. We were home alone from just 8/10 years old when this started.

    My life has been full of abuse since.

    I was attacked/beaten after school at the age of 13, because I was the fat ugly kid. Having read the above it was self hatred yet comfort eating as only thing that made me happy as no boy would come near me.

    I find relief when I pick a scab and the release of blood is like a release of what happened but still doesn’t make it go away.

    I was raped at the age of 15 by my best friends boyfriend, then at 17 by a ‘friend’, then again at 18 by a taxi driver.

    My first ‘long term’s relationship was filled with physical abuse. We had a son together. I left when I came home from work and found out he had assaulted a 13 and 14 year old in the area.

    My first marriage ended after having 2 children and he became violent when drunk.

    My 2nd marriage failed within 3 months of marriage as he became violent too.

    I’m now with the most kind, loving, caring, loyal man any woman could dream of. He has been the first and only person to know what has happened although I haven’t been able to disclose all the details. I fit all the above statements about sexual inhibitions and feel repulsed by sex, despite talking about it a lot, I just can’t handle contact. I don’t know how much longer my partner will be supportive and understanding. Nor do I know where to turn to deal with it.

    Apart from partial disclosure to my partner this is the first time I’ve disclosed everything.

    I had been able to block it out and keep going with life until just a few weeks ago. My health taken a turn for the worse, my ‘mum’ told my son it’s lies and told him some awful untruths so he now hates me, she pays him a lot of money so it keeps him onside.
    I recently asked why she didn’t protect me, she told me not to bring up old stuff. She also sent us to a babysitter from the age of 5, someone she knew, I felt things weren’t right but don’t remember too much, only 5 years ago she told us he’s a known paedophile and had even.abused her sister and she felt guilty she couldn’t protect her yet when I asked why she handed me on a plate to him she would only say it past.don’t drag things up unnecessarily.

    At the moment, she has turned my dad and son against me, but I haven’t the courage to tell them all these truths. I hope one day they’ll work it out themselves. I have completely cut my brother and rest of family off too.
    Since doing this I have started to feel much stronger. Albeit very lost, as I’m free to choose my own future but being the wrong side of 40 I feel too old to start having a life when everything I knew has gone. Where do I start?

    I can’t cry anymore, I’m emotionally numb and have been for a very long time.

    I hate myself far more than I can hate anyone else and far far more than they can ever hate me.

  113. My daughter is 9 she was 8 wen she had probs with her dad she is depressed wont sleep alone or go sleep she has visions in her room of her dad it breaks my heart to c me lil girl go through so much in her short life is anyone out there tha can suggest anything to help her I talk to her cuddle her helping her through this x

  114. Hi Chris,
    I’m so sorry for what happened to your daughter. I’m glad she has your support. Have you read this article on our site? This may give you some insights about what your daughter likely needs right now (and in the future). What We Wish Our Parents Understood About Sexual Abuse

  115. My sisters were molested by my father when they moved back in from there grandparents when I was like 4.
    I have very little memory of anything about my childhood.. I’ve have early memories too though, like from when I was 2 when I was happy, I remember everything just being happy.. But I was a very messed up child and I masturbated when I was 5-6 years old, I hate the smell of beer because that’s what I remember he always smelled like when I would sit on his lap. The only thing I remember was when I was 8 years old he told me to come to the store with him, so I did. He was drunk.. on the way I asked for some candy and he asked me if I was wearing underwear.. I immediately said yes and he said he would buy me candy if I proved it, I pulled the side of my underwear out of pants and he said “that’s not what I meant” and I started yelling at him… He bought me a lot of candy and told me not to tell anyone.. so I didn’t. I loved my dad and I forgave him.. I’m truly a fucked up person now I’m borderline schizophrenic and severely depressed and I just feel like there’s things I can’t remember that he did to me.. I cry in my sleep, that’s how I got here, I wanted to know why, I h

    I remember mine. I was 5, he was our neighbor, 23 years old at that time. I lived with my grandparents, whom he knew i loved so much. My first memories were going over his house; he would make squat low to the ground, then come behind me with his huge dick out and rub it out on my kitty. Then he would take off my panties, and rub it bare on my kitty, he would say things like “look how pretty you are”,” youre a good girl”, “and friends do this all the time”; and never failed to remind me its” our secret.” He would give me toys and candy, then go back at it again. this time he would make me sit on him with my panties off. Then told me to spread my legs, and he would rub his cock between my pussy lips. He kept telling me, what a pretty black girl i am, he would stroke my hair and say “he wants to train me well”. Now all this time i thought this was normal, So i never said a word. Then one day he put me on top of him and try to put his dick inside me. “Im going to teach you how to ride” it hurt so much i startex crying. I ran from him and said i was gonna tell grandpa, he told me they would die because that will hurt their feelings. I kept my mouth shut, and i stop going over there. When my grandparents had to leave for a fw days one day, he offered to watch me. For three days he made suck on his dick, he licked my pussy, and sucked on it, that was my first time getting an orgasm. I dint knw what or how to feel after that. Then he called his brothers; he licked my pussy again, made his 2 youngest brothers suck on my nipples, while another put his dick in my mouth. He made me jack thier dick while he kept sucking on my pussy, he slowly pushed his dick inside me while he made me do all that nasty stuff. I bled. He ejaculated on me, and told me to open my mouth and be a good girl, while he made his brothers ejaculate on me too. He gave a bath after that. For years i would masterbate, 4 to 5 times a day. I dint even knw why, untl i was ten then i started knowing things and remembering more vivid gross things. I reprssed my feelings as a teenager. Now im 27, i cant have sex, or orgasms. Penetration is painful to me. The only way ive ever been turned on is imagining what that bastard made me do. Oh yeah i have issues, i daydream a lot. No man can please me, only i can please myself. Im always fngering myself, touching my nipples, rubbing my clit, anything he made do back then, turns me on now thinking about it. I thank you guys for sharing your stories, made me feel better sharing mine. I apologize in advance for my awful spelling, and if i offend anyone.

  117. So many of us identify, are teary eyed when we read this. Will his ever come to an end or will we continue to have more numbers coming up in the commnet section? What has become of us, of this world? Where are we heading? It scares me even more than the day of my abuse!

  118. Miss me…(No. 79); I freaked out reading that because it was like reading my own story, down to the fashion shows, making me and sibling pee into cups while on road trips, father telling me that people would think I was his wife…I am sickened by all of this, and have really pushed it down for a long long time. I have nearly every trait mentioned in the above list, right down to the inability to swallow and throwing up as a kid, addiction, self harm. promiscuity, older men…reading this made me realize that I have to own this now. I know the root cause of my issues, now its time to take control back and do what I need to do to make myself well.
    Thanks all for sharing your experiences, as they helped me greatly. May we all come to feel to our cores, that we have done nothing wrong, we are not bad….we were kids. Our bodies, hearts, and minds deserve respect and dignity. We are loved as we are, for who we are, and we don’t need to perform to be loved, and we certainly don’t need to sexually appease to be liked. And now that we are adults, we can move towards some sort of inner peace….

  119. I have a lot of these symptoms and have frequently wondered if something happened to me as a child to cause a lot of unusual aspects of my young sexuality. But I don’t have any actual memories of child abuse, and I had an abusive boyfriend in my late teens who could have caused some of these things if I can’t specifically remember when they started… And I don’t have any unusually big gaps in my childhood memories, although my older brother remembers hardly anything from before about age 7 so I wonder if maybhe we were both abused before then…

  120. Does anyone have trouble sleeping in a bed? Since my abuse, over 10 yrs ago, i feel scared to sleep in my room. Ive always slept on the couch with tv on. I feel like my room has “evil spirits.” Does anyone feel that way? I remember long ago a sexual abuse survivor friend couldnt handle her room and was confined to a couch. That may sound psychotic, but I realky need to figure out this bed/ couch situation. I just bought a very nice bed, but i contiue to sleep on the couch.plus, i cant sleep in th dark. Again feel like there are “evil spirits.”

  121. I honestly think I was sexually abused. I’m 18 and have virtually no memories before the age of 11 and zero of my home life. I relate to almost all of this list and used to have a massive problem with people touching me and with crying once I reached a certain point during sex (I always stop before that point now). I was and am abused emotionally by my father and have no memories of him before I was 10. I keep saying over and over in my head, ‘That it isn’t possible’ but between this and other websites I’ve read it’s getting harder and harder to deny. I don’t know what to do. This sense of unknown is killing me.

  122. I’m 16 years old, a couple of months ago we had to do this school project about our childhood. I did the project about being diagnosed with a attention disorder and how that effected me, as a child I went to many psychiatrists and just lately I have been flashing back to one inpaticular. I didn’t know why because I couldn’t really remember what happened when I went to that certain doctor I remember all the other doctors but not this one. I started thinking more into it and every single website I went on I related most to the sleep section. I was always afraid to sleep, I had nightmares, I wouldn’t sleep, or I would sleep on my parents floor(this went on for 5 years) up until 8th grade I still have nightmares that reflect abuse, and my friends often tell me I scream in my sleep but I have no recolection of me doing it. 4th-7th grade is a blur in 7th grade I acted out a lot I ran away from home, I stole, i shoplifted, I got detention. As I read through the list of “symptoms” peices started being put together about why I did certain things. I pick at my skin everyday this started in 3rd grade maybe 4th. I have always been scared of large social groups, I have many friends and I am very talkative and social with people but most of the times I get very uncomfortable at things like parties or big gatherings of people. I don’t know if I’m just wasting your or my time writing this but I thought it was worth a shot. I’m not sure if I am making up scenarios in my head of abuse or it is blocked in my mind. I would love if someone would help me understand if I’m just crazy or this is an actual problem

  123. My heart breaks reading through these comments. I am 43 years old and even though I remember vividly all the things my dad did to me, I pushed it out of my mind. It ended when I was about 15, when I told my mother finally.
    Even though I didn’t repress my memories, I can identify with so many things on the list above. I lied to myself all my life, thinking I could just forget about it. I wish it were that easy. I pray for all of you to find peace.

  124. A few of those had related to me. I don’t think I was sexually abused ever in my life though. If I was, I remember absolutely nothing.

  125. I can’t believe I spent all these years thinking my response to all my abuse was weird. This list was ME. Should I look into counseling? I’m already 19…I hope it’s not too late because I don’t want to live with my life this way forever. Especially that I know I’m not a disgusting pathetic freak now and there are others like me and it’s because of what I went thru and not because I’m a monster.

  126. I am so glad I am not alone. Not that I wish what I experienced on my worst enemy but it helps to know I’m not the not one who experiences these sort of effects from childhood abuse. Sometimes it just hurts so bad. Most of the time I am so desperately afraid. Most of all I am afraid of myself. I don’t trust myself, I can’t. I’m starting to trust my husband. But a big part of me believes I’m not worthy of trusting anyone or feeling anything but completely frightened and wary and angry. It is hard for me to feel safe, happy and calm, just to let go and enjoy life. I never throw back my head and laugh. But I want to, how badly I want to. Is ir too late for me? Could happiness ever been an option? How?

  127. My 20 yr old girlfriend koko(her street name and I’m 43) asked me to read this with her. Half way through she began crying and would not finish it. When I kept reading she became controling ,violent ,abusive(physically , verbally). She immediately hid her face in a blanket, and wanted to run away. Started threatening me with suicide and repression of our relationship all together.

  128. This made me cry. I was sexually abused for 5 years now. This past year I had finally got justice from the guy who raped me. He was my ex boyfriend. I am still dealing with masterbating problems. I do it nonstop and it scares me that I can’t stop. I am a christian and believe that you should save all sexual behavior for marriage. I know God is good and that I can do all things through his strength. I want every one of you to know that you can as well. Just don’t give up. God bless (John 3:16)

  129. Iam a male was with older males all I knowfucking hell of a life hell for reals out ready to end it if it don’t get better lost careers basketballs color ships and so gifted Survivor hell all my life lost everything always new it was that minimized for being weak wouldn’t care if I died at this point you get tired iam a good man Suicidal my whole life took all the shame blam could have been champion ship college for b ball can’t tell you th e loss if you can describe hell all I can say

  130. Elissa
    I want you to know that you are not alone.

  131. I have/do a lot of these…I was abused at an early age and am now a teenager. This explains so nuch

  132. So say I’ve been wondering for quite a while if I was sexually abused. I’ve noticed some really strange behaviors in myself that I thought was normal but upon talking to some people I realized the majority of other people have never experienced these things. I just have this weird and strong feeling that something bad happened to me a while ago. Ex, one of the weird things I’ve noticed, my mom told me when I was younger (toddler/young child age) I was a cuddler and was very verbally and physically affectionate, but at some point in my life, which I can’t place, that changed. I now cannot let my mother touch me and I have trouble telling her I love her. Whenever she says she loves me I feel very uncomfortable. Now, I don’t think that this has anything to do with her actions because I feel this way about everyone, it just illustrates a sudden change in me. Now say I also demonstrate more than 30 of the things listed above. What do I do with that information? I don’t know what to think.

  133. Hi, I am a 44 year old male and I was made to do dirty things to an older boy when I was about 10, I have never told anyone about this, I seen on Facebook that this man is friends with someone that I am friends with, and as soon as I seen this it just brought it all back, I even contacted him and told him how much of a dirty bastard he is for making me do things to him and how much I hate him, I dont want to go to the police because I would feel humiliated and dont want people around me that this ever happened to me, but I also want this person to pay for what he done to ne, so could someone please help me and tell me what I should do, I nearly told my wife the other day and thats the closest ive been to telling anyone, so please try and point me in the right direction, thank you.

  134. This made me cry. I can’t even remember it, but I know my dad molested me. He was always quick to point out that I was his “daddy’s girl” and was always creeping. My grandmother always hated him and she started asking if he’d ever touched me and I said no. I was confused by it and nothing mad sense. By that time, I was wetting the bed every night and waking from nightmares and they would catch me doing things to myself. At 7 years old. I found out only recently that my mom had taken me to a specialist and they had informed her that I had been messed with. Molested. By someone in the family. She thought it was because I would, as they called it, play with myself. I think she knew, deep down, but I didn’t know and she didn’t want to think of him as the perpetrator. I got brave when I saw him last, but the reason I did is that he was worried my step dad was doing things to me. I asked if he thought it was possible to do it to someone in their sleep and he got crazy defensive and said he’d never do it to his kids. When I finally came to my senses and admitted it to myself, the bed wetting stopped. That’s right. I wet the bed until I was 18 years old thanks to that asshole. I’ve discussed this with my mom, but tonight I realized I let it slip to my boyfriend, and I swore I’d never tell him. I cried as soon as he told me I’d said something about being molested. He doesn’t know who, but it breaks my heart. I’m tainted goods. And I always will be.

  135. I vagly remember something wet on my back when my uncle was near me but all these things fit me I don’t know if I was raped I’m only 14????????

  136. I raly don’t know how much I was abused or by who but my aunt made me do dirty stuff for her and alwase told me it was our secret and every time my uncle was near me there was something wet on my back and I don’t relly know why but i always wanted my biological father dead and I cant remeber much before I was 8 so I made up memory’s to tell the other kids but now can’t tell the lies from the truth anymore but all of the fit me I’m only 14 ???? and knew the birds and bees before it was explained to me but I though that was normal listening to country music all my life but knowing what it ment unlike the other kid’s and pity my friend because I walked in on her step dad doing her but she pushed me away before I relised I was mosesed to

  137. Ohmygosh. This is me. Tears. 🙁

  138. I fully feel for you all, and also thank you, you are commendable people for speaking out,, as I cannot handle it anymore, all my family have told me that I am a drama queen, yet being the youngest of five, and having to take the brunt , I so wish I was, then maybe I wouldn’t constantly hurt like I do. I can only remember being in my bed, and mum and dad went out again, I am blanked after him sitting in the room with just me, then years later, he drugged me and did it again. I wrote a poem at school about being suicidal, and won the competition, prize was…choose a free book… I chose a joke book, its always bin one me!!! frustrating and always upsetting. I have slit my wrists many times and border line to be alive, and taken overdoses many times, he even advised me the best way to do it. Some one is looking over us all, I just wish I had someone to turn to, as I cannot go to any of my family, even though….sorry I will stop there, I just so wish for them to all be judged instead of me always being the one to blame, even though go figure it is impossible for my age or clearly proven, but yet ‘ you believe your parents, ?’ I don’t believe I will meet anyone whom I can trust, .

  139. As I read through these sighns I couldn’t help but there tear up and get upset and I am so numb and my husband says it’s like I am two different people and I am 26 and last year I was rapped and he says that if gotten worse with my personal alities and that I often act like a child and sometimes its like I’m not even here but I don’t know where I go and I don’t sleep well and the rest I’d rather not talk about cause I am to upset now and don’t want to talk about it anymore

  140. I was googling about this odd stress-response tic I have – I was wondering if there was a medical explanation – and I came across this checklist. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had faint, untrustworthy memories of having been molested as a child, accompanied by a solid sense that something did happen. Despite this sense, I’ve generally figured that I’m imagining things. I have a very good, vivid memory, so it seems strange that these “memories” would be vague.

    I am extremely skeptical about the existence of repressed memories, or the existence of the function of repression, full-stop. I don’t wish to invalidate any of the commenters here – I’m speaking about myself. It seems far more likely to me that I’m self-dramatizing and imagining than that something really happened to me.

    That said, I was shocked at how much of this list could be applied to me. These are traits and behaviors that I thought were personal failings, the result of my being weird, lazy, etc. I’m so conflicted. On the one hand, it would be a relief to distinguish trauma traits from personality flaws, but on the other hand I feel I don’t know what’s real. I can’t accurately distinguish because I don’t know if I was ever really molested.

    I don’t know why I’m sharing this. I’ve never told anyone about my “memories” before and I hadn’t planned to. I guess I just needed to express what was going on in my head.

  141. Also, having read through some other comments, may I please add how brave I think the other commenters are. You guys are so strong and good. Really, genuinely good.

  142. I have always known I was abused as a child, I remember every single detail from the 4 or 6 months it started when I was between 5 or 7 can’t remember those details well but what happened I remember clearly. My cousin is my abuser and I love her very much, we were just kids and I don’t consider her a pedo or anything. I truly believe someone abused her and she ended up turning to me and in an attempt of control abused me. Anyways her doing this has screwed me up big time from severe depression to heroin addiction. I’m now 6 weeks clean and just starting to understand and deal with it all.

  143. I read this list a few days back. I am a victim. As far as I remember it started when I was about 5 or 6. It’s surprising how many things in the lists match with my condition.
    I started masturbating at a very young age.
    Now at 19 I still masturbate. It’s more of an addiction now.
    I’m weird. I feel there are just so many people living inside of me.
    I’m haunted by my past all the time.
    I hurt myself in every situation possible not as a turn on but because of grief and pain.
    I don’t trust people soon.
    I’m social but I am scared to talk to boys or men in particular.
    I have these weird dreams about people inflicting pain and abuse and shockingly I liked it.
    I read a lot if bdsm stories.

    I was molested and abused by 2 people in particularly. One was my family chauffeur the other being the family priest. Yes that’s true the family priest. For a very long time I did not realise that something wrong was happening.

    My chauffeur would abuse me while bringing me home from school or post swimming classes or whenever he could get me alone. He abused a 6 year old threatening her every single day. I never told my parents about it unil I was 12. He would finger me every time in the car. He would lick me and I did nothing about it. Nothing at all. I let it happen to me. He was the one to show me pornographic pictures in magazines. Even as I write this down I have tears thinking about how that man never thought about my tender age or how he never thought what impact it would leave on me !!!!!!

    My second abuser was our family priest. He abused me. He tempted me as a child by saying he would teach me a new game. He said that this game had to be a secret between the two of us. It’s something that God had designed. How shameful was that man to use a mere 6 year old in the name of God. I never told my parents about him. Still haven’t. He still lives in my house. I don’t have the guts to go up to my parents and tell them about him.
    I was abused by both of them at the same time. I was stupid that I never told my parents about it back then. As a child I thought this is what normally happens to people. Now whenever I think of all that happened to me I wonder how stupid I was.
    I remember I was scolded so many times for masturbating as a child. I would use the TV remotes my barbies or any other object. I don’t know why they never figured out something wrong was going on. I remember my grandmother telling me I would get injections in my genitals if I don’t stop. Still I never stopped.
    Surprisingly I don’t have much memories as a child but all these abusive memories stayed with me till now. I probably don’t remember the colour of the flooring of my house back then but I have crystal clear memories of all those times I was abused.

    I was sent to a boarding school when I turned 11. That’s when I realised that such things do not happen to normal people. It took me a year to tell my mother about it. When I told her she trusted me. My father beat the guy up so much I still remember. He wanted to kill him but my mother wanted that man to suffer for all that he did to me. He was thrown out of the house. I never saw him after that in person. He still haunts my dreams. My other abuser stopped after this incident. My mother cried a lot and blames herself till now for all that happend to me.
    I’m 19 now, a med student. I’m a social person and get along well with my girlfriends. I don’t hang around much with boys. Thats been there with me from as far back as I can remember. I don’t trust people much. The biggest trouble now is I’m addicted to masturbating. There are times I can go without masturbating for days. There are times I can masturbate for 3 hours together. This has disrupted my life so much. I can’t seek help here, but I want and need help ! The masturbation is so intense that I don’t know how to get rid of it now. This comes and interferes in my day to day activities. I want to be set free from all of this.

  144. I have most of these it was like it knew me or something. I think that I have repressed memories, and it’s infuriating because I feel like something did happen. I’ve been doing a lot of this stuff before I was old enough to even know about it. And I don’t know how to remember or if anything even happend to me or if I’m just crazy and it’s driving me nuts. When I was younger for years on and off my mom had this awful boyfriend. And during an off period she dated someone else. Child services visited my school later it was in 3rd grade and I found out about a year ago (I’m 16) that her Boyfriend during the off period called child services and said that the awful boyfriend had been molesting me. My mom claims that it wasn’t true. I have no recollection of anything ever happening. She also was convinced people had done things to me like I went to a youth group one time at my friends church and I was on my period. I bled through and later she insisted I could never go back because there was blood on my underwear and that must’ve meant the pastor of the youth group raped me. She did something like that 2 other times as well. And I don’t know if I’m just really messed up and crazy because I have most of these symptoms or if Something actually happens to me, because that’s what if feels like.

  145. I’m actually really scared that there are a lot of points that apply to me. I don’t remember anything before 10 years (I’m 20 now). My family was small, only male members were my dad and my grandpa. What makes me most uncomfortable is that I wet the bed until I was 13-14, being 12 when my dad left home.

  146. I have had my suspicions for years, 73 things on this page apply to me.

  147. Hey I’m Chasity and I’m 15 i connected with many of those. Iv always suspected but if I was iv blocked it out beacuse I don’t remember. Can someone please help me sort this all out I feel awful

  148. I had a panic attack first time I read some of these

  149. I have no memories of sexual abuse. However, I’ve always wondered. It’s been at the back of my mind for years and years. I counted more symptoms than I care to admit. One that I’ve thought about for a long time was I wet the bed for quite a few years. I think it was around 3rd grade when I finally stopped doing it often but even then I still had an occasional accident. I’m 23 and luckily haven’t done that in years.
    I don’t have a specific person in mind but I am very uncomfortable around uncles. Only uncles. I’m fine with my dad, brother, and grandpa. But for whatever reason, I can’t bring myself to like any uncles. I don’t hug them. I don’t hardly talk to them. Pretty much avoid. Except for one that is new, I’m trying really hard to be friendly to him. But the most I manage is a small, forced smile and a quick hello. Do you think an uncle may have done something to me and that’s why I now avoid all uncles like the plague? That thought haunts me. I haven’t brought it up to anyone. I don’t dare to. But I can’t help but think it when I am so extremely uncomfortable around them all. I fear I might be borrowing trouble here though since I have zero memories and nothing to go on but feelings.
    I am a very anxious person. I’ve struggled with depression and generalized anxiety as well as social phobia for a long time now. I worry about a lot of things and a lot is just my imagination running wild. But this feeling around uncles… and a lot of these symptoms…. They’re real and they’ve been going on a lot longer.
    I don’t really know what I expect to come from this little rant of mine. Especially considering how old this post is! But I’ve never told anyone about all this stuff so at least I feel like I’m getting it off my chest in a safe place.

  150. i’m a 31yr. old male. i have suspected for the past few years that i was sexually abused when i was around the age of 9. it is hard to describe…it’s almost like a knowingness without actually having concrete understanding. i have lived in this mental prison most of my life and i can relate to about 80% of that list. i do have very strong cases for people who may have been involved. i think that the problem is getting worse over time….or like i’m not able to cope like i used to. i am only recently realizing that i think or perceive differently than others and i feel like i’m not fully adjusted to reality like i stopped maturing when i was younger. the depression/disorientation/paranoia/anxiety is becoming so extreme now that i can barely function. lately it is turning into frequent meditations on suicide and/or doing really self-destructive things like sexual promiscuity. i have sought God for many years but i find no relief from the pain. whenever you tell people they don’t understand they usually take offense to that like you’re trying to separate yourself. i can’t tell you how amazing it was to read one of the comments here….i felt like i finally know somebody in this world who knows me and sees me.

  151. I’m scared that I relate to a LOT. Could it be something else 🙁

  152. Hi. I can only identify with about 30 things on the list. I’m a 20-year-old girl and I’ve never gone out with a guy even though I’ve been asked out by 15+ guys. I get scared whenever a guy stands too close to me and when a guy makes sexual advances towards me, I freeze.I also get angry when a guy stares at me. I moved from my old neighbourhood when I was 5 and I don’t remember anything. My earliest memory is my mum and I arriving in the new house and meeting my new neighbours. Is it possible I was abused because I don’t really identify with a lot of things on the list.

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